HomeMSEUF Research Studiesvol. 14 no. 1 (2012)

Pakit: A Wild Yam (Diocorea opposita Thunb.) for Food Security Enhancement as Perceived by the Aeta Communities in the Province of Quezon

Pedro Jose L. De Castro | Rolan B. Aldovino | Gilbert H. Garcia

Discipline: Arts And Science



The study was conducted in three identified Aeta communities in Quezon Province: (1) Brgy. Tongko, Tayabas, (2) Brgy. Villa Espina, Lopez and (3) Brgy. Bacong in Alabat, Quezon. The study is composed of two parts – ethnography and botany. The ethnographic part employed ethnographic surveys, interviews and participatory observation. The botanical aspect involved botanical identification and classification of the wild yam using the taxonomic nomenclature system. It was revealed that the three Aeta communities in Tayabas, Alabat and Lopez viewed root crops as important alternatives to grains. They all preferred the wild yam over the other roots. The wild yam found among the Aeta is classified as Dioscorea opposita. Wild yam is commonly known as uyabi among the population in the three Aeta communities concerned. There are several varieties of uyabi used by the Aeta population in Tongko community. Pakit is the most commonly used variety among the natives in Tongko. The natives in Alabat and Lopez call pakit as udeybi. From the beliefs and practices of the Aeta observed and the botanical characteristics of the plant, the researchers generated the following promising opportunities of wild yam for the Aeta communities in Quezon province. These characteristics were identified as advantageous (pro) and disadvantageous (con) in terms of its purpose as food. From which, the opportunity available was identified. Three concerns were primarily seen important by the researchers regarding the matter. These were (1) the nature of the yam in relation to the yam’s production for consumption, (2) yam preparations as food, and (3) economic value of the yam.