Thursday, September 30, 2010

Uses of Vinegar in the Shop and Working Area

Abe V Rotor

  1. Unclog steam iron. Pour equal amounts of vinegar and water into the iron’s water chamber. Turn to steam and leave the iron on for five minutes in an upright position. Then unplug and allow to cool. Any loose particles should come out when you empty the water.
  2. Clean a scorched iron plate. Heat equal parts vinegar and salt in a small pan. Rub solution on the cooled iron surface to remove dark or burned stains.
  3. Keep colors from running. Immerse clothes in full strength vinegar before washing.
  4. Get rid of lint in clothes. Add ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle.
  5. Freshen up the washing machine. Periodically, pour a cup of vinegar in the machine and let in run through a regular cycle (no clothes added). Will dissolve soap residue.
  6. Brighten fabric colors. Add a ½ cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.
  7. Take grease off suede. Dip a toothbrush in vinegar and gently brush over grease spot.
  8. Remove tough stains. Gently rub on fruit, jam, mustard, coffee, tea. Then was as usual.
  9. Get smoke smell out of clothes. Add a cup of vinegar to a bath tub of hot water. Hang clothes above the steam.
  10. Remove decals. Brush with a couple coats of vinegar. Allow to soak in. Wash off.
  11. Clean eyeglasses. Wipe each lens with a drop of vinegar.
  12. Freshen cut flowers. Add 2 tbsp vinegar and 1 tbsp sugar for each quart of water.
  13. Polish car chrome. Apply full strength vinegar with a soft cloth.
  14. Dissolve rust from bolts and other metals. Soak in full strength vinegar.
  15. Clean windows with vinegar and water.
  16. Rub vinegar on the cut end of uncooked ham to prevent mold. It will not change the taste of your ham.
  17. Add vinegar to laundry rinse water. This will remove all soap and prevent yellowing.
  18. Remove hairspray and other p[product buildups from your hair. Massage one ounce of full strength vinegar into hair and leave on for about 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water. The shampoo and rinse your hair as usual.
  19. Boil vinegar and water in pots to remove stains.
  20. Pour undiluted vinegar in coffee maker to remove sediments. Run through like you are brewing coffee. Let cool and run through again if your coffee maker is full of sediment. When done, run in plain water through to rinse a few times.
  21. Remove berry stains from hands with vinegar.
  22. Wash hands with diluted vinegar after working with cement. This will restore smoothness and color of your hands.
  23. Artists use vinegar for etching and blending paint materials.
  24. Soak your fingernails in vinegar for 20 minutes two times a week to strengthen them. They will grow longer a lot faster than normal.
  25. Bring vinegar to a boil in an old saucepan. Reduce to shimmer and place paint brushes with hardened paint on them in the pan. Leave until you see paint loosen. Wash brushes with soapy water to soften the brushes.
  26. Dampen a cloth with vinegar and wipe counters, canisters and other containers to keep them smelling fresh and clean.
  27. Place small containers of vinegar all around the house to take out cigarette smoke smell. Or wave a cloth you soaked in vinegar around the house to clean the air odors.
  28. Pour baking soda down clogged drain. Add boiling vinegar to it and your drain should unclog. If not, your clog is needing a commercial drain opener.
  29. To tighten cane bottom or caneback chairs sponge them with a hot solution of half vinegar and half water. Place the chairs out in the hot sun to dry. They will tighten back into shape.
  30. To eliminate mildew. Dust and odors. Wipe down walls with vinegar-soaked cloth.
Home with Nature, AVR

Pangasius fish: How it is made into fillet

Abe V Rotor

From top: holding tank for Pangasius of harvestable size; fins are cut off, gills removed to bleed fish; fish is deftly cut with fillet knife; entrails are removed; choice cut. The remaining bony part which includes head is cut for paksiw, or for animal food.

It is called iridescent shark, Pangasius hypophthalmus, but it is not a shark, it is a catfish related to our hito or paltat (Ilk). It is also known as Siamese shark or sutchi catfish, or striped catfish, and dory fish. The species is found in Southeast Asia, in the Mekong (Vietnam) basin as well as the Chap Phraya (Thailand) where and is commercially raised for food. It has also been introduced into other river basins as a food source and is common in the fish keeping hobby. It is named for its glow or iridescence exhibited in juveniles. It is omnivorous, feeding on algae, plants, crustaceans and other fish.

The fins are dark grey or black. Juveniles have a black stripe along the lateral line and a second black stripe below the lateral line; they have a shiny, iridescent color that gives these fish their name. However, large adults are uniformly grey and lack the striping. Adults reach up to 130 cm (4 ft) in length and can weigh up to a maximum of 44 kg (97 lb).

Acknowledgment: Coronel Farms ) Florida Blanca, Pampanga); Wikepedia

Don't play with the toad. It is poisonous.

Dr Abe V Rotor
Toads (Bufo marinus) are nocturnal, they rest in crevices or under the shade during the day. The toad is a friend of the farmer because it preys on insect pest. But in Australia it turned maverick soon after it was introduced to control sugarcane pests. Because it is poisonous, the toad has been responsible for the death of dogs, cats, fowls, reptiles, as well as other predators to the point of decimating their populations and disturbing ecological balance.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dead Tree Walking

I am the ghost that walks
from a forest before;
I am the conscience of man
sleeping in its core.

I am the memory
from the distant past;
lost among the throng,
living in the dust.

I came from Paradise lost,
orphaned by the first sin;
the hands that cared for me
can't now be seen.

I long for a heaven, too,
a gift of being good and true,
but if heaven is only for man
then I serve him through.

But I am a ghost now.
Would man join me for a walk
to tell the world the story
of a once mighty oak? ~

Home with Nature, AVR

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Take this literacy test in Life Science

Abe V Rotor

Graduate students in biology from UST study an anthill;
pose on a leaning century-old mango tree at Florida Blanca,

  1. Going back to nature” means we have to live the lives of our ancestors and renounce our modern living.
  2. We can actually transfer genetic materials from one organism to another irrespective of species or class or subkingdom by means of genetic engineering, resulting in the formation of what we call as GMO.
  3. Genetic engineering actually started with Gregor Mendel, the father of the science of genetics and heredity nearly two hundred years ago.
  4. There is no question about a human clone of not having a soul because, the soul of the parent transcends to offspring which is the clone.
  5. We live under different ages all at a given time - atomic age, computer age, age of genetic engineering, and space age – all rolled into what scientists called the age of postmodernism.
  6. Man is a recent creature on Earth. If the 5 billion years of the earth’s existence is compared to a calendar (365 days), man came into this world only in the eve of December 30. Man is only one-day old on earth.
  7. Toxic metals abound on land, sea and air – from kangkong to tuna to fowls – unless we control the emission and spread of these toxic metals.
  8. Even without the human species, Planet Earth will continue to “go round” so to speak in the same way as it did in the last 5 billion years – and perhaps go on for another 5 billion years.
  9. Penguins and white bears are drowning in the Arctic region because of the melting of ice.
  10. The least sprayed vegetables – that is, vegetables that do not necessarily require the application of pesticides – are those that grow wild.
  11. Converting corn into ethanol requires more energy in the process than the net energy output/ produce.
  12. 12. Cicada or kuliglig emerges singing on trees at the start of the amihan.
  13. The name Rachel Carson rings every time we talk about pollution, a subject in her book, “Silent Spring”.
  14. When you introduce a new plant in your garden – a plant that has not been tried before – you are sure it is virtually free of pests, firstly because it did not bring with it the pests from its origin, and second, the local pests would take time to develop the taste for it.
  15. Homeostasis means dynamic balance – Nature’s way of renewal, renaissance, seeking stability as continuing goal.
  16. The coconut crab is the biggest crab in the world.
  17. The whale has a good memory. Beware if you injure a whale; it may have its revenge someday.
  18. Chicken soup is best for convalescent.
  19. Banana with freckles and discolorations means it is sweet.
  20. Pulling out a gray or while hair will cause ten more to grow in its place. .
  21. Of the 12 warmest years on record, 11 occurred in the last 20 years, mainly from 1995 to 2004.
  22. Asia is the last region to clean up its cities – Orientals are not as meticulously clean as Occidentals.
  23. It is now accepted unanimously that industrialization is the culprit of global warming.
  24. Global warming has something to do with the disturbance of the tectonic plates leading to more frequent and stronger earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruption.
  25. Kugtong - giant lapu-lapu - really exists. Its mouth is so big, a man’s head could get through it.
Please exchange papers with the one in front of you, write your name as the corrector of the other’s paper. Put a check on the correct answers, and X for the wrong ones. Count the number of correct answers and rate it accordingly.

  1. F
  2. T
  3. F
  4. F
  5. T
  6. T
  7. T
  8. T
  9. T
  10. T
  11. T
  12. F
  13. T
  14. F
  15. T
  16. T
  17. T
  18. T
  19. F
  20. F
  21. T
  22. F
  23. T
  24. T
  25. T
19 – 20 Outstanding
16 - 18 Very good
13 – 15 Good
10 – 12 Passing

Lesson on Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid in Biology

Classical Adventure and Science Fiction Writers

World's greatest science fiction writer. Although considered fiction, his writings vividly described machines too advanced in his time, the products of a rich mind, that became the forerunners of today's submarine, dirigible, rocket, spaceship, and the like.

Abe V Rotor

Adventure is an inevitable part of childhood. Scientists believe that early exposure to adventure - real and imaginary - contributes immensely to a happy childhood, and enhances a better chance to face successfully the realities of adult life in a fast changing world.

I recommend these fiction novels for reading and viewing.
  1. Jules Verne – Around the World in 80 Days, Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth
  2. Ernest Hemingway – The Old Man and the Sea, Snows of Kilimanjaro
  3. Johann Wyss – Swiss Family Robinson
  4. Daniel Defoe – Robinson Crusoe
  5. Anna Sewell – Black Beauty
  6. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - The Lost World
  7. Mark Twain – Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn
  8. Rudyard Kipling – Jungle Book
  9. Herman Merville – Moby Dick
  10. Robert Louis Stevenson – Treasure Island, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
  11. Frances Burnett – The Secret Garden
  12. Edgar Rice Burrows - Tarzan
  13. Creators of Flash Gordon, etc.
Take hold of these novels - in print or CD, or both - and you will realize the transformation of your life. Parental guidance may be needed for some works, or parts of a certain story.

Based on lessons on
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's school-on-air)

Are you aspiring to be a journalist?

This article is dedicated to the father and pillar of Philippine journalism: Teodoro or "Ka Doroy" Valencia (center). His column Over a Cup of Coffee shaped the thinking of his readers, and influenced the decisions of leaders in his time and beyond.

Like "Ka Doroy" an aspiring journalist must -
  1. Be inquisitive
  2. Be constant in his purpose
  3. Be fair and balanced
  4. Be genuinely interested in people
  5. Seek the truth
  6. Be resourceful
  7. Have guts
  8. Master his grammar
  9. Know his medium
  10. Read, read and read.
Above all, he must be God-fearing, compassionate, and true to his country and fellowmen. And uphold journalism as a profession and institution.

Based on the lecture by Dr Abe V Rotor on journalism, UST Faculty of Arts and Letters

Humanities and Communications: Effective Writing Guidelines

Humanities and Communications: Effective Writing Guidelines

Dr Abe V Rotor
  1. Think first, then write
  2. Get to the point
  3. Omit verbal deadwood
  4. Use familiar words
  5. Keep your sentences short
  6. Shorten your paragraphs
  7. Use specific, concrete language
  8. Prefer the simple to the complex
  9. Be positive
  10. Use the active voice
  11. Write as you talk
  12. Use adjectives sparingly
  13. Revise and sharpen
  14. Write to express, not to impress
  15. Odds and ends
NOTE: The Lord’s Prayer contains only 57 words;
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is
less than two pages.

Fishing by the Ruins of a Pier

Abe V Rotor

I ask how many wars had been fought
Where the sun sets on Genie’s knees;
War in peace, yet peace it brought,
Feigning in Orwellian bliss.

Ruins everywhere, I ask the sages,
The Great Wall and the Pyrenees;
They stand through time and ages,
In Lamarkian idleness.

I cast a line with hopes that ne’er cease;
Where fish and silence are perfect twins;
The world will never, never know peace
Fishing all day by the ruins.


Abe V Rotor

Butbutones a common weed in farms and gardens.

There are creatures destined to live
best in the wild,
Where everything is so little,
others barely thrive.
They fill the emptiness of time,
and that of space,
The forgotten corners of the Earth
with divine grace.

Home with Nature, AVR

Requiem to Old Sampalok Tree

Century old tamarind, Iboy, San Ildefonso (Ilocos Sur)

Abe V Rotor

It matters not if it's the past, present or future
To believe in the trees that talk and laugh and cry;
To believe in spirits in them as their soul,
Our ancestors said, and sages would tell you why.

Time doesn't change, it only moves on and on,
Like the sun and moon,not even the steeled mind;
The earth that nourishes the living - tree or man
For change catches only those at the edge of time.

And here man creates another world of his own,
He cuts the trees, levels the hills, rapes the forest,
Drains the swamps, a Tower of Babel he builds
Where a tree once stood cradling a bird's nest.

It's a noosphere of lust and pride against order
Of the universe, the unity of all creation
In prayer and song, in dynamic balance
That spells salvation and eternity - or oblivion.

Prayer in a Talisay Tree

Abe V Rotor

University of Santo Tomas, Manila

Birds nestled on your top,
beetles ensconced in your bark,
a chrysalis dangles on your branch,
and many creatures by chance
find shelter in your roots,
while ferns and lichens cling
like your own fruits.

You are a world complete
for the children and their art,
a tree for all seasons and reasons,
shining best in colors in fall,
when briefly you rest
and wake to His call.

The sun peeps through your crown
until your leaves turn golden,
to brown to green again:
this benevolent umbrella tree
many years ago I planted
is my little prayer for Thee.~

Home with Nature, AVR

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Part 1: Ten Verses to Live by

Author pays homage to Leona Florentino, Ilocana
poetess at her monument in Vigan Ilocos Sur

Abe V Rotor

1. Be it at Acadie or Walden Pond,
Basilan or on Mount Saint Paul,
Or atop the Pyramid of the Sun,
God’s message is same to all.

2. Superstition and folklore may bear
Little truth and a lot of fancy;
Nonetheless we love them with some fear,
As they take us to fantasy.

3. If you wish, you got to believe;
And believe deeply to get your wish;
But first strive hard without remiss.
For this is a great way to live.

4. If grace builds on nature,
Then grace should abound to all;
Yet only those who are pure
Take the gift, and not the fool.

5. Convenience is like wings
Gliding on the wind’s will;
It is also not taking off
Until the wind is still.

6. They say, love is sweeter after pain,
which sometimes abound;
It may not be any sweeter again
the next time around.

7. It is always the big fish
that got away,
is an old story.
Lo! To the innocent prey.

8. If it is not in our stars
where our problem lies,
“Where then?” We may ask.
Pogo says, “The problem is us.”

9. Truthfulness without kindness
Makes a cold, cruel steel;
Kindness without truthfulness,
Like a boat without keel.

10. Walk.
Running is sometimes bad;
You’ll better see and talk
About the countryside
And God.~

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Assignment in Photography: Photo Essay

Dr Abe V Rotor

My Life at UST (For 4CA2 abd 4CA4 students, Faculty of Arts and Letters). Presentation one week before the Final Exam.

. A PowerPoint presentation. With duplicate copy in print.

. In keeping with the 4ooth year (quadricentennial) of the Royal and Pontifical university, the oldest in the Asian region.

. Format and style flexible, but with consultation with the professor.

. Basic story profile and content, in any order.

1. Campus life
2. Anecdotes, personal experiences
3. Achievements and honors, community involvement
4. Holistic development, adolescence to maturity
5. Preparation for professional and family life
6. Outlook: goals and dreams, mission and vision
7. UST and the World (and me)

Original photos; downloading discouraged. Personal photo collection may be included - edited, if needed. Text and photos balanced and complementary.

Please see previous assign in this Blog.

Good luck! ~

Posted by avrotor at 5:28 AM 0 comments

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Frangipani by the Fountain

Abe V Rotor

Sacred Heart Novitiate, Novaliches QC

Wake up and meet the rising sun,
exude your fragrance in the spring air;
wake with the fountain by your side;
summer is over, it's time for the fair,

Wake up to the call of the butterflies
the bees and the children at play;
wake up with the shower and rainbow
for all creatures to come and stay

Living with Nature 3, AVR


Glass and acrylic paintings by Abe V Rotor

Turkey Fish

Grouper Fish
Marine Crustaceans

Sea Horse

Sargasso Fish

I live by the pen and brush,
and by imagination;
I live where no man had lived
before Creation.

My world sinks into a deep
My world recreates a unique realm
at the rim.

Where corals and weeds grow
into a dome,
Where myriads of creatures have
found a home.

Here there's also conflict
between niches;
Here there's also want amid
the riches.

Here creatures live by artful deceit
and lies,
Here friends and foes co-exist
with their allies.

What makes this world differ
from the other?
What makes it orderly
in disorder?

Do we find beauty in evil
and its kind?
Do we find too, sin and shame
in a bind?

Do we find beauty
in diversity?
Do we find beauty too,
in monotony?

The artist's eye sees more,
but more from the mind;
The artist's eye sees deeper
than the rind.

I would not wish to live here,
not in this realm.
I would just paint it, paint it
like a dream.~

Living with Nature
3, AVR

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Allergy Free Environment

Allergy-free environment, Gourmet Farm, Silang, Cavite

Dr Abe V Rotor

Deep as the oceans, the mountains high that be,
Buzz the bees from flower to flower in Eden there be;

Dreams high, as imagination or the heavens be,

Or a kite, soaring high, the keenest eye can’t see;

Yet deeper the mind only the heart can see,

And the soul that goodness could bring to Thee.

Creatures all you love, they too, shall love you and me.

Allergy’s not in the vocabulary,

And neither is it an enemy.~

We miss Siyam-siyam this year.

Habagat brings into the country the yearly phenomenal
siyam-siyam (9 plus 9) days of rainfall.

Abe V Rotor

(18 days of continuous rainfall) enhances bountiful rice harvest.
The Northwest monsoon or habagat may be intensified by a series of typhoons and low pressure areas that may last for eighteen days; hence the phenomenon is called siyam-siyam in Tagalog and nep-nep in Ilocano which usually occurs in July or August. The period is usually interspersed with brief good weather lasting for two to three days.

Siyam-siyam enhances bountiful harvest for two reasons, namely.
  • First, wider rice area can be planted, which includes the uplands; and
  • Second, sufficient and longer retention of water in the soil nourishes the maturing rice crop, so with the succeeding crops.
We will soon feel the cold winds coming all the way from Siberia. Unlike the habagat wind that picks up moisture over the Pacific and dumps it as rain, the Siberian High or amihan wind is cold and dry because there's not much moisture it can pick up over the Asian continent. It's now Septemburr...

We had more rains the siyam-siyam brought last year which resulted in the Ondoy tragedy and flooding in other parts of the country. Without the siyam-siyam, 2010 is not a good crop year for rice and corn, and other crops that follow the rice harvest.

Let's therefore, tighten our belts.~

Living with Nature 3, AVR

Do you keep abreast with current events? (True or False)

Abe V Rotor

1. Still the No. 1 issue the world faces and is likely to continue to face even at a greater degree and scope is Poverty. More than one-half of the world’s population of 6.4 billion people are living below the poverty line, with 1.2 billion of them in extreme poverty.

2. Climate Change as revealed by An Inconvenient Truth ushers the birth of Global Environmental Campaign which is likely to become a real Revolution for Environmental Protection and Conservation; and the emergence of a new breed of heroes for Mother Earth - Heroes of the Environment.

3. Al Gore the actor and academy award winner for his documentary also received the Nobel Prize together with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both of them are featured Men of the Year 2007 by Time.

4. The US and Australia did not sign the Kyoto Protocol to cut down emission of gases into the atmosphere while the rest of the world dutifully complied with the international accord. These two countries continue to receive criticism for their indifference to global conformance, saying these countries have better alternatives than those in the Kyoto Protocol.

5. The term terrorism has expanded both in nature and scope that it is difficult to separate the following: “enemies” of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, “non-conformists” to nuclear weapons proliferation such as in N Korea and Iran, the so-called “radical” organizations such as NPA, MILF, MNLF, - these virtually allied to Al Qaeda, Taliban, Abu Sayaff.

6. Political analysts predict US troops will continue to remain in Afghanistan on account of the spread of Al-Qaida to neighboring Pakistan.

7. In the field of Stem Cell research, bioethics will always remain an issue as long as embryonic stem cells are used in tissue culture, on-site cloning of damaged organs of the body, rejuvenation, and other applications.

8. The Eurodollar and the US dollar have readjusted at even value, which is an indication that the US economy has recovered.

9. Eastern Europe now has big edge over Western Europe with the fact that the former is supplying oil to the original members of the EU. Thanks for expanding the EU membership to include the oil producing of Eastern Europe, including Russia.

10. The highest Tower of Babel today is in Taipei, Taiwan, followed by Petronas twin Towers of Malaysia. Sears and Empire State in the US have long been surpassed.

11. Burma has had a version similar to the Tiananmen Square incident in China during Deng’s time as prime minister to the apparent condemnation of the free world led by the UN and ASEAN with which Burma or Myanmar is a member.

12. The world’s attention is focused this year on the financial crisis of Greece, the worst ever in its modern history, and of the European Union. Germany has the biggest share in bailing out the beleaguered country.

13. Looking back at “What’s in a name – rather what makes a name?” Princess Diana after all mattered 10 years after her death – the humbling of the aristocracy (she transformed her country; modernizing the monarchy and unbuttoning Britain ); Mother Teresa’s confession of her personal battle inside her faith – Jesus prevailed.

14. Spain won the 2010 World Cup in football in South Africa beating Netherlands 1-0. For days, nay weeks, Spain was swept by Euphoria.

15. More and more people are rejecting Genetically Modified Food demanding mandatory labeling of food products whether Natural of Genetically Modified.

16. Contrary to people becoming vegetarians, the number of carnivores is increasing in practically all over the world. This is why more and more people are becoming obese – including Orientals/Asians.

17. The best countries for business as identified by the World Economic Forum (Davos, Switzerland) are as follows – top five in decreasing order: US, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany Finland, Singapore, Japan, UK and Netherlands.

18. Based on the same survey, the Philippines scored low but it is within the top 50 countries of favorable business climate as endorsed with the World Economic Forum.

19. In another survey of WEF. The Philippines is in the top 10 countries on the basis of gender equality. We even beat the US (slipped from 22 to 31),Germany (7), Denmark (8), UK (11), Canada (18), France (51) Italy (84).

20. China’s economy is likely a bubble and may burst at 10 percent annual growth. Already the signs are evident: poor product quality, domestic inflation, white elephant superstructure (following the Beijing Olympics). ~

NOTE: Answers will be posted in a week's time.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sesame or linga is antiallergenic

Abe V Rotor

Sesame (Sesamum indicum or Sesamum orientale) is an annual plant that grows up to 6 feet. The plant requires a fairly long and warm growing season of four to five months.

Other than being highly nutritious, sesame or linga is highly recommended because it is antiallergenic.

There are many people who are allergic to food and most are not aware of it. In the US alone there are some 11 million people who suffer from food allergy in one form of another. The discovery of the antiallergenic properties of sesame offers an alternative way of reducing allergic reactions on certain recipes. The anti allergenic property of sesame lies on its chemical composition, mainly glycerides and linolic acid and other derivatives such as sesamin, as gleamed from the following report of Mitchell and Thorpe. (Useful Plants of the Philippines)

“Sesame oil consists pf glycerides of oleic and linolic acid, with small quantities of the glycerides of solid fatty acids, including stearine, palmitin and myristin. The unsaponifiable matter (1 to 1.4 percent) consists of a phytosterol, sesamin, and sesamol, which reacts with furfural and hydrochloric acid.”

Whole seeds of sesame (Sesamum orientale) are utilized by bakers in making various cakes and sweetmeat. As food sesame provides the body with proteins (36 %), carbohydrates (24%), calcium (2.7%) and phosphorus (2 %). Sesame seeds yield 50 to 57 percent oil which is pale-yellow to red-brown color, called pil. Pil has a pleasant characteristic aroma that makes it a favorite food condiment.

Sesame for food seasoning was recorded way back 3,000 years with the Assyrians.
For nearly as long, sesame flourished in the Middle East and Asia, where their seeds and oils were used for culinary, medicinal, health, and beauty purposes.

Sesame is the alternative to allergenic food. ~

Living with Nature 3, AVR; photo acknowledgment, Google, Internet.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Photography: Photo Essay Assignment

Dr Abe V Rotor

My Life at UST (For 4CA2 abd 4CA4 students, Faculty of Arts and Letters). Presentation one week before the Final Exam.

. A PowerPoint presentation. With duplicate copy in print.

. In keeping with the 4ooth year (quadricentennial) of the Royal and Pontifical university, the oldest in the Asian region.

. Format and style flexible, but with consultation with the professor.

. Basic story profile and content, in any order.
  1. Campus life
  2. Anecdotes, personal experiences
  3. Achievements and honors, community involvement
  4. Holistic development, adolescence to maturity
  5. Preparation for professional and family life
  6. Outlook: goals and dreams, mission and vision
  7. UST and the World (and me)
Original photos, downloading discouraged; Personal photo collection may be included - edited, if needed. Text and photos balanced and complementary.

Please see previous assign in this Blog.

Good luck! ~

Dogs howl in the night at unseen spirits.

Niko, our dog at home

Abe V Rotor

Dogs have keen senses of seeing, smelling and hearing, many times more sensitive than ours. Many animals such as members of the cat family - lions, tigers, and the domesticated cat – are equally, if not more sensitive, in the dark.

Dogs also have infrared vision that enhances their predatory habits. Dogs also have an acute sense of smell. The nose of a German shepherd dog has 25,000 sensory cells as compared with the human nose that has only 5,000 cells. That is why dogs are used in sniffing concealed illegal drugs and in tracking down criminals.

The limitation of our senses is the mother of many of our beliefs or superstitions.~

Living with Folk Wisdom, UST-AVR



Abe V Rotor

Oh, sacred beetle -
if I make you into a ring,
necklace or earring,
I rob the garden of beauty
and myself of dignity.

Living with Nature 3, AVR; photo acknowledgment Internet, Wikipedia

Five Verses for Meditation

Mural: Vietnam War - a collective memory.
Vietnam War Museum , Ho Chih Minh City

Abe V Rotor

It is collective memory of which I am a part
That writes my life’s story when I depart.

In art, if you go abstract you lose reality.
How can I paint spirituality and beauty?

It is always the big fish that got away,
Is an old story. Lo, to the innocent prey.

It is not only suffering that ennobles character,
but joy, happiness and laughter.

Love is sweeter after pain
And perhaps never sweeter again.~

Living with Nature 3, AVR

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

When planting a tree seedling, avoid looking up.

Abe V Rotor

When planting a tree seedling, avoid looking up so that the plant will not grow very tall. Stoop when planting coconut so it will not grow very tall.

Old folks are fond of personification, making things, living or non-living, as if they are people themselves, thereby establishing communication with them.

Thus our messages are encoded in ways we think they respond. Stooping is a sign for the coconut to bear nuts early, or not looking up so that an orange seedling not to grow too tall. We should be able to pick the fruits it will bear by hand.

All these are spices to add quaintness to culture. “Just do it, nothing is lost, anyway,” old folks usually advise the skeptic.~

Living with Nature 3, AVR

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What is Civilization?

Aftermath of atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan 1945

Abe V Rotor

Corrupting is civilization to Mankind;
Better was life the Noble Savage had lived;
In the Garden of Eden we have long envied,
Sans want, sans war and their evil kind.

Living with Nature 3, AVR

Children are Children

Abe V Rotor

Water pipe leak along E Rodriguez Ave., QC

But children are children,
Knowing not a mob or crowd;
Curiosity, danger and dream
Lie behind a thin shroud.

Living with Nature 3, AVR

What good is rock?

Abe V Rotor

Pine seedling growing on weathered rock, Trinidad Valley, Benguet

Ah, but what good is rock if it misses
the essence of clay where life itself rises

Living with Nature 3, AVR

Drawing Exercise: Field of Sunflowers

Sunflower field (photo) and Closeup of sunflowers (painting). Models
for drawing. Do not copy. Acknowledgment: Wikipedia.Internet

Abe V Rotor

A lesson in radial symmetry, uniformity, and unity.

The sunflower has a central disc, surrounded by a ring of bright yellow petals which resemble the rays of the sun. But the most unique characteristic of the sunflower is that it faces the sun as it moves from sunrise to sunset. Because of its “obedience” to the sun, botanists gave the plant a genus name, Helianthes, after the Greek sun god, Helios.

Draw a field of sunflowers. Central Luzon State University in Munoz, Nueva Ecija, is the pioneer in sunflower farming. Imagine yourself to be at the center of sunflower farm. It is a bright day. Walk through the field among the plants as tall as you. Examine their long and straight stem and large leaves. Touch the large flowers, smell their sweet and fresh scent. Observe the bees and butterflies visiting one flower after another. Make the flowers prominent in your drawing. Remember they are uniform in size, height and color, and they are all facing the sun. Make the sky blue with some cloud to break the monotony.

You are given thirty minutes to complete your work. Use pastel colors on Oslo or drawing paper. Fill up the entire paper as if it were the whole field and sky. You may draw butterflies and bees. And you may draw yourself as you imagine yourself in a sunflower field. Here are suggested musical compositions for music background. “Humoreque”, “Minuet in G”, “Serenata”, “Traumerei”, “On the meadow”, “Spring Song”, “Ang Maya”.

Here is my version.
Sunflowers in acrylic

Living with Nature
3, AVR

Friday, September 3, 2010

Atop Mt. Pulag

The summit of Mt Pulag is vegetated with grass. It is a mossy forest. Trees are pushed down the slope. The tree line is made of gnarled shrubs perpetually dwarfened by wind. DENR Protected Area Office, Ambangeg, Benguet: Jump off point of any climb to Mt Pulag via the Ambangeg 'Fun' Trail. Mt. Pulag is considered the 2nd highest mountain in the Philippines, next to Mt. Apo. Mt. Pulag is typically different from the rainforest mountains. At its height at nearly three kilometers (2923 meters) it assumes a semi-temperate climate and an alpine biome.

Dr Abe V Rotor

If the mountain is a giant,
then I’m in Brobdingnag*;
where now I am a pygmy
when I was once a giant,
wishing the goodness I did
to come back to me.

Strange indeed is life:
At one time we are giants,
at another, dwarves,
giving essence to character
more than fairy tale;
but even in fairy tale,
we gain essence in character.

* Land of the giants in “Gulliver’s Travel,” by Jonathan Swift.
Written atop Mt Pulag 1984; acknowledgment: DENR, Internet, Wikipedia for the photograph.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Peace-of-Mind Square (How “balanced” are you today?)

Abe V Rotor

When you wake up in the morning look at yourself on the mirror and imagine the four sides of the mirror as a perfect square. Each side represents the following: Mental or Intellectual, Psychological or Emotional, Physical and Spiritual. Thus


Psychological POM Spiritual


You are not “square” if you are not relaxed. You do not have POM (Peace-of-Mind). Strive to keep that mirror of yourself a perfect square everyday. In this exercise, evaluate these four aspects and draw the lines representing it.

If you find out your square distorted, it is time to reflect. How can you make your life square? This takes five minutes with an appropriate music background like Meditation, from the Thais by Massenet, and On Wings of Song by Felix Mendelssohn. You can use your favorite music as long as it is soothing and relaxing.