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Clark, Pampanga –   Delegates from the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit and Related Meetings viewed the Journey of Rice exhibition at the Clark Museum.

“Through centuries, Pampanga is a rice self-sufficient province. In this exhibit, the province encourages the public to cultivate favorable attitudes towards rice by immersing the viewers on the development of rice, traditional rice varieties, and the attitude of being RICEponsible,” Dr. Diadem B. Gonzales-Esmero, Rice Science Museum curator, said.

The exhibit has been presented to the members of the National Organizing Committee and ambassadors including His Excellency Sung Y. Kim, US ambassador to the Philippines.

Developed and installed as a special section at Clark Museum’s Gallery 2 by PhilRice’s Rice Science Museum, the rice exhibit represents the Kapampangan farmers’ persistence in sustaining the province’s rice supply and preserving their farming heritage.

Through the exhibit, the public is informed on the four-month growth of rice from seed to plate through animation series.

“For the public to appreciate more the value of rice, we showed the stages of rice from germination to ripening phase, and its anatomy. Based on feedback, this topic is relevant as some Filipinos are not familiar with its appearance,” she said.

Displays also include the traditional varieties such as Antipolo, Binakayo, Binundok, Kinampanya, and Sinimberga, which the Kapampangan farmers passed down through generations. Mostly grown in the upland, the varieties mature in 98 days after sowing.

“These traditional rice varieties are priceless and their conservation is needed because their genes can serve as foundation in the development of new, better varieties,” the curator said.

In celebration of November as National Rice Awareness Month, the Journey of Rice is completed with a call on the proper way of eating rice: not wasting a single grain and eating its healthy form such as brown rice and rice mixes.

The Philippine Foundation for Rice Research and Industry based in Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija co-sponsored the exhibition.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute