The Ati-Atihan Festival of Kalibo, Aklan is usually one of the most celebrated festivities that kick off the festival season in the country every year. It is also known as the Mother of All Filipino Festivals as it is the oldest public celebration being observed for over 800 years now, long before all other Filipino festivals began.
Today, the Ati-Atihan Festival still serves as a reminder of the importance of bountiful harvests especially in a tropical archipelago like the Philippines. The Aetas, who are believed to be the first inhabitants of the country centuries ago, had been subjected to countless hungry seasons because of famine brought about by drought, destructive typhoons, infestations of farms, and insufficient harvests.
Fortunately, most Filipino farmers these days have embraced new technology and modern approaches to farming. However, their harvests remain susceptible to the impact of natural calamities especially because the country naturally suffers either from a dry spell (during El Niño) or a wet spell (La Niña) every now and then, which could be attributed to climate change.
Advocating bountiful harvests
This is why SeedWorks Philippines, Inc. through its distributor supports this festival in one of the major rice growing islands in the Philippines. It is continuously advocating the use of hybrid rice varieties for planting in rice fields. One of the exceptional rice varieties from the company is its TH-82, which can yield rice harvest equivalent to about 8 metric tons per hectare (per planting season), twice higher than the estimated current national rice production average of 4 metric tons per hectare. (‘TH’ stands for ‘Tatag Hybrid,’ translated as ‘sturdy hybrid’ which fits its features.)