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The rice saga

In ancient times there was enough food and the people didnít have to work on their fields. If they were hungry, they collected edible roots and picked fruit from the trees. The rivers were full of crabs, snails and fish.

At that time, there lived a man named Siginhon with his wife Tiginlan in the western part of the Visayas. For many years they had no children, so they went about through hills, over mountains.

Finally Tiginlan expected a child, which prevented her from further migrate. Siginhon took the decision to stay at a suitable place and settled for good.

At this time, strange events were taking place. The hillsides desiccated and despite the sacrifices, the people who offered to the souls of their ancestors, it rained it is not. The drought persisted for several months. The rivers were transformed in shallow streams and the springs dried. Many plants died out. There was less and less edible roots and fruits.

When Tiginlan brought birth to her child, it was very difficult to find food. A breastfeeding mother needs more and more food, since she doesnít need it only for herself, but has to nourish the child. Therefore Siginhon went out to find food. He climbed mountains, searched in woods and river valleys, but he couldnít find any food.

Finally he reached at highest mountain peak where he saw tall grass. He didnít know that, due he had never seen this before. And when he next came near to it, he found that it carried many ears of corn. He touched the ears with his fingers, because the plant said to him: "Take us home. Remove the pods, cook the grains and eat them. "

The young man did what him was told by the plant. When he returned, he shared his experience with Tiginlan. Together they took the ears from the stalks. On a stone, they pounded the corn to remove the sleeves. Then they cooked the cleaned grain. It was a tasty and filling food. As they rested after supper, Siginhon said to his wife: "Maybe it would be better if we would collect more seeds and sow them right here."

Tiginlan thought it was a good idea. Thus, the two were preparing for the trip. They were about to leave when the grains were talking to them: "Once we did it many, clear a mountain slope in front of the seed." Siginhon and Tiginlan promised to clear a mountain slope, and the barrel of a nearby derivable water body. Then they went to collect as many ears of corn, they were threshing. They cleared a mountainside, and sowed out the seeds.

Her child could then have been under way, she learned to speak. One day, when Tiginlan andSiginhon were preparing the lunch, the child came into the kitchen and babbled: "Pa-ay, pa-ay." Until then, Tiginlan and Siginhon havenít given a name to the grains. Since that time they called it: "Paray" - according to the chattering words of her child. Thus, to this day, the rice is known in this area.

legend in the
population of Leyte


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