By RALPH LAUREN ABAINZA
South Korean boyband Seventeen held a two-night concert in Manila last October 8 and 9, 2022 as part of their “Be The Sun” world tour. Frequent visitors since 2016, the highly-talented idol group continues to mesmerize their Filipino fans, whom they endearingly call “Filo Carats.” However, more than the fantastic choreography, the Filo Carats can also relate to the group’s love for rice.
The Philippines is undoubtedly a rice-loving nation, with rice farming being one of the major components of the country’s agricultural sector. The idol group also developed their love for rice when they tried to plant it themselves. In their “Going Seventeen” vlog series episode 14, they went to a rice paddy in South Korea and tried planting it themselves.
Wading through muddy water is not easy. Some members almost immediately tripped just after setting foot into the paddy, while others even pointed out that planting rice is difficult. Following this thought, one of them even resolved, “I really won’t leave any rice [on my plate].”
Amidst the difficulties in the beginning, the idol group continued planting, and even taught viewers that talking to plants is a great way to make them grow better. In the episode, the group made their planting fun by playing games, eating snacks, and even singing while appreciating the effort of farmers who plant crops for food.
In“Going Seventeen” episode 36, they were surprised to find that the sack of rice they’ll eventually cook for the segment came from the same paddy they were in a year ago. The shocked members reflected on their planting experience and the importance of rice in their lives. The group never expected to be able to have the opportunity to personally plant the rice that they will be cooking.
Indeed, this is a memorable experience for them and a moment of reflection for everyone on the importance of rice. As a realization, one of the members shared, “Planting rice is really fun, but it’s exhausting,” similar to a line from the popular Filipino folk song, “Magtanim ay ‘di biro.”