Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Homesite and Home Garden Models (A to Z)

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, 8 to 9 Evening Class, Monday to Friday 

Home gardening is fun, exercise, and source of food and medicine - and income. Study these models and find out which ones are applicable in your area. Share your experience with the members of the family, school and your community.

Patola (Luffa acutangula) on trellis. Home garden project at Barangay Valencia, San Juan, MM

hese gardening models have been developed from studies and observations of successful projects locally and abroad. They serve as guide to participants and listeners of Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (School-on-Air) to help them in their projects, particularly in times of food scarcity, such as the present situation caused by the El Niño phenomenon.

But even during normal times, these models are useful to gardening enthusiasts, especially children and senior citizens who find this hobby highly rewarding to health and leisure, and as a source of livelihood, notwithstanding. Those who are participating in projects in food production and environmental beautification, such as the Clean and Green Movement, and Green Revolution projects, will find these models similarly valuable.

One however, can modify them according to the peculiarity of his place, and in fact, he can combine those models that are compatible so as to develop and integrate them into a larger and more diversified plan.

One who is familiar with the popular Filipino composition Bahay Kubo, can readily identify the plants mentioned therein with those that are cited in these models. And in his mind would appear an imagery of the scenario in which he can fit these models accordingly.

Here is a plan of a Homesite - an ideal integrated garden around a home in a rural setting. Compare this with Bahay Kubo. Update it. Innovate it according to your concept, situation and needs. Allow innovations as long as these do not lose the essence of the plan. You can even expand the area, adding more features to it.

In effect, this Homesite model becomes a model farm, a Homestead one that has economic and ecological attributes that characterize the concept of sustainable productivity cum aesthetics and educational values.

I invite all followers and readers of this Blog to adopt these models in their own capacities wherever they reside - in the rural or urban area - and whenever they find them feasible, and thus join the movement which PBH has been carrying on in the last twenty years or so.

It is for this nationwide campaign that PBH has earned, among other programs, the Oscar Florendo Award for Developmental Journalism, indeed a tribute to all those who have participated, and are going to participate, in the pursuit of the noble objectives of this campaign.

Keep track with the development of this project, learn more about its practical methods and techniques, and participate in the open forum of the radio program. Most important of all, share with the millions of listeners your experience with your project on how you made it a successful and rewarding one. Which therefore, makes you a resource participant to Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Global Warming is Creating a New Art Movement (Part 1)

Paintings by Dr Abe V Rotor
Coral Reef Deforestation  

When the sea rises and buries the shoals and sandbars,
the sea grass and coral reef;
when the sun bears hard on the fringes of sea and land,
requiem hums eerie and grief.   
Oh, Art - what gift do you bring in suffering and lament,
but catharsis however brief. 

Mountain Desertification 

When the wind hot and dry sweeps over hills and mountains
all day long, freezing cold in the night;
and rain after a long absence brings gales and hurricanes;   
the landscape turns into a pitiful sight.  

What movement can a artist recall in the long history of art? 
too far out romanticism and classicism;
realism lost to the lens, impressionism to varied abstract art -  
welcome Dali-Miro'-Ernst surrealism.  ~

Global Warming is Creating a New Art Movement (Part 3)

Paintings by Dr Abe V Rotor
Onslaught of the Glowing Armyworms 
Armyworms are so-called because of their gregarious, voracious and they suddenly appear and attack. When food is scarce and environmental conditions unfavorable, they become wild and uncontrollable. Such is the tendency of a bandwagon, building up into a mob.
They come in an army strong in spring, 
rising from quiescence with the first rain,
greed and abandon the rule of their game
spoiling all rules, free- for-all, and insane.

But only when cornered the biologcal
instinct reigns, survival the ultimate aim,
where nature lost its order, its pristine,
by man craving for wealth, power, fame.  

How similar a pattern, could it be the genes
dictating? Creatures behaving like beast,
and man in neither in need nor in plenty, 
fights in army whether in war and peace. ~   
Degeneration of the Roses

Global warming has caused many problems in plants and animals. Hybrids are among the first to succumb, while the native species or varieties are the last. Their survival secret? Natural resistance built through countless generations in the open. As a rule. hybrids can't be left alone - they will revert to man-directed lines which are unstable and uncertain. The failure of science is when its progeny is abandoned or misguided.

"My luv is a red, red rose," in romanticism gone,
"Paper roses," a song of love lost and lament;
and Gertrude Stein, wanting of the right word, 
said, "A rose is a rose is a rose," is truly meant.  

The rose is very sick, not only in social norms,
it is sick with the loss of its indigenous genes,
it is sick with the pollution of its genetic pool,
manipulated to suit the market by all means.

While the whole world grows hotter each day;
Carbon in air traps heat; it too, turns into acid 
falling as toxic rain, dousing the red in the rose.
Where have all the roses gone, their lovely bid? ~  


Friday, September 18, 2015

Rare Philippine Plants: Kamagong, Indigo, and Gogo

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

Kamagong, the wood of mabolo (Diospyros discolor) is perhaps the hardest wood on earth. This is followed by the exquisite black wood, ebony or balatinao. Old wooden houses have stood for decades because of their sturdy posts made of solid molave or sagat (Vitex parviflora). Wood planks that make the broad, shiny floor of Spanish houses in Vigan are made of molave, guijo (Shorea guiso, and yakal (Shorea sp), which are all species of local hard wood. The chin rest and fingerboard of old classical violins are made of ebony. Furniture made of ebony is specially made and very expensive.

These kinds of wood have withstood the elements of time and the strong mandibles of termites, the nemesis of wood materials. Beside their genetic makeup, they grow very slowly so that their lignin cells are firm and compact. Seldom can we find these woods anymore. They are now in the list of endangered species and our laws prohibit their cutting.
Ripe fruits of mabolo or kamagong has a sweet taste with pleasant aroma.
Whenever we hear the analogy, “like a molave,” we imagine how strong and determined that leader is – now an endangered species. Why not plant one of these trees today?

Añil or azul makes white clothes whiter.
When we were kids studying in a catholic high school in Vigan, our rector was very particular with the whiteness of our uniform. Our old folks did not find it a problem at all, even without today’s detergents and whitening agents. All they did was to add a little añil or azul to the final rinse, and presto, our uniforms would be gleaming white in the sun.
Indigo plant
Añil or azul is a natural dye derived from Indigofera hirsuta or I. tinctoria, which farmers plant as green manure. It is from the plant that the dye is also called indigo. During the Spanish period, añil was commercially produced in the Ilocos and exported to Mexico and Europe via the Galleon Trade. Today, the ruins of giant fermenting vats are still found.

Indigofera (tayum Ilk) is a large genus of over 750 species of flowering plants belonging to the family Fabaceae. They are widely distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Wikipedia

There is a revival of natural dye which include indigo, tumeric or yellow ginger (Curcuma longa), and pomegranate (Punica granatum). A relatively unknown group – Handloom Weavers Development in Kerala, India, has discovered natural dyes as a solution to sufferers of allergies such as skin disorders, and asthma. Natural dyes even have direct medicinal value. A common practice in Ilocos to relieve mumps is to paint añil on the swollen area.

Old folks have been using gogo plant  long before commercial shampoo was developed.
Here is an account of Dr. William H. Brown, a botanist during the commonwealth era concerning Entada phaseoloides (gogo).

“Gogo is used extensively in the Philippines and other Oriental countries for washing hair and sold as an ingredient for hair tonics. It is prepared by cutting the mature vine in lengths of 10 to 100 centimeters. It is then pounded into thin, flat strips and dried. When soaked in water and rubbed, gogo produces a lather which cleanses the scalp very effectively. The active principle is saponin.”

Today gogo has great business potential as people are shifting from commercial shampoo to natural ones. The “battle of shampoos” has instead driven people to look for natural, cheap and reliable alternatives, among them gogo, rice straw shampoo, alovera (Aloe vera) and the old reliable coconut oil (now coconut virgin oil). Gogo strips can be bought in herbal shops and around Quiapo church in Manila. Commercial planting of gogo has started in the uplands of Cavite and Batangas. ~

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

BIOLOGY in the Epic Biag ni Lam-ang Part 1

Dr Abe V Rotor 
Statue of Lam-ang at the La Union Botanical Garden, Barangay Cadaclan, San Fernando LU. The garden is a project of the local government headed by then San Fernando mayor Mary Jane Ortega, and managed by Dr Romualdo M del Rosario, from the garden's conceptualization to its elevation into a world class botanical garden.  

The epic Biag ni Lam-ang is rich in biology, the study of living things, more so on the uses of plants and animals in the world of the legendary hero.  How do we compare the epic's biology with ours today?  Let's look into each stanza and examine the organisms mentioned in their local and scientific names, including some basic data about them.

Nadumaduma a bungbungan
ti inna dita masarsaramsam:
salamagi a marabanban,
pias ken daligan.

A 900-year old tamarind tree; pods ready to harvest.
She ate a variety of fruits
like green tamarind,
pias  and daligan

[Tamarind or sampalok (Tamarindus indica, pias is Kamias (photo) (Averrhoa balimbi), daligan is starapple (Averrhoa carambola)]

Niog pay a lolocoten,
bayabas a pariggalsem,
sua ken lolokisen
ket dagitoy met ti inna sidaen:

Young coconut fruits, guavas
about to ripen, oranges, and 
lolokisen and for meals 
she ate these.
Fruits of bayabas or guava: in different stages of maturity..  Pariggaisem (about to ripem) is manibalang in Pilipino. 

[Young coconut or buko (Cocos nucifera), bayabas or guava (Psidium guajava). lolokisen or orange (Citrus nobilis)]

Newly harvested buko or young coconut is popular in any part of the country and in the tropical region, for its refreshing water and nutritious soft flesh.
Panapana ken maratangtang,
ar-arosip ken aragan,
tirem a tinoctocan,
pasayam a kinalapan;

Panapana and maritangtang 
ar-arosip and aragan, tirem 
and shrimps.

Spiked and spineless sea urchin

[Panapana or spiked sea urchin, maritangtang (spinless sea urchin);  ar-arosip is Caulerpha or lato (Tag) grape-like green seaweed; aragan is a brown seaweed dominant in tropical regions]

  (7) edible marine shellfish pictures
 Pingpinggan ken im-immoco,
loslosi ken pocpoclo,
leddangan pay ken soso
ta isu dagitoy ti inna cagusto.

Pingpinggan and im-immoco,
loslosi and pocpoclo
leddangan and soso - these
she liked much to eat.
These are some edible species of shellfish which come in different dialects. Tinoktokan is likely oyster because you have to pound it open usually with stone.

 [Pingpingan, im-immoco and loslosi are edible bivalve seashells; soso is a pointed seashell.  Shellfish are usually gathered at low tide and in shallow waters in the coral reefs.  Pocpoclo is a green seaweed, Codium edule]. (photo)

"Inca cuma imatangan ti 
immulata a cawayan
idiay bantay capareian
ket inca cuma pucanan. 

"Go and see the bamboos 
we planted on Mount Caparian 
and cut down some.

[Bamboo is most likely of the species kawayan kiling (Bambusa spinosus) plant by means of cuttings.  NOTE: Bamboo planting is thought to be a recent technology and horticultural practice.]

Ket kinona ni babain Namongan, 
"Ay, asawac a Don Juan,
dayta man tongo ti agdalagan 
a sagat ken gasatan.

And Namogan said, "My
husband Don Juan, I need
firewood such as molave and 
gasatan for my lying-in,

[Molave  (Vitex parviflora)  is a hardwood used as house posts; gasatan is another species of hardwood]

"Dangla ken bayabas nga inukisan,
ket inca met cuma gumatang
itay dongdong ken dalican
ta isu ti pagdalangan.

"And also dangla and guava 
stripped of its bark.  Also 
you go and buy a jar and a 
stove on which to warm myself.

 [Dangla is lagundi (Vitex lagundi) a medicinal plant, guava here is used as medicinal plant.] (photo)

Acknowledgement" Internet photos

Buena Mano is a happy disposition

Dr Abe V Rotor

Happy disposition - it's the best buena mano or first deal.

Laugh and the world laughs with you,
     Not last but first for the day;
Frown and you're likely all alone
     Even with the saints to pray.

The world makes it easier to laugh
     Than weep on misfortune;
And much easier too, to pass you by,
     For not counting your fortune.

Equation is the game in life;
     Others have what other's don't,
Yet all that matters in happiness,
     Take the chance, woe if you won't. ~