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!

Monday, December 14, 2009

We are now in My Island Paradise


We left Sacramento November 29 and did not arrived in Manila until December 1. We missed our connecting flight in Honolulu because Hawaiian Air left two hours late. We did received a hotel and meals vouchers from the airline. We stayed in Somerset Olympia in Makati until Dec 4. In Makaati, we did our regular shopping in the malls. We also received a free lunch invitation from Yong Nieva's ( Macrine first cousin) at his new restaurant in Quezon City, The Romulo Cafe. The food was delicious and reasonably price. Zest Air did gave us a hard time when we check in for our trip to Marinduque, since our tickets were purchased using my sister-in-law credit card. They wanted a copy of the credit card and they had to wake her up at 5:30AM. What an archaic way of ticketing and verifying credit card purchases. Any way, it was worth the hazzle since the trip was only 30 minutes versus the whole day if we took the car and ferry ride.
Life here in rural Philippines is quiet, slow and the weather perfect. Wishing all my blogger friends and readers an advance Happy Holidays. From the Grandpa Blogger.
Above is the recent photo of the Clan taken on Thanksgiving Day, 2009.
Carenna and LoLo, Sunset Time, Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort, Photo Taken December 26, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Our First Thanksgiving Day in United States, 1960


It was November,1960 when Macrine and I and our oldest son,Dodie(who was only 2 years old then) experienced our first Thanksgiving Celebration in the United States. That year, I was a graduate student at the University of Illinois at the Medical Center in Chicago. The Chicago Hospitality Center along with YMCA and CFM invites all Foreign students in the area to spend a Thanksgiving weekend to the homes of volunteers in small towns of Illinois away from the crowded city of Chicago. Some of my foreign student friends were reluctant and did not accept the invitation, but I had an adventurous spirit so with great anticipation, Macrine and I along with Dodie went with 12 other foreign students and their families to Central Illinois. Our host for that weekend was Mrs. Johnston, a widow from Danville, Illinois. She lives alone and her beautiful bungalow house right in downtown Danville. We left Chicago in the morning, had thanksgiving dinner ( turkey and all its trimmings)in late afternoon. This was followed by a program in the evening at a local community center, where all the Hosts met and socialized with other invited students from Korea, Iran, Mexico, Japan, Chile, South Africa, Egypt and the Philippines. Macrine, Dodie and I represented the Philippines.
The next day we had a grand tour of the area, the farms and then to Springfield, the capital of Illinois. The tour of the area and Springfield was the highlight of our 2 days break from our hectic schedules as a graduate students.


So, did I like the roasted turkey? Nope, that was first time I had turkey. In the Philippines we do not celebrate Thanksgiving and I had never tasted turkey before. I did not like the pumpkin pie either. What I enjoyed was the oyster stuffing,ice cream and the cranberries sauce.

So why do I write this post. Well, to thank the Lord for all the good things and the past 49 years of Thanksgiving Days, He has given me and my family so far here in US. In addition our visit to the “real” Americans ( not the Ugly ones) that Thanksgiving day in 1960 prompted me to write an article of my impressions of the US at that time and has remained in my memory until today:

Our Impression of America

" During our first year in Chicago, we never received an invitation to participate in the hospitality program. Our name was probably buried in the list of foreign students or perhaps our foreign student adviser was sleeping in her job. During these first year of adjustments to the American way of life, we formed a very wrong impression of Americans. Asides from our daily contacts with fellow students in the school rooms or dormitories, our only other social contacts were people in the streets, subways, buses, department stores, supermarkets and other public places. These were all artificial contacts, giving us an impression that Americans are unfriendly, artificial, insincere, apathetic,intolerant and above all ignorant.The latter adjective was quite true, since the ordinary or typical American does not have the vaguest idea where the Philippines, Japan or even Puerto Rico is located in the map.

" However, in our second year, we began receiving invitation to spend a weekend in suburban homes as well as dinner invitations in city homes. At first, we were reluctant to accept the invitation, however with our adventurous spirit, we said yes.
From then on, "we have the whole world in our hands". We are thankful to CFM, the YWCA and the Hospitality Center of Chicago for making our stay filled with pleasant memories.

"On the other hand what impressions could we have brought back to the Philippines, if our stay was limited to one or two years ( true for exchange visitors). How many visitors and exchange scholars brought home with them the wrong impressions and attitude towards the American people in general? I knew there were a few foreign students in the dormitories who were disillusioned about the United States. One of them was a former dorm mate from Chile. He received an invitation, but never did conquer his apprehension of accepting one.

" At present as couple leader of the first interfaith group in our diocese, we will do our very best to reciprocate, promote, and encourage hospitality programs to foreign students and scholars in our area. We believe that opening our homes and our hearts on weekends and holidays, is one of the best ways of promoting world peace and understanding. Let us then make it possible for foreign students and scholars get the true picture of America and its people. Let us give them the opportunity to share with us our way of life. Let us get busy as a group or perhaps join other groups in order that we can show to the future leaders of the world, how sincere, friendly and aware we are of other human beings in other parts of the world. This is one of the many ways we could be more Christlike, we believe".
This letter was published by CFM in their monthly magazine, ACT, for all their members worldwide.

I also would like to dedicate this poem to all my readers in this blog.
Thanksgiving Every Day-By Karl Fuchs
The table is brimming with good things to eat;
We're surrounded by family and friends; what a treat.
The feelings that fill us today can’t be beat;
It’s Thanksgiving Day, and it all feels complete.
But other days, sometimes things don’t seem so fine;
Those days are not polished and don’t seem to shine.
It's then in our minds, we forget all the good,
And think of the things we would get, if we could.
On days when our thinking causes us dread,
If we could remember, it’s all in our head,
And not let our minds take our gratitude away,
Then we'd make every day like Thanksgiving Day.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL

Friday, November 20, 2009

Three Memorable and Controversial Films, I love


I enjoyed the following three films, that I have seen recently. The following are the synopsis of the movies and the controversy behind the movies. The first movie, Brokeback Mountain was touted to be the greatest love story ever filmed. I agree since I cried at the end of the movie. The second movie, Da Vinci Code was a bit of disappointment, since I enjoyed the book more than the film. The third one is not as clinical as the original book and I also enjoyed viewing it very much. If you have not seen these movies, I guarantee it is worth your time, especially if you like controversial subjects, as I do. Again, these movies are for mature audiences only.

1.Brokeback Mountain (2005)
D. Ang Lee

Almost a quarter of a century after the similarly-themed Making Love (1982), this Best Picture-nominated melodrama appeared with its story about two young cowboys who had an unexpected tryst while shepherding in 1963. It told how their ill-fated love affected their married lives in the following three decades. This was the first mainstream gay/bi-sexual romance film, heavily-promoted by the media, to receive multiple awards and critical/public acclaim, with eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture (and ultimately three Oscars) from major A-list film-maker and Best Director-winning Ang Lee. The much talked-about film quickly became the most honored movie in cinematic history - it had more Best Picture and Director wins from various film organizations than previous Oscar winners Schindler's List (1993) and Titanic (1997) combined. It was also the critical darling of the media and the expected favorite to win, although Crash surprisingly took the top honor.
However, some conservative Catholic organizations cited the film as "morally offensive" for its open portrayal of a homosexual relationship, and others criticized the film as sexually propagandistic. Conservative Christian fundamentalist groups heavily cited the film as glorifying homosexuality and for pushing a sexual agenda. However, those who were critical of the film were labeled "homophobic". Although widely hailed as a "breakthrough" film for gay cinema, neither of the film's two lead actors, nor its director, nor its screenwriters were gay, and the film was originally advertised in trailers without specifically referring to the film's 'gay' themes or scenes.

2.The Da Vinci Code (2006)
D. Ron Howard
Director Ron Howard's much-anticipated, big-screen religious conspiracy thriller with the tagline "Seek the Truth" was faithfully based upon Dan Brown's best-selling fictional book. It told about an investigation by symbologist and Harvard professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and French police cryptologist Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou) after the discovery of the murder of the Louvre Museum's elderly curator Jacques Sauniere (Jean-Pierre Marielle).
The man's naked body was found with symbols and an enigmatic encrypted code written in blood, a scrambled numerical sequence, and a revealing pose. [He was murdered by self-flagellating albino monk Silas (Paul Bettany) in the employ of devious Bishop Aringarosa (Alfred Molina).] This information led the wrongly-accused murder suspect Langdon and Sophie through a byzantine trail of clues -- to a millenarian secret sect called The Priory of Sion (with heretical theories about the marriage of a mortal Jesus Christ with Mary Magdalene and fathering a child - the real Holy Grail!) and crippled Grail scholar Sir Leigh Teabing (Ian McKellen). The search also led them to knowledge of the Priory's centuries-old battle with the clandestine Catholic sect Opus Dei regarding a 2,000 year old conspiracy to hush information, new findings about the Holy Grail, to Da Vinci's master work The Last Supper, London's mythical Church Temple (where a group of Templars Knights were believed to be buried), and Sir Isaac Newton's tomb at Westminster Abbey.
Several Catholic and Opus Dei groups, as well as conservative Christian groups, called for a boycott, mostly during the making of the film, accusing it of blasphemy. Even albinos were offended by the film, and lobbied for changes to the way the film portrayed them. Yet the tedious film was received lukewarmly as a convoluted, flat and stultified bore.

3.Kinsey (2004)
D. Bill Condon
This serious and engrossing biopic was about controversial, Midwestern human sexuality researcher Dr. Alfred Kinsey (Liam Neeson) who laid the groundwork for the coming sexual revolution, with its tagline: "Let's talk about sex". It stirred up continuing protest about the impact of his pioneering work, interviews and liberal publications on morality and behavior. Kinsey startled the world with the publication of his Kinsey Report (aka Sexual Behavior in the Human Male) in 1948 and its follow-up Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953).
The non-erotic, non-exploitative, and non-prurient film was attacked by morality extremists for its candid and frank drama about the famous Indiana University doctor's obsessive life-work. It illustrated how Kinsey's own wife Clara McMillen (Oscar-nominated Laura Linney) had painful sexual problems with her inexperienced husband during their honeymoon, and then later was engaged in an extra-marital affair with her husband's bi-sexual assistant Clyde Martin (Peter Sarsgaard) - who also had a homosexual encounter with Kinsey and appeared in a full-frontal scene; and that a young Kinsey was punished with a confining genital strap to prevent him from masturbating by his ultra-moralistic, bullying, and repressive minister father (John Lithgow). In the film's final heartbreaking interview scene with an older, middle-aged lesbian subject (Lynn Redgrave in a cameo), she expressed how she was freed from homosexual guilt ("You saved my life"), after experiencing lesbian feelings.
Concerned Women for America (CWA) protested that the film was "an attempt to cover up sex researcher Alfred Kinsey's horrifying reality." They accused the film of misrepresenting how Kinsey actually had encouraged pedophiles to molest children (in the name of science). Other neo-Puritanical proponents thought the film was another example of how Hollywood was normalizing perversion, attacking Christian values about sexual morality, and promoting a "pro-homosexual agenda." And an advertisement for the film was initially rejected by PBS' WNET in New York because the film was deemed too commercial and provocative.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Genealogy of the" Katague" and "Balleza" Surnames


Several years ago, I started a genealogy of my mother's last name- “Balleza”. I was able to trace it back to the 15th century. The name originated from Bilbao, Spain. I then traced it to Mexico, then to US in Texas and then to the Philippines. I was able to locate a town in Mexico named Balleza, in the state of Chihuahua. The town was founded in 1640 and named after Fr. Mariano Balleza ,a Spanish friar. I was able also to communicate with a radio announcer in Houston, Texas whose family name is also Balleza. I also found several Balleza families in Googles and recently in Face Book. Note that the name is similar to another name in the Philippines “Belleza”, a Spanish word which means beautiful. But “Balleza” and “Belleza” are two different names in the Philippines. I am happy and satisfied with the origin of my mother's last name. When my mother was still alive, she told me that her great grandfather was a Spanish soldier that participated in the Spanish colonization of the Philippines (1565-1898).

Today, I am curious on the genealogy of my father's last name. When my father was still alive, his last named was spelled with a “C” instead of the “K”. He changed it with the “K” when he was in high school. My father has two brothers who also changed it to start with a “ K”. But all of my father other relatives as far as I know has not change it. So there are a lot of “Catague's” in the Philippines, that are my relatives. The famous Catague is a painter named Fernando. His paintings are exhibited in the museum of Iloilo and Manila. My father has informed me that Fernando is a relative and originally was from Antique. In the Philippines, I know there are Katagues in Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Bohol, Antique, Cavite and in Mindanao. I also found there is a Katague in Brazil from Googles. I just recently meet a niece in Face Book from Vancouver, B.C. She is the daughter of my first cousin from Bacolod, Negros Occidental. There are several Katagues in Face Book, and one in Twitter, but I do not know if we are related. Incidentally, there is a town in Bohol, named “Catague”. I am curious, how the town got its name, but I do not have the time to do research on it. If you know, please let me know. It will be highly appreciated.


There are several variations of the Katague name. These are: Catague, Catage, Catagi, Katagi, Katage, Kataque and Kata Gue ( from Indonesia). I know of a Japanese chemist with surname of Katagi. It may be true that Katague originated from Japan from the surname Katagi or Katague as my father once mentioned. This was recently confirmed by one FACE BOOK member whose last name is Katague but is now residing in Brazil.

So if your last name is any of the above or if you are married to someone with any of the names above, we may be related. I will appreciate if you contact me in Face Book or Twitter or in this site. I will be delighted to meet you on line or in person. We have a group in Face Book-The Katague and Catague Clan. Please join us.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rigodon De Honor -Dance with the Stars

The Grand Entrance and Parade of Participants- Note my matching Barong to Macrine's Terno! Macrine did not used the matching removable butterfly sleeves bolero, since it was a very warm evening.

About eight years ago, Macrine and I had the honor to be invited to participate at the Rigodon De Honor dance at the Grand Ball of the May Flower Festival in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines.
Right in the middle of the Dance Promenade

The Rigodon de Honor is an elegant dance which was brought to the Philippines by the Filipinos who returned from their travels abroad during the Spanish era. This dance takes its name from its opening performances at formal affairs such as the President's Inaugural Ball and other Festivals in Philippines and also in other parts of the world. In Marinduque, members of the provincial government, including the Governor and his wife, legislative officials, and other prominent members of the town are usually invited to participate in the Rigodon. Traditionally, a ballroom waltz dance would follow the Rigodon. This particular dance is a form of quadrille which is a historic dance performed usually by four couples in a square formation.

In Marinduque, it is an honor to be invited to participate in the dance. It meant you belong to the high society of the town and recognized as a leader in the community. Macrine and I were invited to dance at the Grand Ball of the May Flower Festival in Boac in May, 2001. At that time Macrine was the President of Marinduque International Inc-a non-profit worldwide organization based in US and Canada whose main goals is to conduct medical mission to the needy in Marinduque every other year. At that time, I also served as acting Treasurer of the organization. For the whole month of May, we (sixteen couples) practiced almost everyday. Near the end of the dance, a part called the CADENA ( it means chain) had to be performed perfectly, otherwise confusion and mayhem could ruined the dance. Attached is a video( taken during the Philippine Gala of the Filipino-American Community of Washington, D.C.) for your viewing pleasure, I found in You Tube! The video is a bit grainy, but does illustrate the movement and choreography of the dance. Note that the women are wearing their ternos( with butterfly sleeves) and the men their barongs.

This second video is better filmed and dance by our younger generation from the Philippines, Kalilayan Dance Group of Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental. This dance is similar to the rigodon dances during the Spanish era. As I mentioned above, to be invited to participate in the Rigodon is considered as the subtle way of "branding" certain members of the community to specific social ranks. Usually performed as a party opener, the Rigodon starts off by calling the names of the participants; first the rich and influential who will compose the cabezera or headline followed by the not so popular and lesser ranking dancers who will then form the costados or sideline. The Cabezera's will start the dance movement and then followed by the costados. What a way to brand and assign social ranks in the community!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Time of the Year for "Autumn Leaves" to Fall


In two weeks time, Macrine and I will be in our beloved province of Marinduque enjoying our winter sojourn. But before we could do that, I need to do a lot of things here in Northern California. First the raking of the leaves, then the cleaning of the gutters, then covering the swimming pool and finally sending balikbayan boxes to the Philippines for Christmas presents to relatives. But for the moment, let me share you the following photo from my backyard and a song appropriate for this time of the year.

As I gaze at my backyard window( see photo above) a few minutes ago, the beauty of the maple trees in my yard with its yellow, orange and light red leaves getting to fall in the next couple of days, reminds me of the song Autumn Leaves. There are several interpretations of this song by several musicians, but this video is one of my favorites. Moreover, the autumn scenery in the video is just mesmerizing. Autumn or Fall is one of my favorite seasons here in Northern California. However, next week when these leaves start to fall, I will certainly spend a number of hours raking these leaves and definitely an aching back after wards. But this is the way of life here in Northern California this time of the year. Enjoy this video.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yellow Bird-My Favorite Song in the 1950's


I love this song so much. It makes me feel so joyful and alive. I have requested that this song, vocal, instrumental or choral be played during my funeral, since I want it to be a happy occasion. Dying to me is a celebration of life. I felt I had live a good and productive life, so the end of it should be happy not sad! The first video is an instrumental by Chit Atkins and the second is the history of the song as sang and played by the Kingston Trio, Harry Belafonte and Lawrence Welk Band.



Yellow Bird was first recorded in 1957, but existed in other variations before that. Here are some early illustrations.
1) Kingston Trio - Yellow Bird
2) Harry Belafonte - Don't Ever Love Me - 1957 LP "Belafonte Sings Of the Caribbean", and on single with Mama Looka Booboo.
3) Lawrence Welk - Yellow Bird - 1961 hit

People say that Harry Belafonte recorded and popularized this song. What has been lost in the years is that he recorded a different variation not titled Yellow Bird, but Don't Ever Love Me. But he worked closely with Norman Luboff, and led him to create the modern version of Yellow Bird in 1957. The Luboff Choir had it on a 1957 LP Calypso Holiday, the first recording of Yellow Bird.

The melody is based on the West Indian song Petit Oiseaux (Little Bird), later to become Choucoune. Apparently Choucoune was on an LP by Nina and Frederick.
Harry Belafonte had everything to do with bringing all this together in the 1950s.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chiqui's Jambalos Wedding, October 3, 2009



Macrine's niece, Marilyn Jambalos, known as Chiqui, got married last October 3. Although it was raining very hard the night of October 2, the rain stopped on her wedding day. So the priest who performed the wedding even commented that Chiqui and her auntie Sister Guia must have a lot of influence from the POWER above. Here are some pictures of the wedding. Note that the reception and pre-wedding preparations were held at the Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort and Conference Center in Amoingon, Boac.
Senecio Saguid, Siony Jambalos( mother of the bride) Fe Jambalos and Sister Guia Jambalos at the Reception Head Table
Entourage Party posing for souvenir pictures( above and below) at the spiral stairs of the Beach House

The Bride and Groom at the Bridge of Dreams-the focal point of the landscaping design of the beach resort
Chiqui and Noli at Center Stage, Conference Hall
The Jambalos Relatives After the Wedding Ceremony, Boac Cathedral
The Edgar(deceased)Jambalos Family


On her way to the Reception Party with mother, Siony Jambalos
Balcony of the Beach House- The Honeymoon Night
Bridge at Twilight as viewed from the Balcony of the Beach House
Balcony at Night and the Spiral Staircase-Honeymoon time for Chiqui and Noli

Reagan Katague Gregorio Wedding in Iloilo

My nephew, Reagan Katague Gregorio, only son of my sister, Amor Katague Gregorio was married last October 3, 2009 in Iloilo, Philippines. This was also the wedding date of Macrine's niece, Marilyn Jambalos in Marinduque(see posting above). For pictures visit, http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com.

Below are some pictures of Reagan's ( Beboy) wedding taken from his posting in Face Book. Is'nt Reagan tall and handsome? He has indeed the genes of the Katague, but sorry girls he is no longer available. I love the color theme,yellow- orange, for the wedding. Enjoy the pictures!











Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ditas Katague-Keynote Speaker for Rose Institute

Ditas Katague Thompson and Daughter, Carenna

The following news item was written by Mike Whatby and published by Rose Institute, Claremont Mckenna College, Claremnont, California on October 9, 2009.

Ditas Katague to Deliver Keynote Address at Rose Institute Redistricting Conference

The Rose Institute is pleased to announce that Ditas Katague will deliver the keynote address at the “Redistricting, The 2010 Census, and Your Budget” Conference being held October 15th at Claremont McKenna College. Ms. Katague, the Director of Census 2010, California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, will speak at the 12:15 lunch addressing the importance and fiscal impact of a Complete Count and ongoing preparations for the 2010 Census.

Ms. Katague has more than twenty years of experience at federal, state and local government agencies. She has recently joined the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research where she serves as Director of Census 2010 – overseeing and directing the statewide outreach and coordination for the U.S. Decennial Census 2010. She builds upon her experience as Chief Operating Officer for the U.S. Decennial Census 2000, where she was responsible for the day-to-day operations for the $24.7 million grass-roots outreach campaign. Leading this successful statewide grass-roots outreach effort, she managed a team of over 40 people running all campaign aspects including outreach, marketing and communications, media relations and the general administration of contracts to counties, community based organizations and schools.

Before joining the Census 2010 effort, she was First Vice President, State and Local Government Affairs of Countrywide Mortgage where she managed and maintained legislative coverage and activities in the top tier western states (20 states), lobbied state and local laws and regulations that impact the corporation’s priority business objectives. Ms. Katague also was the Assistant Treasurer for the Countrywide PAC and manages all political contributions and reporting.

Ms. Katague was the Assistant Secretary at the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, where she had management and policy oversight of Departments including the Department of Corporations, Department of Financial Institutions, Department of Transportation, the California Highway Patrol, Department of Motor Vehicles, Housing and Community Development, California Housing Finance Agency, and Department of Real Estate. Ms. Katague led several Agency initiatives including Home Ownership and Financial Literacy, the Governor’s Economic Summit, and she was the Binational Coordinator for Goods Movement/Transportation Border issues after 9/11.

Ms. Katague was also a manager for Deloitte Consulting’s Public Sector practice in New Jersey & Sacramento where she provided project management, business process improvement, reorganization and transition management, change leadership, communications and public relations consulting services. In the non-profit sector, Ditas worked under the California Hospital Association as the Program Director for the non-profit California Telemedicine & eHealth Center where she helped the non-profit revamp their regranting, mentoring and marketing & outreach programs.

Ms. Katague received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science and Practice of Art from UC Berkeley and her Master of Public Administration in Organization Development and Intergovernmental Management from the University of Southern California’s School of Policy Planning and Development. Ms. Katague’s husband Nick Thompson is the Director of Safety Policy at the California Trucking Association and they have a 6 year old daughter, Carenna.

Philip's Katague Video Production



I have two grandsons and four granddaughters. Philip Katague is one of my two grandsons here in Northern California. He is the oldest son of my oldest son, Dodie (Diosdado) Katague. As a grandfather I am proud of my grandchildren accomplishments. Above is Philip's first video as an actor, an assignment in one of his classes in high school. Isn't he handsome? The Katague genes are certainly showing, but has been diluted with American genes from his mom. I hope you enjoy his short video!

Philip Winchester Katague, Christmas, 2007

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Dedication and Memories of my Parents


Photo taken during my niece wedding(D'Wanie Katague Gregorio,M.D.) and also my 74th Birthday. Note that Macrine's gown was designed and tailored by Rudy Diego-one of Manila's well-known couturier.

I am writing this autobiography for the benefit of my four children and six grandchildren here in California, United States of America. My children are:
Dodie( Diosdado), B.A. (Geography) UC Berkeley, JD (Law) UC Davis, CA (Married, Ruth Carver)
Dinah King, B.A. (Sac State U), M.A (Paralegal) St Mary, Moraga, CA(Married, David King)
David Ernst, B.S. Agricultural Economics UC Davis, CA, M.A, Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon U, Pittsburgh, PA (Single)
Ditas Macrine, B.A Double Major Communications/Arts, UC Berkeley,CA, M.A. Government Relations, USC, Los Angeles, CA and Washington, D.C.(Married, Nick Thompson)

My grandchildren and their ages as of this write up:
Ian Katague King Age 18
Elaine Katague King Age 15
Philip Winchester Katague Age 15
Alexandra ( Alix) Katague Age 14
Marina Katague Age 11
Carenna Katague Thompson Age 6

Special dedication to Ian, Elaine and Carenna for their tolerance and patience during their hectic trip from US to Marinduque, just to attend our golden wedding anniversary celebration. I hope the memories of that trip will never be forgotten in their memory and that they will have favorable remembrances of the Philippines.
( For details of our golden wedding anniversary celebrations see Chapter 14)

I also dedicate this blog to all my brothers and sisters and their husbands and wives ("in-laws)" in the Philippines, Australia, United States and Canada. Also to my nieces and nephews all over the world in Iran, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, England and the United States, and also to all my sister-in-laws in the Philippines and United States.

In addition, I also dedicate this blog to all members and friends of Marinduque International,Inc. especially those members and nonmembers who had participated in the past several medical missions to Marinduque, Philippines. I am sure that those of you who had participated in the past medical missions believed in my favorite quotation." The time you have touch the lives of others is the time that you have really live".

Moreover, I also dedicate this blog to my colleagues and friends at the Food and Drug Administration(FDA), Division of Anti-Infective Drug Products ( New Drugs), Silver Spring, MD specifically, Maureen Dillon Parker, Suresh Pagay, Milton Sloan, Andrew Yu and Vithal Shetty and several others that I will not be able to mention (you know who you are) because it will take at least two pages to mention your names. My 12 years career at FDA was the most challenging, productive and satisfying experience in my professional life. As a GS-14-expert on antimalarial drug products, I feel that I have contributed reducing the incidence of this disease not only in the Philippines but also world wide. (see Chapter 11 for details). My million thanks to Dr. Wilson (Tony) De Camp( my former supervisor) for selecting me out of the numerous applicants for a review chemist position in 1990 during a Job Fair in San Francisco and believing in my abilities to be a good review chemist and later a team leader ( first-line supervisor) in FDA.
Dave and Macrine-Photo by Agnes Apeles taken on August 22, 2009 during MI, Inc Dinner Dance & Reunion in Buena Park, California.

Last, but not least to my beloved wife of 52 years, Mrs Macrine Nieva Jambalos Katague, whose understanding, devotion, patience and love made this all possible.

This autobiography is divided into three time frames and posted in 17 chapters as follows:
Chapter 1 to 5: Life in the Philippines-1934 to 1959(Elementary, High School and College Years)
Chapter 6 to 11: Life in the United States-1960 to 2002 (Post Graduate and Professional Career Years)
Chapter 12 to 17: Life in the US and Philippines- 2002 to the Present( Retirement Years and Beyond)

I hope that my grand children will be inspired after reading this autobiography to do their best to achieve a successful and happy life, similar if not better than what I have experienced here in US and in the Philippines with my beloved wife of 52 years, Macrine Nieva Jambalos of Boac, Marinduque, Philippines.

To other readers who may also be inspired by my experiences, I salute you! I know that there is one individual not related to me who indicated that without my knowledge I had been his role model during his childhood and formative years in the Philippines. At present, he is a Professor at the University of the Philippines in Iloilo. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in Oceanography from the University of Hawaii.
University of the Philippines Visayas, at Miagao, Iloilo

Several years ago, while visiting my hometown in Iloilo, I asked my sister who was still residing there at that time, if she knows of any Ph.D. graduate from our town besides myself. She said there was a recent Ph.D. graduate from our town who is now teaching at the University of the Philippines in Miagao. So, I ask her if I could met this guy and my sister said, let us look for him at the university right now. We immediately drove back to the city and then to Miagao. We went directly to the Administration Office and they gave us directions to his office and classroom. He was not there, but his secretary said he is at home on sick leave. We ask the secretary to call him and ask if we could visit him. To make the story short, we met him at his residence and start introducing ourselves.

The moment, I saw him I feel very close to the guy, even though this is the first time I've seen this guy. He was very friendly in spite of his cold. After 5 minutes of preliminary talk, he blurted out. He said, "I have been wanting to meet you also in person all these years. Without you knowing, you have been my role model during my childhood years and your story has been my inspiration". I was shocked and surprised. Then he explained that his grandmother that raised him has been brainwashing him with my life story in the US. His grandmother told him, he must also study for his Ph.D abroad. He said yes, without even knowing what is the meaning of Ph.D. It turned out that my mother and his grandmother were good friends and my mother has been informing his grandmother all the details of my life and graduate work at the University of Illinois in Chicago. I hope others who read my autobiography will also be inspired to work hard to the best of their ability to fulfill their dreams.

Allow me to end this introduction to quote my "Philosophy in Life".
"Where there is God and Love, there must be Faith,
And where there is Faith, there is Peace indeed!
Where there is Peace, there must be God, and where there is God,
There is no Need! Where there is no Need, there is Paradise
In Paradise, there is bliss, contentment and delight!"

(Note: The list of the 17 chapters and titles are on the right side of this page under the Archive section. Happy Reading!)

The David B Katague Clan, November, 2007


Here is my latest posting on Memories of My Parents dated 7/15/2009


David Jamili Katague Family taken in front of their Residence in Barotac Viejo, Iloilo in 1956.
Front Row(Left to Right): Papa David, Efren, Amor, Ruben and Mama Pacing
Back Row( Left to Right); Me, Myrla, Agnes and Erico


My father, Dr. David Jamili Katague, D.D.S. was born in Guimaras, Iloilo on December 29,1905. He was the middle son of three brothers, Julio ( the youngest) and an older brother (I forgot his name). His parents were poor, but have a small property in Guimaras and Binalbagan, Negros Occidental. My father was very smart. Since his own parents can not afford to sent him to college, a rich aunt from Leganes, Iloilo adopted him. He was sent to Iloilo High School in La Paz, where he graduated salutatorian of his class. His childhood friend, Atty. Paciano Villavieja was the valedictorian. He was a freshman in high school when the three brothers of Guimaras,Iloilo change the first letter of their last name from a "C" to a "K".

He did not tell me much of his college days, but he finished dentistry(Doctor of Dental Surgery) at the University of the Philippines,Manila in 1929. That same year he passed the dental board examination( # 2 nationwide) and married my mother, Paz Barrido Balleza of Barotac Viejo, Iloilo. They resided in Jaro and built a two-story house in Arguelles Street. My father had a dental office in the first floor of their residence. After five years of marriage, they were still childless, so they adopted a son, named him Rodolfo. A year later (1934), I was born on December 20. I grew up in Arguelles street until 1941, when the Japanese-American War started in the Philippines, then we moved to Barotac Viejo where I finished high school in 1951.

My father's childhood years was very normal for that time. When he was in high school his father died and his mother remarried the younger brother of his Dad, so his mother's name was still Mrs. Catague. This second marriage produced nine children, three girls and six boys. The family resided in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental. I had two occasions in my childhood years visit relatives in Binalbagan.

My father was a people person. I remember during our monthly shopping trip for supplies in Iloilo City, that he would greet and smile to every person we met along Iznart and JM Basa Streets. On one occasion, he greeted a person with enthusiasm as if they were long time friends. Afterward, I asked him who the person was and he said he does not even know his name. He treated men, women, young and old alike. I told him he would be a good politician. He could also draw freehand. His sketches and freehand drawing were beautiful. I know now that my children and grandchildren talents of drawing, sketching and painting is from his genes, since I have no ability at all to draw, paint or sketch.

My mother on the other hand was very reserved. However, although she had not finished high school, she was good in mathematics. She could add and multiply in her head. One day, a vendor came to the house and was selling some farm products. She ask for the price and the vendor said 3 for 1 peso. Without blinking and hesitation, she said here is 8 pesos give me two dozens. I was amazed in how fast she could compute in her head ratio and proportion problems.

The marriage of my parents resulted in seven children. I am the oldest(chemist and Citizen journalist), followed by Erico(lawyer), Myrla (education), Agnes(dentist), Efren (engineer), Ruben ( accountant) and Amor(chemist). Agnes is now in Maryland. Myrla resides in Toronto. Efren resides in Sydney, Australia. Ruben is in Bacolod and Amor and Erico are still in Iloilo. All of them are married and have several children and grandchildren.

My mother, Paz Barrido Balleza 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, 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 has a big house in Iloilo City, just across the street from St. Paul Hospital and one block from Assumption College-an exclusive 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, falls 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 his oldest brother. When their parents died, there was no Will. Thus, the properties ( rice lands, coconut lands, 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 received one-third share of their parents properties. When she married, control of her properties was given to her. My Dad then help her manage the rice lands and other properties. I remember, we have more than 20 tenants come to the house in Barotac Viejo, almost every week during the planting and harvest season, besides the encarcado ( the overseer) of my mother's properties. At the side of our house, we built another house to store the rice harvests, so that we can sell the rice when prices are high because it is off season. The proceeds from the rice harvests were the one that send all seven of us to college. The income of my father as a dentist was just enough for our daily expenses. His dental patients oftentimes had no cash. In exchange for his dental services, they would bring chickens, eggs and vegetables and other farm products. Later, my father decided to quit his dental practice and spend full time in managing my Mom's rice land, fish ponds and other properties.

My mother was very frugal. She would not leave a morsel of rice in her plate. I remember her say, "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 allocates 10% of the farm income into her savings. By the time, I was in college, they have 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 and very close to the provincial capitol. The building we called “KATAGUE BUILDING”. When my father died in the early 1970's, the building was not properly maintained. In the late 1980's, my mother died. The seven of us decided to sell the building and land. The land was valued more than the building, because of its location. The new owner demolished the “Katague” building, built a bigger building and is now a school and a bank office in the first floor. When my parents died, they have a "Will" allocating the lands to the seven of us. As the oldest child, I inherited the best of the rice land, the 20 hectares of rice land near the town with irrigation. At about this time, the Agrarian Reform Program was in full implementation. My inherited rice land was the first one reformed. Since,I was residing in the US at that time, I was not able to do anything. Today, the 20 hectares are now owned by my parents former tenants. I have not received a single peso from the Philippine Government. The only land left for me was a 7-hectare upland parcel planted with corn and beans. My sister in Iloilo is now managing it for me. The rental income is barely enough to pay for the annual taxes. Ten years ago, I visited the rice land that was land reformed. I cried when I remember the history of this particular piece of land. Of the ten tenants that benefited from this program, only one approached me and acknowledged his gratitude. He told me, he was able to send all his children to college from the proceeds of my inheritance. As a matter of fact his oldest daughter after graduation from college married a US navy man and now resides in Northern California, only about 40 miles from us. So, this is a segment of my parents life experiences, as I recall it today. To my children, grandchildren and relatives, I hope you find my parents' life-story informative.
Amor (Knitz), Macrine and I visiting the tomb of our parents in Barotac Viejo, Iloilo on December 18, 2008. The tomb has been renovated and improved with contributions from Agnes, Efren, Amor and myself about five years ago.
Note: My mother was also generous. She donated a parcel of her inheritance of more than 14,700 square meters to the local high school (Barotac Viejo National High School). Her brother, Jose also donated the biggest portion of land for the school. Below is the "sign" in front of the high school acknowledging the donation. Macrine took this photo of Knitz and I at the entrance of the high school. During my time, this high school was not named as a national high school.

(Note: A short genealogy of the Balleza and K(C)atague surnames is posted on my blog, http://lifeinus1960present.blogspot.com dated 6/28/09)

Chapter 1: Childhood Memories of the Japanese-American War in the Philippines, 1941-1945


General MacArthur Returns Memorial, Leyte Island, October,1944
I am writing this blog for the benefit of my children and grand children and the new generations of Filipinos who have no knowledge or memory of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. It was 13 days before my 7th birthday when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in the morning, Sunday , December 7, 1941. That same day in the evening, Japanese planes had taken off to attack several targets in the Philippines. The Japanese had planned six landings: Bataan, Aparri, Vigan, Legaspi, Davao and Jolo Island. For the sake of clarity in this narrative, here are the important dates of that war:

December 7, 1941 Sunday Morning Bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

December 7-22, 1941 Start of Bombing of the Philippines and Japanese landed in several places in the island.

April 9, 1942 The Fall of Bataan and the Death March

May, 1942 The Fall of Corregidor and General MacArthur fled to Australia

October 1944 General MacArthur landed in Leyte " I Shall Return"

September, 1945 Japanese Surrender

July 4, 1946 Philippines Independence from US

When Japan started bombing the Philippines, I was in 2nd grade at the Jaro Elementary School,Iloilo. When my family heard of the bombings, we all panic and decided we moved from the city of Jaro, a most likely bombing target to our farm in Barotac Viejo, least likely target for bombing and Japanese occupation. Barotac Viejo, my mother's ancestral town is a small town about 60 Km North of Jaro, Iloilo City.
I remember every one in my family was in chaotic mood and within a couple of days we packed all the essentials we could take and the rest of our household goods we left behind at our residence in Arguelles Street. I remember clearly my mother ordered all her china and sterling silver buried at the backyard of our house. We left all the furnitures and household goods that were heavy and cumbersome.

( Later we found out, our house was bombed and all the china and silver were stolen)
The house was 80% demolished and all the furnitures were either destroyed or stolen.

So for a while we settled in a small farm house of one of our tenants in one of the distant barrios of the town. As war progressed and we heard Japanese forces have penetrated most of the big cities in the Philippines and are starting to occupy even small towns, my father who was a captain and dental officer for newly organized Philippine Guerrillas- a resistant movement, decided to move to the jungle in the interior of Panay Island. I remember we walked for 3 days in the jungles, creeks and mountains just following a small path. My parent's tenants create a path for us with their bolos or machetes. We found a hidden valley with a creek with crystal clear water. Our tenants started building a bamboo and nipa hut, an out-door kitchen and a dining area. Using a bamboo sledge and a water Buffalo, our tenants brought us about 20 sacks of rice, salt, sugar and a few spices. In the jungle we started to clear areas where we could plant vegetables, corn and sweet potatoes. We also started to raise chickens and ducks for eggs, pigs for protein and goats for our milk.

One of the most traumatic experience, I had was the night our tenant helper killed a python about 30 ft long. It was in the middle of the night, and it was very dark. Suddenly, we heard our two pigs squealing with fear. My father instructed our helper to investigate the pig pen area. With just a kerosene lamp our tenant could actually see the python strangling one of the smaller pig. Our tenant helper then started attacking the python with his machete and a big log. After about 10 minutes of struggle, our tenant was able to kill the python but our small pig was dead. The incident was a blessing in disguise, since that whole week we had protein in our diet. Our tenant after the incident commented in the local dialect( Napatay ko an man-og sa hadlok) translated literally as "I killed the python with Fear". This incident confirmed that the jungles of Panay island are filled with pythons, mosquitoes and other wild animals ( pigs and deer).

My pets were the chickens and the goats. One of the chicks, I raised personally and even slept with me. He got attached to me ( fingerprint) and kept following me where ever I go. That chicken believe I am her mother. My mother tolerated it, since there were no other kids in the jungle except my younger brother. To keep us from being bored, my father home schooled us ( me and my brother as well as two of my older cousins). Every day for almost 4 hours, we were taught arithmetic, spelling and history. We were lucky to have brought with us a few books in Philippine and US history. Every now and then our tenants would bring us additional supply of rice and tell us news of the extent of the Japanese occupation.
Filipino-American Guerillas-a resistant movement against the Japanese, 1942-1945 Photo from ibiblio.org

Late in the war when the Japanese war atrocities appeared to stop, we decided to move from the jungle to a seaside village and stayed at the house of one of our tenants. My father instructed us not to talk to any stranger, and if asked what our names, we do not give Katague as our name but Katigbak. Rumors have circulated that the Japanese have commandeered a list of all guerrillas, and my father's name is in that list. There were a few natives that work as spies for the Japanese- known then as collaborators. One day, we saw a platoon of Japanese soldiers in uniform complete with guns and bayonets passed by our village. The whole village was agog with excitement. My brother and I also watched hiding in the bushes. I was trembling with fear that one soldier will see us. Fortunately, the soldiers continued their march to next village. That incident of actually seeing Japanese soldiers was one of the highlights of my experiences during this Japanese war.
Japanese soldiers killing Filipino civilians and raping the women.

A scary and frightening incident occurred to my mother's relatives at the time when were hiding in the jungle. My mom's cousins family of 30 individuals ( children, cousins, aunts, brothers and sisters) were also hiding in the jungle on a mountain ridge next to us. We heard that they were all killed by the Japanese soldiers who were able to penetrate their hideouts with help of spies collaborating with the Japanese. Only one member of the clan was spared. She was handicapped and in a wheel chair. During the massacre, she fell on the creek and was mistaken for dead and was left alone to tell the story.

When I was in graduate school, I was often asked by friends if I harbor resentment to the Japanese because of the atrocities they have committed. My answer is a resounding no. My family never did experience a personal attacked by the Japanese. However, my mother in law has never forgiven the Japanese for killing her sister who was a nurse in the Philippine Army. One of my classmates in Illinois, whose father was killed by the Japanese will not seat in the same table in the school cafeteria with other Japanese students.

When General MacArthur landed in Leyte, that was the happiest day to all Filipinos. The Japanese started to retreat and peace in the Philippines was welcome with excitement. The schools were planning to reopen, so from the sea village we move to another barrio much closer to town. In that barrio, we built a much bigger house. In the back of the house, there was a hill. On a clear day you could see the next island of Negros. It was also an observation hill for us. We could watch Japanese and American planes "dog fight" during a clear day. My brother and I actually saw two planes attacking each other and one plane blown to pieces and burning as it falls from the sky to the sea between Panay and Negros Islands. What a thrill! We assume, it is a Japanese plane since the Americans are winning all the battles at this stage of the war.
Me and Eric, my younger brother-This picture was taken on my 11th birthday, December 20,1945.
When schools reopened, we were required to take a test, to see what grade level is our current knowledge. I passed the test for a 4th grade level, although I was only in second grade before the war. So, I completed six grades in only four years. I was two years younger than most of my classmates. This was the result of my father's drilling us every day with arithmetic, spelling and history while we were hiding from the Japanese in the jungle.

On July 4, 1946 the Philippines was granted independence by the US. In 1947, I was freshman in our local high school. In 1951, I graduated valedictorian of our high school class, then later enrolled at the University of the Philippines. In 1955, I graduated with a Bachelors degree in Chemistry. A year later I passed the Board Examination for Chemists, 3rd place nationwide. In May, 1957, I married the former Macrina Nieva Jambalos from Boac, Marinduque. We are still married and yesterday was our 52nd wedding anniversary.

Our Wedding Day, May 8,1957(I look so thin, my friends call me Pancit-local name for rice noddles)

Note: I was born in Jaro, Iloilo on December 20, 1934. I was a sickly child having had polio until I was two years old. Luckily, I recovered only with a slight limp on my left foot. My parents informed me that I was a precocious child since I started reading local magazines when I was only three years old. By the time I was 5 years old, I mastered playing mahjong and pangingue ( a card game similar to gin rummy) with adults in the neighborhood. I remember clearly, that we live in big house at Arguelles Street where my father has his dental office. The front yard has several plumeria trees( kalachochee)and a big mango tree at the back. I was 7 years old when the American- Japanese war started with the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Picture of Me(left) and my younger brother, Erico taken on April 2, 1937 in Arguelles Street, Jaro, Iloilo. I was a shy boy, very dependent on my yaya( nanny) at that time according to my Mom.
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