Maintenance and Protection of Rice Plants

Most plants such as the rice need care and maintenance for good results.

One activity under care and maintenance is clearing up (dangdang/dupli) the weeds (i.e. water hyacinth) and the surrounding areas of the field in order to drive pests such as field rats away especially before the flowering of rice plants. Also, the locals make use of the ateb or rat trap which has a mechanism similar to modern rat traps used in homes. In preparing the ateb, the farmers make use of a heavy flat stone elevated from the ground through a wooden support. A string is then attached to this wooden brace. A rat will be trapped once it touches the bait which is a small piece of camote.

Farmers also have to keep other animals such as the maya or boding/beshing away from the rice plants which are about to bear grains. It is in this time of the rice planting when the children come in handy as man-adog/man-ushog or the guardians of the rice fields.

The locals have adopted different methods in scaring or catching birds:

  • tata-kot/eg-egyat/sasalyang - to keep the beshing away from the fields, the locals make use of the or the scarecrows.
  • gol-golak - a bamboo attached to a bendable wood staked at the ground. It scares off birds once the string attached to the wood is pulled, creating a loud sound. Instead of the farmer himself, the gol-golak may be operated by a kip-kipaw, which is a water-powered tool attached to the bendable wood.Doklang - a bamboo pole tied to an elevated wooden post positioned somewhere in the field. It would scare off birds once the doklang moves as the farmer (resting at his nipa hut) pulls the string attached to it.
  • Peket/nihet - a bird traps making use of the sticky sap or peket/nihet of trees such as the jackfruit of the alumit or lubting is wrapped around on a small stick with grass flowers. This is then staked near rice plants. Other hunters would set the sticky trap near his hiding place among tall grasses. From there, they would imitate the chirping of the birds, inviting them to the trap.