How rice was planted, harvested, sold, cooked and eaten at the turn of the sixteenth century is examined here. This was a time just thirty years after the arrival of the Spanish in the region and the techniques used would most likely reflect those found during the pre-Hispanic period. Examined first is the establishment of lowland rice fields and the types of rice that were planted, followed by a more detailed discussion of clearing, working and irrigating the fields. Considered next is the sowing, germination, transplanting and maturation of the rice in the field, including a section on protecting rice from its natural predators. All aspects of the rice harvest follow: gathering rice from the fields, threshing, drying, pounding, winnowing, milling, storing and transportation. The penultimate section of the chapter looks at the cooking, serving and eating of rice, and the final section on measurement and transactions.
LOWLAND RICE CULTIVATION
Establishing the Fields
Rice cultivation has always been dominant in the area of Camarines Sur drained by the Bikol River. This is the river which flows through Naga City, downstream from the nearby rice-growing areas of Milaor and Minalabac, and the more distant areas of Nabua, Baao and Bula. It then flows onward to San Miguel Bay through towns such as Camaligan and Gainza. This area of Camarines Sur is well watered with a relatively short dry season. Rains come both from the southwest monsoon blowing from late May to early September and the northeast monsoon from late September to early February with only the later part of February, March, April and the early part of May being comparatively dry (see Chapter 12, 'Stars and Seasons,' Section 4). The Bikol is a slow flowing river which descends relatively gently from Lake Bato where it rises to where it meets San Miguel Bay and the Pacific Ocean at Cabusao and Castillo. The volume of rainwater which falls does not flush quickly out of the system, but spreads a considerable distance into the surrounding lowlands. By some accounts, this spread takes the water fifteen kilometres to either side of the main channel. It is this availability of water which has made the Bikol River basin so amenable to the growing of rice.
While upland rice is grown in the region, there being substantial mountainous areas moving west into Camarines Norte, south to Pasacao and the Ragay Gulf, north into the Partido region, and southeast to the extinct, dormant and active volcanoes of Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon, it is wet rice agriculture which dominates.
Upland rice fields, called hasokán, haskán or paghaskan (see hasók), depend on rainfall for their moisture and are planted at the start of the rainy season. While lowland rice is also planted at the start of this season, a system of irrigation, well established during the time of Lisboa, enabled irrigated fields to be planted early. Harvesting this rice, maturing before non-irrigated crops, would be cheaper as there would be less demand for labour early in the harvest season and wages would be low. Additionally, such rice would make its way to market as supplies from the previous season were at their lowest level and therefore prices would be at their peak (see Section 2(ii)). Irrigation also offered more stability to rice production and control over the level of water needed in the fields.
hasók MAG‑, I‑ to plant rice or corn seeds by placing them in a hole made by a pole; referring only to upland field cultivation carried out at present primarily by minority groups; ‑AN: hasokán or haskán upland rice or corn fields [+MDL: upland rice; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to plant such rice during the rainy season; MA‑, ‑AN: haskán or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN: paghaskán to plant an area to such rice; ‑AN: hahaskán upland rice fields]
The lowland rice fields are called umá, and while this term can be applied to other agricultural fields, it most commonly applies to rice.
umá lowland rice field; a farm, field; MAG‑, ‑ON to work a field; to farm; to cultivate or till the land; PAG‑ agriculture, farming; KA‑‑AN rice fields; farmland, grange; PARA‑ farmer [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to work a field;
Rice fields, while in their totality expansive, are most commonly divided into smaller sections called bays. These are separated from each other by embankments or bunds, which in Bikol are called baˈsóg. The tops of these embankments are referred to as tagungtóng. At one end on each bay a part of the embankment is cut lower than the surrounding area to enable the water to flow from one bay to another.
baˈsóg dike, embankment, levee [+MDL: MA‑ or MAG‑ to build an embankment around one's rice field]
Each of the bays has to be levelled, and subsequent bays have to be slightly lower than the ones that preceded them so that water can move by force of gravity from one end of the field to the other. Grading and levelling of the field is important to ensure that each section has the same depth of water. It also ensures that water moves most efficiently from one section to the other. In spite of the best efforts at levelling, there would still be sections of the rice field which were lower than others and where a greater amount of water collected. These were referred to as sálog.
tagungtóng top of the dikes or bunds of a rice field [MDL]
sálog the lowest point in a rice field, the part which holds the most water [MDL]
The bunds, as with the bay areas of the rice field itself, have to be well maintained for the system to function efficiently. Neglected bunds may become overgrown with tall grass (takúbaw), thereby impeding access to the fields. They may, over time, also erode or collapse completely (rúsang), requiring that they be repaired or rebuilt so that the water level in the fields can be maintained. Flooding due to strong, wind-driven rains associated with the frequent typhoons that pass through the area have a detrimental effect on the infrastructure of rice fields.
takúbaw MAG‑ to be overloaded; to be carrying a great deal of cargo (a boat); to be overgrown with tall grass (the dikes or bunds of a rice field) ... Nagtakúbaw na iníng dúˈot sa baˈsóg The grass on the bunds of the rice field is very tall
In an area well-established to the cultivation of rice, clearing and preparation refers most commonly to the annual ritual of getting the fields ready for the next crop, generally signaled by the arrival of the southwest monsoon around May of the year. New fields would be established as the population of an area expanded and families moved further afield.
rúsang MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to flatten a mound or hill; MAKA‑, MA‑ to erode, wear away or collapse (a mound, hill; the bunds or embankments of a rice field) [MDL]
The opening up of new fields required the felling of trees (liwánag) before the actual tilling of the soil could begin. The remaining bushes and grasses would also have to be cleared (baˈból). This referred not only to the clearing of rice fields, but all fields, and was used for opening up new fields as well as preparing fields for annual planting.
liwánag MAG‑, ‑AN to clear land [+MDL: MA‑ cleared (a field, an area of forest); MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to fell trees; to clear trees from an area; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to clear an area of trees; to clear a field]
Once a section had been chosen for clearing and subsequent planting, it was marked out so that a claim to the land could be made. While land ownership was not vested in a specific individual or family, a claim to parcels of land was supported through actual land use. Such land was marked by initially clearing a small section of growth, or by clearing a path around the section claimed (gáhit).
baˈból MAG‑, ‑ON to cut grass and small trees preparatory to planting; MAG‑, ‑AN to clear land for planting [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to clear vegetation from a field preparatory to planting; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to clear a field for planting; TIG‑ the time for clearing land for cultivation]
gáhit MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN ... to mark off the boundary of one's land by clearing a section of vegetation or clearing a path along the line of partition - the divisions are used to determine possession when the land is redistributed or bought; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to remove vegetation in clearing a section of a trail or marking off land boundaries [MDL]
Rice fields, once established, were used annually with only short periods of exception (see Section 2(i)). There were a number of reasons for this. Besides the obvious work of clearing, levelling and building bunds for new fields, rice fields needed time to stabilise. The constant supply of water to the fields would increase and maintain fertility through the interaction of soil and water in a process referred to as pozdolisation, and this occurred only after several years of continuous cultivation. Pozdolisation relates to the structure and chemical composition of the different soil layers in the rice field due to the continual seepage of water (also see Section 2(iii)).
The extent of one's rice fields would have been limited by the size of the family or the ability of a family to hire additional labour for the demanding tasks of clearing, planting and harvesting (see Section 2(ii)). It was likely that family properties were small, and the fields of one family abutted those of one or more families in the community. Dúlon is an entry which identifies adjacent fields and the work that took place in them. What is also interesting in this entry is its figurative meaning, implying that disputes over a demarcation boundary were not worth the unpleasantness they might otherwise engender. This might imply that this was an area with both plentiful land and a bountiful rice harvest shared by a population that made only reasonable demands on its environment, or that as a community any individual shortages experienced by its members would be compensated.
dúlon MA‑ to work in a field adjacent to another; MAG‑ to be side by side (two agricultural fields); to work in adjacent fields; PAG‑‑ON to be adjacent (two fields); (PAG‑)‑AN to be bordered by another field; I(PAG)‑ to border another field; KA‑ an adjacent field; the owner of a neighboring field; (fig‑) Garó na kamó naghúliˈ nin pagdulónan It is as if you are finding fault with the boundary between two fields (Said when people argue over things of little consequence) ... [MDL]
Land cleared for rice cultivation would also have to be protected in some way, especially once planted. There were wild boar to keep out (see Chapter 17, 'Hunting and Trapping,' Section 5(iii)), and possibly even domestic dogs wandering the fields on their own (see Section 3(iv)). These could cause significant damage to a developing crop. One form of protection was a rattan fence placed around the area (haráboy). This was undoubtedly woven in some fashion to give the protection required, although such detail is not included in the Lisboa entry.
haráboy rattan placed around the perimeter of rice fields for protection; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to protect rice plants with such a perimeter fence; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to protect an area with such a fence [MDL]
Human intruders could also cause problems, and to deter them from entering a field, bamboo branches or any plant with thorns was placed on the paths approaching the fields. While obstacles such as these could obviously be overcome with mild determination, they nevertheless had their protective value and would probably have caused any potential intruder to look elsewhere.
púlak bamboo branches; any plant with thorns placed on the paths approaching one's fields to keep people out, or placed around palms and trees to keep people from climbing to take the fruit; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to position such branches, thorns; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to protect an area with such branches, thorns [MDL]
LOWLAND RICE CULTIVATION
There are ninety-five varieties of rice listed in the Lisboa dictionary, and while some of the names may be variants of the same species, we can assume that the majority of them were distinct and were planted at the time Lisboa was writing at the start of the seventeenth century. Although it is possible that some of these varieties are still planted in particular parts of the Bikol region, it is more likely that most have disappeared and are no longer known. Some have been replaced by modern varieties specifically developed to give higher yield, and others by hybrid varieties developed for particular characteristics such as disease resistance, but it is doubtful that such a wide variety of rice types will again exist in a single region such as Bikol.
When examining the following list of rice varieties, it is tempting to try to assign an origin to the names of many of them. Such an assignation may very well give a clue to the salient characteristics of many of the varieties, although in some cases it is hard to see what this relationship is. Sometimes the relationship is quite clear; for example, tinumbága may have had copper-coloured grains, tumbága meaning 'copper'; tinakláˈ may have had rust-coloured grains, takláˈ meaning 'rust'; and kukón uwák may have had grains shaped like the 'claws' of a 'crow' (kukó+uwák). Other times the relationship is possible, but unverifiable; for example, did the variety sumagyád have heads of grain that drooped low and brushed the ground, sagyád meaning 'to drag along the ground', or was dumagáy a late-developing variety, with dágay meaning 'delayed'? And finally there may only be a spurious parallel which one could draw; for example, does the variety dampíg have any relationship to the verb of the same form meaning 'to wash up on shore'? The list of rice varieties is presented below. Those entries preceded by an asterisk (*), the majority of them, are not found in modern Bikol.
*abótan, *baksálan, *balód, *banglág, *baránay, *barawá, *batangón, *baybayánon, *bayhón, *binagákay, *binakháw, *binugsáy; ... possessing a ruddy or gold colored husk, *buláw; *búrak nága, *butláwan, *dalusamát, *dampíg, *darás, *dibaklón, *dinamulág, *dungdóng, *dumagáy, *galúmiˈ, *gimpód, *ginápas; ... said to produce two spikes of grain from each stalk, *gíro; *hangbás; ... with a light colored husk, *híbon; *hinípon, *humapág, *ilákan, *inuwák, *kabuˈóng, *kadayón, *kadigál, *kadiri, *kadusóg, *kaduwán, *kamansáyaw, *kapíd, *kapukáw, *karagúmoy, *karamít, *karangkáng, *karigós, karimón, *kasudál, *katapól, *katumbás, *kawítan, *kukón dátoˈ, *kukón uwák, *kurót, *linupíˈ, *lumókan, *lunád bangí, *mahuyón, *malagkít, *maliktáy, *maliktín, *maˈlóm, *maná, *manluˈáy, *manoknón, *manungbaláy, *maragáya, *minangalóg, *nagintáy, *nagkawíli, *nagkútay, *nagsíday, *nagtanpón, *nagtapóy, ... (glutinous, brown, usually used in the making of súman), palagádan; *parayá, ... (glutinous), *pulót; *putí, *sabláy, *sanggalía, *simbadihó, *sinampága, *sinaríbo, *sumagyád, *tangóng, *tayáw, *timiháw, *tinabúgok, *tinakláˈ, *tinúgos, *tinumá, *tinumbága, *tipúkol, *tinurón, *ulawítan, *yumukyók
Different varieties of rice were no doubt planted for distinct purposes. Some of the varieties may have been grown by the family for their everyday meals, some for the making of sweets, some for ceremonial purposes and special occasions and others for trade (see Section 7). Different varieties of rice could also ensure a reliable food supply. Some varieties were more resistant to disease, some more resistant to drought and others to flood. By mixing these varieties, the chances of losing an entire crop were minimised. Although there is no evidence of this in Bikol (see Section 3(i)), Ilocano rice farmers could choose to plant rice varieties that matured at different times to ensure that the demand for labour during transplanting and harvesting did not reach a peak but were spread over a longer period of time.
A rice field, once cleared from the surrounding forest, was generally cultivated in each subsequent year. This not only enabled the annual production of rice, but also reduced the time and effort needed to put idle fields back into production. Fields could be left fallow for a number reasons: the lack of labour as a result of death or injury, or the abduction of the labour force during one of any number of constantly occurring raids; adverse weather conditions resulting in either an extension of the dry season or an aberrant rainy season producing extensive floods; or it could be a community decision to leave sets of rice fields fallow for either ritual or safety reasons. That there were such fallow fields is clear from entries such as tukás and laˈón. To bring these fallow fields back into production required an effort greater than simply preparing annual fields for the new season (gúbat).
tukás describing a field which has lain fallow for one or more years; MA‑ to be overgrown (a field, rice field); MA‑‑AN to have one's fields in such a state [MDL]
There were different ways of clearing rice fields for planting. One could start from the edges of the field and work their way to the centre (lunlón). Using this method, weeds and grasses would be placed in the centre of the field and carried away from there. There is also another entry, hírog, (also meaning 'the side of the body'), which is similar. With this entry, however, working from the perimeter to the centre appears to indicate a tentative start to clearing where only some of the growth was removed. We might look at this as selective clearing where only the largest or most salient of the weeds or shrubs which had grown were removed. Working in this way would inevitably lead to a return to the fields to finish the job.
laˈón MA‑ to become old, stale (rice); laˈón na old (rice, generally from the previous season's harvest) [+MDL: sugarcane wine (intós) or rice from the previous season; rice fields which have not been worked during the previous or preceding years]
gúbat MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to re-cultivate fields that have lain idle; to weed and clear fields so they can be put back into cultivation [MDL]
lunlón MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to clean weeds and grasses from the edge of a cultivated field, starting at the edges and throwing these weeds and grasses toward the center of the field; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to clear or weed a field in this way [MDL]
Working from the centre of the fields outward toward the perimeter (guhób), was probably more common.
hírog MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to clear the perimeter of a rice field to some extent; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to clear some of the plants, weeds from the edge of a rice field; hiróg-hírog MAG‑ to make an attempt at clearing one's fields; used in a self-deprecating way when asked if one has been preparing his fields: Nagbabaˈból ka palán? - Naghihiróg-hírog So you are clearing your fields? - Just a little here and there [MDL]
guhób MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to begin clearing fields from the center; to cut s/t in the middle leaving a gap or hole; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to clean or remove s/t from the middle or center [MDL]
When working from the centre, the weeds which were removed would then be placed along the perimeter of the field (ragindín). These could be stacked in small piles (apóng-ápong), or formed into bundles and lined up along the bunds or embankments (lantáy).
ragindín MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to carry rubbish, weeds or cuttings cleaned from the center of a field to the edges or embankments (baˈsóg) of the field; to blow rubbish, cuttings to the edges of a field (the wind); MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to place rubbish along the embankments or perimeter of a field; to be blown to the perimeter of a field (rubbish, cuttings) [MDL]
What, then, was done with these bundles of weeds? The weeds had to be transported out of the fields in some way, but how this was done is not clear. The most general term for transporting something by carrying is hákot, but this does not tell us if the weeds were moved in baskets placed on the head (lulutó) in baskets strapped by rope around the forehead (kawá) or in any other innumerable ways of transportation by carrying.
apóng-ápong MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to form small piles of weeds cleared from rice fields, later to be carted off [MDL]
lantáy MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to line up in a row bundles of grass that are cut and cleared from fields [MDL]
hákot MAG‑, ‑ON to transport s/t by carrying [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to carry or transport s/t]
At times of heavy rain and high water, if this occurred early in the planting season, it was possible to remove weeds by boat. These would no doubt travel on the wider channels and move the refuse to areas which were not under cultivation.
lulutó MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to carry s/t on the head (such as a container for water); MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to carry s/t on the head; PAGKA‑ the transporting of s/t on the head [MDL]
kawá band or rope which is attached to baskets or bundles and used to support such cargo when placed across the head or shoulders; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to place such a band or rope on a basket, bundle; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use a band or rope for such a purpose [MDL]
apirís MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to carry refuse away from a field by boat ...; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use a boat for carrying refuse from a field; ... [MDL]
Bikol has any number of entries for what could only be described as the recurrent, tiring and time-consuming processes of pulling weeds from the field (kidkíd, haˈwás), and then gathering the pulled weeds together with the hands to later be bundled or placed into piles (kamúkam, sagamsám). Cut weeds and grasses could also be thrown on top of those that were still living (baringkás), perhaps an attempt at reducing the workload by letting the decomposing cut weeds kill those still living beneath.
kidkíd MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to pull up weeds which have grown in a rice field preparatory to the coming of the rains and planting; MA‑, ‑AN: kidkirán or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN: pagkidkirán to clear a rice field of unwanted weeds, plants [MDL]
In addition to the back-breaking tasks of bending over and pulling weeds up with the hands, there were other methods that were as equally labour intensive. The plow was not used at the time Lisboa was writing. The term for plow, arádo, comes from Spanish and this implement was clearly introduced after the arrival of the Spanish to the region. A second term, rantás, referring to a plow used in the first turning of the soil before planting, does not appear in Lisboa, but is clearly a Philippine language term and must have come into use in the Bikol region relatively recently. Jagor, writing in the mid-nineteenth century, also indicates that rice fields were not plowed.
haˈwás MAG‑ to come out of the water; MAG‑, ‑ON to fish or pull s/t out of the water [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to unload s/t from a boat; to pull s/t from the water; to remove weeds from a rice field]
kamúkam MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to gather weeds together with the hands when cleaning rice fields; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to clear a rice field of weeds with the hands [MDL]
sagamsám MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to pile up weeds, plant matter from agricultural fields with the hands, later to be removed; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to clear fields in this way [MDL]
baringkás MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to cut grass or weeds, throwing the cuttings onto weeds or grass which still remain uncut; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to clear an area in this way [MDL]
arádo plow; MAG‑, ‑ON to plow or cultivate a field [SP‑]
The implements that were used in the initial clearing of the weeds were a type of shovel (landók) or a knife. For the purpose of clearing weeds, the landók was used with a forward motion to lift off what must have been shallow-rooted plants. The handle (saróhan) was curved, probably indicating that the implement was more for shallow lifting than deep digging (there were other shovels also used in the region). This forward motion was referred to as hudhód.
rantás a plow used for turning over the soil; MAG‑, ‑ON to turn over the soil with a plow (the first turning of the planting season)
landók a metal shovel or spade used for digging or clearing the ground of weeds; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to dig up s/t with a metal shovel or spade; MAG‑, ‑AN to dig into or clear weeds from a particular area of ground with a shovel or spade [MDL]
Finally there was an action which Lisboa has glossed as ítas, referring to the clearing of fields using only a knife. The type of knife used for this purpose is not specified, and there were undoubtedly any number that could have been used. Most likely what was used was a machete or bolo as using anything smaller would probably have been a Sisyphean task.
saróhan curved handle of the steel shovel called landók [MDL]
hudhód MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to clear away plants and other vegetation with the forward movement of the shovel called landók; also applied to the movement of other instruments or tools where the blade is used for scraping (as when removing resin stuck to wood, floors); MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to scrape s/t off from a surface [MDL]
ítas MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to clear a field of growth using only a knife; to clear growth, stubble from a field; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to clear growth from a field; ... [MDL]
The remaining implements were used for tossing cut grasses or weeds into piles. These were the curved stick or bamboo pole called suwál and the pitchfork or hayfork called gaˈwát. The entry suˈál is clearly the same as suwál, representing historical or dialectal usage. Neither form has survived into modern Bikol, disappearing along with the implement they represented.
suwál a curved stick or bamboo pole used for tossing cut grasses when cleaning cultivated fields, rice fields (baˈból); also used for lifting or supporting s/t heavy when it is hung; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to lift or toss such grasses; to lift or support s/t heavy [MDL]
The initial clearing of the fields was not always the end of the preparation. If weeds had been missed during the first attempt, or others had grown in the interim between the initial clearing and transplanting of the crop, then the whole process would have to be repeated (sagadsád). This, one would expect, would be a less labour-intensive job than the first clearing.
suˈál a pole used for lifting or tossing straw or hay when cleaning cultivated fields, rice fields [MDL]
gaˈwát pitchfork, hayfork (typ‑ used to clear a rice field); MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to tend a rice field with such a pitchfork; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to remove unwanted growth with such a pitchfork [MDL]
sagadsád MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to clean the weeds from fields (baˈból) for a second time; MA‑, ‑AN: sagadsarán or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN: pagsagadsarán to return to again clean fields of weeds; also see sadsád [MDL]
Clearing the fields was not the only activity undertaken at this time. One reading of the schedule of community rice cultivation (see Section 3(i)) is that the germination of seeds as well as the initial stages of transplanting were taking place at the same time as the later stages of clearing the fields.
The busiest times for a rice farmer would have been preparing the fields for the new crop, and then the harvesting. While the general term for work was tuklós, later to be supplanted by the Spanish trabajo, there were a few terms that specifically referred to work in the fields. Leaving home for work in the fields, táhaw, is an interesting entry, for this is also the word for 'centre' or 'core'. It would be tempting to extrapolate from this to the central place of rice and its cultivation in the Bikol family and society. A long day's work in the field was also noted by a specific term, layón. This referred to finishing off all of one's work in the fields, something which would see a farmer working until late in the day. Once the crops were sown and this initial stage of work was over, the crops would still need to be checked on a regular basis (lalála). All of these terms, once so central to the working day of the Bikolano rice farmer, are no longer part of modern Bikol.
tuklós MA‑ or MAG‑ to work; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to work on s/t; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to work in a particular place or for a particular person [MDL]
Rice fields, while not formally owned by individuals, were allotted to those family groups who could afford to cultivate them. Many of the fields were small and run by nuclear or extended families. When extra help was required, there were ways of working cooperatively (sagóp).
táhaw MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to go into the rice fields to work; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to carry one's tools into a rice field [MDL]
layón MAG‑ to remain at work in the fields until late in the day; MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to finish off all one's work, working until late in the day [MDL]
lalála MA‑, ‑ON or MANG‑, PANG‑‑ON to check on one's fields or crops; to go to see one's fields or crops [MDL]
sagóp MAG‑ to work together in mutual aid; MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to reinforce the labor of one group by sending in others to help (in cultivating fields, joining once the task has begun; ... MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to reinforce a group in carrying out a particular task [MDL]
Poorer families might also make use of the labour of those who had come to rely on them for care or protection (ayóp), while richer families could afford to hire labour on a casual or daily basis (aldáw), compensating them with food or shelter, or paying an agreed wage (tangdán).
ayóp MAPA‑, PA‑‑AN or MAGPA‑, PAGPA‑‑AN to work for s/o in exchange for protection; to seek care, protection or guardianship from s/o in exchange for work ... [MDL]
Owing a creditor money was a common occurrence in Bikol society (see Chapter 4, 'Crime and Punishment,' Section 3.i(iv)). A debt, and the substantial interest which would have accrued, could be paid back in a number of ways including the supplying of one's labour. Calling on a debtor to work in one's rice fields to clear a debt (luyó-luyó) was one way to obtain the extra help needed to cultivate these fields. If the debtor had someone willing to work with him, then two people would work to clear the debt in half the time (baríˈ).
aldáw day; ... [+MDL: ... MA‑ or MAG‑ to hire o/s out for a day; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to work for s/o on a casual or daily basis; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to work for a particular reward (not a monetary wage which is tangdán); MAGPA‑, PAGPA‑‑ON to hire laborers to work for a day; MAGPA‑, PAGPA‑‑AN to hire s/o for a particular day or for a particular job; MAGPA‑, IPAGPA‑ to hire s/o for a particular day; MANG‑ to look for work for a day; PARA‑ day laborer, casual worker]
tangdán ... [MDL: MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to pay s/o a salary or wage; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to pay a wage; to pay a particular amount in wages; MAKI‑ or MAPA‑ to ask for one's wages; KA‑‑AN: katangdán salary, wages]
luyó-luyó MA‑, MA‑‑AN to work in s/o's rice field to pay off a debt; to pay off a particular debt in this way [MDL]
Wealth and status were synonymous in Bikol society (see Chapter 13, 'Status and Social Conflict,' Section 1(ii)). For those of high status, wealth was not determined by how much land was owned, for land tenure was communal, but by how much land could be cultivated, and to cultivate large expanses of land required labour far in excess of that available from one's immediate or extended family.
baríˈ MAG‑ to work together with s/o who owes a full day's labor so that the debt can be paid by two people each working together for half a day; MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to pay off the debt of one day's labor by working together; MA‑, ‑AN to help s/o in this way [MDL]
It was inevitable that the wealthy in the community were owed large amounts of money, and that these debts were spread among many individuals. Paying off these debts by one's labour was a clear and common option. The cultivation of large expanses of rice fields, however, required far more organisation than smaller family plots, and the payment of labour would have to be worked out on a more fixed and equitable basis. To this end, rice fields were divided into workable areas which were measured by arm-lengths (tupóng). The arm lengths were not fixed and varied from nine to twelve. This could have been a regional variation, although it was more likely a way of determining exactly how much a person had to work to receive a particular recompense. An owner hiring labour on the basis of working an area of nine lengths could be seen as more generous than one requiring twelve lengths, unless those working twelve lengths received more money.
Work in another's fields was not only seasonal, it was also casual with workers choosing to work only on particular days and for only a certain number of days a week. At predictable times of the year, such as planting and harvesting, there would have been more intense competition for labour, and at such times land owners who were more organised would have obtained most of the labour required to attend to their fields. Going around the village, or even from house to house, calling for those willing to work (halugáy) would have been one way of rounding up the labour needed. The same person who had organised the labour, would then be in charge of overseeing their work.
tupóng ... [MDL: a measurement of nine, ten and, at times, twelve arm lengths, used to measure rice fields to determine an area to be worked or the amount to be paid to day laborers based on the area worked; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to divide work up in this way; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to divide work areas up in this way; to give a particular area to a worker; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use this measurement for dividing up rice fields]
Jagor, writing in the mid-nineteenth century, described the provision of labour at that time which may have some relevance to earlier Bikol society. Workers were paid a portion of the harvested rice crop. When the first heads ripened rice supplies from the previous season were scarce, people were in need of food and labour was plentiful. Workers at this time were paid at a rate of 10 percent of the rice they harvested. As the season progressed, larger areas of rice ripened, labour was more in demand, and payment as a portion of harvested rice increased from 20 to as much as 50 percent of the crop.
halugáy MA‑ or MAG‑ to go around calling people to work; to round up people for work; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to call people to work; to round up people; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to canvass a particular area in this way; PARA‑ organizer, foreman; one who goes about getting people to work [MDL]
For work in the fields, farmers would have chosen clothes that caused them the least concern when they became dirtied by the mud of the fields and marked by the sweat of their toil. These were old clothes that were referred to as dagumaˈsón or dalimaˈsón. A head covering would have also been essential, and it would have been one of those large field hats that kept the sun off the head as well as the upper part of the body. In modern Bikol, such a hat is called sáyap, but this is not a term which appears in early Bikol. While there are a number of hats mentioned in Lisboa, the one closest to requirements of the field is probably the kurusóng, a hat made of bamboo (also see Chapter 11, 'Fibre, Cloth and Clothing,' Sections 7(i) and 8).
dalimaˈsón / dagumaˈsón old clothes worn when going off to work; MAG‑ to wear such clothes; MA‑ to dress s/o in such clothes [MDL]
Workers in the open fields with scarce or non-existent patches of shade, needed to have a place to get out of the sun. Work in the fields was not an hour-long activity, but one that began early in the morning and went on until late afternoon. The mid part of the day with its additional heat and humidity would have been unbearable (tiˈál). For protection, workers had access to a three-legged portable shelter (agád) that would at least give them some relief from the sun, and be a place where they could enjoy their midday meal (also see Chapter 14, 'Construction and Infrastructure,' Section 4).
sáyap hat (typ‑ used in the rice fields); MAG‑ to wear a sáyap
kurusóng hat (typ‑ local, made from bamboo); MAG‑ to wear such a hat; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to put on such a hat; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to put such a hat on s/o's head [MDL]
tiˈál MA‑ or MAG‑ to burn hot and bright (the sun); (PAG‑)‑AN to bake or burn in the heat of the sun; to be exposed to the heat of the sun; Naghahápon akó pagtitiˈalí dihán sa umá I'm exposed to the heat of the sun in the fields for the whole day ... [MDL]
The better-known shelter, kamálig in Bikol, and its Spanish translation, kamarín, the term which eventually gives the name Camarines to the region, was a place for storing harvested crops. This would have, no doubt, also offered shelter to those needing it. Interestingly, in Lisboa, this is described primarily as a boat shed, although it clearly had wider uses through the region.
agád shelter (typ‑ portable, having three legs, used in rice fields when planting or harvesting); MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to construct such a shelter; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to construct such a shelter from particular materials; called lungálong in the areas around Quipayó [MDL]
kamálig a temporary shelter, consisting of a roof and posts, but no walls, built in the fields to protect harvested crops; kará-kamálig or karó-kamálig a hut or shed [MDL: a large covered shelter without walls, used for housing boats and other items; boat shed; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to build such a shed; to house a boat in such a shed ...]
Food which was taken into the fields by workers and consumed there so that they would not have to return home for a midday meal is referred to as bálon in modern Bikol. Lisboa described a more restricted use for this term: the stores of food or money which one takes on a trip. Whether this term during Lisboa's time also encompassed the modern meaning is hard to tell, although it may very well have done so considering there is no other term which is close to carrying this meaning.
kamarín gathering and distribution place for farmers, usually in the fields; the origin of the name for the provinces Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur [SP‑ camarin small room]
bálon MAG‑, ‑ON to take food from home which is later eaten outside of the house (as on a picnic, on a trip, when working in the fields); MAG‑, ‑AN to carry such food for a particular trip, picnic; MAGPA‑, IPA‑ to provide food for such occasions; MAGPA‑, PA‑‑AN to provide s/o with food or provisions; PA‑ provisions; a picnic or box lunch [+MDL stores of food or money taken on a trip; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to carry such stores or provisions; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to carry such provisions along a particular route or to a particular destination; MAPA‑, PA‑‑AN to provision s/o with food or money for a trip; MAPA‑, IPA‑ to send provisions with s/o on a trip; ‑AN: an binalónan one's store of money or food; MAHING‑ to be depleted (stores, provisions); MAHING‑‑AN to be left without provisions (as the crew of a ship); MAKAHING‑ to cause the depletion of stores, provisions]
Those out working in the fields during the day could be assured that upon returning home (sangpót) there would be food prepared for them (tagulhát) and that this food would be good and healthy (gíkan). Mealtime may actually have been defined by such a return from the fields, as tigsangpót (see sangpót) clearly gives both of these meanings. Where families could not eat together then food would have to be prepared and set aside for those who would be returning later (tagáma).
sangpót MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to return home from work in the fields; to call in at a particular place (those on their way to embark on a boat or those heading to another town) ...; TIG‑: tigsangpót mealtime; a time when workers return home ... [MDL]
There were also health concerns for those working in the fields. Long contact with the water of the rice fields could have a effect on the skin causing it to become itchy and irritated. To prevent this, moistened betel nut (búnga) was rubbed on the hands and feet. In extreme cases, cuts in the skin exposed these areas to streptococcal infections. One of these, amutól, referred to as St Anthony's Fire or erysipelas, could cause the loss of fingers and toes (mutól). This infection caused inflamation of the subcutaneous tissues and could also become systemic, resulting in death (also see Chapter 10, 'Health and Personal Hygiene,' Section 6(ii)).
tagulhát food that is prepared for those who will be returning home, generally from work in the fields; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to prepare such food; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to prepare such food for s/o [MDL]
gíkan ... MAG‑ to originate in, come from ... [+MDL: arrivals, those who have arrived ... (fig‑) Maraháy nin gíkan sa umá iníng kakánon This food is good for those coming in from the fields (Implying: There is only good food for those who arrive tired)]
tagáma reserved, allocated ... [MDL: prepared (food); MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to prepare food for those expected to return home; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to prepare food for s/o: Tagamáhi akóng kakánon Prepare food for me (so that it will be ready when I return home); MA‑ prepared: matagámang táwo one who is prepared; PAG‑ preparation]
búnga areca palm and nut; betel nut (typ‑ Areca catechu) [+MDL: MA‑ or MAG‑ to add pieces of betel nut to the leaf called búyoˈ, the main ingredients in the mixture with lime called mamáˈ; also: to rub moistened betel nut on the hands and feet to prevent the skin from becoming itchy and irritated when in long contact with the water of rice fields]
amutól erysipelas, an acute disease of the skin and subcutaneous tissue caused by a streptococcus and marked by spreading inflammation; affects the hands and feet and may lead to loss of fingers and toes; MAKA‑ to cause such a disease; (PAG‑)‑ON: to suffer from erysipelas; ‑ON: amutlón one suffering from erysipelas [MDL]
mutól MA‑ to lose one's toes and fingers (a person suffering from the disease erysipelas); MAKA‑ to cause such an illness [MDL]
Even at the peak of the rainy season, the water in rice fields needed to be regulated. The height of the water in each of the bays had to be maintained and the water kept flowing gently from one bay to the other. Water that remained stagnant could lead to a buildup of slime (rungáriw), most likely a form of algae. This would have resulted both from an over-accumulation of nutrients and an increase of bacteria. Water that was kept moving into and out of the field would have helped eliminate the development of large areas of slime or algae.
rungáriw slime (typ‑ found growing in rice fields) [MDL]
Other conditions could also occur. Water that was not kept flowing from one bay to another would cause the level to rise to an unacceptable height (upáˈop). This situation and flooding (kamáw), which would occur during times of heavy rain when the water could not be drained from the field sufficiently quickly, could lead to the rice plants being completely submerged.
upáˈop used to refer to rice fields that contain too much water; MANG‑ to be present in too great an amount (water): Nangupáˈop na an túbig sa kaumáhan There is too much water in the rice field [MDL]
While rice growing in lowland fields depended upon a substantial level of water for healthy growth, water that was high enough to submerge the plants (humhóm) could stunt the growth or lead to their death (tírok). Care also had to be taken with newly transplanted rice (subsób) which had the potential of suffering the same fate (see Section 3(iii)). The positive aspects of wet rice agriculture, such as the supply of water-borne nutrients, the suppression of weeds, and the provision of a soft medium for roots, were quickly negated when there was an over-supply of water.
kamáw flooded (a rice field); swamped (a boat); MAG‑ to be flooded ... Nagkamáw na iníng umá ni kuyán That person's rice fields are flooded [MDL]
humhóm rice when submerged in a flooded field, or when fallen over into the water; MA‑, MA‑‑AN to be submerged in a field; to fall over into the water (rice) [MDL]
The conditions in a rice field could vary. It was the topmost layer of the field, the puddled layer, where the deepest and softest mud was found. This was the layer in which the rice plants would set their roots. Beneath this was a firmer layer referred to as the 'plow sole', and beneath that the non-puddled subsoil with a substantial component of clay to keep the water from percolating through too quickly. When conditions were such that the puddled layer was too deep a farmer could end up with a field that was muddier than usual, something to which the entry kanáw-kánaw may refer.
tírok MA‑ to be ruined or stunted in growth (rice growing in too much water); MA‑‑AN to be an area with such ruined rice; to have one's rice ruined in this way; MAKA‑ to damage rice (too much water) [MDL]
subsób ... [MDL: MA‑, MA‑‑AN or MAKA‑, MA‑‑AN to stand in or be immersed in water which is too deep, or a field which has too much water (transplanted rice)]
kanáw-kánaw very muddy (rice fields) MDL]
Rice fields would dry out during the dry season and this would be noticeable by the long, deep mosaic cracks that developed in the mud of a field waiting for the return of rain. The deeper the cracks, the longer the field would have been drying out. The dry season, however, was not the only time rice fields could become dry. This could also occur during a time of insufficient rain when water in irrigation canals was limited. While fields near the entry point of water received adequate water, those bays at the limits of the fields would dry out. Absorption and evaporation would exceed the level of water replenishment (atyán).
atyán dry (s/t that usually contains water, such as a rice field); MA‑ or MAG‑ to evaporate, decrease (water); (PAG‑)‑AN to be left dry (s/t usually containing water); MA‑ to dry out; MA‑‑AN be left dry (as a rice field); MAKA‑ to cause drying or evaporation [MDL]
Not all fields were irrigated, but for those that were (sakáy), water was brought to the fields through an irrigation canal or channel (gáwang). This could originate at the main channel of a river or be taken from any number of feeder streams. Water in this canal would be channelled from its source to a set of rice fields, and then from one rice field to another (ákay).
sakáy MAPA‑, PA‑‑AN or MAGPA‑, PAGPA‑‑AN to irrigate one's fields; MAPA‑, PA‑‑ON or MAGPA‑, PAGPA‑‑ON to direct water into one's rice fields [MDL]
To indicate how water should be distributed among a number of rice fields, a mark was placed at certain points along the channel (tangháran). When sufficient water had been distributed, the channel would be closed at the source where the water entered (pungpóng).
gáwang irrigation canal or channel directing water to a rice field; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to clear such a channel; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to irrigate a field; to clear an irrigation channel through a particular area [MDL]
ákay MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to channel water from one rice field to another, or from a river or stream to a rice field, for purposes of irrigation; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to irrigate a rice field with such water [MDL]
tangháran a mark placed on irrigation canals indicating how the water should be distributed among rice fields; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to place s/t as a marker; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to mark out an area to show where the water should be directed [MDL]
pungpóng MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to close off an irrigation canal at the point where the water enters; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to close off an irrigation canal with a particular barrier; ... [MDL]
THE CYCLE OF CULTIVATION
The planting of rice was not something that one family could sensibly undertake without coordinating with other families in the community. All rice fields had to be planted either together or within a few weeks after one group of farmers undertook such planting. Individual planting over a series of weeks or months only invited disaster. Locusts, mice, birds and other natural pests (see Section 3(iv)) would inevitably reduce a crop's yield, but by staggering the planting of fields these pests would only be encouraged to move slowly from field to field, devastating each as they moved on. The time they spent in each village would also be extended as separate fields maturing at different times only provided additional and continuous sources of food. As a result, each community prepared, planted and harvested its fields at much the same time. The starting point for the planting of rice in the Bikol River basin was the arrival of the southwest monsoon. Rice, as well as other crops, planted at this time were called by the name of the seasonal wind prevalent at this time, habágat (see Chapter 12, 'Stars and Seasons,' Section 4(i)).
habágat southwest wind; ‑AN direction of the wind from the southwest [+MDL: west or southwest wind; MA‑ or MAG‑ to blow (the wind from the west, southwest)]
The first rains of the season began to fall by the end of May and rice was planted in June or July. Those who had irrigated fields could get their crop in first, thereby enabling the first rice of the season to be harvested when prices were relatively high and labour costs were still low. This was how the situation was described by Jagor writing in the mid-nineteenth century, and it is possible that this was also the case at the turn of the sixteenth century when Lisboa was writing. Irrigated fields might have produced two crops, but these were only planted once, (also see Section 2(iii)).
habágat rice, or other crops, planted during the southwest monsoon; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to plant rice or other crops at this time [MDL]
There was an elaborate set of terms which referred to the various stages in the planting, growing and harvesting of rice. While these are discussed in the coming sections of the chapter, it is interesting to summarise them here. In each case, a verb indicating a particular action in the production of rice is prefixed by tig‑ meaning 'the time of'. The root word in each of the examples is underlined. The first stage in this process is the clearing of the fields, baˈból (see Section 2(i)). Tigbaˈból then refers to the time when rice fields are cleared preparatory to planting. Following this is a series of further preparations. Tigpanhúˈom is the time for soaking rice grains, based on the root word húˈom 'to soak something'. Following this is tigpanábaw referring to preparing the seed beds. These seeds beds are actually floating platforms of lashed bamboo called tábaw (see Section 3(ii)). The transplanting of bundles of rice seedlings to the margins of a rice field is referred to as tigtagbóng, with tagbóng referring to this initial stage which precedes the final planting out the seedlings to the center of the field.
If Lisboa has listed the examples for tig‑ in chronological order, then we can assume that the germination of the rice seeds, preparation of the seed beds and the initial stage of transplanting took place while the clearing of the fields was still in progress. It appears as if the final heaping up of the bundles of weeds cleared from the field (tigsagamsám, see Section 2(i)) must have taken place when the rice bundles were transplanted to the edges of the field (tigtagbóng). Once the weeds were fully removed, the rice could be transplanted to the center of the field from its initial position along the perimeter, or from any seed beds where it was initially germinated (tigtarók, see Section 3(iii)). The succeeding time periods refer to the maturing of the rice, and subsequent harvesting: tighalát, tigbúgaw, tigabót-ábot and tigáni (see Section 4(i)). Of these entries, tighalát is based on the root word halát 'to wait', tigbúgaw has as its root búgaw 'to chase away animals or birds' and tigáni, the root áni 'to harvest'. Tigabót-ábot has abót 'to arrive' as its root. This, when reduplicated as abót-ábot, is less definite and leads to the meaning of making preparations for something that is about to arrive, namely the harvest.
tig‑ nominal affix indicating 'the time of': urán rain, tigurán the time of the rain, the rainy season [+MDL: tigbaˈból time for cleaning the rice fields; tigpanhúˈom time for soaking rice grains; tigpanábaw (tábaw) time to make the seed beds for rice; tigtagbóng time to transplant rice in bundles to the edges of the field; tigsagamsám time to heap up the weeds cleared from the rice fields; tigtarók time to transplant rice to the main field; tighalát; time to wait for rice to mature; tigbúgaw time to protect the rice fields by chasing away birds, rodents; tigabót-ábot time to make preparations for harvesting; tigáni time to harvest]
One last entry which relates to the cycle of planting is gabás. This is used to indicate the end of a particular cycle of rice cultivation, for example sagabás nin umá 'the end of sowing' or sagabás nin tarók 'the end of transplanting'.
gabás: an ginabás remnants of cloth [MDL: end, referring to a cycle of cultivation, such as sowing, transplanting, burning off the rice fields; sagabás nin umá end of the sowing; sa gabás nin tarók end of transplanting]
THE CYCLE OF CULTIVATION
Sowing and Germination
Lowland rice was not planted directly to the fields in which it was grown. It was planted in seed beds and from there transplanted, often in two stages, to the final location where it was left to mature until harvest. Most commonly these seed beds were floating platforms of bamboo (tábaw) especially constructed for the purpose. These were then covered with mud (dagpí).
tábaw a platform constructed by lashing together pieces of bamboo or wood; a raft constructed in the same fashion; MAG‑, ‑ON to construct such a platform or raft [+MDL: a platform of bamboo especially constructed for the germination of rice; a raft constructed of wood or bamboo; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to tie together materials for a raft or platform; to construct such a raft or platform]
The signal for rice planting was the start of the southwest monsoon. This was not only the time when the rice seed and seedlings needed to be prepared, it was also the time when the opening rains softened the soil and permitted the removal of weeds and other plants which had grown in the fields left fallow during the dry season. Seeds prepared on floating platforms could ensure that the fields into which the seedlings would eventually be planted were still free to be cleared of unwanted growth.
dagpíˈ MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to place mud on a bamboo platform called tábaw especially constructed for germinating rice; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to cover a bamboo platform with mud for this purpose [MDL]
Floating platforms also offered a degree of flexibility that other seed beds did not. If necessary these could be moved from one location to another along the river and stream systems used for irrigation until finally being secured in the area where the seedlings were to be transplanted. Other crops, such as taro, which were also grown on such platforms (latáw), also offered such flexibility, as well as enabling one's growing area to be extended into slow flowing rivers and streams.
latáw floating platform or raft set in fields or rivers with a lot of vegetation, covered with soil and planted to taro; MA‑ or MAG‑ to construct such a platform [MDL]
Where the terrain permitted, seed beds were located in small fields set aside specifically for that purpose (pimpín). The seed bed itself, as opposed to its location, was referred to as sabód, a term still used at the present.
pimpín small fields set aside for the growing of rice seedlings, serving as a seed bed [MDL]
Rice seeds could be sown dry by broadcasting (sabwág) although this was not the preferred method of planting. Only by soaking seeds prior to planting could a rice farmer know which grains would germinate. There was also a huge number of rice varieties (see Section 1(ii)), and when more than one variety was broadcast together this was referred to as sagmók.
sabód seed bed (for rice); MAG‑, I‑ to sow rice seeds in such a bed; MAG‑, ‑AN to sow such a bed with rice seeds [+MDL: MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to sow seeds in a seed bed; MA‑, ‑AN: saborán or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN: pagsaborán to sow a seed bed with seeds]
sabwág MAG‑, I‑ to scatter or broadcast seed; MAG‑, ‑AN to broadcast seeds over an area or field [+MDL: MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to scatter rice for sowing; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to sow an area in this way; MANG‑ to sow rice in this way]
In the planting of rice it was common practice to first moisten the grains and wait for them to sprout before sowing. There were different techniques used for this moistening process. One was simply to soak the seeds (buyón), and then wait for them to sprout (punggód). Only those which sprouted would be planted to the seed bed. There was another technique and this was to first moisten the seed, then wrap it in a banana leaf (balanhíg). Rice which was wrapped in this way retained this name even after germination.
sagmók MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to mix together two types of rice for sowing by broadcasting; magsaragmók, pagsaramokón to mix together various types of rice MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to add one type of rice to another; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to mix one type of rice with another [MDL]
buyón describing rice grains which do not germinate when soaked in preparation for planting; MA‑ to not germinate (rice grains when wet or dampened) [MDL]
A grain of rice which had started to sprout was referred to as bahíˈ, and, at least in the early stages, attention was paid to the number of grains which had sprouted. If a particular grain produced more than one shoot (gípiˈ), this was also noted. Seeds which had sprouted during the germination process were then ready to be planted to seed beds.
punggód MA‑ or MAG‑ to sprout (rice and other grains when moistened); (PAG‑)‑AN: to sprout from rice, other grains (new shoots) [MDL]
balanhíg MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to wrap moistened rice in a leaf so that it will germinate and can be used in planting a subsequent crop; an binalanhíg rice which has been wrapped in this way [MDL]
bahíˈ grain of rice which has started to sprout; saróˈ kabahíˈ one rice shoot; duwá kabahíˈ two rice shoots [MDL]
A rice seedling was referred to generally as banhíˈ (a term no doubt related phonetically and historically to bahíˈ, see above), although during Lisboa's time those seedlings grown on a floating platform were specifically called dalúgiˈ. Dalúgiˈ has, over time, been generalised to mean all rice seedlings grown for transplanting.
gípiˈ referring to shoots that grow in a cluster from the grains of a rice plant; MA‑ or MAG‑ to send out shoots (such grains of rice); I(PAG)‑ to grow from the grains of a rice plant (shoots); (PAG‑) ‑AN to grow from a particular plant (shoots germinating from grains) [MDL]
banhíˈ rice seedling [+MDL]
dalúgi rice seedlings grown in a seed bed for transplanting to the field [+MDL: rice seedlings grown on the floating platform called tábaw; mapatpát na dalúgi rice seedlings with a number of stems]
THE CYCLE OF CULTIVATION
The age at which rice seedlings were normally transplanted depended on the type of rice and how long it took to reach maturity. If we look at modern rice varieties, some varieties mature at three to three and a half months and others at four to four and a half months. The longer the rice takes to reach maturity, the longer it would be left to grow in the seed bed. Shorter maturing varieties are transplanted most commonly at 12–14 days, and longer maturing varieties up to 21 days. That is for modern varieties of rice. Traditional rice may well have been left 30 to 40 days before transplanting. We cannot know the characteristics of the rice varieties planted in Bikol 400 years ago. We do know that more than one variety of rice was planted in the same seed bed, and it is likely that those planted together had the same characteristics and matured at the same time (see Section 1(ii)).
When the seedlings were ready for transplanting. they were pulled up from the seed bed (gánot). These were held near the top of the plant, and not near the base, presumably so as not to damage the roots (púyos). Each bundle probably had a fixed number of seedlings enabling the planter to keep track of how many were needed for a particular area of the rice field.
gánot MAG‑, ‑ON to pull up rice seedlings for transplanting [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to pull up tufts of grass, rice for transplanting]
The seedlings, once removed from the seed bed, were then transplanted to the rice fields. This was not a one step process. The general term for transplanting rice was, and still is, tarók. There were, however, more specific terms which have disappeared from modern Bikol. The seedlings were first transplanted along the edges of the rice field. This process, and the bundles of rice seedlings transplanted in this way, were referred to as tagbóng.
púyos MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to grasp or hold rice seedlings (dalúgi) or taro plants by the ends of the stalks or leaves, and not from the lower part near the roots; KA‑ a bundle of rice seedlings or taro held in this way; saróˈ kapúyos one bundle of rice seedlings or taro [MDL]
There is another term for these small bundles of rice seedlings planted along the edge of a field, and that is gáwiˈ. This term was probably applied when the bundles of seedlings were actually taken to be placed in the soil and is related to the verb of the same form which has as one of its meanings, 'to grab hold of something in preparation for use'.
tarók MAG‑, I‑ to transplant rice from a seed bed to the field; MAG‑, ‑AN to transplant rice to a field; PAG‑: an pagtatarók rice planting time [+MDL: MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to transplant rice; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to sow a field with transplanted rice]
Why were the rice seedlings taken from the seed bed before they were ready for a final transplanting to the rice field? It is likely that the soil in the floating seed beds was only sufficient to support seedlings to an age short of the required time for the final transplanting. Allowing them to grow there for the full time would slow their growth due to a lack of nutrients and perhaps lead to damage of the root systems as the plants would begin to grow out through the platforms. The first transplanting of the seedlings to the edge of a field would allow them to mature sufficiently to then be planted out into the full field when these fields were ready to receive them. There is also the question of selection. At each stage in the transplanting process, weak or stunted seedlings could be removed, thereby leaving only the strongest of the seedlings to be transplanted to the field proper.
tagbóng small bundles of rice which are planted around a rice field after they have been removed from the seed bed and before final transplanting to the rice field proper; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to transplant rice seedlings (dalúgi) from the seed bed to an area around the rice field in preparation for final transplanting to the field itself; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to transplant rice to an area for this purpose; TIG‑ the season for transplanting rice in this way [MDL]
gáwiˈ KA‑: saróˈ kagáwiˈ a small bundle of rice seedlings called tagbóng; Darhí akó nin limá kagáwiˈ Bring me five bundles of tagbóng [MDL]
gáwiˈ MAG‑, ‑ON to do s/t; to work on s/t; to perform s/t [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to make use of s/t; to grab hold of s/t in preparation for use ... [MDL]
Another question is why the rice was first transplanted to the edges of a field? Clearly it was preferable that all immature seedlings be kept together in one location. But why the edge of a field? One possible answer is that the clearing and cleaning of the rice fields may not have been completed by the time the rice seedlings had reached the stage where they needed to be transplanted. The coming of the rainy season signalled not only the planting of rice, but also the clearing of the fields. Seedlings planted along the edge of the field would have enabled this clearing to continue, especially if the process used was to place all cleared weeds and plants into the center.
The rice which was first transplanted along the edges of the field would have to be transplanted one more time into the centre of the field (talustós). This would be the final movement of the rice seedling.
talustós MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to transplant rice from the edges of a field where it was first transplanted (see tagbóng) to another area when the area along the perimeter becomes flooded with too much water; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to plant an area with such transplanted rice [MDL]
There was another occasion when rice was transplanted from the edges of a field, but it is not at all clear if this was done to rice seedlings or to more mature plants. If this was done to maturing plants, then it would be undertaken as a last resort for such movement would affect its yield. If the water level were to fall in a rice field and this fall was most pronounced along the edges of the field due, perhaps, to poor levelling of the bay, these plants would then be moved to an area with more water (hagidhíd). These could be placed in the spaces made available by plants which did not survive, or they could have been placed in the intervals left vacant when seedlings were initially planted far apart. The spacing of plants would be dependent on the number of seedlings (hathát) and when this was few, more space was given to each.
hagidhíd MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to transplant rice growing on the outer edges of a rice field where there is little water; MA‑, ‑AN: hagidhirán or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN: paghagidhirán to transplant rice from such an area [MDL]
Like any occupation, the planting of rice was practised by those who were more skilled and those who were less. A field planted in straight rows was the expected norm and did not draw comment. One, however, in which rice were not planted in this way and looked more like the ripples on a wind-driven sea were commented upon, and not positively (rupók-dupók). It was not just for aesthetic reasons that rice was planted in straight rows. When it came to keeping the maturing rice free from weeds, orderly rows of rice provided a distinct advantage.
hathát spaced far apart (as rice when there are few plants to be planted or transplanted); MA‑ or MAG‑ to thin out (plants which were originally planted closer together); MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to plant or transplant plants far apart; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to plant an area in this way; Paghathatá lámang an pagtarók taˈ didikít an dalúgi We'll transplant our rice far apart since there are very few seedlings [MDL]
rupók-dupók descriptive of a field plowed or planted in a haphazard way, and not in discernible rows; MAG‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, I‑ to sow crops in an unordered way; MAG‑, ‑AN to plant or plow a field in an unordered way [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON / MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to sow corps in a haphazard way; also descriptive of the sea when the tide runs against the prevailing wind; MA‑ or MAG‑ to be choppy (the sea when the tide runs against the wind); ...]
Once the plants were transplanted and left to grow to maturity, the last thing the farmer wanted was a heavy deluge that would flatten the plants which were yet to put down firmer and more secure roots. A fine drizzle was what was needed to set the plants, and yet not disturb them, and this is what ragirhí referred to.
ragirhí MA‑ or MAG‑ to fall (dew); to drizzle; to rain lightly; (PAG‑)‑ON to be wet with dew, a light rain (one's crops); (PAG‑)‑AN to be covered with dew, showered with a light rain (one's fields); Maraháy nang gayód taˈ rinaragirhí si saindóng tarók kaidtóng urán na didiˈít It's good that your newly planted rice has been watered with a light rain [MDL]
THE CYCLE OF CULTIVATION
Animals, Birds, Insects and Vermin
Once transplanted, the rice would be left to mature. The concentrated work of preparing and planting the fields was over, and now came the waiting. It would be at least three months before the rice was ready for harvesting, and as it matured threats against the ripening grain would only increase.
Young and maturing rice was particularly susceptible to strong winds as this could knock the plants over into the water of rice fields (hápay). This need not have been the extreme winds of typhoons, but the intense winds that accompanied the leading edge of seasonal storms that normally struck in the afternoon.
hápay MA‑ or MAG‑ to fall over when blown by the wind; MA‑ to be knocked over by the wind (rice, reeds, grasses, small trees or shrubs); MAKA‑ to knock over reeds, shrubs (the wind) [MDL]
It was not only natural phenomena that caused problems. Humans running through rice fields could be equally or more destructive. Animals, in particular wild boar, also played havoc with the crops, and as the rice matured, this attracted birds, with the haˈbóng causing significant damage (see Chapter 17, 'Hunting and Trapping,' Section 5(viii)). When any one cause brought with it continual problems, this was referred to as sugsóg.
raˈrás MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to trample one's crops, ruining or destroying them (as when chasing s/o through a cultivated field) [MDL]
It was not possible to always be in the fields to ward off the series of threats that maturing rice was prone to. If one were present, it might have been possible to chase birds away by striking a length of split bamboo called palakupák, the term no doubt echoing the sound made. This would work for a time, but hungry birds would be back when the sound ended and those causing it had gone.
gúmok MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to ruin or destroy rice in the fields (animals, the bird called haˈbóng); MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to destroy a field of rice (animals, birds) [MDL]
sugsóg MA‑ describing s/t or s/o that continually causes harm or destruction in a particular area (as a wild boar entering rice fields, pirates raiding a town or robbers returning over and over again to a particular area) ...; MA‑ or MAG‑ to continually or repeatedly cause harm or destruction in a particular place [MDL]
There were also the scarecrows. What has come into modern Bikol as either a scarecrow or an anti-bird rattle, was during Lisboa's time a scarecrow that could be moved by tugging on a length of rattan (haróy). This would create movement which would convey to birds that there was something alive which they had reason to fear. The stationary scarecrow was the památiˈ and this was positioned to frighten off both birds and animals. It would no doubt have had some effect when first put in place, but would have become increasingly ineffective as it blended into the non-threatening surroundings.
palakupák length of bamboo split partially down the middle so that it makes a sound when hit, used to chase birds away from fields; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to hit such bamboo, causing it to make a sound; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to startle birds with such a sound, causing them to fly off [MDL]
Attacks from the air came not only from birds, but from the dreaded locusts (dúron) which would, from time to time, reach plague proportions, so numerous as to be compared to the dust carried on the wind. There were ways, if not to fully protect the crops, then to lessen the damage. One of these was verbal, by repeating the word lábaw which must have had the effect of shooing the locusts away. For this to be successful, there would have had to have been many people positioned in different places around the fields. Locusts could also be led from the fields (apirís) although as to how this was done Lisboa is not explicit. Plagues of locusts, of course, were not only a problem for one region of the Philippines, but most if not all. An account in 1572 describes the island of Panay as suffering plagues of locusts for two to three years in a row leading to a severe depletion of rice stocks on the island.
haróy scarecrow; anti-bird rattle; MAG‑ to place a scarecrow in the fields to frighten away birds [+MDL: scarecrow (typ‑ attached to a long piece of rattan which is pulled to create movement in order to frighten off birds from the fields); MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to place such a scarecrow in a field]
památiˈ scarecrow, used to chase birds or animals from cultivated fields; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use s/t as a scarecrow; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to place a scarecrow in a particular field; to chase away birds, animals with a scarecrow [MDL]
dúron locust; ‑ON to be eaten or destroyed by locusts [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to eat or destroy crops (locusts); Tabó-tábo na iníng dúron The locusts are as numerous as the dust carried on the wind]
Aside from the biblical scourge of locusts, rice was also susceptible to more mundane attacks. Weevils, worms, caterpillars and any number of other insects were ready to complete their life cycles by feeding off the annual crop of rice (úhag). These attacks would not only have an effect on the rice crop, but could wipe it out completely (buˈó).
lábaw a way of chasing locusts from cultivated fields by repeating the words labaw-labaw [MDL]
apirís MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON ...; to lead locusts away from cultivated fields to a narrow area where they can be killed and used as fish bait; ... [MDL]
úhag MAKA‑ to infest rice growing in the fields (insects); MA‑ to be infested with insects (rice); MA‑‑AN to have rice infested with insects (a place, the owner) [MDL]
Rats or mice (kinóˈ) were not particular and could attack a rice crop at any stage in its growth as well as once it was stored (see Section 5). These attacks started early when the seedlings were first transplanted (waˈít), and continued as the rice matured with the still green stalks gnawed through (líˈab). If the damage occurred early enough, there was the chance that the plant would produce new shoots which would then grow to maturity (saringsíng). The plant, however, would never be as productive as one which had not experienced damage.
buˈó MAKA‑, MA‑ to destroy a rice field (insects, vermin); MAKA‑, MA‑‑AN to destroy s/oˈs rice field; ... [MDL]
kinóˈ mouse, rat, rodent; GARÓ mousy; ‑ON to be eaten, nibbled or gnawed on by a rat or mouse [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to eat or nibble s/t (a mouse or rat); (PAG‑)‑AN to have one's food supplies eaten by a mouse, rat; MA‑ an area with many mice, rats; ...]
As rice was such an important part in the life of the Bikolanos, the success of the crop could not be left simply to human devices. When disaster struck or was expected, such as a plague of locusts or a severe infestation of insects, help was also sought. The priestess, or balyán, was called upon to bless the crops with a mixture of chewed betel nut in a ritual called hidhíd.
waˈít MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to gnaw at the stalks of transplanted rice (mice, rats); (PAG‑) ‑AN to remain after being gnawed (rice stalks) [MDL]
líˈab MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to gnaw at rice stalks while still green, not gnawing all the way through (mice, rats); (PAG‑)‑AN: to remain after being gnawed (rice stalks): Líˈab an paggatób kainíng saímong pároy Your rice has been gnawed partially through [MDL]
saringsíng a sucker or shoot which grows from the base of a rice plant when the main stalk has been damaged (as when gnawed by a rat); MAG‑ to send forth or produce suckers or shoots (a rice plant) [+MDL: MA‑ or MAG‑ to send out such suckers or shoots; (PAG‑)‑AN to grow from the main stalk (such suckers, shoots); I(PAG)‑ to grow (suckers, shoots)]
hidhíd ... [MDL: MA‑, ‑AN: hidhirán or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN: paghidhirán to treat the sick by touching them on the head with a chewed betel nut mixture, an act performed by the balyán; to treat a locust or pest infestation of crops in a similar manner]
THE CYCLE OF CULTIVATION
Bikol terms trace the developing rice from the early stages to the ripened heads which were available for harvesting. Immature rice, those stalks which had not yet developed a head, were referred to as dumarága, a term coming from darága 'a young unmarried woman', and referring to a number of yet to mature plants and animals. When about to produce heads of rice, the term burós was used with hingót-hingót referring to rice when it begins to bud. The small white flowers (amúging) eventually produce a rice head with a newly emerging head of grain (buswák). Some plants would also produce tiny grains which would grow on the spike or head between the full grains of rice. These were referred to as payó-payó meaning, literally 'little head' (payó meaning 'head').
dumarága young hen, not yet at the egg-laying stage [+MDL: immature (a hen not yet at the laying stage, rice which has not yet begun to develop a head; a type of tree called langatón, when young and still possessing leaves which are painful to touch)]
When rice grains develop they first fill with a milky-white substance which eventually hardens into the rice grain. In Bikol the term for this stage is lagátas, an interesting and morphologically complex entry based on the root gátas which means 'milk'. La‑ seems to be a fossilised prefix which appears, as well, in the entry lagutó, indicating rice grains which are newly formed and still soft, although in this instance no independent meaning can be found for gutó.
burós MA‑ or MAG‑ to be about to produce heads of grain (rice) [MDL]
hingót-hingót head of a rice plant when it begins to bud; also refers to other plants with a similar growing pattern [MDL]
amúging flower (typ‑ small, white, growing from the spike or end of the rice plant) [MDL]
buswák referring to a recently or newly emerged head of grain on the rice plant; MA‑ or MAG‑ to emerge (a head of rice); Buswák na The rice now has a head of grain [MDL]
payó-payó tiny grains of rice which grow between the grain spike (head) and the actual grains of rice [MDL]
lagátas rice grains when still young, tender and white, like milk [MDL]
Rice which is harvested at a young stage when it is still moist is called lasáng. This is used to make a specialty dish called pilipíg which is served on festive occasions. These young grains of rice are toasted and then pounded (labók) into a paste called kaskás. The bits of rice remaining after pounding are referred to as gatí-gatí. These are the bits that were probably pushed to the edge of the mortar during the process of pounding, with the non-reduplicated form, gatí meaning 'fringe' or 'edge'.
lagutó rice (new, possessing grains which are still soft) [MDL]
lasáng rice (young, harvested for the making of pilipíg, which dries and hardens when not immediately used); MA‑ to dry and harden (such rice) [MDL]
Once rice had a fully matured head or spike it was referred to as úhoy. These matured rice stalks would be counted, perhaps only in the early stages of the ripening field, to determine how far off harvest time might be. The ideal time for harvest was when the rice had a full, heavy head of grain (pangóy). Waiting too long would result in rice holding grains that were too mature for harvesting (tuˈtó). The falling grains would be of use to no one (ragrág).
pilipíg new rice which is toasted and lightly pounded, traditionally served on festive occasions; ‑NON: pilipignón na new rice at the stage of harvesting for the making of pilipíg [MDL]
labók MAG‑, ‑ON to crush or pound s/t with a pestle [MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MANG‑, PANG‑‑ON to crush toasted rice in preparation for making pilipíg]
kaskás the paste which is produced when pilipíg is pounded [MDL]
gatí-gatí remaining bits of pilipíg after roasting and pounding [MDL]
úhoy a matured or fully ripe spike or head of rice: saróˈ kaúhoy one matured head of rice [MDL]
Not all fields produced a successful crop of rice. Plants lacking in nutrients grew thin and sparse in the fields (salagásag) bringing about a loss to the rice farmer. Even rice that appeared to grow well could be almost worthless. The husks holding what should have been the matured rice could be empty of grain (payaˈpáˈ, atá) or the husks could have grown thick, holding little grain inside (payí). Interestingly, these two last terms for matured rice that basically was useless, were also used in social commentary referring to people who felt they were undervalued by their communities as can be seen by the figurative meanings in their respective entries (see Chapter 13, 'Status and Social Conflict,' Section 5).
pangóy MA‑ descriptive of a head of rice laden with full, heavy grains [MDL]
tu'tó describing rice grains that are too mature for harvesting and have begun to fall from the head; MA‑ to be at this stage of maturity (rice); MA‑‑AN to have one's rice at this stage [MDL]
ragrág referring to fallen crumbs, particles of food, grains of rice, dirt, hair; MAG‑ to fall (crumbs, dirt) [MDL: grains of rice which fall from the head when the rice is too ripe; MA‑ or MAG‑ to fall (grains of rice from an overripe head); MAKA, MA‑ to lose its grains (a head of rice)]
salagásag rice that grows thin and sparse in the fields; MA‑ or MAG‑ to grow in this way (rice), leading to losses for the owner [MDL]
Bikol, as with the rest of the Philippines and much of Southeast Asia, has unique terms for rice in its various stages as it progresses from field to table. Rice growing in the fields and before milling is pároy and after milling, bagás. Once it is cooked and ready to eat, it then becomes malútoˈ (also see Sections 4(i), 5, 6(i)).
payaˈpáˈ an empty head of grain or rice; ‑AN describing a field containing grain of this type [MDL]
atá rice bran [+MDL: also referring to rice which is all husk and no grain; MA‑ rice which contains a large mixture of empty rice husks; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to mix good rice with empty rice husks in an attempt to deceive; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to add empty rice husks to good rice; (fig‑) Magturúgang kamí patín iyán mga ginoˈó, kundíˈ aanhón ta an atá kon bagá sa pároy We and the influential people in town are all related, and yet all we get are the empty husks and not the rice]
payíˈ describing fruit with a thick skin and little meat, or a head of rice with thick husks and little grain; MA‑ to develop in this way (fruit, grain); (fig‑) Bagá lámang kamí payíˈ sa buláwan It is as if we are like the thick crust on gold (Said when people are not properly valued by their fellow townsfolk) [MDL]
pároy rice still growing in the fields; rice before milling [+MDL: ... ; (PAG‑) ‑AN to have a good rice harvest (a farmer); paparóyan s/o with a good rice harvest]
There are specific terms which describe in more detail rice which has been taken from the field and still remains unhusked. Such grains are tipásiˈ, although when large and full, they are referred to as timgás. The point of such grains is tútod.
bagás husked or milled rice, referring to the uncooked rice one generally buys, and then later cooks; MAG‑, ‑ON to husk rice (thereby producing bagás) [+MDL ...]
malútoˈ cooked rice [+MDL: MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to place cooked rice on one's plate; to serve s/o cooked rice; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to serve cooked rice]
tipásiˈ a grain of unhusked rice; see ngimá for cooked rice [MDL: grain of husked or unhusked rice; millet]
Bikol, rather uniquely, has a set of terms which replace standard vocabulary items when used in anger. If milled rice, that is bagás, were, for example to spill, this might be called lamasgás. This is a modern Bikol entry.
tútod the point of an unhusked grain of rice; ‑AN: tutóran a grain of unhusked rice containing such a point [MDL]
timgás MA‑ large, full grains of unhusked rice: Abóng timgás kainí These rice grains are full and large [MDL]
lamasgás rice, said in annoyance or anger in place of bagás: Pigpaparaúlaˈ mo na namán an lamasgás You keep spilling the rice
Gathering Rice from the Field
By late September or October, depending on when the rice was first sown and the length of time needed for it to reach maturity, the rice would be ready for harvesting (áni). This will once again be a busy and no doubt stressful time for the rice farmer since a poor harvest would affect the stores of food needed to tide a family over until the next season. In modern Bikol tingáting refers to a poor rice harvest. In Lisboa the meaning is different, although the resulting quality of the harvest may very well be the same. For Lisboa tingáting refers to an unusually long dry season. This would lead to a delay in the planting of rice, and therefore shorten the time available for the rice to reach maturity.
áni harvest, crop; Malúya an áni The harvest is small; MAG‑, ‑AN to harvest, reap; TIG‑: tigáni or ‑AN: araníhan harvest time [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to harvest rice; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to harvest a rice field; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use a sickle or small knife (gatá) for harvesting rice]
When the rice is ready for harvesting, the stalks are cut with either a knife (rabráb) or with an implement called gatá. In modern Bikol this is truly a knife, but during Lisboa's time it was a small bit of shell or steel held in the palm of the hand.
tingáting a poor season, a poor harvest; scarcity in the yield of rice: Tingáting an naˈáni ko My harvest was poor; MÁGIN to become poor (the harvest) [MDL: the long dry period which follows the rainy season: Tingáting na iníng húraw ngunyán What a long dry spell this is]
rabráb MAG‑, ‑ON to cut stalks of rice, grass with a knife; to harvest rice in this manner; MAG‑, ‑AN to harvest an area in this way [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to cut the heads of rice or grass with a knife; to harvest rice in this way; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to cut the heads of rice from the rest of the stalk; to harvest an area of rice, grass in this way]
Harvesting the first rice heads of the new season was referred to as tagbá and by having a unique term for this, special significance was obviously attributed to the start of this season. Since the rice harvest was accomplished by hand, a rice farmer did not have to make a decision to gather in the full crop at one time. It was possible to first harvest mature plants with a full head of grain (háraˈ), leaving the others for harvesting at a time one or two weeks distant. It was also a time for the selection of seed for the next season's crop. By examining the heads of grain, the farmer had the opportunity to choose only the largest and healthiest for planting in the coming season.
gatá small knife used for harvesting rice; MAG‑, ‑ON to harvest rice with such a knife [MDL: a piece of shell or small piece of steel serving as a knife used for the harvesting of rice; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to cut rice stalks with such a knife; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to harvest an area of rice in this way; to cut the rice stalks from the rest of the stem]
tagbá MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to harvest the first heads of rice for the new season; ‑ON: tinagbá the first heads of rice of the new season [MDL]
There was an optimum time for the harvesting of rice. The grains in the spike had to be full and heavy, and yet they had to stay on the spike when the rice stalk was cut. If the grains were too mature they would fall from the head and be lost (also see Section 3(iv)). This was a labour-intensive process with priority given to the grain that was harvested and not the labour that was expended in achieving this. If the grains were too mature and in danger of falling from the head, then it is probable that just the grains were removed and saved. This could be accomplished by rubbing the head with the hands (rumóˈ) or by running the heads of grain through the fingers (sugpít). The grains that were more firmly attached and remained on the spike could be picked off one by one (húgot).
háraˈ MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to harvest the mature heads of grain from rice plants; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to harvest rice in this way in a particular area; to thin out rice by harvesting the mature plants [MDL]
rumóˈ MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to remove the grains from a head of rice by rubbing the head with the hands [MDL]
When the rice stalks were cut with the heads of grain attached, as was normally the case, these were sorted into piles, and then bundled together by measures of the handful. For those with a heavy head of grain these piles were called dahóp and the bundles tábon.
sugpít MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to harvest rice by running the heads of grain through the fingers; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to gather rice grains in the hand in this way [MDL]
húgot MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to remove or pick things out with the fingers (as lice from the hair, grains of rice from the spike or head); MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to remove lice from the hair or grains from a spike [MDL]
dahóp MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to pile up or store cut rice stalks which have a full head of grain; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to pile these up in a particular area [MDL]
There are further terms for the bundling of rice by the handful. It is probable that úpong referred to rice stalks that did not necessarily have heavy heads of rice, and in this way was different from tábon. For pungpóng, while the modern entry refers to a bundle of rice, for Lisboa this referred to the action of grasping a handful of rice stalks, holding it like one would hold a chicken by the feet.
tábon MA‑ referring to a bundle of rice with full, heavy heads of grain [MDL]
úpong a handful of rice stalks; rice stalks bundled by the handful: saróˈ kaúpong one bundle of rice; duwá kaúpong two bundles of rice; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to bundle rice stalks using the handful as a measure [MDL]
The rice season came to an end after the harvest (tabás) and the fields were left to the rice stalks remaining without their heads of grain (tágas). These stalks could be left in the fields to dry to straw (dagámi), then to be turned under with the return of the rains. They could also be cut and bundled (butlóng) and taken away or used for feed or used to cover the ground as a mulch in a home garden.
pungpóng a string of s/t; a bundle of s/t; pungpóng kan báwang a string of garlic; pungpóng kan niyóg a string of coconuts; pungpóng kan sebólyas a string of onions; MAG‑, ‑ON to braid things together in a string; to tie things into small bundles (as rice stalks) [MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to carry birds or fowl by the feet; to grasp a handful of rice stalks]
tabás out of season (fruits); after the harvest; MA‑ to be out of season; to have finished (the season for harvesting rice); ... Tabás na an pároy The rice harvest is over [MDL]
Rice straw when burned (pató) could even be used in the treatment of a medical ailment called panlabót. The smoke from the straw was used for this condition which manifested itself in the splitting of callouses on the hands and feet.
tágas MA‑ or MAG‑ to be left; to stay, remain (certain crops when others are lost; rice stalks when the heads are gone; a person when his or her companions move on) [MDL]
dagámi straw; MÁGIN to become or turn to straw [+MDL: rice straw, the remaining stalks of the rice plant after harvesting; KA‑‑AN an expanse of rice fields after harvesting; also, cuts on the hands resulting from the harvesting of rice]
butlóng bundle of rice straw (typ‑ small, 8 or 10 being required to make up a full load) [MDL]
pató rice straw which is burned, the smoke being used to treat an inflammation resulting in the splitting of calluses on the hands and feet (panlabót); MA‑ or MAG‑ to burn and smoke (such straw); MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to burn such straw; (PAG‑)‑AN to be exposed to such smoke (the hands, feet) [MDL]
The end of the harvest was not always the close of a successful season. Extreme weather conditions, either too wet or too dry, attacks from locusts, pests and vermin or just the lack of sufficient care or nutrients to produce an abundant crop could bring about a shortfall in the expected harvest. At such times a rice farmer would look forward to what little rice he could get from a regrowth of the rice plants (dagingdíng). These were plants that would grow again from side shoots after the main grain heads had been removed, and it was the grain from these plants that would subsequently be harvested and relied upon to supply the necessary food a family needed until the next planting season (habín).
panlabót ulcerations or calluses which split open on the sole of the foot or palm of the hand; (PAG‑)‑ON to have such calluses; ‑ON: panlabóton one with such calluses [MDL]
dagingdíng regrowth of shoots or fruits after the primary growth has been picked or harvested; MA‑ or MAG‑ to send out shoots or fruit again following the main harvest (plants); MANG‑, PANG‑‑ON to collect or go in search of the second growth or fruiting [MDL]
habín MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to pick the rice heads from a regrowth of rice after the primary growth has been harvested (dagingdíng), done during a poor season when only such regrowth can be relied on [MDL]
The two methods of threshing rice which are commonly used in modern Bikol, hitting the rice stalks with sticks (paspás) or hitting the bundles of rice against something, such as a screen (hampáy), are not mentioned in Lisboa and presumably were not used.
paspás a method of threshing in which the rice is beaten with sticks; MAG‑, ‑ON to beat rice stalks to separate the grain from the stalk
Rice was threshed with the feet during Lisboa's time, either on the ground (giník), a process which is still used in the region, or on the floor of a house, something which could be repeated as many times as necessary (luˈsák). The threshed rice, once separated from the stalks, now called úhot, would then form into piles called barás, this last term very possibly a borrowing from Malay.
hampáy MAG‑, I‑ to thresh rice by hitting newly cut bundles against s/t; ‑AN: threshing; syn‑ hampás
giník MAG‑, ‑ON to thresh rice with the feet [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to thresh rice with the feet]
If the process of threshing, giník, was somehow extra difficult, long, stressful or frustrating one of the Bikol anger words might be used to refer to this process (linák).
luˈsák MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to thresh rice with the feet on the floor of a house two or more times, allowing the grains to fall through the slats and onto mats; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use the feet for threshing; saróˈ kaluˈsák the first threshing; duwá kaluˈsák the second threshing [MDL]
úhot rice straw, the rice stalks after the grain has been removed [+MDL]
barás pile of rice formed during threshing [MDL] [MALAY beras husked rice]
linák MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to thresh rice with the feet, used in annoyance or anger in place of giník; to trample on s/t ... [MDL]
If rice was threshed in the field. It would be carried in armfuls to the point of threshing, and once the threshing was completed it would be loaded into baskets (pulót), often filled to the brim (pilót), and carried to the places where it would be dried.
pulót MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to fill a basket to the top with heads (spikes or ears) of rice; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to place rice spikes or ears into a basket until full; ‑AN: pupultán a basket filled with rice spikes or ears [MDL]
pilót filled to the brim (a basket with heads of rice) [MDL]
The harvested rice grains had to be dried before they could be stored. If this did not occur they could not be stored for long, and when the time came for them to be pounded, they would be crushed rather than husked. As the grain harvest came at the end of the rainy season, the chance to dry rice in the sun increased with the increasing number of days without rain. Such rice was referred to as bil-lád. It would be spread (buˈnág) to dry on large circular mats, called amíkan, where it would be moved around with the hand to facilitate drying (kúgay).
bil-lád referring to rice dried in the sun prior to husking [MDL]
The rainy season, of course, did not just suddenly end, and interspersed with the increasing number of dry days were days of heavy and continuous rain that did the harvested grains of rice no good at all. Partially or incorrectly dried rice was susceptible to mildew and rot (also see Section 5). The rice had to be dried, and if this could not be done in the sun, then it would be dried near a fire (húlas). This is not a term current in modern Bikol, although úlas, which is clearly related historically, is. This refers to the frying of rice grains before husking to dry them out. The use of the term 'old' to refer to the grains possibly indicates that those grains were harvested and kept, waiting for an extended dry period, only to have it not come.
buˈnág MAG‑, I‑ to spread newly harvested rice in the sun so that it may dry; MAG‑, ‑AN to spread such rice on s/t (as on a mat) [+MDL: MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to spread s/t, such as rice, in the sun to dry; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to spread rice or other items out on a mat to dry; ...]
amíkan circular mat on which rice is spread to dry in the sun ... [MDL]
kúgay MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to spread rice or other grains with the hand to facilitate drying; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to spread grains over a surface, such as a mat, to facilitate drying [MDL]
húlas MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to dry rice near a fire when wet weather does not permit it to be dried in the sun [MDL]
Once the rice was dried, it was kept in baskets (bangkát) until it was pounded (see Section 5). This was usually done just before it was required for a meal, although not necessarily on the same day as rice pounding was most commonly carried out in the cool of the afternoon or early evening (see Section 4(iv)).
úlas MAG‑, ‑ON to fry old rice grains before husking in order to dry them out
bangkát basket (typ‑ used for storing unhusked rice, charcoal or similar items) [MDL]
Every village would have had any number of large wooden mortars (lúbang) accompanied by long, wooden pestles (háˈlo) stored for pounding rice. When needed, the newly harvested and dried rice (písong) would be placed into the mortars ready for pounding (babayó). Antonio de Morga indicates that in the province of Zambales rice pounding was a woman's task, although there is little in Lisboa to indicate that this was the case in Bikol. Morga also indicates that for the Tagalogs rice was pounded and cleaned under the house, an open space available in most homes since houses were commonly raised on high posts. There is no particular mention of this for the Bikol region.
Rice was pounded in the cool of the late afternoon or early evening, about five or six o'clock. This would allow one or two hours of continuous work before it became dark enough so that torches would have to be lit. These time divisions were recorded by Lisboa, and show that both human actions, such as pounding rice and the lighting of torches, and the action of chickens returning to the roost and laying eggs were significant in demarcating parts of the day.
lúbang mortar used for grinding or pounding [MDL: large wooden mortar used for pounding rice]
The husking of rice produced bagás from pároy (also see Section 3(iv)) and this term could also be used as a verb for the action of husking rice.
háˈlo pounding stick for rice, pestle; MAG‑, ‑ON to pound s/t with a pestle [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to pound rice with such a pestle]
písong rice placed in a mortar, ready for pounding; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to place rice in a mortar; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to fill a mortar with rice for pounding [MDL]
babayó MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to pound rice in a mortar ... [MDL]
tig‑ nominal affix indicating the time of day: tigbabayó five or six in the afternoon (time for pounding rice); tigpanhápon nin manók sunset (time when chickens go back to their roost); tigsalóng-sálong seven in the evening (time to light torches); tigsúgok nine in the morning (time when chickens lay eggs) [MDL]
bagás husked or milled rice, referring to the uncooked rice one generally buys, and then later cooks; MAG‑, ‑ON to husk rice (thereby producing bagás) [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to husk rice; ...]
The heavy, hollow sound of pounding rice with a wooden pestle hitting against a wooden mortar would reverberate throughout the village at the end of the day.
katód-katód sound of pounding rice; MA‑ or MAG‑ to make such a sound (those pounding rice); (PAG‑)‑AN: (pag)katód-katorán to be the place or origin of such a sound; (fig‑) Katód-katód na an banwá A heavy rain is approaching [MDL]
The pounding of rice was not a solitary activity. Although an individual could do this alone, controlling the pestle with both hands, or alternating hands as the pestle moved rhythmically back and forth from one side of the mortar to the other, it was frequently a social activity. Two people pounding rice, each with a pestle in a single mortar was common (lisóng), but greater numbers were also found (apát-ápat).
lisóng MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to pound rice together; MA‑, ‑AN to pound rice with s/o [MDL]
Unhusked grains of rice would not stay still in the mortar as they were pounded, but jump up under the descending force of the pestle (lagsák). With luck, the grains would fall back into their place in the mortar, although it was not uncommon for them to jump up and out of the mortar completely (laswá). The grains would also tend to ride up the sides of the mortar, needing to be swept back into the centre (sapó) so the pounding could continue.
apát-ápat MA‑, ‑AN to join with three other people to make four; MAG‑ to join together (four people to pound rice or beat steel on an anvil); MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to pound rice, beat steel (four people) [MDL]
lagsák MA‑ or MAG‑ to jump up (rice from a mortar when pounded); MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to jump up from a mortar (rice); PAG‑ the jumping up [MDL]
A single pounding was not often enough, and those grains of rice that were poorly husked during the first pounding would then be returned for a second pounding to remove any remaining husk (gisgís). Even after rice was basically clean, it could still be returned for more pounding, either for a second (digás) or third time (hundóg). This may very well have served to polish the rice further by removing more of the bran or germ layer which lay immediately below the husk, basically turning what would be brown or red rice into varying degrees of white. It is doubtful, however, that this pounding would have achieved the whiteness of modern milled rice with its attendant diminished nutritional value due to a loss of protein in the germ layer.
laswá referring to rice which gets knocked out of a mortar when being pounded; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to knock rice out of a mortar when pounding; MA‑, MA‑‑AN to jump out of a mortar when being pounded (rice); ... [MDL]
sapó MAG‑, ‑ON to sweep things together with the hand (as fallen bits of rice); to push back the hair from the forehead with the hand [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to sweep or push back to the center that which has ended up along the edge or margin (as rice in a mortar when being pounded)]
gisgís MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to remove the remaining husk from rice in a second pounding; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to return rice which was poorly husked for a second pounding; this is different from digás which is a second pounding of clean rice [MDL]
Not all harvests produced good quality rice, and if the low quality of certain crops was not discovered at the time of harvest, then this became apparent when the rice was pounded. Poor quality rice would break into useless bits (hildáw) that would eventually have to be discarded.
digás referring to rice which has been polished by a second pounding; MAG‑, ‑ON to pound rice a second time [+MDL: rice which is returned for a second pounding; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to pound rice a second time; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to remove particles of husk from the rice in a second pounding]
hundóg MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to pound rice for the third time in a mortar; to pound metal for a third time in a forge [MDL]
hildáw referring to the broken bits of rice which result from the pounding of poor quality rice; MA‑ or MAG‑ to break into useless bits (poor quality rice); (PAG‑)‑AN to break into bits (rice from a particular crop, or rice from that selected for pounding) [MDL]
Just as young rice could be lightly toasted and then pounded in the husk to produce a dish called pilipíg (see Section 3(v)), the same could be done to mature rice. This process was called hágom which, judging from its figurative meaning, no doubt involved a significant amount of pounding to create the paste needed to produce the dish.
hágom MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to prepare a dish from unhusked rice which is roasted and then pounded in a mortar, husk and all; (fig‑) Pinaghágom ka May you be pounded to bits (like this type of rice) Said as a curse to men [MDL]
The winnowing basket (nígo) had two basic uses. The first was to separate husked rice from the chaff which was removed during the process of pounding. Here the rice grains and chaff were thrown into the air above the winnowing basket with the chaff being blown away by the wind and the grains falling back into the basket. The two terms for this were tíyaˈ and tahóp, with only the second still used in modern Bikol
nígo winnowing basket [+MDL: (fig‑) Daˈí máyoˈ kitáng sa nígo We have neither too little nor too much rice]
The second use was to separate husked from unhusked grains. Of the grains remaining after the chaff was blown away, not all would have had their husk successfully removed by a first pounding. These grains would be gathered (sikdó) and separated out to be returned to the mortar for a second pounding (see Section 4(iv)). The term for this during Lisboa's time was sigsíg. The modern term is the morphologically-related term saligsíg which during Lisboa's time referred to a sieve or strainer.
tíyaˈ MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to throw the chaff from the winnowing basket; to shake the chaff free from the rice in a winnowing basket, throwing it over the edge; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to separate the chaff from the rice [MDL]
tahóp MAG‑, ‑AN to winnow rice by throwing the grain up in a winnowing basket so that the grain falls back into the basket and the wind blows the chaff away; MAG‑, ‑ON to winnow out the chaff in this way [+MDL: MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to winnow rice in a winnowing basket; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to winnow out the chaff]
sikdó MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to collect small items with the hands or a scoop (such as grains of rice which are in a winnowing basket, on a cloth, a mat or cradled in a skirt); MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to collect or gather such items from s/t [MDL]
If the winnowing and separating process was not carried out carefully enough, then split grains of rice and bits of chaff would be saved along with the cleaned rice and would only be removed before cooking (arugasáng). This, however, is a modern entry, and is not found in the Lisboa, although it is morphologically related to the entry gásang referring to broken bits of stone or shell which does appear in Lisboa.
sisíg MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to separate husked grains of rice from those which remain unhusked after pounding by shaking the rice in a winnowing basket; (fig‑) Garó na sinisíg an dakól na táwo The large number of people are like rice in a winnowing basket (Said when people are crowded together) [MDL]
saligsíg MAG‑, ‑ON to shake a winnowing basket in order to separate small grains and dirt from larger grains, or to separate unhusked grains of rice from those which have been husked after pounding [MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to sift, sieve or strain s/t; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to strain s/t from; ‑AN: saligsígan a sieve, sifter, strainer; ...]
arugasáng split rice grains, chaff found among the good grains and usually removed before cooking
gásang a jagged stone; broken bits of stone or shell chips [+MDL: coral (typ‑ branching, growing like small trees from the seabed, pieces of which are usually placed under the feet of those carrying the cross during Easter); also refers to rough or sharp stones]
There were only a limited number of uses for milled rice flour, and while milling did occur, it is doubtful that much rice was prepared in this way. The modern rolls called tinápay, which are now baked from wheat flour, were, during Lisboa's time, prepared from rice flour. Rice flour in general was referred to as búbod, something which Lisboa recorded as being used to make communion wafers, clearly an adopted use.
tápay dough; MAG‑, ‑ON to make bread or rolls from flour; MAG‑, ‑AN to bake such bread in a particular container; ‑ON: tinápay bread, buns, rolls; PARA‑ baker [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to make bread or rolls from rice flour; ‑ON bread made from rice flour]
Rice would have been traditionally ground in the same mortar where it was pounded (bukbók), and to make this process easier, the newly harvested rice would be parboiled (tánok).
búbod rice flour, used in making bread and communion wafers; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to grind rice into flour [MDL]
bukbók MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to grind rice in a mortar to produce flour [MDL]
At some point in early Bikol society, a Chinese-made hand mill became available (gíling) and this, too, was used in the grinding of rice. In modern Bikol, gíling, refers to the traditional grinding mill where grains are crushed between two large, rotating stones.
tánok MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to parboil newly harvested rice, making it easier to grind [MDL]
gíling MAG‑, ‑ON to grind or mill grains, usually rice; ‑AN grinding stone, mill [MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to grind or mill rice in a hand-mill made by the Chinese; ‑AN: gilíngan rice mill, grinder]
The traditional method of milling rice in a mortar inevitably resulted in a flour with remaining small grains of rice (aligás). These small grains of rice, and other grains which were partially milled (tamó), could be returned to the mortar and milled again.
aligás small grains of rice which remain after the other grains have been milled and which need to milled again; MA‑ or MA‑‑AN to remain (the small grains of rice) [+MDL: (fig‑) MA‑‑AN: Kitá lámang naaligasán We're the only ones left]
There was another alternative to dealing with the cracked bits of rice which remained after the milling process. These cracked bits (binlód) could be removed from the flour and cooked as a rice porridge. They would not be served as rice at a regular meal.
tamó referring to rice that is partially milled; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to mill rice that has previously been only partially milled [MDL]
binlód cracked bits of milled rice usually used for porridge and not cooked for serving at a regular meal [+MDL]
If the flour was poorly milled and sifted, and the small remaining bits of rice were cooked with the flour, this would produce a final product that was referred to, disparagingly, as ansáp.
ansáp MA‑ referring to food made from rice flour that has been poorly milled and sifted, resulting in small grains or granules appearing in the final cooked product; Abóng ansáp kainí How poorly prepared this food is [MDL]
STORAGE AND TRANSPORTATION
Once rice was dried it needed to be stored in places where it could be kept clean and dry and relatively free from pests and vermin. There were a number of ways this could be done. The larger places of storage were formal granaries. These were generally referred to as baláˈ. More specific terms came from either the shape of the granary, with abáng referring to one which was square, or the materials used in its construction, with patúkaw (see túkaw) referring to one that was constructed of bamboo.
baláˈ rice granary or store; ‑ON to be stored in a granary (rice); ‑AN to be stored in a particular granary [MDL]
Stored rice could be of one type, or it could be mixture of different types as there were many (see Section 1(ii)). Storing one type of rice in a granary may have been the expectation, for it was only when different types were stored together that there was reason to comment (rumáˈ-rúmaˈ).
abáng square; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to make s/t square; to square (the edges, corners) [MDL]
abáng granary (typ‑ square, used for storing rice); MA‑, ‑ON to gather and store rice in such a granary; MA‑, I‑ to use a particular granary for storing rice; MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to construct such a granary; MAG‑, IPAG‑ to construct such a granary from particular materials; MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to construct such a granary in a particular area [MDL]
túkaw PA‑ bamboo granary for storing rice; a well-stocked granary; MAPA‑, PA‑‑ON or MAGPA‑, PAGPA‑‑ON to construct such a granary; to stock a granary [MDL]
rumáˈ-rúmaˈ describing a mixture of different kinds of rice in the grain bin; MA‑ to be mixed in this way (rice) [MDL]
Aside from these larger granaries, rice was also commonly stored in baskets which would then be placed in an area where they could be kept until ready for use. The most common of these baskets was the bukót. There were others, as well, made from varying materials. While Lisboa does not mention the materials the bukót was made from, he does indicate that the bákid, not exclusively used for rice, was made from leaves of the burí palm, and the lígos was made from bamboo.
bukót basket (typ‑ used for storing husked rice, woven in the usual style); MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to store husked rice in such a basket; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to fill such a basket with husked rice for storage; ‑AN: bubukótan such a basket [MDL]
If there was no central granary, and rice was stored in baskets, a large number of baskets would be needed to contain rice from the full harvest (pasád-pasád). It was expected that once these were filled, they would be stored and not left lying about, exposed to pests, damage or deterioration (tulíd-tulíd). It was also expected that these would be stored together and not in various locations (tikáy-tikáy).
bákid basket (typ‑ made from the fronds of the burí palm, generally used to store rice) [MDL]
lígos basket (typ‑ of bamboo, used for storage or for transporting rice); ligós-lígos smaller variety of the same basket [MDL]
pasád-pasád term used to describe a large quantity of baskets filled with rice; MA‑ to be filled with rice (a large number of baskets): Napapasád-pasád na iyán bukót ni kuyán That person has so many baskets filled with rice [MDL]
There may have been an expectation that baskets would be fully filled with rice. A basket that was only partially full, shown by pressing in from the sides or pushing down on the top (hagukáhak), may have indicated a less than successful harvest. On the other hand, baskets that were overfull with those having soft sides bulging at the middle, could be taken to indicate a very successful harvest (lútid).
tulíd-tulíd MANG‑ to be lying about (as baskets filled with rice not yet put away for storage); to mill about (people, pigs): Nanunulíd-tulíd na iníng dakól na pilót taˈ daˈí rinirimpós These full baskets of rice are just lying about because they haven't been properly stored ... [MDL]
tikáy-tíkay describing rice that is poorly stored, some in one place, the rest in another; MANG‑ to have one's rice stored in different places (not in just one, as would be good practice): Nanikáy-tíkay na iníng pároy / bagás This rice is stored here and there [MDL]
hagukáhak sound made by a basket of rice when it is not completely full and one pushes in on it from the side, or pushes down on it from the top with the hand; MA‑ or MAG‑ to make this sound (a basket partially filled with rice) [MDL]
Rice not only had to be stored, but there were times it also needed to be transported. The basket lígos, mentioned above, could be used for both these purposes, although it would appear that being made from bamboo it was used when larger quantities need to be moved. For smaller quantities, such as the rice one would take when going on a trip, it was more likely that the pouch made of burí, lulupíˈon, would be used. When rice needed simply to be moved from one place to another nearby, such as from a place of storage to the place of cooking, then it was likely that a scoop, bowl or half a coconut shell would be used for this purpose (saldók).
lútid MAG‑ to bulge in the middle (as a soft-sided basket overfilled with grain) [+MDL: MA‑ or MAG‑ to show a bulge at the middle; (fig‑) Naglútid na iyán mga bukot ni kuyán That person's rice baskets are bursting (Meaning: That person has a lot of rice); ...]
lulupíˈon a pouch or bag made from the leaves of the burí palm, used for carrying rice when traveling [MDL]
For long distances, rice would be transported by boat (lúnad) as this was the primary mode of long-distance transportation in this part of the Bikol region with population centres found on or near the Bikol River or its tributaries. Rice would not first be placed into baskets with these subsequently loaded onto boats, but it appears as if the rice would be placed directly into the hull of a boat with the boat itself serving as the container. The proper way to do this was to first line the boat. This would have kept the rice from falling away into the various nooks and hollows of the boat, and offered, as well, some protection from moisture if it were to seep up through the seams of the hull. When a boat was not lined, it was a cause for comment (úray).
saldók a container capable of transporting water; MAG‑, ‑ON to fetch water (as from a well, river) [+MDL: a scoop, such as a bowl or coconut shell, used to carry water or grains from one place to another; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to scoop up water, grains; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to scoop up water, grains from a particular place; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use s/t as a scoop]
lúnad ... [MDL: MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to embark on a ship; to ride on a boat; to set sail; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to transport s/t on a ship; PAG‑ embarkation; KA‑‑AN low-lying land near the sea where water collects; point of embarkation]
It was not only boats which had to be lined. Due to the materials used in the storage baskets, these, too, needed to be lined to keep the rice in place. One leaf used for this particular purpose was the hagikhík, although it is clear that other leaves or similar material could also be used for the lining (daligdíg, hápin).
úray MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to place rice in a boat without first putting down a liner; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to fill a boat with rice without first lining it [MDL]
hagikhík plant (typ‑ possessing leaves of the same name, used to line baskets for storing rice); ‑ON to resemble this leaf: hinagikhík na baladaw a dagger in shape of this leaf [MDL]
The various linings used for baskets holding rice would have kept it from pouring or leaking out through the holes (wasá-wasá, ayˈáy). Care would also have to be taken when transferring rice from container to container, particularly when funnelling the rice with the hands to keep it from spilling (sarárak).
daligdíg a lining of leaves or similar material placed around the inside of baskets used for storing rice; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to line baskets with such leaves; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use particular leaves for this purpose [MDL]
hápin lining; insulation, padding; layer, ply, veneer; MAG‑, ‑AN to line (as shelves, boxes); to pad, insulate [+MDL: MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to line the bottom of baskets to keep rice from leaking, or pots to keep food from sticking; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use leaves, cloth as a lining; ...]
wasá-wasá MA‑ or MAG‑ to flow or pour out (rice from a basket, blood from a wound); to bleed profusely; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to pour out from s/t; to bleed profusely from a wound: Wasá-wasá na iníng bagás All the rice has leaked out; ... [MDL]
During the time between harvests families would begin to live off their stored rice (hipáw). This would leave indentations in the remaining rice (piwák, pálak), and once enough rice had been removed, the granary or storage baskets would be compressed to reduce their overall size (hunós).
ayˈáy MA‑ or MAG‑ to spill over, overflow (as a container overfilled with rice); to pour out (as rice from a crack or hole) [MDL]
sarárak MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to catch s/t with the hands (flowing water, rice); to divert s/t with the hands (as flowing water); to funnel or channel s/t with the hands (as grains of rice to keep them from spilling when being transferred from one container to another); MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to divert, funnel or catch s/t from a particular place; Sarárak kaiyán bagás, maráˈot kon masáyang Catch the rice with the hands so that it is not wasted; ... [MDL]
hipáw MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to begin to consume rice that has been stored in one's granary; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to diminish one's stock of rice; Daˈí pa hinihipawán iyán pároy ni kuyán That person has not yet begun to drawn down his store of rice [MDL]
Stored rice, often in less than optimal conditions, was susceptible to various forms of deterioration. It could become infested with worms or maggots (gapód) or it could become rotten or rancid due to exposure to high humidity or the seepage of water (tagbák). Even if the rice were to remain dry and relatively free of pests, it would still continue to age, becoming stale and losing some of its expected taste and quality (laˈón, lagtíng).
piwák the indentation left when s/t is removed (such as a handful of rice from a storage container, or a spoonful of rice from a pot); MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to remove s/t leaving such an indentation; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to leave an indentation when s/t is removed [MDL]
pálak the indentation, hole or empty space left when one scoops s/t out (as rice from a storage container or from a pot of cooked rice, or when a large piece of meat is cut out from the main portion); MAKA‑, MA‑ to remove s/t, leaving such an indentation; MAKA‑, MA‑‑AN to remove s/t from; Nagkapálak na What a large hole is left [MDL]
hunós MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to compress or reduce the size of the granary or container devoted to storing rice when its contents are diminished [MDL]
gapód MA‑ to spoil, rot; to become infested with maggots, worms (rice, wax, resin, wood); MA‑‑AN: magaporan to have one's rice, wax, resin or wood become infested with maggots [MDL]
tagbák rotten, rancid due to exposure to water or high humidity; MA‑ to rot; to turn rancid; MA‑‑AN to have one's produce rot; MAKA‑ to cause such rotting (high humidity, water) [MDL]
laˈón MA‑ to become old, stale (rice); laˈón na old (rice, generally from the previous season's harvest) [+MDL: ... ]
lagtíng old and dry (coconuts, nuts such as píli and grains such as rice): Lagtíng nang gáyo an saímong pároy Your rice is very old an dry [MDL]
Before cooking, rice was washed (sawsáw). This was done not only to remove bits of sand or stone that might have contaminated it through the processes of drying, pounding and storing, but also to float off some of the starch that remained on the grain after pounding. The grittiness found in rice that was improperly washed (tagrós) was an unpleasant and unappreciated addition when the rice was eaten.
sawsáw MAG‑, ‑AN to wash s/t (as fish or meat before cooking); to rinse s/t (as rice before boiling, shells, pebbles); to flush (rinse s/t in clear water); MAG‑, ‑ON to wash or rinse s/t off (as dirt, blood) [+MDL: MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to wash fish or meat before cooking, moving it about with the hand; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to wash away blood, scales in the cleaning process]
The modern term for cooking rice in Bikol is sapnáˈ, and while this was also one of its meanings in Lisboa, the term also had a more general reference: 'to place a pot over a fire for cooking'. Rice was so ubiquitous and central to the diet of early Bikol society that during Lisboa's time the term for 'fire' could also mean 'to cook rice' (kaláyo).
tagrós MA‑ containing sand or tiny bits of stone (shellfish like clams, cooked rice); (PAG‑)‑AN to be affected by such sand or bits of stone (the person eating) [MDL]
sapnáˈ MAG‑, I‑ or MAG‑, ‑ON to cook or steam rice [+MDL: MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to place a pot over a fire for cooking; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to place a pot on the rocks surrounding a cooking fire; KA‑ one who cooks his or her own rice: Tuló kamí kasapná sa hárong There are three of us in the house who prepare our own meals]
Another term which can be identified in example sentences in Lisboa which refers uniquely to the cooking of rice is sungad. For some reason, this does not appear as a headword entry and was presumably omitted once during the process of copying the dictionary prior to publication in 1754. It then remained absent from the dictionary in all subsequent copies and editions.
kaláyo fire ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to cook rice by placing it in a pot on an open fire; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to place rice in a pot, or a pot of rice on the fire to cook; ‑ON: an kinaláyo rice cooked in this way while still in the pot; a pot full of cooked rice; also: MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to feed guests; to prepare food for guests: Nagkakaláyo kamí kainíng pananáwon We are preparing food for these guests]
sungad MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to cook rice (Note: This is not a headword entry in Lisboa, but it occurs in example sentences for two other entries: sa líso kaiyán sinungad in the middle of that pot of rice; Dúgay-dúgay nang malútoˈ iníng sinungad This rice we are cooking still has a long time to go before it can be eaten) [MDL]
To eat a meal was really to eat rice. This was the expectation, and if this expectation was not to be met, then it was commented upon (pasáy).
pasáy MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to eat something without bread or rice [MDL]
Rice was cooked for the main meal of the day. It could then be reheated for a meal on the following day, either by re-steaming it in the container in which it was stored (agpá) or by frying it (sanglág). The modern term for 'fried rice' is sanglág, but interestingly, during Lisboa's time, this referred to a stick used to move things about when they were heated or toasted in a pot over a fire.
agpá MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to re-steam or re-boil rice in the container in which it was stored [MDL]
While it must have been most common for single families to cook rice for themselves, there were also occasions when two families would join together to cook rice, each contributing their own supply (sungó). Why this would happen is unclear, although there could have been any number of reasons: extended families could have chosen to cook in this way, illness or absence of members in one family may have been the reason for two families to join together, or even something as simple as one family not having enough firewood for cooking could have been the cause. There were also times when rice was cooked for just one or two people (lábog). This probably occurred while spending the day in the fields or when travelling, or when there was an agreement in the house that individuals would cook their own rice (see sapnáˈ above).
sanglág MAG‑, ‑ON to fry grains such as rice or corn; to fry peanuts; sinanglág fried rice; sinanglág na maní fried peanuts [MDL: a small stick used for moving things which are being heated or toasted in a pot over a fire; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to heat or toast s/t in this way over a fire; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to heat or toast s/t in a pot over a fire]
sungó MAG‑ to join together to cook rice (two families, people); MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to place the rice of two people or families together; to cook rice together; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to add your rice to another's for cooking; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to add to a person's rice the rice you want to cook; to place rice into the same pot for cooking [MDL]
For special or ceremonial occasions, rice could be cooked in small containers made of palm leaves woven into various shapes, such as prawns and birds (paˈmóˈ). When the rice was unwrapped after cooking, it would retain the shape of these various creatures or objects.
lábog MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to cook only a small amount of rice (such as one or two gahín - see Section 7); ‑AN: lalabógan small pot used for cooking a small amount of rice [MDL]
paˈmóˈ MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to weave palm leaves into small pocket-like containers in which rice is cooked; to cook rice in such containers; ‑ON: pinaˈmóˈ the general name for such containers; more specific names are used depending on the shape, for example: binuyód (from buyód: prawn or shrimp), dinapán (from dapán: sole of the foot), linaláki (from laláki: man), tinagkaró (from tagkaró: bird, type) [MDL]
A rice-eating society would have any number of terms for rice as it cooked, from the scum which formed on the surface of the water as the rice boiled (íran), to the various stages of boiling as the water was gradually absorbed into the rice grains (kuróˈ-kuróˈ, piríˈ-piríˈ).
íran scum from boiling rice; metal shavings; MA‑ or MAG‑ to cook off (bits of rice which then form a scum on the surface); to be shaved off (bits of metal) [MDL]
There was an art to cooking rice and there was an expectation that those who were in charge of cooking would get the ratio or water to rice precisely right (tukód). Placing too much water in the pot would lead to grains remaining wet when cooked and sticking to the pot (kápot), and placing too much rice in the pot would cause it to overflow and be undercooked (bagás)
kuróˈ-kuróˈ MA‑ or MAG‑ to boil, rising slightly (rice in a pot which is almost cooked) [MDL]
piríˈ-piríˈ MA‑ or MAG‑ to form small bubbles when boiling (as rice when most of the water has cooked out) [MDL]
tukód MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to make s/t to exact measurements or specifications; to do s/t exactly as required (such as adding the precise amount of water to rice when cooking); MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to add the precise amount (as water to rice); ... [MDL]
The opposite problem could also occur. When too little water was placed in the pot the grains would remain hard (bantól, bagtók) or dry (saprá). There was probably little that could disappoint those sitting down to a meal than having the experience of being served undercooked rice. In all likelihood it would have been rejected.
kápot MAG‑ to be stuck together ... [MDL: referring to badly cooked rice that is wet and sticks to the pot; MA‑ or MAG‑ to stick together (grains of rice); MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to stick to the sides of a pot (rice); to stick in the throat (phlegm)]
bagás ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to husk rice; MANG‑ to overflow and be undercooked (rice, when too much has been placed in a pot): Namamagás an satóng pagkaláyo Our rice overflowed and turned out undercooked]
bantól MA‑ rice that is undercooked and hard, not yet ready to be eaten; ... [MDL]
Not only did the ratio of water to rice have to be precise, so did the fire on which the pot of rice was placed. If the flame was too high, the rice would begin to burn; smoke would rise from the pot (súhot) and a scorched layer of rice would be etched into the bottom (tipóˈ). The timing also had to be right, for rice that was left to steam too long would become dark and discoloured (lupók).
bagtók MA‑ rice that is undercooked and hard, not yet ready to be eaten: Abóng bagtók kainí This rice is really undercooked [MDL]
saprá MA‑ dry (food) [+MDL: also describing rice or other food cooked in too little water]
súhot referring to the smoke which rises from a rice pot when rice is cooked on too high a flame, the smoke discoloring the rice; MA‑ or MAG‑ to rise in such a way (smoke); (PAG‑)‑ON to be discolored by such smoke (rice) [MDL]
To give the rice some protection from the vagaries of an uneven heat source, the pots would be lined (also see Section 5). If the leaves were poorly placed, rice would slip between the lining and the pot (sáwaˈ). Chirino, writing about the Tagalogs, mentions that the leaves used there for lining rice pots were that of the dabdáb tree (Erythrina indica or Erythrina carnea). He describes the leaves as large; the size of the palm of the hand, heart-shaped and having an agreeable taste. These were used, as in the Bikol region, to keep the rice from adhering to the sides of the pot during cooking.
tipóˈ burned or scorched rice found at the bottom of a rice pot; MA‑‑AN to get scorched or burned (cooked rice) [+MDL: also applicable to other foods which scorch in this way; MA‑ or MAG‑ to scorch and stick to the bottom of a pot (food)]
lupók MA‑ or MAG‑ to become overcooked (rice left to steam too long, becoming dark and discolored); (PAG‑)‑AN to turn dark and discolor (such rice) [MDL]
sáwaˈ used to refer to rice which remains between the leaves used to line the bottom of the pot used to cook rice, indicating that the leaves have been poorly placed): Abóng sáwaˈ kainíng pagkaláyo mo How poorly you've placed the leaves when cooking rice [MDL]
A society of rice eaters would have been fierce critics if the rice served was not up to expectations. We have already seen where the rice could be overcooked or undercooked, where the water added could be too great or too little, or the rice cooked on too high a flame or the leaves lining the pot poorly placed. Assuming the cooked rice (malútoˈ) emerged unscathed what else could possible go wrong? The rice, unfortunately, could still be tasteless, and this would be put down to either the cooking process, or to covering it once it had been removed from the fire (nayaná). Rice was also best when served directly after cooking, and if there was a delay, such as waiting for others to arrive and eat, then the rice could lose some of its flavour (láhaˈ).
malútoˈ cooked rice [+MDL: MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to place cooked rice on one's plate; to serve s/o cooked rice; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to serve cooked rice]
As rice was cooked daily, the opportunity was not lost to also cook root crops at the same time. Taro or yam, roots that could be cooked by steaming, were cut up and mixed with the rice to steam with the rice (lúgoˈ). It is doubtful that this was a done during times of plenty when there was enough rice to go around, but during a time of scarcity when rice was in short supply and needed to be supplemented.
nayaná tasteless (rice when poorly cooked or when covered after being removed from the fire); MA‑ to be tasteless (rice): Abóng nayaná kainíng malútoˈ How tasteless this rice is [MDL]
láhaˈ MAGKA‑ to become stale (rice, losing its taste due to not being eaten right after it is cooked); Nagkaláhaˈ na iníng malútoˈ paghaltán saindó The rice has lost its taste while we were waiting for you [MDL]
lúgoˈ MAG‑, I‑ to steam food on top of cooking rice; to poach food [MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to cook taro or yams cut into pieces with rice; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to add taro or yams to rice for cooking; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to mix rice with taro for cooking]
Once cooked the rice would be ready to be served. As it was best served as soon as it was cooked, it would be steaming hot. To cool it, the rice at the bottom of the pot would be moved to the top (rukáy). Removing rice from the pot was done with a rice paddle (luwág). Just a small amount could be served (suwát) and this was probably done when the rice was placed on individual plates, or a larger amount could be removed (also luwág) to be placed on serving plates traditionally made of wood (rabá). If the rice had stuck together and a large lump was removed at one time, this was referred to as límpa.
rukáy MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to turn, moving what is at the bottom to the top (as rice in a pot so that it cools); ... [MDL]
Bikolanos ate with their hands and once the rice was placed on a central serving plate, they would remove it by the handful (dugdóg) and place it on their individual plates. Those eating would continue to eat by hand, forming the rice into a ball (kúmol) or lifting it by the handful (daklót), something which could result in the mouth being stuffed with rice (súboˈ).
suwát MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to remove a small amount of rice from a pot with the rice paddle called luwág; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to serve s/o rice removed with such a ladle [MDL]
luwág MAG‑, ‑ON to spoon or ladle s/t out; to serve s/t by spooning it out from pot to plate; MAG‑, ‑AN to spoon from s/t [+MDL: rice paddle; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to remove rice with a paddle; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to remove rice from a pot; to serve rice to s/o or place it on s/o's plate; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use s/t as a rice paddle]
rabá a wooden plate, used for eating or for the serving of rice; sa rabáng malúto one plateful of rice [MDL]
límpa a large lump of rice removed whole from a pot; ... MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to remove a large lump ... in one piece; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to remove such a lump ... from s/t [MDL]
dugdóg MAG‑, I‑ to dab s/t; MAG‑, ‑AN to dab s/t onto s/t else, usually with a heavy touch (as dabbing salt on fish) [MDL: MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to take a handful of rice from a central serving dish and place it onto your plate and the plates of the others who are eating; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to fill plates with rice in this way; to serve people in this way]
Rice was not eaten alone but accompanied by a protein dish, usually fish, chicken or pork (siráˈ) and available vegetables. It is likely that it was fish that was traditionally eaten with a rice meal, for it is this word which gives its name to the main protein dish. In addition to fish, chicken or pork and vegetables, there was also a tradition of accompanying the meal with various raw leaves, one of which was lubás. It may have been the early Bikol equivalent of a salad and is also something currently found in the Malay-speaking world where it is referred to as ulam. Lisboa also mentions small loaves of fragrant bread called pikpík eaten with rice.
kúmol a ball of rice formed with the hand; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to form a ball of rice with the hand [MDL]
daklót MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to take a handful of rice from a plate; to eat rice by taking a handful from a plate [MDL]
súboˈ MAG‑, I‑ to stuff a lot of food into the mouth at one time [MDL: súbo a large handful of rice which fills the mouth; a mouthful of rice; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to fill the mouth with a handful of rice; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to place a handful of rice into the mouth]
siráˈ fish; MAG‑ to go fishing; PARA‑ fisherman; ‑AN fish market [+MDL: Anó siráˈ a? What kind of fish is it?]
Families were not always fortunate enough to have enough to eat (see Chapter 2, 'Food ,' Section 2). There were times when rice was in short supply and had to be supplemented by root crops such as taro and yam (see Section 6(i)). There were other times when enough rice was available, but the siráˈ, the main dishes eaten with it, was not (taˈbáng). Such meals were consumed with little enthusiasm (sablók). To make the rice more appetising it was possible to drip lard over it (sángiˈ) and then mix this through or to serve it with a sauce made from lemon juice, salt, water and chilli (hamburáˈ). These were not meals eaten during prosperous times and one can be sure that even the fallen grains of cooked rice (ngimá) would be rescued and consumed.
siráˈ referring to anything eaten with rice; main course, viand; MAG‑, I‑ to eat s/t with rice; to use a particular food for the main course; MAG‑, ‑AN to eat rice with the main course; I‑ or PANG‑: isisiráˈ or paniráˈ anything eaten with rice; the main dishes; viands [+MDL: referring to anything eaten with rice or bread; Íyaw an siráˈ sa dágat; íyaw an siráˈ sa gugón This is the fish of the sea and this is the fish of the cogon grass (Said to distinguish between fish and other types of meat eaten with rice); MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to eat fish or meat with rice; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to accompany rice with a main course of fish, meat]
lubás tree (typ‑ with wide acidic leaves, eaten with rice); MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to add such leaves to food; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to flavor food with such leaves [MDL]
pikpík small loaves of fragrant bread, commonly eaten with rice; MA‑. ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to make such bread, kneading and patting it into shape [MDL]
taˈbáng MA‑ bland, flat, insipid, tasteless; lacking in salt or other spices; ... [+MDL: MA‑ or MAG‑ to become tasteless; ...; MANG‑, PANG‑‑ON to eat rice without fish]
Food that was not consumed during a meal would be put aside to be reheated and served at another time, stored in containers or baskets where it could be kept safe and relatively undisturbed (báhaw). Given the nature of the climate and the housing, this would normally mean the leftovers would have to be eaten within a 24-hour period.
sablók MA‑ to eat without an appetite due to there being no other food to eat with rice [MDL]
sángiˈ MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to melt animal fat or lard which is to be poured over rice so that the rice and fat can be eaten together; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to soak rice with fat or lard; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use a particular fat or lard for this purpose [MDL]
hamburáˈ a sauce made from lemon juice, salt, water and chili, eaten with rice when fish is not available; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to make such a sauce [MDL]
ngimá grains of cooked rice; fallen bits of cooked rice; see tipásiˈ for a grain of unhusked or uncooked rice [+MDL]
báhaw cold (referring only to food once served hot): Báhaw na an kakánon The food is now cold; MAG‑ to grow cold; MAGPA‑, PA‑‑ON to let s/t cool off; to let s/t stand (so as to cool); MANG‑ or MAGPANG‑ to eat breakfast; MANG‑, PANG‑‑AN to eat s/t for breakfast; MAGPAPANG‑, PAPANG‑‑ON to give breakfast to s/o; PANG‑‑AN: pamaháwan breakfast [+MDL: leftovers; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to keep leftovers for another time; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to keep leftovers for s/o; to store leftovers in a particular place; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to put certain food aside; MANG‑, PANG‑‑ON to eat leftovers; to put a large amount of leftovers aside; MANG‑, PANG‑‑AN to put leftovers aside for others; ‑AN: babaháwan or baháwan the place, container or basket where leftover food is stored]
Modern Bikol has numerous dishes and sweets made from rice, and some of them may well have existed during Lisboa's time. There is, however, no way of proving this since he includes no such dishes. Well known sweets such as súman, binanbán, balisuˈsóˈ, binuˈtóng, palitáw, palupsíˈ, íbos and others rate no mention. Lisboa, in fact, mentions only two rice sweets, both of which are still eaten in the Bikol region. These are bukháyoˈ (modern form, bukáyoˈ) and gutí which is rice toasted in its husk and eaten on festive occasions.
bukháyoˈ a conserve made from coconut or rice; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to make bukháyoˈ from particular ingredients [MDL]
gutíˈ toasted or popped rice or corn; MAG‑, ‑ON to toast or pop rice or corn [+MDL: rice toasted in the husk, commonly eaten on festive occasions; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to toast such rice; ...]
MEASURES AND TRANSACTIONS
Rice was more than an item of food to the early Bikolanos, it also served as currency and was traded or bartered for both foodstuffs and other items of everyday need (also see Chapter 7, 'Money, Weights and Measures,' Section 3). What has come into modern Bikol as the common word for 'buy' bakál, was in Lisboa's day the term for 'barter' with rice serving prominently as one of the items exchanged. Items for sale were priced according to their value in exchange for one gánta of rice, and this was referred to as saróˈ kabakál 'one kabakál'. The term for the actual sorting of items into such divisions was gatáng-gátang.
bakál MAG‑, ‑ON to buy or purchase s/t; MAG‑, ‑AN: to buy s/t from s/o; MAG‑, I‑ to buy s/t with money or other items acceptable as an exchange; MANG‑ to go shopping; PARA‑ customers, buyers [MDL: MA‑, ‑ON to buy s/t by exchanging foodstuffs such as rice, coconuts; to barter for s/t; MA‑, I‑ to offer particular foodstuffs in exchange for s/t one wants to buy; to barter with s/t; MA‑, ‑AN: bakalán or baklán to buy s/t from s/o by offering an exchange of foodstuffs; to barter with s/o; MAG‑ to exchange items of barter (two people); MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to exchange two items of barter; MAG‑, IPAG‑ to sell s/t in exchange for foodstuffs; to exchange one item of barter for another; MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to sell s/t to s/o by offering an exchange of items; KA‑ that which has a value equivalent to one gánta of rice: saróˈ kabakál one kabakál worth of goods]
There were more specific categories of barter. Where there was an equal exchange of different items, this was referred to as súbong. The equality here was the weight or volume. One gánta of rice, for example, would be exchanged for one gánta of wine, with the ganta being the equivalent volume of both items. This same term also referred to the purchase of pottery cooking pots where the amount of rice needed to complete the transaction was the volume of rice that would fit into the pot one wanted to purchase.
gatáng-gátang MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to divide into portions things that will later be sold or exchanged for the value of one gánta of rice [MDL]
súbong MA‑, ‑ON to buy s/t by exchanging equal amounts of different items (such as a gánta of wine for a gánta of rice); MA‑, ‑AN to buy from s/o in such an equal exchange; MA‑, I‑ to exchange one thing for another; MAG‑ to exchange equal amounts of different items; to engage in this type of transaction (two people); MAG‑, IPAG‑ to measure s/t out for this type of exchange; MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to use a particular measure for determining an equal exchange; to carry out an exchange at a particular place; also used for buying pottery cooking pots in exchange for the amount of rice that will fit into them: Sinubóngan ko an pagbakál kainíng kúron I used an equal volume of rice to buy this clay cooking pot ... [MDL]
Rice was not only a commodity used as a medium of purchase. It could also be used to settle debts. Indebtedness was common in Bikol society, and the settlement often required a certain degree of servitude. This would usually involve work in another's fields until the full amount, and the often usurious interest charges, would be returned to the lender. At times of a good harvest, rice could be used to settle a portion of these debts (pároy, also see Chapter 4, 'Crime and Punishment,' Section 3.i (iv)).
pároy rice still growing in the fields; rice before milling [+MDL: MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to pay a portion of one's debts with rice; (PAG‑) ‑AN to have a good rice harvest (a farmer); paparóyan s/o with a good rice harvest]
The arrival of the Spanish in the Philippines began to gradually affect the barter system. Referring to the situation in Pampanga in 1583, Fray Domingo de Salazar writes that rice was given a monetary equivalent in tostón (see tustón), a unit of currency introduced by the Spanish and initially set as equivalent to 400 gantas of rice..
tustón silver coin worth 50 cents; 1 tustón = 1 salapíˈ, 4 reál or ½ péso [MDL]
Once rice was divorced from its normal value in relation to what it could be exchanged for in the market, prices began to escalate. During times of scarcity, when less rice was available, Spanish officials could still demand 300–400 gantas of rice for 1 tostón, rice which they could then turn around and sell for eight times that price, either outside the province or back to the farmers who supplied it.
reál Spanish silver coin; 1 reál = 3 bahágiˈ, 4 cuartíllo, 6 bangatíˈ, 8 kundíng, 16 alimaymáy; 25 céntimos de peséta, 34 maravedís; 2 reál = 1 bintíng; 4 reál = 1 salapíˈ; 8 reál = 1 péso [SP‑]
Taxation or tribute was originally set in kind. Hernando Riquel, writing of the situation in Manila in 1572 indicates that a set tribute, initially of a length of cloth, a fixed measure of rice and one hen was quite affordable. By 1586, however, with tributes escalating in price and Spanish officials demanding payment either in coin or produce, depending on which was the scarcer, a call was made for the King of Spain, Phillip II, to standardise such systems of taxation.
By the time Lisboa was writing at the start of the seventeenth century, some of these changes could be seen in the Bikol region. Money was in circulation, and could be exchanged for staples which would previously have been bought with rice. That is not to say that prior to the arrival of the Spanish that everything was bartered. The Bikol region was always rich in gold, and gold would have been available for exchange where one did not have access to other items of barter.
tungód MA‑, ‑ON to buy rice or other staples; MA‑, ‑AN: tungdán to buy such items from s/o; MA‑, I‑ to buy rice or other staples with s/t (as money); MAG, IPAG‑ to sell rice or other staples; MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN: pagtungdán to sell such items to s/o [MDL]
Systems of measurement are notoriously fickle in historical reference, and this certainly applies with reference to the Philippines. The gánta, referred to in the earlier parts of this discussion, is not a Bikol word but a borrowing from Tagalog which must have had widespread and accepted usage throughout the Philippines at the time Lisboa was writing as it does at the present. It is used by Lisboa to give a standard of reference to Bikol terms of measurement even though its equivalents varied depending on the region and period of reference.
lágo MA‑, ‑ON to buy all one needs of rice and other items at one time; MA‑, ‑AN to buy from s/o or from some place in this way; MA‑, I‑ to pay a particular sum of money in exchange for rice or other staples [MDL]
gánta a measure of volume, commonly used to measure rice and other grains; also used as a measure of liquids; 1 gánta = 6 tsúpa or about 3 liters [TAG]
There are specific terms for volume measurement in Bikol, and these, too vary. What seemed to be important was not the absolute volume measure, but that the amount was mutually accepted and agreed on. The tákad, for example, could be equivalent to 15, 20 or 30 gánta, the value changing depending on what type of container was available to do the measuring and what type of agreement on the measurement was reached. A smaller measure was the kabuláw (see buláw) and the action of taking this measurement was gahín. The entries appear to be lacking some elements. The gahín seems clearly to be a measurement as well as an action, and buláw a measurement of solids as well as liquids.
tákad measure of volume; MAG‑, ‑ON to measure rice or other items by the tákad; MAG‑, I‑ to use a particular container for measuring [+MDLgánta, adjusted by those doing the measuring, or adjusted to the container available for measuring, to insure an exchange of equal amounts; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to measure s/t out by the tákad; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to measure s/t in this way for s/o]
As systems of weight, volume and measurement continue to be standardised with equivalents set increasing on a universal rather than a local or national standard, terms such as those presented above have fallen into disuse. While rice may no longer be part of a formalised system of barter it no doubt still is used in this way in areas where cash is in short supply and excess rice supply is gratefully exchanged for other items of need.
gahín MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to measure out rice from a granary or other storage area or container by the kabulaw (see buláw) or a similarly sized measure; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to reduce the contents of a granary or container as various measured amounts are removed; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use a particular measure [MDL]
buláw container for measuring liquid, holding 1 gánta or 6 gahín; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to measure s/t with such a container; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to measure s/t for s/o; KA‑: saróˈ kabuláw a measure of one gánta; duwá kabuláw a measure of two gánta [MDL]
Rice was planted in the Philippines long before the arrival of the Spanish, and it continues to be planted today with little sign that it will ever lose its pride of place at the Philippine table. While rice was not central to all areas of the Philippines, it was to the Bikol River basin. A comparatively long rainy season, and ample water from the river supplemented by systems of irrigation, meant that the rice crop could be relied on to sustain the villages on the river and those in its surrounds.
Rice fields, once carved from the existing vegetation, would have been planted in successive years to maintain the infrastructure that had been laboriously put in place. The bays, bunds and irrigation canals needed periodic maintenance to keep them clear and functioning. Additionally, land was not individually owned, but allotted to those who could work it, and so planting in successive years was one of the few ways of sustaining a claim.
It was likely that family units had responsibility for their own rice fields and that such fields were generally small. Labour was needed to clear, plant, guard and harvest the rice and fields would be no larger than those that could reasonably be sustained. Wealthy individuals or families would have the option of hiring labour and drawing labour from those individuals who were indebted to them. Their fields could be more extensive.
There were ninety-five varieties of rice that could be grown in the region, and while these were obviously not grown by all farmers, they were the regional varieties available. Rice was most commonly planted on floating seed beds and then transplanted in two stages to the rice field proper. Scarecrows, bird rattles and the human voice were employed to keep the rice safe from attacks by birds, vermin and insects and while these could not be 100 percent efficient, they succeeded in saving the majority of rice for harvest.
The mature rice was gathered in any number of ways, but most commonly by cutting, and then threshed, dried, pounded, winnowed and stored. Storage could be in large granary-like enclosures, or more commonly in numerous baskets set aside for the task. And then came the cooking, a refined process in which the correct amount of rice was married to an exact portion of water to be steamed in leaf-lined pots over an open fire. Rice could be cooked for one or two people, but it was most commonly cooked for the family. There were also occasions when more than one family would combine resources for the cooking of rice.
Rice was not only something to be eaten but also a medium of commerce. Before the introduction and widespread use of currency, rice was widely used for the buying of foodstuffs and other items commonly traded or sold. Volume measures were inexact by modern standards. They relied on the types of containers available for measuring, and more importantly, on an agreed volume between buyer and seller. While this form of barter was replaced by the expanding role of currency, rice remained central to the society it nurtured and continues to do so to the present day.
 William Henry Scott, Barangay: Sixteenth-Century Philippine Culture and Society, Manila: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1995, p. 181.
 John Leddy Phelan, The Hispanization of the Philippines: Spanish Aims and Filipino Responses, 1565-1700, Filipiniana Reprint Series, Manila: Cacho Hermanos, 1985, p. 117; Dr. Jagor, 'On the natives of Naga, in Luzon, Philippine Islands,' in The Journal of the Ethnological Society of London, vol. 2, p. 172.
 Francesca Bray, The Rice Economies: Technology and Development in Asian Societies, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986, p. 28.
 Bray, The Rice Economies, p. 17.
 Henry T. Lewis, Ilocano Rice Farmers: A Comparative Study of Two Philippine Barrios, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1971, p. 49, as cited in Bray, The Rice Economies, p. 120.
 Dr. Jagor, 'On the natives of Naga, in Luzon, Philippine Islands'. The Journal of the Ethnological Society of London, vol. 2, 1869-1870, pp.170-175, published by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, p. 171.
 Malcolm W. Mintz, 'Crime and punishment in pre-Hispanic Philippine society', in Intersections: Gender, History & Culture in the Asian Context, Issue 13, August 2006.
 Phelan, The Hispanization of the Philippines, p. 171.
 Jagor, 'On the natives of Naga,' p. 171.
 Jagor, 'On the natives of Naga,' p. 170.
 Jagor, 'On the natives of Naga,' p. 170.
 Eulito U. Bautista and Evelyn F. Javier, 'Rice production practices,' Research Paper Series, Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Bnet, 2008, p. 9.
 Bray, The Rice Economies, p. 20.
 Bray, The Rice Economies, p. 46.
 Relation of the Conquest of the Island of Luzon, 1572, in Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson, The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, 55 vols, Cleveland: AH Clark, CD-ROM version, Bank of the Philippine Islands, 1903-1909, vol. 3, p. 152.
 Malcolm W. Mintz, 'Anger and verse: two vocabulary subsets in Bikol,' in Vical 2: Western Austronesian and Contact Languages, Papers from the 5th International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics, Auckland: Linguistics Society of New Zealand, 1991, pp. 231-244; Jason Lobel, 'The angry register of the Bikol language of the Philippines,' in Current Issues in Philippine Linguistics and Anthropology: Parangal kay Lawrence A Reid, ed. Hsiu-chuan Liao and Carl R Galvez Rubino, Manila: The Linguistic Society of the Philippines and SIL Philippines, 2005, pp. 149-166.
 Jagor, 'On the natives of Naga,' p. 172.
 Antonio de Morga, Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, 1609, Cambridge: The Hakluyt Society - Cambridge University Press, 1971, Chapter 8, p. 250; and in Blair and Robertson, vol. 16, p. 79.
 de Morga, Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, Chapter 8, p. 270; and in Blair and Robertson, vol. 16, p. 118.
 Pedro Chirino, S.J., Relación de las Islas Filipinas, 1604, Manila: Historical Conservation Society, 1969, Chapter 10; and in Blair and Robertson, vol. 12, pp. 215-216.
 Mintz, 'Crime and punishment in pre-Hispanic Philippine society.'
 Fray Domingo de Salazar, 'Affairs in the Philipinas Islands', 1583, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 5, pp. 211-219.
 de Salazar 'Affairs in the Philipinas Islands', in Blair and Robertson, vol. 5, pp. 211, 219.
 Hernando Riquel, 'News from the Western Islands', 1572, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 3, p. 241.
 'Memorial to the Council of the Citizens of the Filipinas Islands', 1586, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 6, pp. 190-191.
Published with the support of Gender and Cultural Studies, School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University.
Page constructed by Malcolm Mintz and Carolyn Brewer.
Last modified: 01 February 2021 1304