Monday, December 30, 2013

UST Christmas Concert Gala 2013

UST holds Christmas concert for Typhoon Yolanda relief

The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Christmas Concert Gala, the most awaited musical event on campus, marks the beginning of a new decade with a significant purpose – to help the victims of typhoon Yolanda.
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UST CHRISTMAS CONCERT. The UST Christmas Concert Gala 2013 will be aired on IBC 13 on December 24, 2013 at 7:00pm-8:00pm, and PTV 4 on December 25, 2013 at 7:00pm - 8:30pm.
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Lighting of the UST Christmas 2013
The UST Symphony Orchestra

Now on its 11th year, the Christmas Concert Gala has contributed to charitable causes particularly the heritage conservation efforts of the University and the scholarship fund of the Conservatory of Music.

This year, organizers decided to donate proceeds to the victims of typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas.

Spearheading the benefit concert are the UST Rector, Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P. and the UST Christmas Concert Gala chairpersons, Fr. Isidro C. Abaño, O.P., UST Museum Director and Ms. Maricris C. Zobel, art patroness.

For this year, homegrown talents of the University will take center stage.
 
Guest performers include Dulce (photo) one of the country’s formidable belters and international competition winner who will do a rendition of J. Peterson’s “Night of Miracles” (A Christmas Cantata) and a duet with her son, David Cruz of A. Adam’s “O Holy Night.”

Two-time Choir of the World Champion; UST Singers (photo) under the baton of Prof. Fidel Calalang, Jr. and the first Children’s Choir of the World Champion, Hail Mary the Queen Children’s Choir (photo) conducted by Theresa V. Roldan will interpret popular choral pieces and Christmas classics.


Completing the roster of performers are students and alumni from the Conservatory of Music to be joined by the UST Symphony Orchestra, Liturgikon Vocal Ensemble and Coro Tomasino. (Photo below)
 
The traditional community singing will feature all-time favorites “Silent Night,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “Joy to the World.”
 
Since its inception, the Christmas Concert has always been held at the UST Chapel, recreating the European tradition of holding grand concerts in magnificent churches and cathedrals. This is also UST’s way of giving thanks to its numerous friends and benefactors for the past years.Maiden performance was held at six in the evening on December 5, 2013 at the UST Chapel.
From Press release, UST



All star cast and traditional community singing  of all time favorites “Silent Night,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “Joy to the World.”








Photos of presentation taken by Dr Abe V Rotor, December 5, 2013.  

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Christmas Message on behalf of millions of children "Begging for a Seat in School"

Begging for a Seat in School 
Dr Abe V Rotor


A reproduction of an untitled painting by an unknown artist

A disturbing scene to Maslow -
     could he have been wrong?
What is self-actualization
     to the striving throng?

What's good is the Bastille trilogy -
     pillars of modern society:
equality, fraternity,
     liberty - sans dignity?

Motherhood words may come easy;
     they cannot be mistaken,
for the lips that speak of promise
     are easily forgotten.

And the world goes on as it seems;
     a beggar boy, its conscience:
lost youth, lost hope, lost future
    in the midst of affluence.

The door is jarred to full view
     and knocking wouldn't lend an ear;
indifference makes man blind
     or takes him to the rear.

He who feels for the needy
     with nothing to give is a fool,
in a world deaf to a poor boy
     begging for a seat in school. ~

NOTE: A student of mine from Iran at the UST Graduate School left this reproduction as a souvenir. The painting was made by an unknown artist, apparently belonging to the post classicism at the dawn of realism.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Terms given to groups of animals capture their unique qualities

Dr Abe V Rotor 
A flock of birds
A colony of ants 

Here is a long list of terms given to groups of animals.

1.    A COLONY of ants                                             
2.    An ARMY of ants
3.    A STATE or SWARM of ants
4.    A HERD of asses
5.    A DROVE of asses.
6.    A TROOP of baboons
7.    A CONGRESS of baboons
8.    A COLONY of bacteria
9.    A CULTURE of bacteria 
10. A BATTERY of barracudas
11. (A BATTERY of lawyers)
12. A SHOAL of bass
13. A COLONY of bats                                                 
14. A CLOUD of bats
15. A SLOTH or SLEUTH of bears
16. A COLONY of beavers
17. A FAMILY of beavers
18. A GRIST, HIVE, SWARM of bees
19. A CLUSTER or NEST of bees
20. A FLOCK or FLIGHT of birds.
21. A POD of birds (small flock)
22. A VOLARY of birds (in an aviary)
23. A BRACE (a pair of game birds or waterfowls)
24. A DROVE of bullocks
25. A KALEIDOSCOPE of butterflies                
26. A FLUTTER of butterflies                                 
27. A RAINBOW  of butterflies
28. A CARAVAN, FLOCK or TRAIN of camels
29. An ARMY of caterpillars
30. A HERD, DROVE or DRIFT of cattle.
31. A MOB of cattle (US and Australia)
32. A POUNCE of cats
33. A KINDLE, LITTER OR INTRIGUE (for kittens)
34. A BROOD, FLOCK, RUN or PEEP of chicken 
35. A CLUTCH OR CHATTERING of chicks
36. A HERD of cows
37. A KINE of cows (12 cows are a FLINK)   
38. A PACK of coyotes
39. A TRAIN of coyotes                                                                              
40. A BAND of coyotes    
41. A ROUT of coyotes  
42. A HERD, SEIGE or SEDGE* of cranes              
43. A CAST of crabs
44. A CONGREGATION or NEST of crocodiles
45. A BASK or FLOAT of crocodiles.   
46. A HOVER, MUSTER, or PARCEL of crows.
47. A MURDER of crows        
48. A HORDE of crows                                           
49. A PARLIAMENT of owls
50. A LITTER of cubs
51. A TROOP of dogfish
52. A PACK (wild dogs) or KENNEL of dogs
53. A LITTER of puppies
54. A FLIGHT or DOLE of doves
55. A TEAM, FLIGHT or FLOCK* of wild ducks in flight
56. A CONVOCATION of eagles
57. A CONGREGATION of eagles
58. An ARRAY of eels
59. A HERD or PARADE of elephants         
60. A CRASH of elephants
61. A HERD of elks
62. A GANG of elks
63. A CHARM of finches
64. A SHOAL, DRAFT, NEST, SCHOOL of fish.
65. A RUN of fish in motion                                      
66. A STAND of flamingoes                                         
67. A FLAMBOYANCE of flamingoes
68. A CLOUD, HATCH or SWARM of flies
69. A SKULK of foxes                                               
70. A CLOUD, TROOP or COMPANY of foxes
71. A GAGGLE or FLOCK of geese
72. A SKEIN, TEAM or WEDGE of geese (in the air)
73. A PLUMP of geese (on water)
74. A CLOUD OR HORDE of gnats
75. A FLOCK, HERD or TRIBE of goats
76. A TRIP of goats 
77. A CLOUD of grasshoppers                           
78. A SWARM of locusts
79. A NEST of hornets      
80. A SCATTERING, SEIGE or SEDGE* of herons
81. A CHARM of hummingbirds
82. A BEVY of larks
83. An EXALTATION of larks                                  
84. An ASCENSION of larks
85. A PARTY or SCOLD of jays
86. A TROOP of lemurs
87. A SCOURGE of mosquitoes
88. A PACK or SPAN of mules
89. A WATCH of nightingales
90. An ENCHANTMENT of nightingales
91. A TEAM or YOKE of oxen                                   
92. A DROVE or HERD of oxen  
93. A BED of oysters
94. A SQUADRON of pelicans
95. A FLOCK or FLIGHT of pigeons
96. A DROVE OR STRING of ponies.
97. A NURSERY of raccoons
98. A MURDER of ravens                                                                    
99. A CONSPIRACY of ravens 
100. A HERD, HAREM, TRIP or ROOKERY* of seals 
101. A DEN, BED, PIT or SLITHER of snakes.
102. A NEST or KNOT of snakes
103. A HOST of sparrows
104. A FLIGHT of swallows                                                                              
105. A BALLET of swans
106. An AMBUSH or STREAK* of tigers    
107. A COMMITTEE of vultures
108. A SCHOOL of whales
109. A HERD of whales
110. A ZEAL, HERD or DAZZLE of zebras                                                                                                                           
Acknowledgement: Thanks to Hint and Things Collective Nouns, Internet
 Wikipedia,

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A quiz on allergy: Identify if fact or myth.

A quiz on allergy:  Identify if fact or myth. 

Dr Abe V Rotor

1. Children who grow up on the farm are at much lower risk to allergy than children in the city.
Uncontrolled sneezing, a common symptom of allergy, may cause embarrassment and even accident . 
2. Infants on the farm have fewer allergies than those who grow up in sterile environments.


3. Children who grow up with a cat in the house are less likely to develop allergies or asthma. 

4. Very few pet owners are allergic to the animals they love.

5. Children who have been breastfed are less likely to have allergies. 


6. Milk, soy, wheat, egg, peanut, fish and meat comprise the most common food allergies.
7. Most reactions to food are not allergic in nature, but rather intolerance, that is, there is no allergic antibody involved.

8. Babies exposed late to cereal grains have higher risk to cereal allergy, especially wheat.

9. Regular use of “foreign” materials (e.g. nail polish remover, contact lens, metals) can eventually cause sensitivity and reaction to the products.

10. Allergy can induce strong and unwelcome mental and emotional reactions, such as altered perception or inappropriate changes of mood.


NOTE: These above statements are all based on facts.




Thursday, December 5, 2013

Malunggay is the most popular tree vegetable in the tropic.

Dr Abe V Rotor



 Compound leaves of malunggay (Moringa oleifera); botanical description of malunggay; mature pods hanging on the tree.  (Useful Plants of the Philippines by WH Brown; Wikipedia 

In the province no home is without this small tree at the backyard or in a vacant lot. The leaves, flowers, juvenile pods and young fruits of Moringa oleifera (Family Moringaceae) go well with fish, meat, shrimp, mushroom, and the like. It is one plant that does not need agronomic attention, not even weeding and  fertilization, much less chemical spraying.  You simply plant an arms length cutting or two, in some corner or along the fence and there it grows into a tree that can give you a ready supply of vegetables yearound.  What nutrients do we get from malunggay?

Here is a comparison of the food value of the fresh leaves and young fruits, respectively, in percent. (Marañon and Hermano, Useful Plants of the Philippines)

·         Proteins                                 7.30             7.29
·         Carbohydrates                     11.04             2.61
·         Fats                                        1.10            0.16
·         Crude Fiber                            1.75            0.76
·         Phosphorus (P2 O 5)             0.24            0.19 
·         Calcium (CaO)                      0.72             0.01
·         Iron (Fe2O3)                        0.108            0.0005

Owing to these properties and other uses, rural folks regard malunggay a “miracle tree.” Take for example the following uses.
·         The root has a taste somewhat like that of horse-radish, and in India it is eaten as a substitute to it.
·         Ben oil extracted from the seed is used for salad and culinary purposes, and also as illuminant.
·         Mature seeds have antibacterial and flocculants properties that render drinking water safe and clear. 


From these data, it is no wonder malunggay is highly recommended by doctors and nutritionists for both children and adults, particularly to nursing mothers and the convalescents. 


Saturday, November 23, 2013

I love insects for twelve reasons

Dr Abe V Rotor
Cottony moth


                                                      Coconut or rhinoceros beetle; enigmatic firefly
1. I love insects for their honey, the sweetest sugar in the world, elixir, energy-packed, aphrodisiac, therapeutic, the culinary and confectionery arts it makes;

2. I love insects for their silk no human fabric can equal - cool in summer, warm in winter, velvety to the touch, flowing and free, friendly to the wind and sun, lovely in the night, royal on the throne, smooth to the skin, hypoallergenic, dynamic to fashion and casual wear;
3. I love insects for their shellac, the best varnish that lasts for years, unequaled by synthetic substitutes; their wax, the best lubricant and natural polish that makes the dancing floor alive and schoolrooms happy.

4. I love insects for the resin they produce with certain plants which is used in worships, to bring the faithful to their knees, similarly to calm down fowls on their roost, drive vermin or keep them at bay, pacify and make peace with the unseen spirits;       A pair of golden moth 

5. I love insects for the amber, transparent rock originally from resin, which forever entrapped fossils of insects and other organisms, complete with their genes and attendant evidences of natural history, enabling us to read the past, turning back the hands of time in visual imagery;
  Green beetle; leaf insect
6. I love insects for their crimson dye produced by certain scale insects that made the robes of kings and emperors, and only they were privileged to wear; likewise for their phosphorescence like the wing scales of butterflies that make the most beautiful and expensive paint for cars today;

7. I love insects for their medicinal substances they produce - antibiotics from fly maggot and soldier ants, cantharidin from blister beetle, formic acid for weak heart, bee sting for rheumatism;
Field cricket, green cricket - nature's violinists 
8. I love insects as food, high in protein and minerals, elixir and stimulant, not only in times of famine but as exotic food in class restaurants, and on occasions that bring closer bonding among members of communities and cultures;

9. I love insects for all the fruits and vegetables, the multiplication of plants, geographically and seasonally, through their being the world's greatest pollinators; and in effect make the ecosystems wholesome, complete and alive;

10. I love insects for disposing garbage, of bringing back to nature organic compounds into elemental forms ready to be used again by the succeeding generations of living things.

11. I love insects for play, and for lessons in life - how they jump and fly, carry tremendous load which I wish I could, how they practice frugality, patience, fraternity, and how they circle a candle one lonely night and singed into its flame that inspires heroism and martyrdom;
Leaf insects resemble the leaves of their host plant
12. I love insects for whatever nature designed them to be, their role in health and sickness, , sorrow and joy, ugliness and beauty, deprivation and abundance, even in life and death, for I have learned that without insects, we humans - so with many other organisms - would not be here on earth.~

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

24 Ways to Build a "Children of Nature" Culture

24 Ways to Build a "Children of Nature" Culture
Dr Abe V Rotor
  Young biologist studies a specimen. Tree planting and home gardening 
 Summer painting workshop for kids.

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.

Janitor fish - subject of kids' curiosity, an introduction to biology.  

“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!
 On-the-spot painting; wall mural painting 
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.

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.

Natural History exhibit at the former St Paul University Museum QC

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. 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.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Valley of Life and Death

Mural and Poem by Dr Abe V Rotor

 

A valley of death, so stories go,
     for the old and the young, too;
and who would dare this fateful
     place but a lonely soul?

A valley of tears with barren shed,
     evil on nature its final bed, 
with a sprig of promised peace
     and temporary ease.

A valley of life of verdant green,
     once a full blooming scene;
life of the river down the sea,
     a world of wonder and free.  

A valley of promise, heed its call,
     words in the pulpit and hall,        
and in make believe by painting, 
     not at all worth praising.

A valley of suffering takes its toll;
     blind and deaf, the prayerful
waits for the angels to be sent   
     to this valley of death. ~   

Original title, "Dirge over a Watershed Mural." The wall mural is found at St Paul University Quezon City along Aurora Blvd.  It needs restoration.   

Gypsy Air

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
Gypsy family on the move to the city

Faithful bullock (Sta Gertrudes breed)

Oh, how the children followed the gypsy cart,
       the city bred their eyes shine in awe;
the old remembering the rustic scenes of art,
       a spectacle of parade and show. 

I remember the lady gypsy of Notre Dame, 
       the sea gypsies and the nomads; 
how free, how simple they live sans destiny. 
       known only and guided by their gods.  

One afternoon the sound of greaseless wheel
       and hoof, cart creaking and rickety,
brought into my home the gypsy air of old, 
       giving life to legend and fantasy. ~

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Energy shift from fossil fuel to renewable energy - today's global revolution

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

Giant wind turbine in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, at your finger tips. 


1. Solar or sunlight is the most plentiful energy source; virtually no place on earth is without sufficient supply throughout the day in all seasons of the year. Sunlight has many applications, from domestic (eg laundry) to agriculture (eg drying grain and fish). Here is a short list of utilizing solar energy
  • General drying
  • cooking
  • sterilization 
  • disease control
  • heating of homes
  • natural lighting 
  • desalination (saltwater to potable water)
  • solar battery (computer)
  • solar car 
  • electricity generation
  • arts, photography
2. Wind power has been the fastest growing energy source in the world since 1990 (Time). In the US wind power supplies 1.4 of total energy needs - from almost 0% of the total in 1973. What boost wind power is the government's large subsidy of $5 billion in 2010. Wind power is among the first to be used in industry.  Holland is among the countries that use it in driving mills, irrigation and manufacturing. The wind mill is romanticized by Miguel de Cervantes in his novel, Don Quixote.
  • sailing
  • ship mast
  • farm windmill
  • home ventilation 
  • wind tunnel
  • winnowing
  • kite flying, gliding
  • land surfing
  • electricity generation
3. Biofuel.  This includes ethanol from corn, sugarcane and cassava. Biogas from farm waste (piggery, ranch, poultry, organic wastes ( domestic) constitute 4.5 percent of the total energy production in the US, up from 2 percent in 1973. The US subsidy for biofuel is $6.6 billion in 2010.

  • alcogas 
  • ethanol
  • methane gas 
  • gasoline substitute
  • lubricant
  • drug, medicine
  • sludge (organic fertilizer)
  • bio fertilizer (Azolla, Nostoc, Anabaena)
4. Dendrothermal energy comes from wood. Firewood is still the num,ber one kitchen fuel in the world.
Burning rice hay is waste of energy and potential fertilizer and forage
  • firewood (gathering) 
  • firewood (farmed) 
  • crop waste (bagasse, rice hull, corn stover, hay) 
  • sawdust 
  • particleboard 
5. Hydrothermal energy cromes from natural hotsprings and fumarols. It is volcanic in origin.
Hydrothermal circulation in its most general sense is the circulation of hot water; 'hydros' in the Greek meaning water and 'thermos' meaning heat. 
  • steam power
  • electricity generation
  • bath, resort
  • manufacturing, industry 

6. Hydroelectric generation works of gravitational force of flowing water which drives turbines to produce electricity. Other than this moving water produces tremendous energy which can be harnessed.
  • SWIP (Small water impounding project) irrigation and electricity
  • water transport
  • submersible turbine (electricity)
  • water impounding
  • rain harvesting 
7. Other renewable sources of energy
  • tide (high-low cycle)
  • wave action 
  • labor-saving devices (pendulum principle)


Dry twin waterfalls Patapat, Pagudpud (IN) - result
of watershed destruction. Photo taken in December 2011