Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fish Incognito (Pointillism Art)

Painting and Poem by Dr Abe V Rotor

 A School of Grouper Fish (38" x 26"), AVR. Pointillism is an art style
of Impressionism in the later part of the 19th century in Europe by
French painter Seurat

Fish, tell me where you live, your home;
The ocean is so huge to be your own;
Fish answers: I am a fugitive in pursuit,
Hunted or hunter whichever may suit.    

Fish, tell me of your kin and your shoal;
How you live together as a school;
Fish answers: I live by the rules of the sea,
By number and luck, and by being free.  

Fish, tell me if I am friend to you, or a foe;
I gave you a name, regard you with awe;
Fish answers: Neither, I'd rather be unseen,
Far from the dreadful fate of your cuisine. ~ 


Painting and Poem by Dr. Abe V. Rotor

   Primordium in acrylic (38" x 26"), AVR 2011

I wonder at infinity in its very beginning,
of a primeval universe devoid of stars;
I wonder at the prima causa of time and space,
of energy and matter becoming living mass.

I wonder at the blueprint of a Supreme Design,  
if found the Big Bang and the Black Hole;
I wonder if there was a kinder universe before,
where Heaven and Earth were one and whole. ~

Thursday, June 27, 2013

New Horizon of Literature in our Postmodern World

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

Literature has come a long way through the traditional test of time until it inevitably entered into a sudden acceleration of change along other fields of endeavor. We are caught in a fast changing world brought about by breakthroughs in science and technology, the explosion of knowledge on the Internet, communication networking through social media, and globalization of nations and cultures into one homogenous village, so to speak.

This is the era of Postmodernism, which literally means “living tomorrow today” where everything seems to be moving in an “free fall,” borrowing the words of Dr Florentino H Hornedo, a foremost Filipino social scientist and UNESCO Commissioner.

Philippine Literature Today: A Travelogue Approach takes us into a journey along the path on which literature has come a long way, evolving with richer diversity in so short a time that generations, old and new alike, are brought together closer through the beauty and bounty of the subject of literature.

· Literature has come a long way from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables to Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere to Martin Luther’s King’s I Have a Dream;

· from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to Francisco Balagtas’ Florante at Laura to Spielberg’s Jurassic Park;

· Aesop’s Fables and Grimm Brothers’ Cinderella to Severino Reyes’ Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang to Disneyland’s animated characters.

· Ben Jonson’s Song to Celia to Leona Florentino’s Rukruknoy to Telenobela;

· Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey to Pedro Bucaneg’s Biag ni Lam-ang to Flash Gordon and Starwars; and

· from Nostrodamus: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow to Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock to Higg’s Boson: Link of Energy and Matter.

Philippine Literature aims at guiding students, in the light of present day trends, to trace back the foundation of literature’s basic tenets and principles and preserve its integrity and true essence. Four pillars of Philippine literature stand sentinel to help the students answer the question “Quo vadis?” To where are we heading for?

 Vanguards of Philippine Literature
  Four great Filipinos are acclaimed vanguards of Philippine Literature. The cover of the book, conceptualized and made by artist Leo Carlo R Rotor, depicts the theme of the book - travelogue in literature with these heroes.

· Jose Rizal on politico-socio-cultural subjects, including ecological, Rizal being an environmentalist while in exile in Dapitan, Misamis Oriental, Mindanao;

· Francisco Baltazar or Balagtas on drama and performing arts in general, fiction novels and plays, evolving into stage show and cinema;

· Severino Reyes or Lola Basyang on mythology, children’s stories, komiks, and a wealth of cartoons and other animations; and

· Leona Florentino, the Philippines’ Elizabeth Browning, Ella Wilcox, Emily Bronte et al, epitomizes the enduring classical literature.

Philippine Literature – A Travelogue Approach is a sequel to Humanities Today – An Experiential Approach by the same authors and publisher, literature being a major field of humanities, and that the teaching-learning approach adopted in both books is experiential and exploratory, and largely, on-site and hands-on. It is recommended that the latter be used as a reference in this subject.

These great Filipinos contributed immernsely to the making of a distinct kind of literature we proudly call our own. It is linked to a larger realm - the literature of the world, which embodies universal principles and values.

Literature is a conservatory of language and culture, and of the humanities. It is a repository of folk wisdom, beliefs and superstitions. It keeps alive the quaintness of social life. It is a treasure of any society.

But literature first of all, must be a "living" one. It builds ideas and thoughts. It strengthens character and instills discipline. To do so it must be understood by the people down to the grassroots – not for entertainment alone but for enlightenment and realization of life’s meaning. Literature indeed is, for and by the people.

.Literature is a builder of leaders - literary greats are leaders with the power of the pen, power of conviction with words, charisma akin to the “singer, not the song.” Or the “the master behind the masterpiece,” to whose name his work is named after. (Shakespearean, Aristotelian, Darwinian). Leaders are looked up to, in building other leaders as well, who continue the task, to carry on the torch and “guide the nation and people through the night ‘til dawn,” in the epilogue of Rizal’s great works.

· Literature is tested by time and change. It is a refuge to the lost, a way back home for a Prodigal Son. A lighthouse in a stormy sea, birds signaling an island must be near somewhere. It is a breeze in doldrums.

                                         Literature in changing times
We are being swept by the currents of geometric progress. We face a deluge of information that makes separating the grains from the chaff more difficult, so to speak. And how much more picking only the grains we need? Thus we are being led deeper into a maze that takes us farther in our quest for truth.

With the multi-tasks magic palm-size electronic gadget we call in different names like tablet, i-Pod, and smart phone, the world is now virtually in our hand. Never have we been serious in analyzing William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence, which in part is quoted as follows:
To see the world in a grain of sand.
And a heaven a wild flower;
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand ,
And eternity in an hour.

It is a world shrunk in time and space in one’s lifetime and generation – because technology and affluence have overtaken us at the pace we are used to.

Fortunately we still trace Philosophy back to Socrates, idealism to Plato, Naturalism to Aristotle. We precious independence from colonial rule in Rizal, emancipation of slavery in Lincoln, militancy in women in Tandang Sora and Gabriela Silang, and constitutional reform in the trilogy of the French Revolution - Egalite’, Liberte’ Fraternite’.

Around a bonfire we listen to Aesop, Homer, Scheherazade, Grimm brothers, come alive in vernacular language and costumes. The lament in Shakespearean tragedies, lilting laughter of Jose flying a kite (Saranggola in Pepe), the lyrical melodious pleading of kudiman (Filipino love song), the dirge of pasyon (Passion of Christ) – all these take us to a travelogue back to our roots, to the keepers of that Temple Rizal, Balagtas, Florentino, Reyes, et al built and guarded dutifully and zealously.

                                         Literature and Media
But in today’s capitalism fueled by consumerism, we find the art of literature besieged in a free market where profit is generally the lure and rule. Literature is trapped in this huge market, and if it holds on merely to its past – or just drift aimlessly, then, we may lose its essence, and therefore its treasure.

We must be vigilant to the preservation of literature as the fine art, sensitive to ethics and morality as guide to human actions and behavior, against such issues as pornography, euthanasia, graft and corruption, and issues on the environment that threaten to destroy our living planet. We must regard literature as a powerful tool in preventing war and keeping lasting peace and harmony in society, in keeping faith in our institutions, and our relationship with our Creator, fellowmen, and Nature. It is a travelogue toward the redemption of values and preserving it, indeed a journey on a very rough road.

Commercialization of media has many undesirable consequences to literature, shrouding our thinking and imagination, with the border separating fantasy and reality being eroded. Many creatures are projected with untrue images; while we protect the endangered species, media is making them enemies of mankind – Anaconda, King Kong, The Birds, Jaws rake profits generated by fear and curiosity while leaving false impression especially to the young. Whole forests, mountains and lakes are destroyed to flush out enemies and bad spirits, or to appease a god of wrath.

But there are, in fact, more positive contributions of literature and media in this aspect in the likes of Black Beauty, Babes, Fly Away Home, Free Willy that elevate human consciousness towards understanding animals and other creatures often rising to the level on moralism in Aesop’s fable, Kipling’s Jungle Book and George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

New horizon of Literature
Literature rides on multimedia today, in a horse-and-carriage relationship. With the conservative print and broadcast journalism on one hand, and the computer and its state-of-the-art versions on the other, the whole world today is “wired,” theoretically speaking.

But the role of each one in this analogy is not simple and clear cut. Their shared domain is a complex one that needs a definition of their boundaries. But the other school of thought is more of establishing a synergistic relationship which means that more can be gained through cooperation and unity with humanity as the ultimate beneficiary.

This is crucial for the fact that millions of people are bypassed by technology, education, healthcare and other basic necessities for which reason riches particularly generated by computer technology are now channeled philanthropically to the underprivileged.

Columnist and radio commentator Larry Henares (center with author and wife. Lower photo: Teodoro “Doroy” Valencia (center) dean of Philippine journalism.

If literature and media are to support this movement, what could be their roles, and how can they join hands to reach the masses? We are gladdened, at the same time challenged, by a number of developments such as the following:

· Popularization of literature to the understanding of the people. Noli the Musical, translated Rizal’s masterpiece into entertainment education for the TV and cinema. In like manner Oliver Twist’s musical version Oliver, Oliver reached as many people as those who have read the novel.

· The Great Books, among them Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables and Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace now have popular versions for bigger audiences, following the footsteps of The Bible.

· Publishing whether in print or electronic is no longer a business monopoly, it can be done in home workshops, so with documentaries and movies. With the computer one can be an author, publisher, critic, marketer, rolled in one.

· The combination of literary and technical forms, with today’s technology, is bringing into our homes dramas of the living world, reenactment of historical events, stories of the different cultures, and many others. This made National Geographic, Discovery, History and other TV series, very popular.

· Scientific discoveries have found literature a tool for dissemination outside of the conventions of science. Titanic, although more fiction than fact could not have been made without the discovery of the ship’s wreckage at the bottom of the sea. An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary film won for Al Gore, the expert on environment and author, the prestigious Academy Award.

· There are animations and cartoons in print or on screen that are gaining merits to be classified as literature. Finding Nemo, Ice Age, Land Before Time, Disney, Barney and Friends and Jim Jam series are among the most popular of this kind. There are homilies, speeches, conference proceedings, diaries which have literary qualities to be classified as pieces of literature.

The unquantifiable volume of Information has generated waste, in fact pollution – infollution. This is exacerbated by social networking, and continued increase of wireless technology tools and users.

· Literacy rate may have increased but computer literacy is but “coded literacy” which is not true knowledge. This leads us to the question what constitute the genuineness of a work.

· Neophytes and experts now play the same game on the same playground with multimedia. Exclusivity of clubs, imprimatur of quality granted by select groups, stringent criteria of evaluation, and the like will have to undergo scrutiny and eventual innovation.

If words, the beauty of words; if plot, the proper organization of chapters; if characters and their superb acting make the story alive; if advanced technology the provider of quality and magic – if these are the parameters of acceptance, and not to consider other factors, we may not be exploring a new horizon of literature. We shall miss the opportunity to face a brave new world of literature.

But we have to look back now and then to that temple built by four great Filipinos and their kind. The flickering light through its window gives us courage and comfort when we see no star in the sky. Dawn is a child coming. ~

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

 UST-AB Photography Photo Session Guide: Top 10 Beginning Photography Tips

Dr Abe V Rotor

Campus photography.  Plan out your itinerary to take photos that best illustrate each of these tips. 
  1. Move in closer
  2. Be quick Compose with care
  3. Be selective Focus on yoiur subject
  4. Experiment in time
  5. Look at the Light
  6. Watch the weather
  7. Keep it simple Be Bold
Here are sample photos to analyze. Provide the caption and brief description of your photos. 

Pagoda Bagworm 
Flash flood, EspaƱa
Pandangera - fantail bird nesting

Acknowledgment: (tips)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Faces of "Old Folks" - A Changing of the Guards

New Faces of "Old Folks" - A Changing of the Guards 
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog 
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM, 8 to 9 evening, Monday to Friday

While the traditional concept of old folk has been left behind, the role of spiritual healers has become the subject of an anthropological study by Dr Ronel de la Cruz, published in a book on Fuga Island, focusing the interconnectedness of folk wisdom with modern day knowledge, folk medicine with the breakthroughs in medical science and technology.       
Professor Raul Sunico leads the country's foremost musical composers, conductors and performers, reviving the fine qualities of music as well as the time-honored history of Philippine music. His group continues to bring honor and prestige for the country in its various performances here and abroad. Professor Sunico is the dean of the UST Conservatory of Music.
Radyo ng Bayan announcer and host, Melly C Tenorio seated, welcomes guests on live broadcast - authors of new book, Humanities Today - An Experiential Approach,  led by the author, center. DZRB is the center of learning through radio - Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid or People's School on the Air, a daily evening class of one-hour, an innovation of media and education working on the principle of "university without walls."

 Workshop on Natural Healing attended by mostly senior citizens. As people grow older they tend to go to natural food and medicine using herbals and other alternative medicine. They develop an active and  participatory lifestyle contrary to passive retirement. DARE Foundation, QC
Gardening as a hobby is healthful specially to senior citizns.  It is a key to a happy, long life. It provides wholesome exercise, fresh supply of vegetables and fruits, sunlight, fresh air, happy disposition, more friends, some income generated, notwithstanding.
Caring for the the underprivileged.  Street children find a home in this center, thanks to the  community leaders lay snd religious who also give their time and share their talent. Here Msgr. Danny Sta Maria and author participate in a program for these children.   
 Research to old people is more realistic and practical; it is applied and not confined in the laboratory. Here two biologists are looking into the ability of plants in the forest to convert organic  matter efficiently through symbiosis with a fungus Mycorrhiza. Thus, discovering a phenomenon to shed light to some superstitious beliefs of old folks. 
Older people enjoy life equally with the younger ones through travelling, seeing places outside the confines of their retirement, and meeting people. Thus erasing the boundaries of age, interest, and  activities. Underground river, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
The religious is metamorphosing in the example of Mother Teresa, moving away from the comforts and rituals of cloistered life. Here sisters of different religious orders in habits like ordinary wear, work for the poor, like the rehabilitation of street children led by Bahay in Kuya founder, a French-Canadian priest, in dark shirt next to the author)

Bannawag magazine the flagship of Ilocano language and cultutre, hinges on younger writers molded by the wisdom of writers, sociologists and local leaders from the older generation, among them Godofredo Reyes, Francisco Foronda, and the poetess Leonora Florentino. Photo: left, Cles Rambaud managing editor, and the author, columnist Okeyka Apong. 

Larry Henares (with lei), veteran journalist, continues to this day as columnist and broadcaster.  You got to read, listen to Larry - professionals, businessmen, leaders say. He is newsman, critic, and in fact, conscience, with a parting "Hasta la bye, bye." a hind glimpse of our historical past. Photo: Larry with author and wife.
 Former government officials and university professors, Dr Anselmo S Cabigan (right) and author during a light moment prior to their retirement from St Paul University QC.  They continue their mission to reach out for the least touched by formal education through the Internet.  School on Blog reaches more than 500 viewers daily in the Philippines and abroad. Dr Cabigan has devised a new learning methodology, also on the Internet.

Change and contiguity. New leadership at the Ateneo de Manila University - young, dynamic,  scholar, with world vision - take over the helm of this world class institution. Newly ordained Jesuit priest Jomari Manzano, nephew of author. 

 Fr. James B. Reuter, SJ, spiritual icon for two generations - like the soldier that never dies but just fades away.  And yet in his way past ninety he continues to touch people's lives through his writings, TV shows, stage plays, and countless faithful seeking for advice. Author joins well-wishers on his 94th birthday.

Divine Word College of Vigan, formerly Colegio de la Imaculada Concepcion (CIC) HS class 1956 Left to right: author with RTC Judge Ven Baclig, Businessman Ely Ragsac, Col Badong Barnachea, and Eng Fel Aviso.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Photography Ideas and Application

There's more than just good in photography.  

Dr Abe V Rotor
Professor in Photography, UST 
Faculty of Arts and Letters
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenporio
738 DZRB-AM Band. 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday
1. Halo effect enhances religious ambiance of the stone icons atop UST's main building in modified silhouette through selective photo editing, without erasing the colonial features of the building. Photo by Miss Alyssa Beltran.
2. Chandelier, stained glass and lantern. Without tripod this night scene can be captured with high resolution camera, within the range of 5 to 8 megapixels. Editing is needed to enhance contrast and colors.  
3. Combining field photo and still life of the same subject gives a complete picture of the specimen - rambutan.  The composite photo shows botanical characteristics of  the fruiting tree and morphological features of the fruit showing the rind and edible pulp.  This technique is recommended for technical photography. AVR

4. Macro and micro photography.  Stone covered with green algae (lumot); microcopic structure of Lyngbya crosbyanum, a common green freshwater alga, magnified 50x under the Low Power Objective (LPO) of a compound microcope. AVR
 5. The enduring beauty of Black & White photography will stay in spite of the breakthrough in digital photography and wireless technology. The tunnel effect towards the source of light gives the needed hope for these children in war-torn Europe during the second World War. (Time-Life)

6. Nature is perhaps the most popular application of photography, surpassing human portraits and events.  Here the details of shy creatures like the land snail, (African snail), and hatchlings soft-shelled turtle are revealed for biological study. 

 7. Skyscape is classified as landscape. The rainbow is perhaps the most photographed skyscape, followed by the many figures created by clouds. These views were photographed on the highway in Batangas at around five o'clock in the afternoon on September 21, 2012, which happens to be Autumnal Equinox.

Early Sunset on a Landscape

Dr Abe V Rotor

View from a hill in Antipolo, Rizal, June 1, 2013

Afternoon and it's already sunset,
behind gray clouds the sun's shining,
wearing a red veil over the horizon,
with dust stirred into the air floating.

Beauty in birth and death - and life,
in between - clinging to final fate
in man's hand - and oh! how lonely,
how sad, nil of hope and losing faith.

Landscape - but whose landscape?
robbed from people, robbed from nature,
from beauty sublime, to one's design
for gain and power, not for the future. 

And he speaks on behalf of progress,
measured by concrete and steel,
by the amenities of the Good Life,
                             in unending want, incessant fill. ~ 

Part 1: Aim at Excellence - 12 Tips

Dr Abe V Rotor
Aim at excellence, put you best foot forward. NFA conference, Cebu 2013

1. Success does not come easily; you must be willing to pay the price.
2. Don't repeat your mistakes; learn from them and take another approach.
3. Mend broken relationships, the sooner the better. You will achieve more in a pleasant company. 
4. Congratulate your peers for their accomplishments. And don't forget to thank your spouse for his or her help and support. 

5. Check your grooming on the mirror, practice your piece, and stop in the bathroom for final check before you meet your audience.

6. Be concerned when or lose or fail, just don't give up - never feel defeated.

7. SLT (Stop, Look, Listen)  before you respond; and before making a decision, repeat this motto, and pause.

8. Invest your time in learning, not just training; but know what priorities you wish to learn.  

9. Take time to shapen your saw, so to peak.

10.Keep sharpening your ommunication skills. Proofread outgoing communications, manuscripts for publication on paper, or the Internet - even simple text mesages on your cell phone. 

11. Never settle for mediocrity, aim at excellence.

12. Silence is a necessity.  Practice daily silence alone - to think, to relax, and most importantly - to pray.

Reference: The Book of Excellence by Byrd Baggett, 1990 Rutledge Hill Press, Nashville Tennessee.