posted Sep 17, 2009, 10:14 AM by Diego S. Maranan   [ updated Sep 17, 2009, 10:16 AM ]
by Kristine Matusalem
July 6, 2009

[See the original entry on]

I went to the Biomodd lab again last Saturday. Unlike my (quiet) first visit, there were a lot more people working at the lab. It was nice to see new (and old) faces.

Everyone was busy when I arrived. A team, led by Angelo, was painting/cleaning a monitor and a keyboard. It was painted gold. I asked Angelo if all computers were to be painted gold, he said, maybe not because the spray paint was not eco-friendly.

The sculpture was undergoing a slight make-over. First, the metal base needed a hinge: this would allow the "dismantling and reassembly" of the sculpture, thus making the sculpture transportable. Biomodd would be exhibited at the UP Student Union building on August 5 then on the National Museum a month after.

Second, the posts needed straightening. The coco lumber structure was supposed to be just a prototype so, of course, there were imperfections. 

I asked Vanni if they figured out a way to make the posts furrier. I was imagining/thinking that the entire post should be furry and mossy. When the bark is stripped form the coco lumber, the fibery strips come out. This would make the posts better "hosts" for the climbing plants. Vanni said, we can just strip the remaining bark and plant vines there. Another suggestion (Vic's) was to use special, moss-like artificial sponge on the gaps. I asked the "manongs" working on the hinges for suggestions, they said we can "glue" coconut husk strips on the posts and look for more vines. 

By the way, the plants I re-potted and the vine I "planted" on the post are alive, although a little dry. Watering the plants is an important task!

Some of my BAMS classmates visited the lab. It was great and fun meeting them! We cleaned the aquarium using a special soap (Cif) from Belgium. We prepared the PET bottles for the aquaponic system. Kent tried to assemble a computer/some computers from the collection of parts available. (He said that we need more working hard drives, by the way.)

We tried to look for plants we can use for the structure. Initially, we were supposed to buy pots and soils from South Supermarket then just reproduce plants form the ones we already have through cuttings, etc. Someone (forgot who) said that a month would not be enough to grow the replanted ferns and stuff, we should just buy plants instead. Angelo said it's too early to buy plants, especially since the structure is not yet finished. He said that we'd know what else we'd need once the structure is up. He said that, for the mean time, we can look for plants around the lab. Kent said, usually getting plants from around the lab does not work. This makes sense because, I think, the plants around the lab are meant for outdoors. Vic and Ging suggested that we go to the Botanical Garden. I hope they pushed through with that plan. I had to leave early due to prior arrangements.

I would be back this week. Not on a weekend, though. I would not want to be subjected to another tiresome traffic jam. I spent more time travelling to the lab than staying there. (I should still be thankful since I need not travel a 12-hour boat ride, plus a few more hours by land just to get to the lab, like Ann! :)) 

The exhibit is just a few weeks away! Yikes!

Photos are available here.