Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The practical way to increase the storage life of onion and garlic

Dr Abe V Rotor

  1. Reviving practical technology
  2. Saving energy
  3. Minimizing loss in storage
  4. Speculating for better price, hence higher income
  5. Chemically safe - no pesticide
  6. Low investment, little capital outlay
  7. Local employment, livelihood

Shallot or Sibuyas Tagalog is stored by hanging in a dry and cool place.
Planted in late September or October and harvested simultaneously in December causing price to plummet, the bulbs must have to wait for good price. How?  

Store them in bundles, reduce weight loss, infestation, and rot. Smudging, that is, training smoke from dry grass and leaves into the hanging bulbs will improve storage efficiency. No wonder onions and other harvested crops like garlic are hang above the fireplace or in the kitchen of rural homes.     

Monday, February 24, 2014

Communion with Nature - Ten Ways

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
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
Parakeets, Safari World, Thailand

Lovely, friendly -  kindest words ever be,
whereas their kin are wild and free;
lucky in man's judgment these pair  may be
if only we understand their plea
for freedom to the wild, to their ancestry
and away from the artificial tree.  
Tamboili shells, former St. Paul Museum

I'm standing on the world's narrowest isthmus,
among archives and fossils of history,
where I can hold the Pacific and the Atlantic
oceans half the world apart and free;
I cross the time and distance barrier
with these chroniclers singing to me
the unending roars of the tides,
tides on the street, tides of the sea.

Sunken Pier, Puerto, Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur

Behold! a jellyfish as looking glass
unfolds a third world scene:
half terrestrial, half aquatic,
solid and liquid in between,
third matter in colloidal form -
strange the world is ever seen. 

Baby sitting: Fluppy, angora rabbit at home

Here is seeing the world in dreams;
half awake, half asleep,
on two planes -  fantasy and reality,
rather than counting sheep,
to unload life's burden at the end of day -
a heaven sent li'l rabbit.

Rare walking stick insects, Museum of Natural History,
UPLB Laguna

Dragons in fairy tales and religious fictions -
they are fierce, they're enemies of mankind;
in fossils and movies they scare the children;
little do we think of them friendly and kind,
devouring pests, singing lullaby in dull air;
misjudged, they're harder and harder to find.
Baby orangutan, Avilon Zoo, San Mateo, Rizal

Monkey on my back, that's what people say
when what we say logic we lack;
genes may vary, yet the same to this day,
indeed, a monkey on our back.
Viewing telescope, Mall of Asia, Pasay Metro Manila

Yes, creatures but man, are getting fewer, farther apart;
changing the old game with art of glass and steel;
where you can't get near, when you can't touch and feel,
technology comes to fill, yet empty still. 

 Red shelf mushrooms, Sacred Heart Novitiate, QC

Flaming red in the night and in bright light -
what secret have you Ganoderma
and yet your light cannot make the dead rise
again, the tree felled by cold heart,
lying unknown and forgotten in its demise.

Crustose lichen on a tree trunk, Silang Cavite 

Crust blankets the tree with powdery green,
 strange indeed to the inquisitive, 
that this is a model of symbiosis,  
for tree and lichen together they live.  

Violin and aquarium fish, Don Antonio Heights 2, Diliman, QC  

Music is universal - that is worthy of praise,
 to all creatures the "Mozart Effect"
that brings us all together in work and ease,
friend and foe, master and subject,
sans division and color in war and peace.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Don't waste food, don't!

Dr Abe V Rotor

Excessive serving leads to food waste. If not, obesity. Or both.
Don't throw away food left on the table. Please don't.

• Food is Santa Gracia (holy grace) as old folks reverently call it.

• Food waste could otherwise go to millions who have not enough to eat.

• Food waste breeds pest and disease, sickens the air.

• Anything that goes to waste draws down the economy.

• Waste widens inequity in resources.

Here are some things to do with food leftovers.

1. Sinagag - fried rice mix with bits of bacon, ham, fried egg, fish, and the like.
2. Torta - tidbits like those mentioned in scramble egg. Include veggies like carrot and onion.
3. Pickle – excess veggies and fruits plus vinegar, sugar and salt, and spices. Good for carrot, bell pepper, cucumber, green papaya, yam (sinkamas), others.
4. Paksiw – if not consumed is fried, makes a new menu.
5. Daing – fish in season is dried, cooked with gata’ (coconut milk).
6. Suka – fruit vinegar from overripe pineapple, banana, others, but not tomato and kamias.
7. Pudding – bread not consumed on time is also made into pizza bread- bread crumbs, garlic bread.
8. Sopas – Grind bones, shrimp head for soup and broth. Bulalo for whole bone.
9. Pastillas – milk powder not consumed on time, also grated hardened cheese.
10. Veggie and fruit peelings – for animal feeds, composting. Include solids from brewing (coffee) and juicing fruits. Ultimately, inevitable food waste is collected for feeds in poultry and piggery.

Food waste also emanates from carelessness in handling, food preparation and serving. Much is also lost due to lack of proper processing, transport and storage facilities. Estimated loss in postharvest alone runs from 10 to 37 percent of actual harvest of crops.

In "Give us this day our daily bread..." in the Lord's Prayer, us here is regarded as thanksgiving and remembering the millions people around the world who may not have the food they need.

I believe in the wisdom of the old folk who reminds us of the value of food. They have experienced hunger during war, drought, flood, crop failure, pestilence - even in normal times. They have not lost sight of the presence ofSanta Gracia.

Yes, children there is a Santa Gracia . ~

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Trees - Nature's Gift to Man

Acacia trees, Ateneo de Manila University QC

By Anna Rotor

We grow up with trees.
We want them to grow big;
we want them to be around us;
to give us shade in which we play;
to give us strong trunk and branches
on which we climb and swing and laugh;
to give us fruits which make us full,
healthy and strong;
medicine to make us well;
wood that keeps our body warm,
cooks our food;
leaves to keep our air clean
and to whisper and sing
and dance with the breeze;
and above all,
to give us aesthetic beauty
through which we feel
how lucky we are alive.
How irrational would it be to kill a tree,
even if we reason out that we need its wood,
its bark, its roots, its flowers and fruits and seeds,
to keep us alive!

It is a paradox
that for us to survive and progress,
we kill the host of life –
life of birds that build nest on its branches,
passersby who find respite
from the beating sun,
a myriad of small life forms
from insects to lizards
that find a home
and harbor on its roots and crown.
What a paradox
if we kill the tree that gives us oxygen
that brings down the cloud as rain,
that keeps the environment cool, clean and green
to kill a friend,
a companion and a guardian,
the link of our earth and sun,
God and His Son.

Excerpt from a speech of Anna Rotor, then 
16 years old at School of St. Anthony QC, 1999.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

UST-AB Development Communication: Research is ... with emphasis in the field of communication

UST-AB Development Communication: Research is ... with emphasis in the field of communication 
Dr Abe V Rotor

 Aristotle, father of scientific research

Research comprises "creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications." It is used to establish or confirm facts, reaffirm the results of previous work, solve new or existing problems, support theorems, or develop new theories. A research project may also be an expansion on past work in the field. To test the validity of instruments, procedures, or experiments, research may replicate elements of prior projects, or the project as a whole. The primary purposes of basic research (as opposed to applied research) are documentation, discovery, interpretation, or the research and development(R&D) of methods and systems for the advancement of human knowledge. Approaches to research depend on epistemologies, which vary considerably both within and between humanities and sciences. There are several forms of research: scientific, humanities, artistic, economic, social, business, marketing, practitioner research, etc.
1.    Research is… a historical and comparative study of People, Media and Power, referring to the role of media in people’s revolution such as People’s Power at Edsa, Arab Spring in the Middle East, Occupy Wall Street in the US, and similar contemporary mass uprisings -  not to mention, their precursor of French Revolution, and our own struggle of Independence during Rizal’s time.

2.    Research is … tracing the “Theories of the Press” (Authoritarian, Libertarian, Social Responsibility, Soviet-Totalitarian, and the latest - Development Communication), how they evolved into dominant movements, and ultimately analyzing their role in shaping our society and our world.
3.    Research is … inquiring into Culture and Values, national and universal in a fast changing world as people move from rural to urban centers, cities bursting at the seams, so to speak, and modern living shifting to post modernism.

4.    Research is … looking into participatory journalism, and investigative journalism, their increasing importance as tools in carving out excesses and abuses of power on one hand, and anarchy on the other, in pursuit of  a peaceful, orderly, and progressive life.

5.    Research is … examining and evaluating the modern tools of communication, from print to multimedia, with the vast application of cyber technology and network that can reach the far ends of the earth, carrying information, entertainment, education, heretofore abreast and encompassing.

Basrelief sculpture "Research holding the torch of knowledge" (1896) by Olin Levi Warner. Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C. At the main entrance of the University of Santo Tomas, two statues stand on each side of the Arch of the Centuries, they represent man's yearning for knowledge and wisdom. One is shown holding the Book of Wisdom.

6.    Research is … looking into the flaws of media, violation of the Code of Ethics and Human Rights, and offering corrective measure and setting directions of responsibility and accountability of media practitioners.

7.    Research is … investigating the root cause of libel cases, and other media violations, legal and moral, and how these can be avoided through legislation and implementation.

8.    Research is … determines what kind of research must be given importance and priority, where developing countries such as ours should aim at applied or functional research, rather than basic research which is expensive and fundamentally - but not functionally and directly - useful.

9.    Research is … studying the effective means of distance learning or teaching through media (university without walls, e-learning) whereby students can obtain their education with affordable cost without leaving their home-base and workplace, thus enabling a country to provide mass quality education to its population.

10. Research is … determining the scope and limits of Press Freedom vis-avis Human Rights and state security, among other considerations.

11. Research is … looking into the role of media in crisis situation, on the battle front, or war zones, and under conditions where the media is placed in perilous and sensitive situation.

12. Research is … finding out the effectiveness of many learning instruments such as Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People’s School on Air); Laedza Batani (Let’s wake up!), STOU (Thailand) Open University, Kibbutz (Israel) and commune schools, outreach programs, rural immersion, barefoot doctors, school in Blog, and others.
13. Research is … finding out the complementary role of media in the implementation of the new general education under the K to 12 Program, catalyzing the program’s objectives and goals.

14. Research is … preparing the student in working for his thesis (Bachelor’s and Masteral), and dissertation (doctoral), and guiding him in the actual performance of his study.

15. Research is … critiquing Advertisements and Promotions of products and services in order to guide both producer and the public to uphold dignity and decency, and exercise prudence and responsibility in not only on the merits of products, but their educational aspects as well.
Scientific Research: Author studies a rare marine fossil along the coastline of Sta Maria, Ilocos Sur 
16. Research is … consolidating, interpreting and writing implementation guides of  laws and rules – international and local – governing media, these include Copyright Laws, the Constitution, Code of Ethics, and those that govern Press Councils, Journalist Associations, Press Conventions.

17. Research is …guiding students in choosing their topics based on practicability (cost, time frame, facility), especially in the research proper, which comprise the methodology, analysis and interpretation of data and findings, conclusion, and finally in drawing out recommendations regarding the findings.

18. Research is … guiding students in the publication of the results of their research in Journals, books, TV and radio broadcast, on the Internet, and in local publications for the information of the grassroots.
19. Research is … linking laboratory findings and field application, technology with enterprise, thus establishing a system whereby findings are brought to people’s use, and therefore contributory to growth and development.

20. Research is … never static, exclusive, and academy-centered; neither a  monopoly of a few, and that as the prime mover of invention and discovery, it must address itself to the needs of a a progressive, sustainable society.

Humanities Research: Si Malakas at si Maganda 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Remembering the Philippines' Foremost Biologists: Dr Deogracias V Villadolid and Dr Eduardo A Quisumbing

Dr Abe V Rotor
Father of Philippine Fisheries Education 

It was Dr Villadolid who introduced tilapia in the Philippines in 1950 when he was Director of the Bureau of Fisheries. He also initiated fisheries education in the country. For this reason, he is known as the Father of Fisheries Education in the Philippines.

“One of the country’s outstanding biologists, Dr. Deogracias V. Villadolid devoted the last years of his life to the advancement of research in fisheries in the Philippines and in the Indo-Pacific area. He contributed a great deal to the sustained study and interest in the biology of fishes, especially cultivation and conservation as well as to the promotion of the fishery industry.” - Dr. Juan Salcedo, Jr., then Chairman of the National Research Council of the Philippines.

Foremost Philippine zoologist and botanist (Dr Deogracias V Villadolid and Dr Eduardo A Quisumbing)

Filipino botanist, Eduardo Quisumbing was a noted expert in the medicinal plants of the Philippines. He was author of more than 129 scientific articles. many on orchids. Eduardo Quisumbing served as the Director of the National Museum of the Philippines, where he rebuilt the Herbarium. The plant "Saccolabium quisumbingii" is named in honor of Eduardo Quisumbing. His book, Medicinal Plants of the Philippines is still the most important reference in botany, pharmacology and related subjects. 

Like Dr Villadolid, Dr Quisumbing, was my professor and critic in graduate research. It is a rare opportunity and honor to have been under these great Filipino scientists which enriched my preparation in my career as public servant and university professor. It is above all, for their humility, compassion, and dedication to service, other than their genius that they are and will always be remembered.