A bowl of rice, yum!
Rice is the most abundantly produced and consumed food for a large part of the general human population, especially in Asia and the West Indies. It is known also as the grain with the second-highest worldwide production, after corn, based on data for 2010.
This essential food, packed with energy and other vitamins and minerals, is truly the favorite or the most visible dish in every Filipino meal. It is ingrained in our culture and in our psyche. A Filipino would not feel the fullness or satisfaction without eating rice. It is hard not to go for it.
According to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics of the Philippines, total rice production in 2012 reached 18.03 million MT which surpassed the 2011 outputs of 16.68 million MT by 8.1% or 1.3 million MT. Major contributors were Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley, Ilocos Region and Bicol Region.
Even so that we are one of the biggest producers of rice, still a lot of the Filipino people die of hunger everyday. The country is more focused on the infrastructures and industries nowadays rather than its true potentials which may be the reason why it is not the No.1 top rice exporter of Southeast Asia, which is Thailand.
A lot of agricultural lands are rapidly being converted to residential and commercial areas. The government has made efforts to provide farmers with lands of their own to produce and cultivate but even they are blinded by such potentials as evidenced that some farmers want the easy money thus they sell the lands given to them by the government to the businesspeople in exchange for instant cash. Little do they know that they sold out a very valuable and fruitful “homebound” not just for themselves but for their families as well.
At many restaurants, especially in fast-food chains, people who don’t consume their full cup of rice have wasted millions of production and milling expenses solely to make it edible food that they leave behind. Is that etiquette practice of a Filipino? Definitely not! A very disrespectful action a human can do. We spend hard-earned money in exchange for a cup of rice thus it is reasonable to consume it properly.
In conclusion, first, the Philippines is doing good in its developing strategies but it must never abandon its genuine strength. Second, never go for the easy money, farming may be a slow investment but a lot of people acquired good lives in farming. Lastly, the next time you feel like leaving even just a tablespoon of rice, just remember the millions of pesos used to make it and the people dying everyday since they can’t afford to buy and eat some.