Monday, August 31, 2015

San Vicente IS, My Hometown


Dr Abe V Rotor

Dedication: San Vicente Ferrer, patron saint of San Vicente, Ilocos Sur, other towns, villages, schools and other institutions in many parts of the world, whose feast day is celebrated in April.

Main road from Vigan going to San Vicente town, 3 km.

Shaded area in first photo - the poblacion showing the church, 
plaza, elementary school, market  and municipal Hall, circa 1970

17th century church after the war.

In my childhood I saw detours of footpaths
dividing East and West, two warring niches  
where the zone of peace was the holy ground, 
and beyond was wilderness - and the unknown, 
beyond the confines of Subec and the Cordillera, 
the memory of Diego Silang, and the Basi Revolt 
on old, meandering Bantaoay River.
 
In my youth I saw the sun sitting  
on acacia stumps and on the tired landscape, 
but rising in dreams and visions on the horizon, 
and in the wisdom of my forebears, 
 the old guards of your fort.
 
Time has stood still since then.
 
I come to pay homage to your temple, 
and into the arms of my people, my roots;
 I see the footpaths of yesteryears, 
now grown and multiplied, and always fresh,
 leading from the East and West, 
and the many corners of the earth 
converging at your portals in pilgrimage.~

Idyllic scene of rural San Vicente mural in acrylic by the author circa 2003


 About San Vicente Ilocos Sur  


San Vicente is a fifth class municipality in the province of Ilocos Sur, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 11,720 people.

The municipality is known for its production of beautiful furniture made from narra and other tropical hardwoods, even from old wood previously used in wooden sugarcane crushers and old houses to make reproduction antiques.
Barangays

San Vicente is politically subdivided into 7 barangays.

  • Bantaoay
  • Bayubay Norte
  • Bayubay Sur
  • Lubong
  • Poblacion
  • Pudoc
  • San Sebastian

Etymology

The municipality's name came from the name of Saint Vincent Ferrer, whose winged statue was found inside a box entangled in fishing nets. The fishermen consulted this matter to the friars in Villa Fernandina (now Vigan), who identified the person depicted by the statue. The statue was carried to the town's center, where a church was built. From then on, the town formerly known as Tuanong (sometimes called Taonan) became San Vicente.

History

In tracing the history of San Vicente, one always has to start from Vigan. Vigan was established by the Spanish colonizer, Juan de Salcedo on June 13, 1573 up to 1582, there were only 800 residents.

Upon Salcedo’s return in 1574, he brought with them the Augustinian friars in order to teach Christianity to the inhabitants. After Salcedo’s death on March 11, 1576, Franciscan friars replaced the Augustinians in the year 1579. These same friars spread up to San Vicente to convert the people to the Catholic faith.

In 1591, Vigan has already an organized form of government, which included these barrios namely: Bo. Tuanong, Bo. Sta. Catalina de Baba and Bo. Caoayan. There were then a population numbering about 4,000 inhabitants.

Between the years 1720 and 1737, the first chapel of Bo. Tuanong was erected. Later in 1748, the Confraternity of Jesus of Nazareth was organized. In one record of the Vigan Convent archives, a funeral that happened on January 29, 1748 at the Chapel Bo. Tuanong was recorded. Two chaplains Bro. Don Agustin de la Encarnacion and Don Pedro Geronimo de Barba were the priest stone the chapel in that year 1748. It is believed that the chapel is the first stone building that sees upon entering the San Vicente Central School from the main road. Bo. Tuanong which belonged to Vigan was the old name of San Vicente.

On June 16, 1751, the chaplain was Don Miguel de Montanez. He was the first priest there and also in the chapel of San Sebastian. It is found out that Barangay San Sebastian already erected.

Hardship in reaching Bo. Tuanong and Bo. Sta. Catalina de Baba from Vigan especially during the months of June to October was experienced, due to the absence of dike or bridge. Priests from Vigan reached these places by means of a raft. The problem prompted the separation of these two barrios from Vigan in 1793.

In 1795, it was the initiation of the seat of municipality and the church and Bo. Tuanong became San Vicente de Ferrer. Don Pedro de Leon was the first parish priest and he was believed as the initiator of the construction of the Church of San Vicente.

Demographics

Year
Pop.
±% p.a.
1990
9,989
—    
1995
9,848
−0.27%
2000
10,877
+2.15%
2007
11,907
+1.26%
2010
11,720
−0.57%
Source: National Statistics Office

Source: Wikipedia, Internet;  Poem reprinted from Light in the Woods: Photographs and Poems by Dr A V Rotor Megabooks 1995

Ode to a tree that wears a veil


Photos and Verse by Dr Abe V Rotor


A veil to shield the sun,
A veil to keep from rain,
A veil to buffer the wind,
A veil to hide the view around,
A veil to muffle sweet sound.
When you wear your crown.

A veil to let the sunshine in,
A veil to welcome the rain,
A veil to dance in the wind,
A veil to view far beyond,
A veil to free those in bond,
When you lose your crown.

A veil to clothe the naked,
A veil to comfort the lonely,
A veil to feed the hungry,
A veil to house the lost.
A veil to welcome the dawn,
When you gain back your crown.


NOTE: These photos were taken at a time when this acacia tree was in its deciduous stage giving the epiphytic liana a chance to grow luxuriantly without harming the host tree. Soon new leaves will form as summer approaches, and the liana once more becomes dormant. It will resume vigorous growth come next deciduous period. Acacia trees shed off their leaves completely once or twice a year. Ateneo de Manila University QC campus.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Dr Romualdo M Del Rosario: builder of beautiful gardens and museums

 "The Garden is a microcosm of the Lost Paradise here on earth." AVR 
By 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



Dr Romualdo R del Rosario (second from right, in barong) and author (left), discuss the details of the Grains Industry Museum (Farmers' Museum) in NFA Cabanatuan just before its formal opening to the public in 1984. Dr Del Rosario, then assistant director of the National Museum, served as consultant to the project. He also served as consultant to the former St Paul University QC Museum and Eco Sanctuary (cataloged as having more than 300 plant species before the garden was reduced into a park, and hedged by tall buildings). 



 Doc Del in his younger days at the former NFA Museum in Cabanatuan.  The artifact is an indigenous pinawa (brown rice) hand mill.  With him is a member of the Museum's working group.   
-----------------------------------------
Among Dr Del Rosario's obra maestra are the internationally famous La Union Botanical Garden (Cadaclan, San Fernando,La Union), the UST Botanical Garden (formerly Pharmacy Garden), and the De La Salle University garden at DasmariƱas, Cavite. And not to mention the satellite museums of the National Museum, two of which I visited in Pangasinan and Palawan.  As a scientist and former assistant director of the National Museum he is keen at giving importance to natural history, and aesthetic and functional beauty of parks and gardens as integral part of homes, establishment, offices, in fact, whole communities. Presently he is acclaimed the foremost ethnobotanist in the Philippines, have guided scores of students at the UST Graduate School as well as other schools to pursue this specialized field of biology and related sciences. As one of his students I researched on the ethnobotany of Maguey (published in the UST Graduate Journal).  I joined him in a number of field research, the most challenging of all was to climb to the summit of Mt Pulag in Benguet, the highest mountain of the Philippines after Mt Apo in Davao.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Think of a living gene bank.

No, it's not the IRRI's germplasm bank of rice varieties and cultivars. Or CIMMYT 's similar bank for wheat and corn where seeds are kept under strict controlled conditions away from the natural environment. It's not the commercial plant collection of Manila Seedling Bank either.

Dr Romualdo del Rosario's concept is one that is natural - plants of different species living together and arranged into a garden.

Here the plants form a wide range of diversity, and with other organisms, from protist to vertebrate, form a community. And through time, an ecosystem - a microcosm of a forest, grassland, desert, the upland and lowland, in varying combinations and designs. This garden is indeed a living gene bank.

Visit the La Union Botanical Garden perched on a gentle hillside covering several hectares, with the fringe of Cordillera on the east and a panoramic view of the San Fernando Bay on the west.

Here you will find a piece of the biblical Garden, where Nature and man in cooperation and harmony try to restore the beautiful scenarios of that garden imagined in the writings of Milton and Emerson, in the paintings of Rousseau and our own Amorsolo, and the scientific pursuits of Darwin and Linnaeus.

As trail blazer, Doc Del as he is fondly called, pioneered with the support of the local government to set up a garden not so many people appreciate. I am a witness to its tedious step-by-step development until after ten years or so, the garden became a center for field lectures, thesis, hiking, or simply a place of solace and peace. To the creative, arts; the religious, reflection.

The garden is an answer to our dwindling bio-diversity. It is a sanctuary where man's respect for Creation, in Dr Albert Schweitzer's term "reverence for life," becomes the neo-gospel of prayer and faith.

Sunken center of the La Union botanical Garden, on-the-spot painting by the author.


UST Botanical Garden, Manila
The garden is a workshop with the Creator. It is one roof that shelters the threatened and endangered. It is a sanctuary for recovery before setting foot outside again.

Here is the living quarter of organisms, countless of them, that miss the eye, yet are discreet vital links to our existence and the biological order.

A single acacia tree as shown In this painting is a whole world of millions of organisms - from the Rhizobium bacrteria that live on its roots to birds nesting on its branch. And beetles under the bark, goats feeding on ripe pods, people resting in its shade or promenading.

These make but one small spot in the garden that speaks of the philosophy of naturalism of Schweitzer, EO Wilson, Attenborough, Tabbada, Cabigan, and the late botanist Co. One aspect of the garden opens to the scholar an adventure of a lifetime: Edwin Tadiosa's research of mushrooms earned for him a doctoral degree.

One consideration a garden is a living gene bank is its ethnicity. Doc Del is the leading authority on ethnobotany of the country today. It is a less familiar field although it is among the earliest, tracing back to Aristotle's Natural History as the guiding force in keeping the integrity of Nature-Man relationship, even to the present time.

Ethnobotany is the mother of pharmacology. Medicinal plants are part of Doc Del's formula of a garden. Not that familiarity is his aim, but accessibility - that by being familiar with a particular plant, one can have access to it wherever it may be found growing. Any place then is a potential source of home remedy of common ailments.

Go to the garden and you will find lagundi, sambong, bayabas, makahiya, okra, pitogo, takip-kuhol, oregano, and 101 other medicinal plants, domesticated or wild. It is nature's pharmacy house.

It is E Quisumbing's source of materials for his Medicinal Plants of the Philippines. the rich three-volume Useful Plants of the Philippines by W H Brown. It is this field that Dr Juan M Flavier as senator sponsored a law in promoting Alternative Medicine which now benefits millions of Filipinos particularly at the grassroots.

Go to the garden and you will find flowering and ornamental plants that constitute the main attraction of any garden. Here botany is transformed into the science of flowers, the secret of green thumb, colors and fragrance speak more than words, silence rides on butterflies fluttering, and music is hummed by bees, and fiddled by crickets and cicada.

Go to the garden and relive life on the countryside. The song Bahay Kubo enumerates some two dozen vegetables, and speaks of simple, happy and healthy lifestyle. A residence without a garden is akin to city living condition. With almost fifty percent of the population ensconced in big towns and cities. we can only imagine how much they have lost such a pleasant niche.

Go to the garden with magnifying glass, not with the aim of Sherlock Holmes but with the clinical eye of Leeuwenhoek, father of microscopy. Start with the moss, the lowly earliest plant occupying the lowest rung of the evolutionary ladder. They are living fossils in austere existence on rocks and trunks of tree. Doc Del wrote a whole chapter about the Byrophytes - the moss and its relatives in the Flora and Fauna of the Philippines book series.

Have you seen a field of moss under the lens? It's a setting of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids movie. See the movie if you haven't. Everything is so big you are a pygmy in the like of Gulliver in the land of Brobdingnag, a sequel to Gulliver in the Land of Lilliput. Imagine yourself either in one of Jonathan Swift's novels.

You may wonder why primitive plants are so small, you may miss them in the garden. If you were on top of Mt Pulog second highest mountain in the Philippines after Mt Apo where Doc Del, my classmates and I, climbed in the late eighties, you'll be amazed at the giant bryophytes forming beards of gnarled trees and curtains hanging on rocks, and spongy layers cushioning your steps.

Thus, the garden is a representation of much bigger models. The Sequoia or Redwoods of California for example cannot be duplicated anywhere, but at the UST botanical garden where Doc Del is the supervising scientist and curator, you will find yourself dwarfed by the towering dita (Alstonia scholaris) the same way you would feel under the redwoods, or the emergent trees on Mt Makiling.

Go to a garden and feel you are part of creation in Eden's finest time. The garden has a humbling effect, it has the touch of TLC - tender, loving care, it is the womb of Mother Nature, its nursery, in her own life cycle in which each and every thing, living or non-living, undergoes a continuous and unending series of birth and death - and perhaps even
re-incarnation. ~


- An On-the-Spot Painting at the UST Botanical garden by the author, with the tallest tree Alstonia scholaris, locally known as dita. as principal subject.

Morning at the UST Botanical Garden

It is misty, it is foggy, here at the garden,
or it must be smog in the city air;
and the early rays pierce through like spears,
yet this is the best place for a lair.

But the artist must be provoked, challenged;
for peace can't make a masterpiece;
only a troubled soul do rise where others fall,
where ease and good life often miss.

This lair is where the action is, the battlefield,
where pure and polluted air meet,
where a garden in a concrete jungle reigns,
where nature's trail ends in a street.

Art, where is art, when the message is unclear,
colors, colors, what color is blind faith?
what color is rage, what color is change?
colors be humble - black is your fate. ~



spray of red and pink in the tree top,
either it is autumn's onset,
or the season had just passed us in slumber,
yet too early to hibernate

Catch the sun, borrow its colors and shine
that you may be filled with grace divine;
for your life is short and your flowers ephemeral,
that makes you a mythical vine.

There is no such thing as emptiness, for memories linger;
the bench is warm, whispers hang in the glen;
spirits roam, the past comes around in them to haunt,
to scare a bit to remember them, now and then.


Golden shower at the UST Botanical Garden


In the garden you will find the legendary Pierian Spring  - the secret of long, healthy and happy life.  Visit the beautiful gardens and museums that were shaped by the genius and skill of Dr Romualdo M del Rosario. Many people can make a garden, by few can give life to it as a living gene bank.  Many may think of putting up a grand museum, but only few can make a museum of the people where they identify themselves and the culture to which they are proud of.  Count on a calm and humble man, scientist and narturalist - and friend - Doc Del. ~

Let Us Sharpen Our Eighth Sense of Naturalism


Naturalism. Let's not just rely on our inventions, such as the barometer and seismograph. The behavior of living things can be read and interpreted, including our own feelings. Unusual observations and occurrences tell us to prepare foreventualities. Let us sharpen our eighth sense - naturalism.

Dr Abe V Rotor 
Mosquitoes become agressive before a rain; they need blood before laying eggs in stagnant water left by the rain.  

1. Drought – Occurs in summer; landscape scorched; dry river beds and ponds; brush fires occurs; lake water recedes; crack on earth, especially areas under water in monsoon; worst scenario - flowering of bamboo usually during El Nino, a phenomenon that happens every 7 to 10 years.

2. Earthquake – Farm animals restless; horses kick and neigh; pigs snort; fowls abandon usual roost; turkey cackle; cattle seek exit from corral; dogs howl; and the like. Wild animals abandon abode – snakes come out into the open; reptile keep out of the water; elephants defy their master’s command; birds abandon nest, other emigrate.


Misty crown and ring around the moon could mean bad weather ahead

3. Typhoon – Doldrums-like calm; uneasiness to both humans and animals as barometer reading drops which means atmospheric pressure goes down; arthritis and hypertension symptoms are felt by sensitive persons. As typhoon approaches, sea becomes rough; sky overcast; clouds move fast to one direction; gusts of cold and warm wind, thunderstorms.

4. Mad dog – Its tail is tucked underneath; animal restless biting at anything within its reach; froth coming from its mouth; stealthily moves about without any apparent direction; dreads the presence of water (hydrophobia); usually occurs during hot days particularly in summer. Be keen; keep distance; notify others of danger; get help.

5. Influenza – Precipitated by alternate cold and hot weather, thunderstorms, abrupt change in season. Influenza season is usually at the onset of amihan as the habagat comes to an end. Practical signs: people coughing in church and other gatherings; sale of cold tablets and antibiotics is up; hospitals full. Epidemic starts in the family, neighborhood, local community; also, in schools, malls and markets, and may spread to cover a city or district or province. Modern transportation has made spread of flu easier and wider.

6. Pristine Environment – Abundance of lichens on trunks and branches of trees, rocks, and soil. There are three types: crustose (crust), foliose (leaf-like) and fruticose )fruiting type). They are biological indicators of clean air. The untimate test is the abundance of the fruticose type.

7. Inclement Weather – Halo around moon; gray and red sunset; a storm may be coming depending upon the intensity of these signs.

8. Rain - Dragonflies hovering; aggressive biting of mosquitoes; ants move to another place carrying their young and provisions. The latter predicts heavy continuous rainfall or siyam-siyam or nep-nep. Herons on the move heralds the monsoon.
When field crickets (Acheta bimaculata) are noisy, it's still summertime. Crickets are "watchdogs" in Chinese homes. They stop fiddling at the sligthest sound of an intruder.


9. Monsoon – Frogs croak; insects (termite, ants) swarm; lightning and thunder get frequent; first heavy rain in May vegetates the landscape, thus turning from brown to green. It comes early or late, but usually in later part of May. Global warming has brought unpredictable signs indicating that our climate is changing.

10. Ripening of Fruits – Generally from green to yellow to orange (banana, orange, apple, etc. Determined by smell: guava, jackfruit, durian, melon, etc); shiny rind (caimito, siniguelas). Dull skin (chico), enlarged ridges and furrows (atis, guayabano, anonas)

Apply Naturalism in the following: (For research and discussion)

1. Sweetness/sourness of fruit
2. Maturity and succulence of vegetables (okra, cucumber)
3. Tenderness of nut (buko, macapuno)
4. Sweetness and maturity of fruit (watermelon)
5. Time to harvest singkamas, onions, garlic, sugarbeet
6. Presence of jellyfish
7. Red tide signs
8. Coming flood (earthworm)
9. Time to harvest palay, corn, wheat.
10. Slippery walkway (presence of algae and scum, seldom used)
11. Depth of water (by color, sound of oar, current, clarity)
12. Cloud reading of weather(nimbus for rain, cirrus for fine weather)
13. Glassy eyes (deep feelings like hatred, or “wala sa sarili”)
14. Wrinkles at the corner of eyes (happy disposition)
15. Furrows on forehead (problematic)
16. Rough hand (worker, also athlete)
17. Brilliant and attentive eyes (intelligence)
18. Clumsiness, strummer (nervous, uncertain)
19. Heavy feet (angry, lazy)
20. Tight jaw (angry, restlessly active)

Topics for Research and Discussion

1. How reliable is “gut feel”
2. How about ESP?
3. What is “aura?” How does it apply to relationships?
4. What is Biological Clock? Name how it affects your life.
5. Life starts at 40 – how do you interpret this?
6. What are prophets to you? Are there people who can see the future? Do you believe in Nostrodamus?
7. Are dreams hidden motives, indirect messages, prophesies?
8. How superstitious are you? Do you practice superstition?
9. Do you think you were once living on earth in another being or living thing? Do you believe re-incarnation?
10. How fatalistic are you – you are predestined even before you were born.

Living with Nature, AVR
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Mad dog – Its tail is tucked underneath; animal is restless biting at anything within its reach; froth coming from its mouth; stealthily moves about without any apparent direction; dreads the presence of water (hydrophobia); usually occurs during hot days particularly in summer. Be keen; keep distance; notify others of danger; get help.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------


Dogs warn before they attack. This dog at home (Kulit) warns intruders with flashy eyes. Slowly withdraw but don't show you're afraid by looking straight into the dog's eyes. On the street don't turn your back and run. The dog will run after you - and it could be the whole pack. Tell this to your children.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Fredelito L Lazo: Story teller, teacher, public servant, rolled in one

San Vicente IS to the World Series
Dr Abe V Rotor

Three-in-one is a rare phenomenon in a person: multi-awarded literary writer and playwright, dynamic teacher, and dutiful public servant. Such caliber is usually found in prestigious institutions, often in big cities and foreign countries where honor and 
distinction are not rare.   

Fredelito L Lazo
But we don't have to go far to find that person; he is here, a native of a small town - San Vicente, Ilocos Sur, a hike west of Vigan, the provincial capital.  He is indigenous, a true Ilocano, in his everyday dealings with the public as provincial secretary; in his literary compositions of short stories and stage plays about local people, places and events; and in his methodology of instruction as a high school teacher.  

Lito, as we, his classmates in elementary and high school, call him, is the silent type of a person, nonetheless friendly and helpful.  They say that it is in solace that one draws out creative thoughts, soaring into the depths only the imagination can reach. It is also a retrospection for memories come afresh and alive. In both cases creativity flourishes in dichotomy with the faculty of reason, converging into the making of a masterpiece. 

Creativity is a gift.  But more than that, it is a gift well earned. And it has a price - and a prize as well. Indeed, this is life's mystery. A painful experience becomes a story of courage, tragedy turns to victory, loneliness leads to a soulful communion with the Creator. Doubt traces an untrodden path. "Sweet is sweeter after pain," said our English teacher, Mrs Socorro Villamor. And she would recite William Bryant's To a Waterfowl. "He who from zone to zone, guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight; In the long way that I must tread alone, will lead my steps aright." The poet, with a touch of Percy Shelly's To a Skylark, says that throughout our life wherever we go God is going to be with us guiding us down the right path.

Institutions Lito worked and served the people - old and young alike, in the true spirit of 
an Ilocano: Ilocos Sur National High School; Benito Soliven Academy, Sto. Domingo, 
Ilocos Sur; and the Provincial Capitol of Ilocos Sur.     

In our age of electronics, I would liken Lito to the brave warrior in A Never Ending Story, for Lito has gone through difficult stages of life and even reached the "edge of Fantasia," where reality and fantasy divide, where the greatest enemy is oneself.  But it is by overcoming this enemy that we truly earn a place on the highest rung of the Maslov's Ladder, that of self-actualization. It is through this rough and thorny road that made Lito win literary awards, four in short stories published in Bannawag, the leading Ilokano weekly magazine. It is through this experience that he earned a respectable position in the local government, and for becoming an effective mentor. 

These are but the later chapters of life.  The Second World War erupted as he came into this world, a war baby, and when peace finally returned after four tumultuous years, the task of rehabilitation denied him, like many kids in his time, the comforts of childhood, but instead tempered him to face the realities of life - an initiation to Robert Frost's famous line, "And miles to go before I sleep; and miles to go before I sleep." 

The plot of Lito's personal life is the basis of many of his stories and stage plays (zarzuela). What is amazing is that he is a disciple of positivism. It is his ability to hold back the dark side, and instead project the bright one.  It projects the heroes in Ernest Hemingway's stories, and the adventurous kids of Mark Twain.  It is the determination in treasure hunting in Robert Louis Stevenson stories, and the drummer boy who never learned to beat the sound of retreat. 

Bannawag (Liwayway Tag) is the leading Ilokano weekly magazine.
The author is a columnist, Okeyka Apong: Dagiti Tawid a Sirib ken 
Adal (Heritage of Wisdom and Lessons)

Writers take us to the realm of detachment and contemplation, a characteristic of the great writers such as Russian short story writer, Anton Chekov, which is immortalized in a statue in Kiev, Ukraine, and that of Auguste Rodin's The Thinker. Well, we all experience such moment, but there are those who are sensitive in capturing a fleeting idea - Carpe diem, in The Dead Poet Society. From a writer this "spark of genius" grows into a literary flame. Call it in other terms - expression, awakening, erudite - or institutional titles like Dawn, Arise, Eureka!    

Imagine how an artist would teach the varied subjects in high school.  Literature, humanities and English would be fine, but how about the other subjects? There is no conflict about that. Experts say, generalization now; specialization later. But today, there's a growing demand for the return of Liberal Arts - a revival of a balanced left and right brain tandem. It is a global renaissance in education. This is where Lito the teacher, has advantage over teachers in general. Liberal art is putting values in education, values that make the student not just a learned biological being, but as an enlightened member of humanity with the finest in character towards himself, his fellowmen, Nature, and his Creator.  

We can't help but go back to the wisdom the Greeks handed to the whole world: Philosophy is traced to Socrates, idealism to Plato, and naturalism in Aristotle. Then there is a truth- searching Diogenes, a serendipitous Archimedes, a master story teller Homer, and a great warrior laying the cornerstone of global order Alexander. Finally, there is the Academia, the forerunner of the university, the seat of wisdom. 

The relevance of this citation is far-reaching, but it is reflected in the life and works of Lito. Lito is an idealist, and yet real, for how can one serve the public sans the Grecian touch? To teach without mythology?  It is said that "legends make us heroes, and myths gives us wings." How can we reach out for the grass roots, without popular drama, something the masses can identify themselves to be a part of a drama - on or off the stage - in Shakespeare's adage, "The world is a stage and every one of us has a role to play."    

But Lito has yet to hurdle another test - that of the infirmities of old age, romantically the golden years. Following his retirement he has never truly stopped.  On his study table await stories and plays to write and complete. A loving wife guides him in his walk. With five successful children, and grandchildren, his mailbox and e-mail, are never wanting of good cheer. The community holds high esteem of him.  His students have become teachers like him, public servants, and writers, albeit other careers. "Once a teacher, always a teacher," but to Lito, "a teacher builds teachers." It is passing on the torch of wisdom and character.      

Through a window of a simple home, amid a happy family in a small town, the night is darkest before dawn. It is also a candle's greatest hour. ~

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hold it, don't sneeze in public!


Avoid Embarrassment
Dr Abe V Rotor
Demonstrate this simple method in the classroom or in a group session.  It is good manners and right conduct.  Get feedback from your students and audience.  Ask your family doctor the medical explanation for this remedy. 


Press the base of your nose hard and hold it there until the urge to sneeze subsides. Do it discreetly and subtlety.


Take heed of the warning signs of sneezing: itchy nose, irritated nostril, uncontrollable winking of the eye, and quivering face muscles. Sometimes the urge is so faint you simply dismiss you're not going to sneeze.

The cause may be temporary and minor like sudden change in temperature, dusty carpet, and the invisible dust mites in he bedroom. It could be the perfume of somebody near you. Did the janitor spray the room? Maybe too much air freshener was applied. It could be the newspaper you are reading - no, not the headline, it's the paper and ink.

Sneezing is a sign of low resistance. Maybe you did not get enough sleep last night. More so, if you smoke and drink. And this morning you took strong coffee to keep you from getting drowsy, deny yourself of enough rest.

Now, you will be the next to present a paper in a conference. You can't leave the room, of course. People know if you get out of their sight.

Keep calm. Press the base of your nose hard and hold it there until the urge to sneeze subsides. Do it discreetly and subtlety. Don't show there's something wrong.
Release your hold if the urge totally subsides. Go on with your usual activity. Repeat if the urge comes back.

But once the urge becomes unbearable, find an excuse to leave the room while holding the base of your nose. At this point, sneeze can’t wait. ~

UST-AB photography: The Sibyl Syndrome


Dr Abe V Rotor
Interpret the photo and verse.
Misreading literature and history, misleading Greek mythology. 

The Sibyl in the sky - raining or shining,
a postmodern fairy  story,
demeaning mythology,
gods and goddesses weeping. ~