Monday, May 29, 2017

"Life is a river flowing, its source the sky and dream..."

Mural and Poem by Dr Abe V Rotor
Nature Mural by AVR 2005

Life is a river flowing,
its source the sky and dream;
clouds rising, falling as rain,
and running downstream.

Life is a river flowing,
from mountain to sea;
the bounty of the living,
kingdom and the free. 

Life is a river flowing,
nature's free energy,
prime mover of the living
world of synergy.

Life is a river flowing
incessantly through
fields and plains and ravine,
all year through.

Life is a river flowing,
flowing with laughter,
whispering, hissing, roaring,
more so in summer.

Life is a river flowing
to a sweet union - 
the spirit and nature rising
to every occasion.~ 

Our Deteriorating Environment - 20 Issues

Forest Fire painting by AVR

Dr Abe V Rotor

"We are destroying the Earth - our only spaceship in the universe. - AVR"

1.Our changing environment breeds a unimaginable ailments and diseases. Nature-Man Balance, the key to good health is being threatened.

2. The Good Life is shifting with the transformation of agricultural to industrial


3. The Good Life is synonymous to Affluence. People want goods and services beyond what they actually need. It is want that leads to luxury - to waste.

4. The world’s population is 7.7 billion. Another billion will be added in less than 10 years. Runaway population in the mother of human miseries.

5. The proliferation of cities, growth of cities to metropolises and megapolises, each with 10 to 20 million people ensconced in cramped condition. Cities breed marginal


“People, people everywhere, but not a kindred to keep," in condominiums, malls, schools, churches, parks, sharing common lifestyles and socio-economic conditions. They are predisposed to common health problems and vulnerabilities from brownouts to food and fuel shortage, force majeure notwithstanding. Poor health and crowded living conditions.

6. Loss of Natural Environment – loss of productivity, loss of farmlands, and wildlife Destruction of ecosystems - lakes, rivers, forests, coral reefs, grasslands, etc. The destruction of ecosystems is irreversible.

7. Species are threatened; many are now extinct, narrowing down the range of biodiversity. Human health depends largely on a complex interrelationship of the living world. No place on earth is safe from human abuse. Coral Reef – bastion of terrestrial and marine life, is now in distress. Atolls, a world within a world of marine and terrestrial organisms are threatened by global warming, pollution and exploitation. We have studied not even 10 % of the world’s species.

8. Wildlife shares with our homes, backyards and farms, transmitting deadly diseases like SARS, HIV-AIDS, Mad-Cow, FMD, Ebola, and Bird Flu which can now infect humans.

9. “Good Life” cradles and nurses obesity and other overweight conditions. Millions of people around the world are obese, 1 out of 5 in the US.

10. Global warming stirs climatic disturbance, changes the face of the earth.

11. Globalization packages the major aspects of human activity – trade, commerce, industry, agriculture, the arts, education, science and technology, politics, religion and the like.

12. Mélange of races - pooling of genes through inter-racial and inter-cultural marriages produces various mixed lines or “mestizos” - Eurasian, Afro-Asian, Afro-American, Amerasian, and the like. Native genes provide resistance to diseases, adverse conditions of the environment. But will this advantage hold on even as the native gene pools are thinned out?

13. Modern medicine is responsible in reducing mortality and increasing longevity.

It has also preserved genetically linked abnormalities; it cradles senility related ailments. It made possible the exchange of organs and tissues through transplantation, and soon tissue cloning. It has changed Evolution that is supposed to cull out the unfit and misfits. Man has Darwinism in his hands.

14. First breakthrough in science - splitting of the atom - gave man the atomic bomb before the nuclear reactor was developed.

15. The second scientific breakthrough – Microchip to Internet “shrunk the world into a village.”

16. The third breakthrough in science, Genetic Engineering, changed our concept of life - and life forms. It has enabled man to tinker with life itself. It gave rise to revolutionary industries Examples: In vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood, Human Genome Project (HGP or gene mapping), multiple childbirth, post-menopausal childbirth, DNA mapping, etc. It ushered the birth of the prototype human robot – pampered, he lives a very dependent life.

17. Genetic Engineering gave rise to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and Gene Therapy. Biological Warfare today is more terrifying. Gene Therapy prevents gene-link diseases even before they are expressed; it has revolutionized medicine.

More and more countries are banning GMO crops and animals through legislative measures and conservation programs, including protection against “biopiracy” All over the world the battlecry is NO TO GMO! In the Philippines Bohol is the first province to launch a GMO-Free Ordinance

18. Today’s Green Revolution opened up non-conventional frontiers of production – mariculture, desalination, desert farming, swamp reclamation, aerophonics (rooftop farming), hydroponics, urban farming, organic farming, Green Revolution adapts genetic engineering to produce GMOs and Frankenfoods.

We may not be aware, but many of us are eating genetically modified food (GMF or Frankenfood) everyday – meat, milk, chicken, corn, potato and soya products, and the like mainly from the US.

Many food additives and adjuncts are harmful, from salitre in longganiza to pesticide residue in fruits and vegetables, aspartame in fruit juice to MSG in noodles, formalin in fish to dioxin in plastics, bromate in bread to sulfite in sugar, antibiotic residue in meat to radiation in milk.

Post Harvest Technology. is critical to Food Production. PHT bridges production and consumption, farm and market, thus the proliferation of processed goods, supermarket, fast food chains, food irradiation, ready-to-eat packs, etc.

• Aeroponics is farming on top of buildings. In Japan it is compulsory to maintain at least 50% of the area of rooftops of buildings as a garden or farm.

• Multi-storey farming designed like skycrapers has been introduced in big cities in the US, Japan and Europe. It is called vertical farming.

19. Exploration into the depth of the sea and expanse of the Solar System. We probe the ocean. We build cities in space - the Skylab. Soon we will live outside of the confines of our planet earth. Now we aim at conquering another planet, another Solar System to assure continuity of mankind after the demise of the earth.

20. Regional and International Cooperation: EU, ASEAN, APEC, CGIAR, CRISAT, WTO, WHO, UNEP, WFO, FAO, Fighting diseases globally – HIV-AIDS, SARS, Dengue, Hepatitis, Bird Flu, and now swine Flu. ~

We say, “Everything changes, except change.” And of all creatures, only we humans can change our environment – deliberately and rationally. We have virtually placed the world into our hands. 

"The Ingredients of Change - the factors to growth become the factors of decline."

No period in history has man influenced the environment as much as what he is doing today

in his pursuit for a higher standard of living, and affluence.

• We are losing our natural world; we are creating a world of our own design.

• We are changing our life style – from rural to urban. We leave the countryside to live in the city.

• We contribute to the deterioration of our environment on all levels and walks of life.

• We are changing the environment to meet not only our needs and but affluence.

• We tailor the environment to fit our lifestyle, instead of our lifestyle to the environment – as what our ancestors did in their time.

• We nurture a distorted vision of what the environment is, and what it should be.

• We defy the borders of function and aesthetics, reality and fantasy. We venture into the frontiers of time and space.

• We are living “ahead of our time in a free-for-all fall.” We call this Post-Modernism and Globalization

Singing Cicada

Dr Abe V Rotor

Cicada (Magicicada septemdicim) (NatGeo photo credit)

The hot summer ends in rejoice;
the air is filled with cheerful sound
of your loud and crispy voice,
calling a bride you’ll be bound.

You celebrate with the first rain
of May, and in the morning after,
you sing with high pitched strain
in clear and precise meter.

Sing, sing like the great Caruso,
Song to Celia and Schubert’s Serenade;
carefree you’re like Valentino
counting the days of a renegade.

Man may sing better and without end,
and perhaps his bride is more cute,
still he envies you his little friend
for your bride is forever mute. ~~

Note: Only the male cicada sings, the femate is mute.
Living with Nature
, AVRotor

Sounds that make us sick

 Growing Menace of Noise pollution 
Dr Abe V Rotor
Image result for Noise pollution photos
Irritable Sounds activate not only the senses but affect bodily functions.
•Pavlov’s Principle on conditioned learning.
•Adrenaline shoots up, increases blood pressure, challenges us – fight or flight.
•Nausea, headache, other forms of irritation.
•Interrupts present activity, interferes with  trends of events.
•Destroys relationship, creates personal  impressions.
Image result for Noise pollution photos
A Qantas Airways Boeing 747-400 passes close to houses shortly before landing at London Heathrow Airport. (Wikipedia). Typical traffic congestion, India. 

Noise pollution in increasing order. *

•Scratching the blackboard with fingernail, similar to a hard chalk creating a grating sound.
•Air escaping like releasing air from a balloon. 
•Productive coughing
•Throwing out is the worst.

National Geographic’s Mad Lab has this list

Saturday, May 27, 2017

What makes an unfinished work of art a masterpiece?

If you have any unfinished work of art - say a painting, literary manuscript -  which you may have put aside, re-visit it.  Who knows it might turn out to be your masterpiece.
Dr Abe V Rotor 
Image result for Venus de MiloArt leaves something to the viewer that completes it even if it is unfinished. Why Venus de Milo doesn't have arms! She might have had before, so contemporary artists tried to reconstruct the statue. They failed at the end and unanimously agreed Venus is most beautiful as she is. How beautiful she is with imagined arms looming in the fertile mind of the viewer. 

Ernest Hemingway couldn't finish his novel, The Old Man and the Sea. After many attempts, a wastepaper basket by his side, he succeeded in ending up the story the way he intended to be. And his readers are delighted. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize, and Hemingway himself the Nobel Award.

Beethoven's Unfinished Symphony is among the best examples of a masterpiece that was never finished yet became the composer's signature. 

So with Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia cathedral (photo). Gaudí devoted his last years to the project, and at the time of his death at age 73 in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete. Fortunately after the architect's death, construction resumed and the cathedral became a landmark in Barcelona, Spain . 

Adoration of the Magi, an unfinished painting by Leonardo da Vinci remains one of the best Renaissance paintings. Similarly here are other examples. 

  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Kubla Khan 
  • Sir Edward Elgar was composing a Symphony No. 3 at the time of his death and left 130 pages of sketches. 
  • Orson Welles’ The Other Side of the Wind .           He
  •  left behind numerous unfinished films.
  • Hendrix’s First Rays of the New Rising Sun 
  • J. S. Bach's The Art of Fugue breaks off abruptly, and was completed by other composers. 
  • Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 7 and 10 was completed by Brian Newbould 
  • Mark Twain took 20 years to write three versions of The Mysterious Stranger but he did not finish any of them. 
Who really decides when a work of art is finished? The initial reaction is, "It is the artist." Many viewers may not agree. Perhaps because the preconceived idea did not get across. Or the signature doesn't ring a bell.

Now this is the bias. There's a saying, "the singer and not the song." Many people look at a Picasso, Picasso; Amorsolo as Amorsolo. It's the Imprimatur that counts. So whether finished or not, a work of art may be regarded beautiful. Thus it is not only in the eyes of the beholder.

Unfinished works may not just gather dusts, or forgotten for nought, their fate lies in the artist's favor, or that of artists that take over its completion, often putting in their own variation. Franz Kafka's unfinished writings were released after his death despite his wishes for them to be destroyed.

So if you have any unfinished work of art - say a painting, literary manuscript -  which you may have put aside, re-visit it.  Who knows it might turn out to be your masterpiece.

Michelangelo's Prisoners, or Slaves, were begun for the tomb of Pope Julius II but never finished.In its entirety – including the Dying and Rebellious Slaves in the Louvre and the statue of Moses on the final, reduced version of the tomb eventually erected in Rome – this constitutes the greatest unfinished masterpiece in the world. Yet Michelangelo did not leave things unfinished out of laziness. It is an aesthetic choice. The tragic power of these prisoners as they struggle to emerge out of raw stone is an expression of the human condition that equals Shakespeare's Hamlet. (Internet)

Auguste Rodin was more interested in rough, blemished representations of the human body than idealized forms. He painstakingly immersed himself in his projects, sometimes spending years in order to develop a work of art, regardless of the public’s response. His sculpture was often judged harshly by the public and by critics. Rodin had a penchant for reusing old molds and reworking his earlier ideas.He would continue to alter an existing form until it developed a new identity and a new narrative. Rodin transformed a major work, a bronze sculpture—over the course of two decades—and titled it, The Walking Man.(Internet)

Benjamin West's painting of the delegates to the Treaty of Paris which ended the American Revolutionary War. Out of shame for their country's defeat, the British delegates refused to pose and so the portrait was never finished. St. Thomas Aquinas stopped work on his Summa Theologiae in 1273 after a mystical experience. (Internet)

Popular Literature

Bahay Kubo in acylic by AVRotor

“If a man does away with his traditional way of living and throws away his good customs, he had better first make certain that he has something of value to replace them.”                                              
Robert Ruark, Something of Value (Old Basuto Proverb)

Popular literature is literally zarzuela off-stage, so natural and spontaneous, the audience and actors are one, and the topics are anything under the sun. They are full of laughter and tears,  and most often, nostalgia – laughing while crying, a sad-happy feeling, a kind of telenobela and  Scheherazade series. Stories end but there is always a second or third part, or ad infinitum. That is why Filipinos are among the happiest people on earth. 

Popular literature is shock absorber and springboard, too, hope sinks and rises like sunset and sunrise. Filipinos are great inventors. If they did not split the atom, they split hair to explode into laughter.  They do not bother formulas but know a good recipe. The best doctor is not one from John Hopkins; he is the kind elderly herbolario. Why complicate things in the first place? Anyone can be a story teller, playwright, and author and there goes the multiplier effect: literature of, for and by the people.

For example, here’s a story of a travelling old woman who stopped the bus in order to answer the call of nature. It was night time and the driver dutifully put on the brakes on a convenient roadside. It did not take long for the old woman to do her thing.  After returning and the bus had started off, the old woman suddenly stopped the bus again, and quickly ran back to the spot - because she forgot something. “May nakalimutan si Lola,” (Grandmother forgot something) quipped the driver.  The old woman just smiled back exuding a feeling of relief and contentment.  

What is the belief of old people regarding this practice of spitting on the spot after answering the call of nature?  If you believe in the  kib-baan, the spirit of trees and thickets, the fearful kapre;  the dwendes (dwarfs) that guard the anthills (punso), their home; and the spirits of the dead still roaming around, then you would not dare question the old folks. Spitting discourages the unseen that sometimes play pranks or may just chance upon some mortals.

Would you do what the old woman did if you were in her shoes, we mean slippers? Which, by the way, she removed before boarding the bus, a habit of leaving your footwear at the doorstep before entering the house.  ~

Listen to the Sea in the City

Dr Abe V Rotor

Saint Paul University Museum QC

Listen to the sea in the city
hushing in monotony;
of roaring wheels and feet.
on concrete walls and street;
close your eyes to see
yesterday by the beautiful sea,
to fill up emptiness
with make-believe tenderness. ~

My Rosary

Dr Abe V Rotor

It is an old song, religious, meditative, calming. On piano the notes are easy to play by schoolchildren, and grand parents, too. On the violin, with or without piano accompaniment  the melody is plaintive, serene, with ascendant feeling of joy and reverence. Sing it and you will value it more.  The lyrics make a deep prayer. It's a favorite of great singers like Mario Lanza and Perry Como, and our own the late Diomedes Maturan.  Why don't you play My Rosary during invocation, either as background music, better still, as a song.    
A rosary hangs dangling by the rear window of a car.* 

The hours I spent with thee, dear heart
Or as a string of pearls to me
I count them over, every one apart
My rosary, my rosary

Each hour a pearl, each pearl a prayer
To still a heart in absence wrung
I tell each bead unto the end
And there a cross is hung

O memories that bless and burn
O barren gain and bitter loss
I kiss each bead and strive at last to learn
To kiss the cross, sweet heart
To kiss the cross. ~

Note: Anti-distraction law has relegated the rosary to a location that is out of the line of sight of the driver. Punctuation marks not indicated to give singer flexibility and freedom of expression and style. 

Who is afraid of the angry sea?

Dr Abe V Rotor

Angry Sea in acrylic by AVRotor (36" x 48") circa 1995
Who's afraid of the angry sea?
“Not I," said the wind blowing hard.
"Not I," said the wave hissing loud.
"Not I," said the rock on the guard. 

Who's afraid of the angry sea?
"Not I," said the fish in school.
"Not I," said the seaweed dancing.
"Not I," said the barrier shoal.

Who’s afraid of the angry sea?
"Not I," said the sail in the sky.  
"Not I," said a bunch of urchins.
"Not I," said the world go by.

Who’s afraid of the angry sea?
"Not I," said the tame to the wild.
"Not I," said the joy of childhood.

"Not I," said the man in the child. ~

Friday, May 26, 2017

The KRAKEN exists - do you believe it?

Giant and grotesque creatures of the deep are emerging lately with the series of earthquakes occurring in different parts of the world. People are asking whether their emergence is prediction or aftermath of force majeure. "Exobiology is searching and studying life in the cosmic and abyss. Among these mysterious giants known largely in fiction are sunfish, oarfish, and the legendary kraken - monstrous colossal squid or octopus.

Dr Abe V Rotor
 Living with Nature - School on Blog []
Author displays rare specimen, giant in size compared to commercial squid,  

Nearly six kilos, and 1.5 meters long, this giant squid was flushed out of the deep off the coast of Pasacao, Camarines Sur, following a mild earthquake that shook the area. It is one of several others,  some weighing more than ten kilos. Their tough and thick skin protects them from extreme pressure at hundreds of meters on the ocean floor where few creatures can tolerate. Here they prey on deep fish and marine organisms such as crustaceans and other mollusks.  They rid of the sea of aging and injured organisms as sharks do on the surface of the sea. 

In Jules Verne's novel, Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, the giant sea monster is an octopus (left photo)  so huge it nearly wrecked the prototype submarine Nautilus of Captain Nemo. High voltage electricity are applied to release the monster's crushing grip. The other picture is the legendary kraken described by sailors as far back as in ancient Greece. 

In John Steinbeck's less popular book, "Where have all the sardines gone?" there is a photo of a giant squid washed ashore along San Francisco, California.  From the looks of the B and W photograph the creature could weigh half a ton. This is not an isolated case; several specimens were caught or discovered as carcasses in many parts of the world. 

Just after the tsunami that occurred in the Indian Ocean in the early part of this century, my son Marlo and I saw two giant squids being sold in a wet market in Fairview, QC. They are twice bigger than the specimen shown in the first photo. 

Indeed monsters lurk in the dark, deep ocean.  And considering the fact that the earth's surface is three-fourth ocean with an average depth of nearly four kilometers, plunging to more than twelve kilometers in Marianas and Philippine Deep, there are indeed countless of unimaginable monsters down there.  They continue to build legends that became part of mythology, fiction stories, and lately, scientific discoveries.~   
 Mysterious Giant Squid stranded on Spanish coast. 
Image result for giant squid
Giant squid attacks Russian sailors
Monster: Indonesian fishermen try to help a rare Ocean Sunfish after they found the sea creature had washed ashore in Palu, Central Sulawesi
 Rare Sunfish weighing 1.5 tons  found by Indonesian fishermen.
Image result for Giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne) caught in the Philippines after earthquake
Giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne) caught in the Philippines after earthquake 

"Over 60% of our planet is covered by water more than a mile deep. The deep sea is the largest habitat on earth and is largely unexplored. More people have traveled into space than have traveled to the deep ocean realm." The Blue Planet Seas of Life

Garlic crisis. Where have all the garlic gone?

News: Acute shortage of garlic, price skyrocketed to 300 pesos per kilo, four to five times above normal price. This is not confined in the Philippines.  Even Indonesia the fourth largest garlic producer in the world is facing the same dilemma.  Do global warming, acid rain and erratic weather conditions, not to mention poor incentive, have something to do with falling production of crops, among them garlic?    
Original title of this article - The Wonders of Garlic
Garlic not only makes food more appetizing and aromatic, it also has various healing and herbal qualities.

Dell H Grecia 
Reprinted from August 26, 2000 article of the same title

Garlic, a bulbous crop, is easy to grow. It can be potted or planted in plots or an empty container. Have you noticed that its cloves, when left alone, begin to shoot even without a medium? Which only goes to show that this crop can be grown even by an inexperienced gardener.
Newly harvested garlic

Garlic is not only easy to grow, it is a must spice in every home. It is also healthful and medicinal. In the book Calendar of Asia, written 4,000 years ago, the followers of Emperor Huang-ti, who happened to eat a poisonous plant, were saved by eating wild garlic they called suan. Since, then garlic has become an important Chinese herbal plant.

A. Power Food

Garlic bulbs were found in the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh, Tutankhamen. Inscriptions on pyramids describe garlic as food and medicine. The Israelite slaves, who built the pyramids, drew their strength and nourishment from garlic. And the Bible mentioned how it was sorely missed by Moses and the Israelites while they were crossing the desert after fleeing Egypt.

Image result for Garlic

Garlic, as food and medicine, is also mentioned in the Koran, in the writings of the Babylonians, Greeks and Romans. In the history of the Vikings, garlic was also among the provisions in their long sea voyages.

B. Supernatural Powers?

Garlic Bread 
In the Middle Ages, Jewish superstition suggested that carrying garlic bulbs would protect a person from the dreaded Bubonic plague, which decimated the population of medieval Europe by more than one-third. The scientific explanation, of course, is that garlic has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties against the bacterial pathogen and its volatile oil repels the flea vector. During those times, however, the magic of garlic was ascribed to superstition. Just like in the provinces, where people still hang garlands of garlic to drive away evil spirits, vampires and witches.

C. Advent of Herbolarios
The greatest Greek doctor, Hippocrates, applied garlic on a variety of diseases, including leprosy. During his time, garlic became a popular treatment for wounds and toothaches, and as diuretic and laxative. Hippocrates is better known as the “father of medicine” and author of the Hippocratic Oath, which doctors take before joining the medicinal profession.

When the Romans conquered the Greeks, many of the latter’s medicinal practices, such as the use of garlic, where continued. The Roman doctor Dioscordes spoke highly of garlic. “It is sharp, biting, wind-producing, excites the belly, dries out the stomach, creates thirst and reduces growths on the skin. If eaten it helps eliminate tapeworms and drives out urine. It is good against the bite of a rabid dog. It makes the voice clear and soothes continuous coughing when eaten raw or boiled. Boiled with oregano, it kills lice and bed bugs. It clears the arteries. Burnt and mixed with honey, it heals white skin spots, herpetic eruptions, liver spots, leprosy and scurvy. Boiled with pine wood incense, it soothes toothache when the solution is kept in the mouth. Boiling the umbel flower is good for bathing and helps the coming menstruation.”

D. Phytochemicals in your Garlic

My friend, Dr. Abe V. Rotor, a botanist and entomologist, reports on the so-called phytochemicals of garlic. He based his report on Paul Simon’s book, Garlic, the Powerful Panacea, which described nine phytochemicals of the bulb crop:

1. Allicin- Believed to be responsible for giving garlic its anti-bacterial and anti—inflammatory effect.

2. Alliin- Garlic is known as Russian penicillin. The Russians believed, like most scientists, that alliin is the substance that produces its antibiotic quality.

3. Di-Sulphides- Believed to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in the arteries.

4. Anti-Haemolytic Factor- Responsible for the beneficial effects of garlic in the treatment of anemia.

5. Anti-Arthritic Factor- Japanese teams investigating arthritis and similar conditions claim this factor to be present in garlic.

6. Sugar Regulating Factor- It was reported in 1973 that garlic is useful in treating some forms of diabetes.

7. Anti-Oxidant Factor- A natural food preservative, garlic helps prevent foods from going rancid and spoiled.

8. Anti- Coagulant Factor- garlic contains certain active substances which appear to prevent blood from coagulating, thus benefiting certain heart conditions.

9. Allithiamin- This special type of Vitamin B1 has been isolated from garlic and has beneficial properties as explained in Nutritional Composition of Garlic.

E. A Powerful Aphrodisiac

In the book, Philippine Herbs to Increase Sexual Vitality, authored by Dr. Rotor and companions, Dr. Romualdo del Rosario and Dr. Delia Ontengco (1999), garlic was described as a powerful aphrodisiac. Its use as an aphrodisiac is widespread among Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Japanese, Swedish and Germans. The East German pharmaceutical journal, Du Pharmazie , says that garlic is especially suited for men and women of climacteric age because it contains compounds related to sex hormones.

The aphrodisiac effect is also associated with the fact that it makes food more appetizing, stimulates secretion of garlic juices, increases the appetite, tones up the organs, builds stamina and strength, and generally contributes to a feeling of well-being.
Sprouting cloves ready for planting

F. Nutritional Composition

According to the US Department of Agriculture, raw garlic gives 31percent carbohydrates, 6 percent protein and 2 percent fat. Water is 61 percent.

With regard to minerals, a 100-gram dried sample has the following mineral contents: calcium (29 mg.), phosphorus (202 mg.), iron (.5 mg.), and potassium (529 mg.). Calcium is important for our bones, while phosphorus is important in the proper functioning of our brain and nerves. In fact, it is called the “brain element.” Iron aids in the oxygenation of the body. Iron deficiency is manifested by anemia. Potassium maintains the health of the heart and other muscles.

As for garlic’s vitamin content: a 100-gram raw sample contains vitamin B1 (thiamin, .25 mg.) and B2 (riboflavin, .50 mg.). It is also rich in vitamin C (15 mg.). The vitamin B family prevents arthritis and rheumatism and enhances sexual vitality. Vitamin C, on the other hand, prevents scurvy and aids in the absorption of iron. People who lack vitamin C may experience bleeding gums, slow healing of wounds, frequent colds and infections, and shortness of breath.

G. Natural Pesticide

The peculiar smell of garlic also makes it a natural pesticide. An insect-repelling plant, it can be used to protect other crops.

Here is a tip for gardeners: Plant some garlic around plots, between rows, and among the plants. Just the odor of the growing garlic is enough to repel destructive insects such as grasshoppers, aphids, mealy bugs, fruit flies and caterpillars, as well as those residing in the soil like crickets and grubs. And if there are thrips and mites around, they are attracted by the garlic, which then serves as a trap crop, thus saving the other plants like cabbage and beans. The trap crop (infested garlic plant) is then rouged and burned together with the pests.

Why not try making your own garlic insecticide? The Rodale Herb Book offers this procedure:

1. Chop 75 grams garlic cloves and soak in 50 ml. Vegetable oil for 24 hours.

2. Mix this in 575 ml. Water in which 20 grams of powdered soap has been dissolved.

3. Stir well and strain with old nylon stocking and store in a glass jar. Do not use plastic or metal container.

4. You can dilute this mother mixture one part to 20 parts water, down to 1:100, depending on the level and kind of infestation.

Entomologists at the University of California reported that even low concentrations of crude garlic extract can kill at least five species of mosquito larvae. Mosquitoes are vectors of dreaded diseases like malaria, dengue, and encephalitis. Further experiments using refined extracts were found to be more effective. Dr. Rotor tried the garlic formula on kiti-kiti (mosquito wringlers) and found it effective.

And because it is an organic pesticide, it is environment –friendly.

Unlike synthetic ones, like DDT, organic phosphates and hydrocarbons, garlic pesticides are biodegradable and, therefore, do not live toxic residues that destroy the balance of nature.

H. White Gold

Garlic is regarded by the Department of Agriculture as one of our valuable commercial crops. Farmers growing garlic, especially in the two Ilocos provinces (Sur and Norte), earn as much as three times more than those growing other crops, including rice is harvested and remains in the field before summer sets in.

Eighty percent of the national production of garlic (which is equivalent to 15,000 metric tons and worth well above P100 million a year) comes from the two provinces. However, with the present globalization policy, imported garlic- mainly from china- is threatening the local garlic industry. Imported garlic is larger in size and is cheaper. Our local variety, however, is more pungent and aromatic. ~

Summer Ends, Schoolyear Begins

Dr Abe V Rotor

UST Bennavides Plaza fronting the historic main building, Manila.

Light and heavy feet among petals
Strewn at last summer's end;
Wish it had stayed a little longer,
And school yet at the bend.
The last flowers of the tulip tree,
Confetti into carpet they lay,
Bidding goodbye and welcome, too,
At the break of June from May.
It's the break that makes time fresh,
Just brief for the mind to wander ;
Yet long enough to long for school,
And the heart to grow fonder.

Life's a cycle like seasons each year,
Precise thou it seems in a hurry;
Wonder if everything has time - and lo!
To those who forever tarry. ~

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Art of Loafing and Frolicking

Dr Abe V Rotor

Morong, Bataan, April 26, 2014

Let the world pass by - 
I am back to the womb
of my mother and Mother Earth
with the sands of time blowing,
shifting with the will of the sea and wind;
who cares about my footsteps behind? 
 Bury me free from cares and worries
and I shall be the most happy guy;

Make me a sarcophagus,
one with happy face, not mask of death,
immortality beyond I do not seek,
for my life on earth I am content, 
frolicking and loafing the most important -
the lost art of the Good Life.  

Bury me alive for a moment; 

stop the clock, hold the world still, 

hold the tides, silence the shore 
that I can hear laughter ringing
in the sands of time. ~

Ode to Children Fishing

"You bring back a boy of yesterday
in a kingdom called childhood."
Dr Abe V Rotor

Children Fishing, oil AVR 1995

You who fish all day
while other children push the pen
catching up with the fleeting years,
treading the path of their elders;
you whose thoughts run with the currents of the river
flowing down to the sea,
and rise with the clouds into the endless sky,
where imagination is more important than knowledge;
you bring back a boy of yesterday
in a kingdom called childhood
where nobody dies,
where everything comes in time,
waiting for the fish to bite.~

Living with Nature 3, AVR, adapted from Fisherboy, Light in the Woods, AVR 1995

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Bleeding Heart of the Forest

"Oh, the bleeding drops of red
where once a forest stood,
barren, cold and dead..."

Dr Abe V Rotor
Bleeding Heart of the Forest, acrylic painting, 11"x14" (16"x19" double frame
wood natural finish), by AVRotor, 2015 

It is I, Homo sapiens, the thinking man 
 who changed the concept of creation,
 Nature to serve man, 
master and guardian. 

It is I, Homo faber, the maker,
wilderness to tame, resources to harness,
untouched these are,
they go to waste.  

It is I, Homo ludens, the playing man,
forest to hunt, mountain to climb,
work and leisure to me
keep my sanity.

It is I, Homo spiritus, the praying man,

mysteries I submit, mistakes I atone,
I, too, have a heart that bleeds,
the essence of being human. ~