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!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ditas Katague-Chief Deputy Commissioner of Corporations, State of California



The following news is from Asian Journal dated July 21, 2010 and written by Joseph Pimentel. Ditas is my youngest daughter and indeed proud of her accomplishments.

Ditas Katague, Chief Deputy Commissioner Department of Corporations, CALIFORNIA

"Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed FilAm Ditas Katague to chief deputy commissioner for the Department of Corporations.

As Deputy Commissioner, she’ll work under the Commissioner Preston DuFauchard.

Katague, a 45-year-old Democrat from Sacramento, has been director for the Census 2010 in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research since 2008.

During the 2010 Census count, she was vital in the "Kabilang Ako Kabilang Tayo" (I Am Counted We Are All Counted) campaign to increase the number of Filipinos to participate in the census.

Prior to that, Katague was the first vice president of state and local governmental affairs for Countrywide Financial Corporation from 2005 to 2008, program director for California Telemedicine and eHealth Center from 2004 to 2005 and senior program manager for Blue Shield of California from 2003 to 2005.

She was also the assistant secretary for transportation and project management at the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency from 2000 to 2003 and chief deputy director for the Complete Count Census Campaign from 1999 to 2000.

As deputy commissioner for the Department of Corporations she’ll earn $118,000.

The Department of Corporation is responsible for protecting consumers, and provides services to businesses, engaged in financial transactions. The Department also license and regulate a variety of businesses, including securities brokers and dealers, investment advisers and financial planners, and certain fiduciaries and lenders.The Department regulates the offer and sale of securities, franchises and off-exchange commodities."

( www.asianjournal.com )

( Published July 21, 2010 in Asian Journal Los Angeles p. B3

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Three Controversial and Memorable Movies



I Love controversial movies. If you do, you will enjoy the following movies in case you have not seen them. All of them are now available for rent and I am attaching the movie trailer for your viewing pleasure.

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, Kinsey, 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. 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.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Scuba Diving Update in Marinduque, Philippines

Image from asiadivesite.com
Diving in Balthazar Island, Marinduque

Marinduque is mostly known worldwide because of the Moriones Festival. However, it has recently been in the news due to interests of divers all over the world to explore the diving sites in the island and in the vicinity. Among the diving sites are:

1.Natanco- north of the island has good walls and drift diving. Corals are abundant. Close by is the wreck of a Japanese torpedo boat
2.Baltazar-west of the Island-one of the Tres Reyes Island Chain- has a cave 20m worth exploring. Stone fish may be a problem.
3.Elephant Island-now known as Bellarocca- private resort with good walls, coral formation and and several varieties of tropical fish. Currents could be strong, but conditions for photography good.
4. Torrijos- canyons and fissures to explore. Can expect to encounter grouper, barracuda, tuna and shoals of tropical fish.
5.Maestro De Campo Island-southwest of Marinduque- a wall on the west side and a wreck of a ferry boat, MV Mactan on the east side
6.Banton Island- farther southwest – amazing corals and an array of fish. Dolphins, sharks and sting rays may be seen. From February to May are the good months for scuba diving
7.Sibuyan Sea- outlying areas to the south and east of Marinduque are fairly unexplored. Puerto Galera, Mindoro is the place to organize this tour if you are adventurous.

Here are two other excellent videos on diving in the Philippines. Enjoy! Happy Diving
Diving Video from Southern Leyte, Apo Reefs, Sogod Bay, and Puerto Galera

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Carenna at the California Exposition and State Fair

Carenna Receiving her Second Place Ribbon-July 17, 2010

Carenna "Queen Cat" drawing above won second place at the California Exposition and State Fair Youth Art Competition. She also received honorable mention for her Candyland drawing. Carenna is 7 years old and is in First Grade. The competition was opened for youth ages 5 to 12. The exposition and fair ends next month on August 14, 2010.

I am very proud of my youngest granddaughter accomplishments. Like Mother, Like Daughter as the saying goes. Congratulations, again, my Pangga!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tango and My Favorite TV Dance Show( SYTYCD)


Fox TV show "So you think You can Dance"(SYTYCD) is one of my favorite reality TV show. I like it better than ABC "Dancing with the Stars"-another dance show that is also popular here in US. "So You Think You Can Dance" is an American dance competition and reality show that airs on Fox in the United States.
The series first premiered on July 20, 2005 and has a similar premise to the American Idol series of singing competitions, with nationwide auditions leading to the discovery of the next big star. The show was created by Idol's Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe and is produced by 19 Entertainment and Dick Clark Productions. A mixture of contestants are chosen for the show, ranging from unknown street dancers to winners of national championships. All contestants have to work their way through a rigorous audition process. By the end of this process, 10 to 20 dancers (depending on that season's format) of various styles are chosen to compete on national television. Over the course of the show, dancers are assigned different dance styles and partners each week to test their versatility.

It was the #1 rated show in summer 2006 for adults aged 18–49. The first season was hosted by current American news personality, Lauren S├ínchez; since the second season it has been hosted by former British children's television personality and one-time game show emcee, Cat Deeley. Spin-offs were announced in August 2006; there are currently versions of the show in New Zealand, Ukraine, Turkey, Israel, Canada, Germany, Greece, Poland, Malaysia, Norway, Belgium, The Netherlands, South Africa, United Kingdom, Australia and Portugal, with several other versions in the works.

So You Think You Can Dance holds auditions in major cities across the U.S. each season, looking for the top dancers in each city. Dancers with all types of backgrounds are encouraged to audition. Salsa, ballroom, hip hop, street dancing, contemporary, jazz, ballet, tap, and many other types of dancers can be seen auditioning for a chance to win the grand prize—which, in the past, has included a new Hybrid SUV, $100,000 in cash, and a dancing role in Celine Dion's Las Vegas show—of US$250,000 and the title of "America's Favorite Dancer." In its six seasons, the winners have been Nick Lazzarini, Benji Schwimmer, Sabra Johnson, Joshua Allen, Jeanine Mason and Russell Ferguson. The show has won four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Choreography and a total of six Emmys altogether. The first video was from the 2008-2009 season. Do not forget to view the related dances in the video.

This second video is The TANGO dance to the music of La Cumparsita. The music reminded me of my teenage years. My late Dad was a good tango dancer taught me to dance the tango, while I was in high school. Today, I could still dance the classic tango in spite of my years. If you love the Tango, you will enjoy this next video.

Impact of Filipino-American Scientists in World Science

PAASE Logo

As retired member of the Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering (PAASE),I found the following article by Eduardo A. Padlan published in the Philippine Star dated July 15, 2010, very interesting and relevant to my life's experiences. Dr Padlan concluded that in the field of chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology, Filipino-American scientists have made significant impact in world science. This is indeed music to my ears, being a Filipino-American chemist myself ( http://theintelectualmigrant.blogspot.com). Here is the article for your reading pleasure. Thank you Ed, for a very informative and interesting article.

"As a nation, we are not publishing as many scientific papers as many of our neighbors do. Yet, individual Filipino scientists, here and abroad, are making significant contributions to world science. How much are our scientists contributing? How do their contributions compare with the best of the world? What impact has Filipino scientists made on world science?

There are numerous measures of the impact of the scientific work of a scientist. An analysis of the various metrics used in the evaluation of a researcher and his work is the topic of a recent Nature magazine special (print edition: June 17, 2010; available online at http://www.nature.com/news/specials/metrics/index.html. (With apologies, I’ll just use the male reference for writing ease.) One is the number of papers he has published, especially in peer-reviewed journals. An often-used gauge of the quality of one’s work is the number of his publications in “high-impact,” i.e. frequently cited, journals. Another measure is how often his publications are cited by others. There are arguments against the use of any of the measures currently being used, since there are inherent difficulties in the proper assessment of the impact of one’s scientific publications. (The reader is encouraged to read the articles in the Nature special, as well as the article by Peter Lawrence (2007), appropriately titled “The mismeasurement of science.”)

For one thing, the number of papers a scientist has published is a measure of his output — not necessarily the quality of his work. We all know of several individuals in the past who had published only a small number of papers, but whose work is still remembered to this day. One example is Francis Crick of the double-helix fame, who did seminal work not only in molecular biology but also in protein crystallography, but who published only 87 papers (listed in PubMed http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/) — several times fewer than the output of a number of scientists I know. Further, the number of papers in which an individual has published as a co-author does not necessarily reflect his true contribution to science.

Indeed, a major difficulty arises from the question of authorship. There is no problem when there is only one author. In a paper with multiple authors, proper attribution of credit is often not straightforward. What did each author contribute to the project and how can it be quantified? One could think of a measure that is somehow related to the order in which the authors are listed. But there is no uniform convention in the listing of authors. Sometimes, the listing of authors is done alphabetically — this is especially true in the old days. These days, the first-listed author is supposed to have contributed more to the project and the last-listed author (the senior author) is supposed to have been the originator of the idea behind the project. That is not always the case. More and more, we see papers where two or more of the authors are noted as having contributed equally to the work. Further, more projects are collaborations of several independent groups, so that the listing of authors is often the result of negotiation and does not necessarily reflect the contribution of the individual authors.

And there is an inherent difficulty in judging the quality of a paper that was published in a “high-impact” journal. A journal’s “impact factor” is based on the number of times the articles in that journal are cited by others, so that it represents the average impact of all the articles which appeared in that journal and is not a measure of the impact of any individual article. The “impact factor” is so misused that the European Association of Science Editors has recommended that “journal impact factors be used only — and cautiously — for measuring and comparing the influence of entire journals, but not for the assessment of single papers, and certainly not for the assessment of researchers or research programs either directly or as a surrogate” (European Association of Science Editors 2007).

A more appropriate measure of a paper’s impact is probably the number of times that that paper is cited by others and a good measure of a scientist’s impact would be the total number of times his publications had been cited. One measure that is gaining acceptance is the “h-index”, which is defined as the number h of a scientist’s publications with at least h citations (Hirsch 2005). Interestingly, the “h-index” appears to obviate the need to correct for the problem associated with multiple authorships and self-citations (Hirsch 2007). But any measure that is used to estimate the impact of a scientist that is based on citations depends on his field or discipline. For example, since there are fewer mathematicians than biologists, the number of citations of a mathematical paper would be expected to be fewer than that of a biological paper. Any comparison should be limited to those in the same or closely related disciplines.

I have chosen to use the “h-index” in assessing the impact of some Filipino scientists on world science — with all the appropriate caveats.

I present the h-index of some of the most published Philippine- and foreign-based Filipino chemists, biochemists, and molecular biologists. The list is necessarily incomplete, since I do not know all the Filipino scientists in those fields, and I apologize for any omission. For reasons of space, I have chosen an arbitrary cutoff. The numbers were obtained on June 2, 2010 (a scientist’s h-index changes with time) and my source of information is Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com/), which is free and available to anyone with access to the Internet. The numbers may be different if a different citation database is used (I have no access to other databases other than Google Scholar). An important aspect of a Google Scholar search is the possibility of including citations from patents and I chose that option because those citations reflect the significant contribution of an article to novelty and practical use. The compilation should be made more complete and for all fields, and updated periodically, if we wish to see how our scientists continue to impact world science. At the end of the list, I have added the h-index of two well-known scientists in those fields.

Here’s the list: the h-index (shown in parentheses) of Rigoberto Advincula (33), Lourdes Cruz (40), Sevilla Detera-Wadleigh (39), Pedro Jose (40), Bienvenido Juliano (44), Carlito Lebrilla (31), Baldomero Olivera (63), Michael Purugganan (33), and Florante Quiocho (57); and those of Francis Crick (49) and Linus Pauling (81).

Again, I must emphasize that this is an incomplete list and only for those in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry, and molecular biology.

The reader can draw his own conclusions. My conclusion? Our kapwa-Filipinos are making a significant impact on world science. The future of Philippine science is bright"!

My congratulations to the above listed Filipino-American Scientists. May your tribe Increase and Keep up with the Good Work! Mabuhay ang PAASE!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Money can buy one form of Happiness Only


Here's the latest article on Money and Happiness. It was written by Rob Stein for the Washington Post dated July 1, 2010. Do you agree with this article?

"Pulling in the big bucks makes people more likely to say they are happy with their lives overall -- whether they are young or old, male or female, or living in cities or remote villages, the survey of more than 136,000 people in 132 countries found.

But the survey also showed that a key element of what many people consider happiness -- positive feelings -- is much more strongly affected by factors other than cold, hard cash, such as feeling respected, being in control of your life and having friends and family to rely on in a pinch.

"Yes, money makes you happy -- we see the effect of income on life satisfaction is very strong and virtually ubiquitous and universal around the world," said Ed Diener, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Illinois who led the study. "But it makes you more satisfied than it makes you feel good. Positive feelings are less affected by money and more affected by the things people are doing day to day."

Previous studies had suggested that money was associated with happiness. But the relationship appeared weak, and earlier work tended to focus on individual countries and global evaluations of life without parsing out the effects on specific positive and negative emotions or examining differences across nations.

The new survey -- the first large international study to differentiate between overall life satisfaction and day-to-day emotions -- makes that crucial distinction, allowing researchers to explore the elusive concept of happiness in much greater nuance.

"It's sort of a new era for the study of well-being," said Daniel Kahneman, a professor emeritus of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University.

The reason for the distinction is probably that when people are asked whether they are "happy," the first thing they do, wherever they are, is take stock of their lives by comparing themselves to their equivalent of "the Joneses" using the most obvious measure: income, several experts said.

"When people evaluate their life, they compare themselves to a standard of what a successful life is, and it turns out that standard tends to be universal: People in Togo and Denmark have the same idea of what a good life is, and a lot of that has to do with money and material prosperity," Kahneman said. "That was unexpected."

But day-to-day positive feelings depend a lot on other things, which also turn out to be fairly universal and therefore help clarify what makes people content, several researchers said.

"The thing I think is exciting about this is money can make you feel better in a limited way," said Barbara L. Fredrickson, a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "But positive feelings like enjoyment and laughing can do a whole lot more for people. They can help people grow and learn and become a more resilient, better version of yourself."

The new survey, dubbed the "first representative sample of planet Earth," was conducted by Gallup and involved detailed questioning in 2005 and 2006 of 136,839 residents age 15 and older. The samples in each country were designed to be nationally representative and represent about 96 percent of the world's population.

"What makes this paper so important is the sample is so huge and covered the entire world," said Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the University of California at Riverside. "It's really interesting that if you look at countries that are so different -- from rural villagers to people living in a city like Stockholm -- they are all about the same in terms of what makes people happy."

The researchers gathered information about a long list of attributes, including income, whether basic needs such as food and shelter were met, what conveniences the subjects owned and whether they felt their psychological needs were satisfied. The survey asked people to rate their lives on a scale from zero for the worst possible life to 10 for the best. They also reported whether they experienced enjoyment, smiling, laughing, sadness, depression or anger the previous day, whether they felt respected and had family or friends they could count on in an emergency, and how free they were to choose their daily activities, learn new things or do what "one does best."

Life satisfaction was directly and strongly correlated with income, with the impact felt equally among all ages, men and women, and rural villagers and urban dwellers in virtually every corner of the globe, the researchers reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Although money also influenced emotions, the effect was much weaker. Both positive and negative emotions tended to be affected much more in relation to other psychological and social factors, such as feeling respected, having autonomy, strong social support and working at a fulfilling job.

"What we didn't know before is the extent to which life evaluation and emotional well-being are so distinct," Kahneman said. "When you look at the books about well-being, you see one word -- it's happiness. People do not distinguish."

The findings "are really significant" because "we are finally able to answer the big questions, such as 'What is a good society?' " Shigehiro Oishi, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, wrote in an e-mail. "If the goal of a society is to raise the daily enjoyment of its citizens, then, it seems critical to devise ways to increase the relational wealth of nations (e.g., stronger social network)."

This article corroborates and reinforces my feeling of happiness after I have given myself to help others specifically, my involvement with the Medical Missions to the Province of Marinduque for the last 10 years. I still believe that money is not everything. As a matter of fact the greed for money will cause you unhappiness. Do you Agree? Comments anyone?
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