Thursday, September 21, 2017

Young Markus Meets the Dawn of Discovery

Great discoveries and inventions have their roots in childhood.
Dr Abe V Rotor

Christopher Columbus as a child played by the seaside looking far into the horizon with a toy boat at his feet. Florence Nightingale’s treated her first patient when she was a little girl, a wounded dog she brought back to health. Brahms composed the world’s most popular lullaby as a kid babysitter who could barely reach the keys of the piano. 

The snowmobile, earmuff, trampoline, popsicle, were all invented by kids. It was a kid who accidentally discovered (serendipity) one of the earliest human fossils. Whoever discovered the creepiest creature like the jumping spider, and the brightest supernova thought to be a UFO, could not have been an adult, but a curious and sensitive child.  

Kids can see more stars in the sky, listen to the whale’s call as music, see grass actually growing, build sandcastles.  They are discoverers and inventors in the making.  They need role models in their search and aspirations in making a better  world and tomorrow.   They are the likes of Einstein, Edison, Mozart, Da Vinci, Bell, Linnaeus, Darwin, et al. when they were young.               

Young Markus and Yaya at home in QC

Greet the morning on a flower hanging,
with dewdrops like gems shining;
Where have the gems gone at the end of day?
Come back with the sun we pray.

A wall mural and a tree trunk at home QC 

A wall mural, bats emerging as darkness falls;
a tree beside, moss and lichen astride,
here reality and imagery the essence of art. 
so in life, together lie side by side.  

Lobster's Claw (Heliconia) and coconut tree at home QC 
By semblance, a lobster is a flower;
to a child, they are the same, 
big and small by the same Creator 

keeps them play the same game.  ~

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Where have all the salmon gone? We might as well ask now.

Genetically Modified salmon could escape from farms and irreversibly destroy wild salmon populations and ultimately the ecosystem.

So with GMO rice and other crops, GMO animals - they will irreversibly destroy natural gene pools and ultimately the integrity of environmental balance, the key to sustainability.

A First for Fish: Genetically Modified Salmon 
Reprint by Catherine Zuckerman
National Geographic, January 2015
Love them or hate them, genetically modified foods are making their way into grocery stores. 

Soybeans and corn have been for sale in the US since the 1990s.  Now if the FDA gives the green light, the first GM animal, a farmed fish known as AquAdvantage salmon, could one day join the ranks.

Developed by Canadian scientists, the fish (photo) is an Atlantic salmon with two tweaks  of its DNA: a growth-hormone gene from the large king salmon and genetic material from the eel-like ocean pout, to keep that growth hormone activated.  The fish which is female and sterile, should reach maximum size quickly in the land-based tanks where it could be raised. 

To keep feed a hungry planet, the GM technology could be used in other species, says spokesman Dave Conley: "Many of the benefits have been downplayed or ignored."

Still, the company was fined for environmental violations, and critics worry the fish could escape into the wild and create new problems.  The FDA has yet to approve it for human consumption.  If allowed, says Ocean Conservancy chief scientist George H Leonard, "it's imperative to be labelled, so consumers can vote with their wallet." 

AquaBounty salmon is the first genetically modified food animal to be approved for sale in Canada. (AquaBounty)

I mourn for the inevitable fate of the beloved wild salmon

 Dr Abe V Rotor
David and Goliath, native and GM types in the wild, won't end up with the biblical ending; the smaller salmon won't stand any chance in competing for food, territory and mate, in fact in all aspects of competition in nature. 

Sockeyed salmon on the run to spawn upstream.

GM salmons will consume more - preys and other food sources - to mature earlier and bigger, armed with planned voraciousness, unwittingly limiting supply for their native counterparts, thinning the latter's population.

It is not just simple one-on-one competition; it is overall and interconnected displacement of members in the food chain, cutting links; worse, the food web is disrupted as chains are disturbed, destroying the integrity of the food web, and may collapse pulling down the local ecosystem.

Why the change in feeding habits? GM salmon carries genetic materials of two unrelated species of fish with different eating habits rolled into one - a heretofore salmon feeding, eating almost anything, small and big, live or dead, freely or covertly or savagely, often in quantities more than it needs called luxury feeding, a laboratory induced characteristic to gain Goliath size in a short time.

GM salmon invade and dominate, native salmon population narrows down, soon the overall biological diversity of streams and rivers and lakes, in fact even the ocean since salmons travel far and wide into the open sea before returning to their place of birth - exacerbated by unabated pollution, infrastructures like dam impeding free movement, over and illegal fishing notwithstanding.

Why GM salmon in the first place? Short term economic advantage to feed an exploding human population and meet virtually endless affluent living. Corporate dominance, cartel in the supply GM stock and methodology of production, making GM salmon growers down the line, captive of the "package" they themselves cannot provide except to grow the fish commercially.

Through corporate linkage with the exclusive supplier can GM producers operate, in the like of Bt Corn which is unprofitable to plant the F2 harvest in the hands of the farmer; the GM female salmon is made sterile, in the same way hybrid seeds carry suicide gene, and that hybrid vigor declines in the succeeding generations, an ethico-moral issue worldwide, 
on patenting life and depriving the small man of his right and need. 

Fishing as sport loses its essence, it is like fishing in a fishpond. The thrill dies with the GM salmon et al. In the first place, has the GM salmon lost its homing instinct? Would it rather join its half-brother eel fish living freely in the ocean? Or would the GM salmon rather stay put in its borrowed spawning ground - rivers and lakes? How about the GM-contaminated wild type, now a GM-native hybrid. Has it lost its homing instinct, or its adventurous lifestyle?

How fast will GM contamination spoil natural salmon gene pools; the answer is disturbing as egg fertilization occurs in open water, where the GM sperm fertilizes the native salmon egg, by the millions, nay billions, and here the GM female produces only sterile eggs; which means a single GM salmon male can spoil a whole stream in a short time of GM2 degenerate salmon, like BtCorn polluting whole fields of corn sans its intended resistance - both cases sowing fear, in reality and uncertainty, as to the consequences on humans and the environment.  

It might be the Waterloo of the natural salmon - symbol of pride, culture and values, barometer of pristine environment, doyen of Ichthyology, iconic specimen of natural history; I fear and lament, it might be gone forever, because genetic pollution is permanent, and that it spreads out indefinitely to contaminate the last member of the genetically related species. 

Community fishing, a favorite Canadian sport; lodging house for guests in Lac Du Bonnet where the author spent weekends fishing. 

Many a weekend I spent fishing in Lac Du Bonnet, Winnipeg River and Red River in pre-GMO era, when the adventure of youth was free of threats of modern technology, but today, in postmodern era, I can only go back to cherish sweet memories in archive - and holding hope for the brighter side of Homo sapiens to examine sustainability for the sake of future generations and our living world. ~  

Salmon farming in floating cages and fish pens. Acknowledgement: Internet photos

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Waterfalls Under My Feet

"... when discovered they are made into a trade!
I wish waterfalls are seen only from above." 
Dr Abe V Rotor 
This waterfall, huge and imposing below,
where does it begin, where does it end?
minuscule from the air, the size of my shoe,
beyond sight afar, shrouded at the bend.

But I hear it hissing clear, tumbling down,
its rock walls shudder, the trees quiver,
flowing down the gully in leap and bound,
meanders and merrily pours into a river.

I've long wondered how a waterfall is made
Isn't by Nature alone, the presence of God?
yet when discovered is made into a trade!
I wish waterfalls are seen only from above.
These are two of a series of waterfalls on the slope of the mountain along the cable car route. Scanty rainfall at this time of the year (approaching autumn) explains the low water supply of the falls and their tributaries. Vegetation of the watershed is likewise poor, since many trees are deciduous (shedding of leaves) and dormant in preparation for the coming cool and windy months.

A cable car connects the main island of Hong Kong to Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, where the Big Buddha, a large bronze statue sits at the top near Po Lin Monastery. It symbolizes the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and faith. It is from the cable car that these photos were taken through its glass floor. Upper photos were taken at the summit showing the silhouette of Buddha, and the adjoining peaks, while the lower photos showing the harbor and newly opened settlement are views half-way the car’s descent. The pair of shoes belongs to Markus two and one-half years old accompanied by his sister Mackie, their daddy and mommy, and grandparents.~

Monday, September 18, 2017

Toddler - Keyhole to Growing Up (Part 2 - Markus 2+)

Everyone has a friend, but grandchildren; 
God-sent in age golden, that life has no end.

Dr Abe V Rotor   
Toddlers when the bed is upturned,
cave instinct, trench to hide; 
Jung's archetype often wondered, 
of life beneath and outside. 
Daddy's boy, bright as the sun,
and all the love and fun;
ephemeral the age in his arm,
'til weaning is no harm.   
Cable car ride, Honkong 2017
On a glass floor of a cable car, 
like flying or walking on water;
conquer height, space and gravity,
above all fear and anxiety.  
Are we there yet? Often asked again and again;
not yet little one, wait;
but early to ask ahead of others indeed a gain,
than those of little faith.       
Between two grandmas he's filled with love;
more than parents alone can give;
Confucius smiles from above to down below,
to see his creed well received.   
Large forehead and ears.
keen eyes, pursed lips,
tight jaw and tilted chin, say,
he is the man of tomorrow
Independence is all we need to give, 
trust and confidence to a child;
like sheep on a meadow sans the shepherd,
to live life without a guide.  
At a Hongkong restaurant 2017
Culinary art, visual expression of taste;
like humanities, expression of values,
crafts of the artisan at the grassroots,  
culture in different views. ~

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Research is ... with emphasis in the field of communication

Dr Abe V Rotor
Professor, University of Santo Tomas

1.    Research is… a historical and comparative study of People, Media and Power, referring to the role of media in people’s revolution such as People’s Power at Edsa, Arab Spring in the Middle East, Occupy Wall Street in the US, and similar contemporary mass uprisings -  not to mention, their precursor of French Revolution, and our own struggle of Independence during Rizal’s time.

2.    Research is … tracing the “Theories of the Press” (Authoritarian, Libertarian, Social Responsibility, Soviet-Totalitarian, and the latest - Development Communication), how they evolved into dominant movements, and ultimately analyzing their role in shaping our society and our world.

3.    Research is … inquiring into Culture and Values, national and universal in a fast changing world as people move from rural to urban centers, cities bursting at the seams, so to speak, and modern living shifting to post modernism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12. Research is … finding out the effectiveness of many learning instruments such as Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People’s School on Air); Laedza Batani (Let’s wake up!), STOU (Thailand) Open University, Kibbutz (Israel) and commune schools, outreach programs, rural immersion, barefoot doctors, school in Blog, and others.

13. Research is … finding out the complementary role of media in the implementation of the new general education under the K to 12 Program, catalyzing the program’s objectives and goals.

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

15. Research is … critiquing Advertisements and Promotions of products and services in order to guide both producer and the public to uphold dignity and decency, and exercise prudence and responsibility in not only on the merits of products, but their educational aspects as well.

16. Research is … consolidating, interpreting and writing implementation guides of  laws and rules – international and local – governing media, these include Copyright Laws, the Constitution, Code of Ethics, and those that govern Press Councils, Journalist Associations, Press Conventions.

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

18. Research is … guiding students in the publication of the results of their research in Journals, books, TV and radio broadcast, on the Internet, and in local publications for the information of the grassroots.

19. Research is … linking laboratory findings and field application, technology with enterprise, thus establishing a system whereby findings are brought to people’s use, and therefore contributory to growth and development.

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

Saturday, September 16, 2017

"All in the name of civilization" - A Reflection

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog 
Home, Sweet Home with Mother Earth

“The ultimate test of any civilization
Is not in its inventions and deeds;
But the endurance of Mother Nature
In keeping up with man’s endless needs.”

- AVR, Light in the Woods.

What is civilization? Can’t civilization hear and heed the groaning of Creation?

1. It is civilization that wiped out the American Indians from the Great Plains, and plundered the Aztecs and Mayas Empires, among other cultures.

2. It is civilization that spurred the powerful West to "discover" and colonize the East for centuries.
3. It is civilization that resulted in the death of millions and the genocide of 6 million Jews in WWII.
4. It is civilization that built the atomic bomb – and dropped it on two cities of an "enemy."
5. It is civilization that made a clone animal, Dolly the Sheep, and inevitably man to be the next in the near future.
6. It is civilization that threatens the whale and the Philippine Eagle, and resulted to the extinctions of many species, and in threatening more.
7. It is civilization that is causing global warming and its untold consequences, destroying lives and properties, and the environment itself.
8. It is civilization that is causing today’s fuel crisis and food shortage, drastic inflation and loss of currency value, the recession of America and consequently the world, ad infinitum.
9. It is civilization that gave way to excesses of living, from obesity to promiscuity, license to abuse of power and wealth.
10. It is civilization that allowed growing inequities in resources distribution,
in bridging the rich and the poor.

First atomic bomb on Hiroshima Japan, 2014

But it is also civilization that brought us and our society to the highest level of consciousness no known species can parallel. It is civilization that makes the Earth a beautiful place to live in.
1. It is civilization that gave us consciousness as rational beings, guiding us to live peacefully as a group and with the things around us.
2. It is civilization that created our great institutions that bind us into a society, and as one humanity.
3. It is civilization that made the greatest masterpieces in the fields of philosophy, science and the arts.
4. It is civilization that gave us the greatest religions of the world that brought us closer to our Creator.
5. It is civilization that guarantees our basic rights as individuals and a people, and as a nation -  and international community.
6. It is civilization that instills in us pride and dignity in our continuing accomplishments and discoveries.
7. It is civilization that prods us to explore the ocean and space, and the mysteries of life making use of our faculties, the greatest gift to mankind.
8. It is civilization that treasures knowledge and history in libraries, archives and multimedia, ever expanding and mysteriously revealing.
9. It is civilization that inspires us all towards achieving our dreams and searching for a meaning in life in each of us, and as a people.
10. It is civilization that gives holism to our existence as Homo sapiens (thinking man), Homo faber (man the maker), Homo jugens (playing man), and Homo spiritus (praying man).

It is civilization that makes nations great - big and small - equally proud of their culture, and contribution to the world.

It is civilization that brings us all towards universal brotherhood and globalization, shrinking the world into a friendly village.

It is civilization that makes heroes and martyrs that always prevail at the end in keeping peace and order here in our only home, The Planet Earth.~

Civilization is a precarious balance. We still ask today why we build beautiful things and destroy them. We are puzzled by the answer of the madman who destroyed the Pieta with a sledge hammer –“because I cannot own beauty.” So, if one man can’t, why should he deprive humanity?

Human Life and Environment, presented at the Capiz Archdiocesan Gathering of Priests, August 4, 2011

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Song for a Dying River

"Now orphaned from your shed and basin, sluggishly
     you retreat to where you were born,
Wishing from among your children a Thoreau or Milton
     to keep vigil in the night ‘til dawn."

Painting and Poem by Dr Abe V Rotor
Waig River (Ilocos Norte) in acrylic (24" x 36") on board by AVR, September 11, 2017 

Three towns nestle on your basin, cropland on your shed,
     Your veins run from mountains high to sea
Throbbing with the seasons generations after generation,
     Homeland of the brave, strong, and free.

On your banks were heard legends, songs and verses,
     Your bounty, the joy of every fisher.
Your forests catch the clouds and funnel the rain
     Filling your streams, oh beautiful river.

Benevolent you’ve always been, you nurtured your children,
     Into illustrious sons and daughters,
Birthplace of a city, a university and museum you built,
     Living symbols to great leaders.

Would a guardian fall in disgrace and forgetfulness?
     Is weaning just primeval obligation?
What is wisdom, the counsel of the sages and old,
     Blind to see a spent nest in oblivion?

Now orphaned from your shed and basin, sluggishly
     You retreat to where you were born,
Wishing from among your children a Thoreau or Milton
     To keep vigil in the night ‘til dawn. ~
Childhood in summer never ends;
like a thing of beauty 
is a boy forever. 
The river a dating place of the feathered,
mating songs pleasant to be heard;
they build their nests in nearby trees, 
'til  music joins the passing breeze. 
Fish, birds,children are one, 
with the lilies and the trees,
in the laughter of the brook,
flowing down a cozy nook.  
A pair of owl, a pair of parakeet,
but would they ever meet?
At night's end, a new day's start 
they bid goodbye then part. ~

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Sweet Sense of Abandon

Painting and Poem by Abe V Rotor
A Naturalist's World

Oh, sweet sense of abandon away from the concrete jungle,
Far from the neon lights that blind the stars and the moon,
The roar of the avenues, cars cruising in lightning speed,
Out of the bowl of smog, of high rise arches;
Incommunicado by modern tools, missing.

Oh, sweet sense of abandon, derelict from cares of the world,
Fugitive from civilization - that which humans are bound,
And captive, outcast he who takes Henry Thoreau's stand,
Who follows the trail where footprints are few and new;
Lost - one is called who has found his freedom.

Oh, sweet sense of abandon, and here bare and naked,
The amenities of the Good Life, a hut for a condominium;
A pond for a swimming pool, dugout for a car or train;
Doors and windows open to let the fresh air in,
The breeze through the trees, the silence of peace.

Oh, sweet sense of abandon, is this they call progress?
Where is unity and harmony in isolation?
Thousands, nay millions, leave the throng to escape
Daily grind, morals and rules they fear to break -
Is this exodus to simple living?

Oh, sweet sense of abandon, you may be true but deceiving,
When the world is dying on land, water and sky,
Culture engulfed by material wealth controlled by few,
Bombs ticking in poverty and war and technology,
Save perhaps this little corner of Eden. ~

Mysterious hand reaches out for the moon

Smog draws figures in the night sky,
as clouds make images in the day sky..

 Dr Abe V Rotor

 Photo by Marlo R Rotor, Halloween 2008

The sun has long bid goodbye.
A mysterious hand rises in the sky.
The moon is still. Darkness sets in.
It's the ghost of Halloween.~

The Art of the Caterpillar

Dr Abe V Rotor 

                   Skeleton of a  leaf of Samat (Macaranga tenarius)

Caterpillar, when you are gone
two things come to mind:
the butterfly you'll become,
and the damage you've done
and left behind.

Art, art, whatever way defined, 
the subject on the wall,
or dripping on the floor,
art, art you aren't hard to find
after all. ~

Friday, September 8, 2017

5 Tips to prevent or minimize pollen allergy (Allergy rhinitis)

Article dedicated to the late  Dr. Lolita Bulalacao* of the National Museum, a pioneer in palynology (the study of pollen grains) in the Philippines.

Pollen allergy is often the cause of sneezing fit and asthmatic symptoms.
Dr Abe V Rotor 

It is true.  It is called allergy rhinitis There are people who are highly sensitive to pollen grains. And their allergy is specific to certain plants, and at certain seasons these plants are in bloom. Plants belonging to Family Poaceae or Graminae which include rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, talahib, cogon, and the like generally bloom in the last quarter beginning October when dry season the habagat season is about to end and dry season starts. 

Here are tips to prevent or minimize pollen allergy.
·         Keep away from flowers and flowering plants
·         Stay home to prevent exposure to pollen
·         Avoid touching eyes and skin to prevent spread of allergy.
·         Don’t bring in flowers and plants inside the house.
·         Use mask and proper clothing.

There is a pollen calendar developed by the late Dr. Lolita Bulalacao* of the National Museum, a pioneer in palynology (the study of pollen grains) in the Philippines. The calendar warns us people who are susceptible to allergy to keep away from pollen coming from certain flowering plants in season and from specific areas that may cause allergy. The symptoms of allergy rhynitis are generally relieved by antihistamine, which comes in different preparations and brands, as tablet or ointment.~

Lolita J. Bulalacao, 'Pollen Flora of the Philippines, Vol. 1' Siwert Nilsson To cite this article: Siwert Nilsson (2000) Lolita J. Bulalacao, 'Pollen Flora of the Philippines, Vol. 1', Grana, 39:1, 63-64, DOI: 10.1080/00173130150503821 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Goodbye, Saint Paul Museum, Goodbye

"One candle you light, you light the world."
Dr Abe V Rotor.
Former Faculty Curator

Murals, Ruins of Colonialism 8 ft x 8 ft by AVR; wall mural, Arrival of First St Paul
of Chartres (SPC) Mission to the Philippines in Dumaguete. Painted by
Dr AVRotor and children - Marlo, Anna, and Leo

Faithful you've been for fifteen years to guests and spirits,
the dead in their memory and honor, in their resting place;
their sanctuary to mingle with the living and community,
reliving events of history, art, culture - pride of our race.

Good bye, Saint Paul museum, you have done your part,
For I shall walk to where the sun sets, to a common end,
Farewell to the beauty, ephemeral to a hard and cold heart
where art is a passing glance and light fading at the bend.

How little can we bid our patrons and friends with gratitude,
young and old, their gentle ways, whispers, and wide eyes,
the place sacred, sanctuary of tradition, keyhole of history,
telling to the world nowhere else exists beyond any price?

I miss the grass owl, the lemur, the violins, the murals exiled,
the scriptures I saved from fire, trophies I picked from the bin;
broken jars I mended, shells and wares I cleaned into artefacts,
dioramas by small hands I guided, each depicting a scene.

Where is Michelangelo now, Rembrandt, stories in the bible?
paintings and writings made by the young in joy and pain?
amateurs - I never called those less in the art but full in heart,
I must bid them too, wishing their work shall not die in vain.

Under your roof I found stories to write, poems to compose,
canvas to paint, guiding hands I lent to the young and old;
under the eyes of my greatest apostle – these I’m blessed,
opening the gate of wisdom and humbling me from bold.~

Parting isn't easy but time heals. But alas! I found my saint
in the dark, on bare wall, where day and night are unkind,
deep moan and sigh I hear, I can shed but a drop of tear;
what mystery should history repeat itself with time in bind?

Let me cloak you as I did when I painted you years ago,
return the glow in your eyes, freshen the red in your breast;
together with murals of your kind – in your travel and trial,
as my strength drains with the sunset, before my final rest.

Goodbye St Paul; one candle you light, you light the world,
where air is thin, footsteps heavy, ignorance and silence one;
where for a decade and half, you and I together stood
in a museum we built, and I your humble disciple and son. ~

Dirge of a Dying Creek

I am dying mother -  
but my mother doesn't answer;  
my mother doesn't answer. 
Dr Abe V Rotor  
The afternoon sun casts an aura of the creek's once beautiful state with trees and shrubs lining its banks. Now the creek is virtually dead - biologically. Note highly polluted water and dumped quarry materials blocking the natural waterway. (Parallel Aurora Blvd, QC)  
Balete or Strangler's Fig clings on an adobe rock cliff.
Views of middle stream, and upper stream to the east. The creek is now an open sewer, ugly, obnoxious 

Outgrowth extends over the creek as if to hide its pathetic condition and man's indifference from public view, 
Just across the creek to the north lies a man-made pond of the Oasis - serene and aesthetic, except the foul air of Carbon Dioxide, Hydrogen Sulfide, methane, ammonia and other gases, being emitted by the nearby creek
Dirge of a Dying Creek                   
Once upon a time, so the story goes, clouds gather 
from the sea and land, cumulus to nimbus,
falling as rain, drenching the trees and grass and all,
and down the lake and river and field it goes. 

I was born this way, like my kin, many miles away,
children of Pasig River, seat of a civilization,
the artery of vast Laguna Lake and historic Manila Bay,
and I, a tributary of this magnificent creation.     

I lived in the stories of Balagtas the poet laureate,
in Rizal's novels, Abelardo's Kundiman song,
I throbbed with the happy heart of a living system,  
like the Rhine, Danube, Nile and Mekong.

I am part of history, obedient to man and nature's will,
I gave him clean water and fish, I sang lullaby;
laughed with the children at play under my care,
through generations and time sweetly went by. 

Seasons come and go, the story goes on - ad infinitum -
but where are the birds that herald habagat?
where have all the children gone after class, in summer?
reflection on my water, green carpet on my rock?

I am dying, dear mother, I long for you and my kin,
I choke with debris, laden with waste matter,
my banks are no more, concrete walls have taken over,
I am dying mother -  but my mother doesn't answer;  
my mother doesn't answer.  ~