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, August 31, 2011

Time for Some Senior Jokes to Brighten Your Day

Photo from myplace-home-family.com
The last couple of days, all I read in the news are nature's wrath of the East Coast starting with an Earthquate in Virginia then followed by Hurricane Irene that resulted in loss of 34 lives and a property damage in billions of dollars. I feel so depressed and needed to cheer myself, I decided to look at some of the senior jokes that I had received a fews years ago. The following four jokes are my favorites.

1. Two elderly gentlemen from a retirement center were sitting on a bench and just bullshitting to pass the time. One turn to the other and says " John, I am 83 years old and I am just full of aches and pains. I know you are about my age. How do you feel?.
John answers, I feel like a new born baby. Really! ? Like a new born baby?
Yep. No hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants.

2. The boss walked into the office one morning not knowing his zipper was down and his fly wide open. His secretary walked up to him and said, This morning when you left your house, did you close your garage door? The boss said yes but was puzzled by the question. Later on, he noticed his fly was open and zipped it up and understood his secretary's question.

Later, he headed out for coffee and paused by his secretary desk and ask, When my garage door was open did you see my Hummer parked in there? She smiled and said No, I did not. All I saw was an old minivan with two flat tires.

3. Three old guys were walking. First one says, Windy, isn't It?
Second one says, No, its Thursday! Third one says, So am I, Let go get some beer. (I am really thirsty).

4. A little old man shuffled into an ice cream parlor and pulled himself slowly, painfully up into a stool. After catching his breath, he ordered a banana split.
The waitress asked kindly, " Crushed nuts? No, he replied, " Arthritis ".

I hope the above jokes made you laugh a little, in spite of the recent natural disasters in the East Coast. Let me know which one is your favorite, even if you are not yet a senior citizen.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our Five Favorite National Parks

Yosemite National Park
In three weeks it will officially be the start of the Fall Season here in Northern California. However, the temperature is still like summer and my air conditioner is still humming in the afternoons. I believe in a couple of weeks, the temperature will turn to normal levels and you will see the leaves turning yellow and golden brown in the foothills of Northern California and in the Lake Tahoe Areas. Next month we are spending one week at our time share resort at “The Ridge”,Lake Tahoe, Nevada. I am looking forward to see the start of the fall colors along Highway 50 as well as some casino gambling at Harrah's and at Harveys. Perhaps, a Cruise and Dinner at the Lake if we are lucky at the casinos. Wish us luck!

How about you? Have you been to a national park with your family this summer? Macrine and I have visited the following five national parks last year with the exception of Yosemite. The following five parks are our favorites.

1.THE ARCHES: The park is known for its natural arches. There are more than 2000 ranging in size from a three foot opening up to the Landscape Arch which measures 306feet from base to base. It lies near the heart of the desert called the Colorado Plateau, in the State of Utah. Towering spires, fins and balanced rocks complement the arches, creating a remarkable assortment of land forms in a small area. You can bike, hike or drive an 18 mile scenic road from the entrance to the north point of the Park. There are three picnic areas along the way. The two most famous arch are the Delicate and Skyline Arches. Macrine and I love this park.

2.BRYCE CANYON: The park is famous for its unique geology, consisting of a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters carved from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau of Southern Utah. The erosional force of frost-wedging and the dissolving power of rainwater have shaped the colorful limestone into bizarre shapes including slot canyons, windows, fins and spires called “Hoodoos”. The park was named after the Mormon pioneer Ebenezer Bryce and it become a national park in 1924.

My wife and I visited this park last year, on the last week of August. That trip was one of the best vacation we had since my retirement in 2002. Tinted with colors ranging from light brown to dark red, these whimsically arranged rocks, creates a wondrous landscape of mazes. A 45 minute walk from Inspiration to Sunset Point was the highlight of our visit. Ponderosa pines, high elevation meadows, and fir-spruce forest border the rim of the canyon and abound with wild life. Several scenic points offer a panoramic view of three states and about 200 miles of visibility. We did not stay overnight, but our guide tour and driver informed us that the lack of large light sources nearby, creates unparalleled opportunities for for stargazing at night.

3. GRAND CANYON: This park is the only natural wonder of the US, that made it to the final 28 natural Wonders of the world as announced by the new 7 natural wonders of the world organization. We have also visited this park and I agree with the 7 new natural wonder judges that Grand Canyon should be one of the top 28 finalists in this worldwide contest. The Grand Canyon is more than a great chasm carved over million of years ago through the rocks of the Colorado Plateau. It is more than an awe-inspiring view. It is more than a pleasuring ground for those who explore its roads, hike its trails or float in the currents of the turbulent Colorado River.
The Canyon is a gift of nature that transcends what we experience in life. Its beauty and size humbles us. Its timelessness provokes a comparison to our short existence in this universe. Visiting the place makes me feel calmed and relaxed, as I gazed in amazement the beauty and splendor of this National Park. The park can be enjoyed whole year round.

4.YOSEMITE: My wife and I had no plans of visiting this park this year. But we have visited this park three times, when my family was still residing in the Stanislaus County, Modesto, California in the mid 1970's. The park embraces a spectacular tract of mountain and valley scenery of the Sierra Nevada. It was made into a national park in 1890. The park has a number of waterfalls, meadows, forests that include groves of giant sequoias, the world largest living trees.

The park highlights include the Yosemite valley, high cliffs, and waterfalls. There is the historic Wawona Hotel( famous for its Christmas Dinners and Decorations), the Mariposa Grove, which contains hundreds of giant sequoias, Glacier Point, Tuolumne Meadows and a large sub-alpine meadow surrounded by mountain peaks and Hetch-Hetchy- a reservoir in a valley considered a twin of Yosemite Valley. Ninety Five percent of the park area is designated as wilderness areas that provides opportunities for solitude and relaxation. There are over 800 miles of trails for hiking and backpacking. There is some trout fishing in the streams that my family enjoyed during one of our visits several years ago. Our first visit to the park in the early 1970's was my first experience in camping. One night, our camp site and garbage can was visited by the bears - an experience my kids will never forget. The visit of the bears was the highlight of our trip to Yosemite at that time. The classic beauty and fascinating ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range are well represented in the wilderness of Yomesite National Park. I consider this park very friendly to families with small children.

5.ZION NATIONAL PARK: This is another park that my wife and I visited last year. The park is home to narrow canyons, overlooks, emerald pools, a petrified forest, a desert swamp, springs and waterfalls, hanging gardens, wild flowers and wildlife. It is located in Southwest Utah near the Arizona border. Zion National Park is part of the Southwest "Grand Circle” of national parks, monuments, historical areas and recreation areas. It is also a wilderness preserve which includes the world largest arch-KOLOB ARCH,spanning 310 feet. The park has high plateaus, a maze of narrow, deep, sandstones canyons and striking rock towers and mesas. The North Fork of the Virgin River has carved a spectacular gorge with canyon walls that rises to 2000-3000feet above the canyon floor in most places. My wife and I just spent just 90 minutes touring the canyon by the Park's bus. We did not have the time to hike or at least stay overnight. We wish we have more time to enjoy the wild life flora and fauna of the park. According to the park's guides, the Park is home to many mammals and critters such as the collared lizard, Gambel's quail and sometimes even a golden eagle.

Other parks that we have visited since 1960 are as follows: The Redwood National Park, the Muir Woods National Monument, The Point Reyes National Seashore, The Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, The Hawaiian Volcano National Park, Shenandoah Mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountain and its famous Skyline Drive in Virginia, and last but not least is the Luray Caverns in West Virginia.

Monday, August 29, 2011

97 years Old, still Active in Mind and Body

Dr.S.Hinohara-photo from yonemoto.com
The other day I posted about a Filipino-American Party that I atended in Concord, CA. During that party, I got reacquainted with an 89 year-old relative from Marinduque. I had not seen her for about a year. I was surprise to see how healthy she look and instead of a wheel chair she is just using a walker to move around. I asked her what has she been doing to look healthy and alert. She said she watched her diet, no red meat, plenty of fish, vegetables and fresh fruits. She lives alone in a nursing home, but a relative visits her twice a week. Once a month she goes to the Indian Casino to enjoy and have fun. My chat with her reminded me of an e-mail, I received recently about a 97-year old Japanese author and physician, Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara. This was published in the Japan Times and is now circulating in the Internet. Here it is for your inspiration, my fellow senior citizens.

Japan's 97-year-old physician educator offers advice for Seniors

Here's his advice and some of his quotes:

1. Energy comes from feeling good, not from eating well or sleeping a lot. We all remember how as children, when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe that we can keep that attitude as adults, too. It's best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime.

2. All people who live long — regardless of nationality, race or gender — share one thing in common: None are overweight. For breakfast I drink coffee, a glass of milk and some orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil in it. Olive oil is great for the arteries and keeps my skin healthy. Lunch is milk and a few cookies, or nothing when I am too busy to eat. I never get hungry because I focus on my work. Dinner is veggies, a bit of fish and rice, and, twice a week, 100 grams of lean meat.

3. Always plan ahead. My schedule book is already full until 2014, with lectures and my usual hospital work. In 2016 I'll have some fun, though: I plan to attend the Tokyo Olympics!

4. There is no need to ever retire,but if one must,it should be a lot later than 65. The current retirement age was set at 65 half a century ago, when the average life-expectancy in Japan was 68 years and only 125 Japanese were over 100 years old. Today, Japanese women live to be around 86 and men 80, and we have 36,000 centenarians in our country. In 20 years we will have about 50,000 people over the age of 100.

5. Share what you know. I give 150 lectures a year, some for 100 elementary school children, others for 4,500 business people. I usually speak for 60 to 90 minutes, standing, to stay strong.

6. When a doctor recommends you take a test or have some surgery, ask whether the doctor would suggest that his or her spouse or children go through such a procedure. Contrary to popular belief, doctors can't cure everyone. So why cause unnecessary pain with surgery? I think music and animal therapy can help more than most doctors imagine.

7. To stay healthy, always take the stairs and carry your own stuff. I take two stairs at a time, to get my muscles moving.

8. My inspiration is Robert Browning's poem "Abt Vogler." My father used to read it to me. It encourages us to make big art, not small scribbles. It says to try to draw a circle so huge that there is no way we can finish it while we are alive. All we see is an arch; the rest is beyond our vision but it is there in the distance.

9. Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it. If a child has a toothache, and you start playing a game together, he or she immediately forgets the pain. Hospitals must cater to the basic need of patients: We all want to have fun. At St. Luke's we have music and animal therapies, and art classes.

10. Don't be crazy about amassing material things. Remember: You don't know when your number is up, and you can't take it with you to the next place.

11. Hospitals must be designed and prepared for major disasters, and they must accept every patient who appears at their doors. We designed St. Luke's so we can operate anywhere: in the basement, in the corridors, in the chapel. Most people thought I was crazy to prepare for a catastrophe, but on March 20, 1995, I was unfortunately proven right when members of the Aum Shinrikyu religious cult launched a terrorist attack in the Tokyo subway. We accepted 740 victims and in two hours figured out that it was sarin gas that had hit them. Sadly we lost one person, but we saved 739 lives.

12. Science alone can't cure or help people. Science lumps us all together, but illness is individual. Each person is unique, and diseases are connected to their hearts. To know the illness and help people, we need liberal and visual arts, not just medical ones.

13. Life is filled with incidents. On March 31, 1970, when I was 59 years old, I boarded the Yodogo, a flight from Tokyo to Fukuoka. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and as Mount Fuji came into sight, the plane was hijacked by the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. I spent the next four days handcuffed to my seat in 40-degree heat. As a doctor, I looked at it all as an experiment and was amazed at how the body slowed down in a crisis.

14. Find a role model and aim to achieve even more than they could ever do. My father went to the United States in 1900 to study at Duke University in North Carolina. He was a pioneer and one of my heroes. Later I found a few more life guides, and when I am stuck, I ask myself how they would deal with the problem.

15. It's wonderful to live long. Until one is 60 years old, it is easy to work for one's family and to achieve one's goals. But in our later years, we should strive to contribute to society. Since the age of 65, I have worked as a volunteer. I still put in 18 hours seven days a week and love every minute of it.

At the age of 97 years and 4 months, Shigeaki Hinohara is one of the world's longest-serving physicians and educators. Hinohara's magic touch is legendary: Since 1941 he has been healing patients at St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo and teaching at St. Luke's College of Nursing. After World War II, he envisioned a world-class hospital and college springing from the ruins of Tokyo; thanks to his pioneering spirit and business savvy, the doctor turned these institutions into the nation's top medical facility and nursing school. Today he serves as chairman of the board of trustees at both organizations. Always willing to try new things, he has published around 150 books since his 75th birthday, including "Living Long, Living Good" that has sold more than 1.2 million copies. As the founder of the New Elderly Movement, Hinohara encourages others to live a long and happy life, a quest in which no role model is better than the doctor himself.

Personal Note: I will be delighted to reach 97 years and still be strong in mind and on body as Dr. Hinohara.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Where Else in the World would one want to Live?

Image from photo.net.ph

I just received this last week. I can not wait to share it with you. I hope this will put a smile in your face and brightens your day.

The Philippines is the only place on earth where...

1. Every street has a basketball court.
2. Even doctors, lawyers and engineers are unemployed.
3. Doctors study to become nurses for employment abroad.
4. Students pay more money than they will earn afterwards.
5. School is considered the second home and the mall considered the third.
6. Call-center employees earn more money than teachers and nurses.
7. Everyone has his personal ghost story and superstition.
8. Mountains like Makiling and Banahaw are considered holy places.
9. Everything can be forged!
10. Almost all kinds of animals are edible.
11. Starbucks coffee is more expensive than gas..
12. Driving 4 kms can take as much as four hours.
13. Fly-overs bring you from the freeway to the side streets.
14. Crossing the street involves running for your dear life!
15. The personal computer is mainly used for games and Facebook.
16. Where colonial mentality is dishonestly denied!
17. Where 4 AM is not even considered bedtime yet.
18. People can pay to defy the law.
19. Everything and everyone is spoofed..
20. Where even the poverty-stricken get to wear Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger(fake)!
21. The honking of car horns is a way of life.
22. Being called a bum is never offensive.
23. Floodwaters take up more than 90 percent of the streets during the rainy season.
24. Where everyone has a relative abroad who keeps them alive.
25. Where wearing your national colors make you baduy.
26. Where even the poverty-stricken have the latest cell phones.(GSM - Galing Sa Magnanakaw)
27. Where insurance does not work.
28. Where water can only be classified as tap and dirty.
29. Clean water is for sale (P35/gallon) .
30. Where the government makes the people pray for miracles(Amen to that!).
31. Where University of the Philippines is where all the weird people go.
32. Ateneo is where all the nerds go.
33. La Salle is where all the Chinese go.
35. University of Asia and the Pacific is where all the irrelevantly rich people go.
36. Fast food is a diet meal.
37. Traffic signs are merely suggestions, not regulations.
38. Where being mugged is normal and it happens to everyone.
39. Rodents are normal house pets.
40. The definition of traffic is the 'non-movement' of vehicles.
41. Where the fighter planes of the 1940s are used for military engagements and;
42. The new fighter planes are displayed in museums.
43. Where cigarettes and alcohol are a necessity, and where the lottery is a commodity.
44. Where soap operas tell the realities of life and where the news provides the drama.
45. Where actors make the rules and where politicians provide the entertainment.
46. People can get away with stealing trillions of pesos but not a thousand.
47. Where being an hour late is still considered punctual (Grabe talaga 'to!).
48. Where the squatters have more to complain (even if they do not pay their tax) - than those employed and have their tax automatically deducted from their salaries.
49. And where everyone wants to leave the country!

Which one of the above is your favorite? Mine are numbers 6, 11, 37,46 and 49.


1. The sign in a flower shop in Diliman called Petal Attraction.
2. Anita Bakery.
3. A 24-hour restaurant called Doris Day & Night
4. Barber shop called Felix The Cut;
5. A bakery named Bread Pitt
6. Fast-food place selling 'maruya' (banana fritters) called Maruya Carey.
7. Then, there was Christopher Plumbing.
8. A boutique called The Way We Wear.
10. A restaurant in Cainta district of Rizal called Caintacky Fried Chicken.
11. A local burger restaurant called Mang Donald's.
12. A doughnut shop called MacDonuts.
13. A shop selling 'lumpia' (egg roll) in Makati called Wrap and Roll.
14. And two butcher shops called Meating Place and Meatropolis.

Smart travelers can decipher what may look like baffling signs to unaccustomed foreigners by simply sounding out the 'Taglish' (The Philippine version of English words spelled and pronounced with a heavy Filipino accent)such as:

15. At a restaurant menu in Cebu:"We hab sopdrink in can an in batol" [translation: We have soft drinks in can and in bottle].

16. Then, there is a sewing accessories shop called "Bids And Pises" - [translation: Beads and Pieces--or-- Bits and Pieces]

There are also many signs with either badly chosen or misspelled words but they are usually so entertaining that it would be a mistake to 'correct' them like....

17. In a restaurant in Baguio City,the 'summer capital'of the Philippines: "Wanted: Boy Waitress"

18. On a highway in Pampanga: "We Make Modern Antique Furniture"

19. On the window of a photography shop in Cabanatuan: "We Shoot You While You Wait!"

20. And on the glass front of a cafe in Panay Avenue in Manila: "Wanted: Waiter, Cashier, Washier".

Some of the notices can even give a wrong impression such as:

21. A shoe store in Pangasinan which has a sign saying: "We Sell Imported Robber Shoes" (these could be the 'sneakiest' sneakers);

22. A rental property sign in Jaro reads: "House For Rent, Fully Furnaced" (it must really be hot inside)!

23. Occasionally, one could come across signs that are truly unique - if not altogether odd. A city in southern Philippines which said: "Adults: 1 peso; Child: 50centavos; Cadavers: fare subject to negotiation" .

24. European tourists may also be intrigued to discover two competing shops selling hopia (a Chinese pastry) called Holland Hopia and Poland Hopia - which are owned and operated by two local Chinese entrepreneurs, Mr.. Ho and Mr. Po respectively - (believe it or not)!

25.. Some folks also 'creatively' redesign English to be more efficient. The creative confusion between language and culture leads to more than just simple unintentional errors in syntax,but in the adoption of new words,says reader Robert Goodfellow who came across a sign... "House Fersallarend" (house for sale or rent).. Why use five words when two will do?

26. According to Manila businessman, Tonyboy Ongsiako,there is so much wit in the Philippines because we are a country where a good sense of humor is needed to survive. We have a 24-hour comedy show here called the government and a huge reserve of comedians made up mostly of politicians and bad actors.

Now I ask you...where else in the world would one want to live.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Alejo Bill Apologizes to Filipino-Americans

Photo from asmdc.org
Here's the latest news on Filipino-Americans in California. I believe this bill is about 50 years overdue. But as the saying goes, better late than never.

Alejo bill apologizes to Filipino Americans, Assemblyman Luis Alejo's office has announced that the State Assembly on Monday passed his bill, what it called "landmark resolution apologizing for nearly 100 years of discrimination toward Filipinos and Filipino Americans," according to a statement.

The resolution will next head to the State Senate for a vote. Alejo, D-Watsonville, noted it marks the first time the state "has expressly apologized to Filipino Americans" for violating civil liberties and constitutional rights.

Alejo's statement said the following:

"Sharply repudiating the shameful treatment Filipinos received, particularly in the 1920s and 1930s, ACR 74 details numerous governmental policies and laws that targeted Filipino Americans. During this period, school segregation and anti-miscegenation laws were the norm, as were tight quotas on Filipino immigration, even though the Philippines was under the sovereignty of the United States until the end of World War II.

Locally, tensions boiled over and led to the "Watsonville anti-Filipino riots" of 1930, which resulted in the death of Filipino laborer Fermin Tobera. The riots soon spread to other cities including Salinas, San Jose, San Francisco, and Stockton."

The full text of ACR 74 can be found at www.leginfo.ca.gov

Published by Free Lance News Aug 23, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

My Oldest Son Book-Cloyne Court

Dodie (Diosdado) Katague, author of Cloyne Court

My oldest son Dodie Diosdado) wrote his first book, Cloyne Court in 2009. As his father who is a frustrated writer, I am really proud of his accomplishments, considering this is not his primary job. Below are several reviews of his book as published by www.virtualauthorbooktours.com. I hope you have time to read his book, Cloyne Court.

"In 1977, when 18-year-old Berkeley college student, Derek moved into the student residence co-op, Cloyne Court, sight unseen, little did he know he would learn about life, love, sex, drugs, music, alcohol and co-ed showers—all on the first day.

Located one block North of the University of California, Berkeley campus, this real and notorious student-run house has provided an alternative, counter-culture, hedonistic, raucous, and unique living experience for the “Clones”, as the students call themselves, who choose to live here each year, despite the public and parents calling for a permanent shut down of this enduring and historic building.

Based on his journals and memories of his college days at this real-life “Animal House”, author, Dodie Katague weaves true events of life at Cloyne Court co-op into a zany, wild, and nostalgic story about the carefree time of every college student’s life.

"Sure to entertain any of those who enjoy a good story of the world of the fraternities and sororities. " Cloyne Court" is a fine memoir and a read well worth considering." Midwest Book Review

"If you like the movie Animal House, and have any interest in the going-ons of College in the 70s, or Berkeley in particular, you're also going to love this book. Get it, read it slowly, and enjoy!"-S. Davidian, Amazon Reviewer

"I found this book to be an AMAZING, page turning read. The rich story is very much worth it and leaves you dreaming of college days, and thinking about taking a drive to Berkeley to see the real Cloyne Court."-L. Couture, Amazon Reviewer

"I wish I had as much fun as Derek did in college, I recommend this book for anyone that has gone to college, or plans to go to college, or thought about going to college. Also for anyone who knows someone who went to college, because that buttoned up shirt wearing respectable man might have some stories to tell"-Genoa Dillon, Amazon Reviewer

"Sex, Betrayal, Drugs, Rock and Roll, nudist, co-ed showers, and the politics of the house make for a novel that has to be read. I loved this book."-Lori Cianfichi, Amazon Reviewer

About Dodie Katague:

Dodie Katague lived at Cloyne Court from 1977-79, while attending the University of California, Berkeley. He is an attorney and lives with his wife and family in Walnut Creek, California.

Dodie Katague, Author of Cloyne Court : On Tour
Publisher: Three Clover Press
Category: Fictionalized Memoir, Literary, Coming of Age
Date: December, 2009
Format: Paper & Kindle, 328 Pages

Thursday, August 25, 2011

One of My Blog Was Auto Locked Yesterday

Image from mooreslore.corante.com
Yesterday, I was surprised when one of my readers informed me that he can not read my blogs. I checked my mail and here's what I saw.

"Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog. Since you're an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive.

We received your unlock request on August 24, 2011. On behalf of the robots, we apologize for locking your non-spam blog. Please be patient while we take a look at your blog and verify that it is not spam".

I immediately requested to unlocked my blogs. All my 8 blogs are available now except for one titled Unusual Images from the Web. Hopefully, it will be resolved in the next couple of days. If you miss this blog, I have 8 other blogs available for your reading pleasure. Have a Good Day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Memories of Our First Cruise from Miami to the Bahamas

The Parliament House

On March 25 to 28, 1977, Macrine and I took our first cruise to Nassau after the American Chemical Society Meeting in Miami Beach, Florida. This is aboard the S/S Emerald Seas owned by the Eastern Steamship Lines, Inc. The S/S Emerald Seas was registered in Panama with gross tonnage of 24,178 tons, has 9 decks, 622 feet long and 76 feet wide. There were 411 staterooms and a capacity of 1,084 passengers. There was a movie theatre on the lowest deck, two night clubs, an Olympic size swimming pool, 5 lounges with bars, a slot machines room, card room, gift shop, beauty parlor and a huge dining area for 500 diners on each seating. This ship is just like a small city with all its amenities.

Macrine and I and a couple we meet during the ACS meeting and their teenage son were assigned on the second seating for all meals. For entertainment, there were 2 bands for dancing, night club shows, horse racing, bingo, and card tournaments. The Casino and Slot Machines are only open on High Seas. We ate six times a day as follows: Breakfast(6 to 8AM), morning snack(10-11AM),lunch(12Noon-2:00PM),afternoon snack(4:00PM),dinner,6:00 to 9:00PM and another midnight buffet(11:00PM) if you are still hungry. The food was delicious and lavish. The highlights of this cruise was the Captain's Farewell Dinner- Lobster with eight other courses and a flaming baked Alaskan cake as the dessert served by marching waiters. Since I am to prone to sea sickness, I took my Dramamine tablets prior to our departure from the Port of Miami. On the return back, I was feeling good and cocky, I did not take my pill. Lo and Behold at the end of the Captain's dinner, I was feeling nauseous, thus was not able to enjoy the dessert.
Here's a video of a similar cruise aboard the Monarch of the Seas, operated by the Royal Caribbean Lines.

When we arrived at Nassau(capital of the Bahamas), we took a tour of the Island of New Providence, including the beach in Paradise Island. Paradise Island has soft pink white sand and multi-hued blue and greenish water.

Within walking distance from where the ship docked is Bay Street lined with shops offering items from all over the world at duty free prices. The famed straw market is adjacent to the ship, where you can buy all kinds of straw products from dolls, hats or handbags. Macrine and I purchased several straw products for souvenirs.

Nassau is the capital, largest city, and commercial centre of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The city has a population of 260,000 (2008 census), nearly 80 percent of the entire population of The Bahamas (330,000). Lynden Pindling International Airport, the major airport for The Bahamas, is located about 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) west of Nassau city centre, and has daily flights to major cities in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The city is located on the island of New Providence, which functions much like a federal district. While there is no local government, it is governed directly as an administrative division of the national government. Nassau is considered a historical stronghold of pirates.

Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas

Nassau's modern growth began just over 200 years ago with the influx of thousands of American Loyalists and enslaved Africans to The Bahamas following the American War of Independence. Many of them settled in Nassau (the then and still commerce capital of The Bahamas) and eventually came to outnumber the original inhabitants.
As the population of Nassau grew, so did the built-up areas. Today the city dominates the entire island and its satellite, Paradise Island. The Atlantis Resort was not built when we visited the island in 1977. However, until the post-Second World War era, the outer suburbs scarcely existed. Most of New Providence was uncultivated bush until the loyalists came in the 1780s and established several plantations such as Clifton and Tusculum. When the British abolished the international slave Trade in 1807, thousands of liberated Africans freed from slave ships by the Royal Navy were settled on New Providence (at Adelaide, Gambier, Carmichael and Sandiland) and other islands. The largest concentration of blacks lived in the "Over-the-Hill" suburbs of Grants Town and Bain Town behind the city of Nassau, while most of the whites lived on the island's northern coastal ridges.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More One-Liners to Brighten your Day

Image from androidzoom.com

Sometime ago, I posted some of my favorite one-liners. A few of my readers love it, that they even shared it in Face Book. Today, I am posting 13 more one liners to brighten your day.

1 Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity.

2 If sex is a pain in the ass, then you're doing it wrong.

3.If God is watching us, the least we can do is be entertaining.

4.If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of payments.

5.Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.

6. Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?

7. A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don't need it.

8. I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks.

9. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

10. Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an emergency, notify:" I put "DOCTOR". What's my mother going to do?

11. I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian

12. A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.

13. I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with "Guess" on it...so I said "Implants?"

My favorite: What has baby diapers and politicians have in common? They need to be change frequently.

I hope this brightens your day!
Source: onelinerz.net

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chinese Acrobat Dancing Swan Lake

The following video is amazing and breath-taking. It highlights the acrobatic and graceful skill of a young chinese woman who is a circus performer. Is this a ballet or an an acrobatic performance? I would say both. Enjoy and let me hear of your comments.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Nothing is Impossible! Watch this Video!

Photo from gibbscadiz.blogspot.com

Watching the video below made me shed a tear or two. It is so touching, beautiful and
amazing that I have to share this with you. Please take a moment and view this video. You will then realized that there is nothing impossible even if you are handicap with one leg or just one arm. These two dancers still can dance with grace and beautifully. Lesson to learn: There is no faults or weaknesses in our own lives that we can not overcome if we have the will. Watch and be moved!

Note: The first time I watched this video, I did not see that the ballerina has only one arm(covered by her costume). The first thing I saw was the one-legged young man's because of his crutch. Are you moved by this Video? Comments?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

An Excellent Book about Marinduque-Playing with Water

Playing with Water: Passion and Solitude on a Philippine Island (Twentieth Century Lives) James Hamilton-Paterson
I have read this book a few years ago. I have almost forgotten this book, until last week when a fellow blogger from Marinduque posted an article about this book. It triggered pleasant memories of Marinduque. So, if you are a true-blooded Marinduqueno, this is a must read book, even if you do not like to read books. I love this book so much, I read some chapters twice. I am not quite sure where the exact location of the author's cottage was. WHAT baranggay is it in Boac or Gasan? Perhaps other readers could give me a definite answer to my question.

The following two reviews summarizes of what the book is about. But to me, it is one of the best book, I have read about my island Paradise and My Retirement Home-Marinduque. It was written and published in the late 1990's but the lessons one can learn from book is still applicable today.

1. This review is from: Playing with Water: Passion and Solitude on a Philippine Island (Twentieth Century Lives) By schnedermann@msn.com (Munich, Germany),1998.

Paterson is living on a small island in the Philippines and he is joining the natives in diving (i.e. fishing) for a living. We scuba-divers, as we only come for 1-2 week vacations, often are not experiencing the reality around our dive sites. Paterson's book was helping me understanding more of the countries I was visiting. Very instructive are his personal insights about ecology in a third world country and the connections to the economical and social structure. I found it very valuable that the insights do not follow the well known beaten paths about the third world but are rather well founded, personal observations. This makes this book a much more interesting read than any other book about the subject that I have ever read before.

2. Go read...it's good!, September 21, 2002
By A. N. Teodoro III (River Edge, NJ, USA) - (REAL NAME) This review is from: Playing with Water: Passion and Solitude on a Philippine Island (Twentieth Century Lives)
I read this book so many years ago, but I can still remember how good it is. This book is not only about the underwater world but also about the goings-on in a typical barrio in the Philippines. It has a socio-economic aspect to it that I found quite realistic, having been born and raised in that very same third world country. It amazed and pleased me that a foreigner like Hamilton-Paterson could, quite accurately, capture the very essence of filipino rural society---like the old woman who he suspects isn't so aloof and taciturn as she seems and the children of the barrio who frolic in the water and in their humble amusements, oblivious of the shortcomings of a third world upbringing. The book is an unusual stew of underwater
adventure and an unpatronizing account of a life among barrio folk.

Other Reviews:

...a work of such genuine commitment, balanced perception and responsive passion that it will certainly be condemned to become a classic. (New York Times Book Review )

A classic travel book...entirely original: at once astringently and gorgeously written... (Andrew Harvey )

Unforgettable. The Philippine landscape and these remote islanders are crystalline and at the same time mysterious; the writing itself superb. (Ronald Blythe )

James Hamilton-Paterson spends a third of each year on an otherwise uninhabited Philippine island, spear-fishing for survival. Playing with Water tells us why he does. Beyond that, it gives an account of life in that class-bound country as a whole. For it is in places like this rather than Manila of the international news reports that the underlying political and cultural reality of the Philippines may be seen.

About the Author: Described as one of the most reclusive of British literary exiles who shares his time between Austria, Italy and extensive periods over the last 30 years in the Philippines, is poet and novelist, James Hamilton-Paterson.

He is generally known as a commentator on the Philippine scene, where he has lived on and off. His novels on the Philippines includes “Ghosts of Manila”, and “America’s Boy” (1998), the latter setting the Marcos regime into the geopolitical context of the time.

One of his books, “Playing with Water”, sold more than 4 million copies, described in a book review by New York Times as “a work of such genuine commitment, balanced perception and responsive passion that it will certainly be condemned to become a classic.”

Note: This book is available on-line( Amazon) or your local bookstores as well as in your public library.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lea Salonga is a Disney Legend Awardee

Ditas Macrine Katague with Lea Salonga, Philippine Embassy Dinner at the Marriott Hotel, Washington, DC in 1999

The following news item was posted on pinoypower.net on August 15, 2011. As one of Lea's fans, I am proud to re post this in my blog for all my Filipino-American readers to rejoice and congratulate Lea on her latest achievement.

"Our very own Lea Salonga will be honored as one of this year’s 12 Disney legends for her contribution to Walt Disney.

The Olivier and Tony Award-winning Broadway actress who provided her singing voice for two Disney Princesses: Jasmine in Aladdin (1992) and Fa Mulan in Mulan (1998)/Mulan II (2004) will be honored alongside with other actresses who lent their voices for Disney Princesses including Jodi Benson (Ariel from The Little Mermaid), Paige O’Hara (Belle from Beauty and the Beast), Linda Larkin (speaking voice of Jasmine from Aladdin), and Anika Noni Rose (Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog), Muppets creator Jim Henson, TV host Regis Philbin, Guy Williams, who played the title role in the Walt Disney Zorro series; Jack and Bonita Wrather, Disneyland Hotel creators; Ray Watson, who helped in the opening of Epcot; and Barton Boyd, Chairman of Disney Consumer Products.

Lea and the rest of this year’s honorees will receive a two-foot-tall bronze Disney Legends sculpture and will participate in a hand print ceremony to be hosted by Tom Bergeron (Dancing With The Stars fame) on August 19 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.

Their bronzed prints will be displayed in the Disney Legends Plaza at Walt Disney’s headquarters in Burbank, California.

“From giving voice to some of our most iconic and beloved Disney princesses to bringing a smile to millions of television viewers every morning for two decades, we are proud to present these 12 men and women with our highest, most coveted honor, The Disney Legends Award.

“Our newest honorees now join this unique and prestigious circle, which recognizes those whose incredible talents and outstanding contributions have had a lasting, meaningful impact on Disney’s great legacy.” Disney President and CEO Bob Iger said about this year’s honorees".

Note: Macrine, Ditas (my youngest daughter) and I had the privilege of meeting Lea in person in a reception dinner sponsored by the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC in 1999. The photo above shows my youngest daughter, Ditas saying hello and posing with Lea during a dinner reception at the Marriott Hotel sponsored by the Philippine Embassy.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Good News from Apple, Inc in Cupertino, California

Apple Planned New "Spaceship" Headquarters in Cupertino, California

My niece works for Apple. Needless to say, she is super excited about this news from her big boss-Steve Jobs. This type of architectural design reminds me of the Chapel Of Holy Sacrifice in Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines that was built in the mid 1950's. (See photo below).

Here is the press release of the planned "spaceship" headquarters last June.

Apple plans to build a new four-storey building that will hold 12,000 people, close to its current headquarters in Cupertino, California.

On Tuesday, the day after addressing developers at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, presented his company’s plans to the Cupertino City Council.

“Apple has grown like a weed,” Mr Jobs said. “It’s clear that we need to build a new campus. We’re just out of space. That doesn’t mean that we don’t need the one we’ve got - we do need it - but we need another one to augment it.”

Presenting the plans for the circular building with a large open-air courtyard in the middle, Mr Jobs said: “It’s a little like a spaceship landed.”

The new building would be built on a 150-acre site that Apple bought from computer manufacturer HP earlier this year.

Expected completion date: 2015

UP Diliman Chapel built in the Mid-1950's ( see http://theintellectualmigrant.blogspot.com, for details)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Philippines Won the 2011 World Dragon Boat Race

Philippine Dragon Boat Team Dominates 2011 World Championships with 5 Gold Medals

The following news item released a few weeks ago made me proud as a Filipino-American. The above video was exciting, because of the last seconds move of the Philippine team over Japan to the finish line.

"The Philippine Dragon Boat team nabs their fifth gold medal on the final day of the 10th International Dragon Boat Federation World Championships in Tampa Bay, Florida.

The Philippine Dragon Boat Team ended their campaign on Sunday with another gold medal win in the 500-meter men’s division small boat event in what Dyan Castillejo described as “precision paddling, they topped the race and took the gold medal while their opponents had nothing but praise for the Filipinos.”

The Philippine team won their fourth gold medal in the 500-meters mixed event in the small boat division beating powerhouse teams from Hungary and Trinidad and Tobago. Their third world title came from the Premier 1000m category (small boat) setting a new world record of 4:57.13 for the said event.

Earlier last week, the team also bagged 2 gold medals, one from the 200m Premier Mixed and one from the 1000m Men’s category.

Aside from the 5 gold medals, the team also won two silver medals, one in the premier 200-meter men’s division event on Saturday and another one from the All Comers 200m small boat event.

The gallant Philippine dragon boat team was denied funding by the Philippine Sports Commission. Their trip to the championships was supported by Lucio Tan’s Philippine Airlines as well as Asia Brewery’s Cobra Energy Drink.

The team was crowned champions in 2007 and 2009 but their 5 gold, 2 silver medals haul this year was their biggest yet.

Photo Credit: Ellen Tordesillas

Reference: pinoypower.net

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Time to Save our Oceans and the Planet Earth

Image from zazzle.com

Ten Things YOU Can do to Save Our Ocean!

1.LEARN all you can. Read, surf the web and experience the ocean directly.

2.Be a SMART SHOPPER. Ask grocery stores and restaurants about the source of their seafood.

3. CONSERVE water. Be careful when washing your car or watering your lawn.

4.REDUCE household pollutants. Cut down and properly dispose of herbicides, peticides and cleaning products.

5.REDUCE waste. Dispose of trash properly. Where possible, recycle, re-use, and compost.

6.REDUCE automobile pollution. Use fuel efficient vehicles or carpol. Recycle moter oil and repair oil and air conditioning leaks.

7.PROTECT ocean wildlife. Don't dispose of fishing lines, nets, or plastic items in or near the water.

8.BE CONSIDERATE of sealife habitats. Don't bother sea birds, mammals, and turles or their nesting grounds. Support marine protected areas.

9.GET INVOLVED. Take part in a beach cleanup or other ocean-related activities.


"It doesn't take a genius to keep our planet clean." - Ryan Turner

Sobering Facts:

One half of the U.S. population lives in the coastal zone.

One in every six jobs is marine-related.

One third of the U.S. Gross National Product is produced in the coastal zone.

"Ten Things" and "Facts" from a presentation by Dr. Mark Hixon about the International Year of the Ocean, STILL relevant today!

Source: dusk.geoorst.edu

Monday, August 15, 2011

Joke of the Month-Underwear Dust

It has been a while since I have posted a joke in this site. This one is titled Underwear Dust from Sandee Comedy Plus. Enjoy!

One evening a husband, thinking he was being funny, said to his wife, 'Perhaps we should start washing your clothes in 'Slim Fast'. Maybe it would take a few inches off of your butt!'

His wife was not amused, and decided that she simply couldn't let such a comment go unrewarded.

The next morning the husband took a pair of underwear out of his drawer. 'What the heck is this?' he said to himself as a little 'dust' cloud appeared when he shook them out.

'Cathy, he hollered into the bathroom, 'Why did you put talcum powder in my underwear?'

She replied with a snicker. 'It's not talcum powder; it's 'Miracle Grow'!

Hat tip: Dr. Vern

My comment: Did it work?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Comments to Marinduque Rising, Power Double Talk Article

Candle Power

The following are comments from the recent article titled Power Double Talk that I
re posted in my blog recently. My comments on #2 are in bold.

1. Marinduquenos cannot blame anyone but themselves because they were the one who elected public officials that governed the province. People of Marinduque knew that these government was futile and incapable of dealing with the constituents basic need (including power crisis) and yet they gave these officials a "red carpet" to the public office when they casted their vote, so why complained now.???

2. What about renewable energy? Sa San Fernando (Sibuyan Island) Romblon may mini hydro that generates 900kw. May ilog sa itaas ng bundok katabi ng talampas. Binakuran para mag impound ng tubig at saka linagan ng 2 tubo na me lapad ng 3 katao naghahawak kamay. Ang tubig ay dumadaloy sa tubo na nakalagay sa gilid ng talampas at bumabagsak ito na me lalim ng 3 layugan. Sa pagbagsak ng tubig sinasambot ito ng 2turbinang inangkat sa China (me pahintulot ang DOE sa pag import nito kaya tariff at custom duty free) ang pwersa nakukuha sa pagbagsak ng tubig ang syang pinagmumulang ng 900kw. OO maliit ang 900kw sa pangangailangan ng sibuyan island me me kabuohang 1.3mw pangangailangan sa enerhiya sa gabi (700kw sa umaga) pero halos wala silang brownout di gaya sa Marinduque Island na hanggang ngayon ay busy pa rin sa pagtatalo na posibleng umabot sa 1 siglo.

Ang teknolohiya ngayon ay umunlad ng malayo kung ikukompara sa nagdaang o mga nagdaang dekada. Ng minsang napadpad ako sa DBP boardroom nun 2006 para sa isang meeting on dbp forest project, napansin ko me blue map nakadisplay sa wall at ito ay wind and diesel turbine plants around Marinduque, Romblon, at Mindoro Island. Para sa Marinduque me 2 wind/diesel plant nakatutok sa ibabang parte ng Torrijos halos gilid ng Malindig. D ko lang naitanong kung me taker sa project na ito. Inisip ko lang WOW nasa RE investment map pala ang ilang probinsya sa MIMAROPA.

At isa pa. Sa campus ng Romblon State University (RSU) me research facility (Nursery) on Beema Bamboo sila. Sa loob ng 2 taon pinag aralan nila ang acclimatization ng Indian bamboo na ito sa kondisyon ng panahon at agronomiya sa Pilipinas. Naging matagumpay ang research at nagkaroon ng pagpapatunay na sa parehong edad ng punla (Indian nursery vs Pinoy nursery) me 30% mas mataas pa ang punla dito compare sa India. Sa kasalukuyan nagsisimula na sila sa energy crop plantation sa 2 campus ng RSU. Me mga usaping panghihikayat na ngayong isinasagawa upang maisakatuparan ang layuning 160 ektaryang plantation. Ang buyos ng bamboo na ito e 5 beses ang kapal at ang chips nito ang gagamiting pang gatong sa powerplant. Ngayong taon din, sisimulan ang pagtayo ng R&D facility (2MW powerplant) sa loob ng RSU campus. Kung maisasakatuparan ang pagpapalaganap ng energy crop plantation na maitaas sa 600 ektarya, ang ka-partner ng RSU e magpapatuloy sa pag-expand ng powerplant into 8MW para sustenahan ang pangangailangan ng Tablas Island sa susunod na 10 taon. O di ba habang busy ang Marinduque sa satsatan eto me kaganapang nagaganap sa Romblon upang matugunan ang problema nila sa enerhiya sa susunod na panahon.

Marinduque should learn a lesson of what Romblon had done or are doing currently for their power energy source. Let us stop talking/grumbling and do something.

3. David B Katague: Excellent article. Could I repost excerpts of this in one of my blogs?

4. Eli Obligacion: Pls do Dave and maybe also include the above comment that shows what neighboring Romblon is doing while we, Marinduquenos, just keep talking. Thanks!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Latest News on Brown Outs in Marinduque-Timeline

Marinduque Capitol in Boac

I had been following the discussion of the Power Crises in Marinduque in FaceBook. It is interesting to note that the younger generations of Marinduque as well as those working overseas are now concerned for the betterment of this island based on their comments on this subject. However, there are a lot of Filipino-Americans with Marinduque roots here in US who probably are not aware of this FB discussion. So this update is for you, Marinduquenos All over the World who had no Face Book Account. Recently,I asked permission from the author, Eli Obligacion to repost excerpts of his article titled Power Double Talk(marinduquegov.blogspot.com) in my blogs. Here it is for your reading pleasure!


Sept. 27, 2005 – Power supply agreement signed with Marelco, NPC and 3i Powergen under the administration of Gov. Carmencita Reyes.

Feb. 2007 – Commercial operation was to commence (still under the administration of Gov. Reyes). This did not happen.

June 2007 – Extension of contract requested by 3i from Marelco expired.

Sept. 11, 2009 – Resolution purportedly rescinding the power supply agreement was issued by Marelco.

Oct. 12, 2009 – Rally spearheaded by the Bishop of Boac for “Truth and Transparency”.

October 25, 2009, “Final solution” with arrival of gensets from Palawan but with lease agreement between NPC and Agrekko expiring on January 7, 2010.

Jan.- Feb. 2011 - Power outages due to diesel fuel shortage directly related to the NPC's technical bankruptcy. 39 electric cooperatives in NPC-SPUG areas in the country experienced recurrent brown-outs.

June 20, 2011 – Receipt of bids from new bidders.

July 8, 2011 – Opening of bids. No official public announcement appears to have been made on bidding result.

July 20, 2011 - Power outages due to diesel fuel shortage and defective unit/s at Power Barge 12o in Balanacan.

She says, others say:

Quotes from Gov. Carmencita Reyes from her official FB page:
Current Governor of Marinduque-Carmencita O. Reyes

"…I have already given specific instructions on what course of action we are going to take. The MARELCO problem has blown out of proportion. The provincial government has received reliable information that the perennial cause of the electricity supply problem in Marinduque is due to the gross incompetence and negligence of the management of MARELCO. Sources told that MARELCO owes around P69M for VAT payments alone. This amount is relatively small compared to how much MARELCO owes NAPOCOR. From all indications, MARELCO has been grossly mismanaged.

“I am personally not enthusiastic about tapping independent power producers/investors as a means to solve this problem. It might do us some good at the onset because normal electricity flow can be restored in a shorter period of time. However, the risk that is not clearly visible in this scenario is that after some time, there is a strong possibility that this independent power producer/investor can and may exploit us by exorbitant and unreasonable electricity bills and unnecessary fees… (Aug. 2, 2011)

“Ang MARELCO ay isang "kooperatiba" na napapasailalim ng patnubay ng National Electrification Administration (NEA). Walang autoridad ang Provincial Government sa pamamalakad ng MARELCO…”

“3i Power Gen did not go bankrupt…”

From a Sangguniang Panlalawigan media release after meeting with Marelco and NPC July 25, 2011:

"...Bagaman at alam ng buong kapulungan na ang Sangguniang Panlalawigan maging ang Gobernador o sinumang opisyal ng pamahalaang lokal ay walang papel na batayan upang makontrol o pakialaman ang anumang desisyon at pamamalakad ng MARELCO, kooperatiba, ang tunay na nagmamay-ari ay ang taong bayan na konsumidor ng kuryente.

"Gayundin ang mga local na opisyal ng pamahalaan ay walang pananagutan sa estratehiya o programa ng NEA, Department of Energy at ng NAPOCOR na may layuning missionary electrification na unti-unti na ring pinuputol ng pamahalaang nasyunal, hindi maiwasan ng SP bilang boses ng taong bayan na kundenahin ang mga namumumuno dito. Gayon pa man lahat ng paraan ay ginagawa ng SP upang makatulong at maibsan ang suliranin sa kuryente..."

Rewind to 2009:

Board member Jose Alvarez, an ally of Gov. Bong Carrion also referred to ‘mga pulitiko’, but politicians, he said, who were those "behind 3i Powergen and Marelco" (watch this video taken after the rally of Oct. 12, 2009:

Excerpts from the video:

“...Hindi po ba natin alam na kaya po naging ganyan, sinabi na rin po ni Bishop, na nasa likod ang mga pulitiko sa likod ng 3i Powergen… sino po ang nasa likod niyan, sino po ang nasa likod ng Marelco? Yan po ang dapat nating alamin, tingnan po natin kng paano natin mabubuwag ang mga pulitikong nasa likod ng 3i Powergen, nasa likod ng Marelco at nasa likod ng maraming kasinungalingang nagaganap dito sa ating lalawigan...

“Tingnan po natin kung sino talaga ang totoong nang-aapi dito sa atin sa napakatagal na panahong walang pag-angat dito sa ating lalawigan…”

Rewind further back to 2006.

In 2006, Manila-based newspapers like Malaya, Aug. 6, 2006, Manila Bulletin, Aug. 6, 2006 and Manila Standard Today, Aug. 7, 2006, ran similar articles stating:

“...The Board of Investments granted incentives to the three hybrid wind-diesel plants of 3i Powergen Inc. (in Marinduque and Romblon), with combined investments of P1.448 billion. ...

“...All three plants will start commercial operations by February 2007.”

Came February 2007, (with both mother and son team of Reyes sitting as congressman and governor), such commercial operations did not commence anywhere in the islands mentioned.

Came July 2007, there was still no 3i-produced power in Marinduque. By this time a new administration under Gov. Carrion won the election in May 2007, ran the capitol, while the older Reyes sat as Marinduque congress representative.

On 3i’s failure to deliver, 3i vice-president Lagundi reasoned thus: “Ang nangyari.... ay ang pagkakaantala ng pagpapalabas ng loan mula sa mga imbestor dahil sa nararanasang global financial crisis…" (Aug.11, 2008, SP)

One year later, 2009:

“Marelco general manager, Eduardo Bueno said: “Hindi naging makatotohanan ang 3I Powergen, hindi sila nakapag deliver. Iyang 12.48 na iyan kung saan itatayo ang power plant sa Balogo Sta. Cruz. Kung sino man po ang taga Sta. Cruz kung mapapasyal kayo doon makikita natin ay puro hukay. Hinukay nila noong October 2006. Hanggang ngayon po hindi ko alam ang kanilang natapos doon sa proyekto na iyon.” (Jul 6, 2009, SP)

Board member Eleuterio Raza, Jr. said, on the other hand: “...noong pinatawag po natin ang (vice) president ng 3I Powergen si Atty. Domingo Lagundi... he admitted in the session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan that they are financially incapable to construct the facilities in compliance with the requirements of the obligation. In my view that would send a signal for Marelco’s board to finally decide to rescind or not to rescind the contract...” (July 6, 2009)

Board member Jose Alvarez: “...sinasabi na ni Atty. Lagundi na wala po talaga silang kakayahan at halos magmakaawa at umiyak dito. Actually ang nangyari po parang nag-speculate lang sila na may papasok. Iyon naman po ay practice na tinatanggap natin dahil meron naman silang kaugnayan sa ibat-iba pang mga negosyante subalit hindi katanggap-tanggap iyong katagalan ng proseso.” (July 6, 2009)

SP board member Querubin talked of conspiracy and economic sabotage: “...maaring may sabwatan sa pagitan ng Marelco at 3i Powergen dahil sa kabila ng katotohanan na walang kapasidad ang huli na magsuplay ng kuryente patuloy pa rin ang kontrata... kaya maituturing na economic sabotage ang ginagawa ng Marelco at 3i Powergen dahil apektado ang ekonomiya ng lalawigan”. (Sept. 30,2009)

Note: For details and comments of the original article, read Marinduque Rising, dated August 11, 2011 (www.marinduquegov.blogspot.com). The above article reminds me of my favorite motivational poster as follows: ( image from motifake.com)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pilipinas Got Talent TV Show Winner M Pomoy

Do you watch America Got Talent TV Show on NBC? If you do and like it, you should also watch the Philippines spin off of the show called Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT).
This years winner is Marcelito Pomoy, a 25 year-old singer who can sing in a woman's voice as well as his regular voice. What a talented dual voice singer. He deserves to win this years prize. Here's his rendition of My Prayer. What a talent, indeed!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Have You Read a Good Book Recently?

An Excellent Book that I Have read recently.

I have read some parts of the draft of this book and heard/witnessed in person portions of Dr Shetty life and achievements, but it was only the other day, that I was able to purchase the published book. It is an inspiring story, typical of a rags to riches story, but it is different because I know this scientist personally and had supervise his work as a Review Chemist in FDA. The book is titled, "World as Seen Under the Lens of A Scientist". Here's a press release and summary of the book published in March 2009 by Xlibris.

Press Release: Witness This Enduring True Story of Redemption and Change!

"Long before he arrived in America, Dr. B. Vithal Shetty experienced racial arrogance and discrimination. Even though he got admitted to the University of Pennsylvania, he had trouble finding a place to live and decency as white people disrespected him for his ethnicity. Along the way, he made constant adjustments in order to move his life forward while striving to earn respect through his close friendship with African Americans. Eventually, the author finally achieved redemption when he became an internationally renowned drug discovery sterling scientist. An engaging look back at Dr. Shetty's life begins with the release of his new book World As Seen Under the Lens of A Scientist: Negro Zero To American Hero Who Changed United States From American Hypocrisy To Greatest Democracy. Find out this unusual, bold, exciting, forthright, factual and fascinating story and critical analysis of the subject matters under the scientific lenses of Dr. B. Vithal Shetty.


The text covers Dr. Shetty's own life time personal experiences both in the United States and in India. Through his thorough investigation and penetration into various aspects of American and Indian democracy, freedom, religion and abuse and misuse of human decency and conflict of interest, readers will learn how he has touched the nerve center of functioning of civil rights, religious rights, gun ownership, single motherhood, caste barrier and discrimination. The contribution of America as the leading nation to awaken the conscious of the world to democratic rights and principles of people everywhere, contribution of ancient civilization of India in every aspects of human development including science, medicine, art, mathematics and modern computer technology by Indian Americans, had been highlighted in this outstanding, outspoken, and inspiring book under the lens of an internationally renowned sterling scientist".

For more information, please visit Xlibris.com or call (888) 795-4274 today.

About the Author

Dr. B. Vithal Shetty was born in Bola Village, a poor Indian village in South Kanara, Karnataka State, India. He grew up as one of the ten members of sisters and brothers in a joint family without much schooling. Because of hardship and difficulties as he was made to graze animals and plough fields, he ran away to Mumbai when he was only about eight years old. Here, he stayed with an old man in a cardboard filthy mud floor hut under a bridge among other poverty stricken people while polishing shoes for a living. Latter, he worked in a run down restaurant washing pots and dishes. Because of his burning ambition to improve himself, he attended a night school while working in the restaurant and learned 3Rs. As he made good progress, his sister and her husband helped him to go to day school, pass Mumbai University high school examination and to go to United States for higher education. He left India for the United States in 1948.

World As Seen Under the Lens of A Scientist * by Dr. B. Vithal Shetty
Negro Zero To American Hero Who Changed United States From American
Hypocrisy To Greatest Democracy
Publication Date: March 23, 2009
Trade Paperback; $23.99; 549 pages; 978-1-4415-0471-5
Cloth Hardback; $34.99; 549 pages; 978-1-4415-0472-2

For more information, contact Xlibris at (888) 795-4274 or on the web at www.Xlibris.com.

Note: Dr Shetty was one of the six chemistry reviewers under my supervision when I was still working for FDA. The proceeds of this book will support a Foundation he had started in the place of his birth in India.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cure For Aids? Dr Vithal Shetty-Former FDA Colleague

Image from blogs.forbes.com

Dr. Vithal Shetty, author of the book " World as Seen Under the Lens of a Scientist" was one of the Chemistry Reviewers under my supervision during my employment with FDA from 1990 to 2002. Dr Shetty is also the discoverer of Metolazone. He is also currently working on drugs for the cure for Aids. I wrote a brief article on Dr. Shetty accomplishements titled "Chemistry Reviewer Still in the Lab" when he was still under my supervision as a chemistry reviewer. It was published in News Along the Pike, an FDA Newsletter before my retirement in 2002. Dr. Shetty's autobiography is an inspiring one. He came from the slums of Mumbai, India and encountered discrimination in 1950's in the US. Today he is an accomplished scientist in the United States with more than 200 patents in his name.

Dr Shetty was interviewed by an Indian-American TV network in 2009 about his life and it is shown in Part 1 and 2 of the following video.

Metolazone is a thiazide-like diuretic marketed under the brand names Zytanix from Zydus Cadila, Zaroxolyn, and Mykrox. It is primarily used to treat congestive heart failure and high blood pressure. Metolazone indirectly decreases the amount of water reabsorbed into the bloodstream by the kidney, so that blood volume decreases and urine volume increases. This lowers blood pressure and prevents excess fluid accumulation in heart failure. Metolazone is sometimes used together with loop diuretics such as furosemide or bumetanide, but these highly effective combinations can lead to dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities.

Metolazone was developed in the 1970s. Its creator, Indian born chemist Dr. Bola Vithal Shetty has been active in helping the U.S. Food and Drug Administration review drug applications, and in the development of new medicines. Reference: Katague, David B. "Chemistry Reviewer Still in Lab". News Along the Pike (newsletter of the Food and Drug Administration' s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research). Volume 2, Issue 10. Accessed on January 25, 2006.

Dr Shetty is also doing research currently on Aids. The following news from CBS reminded me of Dr. Shetty's work. Here's the recent News from CBS on the first man cured functionally from the Aids Virus.

June 5, 2011: Thirty years ago from Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control issued the first report on the emerging AIDS epidemic. Now, after years of progress in holding back the disease, there is finally an apparent case of one successful cure.

CBS News correspondent Hank Plante, with San Francisco affiliate KCBS, reports that 45-year-old Timothy Ray Brown, now living in the Bay Area, tested positive for HIV back in 1995, but now has entered the scientific journals as the first man in world history to have his HIV completely eliminated from his body. It's what doctors call a "functional cure."

He was living in Berlin, Germany, in 2007, dealing with HIV and leukemia, when scientists there gave him a bone marrow, stem cell transplant that had astounding results. "I quit taking my HIV medication on the day that I got the transplant and haven't had to take any since," Brown says, adding that his diseases are effectively gone.

In fact, his only medical problem these days is one involving his speech and motor skills because of neurological damage after the treatment, but that's getting better. "The Berlin Patient," as Brown is known, received stem cells from a donor who was immune to HIV. In fact, about one percent of Caucasians are immune to HIV. Some say it goes back to the Great Plague; People who survived the plague developed an immunity, and that immunity was passed down to their heirs today.

Brown says being the first man to be cured of HIV makes him very, very happy.
Needless to say, Brown is now being monitored by doctors at San Francisco General Hospital and here at UCSF, where we sought out a medical opinion from one of the most respected AIDS researchers in the world, Dr. Jay Levy, who was one of the co-discoverers of the HIV virus.

"If you're able to take the white cells from someone and manipulate them so they're no longer infectable by HIV, and those white cells become the whole immune system of that individual, you've got essentially what we call a functional cure," Dr. Levy says. We also sought out a medical opinion from Dr. Paul Volberding, another pioneering AIDS expert, who has studied the disease for all of its 30 years.

"One element of his treatment, and we don't know which, allowed apparently the virus to be purged from his body. So its going to be an interesting, I think, productive area to study," Dr. Volderding says. "He hasn't had any recurrence now for several years I think of the virus, and that hasn't happened before in our experience."

Timothy Brown's radical procedure may not be applicable to many other people with HIV, because of the difficulty in doing stem cell transplants, and finding the right donor. But this one case does open the door to the field of "cure research," which is now gaining more attention.

"I'm cured of HIV," Brown says. "I had HIV, but I don't anymore."

Those are words that so many in the scientific community are now cautiously clinging to.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Another Style of Scam Letter I Received Recently

Image from hoax-slayer.com

Recently, I received another e-mail from a person that I know. He is a member of MI, Inc ( Marinduque International, Inc.)-a non for profit organization that Macrine and I supports. Six months ago, I received a similar letter from Barcelona, Spain from a member of PAASE ( Philippine-American Academy of Science & Engineering) that I also know personally. The first time I received this e-mail from the PAASE member, I immediately called this person to verify. She said, she never send the letter, so I was assured it was a Scam.

Please note, that I have also posted several styles of scam letters in this blog (from Nigeria, Africa), just in case you have not read it. Readers, beware again of scam letters. In my recent posting, I posted an example of phishing letters that I have also received recently. Here's the latest scam letter from my e-mail.

"I'm sorry for this odd request because it might get to you too urgent but it's because of the situation of things right now, I'm stuck in Madrid, Spain with Family right now, we came down here on vacation we were robbed, the situation seems worse as bags,cash ,credit cards and cell phone were stolen at GUN POINT, It's such a crazy experience for us, we need help flying back home, the authorities ere not being 100% supportive but the good thing is that we still have our passport but don't have enough money to get our flight ticket back home, please i need you to loan me some money, I will reimburse you right as soon as I'm back home. I promise.

All we need is 2,300 euros but anything you can spare right now will be appreciated and I promise to refund it to you as soon as I arrive back home safely, I give you my word. You can get it to me through western union, Please get back to me so that i can give you my details to send the money to".

Thank you
Name of a Person that you know
This person is a member of an organization that you belong or may be a Relative

Note: A few hours after, I received the above letter, the daughter of the person who was supposed to be in trouble, sent an e-mail, that her DAD is ok, insuring me that indeed the above letter is a SCAM.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Time for Some Music-Grand Daughter Favorite Song

Currently, My grand daughter favorite songs are all the songs from the Glee TV show.
When she was 4 years old her favorite songs are all the Disney songs from the movies. This one she sang at our 50th wedding reception program, which she dedicated to us. She is now 8 years old and will be in 3rd Grade this Fall. So every time I hear this song, It reminds me of our Golden Wedding Anniversary at Chateau Du Mer, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Latest News on Thunder Valley Casino, Lincoln, California

Last week was our lucky day at the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln. Can you believe that I won $450 dollars in a penny slot machine with a minimum bet of 0.30 cents. The slot machine maximum bet was $3.00, but I have never or will never bet maximum on a slot machine. My wife and I go to the Casino on a weekly basis as part of our entertainment and we follow strictly our budget. The highest bet that my wife and I do is only up to 0.60c per click. So when I won the above amount I was shock but very happy. After 5 hours of playing, I went home with a net win of $350. My wife also won $60 that day. We go to the Casino almost every week for dining and a little slot machine gambling (limited budget).

Here's the latest news on Thunder Valley Casino published by the Philippine Inquirer dated August 5, 2011.

Thunder Valley Casino Resort Awarded AAA Four Diamond Rating.

LINCOLN, California—Thunder Valley Casino Resort is honored to join the elite ranks of AAA Four Diamond award-winning resort destinations. After a thorough evaluation of the luxury hotel and resort, Thunder Valley is the only AAA Four Diamond casino resort in the Sacramento region.

“We are very pleased with the results of the AAA evaluation,” said C.J. Graham, General Manager of Thunder Valley Casino Resort. “It’s a very rigorous process and achieving a Four Diamond rating is a testament to Thunder Valley’s status as a truly world-class resort.”

Establishments eligible for a Diamond rating undergo a meticulous evaluation including unscheduled evaluations by anonymous AAA professional inspectors. AAA is one of only two rating entities to conduct physical, on-site evaluations making it one of the most thorough rating systems in the United States. To achieve a Four Diamond rating an establishment must offer an extensive array of amenities combined with a high degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail. Four Diamond properties are upscale and progressively more refined and stylish. Of the 59,000 properties that are AAA/CAA-approved and diamond rated, just 3.6 percent have attained a Four Diamond rating.

The 297-room, 17-story hotel provides Sacramento’s only Four Diamond casino accommodations. Thunder Valley’s luxury hotel features 4 Beaujolais suites offering every amenity from a dry/wet sauna and ceiling-filled jetted bathtub to pool table, personal exercise room, dining room, and massage suite options. Every room at Thunder Valley features wireless Internet, VoIP phones, flat screen TVs, desktop work areas, 320-thread count sheets, down blankets and pillows, and European spa/showers.

Guests at Thunder Valley can also enjoy the 12,000 square-foot 24-hour health club and spa offering facials, massage therapy, pedicures, manicures and the signature 24-karat gold leaf facial. Just outside of the luxury hotel, guests can relax at the pool and hot tub surrounded by 10 private cabanas and the Coconut poolside bar.

“Receiving the Four Diamond rating is a tremendous honor,” said Kevin Thorstenson, Vice President of Hotel Operation at Thunder Valley. “It is a validation of our team members’ hard work and our efforts to provide each Thunder Valley guest with a VIP experience.”

Thunder Valley Casino Resort was opened by the United Auburn Indian Community in June 2003. The newly remodeled and expanded entertainment, dining and hotel resort is Northern California’s first casino offering all the elements of real Las Vegas-style gaming: service, cuisine and entertainment in an outstanding facility.

Located 30 miles east of Sacramento, Thunder Valley Casino Resort offers 200,000 square feet of gaming space including over 2,800 slot and video machines, 125 table games and a live poker room with space for 160 players. There are 14 restaurants and bars highlighted by the new High Steaks Steakhouse; Koi Palace; a 500-seat Feast Around The World Buffet and Thunder Café as well as Mingle Bar, Falls Bar, Thunder Bar and High Steaks Bar. Also on property is a new 3,700-space parking structure that leads directly into the casino and hotel.

The recent expansion of Thunder Valley Casino Resort includes a new luxury, 17-story hotel with 297 rooms including 40 suites. Inside the hotel is a 10,000 square-foot banquet and entertainment hall, meeting rooms, bars and a gift shop. The hotel has an expansive pool that includes private cabanas and Coconut, a poolside bar. The Spa at Thunder Valley will feature a wide variety of treatments including the exclusive 24-karat gold leaf facial. The expansion was completed in July 2010".

Note: The other Casino that my wife and I patronized (buffet and slots machines) once in a while is the Red Hawk Casino in Placerville. Both Casinos are within 30 minutes driving time from our residence.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Beware of Phishing E-mails

Image from cyberesq.wordpress.com

This week, I received two e-mails that appeared like phishing. What is Phishing?

Phishing is a way of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. This is similar to Fishing, where the fisherman puts a bait at the hook, thus, pretending to be a genuine food for fish. But the hook inside it takes the complete fish out of the lake. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public.

Phishing is typically carried out by e-mail spoofing or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one. Phishing is an example of social engineering techniques used to deceive users, and exploits the poor usability of current web security technologies. Attempts to deal with the growing number of reported phishing incidents include legislation, user training, public awareness, and technical security measures.

1. First Letter:

Dear User,

Your UnionBank online account security is inactive,

but first you have to confirm your registration.
Click here to confirm your registration!

Privacy Department.
UnionBank of the Philippines

2. Second Letter

Dear Email Bearer;

We are upgrading our Email system to enable us reduce the occurrence of spam . You are to click on the Link below to Upgrade your Email.


Louis J Kern
Web Administrator

Note: Once you click on the link above, they will have information on your e-mail account. Last month I also received notification that my e-mail account is full and needed to be upgraded. When I looked at my e-mail usage, It shows only about 5% of the space allotted to me by my server. I know it was a phishing letter. I deleted it so I can not print it for your information verbatim. Anyway beware of phishers.

An email from Union Bank warning me about Phishing.

Dear Union Bank Client,

As an Internet user, you should know about phishing emails. They can appear to be from a well-known company but may put you at risk.

A phishing email generally asks you to click a link in the email and provide, update or confirm sensitive personal information. It may refer to a supposedly urgent or threatening condition concerning your account.

Please note that UnionBank will never send you an email asking for your personal information. You should NOT respond to such email or reveal your PIN or PASSWORD to anyone. Also, Do NOT visit the phishing site, as it is likely to contain a virus or otherwise compromise your confidential information.
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