Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Image in a Lost Forest

Dr Abe V Rotor
Holy Image in a forest (Internet)

A staccato of chirping meets the breeze and sunrise,
waking the butterflies, unveiled by the rising sun,
rush the stream where fish play with the sunbeam
and the rainforest becomes a stage one cannot miss.

John Milton wrote his masterpiece of Paradise,
Ludwig Beethoven composed minuet and serenade,
Jean Fabre and Edwin Teale with lens in hand
discovered the inner world Jules Verne didn't see, 
and Aldo Leopold's ecosystem unity.

But that was long time ago, and progress is now the game,
taking to the streets, marching uphill and up the mountains -
there giant machines roar, ugly men at the helm;
folly, ignorance and greed are one and same. 

Forest rangers patrol the Ipo Dam watershed in Norzagaray town. The Philippines is a tropical Southeast Asian nation of more than 7,000 islands that has lost more than half its forest cover over the past century.
Amazon forest illegally logged and subsequently, to be converted into swiden farm (Kaingin).

Click Beetle - Living Catapult

Dr Abe V Rotor
Click Beetle (kuddo Ilk) Family Elateridae, Order Coleoptera*

Sweet memories brings a wit long laid,
when I was a child I played,
your game of click-click-click,
telling me if life's bright or bleak.

I asked how many friends or money I had,
by clicking, I knew what you said;
and pressing your breast, my wish implied,
all I wanted, you complied. 

*The thorax-abdomen joint  is equipped with a catapult lock. When released it produces a clicking sound and the force it creates can bring back the insect from upside to normal position.

Green Cross in the Sky

Dr Abe V Rotor

Umbrella Tree (talisay) - Terminalia catappa, San Vicente, Ilocos Sur
You lost your crown, but not your glory,
your function as umbrella tree;
 a ladder leans abandoned and empty;
is this symbol of man being free?

  If this is lesson to remind of man's folly 
and pride against the Almighty,
rise up on a Hill that was once holy 
for all humanity to see. ~

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Surreal World of Make-Believe

What is art when deceived of reality in a living world?

Dr Abe V Rotor
     A surreal world of make-believe. 

Oh, art, what is art, when deceived
     of reality in a living world,
when fantasy is reality conceived 
     of beauty in color and word? 

Where has the old familiar pond gone,
     willows hiding its island and shore, 
fish bubbling, splashing in the sun   
     to greet the day and sky's azure?

Ask the doomed ducks and their offspring -
     of what use a pond dies for, 
the artist surreal in thoughts and being, 
     who claims to be the Creator. ~

30 Disturbing Views: "We are trapped in a quagmire - and sinking."

It's time to restore sanity and save ourselves from the quicksand syndrome. 
Dr Abe V Rotor 

Here are photos taken with a palm size camera from the front seat of a passenger car.  Come up with advocacy to make our world a better place to live in. What is your contribution to save us from collective downfall?  

(1) "Mother and child" on the street.
(2) "Clean your car boy" in heavy traffic. 

(3) Squatting on the street - special privilege or tolerance.    

(4) Loading and unloading while vehicle is in motion. 

(5) Multiple Advertisement.  mobile window shopping. 

(6) Save romance in a private place. 

(7) World report: Major cause of road accident distracting road advertisements. 

(8) Overloaded passenger jeepney - one for the Book of Guinness   

(10) Concrete barriers bear marks of accidents - and death. 

(11) Padyak tricycle takes the city streets 

(12)  No warning signs and demarcation. No traffic aide.  No workers.   

13. Traffic jam. Truck ban and color coding violation. 

(14) Highly flammable loose LPG tanks  - keep distance! 

(15) Traffic accident argument builds traffic jam. 

(16) Moving tower of softdrinks. Take the backseat leaning tower of Pisa. 

(17) These boys prefer the street than the school.  

(18) Super jeepney, super driver, super clingers rolled in one.  

(19) A street corner scene depicts quaintness and passivity of life, needs  revision of street rules and regulations.    

(20) Scene from a bridge. Where has the estero gone?  Squatting on waterways.

(21) Overloading a familiar scene, okay lang all the way.

(22) Rallyists rule the street.

(23) Rolling billboard - cause of accidents, holdups, a camouflage for dilapidated buses.  Who is collecting the fee?   

(24) Underpass waterfalls. Quezon Ave-EDSA underpass 

(25) Simple road courtesy - just a little sensibility.

(26) Bathing in public from busted pipe. Just a simple decency.

                  (27) Death trap and "bouquet." Or is it wreath? A touch of Surrealism 

(28) Resistance to demolition of shanties along Agham Road, QC. 
29. A flag of anarchy flies.  
(30) Take a break with these mascots.  Wish they were real where the problems lie.  

A Day at the Museum of Natural History

"Museum is an arena of knowledge, attracting the scholars to talk about anything on earth, and beyond the stars." AVR

Dr Abe V Rotor

Skeleton of a tamaraw
Wall. wall, who is the most informed of all? 
History in a glass case
Whale, dead and alive - and threatened.
Kids' world in a natural world through arts 
Teachers on a field trip at the UPLB Museum of Natural History
Author leads group in a field lecture

Museum is...

Museum is where time stands still and the world goes back 
into the realm of the past resurrected by fossil and artifact;

Museum is a capsule of time and space that makes a tour
for the busy soul to break away from daily grind and chore;

Museum is where man's instinct yearning to know his origin 
as a human being comes to terms with unsettled beginning.

Museum is the showcase of biodiversity, past and present 
of the living world - prehistoric, the ancient and the recent;    

Museum is a diorama, fashioned by man's hand, aesthetic
and make-believe, his life in harmony, doubt and conflict;     

Museum is an arena of knowledge, attracting the scholars
to talk about anything on earth, and beyond the stars; 

Museum is a place of reflection where man draws humility 
from revelation, embracing both unknown and reality. 

Museum is a keyhole of a country's wealth and culture, 
a view of awe and beauty, achievements and rapport;

Museum is a center of peace, foreigners and citizens
converging into small United Nations of many friends.    

Museum is a place marked with neither beginning nor end,
it simply takes one into a journey of life down the bend. ~  

Photos were taken at the Museum of Natural History at the University of the Philippines at Los BaƱos, Laguna, 2007

A Field of Flowering Weeds,

Dr Abe V Rotor
A Field of Flowering Weeds, mural by AVR 2010

Dare to step on these lowly flowering weeds,
denied of decent place and defiled;
Save the deities by their magic wands succeed  
in bringing out Nature's hidden pride. ~

Monday, January 2, 2017

Pets Make Life More Meaningful

By Dell H Grecia
Women's Journal
In our daily lives, no one is spared from feelings of isolation, especially when in pursuit of our goals and dreams. But like legions of animal lovers, my friend Abe finds comfort in his pets: “It doesn't get too lonely when you have a loyal pet by your side.”
 Bugsy, a pug breed; Anna and her Spitz dog pet.

If you like animals and have the time and capacity to take care of one, then try having a pet. This was what I learned from my friend, Dr. Abe V. Rotor, a professor at the University of Santo Tomas graduate school and St. Paul University Quezon City. “Having pets is therapeutic,” he avers. They are there for you when everyone else is gone.

            In our daily lives, no one is spared from feelings of isolation, especially when in pursuit of goals and dreams. The more aggressive we are in pursuing our vision, the more chances we have that we’d encounter disappointment and frustration along the way. This is because not everyone shares your ideals.

            It takes more than intelligence to be aggressive; one has to be enterprising, a risk taker, adventurous, pioneering, and courageous enough to rich horizons ordinary people dare aspire for. It is also said that in our moments of glory, we strive for more. Yet, in our moments of defeat, we sink into the deepest recesses of our psyche, where hope - like sunlight in the deep - is dim.

            “You are alone at your lowest ebb,” reveals my friend Abe. “ But it doesn't get too lonely when you have a loyal pet by your side.” A pet dog, for instance, is not “man’s best friend” for nothing. Dogs are universally known to be capable of unconditional love, their loyalty and devotion to their masters unmatched by most human beings.

A. Pets Are Wonderful for your Well-Being

Caring for animals, however, is not a matter of merely acquiring one and having it around the house. Pets need nurturing, which goes beyond merely feeding and providing them shelter. In return, what we call “pet therapy” offers wonderful benefits to one’s health and well-being.
Oscar fish in a home   aquarium   
Here, my friend Abe reveals the role of pets in our lives.

1.      Pets bring back happy memories. You have advantage over city-bred children if you grew up in the province. Caring for pets fills a gap - they give you a sense of connectedness to animals you knew and loved before. A dog brings sweet memories of the time when you were a farmhand. A pet goldfish reminds you of the fish you use to catch in the rice paddies during monsoon season. Goats on the range, chicken roosting on a tree branch, a kingfisher patiently waiting for its prey by the river, Labang, the bullock chewing its cud while at rest-these are childhood scenarios pets evoke.

2. Take a vacation in the province. While on vacation take the country road, go to a farm and leave all traces of urban life.

            “I remember riding on the back of a carabao when I was a kid,” Abe relates. “Back then, time knew no limit, its pace sweetly dragged under the clear blue sky, or under a myriad of stars one didn’t bother to count. You became observant and discovered many things like the aestivating grasshopper and frogs, drawing figures on the clouds.

            “Somewhere a pandangera or fantail bird sang its praise and joy, a dalag or mudfish stirred in a calm mountain pond, sending ripples that made the red Nymphaea and lanky reeds sway and dance while a dragonfly was disturbed in its slumber.”
3.      Pets in the Wild. Not all pets rest on your lap, respond to your call, or depend entirely
 on your care.

            At home in Lagro, Quezon, City, I maintain several large trees creating a four-layer mini-forest that surrounds our house,” my friend Abe continues. “With the adjoining watershed of the La Mesa reservoir, which is a block away, birds come around regularly. Their songs make the sweetest alarm clock; you wake up without the suddenness of the mechanical ringing of the clock. On a still day, their calls make cheerful music that has a melody of its own.
                                                             Leo Carlo and his kid pet

            “There are those birds that pick on the ripe petals of the Ilang-ilang with their beak, thus releasing its fragrance in the air. They then drop the flowers onto the ground in make- believe rites.

            “The great painter Lanseer created his masterpiece, ‘Monarch of the Glen,’ from spotting a moose in the wild that apparently posed before him. The animal humbled the painter who put down his rifle and took out a pen and a piece of paper and sketched the magnificent creature. He renounced hunting for the rest of his life.”

4.      Pets are priceless. According to Abe, no one sells his pet, much more if it were a
family or community pet. Sometimes this becomes a problem.

            “At home,” Abe continues, “we fatten hito or catfish in our garden pond. After a few months they are ready for harvesting. By that time my children call them their pets- our pets- so their goes any plan of using the brand-new barbecue stand we bought for the purpose of grilling our fattened hito.

            “Yes, it is a paradox in the case of the dogs is seen as a gustatory delight.

  “We cannot justify this predilection for dog meat as part of culture or tradition as the practice is not confined to our indigenous people. In our times there are those who are driven by economic necessity.

            “At one time hundreds of letters were received by Congress, endorsing the passage of bill to prohibit the killing of dogs, more so the catching and rearing of dogs for food. As most of these letters came from the US and Europe, we can only appreciate the importance of dogs in the heart of the people who have a deep regard for pets - and a reverence for life. The bill was never passed.”

5. From dolls and toys to pets. When dolls and toys are no longer scattered on the floor and stairways but are neatly kept in cabinets and glass cases, Abe explains, we know adolescence has arrived for our children. It is a time of transition from childhood to adulthood, from fantasy to reality, sweet nothings to serious matters. It is no longer Alice in Wonderland but Sweet Valley High.

            Pets provide the bridge to this new phase in life to millions of adolescents. This is why pet shops abound. There is at least one pet shop in every mall, two or more around a public market or “busy center” in Metro Manila as shown in the survey made by Abe’s students in Field Zoology at the UST Graduate School.

   Aquarium fish vendor prepares his merchandise for the day.   

 Many more are strategically located around schools and churches, not to mention ambulant pet peddlers you meet on Sundays at busy sidewalks. These pet shops sells aquarium fish- from guppies to the giant aruwana,; common birds like maya (rest brown and grey with pink beaks known as mayang costa), lovebirds and parakeets. Four-legged pets include guinea pigs, hamsters and rabbits.~

*A Tribute to the late Dell H Grecia, veteran journalist