Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Are you an aspiring journalist? Take this advice from Ka Doroy Valencia, Dean of Philippine journalism

This article is dedicated to the father and pillar of Philippine journalism: Teodoro or "Ka Doroy" Valencia (center). His column Over a Cup of Coffee shaped the thinking of his readers, and influenced the decisions of leaders in his time.
Dr Abe V Rotor

 Teodoro or "Ka Doroy" Valencia (center) father of Philippine journalism. Ka Doroy influenced me in becoming a journalist and a painter. My columns, particularly the current and only continuing one in Bannawag Magazine, basically follow the basic guidelines set by Ka Doroy. As an artist, Ka Doroy commisioned me to paint on-site favorite scenes of his boyhood along Tanauan River in 1972. 

Like "Ka Doroy" an aspiring journalist must -
1.         Be inquisitive
2.      Be constant in his purpose
3.      Be fair and balanced
4.      Be genuinely interested in people
5.      Seek the truth
6.      Be resourceful
7.      Have guts
8.      Master his grammar
9.      Know his medium
10.    Read, read and read.

Above all, he must be God-fearing, compassionate, and true to his country and fellowmen. And uphold journalism as a profession and institution.

Excerpt from a lecture by Dr Abe V Rotor, journalism professor at the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters

Teodoro F. Valencia (May 7, 1913 - May 4, 1987)
"Teodoro F. Valencia, better known as "Ka Doroy," was widely regarded as the Dean of Filipino Journalists. His many civic undertakings made him a legend, particularly his knack for raising funds to help the underprivileged and the less fortunate. Known as the "Builder of Rizal Park," Valencia was largely responsible for developing Rizal Park into one of the best parks in Asia.

Ka Doroy was born in Tanauan, Batangas where he finished his elementary and high school education. He earned his degree in Journalism from the University of Sto. Tomas in 1935 and took up Law at the Philippine Law School where he graduated in 1941.

Pursuant to Republic Act 6836 renaming Agrifina Circle to Teodoro F. Valencia Circle and in grateful recognition of his life-long service to the Filipino people, the National Parks Development Committee under the Department of Tourism, dedicates this circle as a living memorial to Teodoro F. Valencia on this 7th day of May 1990. City of Manila" (Internet)

Friday, December 25, 2015

Wheels of Faith

Mural and Poem by Dr Abe V Rotor

                         Wheels of Rainbow in acrylic, showing details (5ft x 8 ft) AVR, June 6, 2012

They come through prism splitting the light of heaven,
     In joyful, glorious colors of seven,
Each color the color of life in joy and sorrow,
     Today and the promise of tomorrow,

Wheels of fate to wheels of destiny in man’s hand,
     They all come down to the faithful in band,
Through time and space on the road of man’s lifetime,
     Whether this or another or over the clime.

Old as they may or new, while others are yet to be born,
     Their origin is the same – goodness sworn;
Passport to the way beyond this life each one must earn    
     Above the material, blind faith and yearn. 

They come down in gears spinning, large and small
     Moving constantly bouncing like a ball,
The essence of competition, the essence of oneness,
     How one plays in compassion and goodness.

Claim for heaven alone by the book and tongue is falsehood,
     Veering from the chain peace and unity should;
Poor orphan of humanity, the very core of faith,
     Forlorn, and man returns to his own fate.

But where is heaven, what is the afterlife, ask the people,
     As they look at the sky and the totem pole,
And losing faith they break away from the holy bond,
     Alas! walk down the road of a vagabond. 

They pray for heaven to come down, out from the blue,
     The long Promise to billions waiting to be true,
Where the discs as one on some fertile ground must grow
     Into one Eden arched by the rainbow. ~

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Vitamins that add zest to sex life

Dr Abe V Rotor 

 What we eat greatly affect our energy and behavior, thus people who eat proper food with the needed vitamins and minerals are more active, and they generally lead happier lives. They have lesser problems with health and sex. A healthy body has the energy and positive disposition to a zestful sex life.

 Let us examine what these vitamins are and what specific roles they play in enhancing a healthy love life.
 Vegetables and fruits - key to a happy love life

Vitamin A. This vitamin helps in the production of sex hormones, and fights inflammation and infection of tissues. Acute deficiency may lead to atrophy of the testes and ovaries. Soft skin and healthy look may be attributed to a good supply of Vitamin A which comes from carrot, broccoli and other crucifers, yellow fruits and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin B Family. This vitamin complex may be derived from unpolished rice, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Milk principally gives riboflavin, a type of Vitamin B2. Its deficiency may lead to the development of arthritis.

Niacin or Vitamin B3, on the other hand, is derived from asparagus, mungo sprouts, lean meat and fish. This vitamin improves memory, and together with Vitamin A and minerals, gives the flush and glow in the person. Its deficiency may result in skin eruptions and pellagra.

There is pyridoxine, which is vital to the functioning of our brain and nerves. Pyridoxine deficiency is manifested by a general feeling of weakness, neuritis, insomnia, irritability, and anemia. These lead to loss of sex appetite and failure of experiencing sex orgasm.
Most of the Vitamin B rich foods contain pyridoxine and pantothenic acid.

Pantothenic acid is classified as Vitamin B. It is needed in the production of body energy. Choline, which is allied to Vitamin B, enhances sexual arousal and performance. Choline is an ingredient of lecithin, a rejuvenator. Lecithin also contains inositol. Inositol, pantothenic acid, and para-amino benzoic acid (PABA) constitute what is termed as “youth vitamin." Sources of this vitamin other than those mentioned are eggs, crucifers like cabbage, liver, legumes, whole grain nuts and seeds like sesame.
These also provide another Vitamin B member, biotin, the lack of which could lead to depression, indigestion, slow healing of wounds, frequent colds and infections, shortness of breath. 

Most nutritious vegetable - malunggay (Moringa oleifera) 

Mango, avocado, citrus, tomato, guava, and strawberry are among the rich sources of Vitamin C. Doctors recommend a daily intake of 1000 milligrams although some people go as high as 2000 milligrams when exposed to toxins, infection and chronic illness. Taking Vitamin C is a practical way of preventing colds, and some people take it with two cloves (not heads) of raw garlic once they start feeling cold symptoms.

Vitamin D. Although there is no known direct effect on sex, the lack of this vitamin which is actually a hormone complex known as sterols, adversely affects calcium-phosphorus balance and metabolism. Bone deformity in children and osteoporosis are the chief manifestations of its deficiency.
 Regular outdoor exercise and sunlight exposure, and taking in of calcium-phosphorus rich foods protect us from deficiency disorders. Calcium supplement, mainly in milk, becomes a necessary part of the diet of older people. Aside from slowing down the aging process,

Adobong kangkong with chili

Vitamin E adds zest to sex life. It prevents the oxidation of fatty acids which are important in the production of sex hormones. It is found in most of the vitamin-rich foods, but some people may still need Vitamin E supplement often marked tocopherols [Greek: to bring childbirth) (Jensen).
Another vitamin is Vitamin F, which is needed by the thyroid, adrenal and prostate glands. It promotes calcium absorption, buffers cholesterol, helps keep our hair and skin look healthy. Most of the vitamin-rich foods provide us with adequate Vitamin F.

Pokpoklo (Codium edule) green seaweed is rich in iodine and vitamin B12 

It is important to keep always in mind that good health is the key to sexual vitality. Although it is highly recommended that we eat a lot of vegetables and fruits, particularly those specifically mentioned, it does not mean that the more we take them the more we are benefited by their nutrients and herbal values.

First, it is wise to think of certain herbs of their specific significance and the kind of illness we may be treating. There are herbs that are actually dilute forms of natural drugs, and not foods and dietary supplements.

Second is that anything taken in excess is bad. It is but proper to take these herbs with moderation, and better still, with proper consultation.

And third, avoid smoking. Smoking reduces life span to as much as 20 per cent, not considering the predisposition to smoking-related illnesses, principally lung cancer and heart attack, which may cut short a good life even before reaching middle age. Drugs, nicotine, caffeine, alcohol and menthol are known to deaden the nerves in the long run. Medical reports point to them as culprits to many kinds of potency problems both in men and women.

Another form of Vitamin B is folic acid, another form of the B vitamin folate which helps eliminate homocysteine from the blood, an amino acid linked to arterial disease and heart attack. It is also essential in embryonic development and early growth. That is why folic acid is added to milk and foods as protection against birth and childhood defects.

People who eat a lot of dark leafy vegetables, carrots, beans, asparagus, and whole grain, need not worry about folic acid deficiency.

Vitamin B6, which is derived from ginger and certain vegetables, brings relief to the so-called carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS, which is a painful and irritating condition developed by long hours at the keyboard. Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by swollen tendons that move the fingers. Other than this remedy, proper posture and work habits must be followed. Ginger as anti-inflammatory properties, aside from its value in toning the cardiovascular system and r educing platelet aggregation, thus helping in protecting heart attacks and strokes.

The most complex of all vitamins is Vitamin B12 or cobalamine. It is important in the synthesis of nucleic acid and myelin, the covering of nerves. Vitamin B12 was discovered in papait, derived from the chyme of ruminant animals. The chyme is heated and pasteurized (heated below boiling for a few minutes and filtered). It is then mixed with kilawen (medium rare goat’s meat or beef). This preparation is effective against tuberculosis and anemia. 

Vegetarians are at risk for its deficiency, especially among children, which may result in pernicious anemia characterized by symptoms of weakness, apathy, light headedness, shortness of breath, numbness of extremities, and loss of balance. Among older people acute Vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to loss of memory and disorientation.


Top, Spirulina, a blue-green alga as seen under the microscope, made into tablets; lower photos: Chlorella seen at high magnification, and Chlorella tablets.  Both are food supplements rich in vitamins and minerals. (Wikipedia)
Other food sources of this vitamin are fish and poultry, seaweeds like gamet (Porphyra), arusip (Caulerpa), and gulaman (Gracillaria). Chlorella, a green alga and Spirulina, a blue-green alga, contain high Vitamin B12. Lack of Vitamin B12 is manifested by fatigue, irritability, paleness, muscle jerking, and mild mental problems, all of which can greatly adverse sexual life.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Prolonged lack of this vitamin may lead to scurvy. Poor sex life is attributed to its deficiency. Its role is in the absorption of iron. Iron aids in oxygenation of the blood. A well-oxygenated blood is efficient in carrying oxygen, hormones and nutrients to the organs and tissues of the body. How do we know if we lack this vitamin?  It is manifested by the bleeding of gums.  

It is important to consider that we have to maximize the vitamins present in the food we eat. We must remember that heat destroys vitamins and other nutrients, for which reason, vegetables must not be overcooked.

It is also well to know that alcohol, nicotine, drugs and coffee prevent the absorption of nutrients, principally vitamins and minerals. This may develop into a kind of malnutrition that may be taken for granted. Thus, people who abuse themselves with these substances suffer poor health and generally lead sedentary lives.

It is also good to remember that even if we get the proper kind and amount of food, we must complement it with regular exercise and good rest, a positive disposition notwithstanding.

And lastly, both physical and mental well-being are important to healthy sex. Many experts say that the greatest aphrodisiac is the human mind.

"All mankind love a lover.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays

Reference: Philippine Herbs to Increase Sexual Vitality by Del Rosario RM, Ontengco-Castro D and AV Rotor , 2000; acknowledgement: Wikipedia for Photos.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Practice and Value of Gleaning

Dr Abe V Rotor

To glean is to gather, as scattered grain from a reaped field. 

There is a romantic painting of three old women gleaning in a wheat field at sunset by Millet. A religious order - St Paul of Chartres - adopted the painting as symbol of its mission. 

But it may mean differently. Markham looked at the painting as a symbol of social injustice, reinforced by Man with the Hoe, also by Millet. Markham wrote his message in forceful language.

Without reference to religious and ideological connotation, gleaning is a good practice. It reduces wastefulness and waste itself. It extends the use of a product, maximizing its value. It is "value added" in itself.

Here are examples of gleaning in our times.

1. Toothpaste. Cut spent tube with blade or scissor and glean. About a quarter of the content is ensconced in the tube. You can also use recovered paste as hand wash. Excellent to remove fishy and foul odor, grease and oil. It is refreshing, too. 

2. Pencil stub. Roll a piece of paper (preferably colorful) on butt end of pencil. Flatten and twist end three times at right angle each time. It is self-locking. There is no need of paste or type. Rolled paper extends length of pencil to make writing comfortable. It also serves as tip cover to prevent injury. It is an art, you can add to the crown a message, a cutout of a happy face - your own. The crown serves as clip in your pocket. Use paper that does not stain when wet. Collect those beautiful leaflets - they are indeed useful. 

3. Lipstick. Don't throw away your spent lipstick. Dig out the content with lip brush, just as it is shown in the photo. Much of the stuff lies inside the tube. Many cosmetic products can be gleamed: pomade in bottle, face powder in disc canister, perfume in atomizer, and the like. 

Remaining shampoo can be recovered by rinsing bottle, or cutting sachet and turning inside out. 

4. Coffee. Pour one-half cup water into empty bottle to loosen caked layer. Add hot water in the amount desired. (Don't pour hot water directly, otherwise bottle will break. If you do, be sure to put a spoon first, then pour hot water.) Stir or shake bottle gently. (Warning: don't shake bottle with tight cover. Hot water exerts pressure.)

5. Sugar. Follow the same procedure as in coffee, unless the container is plastic. For cocoa, fruit juice in powder, and salt, follow the same procedure. 

6. Other food. Rice crust (tutong) from pot; mayonnaise, jelly, jam, butter, from their containers. Learn practical techniques to glean in the kitchen and good in the refrigerator. You will save a lot. And get rid of the mess and vermin that thrive on our wasteful living. 

7. Wax. Gather candle stubs, spills, and broken ones, preferably of the same make and color. Remove impurities. Scrape and chop thinly, and melt in a suitable pan over low fire. Common molds are glass vase, bamboo or PVC tube Use pure cotton thread for wick. 

8. Soap. Scrape and dissolve in water. Thoroughly mix, filter with cloth. Transfer filtrate into empty hand wash dispenser. You may adjust concentration according to use or preference. You may add freshener or perfume. You can reprocess remnants into "new soap". 

List down at least ten (10) other applications of gleaning, which you can apply in the home and community. ~

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Boy and a Frog

Dr Abe V Rotor

   Green pond frog, UPLB Laguna 

A boy was caught by surprise when a frog leaped and landed at his feet. He could have either trampled on the helpless creature or he himself jumped into the water.

As I was by chance a witness to the incident I asked the boy why he was so afraid.

"It’s a harmless little fellow," I said. "Maybe he just wanted to play with you."

"Do you remember the story, The Princess and Frog Prince?" I continued. "The frog was a disguised prince. The spell was broken by the kindness of a princess. And they lived happily ever after."

He was silent. On recovering from fright, he hesitantly asked. “Di ba ang palaka, nakakahawa ng sipon.” (Isn't the frog the cause of colds?)

I was dumbfounded. Then I remembered the advertisement about a liquid decongestant showing a frog tenaciously clinging like phlegm.

Poor boy - another case of miseducation of advertisement. Poor frog - now in the list of endangered species.

But long after I had written this anecdote I pondered  what has a fairy tale to do with correct education on one hand, and conservation of a species on the other. I felt sorry for the innocent victim - and myself a mentor. ~