Monday, March 23, 2009

The nipa hut and our land

Travelling by land on the Ro-Ro Nautical Highway to Mindanao, you will notice the profuse growth of 'nipa' as the road traverses by the seaside. Once in a while, after rows and rows of of nipa, you will notice clumps of houses made of nipa, with women and children washing clothes in the middle of the nipa growth. Water is plentiful in the area where nipa thrives.

Even before the Spaniards arrived, our ancestors used nipa for their houses. Commonly used for the “bahay kubo” (nipa hut), the nipa is thatched for the roofing of the hut. It makes the hut cool and keeps out the rain. If the nipa gets too brittle, it is replaced and a new roof made of nipa is built.

The bahay kubo in the middle of a vegetable garden, an image preserved by the traditional folk song – bahay kubo, serves as a symbol of our country's simple nature and rich natural resources. Small yet surrounded with nature's bounty, It is a very apt image of the Philippines, a small country that has been blessed with the sea, the sun, and arable land.

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