Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Once upon a time, nature was pristine..."

A fairy tale come true
Paintings and verses by 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 class Mon to Fri

"Once upon a time, nature was pristine, undefiled and unspoiled. We used to live in a dreamworld of tropical virgin forest, and pure hidden springs, calm ponds, and serene lakes, with majestic purple mountains, crowned with canopied trees. That was when people took only what they needed, caught only what they ate, and lived only in constant touch with a provident earth.


In this age of environmental degradation , resource depletion and unparalleled human population explosion, how can man live and find meaning in his life with nature?" (Dr AS Cabigan - an excerpt from the introduction of The Living with Nature Handbook, by AVR  2003)

Born from the elements of nature, to the elements of art,
in imagery and fantasy;
what takes eons to shape and form, is but a season's part,
an archive out of reality.
 
Oh, let them be, let them be, school can wait
but not childhood;
they catch not the fish, but adventure and faith 
as they grow old.  
Community -  what concept have we today from that of yesterday
when things we needed were almost free,
and worked less, and spend more time with others and our family,
and thank the Creator for such bounty? 
This hidden valley, not for exclusion or seclusion,
but survival from the lust of man,
whose concept of beauty, its very own destruction,
'til everything he created is gone.  
And what prevails at the end, we may ask?
Not monuments, relics or any kind,
for through time nature takes over the task 
of rebuilding in her own design. ~

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Philippine Indigenous Perfume: The Sweet Scent of Ilang-Ilang



Children love to pick its flowers, and passersby look up to trace the source of the fragrance. Imagine the sweet-scented night air around the tree. It is therapeutic after a hard day's work. In the morning before I go to work, I spend a little time under the tree, relishing the freshness of the surroundings. Here I wait for sunrise and listen to the songs of birds perched on its branches.

Dr Abe V Rotor
 
 
 Ruby gathers freshly picked flowers of ilang ilang (Cananga odorata)
which she shall place at a home altar of Mama Mary and Santo Niño. QC

Ilang-Ilang (Cananga odorata) is an important source of essential oil. Ilang-ilang oil perfume is known all over the worldwide, especially in Italy and France, two countries known for their fabulous perfumes. Remember Lily of the Valley, during the pre-war era? It was made from Philippine ilang-ilang, its oil extracted through distillation. However, there are countries which have learned the trade and became our competitors. Moreover other sources of perfume have been developed lately.

Standing Tall

The tree stands tall, it reaches more than ten meters, towering over houses and other trees and emerging through the forest canopy. Its somewhat drooping branches bear the weight of thick foliage and pendulous flower clusters that exude sweet-smelling volatile oil detected far and wide.

And yet the ilang-ilang’s flower looks unassuming. Its color is green to yellowish green when mature, its petals thick, narrow, pointed and somewhat hairy. It hangs in groups of three, six, to as many as twelve, each in different stages of development. One by one, as the flowers are fertilized by insects, their petals dry up and fall like confetti, still exuding the characteristic perfume. Fruits are formed in place arranged like a crown, then turn black at maturity after which these fall off or are picked by birds or bats.

Our ilang-ilang tree at home must have come by seed carried by bird or bat from the nearby La Mesa watershed where a towering ilang-ilang tree is visible across the subdivision. The tree is now thirty years old and it dominates the trees in the neighborhood.

Children love to pick its flowers, and passersby look up to trace the source of the fragrance. Imagine the sweet-scented night air around the tree. It is therapeutic after a hard day's work. In the morning before I go to work, I spend a little time under the tree, relishing the freshness of the surroundings. Here I wait for sunrise and listen to the songs of birds perched on its branches.
 
The many uses of ilang ilang; the tree in full bloom usually in summer

The Garland Makers

On one Sunday, a father and son came to ask if they could gather the flowers of our ilang-ilang tree. They are from a family of necklace (lei and garland) makers who live not far our place. Patrick had just finished high school and was preparing for college.

“We have been making garlands for sometime now. It is our livelihood,” Elias told me. “Our trade is seasonal. The church on Sunday is a good place to sell. Sometimes we get orders for weddings and other special occasions like during graduation.”

Ka Elias continued, while gathering flowers with a special pole. Patrick, on the other hand, gathered the harvested flowers and kept them in a bag to keep them fresh.
 Ilang-Ilang as lei and pendant

According to Ka Elias, a simple lei is made of four heads: unopened sampaguita flowers, three or four on each side on an abaca string. Two flowers of ilang-ilang make the pendant. On the sidewalk, a good pair of a lei is sold for P10.

The making of floral necklaces has given households, like that of Ka Elias, a means of livelihood. The whole family is involved, and the children get to earn some money for their own tuition and are able to help their parents.

Sometimes when traffic is heavy, I take time to talk with necklace sellers. I feel good whenever I buy garlands from these hard-working children. Here is simple economics I figured out. If an ilang-ilang tree yields flowers with a value is P200 a week on the average, that would make P5,600 a year, and this is possible because ilang-ilang blooms throughout the year. Value added when made into leis doubles this amount. And that's just from a single tree.
Happy young vendors of leis made of sampaguita, kamia, and ilang ilang as pendant. QC

Thus, ilang-ilang farms (or even those grown in backyards) could prove to be a profitable endeavor. I saw ilang-ilang seedlings for sale at the Manila Seedling Bank, along Quezon Avenue corner EDSA. On the other hand, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) may be able to teach you how oil from ilang-ilang can be extracted as natural perfume and for the manufacture of cosmetics and soap. The same department also has a technology package, through PCARRD, for the production of ilang-ilang and sampaguita.

Aside from being a livelihood for many, it may also help the country’s economy, as a dollar saver and earner with the export of its fragrant oil. And the ilang-ilang tree is good for reforesting the hillside and the upland.

Plant an ilang-ilang tree. It could be the start of a good business. If not, you will simply bring Nature close to your home. ~
-----------
Cananga odorata, known as the cananga tree is a tropical tree that originates in the Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines. It is valued for the perfume extracted from its flowers, called ylang-ylang ... ylang-ylang is derived from the Tagalog, term ilang-ilang for the tree that is a reduplicative form of the word ilang.

12 Leadership Principles


Dr Abe V Rotor
 Living with Nature School on Blog [avrotor.blogspot.com]
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday
Man of the masses - ultimate test of leadership and public service. The Ramon Magsaysay annual awards focus on achievements of outstanding citizens in the Asian region in bringing peace and understanding. No other president in the Philippines has ever achieved Magsaysay's feat of unifying warring factions, particularly the Hukbalahap, and integrating them back into the mainstream of society.


Principles of Leadership

  1. Know yourself and seek self-improvement
  2. Be technically proficient
  3. Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.
  4. Make sound and timely decisions.
  5. Set the example
  6. Know your people and look out for their well-being.
  7. Keep your workers informed.
  8. Develop a sense of responsibility in your workers.
  9. Ensure that tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished.
  10. Train and work as a team.
  11. Use the full capabilities of your organization.
  12. Trust God and mankind.
Trivia
  • The six most important words: I admit I made a mistake.
  • The five most important words: You did a good job.
  • The four most important words: What is your opinion?
  • The three most important words: If you please
  • The two most important words: Thank you
  • The one most important word: We
  • The least important word: I
Acknowledgment: Concept of Leadership http://www.nlink.com/-donclark/leader/ldcon.html (Principles of leadership is based on To help you be, know, and do (US Army, 1973)

Monday, June 27, 2016

Lightning is Nature’s Primordial Tool

  Mysterious are nature's ways, the sun's energy 
transforming into electrical energy through lightning,
henceforth building proteins, the building blocks 
of all living things, great and small, as they grow and die,
and into the next cycle the process is the same -
ad infinitum. ~ 
Dr Abe V Rotor
 Living with Nature School on Blog [avrotor.blogspot.com]
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday

Lightning is Nature's quick-fix agent converting inert atmospheric Nitrogen into soluble Nitrate compounds that fertilize soil and water, and nourish plants, other autotrophs, and saprophytes principally the mushrooms such as these specimens shown in the following photographs.  
Shelf mushroom; Auricularia (tainga ng daga) 
Dung mushroom
Oyster mushroom; stinkhorn 

All over the globe lightning strikes at one point or another
incessantly night and day, in good or bad weather.

The atmosphere and earth meet in deafening thunder
that accompanies a spark of a thousand atomic bombs
enough to light a city for days if captured and stored. 
  
In the process chemistry combines nitrogen with oxygen, 
one-to-three in proportion to form nitrates in tons 
and tons in a single bolt, becoming negatively charge 
and soluble, riding on the rain to descend to earth.

Nitrate the free radical ion joins a positive ion and forms
combinations of compounds that nourish plants and all
all photosynthetic organisms, and the saprophytes, too
- the mushrooms and their kin of Kingdom Mycophyta.

Wonder the hills and mountains turn green soon after
the first rain in May or even only a shower in April;  
afterward the whole landscape builds into a realm 
of emerald green as the sky sends boundless energy.

Electrical energy transforms into chemical energy
passing from  the inorganic to the organic world, thence
through the living world - the food chain and web,
food pyramid, there into the ecosystems and biomes,
finally to the biosphere that make the earth full of life. 

Mysterious are nature's ways, the sun's energy 
transforming into electrical energy through lightning,
henceforth building proteins, the building blocks 
of all living things, great or small, as they grow and die,
and into the next cycle the process is the same -
ad infinitum. ~  

Global Warming spawns more floods. Be prepared always

 Assignment: Photo Essay (Flood Photo Coverage)  Essay 

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog [avrotor.blogspot.com]
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday
 
 It is an opportunity to document the present calamity; it is a chance to use photography to reach out for those in need, to be part of rescue and recovery operations, to share our sense of belonging in the spirit of civic consciousness and true faith. Or simply, as media students and practitioners.  Narrow down your topic.  Examples, relief operations, cleanup, emergency, human interest (saving a pet), local heroes, makeshift quarters, refugees in schools, ingenuity in action.  
                        

Discover the many good values of Filipinos in times of calamity: leadership, compassion,  selflessness, cooperation (bayanihan), and the like. Organize assignment in a folder, complete with running story, photos with caption.  No limit to number of pages.   
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As of this writing, Metro Manila, and the surrounding provinces, are experiencing the worst flood in recent memory. It is the aftermath of Typhoon Gener, exacerbated by intensified monsoon. It is another test on the magnitude of  typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

This article is an update of an earlier post on how we prepare, respond and recover, in times of calamity. Here a checklist to follow. 

1. Keep informed and abreast – Radio, TV, Internet, Telephone, neighbors, cellphone.

2. Know at fingertips emergency numbers for disaster, fire, earthquake, police, NDCC, DECS, DOH, others. Be emergency response conscious of evacuation sites, fire exits, hospitals and clinics,
Secure appliances and items (furniture, documents, books, toys, etc) on second floor or on safe area. Move heavy objects away from harm’s way, these include apparador, potted plants, heavy tools, etc.

3. Prepare for power cut off. Set your freezer to the coldest temperature setting to minimize spoilage if the power is cut off. Have on hand flashlight, candles, batteries, etc. Charge cellphones and emergency lights. Have enough LPG during the emergency period. Keep a spare tank. In the province be sure you have sufficient stock of dry firewood.

4. Have your car, motorbike, ready for emergency. If water rises, secure them to higher ground.
Always see to it that they are at tiptop condition.

5. Check windows and doors, walls and roofs. Reinforce and seal them if necessary. Have handy towels, rags and mops. Seal leaking walls and roof even before the typhoon season.

6. Stay at the strongest and safest place in the house if the typhoon gets severe. Keep away from flood water, electrical outlet and wire, china wares and glass windows.

7. Seal off broken window or door with mattress or sofa over as typhoon gets severe. Secure it there with a heavy piece of furniture. Draw curtains across the windows to prevent against flying glass. Release trapped pressure by allowing it to escape opposite the direction of wind. My experience is to open a window just enough to maintain equilibrium.

8. Remember that a typhoon has and eye of calm. 
Don’t be deceived; it may appear that the typhoon has passed. It is only half of it. The winds then pick up again, now in opposite direction.


9. When the typhoon is finally through, check for hazards - broken glass, fallen trees and downed power lines, dangerous damaged structure.


10. Observe hygiene during and after a typhoon. Make sure your drinking water is not contaminated. Boil if necessary. Make sure that food properly prepared and stored. Avoid eating food from roadside vendors. Protect yourself from WILD, acronym for Waterborne, Influenza, Leptospirosis, and Diarrhea. Include Dengue, and other diseases.

11. Give priority attention to infants, children and the elderly. Provide them with whatever measures of safety and comfort. Keep them out of danger. Evacuate, if necessary, before the typhoon strikes.

12. Get rid of breeding grounds of mosquitoes, flies, rats and other vermin. Drain stagnant pools, dispose containers with water. Dispose garbage properly. Use pesticide only if necessary. Application of insecticide, rodenticide, and fumigant needs expert’s supervision.

13. Protect yourself from toxic waste if you are living in an industrial center, these include toxic metals (mercury, lead, cadmium), hydrocarbon compounds, pesticide residues, oil spills.

14. Wear protective clothing like boots when wading in flood water, raincoat, jacket, had hard during clearing and construction, gloves, etc. Be careful with leptospirosis, a disease acquired from rat waste through flood water.

15. Protect yourself from road accidents. Chances are higher during and after a calamity because of fallen trees and poles, damaged and slippery roads, non-functioning traffic lights, obstructions of all sorts.

----------------------------





16. Have your damaged vehicle repaired and cleaned as soon as possible to prevent further damage, specially those submerged in flood. So with other appliances – refrigerators, TV sets, furniture, etc.

17. Have an adequate supply of food and water for the foreseeable period of emergency.
No panic buying, please. 

18. Medicine cabinet, first aid kit.  Check regularly and replenish the needed medical supplies, principally for the treatment of common ailments, and victims of  accidents.

19. Protect your home from burglars (akyat bahay).  Don't fall unwary victim to rogues.  Bad elements of society usually take advantage on the hopeless, like refugees in a calamity. 

20. Keep in touch with loved ones, relatives, friends to relieve anxiety. It is timely to text some kind words to the the infirmed, lonely, aged.  Offer whatever help you can extend. These are times to exercise neighborliness in action. ~

 Acknowledgement: Time Magazine, Internet, author's students at UST Faculty of Arts and Letters  

Global Warming spawns more floods. Be prepared always

 Assignment: Photo Essay (Flood Photo Coverage)  Essay 

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog [avrotor.blogspot.com]
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday
 
 It is an opportunity to document the present calamity; it is a chance to use photography to reach out for those in need, to be part of rescue and recovery operations, to share our sense of belonging in the spirit of civic consciousness and true faith. Or simply, as media students and practitioners.  Narrow down your topic.  Examples, relief operations, cleanup, emergency, human interest (saving a pet), local heroes, makeshift quarters, refugees in schools, ingenuity in action.  
                        

Discover the many good values of Filipinos in times of calamity: leadership, compassion,  selflessness, cooperation (bayanihan), and the like. Organize assignment in a folder, complete with running story, photos with caption.  No limit to number of pages.   
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As of this writing, Metro Manila, and the surrounding provinces, are experiencing the worst flood in recent memory. It is the aftermath of Typhoon Gener, exacerbated by intensified monsoon. It is another test on the magnitude of  typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

This article is an update of an earlier post on how we prepare, respond and recover, in times of calamity. Here a checklist to follow. 

1. Keep informed and abreast – Radio, TV, Internet, Telephone, neighbors, cellphone.

2. Know at fingertips emergency numbers for disaster, fire, earthquake, police, NDCC, DECS, DOH, others. Be emergency response conscious of evacuation sites, fire exits, hospitals and clinics,
Secure appliances and items (furniture, documents, books, toys, etc) on second floor or on safe area. Move heavy objects away from harm’s way, these include apparador, potted plants, heavy tools, etc.

3. Prepare for power cut off. Set your freezer to the coldest temperature setting to minimize spoilage if the power is cut off. Have on hand flashlight, candles, batteries, etc. Charge cellphones and emergency lights. Have enough LPG during the emergency period. Keep a spare tank. In the province be sure you have sufficient stock of dry firewood.

4. Have your car, motorbike, ready for emergency. If water rises, secure them to higher ground.
Always see to it that they are at tiptop condition.

5. Check windows and doors, walls and roofs. Reinforce and seal them if necessary. Have handy towels, rags and mops. Seal leaking walls and roof even before the typhoon season.

6. Stay at the strongest and safest place in the house if the typhoon gets severe. Keep away from flood water, electrical outlet and wire, china wares and glass windows.

7. Seal off broken window or door with mattress or sofa over as typhoon gets severe. Secure it there with a heavy piece of furniture. Draw curtains across the windows to prevent against flying glass. Release trapped pressure by allowing it to escape opposite the direction of wind. My experience is to open a window just enough to maintain equilibrium.

8. Remember that a typhoon has and eye of calm. 
Don’t be deceived; it may appear that the typhoon has passed. It is only half of it. The winds then pick up again, now in opposite direction.


9. When the typhoon is finally through, check for hazards - broken glass, fallen trees and downed power lines, dangerous damaged structure.


10. Observe hygiene during and after a typhoon. Make sure your drinking water is not contaminated. Boil if necessary. Make sure that food properly prepared and stored. Avoid eating food from roadside vendors. Protect yourself from WILD, acronym for Waterborne, Influenza, Leptospirosis, and Diarrhea. Include Dengue, and other diseases.

11. Give priority attention to infants, children and the elderly. Provide them with whatever measures of safety and comfort. Keep them out of danger. Evacuate, if necessary, before the typhoon strikes.

12. Get rid of breeding grounds of mosquitoes, flies, rats and other vermin. Drain stagnant pools, dispose containers with water. Dispose garbage properly. Use pesticide only if necessary. Application of insecticide, rodenticide, and fumigant needs expert’s supervision.

13. Protect yourself from toxic waste if you are living in an industrial center, these include toxic metals (mercury, lead, cadmium), hydrocarbon compounds, pesticide residues, oil spills.

14. Wear protective clothing like boots when wading in flood water, raincoat, jacket, had hard during clearing and construction, gloves, etc. Be careful with leptospirosis, a disease acquired from rat waste through flood water.

15. Protect yourself from road accidents. Chances are higher during and after a calamity because of fallen trees and poles, damaged and slippery roads, non-functioning traffic lights, obstructions of all sorts.

----------------------------





16. Have your damaged vehicle repaired and cleaned as soon as possible to prevent further damage, specially those submerged in flood. So with other appliances – refrigerators, TV sets, furniture, etc.

17. Have an adequate supply of food and water for the foreseeable period of emergency.
No panic buying, please. 

18. Medicine cabinet, first aid kit.  Check regularly and replenish the needed medical supplies, principally for the treatment of common ailments, and victims of  accidents.

19. Protect your home from burglars (akyat bahay).  Don't fall unwary victim to rogues.  Bad elements of society usually take advantage on the hopeless, like refugees in a calamity. 

20. Keep in touch with loved ones, relatives, friends to relieve anxiety. It is timely to text some kind words to the the infirmed, lonely, aged.  Offer whatever help you can extend. These are times to exercise neighborliness in action. ~

 Acknowledgement: Time Magazine, Internet, author's students at UST Faculty of Arts and Letters  

Monsoon ends fruit season

Goodbye to siniguelas or sarguelas, caimito, atis, camachile, avocado and the like.  See you next fruit season - summer 2017
Dr Abe V Rotor 



Star apple or caimito (Chrysophyllum cainito) is strictly a summer fruit. When buying caimito watch out for holes made by fruit flies. The maggots are likely inside the fruit. They are small and white, jerky in movement and they catapult when disturbed.





 

, strictly a tropical summer fruit. 

Fruit flies emerge with the first rain and breed rapidly on ripe fruits of guava, mango, chico, cucumber, etc.
 
Atis (Anona squamosa) - Rain stops flowering and fruiting, and the remaining fruits in the tree are attacked by the larva of a moth that tunnels into the fruit at any stage.
Goodbye to kamachili (Pithecolobium dulce). Although it is not commercially sold, it is very popular to children on the farm and pasture. Premature falling of fruits is a result of gall attack and extreme heat and prolonged drought. The damaged fruit is caused by fruit bat. except off season

 varieties. This fruit was harvested from a nearby residential lot near La mesa Dam, QC
Tiesa (Lucuma nervosa) bears plenty of these bright colored fruits which drop to the ground when fully ripe. Its fruiting season is summer. Rambutan is seasonal, too. It's a highly decorative tree in summer. Don Antonio Heights 2, QC 
 
Watermelon, melon, muskmelon and other cucurbits are all summer crops in the open field. One strong rain can ruin an entire crop.

Other fruits which are getting rare in fruit stands.
  1. Mango
  2. Guyabano
  3. Macopa
  4. Cashew
  5. Dalandan
  6. Nangka
  7. Avocado
  8. Sampalok
  9. Papaya, solo variety
  10. Balimbing
  11. Duhat
  12. Strawberry
And many other fruits. Why don't you add to the list?


Dragon fruit; local and imported fruits