Monday, June 20, 2016

Cry of the Lawin

The lawin circles and cries up high above our community: a cry calling for self-reliance and self-identity; a cry of joy in simple and practical living; and a cry of relief, a catharsis, freedom from within, where peace-of-mind and true happiness reign.  

Dr Abe V Rotor
Inaugural address as First President of 

of Lagro Assn of Writers and Artists Inc (LAWIN)
 Living with Nature - School on Blog (
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM, [] 8-9 evening class Monday to Friday

We, in Greater Lagro are blessed with having a rare bird called Philippine hawk or LAWIN in our language. It is a close relative of the Philippine eagle, which is considered a symbol of our culture.

Painting of a lawin on a backboard by the author

On a clear day we may see the lawin* hovering over our subdivision, alone or with a partner in dalliance, simply gliding and circling up in the sky, in a spectacular kind of show that this bird now categorized as threatened is still around. Its home is the La Mesa watershed, just across our subdivision. It is in deference to this bird that our association has adopted it as our symbol and acronym - LAWIN.

We thank our gazette editor Mr Fil Galimba who brought the idea of the organization, and Atty Riz Quiaoit for adopting Lawin as our symbol.

But what really does the lawin symbolize?

One early morning my granddaughter pointed at the bird in the sky. I explained what I know about the bird. Lawin symbolizes the young generations. It brings in the morning sun, it connects us grownups with the young generations. It gives our children a break from iPads and TV. .

One time children in the neighborhood in our place could not play their favorite game basketball. Somebody rebuilt their backboard, and games resumed. There one difference: the other player on the back bard is a big lawin with outstretched wings seemingly playing with the kids.

Nearby a garbage dump began to transform into a vegetable and herbal garden. The children called it Lawin Garden. It is a local version of the Phoenix bird rising from the garbage ashes.

The lawin has a peculiar cry while in flight - clear and loud whistle of two notes. But most often, it is a silent flyer with panoramic and telescopic vision.

It can see like a satellite monitor what is happening over its broad area of vision, yet able to focus on the slightest movement - a prey or an enemy.

Writers and artists to a great degree are like the lawin. Like the lawin, true writers and artists are a vanishing breed, they are an endangered species victim of instant and unguided social media, and worst assassination of journalists. The Philippines is compared to worn-torn countries like Syria and Afghanistan for having the highest number of killings in mass media.

The lawin writers and artists have "eyes for news and the arts," Their aerial perspective is holistic and contiguous. They see the multiplicity and unity of space and time, people and events. And they never veer away from their community which they watch over.

At the onset of organizing LAWIN, we did some research on our trust and functions, and on the long run - our projected goal.
Lawin endeavors to elevate writing from journalism to authorship; and arts to humanities - the highest level the intellect can reach: philiosophy - love of knowkedge, and wisdom - distilled knowledge through experience and time. - AVR
Our reference is the our own Gazette. Lawin is DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION. DevCom recognizes the power of communication as a catalyst for social development. It utilizes the tools and principles applicable in the community they serve for the advancement of society.

In an outline DevCom is

  • Information disemination and education
  • Social Marketing - ideas, knowledge and wisdom
  • Purposive communication - it sets targets
  • Social mobilization - involvement and militancy
  • Community improvement mainly on felt needs
  • Positive change (social, political, economic, moral, environmental, etc)
  • Participatory development - bottom-up approach
  • Humanities development - applied aesthetics
  • Sentinel and vanguard of code of media 
  • Pathfinder - pioneering and visionary
Development Communication as the INTEGRATION OF STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION IN DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS, based on a clear understanding of real and down-to-earth situations, with people's participation and shared equitable benefits.

What then would be our guiding principle in our program? It can be summarized as follows, for an anonymous source:

"If it is of high quality, people will respect you;
If it is relevant, people ill need you;
If it is measurable, people will trust you;
If it is innovative, people will follow you."

If you were the lawin up in the sky over Greater Lagro, you are likely to see these
the need to reduce waste by not being wasteful, and in making use of waste through recycling.

  • the need to motivate people towards common goals, reuinvigorate those in their senior years,
  • the need to clean our streets and sidewalks - and our homes
  • the need to train students in our schools not only in the field of mass media and applied art to run their school paper but to help then attain their choses careers.
  • the need to take care of the trees, and plants more tree, to make Lagro an extension of the shrinking wildlife.
  • the need to expand outdoor activities, participate in wholesome games and sports, creative activities.
  • the need to guard Greater Lagro from the incursion of bad elements, vices, violations of human rights, peace and order.
  • bringing in honors and prestige to the community through the talents of its citizens, particularly the young.
  • unifying relationships of families, strengthening bonding, making the community senior citizen friendly, grandchildren friendly as well.
There are one-thousand-and-one other visions that challenge the organization LAWIN and its members giving meaning to their membership, above all, building a legacy for the next generations.

When we hear the lawin cry up in the sky, let us heed its message.

  • A call for self-reliance, self-sufficiency. self-identity;
  • A cry of joy to remind us that simple and practical living makes a full life; and
  • A cry of relief that takes away the tensions of living, liberates us more than freedom symbolized by our flag, because it is freedom within where peace of mind and true happiness reign.
But we can only attain our goal with the support of our community, the various organizations, and networking of all sectors of society, and if our commitment is not only for our own generation but that of our children - and children's children. ~

Neighborhood projects of LAWIN (Lagro Association of Writers and Artists Inc)

Sports development: Lawin Backboard; Green Revolution: Lawin Garden

Lawin urban home composting; Herbal Medicine.

About the Philippine Hawk - Lawinby Naomi Millburn

Philippine hawk-eagles (Nisaetus philippensis) are raptors native only to the Philippines. "Lawin" translates to "hawk" in the Tagalog tongue. Philippine hawk-eagles survive in very low numbers, so their population is considered vulnerable.

Physical Appearance
Philippine hawk lawins are typically about 26 or 27 inches long. The top portions of their plumage are deep brown, and their lower portions are reddish-brown and adorned in black markings. Philippine hawk-eagles have pale throats, yellow limbs, deep gray beaks and dark crests. Their crests are made up of four to five feathers, some of which can reach 2.75 inches long. It takes about four years to develop their mature feathers. Fully grown Philippine hawk-eagles tend to have lithe physiques.

Living Environment
Philippine hawk lawins inhabit numerous islands throughout the Philippines, including Mindoro and Luzon. They haven't been confirmed as migratory, though they might occasionally travel between islands. They are prevalent around outer portions of forests, sometimes even in airy settings. Philippine hawk-eagles spend a lot of time hidden in the top layers of forests. They do a lot of high flying within their habitats.

The number of Philippine hawk lawins in the wild is dropping swiftly. Their total population is thought to be 1,000 and 2,499 specimens, two-thirds of which are adults, according to BirdLife International. Key factors in their decline are the clearing of trees for logging, farm animals, and farming expansion in general. People also sometimes hunt Philippine hawk-eagles. Efforts to conserve this species include captive reproductive programs and protected locations such as Bataan National Park.

The signature call of the Philippine hawk lawin is a clear, loud whistle of two notes. These birds call out over and over again, sometimes in intervals of three seconds. ~

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