The Ibaloi people are one of the indigenous groups in the Philippines, living mostly in the province of Benguet. They have a rich culture and history, and one of their most cherished traditions is the cultivation of rice. Rice is not only a staple food for the Ibaloi, but also a symbol of life, prosperity and harmony. But how did rice come to the Ibaloi people According to their oral tradition, there is a story that explains the origin of rice and its importance to their society.
The story begins with a deity named Lumawig, who was the son of Kabunian, the supreme god. Lumawig was a powerful and benevolent god who lived in the sky, and he was known for bringing new crops and plants to the earth. He often visited the different tribes and taught them how to farm, hunt, fish and weave. He also gave them laws and customs to follow, and protected them from enemies and disasters.
One day, Lumawig decided to visit the Ibaloi people, who were living in a mountainous region. He saw that they were hardworking and hospitable, but they were also poor and hungry. They only had fruits, roots and wild animals to eat, and they often suffered from famine and disease. Lumawig felt sorry for them, and he wanted to help them improve their lives. He thought of giving them a new crop that would be easy to grow, nutritious and abundant. He remembered that his father Kabunian had a storehouse of rice seeds in the sky, which he had collected from different parts of the world. Lumawig decided to ask his father for some rice seeds to give to the Ibaloi people.
Lumawig went to his father's house and greeted him respectfully. He told him about his plan to give rice seeds to the Ibaloi people, and asked for his permission. Kabunian was pleased with his son's compassion and generosity, and he agreed to give him some rice seeds. He opened his storehouse and showed him different varieties of rice seeds, each with its own color, shape and size. He told Lumawig to choose carefully, because each variety had its own characteristics and requirements.
Lumawig looked at the rice seeds and tried to decide which ones would be best for the Ibaloi people. He saw some white rice seeds that were round and shiny, but he also noticed that they were delicate and needed a lot of water and care. He saw some red rice seeds that were long and slender, but he also noticed that they were bitter and needed a lot of sun and heat. He saw some black rice seeds that were small and hardy, but he also noticed that they were rare and needed a lot of space and time. He saw some yellow rice seeds that were flat and fragrant, but he also noticed that they were sticky and needed a lot of pounding and cooking.
Lumawig was confused by the different varieties of rice seeds, and he did not know which ones to choose. He asked his father for advice, but Kabunian told him that he had to make his own decision. He said that whatever variety he chose would have its advantages and disadvantages, its benefits and challenges. He said that rice was not only a gift, but also a responsibility. He said that rice would not only feed the Ibaloi people, but also teach them valuable lessons about life.
Lumawig thought hard about his father's words, and he finally made his choice. He chose a variety of rice seeds that were brown in color, medium in size and shape, and mild in taste. He thought that this variety would be suitable for the Ibaloi people's climate, soil and preferences. He thought that this variety would be easy to grow, harvest
and cook. He thought that this variety would be enough to satisfy their hunger
and nourish their bodies.
Kabunian gave Lumawig a sack of brown rice seeds
and wished him good luck. Lumawig thanked his father
and left with his gift. He went back to the earth
and flew over the Ibaloi region. He looked for a suitable place