Sunday, December 21, 2014

Tanglad and Soro-soro - best stuff for lechon

Dr Abe V Rotor
Lemon Grass or tanglad (Baraniw Ilk) and Sorosoro or karimbuaya (Ilk) are the most popular spices to stuff lechon - baboy, baka, manok, and big fish like bangus.

These are wild plants that do not need cultivation; they simply grow where they are likely useful, indeed an evidence of co-evolution of a man-plant relationship. Tradition and culture evolve this way. Scientists elevated this knowledge to what is called ethnobotany, a subject in the graduate school. Retrieving and conserving traditional knowledge is as important as beating a new path.

Tanglad - Andropogon citratus DC

For tanglad, all you have to do is gather the mature leaves, sometimes roots, make them into a fishful bundle and pound it to release the aromatic volatile oil. Stuff the whole thing into the dressed chicken or pig or calf to be roasted (lechon). Chop the leaves when broiling fish. Crushed leaves are used to give a final scrub. Tanglad removes the characteristic odor (malansa) and imparts a pleasant aroma and taste.

Tanglad is also used to spice up lemonade and other mixed drinks. It is an excellent deodorizer for bathrooms and kitchen. It is also used in the preparation of aromatic bath.

Not so many people know that sorosoro makes an excellent stuff for lechon. The mature leaves are chopped tangential and stuffed into the dressed chicken or bangus for broiling. It has high oil content in its milky sap. It leaves a pleasant taste and it serves as a salad itself. It has a slight sour taste. Like tanglad, sorosoro removes the characteristic flesh and fishy odor. Add chopped ginger, onion and garlic as may be desired.

One word of caution: The fresh sap of sorosoro may cause irritation of the eye and skin. Wash hands immediately. Better still, use kitchen gloves.

Happy cooking.

Soro-soro - Euphorbia neriifolia

Blue Starfish: a piece of the sea and sky in my hand

Dr Abe V Rotor

Blue starfish, Calatagan, Batangas

A piece of the sea and the sky in my hand,
     blue - the color of eternity and infinity,
the boundless prosperity of sea and land,
     and a lifetime of fleeting immortality. ~

Starfish is the more popular name of sea stars - relative of brittle stars, sand dollars and sea urchins. This rare specimen was collected on the coral reef of Calatagan, Batangas. It belongs to Phylum Echinodermata, the most advanced of all invertebrates. Its radial symmetry is perfect for its structure and design, typically equipped with five arms, although there are dimorphic forms of having four or six arms. 

The starfish has a remarkable ability of regeneration, and asexual reproduction. When cut in half through the center, each half regenerates into an independent individual. Sea stars are predators of shellfish and are considered pest of oysters, clams and mussels. The predatory technique is to pry the shellfish through persistent force alternately using the arms, until the victim opens up to the gaping mouth of the predator. Photo by Matthew Marlo R. Rotor. ~

Crater Lake

Dr Abe V Rotor
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

 Tikob Lake, Tiaong, Quezon 

Dusk comes early, morning late,

in this crater lake, placid and calm;
her high rise walls the rugged rim
of an ancient sleeping volcano
in the children’s story of Jules Verne;
her water mirrors heaven and birds
and white clouds in the sky;
in an illusion of oneness;
while deep into the center of the earth,
her water cools off her temper
and nurtures life in her womb.
while seasons come, seasons go.~

Christmas Message: Let's Aim for Peace of Mind, Holism, and Selflessness

Dr Abe V Rotor
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
 To our beloved followers and visitors of this Blog, students and radio listeners, friends - and all.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
- Dr Abe and Mrs Cecille Rotor; Marlo and Charisse and Laurence; Anna and Mac and Mackie; Leo, and Manang Veny.
- Ka Melly and staff of DZRB Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid
- Co-workers and faculty members, UST, SPUQC, DLSU-D, UPH-R, NFA

Wake up every morning a "balanced" person. You must be a perfect square. Look at yourself on the mirror and examine the four attributes of life - mental or intellectual, psychological or emotional, spiritual, and physical well being.

If you are not, be aware of your strength, weaknesses and deficiencies. Learn to adjust, do not delay. If you have colds you need rest. If you feel sad, cheer up. Look at the brighter side of life. Your conscience may be bothering you for whatever reason. Pray. Amend. Seek spiritual advice. Mentally dull? Postpone important decisions. Maybe you need a weekend rest with the family. An outdoor activity? Visit your relatives. Recharge before you run low in energy.

When you have found yourself in a square - perfect or nearly so - you will enjoy Peace of Mind (POM). Peace of mind is the greatest tool in a person's life every day. It is the most potent tool in overcoming tension and stress that we face in our modern world. POM is earned, it does not just come, it is not a matter of luck. It comes after a good rest and sincere prayer. It accompanies joy and hope. And most importantly, it is like light that radiates and shared by others in the family and community.

Our motives in life on the short, medium and long term are defined in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which appears like a stair - actually a ziggurat or tiered pyramid. The physiologic needs form the base. They are survival needs which are often referred to as drives or instincts. They are biological and as such are universal in the living world. So with social motives in many respects.

The primary social unit is the family. It is not made-to-order. It does not come in silver platter. You have to make it yourself. It is in your plan, determination and resolve. Success of the family is the number one criterion to say you are successful in life.

The family expands into community, then into society. Our actions are governed collectively by culture, as a nation, and ultimately, humanity. We are part of that web .

Because we have risen above our instincts and social motives, we search for that elusive meaning of life - life not equated with money and power, but self-actualization and self-fulfillment. When you are there on that pedestal, you among great men and women. You belong to the rank of heroes and martyrs.
How far do we look from where we stand in terms of space and time? Each one has his own perception and perspective. But the general rule is that, the more we have provided ourselves with guarantees in life - job, financial and material things, natural resources around us, concern of others for us, and the like, the farther we look ahead into the future. We look not only for our own good today and tomorrow. We look forward to future of our children, and beyond. We talk of tomorrow when we have enough today. We talk of investment when we have savings.

And the wider our perspective is, the more we expand our concern, concern not about ourselves but for other people we may not even know. We become interested in things happening around the world, even if these do not directly concern us.

We look beyond our fence so to speak, we become interested with what is happening. Not mere spectators but players. Here we realize the meaning of what Shakespeare said, "the world is a stage and each one of us has a role to play."

We no longer live just for life's sake. We make friendship into brotherhood. We care because we love. We are not only citizens of our country, or members of a particular race, religion or creed. We are citizens of the world.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

Glowing Caterpillars

 Painting and Poem by Dr Abe V Rotor
Glowing Caterpillars in acrylic on mounted canvas (21.5” x 22”) AVR 2014

Wondered I as a child seeing you glow in the dark,
     passing  the day in slumber with your host;
your fire is myth, but what philosophy does it make,  
     of your presence exacting a heavy cost?

As I grew up, I learned phosphorescence everywhere:
      plankton of endless number and variety;
the woods and fields studded with watchful eyes,          
      and you, you make a glowing crown of a tree.

I’ve seen wild mushrooms, jellyfish in the deep, glow,
      sulfur bacteria in boiling caldera shining;
and in old age a myriad fireflies mingling with the stars,

     that link us all to a Supreme Being. ~       

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Nymphaea Lilies

Painting and Verse by Dr Abe V Rotor 

Nymphaea Lilies in acrylic by A V Rotor, 2014 .

Nymphaea, a name only for a goddess
no namesake can compare;
shy in the night, queenly in her reign
when is sun is up, with some soul to care.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Eventful 2014

Deadly Ebola, Malaysian Airline Tragedy, Mass Murders, Terrorists' ISIS, top the news 

Researched and compiled by Dr Abe V Rotor
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 

Anyone willing to treat Ebola victims ran the risk of becoming one. Which brings us to the hero’s heart. There was little to stop the disease from spreading further. Governments weren’t equipped to respond; the World Health Organization was in denial and snarled in red tape. First responders were accused of crying wolf, even as the danger grew. But the people in the field, the special forces of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the Christian medical-relief workers of Samaritan’s Purse and many others from all over the world fought side by side with local doctors and nurses, ambulance drivers and burial teams.

The 2014′s events were a test, one that the global health system failed. Yet, the people who fought Ebola were able to act as a barrier to keep the disease at bay. The rest of the world can sleep at night because a group of men and women are willing to stand and fight. For tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to boost its defenses, for risking, for persisting, for sacrificing and saving, the Ebola fighters are TIME’s 2014 Person of the Year.”

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (Boeing 777) crashes in Ukraine, after being shot down by a missile. 298 people die, including 15 crew members.

January 1 – Latvia officially adopts the Euro as its currency and becomes the 18th member of the Eurozone.

February–ongoing – The Ebola virus epidemic heroes persons of the year 2014  in West Africa begins, infecting over 18,000 people and killing at least 6,000 people, the most severe both in terms of numbers of infections and casualties.
February 7–23 – The XXII Olympic Winter Games are held in Sochi, Russia.
February 13 – Belgium becomes the first country in the world to legalise euthanasia for terminally ill patients of any age.
February 22 – The Ukrainian parliament votes to remove President Viktor Yanukovych from office, replacing him with Oleksandr Turchynov, after days of civil unrest left around 100 people dead in Kiev.
February 26–ongoing – The pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine leads to the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and an insurgency in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

March 5 – Nicolás Maduro, the President of Venezuela, severs diplomatic and political ties with Panama, accusing Panama of being involved in a conspiracy against the Venezuelan government.
March 8 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a Boeing 777 airliner en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, disappears over the Gulf of Thailand with 239 people on board. The aircraft is presumed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean.
March 16 – A referendum on the status of Crimea is held.
March 21 – Russia formally annexes Crimea after President Vladimir Putin signed a bill finalizing the annexation process.
March 24 – During an emergency meeting, the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, and Canada temporarily suspend Russia from the G8.
March 27 – The United Nations General Assembly passes Resolution 68/262, recognizing Crimea within Ukraine’s international borders and rejecting the validity of the 2014 Crimean referendum.
March 31 – The United Nations International Court of Justice rules that Japan's Antarctic whaling program is not scientific but commercial and forbids grants of further permits.

April 10 – In response to the 2014 Crimean crisis, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) passes a resolution to temporarily strip Russia of its voting rights; its rights to be represented in the Bureau of the Assembly, the PACE Presidential Committee, and the PACE Standing Committee; and its right to participate in election-observation missions.[
April 14 – An estimated 276 girls and women are abducted and held hostage from a school in Nigeria.
April 16 – Korean ferry MV Sewol capsizes and sinks after an unmanageable cargo shift, killing more than 290 people, mostly high school students.
April 27 – The Catholic Church simultaneously canonizes Popes John XXIII and John Paul II.
April 28 – United States President Barack Obama's new economic sanctions against Russia go into effect, targeting companies and individuals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

May 5- The World Health Organization identifies the spread of poliomyelitis in at least 10 countries as a major worldwide health emergency.
Boko Haram militants kill approximately 300 people in a night attack on Gamboru Ngala.[24]
May 20 – Terrorists in Nigeria detonate bombs at Jos, killing 118 people.
May 22 – The Royal Thai Army overthrows the caretaker government of Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan after a failure to resolve the political unrest in Thailand.

June 5–ongoing – A Sunni militant group called the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (also known as the ISIS or ISIL) begins an offensive through northern Iraq, aiming to capture the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad and overthrow the Shiite government led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
June 12 – July 13 – The 2014 FIFA World Cup is held in Brazil, and is won by Germany.
June 19 – King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicates in favor of his son, who ascends the Spanish throne as King Felipe VI.

July 8–August 26 – Amid growing tensions between Israel and Hamas following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June and the revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager in July, Israel launches Operation Protective Edge on the Palestinian Gaza Strip starting with numerous missile strikes, followed by a ground invasion a week later. In 7 weeks of fighting, 2,100 Palestinians and 71 Israelis are killed.
July 17
After a five-hour humanitarian ceasefire, Israel confirms the beginning of a ground offensive in Gaza.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (Boeing 777) crashes in Ukraine, after being shot down by a missile. 298 people die, including 15 crew members.
July 21 – The United Nations Security Council adopts Resolution 2166 in response to the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
July 24 – Air Algérie Flight 5017 crashes in Mali, killing all 116 people on board.

August 7 – Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan are found guilty of crimes against humanity and are sentenced to life imprisonment by the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.
August 8 – The United States military begins an air campaign in northern Iraq to stem the influx of ISIS militants.

September 22 – The United States and several Arab partners begin their airstrike campaign in Syria.
September 26 – The 2014 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, to be held in Cape Town from 13 to 15 October, is suspended after a boycott of Nobel Laureates to protest the third time refusal of a visa to the 14th Dalai Lama by a South African Government "kowtowing to China".

October 19 – The Roman Catholic Church beatifies Pope Paul VI.
October 31 – Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaoré resigns after widespread protests in response to the attempt in abolishing presidential term limits.

November 2 – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases the final part of its Fifth Assessment Report, warning that the world faces "severe, pervasive and irreversible" damage from global emissions of CO2.
November 12 – The Rosetta spacecraft's Philae probe successfully lands on Comet 67P, the first time in history that a spacecraft has landed on such an object.


December 16 – At least 141 people including 132 children are killed when Taliban gunmen storm a school in Peshawar (Pakistan).