Welcome to My Site

If this is your first visit, welcome! This site is devoted to my life experiences as a Filipino-American who immigrated from the Philippines to the United States in 1960. I came to the US as a graduate student when I was 26 years old. I am now in my early-80's and thanks God for his blessings, I have four successful and professional children and six grandchildren here in the US. My wife and I had been enjoying the snow bird lifestyle between US and Philippines after my retirement from USFDA in 2002. Please do not forget to read the latest national and International News in this site . I have also posted some of my favorite Filipino and American dishes and recipes in this site. Some of the photos and videos in this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing on your copyrights. Cheers!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Vignettes on the Life of Benito Lopez of Jaro, Iloilo, Philippines

The following is a repost of the article written by Nereo Cajilig Lujan and posted in his Face book page just recently. I enjoyed reading it because I was born in Jaro, Iloilo and was curious about Roca Encantada- a summer house of the famous Lopezes clan of Jaro. The two well-known Lopez brothers are Eugenio and Fernando. Eugenio was an industrialist and philanthropist whereas Fernando was well known for his political achievements having been elected vice president in three presidential periods in Philippine History. According to Nereo Lujan, our blood relation to the Lopezes is thru the wife of Fernando, Mariquit Lopez.

Nereo and I share the same ancestry with the Javellana clan of Iloilo. He has a blog www.javellana.wordpress.com. Read it if you want more details on the Javellana clan of Iloilo. Here's a repost of his very informative and popular article that had been shared by 160 readers, 466 likes, and 33 comments as of today.

" HISTORY 101. On 27 December 1907, Governor Benito Lopez was shot four times in his office at the Casa Gobierno (Casa Real de Iloilo) by Joaquin Gil, a supporter of Francisco Jalandoni who he defeated in the gubernatorial elections two months earlier.

Lopez died 24 days later on 20 January 1908 at the Iloilo Mission Hospital and his assailant was executed for his crime while Gil's patrons were exiled for their role in the governor's assassination.

Mourning the death of her husband, Doña Presentacion Hofileña Lopez retired to her native town in Navalas (now Buenavista) in the island of Guimaras and built for herself a house there.

The Lopez widow left her two sons Eugenio (born 1901) and Fernando (born 1904) to the care of his sister Elena who married her late husband's brother, Vicente Lopez (who built the elegant Nelly Garden in Jaro in 1928).

Doña Presentacion's house, constructed on top of a huge coral rock in Barrio San Miguel overlooking the north eastern coast of Panay Island, was completed in 1910.

While residing in Guimaras, Doña Presentacion took fancy on a baby girl born in 1909 to a peon (unskilled farm worker) and an American soldier stationed there. She adopted her and named her Julieta.

The mestiza Julieta Lopez was crowned Miss Iloilo in 1927 and on 19 June that year married Vicente Arenas. Their son Ramon became the husband of socialite Rosemarie Bosch Jimenez, popularly known as Baby Arenas.

Sometime in the mid-1920s, Doña Presentacion married Daniel Evangelista but they were childless. She contracted pneumonia and her condition quickly worsened, resulting to her death in February 1930.

In the 1950s, the Lopez brothers had the house in Buenavista renovated, turned it into their summer home and called it La Roca Encantada as it is perched on a rock.

On 21 April 1967, after inaugurating the Iloilo Airport in Mandurriao, President Ferdinand Marcos and party had lunch at La Roca Encantada, becoming the first Chief Executive to set foot on Guimaras soils.

La Roca Encantada, which quickly became a tourist attraction, was declared a National Heritage House by the National Historical Institute on 14 August 2002.

Benpres, the holding company of the Lopez family that was incorporated in 1993, was coined after the names Benito and Presentacion. It was renamed Lopez Holdings Corporation in 2010 ".

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Macrine and I Pampered Ourselves Today

I woke up this morning under the weather. My 81.6 years old body is aching. It is not due to our bed mattress because it is new. I decided I will treat and pamper myself later on today. I decided to have a manicure and spa pedicure at our neighborhood salon. Macrine and I have manicure and pedicure services on a routine basis when we are Marinduque.

However, Macrine is the only one who has her manicure and pedicure on a monthly basis here in Northern California. She has this done at our neighborhood nail salon operated by a Vietnamese-American family. The salon is headed by the Mother( she is the only one with good English command with the exception of the daughter). She is assisted by her husband, her sister, sister-in-law and just recently her 25 year old daughter.

The cost is $10 for manicure and $20 for a SPA pedicure plus a $2 tip. The name of the Salon is Elegant Nails, about one mile from our residence. This is indeed a reasonable price compared to other nail salons not operated by Vietnamese-Americans. Today I had the same service and I like it. I enjoyed the service especially the massage part of the service. Beginning today I will now pampered myself with these services on a regular basis.

I was curious why more than 80% of the nail salon business are in the capable hands of the Vietnamese-Americans here in Northern California. The following article and the above video answered my question.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32544343 and

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Causes of Lung Cancer of Non-Smokers and Treatment-An Update

Several days ago, I posted an article on possible causes of lung cancer of non-smokers. I wrote that article after I received a note that a close relative of Macrine was just diagnosed with lung cancer although she had never smoke a cigarette in her life. In that posting she does not know the stage and type of cancer she had.

Today she went to see her oncologist for the results of her PET scan last week. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. Fortunately there is a treatment plan available that will likely contain the spread of the cancer. The pill that she will take appears to be highly effective because of three conditions: she’s Asian, has no history of smoking, and she has metastatic non small cell lung cancer.

The drug prescribed for her is Gefitinib (Iressa). The drug has very tolerable side effects, namely, skin rashes and diarrhea. An alternative drug in the same class is Erlotinib ( Tarceva). According to the clinical literature, Erlotinib has been found to have improved overall survival rate than Gefitinib.

Tarceva is also indicated for stage 4 non small cell pancreatic cancer.

Last November, Tagrisso (omisertinib; formerly AZD9291) obtained FDA approval for the treatment epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients whose tumours carry the T790M mutation. The drug is a third-generation EGFR inhibitor, which is designed to overcome resistance to other drugs in the class such as Roche/Astellas' $2bn-a-year Tarceva (erlotinib), AZ's Iressa (gefitinib) and Boehringer Ingelheim's Giotrif (afatinib).

For details on Iressa and Tarceva read the following:

https://www.drugs.com/iressa.html and https://www.drugs.com/tarceva.html

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Newly Revamped San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

My daughter and grand daughter ( Ditas and Carenna) just visited San Francisco newly revamped Museum of Modern Art(MOMA)just recently. If you are a lover of art this must be one in your bucket list of places to visit.

Ditas and Carenna had fun and took a couple of pictures as follows.

Read the following news releases on the opening of MOMA last May.



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My Sudden Reality Check as a Senior Citizen in the Philippines

The following is a repost of the article in FB by Adolfo Aquino*-a Face Book friend and a fellow Filipino-American also residing in California. He went home to the Philippines on July 15 to help in the burial ceremonies of his eldest sister. He described his personal experiences during this trip a sudden reality check as a Senior Citizen in the Philippines. Here is his interesting story for your reading pleasure.

" Before I delve into the crux of my story, let me tell you first about the events that led me to a reality check of myself. I came home to bury my eldest sister in the Philippines on July 15, 2016. The experience was so stressing and at the same time very nostalgic of my childhood in Barangay Malinis of Lemery, Batangas where I grew up under the strict but doting guidance of my sister whom I fondly called Ate Ciana.

We were 18 years apart in age and she was already a teacher when I began my recognition of things and events surrounding my infancy. It was she who brought me first to the city of Manila when I was about 5 years old. It was the time when the provincial bus would fetch you from your homes before the crack of dawn and wait for you until you finish your shower and get your travel things ready. My thought of going to the big city was more exciting than my first travel to the US or to any of my travels in Europe. What could be more fascinating to a child’s eye than to see the neon lights of the Jai Alai across the old Luneta Park? It was then and so many more enthralling sites other than the hundred camachile trees and corn fields that abound our Barangay Malinis. As I was looking at the lifeless face of my Ate Ciana, I was overwhelmed by emotions and memories of my childhood days when she was always part of my daily life as my protector, my counselor, my second mother.

Once again, I felt the infantile sensation within me, having been pampered as the baby of the family and now confronted by the frozen and helpless body of my guardian. As I turned around from the white casket after a few minutes of prayer and recollections, I was met by a few couple of children who grabbed my right hand to say, “Mano po, Lolo Addie”. “Mano po, Lolo Addie”, yes it was me because that’s my name and that’s what my family and friends always call me, but hearing the word “lolo” jolted me like a lightning bolt. One second ago, I was crying inside me like a child who lost my sister like I lost my mother, and the thought that I was old, a grandpa, a senior citizen was not so uplifting. The un-invigorating thought of being called a “lolo” came to pass and the consoling notion that they were just little children was understandable and made it easier for me to ignore.

The day after the burial of Ate Ciana, I went to the BPI bank of Lemery to withdraw some cash. It was a busy day in the bank and I found myself at the end of one of the three queues when the security guard approached me and directed me to an empty line where a teller was waiting. Trying to be respectfully gracious to the people on the queue, I asked the guard why. He said, “Sir, you are a senior citizen and we have a special line reserved for you”. I was so flabbergasted but elated at the same time. There were three long lines of people, some of whom seems to be older than me, and yet the guard picked me up and addressed me as a senior citizen. Again, it was not a very stimulating idea but I felt relieved from the thought of standing in the queue for the next ten minutes or more.

On Saturday morning, my elder sister, Ate Emma and I went to Manila and took an air-conditioned bus to save our dole-out money for some of our friends and kin who need and expect financial help from us. The bus conductor issued us our tickets with discounted fares for two senior citizens worth around P40.00 pesos. Now, I am getting to like my status as a senior citizen.

After a day’s shopping for some cheap electronic gadgets (of course we know they’re made in China, where else) and some gift items around Carriedo and Echague streets (Ang bakya naman!), we took a UV Express (mas class naman kesa jeep) to the provincial bus terminal of DLTB Co. plying Manila-Lemery-Batangas. A 30-meter queue for the Lemery bound bus confronted us at the terminal but as soon as we got off from the UV Express on Taft Ave., two bus conductors/staff helped and directed us to go to the very front of the line saying, “Sir, Mam, Seniors po kayo, dito po kayo sa pinaka-una ng linya”. This time, I knew I was a “Senior citizen” but for God’s sake, how did I became the oldest out of the hundred people on the line? I thought I belong to the baby-boomer age? Whatever happened after 1947 in the Philippines? Was it another baby-boomer more explosive than the atomic bomb of WW-II.

Three days later, my two elder sisters went to Xntro Mall in our Barangay Malinis to see a Filipino movie. I refused to go with them ……………..it was Tuesday, a “free movie day” for Senior Citizens!

For the veracity and authenticity of my story and social status, my Senior Citizen Control No. is 2016-0738, issued by the Republic of the Philippines, Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA), Municipality of Lemery on July 28, 2016 signed by the Hon. Mayor, Eulalio M. Alilio ".

My Comment: Heart felt condolence from the David B Katague Clan. Not mention in your interesting story is that Senior Citizens also get discounts on groceries, medicines, and airline tickets. Senior citizens are granted several benefits and privileges under Republic Act No. 9994 and Republic Act No. 10645.

*Adolfo Aquino ( Addie or Adel)was born in Malinis, Lemery, Batangas, 69 years ago. He is the youngest of 9 siblings. He finished elementary at Our Lady of Caysasay, Taal, Batangas and high school at Our Lady of Fatima in Tanauan City, Batangas. He majored in Management and studied law until his 4th year in various universities in the Philippines. He worked at Filinvest group of companies as Manager of Credit Dept. & Bus. Development Dept. He later was engaged in retail business at Cartimar Pasay & Central Shopping at Shaw, Mandaluyong. He and his wife from Marinduque immigrated to US several decades ago. He retired from the California Highway Patrol in 2013. Welcome to the club, Lolo Addie!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Death in the Family-Erico Balleza Katague

Me and Erico, 1945
It is with great sadness to announce that my younger brother Erico Balleza Katague passed away last August 15. He was 80 years old and survived by wife Helen Esparagoza Katague, daughter Jemma and son, Erico Jr.

Erico ( nickname Neneng) was a year and a half younger than me. He finished Law from Lyceum of the Philippines. He worked for a number of years at COMELEC ( Commission of Elections) in the province of Iloilo. Besides his immediate family above he is survived by three brothers, David( me), Efren ( Australia) and Ruben ( Bacolod). His sisters are Myrla Hilaga( Canada), Agnes Galvin( Maryland) and Amor Gregorio ( Jaro, Iloilo). Neneng Erico with wife Helen had been a resident for a number of decades in their home in Arguelles Street, Jaro, Iloilo, Philippines.

I will miss you, but I know you are happy now and much relieve from the pains that you have suffered for the last couple of years. Rest in Peace, my Dear Brother. Your brothers and sisters love you very much.
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