Letters of Youth


/ 24 April 2021

It’s hard to resist the fact that there’s nothing like a warm cup of freshly cooked rice partnered with a traditional, family-favorite recipe of Adobo or Sinigang! A nation centered in the crafts of culinary expertise, truly, the Philippines is a splendid abode that serves tens of millions of its citizens every day the bliss of having food presented on their dining tables. Having heard that, have you ever dived into the abyss of curiosity, wondering how the country is able to aggregate an enormous quantity of food to provide for its people?

During the times of ancestral domain, the early Filipinos had their staple food revolve mainly around starch-based nutrition, specifically grain and root crops such as rice and sweet potatoes—a certain diet that cost our predecessors three priceless possessions: time, effort, and resources. As a consequence of having crops as their primary source of nourishment, they had to subdue themselves to the encumbrance of having to sustain their food.

Time has to be allotted for the compulsory attention crops require, let alone the period needed for the mere growth of crops, which takes a hefty number of months. On top of that, effort, may it be in ways of monitoring or maintaining crop vitality, is insentient demanded effective production of yields. And, to initiate the cycle of crop production, it is necessary to first invest essential resources such as water supply and rice seeds. This implies that it is always a risk to plant crops, as they may encounter unfortunate disasters that cause them to die. In turn, resources invested may end up wasted.

Fortunately, through years of scientific revolution alongside the dawn of modern technology, the challenge of crop cultivation has been set to ease. For example, a shortage in water supply has been addressed with the innovation of dams, which are basically massive reservoirs of water. And for this reason, acquiring water is no longer a burden. Dams provide water for irrigational systems (which implement necessary water to crops at regulated amounts during certain intervals). These systems help crops prosper during both favorable and unfavorable conditions. Likewise, dams are also of use in a variety of things such as hydroelectric power generation and flood prevention. Since dams collect an enormous volume of rainfall, dams help mitigate the progression of floods. The amazing gist of this invention does not stop in its sheer existence! It is where and how it is applied that makes it so beneficial.

Very much like how dams were invented, it is appropriate to face problems by means of modernizing. But now lies the bigger question: how is it to truly modernize? Well, it all starts with being curious. Plunge into the stream of your thoughts and ask how—how does the country aggregate an enormous quantity of food for its people? When you think through things, you begin to innovate. In light, the problem simply conspires as an opportunity to alleviate certain difficulties of our nation.