Dr Abe V Rotor
"Old farm tools and artifacts had been sitting quietly, gathering dust at the dilapidated museum of the Central Luzon Regional office in Cabanatuan City. National Food Authority Grains Industry Museum was a brainchild of then NFA Extension Director Abercio V Rotor with a vision to highlight the evolution of the rice industry through various images on production, post-harvest activities, processing, storage and marketing /distribution of rice and other grains . It was intended to serve as NFA's contribution to the preservation of cultural traditions particularly in the agricultural landscape. It operated for sometime but was closed down due to lack of funds and trained personnel to maintain it. But thanks to he history-loving team of Director Amadeo de Guzman and Assistant Regional Director Serafin Manalili, and then Asst Director Mar Alvarez, et al ... "(the whole staff of the NFA regional and NFA provincial offices.)
Brown rice or pinawa dehusker made of bamboo and hardened earth with hardwood grinder displayed at the former Farmers' Museum of the National Food Authority in Cabanatuan City.c 1981
Biggest wooden harrow (suyod) with a span of two meters, more than twice the size of a typical harrow for upland farming.
The harrow is of two designs and make. One with iron pegs (left) is used on wet paddy. It serves as harrow and leveler. The second is made of bamboo with natural and embedded pegs used as harrow for the upland.
Native raincoats made of leaves of anahaw (Livistona rotundifolia), cowhide, and woven bamboo slats, with matching headgears likewise made of native materials. Foreground: Sleds, one made of bamboo (left) and the other of wood.
All over the world there are similarities, based on a general pattern, save variations for ease and comfort in usage, which we call today ergonomics, Thus primitive farmers were the founders of this new science. Pride in the farmer can be read on face on discovering these simple tools displayed in the museum.
The ingenuity at the grassroots cannot be underestimated. Farmers' technology developed with the birth of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent thousands of years ago, and spread to many parts of the world. The commonality of inventions is more on function, rather than scientific explanation, the latter serving as basis in improvement and diversification.
Rice Industry Showcase
The Farmers' Museum of the then National Grains Authority, now National Food Authority, was put up in response to the administration's thrust in food self-sufficiency. It was during the time the country gave emphasis on developing cultural pride as a nation and people, as evidenced by the expansion of the National Museum, the putting up of the Philippine Convention Center, and the National Art Center on Mt Makiling, among others, during the administration of the late President Ferdinand E Marcos. The Farmers' Museum occupied the right wing of the Regional NFA Building in Cabanatuan City for two decades, until it closed down. It was once a pride of the agency, the centerpiece of visitation by foreign dignitaries, convention participants, tourists, professors and students, and most especially farmers who found the museum not only as a showcase of the agricultural industry, but as a hallmark of their being the "backbone of the nation." AVR
There are seven dioramas, four of these are shown in these old photographs. A wall mural meets the visitor on entering the museum. Indigenous farm tools and implements are lined on the foreground. The dioramas are grouped at the center of the cubicles.
Rice Industry Dioramas
“Education is the lifeblood of museums. Museum education has the power and the responsibility to do the challenging inner work of tackling tough topics and turning them into teachable moments... If we truly believe in the power of cultural institutions to impact communities and engage authentically with social justice issues, if we believe in museums’ capacity to bring about social change, improve cultural awareness, and even transform the world, than we must also believe that our internal practices have an impact, and must act according to the changes we seek.”