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Friday, January 24, 2014

Thinking about thinking green and beautiful

As I prepare for my talk, with the title THINK GREEN AND BEAUTIFUL, I am so amazed by how time flew and how good it is to dream, to travel, to work, to meet people and sometimes touch other people's lives even for a moment.

Life has been so wonderful and while I still have many dreams and wish to do many things---I know I finally know more of myself now than ever. And though am the idealist, optimist, dreamer who in many times belong to another universe if not in this world I still know and feel what is real and what is doable even under tough and complicated scenario.

I love green in all its form and meaning, I love beautiful places, people and things in their best form, memories and senses, To me beauty is beyond the eyes, it is something felt deeply without question or explanation. Now I can prove that beauty is within us and exist even in chaos and ruins, it becomes a state of mind.

How I wish life could be perfectly smooth, clean and strong free from the undesirables but I guess it makes us appreciate simple good things of value when we have gone through hard times, when we are challenged and we rise above it, when we see that it is not all about money but having  pleasure in us being alive.

I thank the supreme for the sun, the land, the water and all the beings that keeps me alive.

I live because of GREEN.
I am happy because if all things BEAUTIFUL great and small.
I wish to share why it means a lot to THINK and ACT.
We will have more heaven on earth if we all have to go and make use of our life and the best of
all things LIVING.

Enjoy your weekend,


Saturday, January 18, 2014


Am excited for 2014, it feels like it would really be special. And as I chose to think and act, much of the work in line supports the over-all picture I want to see, in my life, my family, my community, country and the world.

When I conducted the 2013 International Horticulture Training: Gardens of the World and Floral Design, I already stated in my formal letter that it will be the prelude to a new campaign:

I am glad our MASAYANG KAINAN PARA SA KALUSUGAN turned out very well and has encouraged many of those who joined us to set up the HEALTH WALK.

My wish list is long and big and I hope to be able to do what I can with the people around me who supports the cause and goals I have in our unit, the university,  our social groups and the world.

For the first quarter of 2014:

1) A special seminar to launch in public the THINK GREEN AND BEAUTIFUL CAMPAIGN with VIEWS FROM 1)Aurora 2) Bohol 3) Camiguin 4) Davao and 5) Leyte, Philippines in January 30 at UPLB CSC.
2) Launch of the GREENMART at UPLB  CSC  in January  and possibly another version in Leyte in March
3) A talk to farmers of Laguna on Increasing Productivity, Profitability and Sustainability in Farms and Farm Communities in cooperation with NIA and the organization of UPLB Agriciultural Chemistry Students
4) Organization of a special symposium on Frontline Challenges in Agriculture and Nutrition in Leyte as part of the LUBAG-MERCADO Mission and my network
5) Packaging of livelihood trainings and development  program proposals in line with our YOLANDA Outreach and evaluation of our on going feeding, expansion of our community kitchens and assessment of the recipient of our foundation seeds.
6) Conduct of  special training and tour to my landscape horticulture students and industry contacts related to Sustainable Practices in Agriculture and Horticulture with a special project in cooperation with Green Earth Heritage Foundation
7) My students come up with good entrepreneurship projects and innovative products and time appropriate garden and farm designs
7)  Formalization of our LIGAYANG MABUHAY group, activation of our website and conduct of fundraising and linkage activities.

On a personal note, I am so excited to meet Apollo again in Houston for his NASA low gravity space flight to test the cookware he designed, constructed and modelled at Cornell esp. Jean Hunter in cooperation with industry and NASA. A quick stop in California will allow me to renew ties with family and friends and I hope to meet more in Texas, Arizona and New York.

This is my Apollo, my loving space guy during our last visit at the Mauna Kea, Big Island Hawaii. Safety and more power to you as you prepare for your big, big science and engineering work. See you at the JOHNSON SPACE in HOUSTON soon.



Friday, January 10, 2014

YOLANDA OUTREACH: Mission Highlights

Happy to share life's blessings to those in need. With a multitude who experienced hardship and  hunger when Yolanda devastated a huge region, it was hard not to think and act. Sending donation through the Cornell Club of the Philippines for medical relief  during the early phase seemed not enough,  We had experts willing to help and the mission trip involved assessment, feeding, relief distribution, establishment of community kitchens and foundation seed dispersal.

 Here's the highlight of our  program first steps.

Foundation seeds of corn, mungbean, squash, eggplant, okra and sitao  that can start production for about  10 hectares of land were repacked in home, community and farmer's packets.These type of seeds are mainly for multiplication, traditionally not planted for direct commercial crop harvest. Distribution were made directly through the communities, individuals and the LGU's we prioritized.  We purchased them from the National Seed Foundation under my unit the Crop Science Cluster and Institute of Plant Breeding, UP Los Banos  from pledges and private donations. My students, family and some CSC staff helped when we repacked many sacks and bags into small packets. The small packets included our LIGAYANG MABUHAY campaign, the mission group and the names of the crops seeds and their cultivar names eg. Mistisa, Supersweet and Pag-asa. We distributed over a thousand packets with some groups receiving vermicast and the Mykoplus biofertilizer, an  inoculant donated by Dr. Joy Zarate of BIOTECH, UPLB..  It is our aim to promote production of nutritious foods at the home, in the community gardens and through farmers to address part of their food needs. While we expect home gardens to enjoy the harvests we instructed recipients to save the best, let them mature and share to others.

Sharing nutritious cooked soups, meals,  and holiday  fruits in a surprise feeding program were done in different places. Interestingly our feeding schedules amidsts rainshower or strong pours and some good sunny hours  from barangay halls, roadside waiting shed, barangay sheds by the coasts and highlands, parking areas and home fronts. 

Big smiles and happy faces from our children and adult recipients. We were able to do it with the help of our volunteers and the community who responded quickly to our surprise visits. Some areas were quick to call and in large droves while the others took passing of the shouts from fields. The sight of kids running to meet us amazed me.

We set up a special cooking session: A PANCAKE BRIGADE with the barangay leaders of West Visoria, Carigara and also turnover our kitchen materials and supplies, They are continuing the feeding program and we expect them to have the family of the benefiaries to help in implementing them. Early on I envisioned setting up soup kitchens or a community kitchen that can be mobile or stationary with options for mixed use for possible service, livelihood or community strengthening. Three barangays in Cariigara got food supplies and two got our cookwares and utensils that gladly cooperated to operate the feeding and health program. 

We got donation for water fitltration technology using these plastic drums and a nanotech system from the US that allows cleaning of water.  This was set up by MU SIGMA PHI fraternity and sorority  at the UP College of Medicine  in  Manila in their special project as initiated to us  by my mission partner Dr Ces Acuin and her husband Dr Lito Acuin. Jose Chua, a second year Medicine student gave this to us and demonstrated how it works and it is maintained.

Recipients are Barugo, Leyte residents distributed in schools. We also gave them seeds, food supplies as shown here.  We also donated 3 sets of encyclopedia in a public library recently damaged.

We met farmers of Tacloban City in cooperation with the City Agriculturist office and distributed seeds and observed their farm system.

Spending the holidays in Leyte and reaching out to many barangays in Carigara,  Capoocan, Barugo, Palo (Leyte) and Tacloban city is a life changing experience. Our team of experts and volunteers will convene soon  to plan how to proceed.

Thanks to all our pivate donors from the US, Canada and the Philippines mostly our relarives and some friends, our hosts, my aunt Minda Lim, Uncle Ben, May and Jerome Capuyan, the Shopper's staff and crew. Our volunteers esp. Rochelle Saracanlao, Nim Gonzales, Jessie Lubag and my students at UPLB. 

This we do in behalf of the LUBAG-MERCADO Mission and our gracious and generous donors. 
The Mission group was formed when the family, church and relatives  of Dr. Leticia Mercado Lubag and the late Mr. Angelo Josue B. Lubag Jr of Naic, Cavite  joined hand to conduct two Habagat Outreach  Missions  in cooperation with  the Naic LGU's, private groups and my alumni club the Cornell Club of the Philippines in its Centennial Celebration in 2012.

This is just the start, we hope to do more, they really need more help. 

Blessings to all, let us join hands and let love flow.


Maraming Salamat,

Amihan Mercado Lubag-Arquiza