Wednesday, April 17

Paddy Art 2023 with Marcos as guest unveiled in Ilocos Norte

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his ‘Bagong Pilipinas’ governance slogan are the featured paddy art by the Mariano Marcos State University and the Philippine Rice Research Institute this year, which was launched on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, with the President himself (back row, center in sunglasses) gracing the affair. PHOTO FROM HTTPS://MMSU.EDU.PH

BY LEANDER C. DOMINGO

BATAC CITY (September 14, 2023)—The Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) and Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) launched the Rice Paddy Art 2023 at the MMSU Extension Demonstration Area in the Batac main campus in Ilocos Norte on Monday, with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as guest.

The event coincided with the 106th birth anniversary celebration of his father, President Ferdinand E. Marcos, founder of both MMSU and PhilRice.

This year’s rice paddy art featured Marcos Jr. and his “Bagong Pilipinas” governance slogan.

The event started at 10:30 a.m. with the viewing of the rice paddy art by the President, followed by a program at the MMSU Teatro Ilocandia, where he delivered a message.

He said the two institutions decided to feature his father in this year’s paddy art in support of his vision of a new Philippines, particularly achieving food security and reinvigorating the country’s agriculture sector.

Together with the President during the event were First Lady Marie Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos, Senior Deputy Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte First District Rep. Sandro Marcos, Second District Rep. Angelo Marcos Barba, Gov. Matthew Manotoc, and Vice Gov. Cecilia Marcos.

Expressing delight at the fruitful collaboration of MMSU and PhilRice, Marcos Jr. said, “We have seen how much improvement and how much knowledge we have gained over the many years that we have been doing.”

“We have to make sure these technologies increase our production and benefit our farmers,” he said, urging MMSU and PhilRice to “scale up and move technologies from the laboratories to the market.”

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Also joining the President during the event were MMSU President Shirley Agrupis and PhilRice Executive Director John de Leon, with over 5,000 attendees, including national government executives and agency heads; provincial and local government officials; MMSU administrators, employees and students; and local farmer-leaders.

Agrupis said that the paddy art is in recognition of the President’s accomplishments and initiatives for socioeconomic development through agriculture, both as Chief Executive and as secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

“[The paddy art] signifies our unyielding commitment to achieving food sufficiency, a goal deeply rooted in the vision of Bagong Pilipinas,” she added.

MMSU information officer Daniel Tapaoan Jr. said the rice paddy art was created using IR 1552, a traditional Korean purple variety, as paint and the NSIC Rc 222 (Tubigan 18) as the green canvas.

Released by the International Rice Research Institute in 2010, the NSIC Rc 222 is a variety breed that yields an average of 6.1 tons and a maximum of 10 tons per hectare.

It is one of the three nationally recommended varieties under the DA Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund Seed Program.

Tapaoan said the planters created the paddy design by applying the anamorphosis principle, a technique used in 3D art that makes a picture look distorted but appears normal when viewed from a certain angle.

Attracting a huge number of tourists visiting MMSU for many years now, Tapaoan also explained that this form of art began in Japan in 1993 and is known for its detailed description and high artistic quality.

Since 2018, rice paddy art has been conducted annually by MMSU and PhilRice, featuring images of Marcos Sr., the MMSU Achieve agenda, former first lady Imelda Marcos, former MMSU president and PhilRice’s first executive director Dr. Santiago Obien, Don Mariano Marcos and 1978 (MMSU’s year of establishment), and Gen. Artemio Ricarte, “father of the Philippine Army.”

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Seeking to encourage and inspire the young generation to take agriculture-related courses, Agrupis said the collaborative project aims to pay tribute to exemplary individuals who have made significant contributions to agriculture in nation-building while showcasing innovative rice production technologies and promoting agri-tourism in the province.