Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Crossroad

Dr Abe V Rotor

Crossroads: A New Beginning (Acknowledgement: 
The Congregational Church of West Medford, Internet)


If two roads lead to but one end,
would the pious take the less trodden? 
They say little faith makes neither a saint 
no matter which road he would take.~

Friday, April 25, 2014

Let's Go Back to Nature: Self-Administered Test (True or False, 25 Items)

Dr Abe V Rotor
Drynaria, aerial fern on a century old acacia.  Tagudin, Ilocos Sur

1. "Going back to nature” means we have to live the lives of our ancestors and renounce our modern living.

2. We can actually transfer genetic materials from one organism to another irrespective of species or class or sub kingdom by means of genetic engineering, resulting in the formation of what we call as GMO.

3. Genetic engineering actually started with Gregor Mendel, the father of the science of genetics and heredity some two hundred years ago.

4. There is no question about a human clone of not having a soul because, the soul of the parents transcend to offspring which is the clone.

5. We live under different ages all at a given time - atomic age, computer age, age of genetic engineering, and space age – all rolled into what scientists called the age of postmodernism.

6. “Tailor the land to the crop, and not the other way around,” is a cardinal rule of "treaty between man and nature."

7. Man is a recent creature on Earth. If the 5 billion years of the earth’s existence is compared to a calendar (365 days), man came into this world only on the eve of December 30. Man is only one-day old on earth.

8. “Our lives are being run and outrun by science and technology.” This statement is generally true.

9. "Universities without walls" or "distance education" will enable mass education to the grassroots. It will break the cartel or control by elite universities and colleges.

10. Toxic metals abound on land, sea and air – from kangkong to tuna to fowls – unless we control the emission and spread of these toxic metals.

11. Going back to nature is to become a strict vegetarian – giving up animal products. Unless we do this we can’t truly say we have gone back to nature.

12. “Ecological paradigm of salvation” means “we express our love and care to people by protecting nature.” Plant a tree, for example, is reverence to nature and therefore to the Creator; kill a tree and you commit a sin – more so it caused flood and erosion leading to death and destruction.

13. Support and actively participate in movements such as Clean Air Act, Piso sa Pasig, Clean and Green, Green Revolution, Carless Day, Car pooling, Biofuel, Saving Endangered Species, Greenpeace.

14. Convert deserts into woodlands and pasture; empty shorelines into resorts, given the tremendous resources to accomplish such gargantuan task.

15. Petrodollar is the life of the world economy – so that we support the idea there there is plenty of oil yet to be discovered. There should be no letup in tapping these reserves.

16. We should implement stricter laws such as: absolutely no logging (total log ban); impound all smoke belching vehicles; no conversion of agricultural to industrial lands; no hunting of wild animals; and the like.

17. Even without the human species, Planet Earth will continue to “go round” so to speak in the same way as it did in the last 5 billion years – and perhaps go on for another 5 billion years. We just don’t know what will be the kind of dominant species after us.

18. Homesite for the golden years is feasible in the rural as well as in the urban areas; it can be modified according to area, design and structure – but not purpose.

19. It is good to go back to classics without aristocracy, spirituality without religious dogmatism; philosophy without ideological bias; realism without barbarism – to have a better view of life, and a firmer basis of our decision and faith.

20. Science and technology has imprisoned us in many ways – that is why we are not truly happy. We need a direction – a definition of life’s meaning. Logotherapy is as relevant as in a situation where we are kept helpless in a prison camp.

21. Science and technology has actually eliminated the scourge of the human race – disease, poverty and ignorance. Actually we are only begging for more benefits discreetly.

22. Today it takes weeks for man to make diamonds in special oven chambers the size of a washing machine, when it would take nature thousands of years to make one.

23. Reports have been verified of the presence of bromate in sugar, sulfite in wheat flour, nitrate in meat, human hormone in milk.

24. Alternative vegetables are not to be recommended because we have barely studied them unlike conventional vegetables.

25. Homeostasis means dynamic balance – Nature’s way of renewal, renaissance, seeking stability as continuing goal.

x x x

ANSWERS: 1 F, 2T, 3F, 4F, 5T, 6F, 7T, 8T, 9T, 10T, 11F, 12T, 13T, 14F, 15F, 16T, 17T, 18T, 19T, 20T, 21T, 22T, 23T, 24 F, 25T

Monday, April 21, 2014

Petrified Wood

By Abe V Rotor

Petrified wood (Pietro, rock) is a fossil formed by the infiltration of minerals into cavities between and within cells of natural wood, usually by silica (silicon dioxide, SiO2) or calcite (calcium carbonate, CaCO3). Petrification is a very slow anaerobic process.

The replacement of organic tissue by mineral deposits is so precise that the internal structure as well as the external shape is faithfully represented; sometimes even the cell structure may be determined.

Petrified rocks are cut and polished into many items of commerce and art such as furniture, adornments, and decors.~

Disaster and Six Pioneers

 Dr Abe V Rotor

It is not really difficult to know your neighbors – and get well together - how far apart they are, when a disaster strikes. It was a typhoon - a howler, Typhoon Yoling - which started it all forty years ago.  

Rampage in acrylic by the author

Jorge de Jesus who owned the first grocery on the main road was the first to gather his immediate neighbors - Fred Daco and Boy Causon. In my area, Leo Tanquintic, Colonel Sergio Jamila and I joined later.  As we looked around, the houses of Mr. Vicente Roque, Mr. Gregorio Manlaguit and Colonel Jamila were the worst hit.  It was as if a tornado struck.

Then we remembered the old man, Tata Juan Aquino, who was living the farthest. The whole roof of his house was blown off.  We found the old couple in disbelief of what happened. Whole roofs and walls were strewn over a wide area.  Trees are either decapitated or uprooted.

There was no time to waste. Luckily no one was hurt and apparently panic was out of the picture. Rehabilitation was the order of the days that followed. Consultations and visitations were part of boosting morale. There was little consolation heard.   The six of us sat down and for the first time thought of an association small as it was then.  There was no plan to form an association as what DAHHA is today. 

Ours was a unique kind of organization.  It was informal, in fact highly personal, short of a fraternity. The ambiance of neighborhood is very important. Immediately we worked on collective security considering the remoteness of the place and the frequent incidence of crime around the subdivision which was then hedged by squatter communities living on scavenging.  At that time outside of DA was a little “Payatas.” 

I remember when we were constructing our house in 1967 we lost the electric motor of our water pump to burglars.  At another an impostor who appeared badly hurt begged to be let in for help.  Caution stopped us.  That same night we discovered that the “victim” was a  part of a modus operandi.     

In the weeks that followed the group of six thought of projects that would  make life in this remote subdivision brighter, specially for the children.  Basketball court - and that was how the open space began as a playground.

Colonel Jamila who owned the Veteran Scouts Security Agency arranged the security of the subdivision on an easy contribution scheme.  Eng. Daco planned and coordinated the construction of the waiting shed. He was later helped by Dr. Mel Ordillas, a new member then.  The waiting shed stood along Commonwealth for some time until it was demolished to give way to road expansion. 

The first guard house (not the present guardhouse) was later erected at the very entrance of the subdivision with the help of subsequent homeowners. I handled the tree planting project. Many of the trees in the subdivision which are around forty years old were planted at this time.  Jorge took care of the ways and means and was treasurer at the same time, while Boy who is a cousin of Tony Zuzuaregui, the owner of the subdivision, did the liaisoning and coordination, as well as public relations. The other members took charged of the construction of the basketball court. 

We realized that the association was born out of felt needs exacerbated by force majeure. No one can truly live alone when disaster strikes. It brings in awakening, a kind of Robinson Crusoe or Castaway in the life of a survivor. Even Henry David Thoreau who tried to live alone at Walden Pond had to finally rejoin society later. Indeed he emerged a wiser man.

It is some kind of evolutionary and primitive desire to be closer with others when we find them in need of help.  It could be the other way around – if we find ourselves at the receiving end.  High walls fall apart not by the disaster, but by its consequence later.

Organizational structures emerge from the nature of need.  Formality gives way to functionality; interim grows with immediacy rather than transience. Leadership style develops from the way problems are solved and how the desired result is attained.  Books simply provide models for us to follow or choose.  Such was the way the six pioneers worked in the two years or so that followed the Yoling disaster. 

A year passed and a formal organization took over. New officers joined in.  Meetings were held to discuss not only present needs but plans.  Future was more in the agenda. Projects like a chapel and park began to take shape as these are typical in an affluent community. Residents of Don Antonio belong to the  middle and upper middle class. 

In a decade, Ever Gotesco rose from a former dumpsite, the narrow Commonwealth Avenue has expanded into eight lanes, Don Antonio Avenue became a main thoroughfare and now boosts of fine commercial establishments.  Subdivisions sprouted in the vicinity.  Schools, banks,  churches, automobile centers, service stations, have truly given an urban touch to the once remote village.

The “mission” of the six pioneers was long considered finished.  Is it not that sometimes there is assignment given us that is co-terminus, although we do not call it that way?  Why there are times we feel we are no longer relevant, however efficient we may have been before. But that is the very essence of leadership – it opens new doors. This is rule of succession.  It is part of change.  And change itself.

I got a permanent field assignment and I left the subdivision in 1975. Jorge left the subdivision soon after. I do not remember where he took his family. Col. Jamila spent his last years in the subdivision. So with Leo Tanquintic.  I learned of their demise when I was in the province. Boy Causon and Fred Daco, I heard, have been living abroad.  

One time when I was sorting out my things a piece of paper browned by time fell.  I picked it up and to my surprise it is a poem I wrote about    Yoling  – the typhoon and the sentinel of man’s yearning for oneness. It reads.
                      
Born in Tempest

Ask not, ask not if I’m friend or neighbor or passerby,
When the North wind’s fury breaks the ceiling of the sky;
Yet one sees Heaven in prayers he did never bother,
To kneel, to cry, to call the first man he sees his brother.  

When the tempest’s finally gone, and Thor is heard no more,
And whispers come from the lips of the bold, within in store;
Heralds the calm, a throbbing of hearts not in ire or fear,
Hands clasping a fraternity’s born, save a drop of tear.


Now and then I take my family to Don Antonio to our family house at Don Gregorio. “Look at those trees,” I would tell my wife, Cecille and children – Marlo, Chris  Ann and Leo - pointing at the rows of spreading narra trees. “Forty years ago and there was a very strong typhoon … and there were six pioneers… …”
 
x          x         x


Nature's Sweet Lies

Nature's Sweet Lies
Dr Abe V Rotor
A pair of locust in camouflage and mimicry with the environment (Wikipedia)

The locust in summer is brown,
A lonely creature yet a clown;
Full in monsoon of hues of green,
Grotesque and mean I've ever seen.


The moth wears dust to hide its frame,
At dusk wakes up and play the game
Of feigning dead, devoid of spark;
Its enemies think it's all bark.

Where comes the trigger, that I know,
Hormones by signal freely flow,
Masking colors, painting a view,
To match a perfect scenario.

Deceit and conceit in a duo,
Makes one believe or doesn't know
To accept things or analyze
Nature's own sweet and gentle lies.~

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Apparition

 Dr Abe V Rotor

Oh, how short is memory after you are gone,
     Shorter still it is through time,
When spring comes but only part of season
     And time tolls in a hanging chime.

When in the night, in the shade of the moon,
     Your face appears in a smile,
I remember, I remember, the years gone by,
     As if it is only for a while.

Remiss I have been to keep your goodness,
     Our treasured things - and all,
And if they are locked in my heart and mind,
     I would not wait for your call.

But you come, you come in the dreary hour,
     When walls are fading and crumbling,
When work never ends, numbing the being,
     To rekindle faith and the spirit of living. ~

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Art World Travelogue through Drawing and Painting

Dr Abe V Rotor

   I. Introduction

      “Art World: A Travelogue through Drawing and Painting”, is a workshop manual designed to teach basic drawing and painting techniques  to  children of school age and young adults.

Fertile Valley in acrylic by the author 
       
The approach in this third volume is unique.  The participants go through an imagined itinerary that takes them to different places and introduces them to experiences which they are likely to encounter in life. There are twenty exercises to be accomplished as class work or home assignment, fifteen (15) are designed for individual work, while five (5) are for group work..

     This manual provides the needs of a summer workshop which is conducted for at least ten sessions, with three hours per session. Ideally one exercise is done in the classroom, and one is given as home assignment. An on-the-spot session can also make use of a number of exercises from this manual, such as  Flying Kites, Inside a Gym, and Market Day.  Each exercise will be graded and at the end of the workshop, the participants will be rated and ranked accordingly.  The top three graduates shall be awarded gold, silver and bonze medals, respectively.
    
      Computation of grades is based on the Likert Scale, where 1 is very poor, 2 poor, 3 fair, 4 good, and 5 very good. The general criteria are composition, interpretation, expression, artistic quality and impact. The details of these shall be discussed by the instructor at the onset of each exercise.

 The author offers this volume a respite from cartoons, advertisements, entertainment characters, programs filled with
violence and sex,  computer games, and  the like, which many children are  overexposed via media and computers.  It is his aim to help create a more wholesome culture where certain values of a growing child and adolescent are developed and nurtured.  Art through this means becomes principally a vehicle for development, notwithstanding the gains in skill acquired.

       For each exercise, the instructor shall explain the requirements and procedure with the use of visuals and through demonstration. If there is need for group interaction he shall also serve as facilitator-moderator. He shall choose the appropriate music background for each exercise to enhance the ambiance of the workshop. 

       With brush and colors one can go places and create scenarios as vivid as what a pen can do.  It reminds us of the masterpieces of  Jules Verne which he wrote many, many years ago, notably “Around the World in Eighty Days”.  More than fiction we embark on a trip for life, real and inevitable. The pleasures await us, so with difficulties and hardships. The journey takes us closer to Nature and appreciate her beauty , it leads us to meet people and learn how to be a part of society.  Here we plan our lives, make things for ourselves, enjoy success, face failure, and at the end we  return to reality once again. Our journey takes us back to our loved ones, and  with an Angelus prayer on our lips we  draw a deep breathe of gratitude.

     Thus one can glimpse from the outline of our itinerary that Part 1 introduces us to the natural world, while Part 2 integrates us into society.  The last part  provides a window through  which a growing child and an adolescent see the other side of their present world, the real world  in which they  will spend the rest of  their lives.

     All aboard!

 Exercise 1
Sunflower Field
Lessons in radial symmetry, uniformity,
and unity; farm life and scenery.

        The sunflower has a central disc, surrounded by a ring of bright  yellow petals which resemble the rays of the sun. But the most  unique characteristic of the sunflower is that it faces the sun as it moves from sunrise to sunset.  Because of its “obedience” to the sun, botanists gave the plant a genus name, Helianthes, after the Greek sun god, Helios.

        Draw a field of sunflowers. Central Luzon State University in Munoz, Nueva Ecija, is the pioneer in sunflower farming.   Imagine yourself to be at the center of sunflower farm. It is a bright day.  Walk through the field among the plants as tall as you. Examine their long and straight stem and large leaves. Touch the large flowers, smell their sweet and fresh scent. Observe the bees and butterflies visiting one flower after another.   Make the  flowers prominent in your drawing.  Remember they are uniform in size, height and color, and they are all facing the sun. Make the sky blue with  some cloud to break the monotony.

        You are given thirty minutes to complete your work.  Use pastel colors on Oslo or drawing paper.  Fill up the entire paper as if it were the whole field and sky. You may draw butterflies and bees. And you may draw yourself as you imagine yourself in a sunflower field.  Here are suggested musical compositions for music background. “Humoreque”, “Minuet in G”, “Serenata”, “Traumerei”,  “On the meadow”,   “Spring Song”,  “Ang Maya”.

Exercise 2
Fairy Garden
Introduction to fantasy, richness of imagination,
 and familiarity of  make-believe stories.

        This exercise relies principally on fantasy.  We are in fairyland. What kind of garden is this?  It is a garden made by our imagination and dreams. It is a garden in the world of Jonathan Swift’s second book, “Gulliver in Brodningnad”, where Gulliver was a dwarf in a land of giants where everything is big.

        Imagine yourself a dwarf among mushrooms, mosses, grass, and insects. But here everyone is friendly, you imagine you can even ride on an  ant like in “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!”, if you have seen the movie.

        Here harmony of nature and creatures is at its best.  There are no cars, buildings, highways and skyways.  The amenities in life are very simple. Nature is left alone in her pure state.
    
        Use  Oslo paper and pastel colors. Draw a part or section of that garden in your imagination. Do not draw the whole panoramic view.   Include  the things that make that garden in your imagination, one that belongs to fantasy land. “The Last Rose of Summer’”by Flotow fits well in this exercise. How about Schubert compositions? Ballet music like, “The Dying Swan”?  Let us try these for background music.

 Exercise 3
A Hut by the Pond on a Mountain
Lessons of peace, tranquility, and of  unspoiled
landscape; feeling of being on top of the world.

        The title alone tells a story.  It is picturesque.  Here one imagines himself to be in a simple hut made of wood and stone and grass which shelters a woodsman or a hunter on Mt. Pulag in Benguest which is the second highest mountain in the Philippines after Mt. Apo.

       There are no houses, buildings; no road, except a trail.  The trees are gnarled and stunted.  They are  covered with ferns, epiphytes and mosses which make them look haunted.  Feel the great comfort the hut gives you after a long day hike, and how soothing is the cool and clear water of a pond nearby. There are  water lilies  growing on the pond. Their flowers are red, orange, white and yellow. Sometimes a breeze come along, followed by drizzle, then everything is quiet.  Enjoy stillness.  It is a rare experience to one who has been living in the city. 

         Draw first the mountain top where a pond and a hut are found.  There is an faint trail which is the only way. The trees are dwarf and sturdy. They are bearded with mosses.  Mist will soon clear as the sun penetrates through the trees, and makes a prism on the mist and dewdrops. Selections from the sound track of  “Sound of Music” provide an ideal musical background.

Exercise 4
Lighthouse at the Edge of the Sea
Lessons in the wild, where Nature can
be at times angry and cruel to those
who do not take heed of her warning.
        

          Here we are at the end of the land, and the beginning of the vast ocean.  We stand on the coral reef and stones where we are safe from the angry waves. Above our head is a tall structure, strong, painted white, and on top of it is a strong light which guides seafarers  at night, keeping away from dangerous rocks and shoals. This is an old lighthouse in Calatagan, Batangas.

          Draw the waves breaking on the rock at the foot of the lighthouse. Give life to the sky. Put some moving clouds, some sunset colors.  This is a sign of bad weather.  There are sailboats leaning with the wind, their sails distended.  They burst in different colors and designs, breaking the gloom. Other boats lay in anchor, their sails lowered, while others have been carried to higher ground.  The shore is deserted now, except a few fishermen securing  their paraphernalia in their anchored  boats. Let us play Antonin Dvorak Jean Sibelius and other Scandinavian compositions.  They have a special touch that creates the ambiance for this topic.

 Exercise 5
Rainforest
A lesson on different kinds of plants and animals living
together in a forest, the richest ecosystem in the world,
their organization, adaptation and relationships.

          As we enter a tropical rainforest, the trees become taller and denser, grasses disappear, and shrubs and vine plants called lianas take over their place.  In the center of the rainforest are massive trees several meters high. Their trunks are huge, it takes several persons to wrap a tree with their arms stretched.  Sunlight is blocked, except rays seeping through the green roof.  We imagine we are inside the forest of Mt. Makiling in Laguna.

          We  walk through the forest  by first  clearing our way with a bolo. Be careful, the ground is slippery.  In the rainforest, rain falls everyday, in fact anytime,  from drizzle to downpour.  That is why it is called rainforest.  Be careful with wild animals and thorny plants.  Do not disturb them, just observe them. Look for  reptiles like lizards and snakes, amphibian like frogs and toads, fish swimming in a stream,  birds singing up in the trees, insects of all kinds, animals like deer and monkeys.

        Draw a cross section of a forest showing the different creatures.  Show their interrelationships. For example a snake eats frogs, frogs eat insects, insects feed on plants.  Observe the trees are of three levels.  We appear very small standing on the ground floor of a seven-storey natural building that is the forest.  Joey Ayala’s compositions on nature fit best as background music in this exercise. Why don’t we try  some songs of  Pilita Corales and Kuh Ledesma which are appropriate for this topic? “Sierra Madre”, for example.
  
Exercise  6
 Riceland
Lessons on the Central Plains, birthplace of agriculture
and seat of early human settlement, rice granary of the
country, where typical farm life is observed.

        Rice, rice everywhere with few trees, no mountains, except Mt. Arayat.  The wind sweeps over the plains and make waves and soothing sound. Suddenly a flock of herons and maya birds rise into the air.  Herds of cattle lazily graze. Their calves are playful and oftentimes get lost.  You hear both parents and calves calling one another.  There are carabaos which like best areas where there is water and mud to wallow in..

        Because we are in the Philippines we do not have zebras, lions, tigers and leopards.  These animals live in Africa and on the vast plains of North America.  We are going to draw a Philippine scene instead.  We have our Central Plains where we grow rice.  Here the farmer plants when the rains come and harvests towards the end of the monsoon.  His hut in the middle of his field is made of nipa and bamboo.  It is small.  Beside it are haystacks that look like giant mushrooms.  Children help on the farm, they mature and learn to live with life earlier than city kids. 
  
        Draw a typical ricefield scene in Central Luzon.  It is like Fernando Amorsolo’s seceneries of rural life where there are people planting or harvesting rice.  A carabao pulls a plow or cart, a nipa hut is surrounded by vegetables, haystacks or mandala dwarf the huts and people around. It is indeed a typical scene that gives an excellent  background for our native songs and dances like Tinikling. Ang Kabukiran song fits well as a background music for this exercise. Let us play Nicanor Abelardo’s Compositions. Filipino composers like Padilla de Leon, Verlarde, Canseco, and Umali excel in this field.
  
Exercise 7
Waterfalls
This exercise makes us reflect at where a river abruptly
ends.  The energy and scenery of  a waterfalls stir our
imagination and make us think about life.

         Here we follow the river.  It meanders, then at a certain point it stops.  But it does not actually end here.  As water seeks its own level the river drops into a waterfalls and continues its journey toward the sea. We think of Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna or Maria Cristina Falls in Mindanao.

As we stand witness to this natural phenomenon, we are awed by its strength, it roars as it falls, sending spray and mist that make a prism or small rainbow. It pounds the rocks, plunges to a deep bottom before it becomes placid as if it has been tamed, then resumes to flow, seeking a new course toward its destiny.

Look around.  Trees abound everywhere and make a perfect curtain and prop of a great drama. The background music is a deafening sound. And it is just appropriate.  Be part of the drama.  Be still and capture the scene.  You have thirty minutes to do it on Oslo and pastel colors. Let us play heavy music from Beethoven, and Ryan Cayabyab.  Toward the end of the exercise let us have a  Rachmaninov or  a Listz composition. 
  
Exercise 8
Inside a Cave
Looking back at the past, the home of our primitive
Ancestors, window of early civilization, and study
of a Nature’s architectural work.
  
Have you ever been inside a cave?  Jules Verne wrote a fancinating novel, “Journey to the Center of the Earth”.  Look for the book or tape, or find somebody who had read it. It is a story of three daring men who traveled down a dormant volcano and explored a huge cavern, a world in itself inhabited by strange creatures of the past.

This exercise leads us to a cave in Callao, Cagayan, or Tabon in Palawan. On the face of a cliff are openings.  We enter the biggest one.  It is dark and scary.  We hear bats, dripping water, and the wind making its ways through the cave. We see tiny lights like hundreds of distant stars.  These are crystalline calcium deposits, phosphorescent materials, and glow worms. They cling on the stalactites which are giant teethlike structures hanging from the roof of the cave. The stalagmites are their counterpart rising from the cave floor.  When both meet, they form pillars of many shapes and sizes. See that beam of light coming  through the roof?  It is a window to the sky.

Now draw the view from here and show the main entrance which frame the stalactites and stalagmites, and the seeping beam of light coming from the opening at the sky roof.  You have thirty minutes to do it. Play a tape of  Johann Sebastian Bach as background music. Robert Schumann’s symphony fits  as well.

Exercise  9 
Shanties and Buildings
Lesson on contrast – between beautiful, high
rise buildings and ugly shanties; between affluent
and poor, modern and undeveloped  communities.

          It is ironic to see high rise buildings as a backdrop of shanties in Pasig and  Makati, our country’s business capital.

          It means there are very rich and very poor people living together in one place.  It reminds us of  Charles Dicken’s “Oliver Twist” and the Bastille before the French revolution.  These are stories about inequality, and where there is inequality, many social problems arise, such as unemployment, disease and epidemic, drug abuse and problems on peace and order.  Play the tapes, “Les Miserables” and  “Noli Me Tangere, the Musical”. We  can use these also in other exercises, like Typhoon and Angelus.

          Here we stand  viewing the dwellings of the so-called “poorest among the poor” which  line up the sidewalks and  esteros.  They are found  under the bridges, on vacant lots, and even on parks and shorelines. What a perfect contrast they make against the skyscrapers!  This view is what you are going to draw.  In each sector, include the inhabitants in their  own lifestyle.

 Exercise  10
Market Day
A place where people meet people, the pulse of our socio-
economic life, where all walks all of life converge.

Everyday is market day in Divisoria, Baclaran, Pasay, Balintawak, and many public markets and talipapa in the city.  In the province, Market Day comes maybe once a week, and when it is on a Sunday, the market comes alive after the mass.

Here we are going to meet people, we meet the common tao. We are among them.  We are going to draw a complex scene.  Here are the things we are going to put in our drawing. Let us play a lively tune, “Gavotte” and Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”.  Because Amadeus Mozart music is light, let us have one or two of his compositions toward the end of the exercise. 

1.  A noisy crowd, people, people everywhere.
2.  People selling and people buying.
3.   Stalls and stores, carinderia, vendors and hawkers.
4.  Wares, commodities, goods, services
5.  Tricycles, jeepneys, trucks, carts
6.  Festive moods, decors, colors, antics.

   This is a group work.  Each group has 5 to 7 members.  Use one-half illustration board.  Before you start, each group must convene its members and plan out what to do.  Then it is all yours.  You are give the whole session.

Exercise  11
Building a House
A step-by-step follow-me exercise in building a
house, making it into a home and ultimately a 
part of a community

         This is quite an easy exercise.  But  it  needs analysis and imagination.
Your score here will greatly rely on the interpretation of the theme.  That is why you have to pay attention as we go through the step-by-step process.  Do not go ahead, and do not lag behind either. Draw spontaneously as we go along. Our musical background is “Home Sweet Home” a classical composition you must have heard in “The King and I”. Let us also try the  music of Leopoldo Silos, Buencamino, Abelardo and  Mike Velarde Jr. in this exercise.

Let us start.
1.     First put up the posts
2.     Put on the roof .                                                                       
3.     There is a floor, maybe two, if you like.
4.     The walls have windows.
5.     Stairs meet the door
6.     Extension for additional room, kitchen, etc. as you wish.
7.     Think of the amenities for functional and comfortable living.
8.     You are free now to complete your house
9.     Make it into a home. 
10.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Make it as part of a community

          The proof if you really made it good is, “Do you wish to live with your family in the house that you made?” Let us see.  Exchange papers with your classmates who will correct and score your paper.  What is your score?
  
Exercise 12
Flying Kites
Reviving an old art and outdoor sport; taking
part in a friendly and festive competition.

       It is summer time.  It is also kite flying season.  When was the last time you flew a kite, or saw a kite festival?

      Well, this is your chance.  Let us see if you know how a kite flies.  First of all, a kite must be light and balance, and with a string and fair wind, it rises and stays up in the sky.  Notice that the wind keeps the kite up as if suspended in the sky.  This where the art of aerodynamics comes in.  You learn more about it in books and tapes about kite flying.

          Here we go.  This is a composite exercise.  Just like in Market Day (Exercise 10) you will group yourselves into 5 up to 7 members.  Plan out your work.  Kites come in many shapes, figures, designs and colors.  No two kites are the same.  Be sure your kites fly against the wind, and only in one direction.  Do not let them get entangled.  Your setting is a park where there are people watching and cheering.  Kite flying is both a festival and a competition. There are prizes at stake. The setting is in San Fernando Pampanga.  Here beautiful Christmas lanterns are also made. Saranggola ni Pepe gives an excellent musical background. Let us play Friderick Chopin and imagine the light notes from his composition blending perfectly with the flying kites. 

        Use pastel or acrylic on illustration board. You have the whole session to complete your work.      

 Exercise 13
Camping
A test of survival, a life without parents and home,
gathering around  a bonfire, and counting stars.

        Let us go camping like boy scouts and girl scouts. Let us go to a summer camp.  Check the things you bring.  Do not bring a lot of things, only those which are essential will do.  You do not want to carry a heavy load, do you?  Besides camping has its rules.  Read more about camping. Let us play “Moon River”, “You Light up my Life”, Tosselli’s “Serenade”, and   Antonio  Molina’s  “Hating Gabi”.
After this we play “Nature Sounds” which are recorded sounds of frogs, birds, waterfalls, and insect.  To fully appreciate these sounds we will observe complete silence while we all work.

        Like “Market Day” and “Flying Kites” (Exercises 10 and 12), this is a group exercise.  Group yourselves into 5.  Set your camp,on Tagaytay Ridge overlooking Taal Volcano.  From this imagine view   there are tents are of many colors and designs.  There are big and small ones, round and triangular in shape.  There are tents set under trees, tents in the open, along a trail, even on hillside.  There is a central area where a large bonfire has been set.  Around it are people singing, dancing, telling stories, others appear cooking something on the embers. Why don’t you join them?

        But first, finish your drawing.  Use pastel colors or acrylic on one-half illustration board.  You have the whole session to do it.

 Exercise 14
Sailing
Pure joy of adventure at sea, freedom riding on the
wind and waves, a test of courage and endurance


        Have you ever gone to sea?  Have you ever ridden a sailboat or banca?  I am sure all of us have.  For those who may have forgotten it, or were very  young at that time, here is a way to relive the experience. Let us have a rowing song as background., “Like Volga Boat Song”, or  music about  rivers and sea, like “Over the Waves”, “On the Blue Danube”.

        Let us go sailing in Manila Bay. Sailing is both pleasure and competition.  Get your boat, and organize yourselves into a crew. Be sure you are ready when the race starts.  Other sailboats are also preparing for the race. You can not afford to be left behind.  The wind is building now.  Is your sail set?  Do you have enough provisions?  Water, food, first aid kit, fuel, tools, map, flashlight, and others things.  Review your checklist.

        Group yourselves into 5. Assume that you are in your boat moving with other boats.  This is the perspective of your composite drawing.  Draw on illustration board  using  pastel or acrylic colors.  You have the whole session to finish it.  Ready, set,  go!
  
Exercise 15
Views from an Airplane
Leaving our world down below and seeing it as a
miniature.  How small it is!  Rather, how small we are!

        As the airplane we are riding on soars to the sky we lose our sense of familiarity of the places below us.  Then our world  which we left behind appears as a miniature. And we are detached from it.

        What really is the feeling of one flying on an airplane?  Nervous and afraid?  Excited and happy?  Most probably it is a mixed feeling.  Now let us imagine ourselves cruising in the sky one  thousand feet up. We get a clear view below. The most prominent are the landscapes.  See those mountains, rivers and lakes, the seashore.  See the infrastructures – roads, bridges, towers, parks, and the like.  Next, buildings, schools, the church, houses, etc.  Imagine yourself to be above your hometown or barangay..

          This is an individual work.  Use Pastel colors and Oslo paper.  You have thirty minutes to finish your drawing.  Let us play “Leaving on a Jet Plane” and “Up, Up and Away”.

Exercise 16 Building an Aquarium
An exercise on doing things ourselves,
following basic rules in maintaining life
and  keeping environmental balance.
  
        An aquarium is “ a pond in glass”.  We can build one in  our backyard or in our house.  It may be large or small depending on the kinds of fish we want to raise as pets. 

      Why this exercise?  We want to try our hands not only in making things, but to play a role as guardian of living things. Can we make a stable and balanced aquarium?  Are we then good guardians? Is so, can we say to our Creator we are  good keepers of  Earth?

                   Each one  will make his aquarium, using pastel colors on Oslo  paper.  Be guides by these components or parts of an aquarium.
1.     Clear water.
2.     Sand bottom with rocks
3.     Light
4.     Aquatic plant
5.     Fish, one up to three kinds (Your pet)
6.     Snails and scavenger fish 
7.     Air pump to supplement oxygen and filter the water

      Describe in class the aquarium that you made.  Let’s play “Life Let’s Cherish”, “Fur Elise”, and Peter Tschaichowsky’s  songs and waltzes as background.

 Exercise 17
Inside a Gym
A  lesson on sportsmanship, physical fitness,  will to
win, humility in winning and dignity of losing.

        It is sports season.  Intramural! We are in a sports center. Join the  parade of athletes, go with the beat of lively music, cheer with the big crowd.  The gymnasium has  covered courts, swimming pools, and arena. Competition is in basketball and other ball games, gymnastics, swimming, table tennis, fencing, martial arts like aikido and taekwando,  darts, and many more.  We are in Rizal Coliseum.

          This is composite drawing. Group yourselves into five to seven members. Each one imagines himself a player in his favorite sport.  Draw at least three kinds of sports.  Complete your work by including the crowd, other athletes, and the festive atmosphere.  Play some marches.  Get a tape of the Philippine Brass Band.

        Plan out you work as a group.  Present your finished work in class.

  Exercise 18
Typhoon!
Preparedness, learning to deal
with disaster, lending a hand.

           PAGASA Bulletin:  Signal No. 3  And it is going to be a direct hit.

           List down the things to do.  Imagine you are in one community.  Choose your members, five to seven per group.  Prepare for the coming super typhoon.

          When you are through with your list, pause for some time and let the typhoon pass.  Do not go out during a typhoon.  Stay at home or in your safe quarter.  If it is direct hit, the winds will reverse after a brief  calm.  The second part is as strong as the first. Think of Typhoon Yoling or Typhoon Iliang which had more than 100 kilometers per hour wind at the center. (Music background from Gustav Mahler, George Bisset, the Spanish composer and violinist, Sarasate,  and  Igor Stravinsky’s “The Firebird” and “Fireworks”).

           The typhoon has passed.  What happened to the community.  Did your preparation help you face the force majeure?  Draw the scenario of the typhoon’s aftermath. Imagine yourself  a boy scout or a girl scout, or simply and good citizen. 

Exercise 19
Building Bridges
Reaching out, connecting places and
people, building friendship and love

          After the typhoon many roads and bridges were destroyed.  Our houses may have been destroyed, too. 

          There is a different kind of destruction that you and I must prevent to happen in our lives by all means .  Destruction of relationships.  Our teachers tell us that a broken house is easier to repair than a broken home.  Aristotle always reminded the young Alexander the Great, “ It is easier to make war than to make peace.”  Relationships endure as long as the bridges connecting them are kept strong and intact.  And once they get destroyed, do not lose time in rebuilding them.

          Let us reflect on the illustration below. There are bridges washed away by the typhoon and flood.  You are going to rebuild them.  Analyze and imagine that these bridges are not only physical structures.  These are bridges to reach out  a person in need, to share our talents, to say sorry, to comfort, to congratulate, to console, to amend, to say what is right, to befriend, to stand for a cause, and many other virtues.  With these, - perhaps even by our very intentions alone -  we are also building a bridge with God. 

        With a solemn music as a background (“Meditation” from “The Thais” by Massenet), complete the outline on the attached page and be guided by the aforementioned scenario.  Take your time.  This is an exercise in meditation. Show and explain your work in class.
  
Exercise 20
Angelus
Time for reflection and retreat, retirement
for the day, time with the family, thanksgiving

          This is the end of our travelogue.  We come home from our journey at last.  It is Angelus.

          It is a time to put down everything and to thank God for the day – for our journey.

          It is time with the family, with our parents, brothers and sisters. It is time to say the Angelus Prayer. Let us pause for a moment and meditate. Isn’t it wonderful to be alive?  This is God’s greatest gift to us.

          With a background music from “Messiah” by Georges Friderick Handel, “On Wings of Song” by Felix Mendelssohn  and Toccata and Fugue  by Johann Sebastian Bach, compose the scenario of a family at Angelus  Let us have also our own Nicanor Abelardo’s “Ave Maria”.  This is a highly individual exercise.  Work in complete silence. You have all the time in  this session. ~