The Legend of Rice
A long, long time ago, our ancestors did not know about rice. They lived on fruits and vegetables, which they gathered in the forest, and on birds and wild animals, which they caught while hunting in the mountain. Tilling the soil was still unheard of. In addition, domestication of animals was not yet practiced.
Since our people depended on the food which nature provided and not on what they themselves grew raised, their stay in one particular place was only temporary. When there was nothing more to be hunted, or gathered in a certain area, they would go to another region where there was plenty of food provided by nature. Moreover, the cycle would continue.
Despite the conditions under which they lived, our ancestors were proud, thankful, and happy just the same. They took pride in the things they had: their brown skin, the race to which they belonged, the customs and traditions, which they practiced. They were thankful to Bathala, their god, for all the blessings he had given them. They were happy in the simple and uncomplicated manner of living, which they led.
On a typical day, the men could be seen going to the mountain or forest to hunt, while the women and children could be seen busily engaged in fishing, gathering fruits and vegetables, and other useful tasks. 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 groups of families which made up the barangay. Such was the mode living of our ancestors in those days.
One day a group of hunters went out to hunt deer. In their desire to have a good catch, they traveled everywhere 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 noontime, and all of them were hungry. While resting in the shade of the tree, they saw, not..