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

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!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Eruption of Mount Malindig, Philippines


Can you imagine a scenario if Mt Malinding in my beloved province of Marinduque, Philippines erupted today?
I am not hoping it would happen in my lifetime, but the chance that this eruption will not occur is zero. Assuming that the eruption is as intense in magnitude as Mt Pinatubo, destruction of the island particularly the town of Buenavista and Torrijos will be tremendous . The five star, Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa- the tourist jewel of Marinduque will be covered with volcanic ashes and will not be available for the enjoyment of our rich kababayans from Manila as well as tourists from Japan and Korea for quite a long time. The whole western coast of Marinduque, from Boac to Buenavista sites of beautiful homes and mansions owed by the Expatriate Marinduquenos and the rich businessmen from Manila and the location of several beautiful beach resorts ( including my own, Chateau Du Mer)will be a big mess. It will probably take several months or longer to bring it up to the pre-eruption conditions that we natives thoroughly cherish and enjoy. I hope this scenario will never happen, but we should be prepared and not surprise just in case this happens. Let me explain why this scenario could happen in the future.

Mt Malindig is considered a potentially active volcano, in part because of the sulfur and hot springs in Malbog, Buenavista. It has never erupted, but because it is an active volcano, the chance it will not erupt is nil. Its unique location, at the heart of Southern Tagalog Region, creates a panorama that encompasses Mindoro, Verde Island and Southern Luzon. It is the largest mountain in the island popular for mountain climbers and hikers. It is the home of different species of wild orchids and other endemic wild life in the island. Due to the elevation of more than 1000 meters above sea level, it is by Philippine environmental law a protected area. Mt Malindig is a stratovolcano with coordinates 13.2694 degrees North and 121.9922 degrees East.

The photo above is Poctoy White Beach with Mt Malindig in the background- the most photographed scenery in the islands. Let's hope that this eruption scenario will not occur for a long, long time. In the meantime, let us enjoy this beautiful mountain this summer, by hiking to the top, bird watching or just enjoying the panoramic view at the top. In a clear day, you can see Mindoro and the surrounding islands of the Southern Tagalog region.
Note: Today, Mt Malindig is dormant. There is a legend in Marinduque, why it has been dormant for quite some time. Evidently, at one time in the past, the volcano was showing sign of eruptions by the steam and boiling water oozing from top of the mountain. The local devotees of the Statue of the Virgin of Biglang Awa ( Perpetual Succor) prayed and prayed until the oozing of boiling water and steam stopped. When the faithful devotees of the Biglang Awa came to say thank you, by kissing the feet and gown of the statue, they observed that it was wet. The Lady of Biglang Awa is the patron saint of the town of Boac, capital of Marinduque. Today, there is a shrine built by the side of the Boac Cathedral in honor of Biglang Awa.Image from diosceseofboac.org

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Power is Within You

This week there is not much going on in Marinduque except for the event in Intramuros, Manila promoting tourism in the Mimaropa ( Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblom and Palawan) region. I have this article posted on my other site, (http://lifeinus1960present.blogspot.com) but I decided I should also post this in this site, since I know I average about 12 visitors per day in this site. I do hope you will find the following article interesting, even though it is not specifically about Marinduque.
Image from upnorthlive.com
Last week I reached a positive step in my writing activities. Last July 22,I have my first article published (Marinduque: Ecotourism Capital of the Philippines) by www.huliq.com. Yesterday, my second article ( US Parks Encourage Tourism to National Parks and Monuments) was also published by this Citizen News Review-an on line newspaper/magazine. Huliq.com is an independent news organization that encourages citizens like me to contribute daily news and reviews on business, politics, health, science, technology, sports, arts, recreation and social issues from all parts of the world. Huliq.com will publish articles on the above topics or on any subject that in the judgment of the author will make our world more livable and better. So why do I consider this event a positive step in my writing career. Let me explain why.

I never had any formal training on news writing or creative writing. My first writing experience was during my high school days way back in the late 1940's in a small rural high school in the Philippines, when I was elected Editor of our high school newsletter published quarterly. My whole college experience is all devoted to science and chemistry so that by early 1960's, I obtained my masters and doctorate degrees in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Illinois in Chicago. Then there is the period of almost 38 years, working as a bench chemist for three major Pharmaceutical companies and later as a Chemistry Team Leader for the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) supervising the work of five Ph. D.'s reviewing new drug applications submitted by pharmaceutical companies worldwide in the field of Anti-infective drug products ( antibiotics, anti-malarial and anti-parasitic drug products). My professional career did not require the ability to write news articles. However it did require, the ability to write concise and simple scientific reports, easily understood by both non-scientists and scientifically trained personnel.

After my retirement from FDA in 2002, I decided to start blogging, just to keep busy. Surprisingly, I enjoyed writing articles about my life experiences, then about my second home and island Paradise ( Marinduque), as well as other miscellaneous topics, such as retirement, travel, hobbies ( gardening), medical mission management and volunteerism. I also started creating a website for my small beach resort business( Chateau Du Mer) in the Philippines. As of today, I have 8 blog sites on tourism, retirement opportunities in the Philippines, life in general in the Philippines and United States. I have also completed my autobiography that I dedicated to my six grandchildren here in Northern California. It will be ready as book by Christmas time. I hope that this book will be a Christmas present that my grandchildren will cherish and always remember. In this book, I also discuss the lives of my parents ( their great grandparents) who were born in the early 1900 in the Philippines. In my dedication, I indicated that knowing their roots should give them a better understanding and clearer picture of their future.

Prior to the publication of my first article on Huliq.com, I have three articles about the Philippines that has been published by a private on line magazine publisher. Today, I have written more than one hundred articles in my 8 blog sites. Prior to the publication of my first news article, I feel just like an ordinary blogger. Once in a while, I will get comments from a couple of visitors in my site that they enjoy my style of writing. One day, I called myself a frustrated writer. On that day, I learned that Dodie's (my oldest son) first novel has been scheduled for publication by Three Clover Press this Fall. I was very happy and excited to learn of this good news, but deep inside I was a little bit envious of my son's accomplishments, since writing is not also his major source of livelihood and I always wanted to write a novel myself. Dodie's first novel is titled "The Cloyne Court." Cloyne Court is a student housing at the University of California in Berkeley. As a proud DAD, I will be the first one to buy a few copies of the book.
The picture below is the garden of this student housing in UC Berkeley, CA,-the major scene of Dodie's first novel. He is now writing his second one, a thriller and suspense novel in the the corrupt and fictional world of the district attorney's office somewhere in Northern California


When I wrote in Face Book that I no longer feel like a frustrated writer but a full-pledged citizen journalist, my sister-in-law from Australia commented that any thing you want, you can accomplished, since the POWER IS WITHIN YOU. With this comment I feel motivated to write more news articles for Huliq.com. Today, I finished my third article( Revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant(BNPP), Philippines. It takes at least a couple of days to see if it has been accepted. Who knows someday, I may be even be paid for writing news article for this on-line newspaper/magazine. However, financial renumeration is not my goal, but the thought that my articles are good enough for publication reinforces my feeling that I am now a full-pledged citizen journalist and not just a frustrated writer/blogger.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bulusukan Falls, Buenavista, Marinduque


Todays posting from Marinduque.gov blog is Bulusukan Falls in Barangay Bagtingon, Buenavista. This posting is part of the Adventure Series articles by Eli Obligacion and Marinduque's Department of Tourism.
Development of this area, the Falls and surrounding Forests will support the province goal of being known as the ecotourism capital of the Philippines. The posting reported that Professor Panchito Labay of Marinduque State College has identified more than 300 endemic butterfly species in the forest around the Falls. The butterflies are apparently attracted by the high volume of negative ions in the area. Besides the butterflies, a variety of wild flowers, and animal species such as monkeys, wild cats, deer and boas thrive very well in the virgin and undeveloped forest. The area is a favorite picnic site for residents of Buenavista, Gasan and neighboring towns. Here's a short video for your enjoyment.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Visitor Locations

Please read comment section for related websites.
Locations of visitors to this page

Palawan Subterranean River-Top 28, Natural Wonders of the World


In my news article titled Marinduque: Ecotourism Capital of the Philippines published July 21, 2009 in www.huliq.com, I mentioned that the Palawan Subterranean River in Puerto Princesa was on the top ten of the new 7 Natural Wonders of the World Contest from voters all over the world. I stand corrected, since today the judges of this contest picked up 28 top finalist out of 261 contenders about a year ago. The subterranean river was the only site from the Philippines.It features a limestone Karst mountain landscape with an 8.2 Km navigable underground river. The river winds through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea. The caves has major formation of stalactites and stalagmites. This is the longest underground river in the world.

This site has to compete with worldwide known natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon in US, The Amazon Rain Forest of South America, The Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, The Great Barrier Reef of Australia, The Dead Sea of Israel, Jordan and Palestine, The Iquazo Falls of Brazil, The Angels Falls of Venezuela, The Black Forest in Germany , The Matterhorn of Switzerland and Italy, Mount Kilimanjaro of Tanzania, the Uluru ( Ayers Rock) of Australia , The Cliff of Moher in Ireland and others natural wonders in South Korea, Puerto Rico and Indonesia. To view the complete list and vote, visit www.new7.wonders.com.

I participated in the initial internet voting last year. In the original list, the Chocolate Hills of Bohol and the Mayon Volcano in Albay were two other contenders in the Philippines. The two sites were eliminated after it was narrowed down to 77 last week. In the news from several Philippine newspapers recently, the Palawan subterranean river was always in the top ten choice of internet voters all over the world. Final selection will be announced by 2011 according to the New Natural 7 Wonders of the World organization. So my fellow Filipinos and Filipino-Americans, please vote to insure that The Palawan subterranean river makes it to the top 7 new natural wonders of the world. Perhaps, someday you may be able to visit this beautiful tourist spot in the Philippines. If perchance, you are in the Philippines, please drop by Marinduque-my second home and island Paradise. Hope to see you soon in the Philippines.
Photo from philippineholiday.com
Here's a short video from GMA news in Tagalog and English. Please vote.

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV
My Personal Choice for the 7 New Natural Wonders of the World in alphabetical order are:
1. Amazon Rain Forest of South America
2. Galapagos Islands of Ecuador
3. Grand Canyon of the United States
4. Great Barrier Reefs of Australia
5. Iquazo Falls of Brazil
6. Mt Kilimanjaro of Tanzania
7. Palawan's Subterranean River of the Philippines

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Visitor Locations

Locations of visitors to this page

Mines Reopening in Marinduque?

photo from oxfam.org.au
Here is the latest news on the reopening of the mines in our beloved province of Marinduque. Are you in favor or against it ? Please comment on this article if you strongly believe that reopening of the mines will have a detrimental effects in our environment or for that matter a positive effect on the economy of our province. My friends, members of Marinduque International, Inc, I am looking forward to hear your comments, especially our members of the Environmental Committee, chaired by Flo Apeles of Southern California. May I hear from you!
DENR keen in reopening mines in Marinduque
By MARVYN N. BENANING
July 12, 2009, 7:30pm

BOAC, Marinduque – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is keen in reopening the Marcopper mines in this island province and is seeking support from Gov. Jose Antonio “Bong” Carrion to win popular acceptance for the move.
DENR officials met with Carrion last week to assure him that the department will not be averse to the clean-up of the 26-kilometer Boac River, which sustained the worst damage when the Tapian mine tailings pit collapsed on March 24, 1996 and discharged millions of liters of contaminated waste into the river system and then on to the Philippine Sea.
Carrion is sensitive to the concerns of his constituents and said bioremediation and phytoremediation must be completed first before the people of Marinduque could even consider the proposal as environmentally sound.
DENR Undersecretary Eleazar Quinto is said to be responsive to the idea and is not bent on opposing any viable project to clean up the mess.
The destruction of the main river in Marinduque and six sub-river systems has been particularly deleterious to the livelihood of fishermen and farmers, many of whom have pending damage suits against Marcopper.
Two years ago, protesting farmers and fishermen supported by environmental groups demanded payment for the destruction caused by the 1996 calamity and reiterated they would oppose any move to reopen the mine, which operated for about 60 years and discharged more than 200 million tons of waste into the bay.
All riverine life in Marinduque has been slaughtered by the waste dumped by Marcopper and the levels of arsenic, cadmium, and copper are high, with agricultural land and sources of drinking water contaminated.
Local officials are also demanding quick reparation for the damage to the environment, along with more than a billion in taxes left unpaid by the shuttered company and its beneficial owner, Placer Dome Inc., a Canadian mining company.
Mogpog River-photo by Karol Ilagan from pcij.org/2008
Get rid of your apathy, by leaving a comment on this article!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Watch Out Palawan- You have Competition

photo from worldnaturalwonders.blogspot.com
Today, I just finished reading Eli Obligacion blog reporting that tourism officials in Marinduque had discovered a hidden cave with a subterranean river system in Bgy. San Isidro, Santa Cruz. The barangay captain has not even seen the cave and the river, since the place is supposed to be enchanted. Local rumors circulate that several locals who went there just disappeared and never came back. I am glad to hear of this new discovery. It will boost the ecotourism project of the province. Marinduque could now compete with Palawan. Palawan subterranean river is one of the natural wonders in South East Asia and the most visited tourist spot in the Philippines. The tourism officials who explored the cave, took a 5 minute video inside the cave and the river system. They found a small waterfall, shrimps and eels in the clear water of the river as well as bats. Here's the 5 minute video for your viewing pleasure. From http://marinduque.gov.blogspot.com
Palawan you better watch out, Marinduque has now its own subterranean river for all the local and international tourists exploration and enjoyment.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, Utah

This topic is normally not a posting on this site, since it is not about Marinduque. However, I want to introduce to you, my other blog sites ( I have seven other sites, plus a website). Below is from one of my blogs http://lifeinus1960present.blogspot.com Hope you enjoy this posting. Comments will be appreciated.

Zion National Park-View from Angels Landing

Bryce Canyon National Park
Macrine and I just experienced one of the best vacation we had since my retirement. For one week we stayed in Las Vegas, NV at the Polo Towers -under our time exchange program with International Interval, Inc. One day, we took a mini bus tour which lasted for 14 hours. The bus picked us up at Polo Towers about 6:30AM. Our first rest stop was at an Indian Reservation along I-15 N, where Macrine purchased two cartoons of cigarettes tax free and we had a chance to have coffee. We also had a packed breakfast, orange juice, muffins and energy bars provided by the tour company, Sweet Tours.

Macrine at the Visitor Center, Zion National Park
By the time we reached Zion National Park it was about 10:30AM. Along the way, our guide and driver relates to us ( eleven passengers), the history of Las Vegas, the fauna and flora of the area, the desert and rock formations that made this area so majestic and stunning. After our arrival, our tour driver parked at the Visitor Center. We took the park's bus( private cars not allowed) inside the canyon, stopping at several scenic point stops to take pictures. We did not have time to walk, since we still have to go to Bryce Canyon. The bus tour took about 60 minutes. Zion is indeed spectacular. We saw colorful canyons, forested mesas, and sandstone cliffs so high and indeed stunning and spectacular views. After the tour, we went back to the Visitor Center where our packed lunch of roast beef sandwiches was waiting for us. During lunch we exited the Park via the East Entrance- the Zion Mt Carmel Highway. We passed one of the longest tunnel in the US. By the time we reached the vicinity of Bryce Canyon ( with a photo stop at Red Canyon) it was about 2:00PM. We stopped at Ruby' Gift Shop, just outside the entrance of the Park for souvenirs and mandatory bath room break.

Then we started our two hours tour of the Park. First we stopped at Bryce Point, took some pictures, walked near the rim of the canyon and stayed there for about 15 minutes. If you have vertigo, this is not the place for you.
Macrine at Bryce Point
Our driver took us to Inspiration Point( second stop) and more picture taking and views to feast your eyes with the stunning scenery. We have an option to walk for 45 minutes from Inspiration to Sunset Point(last stop) or ride in the bus with our driver. If you hiked you will have a closer look at the Hoodoo's. Macrine and I decided not to hike as both of us have already aching feet from our walk at the Fashion Mall in Las Vegas and along the Strip Casinos the day before. We waited for the hikers until 4:00PM at Sunset Point. There, Macrine and I took more pictures and again the view was fantastic, and spectacular.
The Hoodoos
We were able to take pictures of the Hoodoos. Hoodoos are just pillar of rocks shaped like human beings. The fantastic shape is a result of erosion, millions of years ago. Legends say that the Hoodoo's cast a spell on all visitors to the park. After two hours at Bryce, we were on our way back to Las Vegas. On the way home, we stopped for picture taking along Navajo Lake. We were also passing the outskirts of Cedar Brake National Monument. We stopped at Cedar City for a quick fast food dinner. By the time we arrived in Las Vegas at our condo-hotel,it was 8:30PM. We were tired but happy to visit the two most beautiful national parks in the US.
The above is our route encompassing three states, Nevada, Arizona and Utah. I am glad I did not drive!
Total round trip mileage is about 490 miles.
Getting There from Las Vegas: I-15N then route 9E to 89N then 12E
Going Back to Las Vegas: Route 12W then 89S, then 14W then I-15S

Monday, July 13, 2009

Daily Air Service Coming to Marinduque in August


I wrote 2 weeks ago in this site that I prayed to St Jude, Patron Saint of the Impossible, that the proposed air service of South East Asian Airlines to Marinduque will materialize soon. Today, I read from Eli Obligacion blog, that SEAIR officials have announced to the Provincial Officials that it will start service from Manila to Marinduque beginning August. I am so excited that my prayers have been answered. Thank You, Saint Jude. If you have not read my previous posting on this subject, please scroll down on my June 28 posting on this site. Have a Good Day to All.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Let us Travel to the Philippines- Music Video

A music video that was made about two years ago, called Biyahe Tayo( Let us Travel)immediately become a worldwide sensation as soon as it was released. The tagalog lyrics was by Rene Nieva originally from Marinduque. He now resides in the Manila suburb. Rene is Macrine ( my wife) first cousin on her maternal side of the family. The following video has an English translation for the sake of thousands of second or third generation Filipino-Americans who do not understand Tagalog as well as to all English speaking tourists and future visitors to the Philippines. Incidentally, I have four children who grew up here in the US in the 1960 and 1970's. Only one of them understand Tagalog. The other three took tagalog courses at the local colleges and universities here in Northern California, but still can not speak the language of their heritage. Enjoy the video and hopefully all you second and third generations Filipino-American as well as tourists all over the world will someday be enticed to visit the Philippines.

Internet Withdrawal Symptoms


The Internet Addict
This subject is not about Marinduque. It is about me. So, if you believe your are also hooked to the Internet, I like to hear from you!
After retiring in FDA a few years ago, it has been my daily habit as soon as I wake up, while drinking coffee, to read news in the Internet( CNN, Philippines Inquirer, COMCAST, LiP web magazine, Facebook, Twitter etc..) as well as read my e-mail. In addition, I have to check for new and interesting articles and responses to my comments from several of my favorite blog sites. Weekly, I will also check the balances of my bank account and investments and monthly, I pay my bills via the Internet or sometimes purchase items in the Internet. In addition to the news, I usually check what is new in You Tube. By the time I finish all these, three hours is gone and it is almost lunch time.
One day, we had an electric outage which lasted for about four hours. Power outage is rare here in Sacramento, compared to Marinduque. In Marinduque, it occurs almost daily or weekly, for 30 minutes or less. If there is a typhoon it will last for a few days. Needless to say I have a generator in Marinduque, because of my resort business. If there is a "blackout", I have electric power for the whole resort.
Now back to my withdrawal symptoms: I feel depressed. I do not know what to do with myself and appears a little bit confused. Since there is no power, I tried to put on my battery operated radio. I was bored after 30 minutes. So, I started looking for magazines to read. I was still uneasy though after I finished reading all of RD. So, I decided to do yoga exercises, do a little push up and then I started to sweat a little bit. After a while I took a shower and I felt good. It was about 11:00AM and the power was still out. My restlessness started again, so I realized I was really missing the Internet. Luckily an hour later the power was on. Without any hesitation, my PC was on. So fellow bloggers, and Internet addicts, have you experience Internet or blogger withdrawal symptoms? I would like to hear of your experience and how you overcome or controlled it.

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