Dubbed as Tawid, the Iluko word for heritage, the mobile museum exhibit aimed to increase knowledge on Isabela’s rice heritage and production history.
Danilo B. Tumamao, provincial agriculturist, said that despite the province’s accomplishments on rice farming, most of the Isabelinos have yet to know that their province is more than 200% rice self-sufficient. Moreover, it produces 15% of the country’s aggregate annual rice production.
“We are pleased that the Rice Science Museum conceptualized this educational exhibit, which features the [culture and the arts, the history, chronicles, and our impact on Philippine food security] for us to generally know and be proud of our rice heritage,” he said.
In partnership with SM City Cauayan, the week-long mobile museum highlighted how Isabela farmers used the traditional, modern, and hybrid rice varieties in achieving abundant harvest. Displays on traditional and modern farm implements were also featured to create awareness on agricultural development and how these implements have changed the ways of farming for the province to have more than enough supply of rice.
Constante T. Briones, board secretary of Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), urged the public to not turn their back on farming but rather be inspired by the progressive farmers in Isabela who earned millions from rice production. It can be recalled that Isabela farmer Jomar D. Jarvinia led the 2013 Gawad Saka national awardees for harvesting 16 mt of palay per hectare during the dry and wet seasons. The average yield in the country is only 4 mt/ha.
“I hope to see more of these exhibits in malls so youth like us can appreciate agriculture. The exhibit made me appreciate my father more who is also a farmer. I salute the farmers for their hard work and diligence,” said Jamaica Acoba of the Isabela State University.
The provincial agriculture office had also expressed its support to conduct a research about Isabela’s cultural resources, which will be implemented soon as a follow-through activity.
The Rice Science Museum of PhilRice is located in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. It has regional museums in Batac City, Ilocos Norte and San Mateo, Isabela.