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The Origin of Rice (Bohol)
There was a time, many, many years ago,
when rice was not known to our people. At
that time our ancestors lived on fruits,
vegetables, birds, and wild animals which
they caught while hunting in the mountains
or the forests. Tilling the soil was still
unknown. And poultry and hog was not yet
a part of their way of living.Because our
people depended on the food which nature
provided and not what they themselves
grew or raised, their stay in one place was
only temporary. When there was nothing
more to be hunted or gathered in a certain
place, they would go to another region
where there was plenty of food. Thus, they
traveled from one place to another.But our
ancestors were proud, thankful and happy.
They were proud of the things they had-
their brown skin, the race to which they
belonged, and the customs and traditions
which they practiced. They were thankful to
Bathala, their god. And they were happy in
the manner of living which they led.On a
typical day, the men could be seen going to
the mountains or forests to hunt, while the
women and small children could be seen
busily engaged in such useful tasks as
fishing and gathering of fruits and
vegetables. After a day’s work, all wild
animals that had been killed in the hunt
and all fruits and vegetables that had been
gathered, would be divided equally among
all the group of families which made up the
One day, a group of hunters went out to
hunt deer. In their desire to have a good
catch, they traveled far and wide until they
reached the Cordillera Mountains. Having
traveled so far, and feeling dead tired, they
decided to take a rest under a big tree. It
was nearing noon and all of them were
hungry. While resting in the shade of the
tree, they saw, not far from where they
were, a group of men and women whose
features were quite different from those of
ordinary mortals. The hunters realized that
they were gods and goddesses who lived in
that part of the mountain. All at once the
hunters stood up and gave the deities due
respect. The gods were glad of this
gesture. In return, they invited the hunters
to join them in their banquet.The hunters
helped in the preparation of the food. They
butchered the deer and wild boar and then
placed them one after another over the live
coals.In a short while, a servant of the
gods got some bamboos and placed them
over the fire. The bamboos contained
small, white kernels shaped like beads.
Soon after, the cooked kernels were placed
in saucer-shaped banana leaves. The table
laden with roasted meat, cooked
vegetables, and fresh fruits. Other
bamboos were brought in and these
contained what looked like pure water. The
hunters soon learned that the crystal-like
substance was not water but rather, the
wine of the gods.At first, the hunters were
reluctant in joining the feasts after seeing
the small, white kernels.
“We do not eat worms,” the chief hunter
The gods smiled. “These white bead-
shaped kernels are not worms,” replied one
of the gods.“They are cooked rice. They
come from a certain kind of plant which we
ourselves grow. Come and feast
with us. After we have eaten, kill us if you
find anything wrong from eating rice.”
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