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!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Simple Celebration of Macrine's 79th Birthday

Last Thursday( March 26) was my wife ( of 58 years) 79th Birthday. We celebrated her birthday by just going out to a nearby Red Lobster Restaurant and ordered her favorite dish of two Maine Lobster Tails and her favorite drink, the Margarita Gold. Along with the main dish we have cheese cake with fresh strawberries. We also had a mushrooms stuffed with Dungeness crab meat as appetizer.

Macrine received several birthday greetings on her FaceBook page. The one above was from her first cousin Angie Jambalos Aulds from Paradise, California. Macrine also received a video greeting from Wesley Lazarte Chalfin, son of Lanie Lazarte Chalfin from Mountain View, California. Lanie is the oldest daughter of Fe Jambalos, younger sister of Macrine. Merlet Perlas and Violeta Laririt also send their birthday greetings.

Another greeting that Macrine treasured was a note card from Loyda Sore from Silver Spring, Maryland. Loyda is a long time friend of ours. We have known Loyda since 1990 when we first moved to the Washington DC area after accepting a position with the Food and Drug Administration, Center of New Drugs, Division of Anti-Infective Drug Products.

We received another note from Irene Rose Catague, a relative we first meet in Maryland in the mid 1990's. Irene send us a card from Paris France just wishing Macrine well and noting she has not forgotten how we welcomed her during her first few months here in the US. She is now married with one son and resides in Texas.

Macrine also received birthday greetings from her other sister, Sister Guia Jambalos, R.C from Davao. Her Facebook page listed birthday greetings from Ditas, from me, Efren Katague my brother in Australia, Yong Nieva ( first cousin in Manila),Olga Quiazon ( first cousin from Vancouver via telephone) and Agnes Apeles ( also Clemen Lardizabal).
Last but not least, Macrine received birthday greetings from Dinah, our oldest daughter 3 days before her birthday. Dinah calls her Mom once a week just to say Hello and her Mom appreciates it.

The first photo below was taken during our Red Lobster early dinner last Thursday and the second photo taken prior to dinner at our kitchen and breakfast area.

At Red Lobster in her light blue outfit.
At our residence before dinner

The day culminated with us watching Angelia Jolie movie Unbroken. We watched it on Comcast Movie on Demand for only $4.99. If you have not seen this movie, read my review on my next blog in a couple of days.

Lastly, Thank you all for wishing Macrine a Happy Birthday on her 79th year on planet Earth!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Time for Some Music for the Soul and Spirit

Its about time to enjoy music for the soul. Enjoy the video and all 50 videos in the playlist!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Photo Mementos from Ditas 50th Birthday Party

About 100 guests, friends and relatives attended Ditas Macrine Katague 50th birthday Party last Saturday. However today, March the 23rd is the real date of her birthday. Ditas was born in Kansas City, Missouri on a snowy morning 50 years ago at the Kansas City North Memorial Hospital. I could not forget that day, since I was so scared driving on ice and sleet that day on my way to the hospital, after my wife Macrine Nieva Jambalos Katague started to complain of labor pains, telling us our youngest daughter is ready to see the world.

Last Saturday celebration was a blast based on comments and photos published on Ditas FaceBook page. The following are some of the photos of that happy event in my youngest daughter's life.

The highlight of the party was Carenna's singing and guitar playing. Carenna sang 4 songs. One of the songs she wrote and composed herself. Here are two comments from the guests regarding Carenna's singing talent.

"She has an amazing and special voice. I was spellbounded listening to her live. I am sure that you will open all the doors that are needed for her to get a recording.

A room full of adults stood there spellbound. She's peaceful and graceful. When she takes the stage, she's brave and her voice can hit the soft and strong notes so naturally. And she writes her own music. Amazing. What a finale to a great party."

Here are some comments about the party:

"Dang, do you know how to throw a party, Ditas Katague!! This was truly special and unique event. What a beautiful, positive way to celebrate an important milestone year. Thanks for sharing your special day with me and so many of your wonderful friends. Happy Birthday!!!"

"Such a great event. Unique and memorable, Just like you!"

"I became interested in Pranayam breathing after listening to a lecture by a western medicine doctor who had studied ancient Indian meditation. After years of resisting anything related to spiritualism (I suffered at the hands of a very abusive method called the Grinberg Method) I gave into the gentle peersuasions of a very special person, Ditas Katague. She organized a beautiful birthday party in downtown Sacramento and the first hour involved a full lesson of Yoga. I'm hooked. Going to start regular lessons. One day I guess I'll master the art of alternate nostril breathing "

"Happy 50th Birthday Ditas! I do miss you. Your art is amazing...Just like you!"

Last Saturday's party was a fun afternoon-evening filled with arts, yoga, music, food and drinks and good company. Again, my beloved daughter may you have several decades more birthdays to come. Remember when you celebrate your 100th birthday, I will be 130 years old, long gone, but happy to know that I have a good daughter and grand daughter named Ditas and Carenna. Love you both!(From DAD and MOM).

Friday, March 20, 2015

Time for Some Oldies from the Platters

If you grew up in the 1950's to 1960's, you should remember these two songs by the Platters. Enjoy! Comment?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Daily Struggles of Two Caregivers

In my first posting about Caregivers, I emphasized that caregivers must have a break or help from others to prevent burning out. In this article I will describe in detail what my daily activities are and how I manage not to burn out. The second story is a conversation of myself and another caregiver of how she manages her life and at the same time taking care of her husband. She will remain anonymous for privacy reasons

One of my primary duties as the primary caregiver for my wife who has Parkinson's Disease is to help her take her medications on time. The second item is to insure she take balance meals and reminds her of her daily exercises. If its a good and sunny day, we will take a short walk around the house perhaps from 5 to 10 minutes depending in how she feels that day.

My wife needs help dialing the phone and putting on the TV. In the morning she is sometimes weak before she takes her medications. Later on in the afternoon, she feels better and will try to help me cook dinner. Before I know it is time to bed. This daily routine is only interrupted by our twice a month trip to the Casinos and Dinner. Her monthly beauty shop and quarterly trip to two doctors-a GP and a neurologist is another break in our daily routine. There are times when she feels like going to church or to the Filipino store after church, otherwise we attend mass in Television every Sunday. My son who lives with us and works full time help me takes care of his Mom on his day off. Without my son's help, I probably would have burn out by now. In between my care giving duties, I manage maintaining my blogs, writing activities, and play computer games(bridge) for my own mental health.

The following is a FB conversation between myself and a long long time friend who is also the primary caregiver to her husband suffering from a rare neurological disorder. For the sake of privacy I will just call her FBM and her husband Steve( not his real name)

"Hi Dave, Just started a while ago face booking and I saw your message. I am sorry I was not able to respond to you soon today. Great to be able to contribute on your new article about caregivers. Being a nurse helps me a lot understanding the medical "lingo" thrown at me whenever I take Steve to the doctors. Taking care of Steve and understanding his illness are challenging but I can handle them.

The hardest part I went through and is still is, is making decisions for every day problems, whether I should do this or do that without getting a second opinion from somebody I trust. I guess I was afraid to make a mistake then and even up to now with my decision making. An example is our rental house, which I am debating whether to upgrade the bathrooms and the flooring; will I have to increase the rent and how much? I guess we grew up in our culture that expects the man/husband to do the decision making for the family and that's how I got used to.

So, since Steve became ill, I have to learn fast and do all the decision making. Reading books, navigating the internet, talking with friends are my resources to increase my knowledge on problems/issues I have to solve.

Praying also helps me a lot to ease the burden of making a decision. Since I am able to leave Steve alone for 2-3 hours, I can see my friends for lunch or go do my errands which is a great therapy for me.I walk everyday as much as possible for half an hour for health reason. I still do the housework but I am not over zealous in keeping our house neat, tidy and clean.

I hired a gardener and a pool cleaner when Steve started to get sick so that has been a big help for me. My oldest son and family live closely so if in emergency I can call him or his wife to help me out. Just this week, my daughter in-law took my car to Modesto for front power window repair. I have a handy man who helps me fix little things in the house. I enjoy reading articles about caregivers and I know your article will be a good one for me to read once you have finished it. I hope my little contribution may add a little insight to your project. Love and regards to Macrine."

My response: Hi FBM, thank you so much for your reply. Your detailed response is much appreciated. I think, I will make a separate article on this. I will not mentioned your name, but your personal experience will be helpful to others who are in your situation. Again may I reiterate that as a caregiver, we should not forget to take care of ourselves otherwise we will burn out.

Friday, March 13, 2015

My Octogenarian or Older Seniors Pride List

My wife's Aunt- Elizabeth Nieva Santo Domingo and Yong Nieva( Macrine's first cousin)-Photo by Yong Nieva

If you have been reading my blogs, you know I remain mentally active by writing and reading every day since my retirement from the Food and Drug Administration(FDA), Center of New Drugs in 2002. This blog is dedicated to all senior citizens all over the world who are 80 years old or older but are still active both physically and mentally. The list is not in any particular order of importance.

The first senior citizen in this Pride List is Macrine's aunt- Mrs Elizabeth Nieva Santo Domingo. She is 91 years old (see picture above). She keeps active by her daily walk to daily mass to church. She eats healthy meals and had a happy married life without any children but surrounded and loved by nephews and nieces and other relatives.

The second senior citizen in my list is my next door neighbor, Mrs Lina Edison. She is 84 years old, She lives alone, walks every day and work in her garden everyday. She has never smoked in her life, eat primarily vegetables and seafood products. She attributes her good health by daily exercise and not eating too much meat.

The third person in my list and the most known nationally in Philippines and Marinduque politics is Carmencita Ongsiako Reyes. She was born November 9, 1931. She served as an Assemblywoman from 1985 to 1986, Congresswoman of Marinduque from 1978 to 1998 and 2007 to 2010, as well as governor from 1998 to 2007 and 2010 to present.

Reyes won a seat in the Batasang Pambansa in 1984 under the ruling Kilusang Bagong Lipunan Party of President Ferdinand Marcos. She aligned herself with then-Marinduque Governor Aristeo Lecaroz, also of the KBL Party. Reyes was a close ally of the Marcos regime. Her husband, Edmundo M. Reyes, was appointed by President Marcos as the Commissioner on Immigration. Reyes served as an Assemblywoman until the 1986 EDSA Revolution drove Marcos out of power. Edmundo Reyes (now deceased) her husband is my wife's second cousin.

The fourth senior citizen in my list is Imelda Marcos. She is known all over the world as the widow of Ferdinand Marcos. Imelda Marcos was born July 2, 1929. In popular culture, she is often remembered for her collection of more than a thousand pairs of shoes.

When President Marcos' government was accused of being involved in the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr., the people in Manila led the so-called People Power Revolution and forced Marcos out of office in 1986. Corazon Aquino, as the then new elected President, requested that American forces at Clark Air Base have the Marcos family exiled to the United States, and they were sent to Hawaii. After the death of Ferdinand, Imelda and her family were granted permission by Aquino to return to the Philippines. Her return has since allowed her to restore her political dynasty. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 1995 for Leyte, and again in 2010 for Ilocos Norte.

The fifth senior citizen in my list is Dr Jose Gan, Ph.D Joe was born on November 30, 1933 in Pavia, Iloilo. He has a Ph. D.,in Biochemistry, U of Illinois at the Medical Center, Chicago,(1960-1964) and was a Postdoctoral fellow at the University of California in Berkeley

During his elementary and high school years he was active in basketball and soccer and other sports . In the US, He plays tennis two to three times during the week.(mainly single); He also dabbled in martial arts (tae kwon do and ninjutsu) in his early fifties and sixties. He quit these sports about 5 years ago when chronic neck pain and other arthritic pains caught up with him. Today he confines his physical activities to yard work (mowing, edging trimming, etc) and flower and vegetable gardening.

Other names in my list are: Dr. Tino Ibabao, MD (91), and Dr Lilia Ferrer Ibabao, MD ( 84)

Here's a video about The Relevant Octogenarians. Octogenarians are persons from 80 to 89 years old and I belong to this group.

Finally, if you know of senior citizens over 80 years old or over who are still active, please let me know so I can add their names to this list.


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