Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Seven Pillars of the Joy of New Life ... but where does Nature come in?


Collective referendum, consultation, decision are all
by mankind alone, sans all creatures on earth.
  

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog [avrotor.blogspot.com]
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



This editorial cartoon, The Joy of New Life, accompanies the editorial Still Poor, PDI March 21, 2016, following Easter Sunday. 

What role has environment to The Joy of New Life, 
and to the state of being Still Poor"?

Poverty undermines the pillars of truly a happy life;
it creates its own world apart. 

Anthropocentric regard of human supremacy over
all creatures, itself is an ecological crisis.

Man re-shapes the Earth at will for his needs
and wants disguised as values.

Education for literacy, justice for equality, freedom
as right are licenses to anthropocentrism. 

Dignity sets man on a pedestal, lord and master  
of all creation, rational and supreme.

Who enthroned man with such power, but a god 
he claims the source of his power.   

Self-anointed, he wills as his god wills, acts in his behalf,
in an authoritarian rule.

Collective referendum, consultation, decision are all 
by mankind alone, sans all creatures on earth.    

Who stops him from cutting down whole forests,
dam rivers, level mountains? 

All in pursuit of progress, in the name of civilization,
for wealth, comfort and happiness.

And mankind covers the earth, aims at the universe,
challenges now the god in his mind.

And reasons out, rationality after all justifies
both good and evil, acts as amoral.

Deserts expand, land, air and water foul with waste,
"Tragedy of the commons" breeds war.

Nations break up, millions in exodus to nowhere, 
where there was once progress.

Where there was once a paradise, a golden city
in its place, now also gone. 
 
What role has environment to The Joy of New Life, 
and to the state of being Still Poor"? ~

Building a "Children of Nature" culture

Our children and their children shall find themselves  living in a world of archives - memories, reproductions, replicas – of a real world lost before their own time - if we do not act now to preserve our planet.
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog [avrotor.blogspot.com]
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


The fine "Edge of Awareness" should start with Nature 

1. Our children need to know the true meaning of biodiversity. Four attributes - richness in kind, population, interrelationship.

Biodiversity per se does not guarantee sustainability unless integrated with functioning systems of nature.

2. Our children’s development must be holistic In all four stages: genetic, childhood, lifestyle – and fetal (in the womb)

Sing, talk to your baby while in the womb.

3. Our children are at the front line and center of people’s revolution spreading worldwide.

Arab Spring is sweeping North Africa and the Middle East, so with the escalating unrest questioning the present world order. All over US the young are angry at economic inequity.

4. Our children become new heroes – heroes for the environment, martyrs for Mother Earth. Heaven is in a regained Paradise on earth.

The coming of a universal faith, irrespective of denomination. To be saved is not by faith and promise. Heaven starts here on earth.

5. Let’s prepare our children to face the consequences of loss of privacy and secrecy, from personal to institutional transparency.

“You can no longer hide. There is no place you can remain with anonymity.” Wikileak unveiled classified information about the Iraq and Afghanistan war. Bank secrecy laws and safeguards are changing. Citizens have the right to know many hidden financial transactions.

6. Our children’s involvement in social media makes them actors and not mere spectators. They become involved, concerned with issues, local and far reaching.

There is need to strengthen Development Communication (DevComm) over conventional entertainment and reactionary media.

7. Our children will inherit our aging infrastructure. Aging Infrastructure pulls down the economy, increases risk to disaster, creates ghost cities and making life miserable.

A new field of biodiversity has been born in deserted towns, on the 38th Parallel between South and North Korea, in land mines areas, ghost towns, among deserted high rise buildings, in high radiation areas like in Chernobyl (Russia) and Fukushima (Japan).

8. Our children are deprived of natural beauty and bounty with shrinking wildlife, conversion of farms and pastures to settlements, and destruction of ecosystems.

“Canned Nature” (delata) have become pseudo Nature Centers. Gubat sa Siyudad, Fantasyland, Ocean Park, Disneyland

9. Our children, and succeeding generations are becoming more and more vulnerable to various infirmities – genetic, physiological, psychological, pathologic.

Computer Syndrome is now pandemic, and its toll is increasing worldwide. South Korea is the worst hit.

10. Our children’s learning through codification defeats logical thinking and creativity. Thus affect their reasoning power, judgment and decision, originality of thought and ideas.

More and more children are computer-dependent. They find simple equations and definitions difficult without electronic gadget.

11. Our children face the age of singularity whereby human and artificial intelligence are integrated. Robotics robs human of his rights and freedom – new realm of curtailment and suppression. (2045 – The Year Man Becomes Immortal – Time Magazine)

This is falsehood!

12. Our children finds a world of archives - memories, reproductions, replicas – of a real world lost before their own time.

We are making fossils, biographies, dirges and lament, as if without sense of guilt.

13. Our children will realize that optimism will remain the mainstay of human evolution, rising above difficulties and trials. Hope is ingrained in the human brain that makes vision rosier than reality.

Anxiety, depression will continue to haunt, in fact accompany progress, but these all the more push optimism up and ahead.

14. Our children are overburdened by education. They need freedom to learn in their own sweet time and enjoy the bliss and adventure of childhood and adolescence.

E-learning is taking over much of the role of schools and universities. Open Universities, Distance Learning will dwarf classroom instruction. Beginning of a new University of Plato’s dream.

15. Our children will witness in their time the beginning of a post-capitalism order, environmental revolution, rise of growth centers and shift in economic dominance and order, more green technologies, and space exploration.

This is Renaissance in in the new age.
16. Our children will continue looking for the missing links of science, history, religion, astronomy etc, among them the source of life itself and its link with the physical world.

Linking of disciplines, narrowing down the gaps of specializations, making of a new Man and culture.

Humanoids in our midst, Sky Ranch, Tagaytay

17. Our children become more and more transient in domicile where work may require, and for personal reasons, and when given choice and opportunity in a global perspective, intermarriages notwithstanding.

“Citizen of the world” is a person without a specific country. He is therefore, rootless.
Humans since creation are rooted politically, culturally – and principally biologically.

18. Our children will have a family size of ideally 2 or 3 children, enabling them to achieve their goals and dreams in life. They will strengthen the middle class the prime mover of society.

A natural way of family planning and population planning, trend of industrialized countries.

19. Our children will clean the land, water and air we the generation before littered. They will heal the earth we defaced, damage. With generation gap closed, the task will be shared by all.

We must be good housekeepers of Mother Earth now.

20. Our children will be part of devolution of power, decentralization of authority, a new breed of more dedicated leaders.

Children hold the key to change. It’s the Little Prince that changed and saved the pilot in an ill-fated plane crash in Sahara.

21. Our children face acculturation and inter racial marriages. Melange of races is on the rise – Eurasian, Afro-American, Afro-Asian, etc – a homogenization process that reduces as a consequence natural gene pools.

Culturally and scientifically, this is dangerous. Homogenization leads to extinction of races and ultimately the species.

22. Our children will live simpler lives, going back to basics, preferring natural over artificial goods and services. In the long run they will be less wasteful that us.

There is always a hidden desire to escape when things get rough. This is instinct for survival either by detour or turning back.

23. Our children face the coming of the Horsemen of Apocalypse – consequence of human folly and frailty (nuclear, pollution, poverty). More than we grownups, they are more resilient to adapt to the test.

History tells us that this is true.

24. The end of dictatorship is near as evidenced by the downfall of Saddam Hussein, Mubarak, Qaddafi, and soon Assad of trouble Syria.  Leadership will come from younger people who uphold values that bring the world to peace.

Leaders of South Korea, Turkey, China, etc. are the new breed of leaders that points out to such expectation. 

25. Postmodernism may do more harm than good for our children in a runaway technology and culture. They cannot and will not be able to keep with the pace and direction of change.

This is not true. “I am the master of my fate, I’s the captain of my soul.” And this is what we want our children to become – but only when they are CHILDREN OF NATURE.

10 Aspects of ENVIRONMENT

The environment, more than anything else is us. Managing the environment therefore, starts with us. 

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog [avrotor.blogspot.com]
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

View from the Bojeador Lighthouse, Burgos, Ilocos Norte


What is Environment really?

1. The NATURAL ENVIRONMENT is governed by Homeostasis. “Nature knows best when left alone.”

2. The ENVIRONMENT is a steady state of Matter and Energy Interrelationship (through biochemical and geophysical interactions, and the flow and transformation of energy in the living and non-living world.)

3. ENVIRONMENT is gauged by its Carrying Capacity (productivity) and Biological Diversity (adaptability)

4. ENVIRONMENT is the cradle and bastion of Natural History and Culture.

5. ENVIRONMENT is the center of worships, festivities and beliefs – and Reverence for Life.

6. ENVIRONMENT offers challenges and joy through discovery, serendipity and adventure.

7. BUILT ENVIRONMENT refers to constructed surroundings -infrastructures and settlements, modified by culture and society.

8. SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT enshrines the institutions built through time, beginning with the family and expanding to global cooperation.

9. ENVIRONMENT offers the ultimate in Aesthetics, which encompasses the Humanities and the Arts.

10. ENVIRONMENT and Ecology (Greek οίκος, "household"; and logos, "knowledge"). Ecology is the scientific study of the environment.

The environment, more than anything else is us. Managing the environment therefore, starts with us. x x x

Lightning is Nature’s Primordial Invention

Electrical energy transforms into chemical energy
passing from the inorganic to the organic world...Dr Abe V Rotor
Lightning is Nature's quick-fix agent converting inert atmospheric Nitrogen into soluble Nitrate compounds that fertilize soil and water, and nourish plants, other autotrophs, and saprophytes principally the mushrooms such as these specimens shown in the following photographs.
Shelf mushroom; Auricularia (tainga ng daga)
Dung mushroom
Oyster mushroom; stinkhorn

All over the globe lightning strikes at one point or another
incessantly night and day, in good or bad weather.

The atmosphere and earth meet in deafening thunder
that accompanies a spark of a thousand atomic bombs
enough to light a city for days if captured and stored.

In the process chemistry combines nitrogen with oxygen,
one-to-three in proportion to form nitrates in tons
and tons in a single bolt, becoming negatively charge
and soluble, riding on the rain to descend to earth.

Nitrate the free radical ion joins a positive ion and forms
combinations of compounds that nourish plants and all
all photosynthetic organisms, and the saprophytes, too
- the mushrooms and their kin of Kingdom Mycophyta.

Wonder the hills and mountains turn green soon after
the first rain in May or even only a shower in April;
afterward the whole landscape builds into a realm
of emerald green as the sky sends boundless energy.

Electrical energy transforms into chemical energy
passing from the inorganic to the organic world, thence
through the living world - the food chain and web,
food pyramid, there into the ecosystems and biomes,
finally to the biosphere that make the earth full of life.

Mysterious are nature's ways, the sun's energy
transforming into electrical energy through lightning,
henceforth building proteins, the building blocks
of all living things, great or small, as they grow and die,
and into the next cycle the process is the same -
ad infinitum. ~

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mushroom - Mankind's ultimate food


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


Abalone or Plerotus mushroom is a common commercial species - 
adaptable under different conditions, practical and easy to grow. 

Scenarios: 

1. Look under rice stalks (dayami) in the field, under the skirt of mandala. Ureka! Mushrooms!

2. Dig truffles in their underground lair, guided by trained nose of pigs and dogs. 

3. Enter a barn where mushroom is grown in multistorey shelves.

4. Dig an anthill, say tabi-tabi, and find the legendary mushroom called u-ung buntun (Ilk) 

5. Go out in a dark night, look for glowing mushroom - they are phosphorescent.

6. A day or two following an episode of thunder, lightning and heavy rain, go find mushroom under trees, coconut and bamboo groves and banana hills.

7. Lastly, when nuclear war breaks, Heaven forbids! stay in the deep underground shelter, and farm the only complete food that does not need sunlight -  in fact loves total darkness. The Mushroom is mankind's food for suvival in prolonged nuclear torm.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Sustainable Productivity: Key to Profitable Agriculture and Balanced Environment

Green Revolution at the Grassroots 
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog  [avrotor.blogspot.com]

Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday
Lesson first presented on November 9, 2011



I learned these practical farming techniques from old folks at home, and from successful farmers, here and abroad, which inspired me to look into their scientific explanation in college.
Death of large scale agriculture in agrarian societies 1. East-to-west orientation Arrange the rows of plants on an east-to-west orientation. This allows better and longer sunlight exposure which enhances photosynthesis. There is less overshadowing among plants compared to north-to-south, or any direction, especially when inter-cropping is practiced. You can increase crop yield to as high as 10 percent by this technique lone.

Have a compass at hand, and remember that an-east-to-west orientation of rows does not only increase yield of your regular crop, but allows you to practice layered or storey cropping as well - thus, enabling you to increase the effective area of your farm. Incidence to pest and diseases is greatly reduced by this practice. Crop quality is likewise improved such as sweetness and size.

There's one drawback though. When it comes to sloping terrain, it is advisable to observe the rules of contour farming that minimizes soil erosion and conserves soil moisture. Consult your nearest agriculturist. Learn from local farm models.

2. Inter-cropping and alternate cropping. In peanut-and-corn alternate planting, peanut is a nitrogen fixer and provides nitrate fertilizer to its companion crop - corn. Corn on the other hand, is a heavy nitrogen feeder. When planted alone and repeatedly, the tendency is that the soil becomes depleted of nitrogen. Peanut benefits from irrigation given to the corn, and gains protection from excessive wind and dryness from its taller companion. And to the farmer, having two crops is like doubling the effective area of his farm, not to mention the maximum use of space in double cropping, which also benefit the animals with corn fodder and peanut "hay."
Massive erosion leads to irreversible low productivity  
Here are some common combination of crops.
  • tomato and pechay
  • sugarcane with mungbeans
  • coconut and coffee or cacao
  • coconut and lansones
  • stringbeans (pole sitao) and rice
  • papaya and pineapple
  • peanut, corn and sweet potato
  • pigeon pea (kadios) and rice
  • grape on hedge and cabbage or cauliflower

3. Non-cash technology principle. Don't spend, save on farm input and labor cost through practical means. Here are proven practices.
  • Follow recommended use of the land, the crops to plant, cropping system to follow. Consult local agriculturists, successful farmers.
  • Go with the seasons and be part of community farming - when to prepare the seedbed, plant, irrigate, harvest. Off-season planting is expensive and risky, and is done only for special reasons.   
Wastes clog rivers and irrigation canals, destroy soil fertility and deposit toxic chemicals.
  • Fallowing. Give your farm a break. Nature takes a rest usually in summer. You can hear the land breath, the cracks harbor aestivating frogs, fish, crustaceans, snails and other organisms. Break the life cycle of pest and disease organisms. Give yourself too, a break.
  • Plow after the first heavy rain to turn over the weeds, converting them into organic fertilizer, and keeping their population down.
  • Plant native varieties, they are sturdier and simpler to take care. Less fertilizer, less pesticide, if needed. There is a growing market for native crops and animals. People are avoiding pesticide and antibiotic residues, more so, genetically modified crops such as Bt Corn.
  • Avoid hybrids as much as possible. They are heavy soil nutrient feeders. They are genetically unstable, you cannot make your own binhi (planting material) out of your harvest.
4. Practical Postharvest technology. Avoid crop loss in all stages - from planting to harvesting to manufacturing. At all cost avoid wastage. It defeats your goal and objective. And remember there are millions of people around the world whio have little to eat.
  • Harvest on time and promptly
  • Know the shelf life of your harvest. For perishables, sell or process immediately.
  • Use proper tools and equipment
  • Have your harvest properly dried, packaged and stored, specially if you plan to keep it for some time. Keep it away from the elements and pests.
  • Consider quality, not only quantity.
5. Processing increases value added. Why don't you do the processing yourself, rather than sell your harvest directly. Milled rice rather than palay. You can go for second processing - or manufacturing - rice flour. puto (rice bread), suman, bibingka (rice cake), rice wine (tapoy). , Promote local industry, generate employment for the family and locality.

6. Use by-products efficiently. Farm wastes are converted into many useful products.
  • Rice hull and sugarcane bagasse for fuel.
  • Corn stover, rice hay for livestock feeds.
  • Rice and corn bran for poultry and piggery feeds.
  • Crop residues, and weeds for composting.
  • Banana leaves, rice hay for mushroom growing
  • Tobacco stalk for pest control (spray or dust)
  • Coconut shell for charcoal (activated carbon)
  • Rice hay for mulching (bed cover of garlic, onions, other crops)
  • Manure as organic fertilizer and composting
7. Multi-commodity or diversified farming. Grow two, three or more crops, with animals and fish, and other commodities.
  • Palay-isdaan (rice and tilapia, hito, dalag, gurami)
  • Sorjan farming - alternate upland and lowland culture. Field is divided into strip, alternately elevated and depressed.
  • Piggery and biogas digester for biofuel. Biofuel to run your own generator.
  • Poultry on range, feedlot for cattle, fishpond, field and vegetable crops.
  • Agrotourism. Combine farming with ecology. Make farming attractive to tourists, specially children. Let them experience planting, harvesting, catching fish or butterflies. Have you farm suitable for camping.
Farming is as old as civilization, and for thousands of years has been the mainstay of economy and well-being of man and his society. Farming is the root of festivities and rituals. It keeps the family working, playing and living as a unit. It in turn, sustains communities Farming is food security, it gives the sense of independence and self-sufficiency.

Practical farming is the answer to many problems we encounter today such as
  • High cost of production
  • Pollution from farm chemicals
  • Loss of farm productivity
  • Decreasing profitability
  • Harmful residues in crops and animals
  • Loss of soil fertility, soil loss due to erosion 
Community Gardening, San Juan, Metro Manila

  • Idle farms, abandonment of farms
  • Desertification - farm land to wasteland
  • Unemployment and underemployment
  • High dependence on mechanization and expensive input
  • Technology transfer gap
These and other practices flourish in many farms all over the world. Let's preserve them, they are the fallback to today's modern agriculture.

This simple article is dedicated to the memory of my professors, Dr Eduardo Quisumbing, Dr Deogracias Villadolid, Dr Rufino Gapuz, Dr Juan Aquino, Prof Francisco Claridad, Prof Leopoldo Karganilla, Prof Emiliano Roldan, Dr Nemesio Mendiola, Dr Juan Torres, Dr Fernando de Peralta, et al, advocates of natural farming and acclaimed leaders of the so-called Old School of Agricultutre.  

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Ten (10) Paradigms of Moral Life - the Ways to Salvation

In Observance of the Holy Week 2016
A paradigm is a distinct set of concepts or thought patterns, including theories, research methods, postulates, and standards for what constitutes legitimate contributions to a field. Synonyms: model, pattern, example, exemplar, template, standard, prototype, archetype.
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

Here are ten (10) models of moral life characteristic of each of the periods of history, including that of the present, in man's relentless search of the true meaning of life that earns him his salvation for an eternal life.


1. Classical Period (Pre-Vatican)
“What must I do?”

The models in this period which dominated the Christian world for centuries are Noah’s Flood, and Sodom and Gomorrah. The salvation of man lies in himself alone let his sinful society perish, if that is the will of God.

Many who have seen or heard Lakay Lakay, a figure of an old man and woman off the coast of Ilocos Norte and Cagayan, know it is the local version of this model. Even today sea travelers throw money into the water as their boat passes through the rough waters surrounding it with the hidden fear of biblical Armageddon.

Thus, a sinful people meet a dreadful fate, save he who is good. This is the rule that governed the faithful during this period. Who is considered good?

First of all, he who believes in a God who punishes the wicked and rewards the good – typical in the preaching of the early missionaries such as Reverend Hale in James Michener’s novel, Hawaii.

The world virtually stood still as the masters feasted on their colonies. With the missionaries they took advantage of the promise that the soul will be freed from the suffering body and reach Heaven, the ultimate reward for living in asceticism. 
Christ's passion and death keeps the Christian world alive. Angels' Hill, Tagaytay
Eternal is soul, temporal is life. St. Augustine’s thesis, “the city of God and the city of man” haunts at the crossroad. Wrong choice leads to hell. 

Obedience was the rule and this rule remained unquestioned, save local revolts and tragic protests like those of Diego Silang and GOMBURZA (Gomez, Burgos and Zamora). The masters stayed too long in their colonies and enraged the people. Soon colonization gave way to the birth of nations. But first, let me present the transitory paradigm during the historical period.

2. Historical Paradigm
“What do I want to become?”

To better appreciate this concept let us first examine this parallelism in the context of history and evolution. Here we also take note of the reasons underlying this paradigm shift in the next period - the historical period.

Enlightenment dawned in this period. Education began to catalyze the acquisition of knowledge among the subjects. “Education is the key to independence,” said Rizal. The so-called Third World countries followed this formula with or without armed revolution. Or it inspired revolution itself. “Noli” and “Fili” inflamed the Katipunan.

Spirituality took several steps down from its pedestal of dogmas to have a “dialogue with the world.” The wheels of time moved faster, the unquestioning subjects soon entered the age of realism. Man, to be good, must realize the unity of body and soul, and the root of spirituality cannot be in the soul alone.

Women, though still looked down by society, began to see opportunities outside the confines of housekeeping. While facing the horizon of self actualization, the road that led the liberated societies was still the long and winding historical road that dictated many of their thoughts and acts. For example, truth is still historical truth. As the old folks would say, “I have eaten more rice than you had.”

But things have changed, particularly to the younger generations. The Sodom and Gomorrah model began to melt, and the concept of sin is no longer one that is indulgence or omission, but “breaking relationships” with God and fellowmen. This means, “We go to Heaven together.” Or vice versa. Which is the essence of the New Testament.



3. Liberation Theology 
“What do we want for an alternative society?”

Freed from their master the subjects faced self-rule. The end led however, to autocracy. Dictatorships prevailed where people were weak. The few where wealth and power were concentrated took the helm of government. A new master was born.

The paradox is even greater if we take the case of the woman who is now doubly jeopardized of her status of being a woman and at the same time poor. For poverty plagued the newly independent states now depleted of resources. Neophyte managers ran new governments poorly. These scenarios naturally led to a paradigm still reminiscent of the cities of the French Revolution, which sought social justice, this time addressed to the new master in cohort with the old one. Here Liberation means first and foremost, meeting the people’s basic needs, removal of inequities of wealth distribution, respect of the rights of the common man. It was also a call for the end of the vestiges of colonialism in the guise of capitalism. Thus, the birth of the masses. Conflict then moved away from the “David and Goliath” model. There must be a solution to an “Abel and Cain” conflict.

To poor people, God is a God of the poor. Being poor is also historical but people cannot accept that. It is structural. Unjustly structural, like the pork barrel and other hidden compensation for members of congress. What is sin then?

From the viewpoint of this paradigm, sin is likewise structural. Graft and corruption is structural sin. If the dialectics is that poverty is the result of unjust structure, this model calls also for a dialectical method: bring out the conflict.

Liberation from sin is not being passive, but active participation in bringing about a new society, as Christ died to redeem the sins of mankind.


4. Feminist Theology
Where art thou, woman?”

The breed of Tandang Sora and Joan of Arc’s local version, Gabriela Silang, comes to the picture in this period. Recently at one time five world leaders were women sitting side by side with men plotting the course of world affairs.

Had it not been for the paradigm of this period, the world would hear more of the whimpers and moans of a suffering woman, cast away from a man’s world. Her DNA is no different from the male’s, and that is a biological fact. Physical, mental, sexual and emotional attributes, scientists say, are potentially equal. Thus, the birth of Women’s Lib. And man found a partner at work and at home. Breadwinning is shared, so with housekeeping.

The dignity of a person is in accepting responsibility. When one accepts responsibility one also exercises freedom to choose and to decide. Liberation theology plus feminist theology points out one important aspect of this paradigm which has a social dimension. Here the woman rises and history will never be a history solely that of men. While sin in man is pride, in women it is passivity. “I think therefore, I am,” to women becomes more compassionate and caring. Breaking from passivity brings into the woman self-worth and self-assertion, and above all, wholeness of being.

5. Ecological paradigm 
Reverence for Life is the key to salvation
The prolificacy of the human species sans war and pestilence, plus growing affluence of its societies led to a population explosion, doubling in less than 50 years. We are now 7.5 billion. 

In this paradigm, master and subject have joined hands to exploit the earth’s finite resources. Our best economists are the worst housekeepers of Nature. While they aim for the good life, they have unwittingly reduced the very foundation of that good life – the productivity and beauty of Mother Earth.
Reverence for Life Painting in acrylic AVR 
Ecological paradigm endorses an eco-centric approach where all forms of life and non-life are important to human life. Spirituality points out to a unitive force: the sacredness of everything. God’s divinity flows in everything. There is integration in the universe. And we are part of that integration, exceedingly small as we are, notwithstanding.

The kind of person we truly are is reflected by our relationship with Mother Earth, how we comply under her treaties. Clearly, biocide is the greatest sin man commits in this period. Long live, Ceres! And Albert Schweitzer and King Solomon must be smiling up there. So with St. Francis of Assissi, patron saint of ecology. “Reverence for life,” is the key to this paradigm.

6. In Search of  Sacredness in Postmodern Times



“Why can’t many people find sacredness anymore?” asked Time in a special issue. Moses asked the same question, puzzled on why his people had turned their worship to a golden calf. Christ released His anger, the first and only instance, when the synagogue was turned into a marketplace.

I remember Alvin Toffler’s books “Future Shock” and “Eco-Spasm”. We are unprepared visitors of a changed planet who broke away too soon with the past. We are willing victims of an accelerated thrust of time and change. We are a people of the future too soon, carried away by the concept of transience and adhocracy, and not one of permanence. We created a throw-away society that we discard many things including values in favor of novelty.
San Lorenzo Ruiz is the layman's saint and the most recently canonized. Will the people follow his path?
We find little sacredness when we talk in the future tense, of foreign ideologies not founded by enduring philosophies, but of futurism, its promises of choice and kaleidoscopic images. How can we find sacredness in subterranean cities, in modular fun houses, in sprawling mega malls, in mail-a-bride and rent-a-person, in hurry-up welcome, in Batman, in temporary marriages? Welcome to the rental revolution, to simulated environments, the portable playground.

Gone is the homing instinct. Broken is the old family. If we are a product of periodicity, then we are but a drifting lead swept onto the ocean of change. No, we are not.

Here we remember the classical period, the anchor against the fallacy of human dreams and ambitions. What caused the downfall of Alexander and Napoleon? Here we remember the historical period. History is the greatest lesson of mankind. He who knows his history does not run and get a stabbing thorn. He who walks sees reality and the beauty of the countryside.

We remember liberation theology – it is the catalyst of social justice; the feminist paradigm – it gives wholeness to man-woman relationship; the Filipino paradigm, the quaintness of Filipino life, shy from the world, but full of life’s simplicity as well as flavors, while ecological paradigm is making us move closer to nature.

Will a worldwide web bind all of us, Christians and Jews, Muslims and Buddhists, together?

7. Finding God on the Web
The Computer Revolution is touching our faith more openly and deeply now than during the age of Bible Study and Sunday Worship.

Futuristic tree of life. Painting in acrylic AVR 2001
The marriage of technology and religion, though an ancient one (starting with the codification of religious belief in cuneiform writing), has gone farther than following Mass on television. It now makes available in the home through the Internet the subject of God in the countless denominations of faith. This leads to the creation of a cathedral in the mind, but what does it look like? Will a worldwide web bind all of us, Christians and Jews, Muslims and Buddhists, together?

Time poses this question with a sense of optimism that opens the door to religious understanding rather than religious isolation and conflict. These electronic exchanges will ultimately help people from many religions understand the common ideas that bind them together.

One of the causes of religious disagreement has been the sense of strangeness, of pure unfamiliarity,”  Professor Alvin Plantinga, Notre Dame philosophy 


8. Rise of the "nones." These are former members of religious organizations who have moved away to practice their own faith individually or as a community. They are disillusioned by their religious institutions, many of them overly strict and dogmatic and provide very little room for freedom of worship followers are seeking to express their faith in the light of today's postmodern living. 

They have grown suspicious of the true intentions of their religious institutions which have become financial giants and their leaders wallowing in amassed wealth, while the faithful are kept in silence and obedience. The nones have not abandoned their faith whatsoever. The fact that they have been liberated allows them to exercise in their own way to be of better service to their respective communities, attending to the poor and destitute, in a kind of missionary zeal, even with the use of  their own resources.

The world is about to plunge into a giant pool called globalization where the dividing lines of distinction begin to dissolve: sex, geography, public and private life, status, race, religion, trade, education, culture, many others. Will these end up into a “classless and society.” What paradigm do all these offer for one in order to lead a true moral life?

9. Same sex marriage defy natural laws and  institutions of marriage and family - Never Never in the history of mankind has marriage of the same sex allowed in any civilization, and if  there were cases, these were made clandestinely so as to escape social criticism and banishment. Would legal sanction remove moral guilt?  Would a general referendum speak of, and for others? Consequences are raised in questions of 
  • procreation
  • property 
  • investing into the future
  • family structure
  • community
  • economy
  • salvation
  • others 
10. Laudato Si (Praise be). Moral dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Humanity. The 184-page encyclical has a a major theme the recognition of the reality of man-made environmental deterioration.   





Relentless exploitation and destruction of the environment  which the Pope blamed on apathy, the reckless pursuit of profits, excessive faith in technology, and political short sightedness. 

The encyclical is a nudge for action particularly in countries that are largely catholic, although the pope asked that the encyclical "to address every person  living on this planet." 

The encyclical is interpreted as an attack on capitalism and as unwanted political meddling at a moment when climate change is high on the global agenda. 
Areas of concern
  • Redefining progress
  • Integrated ecology
  • Business and environment
  •  Failures of leaders
  • Reluctance of rich nations
  •  Cereation as God's love
  •  People and nature
  • Global warming evidences 
  • Morality, common good


As I walk on the road of change, I see a faint light from the window of an old house. It gives me comfort, more that all the stars I see above. ~