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 late-70'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!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

RUBENSTEIN ROMANCE

Today, Macrine wanted me to play her favorite piano music that she used to play during her teenager years in the Philippines. It is Anton Rubenstein, Romance. I have several piano version of this piece, but the two are violin and vocal versions. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do.



Thursday, May 14, 2015

Today is May 14-Two Events to Remember

There are two events that I am celebrating and remembering today.

The first event is the 12th birthday of my youngest grand daughter Carenna Katague Thompson. I have written several articles on Carenna's activities and are very proud of her accomplishments in music and in drama.


The second event is the 27th anniversary of the death of my mother, Paz Barrido Balleza Katague.

I have looked at my photo files and here are 2 photos taken on May 14 of that year(1988). If you recognized anybody in the group picture, I will appreciate if you make a comment.

Taken at the Barotac Viejo Catholic Church after the funeral mass and services with the Balleza clan and other relatives. I am the first person on second line from the right.

This second photo was at the Barotac Viejo Cemetery and the Katague plot during the burial ceremonies.

I have written a tribute to my Mother that had been posted in my blogs. The most recent one was last Sunday in celebration of Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Philippines Schindler's List-An Update

The movie Schindler's List that I posted in my blog recently reminded me of the following article I wrote about four years ago, about the Philippines participation in saving more than a thousand European Jews from the Holocaust.



A friend from the Philippines forwarded this article via e-mail today. I was 5 years old when this was the news. I barely remember it from my parents conversation about World War II. Anyway, if you are a Filipino or Filipino-American, you should read this and be proud of the Philippines.

Monument in Israel honors Filipinos, For saving 1,200 Jews from Holocaustt, By Volt Contreras, Philippine Inquirer dated August 24, 2010.

"MANILA, Philippines—Before Schindler’s List, there was another document—the Philippine visa—that saved hundreds of Jews from the gas chambers and mass graves of the Holocaust.

In 1939, two years before World War II reached the Pacific, the Commonwealth government under President Manuel L. Quezon allotted 10,000 visas and safe haven to Jews fleeing Nazi Europe. Some 1,200 Jews made it to Manila before the city itself fell to Japanese invaders.

Before sunset on June 21, 70 years later, the first ever monument honoring Quezon and the Filipino nation for this "open door policy" was inaugurated on Israeli soil.

The monument—a geometric, seven-meter-high sculpture titled "Open Doors"—was designed by Filipino artist Junyee (Luis Lee Jr.).

At the program held at the 65-hectare Holocaust Memorial Park in Rishon LeZion, Israel’s fourth largest city south of Tel Aviv, the mere mention of "Taft Avenue" by one of the speakers brought Ralph Preiss to the verge of tears.

Preiss, a father of four now in his 70s, later explained that Taft Avenue was where a synagogue-run soup kitchen provided the first hot meals he had as a refugee. He was eight when he arrived from Rosenberg, Germany, with his parents at the port of Manila on March 23, 1939.

"If I stayed in Germany I would have been killed," Preiss, a retired engineer living in Connecticut in the United States, told the Inquirer in an interview.
"My cousin who lived in Berlin and whose father was a lawyer went to Paris [instead]. The Paris police handed them over to the Nazis, and they were sent to Auschwitz and got killed," he recalled, adding:

"I’m very grateful to the Philippines for opening the doors and letting us in."

‘Salamat sa inyo!’

THANK YOU, RP In gratitude for the Philippines’ ‘open door’ policy for Jews escaping persecution in Nazi Europe, a steel monument of three doors was unveiled last week in Israel. VOLT CONTRERAS

Sunday, May 10, 2015

An Acrostic Poem for Mother's Day



Mother's Day is the second most popular holiday as far as gift giving( flowers and chocolates) here in the US, Christmas being the number one. This day is dedicated to MUMs, MOMs,or MAMAs all over the world. My own mother died 27 years ago, but every year, I dedicate this acrostic poem to her. I also dedicate this poem to all mothers of the World.

There are hundreds of poems in the web about Mothers and Motherhood. But the following acrostic poem is my favorite. I will always remember all the things she had taught me such as being frugal and be responsible for my actions. To all my readers, Happy Mothers' Day and enjoy the following poem.

M - O - T - H - E - R

"M" is for the million things she gave me,
"O" means only that she's growing old,
"T" is for the tears she shed to save me,
"H" is for her heart of purest gold;
"E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
"R" means right, and right she'll always be,

Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER,"

A word that means the world to me. Howard Johnson (c. 1915)

For more mother's day poem, visit www.mothersdaycelebration.com

Today, I like also to remember my Mother by revisiting and posting an excerpt from an article Tribute to My Parents, in my autobiography, http://davidbkatague.blogspot.com

"My mother, Paz Barrido Balleza and family are big landowners in Barotac Viejo and the neighboring towns of Banate and Ajuy. The Balleza family were considered rich at that time. She was born on January 14, 1909 and is the youngest of three children, the only girl with two older brothers, Modesto, Jr (lawyer) and Jose who are much older than her. My mother’s parents both died, when she was only in high school. So, she was under the care of her oldest brother, Modesto. At that time, Modesto Balleza family had a big house in Iloilo City, just across the street from St. Paul Hospital and one block from Assumption College-an exclusive and private school for girls.

My mother went to high school at Assumption College until she was a junior. In her senior year, she met my father, fell in love with him, stopped school and got married. My mother with tears in her eyes told me that the reason she married without finishing high school was to get away from the control of her oldest brother. When their parents died, there was no will. Thus, the Balleza properties (rice and corn lands, coconut plantations, fish ponds) were all under the control of her two brothers.

The division of property according to my mother was very unfair. The brothers claimed the best rice lands to themselves. What was left for her to inherit were the properties in the distant barrios, rice land with no irrigation, except for one parcel of rice land (20 hectares) near the town. Of course, she did not receive one-third share of their parents' properties. When she married, control of her properties was given to her. My Dad then helped her manage the rice lands and other properties.

My mother was very frugal. She would not leave a morsel of rice on her plate. I remember her saying, “If you do not finish your food, God will punish you”. So even today, I always have a clean plate after lunch or dinner. My mother had a strict budget and allocated 10% of the farm income into her savings. By the time, I was in college, they had enough savings to purchase a commercial property in Iloilo City. With the back pay that my father received having served as a Dental Officer in the Philippine-American Army from 1941-1945, they were able to build a commercial building at Iznart street, just across the YMCA building, etc...". For the whole article, you are welcome to read my blog dated 12/15/11 as indicated above.
The David Jamili Katague Family, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, Philippines, 1956 My Mother Front Row on the Right. I am in the Back Row, First from the Left.

How about you? Do you have pleasant memories of your Mother? I will be delighted to hear from you!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Today is Our 58th Wedding Anniversary

Exactly 58 years ago on our wedding day, May 8. 1957 and Macrine's photo today below



Today is our 58th Wedding Anniversary. It is also the 54th birthday of our oldest daughter Dinah. There will be no big celebration, but a quiet dinner of lobster with White Reisling wine. Macrine and I thanked the Lord for attaining another milestone in our married life. To celebrate this day, I am reposting an article I wrote last year titled Some Photos Down Memory Lane as follows:

Katague and Thompson Wedding, Shingle Springs, California, 2002

The following photos are old but it always remind us of our younger and happy days, now that we are in the twilight stage of our life. The photos remind us when we were still young, healthy and strong and were active with community involvement and try to touch the lives of others. The other photos were part of our personal life and activities. I hope that looking at these pictures will tell you, that we tried our best to be good citizens of the world and not a burden to humanity.

Our Golden Wedding Anniversary, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines

Thanksgiving Photo of the David B Katague Clan, Walnut Creek, California 2008

Macrine and I with Bishop Evangelista, Retired General Recaredo Sarminento and Thelma Santos, in Mogpog after distribution of Food and Goods as Relief to the The victims of Typhoon Reming in Mogpog, Marinduque, 2008

Macrine at Victoria Harbor, British Columbia, Canada after our high tea at the Empress Hotel-one of the many treasured vacations that we have taken since 1960.

Photo of siblings and in-laws during my niece wedding, Dr D'Wanie Katague Gregorio-Conlu, Iloilo City. Not in the photo are sisters Agnes and Myrla and brother Dolce Ruben.

Macrine and I with Lito and Olga Quiazon at Los Angeles, California during one of the many reunions of members of Marinduque International,Inc- a humanitarian non-profit organization with goals to help the needy in our second home-the beautiful island of Marinduque. Marinduque as of today has no air transportation services and its transportation infra structure( air, sea and land) should be the number one priority of its politicians, I truly believe.

I have more than 900 hundred photos of the various events in our life but I will end this photo tour not to bore you. Needless to say, Macrine and I had fruitful and productive personal and professional careers. We have traveled to more than sixty cities and countries all over the world and have resided in all regions of the US except the South. Currently we are enjoying the last stage of our lives. We certainly have touched the lives of others. As the saying goes, "You only lived if you have touched the lives of others".

Again, thank you Lord for this day. To all our friends and relatives, our million thanks for your love and support during all these years.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

El Gamma Penumbra Shadow Dance Group

Are you following the show Asia's Got Talent (AGT). I am and very impressed with the performances of El Gamma Penumbra Shadow Dance Group from the Philippines. Enjoy the following videos.





El Gamma Penumbra is a Filipino shadow play group from Batangas. The group, which was a finalist in the third season of Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT), earned rave reviews from the judges of Asia's Got Talent (AGT). By giving a tour all over the world through shadow play, the group received praises from all the four judges of the competition - 16-time Grammy winner David Foster, UK pop sensation and former Spice Girl Melanie C, Indonesian rock icon Anggun, and Taiwanese-American pop idol Vanness Wu. The group received a golden buzzer which means they will fast-track to the semi-finals of the show to be held at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore in May 2015.

AGT is the first pan-regional edition of the global “Got Talent” format. It is hosted by Filipinos Marc Nelson and Rovilson Fernandez.

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