Growing up, I knew terms like sinandomeng, wagwag, laon, dinorado and malagkit. Those were the basic classifications of rice, pre-GMO days. A page from the forum of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) website has this information about rice varieties.
Dinorado is native upland rice characterized by its pinkish grain, sweet aroma, and good eating quality. This is exotic rice from Arakan Valley. Price is generally 50% higher than ordinary rice. However, nowadays, quality diminished as the genetic purity of its seed stocks declined.
Sinandomeng is classified as fancy, regular and special. Sinandomeng fancy is a “laon” rice (old rice). Characterized as “maalsa pag niluto at katamtaman ang lambot”. Sinandomeng regular is a combination of special and fancy. This one is “maalsa at malambot pag niluto”. Sinandomeng special is soft and delicious when cooked…
In other words, the traditional classifications were based on the characteristics of each rice variety. And that made a lot of sense. Other classifications were more the concern of the farmer as they pertained to characteristics that affected growth, propagation, yield, how soon the palay could be harvested, etcetera. Insofar as consumers were concerned, all the classification needed was to distinguish the cooking and eating quality of the rice — starchiness, stickiness, fluffiness, aroma, mouthfeel… (more)