For a fascinating day out, we recommend you take a trip from Boracay, by Paraw Sail boat, to visit the Motag Living Museum on neighbouring Panay Island, the museum being a short stroll from the beach.
Follow this with a traditional lunch, and maybe a cool swim in the river at nearby Banlock Nabaoy, before returning to Boracay.
The Motag Living Museum combines fun, with an informative and interactive adventure that everyone can enjoy. Here you will be able to witness traditional Filipino farming methods and skills.
Visitors can also try their hand at the skills of ploughing, harrowing, and planting rice. They can see harvested rice being dried, threshed, and pounded, before cooking.
Motag Living Museum is helping to keep alive skills in the community that had previously been slowly dying out.
The families of Motag earn a wage, passing on these skills, whilst at the same time educating the tourists that visit.
This has given the local community an increased sense of identity, enthusiasm, and a pride in their culture, with the added advantage of their being able to sell their beautifully crafted goods to a whole new, and appreciative, market place.
Children and adults alike can join in with traditional Philippine games at Motag Living Museum. Children will particularly enjoy the tree house, playing on swings and being taught how to make toys themselves, using coconut leaves, or perhaps walking on coconut shells!
Much of the rice produced today is grown in flat fields, just as it is at Motag Living Museum. In the past it would be planted and harvested just once a year - initially in a dry sandy bed, before being bundled and taken to irrigated paddy fields for transplanting by hand.
Once harvested, rice is separated from the stalks by threshing - traditionally by foot on a portable rice thresher. The rice is then laid out to dry in the sun, on mats. This is a sight you will often see by the side of the road in the Philippines.
Motag Living Museum grows white rice and sticky rice, as well as some other rare varieties.
Carabao - the Philippines National Animal
The carabao is a swamp type domestic water buffalo, related to the Chinese water buffalo, and it is the national animal of the Philippines.
The carabbao is a gentle and docile creature, but also extremely powerful. When not working in the rice fields it may be found pulling timber in the forest, or towing a type of sledge called a Carusa. You may see a carabao pulling a flat frame with bamboo spikes underneath, called a "liggis". Children would be called upon to ride the liggis, to give it extra weight, as it was drawn across ploughed soil, evening it out and loosening it up for planting. This was a fun experience for children, and a break from some of the harder chores that they would have to help their families with.
Once the work of the caribao is done, you will usually find it wallowing in water or thick mud, a practice which helps shield it from the sun, conditioning the skin, and getting rid of parasites at the same time. The carabao at Motag have been endorsed by the Philippine Carabao Centre.