From Sunstar: The betel nut chew or more popularly known as “moma” in the local dialect was never barred from being used as the traditional chewing gum in Ifugao.
Ifugao Governor Teddy Baguilat Jr. issued the clarification after some expatriates who attended the recently concluded International Igorot Consultation (IIC), asked why the Provincial Government is banning a tradition known to be practiced not only by Igorots but also by lowlanders.
Called nga-nga in Tagalog, Baguilat said the ordinance passed by the province only designated areas where to spit moma.
He stressed that nowhere in the ordinance does it state the betel nut chew is banned.
The governor said the designation of areas where to spit is for hygiene and sanitation purposes.
The betel nut chew is a concoction of betel nut, lime powder and sometimes a piece of tobacco leaf wrapped by the leaf commonly called “gawed.”
Chewing the moma for several minutes produces a reddish extract, which is spit out.
In Bontoc and in other municipalities of Mountain Province, the Provincial Government also provided containers where moma can be spitted out. (RO)