Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Rice Fields and Carabaos: A Glimpse of Rural Life in the Philippines

Listen, can you not hear the song of a new life coming from the fields and the mountains? Photo and caption by Lito Ocampo, used with permission

Veteran photographer and activist Lito Ocampo has been making frequent visits to his hometown of Pampanga, located in the central part of Luzon Island in the Philippines, to escape the noise and dirt of the capital region Manila.

His visits allowed him to recall his childhood while enjoying the quaint beauty of his birthplace.

Through photos he shared with Global Voices, Ocampo captured not just typical scenes in a lowland farming village, but also, perhaps unintentionally, the state of Philippine agriculture.

For example, the continuing prevalent use of carabaos reflects the backward condition of the country’s agricultural sector in general. The use of roads for drying crops indicates the lack of facilities available to farmers.

Beyond highlighting idyllic countryside life, Ocampo reminds young photographers to take in the plight of rural residents, especially farmers, who are among the country’s poorest people and suffer health risks due to the backbreaking work they undertake in the fields.

With urbanization continuing to spread, many farming villages and green habitats like the hometown of Ocampo can be instantly converted into commercial land or tourism centers. Thus, Ocampo’s photos can also be used to educate the public about problems regarding land use, the status of the land reform program and the pressing need to protect the environment.

Take a virtual tour of Sta. Rita town in the province of Pampanga:

Next to fisherfolk, farmers belong to the poorest sector in the Philippines. Photo by Lito Ocampo, used with permission

Tagak (heron or egret) on top of a carabao. Photo by Lito Ocampo, used with permission

Farmers are forced to use the roads to dry their crops because of lack of facilities. Photo by Lito Ocampo, used with permission

Bathing is important for carabaos before they are used in the fields. Photo and caption by Lito Ocampo, used with permission

Maya birds on electric wires, waiting to attack the grains of palay (rice) in the rice fields. Photo and caption by Lito Ocampo, used with permission

Maya birds at the rice fields. Photo and caption by Lito Ocampo, used with permission

‘Car’ parking. Carabao shed. Photo by Lito Ocampo, used with permission

Photographer Lito Ocampo at an irrigation canal.

 

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site