This was a part of story of our mom and dad during their childhood: Rice is the staple food for Filipinos, rice and salt or rice and fish sauce can be enough for a meal. Most of the times rice alone will do but what if rice is not enough?
During their childhood years rice was difficult to acquire. Their homeland has no irrigation so it was hard to grow rice plant. Transportation was scarce, transport of commodity to one place to another was not easy. Importations of rice from another country were rare.
Everyone in the family wanted to eat rice but there was no enough supply. The solution to the problem was to use some extenders. The commodities that can be added to rice are gabi, corn, banana and even vegetables. They emphasized that all combinations were good.
Now the rice is going to be scarce again. Maybe this is due to lack of production or some big capitalists are manipulating the prices, rice hoarding. Anyway, rice scarcity is not a new issue.
The Department of Agriculture is now recommending the old tradition, the extending of rice with banana, gabi, corn and vegetables. The process is a popular habit in many rice eating countries.