Saturday, July 19, 2014

Taloctoc, Kalinga; The Kaingin Rice

One of the cycles of labor that the Taloctoc youngsters go through is the "Uma". This is the "kaingin" - a mountain clearing in which rice is planted during the summer months. Taloctoc is a village in Kalinga, Philippines which has a rich culture existing even up to the present times.

The month of April would see the native folks, burning and clearing an area in the mountains ready for rice planting after the first rainfall.

Image credit: Arvee Gaye Trinidad

We had built a small hut in which we could take a rest, but folks usually went home to the village after a hard day's work. Since I was not used to hard labor and the hike every morning and evening to and from the mountains, I would stay with my grandparents in the Kaingin hut.

This would save us the hike everyday. Before the first rainfall, the kaingin would be cleaned thoroughly and weeded. It was on times like these that I would wake up very early in the morning and take a walk savoring the nippy morning, fresh air, the awesome view from the mountain top as the sun arises from the east, and the wonderful, morning silence when all can be heard are the chirping birds and the melodious sound of the cicadas.

I would have fun picking up mushrooms from tree stumps for viand. Then I would fetch water down the stream with my bamboo pole. It was heavenly! You have to experience it to know what I mean. It would be during the months of May that rice planting is done. Afterwards, the succeeding rains would then allow the rice seedlings to grow robustly into a full grown rice plant ready for harvest. Harvesting was also a whole day affair.

It has to be harvested all in one day because of the superstitious belief that the gods would get mad if this was not done. The labor was done by all the native folks cooperating to allow the successful harvest of one kaingin after another. Everyone helps everyone - the true "bayanihan" (unified) spirit.

The kaingin rice varies in color, it is pinkish to red; it is bigger and fuller than the field rice, it is also more delicious and believed to have more nutritive value. It contains more essential nutrients than the field rice and could be eaten without any condiment, viand or side dish. Its aroma is also pleasant and is an appetite inducer. If the ordinary rice has vitamin B12, the kaingin rice has more vitamin B12.

It also has niacin (vitamin B3) and these are essential in cell growth and blood cells development. After all the hard labor in the kaingin, it is pleasurable to sit down and eat the kaingin rice which is still the best that I have tasted so far. This was published by

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Panagbenga Flower Festival 2014 Pictures

All these pictures of the Panagbenga Flower Festival 2014 are courtesy of Lionheart Jude Ballug of Baguio City.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Beauty of Kalinga

The beauty of Kalinga can never be discounted, Its rich natural resources, its colorful culture, its people are only few of why Kalinga is a beautiful province. You cannot fully understand a Kalinga unless you live there.

Here are some pictures that could help you understand the Kalinga culture and native practices. The verdant trees, wild flowers and plants are abundant, as sparkling waterfalls and clear streams abound.

Pictures below are courtesy of Nats Dalanao of Kalinga.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Kalinga Girl: Simple and Beautiful at Heart

The Kalinga girl-woman is simple but beautiful inside and out. She does not care much for make-ups and fancy dresses, but cares much about family, and how to be of help to them and her community. Kristel Erica is a registered nurse serving her local community in the Mountain Provinces. I laud your noble and generous spirit, Kalinga woman!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

New Kalinga Pics - The Genuine Kalinga Man

The Genuine Kalinga Man

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Panagbenga Festival 2013 Pictures: Awesome Scenes

These are awesome pictures of the Panagbenga Flower Festival in Baguio City last May 2013. The photographer was Ms. Ma. Rosalina Perrson, who was kind enough to lend me these pictures. There were thousands of visitors, local and foreign, just like Ms. Perrson, who visited the City of Pines just to attend this more than a month long activities. Thanks also to Nats Dalanao and Paul Massilem.I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Majestic Mountains of the Mountain Provinces

The Mountain Provinces, composed of Benguet, Bontoc, Ifugao, Kalinga and Apayao, are called such because of their majestic, mountain ranges that are not present in the plains of the lowlands. Some portions of Kalinga and Apayao are flatlands and some portions are composed of verdant mountains.

The highest peak is found in Benguet Province, and there were reports of hail rains during wet seasons. Understandably, it is the coldest part of the country. 

The flora and fauna are also incredible in these mountains. If a botanist would visit them, he would presumably find exotic plants.

The Kalinga Mountains are known to grow a variety of edible wild fruits. Wild berries, guavas, and bananas abound that one cannot go hungry. Waterfalls, fresh spring waters are also common occurrences.
Here are some pictures of the mountain ranges of the Mountain Provinces

All pictures are courtesy of Arvie Gaye Trinidad

Monday, March 25, 2013

Ethnic Costumes in Northern Philippines

Ethnic costumes are usually colorful and durable because they are usually hand woven. Although, there are several ethnic tribes in the Mountain Provinces, the ethnic costumes are still similar in their vivid colors and vibrancy.

The Igorot costumes, Bontoc costumes, Benguet costumes, and Kalinga costumes are made up of an array of bright red, green, and yellow colors. These colors are often designed in wavy patterns or attractive designs that bring out the best of the villages and tribes.

Here are some ethnic costumes found in Northern Philippines. Men in G-strings, and women in ‘ginamat’; the ordinary ‘dresses for the folk.

The DILG Provincial Director with his local counterpart in Tadian

Male Ethnic Costume-G string

Panagbenga, Baguio City