In Bohol, ubi farmers perform a “Palihi” which refers to the traditional practice of planting the sprouted ubi ‘setts’ for the new planting season. A sett is the upper part of the tuber near the stem. It is also believed that the palihi will cast a “sumpa” or antidote for a poor harvest.
The palihi is performed bare by women, preferably those with ample bosoms, at nights when the moon is full. It is believed that the setts planted by buxom women would yield bigger tubers. A special incantation for nourishment is also recited as the first ubi ‘sett’ is planted into the waiting mound or “hutok”. If a woman doing a palihi is caught or seen by anyone, the ritual will be rendered ineffective and may result in a poor harvest.
Purple Yam or Ubi is considered Bohol’s sacred crop. Bohol is the largest producer of Kinampay, a variety of ubi known for its aroma and regarded as the Queen of Philippine Yams.
Today’s Purple Tuesday, your National Museum Bohol features a GADtoKnow fun fact about the ritual associated with the cultivation of this crop and the sacred reverence for the kinampay as a testimony of Bohol’s unique agricultural practices and expressions.