Friday, November 22, 2019

But there's no neighbor!

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog

What is missing in this painting?

"Let's draw a house. Each his own."

The children drew and drew: 
posts, walls, stair window, door;
cheek on palm, eyelids moving; 
garden, swimming pool, patio;
twirling a pencil, added: 
trees, mountain, cloud, sun. 

"Here!" They showed their own houses.

"There's something missing."

Back to the drawing board, pondered:
birds in the sky and in trees singing.

"Here," they showed again their houses.

"There's still something missing.
Would you like to live in your houses?"


Fingers moved, lips tightened:
more lines, shades, colors, now with flowers.

"Here," they showed once more their houses.

"But there's still one thing missing."


A little girl in a corner drew and drew:
a house nearby, people around.

She showed her house.

The children chorused: Neighbor! ~

*LESSON on former Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio 738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday

12 Books Written by Dr AV Rotor

12 Books Written by Dr AV Rotor 
  • In gratitude to Divine Word of Vigan (formerly Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion), alma mater of the author, High School 1957 on the occasion if its founding anniversary, December 8, 1822-2019) 
  • In loving memory of Fr. James B Reuter, SJ, the author's mentor and spiritual adviser.
AV Rotor with the late Fr James Reuter SJ, (May 21, 1916 – December 31, 2012), an American Jesuit Catholic priest who lived in the Philippines since he was 22 and taught at Ateneo de Manila University. He introduced Catholic programming to Philippine television and helped set up Radio Veritas. He received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism in 1989 and was granted honorary Filipino citizenship by the Philippine Congress in 2006.

1. Light in the Woods 
coffee table book, full color, published by Megabooks in 1995. It was dedicated and presented to the Holy Father on his visit to the Philippines by the late Jaime Cardinal Sin, Sister Teresita Bayona SPC, and Fr. James B Reuter, SJ.

" Doctor A.V. Rotor is an extraordinary man - scientist, painter, musician, photographer, poet. With these verses he becomes something more than an artist. He is an apostle - trying, in his own gentle way, to bring man to God. and God to man, through beauty." (Message by Fr James B Reuter, SJ)

2. Philippine Literature Today: A Travelogue Approach

Abercio V Rotor and Kristine Molina-Doria,  C & E Publishing Co.) aims at guiding students, in the light of present day trends, to trace back the foundation of literature’s basic tenets and principles and preserve its integrity and true essence.  Four pillars of Philippine literature stand sentinel to help the students answer the question “Quo vadis?” To where are we heading for? 

Four great Filipinos are acclaimed vanguards of Philippine Literature. The cover of the book, conceptualized and made by artist Leo Carlo R Rotor, depicts the theme of the book - travelogue in literature with these heroes.   Jose Rizal on politico-socio-cultural subjects, including ecological, Rizal being an environmentalist while in exile in Dapitan, Misamis Oriental, Mindanao; Francisco Baltazar or Balagtas on drama and performing arts in general, fiction novels and plays, evolving into stage show and cinema; Severino Reyes or Lola Basyang on mythology, children’s stories, komiks, and a wealth of cartoons and other animations and Leona Florentino, the Philippines’ Elizabeth Browning, Ella Wilcox, Emily Bronte et al, epitomizes the enduring classical literature. 

3.  Humanities Today: An Experiential Approach
"The humanities hold the greatest treasure of mankind."  Co-authored with Dr Kristine Molina-Doria, the book, in summary, makes Humanities, a basic 3-unit subject in college, interesting and attractive to students. The book is distinct from conventional textbooks by being experiential in approach - meaning, on-site, hands-on, and encompassing of the various schools of art - old, new and postmodern.  Learning is further enhanced by viewing an accompanying compact disc (CD), and by having easy access to a wide range of references principally from the authors' works on Facebook and Blog. [] It is a publication of C&E, one of the country's biggest publishers and distributors of books. Launched in February this year it is now adapted by several colleges and universities.

" 'Do unto the land as you would the land do unto you. Treat the land with request, if not with reverence.' xxx The tree is taken to represent the environment. Each poem and each painting is like a leaf of a tree each revealing a little of the many marvels of this unique creation. Each poem and each painting is a plea on behalf of this new vision and of this new ethics." (Excerpt from the Message by Dr. Armando F. De Jesus, Ph.D. former Dean, Faculty of Arts and Letters, UST 2010)

4. Don't Cut the Trees, Don't
"What makes this poetry collection specially significant is its ecological slant which gives it an added dimension rarely attributed to other poetry to “get out of the house” and bond with nature. It is a departure from the usual stale air of solitariness and narcissism which permeates most poetry today. Every poem indeed becomes a “flower in disguise” using the poet’s own words.(Excerpt from the Foreword by the late Ophelia A. Dimalanta, Ph.D. Director, Center for Creative Writing and Studies, UST).

The book contains 170 poems and verses with accompanying photographs and images, 190 pp, in easy reading font, Times New Roman, bold type. 
Published by University of Santo Tomas, launched 2008 Manila International Book Fair, SMX Mall of Asia, 220 pp.

5. Living with Folk Wisdom 
"The book is a compendium of indigenous technical knowledge complemented with modern scientific thinking. The narratives offer an exploration into the world of ethno-science covering a wide range of practical interest from climate to agriculture; medicine to food and nutrition..: (Excerpt of Foreword by Dr Lilian J Sison, dean UST Graduate School).

" For the science educator and communicator, here is a handy volume to help you reach the popular consciousness. You will find here more than ample number of examples for making connections between lived experience and scientific information." (Dr Florentino H Hornedo, UNESCO Commissioner)
6. The Living with Nature Handbook 
Winner of the Gintong Aklat Award 2003 by the Book Publishers Association of the Philippines. The book has 30 chapters (189 pp),divided into four parts, a practical guide on how one can get closer to nature, the key to a healthy and happy life. Second printing, 2008.

"Once upon a time, nature was pristine, undefiled, and unspoiled. We used to live in a dreamlike world of tropical virgin forests, and purer hidden springs, calm ponds, and serene lakes with majestic purple mountains, crowned with canopied trees. That was when people took only what they needed, caught only what they ate, and lived only in constant touch with a provident earth." (excerpt from the Introduction by Dr Anselmo Set Cabigan, professor, St Paul University QC and former director of the National Food Authority)

7. Living with Nature in Our Times 
Sequel to the Living with Nature Handbook (312 pp), it was launched at the Philippine International Book Fair. It won the 2006 National Book Award by the National Book Development Board jointly with The Manila Book Circle and the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts. Published by UST Publishing House, the book has 35 chapters divided into four parts. The book can be aptly described in this verse.

"Nature shares her bounty in many ways:
He who works or he who prays,
Who patiently waits or gleefully plays;
He's worthy of the same grace."

8. In His Presence, Praises
The principal author is Dr. Belen L Tangco who wrote the verses and prayers. Each verse or prayer is accompanied by an appropriate painting by AV Rotor. Full color and handy, it is useful as a prayer book and reference in the Humanities.

"Indeed, God speaks to us in the little details of nature - through the trees and the flowers, in the drip of rain, in the blow of the wind. He speaks to us in all of His Creation..." (Excerpt from the Foreword by Fr Tamelane R Lana, UST Rector)

9. Light from the Old Arch 
A compilation of 18 essays about life and living, 216 pages. Published by UST in 2000 with the Preface written by Fr. Jose Antonio Aureada, regent of the Graduate School.

"What is considered a religion of disconnection betrays man's inability to see sensuality through divinity and divinity through sensuality... It was Victor Frankl, a Jewish psychotherapist-philosopher, who popularized logotherapy, a word of Greek origin which literally means healing through meaning. Dr Abe. the poet-musician-painter-scientist rolled into one, reminds us of the Franklian inspired principle: The unheard cry for meaning if only well-heeded in all aspects of life - from the least significant to the extremely necessary, from the most commonplace to the phenomenally sublime - can only restore authenticity back to living life beautifully."

10. Light of Dawn 
The book is in full color, 75 pages, written by a very young student of then St Paul College QC. In the words of Sr Mary Sarah Manapol in the Foreword, "Viva is a youthful poetess who thinks and writes about pain and loss, friendship, joy and love, music and the arts, nature, math and literature, war and piece - these belie her age of 17 summers."

Dr AV Rotor as co-author, provided the photographs and paintings that fits harmoniously with the poems. More than this, he encouraged the young poetess to write her first book which was launched on her debut. Here is a verse from an anonymous admirer.

"After reading Light of Dawn,
How can I live without poetry and art?
From the love that I shall find,
Shall not my heart depart

11. Sunshine on Raindrops 
Poems, poems, poems, 72 pages, a handy book, colored and black and white, published by Megabooks 2000. The late secretary of justice Sedfrey A Ordonez wrote in the Foreword "... it is inescapable that after reading his poetry and after examining his paintings which accompany his verses one is led to the conclusion that the man who created the multi-disciplinary tour de force is a Renaissance man, one who reveals his reverence for nature by means of music, verse, and painting."

12. Nymphaea: Beauty in the Morning 
Giraffe Book, it contains 72 verses, mainly four-liners, each verse accompanied by a photograph or painting. Most of the photos were taken by students in the Humanities at then St Paul College QC. The school president wrote the Foreword, an excerpt of which reads as follows:

"It takes deep reflection to arouse one's inner child to take notice of the undistinguished buds, hyacinth, date palms... and it takes a trusting, affirming, and enlightened teacher-artist to lead and inspire..."

Other Books 
Peacemaking in Asia (350 pp), contains papers presented in the 7th General Assembly of different religions in Asia held at UST in 2008. The proceedings were compiled, edited and published into a book, by AVR, now in circulation among participating religions.  Copies are available at the Interfaith Center, TARC Building, UST. 

Philippine Herbs to Increase Sexual Vitality 
"The authors have embarked on this task of providing people with more information about the many uses of some plants. While herbal plants have long been recognized because of their nutritional and medicinal qualities, their other uses are not fully exploited... May we continue to promote alternative medicine... The prices of medicine and health products remain unaffordable to most of our countrymen and herbal plants are the best alternative as most of these have been proven to be effective." (Excerpt from the message of Dr Juan M Flavier, former senator and secretary of health)

Farm Marketing in Asia and the Pacific 
Editor and contributor, Asian Productivity Organization, Tokyo Japan 1986

NOTE: Books may be available at the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, Espana corner P Noval, Manila:The Living with Nature Handbook; Living with Nature in Our Times; Light from the Old Arch, and Living with Folk Wisdom. Please call 406-1611 local 8252/8278). Selected books are also available at National Book Store branches. For Philippine Literature Today and Humanities: An Experiential Approach, contact C & E Publishing 9295088.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

From cigarette to pipe smoking – then I stopped. A personal saga.

From cigarette to pipe smoking – then I stopped. A personal saga.  


This article is addressed to smokers trapped in the vice, like in my case,  many years ago - until one day I found my true self and a happy world. I'm now in my mid seventies, active and hale and happy. 

This article is a tribute to the late Senator Juan Flavier and former health secretary for his dedication in anti-smoking campaign. "Yosi Kadiri" was hailed to be a very effective slogan.

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog

I did not only smoke cigarettes, I graduated to pipe tobacco smoking.

When you have tasted Half-and-Half or Captain Black, believe me Marlboro and Philip Morris taste flat. That’s how one gets addicted to more and stronger nicotine. And having a pipe on a Monday, and a dozen more to fit each day or occasion, and dress code, makes 

 A pipe a day, for an occasion, for a particular wear. Remaining part of my collections for years.

you stand out of the crowd, so to speak. Wow! Sikat! And you feel a special person. For in the seventies, up to now, pipe smoking people have either the British or American accent. I even tried Australian but settled poorly with Ilocano, my native tongue. Now compare pipe tobacco with pinadis (hand rolled cigar) tobacco, exaggeratedly foot-long. I almost forgot my origin.

So you see smoking is air, it is high society, it is macho, it is advertising something you do not really have, or have to. I wore coat and tie once in a while with Sherlock Holmes’ “S” pipe, or wore khaki jacket and denim pants and had MacArthur corn cob pipe. I also had pipes with the bowl covered with genuine leather from camel, kangaroo and anaconda, and made people believe I have gone all over the world including the Amazon. Which actually I hadn’t except a stopover once in Europe which introduced me to the idea of shifting to pipe smoking.

And I had a friend, Sel, who shared the same idea. So after finishing our doctorate, we started scouting for the best pipe in town. Definitely it should be briar wood because it’s the only wood that does not burn, and its nesting weight on the palm of the hand is assuring. I suspect that it’s being a briar is not the species but the age of the wood, perhaps as old as the Redwood or the Bristle Cone, estimated two to three thousand years old. Imagine holding a piece of time as early as BC. And history! Just like what the great English poet William Blake said, “Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.” You hold too, time and space. Pipe smoking leads you to hallucination.

I tell you what the substance is – the filler tobacco - that rouses the olfactory more than grandma's pie? It must come from a combination of selected tobacco varieties, cured with the best liqueur, and hermetically sealed to greet the user as fresh as it was blended. In Europe a blend is highly personalized, like wine. This is top secret of connoisseurs. For us here, I for one settled for two brands, American and European pipe tobacco in can, then the only available ones. Believe me the difference between the two is indistinguishable. It’s still Nicotiana tabacum, the same tobacco of Fidel Ramos, Deng Hsiao Ping, Fidel Castro, et al.

Smoking is No. 1 Killer: More than 10 Filipinos die every hour. Smoking ban took effect beginning July 22, 2017 
More about the art of pipe smoking. I lit my pipe with a special lighter whose flame goes downward into the bowl, and witnessed in the process of huff-and puff a Krakatoa in the making. I peered into the glowing crater. Then I would savor the maiden smoke as fresh as morning air, blowing it in a series of “O’s” which takes skill to perfect it. You don’t inhale, unlike cigarette. The smoke runs through the oral to the nasal cavity and out through the nostril, gently fuming a cloud of smoke that surrounds the face, with your eyes half close in dreamy relaxation. It was really thrilling, exhilarating. What on a Sunday morning with brewed black coffee and newspaper and elevated feet?. Ah, and ahs….

Some high-chin and easy-chair years passed. I was in my middle thirties, still a bachelor. I wondered if pipe smoking attracted women of my liking. Or did I drive them to safe distance? On the mirror I didn’t change, not a bit American or European. Not even with sparse mustache  which I jokingly tell my barber it is insured like that of Clark Gable. My lips were a little deformed now, and being right handed the pipe tended to settle rightward, with some teeth bearing the weight giving up. My lips lost their natural curve and color, and my teeth permanently stained no toothpaste would dare clean it in advertisement. My fingers could be mistaken for pellagra. If only they had the Midas touch!

I reeked tobacco. People avoided me, but how did I know, if I couldn't even smell myself? It’s true. Smokers are immune to the smell of tobacco, and it is stale odor – breath, sweat, clothes, books, bed, and the like - so whom would they trust to tell them so? And my skin became dull and dry, and episodes of feeling down became frequent – so with refilling and caressing my pipe. In short I was already addicted to the nicotine and the pipe is now only secondary to it.

Nicotine is a poison, a very strong one. The extract of one stick of cigarette when directly injected into the blood stream will immediately kill the person. So why don’t we die with packs and packs of cigarette or can after can of mixed tobacco?

Doctors tell us that it’s not the nicotine per se that kills, it’s tar its carrier and a dozen other poisonous substances. The tar deposits into the alveoli, the countless air sacs in the lungs, constricts blood vessels, and stains teeth and clothes. The alkaloids pile up in the kidneys and liver, and restrict natural elimination of other toxins. Elevated heart and pulse rate is our body’s coping mechanism, but like a car running uphill it loses steam fast and soon, until it conks out. Eyesight blurs, sense of taste deadens, so with sensation to touch, pain and pleasure. Alertness slows down, sex urge decreases and staying power shortens.

And it is not the tobacco plant itself that's the enemy; it is how it is grown. The plant picks up the arsenic dusted or sprayed, the lead and mercury in contaminated soil, so with cadmium from batteries today. Systemic pesticides that kill insects, nematodes and mites ensconced in the plant body, unreached by ordinary spraying, persist as residue of high dosage.

By the way, there’s something in the tobacco that changed biology on the concept of what really makes a thing living?. It is the tobacco mosaic virus, Marmor tabaci. The rod shape virus infects tobacco on the field just by rubbing or mere touch of a diseased to healthy plants. And it infects as well all members of the tobacco family - Solanaceae , to which Irish potato, pepper, eggplant, tomato belong. The virus remains dormant for as long as twenty years in the cigarette or filler. And when you touch any of the host plant, the virus resurrects and spreads out in the whole plant and onto neighboring plants. Luckily, scientists assures us the virus has no effect on humans.
But with millions all over the world dying from smoking and its many complications, I believe the virus has mutated - even if biologically it is not considered a true organism. Mutation is still governed by error in DNA replication. And the virus basically has the DNA structure like all things considered as living.

My favorite twin pipes. Note worn out 

Really there’s nothing good about smoking, contrary to advertisements. I wonder how one can go a mile for a Camel when he is already exhausted at the start. Didn’t the cowboy in Marlboro retire too soon? Salem doesn’t make a beautiful landscape. Fortune isn’t something one expects. Fighter did not make us in our time as brave as Buccaneer.

Take the economic side. Our DOH says the government spends every year some P235 billion a year to treat illnesses caused or related to smoking like heart diseases, stroke, emphysema and lung cancer. And what does the government get in return from the tobacco industry? Only P23 billion, a measly 10 percent of the cost. PDI’s editorial The Puff that Kills, June 1, 2011, reported smoking kills 10 Filipinos every hour, or 243 a day. That’s 87,600 a year – and that’s a conservative estimate. Here is a case of an “old” goose laying the golden eggs, not worth it.
One day I was diagnosed of ulcer in the mouth, a wound that doesn't heal. If you can’t eat, imagine the rapid decline in body weight and the various ailments you fall to. My clothes became oversized. I likened myself to a POW in a concentration camp in WWII.

“If you don’t stop smoking, you will die,” my doctor warned. “And soon!” he admonished.

Period. My pipes became museum pieces. A beautiful girl came along. We got married, and have three children. We are now living happily.

Smoking changed my life – when I stopped it completely. ~


The author with his students in the UST Graduate School; author playing "monkey on my back" at Avilon Zoo, Rizal.  


Vaping Facts You Need to Know
Vape is an electronic cigarette, also known as e-cigarette among other names, is a handheld battery-powered vaporizer that simulates smoking and provides some of the behavioral aspects of smoking, including the hand-to-mouth action of smoking, but without burning tobacco.

Electronic Cigarettes Are Just as Addictive as Traditional Ones.
E-cigarettes heat nicotine (extracted from tobacco), flavorings and other chemicals to create a water vapor that you inhale. Regular tobacco cigarettes contain 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic.

Both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes contain nicotine, which research suggests may be as addictive as heroin and cocaine. What’s worse is that many e-cigarette users get even more nicotine than they would from a tobacco product — you can buy extra-strength cartridges, which have a higher concentration of nicotine, or you can increase the e-cigarette’s voltage to get a greater hit of the substance.

A New Generation Is Getting Hooked on Nicotine.
Among youth, e-cigarettes are more popular than any traditional tobacco product. In 2015, the U.S. surgeon general reported that e-cigarette use among high school students had increased by 900 percent, and 40 percent of young e-cigarette users had never smoked regular tobacco.

SOURCE: Excerpt from John Hopkins Medicine - Vaping Facts You Need to Know

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Farming as a Way of Living

Farming as a Way of Living
Dr Abe V. Rotor

Harvest time, acrylic AVR

Farming is a way of living,” says the dean of farm management in the Philippines, Dr Felix D. Maramba, quoting Eugene Devenport who said that farming is not only a business, but a mode of life. “Sometimes the business is the prominent feature, so successful that life seems to run on one long sweet song. Sometimes the business runs so low that life is a bitter struggle.”

The farm and the family home is intertwined; in fact they are one.

Anything that affects the farm as a business also affects directly as a home. The farm operator is the head of the household and the bulk of the farm work is done by the members of the family. The farmer is the farmer 24 hours a days, on weekdays as well as on Sundays and Holidays.

The children are brought up in close contact with nature. They develop an appreciation of the manifestations of the Creator through living things and their order. The farm boy does not have to wait until he is grown up before he can work and share family responsibilities. He is brought up early in the family business. In this way he will learn the value of industry and a sense of proprietorship early in life. The work habits and resourcefulness developed by farm children are kept throughout their lives.

This old school of Dean Maramba may not be the model progressive farmers are looking for today, but definitely the better farmer is the entrepreneur who grew up with farming and pursued training in technology and farm management, and has gain the confidence and skills in transforming the traditional concept of a farm into an agribusiness and therefore, he has a better chance in dealing with the complexities of world of the agriculture and business.

Make the correct decisions in farming.

Farming is no easy task. It is full of decisions - decisions based on socio-economic principles, and guided by rules of conduct and natural laws and of society. These are 10 guidelines in decision making.

1. Surplus labor resources of typically large rural families should be directed to labor-intensive projects, such as integrated farming.

2. Hillside or upland agriculture requires the cultivation of permanent crops, preferably through mixed cropping, such as intercropping of coconuts with orchard trees and annual crops.

3. Coastal and river swamplands should be preserved as wildlife sanctuaries, and should be managed as an ecosystem, rather than an agricultural venture.

4. Wastes can be recycled and converted into raw materials of another enterprise. Farm wastes and byproducts of processing can be processed biologically into methane, organic fertilizer, and biomass for vermiculture.

5. Productivity of small farms can be increased through pyramidal or storey farming. Batangas and Cavite farmers are well known for storied multiple cropping.

6. Poor soils can be rehabilitated through natural farming, such as green manuring, crop rotation and use of organic fertilizers, all integrated in the farming system. Corn-peanut, rice-mungo are popular models of crop rotations.

7. Cottage industries are built on agriculture, guided by profitability and practical technology. It is time to look at the many agro-industries, from food processing to handicrafts.

8. Tri-commodity farming maximizes utilization of resources, such as having an orchard, planting field crops, and raising fish and livestock on one farm.

9. Cooperative farming is the solution to economics of scale, these to include multipurpose and marketing cooperatives of farmers and entrepreneurs.

10. Since the number of days devoted to farming is only one-third of the whole year, livelihood outside of farming should be developed. Like a sari-sari store, a small farm cannot afford to have too many hands. Other opportunities should be tapped outside of farming by other members of the family.

Get rid of waste by utilizing them.

Agricultural byproducts make good animal feeds, as follows:

• Rice straw, corn stovers and sugarcane tops, the most common crop residues in the tropics, contain high digestible nutrients, and provide 50% of the total ration of cattle and carabaos.

• Rice bran and corn bran are the most abundant general purpose feed that provides 80 percent of nutritional needs of poultry, hogs and livestock, especially when mixed with copra meal which is richer in protein than imported wheat bran (pollard).

• Cane molasses is high in calorie value. Alternative supplemental feeds are kamote vines for hogs and pineapple pulp and leaves for cattle.

Here is a simple feed formula for cattle: Copra meal 56.5 kg; rice bran (kiskisan or second class cono bran) 25kg; molasses 15kg; Urea (commercial fertilizer grade, 45%N) 2.0kg; salt 1.0kg; and bone meal 0.5kg. Weight gain of a two-year old Batangas cattle breed fed with this formulation is 0.56 kg on the average,

These are byproducts which have potential feed value: These are byproducts or wastes in the processing of oil, starch, fish, meat, fruit and vegetables. The abundance of agricultural by-products offers ready and cheap feed substitutes with these advantages.

• It cuts down on feed costs,

• reduces the volume on imported feed materials,

• provides cheaper source of animal protein,

• provides employment and livelihood, and

• keeps the environment clean and in proper balance.

Protect nature through environment-friendly technology.

One example is the use of rice hull ash to protects mungbeans from bean weevil. Burnt rice hull (ipa) contains silica crystals that are microscopic glass shards capable of penetrating into the conjunctiva of the bean weevil, Callosobruchus maculatus. Once lodged, the crystal causes more damage as the insect moves and struggles, resulting in infection and desiccation, and ultimately death.

This is the finding of Ethel Niña Catahan in her masteral thesis in biology at the University of Santo Tomas. Catahan tested two types of rice hull ash, One is partly carbonized (black ash) and the other oven-burned (white ash). Both were applied independently in very small amount as either mixed with the beans or as protectant placed at the mouth of the container. In both preparations and methods, mungbeans – and other beans and cereals, for that matter – can be stored for as long as six months without being destroyed by this Coleopterous insect.

The bean weevil is a cosmopolitan insect whose grub lives inside the bean, eating the whole content and leaving only the seed cover at the end of its life cycle. When it is about to emerge the female lays eggs for the next generation. Whole stocks of beans may be rendered unfit not only for human consumption, but for animal feeds as well. It is because the insect leaves a characteristic odor that comes from the insect’s droppings and due to fungal growth that accompanies infestation.
There are many kinds of vegetables you can choose
for backyard and homelot gardening.

Let’s aim at unifying agriculture and ecology into agro-ecology. This is what practical farming is all about. ~

Friday, November 15, 2019

Read BANNAWAG (Light of Dawn) - the Flagship of Ilocano Language and Culture

Read BANNAWAG (Light of Dawn)
- the Flagship of Ilocano Language and Culture 
Dr Abe V Rotor
Columnist (Okeyka Apong)
Bannawag Magazine

Read Bannawag, it is the Ilocano magazine with the largest circulation, in the    Philippines and in Ilocano communities abroad - from Hawaii, Middle East on to Europe. 

Read Bannawag, and learn a language learned at birth, by affinity and association, a beautiful language - both exotic and ethnic, rich, musical, expressive, a language Ilocanos carry with pride to the corners of the earth. 

Read Bannawag, it is the flagship and conservator of Ilocano culture, the GI (Genuine Ilocano) imprimatur, trademark of beautiful traits and values - the Ilocano tool of  survival and dominance, at home and away from home.  
Read Bannawag, it is a trail blazer of the migratory and transient characteristic of the Ilocano, of his homely nature, and his homing instinct, returning to his native region in the true sense of a balikbayan.

Read Bannawag, it has the uniqueness of the super-superlative, like beauty begetting beauty ad infinitum, so to speak. (napintas, napinpintas, kapintasan - and kapipintasan) - the last word means "most, most beautiful", a rare language phenomenon. 

Read Bannawag, its tonality is akin to the natural environment - tone of tenderness or firmness, tone that pierces distance or keeps closeness sacred, echoing tone over fields and rolling hills, prayerful, romantic, dirgefull.

Read Bannawag, and learn by intonation the speaker's origin, the naturalness of his  accent, clear syllabication, distinct "R" and nasal contraption (likened to German) -  variations indigenous to a place or extent of influence by other languages.  
Read Bannawag and enjoy the myths and legends from Lam-ang the epic hero, to Angalo the legendary giant, the biblical Lakay-lakay whirlpool, and many folk tales Ilocano counterpart of the Arabian Nights and the Grimm brothers stories.

Read Bannawag, and live in the era of the Zarzuela (homegrown drama)  and Moro-moro (stage play, musical comedy of Christians fighting the Moors in medieval times) , enjoy the unique musical qualities of Bannatiran (kingfisher), O, Naranniag a Bulan (Moonlight serenade), Pamulinawen (a love song) and Ayat ti Maysa nga Ubbing (Love of a Lass and an Old Man), among many compositions, original and adapted.  


Read Bannawag, and savor the spirit of a unique wine - Basi, once exported to Europe via Mexico through the Galleon Trade during the Spanish era , envy of the colonial masters who attempted to monopolize the wine industry resulting in the infamous Basi Revolt of 1807 and death of scores of Filipinos who defended their livelihood, pride and honor.   

Read Bannawag, and taste a unique seaweed - Gamet (photo), that grows exclusively in the northern region,  equivalent to Japan's Nori, "food of the emperor;" ngarusangis the tiniest edible clam in the world, ludong (mother mullet), the most expensive freshwater fish, jumping salad (live shrimplet), and ipon, (seasonal estuary fish-spawn).  

Read Bannawag, in an armchair travelogue of history and arts, of scenic beauty, rich biodiversity, home of living tradition, a piece of Eden created by the edges of the Cordillera range and the South China Sea meeting on a narrow strip of land like a hollow - kuloong, from which the word Iloco is derived . 

Read Bannawag, and meet the great Ilocanos who led the country to greatness from Diego and Gabriela Silang (first Filipino revolutionists), Ramon Magsaysay (most loved people's president) to Ferdinand Marcos (strongman who pushed the country into the 21st century); poetess Leona Florentino, heroes Antonio and Juan Luna, and Fr Jose Burgos whose ancestral home in Vigan is now a  museum; met many other great Ilocanos, old and contemporary.  


Read Bannawag, and it will take you back to the homeland of the simple sturdy and frugal, industrious and persistent, where brain and brawn are welded in a sturdy body, determined mind, and throbbing heart of joy and fulfillment. ~
iceberg sketch  *Lesson on former Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio 738 DZRB AM, 8 to 9 evening class Mon to Fri

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Flying Kites - A Childhood Adventure

Flying Kites - A Childhood Adventure 

"My kite took me away with my dreams when I was young;
Years had passed and I see kites flying again,
Familiar they seem, but in another time." - avr

Dr Abe V Rotor
Flying Kites at Harvestime, detail of mural by the author 2007

Mandala, detail of mural by the author

Clear against the blue mountain far
Are specks of yellow, red and blue,
And white, and the many colors they make.

Swaying like birds, rising and swooping,

Suspended in time and space,
If not for the sinking sun.

The wind is fair, the grain is golden now,

Else the old folk would complain:
Don’t call the wind when the grain is young.

But kids that we were cared for nothing,

Except our kites at all cost to fly
From the other end of the string.

Up, up they soared into the sky,

Dwarfing Babel, trailing the Apollo-
Flight only our dreams could follow through.

My kite took me away to the city and beyond-

Years had passed and I see kites flying again,
Familiar they seem, but in another time.~

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Control invasive species by turning them into culinary delights.

Control invasive species by turning them 
into culinary delights.
Dr Abe V Rotor

What is the best way to beat invasive species? Well, if humans managed to eat field rats, mole crickets, snails, pythons, alligators - and other "pests", why can't these undesirable organisms be part of his culinary taste and art?

Golden Kuhol (Pomacea caniculata)

1. Pets turned wild - knife fish and janitor fish.  Once fancy pets in aquarium, they found their way to Laguna Lake and Taal Lake. They can be cooked like any fish.  
2. Food to pest - Golden Kuhol (Pomacea caniculata).  Imported in the seventies as food  like the popular French escargot, it has spread to rice fields, where they have developed in a major pest of rice. Cook it with tanglad and luya, better still with gata.

3. Migratory swarms - Locust (Locusta migratoria) PHOTO) moves in swarms, thousands upon  thousands riding on wind current, invading fields and forests many kilometers away. They settle down as solitary grasshoppers, remaining in the place, mate and multiply, until the next migratory season. Have you tasted sauteed mole cricket  June beetle, gamu-gamu (winged termite)?  It tastes the same. 

4. Biological Warfare in peace time - Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica) introduce by the Japanese during World War II, now a common garden pests. One time a recipe was prepared on the request of a school head, and all his teachers tasted it - with delight. 

5. Fugitive to invader - Asian carp in Illinois, Missouri and Mississippi river. It is similar to our tilapia - Tilapia nilotica and T. mosambica.  American will learn to love the carp like we Asians. Just like how we first accepted it when it was introduced in the fifties by Dr Deogracia Villadolid, a prominent fisheries expert. Today tilapia is an important part of the Filipino diet,   

6. Breakout from cage - Black spiny-tailed Iguana has invaded Florida.  It eats about anything, including birds. When made into adobo, iguana meat tastes like that of monitor lizard.

7. Trans-oceanic invasion - Lion fish (PHOTO) has venomous spines and dangerous to aquatic and human life alike. Origin Pacific and Indian oceans to the Caribbean. It's cooked like any marine fish.

8. Adaptive mechanism of survival - Nutria a rodent originated in South America and has invaded the Gulf Coast, destroying valuable wetlands, and make bore tunnels through levees.  In the Philippines the Rattus rattus norvigicus was accidentally introduced and have adapted to city life. 

9. Wildlife gone wilder - Armadillo, a gentle and peaceful armored animal of Central and South America is upsetting the balance of food webs, eating just anything, even stealing eggs of threatened sea turtles.  They say it's good meat. The closest animal to the Armadillo in the Philippines is the Scaly Anteater which is a threatened species.    

10. Biological Control agent gone wild - Toad (Bufo marinus) introduced in Australia to control sugarcane pest, now overruns even homes and highways. This is poisonous, even animals have learned to avoid it.  It is for this reason, its population increased rapidly in Australia.  

Except for No 10, these invasive species have found their way to the dining table. Man's gustatory delight is indeed the best way in dealing with undesirable creatures. ~ 
* Lesson on former Living with Nature School on Blog, Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8-9 evening class, Monday to Friday