Welcome to My Site

If this is your first visit, welcome! This site is devoted to my life experiences as a Filipino-American who immigrated from the Philippines to the United States in 1960. I came to the US as a graduate student when I was 26 years old. I am now in my early-80's and thanks God for his blessings, I have four successful and professional children and six grandchildren here in the US. My wife and I had been enjoying the snow bird lifestyle between US and Philippines after my retirement from USFDA in 2002. Please do not forget to read the latest national and International News in this site . I have also posted some of my favorite Filipino and American dishes and recipes in this site. Some of the photos and videos in this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing on your copyrights. Cheers!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Trip to the Pinoy Grocery Store-Part 3


Yesterday after church, my wife and I went to the Pinoy grocery store for Pinoy delicacies, cooked food, bangus, longonisa and other Pinoy canned goods and delicacies. As usual I had a chance to talk to the owner of the store, a pretty Pinay about the Pinoy TV drama, My Husband's Lover. She asked me what my opinion is if I were in the situation of Vincent, the lead actor. In the latest episode, Vincent has a choice between his gay lover Eric or with his two kids. As portrayed in the drama, there was an agreement with Lally ( Vince wife) AND Eric, that during the day he stays with Eric but at night he goes home to Lally and the kids. Lally will no longer object to Vince relationship with Eric as long as he goes home at night and the kids will see him in the morning. How long do you think this agreement will last?

Here's one comment from a fan of the TV drama that was published in Facebook, the other day.

1. "For the sake of the kids" is not a valid reason to stay together. Children will know and feel the non-verbal or cold treatment between the parents. Animosity is felt more than bickering and the effects of this display is very confusing to the children.

2) Children will understand if we explain in simple terms the reasons for family conflicts. Refrain from negative words that might compromise their respect to either parent.

3) Explanations given to children must be based on TRUTH. Who wants to be lied to, anyway? and last

4) Forgiving the erring spouse is the very first step to healing. Moving on is always easy when we forgive.

I agree with the above statements;

On the other hand, I have a closed relative who stayed with her kids until all of them turned 18, before she divorced her husband after 22 years of marriage, even though, she was not happy with her marriage. Did she chose the correct decision in this case? Only time will tell, but at present her adults children appeared to understand their parents separation. Meanwhile, my closed relative is doing well on her new life after the divorce.

Going back to the TV drama, what do you think will be the ending of the story? Will Vincent finally tell the truth to his kids? Let me know what you think if you are a fan of MHL.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

How Much Do You Know of the US Constitution?

With the partial US government shutdown looming this coming Tuesday, I think it is time to examine our Constitution for an addition to the propose Amendment 28, I am posting in this article. Have you read Amendment 28 and how much do you know of the US constitution? Take a Quiz and let me know the results.


I have listed seven questions below regarding the US Constitution. If you can answer at least five, I salute you. You know your constitution well, and keep up with your excellent knowledge of history. Here are the questions, followed by the answers.

Please do not cheat by looking at the answers first, without at least trying.

US Constitution Questions

1.Do you know by heart, or could you memorize, the Preamble of the US Constitution?

1.How many articles are in the US Constitution?

2.How many Amendments are in the US Constitution?

3.Can you name at least 5 signers of this document out of the 40 signatories?

4.What is the most popular and well-known Amendment?

5.What is the exact date of the ratification?

6.Who was the Secretary who attested the document?

Answers
1.We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promise the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

2.There are 7 Articles in the US Constitution.

3.There are 27 Amendments to the US Constitution.

4.Among the well-known signers of the US Constitution are: George Washington( President), Alexander Hamilton, B. Franklin, James Madison, Jr., W. Livingstone, John Blair, Charles Pickney, John Langdon and William Jackson.

5.Amendment XIV-Civil Rights.

6.September 17, 1787.

7.William Jackson.

Note: There is a proposal for Amendment 28 circulating in the Web a couple of years ago. Here's the essence of the proposed amendment?

"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States."

I will appreciate your comments. Do you have a suggestion to prevent future government shutdowns because there are indecision on the national budget about this time of the year?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Romantic Music for the Start of the Fall Season


When I woke up this morning,the temperature outside was a cool 54 degrees Fahrenheit reminding me that the Fall season had started here in Northern California. The leaves had started to turn yellowish in The Foothills but not in my backyard. However, this morning reminds of one of my favorite romantic music from the Secret Garden as follows. Enjoy!

The following video is one of my favorite romantic classical pieces. If you agree please let me know.

Here's another version of the Adagio from the Secret Garden. The background in this video reminds me of our 12 years in Maryland during the Fall Season, the Longwood Gardens in Kenneth Square, Pennsylvania and the Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C. during the heights of the autumn season. Both gardens is must visit during the Fall season of you love Gardens. Enjoy! No comments: Links to this post

Friday, September 27, 2013

An Update of My Radio BBC Interview on Soul Music



Last July, Mr Melvin Rickarby of Radio 4, BBC, Bristol, UK interviewed me on how and why Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez touched my heart. The summary of the interview along with other fans of Rodrigo were taped and you could download it in the website as follows:

SoulMusic: Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar, Tuesday, July 09, 2013 4:00 AM

My three minute interview start at 11 minutes and ends at 14 minutes of the 27 minutes tape. I felt weird hearing my own voice with my distinguishable Ilonggo-American accent. However, I am proud to be chosen by BBC as one of the fans of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez.

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/soulmusic/rss.xml

A brief summary of the recording which was broadcasted live on July 9, 2013 at 4:00AM is as follows:

Written by Joaquin Rodrigo in 1939, the Concierto de Aranjuez is a guitar classic. It was written amid the chaos of the Spanish Civil War, and in circumstances of poverty and personal tragedy. This progamme explores how the piece touches and changes people's lives.

The composer's daughter Cecilia Rodrigo explains how the blind composer was inspired by the fountains and gardens of the palace of Aranjuez. Nelício Faria de Sales recounts an unforgettable performance deep inside one of Brazil's largest caves, while David B Katague remembers how the piece got him through a difficult period of separation from his family in the Philippines.

Guitarist Craig Ogden explains the magic of the piece for a performer, and actor Simon Callow recalls how hearing the piece was a formative experience for him during his schooldays, when it turned rural Berkshire into a piece of Spain.

Producer: Melvin Rickarby

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/soulmusic/rss.xml
Media files: soul music_20130709-1200a.mp3 (MP3 Format Sound, 12.7 MB)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

New Words and Phrases, I learn Today


The English language is for sure not a dead language. Every year new words and phrases are coined and added to the vocabulary of our younger generation. Eight of the new words and two new phrases that attracted my attention are as follows: Number 10 is my favorite since I do it almost every month. I have also done a selfie, but will never do number 2 and 9. Do you have a favorite new word or phrase that you can add to this list?

1. Pomosexuality refers to a nonorientation in which people disregard sexual labels altogether. In the world of pomosexuality, the superficial orientation identifications (a.k.a. gay, straight, etc.) are insignificant and not what people should accord to.

2. Plopping: See definition in the reference cited at bottom of this page.

3. A Selfie: A picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Myspace or any other sort of social networking website. You can usually see the person's arm holding out the camera in which case you can clearly tell that this person does not have any friends to take pictures of them so they resort to Myspace to find internet friends and post pictures of themselves, taken by themselves.

4. Ratchet: A diva, mostly from urban cities and ghettos, that has reason to believe she is every mans eye candy. Unfortunately, she's wrong. Typical signs to beware of include, but are not limited to:-owning a Blackberry,-BLARES anything by Drake, 2Chainz, Nicki Minaj, Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka,and Lil Wayne.

5. Molly: Abr. of 'molecular'. Pure form of MDMA (ecstasy), usually a free powder or in capsules. Oftentimes MDA is sold as molly. Should be white in color (when it's pure) but is more often beige or yellow-brown, and sometimes brown or rarely gray.

6. Hipsters: Are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. The greatest concentrations of hipsters can be found living in the Williamsburg, Wicker Park, and Mission District neighborhoods of major cosmopolitan centers such as New York, Chicago, and San Francisco respectively.

7. Reekris: African American slang for Jesus. A word you scream when shit goes terribly wrong. Reekris motherfuckin bootleg firework SHIT.

8. Randy: Overly excited in a sexual manner. See also horny.

9. Alabama tuna melt: See definition on the reference cited at bottom of this page.

10. Egosurfing (also Googling yourself, vanity searching, egosearching, egogoogling, autogoogling, self-googling) is the practice of searching for one's own name, pseudonym, or screen name on a popular search engine in order to review the results. Similarly, an egosurfer is one who surfs the Internet for his or her own name to see what information appears. It has become increasingly popular with the rise of internet search engines, as well as free blogging and web-hosting services. Though Google is the search engine most commonly mentioned when referring to egosurfing, other widely known search engines include Yahoo and Bing. Once a month I do egosurfing, indeed!

For more details and additional new words and phrases please visit the website below:

Reference: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=new%20words

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Drinking Water and Your Heart


I received the following e-mail today. It has been forwarded to me by a close relative. When I informed a neighbor about this, she commented it is baloney and told me not to believe everything I read in the Internet. She said it could be a hoax. Please read the article below and let me know your opinion. Here's the e-mail verbatim:

"Share this one with all your friends and family members. It could be a life saver.

How many folks do you know who say they don't want to drink anything before going to bed because they'll have to get up during the night!!

Heart Attack and Water - I never knew all of this! Interesting.......

Something else I didn't know ... I asked my Doctor why do people need to urinate so much at night time. Answer from my Cardiac Doctor - Gravity holds water in the lower part of your body when you are upright (legs swell). When you lie down and the lower body (legs and etc.) seeks level with the kidneys, it is then that the kidneys remove the water because it is easier. This then ties in with the last statement!

I knew you need your minimum water to help flush the toxins out of your body, but this was news to me. Correct time to drink water... Very Important. From A Cardiac Specialist!

Drinking water at a certain time maximizes its effectiveness on the body: 2 glasses of water after waking up - helps activate internal organs, 1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal - helps digestion, 1 glass of water before taking a bath - helps lower blood pressure, 1 glass of water before going to bed - avoids stroke or heart attack

I can also add to this... My Physician told me that water at bed time will also help prevent night time leg cramps. Your leg muscles are seeking hydration when they cramp and wake you up with a Charlie Horse.

A Cardiologist has stated that if each person after receiving this e-mail, sends it to 10 people, probably one life could be saved!

I have already shared this information. What about you? Do forward this message. It may save lives! "Life is a one time gift"

I did a short internet search and I found that the above article is perhaps a hoax as follows:

"It is certainly true that drinking adequate water is very important for overall health. However, there is no credible evidence to suggest that drinking water at certain times of the day will provide the particular health benefits specified in this message. Staying well hydrated can help maintain overall health and may thereby help avoid serious health outcomes such as heart attacks and stroke. But, this is true at any time of the day. The supposed cardiologist is not named and the message contains no references. And the information did not come from the Mayo Clinic as claimed in some versions of the message. For a detailed analysis and a more comprehensive discussion on the issue read the web site below.

http://www.hoax-slayer.com/correct-time-drink-water.shtml

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Are we waiting for Another Mining Disaster?


Please take note of this article, fellow Marinduquenos.. Can we do something?
marinduque rising: Rains, flooding, earthquake and the unstable Marco...: Today's weather report: Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon provinces) and Mimaropa (...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Recommended Treatment for Carotid Artery Disease


In my posting yesterday, I described the tests that were done confirming that my wife had carotid artery disease often times called carotid artery stenosis. The following 9 items are recommended to prevent carotid artery disease from progressing:

1. Quit smoking.
2. Control high blood pressure (optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg).
3. Control diabetes.
4. Regular checkups with your doctor.
5. Check your cholesterol and get treatment, if necessary.
6. Eat foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, and salt.
7. Maintain a healthy weight.
8. Exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
9. Limit alcohol to 1 drink per day for women, 2 for men.

My wife is doing all these items except quit smoking. She is a nurse and knows the health risks of nicotine, but her addiction to nicotine overpowers her sense of preventing another stroke and perhaps death. The surgery discussed below is not a valid option in our opinion since My wife is physically weak, so the risk of complications during and after surgery is great in her case.

Drugs that Can Reduce the Risk of Stroke?

Your doctor may recommend anti-platelet medications such as aspirin and clopidogrel (Plavix) to decrease the risk of stroke caused by blood clots. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. In some cases, Coumadin (warfarin), a blood thinner, may be prescribed in some cases.


Surgical Procedures for the Treatment of Carotid Artery Disease?

If there is severe narrowing or blockage (>70%) in the carotid artery, a procedure can be done to open the artery. This will increase blood flow to the brain to prevent future stroke. Your doctor may suggest either of the following procedures:

1.Carotid endarterectomy (CEA). This has been the commonly performed procedure for patients who have carotid atherosclerosis and TIAs or mild strokes. While you’re under general anesthesia, an incision is made in the neck at the location of the blockage. The surgeon isolates the artery and surgically removes the plaque and diseased portions of the artery. Then, the artery is sewn back together to allow improved blood flow to the brain. The risks and benefits of CEA depend on your age, the degree of blockage, and whether you’ve had a stroke or TIA.

2. Carotid artery stenting (CAS). Carotid artery stenting (CAS) is a newer treatment option. It’s less invasive than carotid endarterectomy and is performed in a catheterization laboratory. With CAS, a small puncture is made in the groin. A specially designed catheter is threaded to the area of narrowing in the carotid artery. Once in place, a small balloon tip is inflated for a few seconds to open the artery. Then, a stent is placed in the artery and expanded to hold the artery open. A stent is a small, metal mesh tube that acts as a scaffold to provide support inside your artery. The stent stays in place permanently. CAS is a newer procedure, and there is still some controversy as to how well it prevents strokes caused by carotid artery disease. If you need more detailed information read the reference website below.

Reference: http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/carotid-artery-disease-causes-symptoms-tests-and-treatment

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Diagnosis and Confirmation of a Mild Stroke


Last month our doctor informed us that my wife may have had a mini stroke just recently that we were not aware of. We thought that her symptoms of weakening in her legs and a slight stutter and a slight loss of memory was due to her Parkinson Disease diagnoses about 6 months ago. Our neurologist ordered an ultrasound of her neck first (#1 test). The results showed plaque formation on her right carotid artery. So my wife has indeed carotid artery disease. However, the extent of the blockage is not clearly shown by the ultrasound. So three other instrumental diagnostic tests were ordered besides the first test to confirm and show how extensive is the blockage. The following test were done to my wife during the last four weeks.

1.Medical sonography (ultrasonography) is an ultrasound-based diagnostic medical imaging technique used to visualize muscles, tendons, and many internal organs, to capture their size, structure and any pathological lesions with real time tomographic images. Ultrasound has been used by radiologists and sonographers to image the human body for at least 50 years and has become a widely used diagnostic tool. The technology is relatively inexpensive and portable, especially when compared with other techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT)

2.CT scanning of the head is typically used to detect infarction, tumors, calcifications, haemorrhage and bone trauma. Of the above, hypodense (dark) structures can indicate edema and infarction, hyperdense (bright) structures indicate calcifications and haemorrhage and bone trauma can be seen as disjunction in bone windows. Tumors can be detected by the swelling and anatomical distortion they cause, or by surrounding edema.
3.Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) generates pictures of the arteries to evaluate them for stenosis (abnormal narrowing) or aneurysms (vessel wall dilatations, at risk of rupture). MRA is often used to evaluate the arteries of the neck and brain, the thoracic and abdominal aorta, the renal arteries, and the legs (called a "run-off").

4.Echocardiogram, often referred to cardiac echo or simply an echo is a sonogram of the heart. (It is not abbreviated as ECG, which in medicine usually refers to an electrocardiogram.) Echocardiography uses standard two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and Doppler ultrasound to create images of the heart. Echocardiography has become routinely used in the diagnosis, management, and follow-up of patients with any suspected or known heart diseases. It is one of the most widely used diagnostic tests in cardiology. It can provide a wealth of helpful information, including the size and shape of the heart (internal chamber quantification), pumping capacity, and the location and extent of any tissue damage. .

The above four test are all non-invasive tests. There is another test slightly invasive that will confirm the extent of the blockage as follows:

Cerebral angiography (carotid angiogram). This procedure is considered the gold standard for imaging the carotid arteries. It is an invasive procedure that lets a doctor see blood flow through the carotid arteries in real time. Cerebral angiography allows the doctor to see narrowing or blockages on a live X-ray screen as contrast dye is injected in the carotid arteries. This procedure provides the best information. It does carry a small risk of serious complications.

As of this writing date, we have not decided what surgical or medical treatment will be done. We have an appointment to see a vascular surgeon next week. Please pray for my wife's health. The following three web sites are excellent references if you need additional and detailed information on carotid artery disease.

References:
http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/carotid-artery-disease-causes-symptoms-tests-and-treatment
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2665982/
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/carotid-artery-disease/DS01030/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Another Innovative Phishing Letter in My E-mail, Yesterday


I received the following e-mail yesterday. It smells very fishy. When I opened the google site, it states that the site is a forgery.

Please tell me you are able to find a property similar to this for my small family as needed urgently. I have attached some pictures on Google document; its large but am sure you can view.

Thanks, Julian

View Google.Doc below: http://google.doc.blitar.biz/googledoc/google/

Here's what I see when I clicked on the above site:

Reported Web Forgery!

This web page at google.doc.blitar.biz has been reported as a web forgery and has been blocked based on your security preferences.

Web forgeries are designed to trick you into revealing personal or financial information by imitating sources you may trust.Entering any information on this web page may result in identity theft or other fraud.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ten Most Mysterious Photos Ever Taken

The following video has been circulating in the Internet just recently. Can you explain some of the mystery in the photographs? I found it very interesting so I am sharing it with you, my readers. Enjoy and wonder?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

First Beach Wedding and Bellarocca Trip Revisted

While looking at my old photo files, this posting in one of my blogs about our first beach wedding at CDM along with our first visit to Bellarocca Resort attracted my attention. I felt it worthwhile reposting for those who are not following my blogs regularly.
Beach Wedding Venue, Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort, Boac, Marinduque
Chateau Du Mer Garden Wedding Venue, Boac, Marinduque

Bellarocca Resort & Spa in Buenavista, Marinduque has now become Philippines' premium wedding destination for the Rich and Famous. My congratulations on its 2nd Anniversary (see video below). If money is not a problem for you, I highly recommend this place either for vacation/seminar or for a wedding venue. This resort has been patronized by the rich and famous of the Philippines as well as tourist from Japan, South Korea and other countries in Southeast Asia and Australia.

But for most of us who do not have millions of pesos, an affordable but exclusive alternative for a romantic Beach or Garden Wedding is the Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort also located in Marinduque in Boac(capital town of the province). The following three photos were taken from our first beach wedding at Chateau Du Mer.





Below is about a seven minutes video of Chateau Du Mer and followed by a twelve minutes video of the second anniversary of Bellarocca Resort. Chateau Du Mer is only 8 minutes from the Marinduque Masiga Airport. Bellarocca Resort is about 70 minutes from the airport and another 3 to 5 minutes by rubber speed boat.



For more details about Chateau Du Mer, visit: http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com

The following three photos were taken during our last visit to the Beautiful Rock last February 13, 2011.







Group Picture After the Festivities ( Macrine and I were already in our Terazzo Unit when this Photo was taken)
Macrine and I (in my guayabanera pink shirt) in the Backgtound enjoying the Night of Dancing and Music (with Flo Apeles Karoeke)
Anyone for Line Dancing?
David E enjoying the Valentine Festivities
Me and David E enjoying a leisurely Breakfast
MI,Inc members getting ready for Valentine Mass at the Meditation Cottage
The Bishop of Boac, Most Reverend Rey Evangelista with MI, Inc Members after Mass

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Man Crushes and Bro-mances


You do not have to be gay or bisexual to have a man crush or a bro-mance. This statement I recently read from a comment of one of the fans of The Pinoy TV drama, My Husband's Lover. I definitely agree with the statement, since my man crushes are currently Harrison Ford and Tom Rodriquez. I am for sure not gay, very much married and have 4 children and 6 grand children, But I still have man crushes. A man crush is defined as a man who has a crush or idolize another man without sexual attraction. A bro-mance on the other hand is a close non-sexual relationship between two (or more) men, a form of affectional or homosocial intimacy. The most well-known bro-mance today is between Blake Shelton and Adam Levine of the NBC Singing Show, the Voice.

In the TV drama, My Husband's Lover. Vincent( played by Tom Rodriguez), one of the leading actors is bisexual. Vincent is married to Lally ( Carla Abellana) with two kids, but at the same time he has a gay lover, Eric, played by Dennis Trillo. Thousands of fans of this drama have crushes for Tom Rodriquez from both sexes, gay or straight based on comments posted on Facebook and on the MHL website. Rodriquez is a neophyte as an actor compared to the other actors in the drama. However, Tom is adored by thousand of viewers because of his acting talent as well as his looks and personal background. I am re posting my man crush photo of Harrison Ford taken several years ago as well as of Tom. I have a couple of bro-mances during my college years.

My photo above was taken in Las Vegas about 20 years ago. Do you recognized the face of Indiana Jones from the movie Temple of Doom? Do not be afraid to tell me your man-crush, whether you are gay or not! Good Day to All!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Popular Novels with Manila as the Setting


Are you an avid book reader? Prior to my blogging activities, I used to read novels about one novel per month. The following novels are all set in Manila. The first five are my favorites. I have not read numbers 6 to 10 as they are fairly new. Of course Number 11, Inferno by Dan Brown is my number one favorite as of today. The list is as follows with a brief summary of each novel.

1.The Blue Afternoon is a novel by William Boyd in 1993. It won the Sunday Express Book of the Year in the year of its publication and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. It is Los Angeles 1936. Kay Fischer is a young, ambitious architect who is shadowed by a mysterious stranger claiming to be her father. Within weeks of their first encounter, Kay will join him for an extraordinary journey into the old man's past, initially in search of a murderer, but finally in celebration of a glorious, undying love.( Manila Philippines)

2.Dogeaters is a novel written by Jessica Hagedorn and published in 1990. Hagedorn also adapted her novel into a play by the same name. Dogeaters, set in the late 1950s in Manila addresses several social, political and cultural issues present in the Philippines during the 1950s. The title is a common derogatory term referring to Filipino natives who supposedly eat dogs instead of pork or chicken. The term reflects attitudes within Filipino culture and attempts to become more westernized.

3.Mass is a 1973 historical and political novel written by Filipino National Artist F. Sionil José. The literary message of Mass was "a society intent only on calculating a man's price is one that ultimately devalues all men". The narrative of Mass pictured the Philippines during the years prior to and after the imposition of Martial Law in 1972, which occurred within the scope of the middle and the late periods of the twentieth century. It narrated about a movement advocating reform, the resulting struggle for human rights, students’ rights, tenants’ rights, and women’s rights, and mass protests that were manipulated by "fraudulent leaders". The uprising failed. One of the characters went back to Central Luzon to discover his origins in order to rebuild his life.

4.Cave and Shadows is a 1983 and Martial Law era thriller novel written by Philippine National Artist Nick Joaquin. The setting of the novel is during Ferdinand Marcos’s martial law in the Philippines, including the time in Manila when activism was alive and demonstrations were frequent before August 1972 (described as Joaquin’s “‘objective correlative’ to the Crisis of ’72” before the declaration of martial rule. It is a detective fiction that also deals with and arcane and historical cults involving beatas or “beatified women” (a group of religious lay women who were "repressed by a male-dominated, colonial order" and strange events occurring inside unfamiliar caves in the Metro Manila area. Other themes include politics, love, family, friendship, reconciliation, and tyranny.

5.Bamboo in the Wind
is a 1990 novel written by Filipino author and Palanca Memorial Awards recipient Azucena Grajo Uranza. In 1972, months prior to the Martial Law declaration, Larry Esteva arrived in Manila, Philippines after studying in Boston, Massachusetts. At the Manila International Airport he witnessed a demonstration being dispersed by the Philippine military. Uranza portrayed the "last desperate efforts" of Filipinos – through characters that include a senator, a youthful nationalist, a dispossessed farmer, a drastic protester, a convent school girl, and a Jesuit academic – to prevent the fall of the Philippines under martial rule. But the political plague accompanied by demonstrations, demolitions, murders, burnings, arrests and tortures continued unhindered until Martial Law was officially declared in the month of September.

6.Manila Noir, edited by Jessica Hagedorn—Jessica Hagedorn first rose to international fame for “Dogeaters,” a novel set in 1950s Manila. Going back to her roots, she has come up with the landmark “Manila Noir,” an anthology of 14 stories from 14 different authors tackling the underbelly of Manila from the mythological creature known as the aswang, to shabu and drug use, premeditated crimes, and the social divide between the poor and the bourgeois.

7.“Moondogs” by Alexander Yates—In this 2011 novel, Benicio searches for his father, an American businessman, who disappeared while in Manila. Along the way he uncovers secrets he never knew about his father. The book gives us a glimpse of the Filipino and expat cultures with a dash of magic realism, complete with wizard-like policemen and a villainous rooster.

8.“Trash” by Andy Mulligan—While its setting is not explicitly stated, this 2010 Young Adult novel was inspired by the author’s visits to a Manila dumpsite. “Trash” features three dumpsite boys who find a treasure in mountains of steaming rubbish. It is a gripping story that exposes the reader to brutal realities of life in the lowest rungs of society: abject poverty, exploitation, and the grave effects of festering corruption.

9.“The Tesseract” by Alex Garland—Told in a nonlinear storyline, this 1998 novel depicts the lives of Manila gangsters, mothers and street children, whose fates randomly intersect. “Tesseract” refers to a four-dimension cube, a metaphor for the characters’ limitations in understanding the events that affect their lives.

10.“Baby Jesus Pawn Shop” by Lucia Orth—Set in Manila in the last years of the Marcos regime, the novel depicts the perspective of the average Filipino during that dark period. Both entertaining and controversial, the 2009 novel maps out the poverty, the crime syndicates and the corruption that rule Manila. Last but not least

11.Inferno is a 2013 mystery thriller novel by renowned American author Dan Brown and the fourth book in his Robert Langdon series, following Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol. The book was released on May 14, 2013 by Doubleday. It was number one on the New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover fiction and Combined Print & E-book fiction for the first ten weeks of its release, and also remained on the list of E-book fiction for the first thirteen weeks of its release. In this novel, the author describes Manila as the Gates of Hell.. This is my number 1 favorite book as of today.

For more information,read: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/124671/novels-set-in-manila-featured-in-2013-book-fair#ixzz2ePxafUrp

Sunday, September 15, 2013

First Garden Wedding at Chateau Du Mer Revisited

While looking at my old pictures in my files, I found the following photos on the first garden wedding at Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort and Conference Center in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines. I am also reposting my write-up of this historic occasion ( being the first garden wedding at the resort) posted on February 2, 2010 in one of my blogs as follows:

The bride with Parents on her Wedding March

The wedding ceremony started with the bride transported by a white horse-drawn open carriage from the nearby beach resort. This reminds me of Cinderilla riding in her golden carriage on her way to the Ball. On her arrival she was met by the groom and her entourage( includes 6 pairs of primary sponsors) at the balcony of the beach house. The groom stayed overnight in the beach house. The wedding ceremony then began with a ballet dance on the bridge, followed by songs, prayers and homily. It lasted for two hours. The wedding vows and ritual ( cord, veil and candle sponsors) is similar to the Roman Catholic Church, except for presentation of gifts to the parents of bride and groom. In addition all the primary sponsors were required to give public advice to the newly weds. The officiating pastor was from the Born Again Christian Church from Manila.

The reception in the hall had a printed program distributed to around 200 guests. It included several musical and dancing exhibition as well as public dancing. Music was provided by a live band of 10 musicians. At the end of the reception 4 hours later, the newly weds spent another hour at the beach house and ocean just relaxing and taking more pictures. There was a videographer and several photographers.

The ceremony ended with the bride and groom riding the open horse-drawn carriage back to the nearby resort where the bride stayed. The next day, I was told, they are flying to Hongkong for their honeymoon. A most memorable and grand wedding event -the first event here at Chateau Du Mer. I hope more garden weddings in the future.





Friday, September 13, 2013

A Face Book Scam Letter in my E-mail Today


I received the following e-mail today! Have you received a similar e-mail recently?

CONGRATULATIONS!...

This is an empowerment program and a way of giving back to 500 fans of Facebook active users as a compensation bonus.

You have been selected randomly as one of our active users eligible to participate in this question and answer program worth $20,000.00 instant deposit in your Bank account.

Answer the question correctly and win an instant deposit of $20,000.00 in your Bank account. To participate click here When I click here is what my PC screen says:

Reported Web Forgery!

This web page at www.estetikstudio.lv has been reported as a web forgery and has been blocked based on your security preferences.

Web forgeries are designed to trick you into revealing personal or financial information by imitating sources you may trust. Entering any information on this web page may result in identity theft or other fraud.

My dear readers, it is very tempting to get caught in this scam. Remember, nothing is FREE!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

An Afternoon at the Pinoy Grocery Store-Part 2

Hair Whorl Differences between Gay and Non-gay Men

I posted an article the other day on my discussion with owner of the Filipino grocery store on homosexuality triggered by our mutual love and enjoyment on watching a Pinoy TV drama titled My Husband's Lover. This prompted me to do an Internet search on the biology of sexual orientation. The following is a brief summary of my findings. If you want more detail information on this subject, read the website I have listed on the bottom of this page.

Physiological and Cognitive Differences of Gay versus Non-Gay Men and Lesbians

There are several studies that have found correlations between physiology of people and their sexuality. These studies provide evidence of both physiological(9 items) and cognitive( 2 items) differences between gay men, non-gay men and lesbians. The following are some findings I found interesting. It may be very controversial and not believable to some of you specially if you are homophobic.

Physiological

1.Gay men and straight women have, on average, equally proportioned brain hemispheres. Lesbian women and straight men have, on average, slightly larger right brain hemispheres.

2. Gay men report, on an average, slightly longer and thicker penises than non-gay men.

3. Gay men's brains respond differently to fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

4. The functioning of the inner ear and the central auditory system in lesbians and bisexual women are more like the functional properties found in men than in non-gay women (the researchers argued this finding was consistent with the prenatal hormonal theory of sexual orientation).

5. Gay and non-gay people's brains respond differently to two putative sex pheromones (AND, found in male armpit secretions, and EST, found in female urine).

6. The amygdala, a region of the brain, is more active in gay men than non-gay men when exposed to sexually arousing material.

7. Finger length ratios between the index and ring fingers may be different between non-gay and lesbian women.

8. A study of over 50 gay men found that about around 23% had counterclockwise hair whorl, as opposed to 8% in the general population. This may correlate with left-handedness.

9. Gay men have increased ridge density in the fingerprints on their left thumbs and pinkies.

Cognitive

The presence of subtle differences in the way gay people and non-gay people process certain kinds of information was suggested from a recent study. Researchers have found that:

1. Gay men and lesbians are more verbally fluent than heterosexuals of the same sex (but two studies did not find this result).

2. Gay men may receive higher scores than non-gay men on tests of object location memory (no difference was found between lesbians and non-gay women).

Reference: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation‎

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering September 11, 2001

The Burning Twin Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, September 11, 2001

Do you remember what were you doing on September 11, twelve years ago? Today is the twelve years anniversary of the most heinous and perverted crime in 21st century in the US- The terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center In New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Exactly twelve years ago, I was still working for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). I remember clearly what I was doing and how I felt afterward that day. Depressed and frustrated that I can not do much of what happened that historic day.

That morning in September 11, 2001, The Office of New Drug Chemistry, Center of New Drugs had a joint meeting with representatives of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PHARMA) at the Hilton Hotel in Gaithersburg, MD. At about 9:20AM, we received an announcement that the meeting is canceled and we can go home, since the World Trade Center in New York was burning. All of the attendees went to the hotel lobby and the TV was announcing the news. I felt sick, depressed but helpless to see the burning WTC building((see photo above). Later, I learned that the Pentagon in Washington DC was also bombed and another plane crashed in the field somewhere in Southern Pennsylvania. Later I also found out that this United Airline plane was intended for the White House. Had it not been for the courageous heroics of several passengers, the White House would have suffered the same fate as the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The most heinous crime of the century produced thousands of burnt victims. Two drugs in my Division, Sulfamylon and Silvadene, approved for the treatment of burns were out of supply.

A chemistry manufacturing supplement has to be approved to manufacture more of these ointments in a new facility. This required a review by the chemist, an inspection of the facility by a field inspector, my approval as the chemistry team leader plus the paper work by the project manager. The drugs are needed immediately, so we have to do an expedited review of the manufacturing supplement. It took us only 12 hours to approve the new facility and the review of the chemistry, manufacturing and control submission. This review normally will take at least one month to three months depending on the availability of the field inspector and the schedule of the review chemist.

In December, 2001, the four members of my review team received a special cash award and recognition award from FDA management for our work on expediting review of two drugs, Sulfamylon and Silvadene.. Of my more than a dozen awards I had, this one was the most appreciated. I felt that I have done my job as a public servant and had helped the victims of the terrorist attack in a timely manner.

The photo above was the first picture I saw on television the morning of September 11, 2001. I will never forget that day as long as I live.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Mini Family Reunion at Mountain View, California

Thanksgiving and/or Christmas Holidays are still in the horizon. But the Katague and Jambalos clan had an earlier family reunion last September 1. This was during the welcome party for Ella Jambalos Lazarte and her son, Adrian Bernard at her sister's residence (Lanie Jambalos Lazarte-Chalfin) in Mountain View, California.


The David B Katague Family at the Backyard of Alex and Lanie Chalfin of Mountain View, California, September 1, 2013

The Katague and Jambalos Clan

The David B Katague clan with oldest grandson (Ian King) and youngest granddaughter ( Carenna Thompson) Not in the photo are my four other grand children, Elaine King (OSU), Philip Katague (UC Santa Cruz), Alix Katague ( Cornell U) and Marina Katague ( still in high school, but plan on attending medical school). Ian is a junior at Sacramento State University while Carenna is in 5th grade.

In this mini reunion, I learned that health is wealth and that family relationships are things money can not buy. My thanks to Lanie and Alex Chalfin for hosting this reunion. We hope to have a full family reunion this coming Thanksgiving an/or Christmas holidays this year.

Monday, September 9, 2013

An Interesting Afternoon at the Pinoy Grocery Store


Every other Sunday after mass at about noon time, Macrine,(my spouse of 57 years) and I drive to a Filipino grocery store about 10 miles from our residence. In the store we purchase Filipino goods, groceries, cakes and delicacies. We have been doing this for the last 10 years, thus the owner of the store, a pretty Pinay about 45 years old knows us very well. In the store while shopping, the owner and I would talk on subjects about life in the Philippines versus life here in the US.

Yesterday, our topic of conversation touched on the Pinoy TV drama, My Husband's Lover- which is now very popular not only in the Philippines but also all over the world. The show can be seen if you subscribed to cable television(GMA) or via the Internet.

The last two episodes of this drama last week portrayed the subject of military training and the cure of homosexuality. When this episode was broadcasted last week, I immediately wrote a comment that this episode is very unrealistic and as far as I know no one was ever cured of homosexuality no matter how rigorous the mental and physical training in the military. I was however very surprised when the owner of the Pinoy store asked me if homosexuality can be cured by military training as portrayed in the TV drama.

Our friend question aroused my curiosity about the origin, biology and genetic influences of homosexuality, lesbianism and bisexuality. I did some Internet searched and here is a statement from the American Psychological Association website.

“There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.” The factors which may be related to the development of a heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or asexual orientation, include genes, prenatal hormones, and brain structure.


For more detail discussions on biology and sexual orientation, visit the website as follows: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Have You Heard of Manila, California, USA?



The suburb of Manila, Philippines ( UP, Diliman, Q.C.) is the place where I spent my college years and my first teaching job after my Bachelor's degree graduation. So, I was interested in finding out if there are other places in the world call Manila. I hope the following other places will not be known also as the GATES OF HELL!( according to Dan's Brown novel-Inferno). Manila is currently in the Internet with this video from the Blakes- a singing trio from London, UK.

British Trio singing Manila in London

I was surprised that there are actually 11 cities/towns that are named Manila in the US, two of them in Alabama. There is one city in Paraguay, South America also named Manila. Here is the lists for your information. For details and map of the various US cities look in Goggles. Is there a city or town named Manila in Europe or Canada?

1. Manila, Alabama ( Clarke County)

2. Manila, Alabama (Dallas County)

3. Manila, Arizona

4. Manila, Arkansas

5. Manila, California -Manila is an unincorporated community in Humboldt County, California. It is located 3.25 miles (5.2 km) north of downtown Eureka, at an elevation of 13 feet (4 m). The ZIP Code is 95521. The town was founded at the end of World War II, and named after Manila in the Philippines. I have been to Eureka on a business trip, but not in Manila, California.

6. Manila, Colorado

7. Manila, Kentucky

8. Manila, Missouri

9. Manila, Tennessee

10. Manila, Utah

11. Manila, West Virginia

12. Manila, Paraguay, South America

13. Manila, Philipines

Personal Note: Like New York City, Manila is a nice place to visit ( not during the rainy season), But I will not live there even if you gave me a million dollars!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Cup Song

This video is getting a lot of viewers in the Web! Cool and awesome version of the cup song!
Ditas and Carenna had their own version, that I hope they will post in Facebook soon!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I need a Break from the Depressing News this Week

I am so tired of reading depressing news in the Philippines( pork barrel scandal) as well as here in the US ( The Syrian gassing of its own people and the US involvement) and the projected solar flare( emission of electromagnetic particles) in November that can fry all computers ( if this happens it will be a catastrophic event in the whole world). Today, I decided to post another joke that was sent to me by a friend from the Philippines. Smile!

WHAT IS POLITICS? A little boy goes to his dad and asks, "What is politics?"

Dad says, "Well son, let me try to explain it this way: I'm the breadwinner of the family, so let's call me capitalism. Your Mom, she's the administrator of the money, so we'll call her the Government. We're here to take care of your needs, so we'll call you the people. The nanny, we'll consider her the Working Class. And your baby brother, we'll call him the Future. Now, think about that and see if that makes sense,"

So the little boy goes off to bed thinking about what dad had said.

Later that night, he hears his baby brother crying, so he gets up to check on him. He finds that the baby has severely soiled his diaper. So the little boy goes to his parents' room and finds his mother sound asleep. Not wanting to wake her, he goes to the nanny's room. Finding the door locked, he peeks in the keyhole and sees his father in bed with the nanny. He gives up and goes back to bed. The next morning, the little boy says to his father, "Dad, I think I understand the concept of politics now."

The father says, "Good son, tell me in your own words what you think politics is all about."

The little boy replies, "Well, while Capitalism is screwing the Working Class, the Government is sound asleep, the People are being ignored and the Future is in deep poo.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Update on the Pork Barrel Scandal in the Philippines


Here's the latest update on the pork barrel scandal that has awaken the ire of millions of Filipinos all over the world including myself. There are three names in the list that are familiar to me. They are the representatives from my hometown in Iloilo, former House of Congress members from Marinduque and Batangas.

With this scandal, my respect and admiration for the three representatives have gone done from 100% to zero. I agree with the suggestion of the media to call the Pinoy legislators Senatongs and Representathieves and The House of Congress-The House of Corruption.

Again as in the past three years, I am advocating the elimination of the pork barrel, now! My Filipino Countrymen, this is the time to act and let your voice be heard. Please like this post if you agree!

marinduque rising: COA list on massive misuse of pork barrel: With P 10-Billion in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) embezzled and lost to "shameless politicians", the alleged pork

Monday, September 2, 2013

Christmas Season Began in the Philippines, Yesterday



Do you know that September 1(yesterday)was the beginning of Christmas Season in the Philippines? It not only starts on the first day of September, but also ends 5 months later on January 31 of the next year. If you do not believe me, try reading some blogs about life in the Philippines from American and European expatriate nationals who are now living in the Philippines with their Filipina wives or read any Philippine newspaper in the Internet. The Philippines has the longest, lavish and most festive Christmas season in the whole world.

Speaking of Christmas songs my favorite Filipino Christmas song is Pasko Na Sinta Ko( Its Christmas, My Love) sang by world famous singer Lea Salonga. Here's a short video of the song plus another Filipino Christmas ballad( Sana Ngayon Pasko Na). If you are an OFW ( Overseas Filipino Worker) you will enjoy these two songs with background of the Philippine scenery, Filipino food and delicacies. I hope it will make you feel nostalgic about the Philippines and forget just for one day the corruption and scandal regarding the pork barrel that has angered millions of Filipinos not only in the Philippines but also in other parts of the world.


Here in US, the Christmas Season starts after Thanksgiving and ends the day after New Year or sometimes after the Feast of Three Kings on January 6.

I believe the Philippines is the only country in the world that celebrate Christmas 5 months every year.

Am I right? Are there any other countries in the world that celebrates Christmas longer than 5 months? My advance Christmas greetings to you all my beloved readers from 174 countries all over the world.

I hope this posting is a good break from all the depressing news about the pork barrel scandal that has angered millions of Filipinos all over the world including my self.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Sound of Silence

Let me start the month of September with my favorite ballad from the mid 1960's. Enjoy!

This is one of my favorite song of the mid 1960's. The other one is Bridge over troubled Waters also by Simon and Garfunkel.


Hello darkness, my old friend,
I've come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence.

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
'Neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence.

"Fools," said I, "You do not know –
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you.
Take my arms that I might reach you."
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming.
And the sign said, The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence.
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