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Filipino Myths and Legends: The Legend of Rice

An Visayan story about the origin of rice.

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In the olden days, famine gripped the land. The desperate people implored their goddess to save them. Moved by pity, the goddess descended to the earth. The land was parched with drought, with only a few hardy weeds on the ground.

            The goddess bared her bosom and squeezed milk into each barren ear of the weeds. When her milk run out and she saw that there were still empty ears, she asked the heavens to give her more milk.

But when she pressed her bosom again, only blood came out. When she was done, she then bent low over the plants and pleaded with them to flourish and feed her again.

            Weeks passed and the weeds grew and became heavy with grain. When the people harvested the stalks and pounded these open, some grains were as white as the goddess’ milk while some were are red as her blood.

The people cooked these and found these nourishing. Rejoicing, for at last they have sustenance, they gave thanks to the goddess as they re-planted and harvested this weed which is what is now known as rice (From The Insular Life Assurance Company 2009 Planner).

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User Comments
  1. clay hurtubise

    On April 23, 2009 at 7:15 am

    Interesting piece! Now what about brown rice?! :)

  2. Alixander Haban Escote

    On April 23, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Hi, Clay, thank you very much for reading my article. Brown rice is a native, organic variety of rice in the Philippines. Cheers!

  3. jerielle amada

    On August 6, 2012 at 8:27 am

    thanks for this article! but can you tell us the rice myth of ibaloi, nabaloi, bohol and tagalog?

  4. jorrie

    On September 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    helu! great that i was able to find ur article. ths was used n the k to 12 grade 7 module but text was not provided. thanks for this!

  5. John Laryn

    On September 24, 2012 at 8:15 am

    interesting, do you know any other myths about rice? if so pls inform me I really need it tnx.

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