Friday, October 31, 2014

Wanted: Kidney

True to the suspicion of the doctors the young boy was diagnosed to be suffering of diseased kidneys. There is only one chance for him to live – kidney transplant!

Dr Abe V Rotor

Also visit my other Blogs:
[Living with Nature] 
[naturalism - the eighth sense]

National Kidney and Transplant  Institute 

He stopped schooling after finishing elementary. He was not good in school and his classmates always teased him of being lame. He was born with a club foot. So he became the house keeper while his father and mother went to work, and his brother and sister attended school.

“Please take good care of everything, Gido.” It was Nanay Paring’s way of saying goodbye every morning before going to work. “And don’t forget to eat and take your medicine,” Tatay Gorio would add. Pedring and Trining would ask what their youngest brother Gido would like them to bring home before boarding their owner’s jeep.

Left alone at home Gido spent hours watching television and playing computer games. He had no companion except his dog, a mongrel, curled under the sofa and yelping only when hungry. “No, Pido, we are not going to cook. We are only two anyway.” He would open a bag of potato or corn chips, or a can of cheese balls, and a family-size soft drinks, and both of them would while their time away until the whole family is reunited at dinner time.

This was the life of Gido day in and out. And who would complain? People with simple life have very little to complain about. Gido’s father and mother were industrious, they were very kind. Pedring and Trining loved him. They gave him playthings, and played with him after school and weekends.

Gido’s eyesight began to fade, so he was fitted with a special pair of eyeglasses, with a grade too high for a boy in his early teens. “Oh, it’s because of too much TV and computer games,” he told himself.

One time his mother was talking to Gido, but he seemed not to be listening. “Gido, Gido,” her mother called. Gido was going deaf. The family doctor also found out that he was losing control of some muscles and nerves. His asthma had gone worse and yet he was fast gaining weight. The doctor prescribed him medicine. “Could it be Parkinson’s disease?” The doctor muttered to himself. It is impossible for a teenager to be a victim. Then the doctor realized his patient had signs of premature aging!

Months later, Gido complained of persistent back pain and he could barely move. The color of his skin lost its pinkish color. True to the suspicion of the doctors he was diagnosed to be suffering of diseased kidneys. There is only one chance for him to live – kidney transplant!

What really caused Gido’s sad condition?

After a long investigation by a university hospital, doctors attributed the boy’s condition to the effects of improper diet and inactive lifestyle. The hospital presented Gido’s case in a forum for medical students. Gido had taken some 5,000 packs potato chips, corn chips, and the like, in a period of three years at the rate of three to four packs per day,! How about noodles? If he consumed, say at the rate of two packs daily, he had taken no less than 2000 packs during the same period. Noodles are known to contain MSG or sodium monoglutamate which doctors attribute to be the cause of poor development of the brain and muscles. How about carbonated soft drinks? At one family size bottle a day, Gido drank some 1,000 liters during the same period.

What worsened his situation was that Gido did not have enough physical exercise. Cleaning the house was not sufficient. And he was not getting the much needed sunlight. He became overweight and soon he felt ashamed of himself, and developed a phobia of going out and meeting people. How low was his self esteem!

As a writer I met Gido at the National Kidney Institute where he was undergoing dialysis. I saw his name in the list of candidates waiting for kidney donation. The list was very long and there are few donors. He had been visiting NKI regularly with Nanay Paring or Tatay Gorio, or with his brother or sister. Sometimes the whole family was with him.

The family prayed hard every evening, instead of watching their favorite TV programs. They prayed that someone was going to donate a kidney for Gido. A month had passed and there was none.

“I’m going to donate one of my kidneys to Gido,” Pedring announced unexpectedly. The family was surprised. They sought advice from NKI and many people. They could not decide. Then a certain Dr. Abelardo Imbag who had just completed his specialization in nephrology at John Hopkins University in the US approached the family on knowing the condition of Gido.

“If you allow me, my team and I will do the operation - for free,” he offered. Dr. Imbag grew up on the same street in Tondo where the Fuentes family lived. He had known them even when he was a little boy. He remembered how Gido’s father helped him when he was accidentally bumped by a tricycle. If it were not for Tatay Goring there would be no Dr. Imbag today.

The day of the operation came. Gido and Pedring were brought into the Operating Room. Dr. Imbag and his team worked for hours. Outside the family waited. Time stood still. Nobody spoke. Only the squeak of the swing door would break the silence now and then. It was a sound that would bring the family to their feet or draw their heads towards the Operating Room.

Suddenly the door swung wide open and Dr. Imbag appeared, his face wore a big, big smile. Everyone rejoiced and embraced each other. Both operations were successful. 

Months passed. Gido was no longer the house keeper. His mother had retired from her work and devoted her time to the family, Mang Gorio found another job that required him to report only for half a day, and that he also had the whole weekend to spend with the family. Pedring and Trining loved their youngest brother more than before. For Gido and Pedring in particular, people called them “blood brothers” in the true sense of the word because they shared the same organ.

When Trining finished nursing he took care of Gido. He was her first and most special patient. Pedring soon went back to school and finished management, and opened a grocery store at the street corner near their residence.

Gido improved from his failing sight and hearing. There were less and less occasions of asthma attacks. After losing some kilos his friends stopped calling him “Tabachoy,” a local term for overweight. They would tell him he looked ten years younger. Gido was regarded a hero of sort in the neighborhood, especially by those of his age. With a scholarship coming from the university where he was operated on, Gido was able to continue his studies in the same university.

Because of Gido’s case, Dr. Imbag campaigned against malnutrition principally caused by excessive consumption of junk food and softdrinks. When Gido finished law and became a lawyer five years later, he joined Dr. Imbag, and together put up a foundation, Stop Junk Food Research and Training Center. It was dedicated to the millions of young people all over the world who are victims of this serious problem.

One afternoon while I was writing the biography of Gido I happened to pass by a young boy sitting on a bench under a tree. He looked robust and happy. He had a bottle of soft drink and a bag of potato chips. At his feet lay a dog curled asleep. I told the boy the story of Gido.~

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Dr Abe V Rotor 
Cascade, painting in acrylic by the author
There is a time to be meek:
Summer and sun and their art -
Between sea and a lonely creek
Make two worlds wide apart.

Laugh and laugh aloud
As you trace your path yonder;
Peal thunder, rain be proud
To make the rocks shudder.

Rage and break, rage an break,
On the cold wall and be free;
Make the sky and river meet
Under the rainbow by the sea.

Wash the sweat on my brow,
And let me flow with thee;
A song I sing along with you
To where the world is free. ~

Monday, October 27, 2014

A night of nature's music in a garden

Dr Abe V Rotor
Written at the former Eco Sanctuary of Saint Paul University QC.
Long horned grasshopper or katydid (Phaneroptera furcifera)
am introducing two principal singers, the long-horned grasshopper or katydid (Phaneroptera furcifera), and the cricket (Acheta bimaculata), both belonging to a large group, Order Orthoptera, to which grasshoppers are typical members.

Since childhood I have always been fascinated by insect music. Stealthily, I searched for the singer. I found out that these insects are ventriloquists and a slight turn of their wings or bodies would deceive the hunter. And when I succeed and get nearer and nearer to the source of the music, the singer would abruptly stop.

Then I finally succeeded in pinning down with a flashlight the little Caruso in the middle of his performance. He is well hidden behind a leaf, brown to black, compact and sturdy, nearly two inches long, with a long tail and a pair of antennae. His front wings are raised 45 degrees above his abdomen on which the hind wings are folded. This is the cricket’s fiddling position. Now he rubs the two leathery wings against each other in a back and forth motions, a process called stridulation, which inspired man to invent the violin. On closer examination the base of the front wing in lined with a sharp edge to form the scrapper, while the ventral side has a file like ridge, the file, which represents the bow of the violin.

And what about the stereoscopic sound effect? A pair of tympana, which are drum-like organs, found at the base of the front tibia, are actually ears which, together with the raised wings, serve as resonator, sending the sound to as far as a mile away on a still night.

Now let us analyze the music produced - or is it only a sound that is mistaken for some music qualities? The cricket's sound produced by a single stroke called pulse. Each pulse is composed of a number of individual tooth strokes of the scraper and file. Pulse rate is from four to five per second, but on warm summer night the rate becomes faster. Thus, crickets are not only watchdogs (they stop when they sense an intruder), they are also indicators of temperature – and perhaps the coming of bad weather. It is for these reasons, other than their music, that the Chinese and the Japanese love them as pets.

The pulses of cricket are relatively musical; that is, they can usually be assigned a definite pitch, varying from 1,500 to 10,000 hertz, depending on the species. Those of the long-horned grasshopper or katydid are more noise-like; that is, they contain a wide band of frequencies, including clicking and lapsing, and cannot be assigned to a definite pitch. The monotony of its sound must have led to the coining of the insect’s name, katydid-katydid-katydid…

There are three musical pieces the cricket plays. Calling songs are clear crisp, and loud, which, of course, suit the intention. When a female comes around and nudges the singing male, his music becomes soft and romantic, lasting for many minutes to hours, and he forgets his role of warning the presence of an intruder or telling of the coming storm. Anyone who is love-struck is like that, I suppose..

But worse can come all of a sudden. This sentinel falls silent as he takes the bride. And when another suitor is around, this Valentino takes a fighting stance and sings the Bastille, a battle song.

I came across studies on insect music. I began to take interest, imitating it with the violin. It is impossible and the audiospectrogram tells why. You cannot deceive them and break their code of communication. Nature is specific: only the members of the same species understand one another. And no two species can communicate vis-à-vis this auditory means. This is one area in development biology, which has not been fully explored. How did this mechanism of species communication evolve? With computers today, can it be explored as an alternative and safe means of controlling destructive species?

The garden meets sunrise with fluttering butterflies, so does a garden surrender into the night with an array of concerto and orchestra music, and becomes a place for meditation. I say that the music produced by this insect is a sound of peace and praise for life. When the students have gone home and the offices already closed, I usually spend hours waiting for my color-coding time at the SPCQ garden. The chores of the day vanished easily, and I found the evening so relaxing that I did not complain of the traffic on my way home.

The great Charles Darwin himself expressed his deep feelings for these night’s musicians in his book, Cricket at the Heart. He said, “I love it for the many times I have heard it, and the many thoughts its harmless music has given me.”

 Field cricket (Acheta bimaculata)
Carolus Linneaus, the father of taxonomy, was more affected by these insects. He kept them to send him to sleep. Japanese children delight in collecting crickets, as American children do with fireflies. Caged crickets are sold in shops. In a mall I found a battery-operated cricket in a cage. We are indeed in Computer Age! Poet David McCord laments, “The cricket’s gone. We only hear machinery.”

As for me, I still find peace in the garden with these humble companions in the night. ~

Do you sneeze often? It could be pollen allergy.

Dr Abe V Rotor
It is true. It is called allergy rhinitis There are people who are highly sensitive to pollen grains. And their allergy is specific to certain plants, and at certain seasons these plants are in bloom.
 Bouquet in acrylic by AVR
Plants belonging to Family Poaceae or Graminae which include rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, talahib, cogon, and the like generally bloom in the last quarter beginning October when the habagat season is about to end and dry season starts.

Here are tips to prevent or minimize pollen allergy.

• Keep away from flowers and flowering plants
• Stay home to prevent exposure to pollen
• Stay away from wreaths during a wake or floral offering
. Avoid touching eyes and skin to prevent spread of allergy.
• Don’t bring in flowers and plants inside the house.
• Use mask and proper clothing.

There is a pollen calendar developed by the late Dr. Lolita Bulalacao of the National Museum, a pioneer in palynology (the study of pollen grains) in the Philippines. The calendar warns us who are susceptible to allergy to keep away from pollen coming from certain flowering plants in season and from specific areas that may cause allergy. The symptoms of allergy rhinitis are generally relieved by antihistamine, which comes in different preparations and brands, as tablet or ointment.

By the way, those who grew up in the rural areas are less susceptible to pollen allergy because they are developed certain levels of immunity. "Over protected" children are the best candidate to allergy rhinitis.

Why don't we take our children outdoors once in a while? In this way they start developing resistance to various kinds of allergy. And don't be over hygienic. It's like raising our children in a sterile glass chamber. There will come a time they will be dependent on allergy and asthma relievers and medicine.~

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Time for Verses

Dr Abe V Rotor
 Where land and sea meet, in acrylic, AVR
 Hidden eyes in acrylic, AVR

1. Hush, hush, 
suddenly the world became still;
gone is the lark in the sky
and raven on the window sill.

2. The bamboo I cut is not really mine,
this giant grass, a reed sublime;
in the wind it rings a sweet old chime
into a song sans words and rhyme.

3. When the geese take to the air
their leader first breaks the barrier;
on the dovetail trail ride the flock
in synergy, confidence and luck.

4. A wall unseen by the other,
Behind we refuse to be seen,
Of what we are and what had been –
Break it, and be a true brother.

5. Better the Noble Savage lived
Than civilization to Mankind,
In a Garden we long envied,
Sans want, war and its evil kind.

6. Look at the arrow and the bow,
The first machine before the plow;
A hunter’s life that man had ceased,
To found the land of love and peace.

8. Kindness but without honesty -
That is sentimentality;
Honesty but without kindness -
Simply that is plain cruelty;
Peace - that the duo must harness
To bring light to humanity.

9. Judgment isn't just conformity
That binds a class and society;
Not for the rich or any sect –
But of the heart and intellect.

10. If my life's to be lived with love,
Learned and shared not one but many;
Through others it's this way above,
I shall have left a legacy.~

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Litany of Obesity

Dr Abe V Rotor
Appetite is induced by too many kinds of food and food preparations  
 Consuming a single kind of food but unlimited. 
Multistory sandwich, a giant serving   

A Litany of Obesity 
  1. Obesity and sedimentary living
  2. Obesity and affluence
  3. Obesity and psychological appetite 
  4. Obesity and genetic tendency
  5. Obesity and junk food
  6. Obesity and protein-rich food
  7. Obesity and depression 
  8. Obesity and culinary art
  9. Obesity and middle age
  10. Obesity and uncontrolled urge
  11. Obesity and company 
  12. Obesity and pampered childhood
  13. Obesity and false health indicator
  14. Obesity and lack of regular exercise
  15. Obesity and introversion 
  16. Obesity and disease/infirmity
  17. Obesity and personality 
  18. Obesity and happy-go-lucky living
  19. Obesity and vices
  20. Obesity and bahala na attitude
This litany serves in self evaluation. Are you a victim of obesity? Or are you predispose to this postmodern epidemic? Draw your bodyscape. Make a series of selfie photos and study carefully. ~

Monday, October 20, 2014

Parallel Worlds

... all must play the game of life to the end. 
Photo and verse by Dr Abe V Rotor

Butterfly and house lizard, at home

Creatures all are on either side
     of the fence, living 
parallel lives, either the aggressor,
     or the unwary victim.

Advantage they take over others,
     or stay out of danger;
but all must play the game of life
     throughout to the end. 

Man over all creatures takes control 
     of the living kingdom,
while Providence takes the third role - 
     the will of the Creator. ~

Angels just pass by, my friend.

Dr Abe V Rotor

Dr Anselmo Set Cabigan, Ph.D. examines the flower of the enigmatic pongapong (Amorpophallus campanolatus) at the former St Paul University Garden QC.  Pine saplings in Lipa Batangas,  On-site lecture in biology at the former SPUQC Museum

All the years, to describe you, let me count the ways:
But first, admit your age, and heed the one who says.

Our roads crossed time and again - perhaps the eighth,

Under any umbrella, any fort of service and faith;

A tree you planted, its boughs filled with children,

In its shade, old and young call each other brethren;

A field of grass undulating in whispers and in song

Of hopes and dreams among the beloved throng;

A plow, you're the man behind a home and nation,

A computer, cyberspace its eye and its bastion.

Nata to leather, fruit to wine, microbes to food,

Work of a goodhearted genius working under the hood.

Busy feet, busy hands, bound in thought and sinew,

Work, work, work - whatever may be your view.

And play? And jokes? You've got a lot, too.

Cracking one, and I saw how a whole class blew.

Child of Nature years ago, but never getting old,

Though your hair is vanishing, laurels in its hold;

The span of time and space, your now sit on its shed,

Furrows on your forehead, your vision dims ahead.

If for any reason you keep on searching, never tiring,

It's because the stars shine far out into the morning,

And ideals and truth are not the same, are they?

There are no answers - yet you wish there may.

In a perfect place and time, here and beyond SPUQ,

Angels just pass by Sel, we can only guess they do.~

Dedicated to Dr. Anselmo Set Cabigan (left), a good old friend. 
He and the author retired from government, and the academe.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Birdsong at Sunrise in a Garden

Dr Abe V Rotor

Birds (16" 28") painting in acrylic by the author 2012

They chirp, but you don't see them,     
     only leaves moving, rustling;
their becks red, their eyes sullen,
     and they blend with everything.

When you get near to admire,
     they shun, they stop moving,
silence the rule of their game,
     discreet and subtle warning.

Birds are indeed real strange,    
     they fly fast or sit at ease;
they sing with few notes to trace,
     like passing breeze in the trees. ~ 

When you have a garden around your house you would know if it’s already sunrise when the birds start singing in the trees. Meantime the sun seeps through the foliage and hedges, and sparkles on the dewdrops clinging on them. The lawn comes alive, flooded with sunlight.  Its many tenants – crickets, slugs, earthworm, caterpillars, and even frogs wake up. 

     Soon more birds come around.  Their songs begin to take shape and form:  cadence, pitch, and melody – all these help us in identifying the birds without seeing them. One advantage of being surrounded by a garden is that the resonance of sound heightens every note and even projects it with a ventriloquist effect that makes it difficult to be traced. What a contrast between the sounds we hear at sunrise with that in the darkness of night before! In the latter we are entertained by the unending fiddling of crickets that lulls us to sleep. Now it is a melodious wake up call.

     But one morning as I listened intently to the concert of the warblers, finally pinning down their whereabouts. Soon enough one posed, perched on a terminal branch overlooking the garden and calling for its mate.

     Meticulously I transcribed its song in alphabets and soon realized it was actually communicating. But putting the syllables together did not mean anything to humans. To transcribe them into music would take a composer to do just that. I could only pick up the melody that seems to be the theme of any composition.
Song of the warbler
Common Tailor Bird (Orthotomus atrogularis rabori Parkes)

Tag-wa-tee-e-e-e-et, tag- wa- tee-e-e-e-et, tag-wa- tee-e-e-e-et,
Tag-wa- tee-e-e-e-et, tag-wa- tee- e-e-e-et, tag-wa-tee- e-e-e-et
Tig- wa- too- tee- e- et, tig- wa- too- tee- e- et, tig- wa- too- tee- e- et,
Tig- wa- too- tee- e- et, tig- wa- too- tee- e- et, tig –wa too- tee- e- et-
Ter- r-r-r-r-r-r-, ter-r-r-r-r-r-r, ter-r-r-r-r-r-r, ter-r-r-r-r-r-r,
Ter-r-r-r-r-r-r-, ter-r-r-r-r-r-r, ter-r-r-r-r-r-r, ter-r-r-r-r-r-r

     If one analyzes Beethoven’s Pastoral or Peer Gynt’s Morning he will certainly find close association and similar pattern of their notes with those occurring in nature. Drums and thunder, steam and flute, cows mooing and horn or oboe, raindrops and castanets, cricket fiddling and violin - are easy to recognize and appreciate.

     But there are sounds too faint to recognize as music. Such is the music of the hummingbird, the world’s smallest bird. Take the sound of whales in the deep ocean.

     Once I saw (pipit) in our farm lot. Its deep high pitch call could hardly penetrate the foliage and humid habagat air. Its source seems very far that you would think it is coming from the other side of a solid wall. I saw and heard it as it sipped the nectar of Heliconia flowers.  These banana-like plants are also known as Lobster’s Claws and Birds of Paradise.  It was a rare sight. The bird hovers like a dragonfly, and darts forward and backward, inserting its long beak deep into the newly opened flowers, its feathers matching the color of the flowers around.  As it did this, it continuously uttered a deep but sweet “chee-wee-e-e-et”.

     Perhaps if we plant more Heliconia and trees around that make a four-tier structure of an arboretum - annuals, shrubs, canopy trees and emergents – we may make the garden conducive to more birds. Only by simulating the natural habitats of organisms that we expect them to establish their niches or domains. Here the birds would build their nests, and as they raise their brood, their music becomes a chorus of hungry bridling and parental calls.

      I have had a number of occasions to observe other birds in the garden. The pandangera or fantail (Rhipidura javanica nitgritorquis), as its name implies, is a dancer and singer combined. Its crispy, continuous song and brisk movement of its trail spread like a fan, stops any passerby to full attention.

     Once in our ancestral home in the province, I watched a pandangera dance and sing in front of a dresser’s mirror. The following day it came again and did the same. It was courting its own image on the mirror! This is a sign of intelligence. Zoologists know of very few creatures that are attracted by their own image, treating it like their own kind. Among these is the orangutan.

     Others birds include the swift. The smaller ones are pygmy swiftlets (Collocalia troglodytes), while the glossy and larger species are Collocalia esculenta marginata). When they come, they sit on a Mearalco wire at exactly an arm’s length apart so that they appear in equidistant formation. They are sit silently, eyeing at potential preys below.  And once they start swooping on flies and other insects you could hear them uttering short and distant sounds like birds in captivity. 

     In an aviary during feeding time, one is met by a cacophony of sounds like an orchestra rehearsing without the baton master. Imagine sounds like those of a trotting turkey, Guinea fowl taking off from the brooding basket, doves romantically in pairs, ducks and geese impatient at getting their share, uneasy native chicken (labuyo). Truly it is only in the wild that we hear true birdsongs.

     Outside the aviary a flock of house sparrows came down chirping. Don’t ask them to choose between food and freedom. Domestication has changed many things. Even if they have defied domestication, they have learned to live with him wherever he goes, on the countryside or in the metropolis. While you can hand-feed doves and pigeons, house sparrows will eat only when you have turned you back on them. For birds in general, I suppose that it is freedom that gives true meaning in their songs.

      Peer into a caged wild pigeon, a Philippine turtle dove (Streptopelia bitorquata dusumieri). The bird is silent, its round eyes empty. Wait for its song, then when it is time to leave, it expands its breast and sent deep booming sounds.  This is the other side of a warbler’s song.

     “How exiting it is to be interconnected with nature,” says a young naturalist.  Yes, it is indeed the key to the conservation of our environment. It is the very source of inspiration to express our talents – to paint, write and compose music. It links us to our Creator.

     I invite songwriters and music enthusiasts to explore the music of the birds and nature as a whole as an alternative to pop and rock music. We can explore the many things nature has given us to enjoy life in peace and harmony. While only very few are geniuses in music and in the other arts, all of us can be scholars of nature, learning and enjoying her bounty and ways

 “And to another branch he repeats his song,
Crispy and clear as the light of dawn,
And if trees are not enough and the streets
Are wider than the field, on cable or antenna be perches,
And sings still the song of his ancestors.

Shouldn’t I wake up with a happy heart
And spare a tree and two for his art?”
                                                                  -  AVR

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hideaway in a lovely realm

Scenic Tacloban, Leyte 2010. Typhoon Yolanda devastated the area in 2012. 

Dr Abe V Rotor

If you can't find a place for respite,
If you can't eat and stretch your tired feet,
If your heart races for something it doesn't love,
It's time you slow down and look above.

If the road is too fast, your vision is blurred,
If people are no longer friendly but just a crowd,
If heads and machines never cease heating up
It's time to turn the knob to a stop.

If you have a family to share your love and pain
If you have good health before it goes down the drain,
If you want to live long, to hope and to dream,
It's time you hide in some lovely realm. ~

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Don't waste food, don't!

Yes, children there is a Santa Gracia . ~
Dr Abe V Rotor 

Don't throw away food left on the table. Please don't.

• Food is Santa Gracia (holy grace) as old folks reverently call it.

 Recycle leftover in a different presentation.
• Food waste could otherwise go to millions who have not enough to eat.

• Food waste breeds pest and disease, sickens the air.                                                                                                                                           
• Anything that goes to waste draws down the economy.

• Waste widens inequity in resources.

Here are some things to do with food leftovers.

1. Sinagag - fried rice mix with bits of bacon, ham, fried egg, fish, and the like.

 2. Torta - tidbits like those mentioned in scramble egg. Include veggies like carrot and onion.

3. Pickle – excess veggies and fruits plus vinegar, sugar and salt, and spices. Good for carrot, bell pepper, cucumber, green papaya, yam (sinkamas), others.

4. Paksiw – if not consumed is fried, makes a new menu.

5. Daing – fish in season is dried, cooked with gata’ (coconut milk).

6. Suka – fruit vinegar from overripe pineapple, banana, others, but not tomato and kamias.

7. Pudding – bread not consumed on time is also made into pizza bread- bread crumbs, garlic bread.

8. Sopas – Grind bones, shrimp head for soup and broth. Bulalo for whole bone.

9. Pastillas – milk pDescription: Italicowder not consumed on time, also grated hardened cheese.

10. Veggie and fruit peelings – for animal feeds, composting. Include solids from brewing (coffee) and juicing fruits. Ultimately, inevitable food waste is collected for feeds in poultry and piggery.

Food waste also emanates from carelessness in handling, food preparation and serving. Much is also lost due to lack of proper processing, transport and storage facilities. Estimated loss in postharvest alone runs from 10 to 37 percent of actual harvest of crops.

In "Give us this day our daily bread..." in the Lord's Prayer, us here is regarded as thanksgiving and remembering the millions people around the world who may not have the food they need.

I believe in the wisdom of the old folk who reminds us of the value of food. They have experienced hunger during war, drought, flood, crop failure, pestilence - even in normal times. They have not lost sight of the presence ofSanta Gracia.

Yes, children there is a Santa Gracia . ~

Dugout or hollowed-out log for a banca. Invention or discovery?

Serendipity they say, is accidental discovery or invention. Should I say providential? If the idea of a wheel came from a rolling stone, then the idea of a banca or canoe came from a floating log.
 Dr Abe V Rotor, photos by Marlo R Rotor

Indigenous dugouts, Tacloban, Leyt
These stories need no proof, and children before bedtime don't only believe in them, they put themselves into the shoes of the inventors, whoever they were. This is why the wheel or the boat never stopped evolving, and never will. Because children don't differentiate a real thing from a toy, neither the boundaries of work and game.

Look at the photo of a father and son. I like to think that the father made the dugout, and the boy, when he grows up, will make the outrigger and the sail. Imagine what the third and fourth generations will make. That's how the boat became a steamboat into a steamer. Even a failed invention led to the making of the submarine - which proved even more versatile than the battle ship in times of war and in probing the depth of the sea.

And can you imagine how the right side of the brain brought imagination into invention? A flying boat! An airplane, to a jet plane to a space ship!

Lucky that I am, and humanity. Eureka! Eureka! God's genius in man - through Serendipity. ~ 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Memories by the Sea

Dr Abe V Rotor 

Sunken Pier, South China Sea, Sto Domingo Ilocos Sur

That was a long, long time ago
In a place by the western sea,
Hidden by feathery bamboo,
Thickets of wild kakawate
And the old resilient maguey.
I used to ride a wooden cart
Creaking on the dry stream bed,
Until I reached where two roads part
One leading to a homestead
From where came our daily bread.

This is the place I used to know,
Part of my childhood, part of me,
Where seasons come and seasons go;
Early dream of a destiny -
A beautiful life by the sea.

Faces I knew, old friends now gone,
Stare the young at someone new;
Big trees that used to shade the sun,
Houses I remember are few,
All makes an unfamiliar view.

Old Rip van Winkle I’m today,
Longer did I sleep than he;
And too long I had failed to pay
Respect to this land by the sea,
And the treaty of time and me. ~

Critique-Analysis in Photography (Workshop)

Dr Abe V Rotor

Group work, 5 members.  Please analyze each photograph and answer the questions raised in each. Download with answers per photograph and print.  Use Arial 12, same as in this post.  Type on regular bond with number of pages as needed. For submission July 20, 2012.

1. Nature photography. Does this fish really exist in nature? Or the product of photo editingWrite its appropriate caption.

 2. Bleeding heart pigeons.  It's romantic.  Make the caption in verse style.

3. Smiling pig. Who is your target audience? Support your answer. 

4. Suppose you don't have a tripod, what would you do to get a nice photo such as this? How do you enhance the silhouette effect of the subject - ? Why is it that the high cliff at the left was not cropped by the photographer? So with the length of bridge at the right? (Old Quirino Bridge over Bannaoang Pass, Santa, Ilocos Sur)

5. You can hear in your mind the cascading twin waterfalls in Patapat (Pagudpug, Ilocos Norte). Here is one I wrote.

Rage, rage, rage!
And I'll be calm;
Be calm and I shall rage.
Rage, rage, rage!

Can you interpret the verse? Relate it with the environment (ecology). What is the advocacy of this verse?
6. What is the significance of this photo? What tree is this? Does it tell the changing of seasons? Photo taken at SRA Compound, Diliman,. QC
7. Write the caption of this photo. This photo is part of a scientific paper for publication. Photo was taken at Avilon Zoo, San Mateo, Rizal.    
8. Close-up photography. Could there be a better shot than this?  If you were the photographer what improvement would you have made? 
9. Landscape mural painting and garden pond. There is poem I wrote with this last stanza.

When lakes and rivers dry, and the sky no longer blue;
as cities grow, land fills with waste, air no longer fresh;
I pick my brush, say a prayer in color, shade and hue,
Inviting my Creator, "Please come, and have some rest." 

Explain the meaning of the verse, as well as its advocacy.
10. This is an edited photo. Has the flower lost its symbol? What flower is this in the first place? What does it represent? Its use?
11. Why is this photo of human interest? Does it show poverty, abandonment, sympathy? Write the caption.
12. The power of repetition in photography. What breaks its monotony? What is the subject about? What are similar photos adopting this technique?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

10 Frankenstein monsters roaming in our midst

Dr Abe V Rotor
"Mushroom cloud" -  Atomic Bomb Explosion (Acknowledgment, Internet)
 Anyone who has read Frankenstein cannot forget the frightful scenario of a monster created in the laboratory that eventually turned against his master and terrorized the world - a reminder of the unpredictable consequences of science-on-the-loose.

Invariably we have revived the Frankenstein monster in many forms, such as these.

1. The invention of the atomic bomb and its subsequent progeny - hydrogen bomb, neutron bomb and cobalt bomb - that are far more deadly and destructive, and their stockpiling into a power keg that still exist today even after the Cold War has ended in 1989.

2. Medical breakthroughs in saving lives and extending life span contribute to the population explosion and demographic imbalance where societies are burdened by too many young who are unproductive and highly dependent, and elderly group, with increasing healthcare-dependent members.

3. Organ transplantation and replacement which is leading us farther and farther to a new frontier called bionics; a combination of the rational being and the robot, natural and artificial intelligence.

4. Genetically modified organisms (GMO) whereby it is possible to combine genes of organisms outside their kind, irrespective of species - or kingdom, for that matter. Bt Corn carries the gene protein of a bacterium - Bacillius thuringiensis - that parasitizes caterpillars that feed on corn crop. New strange life variations are sprouting defying identity and classification.  They are nameless like the monster created by Frankenstein.

5. Mega-industrialization that has resulted not only to the demise of natural environments (ecosystems) and many species of organisms, but the destruction of the ozone layer and the gradual and steady buildup of atmospheric temperature known as global warming.

6. Urbanization leading to the growth of megacities which continue to destroy the homeostasis of rural-urban relationship, spawning poverty and leading to the degradation of human life at the source of migration on one hand, and at the burgeoning centers on the other.

7. Population explosion setting a record of 7 billion people today and doubling in less than fifty years if left unchecked - indeed a grim reminder of the ghost of Malthus two hundred years ago (Malthusian Theory), and a proof that the natural laws that govern survival has been radically changed.

8. Consumerism on which capitalism flourishes in the guise of progress and the good life, but in effect creates imbalance of the economy of nations, dividing them into power-wealth categories, and have and have-not, loss of values, and abusive exploitation of resources at the expense of Planet Earth.

9. Gold rush syndrome resulting in the Tragedy of the Commons, a principle that is based on Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale, a story that illustrates that greediness and wanton destruction has always a tragic end, as evidenced today by the declining fish catch in the ocean, dwindling freshwater supply, logged over forests, spent farms and pastures, near exhaustion of fossil fuels, and the like.

10. While ecumenism bridges religions, cultism is divisive and segregative. There is a rise of the so-called hybrid religions which have lost their dogmatic identities, and are gaining popularity as a kind of religious liberation. On the other hand, more and more people around the world are drawn into the world of nones (people who have lost faith in organized religions) - if not the atheism, particularly those overwhelmed by the influence of postmodern living.~

These ten attributes of a modern Frankenstein haunt modern man and his society today exacerbated by his aim at globalization. The shrinking of the planet into a global village so to speak, through scientific breakthroughs, expansion of commerce and industry, opening of new frontiers of human settlement and habitation which sooner or later include the building of cities under th sea and in space, and the proliferation of multimedia making information accessible anywhere in any place of the globe - all these make the avenging monster closer to his creator, and therefore making him vulnerable to its evil intent. Such is the story of Mary Shelley's fiction that has a tragic ending - the destruction of both monster which never bore a name, and its creator - the young genius, Frankenstein. ~