Friday, May 29, 2015

Painting: Fossil Bird

 Dr Abe V Rotor
 Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday
Fossil Bird, painting ay the author.

Archaeopteryx and bird combined, 
     transition of reptile to fowl;
from cold to warm blooded the key
     to survive in a grueling bowl. 

To an artist the work of imagination,
     where creation is in the mind;
apologies to science and to Darwin,
     art often ahead of the find.       

Need not trace the origin of art,
     but science needs the proof;
like Piltdown Man is all but hoax,
     the greatest scientific goof.~

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Painting: Two Balls of Fire

Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday
Forest on Fire by the author 2015

Two balls of fire the forest bears: 
 life-giving sun and a curse,
 what one builds, the other destroys 
the beauty of the first.~

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Are you living a simple life? Evaluate yourself.

Dr Abe v Rotor
Lesson on Simple Living
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio 
738 DZRB AM, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

“Simplicity is the peak of civilization.” – Jessie Sampter

Typical rural living, Floridablanca, Pampanga  

Check if you are practicing each of the following: There can be no step-by-step guide to simplifying your life. However, these are important reminders. Do these apply to you?

1. Make a list of your top 4-5 important things.

2. Evaluate your commitments.

3. Evaluate your time.

4. Simplify work tasks.

5. Learn to say no.

6. Make a Most Important Tasks (MITs) list each day.

7. Spend time alone.

8. Go for quality, not quantity.

10. Create an easy-to-maintain home.

11. Carry less stuff.

12. Simplify your budget.

13. Leave space around things in your day.

14. Live closer to work/school.

15. Always ask: Will this simplify my life?

16. Limit your communications.

17. Get rid of what you don’t need.

18. Get rid of the big items.

19. Clean /Edit your rooms.

20. Limit your buying habits.

21. Spend time with people you love.

22. Eat slowly.

23. Streamline your life.

24. Learn to live frugally.

25. Learn what “enough” is.

26. Eat healthy.

27. Exercise.

28. Declutter before organizing.

29. Find inner simplicity.

30. Find a creative outlet for self-expression.

26 – 30 You are a model of Simple Life, an apostle.
21 – 25 You are appreciated by people around you. You are happy and they are happy, too.
16 – 20 You live moderately – know how to adjust, if there’s too much or too little.
15 and below You are not living a simple life. Listen more to Paaralang Bayan

 Ideal countryside living: clean and fresh air, water, and food.   

 Acknowledgment: Thanks to Zen Habits Manifesto: 72 Ideas to Simplify Your Life. Every Wednesday is Simplicity Day on Zen Habits; Internet

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Celebrating the Month of May through Paintings

Dr Abe V Rotor
Light through the Forest, 2015
                                 May, the parting of seasons:
                                      summer bids goodbye,
                                 welcomes the rainy amihan;
                                     wakes the trees in sigh.

A Wholesome Bouquet  2015

May, the month of flowers and blossoms,
bright and shy and stern,
offers to the Creator but His own gifts,
man's thanksgiving in return. 

Red Fish and Brood 2015

Wonder what the month of May is in the deep;
it's a mother fish with a brood in her keep.

Rainbow Trees 2015

Wonder what the rainbow is in May
when the sky is clear and blue;
how these trees mimic the rainbow,
like the heart longing and true.

A Camouflage of Moth 2015

Hidden safe by disquise and design
from jaws and sting and beak
by nature's law of deceit to save
the defenseless and weak. ~

I Brought Nature Home

Dr Abe V Rotor

My Garden Pond at Home, wall mural by AVRotor, 2010 QC.
Closeup of Oscar fish

I'm with Nature reading the morning paper,
     whatever news it brings for the day;
I'm with Nature with brewed coffee piping hot,
     rising in mist, whiling time away. 

I'm with Nature, with a bit of the mountain, sea,
     of rivulets, streams and lake;
I'm with Nature, clouds rising on the horizon,
     white and dark, into rain they make.

I'm with Nature, the ocean spreading out
     in a grasp from shore to its end;
I'm with Nature, in the sky of deep azure
     birds fly free to heaven.

I'm with Nature, confined yet boundless,
     by lianas, the lowly bryophyte;
Dissolving the old prison walls and bars,
    that for years barred my sight.

I'm with Nature, from sunrise to evening,
     writing my life in a poem,
While Midas touches everything to gold,
     save where I brought Nature home. ~

Monday, May 25, 2015

Goodbye, Fire in the Fire Tree, Goodbye

Dr Abe V Rotor

Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday
The fire in the fire tree is being doused by the entry of the monsoon. This is a reprint from an older post in response to popular requests.

Fire trees (Delonix regia) in full bloom. UP Diliman QC

Rage with fire, burn the sky, bleed the heart,
Fire the kiss of life, fire the kiss of death;
And when your petals fall, so with your seed -
Fire the kiss of death, fire the kiss of life;
And beauty the brief passing of time and grief. ~

Friday, May 22, 2015

Red chicken meat, anyone?

Dr Abe V Rotor

Chicken meat is always known as white meat. But some people like it red.  The Philippine chicken, native or mixed bred, is preferred over foreign breeds raised for fastfood outlets.  

This is what old folks do it. 

Hold the head of the chicken with one hand, and the other hand at the base of the neck.  With one quick twist detach the skull from the first vertebral bone (atlas). 

The chicken is instantly killed without struggle. The blood is not drained - unlike in conventional dressing – which explains the red meat of the chicken. 

Another advantage is that the chicken did not put a struggle  which would otherwise shoot up hormones undesirable to meat quality and effect on the consumer.   

Goodbye Golden Shower, 'tis the end of summer

Invitation to songwriters
to compose a song with 
this poem as its lyrics. 
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

 Golden Shower (Cassia fistula)

The Siberian High lulls you to sleep,
While summer heralds your birth
Into a kingdom regal yet brief
That reigns over a parched earth.

You greet the sun with garlands of gold,
Dancing the whole day through;
And soon explode into a thousand fold,
Only to fall and cease to grow.

Sybil’s ghost hangs, flowerless you stand,
Save pods dangling in dull chime
In the wind - then fall to the ground.
‘Tis the end of summer time.

Acknowledgement: Internet Hawaii flowers

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Decorative Rug Vendor (Livelihood Series)

Dr Abe V Rotor
Juliet S Mahusay 54, vendor of floor mat, seat cushion and the like, takes a break
in her rounds in Lagro. QC.

Who wouldn't be amazed by the decorative rugs
     that grace the sala, bed and floor,
made of trimmings and cuts otherwise waste
     given a second life and honor?

Ingenious expression of grassroots' art and skill,
     out of necessity's influence;
and who would take the trouble to piece together
     the remnants of affluence?

but a kindly lady, a bundle of rugs on her head,
     down the road everyday;
what matters to her may be a different story,
     but the li'l respect we pay.~

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Fire Red Carp

Dr Abe V Rotor 
Pet carp at home, QC

Their color glows with sunrise
sinks at sunset; 
glass dissolves between us  
master and pet.

Their color is tame, fire is love 
rather than war;
distance dissolves after the day
whether near or far. 

Their color is majestic, royal,
save shades of dark;
reminds of the other side of life,
source of its spark.~

A child carries the family name of the father, and not the mother – is there a biological basis?

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 []

Sperm cells carry either the X or the Y chromosome, while the ovum or egg carries only the X chromosomes. In this simple matrix we can see how the sex of the offspring is determined.

Male (sperm) Female (ova)

Y - X

X - X

The possible combinations obtained during fertilization are XY and XX, thus the ratio or possibility of producing a boy or a girl is 50:50. This formula is universal in nature and applies in higher animals and dioecious plants. Exceptions are those in the lower forms of living things.

This biological basis is unknown to man in the past, yet early civilizations and cultures were principally patriarchal. Could it be possible that the Y chromosome in man also dictates his superiority over women? Is this nature’s way of setting the functions of man and woman apart but compatible? If it is so, then it is man’s superiority that is designed to protect the woman and sustain their family, and woman’s submissiveness to give him offspring and home. ~

Monday, May 18, 2015

Reviving the “Handyman” or “Do-it-Yourself” Culture

 Dr Abe V Rotor
Self-Administered Test (True or False, 25 items)
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio 
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

 1. "Plan your work, then work your plan." - not vice versa.

2. Standard voltage in the Philippines is 110V; in the USA, it is double – 220V. That is why US appliances need step down transformer when using them here.

3. Here is a simple declogging solvent for the drain which you can prepare: kerosene (gaas) + powdered soap and water.

4. The practical way to determine exact levels in construction is to use plumb bob for vertical level (patindig) and transparent hose filled with water for horizontal level (pahanay).

5. Riveted GI roofing is more reliable – stronger and last longer – than when nail is used.

6. Garden hose last longer is it is allowed to remain attached to the faucet, than to drain and coil it after use.

7. A crocodile jack is easier and safer to use than ordinary hydraulic jack. And be sure to have a supplemental jack as precaution to accident.

8. There are fixtures, assembly parts, appliances that it is better to replace than to repair such as LPG regulator, AVR, fire extinguisher, water filters, electric fans after guarantee period.

9. 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.

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

11. It is easier to maintain a home with children than a typical home, especially if the children all go to school and you have all the time to fix everything from bedroom to sala to garden.

12. Inhaling fresh paint could be as harmful to health as inhaling exfoliating old paint.

13. Refurnish your kitchen with new utensils? Dispose old China with fading gold rims, don’t use plastic containers for vinegar and carbonated drinks, aluminum and Cadmium coated pots and pans for acidic food, and if possible avoid if you can using microwave oven. Ordinary oven is healthier, and food is tastier, too.

14. Coconut oil + kerosene (gaas) makes a good substitute for sewing oil, and lubricating oil for hinges, locks, screws and bolts.

15. Hammer is to the worker as scythe is to the farmer – two symbols representing the grassroots, which the old communist regime used as logo.

16. When installing an air-conditioning unit, be sure it is one or two feet from the floor for efficiency and power economy.

17. Experts select crosscut saw (ordinary saw) by making it sing, so to speak – it produces a clear echoing sound like a tuning fork. A good hammer when struck on stone likewise sends a brilliant tuning fork sound.

18. It is all right to dispose off catalogs and instructions of tools and machine after you have mastered in using them.

19. It is always good to work alone especially if you are handling dangerous machines and tools so as not to harm others – or you might get distracted in your work.

20. Use loose clothing, such as long sleeves, when operating machine to ward off dirt and as added protection – not to mention as part of good grooming.

21. Accurate measurements in construction are actually done on the details of the work - not so much in layouting the framework like posts and beams.

Safety and Emergency Measures are a must in a home. Name four of the most important items.
22 to 25.
False - 2, 3, 6, 11, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21; all the rest, True
22. First Aid Cabinet/Kit
23. Fire Extinguishers: CO2 chemical, sand, water; of course easy fire exit.
24. Ventilation, exhaust fan, dust collector, fume hood
25. Personal safety gadgets: face mask, gloves, ear muff, insulated shoes, proper working clothes, welding gear.

24 – 25 - Outstanding handyman, can be a resource person.
20 – 23 - Very good handyman, reliable to help others and the community
16 – 19 - Just the kind of handyman around
12 – 15 - Passing - apprenticeship and practicum needed
Below 11 - Listen more on Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid, enroll in short vocational courses.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Animal World on Wall Murals  
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio 
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

 Owl - Night Sentinel: Wall mural by Anna Rotor St Paul University QC 20002
Doves - Early Risers:  Wall mural by Anna Rotor, SPU-QC 2000
Rodents at their burrow's entrance at dusk: Wall mural by Anna Rotor SPU-QC 2000
Red and blue parrots on their perch: Wall mural by Marlo Rotor SPU-QC 2000

Note: These murals have seriously deteriorated due to exposure of the elements, neglect notwithstanding.

Wildlife shrinking fast in the hands of man,
creatures orphaned, man looks up high;
forever gone are their home under the sun,
save some walls of art to remember by.  

"The Noble Savage" - Protector of Our Natural Environment

Who are the Noble Savages? Lacbawan MB Jr of St Loius University reports: they are nature-loving and pro-environment, living in a homogeneous community, in the hinterland or forest. Colonial portrayal as savages or barbarians, these indigenous people are actually the true and original guardians of the natural environment.
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio 
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

We must protect our mangrove and coral reef, two closely related ecosystems of the marine environment - the coastal mangrove of bakawan (Rhizophora) and nipa palm (Nypha frutescens), and the underwater fringe of the sea made of corals. Both riprap islands and continents.

Mr Fernando Ramirez (right) of the Foundation for Philippine Environment presents reference materials on environment to the author, after presenting his paper: Updates and Prospects on Biodiversity Landscapes in the Countryside. Mr Ramirez is a conservationist and a practicing environmentalist, an advocate of naturalism.

Dr Luis Carmelo L Buenaventura (right) of De La Salle University-Dasmariñas presented Socio-Arthropological Perspectives of Biodiversity, Conservation, and Local Governance of Coral Reefs and Adjacent Coastal Areas for Climate Change and Adaptation, and Mitigation - A Case Study of Barangay Balite, San Luis, Batangas. Dr Buenaventura and the author taught at St Paul University QC and DLSU-Dasmariñas

Man's role, socio-anthropological in approach, is crucial according to Dr Carmelo Buenaventura of De La Salle University Dasmariñas, Cavite, citing a case study in Barangay Balite in San Luis, Batangas. Destruction of these ecosystems leads to loss in biodiversity and predisposes the coastal area to tsunami and tidal waves.

Art and biodiversity. This is a paper of Prof Ma Sharon M Arriola of De La Salle Manila, bringing man to a higher level of consciousness - applied aesthetics. The way we regard nature reaches a point of respect and reverence. The landscape is Nature's ultimate stage on which life flows, our world changes in season, through time and space, and from it discover beauty which we then express through visual art - painting and three-dimensional art, other art forms notwithstanding.

Where have all the dolphins gone? Prof Marie Christine Merca Obusan of UP Diliman and DOST Bicol, presented models of detection and measurement in monitoring this highly protected marine mammal that inhabits or frequents the Tañon Strait. These models are also applicable to other marine life, and to an extent, land creatures as well.

Diversity and habitat of Holuthurians or sea cucumbers is a joint paper of six researchers from Cebu Technological University - Serapion Tanduyan et al. Referred to as leche de mere or trepang in culinary language, this passive sea creature is facing over-harvesting and loss of habitat. There are 20 species of Holothurians belonging to three families, which show richness in their diversity and distribution in the Camotes Islands comprising four islands.

Six researchers - one from Adventist University of the Philippines Cavite, and five from UPLB, jointly worked on Genetic Diversity, Population Structure and Molecular Phylogeny of Abaca (Musa textiles) which is important as baseline for proper management, conservation and genetic upgrading of this indigenous fiber plant that supplies 84 percent of the world's requirement. The paper showed that our abaca is considered genetically diverse. High diversity is desirable to this crop, and other crops and animals, for that matter.

Rana magna macrocephala or mountain frog responds well to La Niña, a climatic cyclical phenomenon characterized by unusual heavy and prolonged rainfall that often follows the dry and hot El Niño year. In the latter, the frog's population decreases as it either aestivates or migrates to a more favorable location as its temporary or new habitat. This finding was presented by Cruz V and G Vanaguas from De La Salle Araneta University.
Who are the Noble Savages? Lacbawan MB Jr of St Loius University reports: they are nature-loving and pro-environment, living in a homogeneous community, in the hinterland or forest. Colonial portrayal as savages or barbarians, these indigenous people are actually the true and original guardians of the natural environment.

Ms Juliet Borlon-Aparicio of Tanggol ng Kalikasan presented: Ensuring Protection of Environment and Biodiversity Amidst Sustainable Development. Ms Aparicio took up subjects in biology under the author at the UST Graduate School.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hands-on and on-site learning - an experiential approach

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio 
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

Public high school teachers from different schools visit the Museum of Natural History at UPLB, Laguna as part of a summer graduate course conducted by the UST Graduate School.  Participants study fossils of organisms (skull of a whale, top photo), and various organisms, including petrified ancient plants that are now extinct.  The study of fossils is paleontology, a field of biology.  

The center lane leading to the main building of the University of Santo Tomas provides an outdoor extension of the classroom.  Here students in fine arts do on-the-spot painting, those in performing arts find the place a prototype stage for their final presentation. Others simply enjoy peace and quiet, away from the classroom and busy streets.     
 Children in the neighborhood attend a summer workshop on various topics from home remedies  to humanities, a faculty development project of the University of Santo Tomas in cooperation with the local government of Barangay Greater Lagro, QC. The project was initiated by the author in 2012. The project was later expanded into  Reach Out workshops for senior citizens so as to strengthen the link of the old and young generations.    
 Senior students in Mass Communication at St Paul University QC visit the International Rice Research Institute at UPLB Laguna as part of a whole day itinerary on the sprawling campus and at the Mt Makiling Botanical Garden.  Here they undergo rural immersion of projects such as the revival of the rustic bahay kubo

Joint family reunion on a weekend itinerary combines learning and pleasure at designated stations such visiting historic landmarks, and attending fiestas and other celebrations, or simply dropping at the homes of relatives and friends. This is a scenic rural residence of a relative at Agoo, La Union.  Filipinos are known for their clannish culture which is now being threatened by modern living, and exodus to cities and migration to foreign countries.

A Travelogue through Drawing and Painting

20 Drawing and Painting Exercises 
Dr. Abe V. Rotor

Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio 
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

Pangarap Art World: A Travelogue through Drawing and Painting, is a sequel of workshop manuals designed to teach basic drawing and painting techniques to children of school age and young adults.
 Volume I, Handbook for Drawing and Painting” has been in use since summer of 1990. Its emphasis is to tap the latent talent of children, while Volume II, “Art and Values: Cultivating Creativity, Skills, Values and Personality through Art”, as the title implies, is values oriented. It was introduced in 1998 for the second Nestle Philippines summer art workshop and the fourth workshop for the National Food Authority.

Country Scene in acrylic by the Author

The approach in this third volume is unique. The participants go through an imagined itinerary that takes them to different places and introduces them to experiences which they are likely to encounter in life. Hence the title, A Travelogue through Drawing and PaintingThere are twenty exercises to be accomplished as class work or home assignment, fifteen (15) are designed for individual work, while five (5) are for group work..

This manual provides the needs of a summer workshop which is conducted for at least ten sessions, with three hours per session. Ideally one exercise is done in the classroom, and one is given as home assignment. An on-the-spot session can also make use of a number of exercises from this manual, such as Flying Kites, Inside a Gym, and Market Day. Each exercise will be graded and at the end of the workshop, the participants will be rated and ranked accordingly. The top three graduates shall be awarded gold, silver and bonze medals, respectively.

Computation of grades is based on the Likert Scale, where 1 is very poor, 2 poor, 3 fair, 4 good, and 5 very good. The general criteria are composition, interpretation, expression, artistic quality and impact. The details of these shall be discussed by the instructor at the onset of each exercise.

Like the other two manuals, the author offers this volume a respite from cartoons, advertisements, entertainment characters, programs filled with
violence and sex, computer games, and the like, which many children are overexposed via media and computers. It is his aim to help create a more wholesome culture where certain values of a growing child and adolescent are developed and nurtured. Art through this means becomes principally a vehicle for development, notwithstanding the gains in skill acquired.

For each exercise, the instructor shall explain the requirements and procedure with the use of visuals and through demonstration. If there is need for group interaction he shall also serve as facilitator-moderator. He shall choose the appropriate music background for each exercise to enhance the ambiance of the workshop.

With brush and colors one can go places and create scenarios as vivid as what a pen can do. It reminds us of the masterpieces of Jules Verne which he wrote many, many years ago, notably “Around the World in Eighty Days”. More than fiction we embark on a trip for life, real and inevitable. The pleasures await us, so with difficulties and hardships. The journey takes us closer to Nature and appreciate her beauty , it leads us to meet people and learn how to be a part of society. Here we plan our lives, make things for ourselves, enjoy success, face failure, and at the end we return to reality once again. Our journey takes us back to our loved ones, and with an Angelus prayer on our lips we draw a deep breathe of gratitude.

Thus one can glimpse from the outline of our itinerary that Part 1 introduces us to the natural world, while Part 2 integrates us into society. The last part provides a window through which a growing child and an adolescent see the other side of their present world, the real world in which they will spend the rest of their lives.

All aboard!

1. Views from an Airplane
2. Sunflower Field
3. Riceland
4. Rainforest
5. Hut by a Pond on a Mountain
6. Waterfalls
7. Inside a Cave
8. Fairy Garden .
9. Lighthouse at the Edge of the Sea
10. Sailing
11. Camping
12. Flying Kites
13. Inside a Gym
14. Market Day
15. Shanties and Buildings
16. Building a House
17. Making an Aquarium
18. Typhoon
19. Building a Bridge
20. Angelus

Exercise 1- Views from an Airplane
Leaving our world down below and seeing it as a miniature. How small it is! Rather, how small we are!

As the airplane we are riding on soars to the sky we lose our sense of familiarity of the places below us. Then our world which we left behind appears as a miniature. And we are detached from it.

What really is the feeling of one flying on an airplane? Nervous and afraid? Excited and happy? Most probably it is a mixed feeling. Now let us imagine ourselves cruising in the sky one thousand feet up. We get a clear view below. The most prominent are the landscapes. See those mountains, rivers and lakes, the seashore. See the infrastructures – roads, bridges, towers, parks, and the like. Next, buildings, schools, the church, houses, etc. Imagine yourself to be above your hometown or barangay..

This is an individual work. Use Pastel colors and Oslo paper. You have thirty minutes to finish your drawing. Let us play “Leaving on a Jet Plane” and “Up, Up and Away”.

Exercise 2 - Sunflower Field
Lessons in radial symmetry, uniformity, and unity; farm life and scenery.

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”.

Exercise 3 - Riceland
Lessons on the Central Plains, birthplace of agriculture and seat of early human settlement, rice granary of the country, where typical farm life is observed.

Rice, rice everywhere with few trees, no mountains, except Mt. Arayat. The wind sweeps over the plains and make waves and soothing sound. Suddenly a flock of herons and maya birds rise into the air. Herds of cattle lazily graze. Their calves are playful and oftentimes get lost. You hear both parents and calves calling one another. There are carabaos which like best areas where there is water and mud to wallow in..

Because we are in the Philippines we do not have zebras, lions, tigers and leopards. These animals live in Africa and on the vast plains of North America. We are going to draw a Philippine scene instead. We have our Central Plains where we grow rice. Here the farmer plants when the rains come and harvests towards the end of the monsoon. His hut in the middle of his field is made of nipa and bamboo. It is small. Beside it are haystacks that look like giant mushrooms. Children help on the farm, they mature and learn to live with life earlier than city kids.

Draw a typical ricefield scene in Central Luzon. It is like Fernando Amorsolo’s seceneries of rural life where there are people planting or harvesting rice. A carabao pulls a plow or cart, a nipa hut is surrounded by vegetables, haystacks or mandala dwarf the huts and people around. It is indeed a typical scene that gives an excellent background for our native songs and dances like Tinikling. Ang Kabukiran song fits well as a background music for this exercise. Let us play Nicanor Abelardo’s Compositions. Filipino composers like Padilla de Leon, Verlarde, Canseco, and Umali excel in this field.

Exercise 4 - Rainforest
A lesson on different kinds of plants and animals living together in a forest, the richest ecosystem in the world, their organization, adaptation and relationships.

As we enter a tropical rainforest, the trees become taller and denser, grasses disappear, and shrubs and vine plants called lianas take over their place. In the center of the rainforest are massive trees several meters high. Their trunks are huge, it takes several persons to wrap a tree with their arms stretched. Sunlight is blocked, except rays seeping through the green roof. We imagine we are inside the forest of Mt. Makiling in Laguna.

We walk through the forest by first clearing our way with a bolo. Be careful, the ground is slippery. In the rainforest, rain falls everyday, in fact anytime, from drizzle to downpour. That is why it is called rainforest. Be careful with wild animals and thorny plants. Do not disturb them, just observe them. Look for reptiles like lizards and snakes, amphibian like frogs and toads, fish swimming in a stream, birds singing up in the trees, insects of all kinds, animals like deer and monkeys.

Draw a cross section of a forest showing the different creatures. Show their interrelationships. For example a snake eats frogs, frogs eat insects, insects feed on plants. Observe the trees are of three levels. We appear very small standing on the ground floor of a seven-storey natural building that is the forest. Joey Ayala’s compositions on nature fit best as background music in this exercise. Why don’t we try some songs of Pilita Corales and Kuh Ledesma which are appropriate for this topic? “Sierra Madre”, for example.

Exercise 5 - A Hut by the Pond on a Mountain
Lessons of peace, tranquility, and of unspoiled landscape; feeling of being on top of the world.

The title alone tells a story. It is picturesque. Here one imagines himself to be in a simple hut made of wood and stone and grass which shelters a woodsman or a hunter on Mt. Pulag in Benguet which is the second highest mountain in the Philippines after Mt. Apo.

There are no houses, buildings; no road, except a trail. The trees are gnarled and stunted. They are covered with ferns, epiphytes and mosses which make them look haunted. Feel the great comfort the hut gives you after a long day hike, and how soothing is the cool and clear water of a pond nearby. There are water lilies growing on the pond. Their flowers are red, orange, white and yellow. Sometimes a breeze come along, followed by drizzle, then everything is quiet. Enjoy stillness. It is a rare experience to one who has been living in the city.

Draw first the mountain top where a pond and a hut are found. There is an faint trail which is the only way. The trees are dwarf and sturdy. They are bearded with mosses. Mist will soon clear as the sun penetrates through the trees, and makes a prism on the mist and dewdrops. Selections from the sound track of “Sound of Music” provide an ideal musical background.

Exercise 6 - Waterfall
This exercise makes us reflect at where a river abruptly ends. The energy and scenery of a waterfalls stir our imagination and make us think about life.

Here we follow the river. It meanders, then at a certain point it stops. But it does not actually end here. As water seeks its own level the river drops into a waterfalls and continues its journey toward the sea. We think of Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna or Maria Cristina Falls in Mindanao.

As we stand witness to this natural phenomenon, we are awed by its strength, it roars as it falls, sending spray and mist that make a prism or small rainbow. It pounds the rocks, plunges to a deep bottom before it becomes placid as if it has been tamed, then resumes to flow, seeking a new course toward its destiny.

Look around. Trees abound everywhere and make a perfect curtain and prop of a great drama. The background music is a deafening sound. And it is just appropriate. Be part of the drama. Be still and capture the scene. You have thirty minutes to do it on Oslo and pastel colors. Let us play heavy music from Beethoven, and Ryan Cayabyab. Toward the end of the exercise let us have a Rachmaninov or a Listz composition.

Exercise 7 - Inside a Cave
Looking back at the past, the home of our primitive ancestors, window of early civilization, and study of a Nature’s architectural work.

Have you ever been inside a cave? Jules Verne wrote a fancinating novel, “Journey to the Center of the Earth”. Look for the book or tape, or find somebody who had read it. It is a story of three daring men who traveled down a dormant volcano and explored a huge cavern, a world in itself inhabited by strange creatures of the past.

This exercise leads us to a cave in Callao, Cagayan, or Tabon in Palawan. On the face of a cliff are openings. We enter the biggest one. It is dark and scary. We hear bats, dripping water, and the wind making its ways through the cave. We see tiny lights like hundreds of distant stars. These are crystalline calcium deposits, phosphorescent materials, and glow worms. They cling on the stalactites which are giant teethlike structures hanging from the roof of the cave. The stalagmites are their counterpart rising from the cave floor. When both meet, they form pillars of many shapes and sizes. See that beam of light coming through the roof? It is a window to the sky.

Now draw the view from here and show the main entrance which frame the stalactites and stalagmites, and the seeping beam of light coming from the opening at the sky roof. You have thirty minutes to do it. Play a tape of Johann Sebastian Bach as background music. Robert Schumann’s symphony fits as well.

Exercise 8 - Fairy Garden
Introduction to fantasy, richness of imagination, and familiarity of make-believe stories.

This exercise relies principally on fantasy. We are in fairyland. What kind of garden is this? It is a garden made by our imagination and dreams. It is a garden in the world of Jonathan Swift’s second book, “Gulliver in Brodningnad”, where Gulliver was a dwarf in a land of giants where everything is big.

Imagine yourself a dwarf among mushrooms, mosses, grass, and insects. But here everyone is friendly, you imagine you can even ride on an ant like in “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!”, if you have seen the movie.

Here harmony of nature and creatures is at its best. There are no cars, buildings, highways and skyways. The amenities in life are very simple. Nature is left alone in her pure state.

Use Oslo paper and pastel colors. Draw a part or section of that garden in your imagination. Do not draw the whole panoramic view. Include the things that make that garden in your imagination, one that belongs to fantasy land. “The Last Rose of Summer’” by Flotow fits well in this exercise. How about Schubert compositions? Ballet music like, “The Dying Swan”? Let us try these for background music.

Exercise 9 - Lighthouse at the Edge of the Sea

Lessons in the wild, where Nature can be at times angry and cruel to those who do not take heed of her warning.

Here we are at the end of the land, and the beginning of the vast ocean. We stand on the coral reef and stones where we are safe from the angry waves. Above our head is a tall structure, strong, painted white, and on top of it is a strong light which guides seafarers at night, keeping away from dangerous rocks and shoals. This is an old lighthouse in Calatagan, Batangas.

Draw the waves breaking on the rock at the foot of the lighthouse. Give life to the sky. Put some moving clouds, some sunset colors. This is a sign of bad weather. There are sailboats leaning with the wind, their sails distended. They burst in different colors and designs, breaking the gloom. Other boats lay in anchor, their sails lowered, while others have been carried to higher ground. The shore is deserted now, except a few fishermen securing their paraphernalia in their anchored boats. Let us play Antonin Dvorak Jean Sibelius and other Scandinavian compositions. They have a special touch that creates the ambiance for this topic.

Exercise 10 - Sailing
Pure joy of adventure at sea, freedom riding on the wind and waves, a test of courage and endurance

Have you ever gone to sea? Have you ever ridden a sailboat or banca? I am sure all of us have.  For those who may have forgotten it, or were very young at that time, here is a way to relive the experience. Let us have a rowing song as background., “Like Volga Boat Song”, or music about rivers and sea, like “Over the Waves”, “On the Blue Danube”.

Let us go sailing in Manila Bay. Sailing is both pleasure and competition. Get your boat, and organize yourselves into a crew. Be sure you are ready when the race starts. Other sailboats are also preparing for the race. You can not afford to be left behind. The wind is building now. Is your sail set? Do you have enough provisions? Water, food, first aid kit, fuel, tools, map, flashlight, and others things. Review your checklist.

Group yourselves into 5. Assume that you are in your boat moving with other boats. This is the perspective of your composite drawing. Draw on illustration board using pastel or acrylic colors. You have the whole session to finish it. Ready, set, go!

Exercise 11 - Camping
A test of survival, a life without parents and home, gathering around a bonfire, and counting stars.

Let us go camping like boy scouts and girl scouts. Let us go to a summer camp. Check the things you bring. Do not bring a lot of things, only those which are essential will do. You do not want to carry a heavy load, do you? Besides camping has its rules. Read more about camping. Let us play “Moon River”, “You Light up my Life”, Tosselli’s “Serenade”, and Antonio Molina’s “Hating Gabi”.

After this we play “Nature Sounds” which are recorded sounds of frogs, birds, waterfalls, and insect. To fully appreciate these sounds we will observe complete silence while we all work.

Like “Market Day” and “Flying Kites” (Exercises 10 and 12), this is a group exercise. Group yourselves into 5. Set your camp,on Tagaytay Ridge overlooking Taal Volcano. From this imagine view there are tents are of many colors and designs. There are big and small ones, round and triangular in shape. There are tents set under trees, tents in the open, along a trail, even on hillside. There is a central area where a large bonfire has been set. Around it are people singing, dancing, telling stories, others appear cooking something on the embers. Why don’t you join them?

But first, finish your drawing. Use pastel colors or acrylic on one-half illustration board. You have the whole session to do it.

Exercise 12 - Flying Kites
Reviving an old art and outdoor sport; taking part in a friendly and festive competition.

 It is summer time. It is also kite flying season. When was the last time you flew a kite, or saw a kite festival?
Flying Kites mural by AVR

Well, this is your chance. Let us see if you know how a kite flies. First of all, a kite must be light and balance, and with a string and fair wind, it rises and stays up in the sky. Notice that the wind keeps the kite up as if suspended in the sky. This where the art of aerodynamics comes in.  You learn more about it in books and tapes about kite flying.

Here we go. This is a composite exercise. Just like in Market Day (Exercise 10) you will group yourselves into 5 up to 7 members. Plan out your work. Kites come in many shapes, figures, designs and colors. No two kites are the same. Be sure your kites fly against the wind, and only in one direction. Do not let them get entangled. Your setting is a park where there are people watching and cheering. Kite flying is both a festival and a competition. There are prizes at stake. The setting is in San Fernando Pampanga. Here beautiful Christmas lanterns are also made. Saranggola ni Pepe gives an excellent musical background. Let us play Frederick Chopin and imagine the light notes from his composition blending perfectly with the flying kites.

Use pastel or acrylic on illustration board. You have the whole session to complete your work.  
Exercise 13 - Inside a Gym
A lesson on sportsmanship, physical fitness, will to win, humility in winning and dignity of losing.

It is sports season. Intramural! We are in a sports center. Join the parade of athletes, go with the beat of lively music, cheer with the big crowd. The gymnasium has covered courts, swimming pools, and arena. Competition is in basketball and other ball games, gymnastics, swimming, table tennis, fencing, martial arts like aikido and taekwando, darts, and many more. We are in Rizal Coliseum.

This is composite drawing. Group yourselves into five to seven members. Each one imagines himself a player in his favorite sport. Draw at least three kinds of sports. Complete your work by including the crowd, other athletes, and the festive atmosphere. Play some marches. Get a tape of the Philippine Brass Band.

Plan out you work as a group. Present your finished work in class.

Market Day, by Fernando Amorsolo

Exercise 14 - Market Day
A place where people meet people, the pulse of our socio-economic life, where all walks all of life converge.

Everyday is market day in Divisoria, Baclaran, Pasay, Balintawak, and many public markets and talipapa in the city. In the province, Market Day comes maybe once a week, and when it is on a Sunday, the market comes alive after the mass.

Here we are going to meet people, we meet the common tao. We are among them. We are going to draw a complex scene. Here are the things we are going to put in our drawing. Let us play a lively tune, “Gavotte” and Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”. Because Amadeus Mozart music is light, let us have one or two of his compositions toward the end of the exercise.

1. A noisy crowd, people, people everywhere.
2. People selling and people buying.
3. Stalls and stores, carinderia, vendors and hawkers.
4. Wares, commodities, goods, services
5. Tricycles, jeepneys, trucks, carts
6. Festive moods, decors, colors, antics.

This is a group work. Each group has 5 to 7 members. Use one-half illustration board. Before you start, each group must convene its members and plan out what to do. Then it is all yours. You are give the whole session.

Exercise 15 - Shanties and Buildings
Lesson on contrast – between beautiful, high rise buildings and ugly shanties; between affluent and poor, modern and undeveloped communities.

It is ironic to see high rise buildings as a backdrop of shanties in Pasig and Makati, our country’s business capital.

It means there are very rich and very poor people living together in one place. It reminds us of Charles Dickens’s “Oliver Twist” and the Bastille before the French revolution. These are stories about inequality, and where there is inequality, many social problems arise, such as unemployment, disease and epidemic, drug abuse and problems on peace and order. Play the tapes, “Les Miserables” and “Noli Me Tangere, the Musical”. We can use these also in other exercises, like Typhoon and Angelus.

Here we stand viewing the dwellings of the so-called “poorest among the poor” which line up the sidewalks and esteros. They are found under the bridges, on vacant lots, and even on parks and shorelines. What a perfect contrast they make against the skyscrapers! This view is what you are going to draw. In each sector, include the inhabitants in their own lifestyle.

Exercise 16 - Building a House
A step-by-step follow-me exercise in building a house, making it into a home and ultimately a part of a community

This is quite an easy exercise. But it needs analysis and imagination.
Your score here will greatly rely on the interpretation of the theme. That is why you have to pay attention as we go through the step-by-step process. Do not go ahead, and do not lag behind either. Draw spontaneously as we go along. Our musical background is “Home Sweet Home” a classical composition you must have heard in “The King and I”. Let us also try the music of Leopoldo Silos, Buencamino, Abelardo and Mike Velarde Jr. in this exercise.

Let us start.
1. First put up the posts
2. Put on the roof.
3. There is a floor, maybe two, if you like.
4. The walls have windows.
5. Stairs meet the door
6. Extension for additional room, kitchen, etc. as you wish.
7. Think of the amenities for functional and comfortable living.
8. You are free now to complete your house
9. Make it into a home.
10. Make it as part of a community

The proof if you really made it good is, “Do you wish to live with your family in the house that you made?” Let us see. Exchange papers with your classmates who will correct and score your paper. What is your score?

Exercise 17 - Building an Aquarium
An exercise on doing things ourselves, following basic rules in maintaining life and keeping environmental balance.

An aquarium is “ a pond in glass”. We can build one in our backyard or in our house. It may be large or small depending on the kinds of fish we want to raise as pets.

Why this exercise? We want to try our hands not only in making things, but to play a role as guardian of living things. Can we make a stable and balanced aquarium? Are we then good guardians? Is so, can we say to our Creator we are good keepers of Earth?

Each one will make his aquarium, using pastel colors on Oslo paper. Be guides by these components or parts of an aquarium.
1. Clear water.
2. Sand bottom with rocks
3. Light
4. Aquatic plant
5. Fish, one up to three kinds (Your pet)
6. Snails and scavenger fish
7. Air pump to supplement oxygen and filter the water

Describe in class the aquarium that you made. Let’s play “Life Let’s Cherish”, “Fur Elise”, and Peter Tschaichowsky’s songs and waltzes as background.

Exercise 18 - Typhoon!
Preparedness, learning to deal with disaster, lending a hand.

PAGASA Bulletin: Signal No. 3 And it is going to be a direct hit.

List down the things to do. Imagine you are in one community. Choose your members, five to seven per group. Prepare for the coming super typhoon.

When you are through with your list, pause for some time and let the typhoon pass. Do not go out during a typhoon. Stay at home or in your safe quarter. If it is direct hit, the winds will reverse after a brief calm. The second part is as strong as the first. Think of Typhoon Yoling or Typhoon Iliang which had more than 100 kilometers per hour wind at the center. (Music background from Gustav Mahler, George Bisset, the Spanish composer and violinist, Sarasate, and Igor Stravinsky’s “The Firebird” and “Fireworks”).

The typhoon has passed. What happened to the community. Did your preparation help you face the force majeure? Draw the scenario of the typhoon’s aftermath. Imagine yourself a boy scout or a girl scout, or simply and good citizen.

Exercise 19 - Building Bridges
Reaching out, connecting places and people, building friendship and love

After the typhoon many roads and bridges were destroyed. Our houses may have been destroyed, too.

There is a different kind of destruction that you and I must prevent to happen in our lives by all means destruction of relationships. Our teachers tell us that a broken house is easier to repair than a broken home. Aristotle always reminded the young Alexander the Great, “ It is easier to make war than to make peace.” Relationships endure as long as the bridges connecting them are kept strong and intact. And once they get destroyed, do not lose time in rebuilding them.

Let us reflect on the illustration below. There are bridges washed away by the typhoon and flood. You are going to rebuild them. Analyze and imagine that these bridges are not only physical structures. These are bridges to reach out a person in need, to share our talents, to say sorry, to comfort, to congratulate, to console, to amend, to say what is right, to befriend, to stand for a cause, and many other virtues. With these, - perhaps even by our very intentions alone - we are also building a bridge with God.

With a solemn music as a background (“Meditation” from “The Thais” by Massenet), complete the outline on the attached page and be guided by the aforementioned scenario. Take your time. This is an exercise in meditation. Show and explain your work in class.

Exercise 20 - Angelus
Time for reflection and retreat, retirement for the day, time with the family, thanksgiving

This is the end of our travelogue. We come home from our journey at last. It is Angelus. It is a time to put down everything and to thank God for the day – for our journey.

It is time with the family, with our parents, brothers and sisters. It is time to say the Angelus Prayer. Let us pause for a moment and meditate. Isn’t it wonderful to be alive? This is God’s greatest gift to us.

With a background music from “Messiah” by Georges Friderick Handel, “On Wings of Song” by Felix Mendelssohn and Toccata and Fugue by Johann Sebastian Bach, compose the scenario of a family at Angelus Let us have also our own Nicanor Abelardo’s “Ave Maria”. This is a highly individual exercise. Work in complete silence. You have all the time in this session.

Workshop References by Dr. A.V. Rotor
· Light in the Woods (Photographs and Poems), 90 pp Megabooks, 1995
· Nymphaea: Beauty in the Morning, 90 pp., Giraffe Books, 1996
· Light of Dawn, 80 pp, Progressive Printing, 1997
· 4 . Handbook for Drawing and Painting (Revised 1997), Vol. 1 photocopy
· Art and Values 20 exercises, 1998, photocopy.
· Experiential Approach to the Study of Humanities, 6 pp Philippine Echoes
· Teaching Art and Values in Children, 6 pp. Philippine Echoes
· Ebb of Life: Essays and Poems (Photocopy)
· Reflections on Dewdrops (Manuscript) with Megabooks
· Violin and Nature, one-hour cassette tape of popular and semi-classical
compositions accompanied by sounds of Nature, 1997.
Light from the Old Arch, 2000 UST
Living with Nature Handbook 2003 UST
Humanities Today: An Experiential Approach 2012 C and E Publishing Co.