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, October 31, 2012

The Oblation Run and Statue-University of the Philippines



The Oblation Run, UPLB( photo from photobucket.com)

The two pictures above are the "OBLATION RUN", an annual activity that had been attracting nationwide visitors and the press in UP. There was no Oblation Run during my college years. The photo is from the web, by photobucket.com (pinoyblogosphere).
The first photo was in the Diliman campus. The second photo was the run in the Los Banos Campus,in 2004. Here's a video of the 2011 Run.

* Historical Notes about the Oblation Run from Wikipedia

The Oblation Run is an annual tradition of the members of the Alpha Phi Omega, one of the prominent U.P. fraternities. Members of the fraternity run around the campus naked (a concept known as streaking) to protest their sentiments about a current political or economic situation. The run started in 1977 to protest the banning of the movie, “Hubad na Bayani,” which depicted human rights abuses in the martial law era.

Contrary to popular belief, neophytes are forbidden to run. "All those who run are full-fledged members who have volunteered" are allowed to run, explains Ojie Santillan, the fraternity's Auxiliary Chancellor. "There is a misconception that the Oblation Run is something our neophytes have to undergo as part of their initiation. That’s not true. We never allow our applicants to join.(the Oblation Run)" Today, the Oblation Run is held on or about December 16th, in honor of the international founding of Alpha Phi Omega.

"The Great Centennial Run"
Exactly, on UP's 100th anniversary day, and in the “UP Oblation Run," 100 UP-based Alpha Phi Omega (APO) Fraternity and several UP alumni on June 18, at 11:00 a.m., ran naked along the University of the Philippines (UP) campus to commemorate the centennial anniversary. They sprinted from the Vinzon’s Hall and stopped at Palma Hall, for short photo opportunity. Jejomar Binay, alumnus and former prime chancellor of APO fraternity led the event. Runners called "Scholars of the People" carried placards, "Serve the People," to petition for the state subsidies to their education.

The History of the Sculpture from Wikpedia:

The idea for the Oblation was first conceived during presidency of Rafael Palma, who was the one to commission Tolentino to make the sculpture. Palma requested that the statue would be based on the second verse of Jose Rizal's Mi Ultimo Adios;

"In fields of battle, deliriously fighting,
Others give you their lives, without doubt, without regret;
Where there’s cypress, laurel or lily,
On a plank or open field, in combat or cruel martyrdom,
If the home or country asks, it's all the same--it matters not".

The concrete sculpture painted to look like bronze, measures 3.5 meters in height, symbolizing the 350 years of Spanish rule in the Philippines. The sculpture is replete with references of selfless dedication and service to the nation, and as Tolentino himself describes it;

"The completely nude figure of a young man with outstretched arms and open hands, with tilted head, closed eyes and parted lips murmuring a prayer, with breast forward in the act of offering himself, is my interpretation of that sublime stanza. It symbolizes all the unknown heroes who fell during the night. The statue stands on a rustic base, a stylized rugged shape of the Philippine archipelago, lined with big and small hard rocks, each of which represents an island. The “katakataka” (wonder plant) whose roots are tightly implanted on Philippine soil, is the link that binds the symbolized figure to the allegorical Philippine Group. “Katakataka” is really a wonder plant. It is called siempre vivo (always alive) in Spanish. A leaf or a piece of it thrown anywhere will sprout into a young plant. Hence, it symbolizes the deep-rooted patriotism in the heart of our heroes. Such patriotism continually and forever grows anywhere in the Philippines".

Originally, the statue was completely naked, but, as morality was prevailing at that time, it was modified by former U.P. President Jorge Bocobo with the addition of a fig leaf to cover the genitals. The sculpture was funded by the UP students of 1935-1936, and was presided by Potenciano Illusorio and Jose B. Laurel, Jr., presidents of the student council during the first and second semester respectively and was dedicated on March 1939 at the University's Manila campus where it stayed until February 1949, when the main administrative offices of the university moved to the new Diliman campus in Quezon City. The transfer of the Oblation to its new home served as the highlight of the move from Manila, which is historically referred to as the Exodus. The sculpture in front of the Quezon Hall at Diliman was installed facing west, purportedly a tribute to the American roots of the university. Today, that sculpture is only a bronze replica (which was recast from the original in Italy, in 1950, under the supervision of Tolentino himself) dedicated on UP's Golden Jubilee on November 29, 1958. The original sculpture is being kept at the Main Library (Gonzalez Hall), the former site of the UP College of Fine Arts, where Tolentino taught.

Several replicas of the Oblation were made for campuses of the University of the Philippines, some by national artist, Napoleon Abueva. 2005 national artist nominee Glenn Bautista,likewise, did his celebrated version of the Oblation in pen and ink as part of his school plates at the UP College of Fine Art under Professor Rebilion. The sculpture was registered at the Intellectual Property Office in the year 2004. Being the main symbol of the university, the Oblation is the centerpiece of many UP-related logos, like those of the Philippine Collegian and other student publications, the UP Cooperative, and the UP centennial emblem.

No comments: Links to this post

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

University of the Philippines Lantern Parade and the Oblation Run

Preparing for the Lantern Parade just after the Oblation Run, UP, Diliman, Q.C., Philippines

I am a University of the Philippines(UP)alumnus and the annual Lantern Parade in UP Diliman, Quezon City is one event in my college student days that I will always remember. The Oblation Run that preceded the Lantern Parade was not celebrated during my student days. The run was a fairly recent event in the student life in UP Diliman. The run is as popular as the Lantern Parade in Metro Manila and vicinity. For more photos, videos and detailed discussion of the Oblation Run, visit http://davidbkatague.blogspot.com Chapter 4, dated 12/16/11

The following video attracted my attention and it reminded me of my student days in Diliman in the early 1950's. The U.P. Lantern Parade is a parade of large lantern-floats around the oval of the main campus of the University of the Philippines (U.P.), the Diliman campus. The first parade was held in 1922 but it was institutionalized as a university celebration in 1934 by then UP President Jorge Bocobo. This annual U.P. tradition and competition takes place on the late afternoon of the last day of classes before the Christmas break, just a few hours after the Oblation Run.

The UP lantern parade attracts crowds of people from all over Metro Manila. Each U.P. unit and college creates a lantern-float on a given theme and presents a brief program to accompany the presentation of the lantern before the judges and audience gathered at the administration hall. An Over-All Best Lantern Grand Prize is awarded, along with "Judges' Choice" and "Most Resourceful." Cash prizes are given to the winners.

Having for many years swept up all the prizes, since 1929 to 1989, the College of Fine Arts (CFA) no longer joins the University competition. Instead, groups of fine arts students try to outdo each other in creating lanterns on the theme assigned by the CFA. The parade of the fine arts follows the main lantern parade and promises to provide the most attractive and creative floats in the parade. In 2004, for example, the college floats and lanterns featured Filipino folklore and mythological creatures like the tikbalang, kapre, and nuno sa punso. In celebration of its centennial, their lanterns in 2007 paid tribute to National Artists for the Arts. THE PARADE IS CONCLUDED WITH FIREWORKS DISPLAY. Reference: WikiPilipinas.com

Please note that I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from UP in 1955. The next year I passed the Chemistry Board Examination coping 3rd place nationwide. For the last 30 years, prior to my retirement from FDA in 2002, I have been also active with activities of the UP Alumni Association here in US both in Maryland and Northern California.

No comments: Links to this post

Monday, October 29, 2012

Can Romney win the Battleground States?



The undecided voters will be responsible for the election of our new president this coming November 6 from the three battleground states of Ohio, Virginia and Florida. That is my prediction. My wife and I have already voted. We voted Romney this year. Last 2008 we voted for Obama. My son has not decided. He said if the price of gas goes below $3.49 per gallon, he will vote for Obama. My other two kids are die hard Democrats and no amount of electioneering could change their mind. My next door neighbor is another undecided voter. He said he will decide the day before the election. This article below is the latest news on the Election about California this coming November 6.

The Christianpost.com reported on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 that President Barack Obama is “losing a big chunk of support he saw in the 2008 election” in California, a traditionally blue state with the most electoral college votes(55). If this trend continues until election day, we might have to say, bye, bye Barack!

President Obama still holds the lead with a 14-point edge over Republican candidate Mitt Romney, but the margin is shrinking, and is not nearly as great as it was four years ago when Obama won California with a 24-point victory.

President Obama has also seen a decline in support in New Jersey, which has 15 electoral college votes. Barack Obama has a 10-point lead over Romney in the Garden State, which is 6-points lower than the margin of victory Obama had in New Jersey in 2008.

Gallup’s daily tracking poll shows registered voters as split between the two presidential candidates, each with 48% of the vote. Among likely voters, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has the edge, receiving 51% of the vote to President Obama’s 46%. Barack Obama’s approval rating has also dropped, 3 full percentage points, to 48%.

With only eight days left until the presidential election, 24% of undecided voters who watched the third and final presidential debate are more likely to vote for Barack Obama, 25% of undecided voters are more likely to vote for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

270 electoral votes is needed to win 2012 presidential election. But there is a chance both candidates can have 269 each (a tie). In this happens, the president will be elected by the delegates in the House of Representatives which will favor Romney. The Vice President however will be elected by the House of Senate and Biden is favored to win this. Thus a Romney-Biden win is not impossible. This is the beauty of the US Election. Compared to the Philippines where the winner is by popular votes, there is a possibility that on Novemebr 6, Romney may have more popular votes, but Obama gets reelected because he has garnered 270 electoral votes or even more. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Exercise your right and responsibility by voting.

No comments: Links to this post

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Marinduque Zip Line in Bunganay, Boac



There's a new attraction for young tourists to do in Marinduque. The recently completed resort ( Freedom Park) in Bunganay, Boac, Philippines with a Zipline is now in operation. The video below illustrates the mesmerizing views from the Hill to the sea front.

Barangay Bunganay is just next door to Barangay Amoingon where the Chateau Du Mer Beach resort is located. If you are from Marinduque, have you done the zip line and how much does it cost? Your response will be appreciated.

No comments: Links to this post

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Butchart Gardens, Victoria, B.C.-Photo Memories



My wife and I visited the Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in the summer of 2005. Below are some of the photos we took of our visit.



The Butchart Gardens is one of the world's premier floral show gardens. Jennie Butchart began to shape this magnificent landscape in 1904. She established, in the style of the grand estates of the period, several distinct gardens to evoke a range of aesthetic experiences. An abandoned limestone quarry was transformed into the dramatic Sunken Garden, a reflection of the early 20th-century beautification movement and an exceptional achievement in Canadian gardening history. Through successive generations of the Butchart family, The Gardens has retained much of its original design, and continues the Victorian tradition of seasonally changing the outstanding floral displays.

No comments: Links to this post

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pepper Steak in Oyster Sauce for Dinner



Yesterday, I wrote that my wife cooked one of my favorite dish- the Dungeness Crab Omelet. In that article, I forgot to mention that when I was growing up in the Philippines that dish was one of the Katague's clan special dish. My mother used to instruct our maids to prepare the dish during our town fiesta and on special family occasion. Along with that dish, we will have lechon ( roasted baby pig), lumpia( egg rolls) and pancit( rice and egg noodles). My mother named the crab omelet, Torta de Cangreo. The crab meat is either from the big fresh-water hard-shell Philippine crabs( alimango) or from the medium sized crabs (alimasag) harvested from the sea near our residence.

I received numerous positive response on my posting on the Dungeness Crab Omelet. Tonight we had pepper steak since my grand daughter and her Mom are visiting us. Below is my wife's recipe of the pepper steak for your information.

Pepper Steak in Oyster Sauce

1 lb boneless rib eye or sirloin steak, 2 green peppers, 1 yellow pepper, 1 red pepper, ¼ lb baby carrots, 1 white sweet Onion (Vidalia),1/4 cup oyster sauce, and dash of garlic salt

Slice the steak ( paper thin) to about 1 to 1.5 inches long. Marinate the sliced steak in ¼ cup of oyster sauce for at least one hour. During this period, slice the peppers to finger size about 2 inches long, and also the sweet onion. Cut baby carrots into half.

Sauteed the steak in 1/4 cup of oyster sauce using a WOK, until the meat is brown or cooked. Add the peppers, onions and carrots and mix. Cover the WOK and simmer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes shut of the heat and add a dash of garlic salt and mixed. Let the dish set in the hot wok until the peppers are half cooked or at least is still crunchy.( Do not overcooked the green peppers). Served the dish with steam rice. Bon Appetit, I hope!

No comments: Links to this post

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What Did I do to Deserve this Treat?

What Did I do Right to Deserve This Treat?

Last night my wife prepared my favorite dish, normally served only on special occasion. It is the Dungeness Crab Omelet with shredded cabbage and sweet Vidalia Onions from Hawaii. Today is not my birthday or some other special occasion. But I was surprise my wife serve me a Dungeness Crab Omelet The dish was delicious.

The last time I tasted this dish was last year, but the crab was from the Maryland crabs known also as the blue crabs. So, I asked my wife of 55 years what did I do to deserve this treat. She said nothing, it was just there was a sale of Dungeness crabs claw and legs and I just feel like cooking your favorite dish.

Preparing the dish is simple. The hardest part is to remove the crab meat from the claws and legs. The cabbage is shredded (1 bowl) and sauteed with the onions in olive oil until partially cooked. An equivalent amount of crab meat is added to the shredded cabbage and onions and cooked in olive oil until the cabbage is fully cooked . The crab and cabbage patty mix is added to beaten eggs with a small amount of corn starch. The patty is then fried in olive oil until the egg is cooked. The omelet is served with Picante Sauce (Hot or Mild) with steam rice.

My wife's other recipe is the use of cube potatoes or bean sprouts instead of the shredded cabbage. Try it and let me know if it is good. Be prepare to pay a high price for either shelled or unshelled Dungeness or Maryland Crabs meat. Crab meat here in US is not cheap, compared to the Philippines. During the Dungeness Crab season here in the West Coast, a pound of Dungeness crab will cost from $6.99 to $17.99 per pound. The average weight of one Dungeness crab is about 1.5 to 2.5 lbs.

Do you know the difference between the Dungeness and Maryland Crabs. The Maryland crabs, also known as blue crabs are much smaller in size and very similar to the Philippine crabs in appearance and taste. The Dungeness crabs are big and are caught here in the San Francisco Bay area and northward up to Alaska. The Maryland crabs are from the Chesapeake Bay of Northern Maryland and Virginia.

The Dungeness crab, Metacarcinus magister (formerly Cancer magister), is a species of crab that inhabits eelgrass beds and water bottoms on the west coast of North America. It typically grows to 20 cm (7.9 in) across the carapace and is a popular seafood. Its common name comes from the port of Dungeness, Washington. The crabs is a special attraction to tourists in the San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf during the Crab Season. The season for the San Francisco Bay starts in the second Tuesday of November.

No comments: Links to this post

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Have You Heard of the Philippines Ballet Company?



Not too many people have heard much of the Philippines Ballet Company. Unlike the Bayanihan dancers that are know over the world, the Philippines ballet dancers ( both male and female) are unknown to most. However, while browsing in the Internet, I came to see the following video. After watching the video, I believe this two Filipino dancers talent can be compared to other ballet dancers in US or even Russia. Watch the video and judge for yourself. Maniya Barredo as Juliet and Nonoy Froilan as Romeo. Balcony scene from the ballet Romeo & Juliet. Choreography by Tom Pazik. Performed at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, 2010

No comments: Links to this post

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Live Longer-Include the Following in Your Diet

Guayabano tree in my Garden

The following video lists 10 foods that is touted to increase your longetivity. Not in this list are three of my favorite items abundantly available in Marinduque. Number One is the avocado. I have an avocado tree in my yard that gives more than 100 kilos of fruits per year. Number Two is the guayabano tree, also known as sour sop tree. I have two trees in my garden at Chateau Du Mer in Boac, Marinduque. All parts of the guayabano tree has medicinal and high nutritional value. Last but not least is the malunggay trees in my backyard. The young leaves are place in soup ( fish or chicken). Malungay tree in my backyard

Malunggay leaves is claimed also to have medicinal properties, beside its nutritional value. It is very rich in iron and other minerals. The video below list 10 food items claimed to be good for you. Enjoy!

No comments: Links to this post

Monday, October 22, 2012

Be Proud of Your Filipino Ancestry!

Be Proud of Your Filipino Ancestry and Roots

When my kids were growing up in the 1970's my wife and I made it sure they know and be proud of their Filipino ancestry ,even though the Philippines is a foreign country to them. We told them that they should work twice as hard as their non-Filipino classmates in school and other activities to be successful. Thus we believe our four children who are now adults and have children of their own are well motivated citizens of the US and have achieved a fairly successful lives and career here in the US. We told them if you know your past you will have no problem seeing your future.

However, I have friends and relatives here in US who are ashamed of their Filipino roots and do not want to be associated with other Filipino Americans. They are not proud of their brown skin and scared to be associated with any thing Filipino or anything about the Philippines. They believe the Philippines is graft ridden, inferior and a third world country, thus they are not advertising their filipino roots. Some of them even deny it.

A good case in point is the recent news about Jessica Sanchez. Sanchez mother hailed from the Philippines and his father has Mexican ancestry. She grew up in San Diego and can not speak Tagalog. Sanchez came to the limelight when she was runner-up in the TV singing show, 2011 American Idol. Just recently the top ten winners of American Idol had just finished a tour in the Philippines.

There was some controversy that Sanchez should not be included in the Filipino Pride list, because she is not a Filipina and do not speak the local language. There was even a rumor, she does not recognized her Filipino-American roots even though her mother came from Bataan province. I believe she does not want to be categorized belonging to an ethnic group of either Filipino or Mexican. I do not know if this rumor is true, but if it is, I feel sorry for her and her mother who had not raised her to be proud of her Filipino ancestry.

Another example is my cousin-in-law. She is a Caucasian woman with English and Irish ancestry. She married my cousin who is a first generation Filipino-American. When my uncle celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in the Philippines, my cousin's wife refused to attend. She believe the Philippines is a jungle and infested with dengue fever causinng mosquitoes and very unsafe to travel. She even refused permission for their four children to travel with my cousin to attend his parents 50th wedding anniversary.

When I informed her that the Manila-Makati area is as modern and traffic congested as Los Angeles or New York City, she just give me a look of disbelief. I told her that the travel advisory is only for southwestern Mindanao. This is an example of the saying that Discrimination is the cause of Ignorance. This was about five years ago, so I hope her pre-conceived idea of the Philippines has changed for the better today.

So, my dear Filipino-Americans whether you are a second, third or fourth generation Filipino-American be proud of your Filipino heritage. The Philippines is not that bad, in spite of its oligarchy, graft and corruption, election dominated by Family Dynasty and almost 20% of it youth are working overseas. The Philippines has beautiful beaches, affordable standard of living and very peaceful and relaxing place for retirement or build your second home in the tropics. It is populated by hospitable people, its women beautiful and all foreigners are generally welcome.

No comments: Links to this post

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Marinduque's Underground River and Cave

Have you been to the San Isidro Cave and Subterranian River in Santa Cruz Marinduque? In 2009 this eco tourism spot was discovered. The first video was taken at that time and the second video in this posting taken just recently. Enjoy these videos. This is one tourism spot in Marinduque that should be developed and at the same time protected and preserved. From marinduque.gov blog

The first underground river to have been found in Marinduque was recently discovered by a team led by provincial tourism officers. This find, together with the development of existing sites unique to the island, augurs well for combined LGU efforts under Gov. Bong Carrion to promote the island-province as an eco-tourism destination in the region - the San Isidro Cave and Subterranean River, Sta. Cruz, Marinduque, Philippines. Village leaders in San Isidro now bent on carefully preserving the site.

Posted on April, 2012

No comments: Links to this post

Saturday, October 20, 2012

California is Obama's Dream



I received the following in my E-mail today. Since I live in California, I am indeed concern. This was written by Roger Hedgecock - former mayor of San Diego

I live in California. If you were wondering what living in Obama's second term would be like, wonder no longer. We in California are living there now.

California is a one-party state dominated by a virulent Democrat Left enabled by a complicit media where every agency of local, county, and state government is run by and for the public employee unions. The unemployment rate is 12%.

California has more folks on food stamps than any other state, has added so many benefits and higher rates to Medicaid that we call it "Medi-Cal." Our K-12 schools have more administrators than teachers, with smaller classes but lower test scores and higher dropout rates with twice the per-student budget of 15 years ago. Good job, Brownie.

This week, the once and current Gov. Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown had to confess that the "balanced" state budget adopted five months ago was billions in the red because actual tax revenues were billions lower than the airy-fairy revenue estimates on which the balance was predicated.

After trimming legislators' perks and reducing the number of cell phones provided to state civil servants, the governor intoned that drastic budget reductions had already hollowed out state programs for the needy, law enforcement and our school children. California government needed more money.

Echoing the Occupy movement, the governor proclaimed the rich must pay their fair share. Fair share? Consider this: The top 1% of California income earners already pay 50% of the state's total income tax. California has seven income tax brackets. The top income tax rate is 9.3%, which is slapped on the greedy rich earning at least $47,056 a year. Income of more than $1 million pays the "millionaires' and billionaires'" surcharge tax rate of 10.3%. Brown's proposal would add 2% for income over $250,000 . A million-dollar income would then be taxed at 12.3%. And that's just for the state. >br />
Brown also proposed a one-half-cent sales tax increase, which would bring sales taxes (which vary by county) up from 7.75% to as much as 10%. Both tax increases would be on the ballot in 2012. The sales tax increase proposal immediately brought howls of protest from the Left (of Brown!). Charlie Eaton, a sociology grad student at UC Berkeley and leader of the UC Student-Workers Union, said, "We've paid enough. It's time for millionaires to pay." Go figure.

At least five other ballot measures to raise taxes are circulating for signatures to get on the 2012 ballot in California . The governor's proposals are the most conservative.

The Obama way doesn't end with taxes.

The governor and the state legislature continue to applaud the efforts of the California High Speed Rail Authority to build a train connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco . Even though the budget is three times the voter-approved amount and the first segment will only connect two small towns in the agricultural Central Valley . But hey, if we build it, they will ride. And we don't want to turn down the Obama bullet-train bucks that Florida and other states rejected because the operating costs would bankrupt them. Can't happen here because we're already insolvent! If we get into real trouble with the train, we'll just bring in the Chinese. It worked with the Bay Bridge reconstruction. After the 1989 earthquake, the bridge connecting Oakland and San Francisco was rebuilt with steel made in China. Workers from China too. Paid for with money borrowed from China.Makes perfect sense.

In California , we hate the evil, greedy rich (except the rich in Hollywood, in sports, and in drug dealing). But we love people who have broken into California to eat the bounty created by the productive rich. Illegals get benefits from various generous welfare programs, free medical care, and free schools for their kids, including meals, and of course, instate tuition rates and scholarships too. Nothing's too good for our guests. To erase even a hint of criticism of illegal immigration, the California Legislature is considering a unilateral state amnesty. Democrat State Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes has proposed an initiative that would bar deportation of illegals from California .

Interesting dilemma for Obama there. If immigration is exclusively a federal matter, and Obama has sued four states for trying to enforce federal immigration laws that he won't enforce, what will the President do to a California law that exempts California from federal immigration law?

California is also near fulfilling the environmentalist dream of deindustriali- zation. After driving out the old industrial base (auto and airplane assembly, for example), air and water regulators and tax policies are now driving out the high-tech, biotech and even Internet-based companies that were supposed to be California's future. The California cap-and-trade tax on business in the name of reducing CO2 makes our state the leader in wacky environmentalism and guarantees a further job exodus from the state. Even green energy companies can't do business in California . Solyndra went under, taking its taxpayer loan guarantee with it.

It's often said that whatever happens in California will soon happen in your state. You'd better hope that's wrong.

No comments: Links to this post

Friday, October 19, 2012

Romantic Music for Relaxation

Classical Music Composers



No comments: Links to this post

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Susan Boyle and Elaine Page Duet



If you have not heard of Susan Boyle, you must be living in another planet. The video and related videos highlights Susan Boyle rise to International fame. This one is a duet with Elaine Page, Susan's idol. Enjoy!



No comments: Links to this post

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Katague's Island Paradise-Marinduque, Philippines

Postard from Marinduque-Would this postcard not encourage sex tourism in the Philippines?

Marinduque-our second home was chosen by the Philippines Tourism Congress as the Island destination for 2013 just recently. This is indeed good news. If you have been following my blogs, I had indicated that seeing Marinduque become a tourist destination worldwide is one of my dreams and goals after my retirement. Thus, I have been blogging about Marinduque after my retirement in 2002. The article below is an article published by the Tourism Congress of the Philippines-a private organization.(www.philippinetourismcongress.com )Chateau Du Mer Sign from the Beach

"The Island of Marinduque is covered in a forest of green. An idyllic poster province for eco-tourism, Marinduque is an example how beautiful and scenic an island can be when it is not over developed. Rising from an environmental disaster of a mining accident, Marinduque is set to become a major tourist destination.

Marinduque is a safe and peaceful place. Traveling around Marinduque, one cannot miss the welcoming smile of its people. Getting lost is next to impossible as a helping hand is always nearby to guide you to your intended destination. The jails are almost empty for the lack of criminality in the island.

The circumferential coastal roads of the islands are cemented and well maintained, making going around the island pleasurable. The public transport consists mainly of jeepneys and tricycles but air-conditioned vans are available for hire.

Being a net producer of agricultural products, the prices of food in Marinduque is lower compared to the Luzon mainland. Cows, goats and chicken in considerable quantity can be seen in the fields all over the island. The wet markets are full of sea food in their freshest state".

Indeed, I am so delighted to read this news. It is more Fun in the Philippines! For more information about Marinduque, visit my blog at http://marinduqueawaitsyou.blogspot.com or at http://marinduquemyislandparadise.blogspot.com

No comments: Links to this post

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cebu Prisoners Did It Again-Dancing



Due to insistent public demand, the world renowned dancing inmates of Cebu finally had their own version of Psy's Gangnam Style music video. Their first video that went viral was their interpretation of Michael Jackson classic dance, the Moon Walk a couple of years ago.

Despite the heavy rain on September, 29, at least a thousand inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) entertained guests with their ecstatic adoption of the Guinness World Record holder for the "Most Liked in YouTube." Credits to Mark Anthony Bautista for taking the video. No comments: Links to this post

Monday, October 15, 2012

Where the Heck is Maniwaya Island?



A couple of days ago, I was reading on the development of Balesin Island Club Resort by a US based conglomerate headquartered in Miami, Florida. After reading the article, Maniwaya Island comes to my mind. The scenic beauty of Maniwaya Island is comparable if not better than Balesin Island. Moreover, the proximity of Maniwaya to Manila is a big plus for Maniwaya's future development. Marinduque tourist officials would like to claim that Maniwaya Island is the next Boracay without the night clubs and big crowds. I have a feeling that big resort developers will be wishing they have a chance to develop the island into a luxurious resort, once they see the island in person. This will only happened if our local government officials gave their support.

The status of being another Boracay without the night clubs has already been claimed by the developers of the Balesin Island Club Resort. Balesin Island is a 500 hectare island south of the Pollilo Island of Quezon province. A private and exclusive resort has just recently opened. Completion of the resort complex is expected to be finished by the end of this year.

Below is a video of Maniwaya Island from YouTube that attracted my attention.

Here's some tidbits from an article published in the local paper on Maniwaya Islands.

Freddie Pelaez, former village chair of Maniwaya, said the island got its name from the Filipino word maniwala (believe). According to old-timers, a story went that a visitor with a speech disorder was asked by locals about his impression of the island, and he replied, “Maganda. Maniwaya kayo sa akin (It’s beautiful. Believe me).”

Maniwaya has a land area of 264 hectares and a population of 1,900 or 370 households. The residents’ major sources of livelihood are fishing and farming, Pelaez said.

Local blogger Eli Obligacion in his blog site Marinduque Rising said nights could be creepy on the island with the “strangest bird sounds you’ll ever hear. But when the moon is full and the water is still, you might experience some state of freedom and enlightenment.”

“Maniwaya is still untouched by commercial developers so the bigger number of visitors just come by to spend the whole day swimming and exploring the shore—and maybe taste the bibingka (rice cake) or agar-agar seaweed jelly that the local inhabitants make,” he wrote.

No comments: Links to this post

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Escalating Gas Prices-A Sticker Shock



Today, I gas up in preparation for a trip about 30 miles from our residence for tomorrow. The price of regular gas in my favorite gas station was $4.45 per gallon, But I paid only $3.95 per gallon since I had a 0.50c/gallon discount coupon. This is the highest price I have paid for regular gasoline since we moved here in Norther California. Based on the published average price of regular gas as $4.63 per gallon in California, this is a good price. But I still have sticker shock, since today is the highest amount I have paid for a gallon of gas since 2002 when my family moved here in Northern California.

There is a daily data published in the AAA website listing gas prices of all grades of gas including diesel in the US, state by state. The data shows prices are cheaper in the South, but more expensive in the North East, California, Hawaii and Alaska. I am a Democrat, but I think I will vote Republican this November, if the gas prices continues to go up or remain the same. What do you think? Who is to blame for this ridiculous price of gasoline? The Democrats or the Republicans?

No comments: Links to this post

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Time for Ballet-The Swan Lake



I hope you like Ballet. If you do the following video of the Kirov Ballet will certainly tickle your fancy. If you are a ballet enthusiast, there is a new TV reality show called the Breaking Point at Hulu Internet site. It chronicled the ins and outs of the life of six ballet dancers for six weeks at the West Ballet Company, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.



In this production of the best loved classical ballet 'Swan Lake' the naturally gifted Yulia Makhalina dances the challenging role of Odette/Odile while the part of Prince Siegfried is danced by Igor Zelensky. This classic Kirov production includes the familiar happy ending in the final act where Siegfried fights and ultimately defeats the evil magician von Rothbart and at dawn is reunited with Odette.

No comments: Links to this post

Friday, October 12, 2012

Proud to Announce My Daughter's New Appointment

Ditas J Katague-my youngest daughter

Census Bureau Names Ditas Katague to National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today the establishment of the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations and has named Ditas Katague as a member of the committee.

The National Advisory Committee will advise the Census Bureau on a wide range of variables that affect the cost, accuracy and implementation of the Census Bureau’s programs and surveys, including the once-a-decade census. The committee, which is comprised of 31 members from multiple disciplines, will advise the Census Bureau on topics such as housing, children, youth, poverty, privacy, race and ethnicity, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other populations.

“We expect that the expertise of this committee will help us meet emerging challenges the Census Bureau faces in producing statistics about our diverse nation,” said Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau’s acting director. “By helping us better understand a variety of issues that affect statistical measurement, this committee will help ensure that the Census Bureau continues to provide relevant and timely statistics used by federal, state and local governments as well as business and industry in an increasingly technologically oriented society.”

The National Advisory Committee members, who serve at the discretion of the Census Bureau director, are chosen to serve based on expertise and knowledge of the cultural patterns, issues and/or statistical needs of hard-to-count populations.

Ditas Katague has more than 20 years of experience at federal, state and local government agencies. Currently, she is chief of staff to California Public Utilities Commissioner Catherine Sandoval. While in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, she served as California’s 2010 Census director as well as the 2000 Census chief deputy director — overseeing and directing the statewide outreach and coordination. She received her bachelor’s degree in social science and practice of art from University of California, Berkeley and her master’s of public administration in organization development and intergovernmental management from the University of Southern California's Sol Price School of Public Policy.

No comments: Links to this post

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Iloilo Province-My Place of Birth

Sunset and the Iloilo River Iloilo is a province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Iloilo occupies the southeast portion of Panay Island and is bordered by Antique Province to the west and Capiz Province and the Jintotolo Channel to the north. Just off Iloilo's southeast coast is Guimaras Province, once part of Iloilo Province but now a province in its own right. Across the Panay Gulf and Guimaras Strait is Negros Occidental. Iloilo's capital is Iloilo City though the city itself is independent and not governed by the provincial government of Iloilo.

I was born in Jaro, Iloilo a suburb of Iloilo City- the capital of the province. However, most of my childhood and teenager years I experienced in the small town of Barotac Viejo- about 60 Km North of Jaro. Barotac Viejo is my mothers ancestral town.

I have a separate article on Barotac Viejo posted in my blogs recently. This posting is about the province. As seen from the video above, the tourist potential of this province is beyond expectation. I hope you enjoyed the short video above. The next video is the Miagao Church-a world heritage UNESCO site.

I do not owned these videos and I apologize for its amateur video presentation

Miag-ao Church (also known as the Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva) in the town of Miagao, Iloilo is an Augustinian-built baroque church and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built between 1787 and 1797, its fortress-like design suggests its dual purpose as a place of worship and as a fort used in defending the town against moro raiders.

No comments: Links to this post

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sex and Dental Tourism in the Philippines

Photo Credit: msmagazine.com

How rampant and common is sex tourism in the Philippines? Based on reports and articles in the Internet, my conclusion is that it is very common. Last year the US Ambassador commented that 40% of US men who visits the Philippines have sex in their minds. He later apologized for his comments. A recent blog from a US visitor described how easy it is to get prostitutes in the former Clark Air Base site in Los Angeles, Pampanga. He said for around $10 to $50 (400 to 2000 thousand pesos), one can have a girl overnight. The amount varies from bars to bars. I have heard of similar stories of prostitution in Manila, Cebu and other big cities in the Philippines. There are women prostitutes, as well as male prostitutes. Child prostitution is sometimes in the news. The Philippines is a Catholic country and the subject of prostitution is taboo. But it is a reality of life!

Postcards like this encourage sex tourism in the islands.

The Philippines is not the only country in Asia known for the sex tourism. One country in my mind is Thailand. Other countries mentioned in the news for prostitution( adults and child) are Brazil, Dominican Republic and Columbia

Another popular activity in the Philippines is DENTAL tourism. My wife and I are beneficiaries of this activity. It is much much cheaper to have your dental work done in the Philippines compared here in US. My wife and I have been getting our dental work in Manila, since our dental insurance coverage here in US is very poor. This is however not true with our medical insurance coverage.

So if you hear of US men visiting the Philippines for sex, do not be surprise. They do not advertise it, but it is the reality of life. Income from sex tourism is one way of uplifting the economy of the country in addition to the billions of pesos remittances from the OFW ( Overseas Filipino Workers). Note that the OFW's are touted to be the modern heroes of the Philippines.

No comments: Links to this post

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kalutang and Kulintang Music Ensembles

Have you heard of the words Kalutang and Kulintang? Although these two words sounds and is spelled very similarly and are associated to musical instruments, these two words are a world apart. Kalutang is made of wood and Kulintang is made of metal. Kalutang is associated with Marinduque and Kulintang with the Muslims of Mindanao. Kulintang Ensemble from Mindanao

The Kalutang, a pair of wooden bars that create four basic notes when struck together. Each person carry a pair of softwood bars made from kwatingan trees. Each set ranges in length and width to create truly unique musical performances. As far as I knew, this type of music is only known in Marinduque and originated in the town of Gasan. Kalutang playing is unique to Marinduque. Originally used as auditory signal by farmers, it later came to be associated with the Moriones in the town of Gasan according to Eli Obligacion, Marinduque's well-known blogger. In the 70's Tirso Serdena, a farmer, developed a series of kalutang pairs and used them together with other players to play popular folk melodies. It is now considered part of the town's - and Marinduque's - cultural treasures. The National Commission for Culture & the Arts (NCCA), municipal government of Gasan, Gasan DepEd and Serdena organized a project to teach the art of kalutang playing to elementary and high school students in Gasan town. All recognize the importance of handing down this skill to the next generation.

The Kulintang is different as seen in the two videos below



Kulintang is a modern term for an ancient instrumental form of music composed on a row of small, horizontally-laid gongs that function melodically, accompanied by larger, suspended gongs and drums. As part of the larger gong-chime culture of Southeast Asia, kulintang music ensembles have been playing for many centuries in regions of the Eastern Malay Archipelago — the Southern Philippines, Eastern Indonesia, Eastern Malaysia, Brunei and Timor, although this posting is focus on the Philippine Kulintang traditions of the Maranao and Maguindanao peoples in particular. Kulintang evolved from a simple native signaling tradition, and developed into its present form with the incorporation of knobbed gongs from Sunda, Indonesia.

No comments: Links to this post

Monday, October 8, 2012

Travel Advisory Warning to the Philippines

I am glad, Marinduque is not included in this travel Advisory warning. I was reading the news today and I learned that there is still a travel advisory for US and British citizens to the Philippines specifically in Mindanao and Metro Manila. The travel advisory in the Philippines was issued for US and British citizens to South-west Mindanao and around Manila in the Pasay Neighborhood effective today and until October 10, 2012. The following message is from the UK government website.

We advise against all travel to south-west Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago because of on-going terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent groups. We advise against all but essential travel to the remainder of Mindanao for the same reason. See Safety and Security - Terrorism and Safety and Security - Local Travel.

The US Embassy in Manila has issued a message advising of a threat against US citizens in Manila, particularly in the Pasay City neighbourhood. The threat is considered to be in effect until 10 October 2012. Any attack could be indiscriminate and we advise British nationals to exercise particular caution and extra vigilance in places frequented by expatriates and foreign nationals.

There is a high threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Such places could include, but are not limited to, airports, shopping malls, places of worship etc.

There is a threat from kidnapping in the Philippines, particularly in the south. Kidnapping could occur anywhere, including on coastal and island resorts and dive boats and sites in the Sulu Sea.

There is a risk of flooding in many areas throughout the monsoon season. Travellers should check news and weather updates regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) provide local weather forecasts. Approximately twenty typhoons hit the Philippines each year. The monsoon season in the Philippines normally runs from June to November. Most typhoons occur during this period but they can affect the country at any time. Travellers should check news and weather updates regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) provide local weather forecasts.

The European Commission announced an operating ban on all air carriers certified in the Philippines from 1 April 2010. This follows an audit of the Philippines carried out by ICAO in October 2009. The EU ban has been imposed because the Philippine regulatory authority is unable to verify that these airlines comply with international safety standards. We recommend that you avoid flying with Philippine-certified airlines subject to the EU operating ban.

There is a high threat from terrorism throughout the Philippines. Terrorist groups continue to plan attacks and have the capacity and the intent to carry out these attacks at anytime and anywhere in the country. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Such places could include, but are not limited to, airports, shopping malls, public transport, places of worship etc.

There is also a threat from kidnapping in the Philippines particularly in the southern Philippines. Kidnapping could occur anywhere, including on coastal and island resorts and on dive boats and sites in the Sulu Sea. Foreigners have been targeted in rural, urban and coastal areas in the past. On 1 February two foreign nationals were kidnapped from Parangan in the township of Panglima Sugala in the Tawi Tawi island province. On 5 December 2011, an Australian citizen was kidnapped in Zamboanga Sibugay. On 12 July 2011 two US citizens and a Philippine national were kidnapped from a resort on the island of Tictabon near the southern port city of Zamboanga. You should be aware that it is the long-standing policy of the British Government not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British Government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners increases the risk of further hostage taking.

The Philippine government is taking action against the terrorist and kidnapping threat. It has tightened security in Metro Manila and other areas considered at high risk, including airports and seaports.

No comments: Links to this post

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Scandalous Political Dynasties of the Philippines

Is Corruption and Family Dynasty a Way of Life in Philippine Politics?

marinduque rising: Group slams ‘scandalous’ political dynasties: Group slams ‘scandalous’ political dynasties. Very interesting read, Indeed- Related to my recent post on Family Dynasty in Philippine Politics dated September 28, 2012 at http://lifeinus1960present.blogspot.com and at www.pu.blish.us dated 9/27/12.

No comments: Links to this post

Friday, October 5, 2012

My Top 20 Filipino American Pride List



I have always wanted to publish my own Filipino-American Pride List. The 20 names (BOTH LIVING AND DEAD) below are not listed in order of importance. This is my personal list and you are welcome to suggest any names that could be added in this list. My only requirement is that they have excelled in their field of expertise ( entertainment, sports, science, medicine, literature, arts, law and politics). I have personally meet Olivera, Comiso, Cabaldon, Pasquil, and Nicolas-Lewis. Cabaldon and Pasquil are associates and friends of my daughter, Ditas Katague ( Number 8). And last but not least, Number 14 in this list is my oldest son, Dodie Katague, Writer and Lawyer. Pure Filipinos like Manny Pacquiao, Dr Fe Del Mundo, Lea Salonga or Charice Pempengco are not included in this list. They belong to the Filipino Pride list.

1. Baldomero Olivera, Ph.D. – Distinguished Professor of Biology, University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah; first Fil-Am member of the United States National Academy of Science. Research: neurotoxins from venoms of predatory cone snails

2. Emil Guillermo – award winning journalist, writer, and broadcaster. First Filipino American to anchor a regularly scheduled national news program, NPR "All Things Considered," May 1989. Winner of American Book Award, 2000.

3. Jose Antonio Vargas – 2008 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Journalism for his work with the Washington Post; DREAM Act advocate; "illegal alien"

4. Carlos Bulosan – Author, America Is in the Heart. Discrimination of Filipinos in the 1930's.

5.Loida Nicolas-Lewis – Chairman and CEO, TLC Beatrice International Holdings, Inc. Active on Filipino American politics and policy

6. Cristeta Comerford – First woman executive chef at the White House.

7. Josefino Comiso, Ph.D. – physics expert at NASA. My contemporary at PAASE, Research on arctic melt and global warming

8.Ditas Katague was appointed by Governor Brown in March 2011 as Commissioner Sandoval’s Chief of Staff, California Public Utilities Commission. Ditas has more than 20 years of experience at federal, state and local government agencies as well as in private and non-profit sectors. Prior to coming to the CPUC, Ditas was Chief Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Corporations. She also served in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research as Director of Census 2010 and is an expert in civic engagement and public participation. She was also Assistant Secretary for Transportation at the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency. Ditas has a B.A. in Social Sciences and Practice of Art (double major) from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Masters in Public Administration (Intergovernmental Management and Organization Development) from the University of Southern California. Ditas is my youngest daughter.

9. Eleanor Mariano – Rear Admiral (Lower Half), U.S. Navy, retired. First Filipino American to be promoted to a flag officer rank; former White House physician

10. Mona Pasquil Rogers- in November 2009, became the first woman to serve as acting lieutenant governor of California, Friend and associate of my daughter, Ditas

11. Steve Austria - Republican congressman from Beavercreek, Ohio.

12. Rozita Villanueva Lee – daughter of Eugenio Villanueva, who immigrated from Pangasinan to Hawaii as part of the recruited labor force for the Hawaii plantations, has been described as one of the top ten successful Filipinos abroad. She has served as National Vice Chair of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations and in a number of other prominent positions of responsibility. On September 16, 2010, the White House announced her appointment as a member of the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

13. Christopher Cabaldon – Mayor of West Sacramento, California, born in 1965. Openly gay activist. Have attended fun raising activities for his political activities.

14. Dodie Diosdado Katague- author of Cloyne Court and Prosecuting Attorney,Contra Costa, California. Here's a summary of his first novel Cloyne Court" In 1946, the "real" all male "Animal House" was born when Cloyne Court become a student co-op. But the real story begins when Cloyne Court went co-ed in 1972 with the arrival of sixty-two women. Katague's sexy, reveal-all memoir takes place in the late 70s, soon after the women moved in. All it takes is one kiss to transform animals into horny princes.

15. Enrique Iglesias – a Spanish pop music singer-songwriter. Is now mainstream US singer

16. Christine Gambito – an American Internet personality, actress, and comedian; she maintains one of the most-subscribed-to channels on YouTube. Also appointed Ambassador of Philippine tourism

17. Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye was born on October 19, 1959). She is a Filipino-American jurist, and is the 28th Chief Justice of California. She was nominated by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for California's highest judicial office on July 22, 2010, and retained in office by California voters on November 2, 2010, and was sworn in on January 3, 2011. Her Hawaiian-born father, Clarence, was of Filipino and Portuguese ancestry, while her mother, Mary Gorre, was Filipino. She was a classmate of my oldest son ( Dodie) in Law School at UC Davis.

18. Alex S. Fabros, Jr. – Historian, professor, retired U.S. Army officer; Documentaries: “Filipino Americans: Discovering their Past for the Future”, "Unsung Heroes"; historian, "Filipinas Magazine"; Historian and Guest Curator, National Steinbeck Center's "Filipino Voices: Past and Present."; and winner of New American Media's "Ethnic Pulitzer Prize".

19. Cheryl Burke- Professional Dancer, Trophy Winner-ABC Dancing with the Stars

20. Jessica Sanchez- 2012 American Idol Runner-Up

Here's a video of famous Filipino-American in the Entertainment Industry.

No comments: Links to this post

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Romney Beats Obama in First Debate



At the first presidential debate last night, Mitt Romney in my opinion beat Barack Obama. It was not a convincing defeat, however. Facts wise it appears in my opinion to be a tie. However, when it comes to presentation and awareness, Romney was at his best. Romney was aggressive and the President appeared defensive. An independent survey just after the debate based from reactions of 500 undecided voters gave Romney a 2 to 1 margin. This is just a small sample and statistically insignificant, but if Romney continues to be himself and performs well as last night in the next two debates, he will win the election. Romney did indeed change the voters perception that he cares from 30% to 63%. On the other hand, the positive change regarding the President's caring for the middle class changed only from 60% to 69%. The next debate will be the Vice Presidential debate this coming October 11 to be followed by two more debates between Romney and Obama(Oct 16 and 22). I am looking forward for these coming three debates.

I am a registered Democrat but if Romney continues to do well in the next two debates, I might vote Republican this year. However, since I am a resident of California, my vote for Romney will not count since Obama is pretty sure to win the electoral votes of California. Romney will only win the election if he wins in the seven borderline States if the election are held today. The fate of the US presidency will depends on the voters from Florida, Iowa, Virginia and Ohio and other borderline States.

Before the debate, newscasters had been saying that Obama has already 271 electoral votes if the election was conducted yesterday. THIS IS ONE ELECTORAL VOTE more THAT IS NEEDED TO BE PRESIDENT OF US. ONLY 270 ELECTORAL VOTES IS REQUIRED TO BE ELECTED PRESIDENT OF US in case you are not aware of the US Constitution.

In the Philippines, there are no electoral votes. The president wins by popular votes. I wish the US has the popular votes system, so if I vote for Romney even if I reside in California, my vote will be personally counted.

Did you watch the debate last night? If so, who won in your opinion and why. I will be delighted to hear from you.

No comments: Links to this post

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ethnic Tribal Music from Cebu, Philippines

Here's an excellent example of an ethnic tribal music( Kadangyan) from Cebu Island in the Philippines. I like the video and I hope you like. It is different kind of music for the mind and spirit. The video maker encouraged viewers to share this video based on the comment section of the video in YouTube. KADANGYAN is one of Cebu's foremost ethnic bands, composing and playing in their own unique style. Most of their instruments are original and handmade from natural products. Here's the comment of the video maker.

"I shot this video in the jungle near the reservoir and it was an extremely difficult shoot because we wanted to use the natural surroundings, rather than a studio setting! The hike, carrying instruments and video equipment was a challenging one! info@globalvideoprotv.com". Please share.!

No comments: Links to this post

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bellarocca Resort versus Balesin Island Club

Sunset of Bellarocca

Balesin Island Club Official Video A destination of unmatched natural beauty located off the Eastern coast of Luzon in the Philippines, Balesin is a 500 hectare tropical island paradise with 7.3 kilometers of pristine white sand beaches. Located 21 kilometers southeast of Polillo, Quezon Province and just 60 nautical miles east of Manila, Balesin is a quick 25-minute plane ride from Manila, yet is a world completely unto itself. Alphaland Balesin Island Club is your unique, members-only, private leisure getaway-today and for generations to come.

Members will be given 14 complimentary days in any of our seven themed villages inspired by world-class beach destinations namely: Balesin, Bali, St. Tropez, Costa Smeralda, Mykonos, Costa Del Sol, and Phuket. Members can enjoy the landscaped pools and authentic restaurants while giving them an impressive view of the ocean.

Masterfully planned by EcoPlan of Miami, Florida, USA, Balesin Island Club was designed with the environment uppermost in mind and to be in perfect harmony with its natural surroundings. Water harvesting, 80% water recycling, a reverse osmosis plant, on-site eco friendly transportation, organic farming, and alternative sources of energy reduce the amount of waste and ensure sustainable development on this beauty of an island – without scrimping on luxurious, top-notch facilities.

Bellarocca Resort, Buenavista, Marinduque

Located between the southeastern portion of Luzon and Mindoro islands, Marinduque is flanked from four sides: North, South, Northeast and Southwest by the Tayabas Bay, Sibuyan Sea, Mompoy Bay and Tayabas Strait, respectively.

Bellarocca Island is situated off the south west coast of the Marinduque province. Characterized by seaside cliffs, valleys, hills and sparsely dotted plains across this heart-shaped region, therein lies even more impressively hot springs, waterfalls and underwater flora and fauna. In addition to these, there are caves that await exploration by adventurous travelers. Many are yet to be fully investigated or documented. The most famous of these cave systems is Bathala Caves which hosts a complex network of seven mostly uncharted caves. In the capital Boac, spelunkers can take delight in the limestone Talamban caves situated on a 300-meter hill.

Because of the location within the Philippine archipelago, Marinduque has been aptly dubbed the heart of the Philippines.

For those who wish to travel privately, guests can choose to arrive at the island directly via private helicopters, chartered flights or luxury yachts from Manila to Marinduque. Arrangements are coursed through our Manila Reservation Staff.

Marinduque is a short 30-minute flight south of Manila. Another access available to guests is the commercial flights from Manila to Marinduque by Zest Air, which flies on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Advance purchases of promo airfares online(www.zestair.com.ph) are being offered as low as PHP3,000.00 net round trip per person.

Land and sea transfers to Bellarocca: From the airport in Marinduque, our guests are met by our airport representatives and picked up by private vans for a 40-minute land transfer to the town of Lipata, Municipality of Buenavista, where Bellarocca is located. From there guests are transferred via speed boats and yachts, depending on the expected number of arrivals, for a brief 5 – minute crossing to the island.

You have seen the videos of the two exclusive resorts. Just based on the videos and on the brochures above, which one will you visit first if money is not your problem?

I have stayed in Bellarocca over the weekend and it was fantastic, but I believe it is overpriced( the non-promo package). I do not know the membership fees for the Balesin Island Club, but based on the description, it will be a threat and a competition for Bellarocca clients. Both resorts do not participate in the International Exchange Vacation Program. So even if you have a time exchange membership in a five star US resort, you will not be able to exchange it at either Balesin Island Club or in Bellarocca Resort.

No comments: Links to this post

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Home Town-Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, Phl

Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, Philippines National High School. Me and My sister (Amor) in front of the Sign at the entrance of the school showing our mother's land Donation to the School

If you have not heard of this place, I do not blame you. It is a 4th class municipality about 60Km North of Iloilo City, Iloilo. Iloilo is one of the four provinces in Panay Island. Panay Island is part of the Western Visayas Region of the Philippines. The Visayas Region is the Central Part of the Philippine Archipelago. You may ask me why I am writing about Barotac Viejo, Iloilo (BVI) . Let me explained.

BVI is the town where I grew up. It is the town where I finished my elementary school years. It is also the town where I finished high school. In 1951 I graduated valedictorian of my high school class. It is the town where I have both pleasant and unpleasant memories of my childhood and teenaged years.

My childhood memories of the American-Japanese war occurred in the town proper, foothills and jungles of this town. ( http://davidbkatague.blogspot.com). My memories of my elementary and high school years as discussed in my autobiography , http://theintellectualmigrant.blogspot.com , (Chapter 2 and 3) also occurred in this town.

When I left BVI in 1951 to pursue my college degree in Iloilo City and later in Diliman, Quezon City, BVI was a 4th class town with less than 5000 residents. Today, Wikipedia states that is still a 4th class municipality, but with around 39,000 residents. When I left BVI in 1955, there was the elementary and high schools, public market, Cockfighting Arena, the Catholic Church, the Post office and one gas station, a couple of hardware stores, a Chinese bakery and may be 100 residential homes in the town proper. Today it is still a 4th class town with more buildings both for business and private homes. The local high school was named to be a national agricultural high school. Part of the land for the school was donated by my uncle ( Jose Balleza) and my mother Paz Balleza ( see photo above). There is a beach resort ( Balaring Beach) about 5 Km from the town proper.

When I left the town in 1955, the mayor of the town was Luis Tupas, a relative of my mother. Today the local politics, are still controlled by the Tupas family and their clan. When I left the town, my parents bestowed me a 12 hectare parcel of rice land as part of my inheritance, as discussed in my blog http://lifeinus1960present.blogspot.com. Today that land has been land reformed and I have not received a single centavo from the Philippine government. What was left of my inheritance is a 2-hectare parcel in the upland area without water irrigation and almost useless for crop growing.

So after all this years, almost 57 years, the town has not really changed. I found a Facebook Page about the town last year. Searching in Google, there is not much information about BVI. If you click on the Image Section, two of my pictures are in the first page.

In 2005, my wife and I accompanied by my sister visited our parents grave in the cemetery of BVI.Me and my wife and sister Amor at the Cemetery. br />
Our old house (located at the back of the Post Office) was gone. The only thing that remained was the foundation stone with the engraving Dolce Building, 1952.

Tears from my eyes flowed like a gentle rain, when I saw that foundation, recalling the pleasant memories of my teen-age years. The house is gone but my memories of BVI will live forever. I wish for a better future for BVI and its residents. If you know of someone from Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, I will appreciate your comments. I found this video which is supposed to be the municipal Hymn. The words are in Ilonggo. If you want and English translation, let me know.

No comments: Links to this post
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...