Volume 11, 2018
Jeanette L. Yasol-Naval
On the Ethos of Rice and Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic and Aesthetics
This paper presents a narrative on the Ethos of Rice based on the study of the local farming practices in one of the central rice granaries in the Philippines. It tackles the endless debate of the economics of rice production and how it impacts the farm and the farmers’ relation with the land. While it is seen as inevitable and necessary, because rice is the saving grains of the family, their local farming practices and valuation has shown respect to the land that is akin to the land ethic of Leopold. At the same time, the author argues that the aesthetic of the land, which presupposes an ecological conscience and sensitivity to the ‘finer beauty’ of the farm as it becomes the extension of the farmers’ lives, their completeness and fulfillment, may also help facilitate a lasting relationship with land. The appreciation of the its value is therefore a matter of understanding the ecology of the farm and the dynamics of emotions, predilections, valuations, dispositions and the whole breadth of relations that are there. The seasoned farmers of Nueva Ecija have learned this difficult subject of land ethics and aesthetics through their intimate commune with their rice farms, and from there a vision of conservation may be glimpsed.