• Why is Black Rice good for our body?
  • Black rice has been regarded highly in ancient times and was called the “forbidden rice” in China because it was exclusively reserved for royalty.

As Filipinos, we love our fair share of rice. We pair it with appetizing viands; turn it into hearty soups, and even into desserts. White rice is very much part of our culture. A meal is just incomplete without rice and we quickly order an extra cup when paired with great food!  “Unli-Rice” has become part of the vernacular.

Lately, one rice variety has been growing in popularity because of its health benefits. Black rice, named as such for its color, has been regarded highly in ancient times and was called the “forbidden rice” in China because it was exclusively reserved for royalty.

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Successful businesses are built on stable relationships based on mutual trust and benefits. Beyond profits, businesses exist to serve its numerous stakeholders that include suppliers, partners, shareholders, and most importantly the consumers.

Sunnywood Superfoods Corp. is one such company. Romeo Ong, its president who started the rice distribution company two decades ago, says Sunnywood owes its success to different key players in the market: farmers, traders, importers, millers, cooperatives, supermarkets and most importantly, the consuming public.

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There is an old saying that one can know a group of people by looking at what they eat. For Filipinos, where culture and food interweave, there is one central table staple that identifies us from other cultures: rice. 

The Philippines is widely known as one of the biggest consumers of rice in Asia. It is almost ironic, therefore, to think that Filipinos may have a different perception toward the crop. According to Filomeno V. Aguilar of the Institute of Philippine Culture at the Ateneo de Manila University, “most Filipinos relate to rice as consumers rather than as producers.” 

This can be attributed to the strong cultural ties of rice in our society. More than being a staple at the heart of our food culture, rice also symbolizes prosperity and good luck. Traditions where this is evident are the practice of throwing rice grains at newlywed couples, or provisioning rice to a newly built home before moving in as a way to appease spirits, to name a few.

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A quiet revolution has taken place in the supermarket in the last two decades. Sunnywood Superfoods Corp., a local company, has greatly influenced the way Filipinos buy their rice, a staple food that most of Filipinos can’t do without in regular meals (and even during snacks).

Established in September 1997, bannered by its flagship brand Harvester’s, Sunnywood introduced its rice to Filipinos in the supermarkets through the launch of several varieties of white rice. Filipinos usually buy their rice in the wet markets and the neighbourhood sari-sari stores, but Sunnywood has helped change that by riding on the growing acceptance and reach of the supermarkets and malls with its branded rice.

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Rice FAQs

1. What is the difference between unpolished and polished rice?
Unpolished rice is rice that has only its husk (ipa) removed. The bran, or the outer skin of the rice which gives it its color (brown, red or black depending on the varieties), remains generally intact. Polished rice, or white rice, is rice fully milled thru. The bran has been polished off exposing the inner core.

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