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!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Political Dynasty and Pork Barrel as Cause of Corruption in the Philippines

Image from

I read this article on the Philippine Inquirer today. The article has supported my contention that if the pork barrel system is eliminated, only the public- service oriented politicians will run for public office. In another article recently, I learned that there are now more than 260 political dynasties in the Philippines.

In my province, Marinduque, the Reyes family ( mother and son) is the political DYNASTY that had ruled the province for the last 40 years or so. If they win this May election, their political clout will extend another four years. Hopefully, Marinduque voters will elect the candidates that will improved the economy and lives of its residents.

Today's article is titled "Political dynasties are Increasing" and written by Neal Cruz, dated 4/29/10. Here is the article for your reading pleasure. Comments anyone?

"IT IS ONLY 10 DAYS TO ELECTION DAY, AND to give local candidates a chance to air their programs of government, we have shifted our invited guests from the national to local candidates. Last Monday, the guests were Pasay mayoralty candidate Peewee Trinidad, Parañaque mayoralty candidate Eduardo Zialcita, vice mayoralty candidate (and actor) Anjo Yllana, and Edwin Olivarez, candidate for the congressional seat to be vacated by three-termer Zialcita. Olivarez, a member of the Olivarez family dynasty of Parañaque, was vice governor of Laguna. He ran for governor in 2007 but was defeated. He faces a member of another political dynasty, the Bernabes.

Zialcita, Olivarez and Yllana denounced the shady contracts that the Bernabe administration entered into and the funds that it cannot account for. Judging from the amount that Parañaque paid for lampposts and the number of lampposts actually put up, each post cost Parañaque taxpayers P450,000 each, Zialcita said. There are millions of pesos more that have been spent by the Parañaque government but which it cannot account for, Zialcita added. He promised a clean government if he becomes mayor.

Curiously, the three Parañaque leaders kept praising Pasay’s Peewee Trinidad, saying they want to model Parañaque after Pasay, which has its own government-operated hospital and university, while Parañaque has none. Ironically, Trinidad has been suspended as Pasay mayor and is now running to reclaim his seat.

“Why don’t you just make Peewee your mayor?” the Parañaque trio was asked.

“If that becomes possible,” Zialcita answered, “I will welcome it.”

Trinidad has long been a political leader of Pasay (working in the shadow of Pablo Cuneta, Sharon’s father) but he has no political dynasty. On the other hand, many of Metro Manila’s cities and municipalities have political dynasties fighting it out.

In Pateros, the Cayetano and Tinga dynasties are fighting for dominance. Dante Tinga, a former congressman and retired associate justice of the Supreme Court, is running for mayor against the wife of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano. Alan’s sister Pia is running for reelection as senator. Dante’s son, Mayor Freddie, is running for congressman.

In Caloocan, Baby Asistio, son of long-time Mayor Macario Asistio and brother of former Mayor Boy Asistio, has just been cleared by the Commission on Elections to run for mayor.

In Quezon City, Joy Belmonte, daughter of Mayor Feliciano Belmonte, is running for vice mayor. The Mathay dynasty is fielding three members: Ismael for mayor, son Chuck for congressman, and granddaughter (and actress) Ara Mina for councilor. The Defensor dynasty has father Mat running for reelection as congressman and son Mike for mayor. However, a strong contender in the mayoralty race, Rep. Annie Rosa Susano, still has no family dynasty to speak of.

In Valenzuela, hometown of the future first lady, there are the Gatchalians, in Malabon the Oretas, in Muntinlupa the Biazons, in Makati the Binays, etc., etc.

The Constitution, prohibits, very clearly, family dynasties. But because no lawmaker has introduced any bill to implement the constitutional prohibition, family dynasties have increased all over the Philippines as the Inquirer series on the front page has shown. It is as if the politicians are in a hurry to establish their own dynasties before the prohibition becomes reality. (I think this will never happen. Who will present or vote for an implementing bill as almost all the legislators, senators and congressmen are members of political dynasties?)

* * *

By the way, do you know that councilors now have their own pork barrel funds, the same as that enjoyed by members of Congress, although in smaller amounts? If reports are true, each Quezon City councilor has a pork barrel of P43 million a year. Wow! And all the projects that we see are waiting sheds.

This is clearly an abuse of the council’s budget-making powers, in the same way that the congressional pork barrel is an abuse of its budget-making power. If we do not protest this abuse, very soon even the barangay councils will have their own pork barrel.

This is not the only abuse. Most city and municipal councils and provincial boards also buy, using taxpayers’ money, vehicles which they give to their councilors and board members for free.

I don’t see why it is necessary to give them free vehicles. Councils and provincial boards meet, on the average, only once a week. All of them already have their own vehicles (many of them more than one), they go to the provincial capitol or city hall for their sessions only once a week, so why do we taxpayers have to give them free vehicles?

Ever since I became a journalist in the mid-’50s, media and the public have been denouncing the pork barrel system. The president can stop it by not submitting any budget for pork, disguised of course for some other purpose, such as poverty alleviation, etc. In reality, it is only the poverty of the lawmakers that is alleviated while the taxpayers sink deeper into poverty.

But presidents want the pork barrel system to continue because it is a means by which they bribe legislators to do what they want. The hundreds of millions of pesos in pork that each lawmaker gets is too much a temptation for them to forego. Some lawmakers don’t get them, but 99.9 percent of them do.

The pork is spent supposedly on public works projects. Legislators become duplicate public works departments. Read the Constitution and you will not find any provision giving this power to lawmakers. What the Constitution says the lawmakers should do is to make laws, nothing else.

The pork barrel system is the cause of most corruption. It should be abolished".

Amen, Amen I say to the last sentence in bold!

Is Manila Ready for an Earthquake?

YouTube and CNN posted this video on April 21, 2010. It is indeed scary, since the government appears to withhold this information from the public. Our government officials are too busy "politicking". About three days ago, 3 earthquakes of magnitude from 4.5 to 6.5 were felt in southeast Taiwan and Northern Luzon. If you are a resident of Manila and its suburbs, are you really prepared for a major earthquake of a magnitude of 7 or greater? Let us hope this will not happen soon, but view this video and judge for yourself. In the case of Marinduque, The LUBANG fault in Mindoro should be monitored for recent activity. Here's the video!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Political News from Marinduque- A Counter Suit

Lord Allan Velasco during the STTC Meeting last year at the Chateau Du Mer Conference Hall,Amoingon, Boac, Marinduque

Here's the latest news written by Purple S Romero and published today on Local Politics in Marinduque is indeed getting interesting.

MANILA, Philippines--Veteran journalist Marites Dañguilan Vitug, editor in chief of Newsbreak, on Tuesday filed her counter-affidavit to the 13 counts of libel filed against her by Supreme Court Justice Presbitero Velasco.

Vitug said there is no malice in the news article “SC Justice in Partisan Politics?”, where she discussed how Velasco helped his son, Lord Allan, court the support of local officials in their hometown in Marinduque.

Vitug said in her counter-affidavit that the report was “borne out of a sense of duty to inform the public of perceived unethical and partisan conduct on the part of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.”

“The instant libel suit should not prosper as it denigrates not only my constitutionally-guaranteed rights of free speech and press, but also those of the entire media,” Vitug added.

\Velasco accused Vitug of intentionally maligning his reputation in the article that appeared in the Newsbreak, where she is editor in chief, and, where she is editorial consultant.

Vitug also pointed out in the story that Lord Allan, a provincial administrator, benefited in the controversial Supreme Court decision allowing appointed officials to stay in their posts even if they have already filed their certificate of candidacy. The SC case has been reversed since.


Velasco accused Vitug of being in cahoots with his son’s rival, Edmudo Reyes Jr. In his complaint, the magistrate said that Reyes “engaged the services” of Vitug to produce the article.

Vitug denied Velasco’s claim. While it was Reyes who referred her to Pastrana—the politician allegedly approached by the justice to help Lord Allan—she exhausted all efforts to confirm the veracity of the information she shared with her.

Vitug said she also interviewed other sources, including local journalist Doris de Luna.

But Velasco also claimed that De Luna is a supporter of Reyes. He said it was suspicious that Vitug met with Luna twice.

In denying Velasco’s allegation, Vitug said Velasco’s accusations is irrelevant to the case at hand.

“Contrary to the allegations of Justice Velasco, I met with Ms. de Luna only once on 10 February 2010, and not on 20 November 2009. Justice Velasco’s insinuation of “close relationship and coordination” between myself and Ms. de Luna is therefore inaccurate and unfounded,” she said.

“More importantly, however, the nature of my relationship with Ms. De Luna is completely irrelevant to the issues of whether the contents of the questioned article are true or whether I had motive in writing the same,” she added.

No Internet libel

Vitug also stressed that there no such crime as Internet libel yet. She said that she cannot be held liable for a crime that does not exist.

“Considering that the posting of an article on the internet is not statutorily defined as a criminal offense, there is no basis for the instant criminal charge against me,” she said.

Posting articles on the Internet was not specified as a means of committing libel in the Revised Penal Code.

Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code states that libel could be done through “writing, printing, lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic exhibition, or any similar means.”

Monday, April 26, 2010

Candidiates for Governor, Vice Governor and Congress in Marinduque

Pugutan-Kon sinong candidato ang matalo siya ay pinogutan ng mga voters!
(The voters will be cutting the heads of losing candidates in this coming election)

Yesterday, I attended a Filipino-American Party in Mountain View, California. There were several Filipino-Americans( some are dual citizens) and a few members of Marinduque International,Inc. that also attended the party. They were asking me who are the candidates and the issues of this coming May 10 election. Since, I am not sure myself who the candidates are, I browsed at Wikipedia and here is the information they were asking. Wikipedia has also information on the candidates for mayors, vice mayor in the six towns of Marinduque, as well as candidates for provincial board members in the three district of the province. It is just too long to list.
Gubernatorial, Vice gubernatorial and Congressional election in Marinduque for May 10, 2010.

Incumbent governor Jose Antonio N. Carrion will run for his second term as governor of Marinduque. This election, he will run under the Lakas-Kampi-CMD banner, he run previously as an independent on the last election.

Incumbent congresswoman Carmencita Reyes is allowed to run for a second term, but chose to run for governor. She was formerly a member of Lakas-CMD but, became an independent candidate due to the Carrion's membership of Lakas-Kampi-CMD. Despite of all of this she was the guest candidate of the Liberal party.

Former Sta. Cruz mayor and businessman Wilfredo Red will run again for governor. He failed to win the previous election and was in the last place in the race for governor which was won by Carrion.

Incumbent vice-governor Tomas Pizarro will run for his second term as vice-governor of Marinduque. He was a member of Kampi during the last election. He defected to the Nacionalista Party for this election.

Incumbent sangunniang panlalawigan member Jasper Lim is allowed to run for a third term, but chose to run for vice-governor. He was bannered under his brother and former Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas president James Marty Lim's Alliance for Barangay Concerns party. He is also the running mate of Carrion under the Lakas-Kampi-CMD

With Carmencita Reyes running for governor, her son and former congressman Edmundo O. Reyes is expected to reclaim his seat. He defected to the Liberal party after Carrion's membership to Lakas-Kampi-CMD party. He did not run in the previous election because he was ineligible to run because he already claimed the three term limit.

Provincial Administrator and Carrion ally Lord Allan Jay Velasco will also run for the congressional seat, despite having no previous experience in Marinduque politics but, as provincial administrator, Velasco is the Lakas-Kampi-CMD nominee for the said congressional elections.

The primary issue for this upcoming elections is the ongoing power crisis happening at Marinduque. Sorry losing candidates there will be no pork barrel for you!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The latest Political News from Marinduque

I found this news from Eli Obligacion's blog today. I found it revealing and shocking. This news confirmed my notion that politics in the Philippines are filled with lies and black propaganda. Most candidates ( I hope not all- those with conscience) will do anything to get votes and win the election. Why?- it is the pork barrel( MONEY) system. If the government eliminates the pork barrel reward system, only a few candidates will run. These are the candidates that are really public-service oriented citizens. The news discuss in detail that C. Reyes claimed the provincial government is bankcrupt. The article opens with the Provincial Government Cash Position Report as of April 19, 2010 and compares it the cash report on June 28, 2007 when C Reyes exited her position as Governor. Here is the report in detail.

Reyes Strike with Apparent Lies

"Cash Position Report, Provincial Government of Marinduque as of April 19, 2010 showing available cash at Php 266.8-Million plus. 133% increase from June 2007, when he assumed governorship.

Cash Position Report as of June 28, 2007, when ex-Gov. Reyes exited. Php 114.5-Million. Higher or lower?

“Bangkarote na ang kapitolyo. At kapag umupo na ako bilang gobernador ay walang masisimulang project dahil wala nang natitirang pera!” The speaker was Carmencita Reyes, candidate for governor of Marinduque, moving her arms to stress that point.

Let me translate the tagalog words: The Capitol is bankcrupt. If I win the election as governor, I will not be able to start any project, since there are no funds left.

Congresswoman Carmencita Reyes-Found this photo on the Web- Date of Photograph-I do not know, but at least more than 15 years ago is my guess!
Marinduque’s political matriarch has dominated this 4th class province’s political scene for 37 years, first as delegate to the Constitutional Convention under Marcos (1973), then as congresswoman, then as governor and congresswoman again. Reyes wants to return once more this time as governor with his son, former Congressman Edmundo Reyes, Jr. aiming for the congressional seat once again.

That she would deliver fiery messages in those terms are not a bit surprising. No one could and should stop such an exercise in free speech by a public servant of her formidable stature.

What came in as a surprise was when after the speech an incumbent board member proclaimed himself as “ako po ang tainga, mata at bibig ni Nanay sa Sangguniang Panlalawigan...” and “... kinukumpirma ko po na totoo pong lahat ang sinabi ni Nanay. Bangkarote na nga po ang kapitolyo..”

The speech of an incumbent board member, I will translate for my readers who do not understand tagalog " I am the ears, eyes and lips of Mother( referring to C. Reyes) in the Provincial Board. I am confirming that all what Mother saying is true. Indeed, the provincial government is bankcrupt.

Some of the mix of people in Brgy. Mercado in Boac Poblacion where the public address was made recently were left gasping for breath, mouths open, arms shaken, apparently shocked by the “truthful revelation”, but quite a few remained skeptical. It's the election campaign period after all.

Wouldn't Marinduquenos ever check?

Apparently, the Nanay was confident that no one, no one, and no one among her beloved audience would bother to ask, check, validate, investigate and would just believe her fantastic heart-rending story and long litany of tales - hook, line and sinker.

As in the days of yore. But then the same act was repeated the other night in Gasan town. This time knowledgeable local officials watching were appalled, knowing that the same scripted act will be repeated in the other towns with another incumbent bokal ally from the relevant district (2 districts are represented in the Sanggunian), taking the role played by the previous one. A game plan.

Bangkarote? That's defined as "n. a debtor that, upon voluntary petition or one invoked by the debtor's creditors, is judged legally insolvent. The debtor's remaining property is then administered for the creditors or is distributed among them; adj. "Having been legally declared financially insolvent."

Truth is, it’s fairly easy for any responsible citizen, especially those sitting as incumbent officials, to check or verify, particularly in this case, if there’s any iota of truth to whatever their claim. And it is incumbent upon them to speak the truth.

Or be punished for their outrageous tales. Some influential people have really began taking stronger positions resulting from this one.

Or is it so that in Marinduque, political candidates always get away with tales and lies confident that their powerless, and, to their mind "money-hungry" constituents ("pera lang ang katapat ng mga taga-Marinduque" is an oft repeated phrase here), would just believe anything that cometh forth from their mouths?

What's the real score?

Truth is, the Provincial Treasurer’s Office, with Maximo de Luna, Jr., as Provincial Treasurer releases on a daily basis what is called a Daily Cash Position Report on the Provincial Government’s General Fund duly certified by him. One such report (the latest), stamped received Apr. 23, 2010 at the Governor’s Office, reflects the cash position of the Provincial Government as of April 19, 2010, which states in unmistakable terms, and here I quote:


Certified Correct:
Provincial Treasurer

Now again, bankcrupt did she say? And no projects could be started by the elected governor whoever that may be, said she?

Now let’s check the cash position of the Provincial Government of Marinduque as of June 28, 2007, when ex-Gov. Carmencita Reyes exited then. Daily Cash Position Report for General Fund as of June 28, 2007, certified by the same provincial treasurer was:


Certified Correct:
Provincial Treasurer

A full increase of P. 152,297,623.45 compared to the 2010 figures, or increase of 133% from the 2007 figures by the end of Reyes' term. Note that Carrion took over from thereon.

But it all looks like plain and simple Black Propaganda propagated, not by political supporters or sycophants, but by the involved trapos themselves! That makes the character of this present political game more vicious than ever.

As regards the board member, of course he’s still getting his regular salary and fuel allocations just like the rest of his colleagues, inconsistent with his claim of the capitol’s bankruptcy.

Will Marinduque wake up and rise to the tune of “gising na”? Or sleep the creeping sleep of Death under the spell of the wicked wizards and witches of darkness and despair, of doom and gloom? ( Gising na means wake up)

Or maybe let's just all pray to God for sanity to reign on this our beloved island for once. Just this once. For in Him we Trust.

Said Carrion:

"A new spirit moves our people because of their new found hope and dignity. Most of all, the stark realization that we know ourselves even better now, as an empowered people capable of moving forward to chart our destiny together."

Thank you Eli for this report! Interesting and Revealing!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Is Marinduque the next Travel Hotspot?

The Boac Cathedral Tower

This article was published on on March 19, 2010. It was written by Christine Pfeiffer. I assumed she is from Australia and is a guest of the Department of Tourism, Philippines. I found her article timely and realistic. We need more articles like this one so that Marinduque becomes a world tourist destination soon.

Is Marinduque Island the next travel hotspot?

"There are no sleek nightclubs, bars or tacky souvenir shops.

The few cars on the roads are vastly outnumbered by jeepneys (extended jeeps with two long seats behind the driver) and tricycles (three-wheeled motorcycles with passenger carriages).

All eyes are on our group of five as we walk through the streets of Boac, the capital. Western visitors in Marinduque are rare. Tricycle drivers stop by the side of the road to gawk, jeepney passengers crane their necks for a better look and shopkeepers run out to the street to stare. Shy children scuttle away when we try to take their photo.

Surrounded by Tayabas Bay, Mompoy Bay, Tayabas Strait and the Sibuyan Sea, Marinduque Island is only 170km south of Manila yet it's a world away from the traffic, skyscrapers and frenetic pace of the big city. The 959sq km volcanic island is a pristine natural treasure trove of sandy beaches, diving sites, caves, hot springs and waterfalls. The few local resorts on the island are simple and inexpensive. But this may not be the case for much longer because the local government has its sights on becoming the Philippines' next big vacation hot spot.

Change is coming

The ball is already rolling with new low-cost flights from Manila on Zest Air and SEAIR. A new luxury resort on a small private island nearby, Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa, has given the province a boost by building roads and employing local workers.

Most islanders are farmers or fishermen. But many are excited about the opportunities that a tourism boom could offer. Some have borrowed from money lenders to buy a jeepney (about $5000) or a tricycle ($1500). In a year or two, the more enterprising will catch on to the potential of operating souvenir stalls and cafes. The towns have Spanish names like Santa Cruz and Torrijos. And, with family names like Fernandez, Reyes and Gonzales, you could almost be convinced you're in South America, not Asia.

Our guide, Marie Diaz, grew up in Mogpog which was occupied by Japanese troops during World War II. On our tour, we pass bullocks working in rice fields and barangays (villages) where herds of goats and scrawny dogs roam the streets. Marinduque may be one of the poorer provinces in the Philippines but the people look happy. The streets are clean, homes are neat and children play with carefree abandon.

The town of Buenavista, Spanish for good view, lives up to its name with stunning ocean views, sandy beaches and swaying palms. Nearby Gasan is more prosperous, with bigger homes and concrete buildings. The shops are eclectic. The sign outside the local supermarket says "Glory to God, Sioland Supermarket, Gasan Branch". Next to the supermarket, in a space beneath a stairwell, is a fruit stall and a display of Western-style bridal gowns.

Island Highlights

The island's attractions include the WHS Butterfly Farm, near Gasan, where we chase a kaleidoscope of delicate butterflies fluttering among the flowers. The farm is a family enterprise that ships pupae as well as framed, dried and live butterflies around the world.

The Marinduque Museum in Boac is a good place to brush up on local culture and history. Exhibits include 16th-century porcelain recovered from the bottom of the ocean. Catholic culture on Marinduque has evolved in a unique way. Boac's main drawcard is the Gothic Boac Cathedral, which was built in 1666 to honour the Virgin Mary, introduced to the island by Jesuit missionaries. The Virgin Mary is known as Ang Mahal na Birhen ng Biglang-Awa or Blessed Virgin of Biglang-Awa Immediate Succor.

Back in 1807 the parish priest of Mogpog, Padre Dionisio Santiago, started a festival based on the story of Longinus, the one-eyed Roman centurion who pierced Jesus Christ while he was on the cross. Today people from all over the Philippines flock here at Easter time to watch the singing, chanting and street theatre. The main event is a parade that includes the Via Crucis, or way of the cross, in which "Jesus Christ" carrying a wooden cross is trailed by a group of barefoot devotees who whip themselves as penance for their sins. It ends with the beheading of Longinus.

Outside the Boac Cathedral we buy banana que (deep-fried bananas dipped in caramelised sugar), turon (banana jackfruit) and carioca (doughnuts) from a local woman. The snacks cost seven pesos each (18c).

It's a warm day so Diaz takes us on a short hike through the rainforest to Paadyao Cascades where we plunge into a cool pool beneath the waterfall. I spend the rest of the afternoon at my cliff-top villa at Bellarocca Resort sipping champagne in my private plunge pool while gazing at tranquil views of Sibuyan Sea.

Bellarocca's setting is stunningly Mediterranean. White-washed buildings are a stark contrast to green Mt Malindig and the turquoise ocean. Facilities include a nine-hole golf course, cigar room, gym and fitness centre, swimming pools and a spa. Rooms are luxurious and furnished with amenities such as L'Occitane and Aveda cosmetics, plasma television sets and iPod docks".


Getting there: Philippine Airlines flies from Sydney to Manila from $901. Zest Air and SEAIR fly from Manila to Marinduque; flights are about $70 return.

Getting around: Buenavista to the airport in a jeepney costs 20 pesos (50c); Gasan to Buenavista in a tricycle costs 120 pesos ($3).

Staying there: Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa's Dolce Vita package (valid until May 31) includes two nights' accommodation, brunch, afternoon tea and other extras from $350 a person.

More: or call (02) 9279 3380

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Latest News on Ecotourism in Marimduque

The following press release I found interesting and exciting. I have been promoting tourism in Marinduquue in several of my blogs( Marinduque Awaits you, Marinduque On my Mind and this site) for the last two years. Now, we have the encouragement and support of one politician. Thank you Bong Bong Marcos. May your tribe increased.

Environment-friendly Marinduque pushed as major tourist spot
(The Philippine Star) Updated April 18, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A move to fully maximize Marinduque as an environment-friendly major tourist destination in Luzon is being pushed by local officials in Luzon.

Ilocos Rep. Bong Bong Marcos, who recently visited the province, is spear-heading the move.

“Marinduque is known worldwide for its colorful Moriones Festival and that’s good; but it has so much more to offer in terms of world class attractions and facilities that we must and will capitalize on to boost tourism, spur economic activities and uplift the quality of lives of Marinduqueños,” said Marcos.

He noted that the island-province is environment-friendly and “that’s why no major catastrophies such as landslides and massive flooding occur there.”

“Once the Marinduque air and sea ports are modernized, a larger volume of local and foreign tourists can be lured to visit its little-known but awesome white sand beaches, dive sites, trekking and hiking trails
and a climate comparable to Tagaytay,” Marcos said.

A more modern air and sea ports in Marinduque, which Marcos is pushing for, will allow more local and international direct flights and cruise liners to come in, bringing loads of tourists and generating more economic opportunities in the area.

Marcos, who engineered a tourism revival in Ilocos Norte during his term as governor, pointed out that the Marcopper mining site, shut down for years, can be redeveloped, particularly its 18-hole golf course, housing facilities and hospital building for medical tourism.

Marcos is confident that Marinduque’s inherent beauty, charming people and the popularity of its Moriones Festival could easily draw tourists with diverse needs and interests, given the right support and approach.

A major tourist draw is Elephant Island, where several developments are ongoing. Marcos said other points of interest such as Paajao Falls , Bathala Cave, Malbog Hot Springs, Mt. Malindig and other secluded coves and beaches are just good and has good impact on the province’s environment programs".

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tourism Development in Marinduque-Home of the Moriones

The following is a video made on November 28, 2009 by the provincial government outlining the development of tourism in Marinduque. This was edited by Eli Obligacion and I enjoyed the video very much. The expansive hall of Chateau Du Mer(CDM) is featured in the video. The CDM Hall was the venue of the STTC ( Southern Tagalog Tourism Committee) meeting in 2009 which was chaired by former provincial administrator Allan Velasco. He resigned from his position in 2009 and now is running for Congress this coming May, 2010 election. His opponent is former Congressman Edmund Reyes, Jr. May the best man win.

The video is a must view if you are a true-blooded Marinduqueno specially if you resides abroad. The beauty of our province is beyond description. We should help in promoting tourism in our island by electing the best person who will promote tourism in our province not only during Easter week but also the whole year round. Here's the video! Enjoy! Any Comments?

Visitor Locations as of April 20, 2010

Locations of visitors to this page

Nagahoy or Nabalis (Headache and Stomach Ache)

Orchids in Front Yard of the House
About one month ago, our housekeeper and cook, wife of our chief Gardener and Caretaker(Edwin Laririt) here at CDM, suddenly started throwing up and felt dizzy. Macrine gave her an anti-nausea pill but still she did not feel well. I took her blood pressure and it was normal. She decided that a stranger she saw in front of our house must have given her the bahoy/balis. Her husband decided to bring her to our local witch doctor and indeed confirm that someone was responsible for her headache and vomiting. Macrine and I thought she might be pregnant, but she told us no, as she is faithfully taking her birth control pills. The medicine lady gave her ginger and advice her to boil the clothes she was wearing at the time when she saw the stranger in front of the house. She was told to drink a tablespoon of the boiled water and the rest as a sponged bath. In the meantime, we gave her two tablets of aspirin and she went to sleep. The next day she was feeling better and her life was back to normal.

I personally do not believe in nagahoy or nabalis. However, this is not the first case that a similar incident occurred here in Marinduque. Sometimes, the cure is see the person that gave you the scourge and get a sample of his/her saliva and applied it to your head or stomach. Interesting event indeed! Comments, anyone?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Why Visit Marinduque this Year

It is time to re post my last year article, why visitors love Marinduque. It is spring time in US, so if you plan a trip to the Philippines, may I suggest visit My Island Paradise, that is if you do not want crowds, polluted air and traffic. I promise, it will be a trip you will never forget!

The White Beach of Poctoy, Torrijos with Mt Malinding in the background

The following are some of quotes and comments from the web from visitors to our island of "Why They Love Marinduque".

Photo from
Traveling to the island during the Easter peak season can drive one nuts, but Marinduque greatly rewards your "penitencia" with one-of-a-kind religious revelry, beautiful landscape and gracious people. From:

A small island province in central Philippines, Marinduque speaks of such profound natural beauty that will not escape the notice of a well seasoned traveller. From:

I stayed in Marinduque for almost three weeks. It's a heart-shaped island surrounded by pristine blue waters, beautiful white sand beaches ( in most areas) and marine sanctuaries. I have been told it has one of the most beautiful virgin coral reefs. It is truly such an awesome place. While I was there I've seen so much picturesque views that more than once took my breath away. They were like pictures from National Geographic. From:

It is with a heavy heart that I left Marinduque the next morning to go home. I wish to thank all Marinduquenos for their hospitality. Marinduque is for sure one of those places you should see before you die. Festival, May 26, 2006

My whole Holy Week experience was utterly engaging and can hardly be forgotten. Leaving the island of Marinduque after a week-long joyful festivities is quite saddening. On the Monday after the Festival, tourists begin to leave and the island become once more a place of simplicity, complacency and beauty. I am thankful to the Marinduquenos for giving me a temporary home away from my true home.

Memories of a nocturnal walk in Boac, June 29, 2008

It was the last night of my week long sojourn to Marinduque. Eight in the evening, I went out of my hotel room to stroll once more the lovely streets of Boac. The evening was peaceful and cool with a lovely soft breeze of wind in the air. This reminded me that I was in one of the most rural places in the Philippines.etc...etc..

The sky was well illuminated with the romantic glow of the moon, creating lovely silhouttes of ancient houses from beyond, dwarfed only by the lowly clouds from above
etc... etc.... It was past midnight when I started back to my hotel room, still photographing street sceneries. Boac indeed is a lovely little town from the olden days, but its evening is even lovelier... Dennisvillegas, june, 2008.

If it's your first time in Marinduque, do not worry. Almost everyone seems to be a friendly guide. Genuine hospitality is what I like most in this island.

Buenavista and Mt Malindig
Characterized by pristine natural beauty, Marinduque boasts of a wide spectrum of unspoiled beaches, mountain peaks, fabled sulfur springs, limestone caves, cascading waterfalls, fringing reefs, virgin islets and old Churches. From:

Last but not least from
Are you looking for a perfect and affordable vacation in the sun? Marinduque Island is the place for you! Stay at Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort. All you will hear are the sound of the waves and your heart beat. This will be an experience to remember!!

Here's a video on the sights and sounds of Marinduque, Heart of the Philippines from

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Be Careful in Posting Photos on Facebook

I found this posting from yesterday's issue of the Inquirer net. In my case, I usually ask permission to post a photo that I like from the author or owner of the photograph. It was written by Tetch Torres.

"BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Be careful with the pictures you post or when tagging people on your photos or you could be charged with libel, a lawyer said Wednesday.

Geraldine Faith Econg, Judicial Reform Program administrator, Program Management Office, in her lecture on Survey of Philippine Jurisprudence on Libel, Contempt and Right to Privacy said libel, a criminal offense defined under the Revised Penal Code, was not only confined to writing.

Econg, during the Supreme Court's Media Forum held here, explained that any person who shall publish, exhibit or cause the publication or exhibition of any defamation in writing or by similar means could be held responsible for libel.

She cited that a photo posted on a social website of a sleeping friend at work or any compromising photo for that matter could be considered libelous once his or her picture has been tagged and all the people in their network
could see it.

Econg said, like in writing, if the published photo has caused “discredit, dishonor or contempt of a natural or juridical person [entities, organizations etc.] or blackened the memory of one who is dead” then a case for libel was possible.

There are several reports where employees have been fired for inappropriate photos posted over Facebook.

Georgia teacher Ashley Payne was terminated for photos showing her holding beer mugs and glasses of wine while a nursing home employee was fired for a photo with a resident which was a violation of the patient’s privacy rights.

In 2009, a test case for libel due to a Facebook post was filed by beauty Dr. Vicky Belo against lawyer Argee Guevarra who posted on his Facebook account comments against the doctor and calls to boycott her clinic.

Belo argued that her reputation was debased by the post. Belo was not tagged a friend of Guevarra on Facebook but the lawyer has over 1,400 friends who saw his post on the cosmetic surgeon".

I hope you find this article informative. Comments will be appreciated.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Political News from Marinduque

Here's the latest local political news from Marinduque.

SC justice files P1-million libel case over Marinduque stories

by Joel San Juan

SUPREME Court (SC) Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. has filed 13 counts of libel charges against veteran journalist Marites Danguilan Vitug for allegedly insinuating in her online article that he has breached the provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct by engaging in partisan politics to boost his son’s congressional bid in Marinduque province.

In a 10-page complaint filed before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Manila, Velasco claimed that Vitug’s article titled “SC Justice in Partisan Politics,” which appeared in the homepage for 13 consecutive days starting December 3, 2009, was intended to besmirch his and his family’s reputation as well as to undermine the candidacy of his son Lord Allan in their home province.

“Ms. Vitug publicly accused me in her Newsbreak online article…and portrayed me as an unethical person without delicadeza who has wantonly violated the Code of Judicial Conduct and existing laws. Said malicious imputations were plainly directed against me and had caused me, my wife and children, especially Allan, irreparable dishonor, discredit and contempt,” the complaint said.

Vitug, in the said article, said that Velasco’s son, Lord Allan, is running against Edmudo Reyes  Jr.,  scion of a political family, for the lone congressional seat in Marinduque and that the magistrate “is shaping up to be a key figure in his son’s uphill battle,” although he denied it.

She also cited the claims of some residents in Marinduque that Velasco is actively helping his son in organizing his ticket by inviting local officials to run with his son’s ticket with a promise to provide their campaign expenses.

A barangay chairman identified as Marife Pastrana was quoted in the article as saying: “He [Justice Velasco] called to offer me to run for councilor with his son and to attend a meeting in his residence. I couldn’t attend the meeting and I declined his offer.

“He said I shouldn’t worry about campaign expenses, he’ll take care of the funds,” Pastrana added.

The article added that another barangay captain, Norma Villar, got the same call from Velasco but declined the offer.

Vitug also wrote that Pastrana was able to attend a meeting in Velasco’s residence once. The meeting, she said, was hosted by Lord Allan.

During the said meeting, Pastrana said she saw the justice talking to some of the leaders, shaking their hands and asking their support for his son’s political bid.

The article also stated that Justice Velasco voted with the majority in the SC’s decision in the Quinto case that allowed appointive officials to stay in their posts even after the filing of their candidacy, which was beneficial to his son.

It can be recalled, though, that said ruling has already been abandoned by the Court with finality.

In his complaint, Velasco denied Vitug’s insinuation that the Quinto ruling benefited his son, as the latter immediately resigned from his post as provincial administrator after he filed his certificate of candidacy on December 1, 2009.

“The insinuation that I concurred with the majority in the Quinto case to benefit Allan reeks with malice. Ms. Vitug made it appear that my vote in the case was not predicated on the obtaining factual and legal premises, as required by law and the Rules of Court, but to favor particularly my son, a situation which, if true, is unethical and a breach of the Code of Judicial Conduct,” Velasco said.

As to the claim of Villar, Velasco noted that the barangay captain has already denied being offered by him to run for municipal council under his son’s ticket in a sworn statement.

Velasco also denied Pastrana’s claim that he solicited her support for Allan since he was aware that such solicitation “constitutes a prohibited partisan political activity.”

“Ms. Vitug wrote about my having invited one Marife Pastrana to attend a purported political meeting in the residence of my wife, Lorna, in Torrijos, Marinduque. This is a lie, an absolute falsehood. I have never invited Ms. Pastrana to any meeting, let alone a political one, as I make it a point not to involve myself in any activity which may be perceived, even remotely, as political to promote the candidacy of a son, relative or friend,” Velasco stressed.

The publication of the said article, according to Velasco, was attended by malice considering that it was Reyes who referred Pastrana to Vitug.

“It may thus be safely deduced that Edmund Reyes Jr. engaged the services of Ms. Vitug purposely to write derogatory matters against me,” Velasco said.

He said he granted the persistent requests of Vitug to interview him on December 2, 2009, a day before the article was posted online, but the journalist did not confront him on the claims of Pastrana and Villar concerning politics in Marinduque.

“Ms. Vitug’s deportment is highly unethical and improper as, with ill-designs, she tried to obtain information from me and yet did not give me the sporting opportunity to refute or explain the allegations which became the subject of her December 3, 2009, article ‘SC Justice in Partisan Politics,’” Velasco said.

Aside from being liable for libel, Velasco said Vitug also violated the provisions of the Journalist’s Code of Ethics that requires news to be presented fairly and honestly and to set aside personal motives and interest in performing his or her duties as a journalist.

Velasco is seeking moral, exemplary and other damages in the amount of P1 million from Vitug.

Interesting! I have a feeling this coming May election will be a close one in Marinduque. If you are a dual Filipino-American citizen, please vote. From the GrandPa Blogger

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Senior's Alphabet- We are back in Sunny California

I found this on the web from an anonymous source, when I was checking my e-mail from an internet Cafe in Makati on our way back to California, after four and a half month of enjoying the sights and sounds of Chateau Du Mer, our winter residence in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines. If you are a senior citizen, like me, I am sure you can identify with most of the alphabets. If you are not, your time will come. You can not stop the aging process, but you could slow it down by exercise ( both mind and body), less stress, good food, good friends and a loving family and relatives. Good day to all, my on-line friends. From the Grand Pa Blogger!

Seniors' Alphabet

A for arthritis, B for bad back,
C is for chest pains. Perhaps cardiac?

D is for dental decay and decline,
E is for eyesight--can't read that top line.

F is for fissures and fluid retention,
G is for gas (which I'd rather not mention.)

H high blood pressure (I'd rather have low,)
I for incisions with scars you can show.

J is for joints, that now fail to flex,
L for libido--what happened to sex?

Wait! I forgot about K!
K is for my knees that crack when they're bent,
(Please forgive me, my Memory ain't worth a cent.)

N for neurosis, pinched nerves and stiff neck,
0 is for osteo- and all bones that crack.

P for prescriptions, I have quite a few.
Give me another pill; I'll be good as new!

Q is for queasiness. Fatal or flu?
R is for reflux--one meal turns into two

S is for sleepless nights, counting my fears,
T for tinnitus--! hear bells in my ears.

U is for urinary: difficulties with flow,
V is for vertigo, that's "dizzy", you know.

W is worry, now what's going 'round?
X is for X ray--and what might be found.

Y for another year I've left behind,
Z is for zest that I still have my mind.

How many of the alphabets, can you relate to?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Moriones Festival and Trade Fair, 2010

Crucifixion Scene at the Moriones Park at Boac River Bed

Moriones Parade in front of Boac Hotel and 4 Ed's Computer Shop-owned by my by sister-in-law

Today is Good Friday. The Moriones Festival is in full swing with Parades, Procession, Easter Pageant and the Life and Passion of Christ and traffic in Boac congested as part of our life here in sleepy Marinduque. This is the only time of the year when traffic is congested as if you in are Manila. Most of the stores are closed but the Trade Fair is open to buy native handicrafts. marble furniture, gifts and 100 other items of your desire. In my case, my purchase of the year are three marble tables and one matching marble table lamp. With the purchase I got a big marble mortar and pestle and a pen holder set. The above items cost me only about $300 ( a bargain if I purchased these items in US). The marble Company is from Romblon Island and comes to Marinduque only once a year during the Moriones Festival and Trade Fair. Next year we will not be able to stay for Holy Week here in Marinduque, so I am taking this opportunity to savor the pageantry of this island festival. Happy Easter to All! Here's a short video of the Moriones Festival-whole week of celebration. The video is a bit grainy, but it captures the spirit of Holy Week Celebration.


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