Monday, October 29, 2012

Live Naturally in your Home

 Dr Abe V Rotor

Home gardening and landscaping take us into the realms of happy living. They take us closer to nature in our waking hours and in our sleep, in our private and solemn moments, as well as moments with our family, and when celebrating an event. This is the place we call home.

Classical Bahay Kubo, painting by the author 

1. Aesthetic beauty – Beauty and function must go hand on hand. There is a saying, “useless each without the other.” In science, morphology (form) enhances physiology (function), and vice versa. Maganda na, napapakinabangan pa. You need the sensitivity of an artist, and the green thumb of a gardener.

2. Food Security – It is having food grown in our garden, and processed in our kitchen. The concept of food security is in our hands, and in anticipation to our needs. All year round you can plan out what to plant and process, as how many times you can raise these products. Consult the planting calendar, practice effective techniques such as crop rotation, intercropping, and storey cropping. Plant those known to be best adapted in the area.

3. Livelihood – What you produce more than yourself and your family, you sell to the community and to the market, if the volume warrantees. These are produced directly from the garden – vegetables, fruits, fish, meat and eggs. Or these are products of cottage processing like salted eggs, patis and bagoong, wine and vinegar, toge, pickles, jam, jelly and the like.

4. Ecological Sanctuary – Offer a home for the homeless - the orphans and the endangered organisms which humans have driven or displaced. Make your home their sanctuary, maybe their last bastion. Your home is an extension of the wildlife, of a ecosystem, or a natural park, so that if the whole community adopts the same concept, we would in effect create a contiguous areas large enough to be considered a prototype ecosystem.

Multi-purpose, modernized Bahay Kubo.

 5. Buffer Zone – Keep your home free of dusts and unburnt carbon, and obnoxious gases mainly CO2, CO and S02. Trees and other plants serve as buffer to direct light and ultraviolet rays. They also buffer sound waves, reducing the extreme decibels generated by traffic and electronics.

6. Mini climate – A garden surrounding a home does not only reduce temperature, buy moderates its extremes and sudden changes. They generate of O2 , while absorb CO2 which they need for photosynthesis. Relative humidity is regulated, and deadly rays such as those emitted by communication transmission towers are reduced to a safe level.

7. Sense of Permanence – The home offer a permanent abode, opposite to transience, rootlessness, and impermanence. People tend to move from place to place – a neo-nomadic trend today. We establish our genetic and cultural “roots” not only of one generation but of the next and future – if we have a home we really call home. It reminds me of the beautiful poem and song, Home Sweet Home. I remember my dad who planted seedlings of trees when he was already very old. These trees, he said, will be for you and my grandchildren, his eyes twinkling with a sense of pride. Can you imagine an old, old mango or mabolo tree in your backyard? How many passersby have found comfort under its shade? How many tenants did it  serve – in its roots to its leaves?

8. Recreating a Lost Garden – A recreation of Paradise Lost, the foundation of many faiths, is a key to attain spirituality. It is in the loss of a once beautiful world that challenges us – whatever our religion is – to be able not only to survive without it, but to be inspired and guided to rebuild it. It is yet the greatest prayer we can offer to that Higher Principle.

9. Family Unity – A family that lives together in unity and harmony with Nature stays together. This has a basis found in biology and ecology. Only when the members of a system know their roles and respect each other can we really find peace and unity.

10. Community Involvement – No man is an island. In the city we can live without even knowing our neighbors. Condominiums are but multiple compartments. There is no sense of neighborhood or community. Each to his own. And we do not know if the occupant of one compartment will be the same next week. 

Sketch on a bond, an aerial view of a home garden you have in mind, and if there is one that already exists, study and analyze which aspects are applicable in your particular situation. Definitely the house and the garden should be contiguous in the sense that, like the concept of the American bungalow, “one step is in the garden while the other is in the house.”

How aptly stated; the imagery needs little explanation. The level of the floor is the level of the garden. Not necessarily. It means, you have but one lifestyle whether you are in the house or in its surroundings. Better said, you are at home whichever part of your home you are in. Of course some people would like their house to be treated apart of the surroundings, but if you adopt the Bahay Kubo concept and adjust it to fit into the basic amenities of living today, then our model is like the American bungalow but Filipino style.~

Meet Some Rare Organisms

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog 
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School on Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 KHz DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday 

Lesson: Can you identify these organisms?   Where can you find them? Describe their life history, habitat and interrelationship with humans and other organisms. What are their peculiar characteristics?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bangongot! Sleep paralysis - wiggle your toes, move your fingers – don’t give up!

Dr Abe V Rotor
Sleep paralysis - wiggle your toes, move your fingers – don’t give up!

People who have experienced sleep paralysis mistake it as bangongot.  It is because of its very nature as a near death experience and it is indeed very scary.

 I have experienced it myself in a number of times at least in two ways. 

1. The most common is when you are dreaming, say of running but you can’t run, box someone but you can’t raise your arm. Imagine you are being chased by a wild animal and you are glued in your place! There’s one thing you can do: panic and talk incoherently or shout. You wake up tired, panting, perspiring, trying to decipher whether the experience is true or just a dream. It is so vivid that when you are back to your senses you can relate perhaps the whole story.  

2. The other kind of sleep paralysis is more frightening.  It is one that may or may not be preceded by a dream.  On waking up, you can’t move. You feel totally paralyzed with perhaps only your brain functioning. Panic seizes you as you attempt to move but cannot.  Frantically you try to move any part of your body. In my experience the first to respond are the fingers and toes, then the limbs, and as blood begins to circulate perked by adrenaline, you find yourself finally “back to the living.”    

Sleep paralysis is nature’s way of protecting us during our unconscious moments.  Otherwise we become another Hercules who killed his wife and children in his sleep.  This safeguard is not absolutely foul proof though.  Take the case of sleepwalking and some cases of violence that occur during sleeping.  Well, whatever way there is to assuage you, sleep paralysis really scares you to death. Just don’t give up.  

Friday, October 26, 2012

Anna's Paintings: Two Faces of Flowers

Anna's Paintings: Two Faces of Flowers
Dr Abe V Rotor

white, delicate, immaculate, pure;
red, flaming, romantic, demure; 

flowing, silky, translucent, queenly;  
fiery, ascendant, stout, kingly. 

endearing, fancy, coy, culpable;
ephemeral, magical, lovable.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Old Folks’ Science or Superstition?

Dr Abe V Rotor

Living with Nature - School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday []

Which is which? Find out the answer at the end of this test.

1. Raining while the sun is out breeds insects.
2. Nangka may bear fruit from its roots underground.
3. You know how big ube tuber is by its mound.
4.Karurayan na dumalaga (all white female fryer) is best food for a recuperating patient.
5. Swarming of winged termites and ants predicts siyam-siyam (18 days of uninterrupted rainfall)
6. Red sky in the west means coming of a typhoon.
7. When you break a glass, take another and break it too, to break the omen.
8. Kapre (ogre) lives on old trees; dwende (dwarf) lives among mushrooms.
9.When a spoon is accidentally dropped, a female guest is coming. If fork, a male guest.
10. When buying watermelon, choose that which has wide spaces between the “ribs.” It is more fleshy and sweet.

Acacia is the biggest legume.  True or False?

 This frog is arboreal.  True or False?
11. Actually you can hear the earth breath on a quiet summer night.

12. Predominance of cogon grass means the land is not worth farming.
13. Snake means good luck; monitor lizard bad luck.
14. Oranges with indented bottom are sweeter.
15. Powdered rhino horn is medicine and aphrodisiac.
16. Worms improve the taste of bagoong or patis. (fish sauce)
17. Just wipe kitchen with mild vinegar to drive ants away.

                                       Can you identify this tree?

18. Large and round macopa contains seeds, so with lanzones.
19. Prune standing corn stalk to get fuller cobs.
20. There are people who cook ampalaya which tastes more bitter.
21. A brooding animal, like snake, is ferocious.
22. Guava seeds may cause appendicitis
23. Ginseng increase human virility or has aphrodisiac property.       
24. Cut the leaves (pruning) of rice seedlings before transplanting in the field to make them grow faster and bigger.
25. When you eat twin bananas you will bear also twins.
26. During full moon crabs are lean.
27. Phases of the moons influence behavior (lunatic effect).
28. Gate must not face directly the dead-end of a road.
29. Planting cassava stem upturned will produce poisonous tuber.
30. Ring around the moon means a storm coming.
31. When you have a fishbone stuck, get the cat and gently rub its paws on the affected area.
32. When a spoon is accidentally dropped, a female guest is coming. If fork, a male guest.
33. A brooding animal, like snake, is ferocious.
34. Food offering at the family altar during festivals is homage to the spirits
35. Say tabi-tabi when entering a thicket.
36. Put sugar as fertilizer to get sweeter fruits.
37. Some people suffer body aches before a typhoon brews near.
38. When walking through a forest, wear a face mask backward to ward of tiger or lion attack.
39. When harvesting the first fruits, get an oversize basket and pretend that the harvest is heavy.
40. Expect rain if hordes of dragonflies hover low.
41. Size and shape of lips of a woman reflects her private organ.
42. Get male flower and introduce it into the female flower to enhance the fruit to develop.
43. Crickets are noisiest in summer.
44. When transplanting banana tiller take out the eyes (young tiller buds) arising on the corm.
45. Wet your navel with the first raindrops in summer.
46. Noisy hen layers are not productive layers.
47. Roosters do sometimes lay eggs which are very small and sterile.
48. Throw sand into axils of coconut leaves to prevent beetle attack
49. Black cat bring bad luck when you meet them on the corridor or street.
50. Salaksak or kingfisher means death.

ANSWERS: False answer to 7,8,9,11,13,16,22,25,28,29,31,32,34,35,36,39,41,45 and 47.
Reference: Living with Folk Wisdom by AV Rotor, UST Publishing House España, Manila. Book available at National Book Store, and UST Publishing House.

RATING: 46-50 Outstanding. You must be one of the old folks.
41-45 Very Good . You must be living with old folks.
36-40 Good. You have a good grasp of tradition
31-34 Fair. You are not really moving away from tradition.
30 and below. Read more about old folks' science and superstitious beliefs.

Photos: True, False, kapok (Ceiba pentandra

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Semestral Break - Time for Reflection and Rest

Dr Abe V Rotor

Halloween Party: National Food Authority, QC 

Halloween the union of two worlds once a year:
living and dead, real and imaginary;
humbling of the living, visitation of the spirits,
filling up the vacuum of humanity. ~

Boating: Underground River, Puerto Princesa, Palawan

It's Journey to the Center of the Earth  of Jules Verne -
boating on an underground river into a dark cavern;
the adventure, it is the same, and so with their myth,
coming back whole and changed, the greatest relief. ~

Snorkeling: Balaoan, La Union 

World in a world under the sea,
this minuscule of the forest 
how little, how few, can see
where land and sea meet 
and divide every day. ~ 

Family Picnic: Agoo La Union

Family to clan to tribe, the beginning of nation,
biblical truth that history probed;
too remote generations soon lose their identity,
unless they go back to their brood. ~

Keyhole Views of the World of Children

Dr Abe V Rotor

We take a casual view of a child's discovery;
     new to him of what we have long forgotten,
and remembering, we go back into the past  
     and become children once more, and again.

Naive and shy Mimosa the plant, cowering;
     playmate of children, begging, rousing
it not to droop, and yet it does to their awe;   
    surreptitiously behind their back, rising.

Children rub elbows with God and saints,
     talking to them not in prayers like us;
wishing for toys and gifts and our welfare,
     in simple joy, innocence and trust.

Take this child to fairy land,
     where beauty is everything, 
the butterfly, the garden, 
     the breeze passing by.

Instant swimming pool a broken pipe made 
     in the middle of a busy street;
who cares in the midst of a thousand laughter?
     please, the repairman can wait.

A world in a tent is cozy and warm,
     yet hard to be alone and to sleep;
for it's bigger than the whole world,
     the sounds of the night that creep.

Two kids the best of friends,
     talking in common language, 
the language of affection,
     they alone in their age.  

Sled to the stars with their dreams
     with the bullock their spaceship;
don't hurry, only in childhood does
     the impossible come true -
just don't sleep.

Flower girls, not forever to stay,
     up to the altar light and dainty;
time marches, their steps grow heavy, 
     and someday to matrimony   

An errand she does, a stream to tread
     passing by a lazy carabao herd,
to take to her grandma a loaf of bread
     in a once upon a time story heard.  

A thousand mascots will not save the world 
      of creatures caricatured, and children lured
to fantasy land, and waste money and time, 
      soapbox humor and art stunt their prime.    

Who are afraid of the dinosaur?  Children do.
     As they grow, they'll know, for heaven's sake!
another huge meteorite may strike the earth
     again and man is likely to meet the same fate! 

No guts no gain, to win the palo sebo game,
     so a hundred and one game best performed; 
not the prize though; the cheers, the triumph,
     matter most - the boy now a man transformed.  
Water, water, everywhere, and a lot more to wish;
     no classes, no parents calling, no letup of rain;
prayers won't work for rain to stop and ruin joy,
     the world rejoices in the frolic, in sweet insane.  

A crude springboard, the vast sea a pool;
     three kids make a world of their own; 
if the world is a stage, only the waves clap,
     its echoes to far away blown, unknown.     

Sleep stimulates growth.

Dr Abe V Rotor

Sleep stimulates growth. 

Old folks believe that a child, to grow big and tall, must get more than just enough sleep. When I was a child my auntie Basang always reminded me to sleep early at night and to take siesta everyday so that I will grow well. I believe her, I’m 180 lbs, 5’ 8.” tall. 

What has sleep to do with growing up? During sleep the body releases growth hormone, which is essential to growth. More hours of sleep are needed proportionately with the increase in the rate of growth.  As we grow older we need less and less sleep. 

Research reveals that preschoolers spend 20 to 30 percent of their sleeping time in deep sleep as compared with college students spending only 10 to 15 percent of their sleeping time.  Once we reach sixty, only 1 to 2 percent of our total sleep is spent to deep sleep, which explains why older people do not need as much sleep as younger people.  

Children who are abused often fail to grow at normal rates. But if these children are placed in a safe place where their sleep becomes undisturbed, their normal growth is resumed. Thus parents are advised to provide their growing children the conditions highly conducive to long and deep sleep.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Please eat the flowers

 Dr Abe V Rotor

 Squash flower ,  bagbagkong flower buds

Flower vegetables are nutritious. They go well with many recipes - from salad to bulanglang.

Puso ng saging is high in tannin and it’s good for diabetic patients. It can be an extender of expensive meat burgers. No kari-kari is without banana blossom. Pesang dalag is best with puso ng saging cut in chunks. Ginatang puso ng saging, anyone? When I was a kid, I love to eat the inner heart raw. It tastes like artichoke.

Squash flowers are high in carotin. It improves eyesight and prevents blindness. It is excellent with saluyot when cooking bulanglang or diningding. Add fresh mushroom. The best sahug when you are in the countryside is freshwater shrimp. If you have no problem with cholesterol, why not use as sahug bagnet (lechon kawali) from Vigan.

Alokong is a staminate or male flower which is gathered from the male tree. The female tree does not produce edible flowers. Because the tree is very tall, gatherers take the short cut of cutting the branches and take immature flowers and buds as well. Try buridibud by mashing kamote to thicken the soup. A unique recipe of Ilocanos is to combine alokong and malunggay pods in juvenile or succulent stage, and add broiled hito or bangos as sahug.

Katuray flower is blanched and served with tomato and a dash of salt. It is good for people who have elevated blood pressure. It is cooked the way alokong is prepared with kamote and sahug of fried or broiled bangos, hito or tilapia.

Another flower vegetable comes from madre de cacao or kakawate which blooms in summer. The flowers are our local counterpart of cherry blossom. Open the pot when it comes to a boil to reduce the characteristic bean taste.

Sampalok or tamarind flowers are gathered for sinigang. Malunggay flowers which include newly formed pods are cooked the same way as any bulanglang.

Cauliflower and broccoli are perhaps the most popular commercial vegetable flowers. They belong to Family Cruciferae. They grow on semi temperate and temperate countries, although they are grown in the tropics during the cool months. One disadvantage of Crucifers is that they are the most sprayed of all vegetables, and are likely to carry chemical residues hazardous to health. Cauliflower and broccoli are also among the most expensive vegetables. They are prepared in restaurants as chopsuey, dressing, soup, pickle and the like.

Other flower vegetables come from the following plants:
Flowers are not only for decoration and offering. Other than their aesthetic value, they are delicious, nutritious and unique.

Please eat the flowers. ~

Music for Baby Adrianna

Dr Abe V Rotor
Baby Adrianna with Lolo and Lola

Wonder the world of nine months of fantasy,
     where sound of music only cherubs make;
wide eyed she to the maker of lesser melody,
     closest by gene for this baby's sake.

Music in the womb, she alone in a dark world,
     seeping through flesh in many vibrations:
soft for gentleness and love in whispers told,
     rough and loud and many queer motions.

Beethoven mastered the sound of the brook,
     cascading on rocks, lost lambs bleating;
Bach on the organ, Liszt in a simple nook, 
     music all with Brahms' Lullaby humming.

Birth the beginning and ending of two worlds,
     the genius unseen, an amateur on stage;
wonder how music to magic notes and words,
     where beyond the road awaits a sage.~     


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sculpture: Seven Sisters

Dr Abe V Rotor
 A detailed study of Julie Lluch Dalena's sculptural piece, The Seven Sisters. The work depicts the arrival of seven sisters of St. Paul of Chartres in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, the first mission of the SPC congregation in 1905. The sculptress made three representations in her composite work: a mythological angel at the prow of the first boat, a Paulinian student at the prow of the second boat. The first boat carries old sisters in apparent fear of an imagined storm, while the second boat carries Paulinian students who showed not even the slightest fear. In fact one of them is touching the crest of a big wave.

Artists are known more of their philosophical interpretation of their subject, more than faithfulness in the reproduction of real things. "What is essential is invisible to the eye," says the fox to the Little Prince in Antoine de Saint-Exupery' novel, The Little Prince.

A mural interpretation was made by AV Rotor on the hanging walls and ceiling of an arch marking the 100 years anniversary of the SPC Mission at SPU Quezon City

Former St Paul University Museum, 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

World Food Day: Food Security is Green Revolution at the Grassroots: Answer Key to Self-Administered Test (50 Items)

Dr Abe V Rotor

Living with Nature - School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday []

Part 1: True or False

1. Green Revolution is a term that refers to the development of agriculture, tracing it from the time man settled down to raise animals and plants up to the present in which genetically modified organisms (GMO) of plants and animals are being produced.

2. Green revolution does not encompass agro-processing such as the making of brewed coffee beans, patis and bagoong, wine and vinegar, milk, cheese and ham, and the like – because these are beyond the farmer’s capability - financially and technically

A dozen kinds of fruits to welcome Lady Luck for the  New Year

3. Green revolution must fit well into the demands of the market, which means that the raising of crops and animal and all attendant activities must conform to such “market directed” principle

Top, clockwise: pansit in bamboo basket (bilao); pork barbecue; fishball-on-wheels; rice cake in bamboo (tinubong); mango in season; crabs (alimago)

4. We are still nomadic like our primitive ancestors were, in the sense that we still derive much of our food and other needs from the sea, hills and forest. Furthermore, we travel far and wide from our homes and families in search of our basic economic needs – food, clothing, shelter and energy. This neo-nomadic syndrome has been spurred by our modern way of living influenced by overpopulation, industrialization, science and technology.

5. Growing affluence and increasing level of living standard takes us farther and farther away from the basic concept of green revolution, whereby ideally a family lives under one roof guaranteed by the bounty of the land the members cultivate, and historically built within framework of culture and tradition.

6. Based on the previous question, growing affluence and standard of living is the reason why modern China cannot prevent its thousands – nay millions – of young inhabitants to move out of the confines of a once socialistic confine in search of the Good Life that they very much deserve.

7. The least sprayed vegetables – that is, vegetables that do not necessarily require the application of pesticides – are those that grow wild. Thus the ruling is, the more native a vegetable is, the more resistant it is to pest. 

8. Green Revolution started as a movement in the Philippines way back in the fifties with the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement during the time of President Ramon Magsaysay, with the youth at the helm, led by 4-H Clubs, Rural Improvement Clubs (RIC), Boys Scouts and Girls Scouts, public and elementary schoolchildren, and barrio folks.

9. The crowning glory of Philippine Green Revolution was the attainment of self-sufficiency in food and other agricultural products following a food crisis in the early seventies. Through M-99, Maisan 77, and many barangay food production programs, the country even surpassed suffiency level and became a net exporter of rice and other food commodities.

10. 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. F

11. The longest stage or phase of Green Revolution was the expansion of horizons during the colonial period whereby land was forcibly taken and consolidated into estates and haciendas by the colonists. One such case is our own haciendas, a number of them still are still existing and operating like President Cory’s family hacienda – Luisita – which was singularly exempted from land reform.

12. The corporate world swallowed up small businesses including small farms in the US, Europe and in fact all over the world, such that the capitalist robbed the entrepreneur of his resources, technology, market, and worst, his potentials and therefore his future. (Economies of scale –is this the nemesis of small business?) 

13. Today’s fast emerging technologies continue to favor the capitalist thus making him grow even bigger (examples: McDonalds, San Miguel, Robina, Nestle’ and Jollibee conglomerate). This is what social scientists call Neo-colonialism, a kind of agriculture reminiscent of the colonial times. (Or is the trend today the opposite - the dinosaur syndrome is killing the beast.) T

14. The most nutritious of all vegetables in terms of protein are those belonging to the legume family. In fact a number of legumes have higher protein content than meat. T

15. If we rank from highest to lowest in protein content these vegetables should be listed as follows: soybean, segidillas or calamismis (pallang), mungo, tomato, malunggay. 

16. It is better to specialize on certain crops in your garden for practical management. If leafy vegetables, plant pechay, lettuce, mustard, alugbati, talinum, and you need the same kind of soil, topography, amount of water, tools, planting schedule and season, and market.

17. Mang Tonio is a simple farmer. He plants rice in his small paddy once a year because this is what other farms are doing, and it is tradition in the area. They say don’t break away sa naka-ugalihan. If you agree with Mang Tonio answer true, if not false.

18. It is possible that a one-hectare farm can produce as much as a four-hectare farm does, even without additional amounts of inputs like fertilizer, pesticide and water. 

19. The idea of cottage agro-industry is to make use of inferior quality products that bring more profit or value-added advantage. Examples: immature and broken peanut into butter, overripe banana and tomato for catsup, fruit fly infested guava and mango for puree; typhoon damaged sugarcane into vinegar, bansot piglet into lechon, unsold fish and shrimps into bagoong and patis, and the like.

20. Samaka is a movement, acronym of Samahan ng Masaganang Kakanin – the united effort of a group to have more plentiful food for their families. It is the precursor of successful food production programs later led by PACD (Presidential Arm in Community Development), RCPCC (Rice and Corn Production Coordinating Program) later to become National Food and Agriculture Council (NFAC) which implemented Masagana 99, Maisan 77, Manukan Barangay, Bakahang Barangay, Wheat Production, Soybean Production, and other production programs then under President Marcos. Unfortunately all these were virtually erased after the Edsa Revolution.

21. Botanically speaking, the parts of these plants we eat are classified as follows: cassava tuber is a root, so with kamote, peanut is a fruit, potato tuber is a stem, onion bulb is a leaf.

22. When buying papaya, the more yellow the fruit appears, the more mature it had been picked from the tree. Avoid buying papaya that appears dominantly green and yellow or orange only at the ridges. 

23. There are five kinds of vegetables according to the parts of the plant (botanical classification). The following are classified under at least two kinds: squash or kalabasa, ampalaya, malunggay, sinkamas, short sitao or paayap.

24. The production capacity of genetically modified crops of corn, potato, and soybean – the most common GMO food we are taking every day - has increased even without increasing the supply of nutrients in the soil. GMOs are the world’s ultimate recourse to feed an ever increasing population now approaching the 6.5 billion mark.

25. Our soil and climate are favorable to many crops. Let us plant our rice fields and corn fields after harvest season with the following crops so that we will not import them and spend precious dollars, and that, it is the Filipino farmer and not the foreign farmer whom we patronize and subsidize. Potato (potato fries), Soybean (soybean oil, TVP, tokwa, toyo, taho), White beans (pork and beans), wheat (pandesal, cake, noodles).


• 1. Let’s make a Lazy Man’s Garden at Home. What are plants considered literally tanim ng tamad, a syndrome many Filipinos fall into, a little bit of every thing (tingi-tingi), ningas kogon, makakalimutin, kulang sa tiyaga, and mapabaya’: papaya, malunggay, siling katuray, ube, patola, kondol, upon, alugbati, talinum, patani, batao, segidillas, kumpitis.

• 2. Ano-ano ang mga halaman na nakakain na hindi itinatanim. (What edible plants simply grow spontaneously)

26. The role of Green Revolution generates in supplying food of a fast growing population is foremost even at the expense of clearing forest, leveling hillsides, reclaiming swamps – and even farming the sea.  

27. Talinum is a small tree that is why it is so easy to grow, and will last for a long time, season after season and you have vegetables throughout the year. Alugbati is tree like malunggay. In fact they usually grow together in some forgotten corner, along dikes and fences, around open well, and does not need care at all practically speaking. Alugbati is best as salad, cooked with mungo, beef stew, sinigang, bulanglang. 

28. Agro-ecology will always clash – there is no compromise. Either you are an ecologist or you are an economist. Take eco-tourism, eco-village, etc.)

29. All these plants are propagated by cutting. All you need to do is cut-and-plant a branch or stem – malunggay, kakawate or madre de cacao, katuray, ipil-ipil, cassava, sugarcane, talinum, alugbati, kamias.

30. Homesite for the Golden Years (HGY) which we launched on PBH last February 14 this year has the features of a integrated garden, enterprise, agro-industry, eco-sanctuary. The key is to supply this Patch of Eden (A Slice of Paradise) with all the amenities of modern living. 

31. The area required for a Homesite for the Golden Years is greatly variable and flexible; it can be as small as 100 square meters to 10 hectares in area. This allows evolution of as many models as one could think of. 

32. The numerous hanging round fruits (tubers) on the stem of ube are the ones we plant, especially on large scale.

33. Acclimatization means helping introduced plants and animals get adapted to their new environment. There are those that succeed but can’t reproduce; while others become better of that their counterparts they left behind.

34. Based on the previous question, there are plants that have not been fully acclimatized even after many years so that extreme attention is given to them like Crucifers – cauliflower, cabbage, wonbok, celery, lettuce, broccoli. T

35. Bagging with ordinary paper and/or plastic bags and sacks is necessary to protect from the dreaded fruit fly the fruits of guava, mango, jackfruit, ampalaya, durian, orange, avocado, mangosteen, guyabano and atis. 

36. Green thumb is a gift of naturalism. Only those who have this genetic gift are chosen caretakers of God’s Garden of Eden. Others have the equivalent gift in taking care of aquariums, house pets, children’s nursery.

37. We have our local pansit: sotanghon comes from rice while bihon comes mungo. We import noodles, miki and lomi made from wheat, while macaroni and spaghetti are made from semolina wheat or pasta. 

38. Value-added, a term in manufacturing gave rise to a new taxation E-VAT. To cope up with the added burden on the part of both entrepreneur and consumer, why not process your product and get instead the benefit of the new law? Example. Don’t just sell your palay harvest, have it milled sold as rice, make flour out of it, make puto and bihon, and others. 

39. Based on the same question above, to get the benefits of VAT, market your own produce; be an entrepreneur, a middleman/trader and of course, a producer. 

40. Start by planting the seeds of the following crops if you go wish into immediate commercial production – because the seeds of these plants are plentiful, you have no problem of supply: chico, guava, orange, mango, rambutan, lanzones, avocado, tiesa, atis, guayabano – as well as others that produce plenty of seeds. That’s how nature intended it to be.

41. Seeds always turn out genetically true to type. Big mango fruits come from seeds of big mango fruits, big guava means big guava, sweet pomelo – sweet pomelo, seedless atis – seedless atis, red pakwan – red pakwan. 

42. Just follow the direction of the sun when you plant by rows and plots – north to south, so that there is less overshadowing of plants. In this case you may increase your harvest by as much as 10 percent.

43. Extend the shelf life of fruits such as mango, avocado, atis, guayabano, nangka, by rubbing salt at the end of the stem, the base of the fruit. 

44. Momordica charantia is the scientific name of ampalaya. Why spend for commercial food supplement in bottle, syrup, tablets, pills or dry herbal preparations as advertised - Momordica or Charantia, or Ampalaya Plus? (Write true for each recipe, if correct)

• All you need is buy a bundle of fresh ampalaya tops made into salad and dipped with bagoong and vinegar. It’s good for the whole family.

• Or add ampalaya leaves to mungo and dried fish or sautéed pork.

• Pinakbet anyone? Native or wild ampalaya cut in half or quarter without severing the cut.

• Ampalaya at delatang sardinas.

50. Ordinary people like anyone of us can secure for ourselves and family enough food and proper nutrition. This is food security in action. It is food security that gives us real peace of mind. The biological basis does not need farther explanation. It is the key to unity and harmony in the living world. Queuing for rice defeats the image of a strong economy. High prices of food do not give a good reflection either. How about ASEA, UN, WHO? ASEAN commitment to regional food security, food aid from the UN or US may simply ease the impact of food shortage or inequity in its distribution, but they are but palliative measures. And having a dreamer Joseph in public food depot is not reliable either. It is green revolution at the grassroots that assures us of not only food but other necessities of life – and self employment. It is that piece of Paradise that has long been lost that resurrect in some corner of your home. Paradise is not lost, if you create one. Do you agree? T

Trivia: Who is Who in the field of agriculture and life science in the Philippines
1. If there is a Luther Burbank, the American plant wizard, who is our own in the Philippines (___________________________, foremost plant breeder of the Philippines)

2. The greatest and most popular authority of medicinal plants in the Philippines (___________________________, Medicinal Plants of the Philippines)

3. Filipino scientist who occupied the highest position in the UN FAO? (________________________, Regional chief of UN-FAO for Asia and the Pacific)
4. Her name is an institution in children health care, founder of Children”s Hospital and inventor of nursery incubation chamber, among other invention (___________________)

5. His discovery of the cause of cadang-cadang disease of coconut lead to effective control of the disease threatening to wipeout the coconut industry in the Philippines (________________________________)

6. First director or International Institute for Rural Reconstruction, author of Alternative Medicine, anti-smoking in public places, school and advertisement. (_____________________________)

7. Man behind food self-sufficiency, M-99 that led the Philippine among the top rice producers in the 70s and 80s. (_______________________, Secretary of agriculture)

8. First Filipino allergologist, discovered a syndrome named after him, internationally adapted in hospitals and medical schools around the world, served as executive secretary of presidents Quezon and Osmeña, discovered orchids also named after him. (___________________________).

9. Founder of the Nursing profession, brought into the profession respectability and dignity, service and selflessness, (_________________________, nationality ________________)

10. The greatest woman who ever lived in our times - epitome of love, compassion, faith, selflessness and dedication, a living saint (though less popular than Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana, In fact there were far less number people who paid their respects to her than Princess Diana who died and was buried at the same time.) _______________________ of ________________.

x x x

ANSWERS: Part 1: 1t 2f 3t 4t 5f 6t 7t 8t 9t 10f 11f 12t 13t 14t 15f 16f 17f 18t 19f 20t 21t 22f 23t 24f 25f 26f 27f 28f 29f 30t 31f 32f 33t 34t 35f 36f 37t 38t 39t 40f 41f 42f 43f 44 to 49 (all true) 50t

Part 2: 1. Nemesio Mendiola 2.Eduardo Quisumbing 3.Dioscorro Umali 4. Fe del Mundo 5. Gerardo Ocfemia 6.Juan Flavier 7. Arturo Tanco Jr 8.Arturo B Rotor 9. Florence Nightingale 10.Mother Teresa of Calcutta