WELCOME TO MY SITE AND HAVE A GOOD DAY
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!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Recently, I received several e-mail and telephone inquiries on the cost of building a retirement or vacation house in Marinduque. Before, I could give you a decent estimate, there are several items that I have to know:
1. What kind of a house do you want, that is either it will be constructed with native materials (nipa/bamboo/coco lumber) or with cement, hollow blocks and metal roofing
2. How big will the house be in terms of area, that is square footage or square meters
3. What kind of fixtures you want installed, such as plumbing, doors, windows, garage, balconies, fans, air conditioning, attics etc...
My estimate will consist only of materials and labor plus architect fees. It will not include furniture's, kitchen appliances, landscaping and caretaker expense and fencing of the property(highly recommended). It will not also include the price of the lot.
However, I can give you a decent estimate based on our retirement house built in 1996. If you want to build a similar house, 2700 sq ft, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, two balconies and a one car garage with cement, metal roofing, air conditioning and marble floors, my estimate will be around 4 million pesos. So based on today's exchange rate of 1 to 48, it will cost you around $84,000. This is cheap if you compared it to the standard 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house in US. Here in Fair Oaks, CA the standard house sells for an average of $250,000 to 500,000 depending on location.
Speaking of location, lots with beach front are very expensive if you can find one in Boac. There are a several beach front lots in Buenavista and Torrijos. They are cheaper compared to beach lots in Boac or Gasan. Lots in the interior ( no beach front) are much much cheaper and are in abundance.
If you already owned a beach front lot in Marinduque, here are a few tips you need to know before building.
Because of the salty ocean breeze especially on Habagat season (rainy- southwest winds), it is recommended that you build your house with stainless materials if possible. Double paint the outside and derusts annually. High maintenance expense is what you get for an ocean view and fresh ocean air during the amihan season (gentle Northeast winds) during summer.
So if you have a lot and have decided to build your dream vacation or retirement home, here are the steps to follow:
1. Hire a professional architect ( Research the type of architecture for your dream house). Visit local homes for ideas.
2. The estimate of the architect is normally low, so that your property tax will also be low.
3. Multiply by 2 the architect estimate. That will be your decent estimated cost until the house is finished.
4. Allot about 15 to 25% for furniture's, appliances, landscaping and caretaker expenses and fencing( highly recommenced).
5. If you can not personally supervise the construction, ask a relative or someone you can trust with finances to supervise during construction.
If you are really serious in constructing your dream house, let me know. I have 15 years of experience building three houses and one Conference Hall at the Chateau Du Mer Compound in Marinduque. I will be glad to give you ideas and free advice and tips( no consultation fees). Have Fun and Enjoy the planning, constructing, landscaping and eventually moving to your dream retirement house in Marinduque.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
There is an article in the provincial website, reporting that the office of Vice President De Castro has allocated P8 million pesos for the improvement of roads in the interior ( Farm to Market Road Project) of Buenavista. Indeed, this is good news. The road from downtown Buenavista to Lipata, the barangay where you have to go to get a boat to Bellarocca Resort needs improvement. The allocated funds did not mentioned about improving the national road from Ihatub to Masiga Airport-another project which should be given also high priority.
The article also mentioned funds for the diagnostic building adjacent to the old hospital building will also be released by De Castro's office in Manila very soon. There was also an article published the other day by the National Inquirer, saying that Governor Carrion has reminded De Castro, that the province has only received half of the 1.5 Million pesos allocated for the victims of typhoon Reming and Milenyo. Carrion is hoping that the other half be released soon. Indeed,these are good news for our poor province. For details, visit the blog site:
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Solar Lights as viewed from the Conference Hall
My favorite time of the day in Marinduque is at sunset and at twilight. During this time and up to midnight, I could show case my more than 50 solar lights of various types around the resort. Besides the solar lights, I have installed spot lights in all of the statuary's and garden sculptures near the Conference Hall and also in the Main House. The three photos( taken at twilight) above focused on the bridge lighting (red and white). The bridge is the focal point of the landscaping design of the beach house.
The creek under the bridge is filled with native fish, crabs and snails during the summer season. Two years ago, I seeded the creek with tilapias in November. By May, it was already about 3 to 5 lbs. I feed the tilapias twice a day with commercial fish food. I told Edwin, my caretaker to harvest them before the rainy season, otherwise they will be flushed into the ocean, when the monsoon rains start around July-August. Edwin was able to harvest more than a dozen for his table. A couple of tilapias that remained in the creek were flushed into the ocean by August.
The second photo from top is one of my favorite sunset picture taken from the balcony of the beach house. Macrine and I hope to see you soon in Marinduque-our island Paradise.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Fishing is the major occupation and livelihood of rural folks in Marinduque. The island is mostly coconut plantations. The island has only a small area of land for farming ( rice and vegetables), thus a majority of the natives are either full time or part time fishermen. They would fish at night and return early in the morning before or just after sunrise.
One of my activities during early summer morning is to watch the fishermen unload their catch. I would purchased a few kilos of fresh fish at a reasonable price and of course, I would buy the best variety of fish. "Mingaw" a specie of red fish is my favorite fish. It taste almost like pork and has no fishy smell. It is as expensive as chicken or pork on a per kilo basis. But it is worth your money. It is however seasonal and you can not buy it every day. The cheapest variety of fish( tulingan) could be purchased for less than a dollar per kilo during the summer. During the season, I will purchase about 5 kilos of fish and sun dry( bislad) it for future use. Sun drying preserved the fish. The fishermen catch is sold to the fish dealers who in turn sell it in retail in the downtown markets of Boac and Gasan, If there is a big catch, the fish is packed in ice and transported to Lucena, Quezon and even to Manila sometimes.
One of my other favorite activity is watching the fishermen prepare for their night fishing expedition. They start as soon as the sun sets (middle photo). As the night grows dark, they open their fishing lights. This would attract the fish to their nets. The top and bottom photos show only one light. Often times, there would be more than 50 to 100 lights. The ocean would look like Luneta Park in Manila. The lights look like fireflies with the dark ocean as background. It is a sight to behold and remember!
Monday, May 4, 2009
Photos by Gabby Del Rosario
Macrine and I were invited by Linda Sevilla Sotto for lunch in her home in Gasan last March. This was in honor of Loyda Sore, our former neighbor, from Silver Spring, Maryland. After a delicious lunch of Filipino delicacies, Linda drove us to the top of the hill where a beautiful new catholic church is under construction( my guess is 70% complete). Above are photos of the church and the view of downtown Gasan from the Hill where the church is located. I know a few members of Marinduque International who had donated contributions for the glass stained windows that will be installed later. Marinduquenos all over the world especially Gasenos should be proud of this new church. Congratulations to Linda and her construction committee for all their efforts. May their tribes increased!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
As an avid gardener, I found the climate of Marinduque ideal for growing not only orchids, hibiscus and bougainvillas but also euphorbias, cacti, succulents,plumerias and Ylang Ylang trees. Most of the above plants are easy to grow and almost pest- free except for the two varieties of hibiscus ( white and yellow). The top photo is my favorite orchid, a blue orchid called "The Princess Mikasa".The middle photo is my Ylang Ylang flowers. The bottom photo is my favorite hibiscus, a canary-yellow(light orange) variety. If you need additional information on the culture of the above plants, please let me know.
My collection of orchids and hibiscus is posted on my blog
My collection of euphorbias and cacti is posted on my blog
My collection of bougainvillas is posted on my blog
Do I do all the gardening by myself? The answer is no, I do "gardening by mouth", since I have two full time gardeners maintaining the landscaping for the five acres of beach resort property. I bet you are envious! I do not blame you for feeling that way. Enjoy the flowers! Cheers! Have a Good Day to You ALL!