Sunday, May 19, 2024

10 Healthy Food Rules: Be healthy and happy with the food you eat

10 Healthy Food Rules
 Be healthy and happy with the food you eat

There is no substitute to freshness. The less processed your food is, the better. Don't overeat, and eat the right food with the proper nutritional value.

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog

Ukoy na kalabasa, with egg and small shrimp. 
It is served in patties, or rolled like lumpia 

Bulanglang or diningding: young pod of bataomalungay pod, soup 
thickened with kamote or sweet potato, topped with sea weed (Gracillaria). 

Fresh seaweeds as salad: Gracillaria and Codium (pokpoklo)

Sweet potato paste (suman) 

Tamales, fish with onion, tomato black pepper, salt and ginger,
 wrapped with banana leaves - steamed. 

Sinkamas or yam with natural vinegar and salt.

Breast feeding and early weaning make a healthy child. 

Buko  - direct from the young coconut - complete food and drink.

Health Food Rules

Rule 1 - There is no substitute to freshness. Perishable food must be prepared and served without delay: newly caught fish (better if alive), animals and fowls direct from the slaughter house (better if butchered or dressed at home), newly picked fruits and vegetables (fully mature when harvested).  

Rule 2 - The less processed your food is, the better.  Reduce if not avoid eating processed food (canned, preserves, dairy, etc), heavily spiced, overcooked, over decorated, culinary loaded - they are unhealthy,  They burden body physiology from digestion to circulation to excretion. Besides they are very expensive and unfriendly to the environment. 

Rule 3 - Food residues are harmful, if not  poisonous. Antibiotics residues in meat and poultry, eggs and dairy; sodium in salted products, instant noodles, sauce; chemical residues in fruits and vegetables from insecticide, herbicide, fungicide, nematocide; and hydrocarbon from fossil fuel and smoke emissions. The miracle insecticide against malaria  mosquito - DDT (Dichloro-diphenyl-tetrachloro-ethane) remains banned because it is not  degraded even as it passes from one organism to another in the food chain. Thus it accumulates in predators -  among them humans.  DDT poisoning builds even after years from ingestion. 

Rule 4 - Metal poisoning causes permanent impairment, or results to death.  Lead is the most common toxic metal around from, china wares to car batteries. It damages the central nervous system and internal organs.  Mercury poisoning is more severe. Cadmium is a recent introduction with cell phones and other electronic devices. Other than direct contamination, these metals are absorbed by plants and animals and find their way on the dining table. Kitchen wares made of aluminum, tin, nickel, antimony are being phased out.  

Rule 5 - Avoid particulates in food, water and air
. Car and factory emissions scatter particulates in the environment which we can only observe in the form of smog, sediments and dusts. Tar from cigarette and asphalt, asbestos from car brakes, unburnt carbon from tires, and old and faulty engines, metal particles in factories, silica from cereal mills. The worst particulate today in alarming global scale is microplastic.  P
lastic does not decompose, unlike natural substances that  return into elements ready for the next cycle to form new life or stored for future use by living things.  Microplastic is non biodegradable, and therefore remains foreign to nature. 

Rule 6 - Avoid synthetic food and additives, they are harmful, and affect mainly the nervous system and senses.  The Number One food additive to avoid is Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) or Vetsin. It is the cause of Chinese Food Syndrome. A friend of mine died of vetsin overdose. It is also used in dognapping by simply throwing a piece of bread saturated with vetsin. Avoid sweeteners - NutraSweet, saccharin, aspartame and other concealed brand names. Another is Olestra - fatless fat.  The fat molecules are so large the villi cannot absorb them. So the unbroken fat simply leaks and causes discomfort - and quite often, embarrassment. Go natural, like brewed rather that decaffeinated coffee.

Rule 7 - Beware of the invisible poison: radiation.   The worst kind of radiation is from fallout following a nuclear explosion (Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 1945), and nuclear plant meltdown (Three-Mile Island in the US, Chernobyl in Russia in the seventies, and Fukoshima Japan following a massive tsunami in 2011).  Radioactive decay slowly takes hundreds of years, thus it can cause harm to the members of the food chain. (grass to cow to milk to baby, back to the same or similar cycle). Radiation from high voltage lines, transmission towers, electronic gadgets may get into the food we eat. So with hospital waste containing radioisotopes. The innocent looking microwave oven is now being phased out in many countries. 

Rule 8 - Beware of Frankenfood from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). Frankenfood is named after the creator of the monster in Mary Shelley's novel – Frankenstein. Examples are Bacillus thuringiensis Corn (Bt Corn), Bt Eggplant (Bt Talong), GM potato, GM soybean, SavrFlavr tomato, and golden rice which contains the yellow pigment gene of daffodil. Pharmed food has built-in medicine or drug. An increasing number of food grown in the laboratory includes in vitro stem cell burger which is dubbed lab meat.  
(In what is regarded as a historic move, the Supreme Court of the Philippines in December 2015 ordered a permanent ban on the field testing of GM (genetically modified) eggplant and a temporary halt to all applications for contain use, import, propagation and commercialization of GM crops and products. However, there was a twist in 2022. Corn, Golden Rice, and Bt Eggplant are GE crops were  allowed for commercial propagation. The biosafety permit for commercial propagation of Bt Eggplant was signed on October 18, 2022.)

Rule 9 - Drink natural instead of distilled water. Manufacturers call bottled water as mineral water because the process did not take away the naturally occurring minerals which are removed through distillation. But why buy mineral water when you can make your own at home with seeds of malunggay (Moringa oleifera), and through simple water treatment?

Rule 10 - Don't overeat.  Eat the right food with the proper nutritional value.  Eat more fruits and vegetables and less of meat and meat products. It is best to grow or procure your food, cook at home and serve it yourself to your family. The family that eats together stays together happy and healthy. Food indeed is santa gracia. ~

Tamales keeps freshness and natural taste of fish

 Tamales keeps freshness and natural taste of fish

Make culinary art as simple, practical and healthful as possible.  Cook small fish like dulong (Ipon Ilk), and dilis (anchovies) the tamales (tamalis Ilk) way.   Let's return to indigenous cooking practices - and live happy, long and healthy like our ancestors.  

                                             Dr Abe V Rotor


Follow these steps, refer to the photos. 
      1. Wash fresh fish with a strainer.
      2. Add salt, chopped ginger and onion. 
      3. Wilt leaves with stalk
      4. Pack in small amount, good per person.   
      5. Line stainless pan (or clay pot) with banana stalk
      6. Arrange packed tamales for cooking, cover.
      7. Don't overcook, serve whole pan on dining table
      8. Best when steaming hot, save the juice
      9. Pack is ideal for baon 
      10. Eat with fresh tomato for variety. 
Share this lesson with your family, school and community. Let's return to indigenous cooking practices - and live happy, long and healthy like our ancestors. ~

Friday, May 17, 2024

International Museum Day May 18, 2024: Importance of People's Museum and Library in Our Times in 8 Articles

 International Museum Day, May 18, 2024

Importance of People's Museum and Library in Our Times 

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog

This year's theme, “Museums for Education and Research,” underscores the pivotal role of cultural institutions in providing a holistic educational experience. This day pushes for a more conscious, sustainable and inclusive world.

Part 1 - Farmers' Museum (NFA Grains Museum)
Part 2 - "A museum will, like any living thing, change and grow.” - Smithsonian
Part 3 - The Art of Diorama: Museum of Natural History, UPLB Laguna
Part 4 - UNP Students Visit the Living with Nature Center, San Vicente, Ilocos Sur 
Part 5 -  Relevance of Community Museum and Library Today
Part 6 - The Living with Nature Library
Part 7 - Rock Collection: Study and Hobby 
ANNEX - Famous Quotations about Museums

Part 1 - Farmers' Museum (NFA Grains Museum)
Museum in honor of the Filipino Farmer re-opened after 30 Years.

The ingenuity at the grassroots cannot be underestimated. Farmers' technology developed with the birth of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent thousands of years ago, and spread throughout the world to the present time. 

National Food Authority Grains Industry Museum
NFA Regional Office, Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija 

NFA Museum at NFA Regional Office, Cabanatuan City

Mechanical dryer for palay, corn and beans

Prototype two-stroke diesel engine, prime mover for milling.
Donated by the late Bonifacio Tambot, Binalonan, Pangasinan

DIORAMA: The flagship of the Marcos administration Masagana 99, a nationwide
 rice production program that made the Philippines a net exporter of rice in the later part of the seventies to the eighties.

The re-opening of the museum signifies the revival of the original objectives of the museum, which the author envisioned and pursued as its first curator in the early 1980s.  

Featured in the Grains, official publication of the National Food Authority, the NFA Grains Industry Museum with address at the Regional Office in Cabanatuan City (NE) is now inviting students, scholars, researchers, and ordinary folks, even while restoration is on-going. 

The feature story is quoted in part, as follows:  (December 2016 Vol. 44, No. 4), written by Ms Lina G Reyes and Ms Josephine C Bacungan), 

"Old farm tools and artifacts had been sitting quietly, gathering dust at the dilapidated museum of the Central Luzon Regional office in Cabanatuan City. National Food Authority Grains Industry Museum was a brainchild of then NFA Extension Director Abercio V Rotor with a vision to highlight the evolution of the rice industry through various images on production, post-harvest activities, processing, storage and marketing /distribution of rice and other grains .  It was intended to serve as NFA's contribution to the preservation of cultural traditions particularly in the agricultural landscape.  It operated for sometime but was closed down due to lack of funds and trained personnel to maintain it.  But thanks to he history-loving team of Director Amadeo de Guzman and Assistant Regional Director Serafin Manalili, and then Asst Director Mar Alvarez, et al ... "(the whole staff of the NFA regional and NFA provincial offices.) 

Rare Artifacts   
Operated by hand this native rice mill made of wood and bamboo separates the husk from the grain, leaving the grain intact with its bran.

Brown rice or pinawa dehusker made of bamboo and hardened earth with hardwood grinder displayed at the former Farmers' Museum of the National Food Authority in Cabanatuan City.c 1981 

The bran contains minerals, vitamins, oil, and digestible fiber which conventional rice mills removed during polishing. Polishing removes the bran leaving the grain white and polished. In the process, much of the grains is broken, particularly the defective and immature ones chalky and powdery.  It is the bran that gives the nutritious tiki-tiki which is extracted in the final boiling stage in cooking rice. Tiki-tiki was developed by a Filipino scientist, Dr. Manuel Zamora, a cheap and practical source of infant food supplement which saved thousands of babies during the second World War. It was later popularized as United Tiki-tiki. 

 Biggest wooden harrow (suyod) with a span of two meters, more than twice the size of a typical harrow for upland farming.  

The harrow is of two designs and make. One with iron pegs (left) is used on wet paddy. It serves as harrow and leveler.  The second is made of bamboo with natural and embedded pegs used as harrow for the upland.  

Author demonstrates a rare wooden planter with a sliding wooden block at the middle. The block creates a tic-tac sound to let know the worker is busy on the job, while the deep sound warns birds and rodents to keep away from the newly planted seeds. The block vibrates the stake shaking off clinging soil and dirt before it is thrust to make the next hole. Whoever put this mechanism into multiple and unified uses must be a true genius. 

At the background are naturally shaped hame* made of bamboo.  At the foreground is the mould (cross section) showing the formed hame. The process involved is simple.  The mould is placed atop an emerging shoot.  The shoot grows through the mould and grows to maturity. One or two years after, the bamboo is cut with the mould, and cured and seasoned for durability all in the natural way.  (Hame is a curved harness that fits over the nape of a draft animal like carabao and bullock. Hame for the horse is made of two wooden pieces, padded and clamped together around its neck.) 
All over the world there are similarities, based on a general pattern, save variations for ease and comfort in usage, which we call today ergonomics, Thus primitive farmers were the founders of this new science. Pride in the farmer can be read on face on discovering these simple tools displayed in the museum.   
Native raincoats made of leaves of anahaw (Livistona rotundifolia), cowhide, and woven bamboo slats, with matching headgears likewise made of native materials.  Foreground: Sleds, one made of bamboo (left) and the other of wood. 

These sets of mortar and pestle in different designs came from different regions of the country, principally for dehusking palay into rice, and making rice flour. Other uses include  cracking beans such as mungo, and grinding corn into grits and bran. 

Photo below was taken just after the inauguration of the Museum (1982). The author (left) shows new collection to Dr Romualdo M del Rosario (in barong), deputy director of the National Museum, who helped in setting up the museum. 

The ingenuity at the grassroots cannot be underestimated. Farmers' technology developed with the birth of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent thousands of years ago, and spread to many parts of the world. The commonality of inventions is more on function, rather than scientific explanation, the latter serving as basis in improvement and diversification.

Rice Industry Showcase
The Farmers' Museum of the then National Grains Authority, now National Food Authority, was put up in response to the administration's thrust in food self-sufficiency.  It was during the time the country gave emphasis on developing cultural pride as a nation and people, as evidenced by the expansion of the National Museum, the putting up of the Philippine Convention Center, and the National Art Center on Mt Makiling, among others, during the administration of the late President Ferdinand E Marcos. The Farmers' Museum occupied the right wing of the Regional NFA Building in Cabanatuan City for two decades, until it closed down.  It was once a pride of the agency, the centerpiece of visitation by foreign dignitaries, convention participants, tourists, professors and students, and most especially farmers who found the museum not only as a showcase of the agricultural industry, but as a hallmark of their being the "backbone of the nation." AVR   

There are six dioramas, four of these are shown in these old photographs. A wall mural meets the visitor on entering the museum.  Indigenous farm tools and implements are lined on the foreground.  The dioramas are grouped at the center of the cubicles.   

 Rice Industry Dioramas 

One of the six dioramas, Rice farming on the Banaue rice terraces
Rainfed (sahod ulan) farming dominates the uplands and hillsides. 
Good harvest depends on generous amount and distribution of 
rainfall during the monsoon. Since ancient times festivals implore 
providence for bountiful harvest. This practice still exists especially 
among the  minorities like the Yakans.  
World famous rice terraces in Banaue in the Cordillera have been declared World Heritage by UNESCO. Rice farming on the terraces is as old as the terraces believed to be as old as the Pyramids of Egypt, and much older than the Great Wall of China. Science is still studying the sustainability of these terraces. 

 The Encomienda System dominated agriculture during Spanish rule over the
 islands for more than three centuries. The friars and Spanish officials were the encomienderos, similar to hacienderos.   Although the system underwent land reform, it still persists to this day under corporate umbrella such as the case of Del Monte pineapple plantation. Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac still retains some features of the system.                          
This mural was destroyed when the wall it was painted on had to undergo 
major repairs.
How primitive are farmers' tools and implements? The animal-drawn sled predates the wheel cart, and has not changed since its invention thousands of years ago.  It is still used in the remote countryside. 
Brain coral for shelling corn raises eyebrow to the city bred.  Biggest iron bar scale (timbangan), probably is another item for the Book of Guinness. 

“Education is the lifeblood of museums. Museum education has the power and the responsibility to do the challenging inner work of tackling tough topics and turning them into teachable moments... If we truly believe in the power of cultural institutions to impact communities and engage authentically with social justice issues, if we believe in museums’ capacity to bring about social change, improve cultural awareness, and even transform the world, than we must also believe that our internal practices have an impact, and must act according to the changes we seek.” 
― Monica O Montgomery

“Closing a museum to save money is like holding your breath to save oxygen...” ― Nanette L. Avery 

Part 2 -  "A museum will, like any living thing, change and grow.”

“A visit to a museum is a search for beauty, truth, and meaning in our lives. Go to museums as often as you can.” – Maira Kalman

Dr Abe V Rotor 

                    “I paint flowers so they will not die.”– Frida Kahlo

Monet in Paris Museum, Brisbane Australia

Isn’t a museum something concerned with antiques and the things of the past?” A colleague once asked me.

“No, no.” I sounded defensive. Then I began scanning his thoughts. There I saw the image of past civilization and institutions. No wonder he was telling of the Egyptian museum, the Aztecs in the Mexican Museum, the American Indians in the Smithsonian, the Renaissance Gallery, and the dinosaurs in the Chinese Museum in Beijing. All these have long lost their glory and now they are remembered in glass cases and fossils. Then my thoughts turned to SPCQ. Why a museum on its 50th anniversary? My friend flashed a devilish smile.

He played the devil’s advocate; I played the student’s role. He raised the mercury, so with my enthusiasm. I did my assignment. There are museums like the giant Smithsonian Complex and the provincial Manitoba museum in Winnipeg that do not only focus on the past. The space museum projects man’s lofty dreams to conquer space. Hirshorn is a gallery that is both subjective and prospective, veering from the traditional and classic. The Tel-Aviv museum features a documentary of the Iran-Iraq war. The trend of museums today is to link the past and the present, and beat the path for the future. In no other time in history have museums tried to project the fullest breadth of human accomplishments and potentials. They exude a touch of reverence to the Creator, reflecting his faith in the institutions which he built in spite of their imperfections, and man’s glory and admittance of failure – all these point out to one thing: that he is the most special creature that ever lived.

I remember Dr. Dillon Ripley’s words. “ if it is truly active and reflective of its own time, a museum will, like any living thing, change and grow.”

Dynamism lies in keeping abreast with the times - our fast changing modern times, when man in the last two centuries alone, has discovered more things than what all his ancestors probably did.

Humble Beginning of a Museum

In the mind of Dr. Ripley, of course, is one of the magnitude and prestige of the Smithsonian in which he had long been the curator and director. Or those of the internationally known institutions like the Chicago Museum of Natural History, or the Vatican Museum. Then there is Rikj Museum of Holland and the great Louvers of France. Name a country and you will see the finest of her culture in the native land’s museums. But the entire thing has had its early beginning - most probably like how the SPCQ museum got started.

The question is that, “How can a newly born show its worth?” But who does not love a baby? The baby itself is love. He holds the key of idealism in this world of ours. The great promise of God in man is mirrored in his smile and innocence. And he has all the potential that this world would be better to live in with him, as he grows, as he lightens the flame of idealism which in many of us adults had long been extinguished. The SPCQ museum is a baby that rekindles our heart, that tells us that this world will go on despite its imperfection – because we know how to start life again, though the rebirth of faith and hope. 

Note: Excerpt from an interview with the author during the inauguration of the SPCQ Museum in 1994

Queensland Museum of Natural History, Brisbane 2023

Seven Sisters, sculpture by Julie Lluch Dalena, detail; Life size icons 
at Museum's entrance greet visitor. Former SPUQC Museum 

           Rare starfish. Spines make a fine wind chime. Porcupine, endangered                                                                         indigenous animal

 Part 3
 The Art of Diorama: Museum of Natural History,
UPLB Laguna
A diorama is a miniature three-dimensional scene, for example, in a museum, in which models of figures are arranged against a background.

1. a miniature three-dimensional scene, in which models of figures are seen against a background
2. a picture made up of illuminated translucent curtains, viewed through an aperture
3. a museum display, as of an animal, of a specimen in its natural setting
4. cinema - a scene produced by the rearrangement of lighting effects Collins English Dictionary

Philippine Eagle lords over the vast landscape atop Mt Apo, its home. Fewer and fewer sightings tell us the bird may soon join the list of extinct animals - if we don't protect its remaining population estimated to be less than a thousand
The idea of a diorama is likened to a showcase in a mall. It is an enclosure of glass, multi-dimensional so that the viewer enjoys a natural panoramic scenery - foreground and background, ground and ceiling, and a spacious center view for the main subject. From one side to the other, and back, the viewer finds freedom of vision to explore the whole diorama.

Natural history dioramas gain attention to naturalness. The stuff animals look real, a pond reveals the secret of its bottom. Water always looks fresh and invigorating. Trees and the whole vegetation retain their freshness. Depth of field leads the eye to the farthest point disappearing in thin air.

Emphasis is given to interaction of the living with the non-living world, the interrelationships of organisms in food chains and food webs, and by the flow of energy from one organism to another.

A diorama artist is multi-skilled: he is a sculptor, a painter and an architect. Above all, he is a scientist who understands the working of biology and ecology. He must be a naturalist, and being one, must uphold the philosophy of reverence for life that makes man the custodian of creation.

The Museum of Natural History is an educational center with a sprawling natural setting - Mt. Makiling, a tropical rainforest reached in three hours from Manila. It is a world-famous center of studies and researches in agriculture, environment and many related sciences, including humanities.

I recommend the place for a whole day educational field trip. An itinerary includes the Mt Makiling Botanical Garden, tour of UPLB campus (agriculture and forestry) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). Special lectures and guided tours may be arranged. Packed lunch under the trees is a rare experience. Nature photography, is at its best - so with on-the-spot composition (drawing, musical sketch, poetry).

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” – Michael Crichton

The Hornbill is another endangered Philippine bird. The first and last time I saw hornbills was in the seventies at the tip of Luzon along the treacherous Patapat road joining the Ilocos Region and Cagayan Valley. They are a closely knit family moving on the forest canopy. Their call is heard far and wide. It is resonated by their big hollow bills and echoed by big trees and cliffs.

Cave bats in a simulated habitat. Being nocturnal, the bats hunt from flying insects in the dark locating their prey through echolocation, the principle of the radar.Their droppings make a huge guano deposit mined for agriculture.

A rare rodent that lives on trees in Palawan, the last bastion of rare 
animal species, among them the porcupine, mouse deer and anteater.

Nesting pigeons keep vigil for intruders and predators. Masters of camouflage they blend with the surroundings and remain extremely quiet and still at the sign of danger. But when imminent, the mother bird stealthily dashes to another place and decoys away the attention of the enemy.

Instead of a diorama, the actual skeleton, and replica, of a whale are displayed for anatomical and morphological study. In the Smithsonian the blue whale, the biggest creature that ever lived on earth spans the length of a hall the size of a typical chapel.

Tree mushroom garden

A cluster of nature dioramas, each an ecosystem pristine and unspoiled.

Centennial celebration of UPLB, pictorials at the museum's lobby.
                           Author and wife are among the countless visitors.

“The best introduction to art is to stroll through a museum.
The more art you see, the more you’ll learn to define your own taste.”
– Jeanne Frank

      Part 4 - UNP Students Visit the Living with Nature Center                  San Vicente, Ilocos Sur     

Students in fine art at the University of Northern Philippines visit 
the author's family art gallery, museum and reading center.

Representative works of the author showing conventional and modern art.

Lighter moments at the Art Gallery and Botanical Garden (arboretum and fishpond)

The Green House 
(Side Gate and Street Corner Views}

“It's a fort of green trees around,
that buffer against noise and wind,
filter dusts and glare of the sun,
residence for austere living” - avr

Integrated Children's Workshop at the San Vicente Botanical Garden , San Vicente, Ilocos Sur.

On-the-Spot Workshop at the Botanical Garden and Arboretum 

"Take time out from TV, computer, malling;
life's so dull, busy yet empty;
The left brain's overworked, the right idle,
growing up is a sad story." - avr

"Every man's life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another. Never confuse movement with action. The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice." - Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

A visit to an 18th century Basi wine cellar 
San Vicente, Ilocos Sur 
Original basi wine cellar and jars (burnay) date back to the
 18th century across six generations of continuous operation, 
interrupted only by the Second World War for five years. 
The cellar attracts researchers, students and tourists for its historical 
significance with the Spanish Galleon Trade, and technology o
the old folks in making basi and its related products, principally 
vinegar (sukang Iloko).  

By now this jar of basi is 13 years old.  Unless opened, it remains longer 
in aging. The general rule is, the longer wine is aged, the more mellow it 
becomes.  It's not really so.  There are other factors to consider like 
damaged clay cap and leaching.  And there's the basic rule that "only 
good wine mellows with age" (So with man, they add.) 

Crystalline golden color and pleasant wine aroma meet the happy
connoisseur after the desired aging period is reached (at least two 
years in the case of Rotor Basi). Fresh and direct from the jar, the 
harvest is bottled, sealed and labelled (as shown below), according
 to customers' specifications intended for an occasion like
 wedding, Christmas, exhibit, and the like. 

House guest picks a fruit wine of his choice,  Fruit wine making 
follows the basic fermentation-aging process in basi making.
There are 20 kinds of fruit wine developed in this cellar from different 
fruits growing locally like macopa, aratiles, duhat and guyabano. 

Green Tunnel to the Living Room
(Floor-Wall-Ceiling Mural) 

"When life becomes unbearable living in a jungle of concrete;
when pressure of work is taking its toll and you may be the next,
don't tarry, reach out for the green tunnel." - avr 


Listen to the sea in a conch, dead the creature maybe;
Wash away your worries and anxiety.
For life is real, yet in scenes like these, is but fantasy;
It is how we live that holds the key. 

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, 
but in rising every time we fall." -Nelson Mandela

Modern art works by the author: Relief still life in acrylic, palette knife 
and hand painting; double-surface aquarium scene in acrylic on glass. 

Experimental paintings on glass by the author. Top left, clockwise: Telescopic view of  red sun under a huge tree; school of fish (How many fish can you count?); cinders after a brush fire; red seaweeds (Porphyra or gamet Ilk) under a magnifying lens.
Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.
— Berthold Brecht
Expressionism - gateway of Impressionism to Abstract art

Discreet Nature in four views (Left, top, clockwise: Microscopic Volvox; juvenile seaweeds; meadow comes alive after the first rain in May; fungal mycelia on hamburger 

Vincent Van Gogh was both an impressionist and an expressionist. At the time, he would have considered himself to be an impressionist. Today, however, Van Gogh is considered one of the pioneers and founders of the expressionism movement.

Keyhole perspective appears to viewers in natural frames.
 It has a magnifying, as well as telescopic effect.
Details of wall mural painted by the author.  Left, a pair of kalaw or hornbill birds perched across a forest stream; upland landscape showing young hikers 
dwarfed by trees. 

 Conventional or traditional art gives a true picture of Nature as seen by the naked eye, viewed either as landscapes or ecosystems with details and special effects as influenced by the elements, season, and place. 

Green Tunnel 
Mural and Verse by Dr Abe V Rotor

When life becomes unbearable living in a jungle of concrete;
when pressure of work is taking its toll and you may be the next,
don't tarry, reach out for the green tunnel;

when the air is filled with smog and you hardly can breathe;
when crime grips the street, you feel you're no longer safe,
don't tarry, reach out for the green tunnel;

when you are losing your friends and you feel sad and lonely;
when you are no longer enjoying the so-called Good Life, 
don't tarry, reach out for the green tunnel;

when you ponder over the promise of afterlife as a tunnel, too; 
when there is time on earth to seek its living counterpart,
don't tarry, reach out for the green tunnel;

when you shall have found your way to this heaven on earth;
when and where man once found peace and contentment,
look back, but revere this green tunnel.

Exit door from the art gallery.
Country life mural graces the second floor of San Vicente municipal hall.  


Students in fine art at the University of Northern Philippines visit 
the author's family art gallery, museum and reading center.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain 
an artist once you we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

Homage to an 18th century icon of the Resurrection.  

“It’s not a museum. It’s not a place of artifacts; it’s a place of ideas.”
– Jeanie Kahnke

*Abercio V Rotor, Ph.D. is the award-winning author of Living with Nature Handbook (Gintong Aklat Award 203), Living with Nature in Our Times (National Book Award 2006), and radio instructor of People’s School on Air (Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid, Gawad Oscar Florentino Award for Development Communication on radio). He is also author of other books in essays and poetry, and textbooks in Humanities and Literature. Dr Rotor is a professor at UST, a former director of NFA and consultant of the Philippine Senate. He is married to Cecilia A Rojas, CPA, MBA, CESO3, with whom they have three children: Matthew Marlo, Anna Christina, and Leo Carlo. The family hails from San Vicente, Ilocos Sur. 

Part 5
Relevance of Community Museum 
and Library Today
Original title: Books - the Greatest Treasure of Mankind

Dr Abe V Rotor
Author inspects books for his home library in San Vicente, Ilocos Sur.
Books are  the greatest treasure of mankind; reverence the greatest in heart and mind. ~
Author's Note: Expand your home library by linking it with online libraries here and abroad. A simplified digital system would make access easier and wider, and for purposes of saving old books electronically, among other advantages. Create a conducive-to-learn  "library" ambiance with properly arranged and catalogued materials. (Internet photos) ~

ooks, once the privilege of a few in pre-printing machine era, each page painstakingly handwritten, each book a well-kept treasure.

Books, the authority, the final say, unquestioned, un-refuted, else any one rising contrary faces punishment, including death or damnation.

Books, the diary, the ledger, the document of conquest and discovery, of battles fought, often in favor of the writer and party.

Books, the novels that carry the greatest stories of all times are called classics, for which they are regarded timeless for their universal values.

Books, the epics of Homer, stories of the Grimm Brothers distilled from oral literature passed through generations to the present.

Books, written ahead of their time - Galileo's astronomy, Darwin's evolution, Martin Luther's Protestantism ignited dis-pleasured of the Church.

Books, bedtime stories, baby's introduction to the world, legends and fantasies that take young ones to the land of make believe.

Books, the record of ultimate scholarship, are the epitome of the greatest minds in
thesis and dissertation, theories and principles.

Books, the precursor of the Internet, the framework of the i-Pod, Tablet, Galaxy, and other gadgets that man becomes a walking encyclopedia.

Books, the progeny of the earliest forms of writing like the cuneiform, hieroglyphics, caves drawings, etchings, scrolls of the Dead Sea.

Books, that gave the idea and structure of the Wonders of the Ancient World, and the significance and belief for which they were built.

Books, that grew with knowledge, brought new schools and movements in arts and philosophy, in unending search for truth.

Books, the most widely read, the Bible; the shortest, Albert Einstein’s e=mc2, and book-to-cinema versions of Spielberg, Lucas, Cecile de Mills et al.

Books, the greatest treasure of mankind, its collective attributes as humanity, the very stimulus of man's rationality to rise above other creatures - and himself.

Books, that brought about man's disobedience to his creator, playing god, and questioning if god made man, or that man made god.

Books that enlighten man to care for the environment, guide the young and future generations to a better future, and lead man to save his own species from extinction.
Author's Note: Herein below is one of the lists of top 100 books of the world. There is no standard for comparison, only preferences by different sources. However, there are books that consistently appear in many lists.

100 Most Influential Books Ever Written
by Martin Seymour-Smith

Note: This list is in chronological order. I've gotten e-mails from people who complain that there are too many religious books on the list. Say what you want, but you cannot deny that religion has been influential in human history. I'm sure that's what Seymour-Smith had in mind

1. The I Ching

2. The Old Testament
3. The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer
4. The Upanishads
5. The Way and Its Power, Lao-tzu

6. The Avesta

7. Analects, Confucius
8. History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides
9. Works, Hippocrates
10. Works, Aristotle
11. History, Herodotus

12. The Republic, Plato
13. Elements, Euclid
14. The Dhammapada
15. Aeneid, Virgil

16. On the Nature of Reality, Lucretius

17. Allegorical Expositions of the Holy Laws, Philo of Alexandria
18. The New Testament
19. Lives, Plutarch
20. Annals, from the Death of the Divine Augustus, Cornelius Tacitus

21. The Gospel of Truth

22. Meditations, Marcus Aurelius
23. Outlines of Pyrrhonism, Sextus Empiricus
24. Enneads, Plotinus
25. Confessions, Augustine of Hippo

26. The Koran

27. Guide for the Perplexed, Moses Maimonides
28. The Kabbalah
29. Summa Theologicae, Thomas Aquinas
30. The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri

31. In Praise of Folly, Desiderius Erasmus

32. The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli
33. On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, Martin Luther
34. Gargantua and Pantagruel, François Rabelais
35. Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin

36. On the Revolution of the Celestial Orbs, Nicolaus Copernicus

37. Essays, Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
38. Don Quixote, Parts I and II, Miguel de Cervantes
39. The Harmony of the World, Johannes Kepler
40. Novum Organum, Francis Bacon

41. The First Folio [Works], William Shakespeare

42. Dialogue Concerning Two New Chief World Systems, Galileo Galilei
43. Discourse on Method, René Descartes
44. Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes
45. Works, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

46. Pensées, Blaise Pascal

47. Ethics, Baruch de Spinoza
48. Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan
49. Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, Isaac Newton
50. Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke

51. The Principles of Human Knowledge, George Berkeley

52. The New Science, Giambattista Vico
53. A Treatise of Human Nature, David Hume
54. The Encyclopedia, Denis Diderot, ed
55. A Dictionary of the English Language, Samuel Johnson

56. Candide, François-Marie de Voltaire

57. Common Sense, Thomas Paine
58. An Enquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith
59. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon
60. Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant

61. Confessions, Jean-Jacques Rousseau

62. Reflections on the Revolution in France, Edmund Burke
63. Vindication of the Rights of Women, Mary Wollstonecraft
64. An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, William Godwin
65. An Essay on the Principle of Population, Thomas Robert Malthus

66. Phenomenology of Spirit, George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
67. The World as Will and Idea, Arthur Schopenhauer
68. Course in the Positivist Philosophy, Auguste Comte
69. On War, Carl Marie von Clausewitz
70. Either/Or, Søren Kierkegaard

71. The Manifesto of the Communist Party, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

72. "Civil Disobedience," Henry David Thoreau
73. The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Charles Darwin
74. On Liberty, John Stuart Mill
75. First Principles, Herbert Spencer

76. "Experiments with Plant Hybrids," Gregor Mendel

77. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
78. Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, James Clerk Maxwell
79. Thus Spake Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche
80. The Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud

81. Pragmatism, William James

82. Relativity, Albert Einstein
83. The Mind and Society, Vilfredo Pareto
84. Psychological Types, Carl Gustav Jung
85. I and Thou, Martin Buber

86. The Trial, Franz Kafka

87. The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Karl Popper
88. The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, John Maynard Keynes
89. Being and Nothingness, Jean-Paul Sartre
90. The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich von Hayek

91. The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

92. Cybernetics, Norbert Wiener
93. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
94. Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff
95. Philosophical Investigations, Ludwig Wittgenstein

96. Syntactic Structures, Noam Chomsky

97. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, T. S. Kuhn
98. The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan
99. Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung [The Little Red Book], Mao Zedong
100. Beyond Freedom and Dignity, B. F. Skinner

Source: Seymour-Smith, Martin. 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written. Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel Press, 1998. © 1998 Martin Seymour-Smith. List from the Internet ~

Part 6 - The Living with Nature Center Library
Collection of Books and References


Part 7 - Rock Collection: Study and Hobby 

"All the lessons are in nature. You look at the way rocks are formed - the wind and the water hitting them, shaping them, making them what they are. Things take time, you know?" Diane Lane

Dr Abe V Rotor

Petrified or fossilized wood.  Carbon dating process traces
the origin, age, and habitat of the specimen. 

Resin, exudate of Pine tree undergoing metamorphism into amber

Aggregate rocks in various compositions and structures. 

Unidentified layered rock, indicating geologic

This is not a fossil, but broken glazed jar often used to store sacred 
objects and remains, like an urn in earlier times. 

Soft wood fossil broken into two to find out what is really its interior made of.

Not so perfectly round but it served as canon ball in early times.
Picked from a dry river bed, this specimen is a result of continuous
and even abrasion as it travelled downstream.

Limestone undergoing metamorphism into marble which 
may take a very long time under favorable conditions.

Rock collection of a student attracted by the diversity of the specimens.

Brain coral in its early stage of fossilization.

Operculum of a large seashell undergoing erosion by the elements.
Note the counterclockwise spiral, a unique find. 

Shades of opal and glitter often make this petrified wood look 
valuable when cut and polished, and made into fancy jewelry.

This chalky fossil looks like elephant's task.
 Did elephants roam the countryside in prehistoric times? 

Early stone age tools, crude and unpolished,
but they served the purpose of hunting.

Mt Pinatubo's pyroclastic  rock mounted for the museum.  
The rock formed while still very hot, forming a porous texture. ~

 Floral arrangement of stones gathered from Bacnotan, La Union beach. 
A collection of rock samples at author's home,  

ANNEX - Famous Quotations about Museums

“The best introduction to art is to stroll through a museum.
The more art you see, the more you’ll learn to define your own taste.”
– Jeanne Frank

“I paint flowers so they will not die.”
– Frida Kahlo

“Painter, you are not a speaker! Paint so and be silent!”
– Salvador Dali

“It’s not a museum. It’s not a place of artifacts; it’s a place of ideas.”
– Jeanie Kahnke

“The modern world thinks of art as very important:
something close to the meaning of life.”
– Alain de Botton

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once you we grow up.”
– Pablo Picasso

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
– Michelangelo

“I want to make of Impressionism an art as solid as that of the museums.”
– Paul Cézanne

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything.
You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.”
– Michael Crichton

“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.”
– T. S. Eliot

“Which painting in the National Gallery would I save if there was a fire? The one nearest the door of course.”
– George Bernard Shaw

“What you are doing does not matter so much as what you are learning from doing it.
It is better not to know and to know that one does not know than presumptuously to attribute some random meaning to symbols.”
– Ancient Egyptian Proverb

“Art is limitation. The essence of every picture is the frame.”
– G. K. Chesterton

(More lessons are found in