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!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why I volunteer to MI, Inc. Medical Mission in Marinduque


One of the FaceBook users in my group “ Marinduquenos All Over The World” ask me yesterday, why I continue volunteering and giving my time, spend my own money and make a big effort to publicize this project of Marinduque International, Inc.( MI, Inc) via my blogs and Face Book account. I told her because I feel good about it. Moreover, the more I gave of myself ( time, money and my heart), the more I feel good about myself. For those of you who are not familiar with MI, Inc.. It is a non-profit organization registered in US compose of Marinduquenos now residing in US and Canada. Last year, a new chapter from Saudi Arabia joined the eight chapters in US and Canada. For more details please visit the website: www.marinduqueinternational.org

For those of you that had participated in at least one of the six previous medical mission ( 1998-2008), you know in your heart what I meant by “Feeling Good About Yourself.”. Some of you may have different reasons why you had participated previously or have plans of joining this coming mission next year ( February 5-14, 2011). But essentially,volunteering your time, money and your heart is one way of giving back to the poor and needy of Marinduque, the graces and good fortunes you have attained for yourself and your family when you immigrated to US, Canada or other parts of the world.

When you participate in the medical mission, you will touch the lives of many of your poor kababayans from the rural areas of the six towns of Marinduque. Therefore the saying that “the time that you really live is the time when you have touch the lives of others” can now be applied to you. For those of you who had not participated in the medical mission, your participation to this humanitarian project is highly encourage. I hope you will join us.

If you had participated in the previous medical mission, please feel free to add ( via comments) the benefits you have received personally and the reasons why you keep volunteering to this humanitarian project. I am looking forward to your participation next February in Marinduque. Mabuhay kayo Lahat!

Friday, June 18, 2010

My Orchids Collection in Chateau Du Mer Gardens


One of the many reasons why I love Marinduque is that the climate is conducive to growing orchids outside all year round. Most of my orchids bloom almost every four months except during the hot summer months. My gardener waters the orchids every day only in the morning. It takes her at least 25 minutes to water ( spray) the orchids every day( no rain that day). We fertilized every three months. There are aphids and insects ( ants) in some varieties that had to be hand pick and killed, since I am not in favor using insecticides. Here's some of my orchids for your viewing pleasure:





In 1996, when we first built the main house at Chateau Du Mer in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines, I started planting about a dozen orchids in front of the house. Today, I have a collection of more than fifty varieties of dendrobium, phalaenopsis and vandas. The dendrobiums and phalaenopsis cost around 100 to 200 pesos today(about $4 to $8 US dollars),still very cheap compared to US prices here in California. The vandas cost from 250 to 500 pesos depending on the variety and its rarity. My favorite orchid is the Princess Mikasa, a blue orchid(see top photo above). This was a gift from my first cousin from Iloilo about five years ago. I had to hand carry this on the plane to Marinduque. My cousin's primary business is growing orchids. She has more than a thousand plants in her home in Pototan, Iloilo. She attends to all the orchids Shows and Fairs in the Philippines and exhibits her orchids for sale and competes for awards. My other orchids, I purchased them from orchid gardens in Lucena, Quezon as well as locally during agricultural Fairs and at the Flea markets in Gasan and Boac. The other orchids in the photos are dark pink and yellow vandas as well as the purple dendrobium. I also have three cattleyas in my garden.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fathers' Day is near- Food for Thought-Parenthood



Fathers' Day is just a week from now. The day reminds me of the responsibility of Parenthood. I found the following quotes timeless and applicable to all Fathers and Mothers of Today and of the future.

1. Marriage is an institution, but who wants to live in an institution.

2. The trouble with most average American is that they expect their children to be above average.

3. The best inheritance a parent can give his children is a few minutes of his time each day.

4. A mother of 13 children was asked "how in the world can you have time for 13 children" she replied, "when I had only one child, it took all my time, what more can 13 do?

5. A Chicago psychologist lists these rules for parents to insure their child happiness
Avoid favoritism, do not compare one child to another
Don't be too dominating; don't impose your own ambitions or hobbies
Don't be upset at what your neighbor's children accomplish
Don't remind yourself constantly that you worked harder or had fewer privileges.

6. The fear of depriving our children has produced the most "gifted" generation of children in our history. We shower them with gifts to prove our love, with the inevitable result that the gift of love has degenerated into a love of gifts.
Are we offering things as parent substitutes? Are we offering presents instead of our presence? Are we giving things because we are reluctant to give time or self or our heart?

Some Food for Thought indeed especially on this coming Father's Day! Happy Father's Day to all Fathers in the world!

I am Proud to be A Filipino-American-Philippine Independence Day-112th Anniversary


I am proud to be a Filipino American especially today. In this posting are two filipino songs, Ako ay Filipino, (I am a Filipino) and Dugong Filipino ( Filipino Blood) that echoes my sentiment as a Filipino=American. I hope that the David Balleza Katague Clan here in US will always remember that Filipino blood is on their veins, even if they do not look like and act like Filipinos any more, since they are all born and raised here in US.

June 12, 2010 is 112 years of Philippine independence from Spain(1898). Parades and other festivities are being held in the Philippines to celebrate this event. Since I am not in the Philippines, my contribution to the celebration is this video, a choral presentation of "Ako ay Filipino"(I am a Filipino) by UP Adventist Choir performed in Fresno a couple of years ago. If you have Filipino blood in you, joined this 112th anniversary celebration of Philippine Independence ( from Spain, not US). Philippines Independence from US was July 4,1946. Here's the video for your viewing pleasure. In this video, there are 15 more songs. One of my favorites Filipino patriotic song is Dugong Filipino ( Blood of a Filipino). This was sung and composed by Jonathan Badon, world known Filipino Tenor in the world of Philippine Opera. Jonathan had been to our residence in Silver Spring, Maryland in November 16, 2000 along with several other Philippine opera singers with the Fides Santos-Cuyugan Asensio group-"On Wing of Songs". The other Filipino opera singers in the group are: Lorna Llames ( soprano), Bituin Domicel ( soprano), Nova Ramirez ( mezzo soprano), Marvin Gayramon ( baritone) and Reuel Tica (bass)

If you have not heard about Jonathan Badon, here's his short biography.
The Philippines' prince of operatic-pop is an Aliw Awardee for 2004 Best Male Classical Performer (Philippine version of Tony Awards). He just had a series of performances in Texas, California, and Southeast Asia. Badon is a Bachelor of Music in Voice graduate at the University of the Philippines College of Music as a scholar of the Music Promotion Foundation - Cultural Center of the Philippines. He has performed lead roles in various operas, oratorios, sarzuelas musicales and has done numerous solo concerts in the Philippines as well as in the United States, Canada, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Brunei Darrusalam. He also has represented the Philippines to different music and cultural festivals in Wales, Scotland, Indonesia, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Korea, China, Japan and the United States.

A versatile performer, Jonathan is one of the most sought-after stage and music personalities in the Philippines today. Also known as the Josh Groban of the Philippines, he is the ultimate cross-over artist in his effortless transition from classical to pop singing. It is no wonder that he is the favorite featured performer in Concert at the Park, Paco Park Presents, CCP-Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra Concerts, Teatrino Concerts and Hard Rock Cafe to name just a few.

He is an award winning composer and arranger as well, winning the grand prize in the AFP National Songwriting Contest for “Dugong Pilipino.” His artistry is also revealed in the visual arts. He favors realistic sketches of architectural and historical landmarks of places he has visited. Quite aptly, his extra ordinary talents in music and art featured in a CD which was released in 2002 titled “Sketches and Melodies.” Jonathan had a very successful solo US concert tour last 2005.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Are you a Gleek's?


You will probably laugh until your belly aches, after reading this post. I am a 75 year old man with four professional children and six grandchildren. My oldest grandson is 19 and my youngest granddaughter is 7 years old. My granddaughter and I are fans of the Fox TV show, GLEE. Last night final episode for this season made me cry like a baby. So are you laughing now? Here is the main reason why I cried. The story line reminded me of my college years at the University of the Philippines(UP). My wife and I were members of the UP Student Catholic Action Choir for three years. So both of us love choral music. At the end of the school year, we not only missed the music but the friendship and camaraderie that develops with the members of the choir, year after year. So, I cried because I feel nostalgic about my college years way back in the mid 1950's. This reminded me of my college friends who had already passed away and also of my own mortality. After all, I am in my mid 70's, so the time is getting near, but I am prepared..

I have not talked to my grand daughter today, but I bet her mom ( my youngest daughter) also cried after watching last night episode. I was not a FAN of the show in its first season. But after reading it received several awards, I decided to watch one episode and I was hooked to the music. I am not really enthusiastic about the story line, but I love the music and the singers/actors of this TV show. Please note that my wife do not watch the show. By the way, last night show was watched by 11 million viewers according to CNN this morning. Are you one of the 11 million watchers? Did you shed a tear or two also? Comments?

For those of you who are not “Gleeks”, here is short summary of the show from Wikipedia.

“Glee is an American musical comedy-drama television series that airs on Fox in the United States. It focuses on a high school show choir called "New Directions", at the fictional William McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio, and although largely realistic, also employs fantasy elements. The pilot episode of the show was broadcast after American Idol on May 19, 2009, and the first season began airing on September 9, 2009. On September 21, 2009, Fox officially gave the series a full-season pick-up. Glee aired its mid-season finale on December 9, 2009 and returned from a four-month hiatus on April 13, 2010, picking up the remaining nine episodes of the season. The spring premiere had an estimated 13.7 million viewers, nearly doubling in followers on its return. It was renewed for a second season which will feature three new cast members. On May 23, 2010, it was announced that Glee was already picked up for a third season.
The show's creators, Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, first conceived Glee as a film. Murphy selects the series' music, aiming to maintain a balance between show tunes and chart hits. Songs covered in the show are released on iTunes during the week of broadcast, and a series of Glee albums has been initiated by Columbia Records, beginning with Glee: The Music, Volume 1, which was released on November 2, 2009. The music of Glee has been a commercial success, with over seven million digital sales.
The show has received generally positive reviews from critics. The series won the 2010 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series—Musical or Comedy and received three additional nominations for Best Actress (Lea Michele), Best Actor (Matthew Morrison), and Best Supporting Actress (Jane Lynch). The show won a People's Choice Award for Favorite New TV Comedy in 2010. Its first season also earned a Peabody Award".

Glee made headline news in the Philippines a couple of weeks ago, when rumors circulated that Charice P, an internationally known Philippines singer had been invited to join the cast next season.
Too bad it is just a rumor. Charice P will be a good addition to the cast in my opinion. I am looking forward for Glee's third season this Fall...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Genealogy of Macrine's Maternal Side-The Nievas

It is summer time and time for family reunions. The Nievas of the World will probably be have a reunion in the Philppines or here in US sometime this year or next year. Hopefully, Macrine and I could attend this time.
Dave and Macrine Katague of Marinduque and Northern California

In 2003, there was a reunion of the Nieva clan in the Philippines organized by Rene Elizalde Nieva, Macrine's first cousin. We were invited but not able to attend. Rene wrote in his invitation that he is in the process of writing a book about the Nieva clan. He said the book will be privately published with limited printing which will include a general history starting on the possible roots of the Nieva family as well as the achievements of various members of the clan and their contribution to the betterment of Marinduque and of the Philippines. As of this writing date, I have not heard on the status of Rene's book.

In his invitation he invited all the direct and indirect descendants of the children and spouses of Calixto Nieva and Epifania Morente. Note that Rene is the great-grandson of Calixto Nieva and Macrine is also the great-granddaughter of Calixto Nieva , thus Rene and Macrine are first cousins.

I just can not believe that my six grand children are now the great-great-great grand children of Calixto Nieva and Epifania Morente.

Calixto and Epifania Morente had six children, four boys and two girls as follows (from oldest to youngest) along with their spouses.

1.Juan Nieva had two wives. The first wife was Isabel Decena. When Isabel died Juan remarried Elvira Sarmiento. Juan Nieva is both Macrine's and Rene's grandfather. He was the first governor of Marinduque and also the grandfather of the outgoing Governor. Rene and Macrine are first cousin of Jose Antonio (Bong) Nieva Carrion, the outgoing Governor of Marinduque.

2.Victoria Nieva married Doroteo Mercader

3.Dionisio Nieva married Salud de la Santa

4.Gregorio Nieva married Maria Arevalo

5.Jose Nieva married Trinidad Carmona

6.Rosita Nieva married Dr Angel Mayuga

Rene's invitation also included the descendants of the brothers of Calixto, namely Pedro and Francisco Nieva. It also included the brothers and sisters of Epifania Morente, which included not just the Morentes but also the Roceses, Abadas, Trinidads and the Kasilags. Incidentally, the Reyeses are second cousins of Macrine and the other Nievas of Marinduque.

This article will concentrate on the descendants of Juan Nieva and his two wives, Isabel Decena from Santa Cruz and Elvira Sarmiento from Buenavista..

Children of Juan Nieva and Isabel Decena ( from Oldest to Youngest)

1.Calixto Nieva married Juanita Jambalos
2.Blanca Nieva- single was killed by the Japanese during World War II
3.Elena Nieva married Bernardo Jambalos, Jr ( brother of Juanita)

Children of Juan Nieva and Elvira Sarmiento(from Oldest to Youngest)

1.Guillermo ( Willie) Nieva married Dr Celina Elizalde
2.Rosario Nieva married Ramon Carrion
3.Ester Nieva married Rafael Seno
4.Monica Nieva married Conrado Luarca
5.Elizabeth Nieva married Romulo Santo Domingo
6.Asuncion Nieva married Dr. Rafael Ocampo
7.Fr Constantino Nieva- single

For the purpose of this article, I will discuss only the descendants of Elena Nieva and Bernardo Jambalos, Jr. They have seven children as follows: ( From Oldest to Youngest)

1.Macrine Nieva Jambalos- married David B Katague from Iloilo ( that's me)
2.Sister Guia Jambalos- Order of the Cenacle-single
3.Bernardo Jambalos III married Loreta Mercader
4.Fe Jambalos married Edgardo Lazarte
5.Edgar Jambalos ( deceased) married Asuncion Pagalunan
6.Jean Jambalos married Mitch Maeda
7.Rosario Jambalos married Michael Levin

Note that Rene Nieva is the oldest son of Guillermo Nieva and Dr. Celina Elizalde. The younger brother of Rene, Yong is my partner in our literary project, I left my Heart in Marinduque ( not San Francisco). http://marinduqueonmymind.blogspot.com

Macrine's telephone buddy and first cousin from Vancouver, BC, Canada Olga Luarca Quiazon is the oldest daughter of Monica and Conrado Luarca

The outgoing governor of Marinduque is the second son of Rosario Nieva and Ramon Carrion

This posting continues with the offspring of Macrine Jambalos and David B. Katague. They have 4 children and six grandchildren as follows:

1.Dodie( Diosdado) Katague married Ruth Carver- They have 3 children, Philip Winchester, Alexandra and Marina Katague
2.Dinah E Katague married David E King- They have 2 children, Ian and Elaine King
3.David E III-single
4.Ditas Macrine Katague married Nick Thompson- They have one child, Carenna Nicole Thompson

Fe Jambalos has two daughters, Lanie and Ella
Jean Jambalos has two daughters, Yuri and Yuka
Rosario has two children, Carlos and Zehara
Asuncion Jambalos has three sons, Edmund, Nonoy and Jhun-Jhun and a daughter, Marilyn
Bernardo Jambalos III has five children and three grandchildren as of this writing date.

Accomplishments of the children of David B and Macrine J. Katague are discussed in detail at
http://theintellectualmigrant.blogspot.com

Some Interesting Vignettes:

The marriage of Calixto and Juanita Jambalos was not approved by their father Don Juan Nieva. Juanita was the daughter of a barrio businessman from Laylay. During those time, if you are from the barrios, you are not welcome or accepted to the social group of the main town of Boac. The Jambalos family although well off were considered TAGABUKID ( from the bonies). Don Juan Nieva wanted his lawyer son to marry Enriqueta Nepomuceno, one of the popular socialites in Boac. When Juanita died, Calixto did not marry again. Soon Calixto also died and every one in town claimed he died with a broken heart. Enriqueta in the meantime was waiting for Calixto. Enriqueta never married and died as a spinster.

Blanca Nieva graduated from Nursing School at Philippine General Hospital and was earning well. When their father died, she helped in sending her half-sister Rosario to College. She supported her sister and spoiled her by dressing her up to maintain her place in the high society of Boac at that time.

Elena, is the third child of Isabel Decena from Santa Cruz. Isabel died giving birth to Elena. Elena was therefore nursed by the sister of Isabel, Regina Decena Reforma. Elena and Policarpio Reforma ( son of Regina) shared the same breast milk of Tia Regina. When Elena was five years old, she and sister Blanca as well as brother Calixto, were brought to Boac where their father Juan Nieva remarried Elvira Sarmiento from Buenavista.

Elena grew up under the care of Lola Victoria ( sister of Juan Nieva). They lived in the old Nieva Building at the foot of the hill leading to Mataas Na Bayan. Elena later went to college at the University of the Philippines and finished her Bachelor Degree in Education.

When Juanita Jambalos-Nieva( wife of Calixto) died during childbirth, Elena and Bernardo Jambalos II ( brother of Juanita) were made in-charged of bringing the corpse from Manila back to Marinduque.
During the trip, people mistook them as husband and wife. Their romance started then and later were married at the Boac Catholic Church.

Today, if I had to guess, there should be more than seven hundred members of the Nieva clan, just based on the six children of Calixto Nieva and Epifania Morente all over the world. If you include the descendants of Pedro and Francisco Nieva, the two brothers of Calixto, it could reached to more than a thousand Nievas all over the universe. If you are a member of this clan, please let me know. Someday, I may be able to trace the Nieva genealogy all the way to Spain, as I did with my mothers name "Balleza", several years ago. My e-mail is in this site and I am also in Face Book.

Addenda dated 5/20/2011:
In front of the Nieva Street in the Makati Financial District with Rene Nieva, Owner of Perceptions, Inc. This street was named in honor of Gregorio Nieva, one of the brothers of Juan Nieva. There is also a bridge in Gasan Marinduque ( between the Gasan Market and Downtown) named the Nieva Bridge. I believe the bridge was named in honor of Juan Nieva being the first Governor of Marinduque.

Here's another addendum from Veronica (Ronnie Nieva) granddaughter of Gregorio Nieva. Thank you, Ronnie for the update. Macrine and I had a grand time during our mini reunion last December at the The Relish Restaurant in Makati. Here's her e-mail:

Dave, I just read your genealogy. To help you complete the story, here is the Gregorio Nieva line (which you may know already). Gregorio and Maria Arevalo had two children Antonio (my father)& Lourdes Mila (who died early). Mila and Arturo Zamora had one son, Amando. Antonio and Teresa Feria had Veronica, Vicenta, Violeta and Juan Antonio. Veronica & Steve Ettinger had Jonathan & Kenneth. Vicenta & Emil Quinto had Edouard & Nicolo; Edouard & Traci Morinaga have Cade. Violeta & Mariano Arroyo had Manuela & Mariano Jr. Juan Antonio and Irene Casus had Paolo, Monique & Franco. That's it for us!

Ronnie, do you know that the Nieva Street in Makati was named after your grandfather?.
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