Acupuncture and Angiogenesis

 

 

In ancient times, the idea of heart attacks was not unknown in China. While the old timers obviously did not yet know the specifics about how myocardial infarcts or heart attacks came about, their recorded testimonies and terminologies showed that the famous doctors of the past learned a lot about it from observation. What is called by the classical texts of Chinese Medicine as Blood Stasis of the Heart may actually correspond to what we now call Coronary Artery Disease.

www.telegraph.co.uk

a myocardial infarction or heart attack is when, a clog occurs in the blood vessels that bring blood to the heart itself. Obviously this means that the heart cannot supply food and oxygen to itself as it does to the rest of the body. The result of his is that heart tissue itself suffers and could die, leading to complications. After medical treatment stabilizes the patient’s condition, some problems may remain such as finding new ways to restore proper blood flow to the heart.

Neiguan PC6

The scientists in one study used electro-acupuncture on point PC6 Neiguan, a point more commonly associated with the treatment of nausea. However, let us not forget that the PC in PC6 Neiguan stands for the pericardium channel, which we know has effects on the heart.

In the experiment, the researches tied up the left coronary artery – one of the main blood vessels supplying the heart – in rats. This stimulates a heart attack. By using the point PC6, the scientists confirmed that, and I quote:

Our results showed that acupuncture reversed the S-T segment change, reduced Q-wave area, decreased CK, CK-MB, LDH levels, mitigated myocardial remodeling, and promoted microvessel formation in the MI heart. RNA-seq analysis showed that VEGF-induced angiogenesis signaling was involved in the modulation of EA. Western blot results verified that the protein expressions of VEGF, Ras, phospho-p44/42 MAPK, phospho-p38 MAPK, phospho-SAPK/JNK and Akt, were all elevated significantly by EA treatment in the MI heart. Furthermore, increased H3K9 acetylation was also observed according with the VEGF. ChIP assay confirmed that EA treatment could notably stimulate the recruitment of H3K9ace at the VEGF promoter.

In plain English, it looked like the heart attack reversed itself on ECG, and on blood tests. They also found that needling the point activated the body’s inherent ability to generate new blood vessels (VEGF-induced angiogenesis). Advanced protein studies confirmed that acupuncture did so by actually activating mechanisms on a genetic level.

All in all, acupuncture won’t substitute for post heart attack cardiac rehabilitation, but evidence shows that it can help speed up the process.

Resources
Fu, SP et al. “Acupuncture Promotes Angiogenesis after Myocardial Ischemia through H3K9 Acetylation Regulation at VEGF Gene.” PLoS One. 2014 Apr 10;9(4):e94604. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094604. eCollection 2014 (link)
Yu, G., and J. Wang. “Blood Stasis Syndrome of Coronary Heart Disease: A Perspective of Modern Medicine.” Chin J Integr Med (2013). (link)

Link: http://acupuncture.net.ph/acupuncture-heart-attack-patients/

Tillandsia capitata ” yellow” variety blooming and creating micro-climate in our garden

Quezon City, Philippines

Tillandsia capitata ” yellow” with monarch ferns

 In our frequent trips to the former Manila Seedling Bank Foundation and garden shows , We would always marvel with  the different colors, sizes and shapes and the care and importance given by local gardeners and plant collectors to bromeliad and tillandsia family .

Origin:

Tillandsia are epiphytes, a member of the Bromeliad family . These lovely plants require no soil or rooting medium as nutrients required for their growth and good health are absorbed through their leaves, which has earned them the designation of ‘air plants’. The roots, which can grow to be quite large, are used to anchor Tillandsias to trees, power lines and other surfaces. Reproduction of Tillandsia is most commonly by offsets called ‘pups’, and also by seeds (very slow growth). They are mostly found over wide areas of the New World. While cultivation in other parts of the world might have started during the Spanish , Portuguese , Dutch and English colonial rulers which spread these species to many parts of the colonies.

While Tillandsia are not normally cultivated for their flowers, many species bloom regularly and are quite unique and attractive. Often the leaves on some species turn blood red when the plant is in bloom.

Tillandsia are epiphytes, a member of the Bromeliad family. These lovely plants require no soil or rooting medium as nutrients required for their growth and good health are absorbed through their leaves, which has earned them the designation of ‘air plants’. The roots, which can grow to be quite large, are used to anchor Tillandsias to trees, power lines and other surfaces. Reproduction of Tillandsia is most commonly by offsets called ‘pups’, and also by seeds (very slow growth). Single plants can ‘pup’ into huge clumps of plants over time.

While Tillandsia are not normally cultivated for their flowers, many species bloom regularly and are quite unique and attractive. Often the leaves on some species turn blood red when the plant is in bloom.

Acquisition:

I normally observed how tillandsias are grown and exhibited during garden shows. I have seen some growers growing them in their backyard or farms.  It was mid-2010 ( around May ) when i went to the MSBF compound and saw a plant sale at the Purificacion Store. They normal price of Tillandsia capitata at their store is between Php 250 to Php 450 per pot .

During the big SALE, It was offered at 3 pots for just Php 450 or around $10. The exchange rate was around Php 45.75 to 46.31=$1.00. It was relatively almost a give away price.  I bought 3 potted plants with some emerging pups ! It was a wise move, gave away the 2 other pots to my friends and neighbors. However all of them rotted away after few months ( maybe due to over-watering ). I learned the plants sad fate , when i visited one of them few months after.

I again bought 3 pots of Tillandsia capitata at a much expensive price of Php 450 together with Tillandsia fasciculata commonly known as the giant airplant or cardinal airplant, each plant would fetch for Php 1,350 per plant. Tillandsia fasciculata is more hardy plant. Since this plant is still rare in cultivation, This was offered at a more expensive retail price.

Tillandsia fasciculata specimen sized plants would fetch Php 4,500 per small clump. Depending on the variety. I bought 3 specimen size plants.

It took some time ( around 5 months ) to acclimatized my Tillandsia capitata, I just hung them in a bright spot with minimal watering and fertilization .

Care and Cultivation:

After 5 months of carefully observing my plant, My Tillandsia capitata started producing pups , I carefully removed the pups with roots and mounted them on our Manila Palm . Since it was almost the start of the dry season ( October 2010) , I also put a little piece of coconut husk at the base of the roots just to retain the moisture .

I would only mist the plant once every 2 to 3 days so to avoid rot. It took about a month when i saw roots gradually attaching  at the trunk of the Manila Palm. I also saw Phymatosorus scolopendria  or ( monarch fern ) a species of fern growing at the base of the Tillandsia. It seems that it prefers the moist condition of the coconut husk.

It will take several months when i saw that pups began encircling the trunk and I had to separate them and mount them at the other portion of the palm. Sometimes, visiting relatives and friends would marvel at the size of the plant. A few would ask me for some pups.

The same clump would bloom again in 2011. However the plants would not flower in 2012 and 2013.  I suspect that  it was the sudden change in the climatic conditions in our area.  It was the year, when  there was a construction boom within our street , some trees were cut, more houses were built. It became hotter compared to pre-2012 .

millepede

Fertilization

Decided not to remove the pups so that it can create a small micro-climate.  The weekly-weakly regimen of fertilization of water soluble fertilizer of 1/4 strength or 1/4 teaspoon per gallon, with 20-N20-P20-K alternately switching to 2 or 3 fertilizer brands. I would also flush the entire plant with running water once a week, This is to remove excess salts and fertilizer residues.

Since it is mounted on a living palm,  withered leaves from plants , palm flowers, dried palm fruits , bird dropping would accumulate at the base of the tillandsia ,  hence adding natural compost . It is also a beehive of activities where black ants,millepedes and tree frogs hiding at the base of the leaves. I would sometimes remove the withered leaves or dead leaves of the Tillandsia capitata, but much to my surprise that there are ant colonies!

Watering

As a rule of the thumb, I avoid watering my Tillandsia capitata varieties during the entire rainy season and try to prune the surrounding trees to increase air circulation in my growing area. I try to fertilize them with 10N-30P-30K switching with 20N-20P-20K water soluble brands before the onset of the rainy season . While during the dry season , watering is only done early in the morning or late in the afternoon in 2 to 3 days  interval . Natural humidity , mineral and organic nutrients in the air could be absorbed by the plant leaves. Trichomes are structures on plant leaves which help in absorbing nutrients .

Reference: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0367253009000954

Tillandsia capitata “yellow” in bloom

Flowering

In my 5 years of growing Tillandsia capitata “yellow” variety – I missed the 2012 and 2013 flowering cycle ( it did not bloom ) . When i purchased my plants it had flowers and from the pups of 2010, it flowered in 2011. In early May 2014 – I noticed the change of the color of the center leaves , gradually all my specimen plants started to bloom.

What i notice is that my “yellow” variety starts its blooming cycle during the onset of the rainy season . ( between May to July ) .

Tillandsia capitata ” yellow ” grown attached to a Manila Palm

Propagation

I started removing pups or suckers several months after the mother plant had almost died -out , I wait for the aerial roots to grow before detaching them . I apply a little bit of fungicide and air dry them in an enclosed area for several days before mounting them on a piece of wood or living palm.

Since, I am very conservative in my propagation techniques , i only manage to have 3 clumps with 3 to 5 plants per clump. BUT i have remove at least half a dozen pups over the 4 or 5 year period. To think that i started with just 1 mature plant in 2010.

I am planning to separate some more pups and hope to increase them.

Cultivar Varieties

Tillandsia capitata had about 10 to 15 cultivar varieties and 8 to 12 kinds of natural hybrids depending on Tillandsia experts, the number may vary. There are also different forms in each of the localities where they are located .

Tillandsia capitata ” Bacchus” , Tillandsia capitata ” Lorenzo “, Tillandisa capitata ” Love Knot” , Tillandsia capitata” Marron ” , Tillandsia capitata ” Maya” , Tillandsia capitata” Old Gold” , Tillandsia capitata ” Pink Velvet” , Tillandsia capitata ” Red Fountain”, Tillandsia capitata ” Rio Hondo” , Tillandsia capitata “Vicente Bacaya” ,  Tillandsia capitata ” Yellow” Tillandsia capitata variety balbisina, Tillandsia capitata ” Orange”, Tillansia capitata ” Select”

Natural Hybrids:

Tillandsia capitata x fasciculata
Tillandsia capitata ‘Peach’ x fasciculata
Tillandsia capitata x harrisii
Tillandsia capitata x polystachia
Tillandsia capitata x streptophylla
Tillandsia capitata x xerographica
Tillandsia harrisii x capitata
Tillandsia xiphioides X capitata

References:

http://www.bsi.org/brom_info/cultivar/bcr.html Retrieved 11 October 2009

fcbs.org : http://fcbs.org/articles/t_brachycaulos_capitata_Complex.htm

IUCN : http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44392605/0

National Biodiversity Institute : http://www.inbio.ac.cr/en/default.html

plantsdb.gr:  http://www.plantsdb.gr/en/plants-library/tillandsias/230-tillandsia-capitata

Tillandsia International : http://www.airplant.com/

Solaire Casino Resort Soar to New Heights

Solaire Resort and Casino, the country’s premier integrated resort, in partnership with Air Asia, unveils a breakthrough branding project in the Philippines.

Starting this July 2014, its brightly colored logo will be wrapped on Air Asia’s popular Airbus A320.

solaire resort’s new fleet

Solaire, the first consumer brand in the country to embark on this logo-wrap campaign, aims to further promote tourism in the Philippines and in greater Asia.

Mr.Enrique Razon Jr. and Air Asia Global CEO Tony Fernandes

Its dynamic collaboration with Air Asia also represents another step forward in the ongoing journey towards providing modern travel experiences to its customers using fresh new approach to their target market.

In one way or another, this will also facilitate more passenger and cargo traffic in both regional and domestic flights, and further enhance strong trade, cultural, and tourism ties within Asia.

The campaign will continue until 2016, and is bound to generate more hype and publicity as the partnership progresses.

Mr. Donato Almeda

 “This milestone is a key undertaking between two passionate brands with entrepreneurial and dynamic mindsets. This unprecedented branding project in the Philippines may be taken as a ‘leadership statement,’ which attests to Solaire’s strong growth momentum in the industry.” Mr. Donato Almeda, board director of Solaire Resort and Casino said.

Solaire Resort & Casino (formerly known as Solaire Manila) is a resort complex phase 1 which includes a five-star hotel with 488 rooms; and 18,500 square meters of gambling space . The total area is about 8.5 hectares of land with  additional development 258,721 square -meters  expansion project under development which is expected to open at the 3rd quarter of  2014. The casino and hotel entertainment complex along the Bay City area of Parañaque City.

For bookings and reservations:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SolaireResort

Solaire Resort: http://solaireresort.com/

 

Vanilla calopogon: A rare orchid at the backdoor of Metro Manila

Vanilla calopogon Rchb.f., Otia Bot. Hamburg.: p40 (1878)

Local Name: The Beautiful Bearded Vanilla, leafless orchid

Flower Size 1.6 to 1.8″ [4 to 4.5 cm]

History : There are more than 120 species of Vanilla that can be found in tropical areas of the world. However only 5 to 6 species are known to produced the vanillin extract which is essential in aroma therapy, food, cosmetic, baking and ice cream.

Totonac people, who inhabit the East Coast of Mexico in the present-day state of Veracruz, Mexico, were the first to cultivate vanilla. According to Totonac mythology, the tropical orchid was born when Princess Xanat, forbidden by her father from marrying a mortal, fled to the forest with her lover.

world map showing areas where vanilla orchid species can be found

Vanilla is a flavor derived from orchid species of the genus Vanilla. primarily from the Mexican species, flat-leaved Vanilla planifolia .  The word vanilla, derived from the the Spanish word vaina (vaina itself meaning sheath or pod), simply translates as little pod.   people cultivated the vine of the vanilla orchid, called tlilxochitl by the Aztecs, and Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes is credited with introducing both vanilla and chocolate to Europe in the 1520s.

Initial attempts to cultivate vanilla outside Mexico and Central America proved futile because of the symbiotic relationship between the vanilla orchid and its natural pollinator, the local species of Melipona  bees.  Pollination is required to set the fruit from which the flavoring is derived. In 1837, Belgian botanist Charles Francois Antoine  discovered this fact and pioneered a method of artificially pollinating the plant. The method proved financially unworkable and was not deployed commercially. In 1841, Edmond albius , a slave who lived on the French island of Reunion  in the Indian Ocean, discovered at the age of 12 that the plant could be hand- pollinated . Hand-pollination allowed global cultivation of the plant.

close-up view of the flower

Origin: Unlike its related cousins from Central and South America , There are about 4 to 6 species of Vanilla orchid species that can be found in the Philippines.  Found in northwestern Luzon provinces , Norzagaray , Angat , San Jose del Monte in Bulacan, Rizal province in dry thickets and on trees in forests at low elevations as a large sized, hot growing climbing terrestrial with a terete stem without leaves that blooms in the late spring and early summer on a short, 4 to 6 flowered inflorescence .  It is endemic to Luzon island. This orchid species is a climber and is leafless. In my several years of cultivation. The orchid will become active during the onset of the rainy season by producing vines.

On June 29, 1890 , it was recollected in dry thickets in Luzon then later in 1918 Mr. Maximo Ramos collected some in the town of  Burgos , Ilocos Norte on July 20, 1918 . Some specimen was later discovered in Rizal province by Mr. Alejandro , an orchid collector by profession sometime in 1948.  The flower does not last very long, it only bloom 2 to 3 days .

My orchid specimen was given to me by a friend from the Philippine Orchid Society ( Mr. Reynaldo Lucas ) before he left the country sometime in 2008.  According to the book of Ms. Mona Lisa Steiner the orchid species used to be found in Novaliches , Valenzuela , Bulacan areas .  But with the recent developments , one can hardly see any orchid species growing in wild places, most of which are already converted into subdivisions, highways or industrial areas. One last hope will be the La Mesa Watershed area.

Vanilla calopogon climbing vine

The specific name calopogon means ” beautiful beard ‘ refer to this attractive labellum . Its pale greenish lilac colored flowers is a sight to behold.

References and Bibliographies :

Kew Garden: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/kew-211860

Davis S. Reg, Steiner , Mona Liza 1952 New York , USA  page 239 to page 241

The Complete Writings of Dr. Eduardo Quisumbing on Philippine Orchids , 1981 Eugenio Lopez Foundation,  page 103 to 105

Lakaran sa Quiapo : A walking tour of historical areas of Quiapo

Quiapo district , Manila -Philippines

The tour was started sometime in 1987 by Dr. Teresita “Tess” B. Obusan. LAKBAY LAKARAN SA QUIAPO was originally called LAKARAN SA QUIAPO. Lakaran means journey on foot, but to further emphasize the theme, the word lakbay which means travel was added.

Lakaran is based on Hermano Pule’s (1815-1841) concept of journeying with fellow countrymen to empower them. The concept has been appropriated to the pilgrimage tour around the Quiapo area where participants see not only the sights, but also experience the deeper meaning of PAKIKIPAGKAPWA (relationship) and its symbolic meaning – that in life we are all into a common journey. The description of Ileto, a well known Filipino scholar, about the lakaran aptly fits this pilgrimage tour – “. . . a journey – an event ….”

San Sebastian Church

San Sebastian Basilica is our first stop-over for the tour, The basilica is also known as National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

Completed in 1891, San Sebastian Church is noted for its architectural features . This is an example of the revival of Gothic architecture revival  in the Philippines,and an example of an all steel church in Asia  and claimed as the only prefabricated steel church in the world. It was designated as a National Historical Landmark by the Philippine government in 1973. In 2006, San Sebastian Church was included in the tentative list for possible designation as a World Heritage site .

Rust is evident in every parts of the basilica, even minor paint job is insufficient to cover the rust.

L-R Mr. Stephen Pamorada, Mr. Allan Pardilla  Martinez, Mark John Dañas , Ms. Cez  Boñales- Rosqueta and Mr. Charles Boris Mañez

Iturralde house

The house is located in 730 San Sebastian St. barangay 390 zone 40 just behind the San Sebastian Church. The house second floor balcony area had a flag pole , where the flag of Monaco is hoisted when the Honorary Consulate of Monaco ( Mr. Iturralde )held their office within the premises in the 1950’s to late 1960’s . Inside this house, it had a photo of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace Kelly that were hung on a prominent spot .

gate

 Now , it is home and a business address of Ms. Pilar S. Iturralde ( real estate ) , one of the descendants of the clan. In front of the house there is a small sari-sari store . It had also some big trees and plants .  The magnificent fence grill works were covered by galvanized sheets maybe to cover the grounds and house from prying public’s view . The current honorary consulate office/ residence of Monaco to the Philippines is not aware of the official tenure of Mr. Iturralde and quite hesitant to give accurate information or they really do not have records ( Mr. Iturralde ‘s tenure) when some freelance writers contacted their office/ residence .

Link: http://embassy-row.com/monaco-embassy-in-philippines/

old house with nice grill works located along Bilibid Viejo street

a door  with the art nouveau styled grilled -works on a sampaguita flower.

The grill works is very similar with Bahay Nakpil-Bautista a few block away , I was just wondering if the architect is the same and the supplier of the iron grills are same company.

  ocampo pagoda and garden

Ocampo Pagoda and Garden – This pagoda-like structure dominating the skyline of a residential district in Quiapo was constructed in 1935, a time when the huge area surrounding it was part of a vast estate of Don Jose Mariano Ocampo.

 ocampo compound signage

He is a lawyer by profession had an investment brokerage and a  real estate company . The estate is quite large occupying about 1 hectare  which encompasses 6 to 8 blocks .  Most of the material used in the construction process were made from high quality materials .

ocampo pagoda circa 1940

Fascination with Japanese Culture 

The pagoda was built to adorn his garden and at same time to house his realty firm. However, with its completion in 1939, World War II broke out and the structure was used as an air raid shelter for the surrounding community.

shachihoko or shachi  lucky dragon face with koi-like fish carved and situated on entrance or sides of the building

It is a mythical creature in Japanese folklore   with the head of a tiger and the body of a carp . It was believed that this animal could cause the rain to fall, and as such, temples and castles were often adorned with roof ornaments ( shibi ).

photo from Ms. Justine Danielle and  Mark John Dañas

These fish-shaped ornaments are placed at both ends of the main roof ridge, with the male Shachi placed on the left and the female Shachi on the right .The creatures are thought to provide protection against fire, as they are attributed with the power to control rain and even protection of the family. The roof tiles bore the family name .

Website link: http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/shachihoko.html

The owner is fascinated with anything that is oriental and Japanese hence , he was able to create a Japanese style home, architecture and garden within his vast compound.

japanese inspired -garden

The garden is also big, I estimate that it used to cover between 500 to 1,000 square- meter complete with Japanese styled manicured garden complete with a koi pond , cemented plant pots , sculpture, cement bridge  and other fixtures. The pagoda took some beatings during the August 2, 1968 Casiguran earthquake when parts of Manila took heavy shaking, parts of the roofs and some structure had collapsed , While the family car was severely damage , the family driver miraculously was saved from the earthquake. Another earthquake on July 16, 1990 also destroyed some of the roof tiles and gradually weaken some of the structure .

Link: http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2262:casiguran-earthquake-02-august-1968&catid=43

References: Osome, S., Osawa, Y., Skinner, I., Yoshima, and Y., PHILIPPINES: Luzon Earthquake of August 02, 1968, UNESCO, Serial No. 977/BMS. RD/SCE. NR, Paris, January 1969.

Southeast Asia Association of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering (SEASEE). Series in Seismology, Volume IV (Philippines), 1985

basketball area

Now,  the area occupies a prominent place in the community as a basketball court and a place to hold some meetings, with very few traces of the garden except with some cement pots and walls which remind residents and tourists of its former grandeur.  The Ocampo pagoda is a dormitory for seafarers and photo opportunities are restricted at the basketball court .  How i wish i could have taken photos years ago when i was able to enter the premises without much hassle.

 cement plant container

A few of the stone statues  can still be found scattered in this residential community, including a Japanese-looking Our Lady of Mount Carmel standing on a globe.  Some residents would attest that the image is miraculous and save countless of lives during the second world war and during a fire which broke into the neighborhood few years ago.

Our Lady of Carmel “Birhen sa Eskinita” due to its location along a narrow alleyway

Later after the war, The descendants sold a portion of the property while some areas were lease out . ( Now the area is called Ocampo compound  ) which is located in baranggay 393 zone 40 district 3 of Manila which is much smaller compared to the pre-war heydays.

Ocampo family statute

It also used to be a popular film location shooting place. We had to squeeze through dozens of houses that were built within the former garden and the compound .

Miss Philippines 1954

 photo :  veestarz.com

One of the famous descendant of the clan is 1954 Miss Universe – Philippines . a UST architecture freshman, was the first Filipina to land among the semi-finalists. She was in London as part of her prize for winning the Boys Town Miss Philippines contest when she was asked to represent the country in the  July 24,1954 Miss Universe Pageant held in Long Beach , California , USA. She became an architect and married to Mr. Victor Buencamino whose brother Philip married President Manuel L. Quezon’s daughter Ms. Zenaida/”Nini” (later Avancena—1st husband Philip was ambushed, along with Nini’s mother Dona Aurora and sister Maria Aurora/”Baby”, supposedly by members of the Hukbalahap, in 1949)..  She passed away peacefully on January 7, 2011. She was 75.

Miss Universe 1954 you tube video

Beauty Queen clan

Ms. Pacita ” Ting” Ongsiako delos Reyes

Ms. Bessie comes from a family of beauty queens. Ms. Pacita “Ting” Ongsiako T. de los Reyes (Miss Philippines of the Manila Carnival Queen of 1929), Ms.Yvonne Berenguer de los Reyes (Miss Philippines – Universe 1955) and Ms. Simonette Berenguer de los Reyes (Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 1970) are her cousins. Margarita “Tingting” de los Reyes Cojuangco is another cousin.  They were featured by Ms. Korina Sanchez years-ago .

In 2006, Malacanang appointed Bessie as a commissioner for the EDSA People Power Commission The other commissioners included retired Gen. Honesto Isleta, journalists Belinda Cunanan and Carmen Pedrosa, former DLSU President Rolando Dizon, youth activist Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, and columnist Alex Magno. (http://www.mb.com.ph/node/62357)

Sources: Missosology and Binibining Pilipinas

 Facebook event page:https://www.facebook.com/lakbaylakaransaquiapo/info