SOPA highlights Bohol victories
Chatto vows continued Bohol
support in ‘different capacity’
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, February 21 (PIA)—With cracking voice and evident sadness, Governor Edgar Chatto haltingly capped his three terms as the highest provincial official with a promise to continue getting involved in charting Bohol’s development in a different capacity, and support its development projects.
Speaking before a packed Bohol Cultural Center on the occasion of his last State of the Province Address which came in time on his birthday, the governor, who completes his third term, the second governor after have done so after Governor EricoAumentado, is training his sights on a comeback into the Congressional seat.
Himself a representative of Bohol’s First District before getting into the gubernatorial seat, Chatto has been in the bitter end of a word war defending his Administration’s policies from criticisms.
“I believe that people may destroy your image, stain your personality, but they cannot take away your good deeds, because no matter how they describe you, you will still be admired by those who really know you better,” the governor, in cracking voice, broke down in tears, as the crowd made mostly of Capitol employees, heads of national government agencies and supporters responded with a polite applause.
In his report to the SangguniangPanlalawigan capping his nine years in service to the provincial government, he picked his administration’s major accomplishments in infrastructure, social services, peace and order, local government reforms and innovations, equitable growth and environmental sustainability, disaster response, health, education, agriculture, tourism, information technology, and culture and heritage preservation.
Banking on shared leadership from the start, Chatto said Bohol’s crafted plans and programs were always in consultation with Bohol’s stakeholders, resulting in major victories for the province.
Chatto presented facts and figures of consistent socio-economic improvement shown in attracted investments from 2014-2018 reaching P21.2 billion, and some over P2 billion new micro, small and medium enterprise investments.
In his term, Chatto also took to the increase in tourist arrivals.
He said in 2018, the Department of Tourism recorded 1.496 million tourists, this, Chatto pointed out is a staggering 32% increase 2017, which too was recovery stage after the massive earthquake that brought Bohol to its knees.
In as much as the rise in tourist arrivals would also mean food, the governor pulled Department of Agriculture statistics citing Bohol’s contributing production to the region’s rice supply at 86.4% from 2016-2018.
The slow but sure economic development also propelled local employment, which, citing from the data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, accordingly reached a high 96.3%.
This, Chatto also linked to whatBangkoSentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla, Jr., has reported: local economic growth tracked by the country’s central bank at average growth rate of 9.1%, higher than the 6.7 national average.
Biggest among the cited victories of the Chatto led local government is the consistently decreasing Poverty Incidence in the province.
“Bohol had an extremely high poverty incidence in year 2000 at 50.2%, and was in the top 20 poorest provinces in the Philippines. Thanks to our combined efforts, we have succeeded in bringing down Bohol’s poverty incidence to an unprecedented 21.7% in 2015, which according to the PSA is lower than the regional average.
Chatto trumped on the local AusAID funded Provincial Roads Management Facility which is the template for the nationwide KALSADA Program, or the Conditional Matching Grant to Provinces, a Bohol innovation.
From 159 kilometers, he said the provincial concrete and asphalt paved-roads increased to 441 kms in 2018, while shedding off 119 kilometers of provincial roads via conversion to national roads.
In addition to that, from various sources of national and local government funds through the years, Bohol has paved a sum of 192 kilometers of roads, a fact Chatto claimed as the most number of local roads, and a great challenge for the next administration to continue.
While the 2013 earthquake posed a huge reconstruction and rehabilitation challenge for Bohol, the government’s Bohol Earthquake Assistance (BEA) projects allowed the province to complete 1,038 projects.
Among these, he cited the crown jewel of our infrastructure projects is the three decades dream: Bohol Panglao International Airport.
He also took pride in having the dream construction of the New Bohol Provincial Capitol, which was also blessed on that same day.
Among the major infra projects the governor cited were the new National Museum from the old Capitol, the rehabilitation of Plaza Rizal and the Old Provincial Library,Albur Sanitary Landfill and a sea plane port in CogtongCandijay.
In terms of disaster and risk reduction management, Bohol dealt with natural disasters better with its active Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, and an ordinance-backed PDRRMO through an ever upgraded our equipment and facilities.
“We now have the TaRSIER 117 Textblast System, as well as a new PDRRMC Command Center,” he reported.
The TaRSIER 117 is now institutionalized, and is set to expand in other areas of Bohol. Statistics show that our response to emergencies has been consistently increasing since it was first established.
In education, by augmenting on the Department of Education programs, Bohol has innovated in its EskwelaAgrikultura, an agriculture entrepreneurship training strand and TuroTurismo Senior High School Tourism Learning Facility in Panglao.
This is over and above the continued funds for Pres. Carlos P. Garcia Scholarships, the educational subsidy program, ICT integration and an education center to connect and link education initiatives in the province, now becoming a model in the country.
The governor, who is bowing out in June, also citedpromising developments in Tourism: these include the 1.4M tourist arrivals in 2018, over 3,000 international guests in international cruise ship port calls, more flights and hosting more local, national and international conferences while continuing to be bullish about Bohol tourism promotions in its own branding.
As the governor steps off from service, he assured Bohol is not resting on its laurels.
As he stepped into service, Chatto was undaunted by the task and dared to dream, and as he steps off, he enumerated forthcoming projects in Bohol’s 12 year plan.
Such include Inter-island Bridges connecting Bohol to our neighboring islands, Panglao Island-Tagbilaran City Iconic Bridge, another bridge to Panglao Island, the fourth one, a new Chocolate Hills ComplexProject, Malinao Dam Upgrading Project, Bohol Northeast Basin Multi-Purpose Dam, Drug Rehabilitation Center Project in Cortes, Business Process Outsourcing Center at the former Tagbilaran Airport, in partnership with CAAP and the DOTr, Gov. CelestinoGallares Memorial Medical Center in Cortes, a 525-bed capacity medical facility set to offer specialized care for oncology and trauma, as well as an acute stroke unit,the GrabTrike Premium soon to operate by March.
In closing, Chatto, who has visibly been under criticism himself admitted: “We are not perfect in everything that we do. For things that I might have missed or, unknowingly, any hurt that I may have caused to anyone – my sincere apologies. Every failure is an opportunity to learn and become a better person.” (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
ABATAN VILLAGE CENTER, CORTES, February 22 (PIA)—Over 600 volunteers from about 40 groups: trooped to the river sides of Abatan and Bacong rivers in Cortes, Maribojoc and Balilihan Friday, February 22, with one common goal: lend their hands to help clean up the river and improve its water quality.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Charlie E. Fabre said he has seen the potential source of pollutants in the river and would meet river stakeholders to discuss on mitigating measures and possible adoption of river sections that have been affected by pollution.
PENRO Fabre, along with Abatan River Community Development Management Council consultant Emilia Roslinda, Participatory Research Organization of Communities and Education towards Struggle for Self Reliance (PROCESS) Bohol Executive Director Aurelio Salgados Jr., Bohol Environment Management Office (BEMO) Coastal Resource Management Coordinator Maria Villa Inguito-Pelindingue, private corporation representatives and local media, on a flatboat, ventured into the headwaters of Bacong River to inspect the tributary to the Abatan.
Abatan River has been among the three rivers which the regional DENR committee identified for the Recognizing Individuals and Institutions towards Vibrant and Enhanced Rivers (RIVERS) for Life Awards in 2019.
Aside from Abatan River, also identified in Bohol are Wahig River in Inabanga and Manaba River in Garcia-Hernandez.
The awards would be granted to the region’s rivers which have been categorized as class C, one which the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) means a river which has a coliform level of lesser than 100 most probable number, but may be unsafe for swimming.
The awards, which would be granted to the region’s most improved water quality among ten rivers identified, would also automatically hoist the river to the national finals, explains PENRO Fabre during the recent Kapihansa PIA in Tagbilaran.
The goal, Fabre said, would be to upgrade the Abatan River water quality in six months.
And to do such huge task, the DENR PENRO has tapped private sectors especially those who have contributed in one way or another to the pollution, and those which have benefitted from the river.
Cortes Mayor Lynn Ivenn Lim, in his pre-clean-up program message urged everyone to spread out the word because when people do not know that their actions have contributed to the pollution, they would keep on doing the same thing.
Until we could stop people from indiscriminately throwing small plastics, then they would continue to do so and Abatan would be dirty still, the mayor said.
Apart from improving the water quality of the river, volunteers were also on to non-biodegradable trash along the river systems.
PROCESS and ARDMC lent kayaks and mobilized its tourism flatboats (bandung) for to volunteers use for the clean up.
The PENRO, which has been spearheading the Abatan River Clean up divided the 12 kilometer stretch of river to Kawasan Falls into five stations: Bacong Bridge to Lilo-an, Lilo-an to Abatan Bridge, Abatan Bridge to CabawanMaribojoc, Loreto Hanging Bridge to Camayaan Hanging Bridge and Camayaan Bridge to Kawasan Falls and its vicinities.
Clean-up volunteers include Barangay Poblacion, Salvador, Philippine National Police, Tourist Police, Maribojoc Police, Alpha Phi Upsilon, Bohol Beach Club, Department of Interior and Local Government, Toyota Motors, Alturas Group of Companies, Polbos Lumber, Bohol Institute of Technology-International College.
Coca-cola, Petron, Bohol Water Utilities Incorporated, JCI Boholana Kisses, Bohol Quality Corporation, Philippine Maritime Group, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, DENR, Philippine Information Agency, Bohol Provincial Police Office, Community Equity Ventures, DPWH, AFP, DEPED, BEMO, Unitop, MLhuillier, BISU Balilihan, PNP Balilihan, LGU Balilihan, Daplin Poultry, Barangay Candasig, PROCESS, BISU Main, Cortes PNP and MLGU Cortes.
Initial data for the clean-up showed that some 2.5 tons of trash were collected, all of which were collected by garbage trucks and ferried to Albur Sanitary Landfill. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
If only for some few hours, Boholanos sat and allowed themselves to be transported to the soothing classical music, as the Office of Governor’s Center for Culture and Arts Development (CCAD) and the local arts council brought in the biggest gathering of musical artists at the Meridian Hotel.
Set in time for the National Arts Month, the Musical Tertulia, or the social gathering featured not just the well loved Bohol musical groups and individuals, it also put in two featured artists: a grade 12 multi-awarded pianist grandson of a Boholano and a professional violinist in most Italian classical orchestra.
Billed as Uplifting Classical Music, the social gathering of musical artists centered on one genre of music: the classics, which most Boholanos are deprived of.
“Classical music” as opposed to the baroque, is noted for its development of highly sophisticated instrumental musical forms, like the concerto, symphony and sonata and is distinguished for its use of sophisticated vocal and instrumental forms, such as opera.
Classical music largely refers to the art music from the 1750s to the early 1820s, the same period when Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, and Ludwig van Beethoven created ripples in the music world.
And if you even wondered why doctors would recommend that would be mothers should listen to classical music, such is so because playing or listening to classical music can increase one’s creativity as music stimulates emotional and cognitive abilities, allowing the brain to think in new and different ways.
The Bohol musical tertulia opened with RohmarBinibini playing Harold Arlen Harburg’sOver the Rainbow and followed by De Guzman-Buenaventura’s Mala-ala mo Kaya by soprano Trini Dawson and baritone Sid Manalo.
Then, to the grand piano, Aida Cloribel Kirsten played Malagueña by Lecouna.
A short lull and the Tagbilaran City Children’s Choir under the baton of EnriquietaButalid, renders a Ramon Santos arrangement of Tuksuhan and Nitoy Gonzales’ Usahay.
Then, an original Bisayan composition with piano accompaniment by Butalid had Soprano Vida May Tirol de Juan and tenor maestro Joshibiah de Juan rendering Gugmang Nag-inusara. This was followed by the duo doing a Cebuano Medley arranged by EudenicePalaruan.
Another city group: the tagbilaran City Youth Singing Ambassadors under conductor De Juan rendered a Pasek-Paul and arranged by Huff version of AMillion Dreams.
The tertulia’s part one capped with the Jeduthun: The Singing Boholano Priests singing an acapella version of Lead Me Lord and a popular Filipino pop music “NaritonaangLahat.”
When the first part of the gathering of musical treasures set the mood for the afternoon, Part 2 rolled off with the weeping violin rendition of Massenet’s Thai’s by Italian concert master and solo violinist TullioVidmar.
When everyone else thought the best classics are by European musicians, Boholana Lyell Mae Cartagenas-Arellano and lyric soprano Claire AvergonzadoCarnecerallowed Arellano to embellished the vocal melody of a Delibes piece Flower Duet. This brought the modest crowd to the memory lanes of the Philippine opera.
The soprano duet pressed on local talent that could be at par with the sopranos in the world stage.
And when it was child piano prodigy’s time, US based and multi awarded pianist Devun Norberto JumamoyAmorandto, fingers cajoling the keyboard, played Chopin’s Ballade No, 2 in F and Impromptu Fantasy.
The Tagbilaran City Chidren’s Choir came in again for their rendition of Singenburger’s Ave Maria and Cavatina.
Then, the Italian violinist who was married to Rhea Fernandez, and who has been a professor at Liceo Conservatory of Music in Cagayan teaching violin and music history, took the stage again in his rendition of Abelardo’s Cavatina and V Montiff’s Czardas.
The last musician pianist Amoranto did Gerswin’s Prelude No. 2 and Khachaturian’s Toccata. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
Young pianist Devun Norberto JumamoyAmoranto who won third place in 2017 at the US International Duos Piano Competition and god son of a Boholano came home to play classical music to Boholanos at the tertulia. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
A cranking assault that would take one from 80 meters to 618 meters in less than four kilometers is by far, the toughest climb that this year’s extreme cross country mountain bikers (XC MTB) strings as the hardest obstacle in this year’s 4th season of Kinatkatay sa Binabaje, 2019.
And if one thinks this is a breeze, take note: this isn’t just any leisurely adventure spin with your trusted rig that you have to lay your bike aside for that mandatory picture after frantically summoning all your leg power reserves to surmount a technical climb.
No, there is enough time to recover, but unfortunately, that does not happen inside the 30 kilometer race loop, as there would be equally aggressive bikers on the same trail eager to get this pain over and done with, fastest.
For those who have not familiarized themselves with that track, the 80 meters to 618 in less than four kilometers is a good start. Now, think it over and over. Again.
And for one, as the bikers crank from the starting line to kilometer 4 in frantic painful cadence to the break-away, be wary: it is one that would be taking the XC MTB riders from 0 to 300 meters, so expending on the reserves to gain a good headway may turn out to be a much more tiring effort.
As to the downhill, the longest stretch which might be a good recovery section for the clearly screaming muscles would be at kilometer 20 when it goes from 618 feet to less than 50 feet in less than 4 kilometers too.
But the downhill here is no focus let up time. Chain’s on the big ring, ride the line and do not ever stray or you will be out for good.
Want to know where is that stretch were one would most likely devote all the remaining strength for the sprint? It is the last 6 kilometers or so to the finish line where the highest climb is 100 meters no more.
So now, to the more important questions: Which should do best, a 29 or its 27.5 twin, or a 26 inch wheel set?
Well, it depends on who is spinning.
For those who know they have inadequate training for the long climbs, a 26 would be lighter and handles better in the climb as it entails shorter wheel spin.
Downside, watch for the over spin and potential cross chains as the trail twists and turns in no time at all, so putting in the right gears is the key.
An adequately trained competitor would have properly gained the strength and endurance for long cadenced spins and a 29 or a 27 would be great on the same spin ratio. But owing to the bigger wheels, a 29’r should be skipping past the obstacles on a comfortable cranking.
But even if you have that easy to pedal 26’r or a seemingly superior 29’r, it still boils down to the right group set and the right combination of gears, considering you have no issues with the cranking pace.
A compact double on the crank, or the 2x is generally lighter and should be less confusing if you are in a flurry of shifting to get to a comfortable painless cadence. This however would be accompanied by a bigger range cassette, say 10 x 40 or 46, or 50 if one wants a whistling climb.
The 26rs however can opt for a less complex cassette and it is a gamble on the weight that could work as advantage.
This does not say too that a 3x is an inferior crank: the options are wider and like they always said, it’s the knee that counts.
At this, Alicia has opened the trails for the weekends for track reading, according to Godelia Lumogdang.
Starting line is at the Municipal Hall, and local guides can point you to the trails.
Now, do we wish you all the luck? (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
WALK WITH PRIDE. Some sections of the Kinatkatay route could be seemingly impossible to ride but it is always alright to walk tour bike and be saved from expending eneregies that tyou just might need for the sprint later. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
To have substantial improvements in the rivers’ water quality by June 2019: this fairly sums up the mission the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its horde of community volunteers in embarking on the simultaneous River Clean-Up this Friday, February 22.
And according to the new Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Charlie Fabre, the task may not be that tough a challenge for Bohol than in other Central Visayan provinces.
Fabre, who had a long stint as PENRO of Negros Oriental and an even longer stint as Regional Director for Caraga, said he has seen all the 10 rivers which DENR 7 identified for the February 22 simultaneous clean-up, and the three Bohol rivers are better than the 7 others in the region.
While the DENR monitored higher coliform levels at the lower banks of these Bohol rivers, its headwaters are still mostly category A, meaning, these can be sources of drinking water, or at least safe for swimming.
Should Bohol succeed in elevating the water quality of its identified rivers, then the clean-up picks another location based on the current local inventory and the need to get these rivers into shape again, according to Fabre.
It may be recalled that after the DENR led governments and the civil society in successfully cleaning up Manila Bay in what media would call as Battle of Manila Bay, DENR secretary also looked at the implementation of the Clean Waters Act of 2004 or the Republic Act 9275.
The law basically applies to water quality management in the country’s body of water by control of pollution from land based sources.
Here, the DENR spearheads and institutionalizes activities that would affect the water quality of a certain body of water.
Speaking at the Kapihan sa PIA, PENRO Fabre, citing the DENR appeal for greater public participation in the Simultaneous River Clean-Up set this February 22, admitted that the community mobilization towards cleaner rivers is the kick off activity of the river rehabilitation program in Central Visayas.
“We have witnessed in the Manila Bay Clean-up how public participation made a lot of difference. In Central Visayas the state of our rivers is not a hopeless case, let us come together and prove that we can also make it happen,” said DENR 7 Regional Executive Director Gilbert C. Gonzales as cited by DENR 7 social media accounts.
DENR 7 has organized a simultaneous river clean-up in ten (10) identified priority rivers in the region, these are the 20 kilometer Batuanon River that empties into Mandaue City, Bulacao River which empties into the Cebu South Road properties, and Luyang River from its headwaters of Cantumog to Barangay Luyang in Carmen, all in Cebu.
In Negros Oriental, the DENR also identified Banica River from spills of Casaroro Falls in Valencia and which empties to Dumaguete City, the Panamang-an River from Cabanlutan to the shorelines of Bais City and the Sicopong River which runs from Tanjay to Santa Catalina.
In Bohol, identified rivers for the simultaneous river clean-up are Wahig River in the Inabanga basin, Abatan River from Kawasan Balilihan Section to Cortes and Manaba River which empties into Bohol sea in Garcia Hernandez.
For Siquijor, the environment agency has identified Señora River from Cambugahay to Lazi.
These rivers, according to Fabre have been under category C: those which have below 100 most probable number coliform levels from animals and human wastes.
Bohol Rivers are crucial especially Abatan which is being used for eco-tourism activities, Fabre asserted.
This is not just a one shot deal. The clean up would be made sustainable, thus the kick-off, he added.
While several regions have already started their river clean ups, three of the DENR offices in Bohol coordinate with groups and individuals volunteering for the river clean up, according to Marcia Ugay of the DENR.
CENRO Talibon coordinates for the clean-up activities in Inabanga’s Wahig, CENTO Tagbilaran picks the coordination for Manaba River while PENRO Tagbilaran takes care of Abatan River.
Any individual or groups joining the volunteer work on Friday can call PENRO Bohol at (038) 416 0151. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
Conduct of the clean-up activities would be sustained for the next months as the DENR monitors the water quality to attain the desired clean-up goals, said PENRO Charlie Fabre at Kapihan sa PIA. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
That ubiquitous ubi solemnly embellishing the popular Pinoy halo-halo, may soon be lost, thanks to a culture that looks down on the hardwork and perseverance of ubi-farmers, being low class, dirty nailed slaves of the land.
Bohol has gained over 200,000 kilos of ubi in the past year, according to data cited by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist.
The figure however is yet to be shown in the local markets as there have not been much of the 200,000 kilos, enough to flood the markets with the purple or the white yam.
On the 18thUbi Festival here, there is enough reason to believe that ubi could possibly vanish in the next generation.
Here for generations immemorial, ubi has endeared itself to Boholanos, that the crop sits on a pedestal along with some faint objects associated with the pagan animist faith. It is so defined in some family altars during the padogmak (harvest thanksgiving) which also coincides with the All Saints and All Souls day.
But how did the ubi get there?
According to scientific research, ubi(DioscoreaAlatasp) was said to be brought in by THE Austranesian cultures. But the natives have another story for this.
A drought which lasted for months practically killed almost all the food plants. The natives found vines with traces of green or purple towards the roots, and they started digging it up.
Out came the ubi, a food natives believed was provided by the gods of the forest and the gods of the land.
And true enough, it is seasonal and survives towards the last months of the year.
As it is, farmers who have not really been into the industry said the crop is just too delicate to be gambled in. But more importantly, a crop that has attained an ethno-religious elevation is not something to gamble on.
So why is this so?
Domesticated by the natives as a crop which they also introduced to the Spaniards and no sooner, the first ubi made its transatlantic crossing for Europe, to the galleon trades as a exotic product for Europe.
Extensively cultivated from generations, over time, farm families tried to uncover the secrets to a successful pamanlin, anything that adds up to the efforts during harvest they secretly bequeath the folk knowledge on the manner of nurturing the crop, all also knowing that not all farmers are gifted with the hardwork, patience and the perseverance of a saint.
Guarding the secrets like family heirlooms is understandable;with each family picking their own set of perceived beliefs and the resulting harvest.
Cultivated in kaingin patches, ubi is grown from diced tubers, laid in especially dug hutok (holes) laid with a weave of dried leaves, rice straw, banana leaves and sometimes dried sargassum and burning refuse.
And that is getting ahead of the story.
This year, while the OPA reported 200,000 kilos more, farm technicians agree that young farmers, which are fewer, do not put the ubi among their typical options, for several reasons.
Ubi farming is courting failure more than mastering the art of the unknown. And it entails a whole lot of sacrifice, which unfortunately is on bankruptcy levels among younger farmers.
For how could one be as careless when even picking the ubi patch from a secondary growth forest or thick bushes has to be meticulously weighed.
The slope must be considered, ubi thrives in areas where theire is sufficient drainage and water does not gather, this will rot the tubers, a plant disease farmers call as bonggak.
Another consideration is that the patch must have tall bushes that can support the harug (trellis) where the ubi vines can crawl and hang. Primary among the consideration is an abandoned bamboo patch, as the bamboo roots age great aerators. Some also pick abandoned dwellings.
Having selected this, the farmer leaves the area and comes back a few days later to bring an offering to the ‘owners of the land,” one that may be a whole boiled chicken without salt, a roll of tobacco, or anything that may endear him to the spirits so they would allow him to use the land.
Days later, the farmer starts to clean up the undergrowth, carefully leaving some tall shrubs that can be the support for the katayan.
Then he starts digging hutok (planting mounds), carefully digging out the rocks and stones that can wound the ubi. Each hutokcan be a foot in diameter and a foot deep. Mounds cango as much as over a thousand, or a few hundreds.
After completing this, he leaves the farm to gather dried coconut leaves for the hampas. Each coconut leaf, he piles one on top of the other over the entire patch, making sure each mound is covered. This can mean hundreds of dried coconut leaves.
And in one late afternoon after completing laying the dried leaves, he starts burning the coconut leaves from the lowest point of the patch. The fire crawls up and eventually consumes all the dried coconut, leaving some shrubs standing but dead. Burning assured all pests are killed and the ash helps treat the soil.
By the next week, he starts the arduous task of digging out the soil from each mound, replacing it with a good amount of dried banana leaves, a weave of coconut husk, ash, sea weeds, and more dried leaves falling from the burnt bushes.
Meanwhile, in his pinsa or kamalig where he keeps the aerated binhi, he picks the best kinds and uses the sharpest knife to cut diced sitt, about two fingers in width, which would go to each of the hutok. A sharp knife, accordingly would be less harmful as this does not bruise the seedling.
A kilo of guha (diced sitt) can produce over ten kilos of ubi harvest, but that in fact is no stunning motivation to young farmers who would rather dream of some office over the toiling backbreaking and laborious ubi farming.
On one late afternoon, the farmer, sometimes accompanied by the wife, treks to the patch and selects three mounds forming a tripod. He may or ask the wife to plant the first three mounds, carefully invoking the spirits to bless the seedlings, make it as big and possibly one that cracks when cooked. These that cracked are accordingly the sweetest. This is palihi.
A week later, sometime in early May to early June, gathering all these diced sitts to the farm, he, along with a good number of neighbors who join the communal planting called hungos, trek to the ubi patches, this would be timed when the moon is full, and on the waning side and not just anytime.
Some families forbid the farmers from talking too much during the planting, careful not to offend the wounded ubi, carefully laying two sits on the woven coconut husk, or dried banana leaves and then putting in the dug soil back, making sure it forms a mound to drain the rain and keep the sitt from rotting.
When everything is planted, it is now the sole responsibility of the farmer to visit his ubihan and check if the seedlings start to germinate. The moment the green shoots emerge from the mounds, he starts putting up the trellis, which he leans upon the remaining bushes. When this is done, he makes it his daily mid-afternoon to late afternoon ritual to produce some smoke from burning grasses to drive away grasshoppers and pests that feed on the shoots.
Ubi patches during these stages must not be approached, as soon as the shoots are touched, they sulk and won’t grow anymore. The same is true when it is raining or in the early mornings. As the ubi vines start to climb the katayan, care must be exercised so as not to touch them. If in case a harug falls, the farmer must slowly fix the trellis, careful not to wound the vine or affect other plants. Especially by August to September when the ubi would be at its fastest growth rate.
By the last week of November, the farmer goes back to the palihi mound, digs the first three mounds using a wooden panlin, (stake used to dig the ubi)nadthen goes to the last mound planted and also digs the tuber.
These make up the first harvest, and would be forming part of the altar offering, the rest goes to the padogmak, cooked into nilunaw, boiled or simply inanag and displayed uncovered in the padogmak table and left.
Eating these can only happen after each family member returns after visiting their dead. There is the belief that the spirits and the souls of the departed, especially the elder farmers would partake of the food prepared on the padogmak table spread.
The farmer gain returns to the ubi patch as soon as the vine’s leaves start to wilt and dry. This signals the pamanlin season.
This is again another time for the hungos, a communal help scheme where every available farmer helps in the harvest.
The harvesters also make sure they do not just stab the mound and wound or bruise the ubi, each harvest piled and the kids, carrying small bukag (bamboo baskets) gather these to a clearing where the owner keeps tabs of the harvest, an ash bowl on hand and immediately applying a thin paste of ash over the ubi woundor where there is skinning: this cauterizes the wound and stops the karma from the ubi. This also allows the ubi to be stored despite a would that could start the rotting, when unattended, This also goes as payment to the farmers joining the hungos.
When all else is done, the farmer then picks the best harvest, this would comprise the next cropping’s sitt.
And the cycle of life of the ubi starts again.
And this is what the young farmers do not want to be engaged in.
If you now relish on the kinampay and baligonhon, the iniling, binanag, kabus-ok, gimnay, tam-isan and still several other varieties, savor it for it may be getting harder to look for that same homey Bol-anon taste in the next generation. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
Farm technician Guillermo Lupas, 56, of LibjoSikatuna Bohol agree that there is a diminishing number of ubiadoptors, which could drastically reduce the harvest and contribute to the sad fate of the ubi. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)