The Banawe rice terraces in the Philippines are one of the world's wonders and have been declared by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage site. Golden rice fields and seemingly endless rice terraces add beauty to the landscape. Rice is also the country's staple food. Though rice is produced throughout the country, the Central Luzon and Cagayan Valley are the major rice growing regions. The wet-season rice crop in the north lasts from June to November and the dry-season crop from January to May-June. In the south it is the reverse: wet-season crops last from October-November to March-April and dry-season crops from May-June to November.
Several high-yielding varieties of indica rice have been released for cultivation, but Milagrosa - a traditional variety - is still popular in many areas. Recently, hybrid rice varieties were released for cultivation and enjoy increasing popularity.
For the whole country, rice accounts for 41% of total caloric intake and 31% of total protein intake. However, local rice production cannot meet current demand, making the Philippines a major importer of rice.
In the Philippines, a dish of lugaw (plain rice) is usually given to those recovering from illness. But lugaw is a versatile dish - when glutinous rice is mixed with chocolate, sugar and milk, the result is tsamporado, a breakfast delight for children. When water is replaced by chicken stock and meat, the lugaw is called arroz caldo. If beef stock is used and beef and tripe added, it is called goto. The arroz caldo and goto are usually served during breakfast or as a snack.