The Legend Of The Black Rice

This is a legend often narrated by the old folks living
in the town of Naujan in the island of Mindoro.

According to them, during the early Spanish times,
many merchandises flowing to the country were brought
in by the huge galleons coming all the way from Mexico.
On their return voyage to Mexico, they would in turn ship
out locally-made goods such as copra, tobacco and spices
out of the country. One time, one of these galleons carried
sacks of rice from Luzon and was to make a stopover in
Cebu before heading east all the way to Mexico. As the
ship passed by the turbulent waters surrounding Mindoro
to reach Cebu, a strong typhoon caughtup with it. The
ship, with all its men and crew and the cargo of rice capsized
and fell into the bottom of the sea. As time passed, the
whole incident was forgotten by everyone.
Sea. The waters turned black and even the once white sandy
beaches also became black in color.

When the storm subsided many of them proceeded
to the shore to have a closer look. As they neared the
shoreline, they were surprised to see piles upon piles of
small hills of what appeared to be black sands, When they
examined it, they found out they weren't exactly sands
after all. They were much larger in size, elongated and
resembled rice grains more than anything else they could
think of but for the black coating. One of them tried tasting
it as he popped a few beads into his mouth while everyone
watched. "It's rice!," he exclaimed as he was followed still
by another one of the elders who confirmed his finding.

Soon word got around and when everyone learned
it was rice grains, many of the women folks came running
with their bamboo sleves and filled them up with the dark
rice grains they gathered by handfuls. Then they brought
it home to strain and filter off the sands that became mixed
with grains. Some who remained doubtful took a bite
of the grains themselves to find true to their expectation
to taste like rice, before cooking them.

Black Rice! God heard their call for help. And God
sent them help and did not abandon the village were the
shared sentiments fo the village folks who the more became
deeper in their faith in God. Why the rice turned black
remains a mystery to them, but that there was rice when
they need it most was held as a miracle.

Up to now, if one were to go to Naujan, Mindoro
once could still gather of these black rice along the shore
which tastes sweeter and yummier that oridinary white rice.

But there came a time when the village folks of
Naujan experienced famine in their lands. The locusts
destroyed all their crops that left them with no rice to
harvest upon which they depended on for their daily
sustenance. It would be a long time from the next planting
season. Thus, the people, led by the parish priest, thought
of conducting a prayer vigil. They brought out their patron
saint and carried the statue around the village, and
wherever they went the folks and other bystanders would
bow down and pray. Early the next morning the people
were awakened by gusty winds and raging rains. Those
a living close by the seashore had to shut offtheir windows.
Peeping out once or so from their windows, they were also
the first to notice the sudden change in the color of the
Sea. The waters turned black and even the once white sandy
beaches also became black in color.

When the storm subsided many of them proceeded
to the shore to have a closer look. As they neared the
shoreline, they were surprised to see piles upon piles of
small hills of what appeared to be black sands, When they
examined it, they found out they weren't exactly sands
after all. They were much larger in size, elongated and
resembled rice grains more than anything else they could
think of but for the black coating. One of them tried tasting
it as he popped a few beads into his mouth while everyone
watched. "It's rice!," he exclaimed as he was followed still
by another one of the elders who confirmed his finding.

Soon word got around and when everyone learned
it was rice grains, many of the women folks came running
with their bamboo sleves and filled them up with the dark
rice grains they gathered by handfuls. Then they brought
it home to strain and filter off the sands that became mixed
with grains. Some who remained doubtful took a bite
of the grains themselves to find true to their expectation
to taste like rice, before cooking them.

Black Rice! God heard their call for help. And God
sent them help and did not abandon the village were the
shared sentiments fo the village folks who the more became
deeper in their faith in God. Why the rice turned black
remains a mystery to them, but that there was rice when
they need it most was held as a miracle.

Up to now, if one were to go to Naujan, Mindoro
once could still gather of these black rice along the shore
which tastes sweeter and yummier that oridinary white rice.