This paper introduces rice to the reader and analyzes the changes it has gone through the past 100 years in the hands of varietal improvement science. The richness of the crop as a genetic material and resource is revealed here. Over time, its many types include choices ranging from the traditional to the modern and the futuristic. There is rice, among others, for lowland, upland, and cool-elevated areas--each kind serving as a wonderful display of biodiversity. Of course, there must be rice for daily consumption and rice for important occasions. There is nonsticky rice or the glutinous opposite; the generic fancy or specialty rice; and even rice with healing wonders or medicinal properties.
Through purposeful research and development, rice ably provides for various needs. And although already very much transformed, rice remains culture friendly, like the science that does not tire to improve it. Viewed in this sense, rice continues to be very precious and indispensable to Filipinos.