Saturday, November 29, 2014

The way to beat Invasive Species is to eat them

Dr Abe V Rotor

What is the best way to beat invasive species? Well, if humans managed to eat field rats, mole crickets, snails, pythons, alligators - and other "pests", why can't these undesirable organisms be part of his culinary taste and art?

Golden Kuhol (Pomacea caniculata).

1. Pets turned wild - knife fish and janitor fish.  Once fancy pets in aquarium, they found their way to Laguna Lake and Taal Lake. They can be cooked like any fish.  

2. Food to pest - Golden Kuhol (Pomacea caniculata).  Imported in the seventies as food  like the popular French escargot, it has spread to rice fields, where they have developed in a major pest of rice. Cook it with tanglad and luya, better still with gata.

3. Migratory swarms - Locust (Locusta migratoria) moves in swarms, thousands upon  thousands riding on wind current, invading fields and forests many kilometers away. They settle down as solitary grasshoppers, remaining in the place, mate and multiply, until the next migratory season. Have you tasted sauteed mole cricket  June beetle, gamu-gamu (winged termite)?  It tastes the same. 

4. Biological Warfare in peace time - Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica) introduce by the Japanese during World War II, now a common garden pests. One time a recipe was prepared on the request of a school head, and all his teachers tasted it - with delight. 

5. Fugitive to invader - Asian carp in Illinois, Missouri and Mississippi river. It is similar to our tilapia - Tilapia nilotica and T. mosambica.  American will learn to love the carp like we Asians. Just like how we first accepted it when it was introduced in the fifties by Dr Deogracia Villadolid, a prominent fisheries expert. Today tilapia is an important part of the Filipino diet,   

6. Breakout from cage - Black spiny-tailed Iguana has invaded Florida.  It eats about anything, including birds. When made into adobo, its meat tastes like that of monitor lizard.

7. Trans-oceanic invasion - Lion fish has venomous spines and dangerous to aquatic and human life alike. Origin Pacific and Indian oceans to the Caribbean. It's cooked like any marine fish.

8. Adaptive mechanism of survival - Nutria a rodent originated in South America and has invaded the Gulf Coast, destroying valuable wetlands, and make bore tunnels through levees.  In the Philippines the Rattus rattus norvigicus was accidentally introduced and have adapted to city life. 

9. Wildlife gone wilder - Armadillo, a gentle and peaceful armored animal of Central and South America is upsetting the balance of food webs, eating just anything, even stealing eggs of threatened sea turtles.  They say it's good meat. The closest animal to the Armadillo in the Philippines is the Scaly Anteater which is a threatened species.    

10. Biological Control agent gone wild - Toad (Bufo marinus) introduced in Australia to control sugarcane pest, now overruns even homes and highways. This is poisonous, even animals have learned to avoid it.  It is for this reason, itspopulation increased rapidly in Australia.  

Except for No 10, these invasive species have found their way to the dining table. Man's  gustatory delight is indeed the best way in dealing with undesirable creatures. ~ 

Movies on Parade at UST

Movies Fill Our Lives
Dr Abe V Rotor
Of pirates and witches...

Fantasy comes down to earth alive
in flesh walking: ghosts, fairies,
creatures of sea and land they thrive
in human laughter and tears

that fill empty lives e’en just a while
and give the world a break
in the idleness of time passing by
cares and worries at stake  

where friends and foes hold hands,
monsters tame and meek;
stories sad and happy cater to fans,
all for freedom they seek

from doctrinaire and conventions;
for it’s imagination that rules
and dictates all human institutions
with technology its tools;

movies – books visual, by audition,
in make believe and reality,
man’s gift to himself, his own  invention,   
his passport to liberty. ~

Wizard of Oz and fairytales
Of forest deities and kingdoms 
Finding Nemo, the friendly fish

Of old cultures and postmodern

And adventure with the imagination …

The Talking Bird

Dr Abe V Rotor
Baby Mackie and a Talking Myna, Tagaytay March 24 2013

What does a baby make up for the fun -
with the foolishness of bird and man? 

A raucous gang of teenagers came by
and made the bird squawk and fly;

Glamorous ladies in their older years;
their greetings turned into cheers;

A debonair paused and expected
a praise, the opposite he got instead;

A man in full suit said, "Hello there!"
repeated the bird with blank stare;

Boys are boys, they made some clown;
Good words, bad words flew around;

Friend to all - waiters, guests as well,
In random words and phrases swell.

All but imitation of whatever call,
in make believe to fill the empty hall.

In decibels unkind to any ear
yet everyone just wishes to hear.

What does a baby make up for the fun -
with the foolishness of bird and man?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Return of the Balloon Frog Tukak Bat'og

What changed the thinking of the world - a revolution in our concept of survival - is that all livings are interconnected and that the world is one systemic order, that the survival of one spells the survival of all creatures and the preservation of the integrity of the biosphere and therefore of Planet Earth, and that there is no living thing that is too small to be insignificant or useless.
Dr Abe V Rotor

The first time I saw tukak bat’og was when I was a young farmhand. Its name is familiar because bat’og, battog or battobattog, in Ilocano means pot bellied. At that time anyone who exhibited a bulging waistline was associated with this amphibian. But there were very few of this kind then. The war had just ended and people had to work hard.

Hardship tightens the belt automatically, but peacetime and the Good Life opens a new war - the “battle of the bulge.” Today two out of five Americans are obese and Europeans are not far behind. Asians are following the same trend, as more and more people have changed to the Western lifestyle that accompanies overweight condition, whether one is male or female.

But actually Bat’og is all air. It’s like balloon short of taking off. But once it wedges itself in its tight abode not even bird or snake can dislodge it. Not only that. It feigns dead and its attacker would simply walk away to find a live and kicking prey.

Nature’s sweet lies are tools of survival. When it faces danger Bat’og engulfs air and becomes pressurized and distended, reducing the size of its head and appendages to appear like mere rudiments. And with its coloration that blends with the surroundings, and its body spots becoming monstrous eyes, who would dare to attack this master of camouflage.

Not enough to drive away its foe, Bat’og uses another strategy by producing deep booming sounds coming from its hollow body as resonator. I remember the story of Monico and the Giant by Camilo Osias when I was in the grades. The cruel giant got scared and rushed out of his dark hiding when Monico boomed like Bat’og . Actually it was the unique design of the cave’s chamber that created the special sound effect and ventriloquism. The vaults of old churches were similarly designed this way so that the faithful can clearly hear the sermon.

The exhausted Bat’og deflates and returns to its chores, feeding, roaming around and calling for mate – and rain, so old folks say. Well, frogs become noisy when it rains. Biologically, egg laying is induced by rain. Eggs are fertilized in water and hatched into tadpoles that live in water until they become frogs. Bat’og has relatives that live in trees and their tadpoles inhabit trapped water in the axils of bromeliads, bananas and palms. Or it could be a pool inside the hollow of a tree.

After I left the farm for my studies in Manila, I never saw any Tukak Bat’og again. Only a trace of that childhood memory was left of this enigmatic creature.

Then one day, in my disbelief Bat’og resurrected! For a long time it has long been in the requiem list of species, ironically even before it was accorded scientific details of its existence. Well, there are living things that may not even reach the first rung of the research ladder, either they are insignificant or new to science. Who would take a look at Bat’og?

I believe a lot of people now do. People have become environment-conscious after the publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, the emergence of Greenpeace movement, and birth of "heroes for the environment". Who is not aware now of global warming, especially after viewing Al Gore's documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth? Who have not experienced calamities brought about by our changing climate?

What changed the thinking of the world - a revolution in our concept of survival - is that all livings are interconnected and that the world is one systemic order, that the survival of one spells the survival of all creatures and the preservation of the integrity of the biosphere and therefore of Planet Earth, and that there is no living thing that is too small to be insignificant or useless.

Of all places I found Bat’og one early morning in my residence in Quezon City. I would say it instead found me. There in my backyard, ensconced in a gaping crack in the soil covered with a thick layer of dead leaves lay my long lost friend - very much alive.

Hello! And it looked at me motionless with steady eyes. It was aestivating, a state of turpor, which is a biological phenomenon for survival in dry and hot summer, the counterpart of hibernation when organisms sleep in winter and wait for the coming of spring. My friend was waiting nature's clock to signal the Habagat to bring rain from across the Pacific come June to September, a condition necessary for its amphibious life.

Slowly I lifted my friend and cradled it of sort on my palm. And we rolled time back fifty years ago. And before any question was asked, it was already answered. It is like that when two old friends meet after a long time. I remember when journalist Stanley found the great explorer Dr. David Livingstone in the heart of Africa in the 19th century, Stanley simply greeted, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" and the old man lifted his hat and gave Stanley a firm handshake. This became one of the most famous meetings in the world.

You see an event earns a place in history, or in the heart, when it permeates into the primordial reason of existence, which is Reverence of Life.

Reverence – this is the principal bond between man and nature. It is more than friendship. It is the also the bonds of the trilogies of human society – equality, fraternity and liberty. It is the  bridge of all relationships in the complex web and pyramid of life. It towers over equations and formulas in science. It links earth and heaven, in fact the whole universe – and finally, the bridge of understanding between creature and Creator.

Bat’og is back. How easy it is to understand a creature however small it is, if it is your friend. Yet how difficult it is to define the role of a friend. The fox in Antoine de Saint-Exupery’ novel, The Little Prince, warned the little prince, “If you tame me you are responsible to me.” The little prince simply touched the wild beast.

Taming is the ultimate submission to humility. And the greater a person who humbles himself, the truer a friend he is.

How do we relate this principle to our being the only rational creature? The dominant species over millions of species? The God-anointed guardian of the Earth? The custodian of creation?

Allow me to have some time with my long lost friend. Either one of us is the Prodigal Son, but  that does not matter now. Let me join Darwin and Linnaeus and Deogracias Villadolid et al.

Dr Deogracias Villadolid, foremost Filipino biologist. Professor and adviser of the author.

 That was a long time ago by the pond that had dried in summer. As a kid on the farm I have known the ways of my friend. Bat’og would stake its prey - termites, ants, beetles and other insects. Like all frogs – and toads – the adults and tadpoles are important in controlling pests and diseases.

One of its relatives belonging to genus Kaloula was found to subsist mainly on hoppers and beetles that destroy rice, including leafhoppers that transmit tungro, a viral disease of rice that may lead to total crop failure. Such insectivorous habit though is universal to amphibians, reptiles, birds and other organisms. If only we can protect these Nature’s biological agents we would not be using chemicals on the farm and home, chemicals that pollutes the environment and destroys wildlife.

Bat'og and its kind protect man from hunger and disease. They are an important link in the food chain. No pond or ricefield or forest or grassland is without frogs. There would be no herons and snakes and hawks and eagles. No biological laboratory is without the frog as a blue print of human anatomy. And The Frog and the Princess would certainly vanish in the imagination of children.

Bat’og is a survivor of chemical genocide. It is the timely age of enlightenment of people returning to natural food and the spread of environmental consciousness on all walks of life and ages that came to its rescue in the last minute. So with many threatened species.

Who does not rejoice at finding again native kuhol, martiniko, ulang and gurami in the rice field? Oriole, pandangeratarat and pipit in the trees? Tarsier, mouse deer and pangolin in the wild? And the return of ipil-ipil, kamagong and narra in the forest? And of course, Haribon the symbol of Philippine wildlife and biodiversity.

It is indeed a challenge for us to practice being the Good Shepherd, but this time it is not only a lost lamb that we have to save, it’s the whole flock.

Tukak Bat’og symbolizes the victory of Nature. But Nature’s victory does not mean man’s defeat; rather it is man’s submission and obedience to Nature’s laws and rules and therefore, the restoration of order on Planet Earth - our only spaceship on which we journey into the vastness of the universe and the unknown. x x x

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Nature Paintings and Poems

Paintings and Verses by Dr Abe V Rotor
Rock well in acrylic by AVR

A world in a world their own
deep in the deep unknown;
domain of the bold and mean,
lovely, yet lonely, unseen.

Pinsal Fall, Sta. Maria. Ilocos Sur  

Rage, rage and fall free
as you seek liberty;
surrender to gravity,  
flow, flow out to sea

Light in the Forest, acrylic AVR

Be benevolent, lose your crown, 
let the sun in, 
 nourish those in your shade.
'til they turn green.

Sweet Sense of Abandon

Painting and Poem by Abe V Rotor
A Naturalist's World

Oh, sweet sense of abandon away from the concrete jungle,
Far from the neon lights that blind the stars and the moon,
The roar of the avenues, cars cruising in lightning speed,
Out of the bowl of smog, of high rise arches;
Incommunicado by modern tools, missing.

Oh, sweet sense of abandon, derelict from cares of the world,
Fugitive from civilization - that which humans are bound,
And captive, outcast he who takes Henry Thoreau's stand,
Who follows the trail where footprints are few and seldom new;
Lost - one is called who has found his freedom.

Oh, sweet sense of abandon, and here bare and naked,
The amenities of the Good Life, a hut for a condominium;
A pond for a swimming pool, dugout for a car or train;
Doors and windows open to let the fresh air in,
The breeze through the trees, the silence of peace.

Oh, sweet sense of abandon, is this they call progress?
Where is unity and harmony in isolation?
Thousands, nay millions, leave the throng to escape
Daily grind, morals and rules they fear to break -
Is this exodus to simple living?

Oh, sweet sense of abandon, you may be true but deceiving,
When the world is dying on land, water and sky,
Culture engulfed by material wealth controlled by few,
Bombs ticking in poverty and war and technology,
And in some corner of Eden, too. ~

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ruins of a Sunken Pier

Idleness and uselessness are a duo in the art of waste.
Dr Abe V Rotor

Puerto, Sto Domingo, Ilocos Sur (Megabooks)

No, it was not the big gun
that brought you down; 
it was old Lamarckian 
who brought in the clown.

When not in use, a thing
degenerates into nothing;
once a rudiment,
it is a useless instrument.

The limbs of a reptile,
the coccyx of the tail,
Intramuros or Great Wall
are of no use at all.

Idleness and uselessness
are a duo in the art of waste;
great indeed is loss in disuse,
the grey matter's no excuse. ~

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Make your own "walis tingting" (coconut midrib broom)

Dr Abe V Rotor 

Coconut trees are thinned every harvest.  The over mature leaves are harvested for fuel, basket for bag (bayong) and mat (banig).  The leaf is also used in making sinambong (rice cake enclosed with woven coconut leaf). It is the midrib that is the subject of this lesson. 
The midrib is picked directly from from the frond, first by separating it from the lamina (leaf), then pulled out by hand. The crude midrib is cleaned with knife, air dried and bundled.   

Broom makers proudly display their freshly made walis tingting which will dry up and ready for use in a few days. A broom may cost from P20 to P50 depending  on the size of the bundle and market. 

 Parade participants from Tahanan Walang Hagdanan, a center for the disabled in Cainta, Rizal, with their coconut midrib brooms, “Walis Tingting” (Internet).

Monday, November 17, 2014

Garden as Insect Laboratory

Garden as Insect Laboratory
Dr Abe V Rotor

NOTE: Entomology (study of insects) is best studied in the field in order to gain on-site and hands-on experience. A school garden, such as the former Eco Sanctuary of Saint Paul University QC, UST Botanical Garden Manila, Miriam College ecological garden QC, serve the purpose for regular field work. Ideally, schools with sprawling campuses are ideal. Ateneo de Manila University for one, and University of the Philippines Diliman, and of course, UP Los Banos in Laguna. I wrote this article at the former Eco Sanctuary of SPUQC sometime in the 1998.

Daddy-long-legs, relative of the mosquito, quakes continuously when at rest by swaying its body back and forth in all directions, causing blurred view to a would-be attacker, and mesmerizing a potential prey. In the open, such optical illusion is enhanced by the shadow of the moving organism. Note the hind pair of wings reduced into halteres or balancer, characteristic of Dipterans. There is another kind of daddy-long-legs which belongs to Arachnida.
With increasing population, traffic and commerce all around a community, there is one place, a garden, that offers a wildlife sanctuary, specially insects. Here they live freely in the trees and shrubs, on annuals, inside the greenhouses, around the ponds, in loamy soil, and in the shade of buildings, and even visit homes seeking a suitable abode.

I have the feeling that of all animals, insects are the most adapted to the varied aspects of human activities, from the sound of hurrying feet to soft echoes of prayer and hymns – and loud music. When there are humans around, insects feed on morsels, paper and crayons, drink on fruit juices and beer. They aestivate in flower pots and boxes to tide with the harsh summer months. Or hibernate when the cold Siberian High comes. I think Pavlov’s conditioned learning works with insects as well.

 Interestingly, as an entomologist, I have been monitoring the insects in some gardens, listing down a good number of species that include those not readily found elsewhere. These include a giant click beetle, a rhinoceros beetle with horns resembling a triceratops, Ficus pollinating wasp, leaf-curling thrips of ikmo, long horned grasshoppers, sulfur and Papilio butterflies.

A brood of stink bug nymphs (Nezara viridula) on sweet potato which dried up as a consequence of their feeding.  Stink bugs suck thje sap of their host plant.  

Well, it is a fact that there is no escape from insects - good or bad ones. In terms of species, there are 7 insects out of 10 animal’s organisms of earth. Insects comprise 800,000 kinds and scientists estimate that their kin - lobster shrimps, spiders, ticks, centipedes, millipedes and scorpions if these were to be added, the phylum to which they all belongs, Phylum Arthropoda, would comprise 80 percent of all animals organisms. To compare, plants make up only one-half million species.

What secrets have insects in dominating the animal world, and surpassing the geologic history of dinosaurs, fishes, mammals and even some mollusks?

Well look at the ants, termites, and bees, the so-called social insects. Their caste system is so intact and strict that is was long regarded as a model of man’s quest for a perfect society. It inspired the building of highly autocratic empires like Egyptian and Roman Empires, and the monarchial Aztecs, Inca and Mayan civilizations.

Antlion's traps. The predatory larva of this Neuropteran (Dendroleon obsoletum) lies buried at the bottom of the pit waiting for an unwary ant to fall and become its meal. The adult resembles the damselfly.

Take the case of the butterflies and moths. Their active time is not only well defined - diurnal or nocturnal, but their food is highly specific to a plant or group of plants and their parts. Their life cycles allow either accelerated or suspended metamorphosis depending on the prevailing conditions of the environment, a feat no other animal can do more efficiently.

One time my students gathered around me by the ponds. There I explained to them the bizarre life of the dragonfly, once a contemporary of the dinosaur. Its young called nymph is a fearful hunter in water as the adult is in air. Apparently this is the reason on how it got its legendary name. I showed them the weapons of insects: the preying mantis carries a pair of ax-and-vise, a bee brandishes a poisonous dagger, while a tussock moth is cloaked with stinging barbs, a stink bug sprays corrosive acid on eyes or skin. The weevil has an auger snout, the grasshopper grins with shear-like mandibles, and the mosquito tucks in a long, contaminated needle.

Artistic representation of a damsel fly, Museum of Natural History, Mt Makiling Botanical Garden, UPLB Laguna

We examined a beetle. Our thought brought us to the medieval age. A knight in full battle gear! Chitin, which makes up its armor called exoskeleton, has not been successfully copied in the laboratory. So with the light of the firefly, the most efficient of all lights on earth.

Wait until you hear this! Aphids, scale insects and some dipterans, are capable of paedogenesis, that is, the ability of immature insects to produce young even before reaching maturity!

Numbers, numbers, numbers. This is the secret of survival and dominance in the biological world. King Solomon is wise indeed in halting his army so that another army - an army of ants can pass. Killer ants and killer bees destroy anything that impedes their passage, including livestock - and human.

Invisibility is another key to insect survival and dominance. Have you examined the inside of leaf galls in santol, Ficus and ikmo? Well, you need a microscope to see the culprit - thrips or red mites. I demonstrated to my students how insects, being very small, can ride on the wind and current, find easy shelter, and are less subjected to injury when they fall. Also, insects require relatively less energy than bigger organisms do. All of these contribute to their persistence and worldwide distribution. Insects surely are among the ultimate survivors of a disaster.
In an article I wrote, A Night of Music in a Garden I described Nature’s musicians, the cricket and the katydid. While their sounds are music to many of us they are totally coded sounds similar to our communications. Cicadas, beetles, grasshopper, have their own “languages”, and in the case of termites and bees, their language is in the form of chemical signals known as pheromones. It is from them that we are learning pheromones in humans.

A Walking Stick, a perfect example of  mimicry. (Former SPUQC Eco Sanctuary)

Without insects, we are certain to miss our sweetest sugar which is honey, the finest fabric which is silk, the mysterious fig (Smyrna fig) which is an exotic fruit. We would be having less and less of luscious fruits, succulent vegetables, the reddest dye, unique flavor in cheese, and most likely we will not have enough food to eat because insects are the chief pollinators, and main food of fishes and other animals. They are major links in the food chains and food webs, the columns of a biological Parthenon.

Without insects, the earth would be littered with dead bodies of plants and animals. Insects are the co-workers of decomposition with bacteria and fungi as they prepare for the life of the next generation by converting dead tissues into organic materials and ultimately into their inorganic forms. Together they help bridge the living and the non-living world.

A garden without bees and butterflies mirrors a scenario of the biblical fall. And if the other creatures in that garden strayed away from its beautiful premises as our first forebears began their wandering, they too, must have learned the true values of life, which they share to us today.
Green Beetle

Beautiful is the verse from A Gnat and a Bee, an Aesop fables. To wit:

“The wretch who works not for his daily bread,
Sighs and complains, but ought not to be fed.
Think, when you see stout beggars on their stand,
The lazy are the locusts of the land.”

In The Ant and the Grasshopper, Aesop, acting like a father with a rod in hand, warns. He was referring to the happy-go-lucky grasshopper.

“Oh now, while health and vigour still remain,
Toil, toil, my lad, to purchase honest again!
Shun idleness! Shun pleasure’s tempting snare!
A youth of rebels breeds age of care.”

Ecologically insects are the barometer of the kind of environment we live in. A pristine environment attracts beneficial insects, while a spoilt one breeds pests and diseases

I have yet to see a firefly in a city garden. I remember an article in Renato Constantino’s series of publications, Issues Without Tears. Its title is, You don’t See Fireflies Anymore, a prophesy of doom, a second to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.

Maybe. But I have not lost hope. Someday, a flicker in the night may yet come from a firefly and not from a car or cigarette - if only others will share with me the same optimism. ~

Ficus pseudopalma and its exclusive wasp pollinator, a classical example of co-evolution. Only this species of wasp can pollinate and subsequently fertilize the introverted flower of this fig plant. Wasp is magnified 20x under a compoung miucroscope.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

24 Ways to Build a "Children of Nature" Culture

Let us prepare our children heroes for the environment, martyrs for our dying Mother Earth. Heaven is regained Paradise on earth.

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