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!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Feng Shui-Art or Science

Our beach house with the Japanese bridge as the focal point in the landscaping design of the property. The bridge was my own design.

A few months ago, I was viewing pictures in Facebook from a relative friend showing pictures of a hotel lobby and the living room of a house being redecorated by his well-known interior decorator spouse. I commented and asked him, if his wife incorporates the principles of Feng Shui in the rearrangement of furniture as well as coordination of colors scheme in her design and renovation projects. I have not received an answer, but those pictures in FB reminded me of my previous posting in my blogs. I titled it "Is Feng Shui a Science or Art", December, 2012.

Please note that I am not a famous interior decorator or a landscape architect, but I have been practicing Feng shui principles in my adult life in the decoration of our homes, beach house and gardens both here in US and in the Philippines.

In my younger days, I used to be an enthusiast of the practice of Feng shui. I have read several books on the subject. The practice is very interesting and to me it is all common sense. So what is Feng Shui?

Feng shui is an ancient art and science developed over 3,000 years ago in China. It is a complex body of knowledge that reveals how to balance the energies of any given space to assure health and good fortune for people inhabiting it.

Feng means wind and shui means water. In Chinese culture wind and water are associated with good health, thus good Feng shui came to mean good fortune, while bad Feng shui means bad luck, or misfortune.

Historically, Feng shui was widely used to orient buildings—often spiritually significant structures such as tombs, but also dwellings and other structures—in an auspicious manner. Depending on the particular style of Feng shui being used, an auspicious site could be determined by reference to local features such as bodies of water, stars, or a compass. Feng shui was suppressed in China during the cultural revolution in the 1960s, but since then has increased in popularity.

Modern reactions to Feng shui are mixed. The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience states that some principles of Feng shui are "quite rational", while noting that "folk remedies and superstitions, that have been incorporated into Feng shui's eclectic mix" borders to a pseudo science.

I have applied the principle of Feng shui in the arrangement of furniture in our house, color scheme in the room decor of our retirement home, the location of the front door of buildings in the Philippines and also the landscaping and orientation of trees and plants in my garden. I have not become a very rich person due to my practice of Feng shui, but I do enjoy practicing the art of Feng shui in all facets of my life.

Try Feng shui and you will feel better, happy and who knows you might win in the lottery and become very rich in the near future. As New Year approaches, this is a good time to start new and fresh and have fun in your Feng shui practices.

Here's a short video on the rearranging furniture with the basics of Feng shui!

Friday, October 21, 2016

A Dangerous Life-A Movie on the Assassination of B. Aquino

Just in case you have not seen this..

A Dangerous Life is a 1988 English-language Australian film about the final years of the Philippines under Ferdinand Marcos' rule, from the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr. in 1983 to the People Power EDSA Revolution in 1986 that ousted Marcos. The film focuses on American TV journalist Tony O'Neil (Gary Busey), who finds himself in the middle of key events that lead to the downfall of the Marcos regime. Originally airing on television as a mini-series that ran for a total of six hours, the film was edited to 162 minutes for the home video release.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I am Finally Using Windows 10

For the last four weeks, I have been using Windows 10. I am getting used to it and really getting to like it. Please read my post dated May 19, 2016 on this subject as follows:

" Last month, my son wanted me to try Windows 10. Currently, I am happy with my Windows 7. I tried Windows 10 just for a few hours now. I notice the resolution and speed is better. However, I am not sure if I really need to upgrade since I am not into Gaming. So I did some search on Windows 10 differences with Window 7 and here's what I found in the Web. It is a very informative article. I like to hear from you if you have similar experiences as discussed in the more than 700 comments in the article as follows:


Here's the conclusion from the above article:

There's nothing wrong with sticking with Windows 7, but upgrading to Windows 10 definitely has plenty of benefits, and not too many downsides. Of course the fact that it's a free upgrade right now makes it even more tempting.

Windows 10 has a lot of genuinely useful new features, as well as key improvements to old features, compared to Windows 7. None is enough on its own to make an upgrade necessary, but when combined they do make a compelling case.

You’ve got better search, window management, file management, gaming tools and more. Windows 10 is faster in general use, too, and the new Start Menu is in some ways better than the one in Windows 7.

The only real sticking point is that Microsoft wants you to sign in with a Microsoft account and if you choose not to you lose some features. Features that shouldn't need to be linked to any online account. You certainly can get away with a normal 'offline' version but Microsoft really doesn't want you to, and that's something we're not keen on".

Read more at http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/windows-10-vs-windows-7#CE2u7i3UcP40ToSJ.99

Monday, October 10, 2016

Have You Played Pai Gow Poker Recently?

I have played Pai Gow Poker a number of times in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe as well as in our local Casino. However, in most Casinos the lowest bet is $5.00. However in some Casinos in Lake Tahoe, there are tables with only a $2.00 minimum bet. In this way if your gambling money is only $250, you can play longer. In the table with minimum of $5, you should have at least $500 capital to play. For that reason, I have not played Pai Gow Poker for the last 4 years. My gambling entertainment budget is for only $250. So what is Pai Gow Poker. Here's what Wikipedia says:

Pai gow poker (also called double-hand poker) is an Americanized version of Pai gow (in that it is played with playing cards bearing poker hand values, instead of Pai gow's Chinese dominoes). The games of Pai gow poker and Super Pan-9 were created by Sam Torosian and Fred Wolf.

The game is played with a standard 52-card deck, plus a single joker. It is played on a table set for six players, plus the dealer. Each player attempts to defeat the banker (who may be the casino dealer, or one of the other players at the table).

The object of pai gow poker is for a player to create two poker hands out of the seven-card hand he/she is dealt by the dealer: a five-card hand, and a two-card poker hand. According to the rules, the five-card hand's rank must exceed the two-card hand's, and that is why the two-card hand is often called the hand "in front" or "on top" or "hair", or the "small" or "minor" or "low" hand. The five-card hand is called the hand "behind", or the "bottom" or "high" or "big" (as they are placed that way in front of the player, when the player is done setting them).

Californian casinos typically charge a flat fee per hand (such as 5 cents or one dollar) to play, win or lose. Other casinos take, out of the winnings, a 5% commission (usually known as the rake). While this may seem high, a hand of Pai Gow poker takes a long time to play compared to a game like blackjack, and there are many pushes; therefore the house doesn't collect that 5% as often as it would collect the house percentage on other games.


There are a number of variations of Pai Gow poker that are popular in casinos today. These variations were mainly formulated in 2004 - 2009. Pai Gow Mania was the first variation to be created which allows for two side bets instead of the traditional one side bet per hand. Fortune Pai Gow is another variation which allows players to make a side bet on a poker hand ranking of trips or better. This is one of the most popular variations. Similar to fortune pai gow, is emperors challenge which also allows a side bet on a 7 card pai gow (no hand). The final variation of the game developed was Pai Gow progressive, which is the addition of a progressive jackpot to the pai gow table. This jackpot is the combined of $1 side bets placed by players during the play.

The 6 card Pai Gow Poker Variation:

There is a six Card Pai Gow Poker variation( not popular) of the basic popular seven-card game. It features head-to head play against the dealer and an optional bonus bet. Players and the dealer each get six cards to make two poker hands—a five-card “high” hand and a one-card “low” hand. The dealer then compares his five-card hand with each player’s five-card hand, and he compares his one-card hand with each player’s one-card hand. If the player wins both matchups, he is paid 1 to 1 on his standard wager. If he loses both matchups, he loses his standard wager. If he wins one and loses one, the standard wager is a push. The house wins copies. Exceptions: 1) If the player uses a Joker in his low hand, it beats any dealer low hand. There is no commission on winning bets. There is no player banking. The game is played with a 53-card deck, including a joker that is used as an Ace or to complete a straight or flush. A2345 is the second-highest straight.

I played this variation in Las Vegas a decade ago, I like it because you do not pay a commission. I believe this is only played in Las Vegas and only in a few Casinos. Last year when I asked our local Indian Casino if they have this variation, they stared at me as if I was in another planet. I really enjoyed this game, since it is much easier to play than the regular 7 card game.

The following video show how to play basic 7 card Pai Gow Poker!

Friday, October 7, 2016

I Ordered Gourmet Ready to Eat Meals from Freshly Today

If you have been following my blogs, you probably know that I have been ordering gourmet ready to eat meals from Munchery.com Today, I ordered six meals for $36 (a promotional price) with this food delivery company( Freshly) that I saw in Facebook. The regular price for this 6 meal plan is $59 from the company website, https://www.freshly.com

My first shipment will be next week and every Friday. The promotional price included free delivery to my front door. The meals are packed in dry ice. Just heat the meals for 1.5 to 2 minutes in the microwave and you have your dinner, lunch or breakfast. I am lazy to cook, so ordering good quality meals with out driving to a restaurant is a must for our lifestyle. The following videos (6) summarizes what Freshly is all about.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

I tool a Break from My Primary Care Duties

Two days ago, I took a 4-hour break from my primary care duties. If you have been reading my blogs, you probably already know that I am the primary care giver to my wife of 59 years who had been diagnosed with Parkinson Disease in 2013.

Due to the kindness of my son, David III, he suggested I took the afternoon off and go to the Casino by myself and play video poker or Pai Gow Poker. My son knows that I have been practicing both poker games in my computer. My wife did not complain that I am leaving her since she was not feeling well today. I think my wife is under the weather as it rained a little bit here last night and also this morning. Speaking of rain, this was our first rain this year since last February.

At first, I felt ill at ease and weird driving alone to the Casino. My wife and I (sometimes with our neighbor) have always been going to the Casino together for the past 4 years. But after a while I felt like a bird that has been freed from his cage. There were no hustles prior to my departure. I did not have to bring a walker, a small luggage, drinking water and pills for this Casino escapade. All I have was $250 for Casino gambling at my own pace. I planned on using $100 for video poker and the rest for the standard slot machines. Once this is gone, I go home.

Prior to my departure I called Thunder Valley and ask for the location of their video poker machines. So when I arrived at the Casino I immediately was able to inspect the pay out schedule and percentage of the machines. Thunder Valley have more than a dozen video poker machines but only 2 have payouts of 10/8 for the Full House/Flush hands for the Jack or better game which would guarantee close to 99% pay off( http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com/2016/10/video-poker-machines-versus-slots.html). I was looking for a 9/7 machine but there was none. I played video poker for almost two hours before my $100 disappeared.

By this time, I was getting bored and my back and neck was starting to ache. I shifted to the regular old slots betting on the Quarters and Dollar machines. In another hour my $100 was gone. I decided to play my last $50 on the penny newer slots machines. I was entertained and I played for another hour when only $20 was left of my $50 capital. I decided to cash in and buy my favorite Chinese Take out dish-Shrimps and Angus Beef for our dinner. I was home by 5 PM, tired but happy. I really enjoyed this much needed break. Thank you my beloved son for taking care of your Mom while I was away at the Casino.

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