Monday, February 23, 2015

Dialogue with the butterfly

Dr Abe V Rotor
                                          Anna Christina with friendly butterflies

Fly me to your world, oh butterfly,
     where flows the Pierian Spring,
the fountain of youth eternal,
     where Sylphids dance and sing.

I'd rather wish to be in your garden,    
     foe and friend yet we're one,
where the tree of knowledge blooms,
     nurtured by rain and sun.

I cannot reach for the rainbow,
     neither can I make one,
but you, by your wings and wand,
     build the biggest crown.

Your sense of beauty’s not ours,
     fleeting and elusive,
ephemeral to your senses all,
    before it is perceived.

Just for once, oh butterfly, to leave  
     the home of my ancestor,
I shall cease to ask another favor    
     nor crave for more. 

       Then I shall fly no more in your garden; 
            the flowers will die with the fountain,
       and all that lives shall crave the same

            with nothing to hope and gain. ~

Outstanding Thesis on Ethnobotany in Australia

Dr Abe V Rotor

Rocielie Valencia visits a store in Darwin, Northern Australia, while conducting a research leading to a Masteral degree in biology from De La Salle University DasmariƱas. Her thesis on the ethnic uses of indigenous plants was adjudged outstanding thesis this year by DLSU. While people are introduced into modern living, move in to cities, and gain affluence, the traditional sources of food, medicine, clothing, fuel, constructional and industrial materials are still very important in their lives. In fact, all over the world people are looking back at alternatives to artificial and highly processed goods, that are natural, safe, affordable and readily available, thus re-opening the door to traditional and ethnic science, among them ethnobotany.

Ms Rocielie Valencia gained confidence and trust from the aborigines as well as immigrants from different parts of the world in Northern Australia, particularly Filipinos in conducting her research which proved that plants indigenous to the place continue to play a major role in the maintenance of health and welfare, as well as the quaintness of living, among members of a mixed community - contrary to belief that postmodernism has virtually eliminated ethnicity in the many facets of everyday living and of society in general. ~

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bleeding Heart of the Forest

"Oh, the bleeding drops of red
where once a forest stood,
barren, cold and dead..."
(Adapted from O Captain, My Captain by Walt Whitman)
Dr Abe V Rotor

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

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

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

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

It is I, Homo spiritus, the praying man,
mysteries I submit, mistakes I atone,
I, too, have a heart that bleeds,
the essence of being human. ~

FOR SALE: P5,950, with Frame and Poem, with complimentary copy of Dr Rotor's book, Light in the Woods in Poetry and Photographs (coffee table book in color).  Pick it up at the fifth floor, National Food Authority c/o Mrs Cecilia R Rotor, SRA Bldg. North Avenue. QC (back of Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center).  Contact: 4544603 (NFA), 09193575581 or 9396331.  Proceeds will be of great help to Living with Nature on blog and radio. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Harmony of Nature and Human Music

Dr Abe V Rotor
Singing cicadas. How many are they in this photo? Only the male sings and attracts the female. A beautiful song brings in two or more potential mates such as the case in this photo.

Katydid, (left) a long horned grasshopper (Phaneroptera furcifera), and the field cricket (Acheta bimaculata) are the world's most popular fiddlers in the insect world.
Ethnic music makes a wholesome life; it is therapy.

Have you ever noticed village folks singing or humming as they attend to their chores? They have songs when rowing the boat, songs when planting or harvesting, songs of praise at sunrise, songs while walking up and down the trail, etc. Seldom is there an activity without music. To them the sounds of nature make a wholesome music.

According to researcher Leonora Nacorda Collantes, of the UST graduate school, music influences the limbic system, called the “seat of emotions” and causes emotional response and mood change. Musical rhythms synchronize body rhythms, mediate within the sphere of the autonomous nervous and endocrine systems, and change the heart and respiratory rate. Music reduces anxiety and pain, induces relaxation, thus promoting the overall sense of well being of the individual.

Identify the sounds of nature in this painting, translate them into notes. Arrange the notes into melody, and expand it into a composition.Try with an instrument - guitar, piano, violin, flute. This is your composition.

Music is closely associated with everyday life among village folks more than it is to us living in the city. The natives find content and relaxation beside a waterfall, on the riverbank, under the trees, in fact there is to them music in silence under the stars, on the meadow, at sunset, at dawn. Breeze, crickets, running water, make a repetitious melody that induces sleep. Humming indicates that one likes his or her work, and can go on for hours without getting tired at it. Boat songs make rowing synchronized. Planting songs make the deities of the field happy, so they believe; and songs at harvest are thanksgiving. Indeed the natives are a happy lot.
Farm animals respond favorably to music, so with plants.

In a holding pen in Lipa, Batangas, where newly arrived heifers from Australia were kept, the head rancher related to his guests the role of music in calming the animals. “We have to acclimatize them first before dispersing them to the pasture and feedlot.” He pointed at the sound system playing melodious music. In the duration of touring the place I was able to pick up the music of Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven and Bach. It is like being in a high rise office in Makati where pipe in music is played to add to pleasant ambiance of working. Scientists believe that the effect of music on humans has some similarity with that of animals, and most probably to plants.

Which brings us to the observation of a winemaker in Vienna. A certain Carlo Cagnozzi has been piping Mozart music to his grapevines for the last five years. He claims that playing round the clock to his grapes has a dramatic effect. “The grapes ripen faster,” he said, adding that it also keeps away parasites, fruit bats and birds. Scientists are now studying this claim to enlarge the limited knowledge on the physiological and psychological effects of music on plants and animals.

Once I asked a poultry raiser in Teresa, Rizal, who also believes in music therapy. “The birds grow faster and produce more eggs,” he said. “In fact music has stopped cannibalism.” I got the same positive response from cattle raisers where the animals are tied to their quarters until they are ready for market. “They just doze off, even when they are munching,” he said, adding that tension and unnecessary movement drain the animals wasting feeds that would increase the rate of daily weight gain. In a report from one of the educational TV programs, loud metallic noise stimulates termites to eat faster, and therefore create more havoc.

There is one warning posed by the proponents of music therapy. Rough and blaring music agitates the adrenalin in the same way rock music could bring down the house.

The enchantment of ethnic music is different from that of contemporary music.

Each kind of music has its own quality, but music being a universal language, definitely has commonalities. For example, the indigenous lullaby, quite often an impromptu, has a basic pattern with that of Brahms’s Lullaby and Lucio San Pedro’s Ugoy ng Duyan (Sweet Sound of the Cradle). The range of notes, beat, tone, expression - the naturalness of a mother half-singing, half-talking to her baby, all these create a wholesome effect that binds maternal relationship, brings peace and comfort, care and love.
Serenades from different parts the world have a common touch. Compare Tosselli’s Serenade with that of our Antonio Molina’s Hating Gabi (Midnight) and you will find similarities in pattern and structure, exuding the effect that enhances the mood of lovers. This quality is more appreciated in listening to the Kundiman (Kung Hindi Man, which means, If It Can’t Be). Kundiman is a trademark of classical Filipino composers, the greatest of them, Nicanor Abelardo. His famous compositions are

· Bituin Marikit (Beautiful Star)
· Nasaan Ka Irog (Where are You My Love)
· Mutya ng Pasig (Muse of the River Pasig)
· Pakiusap (I beg to Say)

War drums on the other hand, build passion, heighten courage, and prepare the mind and body to face the challenge. It is said that Napoleon Bonaparte taught only the drumbeat of forward, and never that of retreat, to the legendary Drummer Boy. As a consequence, we know what happened to the drummer boy. Pathetic though it may be, it's one of the favorite songs of Christmas.

Classical music is patterned after natural music.

The greatest composers are nature lovers – Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and our own Abelardo, Molina, Santiago, and San Pedro. Beethoven, the greatest naturalist among the world’s composers was always passionately fond of nature, spending many long holidays in the country. Always with a notebook in his pocket, he scribbled down ideas, melodies or anything he observed. It was this love of the countryside that inspired him to write his famous Pastoral Symphony. If you listen to it carefully, you can hear the singing of birds, a tumbling waterfall and gamboling lambs. Even if you are casually listening you cannot miss the magnificent thunderstorm when it comes in the fourth movement.

Lately the medical world took notice of Mozart music and found out that the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart music can enhance brain power. In a test conducted, a student who listened to the Sonata in D major for Two Pianos performed better in spatial reason. Mozart music was also found to reduce the frequency of seizure among coma patients, improved the interaction of autistic children, and is a great help to people who are suffering of Alzheimer’s disease. The proponents of Mozart’s music call this therapeutic power Mozart Effect.

What really is this special effect? A closer look at it shows similar therapeutic effect with many sounds like the noise of the surf breaking on the shore, rustling of leaves in the breeze, syncopated movement of a pendulum, cantabile of hammock, and even in the silence of a cumulus cloud building in the sky. It is the same way Mozart repeated his melodies, turning upside down and inside out which the brain loves such a pattern, often repeated regularly. about the same length of time as brain-wave patterns and those that govern regular bodily functions such as breathing and walking. It is this frequency of patterns in Mozart music that moderates irregular patterns of epilepsy patients, tension-building hormones, and unpleasant thoughts.

No one tires with the rhythm of nature – the tides, waves, flowing rivulets, gusts of wind, bird songs, the fiddling of crickets, and the shrill of cicada. In the recesses of a happy mind, one could hear the earth waking up in spring, laughing in summer, yawning in autumn and snoring in winter – and waking up again the next year, and so on, ad infinitum. ~

And, of course the Caruso in the animal kingdom - the frog. Here a pair of green pond frogs, attracted by their songs which are actually mating calls, will soon settle down in silent mating that last for hours.~

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Time and Music Stood Still

Dr Abe V Rotor


Century old German violin, Ulbrich Tatter, attacked by wood beetles. Fortunately only the violin case was  damaged; the violin has retained its timbre and melodious sound. A personal collection of the author. The violin is still used in teaching kids in the neighborhood.       

Childhood and old age - how far apart
     by time, and music silence by it,
save blood curdling sounds in the night,
     of tiny beetles gnawing bit by bit.

When at sunrise the world an Edvard Grieg born,
     at sundown a Mozart's requiem;
and the world an audience in the night 
     to Edgar Allan Poe's scary game.  

Life, how wasted in the hands of many.
     with neither ear,  nor joy, nor love,
for music more than a Bacchus flair, 
      buoys the spirit, the heart to throb.
Life, if ever by time and music denied,
     has yet its golden rays all to cast;
And remembering Longfellow's tale of Acadie,
     the past always comes back to us . ~


Death-watch beetle, and its close relative powder post beetle,
Xestobium rufovillosum and Anobium punctatum, receptively.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wheels of Faith

Mural and Poem by Dr Abe V Rotor

                         Wheels of Rainbow in acrylic, showing details (5ft x 8 ft) AVR, June 6, 2012
For the Interfaith Center, University of Santo Tomas, Manila

They come through prism splitting the light of heaven,
     In joyful, glorious colors of seven,
Each color the color of life in joy and sorrow,
     Today and the promise of tomorrow,

Wheels of fate to wheels of destiny in man’s hand,
     They all come down to the faithful in band,
Through time and space on the road of man’s lifetime,
     Whether this or another or over the clime.

Old as they may or new, while others are yet to be born,
     Their origin is the same – goodness sworn;
Passport to the way beyond this life each one must earn    
     Above the material, blind faith and yearn. 

They come down in gears spinning, large and small
     Moving constantly bouncing like a ball,
The essence of competition, the essence of oneness,
     How one plays in compassion and goodness.

Claim for heaven alone by the book and tongue is falsehood,
     Veering from the chain peace and unity should;
Poor orphan of humanity, the very core of faith,
     Forlorn, and man returns to his own fate.

But where is heaven, what is the afterlife, ask the people,
     As they look at the sky and the totem pole,
And losing faith they break away from the holy bond,
     Alas! walk down the road of a vagabond. 

They pray for heaven to come down, out from the blue,
     The long Promise to billions waiting to be true,
Where the discs as one on some fertile ground must grow
     Into one Eden arched by the rainbow. ~

Views from a High Rise

Dr Abe V Rotor

Retreat Center, Lipa, Batangas
One sweep of the magic wand
By the hand that drives the wheel,
That makes chips out of raw sand
While time flies, is never still.

Spring is when birds sing, when bloom
The cherry, when it's time to wake;
Long are the days away from gloom -
To beauty, the views they make.

Through the window of a high rise,
Poor is the sight, sad is the song;
To nature before its demise,
Like gem lying deep unknown.

Seasons seep in and swiftly go
Across the forest, over the reef;
Through the veil of the window
Creation's wonder is brief.

Abstract figures crowd the mind,
Painting imagery anew;
And leaving the old behind,
While a new world comes to view. ~

Monday, February 16, 2015

Premium Basi Wine - Signature of San Vicente, Ilocos Sur

Premium Basi Wine - Signature of San Vicente, Ilocos Sur 
Dr Abe V Rotor 

Basi wine keeps up with the evolving market.  Related wine products from chico, mango, caimito and other native fruits), and the famous Ilocos Vinegar (Sukang Iloko) proudly stand among local and imported brands. Samples of San Vicente products in tourists shops in Vigan, UNESCO Heritage City, and recently one of the new seven wonder cities of the world.  

Basi Revolt 1807 was fought along the Bantaoay River which runs through the town of San Vicente Ilocos Sur. Bantaoay is a barangay of San Vicente. 
 17th Century church named after San Vicente de Ferrer, patron saint of the town.  

  Basi is aged from one to ten years in glazed jars (burnay) capped with clay.  Basi is bottled and labeled. 

Personalized basi: Historical labels; wedding gift  

For more information, contact the author at 09193575581 or land line 9396331

24 Ways of Building 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, dynamic stability (homeostasis)

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. Resurgence of instability is happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Gaza Strip, Sudan.  The Philippines wakes up to the greatest scandal in government in its history - Pork Barrel (PDAP) and Development Acceleration Program (DAP). 

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.

“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!

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 lamentss, 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 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.

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’m the captain of my soul.” And this is what we want our children to become – but only when they are CHILDREN OF NATURE. ~

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Basket of Joy

Dr Abe V Rotor

La Trinidad Valley (Benguet) - home of strawberry

Love the valley, rain and chilly air,
the spirit they buoy;
Time, be patient to the young and fair
in a basket of joy. ~

Banana leaves - the best food wrapper: practical, multi-purpose and environment-friendly.

Dr Abe V Rotor
Banana plant (Musa sapientum L) Cavendish variety; leaves and blossom sold in the market.

Banana leaves make the best food wrapper. It is practical, multipurpose, aromatic and environment-friendly.

Imagine if there were no banana leaves to make these favorite delicacies: suman, tupig, bucayo, bibingka, patupat, puto, tinubong, biko-biko, and the like. We would be missing their characteristic flavor and aroma, and their indigenous trade mark. So with a lot of recipes like paksiw na isda, lechon, tamales and rice cooked with banana leaves lining. Banana leaves have natural wax coating which aid in keeping the taste and aroma of food, while protecting it from harmful microbes.

 Preparing leaf for tamales, first by wilting it over fire, wrapping fish (dilis) with spice and salt, finally steaming.

In the elementary, we used banana leaves as floor polish. The wax coating makes wooden floors as shiny as any commercial floor wax sans the smell of turpentine. Banana leaves when wilted under fire exude a pleasant smell. When ironing clothes use banana leaves on the iron tray. It makes ironing cleaner and smoother, and it imparts a pleasant, clean smell to clothes and fabric.

This is how to prepare banana leaf wrapper.

1. Select the tall saba variety or other varieties.

2. Get the newly mature leaves. Leave half of the leaf to allow plant to recover. Regulate the harvesting of young leaves as this will affect the productivity of the plant.

3. Wilt the gathered leaves by passing them quickly over fire or live charcoal until they are limp and oily. Avoid smoky flame as this will discolor the leaves and impart a smoky smell (napanu-os).

4. Wipe both sides of the leaves with clean soft cloth until they are glossy and clean.

5. Cut wilted leaves with desired size, shape and design. Arrange to enhance presentation and native ambiance.

Keep in your backyard at least a hill of banana (mother plant cum tillers), preferably saba variety, and you will have all the things that the banana provides - ripe fruits, green fruits for flour and pesang dalag, trunk for ties, rope and padding, puso or heart for kare-kare.

And most important, the leaves - they make the best food wrapper. ~

Other leaf-wrappers
  • Gabi (laing)
  • Mango leaves (tamales)
  • Woven coconut leaves (sinambong)
  • Buri palm (suman)
  • Pandan (kanin, arroz valenciana)
References: Wikipedia, Living with Folk Wisdom, AV Rotor

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Fr Jose Burgos Achievement Awardees 2015

Award conferred on Ilocano scientist, 12 others in ongoing 2015 Kannawidan Ylocos Festival

This article is a tribute to Fr. Jose Burgos, Filipino martyr who championed the cause of the native clergy, on the occasion of his birth and death anniversary which falls in the month of February (Feb 9, 1837 – Feb 17, 1872) 

2015 Fr Jose P Burgos Achievement Awardees with provincial officials of Ilocos Sur. Dr Rotor is seen at the center, uppermost row. 

VIGAN CITY, Feb.4 (PNA) — A well-known Ilocano book author and scientist led 13 sons and daughters of Ilocos Sur who made their province proud in their chosen fields of endeavor received this year’s prestigious “Father Jose Burgos Awards” from Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Luis Singson.
Singson conferred the Father Jose Burgos achievement award on Dr. Abercio Rotor, a native of San Vicente, Ilocos Sur in a simple rite Sunday at the President Quirino Stadium during the on-going 8th Kannawidan Ylocos Festival in Vigan, which began January 29 and will end February 13. 

Rotor was an award-winning author of “The Living with Nature Handbook” (Gintong Aklat Award 2003) and “Living with Nature in Our Times” (National Book Award 2008).

Rotor is presently professor of the University of Santo Tomas; school-on-air instructor, (Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid, winner of Gawad Oscar Florendo for Development Communication) DZRB 738 KHzAM Band, 8 to 9 o’clock evening, Monday to Friday.), an outstanding teacher in the Philippines (Commission on Higher Education – CHED 2002); a Filipino scientist (DOST-Batong Balani);

He was also former director of the National Food Authority and consultant on food and agriculture of the Senate of the Philippines.

Other Father Burgos Awardees were Dr. Florencio Padernal, the incumbent administrator of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), for public service; Justice Mansueto Villon, for foreign service; Rowena Adalla, for education; Leonardo Aguinaldo, for arts; Danilo Bautista, for Iluko literature; Professor Ocarna Figuerres, for education and research; Dr. Samson Sol Flores, for dentistry and philanthropy; and Professor Mario Obrero, for education and research.

Dr Abercio V Rotor (holding trophy) and family pose with provincial leaders led by Governor Ryan Singson (4th from right) after receiving the Fr Jose Burgos Achievement award.

Special Father Jose Burgos awardees were given to Engineer Alberto Balbalan and family, model OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker of Burgos, Ilocos Sur; Amelita Daproza, for agriculture; Lovely Ann Joy Lazo and Samantha Gloria Singson, both for academics.

Singson said that this year’s awardees were some of the Ilocos Surians, who have excelled in their fields of expertise and whose achievements will continue to inspire the young generations in the province.

The conferment of the Father Jose Burgos Award, the most prestigious award for residents- achievers from Ilocos Sur, started in 2008 under the term of then Governor Deogracias Victor B. Savellano which was made as one of the main highlights in the first Kannawidan Ylocos Festival that commemorated the 190th foundation day of Ilocos Sur as separate province by virtue of a Spanish Royal Decree on February 2, 1818. (PNA)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Valentines Story

Dr Abe V Rotor

Here is a story of a computer enthusiast, who, like the modern student of today, relies greatly on this electronic gadget, doing his school work so conveniently like downloading data for his assignment. So one day he worked on his assigned topic – love.

He printed the word and set the computer to define for him L-O-V-E. Pronto the computer came up with a hundred definitions and in different languages.

Remembering his teacher’s instruction to ask, “How does it feel to be in love?” again he set the computer to respond. And you know what?

After several attempts, the computer printed on its screen in big letters:

“I can not feel.”

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Let’s Draw a House - A Drawing Exercise

Dr Abe V Rotor

On a piece of paper (preferably one half bond paper, draw a house. Imagine it to be your own – your dream house you wish to live in, and to raise a family.

Concentrate as you draw. Observe silence. Do not compare your work with your seatmates. You have five minutes to do it.

Native huts in Africa are built in compounds, showing close kinship and tribal culture.  

Now let us see how good your house is. Put a check for every item that appears in your drawing.

1. Your house has complete parts: posts, roof, floor, walls, windows, stairs, door, etc.

2. Your house is strong, solid and durable, proportional in parts and design to withstand the elements of nature and time.

3. Your house is surrounded by trees, flowering plants and vegetables. Its front and backyard make a beautiful garden.

4. There are people – preferably a family – to give semblance of a home – a happy home.

5. There are other creatures around, like birds, butterflies dogs and other pets.

6. There are Facilities and appliances like TV, car, decors, curtain, playground,
decorative fence, grills and gate, garden pond, etc.

7. Your drawing has a good artistic quality of the drawing, including architecture of the
house and its surroundings.

8. Your house is a part of the landscape, that is in relation of the sky, fields and meadow, mountain, river and lake.

9. The drawing paper is fully utilized with no space wasted, of course in relation to the theme.

10. There are neighbors around.

Score: Each check is equivalent to 10 points or percent. How did you fare?
 Tree House, Rosario LU; Vacation houses, New England. 
 Modern community, Shanghai.