Sunday, April 23, 2017

Karmai or Iba - The "Acid" Fruit

Karmai or Iba - The "Acid" Fruit  
Cicca  Latin acida (Linn.) Merr. Family • Euphorbiaceae
Dr Abe V Rotor
A bountiful harvest of Karmai (Karamay Ilk), Sn Vicente, Ilocos Sur  

You don't have to climb the tree, just shake a branch - or the small tree -  and pronto, you have a shirt- or skirtful of this  fruit curiously known by its scientific name -  Cicca acida, which means in Latin, acidic seed membrane. It got a stone hard core surrounded with thick cartilaginous flesh that is very sour. In botany they call this kind of fruit, drupe. And would you think you can have your fill even with the ripest pick? 

Kids we were in our time, would simply relish the fruit, fresh or pickled. Our folks would join cautioning us not to eat too much especially with empty stomach. But in the process, they compete for the choice sizes leaving the small and immature ones. You see, when you harvest, ripe and young fruits fall at the same time to a waiting inverted umbrella, or a stretched blanket, unless you handpick only the ripe ones - which is tedious. When pickled with sukang Iloko (native Ilocos vinegar) and salt, all sizes, mature and immature, become grossly inviting.  

What do you get from karmai?  It may be poor in food value but it contains appreciable amounts of minerals and vitamins the body may need.  Per 100 g of edible portion examined, 92 percent is water.  It is low in protein (0.155 g), fat (0,52 g), fiber (0.8 g).  It got some calcium (5.4 mg), phosphorus (17.9 mg). iron (3.25 mg), ascorbic acid (4.6 mg), and traces of carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin. 

Other than pickled, karmai is made into sweets, either sweetened and dried, or as jelly or jam sans the seeds. Preparation is not easy though because of the high acid content which is first neutralized with salted water for a day or two, before it is drained and dried, then candied or jellied. 

But have you tasted sinigang with karmai instead of kamias (Averrhoa  or sampalok?  Try it with the unripe fruits and savor the pleasant sourness and mild acrid taste. Then after meal have a dessert of pickled karmai to remove the aftertaste of fish or meat. And for a change, try the young leaves cooked as green, like malunggay and kangkong.  

Karmai may not be popular in times of plenty, when imported fruits - apples, oranges, grapes - dominate the fruit stand, when in our life of haste we would rather pick from the shelf packed fruit juices, when schools and communities seldom promote the "lesser" fruits native to our country.   

The revival of ethnobotany - the study of plants and man on a historical and evolutionary perspective - has started in schools and research institutions. It can be a significant approach in providing indigenous food, medicine, and curbing environmental degradation, including global warming in a broad sense. 

Remembering the author of Alternative Medicine,responsible in its passing into law, Senator Juan Flavier, I did a little research on the medicinal properties of karmai.  Here is a short list among many potentials which pose a challenge to the scientific mind. These may be folkloric and therefore tested in certain societies.           

- Decoction of leaves is used externally for urticaria, the fruit given at the same time to eat.
- Decoction of the bark used for bronchial catarrh.
- Some believe the roots to be poisonous, but the Malays boil it for steam inhalation in use for coughs.
- In Java, root infusion used for asthma.
- In Borneo, used with pepper
- Poultice of leaves for lumbago and sciatica.
- Root used for psoriasis.
- Used in chronic liver diseases.
- Decoction of leaves is diaphoretic.
- Leaves used for gonorrhea.
- In Burma, fruits are eaten to promote appetite; sap swallowed to induce vomiting and relieve constipation.
- In Indonesia, leaves are used as counter irritant in sciatica and lumbago. 
- In Malaysia, vapors from boiling of roots inhaled for coughs and headache.
- In Bangladesh used for skin diseases - eczema, abscesses, acne, etc.
- In India, fruits are taken as liver tonic. Leaves, with pepper, are poulticed for sciatica, lumbago or rheumatism. Leaves taken as demulcent for gonorrhea.
- In Maharashtra, India, decoction of seeds used twice daily for asthma and bronchitis.
- In Malaya, root infusion, in small doses, taken for asthma. The root is used for foot psoriasis.
 NOTE: For more details about the medical uses of karmai, medical advice is recommended.   

Next time you see a karmai tree, take time to study and appreciate it.  It is not really a handsome tree. In the first place it is small and may not provide a good shade. But truly karmai deserves a place in the orchard and in the wildlife.   

Reference and acknowledgement: Internet, Living with Nature AVR

Albinism - Nature's "error" yet vital to evolution and perpetuation of species

Dr Abe V Rotor

Are albinos really pigmentless? I found it lately, and the answer is no.

Here are photos of my pet fish - Oscar. I took the photos at two different times of the day - under bright sunlight, and under waning light. In both cases the fish exuded beautiful colors and patterns. They are simply magnificent.

Yet with the naked eye, one would dismiss them as "forgotten" creatures - Nature failed to transmit to them the pigment genes of their parents.

The first three photos were taken from an outdoor aquarium under direct sunlight
Lower two photos were taken under waning light from
the same outdoor aquarium with the same school of fish.

Normally Oscar fish are multicolored with black, yellow, gold and orange dominating the color scheme in distinct and sharp patterns. Among local aquarium fish, to me, they are the most attractive, and because there is no standard pattern, each fish is an original piece of art. I used to study their designs, associating them with maps of land masses, countries and islands, of shapes of creatures and objects. As a biologist I wondered how colors and patterns help the fish's survival through nature's laws of offense and defense - or by mimicry to be able to integrate themselves with other species to form a community.

I failed to buy the colorful normal Oscar. Pet shops say they are rare, although my son was able to secure five colorful ones which he raised to maturity and became a centerpiece of a biological laboratory of a college in Manila. Because of the rarity of the colorful ones, I settled for the albinos - ten of them - which I got for a good bargain.

Now, if albinos lack the colors endowed to their normal siblings because Nature "committed an error" how come they are still around? Are they not vulnerable - or even inviting - to predators? I surmise that their mere presence within the population would certainly predispose them victims to cannibalism by the normal members. And how can they be protected by the harmful rays of the sun and other forms of radiation?
Human albino. Albino whale, albino bat, albino blackbird,
Albinism is not rare - kangaroo, peacock, turtle, crocodile

Questions about albinism are many indeed. We know that colors are necessary to hide the internal organs, they make the tissues opaque, and the protective coat like a shield. We also know that the fins become pronounced if colored, giving the impression that the fish is solid and bigger than the light colored ones. Albinos don't only look smaller than their actual size, but have the "glass or ghost effect" because they appear naked to the bones, their heart beating and lungs expanding and contracting - as can be traced in these photographs. 

I did some research. I went back to my genetics I learned from my professors: Dr. Nemesio Mendiola, dubbed the plant wizard of the Philippines, and Dr. Ruben Umaly who became a director of a biological institute in Indonesia. And I updated myself with today's molecular biology.

It's true that pigments are phenotypic traits. Their absence means their pigment genes were not transmitted to the offspring. Under Mendelian law, if two recessive genes for pigment are paired instead of being joined to a dominant gene, no pigment appears, and therefore the affected offspring becomes an albino.Yes, there is an albino (white) carabao, there is an albino boa constrictor, there is even a human albino. Albinos are found in other animals, in plants and protists.

There are simply white colored organisms that are not albino, such as the white rhino, sheep, horses, seashells, and the like. These are genetically normal, they are true to type to the parents, and the population for that matter.

Albinos however, are not really without colors. They do have but their colors are not the same to all viewers. Flowers are seen by bees or butterflies different from the colors we humans perceive. The bull cannot differentiate red from other colors. It charges not because of the red banner and colorful attire of the torrero, but by the teasing movement and perceived threat at that moment. Wonder how an owl spots a mice in the dark, how an eagle swoops on its prey from up high.

An albino after all has pigments carried by the recessive genes, only that these pigments may be masked and discreet. They appear only under ultraviolet rays, they are spotted by infrared, amplifying the colors and patterns. For all we know, the unusual characteristics of the albino from their normal counterparts may somehow keep them alive in the wild, under natural conditions of their habitat - at least for some time.
White elephants are regarded sacred in Thailand and other countries. Lucky for the albinos protected by our culture. Religious beliefs have saved certain albino animals, like the albino (white) elephant which is held sacred in Thailand and other parts of Asia and Africa. Otherwise if it is used as draft animal, it would certainly succumb to heat stroke. This is also true with the albino carabao.

How can nature correct its so-called "mistake"? Or could it be that nature planned albinism as an advantage in evolution? But to what extent? Otherwise albinism will lead to speciation, that is, gradual dissociation of the albino from the population, and crosses the genetic border to become ultimately into a new species.

It is also likely that albinos are decoys of predation saving the normal and stronger members of the population in the process. Albinos are repository of recessive genes that would otherwise spread out and weaken the whole population. The mechanism involved in albinism is a universal genetic phenomenon. Traits carried by the pairing of recessive genes do occur in each generation.

The intention of nature, I believe, is purification of the species. Albinos have less chance to survive in the wild. Most do not reach sexual maturity. Therefore, the recessive gene dies with them. And even if they reproduce, they have more chances of producing normal offspring than albinos like themselves, thus keeping the possibility of perpetuating the albino character. Thus the level of albinism is then maintained at a dynamically low rate within the population.

Nature is right after all - albinism is a purification process of the gene pool, it is ensuring the fitness of the species in Darwin's parlance - the preservation of the species through the long and tedious process of evolution. ~

NOTE: The aphorism, White Elephant, may have a negative connotation - refering to a superstructure that has very little use, if there is at all.

Home, Sweet Home with Nature, AVRotor (Manuscript); acknowledgement: Photos from Internet, except photos of Oscar fish. by the author.  

Friday, April 21, 2017

Let's Save Water the Summer!

This article is an update, and an urgent call to conserve water as the levels of our dams are now at a critical level.
La Mesa Dam -  Heart of the Angat-Ipo-La Mesa Water System 
World Water Day March 22, 2016
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog []
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Miss Grace Velasco 

738 DZRB AM, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

From the Sierra Madre mountains a series of water reservoirs - Angat, Ipo, La Mesa - makes a picturesque from the air of a living artery of Nature's wondrous water cycle. Clouds form and condense into rain, funneled by their vast watersheds, and stored in man-made dams for the use of millions of residents in Metro Manila.

Profile of the Angat-Ipo-Lamesa water system. Angat Dam completed in 1967 is situated in Norzagaray, Bulacan. It has a total water storage capacity of 850 million cubic meters and supplies 81.4 percent of the total output of the system. Downstream 7.5 kilometers away is Ipo Dam completed in 1984 has a share of 12 percent. It diverts the water to La Mesa Dam, which contributes 3.4 percent.. It is here where water undergoes a series of treatment to make it potable before it is released to thousands of households in Metro Manila. La Mesa is the heart of this complex water system. 

Call it an engineering feat, an ideal profile of ecology, seat of rich biodiversity, source of inspiration of lovers and artists, an attraction to tourists. It's all of the above answer to queries about the complex because water, other than being basic to life, makes the living world awesome and beautiful. It is water that connects the land, air and sea, into a biosphere, the only known living planet in the whole universe.

The La Mesa dam complex gives respite from urban living, a feeling of freedom from skyscrapers and congested traffic, a change from cacophony of sounds to nature's music in the trees and on the lake shore.  Take a deep breath of the clean air, relax and believe in the power of silence and meditation. Take your family to the La Mesa Eco Park on a weekend. It's perfect for biking, hiking, rappelling, hook-and-line fishing, boating, and games of many kinds.There are scheduled educational and cultural shows. It provides in situ and hands-on study of Nature. It is a wildlife sanctuary, the only kind in Metro Manila and suburbs.

As practicum, I would take my students to the La Mesa Eco Park for a whole day field lecture and demonstration. There we would identify the best we can  plants, animals and other organisms of their common and scientific names and their taxonomic classification. We would bring along a microscope and study the plankton and other microorganisms that comprise the living minutiae of the lake and ponds, then photograph them magnified, a technique called photomicrography

There's another field of photography La Mesa Dam offers - Nature Photography. It is not only recording the things and events occurring in nature but capturing the ephemeral wonders of creation like a honeybee pollinating flowers,  Mimosa or makahiya drooping at the slightest touch, a skink darting across a footpath, a big carp suddenly appearing, and many happenings beyond our expectation.  Then there are things of human interests as we commune with nature.  Fishing with bamboo pole, kite flying, picking fruits, napping under a tree, watching birds in the trees and sky, camping under the stars, and many things we don't usually experience in city living. 

To the artist the park is a perfect place for on-the-spot painting, writing poetry and essays, composing songs and prayers. It offers a natural stage for drama with backdrop of trees, water, sky, in dynamic fashion and design which no stage or screen can truly copy. La Mesa is indeed  the heart and soul of a Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained," the essence of the genius John Milton's masterpieces of the same epic titles. 
La Mesa Dam is a 700-hectare water reservoir built to supply water to Metro Manila and its suburbs. It is part of a 2,000-hectare watershed located in Fairview, Quezon City, San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan and Rodriguez in Rizal. The reservoir is elevated at 100 meters above sea level.The La Mesa reservoir occupies 27 square kilometers and can hold up to 50.5 million cubic meters of water. Greater Lagro and adjoining Fairview, both middle class hug the lower limits of the reservoir proper. The La Mesa Eco Park is situated along the spillway of the dam as indicated in this map.

But aerial view and imagery may be deceiving even on a clear day. The water system complex is facing serious problems today, some perilous at that. Authorities and scientists, in spite of protective measures and rehabilitation programs of the government, private sector and citizens, are not comfortable with the condition of the system, raising vital questions and expressing sentiments as to the sustainability of the system to keep up with the ever increasing demand of water, considering the following developments:

First, the watersheds of the three reservoirs are shrinking and thinning as a result of encroachment by illegal loggers and settlers, with kaingin or slash-and-burn planting rampant in certain places, in fact in the heart of the watersheds. The carrying capacity and longevity of the reservoir depends mainly on the integrity of its watershed. A controversial subdivision has been built inside La Mesa Dam.  The issue has not been resolved in spite of its clear violation to law.

Second, pollution coming from land, air and feeder streams is destroying the system and the health of people. Take the case of the Payatas Dumpsite, QC's version of Manila's Smokey Mountain. Because of the closeness of the open dump site, tons and tons of carbon and ash, poisonous and obnoxious gases, and leachate find their way into the reservoirs. A petition initiated by the QC government and residents has been filled with the Supreme Court to close Payatas landfill permanently. (PDI March 2015)

Third, Global Warming has reduced rainfall over the watershed complex in the last two decades or so, necessitating cloud seeding to augment receding water level. Other than depriving the needed rainfall, dry air sucks moisture from both reservoirs and watersheds predisposing the watershed to forest fire, more so during an El Niño year. . 

Fourth, the cyclical El Niño which now occurs on closer interval since industrial times, is causing the water level to plunge to critical level. Unfortunately Metro Manila is virtually dependent wholly on the Angat-Ipo-La Mesa system. Even underground water also falls to critical level during El Niño. By the way 2015 is mild El Nino year which is now being felt nationwide.

Fifth, The price of water is one of the highest in the world. Internet research showed that the minimum consumption per family of 6 in MM is 10 cubic meters per month. At P56.48 per cubic meter, monthly bill is P568.80. This is not all; there are other charges added amounting to P200, which then total to P768.80. Over and above this figure are proposed price adjustments. .

Historically from P4.97 in 1997 to P56.48 per cubic meter today, the increase in charges is an exorbitant 1,036.69 percent. Water prices rose by 45 percent to 61 percent per year for 17 years. In addition, the government extended the water contracts to Maynilad and Manila Water by another 15 years. What went wrong?

Water privatization in Metro Manila began when President Fidel Ramos instructed the government in 1994 to solve what he called the water crisis in Manila by engaging with the private sector.
How did Metro Manila water prices become so expensive and prohibitive? The answer: Monopoly pricing. Consumers have no choice but accept the rates. The other answer: Failure of governance. MWSS abetted and encouraged atrociously high water prices. Tony Lopez, Virtual Reality
Sixth, Angat dam which supplies 81.4 percent of the total output of the system is structurally in danger (Angat Dam: Another tragedy in waiting - Boo Chanco, The Philippine Star, September 10, 2014)

Philvocs warned of a catastrophic disaster unless we move fast to reinforce the structural integrity of Angat Dam. To quote Dr Renato Solidum, Philvocs Executive Director, "Angat dam is an old dam and must be fortified as soon as possible. It is old and still sitting along the West Valley fault line.... A magnitude of 7.2 or an intensity 8 earthquake could spell disaster of unimaginable proportions."

As a background two super typhoons Emma (Welming1867) and Rita (Kading 1978) took the lives of several people and destroyed millions of pesos worth of properties as a result of sudden and uncoordinated release of flood water from the dam. We can imagine a worse scenario, as Philvocs warned, had the dam given way to the tremendous force. It reminds us of the movie Evan Almighty, a modern day Noah who was commanded by God to save the people from flood caused by the collapse of a poorly constructed dam. Unlike the bible which had a tragic ending the movie exposed corruption of some politicians.

La Mesa Dam has grown old through the years of faithful service. It is like a heart that is already tired and weak, exacerbated by the poor condition of the very system it is a part of and which it serves. Which too, has passed its prime. Time, incessant use. misuse and abuse have altogether taken their toll, and will be taking more to the brink of disaster. The system has long been diagnosed and the finding is clear with a stern warning.

In physiology the heart is forced to work harder as the system declines. while the body becomes idle, overweight, and indulgent to the Good Life characteristic of our postmodern times where affluence has virtually no end. Its demand far exceeds supply violating reciprocity which is governed by a simple rule: what is taken must be returned - the basis of the principle of sustainability. The bounty and beauty of nature must be preserved and conserved. This is the greatest heritage we can bequeath to our children and children's children.~ 
Overlooking the La Mesa Lake
La Mesa Water Treatment  Plant
Located in Novaliches, Quezon City, La Mesa Dam was built in 1929. Water from the Novaliches Portal is conveyed through three open channels, namely La Mesa Treatment Plants 1 and 2, as well as the Balara Treatment Plant. Photos show normal water level, and excess water spilling over the dam and flows down the Tullahan River. 
The La Mesa Ecopark is famous for its natural beauty and terrain, a favorite spot for family picnic, educational and entertainment programs, hiking and and biking.  

La Mesa is home of this rare osprey (Pandion haliaetus). Now and then you may see this regal bird patrolling the lake.  I have seen it a number of times closely flying over Lagro. In my research it is a large raptor, reaching more than 60 cm (24 in) in length and 180 cm (71 in) across its wings. It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts. It is also called fish eagle, sea hawk, river hawk, or fish hawk, a diurnalfish-eating bird of prey

A tranquil pond below the spillway is an excellent fishing ground for enthusiasts. 
A biker negotiates a wooden bridge.

Only with the heart that one can see rightly.*
       On-the-spot Composition at the La Mesa Eco Park
                              by Dr Abe V Rotor 2012

How fleeting time through the generations passed,
     The lake once full, Narcissus idly on its shore,
Waits the nymph Echo passionately in vain ‘til cast,
     Hushing the trees, crying for Narcissus no more.       

If love is blind and lovers cannot see, so with beauty;
     In Song to Celia’s drink to me only with thine eyes
Makes one sober and blind, bathed in prodigious plenty;
     The heart no longer spoken of the soul soon dies.  

Tragedies from wastefulness and indifference tell us
     Often late when the wrath of our own making
Strikes in our sleep and the young innocents.  Aghast!
     Listen, listen to the Four Horsemen thundering. 

* “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

Advocacy and Citizens' Action

  1. Use water wisely, limit consumption.
  2. Plant trees, support the Greening Movement. 
  3. Report illegal activities in the reservoir and watershed such as kaingin.
  4. Support the move to close permanently the Payatas landfill. 
  5. Strongly recommend reduction of water bill through Congress, local government leaders,  civic and church organizations.
  6. Reduce pollution, do not burn plastic.  Plastic emits DIOXIN, the most poisonous man-made substance that can be carried by wind and rain.which may find its way to our water supply. 
  7. For those near and around the watersheds of the system, make your backyard an "extension of the watershed," and a wildlife sanctuary, too.    
  8. Strongly support the "Save the Angat Dam" before anything catastrophic happens. 
  9. Love Nature, take time out from office school and work. Develop Reverence for life a personal philosophy.
  10. Enjoin the family, church, and community in ensuring every citizen the right for clean, available and affordable water, as embodied in the Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations.~      

Home, Sweet Home

Home is laughter and music, prose and poetry;
Home is forgiving, rejoicing, celebrating.
Dr Abe V Rotor
Brick House, acrylic by AVR

Home, Sweet Home
By John Howard Payne
Music by Henry Rowley Bishop (1786-1855)
(Arranged for the violin and piano by Henry Farmer)

‘Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home;
A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there,
Which seek through the world, is ne’er met with elsewhere.
Home, Home, sweet, sweet Home!

An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain;
O, give me my lowly thatched cottage again!
The birds singingly gaily, that came to my call –
Give me them – and the peace of mind, dearer than all.
Home, Home sweet, sweet Home.
There’s no place like Home! There’s no place like Home!

Home Sweet Home is one of my favorite pieces on the violin. My daughter would accompany me on the piano in my lectures, and on one occasion, in a concert. The arrangement made by Henry Farmer is made up of three variations revolving on the popular melody of the song. Home Sweet Home was popularized by the pioneers who left their homes in the Old World and settled in the New World - America.

One of the lessons I discussed lately on the school-on-air program - Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid - is about home and family. It was one of the liveliest lessons ever conducted on air with many enthusiastic callers who shared their concepts and views about a happy home. Here is a short list.

1. Home is a roof for everyone, residents and guests.
2. Home is a wall with large windows that let the sun and the breeze in.
3. Home is where fish in the aquarium sparkle in the morning’s sun.
4. Home is a baby smiling, of children playing.
5. Home is a faithful husband and wife.
6. Home is a “place for everything and everything in its place,” but not always.
7. Home is dad and mom waiting for us from school.
8. Home is a workshop for hobbies and inventions.
9. Home is where our dog lies on the doormat waiting for its master.
10. Home is a litter of puppies and kittens.
11. Home is a rooster crowing, nature’s alarm clock.
12. Home is a house lizard’s crispy announcement of a guest coming.
13. Home is a frog croaking in the rain.
14. Home is a safari of wildlife – from insects to migratory birds.
15. Home is a warm embrace of a cat.
16. Home is a cup of coffee, a sip of wine, a newspaper.
17. Home is a warm bath, a cold shower, a bath tub.
18. Home is National Geographic, Time Magazine, Daily Inquirer.
19. Home is ripe tomato, succulent radish, dangling stringbeans,
20. Home is a brooding mother hen in her nest.
21. Home is fresh eggs everyday.
22. Home is the sound of birds and crickets.
23. Home is the sweet smell of flowers, falling leaves, swaying branches in the wind.
24. Home is the sweet smell of the earth after the first rain in May.
25. Home is a singing cicada in the tree.
26. Home is a swarming of gamugamo in the evening.
27. Home is a sala too small for so many friends.
28. Home is a cabinet of books, a study table, a computer.
29. Home is Beethoven, Mozart, Abelardo, Santiago.
30. Home is Charlotte Church, Josh Groban, Sharon Cuneta.
31. Home is Amorsolo. Picasso, Van Gogh.
32. Home is potpourri of appetizing recipes, of the proverbial grandmother apple pie.
33. Home is pinakbet, lechon, karekare, suman, bibingka.
34. Home is a garden of roses, a grass lawn to lie on.
35. Home is an herbarium of plants, a gene bank.
36. Home is home for biodiversity, a living museum.
37. Home is doing repair that has no end.
38. Home is disposing old newspapers, bottles, metal scraps, used clothes.
39. Home is a midnight candle before an exam.
40. Home is a shoulder, a pillow, to cry on.
41. Home is Noche Buena.
42. Home is fireworks on New Year.
43. Home is general cleaning on weekends.
44. Home is a soft bed that soothes tired nerves and muscles.
45. Home is a fire place, a hearth, which takes the cold out of the body and spirit.
46. Home is a Prodigal Son returning, Good Samaritan.
47. Home is a round table where thanksgiving prayer is said.
48. Home is laughter and music, prose and poetry.
49. Home is forgiving, rejoicing, celebrating.
50. Home is Angelus and rosary hour.

To sum it all, Home is Home Sweet Home.~

Relics of History (Article in progress)

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog

Belfry, Magsingal, Ilocos Sur

Old Spanish church and convent. Bantay, Ilocos Sur

Church of Sta Monica originally built in the 17th century.  Roxas City, Capiz
"How old is this church," a kindly tourist once asked.

St Paul University QC, now renovated with an added floor on the same structure. 
Burned during World War II as the Allied Forces overtook this garrison occupied by the Japanese for almost 4 years.

World War II Memorial at St. Paul University QC

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Let's Observe International Mother Earth Day, 22 April

Theme for 2017:  "Environmental and Climate Literacy".
Country life in Summer, mural by the author, depicting happy childhood with nature.    

UNITED NATIONS: International Mother Earth Day is celebrated to remind each of us that the Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance.

It also recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity.

International Mother Earth Day provides an opportunity to raise public awareness around the world to the challenges regarding the well-being of the planet and all the life it supports.

The theme for 2017 is "Environmental and Climate Literacy".

Education is the foundation for progress. We need to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and aware of its unprecedented threat to our planet. We need to empower everyone with the knowledge to inspire action in defense of environmental protection.

Environmental and climate literacy is the engine not only for creating green voters and advancing environmental and climate laws and policies but also for accelerating green technologies and jobs.
Wholesome ways of being environment friendly  
Add your own to these examples, and share with your friends, 
family, school, church and community.   
 On-the-spot painting (UST College of Fine Arts) 
Eat kamote tops, rich in minerals and vitamins. At home
 Visit botanical gardens.  Or initiate building one in your community. Author at the UST Botanical Garden. , UST
Visit farms and gardens. Bromeliads horticulture, Mt Banahaw, Quezon
 Visit a museum (UST Museum of Natural History) 
 Art workshop for children in the neighborhood, at author's residence. 
Attend workshops. Folk Wisdom for kids in the neighborhood, conducted by author at his residence in QC
 Family get together on weekends.
  Protect and preserve our native gene pool.  Native jackfruit in fruiting season, Agoo, LU
Promote natural or organic farming (Internet)
Visit and join festivals about Nature. Pahiyas festival, Lukban, Laguna, 15 May   
 Painting as a hobby.  Children fishing, painting by the author.
How do you beat summer?  Here's one way, kids in a bath tub, San Vicente, Ilocos Sur 
 Join the Green Revolution at home (Internet)

 Revive Bahay Kubo culture and values, IRRI Museum, UPLB Laguna 
Frolic - childhood's most memorable experience on the countryside, Bohol  
 Revive indigenous games (detail of mural, Philippine Children's Medical Center, Diliman, QC
 Yes, there's a home for every one. Kuya Center, home for street children, Cubao QC
 Adopt scientific sloping land farming (Internet)
 Promote Interfaith congress for peace and prosperity, UST circa 2005
 Have time to reflect. Meditation before a wall mural on nature painted by the author 
 Use biodegradable materials like walis tingting  (coconut midrib); a festival (Internet)
 Promote consumption of vegetables (typical vegetable stall); a recipe of kangkong. 
Help preserve historic century-old trees, Hi Chi Ming,City, Vietnam
Support alternative environment-friendly energy source. Author's sister and daughter, respectively  (Wind mills, Bangui, IN)
Breast feeding and proper weaning, Right, author's grand daughter and babysitter.  ~