Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands

Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands
View of Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands-Click on photo to link to Chateau Du Mer


If this is your first time in this site, welcome. It has been my dream that my province, Marinduque, Philippines becomes a world tourist destination not only during Easter Week but also whole year round. You can help me achieve my dream by telling your friends about this site. The photo above is your own private beach at The Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort. The sand is not as white as Boracay, but it is only a few steps from your front yard and away from the mayhem and crowds of Boracay. Please do not forget to read the latest national, international, and technology news in this site . I have posted some of my favorite Filipino and American dishes and recipes on this site also. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringement of your copyrights. Cheers!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Binging on a Widely Acclaimed TV Series-Damages

Last week, I started watching an old TV series that I have heard but have never watched. The series is titled Damages which premiered in 2007. It has 5 seasons and I just finished Season 1 and 2. I enjoyed these two seasons very much so I did some web search on this series and here's a brief summary from Wikipedia.

Damages is an American legal thriller television series created by the writing and production trio Daniel Zelman and brothers Glenn and Todd A. Kessler. It premiered on July 24, 2007, on FX, and aired for three seasons before moving to the DirecTV channel Audience Network in 2010, airing for two further seasons and concluding in 2012.

The plot revolves around the brilliant, ruthless lawyer Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) and her newest protégée, recent law school graduate Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne). Each season features a major case that Hewes and her firm take on while also examining a chapter of the complex relationship between Ellen and Patty. The first two seasons center on the law firm Hewes & Associates (located in New York City). Later seasons center more on Patty and Ellen's relationship as Ellen attempts to distance herself from Hewes & Associates professionally and personally.

Known for its depiction of season-long cases from the point of view of both a law firm and an opponent, the series is also noted for the technical merit of its writing, including its effective use of plot twists and nonlinear narrative. The series has received critical acclaim and various award nominations, with Close and Željko Ivanek winning Primetime Emmy Awards for their performances.

Other established actors in the cast include Ted Danson, William Hurt, Marcia Gay Harden, Timothy Olyphant, Martin Short, Lily Tomlin, John Goodman, Ryan Phillippe, Dylan Baker, Janet McTeer and John Hannah.

Season 1 focuses on a class action lawsuit against the fraudulent multi-billionaire CEO of a defunct company; the plot was inspired by various corporate scandals and characters involved in them, most notably the 2001 Enron scandal. Season 2 deals with the energy industry and related environmental issues; the story is influenced by recent and ongoing environmental cases in the United States in the mining industry and by the events of the 2001 California energy crisis. The writers were guided by environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who shared his experience in the field with various corporations and CEOs. Season 3 is largely based on the 2009 Bernie Madoff scandal. Season 4 describes events based on the Blackwater Security Consulting scandal. Season 5 storyline was inspired by the vicissitudes of the whistleblower website WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

Looking forward to viewing Season 3,4 and 5 in the next three weeks. If you like legal drama, mystery and thrillers, this is a must viewed TV series.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Links of My Ancestral Roots and the Nieva Clan of Marinduque

Some of the David Balleza Katague and Macrine Nieva Jambalos Clan during our 60th Wedding Anniversary, May 8, 2017

Last week my daughter and grand daughter called me that they are discussing genealogy and asked me for the links of my ancestral roots as well as Macrine, my spouse of over 60 years. I have written several blogs and this subject since 2009, but in order to facilitate retrieval of these information, just in case my other grand children and other relatives will be interested in their ancestry in the future, I am listing the following links.

These will include my ancestry both on my father side of the Family- K(C)atague, and my mother side ( Balleza). The ancestry of the Macrine's mother side ( Nieva Clan of Marinduque) is also listed. I do not have any information on Macrine's Father side of her Family (Jambalos). The Jambalos clan is a big clan from Marinduque.





5. (Chapter 1 to 8)

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Some of My Favorite Quotes on Solitude and Creativity

Several months ago, I received the following e-mail from Joel Cuello, current President of the Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering. His e-mail inspired me do some search on quotes from the famous (dead or alive) personalities on the subject/topic about Solitude and Creativity. I am listing 15 of my favorite quotes below.

Here's Joel e-mail:

"In the foregoing link and in reference to Abueva's career longevity, the sculptor was quoted as saying that "the artist must possess the inner drive, passion, and LONELINESS of a long distance runner to go very far.”

Personal Note: Napoleon Abueva is Philippine National Artist for Sculpture who was my contemporary at the University of the Philippines, Diliman in the mid 1950's. (

Quite notably, this sentiment was echoed just this past week by Cecile Licad, the world-renowned pianist, who was in the Philippines to perform Chopin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Personal Note: My wife (Macrine) knows very well Cecile's Aunt Gloria Licad Lanot in the mid 1950's. My wife at that time was employed by Mr. Serafin Lanot( deceased) in his(Printing Press). Gloria Licad Lanot was married to poet-essayist-journalist-astrologer, Serafin Lanot. He was a former director of the Bureau of Printing and head of Tamaraw Publishing House, Inc. I also have the honor meeting Mr. Lanot once in his office when I visited Macrine. For more details on Mr Lanot life and achievements read:

Gloria Licad was the sister of Dr. Jesus Licad, M.D( father of Cecile). Gloria(deceased) was also a pianist and a retired music teacher from the University of the Philippines College of Music. She finished Music, major in Piano at the St. Scholastica’s College, and was praised by her professors at Chicago Musical College, where she obtained her M.A. in Piano.

Cecile Licad was quoted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer as saying that, "I understand it that people are truly proud of you and want you around most of the time. But an artist needs to withdraw from that crowd, to be cloistered like a nun and to be able to reflect on her calling. It is not an easy profession. You have to live life, but you also make sure your art is enriched by it."

The need for such "alone time," of course, is familiar to most artists, scientists, scholars and writers. It is part of the calling.
I believe, however, that many of us can attest that such "alone time" is not a lonely time -- but indeed a time for searching, questing, discovery and, on occasions, enlightenment ". Best regards, Joel
The following are fifteen of my favorite quotes on Solitude( Being Alone) and Creativity

1. “Talent is nurtured in solitude … A creation of importance can only be produced when its author isolates himself, it is a child of solitude.” ~ Johann Wolfgang Von Göethe

2. “Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.” ~ Franz Kafka

3. “The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone—that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.” ~ Nikola Tesla

4. “Without great solitude no serious work is possible.” ~ Pablo Picasso

5. “Every kind of creative work demands solitude, and being alone, constructively alone, is a prerequisite for every phase of the creative process.” ~ Barbara Powell

6. “A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds.”  ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

7. “The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.” ~ Aldous Huxley

8. “The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.”  ~ Albert Einstein

9. “History shows that the majority of people that have done anything great have passed their youth in seclusion.”  ~ Thomas Carlyle

10. “To be creative you must create a space for yourself where you can be undisturbed… separate from everyday concerns.”   ~ John Cleese

11. “And here in my isolation I can grow stronger. Poetry seems to come of itself, without effort, and I need only let myself dream a little while painting to suggest it.” ~ Paul Gauguin

12. “Artists with serious aspirations need to be left alone to follow the course of their own imagination.” ~ Robert Genn

13. “Often whole days pass without my speaking to anyone.” ~ Vincent van Gogh

14. “My work is always better when I am alone and follow my own impressions.” ~ Claude Monet

15. “Because I cannot work except in solitude, it is necessary that I live my work and that is impossible except in solitude.”  ~ Pablo Picasso

Personal Note: To me, Being Alone and Loneliness are not the same. I could be alone for hours writing and never feel lonely.
Do you have a favorite quote?

Monday, January 8, 2018

Related Photos to my BS Chemistry Graduation Photograph

Have you ever tried googling your photograph then clicked on the Related Photos? I did and the following photos were related to my photograph taken during my Bachelor of Science degree graduation from the University of the Philippines in 1955-1956.

Some of the photos I expected were my Dad's photograph, Macrine's uncle( Constantino Nieva) and her Grandfather on her mother side of the family, Juan Nieva. To my utter surprise, the picture of President Duterte ( column 6) is included in the list below (yuks !!).

Try googling yourself and click on images. Select a photograph and Click on Related Photos. Be surprise!!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Binging on the TV Series-The X Files

The 11th Season of the TV show "The X Files" premiered the other day. I watched it and triggered pleasant memories of this TV show first released in 1993. So, I started Season 1 with 24 episodes two days ago. I am only in Episode 9 but plans on binging until I am current with Season 11. In case you have not seen this longest running show in Television, here's a summary from Wikipedia.

The X-Files is an American science fiction drama television series created by Chris Carter. The original television series aired from September 10, 1993, to May 19, 2002, on Fox. The program spanned nine seasons, with 202 episodes. A short tenth season consisting of six episodes premiered on January 24, 2016. Following the ratings success of this revival, Fox announced in April 2017 that The X-Files would be returning for an eleventh season of ten episodes

The X-Files follows the careers and personal lives of FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson). Mulder is a talented profiler and strong believer in the supernatural. He is also adamant about the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life and its presence on Earth. This set of beliefs earns him the nickname "Spooky Mulder" and an assignment to a little-known department that deals with unsolved cases, known as the X-Files. His belief in the paranormal springs from the claimed abduction of his sister Samantha Mulder by extraterrestrials when Mulder was 12. Her abduction drives Mulder throughout most of the series. Because of this, as well as more nebulous desires for vindication and the revelation of truths kept hidden by human authorities, Mulder struggles to maintain objectivity in his investigations.

Agent Scully is a foil for Mulder in this regard. As a medical doctor and natural skeptic, Scully approaches cases with complete detachment even when Mulder, despite his considerable training, loses his objectivity. She is partnered with Mulder initially so that she can debunk Mulder's nonconforming theories, often supplying logical, scientific explanations for the cases' apparently unexplainable phenomena. Although she is frequently able to offer scientific alternatives to Mulder's deductions, she is rarely able to refute them completely. Over the course of the series, she becomes increasingly dissatisfied with her own ability to approach the cases scientifically. After Mulder's abduction at the hands of aliens in the seventh season finale "Requiem", Scully becomes a "reluctant believer" who manages to explain the paranormal with science.

Various episodes also deal with the relationship between Mulder and Scully, originally platonic, but that later develops romantically. Mulder and Scully are joined by John Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish) late in the series, after Mulder is abducted. Doggett replaces him as Scully's partner and helps her search for him, later involving Reyes, of whom Doggett had professional knowledge. The X-Files ends when Mulder is secretly subjected to a military tribunal for breaking into a Top Secret military facility and viewing plans for alien invasion and colonization of Earth. He is found guilty, but he escapes punishment with the help of the other agents and he and Scully become fugitives.

Critical Reception and Accolades:

The X-Files received positive reviews from television critics, with many calling it one of the best series that aired on American television in the 1990s. Ian Burrell from the British newspaper The Independent called the show "one of the greatest cult shows in modern television". Richard Corliss from Time magazine called the show the "cultural touchstone of" the 1990s. Hal Boedeker from the Orlando Sentinel said in 1996 that the series had grown from a cult favorite to a television "classic".

The Evening Herald said the show had "overwhelming influence" on television, in front of such shows as The Simpsons. In 2012, Entertainment Weekly listed the show at #4 in the "25 Best Cult TV Shows from the Past 25 Years", describing it as "a paean to oddballs, sci-fi fans, conspiracy theorists and Area 51 pilgrims everywhere. Ratings improved every year for the first five seasons, while Mulder and Scully's believer-versus-skeptic dynamic created a TV template that's still in heavy use today."

In 2004 and 2007, The X-Files ranked #2 on TV Guide's "Top Cult Shows Ever". In 2002, the show ranked as the 37th best television show of all time. In 1997, the episodes "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" and "Small Potatoes" respectively ranked #10 and #72 on "TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time".

In 2013, TV Guide included it in its list of the "60 Greatest Dramas of All Time" and ranked it at #25 on their list of the "60 Best Series of All Time". In 2007, Time included it on a list of the "100 Best TV Shows of All Time". In 2008, Entertainment Weekly named it the fourth-best piece of science fiction media, the fourth best TV show in the last 25 years and in 2009, named it the fourth-best piece of science fiction, in their list of the "20 Greatest Sci-fi TV Shows" in history. Empire magazine ranked The X-Files ninth best TV show in history, further claiming that the best episode was the third season entry "Jose Chung's From Outer Space".

According to The Guardian, Media DNA research discovered that The X-Files was on top of the list of the most innovative TV brands. In 2009, it was announced that the show's catchphrase "The Truth Is Out There" was among Britain's top 60 best-known slogans and quotes.

I am enjoying watching this show again and It is very addictive. I strongly suggest watching this show if you like science fiction, mystery, paranormal activities, drama or horror stories.

Friday, January 5, 2018

My Fulfilled and Unfulfilled Childhood Dreams

Japanese Bridge at Chateau Du Mer decorated for a wedding ceremony, Marinduque, Philippines.

All of us have childhood dreams. Do you still remember your childhood dreams? Has it been fulfilled?

In my case, most of my childhood dreams and goals have been fulfilled. I thank the Lord for his help in the attainment of my dreams. I have attained my dreams and goals in life with a lot of patience, luck and hard work.

When I was growing up in the small town of Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, Philippines in the mid 1940s, I had several dreams and goals in life. One of my first dreams after seeing a movie made in the US was to see and visit (not reside in) the US and play in the snow. This dream was attained in 1960.

My other dream was to live in a house surrounded by fruit trees, flowers and orchids. This dream was realized in 1996 when we built our retirement home in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines.

Another dream I had was to build a Japanese bridge across a creek populated by tilapias and other fish. This was attained when we constructed the Chateau Du Mer beach house in 1998.

As a child I never dreamed of being rich (in terms of money) or famous, but just to earn enough to live comfortably. This was fulfilled when my family immigrated to US and after I completed my Ph.D degree in 1964. Completion of this graduate degree was the most important goal in my life.

One of my other dreams was to work for the US Federal government. I attained this dream when I was hired by the US Food and Drug Administration as a Review Chemist in 1990. My years with FDA were the happiest and most rewarding experience in my professional life.

My last dream in my childhood years was to have a residence with a circular driveway with a fountain in the center. This dream was never attained completely. However, this dream was partially fulfilled when my wife and I built the Chateau Du Mer Conference Hall in 2000. The Hall had a circular driveway but no fountain. Building a fountain in the center was planned before construction. However, for practical reasons and lack of funds, this dream will probably not be realized unless I win a lot of money in the Lotto or in the Casinos!

Today, my goal in life is see my youngest granddaughter graduate from college and my oldest grandson gets married and have my first great grand child to pamper anytime I want to.

I thank God for all his blessings for helping me to attain most of my dreams and goals in life.

Lastly, I wish you all luck in the attainment of your childhood dreams and goals in life.


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