Saturday, July 31, 2010

Frog Season

Abe V Rotor

Green Pond Frog
Tukak Ba-ug

Tree Frog


You live on land, you live in water;
Amphibian is your name.
You sleep in summer, wake up to the rain;
Vital link of the food chain.

You are a friend to every farmer
But you scare the children;
Research and service you offer
Your whole life to the end.
~


Living with Nature, 3 AVR

Friday, July 30, 2010

Not all wastes can be recycled. They lead to autotoxicity.

Site of biggest oil spill in the Philippines, 2006. Guimaras Island is Paradise Lost

Oil spill!

If we can't prevent it, can we effectively recycle spilled oil? Not with hydrocarbon compounds; not in the case of oil spill.

The Petron oil spill in Guimaras in 2006 destroyed thousands of hectares of marine and terrestrial areas irreversibly upsetting ecosystems and depriving the residents of their livelihood.

Similar oil spills of major proportion also occurred this year in Bataan and San Fernando, La Union.

But the biggest oil spill ever in history, spilling some 100,000 barrels of oil a day since the incident early this year is still taking place in the Gulp of Mexico. Unless the submarine well is effectively capped by BP, the owner, a British based company, the whole length of the US southern coastline and the western coast of Mexico will become ecologically endangered.

Spilled oil is difficult to gather and to refine. Recovery is measly and very costly. The unrecovered oil continues to cause havoc to livelihood, wildlife, transportation, and coastline communities. The toll is heavy and damage is usually irreversible.

Not all wastes can be recycled.

1. Recyling is not recommended where pollution is heavy and unabated such as a mudflat.

2. Watch out for toxic materials

• Toxic metals: Cadmium, Mercury, Lead
• Hospital and medical wastes, including radioactive materials
• Pesticide residues, especially dioxin
• Industrial wastes, like acids, Freon, alkalies

3. Chemical pesticides are concentrated in food chains by biological magnification, which means that the toxic material can accumulate in the body of a predator. Frogs succumb slowly through cumulative poisoning from sprayed insects, Tuna accumulates from the toxic residues of its preys. Net accumulation of pesticide residues is the cause of many ailments in humans heretofore undetermined.

Wastes that cannot be recycled will certainly poison the earth. We call this autotoxicity, which means we humans are poisoning ourselves - and the whole biosphere for that matter. ~

Part 1: Sustainable Farm Productivity through Recycling

Abe V Rotor

How wonderful is creation when we realize in a miniscule
the universality of the simple linked to the complex,
where every living thing is part of life’s interrelating;
like a chain, its strength shared by each link cooperating.” AVR


Everything on earth and in the universe undergoes a cycle, a beginning and an end, and in between a period of growth, stability and senescence Yet no cycle could succeed unless it is part of an interrelationship with and among other cycles in the biological and physical world, each lending a vital role aimed at a holistic and perpetual oneness apparently designed by an unknown hand.

Cycle and recycle is the principle key to homeostasis that maintains the integrity of the biosphere, and the whole Planet Earth . Everything is tuned to a cycle - the passing of seasons, alternation of generations, food web and food chain, “natural” clocks, ecosystem seres, etc. And none of these can work without being part of a complex pattern of inter-relationships.

Recycle Farm Wastes

1. The moist common materials for composting in the farm are rice straw, peanut and mungo hay, banana stalk, corn stover, Azolla, ipil-ipil, wood and coconut shavings, livestock wastes and chicken droppings, pond scum, water lily and weeds.

2. Actually we get so little of the fertilizer value we put into a crop as shown by this typical fertilizer efficiencies.
• 30 to 60 % for N,
• 10 to 35 % for P, and
• 15 to 30% for K.

3. There are more nutrients removed from the soil that go into the straw than the grain. Here is a comparison. (Grain versus straw, kg nutrient/MT)
• Nitrogen: 10.5 - 7.0
• Phosphorus: 4.6 – 2.3
• Potassium: 3.0 – 17.5
• Magnesium: 1.5 – 2.0
• Calcium: 0.5 - 3.5

4. Rice straw contains 85-90 percent of potassium (K) of the biomass. Thus much greater amounts of K must be applied to maintain soil supply where straw is removed.

5. Small Water Impounding Projects (SWIP) are popular in many parts of the world where water is seasonal. Bigger ones can even generate electricity for locality.

6. Recycle crop residues to raise livestock. Our Philippine carabao is perhaps the most efficient feed converter. Of the ruminant animals it has a digestive system that can extract sufficient nutrients from roughage, enabling them to survive long dry spells.

7. Recycling with poultry makes use of farm by-products such as rice and corn bran, and reduces wastage in crops. Upgraded native chicken are more resistant than pure breeds, and are more resistant to pest and unfavorable weather. These chickens thrive on palay and corn; they forage in the filed, and glean on leftovers. They are therefore, more economical to produce, tastier and free of antibiotic residues and artificial growth hormones.

8. Recycling with goats makes use of farm by-products and plants. Practically anything that grows in the field is food for goats, be it weed or crop. Thus they are very destructive to plants that they must be restrained in pens or tethered.

9. Recycle wastes from market and kitchen Vegetable trimmings, and waste from fish and animals require efficient collection, segregation and processing into biogas and organic fertilizer.

10. Recycling leads to the development of many products. Fruits in season that otherwise go to waste are made into table wine of different flavors. Typhoon or drought affected sugarcane make excellent natural vinegar and molasses.

11. Another recycling project is vermiculture, the culture of earthworms for game fishing and protein supplement in feeds. Earthworm casting are excellent soil additives and conditioners for ornamental and garden crops.

12. Hydroponics or soiless culture of crops, and organic farming are becoming popular worldwide. Strict quality control is required, insuring consumers that the products were not treated with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and should not contain a trace of toxic metals, radiation and dangerous contaminants.

13. Don’t throw away Nature’s Gifts, but tap them instead. Examples: Lantana camara as natural pesticide; oregano as natural medicine cough and sore throat; chichirica as drug against cancer; pandan as spice and condiment; eucalyptus as liniment and cold drops; bunga de China for toothpaste, lagundi for fever and flu. Many of these plants are taken for granted and many of them are considered weeds.

Part 2: Recycling: Key to Self-reliance, Homeostasis and Sustainability

Dr Abe V Rotor

1. Recycling helps moderate global warming, the buildup of heat in the environment from increased human activity in a postmodern world. Recycling offers opportunity to everyone
in doing his part in combating global warming, and the effects of El Niño

2. Recycling corrects the growing imbalance of acidity and alkalinity of the soil and water (pH value). Too acidic or alkaline conditions lock up available nutrients useful to life, affect the physiology of living things. Recycling buffers acid rain which is responsible for the death of whole ecosystems like forests, coral reefs, and destruction of fields, pasture, seas, and even valuable pieces of art.

3. Recycling is not ideal where monoculture is practiced, thus it aims to lead farming back to a system of multiple cropping and integrated farming. Tri-commodity farms – production of crops, animals and fish – are best suited to recycling, and guarantee the gains in recycling itself.

4. Self-contained farming is therefore an important condition for recycling to succeed - and that recycling in return insures the success of the other. It is in principal and practice imitating nature. There is no formula in keeping our environment healthy and balance. This is indeed the answer to spiraling prices if farm inputs, and the decreasing productivity of farms.

5. E. Schumacher pointed out in his thesis and book, Small is Beautiful, that being small after all, is the alternative to corporate failure, the inability of bigness to adjust to change, analogously like “dinosaur syndrome”, which explains the failure of these primitive giants to survive abrupt change of their environment.

Continued

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Who are the Privileged?

Do you still have time for leisure? Details of mural by AVR

Abe V Rotor

The privileged today, according to Ivan Illich, a social thinker, are not those who consume most but those who can escape the negative byproducts of industrialization - people who can commute outside the rush hour, be born or die at home, cure themselves when ill, breathe fresh air and build their own dwellings.

The underprivileged are those who are forced to seek satisfaction through having instead of doing to consume with the "packaged goods and services designed and prescribed by professionals."

... people must arm themselves with the self-confidence and the means to run their own lives as far as possible, especially as big institutions like schooling, medical care and transport today are creating more problems than they solve.

Acknowledgment: Ecology for Beginners, Croall S and W Rankin, Pantheon Books

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Global Warming is accelerating!

Abe V Rotor

Lesson in Advanced Ecology UST Graduate School. How can an ordinary citizen help in cushioning global warming.

Lesson in Photography. Present your best photo (one only) on the subject. Original (with bonus), or downloaded. Give a short explanation.


Sign of the Times: Smog, acid rain and ozone depletion -
rolled altogether.
Photo by AVR Fairview, QC 2010

Acknowledgment: Time Magazine



Beware of Lead (Pb) poisoning!

Abe V Rotor

NOTE: This is a lesson in Advanced Ecology, UST Graduate School. Read more about lead poisoning, so with other toxic metals, like Mercury and Cadmium. This topic was discussed on Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid, Please refer to previous posts in this Blog.

The case of the sickly boy.

Here is a case of slow lead poisoning. He was a boy of five, and the kindly old family doctor was puzzled of his sickly condition. Then on a fine Sunday morning the doctor happened to drop at the boy’s residence. While having coffee with the family the doctor exclaimed, “Now I know why my young patient is sickly!”

It was like Archimedes who got out of the bathtub shouting, “Eureka! Eureka!” (I found it, I found it) He pointed at the gold lining on the rim of the coffee cup which has faded which means that the user is slowly taking in the lead-rich paint. On inspecting the other china the doctor found the same condition.

Lead is generally used to fix many kinds of paints. For years lead is mixed with gasoline to improve combustion and reduce engine knock. Today the use of lead is strictly regulated all over the world. Look for the lead-free label when buying paints for school use or as house paint. Use only unleaded gasoline. And fix that crumbling wall paint.

Mass lead poisoning stakes the cities.

As people move from the countryside to live in cities, among the risks they encounter is lead poisoning. Our old folks seldom suffered from this malady because they were living in a more pristine environment, and technology then was not as developed as it is today.

The first case of mass lead poisoning occurred among the Romans started coating their cups and vessels, which were made of bronze, with lead. Mysterious illnesses and deaths due lead poisoning never occurred to them for a long time.

Today it is estimated that over 400,000 children in the US have an excess of lead in their systems. This cumulative poisoning affects the brain, the nervous system, the blood, and the abdominal system characterized by severe stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, weakness and confusion combined with decreased alertness. Lead in the bone marrow interferes with the formation of red blood cells as well as damaging existing ones leading to anemia, pallor and weakness, and to a severe extent, delirium, coma and even death.

Lead poisoning is associated with the Good Life.

Avoid the following to get rid or at least minimize intake of lead.
• Automobile exhaust fumes
• Industrial wastes and air pollutants
• Paint of toys, walls, and windowsill
• Eating food or liquor prepared in lead containers
• Prolonged job contact with lead paints, batteries, solder.
• Eating food tainted with lead passed on through the food chain. Kangkong (Ipomea aquatica) has high lead residue. Fish liver contains lead more than any part of its body.

Living with Folk Wisdom, UST-AVR

Don't underestimate the lowly Kamote

Sweet potato (Ipomea batatas), Family Convolvulaceae

Abe V Rotor


In the province, whenever we failed to recite in class our teacher in the elementary would matter of fact, say, “Go home and plant kamote.” We also loved to sing or recite, hilariously that is, a verse associated with this humble plant. Years after, I realized how unfair it is to treat this important crop, which is a staple food of millions of people and a major animal feed in many parts of the world. The verse/song goes like this.

“Kamote is a musical root;
The more you eat, the more you puut…
The more you putt…, the better you feel,
So eat kamote every meal.”

In defense of kamote, the tuber or root is rich in Phosphorus (P2O5, 0.15%), Calcium (CaO, 0.13%), and Iron (Fe2O3, 0.02%) in addition to carbohydrate (8.41%) and protein (1.96 %). These alleged gas-forming substances are also found in other root crops like cassava and taro (gabi), but in lesser quantities. It is advisable to cook kamote very well, and that one should take it moderately. By the way, kamote tops contains an appreciable amount of hydrocyanic acid similar to that in cassava. Thus, when cooking it, it is advisable to bring it to boiling and allow the compound to escape as cyanogas by removing the pot cover.

Some uses and preparations of kamote:
  • As staple food
  • Kamote cake
  • Boiled kamote
  • Kamote Chips
  • Kamote Flour
  • Kamote Cue
  • Kamote Tops as vegetable
  • Buridibod (soup thickener)
  • Rich source of vitamins and minerals
  • Food extender/substitute
  • Fermented into alcohol
  • Forage crop
  • Cover crop for weed and erosion control
Lastly, but not the least, kamote is a famine food or hunger crop - where conventional food crops are not available.

Living with Nature 3, AVR

Quotations to live by

“Everywhere people ask: ‘What can I actually do?’ The answer is as simple as it is disconcerting: we can, each of us, work to put our own inner house in order. The guidance we need for this work cannot be found in science and technology, the value of which utterly depends on the ends they serve; but it can still be found in the traditional wisdom of mankind.”

E.F. Schumacher
Small is Beautiful.


“It may lack professional sophistication, nonetheless it is the product of a wise soul, one which shrewdly insisted on moderation, preservation, and gradualism. It is economics of, for and by the people because it starts and ends with people, with their need for strong morale and their desire to be self-determining. xxx Poor countries slip, and are pushed, into the adoption of production methods and consumption standards which destroy the possibilities of self-reliance and self-help. The results are unintentional neocolonialism and hopelessness.”

Gandhian philosophy on Economics
Mohandas Gandhi


“The Planet Earth does not know which came first among the seasons. The only thing is that there is a reason. Love is the reason … first as a seed, became youth and turned man who surrenders life in dying without certainty of resurrection; and love again rekindles life in the veins of the newborn.”

Sedfrey A Ordoñez, Life Cycle

Monday, July 26, 2010

Asian Conference of Religions for Peace

7th Assembly at Manila , Philippines 2008.
Theme: Peacemaking in Asia. Sponsored jointly by ACRP Philippine Chapter, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, and University of Santo Tomas. It attended by 350 delegates representing twenty countries.

Abe V Rotor

What is ACRP?

I am presenting this capsule information about ACRP, per request of our readers and a number of inquirers. I had the opportunity as one of the editors of the proceeding of the 7th conference - Peacemaking in Asia - held in Manila, October 17 to 21, 2008.

Asia accounts for one third of the world continent and half of the global population and is the home of many outstanding civilizations, including those of ancient Mesopotamia, and the Indus and Yellow River valley. Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam all originated in Asia. ACRP has the mission of using Asia's spiritual talent to serve as model in showing the rest of the world what it means to live in harmony, and to bring out the best of our human nature.

The aims and aspirations of ACRP are: 1. to re-vitalize Asian religious heritage and to promote a creative and critical awareness of religious people in Asia in pursuit of peace, justice and human dignity; and 2. to motivate the people of Asia and the Pacific region to make concerted efforts in promoting peace.

Foundation of ACRP

The idea of ACRP started in September 1974 at Louvain, Belgium, among Asian delegates attending the Second Assembly of the World Conference on Religion and Peace. The ensuing two years' laborious preparation gave birth to the Organization. With ACRP having been formally formed, Asian religious people now have a visible manifestation of their own fellowship and concern for peace.

General Assemblies of ACRP

1st Assembly at Singapore in 1976. The Assembly attracted 400 participants from 17 countries representing 10 religions under the theme "Peace Through Religion." Soon after the first assembly, the Boat People Project was started to help refugees from Indo-China in response to an emergency call and action of the assembly.

2nd Assembly at New Delhi in 1981. The Assembly gathered 450 participants from 20 countries representing 10 religions under the theme, "Religion in Action for Peace."

3rd Assembly at Seoul in 1986. The Seoul Assembly involved 240 participants from 22 countries representing 10 religions under the theme "Bridge of Peace in Asia." The assembly gave birth to the Center for Peace Education that was established in Seoul in 1987.

4th Assembly at Kathmandu in 1991. The theme of this Assembly "Asian Religions Toward The 21st Century." It gathered 300 delegates from 21 countries representing 16 religious groups.

5th Assembly at Ayufthaya in 1996. Under the theme "OurAsian Neighborhood," the Assembly involved more than 270 participants from 25 countries.

6th Assembly at Jogjakarta in 2002. This Assembly had for its theme "Asia the Reconciler. Some 300 delegates from 28 countries participated in the Jogjakarta Assembly.

7th Assembly at Manila , Philippines 2008. The theme is “Peacemaking in Asia.”. It was sponsored jointly by ACRP Philippine Chapter, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, and University of Santo Tomas, attended by 350 delegates representing twenty countries.

Activities of ACRP

1. Project of Rebuilding Peace in Iraq. In May 2005, ACRP invited Iraqi religious leaders to discuss a project that could help rebuild peace in Iraq. As a result of that discussion, the Korean-Iraq Peace Project was launched by ACRP. The project includes among others the training of Iraqi medical doctors at medical centers in Korea and the treatment of Iraqi injured children in Korean hospitals.

2. Relief of Earthquake Victims in Pakistan. ACRP donated relief goods and funds for the Feb-ruary 2006 earthquake victims in Pakistan through the support of ACRP chapters in China, Japan and Korea.

3. Relief of Earthquake Victims in Indonesia. ACRP launched a humanitarian aid project to help the victims of earthquakes that hit Indonesia in 2005 and 2006. ACRP built 200 residential houses for victims in one village through the support of Japan, China and Korea.

Structure of ACRP

ACRP consists of sixteen (16) chapters in Asia and the Pacific areas: Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh, China, DPR of Korea, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Cambodia ~

Part 1: Treaty of Man and Nature

Abe V Rotor

Frantic exploitation of natural resources through illegal logging operations, followed by slash-and-burn agriculture (kaingin), has brought havoc to the Philippines in the past century. The detrimental results are measured not only by the denudation of once productive forests and hillsides, but also destruction through erosion, flood, drought and even death.

An example of this kind of ruination brought about by abuse of nature is the tragedy in Ormoc City where floodwaters cascading down the denuded watershed, killed hundreds of residents and countless animals. It took ten years for the city to fully recover. Ironically, before the tragedy, Ormoc, from the air, looked like a little village similar to Shangrila, a perfect place for retirement. Similar tragedies occurred in Maasin, Southern Leyte, and in Real, Quezon, resulting in the death hundreds of people due to flood and landslide.

Decline in Carrying Capacity

A land area designed by nature to sustain millions of people and countless other organisms, was touched by man and we are now paying the price for it. Man removed the vegetation, cut down trees for his shelter and crafts, and planted cereals and short-growing crops to get immediate returns. He hunted for food and fun, and in many ways, changed the natural contour and topography of the land.

Following years of plenty, however, nature reasserted itself. Water would run unchecked, carrying plant nutrients downhill. On its path are formed rills and gullies that slice through slopes, peeling off the topsoil and making the land unprofitable for agriculture. Since the plants cannot grow, animals gradually perish. Finally, the kaingero abandons the area, leaving it to the mercy of natural elements. It is possible that nature may rebuild itself, but will take years for affected areas to regain their productivity, and for the resident organisms once again attain their self-sustaining population levels.

There are 13.5 million square miles of desert area on earth, representing a third of the total land surface. This large proportion of land may be man-made as history and archeological findings reveal.

Continued

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Misaligned Tapir

Abe V Rotor

Malaysian Tapir, Avilon Zoo, Rizal

Half elephant, half bull, half smiling, half sad;
Half your body white, half black, half bear, half hog;
Tell me whoever are you, where did you hide?
Were you in Noah Ark or left in the wild?

Home, Sweet Home with Nature, AVR


Meet the Iguana

Abe V Rotor

Spiny iguana, Avilon Zoo, San Mateo Rizal

Iguanas originate in Central and South America and are tropical, arboreal lizards. They are herbivorous, feeding on leaves, fruits and flowers in the wild.


The family of Iguanidae includes all lizards commonly called “iguanas” with eight groups genera :
Iguana - Iguana delicatissima, and Iguana iguana – the green iguana.
Ctenosauria – spiny tailed iguanas, such as those in the photos.
Brachylophus – Fijian banded iguana, native to Fiji and Tonga islands.
Cyclura – rock iguanas found in the Caribbean.
Amblyrhyncus – Galápagos marine iguanas, feed on marine algae.
Conolophus – Galápagos land iguanas, feed on plants, including cacti.
Dipsosaurus – desert iguanas of the Southwestern United States and Mexico.
Sauromalus – chuckwalla, found in the Southwestern United States, Mexico and on islands in the Gulf of California.

Acknowledgment: Avillon Zoo

Some traffic rules of life

Take time with life

Abe V Rotor

Don't ride on the waves, and sail out. Ahoy!
Don't go with the wind in blinding rain;
Don't go out to the deep across the buoy;
Don't go on fast car, or bullet train.

Do find the crossroad, know where you're bound;
Do read Stop or Dead End on the lane;
Do heed the whistle and the siren sound;
Do heed the old, the wise and the sane.

Home, Sweet Home with Nature, AVR; acknowledgment: Avilon Zoo, Rizal

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dugout

Photos by Marlo R Rotor

Indigenous dugouts, Tacloban, Leyte

Abe V Rotor

Serendipity they say, is accidental discovery or invention. Should I say providential?

If the idea of a wheel came from a rolling stone, the idea of a banca or canoe came from a floating log.

These stories need no proof, and children before bedtime don't only believe in them, they put themselves into the shoes of the inventors, whoever they were. This is why the wheel or the boat never stopped evolving, and never will. Because children don't differentiate a real thing from a toy, neither the boundaries of work and game.

Look at the photo of a father and son. I like to think that the father made the dugout, and the boy, when he grows up, will make the outrigger and the sail. Imagine what the third and fourth generations will make. That's how the boat became a steamboat into a steamer. Even a failed invention led to the making of the submarine - which proved even more versatile than the battle ship in times of war and in probing the depth of the sea.

And can you imagine how the right side of the brain brought imagination into invention? A flying boat! An airplane, to a jet plane to a space ship!

Lucky that I am, and humanity. Eureka! Eureka! God's genius in man - through Serendipity. ~

Home, Sweet Home with Nature, AVR

Freak Coconut

Photo by Marlo R Rotor




Freaks do occur in nature. They are individual members of a species "gone stray."

A number of things can happen to a freak. It succumbs early and will not pass on the bad gene to the next generation - which is an advantage of the species.

A freak may be the result of extreme environmental condition, such as this coconut growing on a decapitated coconut as it seems. The explanation to this however is that a typhoon severely damaged the tree. From its injury roots formed. It is like marcotting. Injured stems tend to produce roots to augment food and water supply, and give a second life to the plant, or that branch which may become a scion. This acquired character is not heritable.

Third, a freak is a result of mutation, which means that the chromosomes which contain the genes - and ultimately the DNA - suffered of irreversible change, and therefore miscoding of the DNA. Here a freak is part of speciation, the formation of a new species. There is no guarantee though, if the resulting mutation is favorable or not to the organism. In any case, if the altered gene is passed on to the next generation the "freak" trait will reappear. Which brings to question, "When is a freak, a freak?" Which becomes academic if it becomes persistent in the succeeding generations.

It is Nature's tool in "purifying" the species. Albinism for one - the lack of melanin skin pigment reduces the chance that the carrier will survive and carry on the gene in the next generation. It is Nature's mysterious way of homeostasis, the dynamic balance in the living world - the biosphere.~

Home, Sweet Home with Nature, AVR

Sleeping Santo Niño on Jade

Photos by Marlo R Rotor



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Part 2 Test on Simple Living

Dr Abe V Rotor
Lesson Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid
738 DZRB AM 8 to 9 evening Mon to Fri

Part A “Odd-man out” Pick out the unrelated word.

1. Asceticism, simplicity, materialism, austerity (simple living)

2. Tolstoy, Schweitzer, Gandhi, Hemingway (Disciples of simple living)

3. Darwin, Rousseau, Marx, Thoreau (Philosophers of simplicity in living)

4. Pinakbet, karekare, bagnet, bulanglang (vegetable recipe)

5. Bangos, tilapia, dalagang bukid, hito (one is not freshwater fish)

6. Gabi, kamote, cassava, katuray (root crops)

7. Kalabasa, malunggay, pipino, ampalaya (Family of Cucurbits)

8. Lato, nori, lumot, sea cucumber (edible sea weeds)

9. Kamatis, luya, sibuyas, paminta (sinigang recipe)

10. Luya, tanglad, pandan mabango, gabi (food spices, additive)

Part B True or False

1. Although asceticism generally promotes living simply and refraining from luxury and indulgence, not all proponents of simple living are ascetics
2.
3. Home gardening could be the layman’s answer to food shortage affecting worldwide.

4. Global Warming is a culprit to projected food shortage because of the erratic behavior of our climate, worsened by increasing frequency and intensity of force majeure.

5. Chemical pesticides and fertilizers has improved productivity of farmlands as well as enhanced sustainable production.

6. Farmers and their families live on edible wild life species of freshwater fish, crustaceans, mollusk and amphibians.

7. Decrease in food production is also a result of increasing price of fuel, so that when price of food goes up, increase in fuel follows.

8. For this matter (referring to the previous statement), the world’s population can safely increase further without fear of shortage in food and other needs. It is only a matter of improve technology and direct it to this purpose.

9. Vitamins and minerals are concentrated in the vegetable, not in its rind or skin. Thus you have to peel kalabasa, pipino, talong, patola and the like.

10. The sea is nearly 4 km deep, and up to 12 km at its deepest – which means that fishing has barely scratched the surface of the sea, thus there is no felt danger of depletion of resources.

11. GM rice or golden rice contains yellow pigment of daffodils which is rich in Vit A. Vit A may be needed by the body but an overdose of it may be deleterious to health such as allergy. This is the first case of “biopharming” – implanting drugs and medicine in food plants to act as food and medicine at the same time.

12. What economists insist that the road to good life is a economic development, and any country that remains underdeveloped will never have a taste of it.

13. There is limit to growth; it cannot be a perfect progression. Somehow the curve becomes an inverted C – which means that the factors of growths become the antithesis of growth itself.

14. Buy only reliable brands of tools, and if your budget allows, invest in lifetime tools such as Rigid, Stanley, Makita, Black and Decker, Bosch, Coleman, Crossman, Dremel, Sandvik, El Toro, to name a few. Be sure these are not imitations.

15. Home for the Golden Years must be kept as simple as possible, orderly, clean and healthy, removing things that may cause accidents.

16. Austerity brings awareness, it gives us time to plan out, to review our goals.

17. HiTech is expensive and it is the consumer who ultimately pays it. It is to the people the users of Hi Tech charge its cost. Austerity calls for a moderation in technology. Austerity and innovative technology are compatible. Innotech is people’s technology.

18. Modeling of successful projects such as coops (farmers multipurpose cops), agro-eco center (Cabiokid), Kabsaka (Sta. Barbara, Iloilo), mangrove farming, seaweed farming, Irrigators’ association, Dr. Parra of Iloilo – these must ride on Filipino trait of gaya-gaya. Gaya-gaya put to good use. Peer teaching and learning is effective among the masses, and should be complementary with formal education. Austerity opens a gateway to look into models we can adopt under our local conditions.

19. “Necessity is the mother of invention, so “crisis is the sphinx of survival.” (Story of the Sphinx.) What is it that walks on all fours in the morning, two at noon and three in the evening?”) Crisis is Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest. It rewards the strong, eliminates the weak, humbles the proud, deepens the soul, and elevates the spirit. - of those who can make it.” Crisis is the time to test man’s soul.” Soul is the ultimate of man’s capacity to survive. (Thesis of Victor Frankl – A Search for Meaning)

20. You practice the 7Rs in Waste Management: Reduce, Recycle, Refurbish, Renovate, Restore,
Reserve, Revere (and Rotor – Rotate). These 7Rs are vital tool in living an austere life.

21. The more closely related supply and demand cycle in a given community, the more self reliant the community is. This means that in that community, people produce what they consume; consumption motivates production and vice versa. This according to Dr. Anselmo Cabigan is a basic tenet of austerity, because the self-reliant community becomes less dependent on external factors and the vagaries of the larger environment.

TRIVIA: What is Epicureanism?


Based on the teachings of the Athens-based philosopher Epicurus flourished from about the fourth century BC to the third century AD. Epicureanism upheld the untroubled life as the paradigm of happiness, made possible by carefully considered choices. Specifically, Epicurus pointed out that troubles entailed by maintaining an extravagant lifestyle tend to outweigh the pleasure of partaking in it. He therefore concluded that what is necessary for happiness, bodily comfort, and life itself should be maintained at minimal cost, while all things beyond what is necessary for these should either be tempered by moderation or completely avoided.

NOTE: Answers will be posted soon.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Natural is Beautiful

Dr Abe V Rotor

Assignment in Advanced Ecology, UST Graduate School. Write a one-page essay on the topic.

There are two roads to beauty: the cosmetic way and the natural way. More and more people are realizing the high cost of beauty the cosmetic way; the highest price being slow death. It is because many cosmetics contain toxic ingredients.

Here is a short list.

1. One of the hair straightening ingredients is formaldehyde, a carcinogen.

2. Shampoos and conditioners contain sulfates and preservatives like parabens, both potential hormone disrupters.

3. Eye shadow contents may include mercury, a neurotoxin, coal tar, a carcinogen, and 1,4-dioxane, which is linked to cancer.

4. Moisturizers may also contain parabens, while sunscreens contain oxybenzene, a hormone disrupter.

5. Your favorite lipstick may be contaminated with lead, a neurotoxin, as well as BHA, a potential carcinogen.

6. Skin whiteners are among the early cosmetics known to to contain mercury.

Natural is beautiful. But if can't help it, why not go for herbal shampoos, activated carbon, virgin coconut oil, Bixa or anatto-based colors? There are do-it-yourself preparations, and stores specializing in organic products that can assist you.

"Give me beauty or give me death." There's no choice really.~

Reference: Home, Sweet Home with Nature, AVR ; Time July 26, 2010 p18.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Home, Sweet Home

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!


Abe V Rotor

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.~

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Part 3 Basi: Preparation of Bubod – Yeast Complex

Abe V Rotor

Here is a list of yeast isolates from plants growing at the SPCQ garden. The author developed the combined process of isolation, multiplication, identification and banking.

Researcher/Plant Source/Wild Yeast
1.Muega, N Basil (Ocimun basilicum), Debaryomyces,
Indonesian Queen - Justicia (Trichosporon,
genderossa), and kamuning Kloerckera
(Murraya pinnaculata)

2.Valdez, M.M Guava (Psidium guajava) Brettanomyces
Powderpuff (Calliandra cergenila) Debaryomyces
Aratilis (Muntigia calabura) Saccharomyces ,
Trichosporon


3.Lacap, DC Duhat (S. cumini) Saccharomyces
Saccharomycodes, Debaryomyces,
Hansenula
Kloeckera
Nematospora

Ngo, LM Coconut (Cocos nucifera) Cryptoccocus
Hansenula

The isolation of these wild yeasts was made possible using a technique developed in the laboratory of SPUQC. Food Development Center of NFA analyzed and identified the yeast isolates.

The Protocol named after the author is summarized in three parts, as as follows:

Part 1 - Isolation and Identification of Wild Yeasts from Plants

1. Determination of possible sources of wild yeasts. Since yeast is ubiquitous, it is likely found in places where there is a ready supply of sugar. Pollen and nectarines of flowers offer such as an ideal place.

2. Yeast cells are isolated from these floral parts and inoculated in a 15 percent sucrose solution contained in sterilized bottles (3/4 volume). Beer bottles are preferred because their brown or green color protects the isolates from UV radiation.

3. The bottles are plugged with sterilized cotton and are kept in a dark, cool chamber for at least three days.

4. As fermentation takes place, carbon dioxide evolves and in the process creates a CO2-rich chamber in the bottle that serves as an aseptic blanket especially against aerobic bacteria.

5. The culture is then analyzed in the laboratory. Identification of the yeast isolates is done using the standard procedure of FDC. Yeast isolates by Muega et al at SPUQ were obtained using this procedure.

6. The next step is the isolation and culture of the desired yeast isolates for specific purposes. However, the yeast complex as a whole, after proper identification, can be propagated for commercial use.

Part 2 – Propagation and Banking/Storage of the Yeast Isolates

1. The yeast complex is allowed to multiply for another 5 days in the culture bottles. Detection of any contaminant necessitates the discarding the culture, and the procedure is repeated.

2. Rice flour is heated to 100 degrees Celsius and allowed to cool to 50 to 60 degrees Celsius (equivalent to pasteurization). The fermenting sugar solution is the mixed with the flour to make dough. Ground dry ginger is added at the rate of 1 part to 4 parts rice flour. The dough is mashed thoroughly and made into balls, two inches in diameter.

3. The balls are laid on cheesecloth, lined with clean rice straw, and incubated in a wooden box for 5 to 6 days in a dark, enclosed chamber, at 35 to 40 degree Celsius.

4. The balls are air-dried for 3 to 5 days, or until they are dry enough to be pulverized. Direct sunlight may kill the yeast cells. This is now the inoculant that is used in basi fermentation. The rate of inoculation is equivalent to 10 balls to a standard size jar.

5. The powdered inoculant can be stored in an airtight glass container and placed in the vegetable section of a refrigerator. Viable storage time is around 6 months.

Part 3 – Alternative Procedures and Other Applications of the Protocol
1. Substrates may vary, according to the microorganisms to be propagated and banked. Papaya pulp is commonly used for Aspergillus niger as shown in the experiment of Marasigan, 1995.

2. Papaya pulp is also recommended in the preparation of Rhizobium inoculant for soybeans and other legumes (Jacob 1997)

3. Other fruit pulps such as citrus and mango have been tried successfully in the propagation of food-fermenting organisms such as Leuconostoc mesenteroides (nata de coco), Lactobacillus (yogurt), Micrococcus and Pediococcus (patis), and other Halobacteria (bacteria responsible in bagoong making). (8)

4. Other alternatives the protocol can adopt are in the propagation of
cellulose-breaking bacteria such as Trichoderma, and biological pesticide such as Bacillus thuringiensis. (8, 11, & 12)


San Juanico Bridge


San Juanico Bridge spans across the strait dividing two of the country's large islands - Leyte and Samar - a stretch of some two kilometers including the approaches. It was built during the time of President Ferdinand E Marcos in the sixties and seventies. The First Lady, Imelda Romualdez Marcos, comes from Leyte. She is now congresswoman of Ilocos Norte, the president's home province.

Bridge of love, two islands into one,
of one people, one country;
Built before its time, a dream come true -
Land of freedom and bounty.

Credit for the photos: Marlo R Rotor, and The House Keeper

Fisherman's Delight

 Fisherman's Delight
Abe V Rotor


I envy you my good friend, yours is freedom,
And there's no urgency even in the twilight;
I envy you like Hemingway's old fisherman,
Though his prize catch had never been known;
For I haven't caught a big one or known freedom. ~

Home. Sweet Home with Nature, AVR