A farmer plows the rice field in preparation for the planting season in Davao Oriental, southern Philippines.
We call them carabao, kalabaw, kabaw, a water buffalo in Southeast Asia dubbed as the beast of burden. The carabao is a farmer’s most trusted and most valuable partner and companion in the industry. In addition to helping farmers in the fields, the carabao is a source of transportation, milk, meat, raw materials to design furniture, and more.
I remember my first carabao ride when I was around six years old and my father had a farm. My father placed an empty rice sack at the back of the carabao and I sat behind him on the carabao. The carabao had just finished soaking in a mud tub after a day’s work, and he flipped his tail back and forth, successfully giving me a mud shower.