F. THE FIRST RICE IN LOO VALLEY

Long, long time ago. Loo valley is a swampy place filled with sawali plants called tanobong. In its level portion most especially along the river, inhabitants subsisted on hunting for their viand and purely sweet potatoes (camote) for their staple food, there were no rice or any other grains then.

As the years passed by, when more and more people inhabited the valley, the wild animals became scarce or have moved away to the mountain forest. The people then must have to engage in other means of livelihood in order to survive. They began to widen their camote plantation and to engage in back yard hog and poultry raising for their subsistence. In later years, the people began raising cattle and other animals. The valley is beginning to clear of, for planting of other root crops. The portion of the valley is utilized for grazing lands. It is to be borne in mind that Buguias as a whole was known for cattle raising in the 18th and early 19th century.

One sunny morning, a rabid hunter from the valley woke up very early with his hunting dog and proceeded to the mountains to hunt for wild animals. Dismayed because there were no wild animals to hunt, he went with his dog further and further and reached a mountain with a lake and its interior top, later on called the Mt. Data now. While the hunter was nearing the lake, his dog went directly to the edge of the lake and began barking. This lake is the source of the Agno, Amburayan and Chico River. The dog kept on barking and barking making the hunter wonder as to what the dog was barking at. There was only a bunch of grass growing near the edge of the lake, which seemingly was the object of the dogs barking. The hunter tried to direct his dog's attention to another place, but the dog insisted on barking.

In his anger, the hunter pulled out the bunch of grass and put it in his backpack (pasiking). All of a sudden, the dog stopped barking and wagged its tail with happiness and contentment. Instead of looking for any sign of wild animals the dog led his master home. The hunter was upset and mad at his dog that upon arrival, he got the bunch of grass from his pasiking and put it at the "so-olan" (a place for storing and drying firewood or meat just above a cooking fireplace). The hunters’ wife and children were not happy because there was nothing for viand except a meal of pure camote and "sabeng" (a native vinegar made out of cooked camote sauce called "si-it") it is mixed with proportionate amount of water and boiled for soup.

While at the house, the dog went again on barking at the bunch of green grass at the "so-olan" in his anger the hunter got it and threw it out the yard. The dog followed the grass and got it by his mouth and went to put it at the watery patch where some gabi plants were growing, then began barking, the hunters wife out of curiosity, followed the dog and began to plant the grass one by one and amazingly, the dog stopped barking, making the couple to wonder more, as to what was the green grass about.

After some months, the grass grew vigorously and later bore grains. The couple harvested the grains, dried it and for the sake of experience they threshed the grains by the use of wooden bowl (toway) and wooden spoon (saklong). The uses of mortar pestle were discovered later. After threshing a little of the grains, they cooked it and discovered to be a delicious food. Through the years the couple propagated the plants and neighbors were shared with it. This was the first rice in Loo, Buguias Benguet. This is kintoman (red rice) which was especially good for rice wine. In the early Buguias, rice is planted in Loo valley, along the riverbanks and mountain sides of the town. With the advent of vegetables raising now a days, almost all the rice fields and terraces were turned to vegetables and root crops gardens, because the later generate more income than rice growing.