Monday, November 26, 2012

Building Fire the Primitive Way

Dr Abe V Rotor

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

United Nations Parade

Photos by Dr Abe V Rotor

Can you identify the country each costume represents?

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Dr Abe V Rotor
Marlo and Anna at the Dinosaur Exhibit, Manila 1987

Even your tree has been felled,
your phylogeny now a memory;
for your were lost in the current,
in the  repetitious mechanism
of the universe,
when one day stood still
while you were acting
in too many parts of the play,
in too long a time.

Your life is twice told, 

understanding it backward,
through the art 
of marble and mud.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Dr Abe V Rotor

Happy are they 
from day to day
ensconced under a roof,
the family's a proof.

Lest they forget, the seed
weaned for its need,
must draw out its best
through the Sower's test.  

Aling Sion and children, Tiaong, Quezon
Light in the Woods, Megabooks 

The Case of the Empty Chicken Egg - My First Experiment

 Dr Abe V Rotor

Childhood is full of adventure.

I was big enough then to climb and reach the baki (brooding nest) hanged under the house.

I found out that if I leave some eggs in the basket as decoy, the more eggs I gathered in the afternoon. But why leave some eggs that may become stale?

Then an idea came. With a needle, I punctured an egg and sucked the content dry. It tasted good and I made more of these empty eggs as substitute decoy in the nest.

My dad was a balikbayan. He settled down in our hometown, San Vicente, Ilocos Sur, soon after finishing his studies at De Paul University in Chicago during the Great Depression. He put up a furniture business but was destroyed by the second world war. Our family managed to survive though and. Dad said, it is the greatest blessing to our family.

That evening after discovering the empty eggs dad called all of us and said, "First thing tomorrow morning we will find that hen that lays empty eggs.”

It was a family tradition that every Sunday we had tinola - chicken stew with green papaya and leaves of pepper (sili). Dad would point at a cull (the least productive member of the flock raised on range) and I would set a large basket upside down to serve as trap, and place some corn for bait. My brother Eugene would slash the neck of the helpless fowl while my sister Veny and I would be holding it until it became still. The blood is mixed with glutinous rice (diket), which then coagulates. It is cooked with care to keep it intact before the vegetables are placed.

That evening I could not sleep. What if dad picks our pet chickens? On the farm we call our favorite chickens by name. They were real pets like dogs and cats. I felt sorry, the empty eggs were the cause of the whole trouble.

The next morning after the mass I confessed to dad my secret and even demonstrated it. He laughed and laughed. Soon everyone joined the hilarious moment. And the case of the empty eggs was laid to rest.

We simply picked a dumalaga (pullet) and prepared our favorite tinola. "Bercio, please lead the prayer." Dad said. I did, sheepishly looking at the steaming dish.

Many lessons dawned from my first experiment. I also realized that one just can’t fool anybody.~

Monday, November 5, 2012

Young Musicians

Dr Abe V Rotor

Marlo, Anna and Leo at home

I imagine young Haydn mimicked
a strolling fiddler with pieces of stick,
and young Beethoven writing music
from birds and lambs at the creek.

In Messiah Handel saw God's image,
while Mozart excelled before the king,
and Chopin the piano-poet of his age
saw neo-classical music emerging.

Happier are those who play the tune,
than he who stops at the chord,
they who keep alive the inner vision,
the music that lights the world. 

Light in the Woods, 1995 Megabooks