Scientifically called Jobi Coix Lacryma, Adlai is an indigenous upland grass that looks like corn and produces bead-like tassels which delicately clasp golden kernels within. It is a gluten-free grain with low glycemic index rates and is a healthier substitute for rice and other grains.
In addition to food dispersals, the foundation intended to purchase hand-woven banigs (traditional mats) from the Tagolowanen weavers. The mats are made from a wild grass called sud-sud, which is slashed, gathered, dried, dyed and dried once more to produce the weavers’ material. The weavers—traditionally called dream weavers—work in the night in candle-lit rooms after their children have fallen asleep, as the grass is so dry in the heat of the day that the blades can cut the weavers’ fingers. In the cool of the night, the blades are flexible and moist. As they weave, the women chant and sing, creating a timeless space in which their old traditions flourish. The proceeds from the purchase of these mats carried the community over the drought, which lasted seven months.