Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hanging Garden

Dr Abe V Rotor

Lianas make a flimsy veil on the trunk and limbs of an acacia tree. La Union Botanical Garden, Cadaclan, San Fernando LU. On-the-spot painting by the author. 

Where have all the flowers gone?
Gone with the passing clouds in the sky
Casting a shadow of death, then fly,
Leaving but a scorching sun.

Where have all the flowers gone?
Gone with every tear the heavens cry
On tired branches and empty ground
Where angels pass by.

Where have all the flowers gone?
Gone with the dryads now away…
Gone are the shower and bouquet
That make a beautiful day.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Landscaping and philosophy

Landscaping and philosophy
Dr Abe V Rotor 

I observed a gardener arrange a piece of landscape at UST.  I was on my way to meet my class in the graduate school, but this time this kind gardener became my mentor. 

A layer of stones around the base of a tree and at the blind corner of a building makes a neat and clean appearance.   It transformed a taken-for-granted area into something Japanese and American and Filipino combined.  

It made me wonder if there is a purist version of a landscape, say strictly Italian, or French, or Chinese. None as I know, except that certain emphasis expresses a nationality.  For example, the Japanese garden is basically made of rocks and stone and sand.  An American garden is perhaps the closest to nature - it runs its course like a flowing stream or a climbing liana. What amazes me is the fine taste of artisans, who we think are not sensitive to "fine arts."  On the contrary they do - some better than us.

So the fellow - Jun, sir he said when I asked his name - demonstrated the steps.  He laid down a mat of used plastic with holes he added with a pick.  So that water with not accumulate, he explained, and stones and soil are separated. The plastic will asphyxiate weeds that grow from below. I supplied the term from his vernacular term. 

To break the monotony of the stones he planted peanut grass on the periphery, and covered the drainage cover with stones - camouflage was what he meant.  And how about emphasis? Just a boulder he couldn't take away from view. It's there and it's part of it.  Jun is a philosopher, too. 

I received more than knowledge itself.  I learned a lesson in life from a simple man who simply love his work, and willing to share it. Which led me to ask, What really is a professor?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Edge of the Sea and Childhood

Dr Abe V Rotor
Palo, Leyte

The fringe of the land, the edge of the sea,
swell and recede in calm and in rage,
telling a saga or make-believe story
of child becoming man page by page.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Decorative baskets from leaflets

Decorative baskets from leaflets
Dr Abe V Rotor

Don't refuse those colorful leaflets at the mall.  Gather them instead.  Have a second round.  Tell the kind fellow you need more for your friends.  And  neighbors.  Put a smile to show your (good) intentions.

Now you have a bagful of colorful leaflets - housing, food, appliance, fashion, party, promo of many kinds.  Get them all.  The giver will just be too happy.  You are his potential customer.

Of course you are.  Who knows someday you will patronize any of those advertised products and services?  Or someone in the family or in the office will be curious about it. 

You see, you are a great help in getting rid of litters.  You make something useful before it is thrown into the garbage.  You turn garbage to beauty.  You give life to a short-lived leaflet. That’s more than recycling.  You make a table alive, a corner filled, a shelf attractive. You make something functional for pencils, laces, ribbons, hankies, in fact you can use it as flower base other than just a receptacle. 

You make children curious.  They want to know how you do it?  You are now a mentor, a teacher.  You are now an environmentalist.  An artist, not only for art sake, but to make this world a better place to live in. ~

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Photography Lesson: Photo Editing at Home with the Computer (Reference to Assignment in Photography, UST-AB)

 Photography Lesson: Photo Editing at Home with the Computer  (Reference to Assignment in Photography, UST-AB)
Dr Abe V Rotor
Lesson in editing Photographs
Living with Nature School on Blog 
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly Tenorio 738 DZRB AM Band 8 too 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

Study each set - edited and unedited.  Can you tell the difference? In what aspects? Describe. What tools of  the Adobe Photoshop were used? How? Try  in your computer. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Essay: The Aisle

Dr Kristine Molina-Doria
co-author, Philippine Literature Today: A Travelogue and Integrated Approach. 
“Here comes the bride…all dressed in white…”

This one famous line is universal, yet it is not common. They say, it is because it is only for the chosen, the truly loving, the brave, and the dreamer, who truly deserves it.
The wedding march is an embodiment of the world’s musical masterpieces that ushers the beginning of a new world, it speaks of a new life. Mendelsohnn, Bach, Beethoven et al vied for the ultimate expression for the occasion, the same way Brahms perfected the Lullaby, Handel the Alleluia, and Mozart the Requiem..

Actually the aisle-to-altar distance is the longest road on earth; time simply stops and throbs with the sweetness of “leaving and going,” a journey traveled but once beyond the ritual. It is the only one of its kind to bind hearts, relations, the past, the present and future. It is the most important road to a union of permanent commitment, biological and spiritual. It is the way of life.It leads us with God’s blessing to a longer journey of life as progenitors of life itself.

It is all because of love - its ultimate manifestation and goal. Please move over Einstein, Darwin, et al. Your theories alone can’t define what love is. Move over Freud and Jung, the mind alone cannot build and nurture love. Give way to this special road. It may be the least trodden, often elusive. And that makes it even more special.

It has always been my dream. And now I have reached its portal. My friends have been waiting for the occasion, and now I will tell more of my “secrets” deeper than comparing notes and exchanging pleasantries,not even in our serious debates, in humor and wit. What will I tell them – my friends in elementary, high school and in the university, neighbors, among other aquaintances? And to the world?

· How to surrender my family name passed on by my dad, and my dad’s dad, and before, and here I am surrendering it to a new one, unfamiliar at first and getting use to it. It is a woman greatest surrender in the name of love.

· How to stay young to walk the aisle someday, waiting for time and opportunity, and knowing that the aisle can’t wait. I made the decision to give way to my heart’s desire and love’s potion to answer love’s calling - a calling before it fades to oblivion.

· How to equate success with failure, gladness with sorrow, affluence with simplicity – and if I found no formula or equation, I found solutions treating these as riddles of life, with love.

· How to keep on living, not by sheer courage but with meaning derived from good grooming, from wisdom of my father whose deathbed was leased to him for two decades. I learned to keep my chin up and look over the horizon, with love, strong and enduring behind me.

· How education hones the mind, humbles the heart and buoys the spirit – I kept on learning everyday, not merely for the sake of knowledge itself, but to understand more about life that I may be able to live it better and truer. It must be love that guided me to it.

· How unkind the world may be at times, with its trials, and through those I thought are the guardians of peace and understanding, but did come out of my expectation, yet I found ways to be stronger, deserving in my deeds small as are. It must be love that propped me up over and above these travails.

· How many times did I fall behind the line, for a ride, for a snack, in a celebration, in fashion, yet on the other hand, fortunate to be among the first in grades, recitation, cheers and prayers, and in paying respects. If by the disparity of all these like a polarized world – I managed to not only survive but triumph at the end – then it must be love that carried me all along.

· How punishment builds character with the philosopy “spare the rod and spoil the child,” I was that child submitting to punishment for my faults, never questioning authority. Instead, I did my duty in deference to age and authority, as expression of love to my bed-ridden dad. Indeed it is the greatest manifestation of not only my love, but care and admiration for him. I discovered a fountain of love in a dying father..

· How I endured, more than the one who endures, for the mind senses pain more than the body; if in this way I shared pain in order to lessen the sufferer’s, and doing it is not obligation on my part but sweet piety and compassion, then I have somehow transformed the pain that flows from my suffering dad, into a kind of sacrifice, pure and true and unconditional – and if these are seen as prayer Above, then it must be love whose mystery will never be understood by us mortals.

· How to accept suffering in a most difficult way but never, never bitter about life, how to endure it without measure of time and hope, yet each day passes without a tinge of anger and hatred, I remained rational by not questioning social and divine injustice, the inequality of men for happiness and sadness, and inequitable sharing the Good Life – this must be the way love is earned and reserved for some other time when you need it most.

· How in the course of gradual recovery my beloved patient fell back worse than he was before, and now the clock was ticking louder and louder in countdown, and how I faced this darkest hour no light can bring brightness but shadow, the shadow of the valley – of that once green and verdant watershed of life. The greatest test came, I stood courageous for the inevitable. I was released with a freedom you call love, its echo reberverating in the hearts of many people, and ultimately to the Creator. It is the most profound love I have ever experienced.

· How the interval of time builds a new bridge is beyond me to understand. Words of comfort and hope came from friends, from home, from unknown people. Plants started to bloom early, spring came with the chirping of birds and fluttering of butterflies, sunrise came earlier, the sunset’s glow came with the Angelus. I found more stars in the sky now, and one had a particular glow. I pointed at it, Dad!

· How I say farewell to childhood and single blessedness, to embrace a new life which is bigger than life itself, the memories tamed by time and acceptance, friendship distilled by trials, dreams pruned from aircastles, the cloud nine I used to seek refuge, now fall as rain to make the fields green, and washes away old tears, how to reach the steppes of a desert and find other people who have traveled on the same route that I took, and realize in this world you are not alone and will never be, for there are people who too, have lived the best part of their lives. .

Yes, the aisle! The Aisle! I walked up the aisle – with my dad’s living memory. Waiting ahead stood the man I would be exchanging vows to be with him the rest of my life. ~

Note: Living memories are few and fewer still as we grow old. They may have faded like photographs, But there are living memories that will remain forever. They are the landmarks of our character. They are the beacons in our lives, shining in everything that we do to our last breath. From here our children will remember us, it is our legacy to them and to the world.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Practical Energy Production and Conservation

Dr. Abe V. Rotor and Ms. Melly Tenorio
DZRB Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid
738 AM, 9 to 10 Evening Class, Monday to Friday 

Let’s all do it not only for the sake of providing energy, but for better qualityLife for future generations.  Greatest legacy for our children and their children devotion and reverence. a:

The sun is the very source of life; 
it is the source of boundless energy.

  • You need less energy to boil water in the highland than in the lowlands? True, vice versa, same.  (At sea level – 100C; 3,000m – 90C; 6,000m – 81; 9,000m – 75C)

  • When water boils it is 100C, burn more fuel and the temp increase above 100C.  (Inside a pressure cooker it does go to 121C at sea level)

  • Why is it cooler on the mountain top than on the lowland, when it should be the other way around.  You are closer to the sun at higher elevation?

NOTE: Half of the energy we use for heating, electricity, machines is lost.  These fuels are oil and gas 60 %, coal 35%, nuclear 5%.

Individual and family efforts

1. Rural area, back to firewood, build dirty kitchen.  Smoke drives mosquitoes and other vermin, natural smoke is not harmful to health.

2. Firewood farming –madre de cacao, ipil-ipil, aroma, acacia – 24 species cited in new firewood farming in the tropics.  Firewood farming integrated with forestry program, mixed tree farming. Stripe and contour farming, helps reduce erosion and siltation, supports SALT..

3. Save trees, plant trees:  Forest increases )2, absorbs CO2, create miniclimate. Attracts cloud increase rainfall, give food, energy, shelter and clothing. Restores wildlife, ecological sanctuary, reduces smog (suspended layer of fog and smoke).

4. Biomass fuel: farm waste, oil from plants, gasohol or alcogas, Jatropha, consuelda, castor bean, lumbang, bitaog.

5. Car maintenance: proper tire inflation, engine displacement, regular maintenance, carless day, planned route, car pool, 1 B cars in the world by 2018 (now 600 m) required $20 m barrels a day. Reduce driving speed – best way – on the highway.
500 people travel on 125 cars, 10 buses, 1 train.
6.  House plan and design: environment friendly, natural ventilation, insulation during cool and windy months, low energy consumption, proper maintenance.

7. Measure the energy you use, monitor monthly consumption. Trace excess consumption.  Target reduce to as much as 50 percent. (1T watts = 1 kw; 1m watts = 1 MW; 1 b watts – 1 gigawatt (1GW)  Example. 25ww, 50w, 100w – you need only 25w.

8. Practice recycling to reduce energy requirement – water, re-heat food, waste utilization (wood), scrap metal, used tires, plastics, metals (bauxite most efficient in recycled metal).

9. Austerity in electric energy consumption, Philippines among the highest in electric energy cost, yet among the lowest in GDP per capita.  Solutions: fewer and more efficient light bulbs, limit laundry (ex. sun dry, bulk washing and ironing), forego using electricity in bath, pressurized water system)

National and Commercial Energy power generation
1. Dams: Ambuklao, Binga, Pantabangan, Chico, Angat, La Mesa.  Reforestation of watersheds resucs siltation, enhances life of dam.

2. Nuclear power? No, thanks, Nuclear power plant conversion: 500 nuclear plants all over the world – now there is a slowdown  for new ones, hazard (Chernobyl and 34-mile island incidents), increasing investment and maintenance cost. Sweden the first to stop building nuclear reacors, US has no new nuclear plant,  but France, Germany, Belgium and Japan will produce more electricity from nuclear reactors.

3. Energy of falling water: gravitational energy. Hydroelectric plant, loss of land by gain in water, salt water intrusion problem. SWIP for power and irrigation, also fisheries and forestry

3. Energy efficiency in agriculture and industry, part of sustainable productivity. Take advantage of the greenhouse effect.

4. Cars, cars, cars – increase people and car ratio: US 1.8, 2.9, Russia 24, Peru 52, China 1374, Philippines ? electric cars, hydrogen powered, 100,000 car are manufacture everyday, 80 bought ib developed countries.

Pioneer energy projects 
1. Wind power farm, re-inventing the Dutch windwill (Don Quijote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes), farm type wind mills tp generate electricity and ground water pump. Winmd turbine generators (WTGs)  there are only 20,000 WTGs in the world, 15 t in California. Total production is 5,000 MW.

2. Ethanol from sugarcane, sugar beets and root crops (cassava) – competes with human food and other uses.

3. Biogas: home type (China and India models), farm model (Madamba Maya Farms), community (energy from garbage), commercial types, mainly methane.  

4. Composting – production of organic fertilizer, soil conditioners..

5. Solar energy: reflected light (mirror concentrator), desalination, direct drying, solar panels, solar battery/cell, Ex. Telephones tap power of sun, solar car (Sunraycer GM crossed Australia on a desert route at ave 24 miles per hour  

6. Fire in the Earth: geothermal energy; hot rocks.  Water is pump to a depth up to two miles (Britain), circulates in crack, becomes hot up to 200 centigrade and comes through a borehole which then turns a turbine. Anglo-French link  Old Red Sandstone 76 centigrade hot enough to heat buildings.  Trapping volcanic heat. Hot water in island, Los BaƱos.

7. New sails for sea vessels (Back to the time of sailing ships.

8. Surging energy of the sea: waves, tides, heat content, salty water itself, ocean currents.
(gully wave generator, wave power, OTEC Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, CLAM – British wave pressure system, Japanese osmosis system at estuaries. .

9. Biodegradable plastics for biogas and compost production

Overall conclusion and recommendation:  Less is More ~