Folk Beliefs and Practices of Bagong (Amorphophallus sp.) Farmers in San Roque, Northern Samar


Author(s): Rhodora Abalajen-Bande and Michael Carlo C. Villas

Abstract

This study investigated the folk beliefs and practices of bagong farmers of San Roque, a coastal town 29 kilometers from Catarman, the capital town of Northern Samar. Going by Spanish sources, initial readings suggest that bagong, a root crop of genus Amorphophallus, has long been cultivated in Samar (Alcina 1668/2005). Unlike in other parts of the country where the plant is primarily utilized for pig feeding, the bagong in San Roque is served during special occasions like Christmas and New Year. These occasions are preceded by folk practices unique to the community. This study documents bagong farming and analyzes folk practices, with their attendant narratives and beliefs. Ethnographic observations and interviews were conducted among farmers and townsfolk. Results of the study will have implications on cultural education and cultural policy formulation.

Keywords : Amorphophallus, Bagong production, Folk Beliefs and Practices, San Roque, Samar