We ‘Rice’ as One: ATI-X celebrates the Filipino staple food via ‘Sabayang Tanghalian’

As the staple food in the Philippines, rice is important to the country's economy and a factor in the attainment of agricultural development. Rice is what many farmers grow and nearly all consumers eat. Either consuming white, black or "colored" rice, just make sure it is healthy and coming from our Filipino farmers! (photo provided by: Jeric L. Cabatac)

ATI Compound, El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental---Recognizing the value of rice and how it sustains the whole Filipino people at large as rice consumers, the Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center X (ATI-RTC X) have organized a ‘sabayang tanghalian’ (simultaneous lunch) as a gesture to patronize locally-produced rice and in support to the country’s rice farmers.

The simultaneous lunch date was organized to celebrate every November the National Rice Awareness Month (NRAM) with the theme: “Grow Local, Buy Local, Eat Local”. It showcased cooked rice in different varieties, colors, textures, and flavors along with delectable viands.

In her short message before the gathering, Assistant Center Director Noemi Beth G. Macario stressed the importance of our rice farmers and how our collective support would matter for them to produce rice more.

“Basically, the celebration intends to promote our locally-produced rice and strengthen our rice value chain. All of us consumers should also do our part by not wasting rice, by eating brown rice, valuing safe and nutritious rice, and most all, thanking our rice farmers”, Rice Program point person Jhoylie Mae Rosales-Caumban said. The simultaneous lunch date was spearheaded by Ms. Caumban along with Bryan Jay Cabugwason, Angelli Doña, Reymard Galarrita, Franz Abegail Oranda and Mary Lie P. Monteroyo.

The said month-long celebration aims to strengthen the bond between rice farmers and the consumers towards quality life. It also focuses on improving farmers’ competitiveness to produce quality rice, while reaching out to all rice eaters to be aware on responsible rice consumption.

For November 19, different activities were already lined-up such as the NRAM Kick-Off, Quiz Bigas, Chef Wars: Rice Edition, Modified Boodle Fight sa ATI, Amazing Rice, Dakip Biik Challenge, Raffle Draw, rice-related Webinar series, vlogging contest, and RCEF Information Caravan.

The celebration of NRAM also enables farmers use of efficient farming technologies, have access to rice information and engage in agripreneurship.

Accordingly, the Department of Agriculture (DA) encourages farmers to produce quality rice and instill the values of responsible rice consumption among consumers, thus contribute in achieving rice sufficiency in the country.