The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2004 the International Year of the Rice (IYR). The IYR is a venue to promote improved production and development of sustainable rice-based systems that will contribute to environmental conservation and a better life for present and future generations. Rice is the country's staple food, the main source of income for millions of farmers, and the flagship industry of an agricultural country like the Philippines. In more ways than one, it is the grain that shaped the cultures, diets, and economies of the Filipinos and the rest of the Asians. One of the Philippine government's answers to the increasing shortage of rice supply in the country is the introduction of hybrid rice. This new breed of rice provides higher yields that would make it possible for Filipino farmers to meet the huge demand for rice. However, while the introduction of hybrid rice seems favorable to our neighboring countries because of low labor costs and highly irrigated areas, the same scenario does not seem applicable to the Philippines. This issue's main article gives the reasons why this is so.