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!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cave Exploration in Matinduque

If you love cave exploration, Marinduque should be in your next spelunking trip. The following video released by the provincial government of Marinduque a few days ago is a good example of the many ways, government officials can help promote ecotourism in the Philippines.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Why I volunteer to MI, Inc Medical Mission to Marinduque

Medical Mission, 2008 in Boac

One of the FaceBook users in my group “ Marinduquenos All Over The World” ask me yesterday, why I continue volunteering and giving my time, spend my own money and make a big effort to publicize this project of Marinduque International, Inc.( MI, Inc) via my blogs and Face Book account. I told her because I feel good about it. Moreover, the more I gave of myself ( time, money and my heart), the more I feel good about myself. For those of you who are not familiar with MI, Inc.. It is a non-profit organization registered in US compose of Marinduquenos now residing in US and Canada. Last year, a new chapter from Saudi Arabia joined the eight chapters in US and Canada. For more details please visit the website:

For those of you that had participated in at least one of the six previous medical mission ( 1998-2008), you know in your heart what I meant by “Feeling Good About Yourself.”. Some of you may have different reasons why you had participated previously or have plans of joining this coming mission next year ( February 5-14, 2011). But essentially,volunteering your time, money and your heart is one way of giving back to the poor and needy of Marinduque, the graces and good fortunes you have attained for yourself and your family when you immigrated to US, Canada or other parts of the world.

When you participate in the medical mission, you will touch the lives of many of your poor kababayans from the rural areas of the six towns of Marinduque. Therefore the saying that “the time that you really live is the time when you have touch the lives of others” can now be applied to you. For those of you who had not participated in the medical mission, your participation to this humanitarian project is highly encourage. I hope you will join us.

If you had participated in the previous medical mission, please feel free to add ( via comments) the benefits you have received personally and the reasons why you keep volunteering to this humanitarian project. I am looking forward to your participation next February in Marinduque. Mabuhay kayo Lahat!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Marinduque International, Inc Medical Mission, 2011

Marinduque International, Inc (MI) Seal and Logo
I have several inquiries on the schedule of next year medical mission. So,just recently, I talked to Annie Miles Jalac, president of MI, Inc. She gave me the following tentative schedule for next year medical mission to Marinduque. I am posting it, so that those who wants to join the mission could mark it in their calendar. After the mission, I am trying to negotiate a group discounted rate for a 2 night 3-day vacation in Bellarocca Resort and Spa.( A minimum of 10 couples is required for this discounted rate. Once I have the official rate, I will post it in FaceBook or in this blog. If you are interested in joining this group, please let me know. Now for the tentative schedule:

February 5 ( Saturday): Orientation/Registration at Chateau Du Mer, Amoingon, Boac
February 6 ( Sunday) Mass by the Bishop Evangelista at Gasan Cathedral-Morning
Welcome Dinner by the Governor-Lupac-Evening
February 6 ( Monday) Start of Hospital Operations and Clinic in Gasan-whole Day
February 7 ( Tuesday) “ and Clinic in Buenavista-whole Day
February 8 ( Wednesday) “ and Clinic in Torrijos-Whole Day
Evening: Appreciation Dinner-Chateau Du Mer- Amoingon, Boac
February 9 ( Thursday) Hospital Operations and Clinic in Santa Cruz-Whole Day
February 10 ( Friday) “ and Clinic in Mogpog-Whole Day

February 11 ( Saturday) Whole Day Clinic in Boac
Evening- Valentine Dinner and Dance- Possible Venue- Bellarocca ( Buenavista) or Chateau Du Mer ( Boac)

February 12-14 Post Mission 2-night and 3-day Vacation to Bellarocca Resort ( under negotiation)

Marinduque International has a website ( but has not been updated to include information for this coming medical mission. However, please visit the site, since all the previous medical missions are all documented in detail including pictures and articles on this humanitarian project.

If you love Marinduque, I urge you to join us next year for this humanitarian project. As the saying goes, “ The time that you have really live, is the time that you have touch the lives of others”. If you can not personally join us, your monetary or “in kind” donation will be welcome. Please note that part of your donation may be tax deductible, since MI, Inc is a non-profit organization registered in US. For details on your tax deduction, please consult your accountant or tax advisor.

MI, Inc next meetimg will be in Las Vegas in mid November to finalize the medical mission schedule according to Ms Miles of the Vancouver Chapter. On another note, Northern California Chapter Meeting will be on October 23 in Pittsburg, CA according to chapter president Eddie Lazarte.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Latest News on Bellarocca Resort and Spa

Marinduque’s luxury isle - is the title of the article on the Daily Inquirer by G. Querubin dated 6/23/2010 . With rates starting from $420 ( hotel room) to $1320 (villa) per night, most of the local Marinduquenos can certainly not afford these prices. Even Filipino-Americans Balikbayan found this resort very expensive. The resort has a website( but their promo packages had not been updated.

I hope that the resort will give discounts to Balikbayans who are from Marinduque in the near future. I am currently negotiating with a representative of the resort to give our group ( Marinduque International) a discount in our planned post medical mission vacation at the resort this coming February, 2011. If you are interested in joining my group, please let me know ASAP. I will announce the negotiated discounted rate as soon as I received it. Here is the article for your reading pleasure.

"MARINDUQUE, A heart-shaped island-province south of Manila, is home to the world-renowned Moriones Festival, but on a small mountain-islet on its southwestern coast also sits a luxurious Mediterranean-style resort.

Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa on Elefante Island features elegant accommodations, with balconies and verandas that offer breathtaking views of the Sibuyan Sea and the majestic Mt. Malindig. It was formally opened on Feb. 14.

Bellarocca (“beautiful rock” in Italian) is part of Buenavista (good view), the smallest and poorest (fourth-class) of the province’s six municipalities. Pristine and picturesque, Buenavista also boasts of the Bagtingon mountain ranges where butterflies abound.

The resort islet has rolling terrain and immaculate white structures perched atop cliffs, reflecting sunlight and contrasting with the lush green surroundings and blue seas below. Its corporate owner compares its landscape with the quaint island of Santorini in Greece.

Asked what makes it different from other resorts, Jan Michel Gautier, a former general manager, said in an interview: “Service beyond customer expectation.”

“We create demand, we create potentials and we see to it that our customers will have a memorable experience with their stay with us,” he said.

The resort is owned by Gold Barrel Social Club Resort Capital Inc. and is managed by Genesis Resorts and Hotels Corp.

Villas and Terrazas

It features 50 exclusive and stunningly appointed rooms—21 deluxe, nine suites, 10 “terrazas” and 10 villas—designed to highlight a lavish ambiance and intimate stay. Each villa has its own eternity pool, Jacuzzi and pocket garden, and features fully furnished rooms with minimalist interior design and high ceilings.

Room and villa rates range from $420 (about P19,000) to $1,320 (about P61,000) per night. An overnight stay at the presidential villa is pegged at P250,000.

The prices are undoubtedly beyond the reach of most of the 230,000 Marinduqueños, whose average monthly income is estimated at P11,000. Poverty incidence in the province was placed at 50.6 percent, according to a 2006 report of the National Statistical Coordination Board.

Guests are shuttled to their accommodations from the marina, where they are first welcomed in the traditional “putong” (crowning) rite. Employees dance to the chanting and toss petals to the air before presenting kalachuchi leis to them.

An eternity pool, natural hot spring pool and a pavilion restaurant are found near the beach. In between the marina and the pavilion area is the aqua sports center, which offers snorkeling, kayaking, hobiecat sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, sunset cruising and island hopping.

Ramil Lagroso, the food and beverage manager, said the hotel restaurant serves mostly Asian and Western cuisine.

The resort also has a par-36, 9-hole golf course at the foothills of Malindig, a fully equipped air-conditioned gym, cigar, karaoke and piano lounges, library, entertainment center, garden and a meditation sanctuary.

Tours are available around the mainland and to various destinations, such as century-old churches, beaches, museum, Bathala cave and butterfly farms.


Bellarocca is committed to help in the province’s social progress by being a part of social developments, Gautier said. During lean periods, the resort’s doctor conducts medical missions in the communities.

“We are helping the locals through employment,” he said. Of the 167 resort employees, 124 are from Marinduque.

“We buy seafood products used in our restaurants, also, directly from local fishermen,” Gautier said.

Fishing is the next main source of income of the locals. Marinduque is primarily agricultural, with 55,810 hectares of its total land area of 95,924 ha devoted to coconuts and other crops.

The municipal government of Buenavista expects that its revenues would increase from business permit fees and taxes that the resort will remit and from the taxes of local businesses tied up with the resort’s operation, such as restaurants and “pasalubong” stores.

Bellarocca is now the banner site of the province for local and international tourism, according to provincial tourism officer Gerry Jamilla. Marinduque, he said, “is becoming the next potential international tourism destination.”

“If the local products and support services such as restaurants will be developed fully, the benefits for Marinduque will be bigger,” trade provincial director Carlito Fabalena said.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dialects of the Philippines

The tagalog speaking region of the Philippines-Katagalugan Region of the Philippines

Friends and relatives here in US often ask me how many dialects are there really in the Philippines. My answer is usually 7 to 8, since that was what I learned in elementary school in the late 1940's. However, I found out today, I was wrong. I found the following article feom the web stating there are 12 major regioanal languages in the Philippines. In the article there are over 170 dialects, one of them is the local Marinduqueno dialect spoken only by the natives of Marinduque. I hope that a dictionary of Marinduque dialect will be published soon. Note that I have meet other Filipinos here in US who does not even know that Marinduque is known as tagalog speaking province. Most of these non-Marinduquenos believe Visaya is spoken in Marinduque. Here is the article that I found interesting and even informative not only to non-Filipinos but also the other Filipinos living outside the Philippines.

"In the Philippines there are over 170 dialects of which about twelve, belonging to the Malayo-Polynesian language family, are of regional importance. Of all these languages only Filipino and English are considered to be official in the country.

The twelve major regional languages are the auxiliary official languages of their respective regions, each with over one million speakers: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Waray-Waray, Kapampangan, Bicol, Pangasinan. Kinaray-a, Maranao, Maguindanao and Tausug.
Most of the country’s languages are closely related, belonging to one of several subfamilies of Austronesian - more specifically, Western Malayo-Polynesian languages. The major languages of the country generally correspond to the largest ethnic groups.

Tagalog is the most widespread language of the Central Philippine subfamily, with the bulk of its native speakers concentrated in Manila, central and south-central Luzon, and the islands of Mindoro and Marinduque. The national language of the Philippines, Filipino, is based on Tagalog and shares a place with English as an official language and medium of instruction. Tagalog (including Filipino) has the most extensive written literature of all Philippine languages.

Cebuano, also a Central Philippine language, is used widely in Cebu, Bohol, eastern Negros, western Leyte, and parts of Mindanao.

Ilocano is the most commonly spoken language of the Northern Luzon subfamily, and its speakers constitute the third largest language community of the Philippines.

Other prominent languages of the Central Philippine group include Hiligaynon and Waray-Waray, both spoken in the Visayas, as well as several varieties of Bicol, spoken in southern Luzon.

Tausug is widespread in Palawan and the Sulu Archipelago.

Kinaray-a is spoken mainly in Antique Province. It is also spoken in Iloilo province and certain villages in Mindanao.

Kapampangan (Pampango) and Pangasinan, both Northern Philippine languages, have many speakers in central Luzon.

Notable languages of the Southern Philippine subfamily are Magindanao and Maranao, which are spoken in parts of Mindanao.

Both Spanish and Arabic are used as secondary languages in the Philippines and the use of Arabic is prevalent among the Filipino Muslims. The Lan-nang-oe version of Min Nan Chinese dialect is widely spoken by the country's Chinese minority".

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Cat, Blue Birds and Fathers Day in California

It is already Father's Day in the Philippines. Here in Northern California Fathers Day will be tomorrow and the next day will be the official first day of summer. However, since mid-April this year six Blue Jays have been frolicking with abandon in my backyard. Two are the parent birds and four are the babies. I have been feeding them with bread crumbs and rice morsels, and faithfully replacing their bird bath and water every day. The birds were very happy in my yard since then, until today.
My daughter and her family are vacationing to Florida this week. So, Macrine and I are "cat sitting" for Gimlet, the family pet cat until the end of this month. Gimlet gets so excited when she hears the sounds and chirping of the blue jays. Her ears perk and eyes stare like a tiger ready for the kill. However, Gimlet is a house cat and does not really enjoy the outside world. So she seemed content, just watching the blue jays in the sliding door screen leading to the patio outside, until today.

I started feeding the birds with bread crumbs. The six blue jays were all excited.
All of a sudden, Gimlet got out and started running after the birds. The birds were all chattering and screaming. What a sound that was..I tried to call the cat in, but she just stare at the birds, mesmerized by their chirping. After about 20 minutes, I got tired of the noise and chirping, so I decided to pick up Gimlet and brought her inside the house. Finally, there was quite and solitude. I gave Gimlet her can tuna and she is now happy inside the house and taking a nap by my side. Gimlet acts like a small puppy. She follows me around the house if she gets lonely. She likes to cuddle when we are watching TV after dinner every night.

The blue jays are also a favorite of my grand daughter,Carenna. When she visits us, the first thing she would ask is if she could feed the birds. I consider these birds my pets. We have pets in the Philippines, two dogs, one cat and several chickens. But here in Northern California, our only pets are these blue jays that reside in my back yard during spring, summer and fall in this beautiful Northern California neighborhood every year. Do you also have pets in your back yard?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Are you a Face Book User? Which type are You?

I found this article in CNN that reminded me FB has now more than 500 million users all over the world. There are 12 types listed here, but I am sure most of us are a combination of at least three to four of these types. Which type or types do you belong? Which type or types annoys you? Which type or types you like exchanging ideas? How many friends do you have in Face Book? I feel the 5000 limit is just too many unless you are promoting a product or into social network marketing. Comments anyone?

I have several friends in FB who does not do much but play games like Mafia Wars, Farmville or Cafe World. Others just say "LIKE" to your comments and most would just say he, he, he? They sound like morons or jerks. Some have FB accounts but never open them. Isn't this just annoying. Luckily, I had been using the HIDE Option to customize my FB page. To all my friends ( I have more than a dozen) who open an account and never read or or seldom open them, you are one of the 12 types that annoys me. So, why open an account and not use it?

"Facebook, for better or worse, is like being at a big party with all your friends, family, acquaintances and co-workers.

There are lots of fun, interesting people you're happy to talk to when they stroll up. Then there are the other people, the ones who make you cringe when you see them coming. This article is about those people.

Sure, Facebook can be a great tool for keeping up with folks who are important to you. Take the status update, the 160-character message that users post in response to the question, "What's on your mind?" An artful, witty or newsy status update is a pleasure -- a real-time, tiny window into a friend's life.

But far more posts read like navel-gazing diary entries, or worse, spam. A recent study categorized 40 percent of Twitter tweets as "pointless babble," and it wouldn't be surprising if updates on Facebook, still a fast-growing social network, break down in a similar way.

Combine dull status updates with shameless self-promoters, "friend-padders" and that friend of a friend who sends you quizzes every day, and Facebook becomes a daily reminder of why some people can get on your nerves.

Here are 12 of the most annoying types of Facebook users:

The Let-Me-Tell-You-Every-Detail-of-My-Day Bore. "I'm waking up." "I had Wheaties for breakfast." "I'm bored at work." "I'm stuck in traffic." You're kidding! How fascinating! No moment is too mundane for some people to broadcast unsolicited to the world. Just because you have 432 Facebook friends doesn't mean we all want to know when you're waiting for the bus.

The Self-Promoter. OK, so we've probably all posted at least once about some achievement. And sure, maybe your friends really do want to read the fascinating article you wrote about beet farming. But when almost EVERY update is a link to your blog, your poetry reading, your 10k results or your art show, you sound like a bragger or a self-centered careerist.

The Friend-Padder. The average Facebook user has 120 friends on the site. Schmoozers and social butterflies -- you know, the ones who make lifelong pals on the subway -- might reasonably have 300 or 400. But 1,000 "friends?" Unless you're George Clooney or just won the lottery, no one has that many. That's just showing off.

The Town Crier. "Michael Jackson is dead!!!" You heard it from me first! Me, and the 213,000 other people who all saw it on TMZ. These Matt Drudge wannabes are the reason many of us learn of breaking news not from TV or news sites but from online social networks. In their rush to trumpet the news, these people also spread rumors, half-truths and innuendo. No, Jeff Goldblum did not plunge to his death from a New Zealand cliff.

The TMIer. "Brad is heading to Walgreens to buy something for these pesky hemorrhoids." Boundaries of privacy and decorum don't seem to exist for these too-much-information updaters, who unabashedly offer up details about their sex lives, marital troubles and bodily functions. Thanks for sharing.

The Bad Grammarian. "So sad about Fara Fauset but Im so gladd its friday yippe". Yes, I know the punctuation rules are different in the digital world. And, no, no one likes a spelling-Nazi schoolmarm. But you sound like a moron.

The Sympathy-Baiter. "Barbara is feeling sad today." "Man, am I glad that's over." "Jim could really use some good news about now." Like anglers hunting for fish, these sad sacks cast out their hooks -- baited with vague tales of woe -- in the hopes of landing concerned responses. Genuine bad news is one thing, but these manipulative posts are just pleas for attention.

The Lurker. The Peeping Toms of Facebook, these voyeurs are too cautious, or maybe too lazy, to update their status or write on your wall. But once in a while, you'll be talking to them and they'll mention something you posted, so you know they're on your page, hiding in the shadows. It's just a little creepy.

The Crank. These curmudgeons, like the trolls who spew hate in blog comments, never met something they couldn't complain about. "Carl isn't really that impressed with idiots who don't realize how idiotic they are." [Actual status update.] Keep spreading the love.

The Paparazzo. Ever visit your Facebook page and discover that someone's posted a photo of you from last weekend's party -- a photo you didn't authorize and haven't even seen? You'd really rather not have to explain to your mom why you were leering like a drunken hyena and French-kissing a bottle of Jagermeister.

The Obscurist. "If not now then when?" "You'll see..." "Grist for the mill." "John is, small world." "Dave thought he was immune, but no. No, he is not." [Actual status updates, all.] Sorry, but you're not being mysterious -- just nonsensical.

The Chronic Inviter. "Support my cause. Sign my petition. Play Mafia Wars with me. Which 'Star Trek' character are you? Here are the 'Top 5 cars I have personally owned.' Here are '25 Things About Me.' Here's a drink. What drink are you? We're related! I took the 'What President Are You?' quiz and found out I'm Millard Fillmore! What president are you?"

You probably mean well, but stop. Just stop. I don't care what president I am -- can't we simply be friends? Now excuse me while I go post the link to this story on my Facebook page ( IN MY CASE IN MY BLOG).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Polytical Dynasties-Source of Corruption in the Philippines

The Philippine will have new president on July 1. He wants to be called P-Noy (short for President Noy-Noy Aquino). Currently, the talk about graft and corruption has somewhat stopped. P-Noy has reiterated that ending corruption in the Philippines is one of the top priorities of his administration. But will he ever be successful in his goal? No one in the Philippines could end the rule of the political dynasties except the masses and the voters. Here's a short article about political dynasties in the Philippines, I found interesting as I was surfing in the web recently.

"For generations, political dynasties have dominated politics and governance in the Philippines. They are prominent and moneyed clans, like that of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, whose father was also president and whose son is a congressman.

Experts say that dominance of Philippine politics by such dynasties has grown more pervasive in recent years.

There are an estimated 250 political families nationwide, with at least one in every province, occupying positions in all levels of the bureaucracy, according to the Center for People Empowerment in Governance, a nonprofit group that advocates more grassroots participation in politics. Of the 265 members of Congress, 160 belong to these clans, the group says.

"These are the same families who belong to the country's economic elite, some of them acting as rule makers or patrons of politicians who conspire together to amass greater economic power," said Bobby Tuazon, director of the center.

Analysts say members of the dynasties have developed a sense of entitlement regarding public positions, while many ordinary Filipinos accept the arrangement as inevitable, which makes it difficult to change the situation.

Political dynasties were an offshoot of the country's colonial experience, in which the Filipino elite was nurtured by Spanish and American colonizers. Even after the country gained independence, in 1946, the largely feudal system persisted, as landed Filipino families sought to protect their interests by occupying public offices.

When he was president in the 1970s and 1980s, Ferdinand Marcos blamed the political dynasties for what was wrong with the country and promised to dismantle them. He did, but then replaced them with new ones that he controlled. These families persist to this day.

Because Filipinos tend not to vote according to class, ethnicity, religion or even ideology, the Filipino family has become "the most enduring political unit and the one into which, failing some wider principle of participation, all other units dissolve," Brian Fegan, an American anthropologist and historian, wrote in the book "An Anarchy of Families: State and Family in the Philippines."

Analysts say the dominance of the clans has prevented the flowering of genuine democracy in the Philippines.

"Continuing clan dominance is a product of the seemingly immutable and unequal socioeconomic structure, as well as the failure to develop a truly democratic electoral and party system," said Julio Teehankee, a political science professor at De La Salle University in Manila.

The system is a vicious cycle, one that prevents the expansion of the base of aspirants and candidates for representation, Teehankee said. The result, he added, is a political system dominated by patronage, corruption, violence, and fraud.

Apart from violence, election fraud sparks the most concern during elections. According to the Center for People Empowerment in Governance, "fraud recycles the political dynasties and keeps them in power."

"It breeds generations of cheaters and manipulators, corrupt politicians, mediocre executives, bribe takers, absenteeism in Congress," the center said.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Joke of the Week-Political Correctness

It is time to have some politically correct jokes for this week in this site. The following is from Sandee's Comedy Plus blog..Enjoy

Due to the climate of political correctness now pervading America , all Kentuckians, Tennesseans, and West Virginians will no longer be referred to as "HILLBILLIES." You must now refer to them as "APPALACHIAN-AMERICANS".


1. She is not a "BABE" or a "CHICK" - She is a "BREASTED AMERICAN."
2. She is not "EASY" - She is "HORIZONTALLY ACCESSIBLE."
5. She does not "NAG" you - She becomes "VERBALLY REPETITIVE."
6. She is not a "TWO-BIT HOOKER" - She is a "LOW COST PROVIDER."

And, not to discriminate.... HOW TO SPEAK ABOUT MEN AND BE POLITICALLY

1. He does not have a "BEER GUT" - He has developed a "LIQUID STORAGE FACILITY."
2. He is not a " BAD DANCER" - He is "OVERLY CAUCASIAN."
4. He is not "BALDING" - He has "FOLLICLE IMPAIRMENT."
5. He does not act like a "TOTAL ASS" - He develops a case of RECTAL-CRANIAL INVERSION."
6. It's not his "CRACK" you see hanging out of his pants - It's "REAR CLEAVAGE."

Stolen from: Jonas of With a Smile

Monday, June 14, 2010

Not in India or Philippines, But only in Indonesia

Do the two cows look like two beautiful women? Judge for yourself!

The other day while surfing in the web, I read the weirdest, unusual and "sexy" article, I can not believe it is true. Anyway, I like to share the article with you. No, it is not another Pinay sex video scandal or the recent three way sex of an actor from Thailand with two women, but a teenager from Indonesia caught having sex with his pet cow. I have heard of women who had sex with their pet dogs and men with sheep's or goats, but this one beats them all. I am quite sure the cow did not enjoy it, unless the Indonesian teenager has a "tool" that is at least 10" long. The news was titled " Steak Rape" and twitted by Sissy Willis as follows:

An 18-year-old Indonesian man says he was seduced by a cow, and that's why he was having sex with it. "He was caught by one of the residents standing naked while holding the back of the cow," village chief Embang Ida Bagus Legawa said in the newspaper.

Alit said he didn't see an animal, he saw a beautiful young woman. "She called my name and seduced me, so I had sex with her," the man told the newspaper.

Alit underwent a cleansing ritual. The village chief gave the owner of the cow the equivalent of $562. The cow was reportedly drowned in the sea to rid the village of bad luck.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fathers' Day is near- Food for Thought-Parenthood

Happy Father's Day to All Fathers of the World! Enjoy this video..

Fathers' Day is just a couple of days from now. The day reminds me of the responsibility of Parenthood. I found the following quotes timeless and applicable to all Fathers and Mothers of Today and of the future.

1. Marriage is an institution, but who wants to live in an institution.

2. The trouble with most average American is that they expect their children to be above average.

3. The best inheritance a parent can give his children is a few minutes of his time each day.

4. A mother of 13 children was asked "how in the world can you have time for 13 children" she replied, "when I had only one child, it took all my time, what more can 13 do?

5. A Chicago psychologist lists these rules for parents to insure their child happiness
Avoid favoritism, do not compare one child to another
Don't be too dominating; don't impose your own ambitions or hobbies
Don't be upset at what your neighbor's children accomplish
Don't remind yourself constantly that you worked harder or had fewer privileges.

6. The fear of depriving our children has produced the most "gifted" generation of children in our history. We shower them with gifts to prove our love, with the inevitable result that the gift of love has degenerated into a love of gifts.
Are we offering things as parent substitutes? Are we offering presents instead of our presence? Are we giving things because we are reluctant to give time or self or our heart?

Some Food for Thought indeed especially on this coming Father's Day! Happy Father's Day to all Fathers in the world!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Time for Patroitism-Philippine Independence Day(from Spain not US)-112th Anniversary

Today, June 12, 2010 is 112 years of Philippine independence from Spain(1898). Parades and other festivities are being held in the Philippines to celebrate this event. Since I am not in the Philippines, my contribution to the celebration is this video, a choral presentation of "Ako ay Filipino",(I am a Filipino) by UP Adventist Choir performed in Fresno a couple of years ago. If you have Filipino blood in you, joined this 112th anniversary celebration of Philippine Independence ( from Spain, not US). Philippines Independence from US was July 4,1946. Here's the video for your viewing pleasure. In this video, there are 15 more songs. One of my favorites Filipino patriotic song is Dugong Filipino ( Blood of a Filipino). This was sung by Jonathan Badon, re known Filipino Tenor in the world of Philippine Opera. Jonathan had been to our residence in Silver Spring, Maryland in November 16,2000 along with several other Philippine opera singers with the Fides Santos-Cuyugan Asensio group-"On Wing of Songs". The other Filipino opera singers in the group are: Lorna Llames ( soprano), Bituin Domicel ( soprano), Nova Ramirez ( mezzo soprano), Marvin Gayramon ( baritone) and Reuel Tica (bass)

If you have not heard about Jonathan Badon, here's his short biography.
The Philippines' prince of operatic-pop is an Aliw Awardee for 2004 Best Male Classical Performer (Philippine version of Tony Awards). He just had a series of performances in Texas, California, and Southeast Asia. Badon is a Bachelor of Music in Voice graduate at the University of the Philippines College of Music as a scholar of the Music Promotion Foundation - Cultural Center of the Philippines. He has performed lead roles in various operas, oratorios, sarzuelas musicales and has done numerous solo concerts in the Philippines as well as in the United States, Canada, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Brunei Darrusalam. He also has represented the Philippines to different music and cultural festivals in Wales, Scotland, Indonesia, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Korea, China, Japan and the United States.

A versatile performer, Jonathan is one of the most sought-after stage and music personalities in the Philippines today. Also known as the Josh Groban of the Philippines, he is the ultimate cross-over artist in his effortless transition from classical to pop singing. It is no wonder that he is the favorite featured performer in Concert at the Park, Paco Park Presents, CCP-Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra Concerts, Teatrino Concerts and Hard Rock Cafe to name just a few.

He is an award winning composer and arranger as well, winning the grand prize in the AFP National Songwriting Contest for “Dugong Pilipino.” His artistry is also revealed in the visual arts. He favors realistic sketches of architectural and historical landmarks of places he has visited. Quite aptly, his extra ordinary talents in music and art featured in a CD which was released in 2002 titled “Sketches and Melodies.” Jonathan had a very succesful solo US concert tour last 2005.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Marinduque Cuisine-Bon Appetit!

It has been almost two years since my last posting about Philippine cuisine, specifically Marinduque cuisine. But the latest posting from one of my on-line friends in FB, reminded me that food is an excellent topic any time of the year. My on-line friend who is a Caucasian American( JM) and married to a Filipina posted on his FB wall that his wife relatives from the Ilocos Region sent them fresh Lapu Lapu, Prawns and kankong ( a native vegetables), the other day. JM commented that his wife is a good cook and served him chili prawns, fish sticks and kankong sautéed in oysters sauce that night for dinner. The menu made me hungry and reminded me of my wife's recipe of prawns in garlic sauce, sweet and sour bingao and chicken cooked in coconut milk with saffron and green peppers. Bingao is an ocean fish in the red snapper family. It is more fatty than Lapu-Lapu and taste like pork with no fishy smell. The texture is similar to fresh water eels. It is very expensive and rare. I am sorry I can not give you an English name, but bingao is better tasting than Lapu Lapu. We will not be in Marinduque until the end of the year. But the first thing I will instruct our housekeeper is to look for Bingao in the fish market as soon as we arrived.

Now back to Marinduque cuisine. There are four dishes that the Marinduquenos are proud to call their very own. First, they have the ADOBO SA GATA. This is usually a native chicken cooked in coconut milk with green papaya and pepper leaves, spices and dilaw ( a yellow spice) also known as tumeric, (a cheap imitation of saffron). The native chicken is sometimes tough but has a more sweet-tasty feel compared to the regular chicken. The native recipe do not call for green, yellow or red peppers fruit, but my wife always instruct our cook to add this three kind of peppers for color/texture. This is my #1 favorite. I could eat this every week with gusto.

The second dish is the dinugu-an or Kari-kari. The Marinduqueno kari-kari has ox blood but a dryer sauce(compared to other regional blood pudding dish) and very spicy. This is a different dish from Kare, made of tripe and ox tail in peanut butter sauce with green beans. I do not know the details of how it is cook, but when Macrine's aunt give us her Kari-kari, it taste like heaven with rice cake (puto) or just steam rice (I am salivating now, just thinking about it). If you hate spicy dishes, this is not the dish for you .

The third and most delicious of the native dishes is ulang-ulang. It is made from the coconut lobster and young coconut ( shredded buko), coconut milk and a sprinkling of garlic pepper, unions and kalamansi juice( similar to lemon juice). It taste heavenly with steamed rice and noodles.

The fourth dish native to the island is "laing". It is made from taro(gabi) roots and leaves with garlic, ginger and coconut milk. Sometimes, dried fish ( dilis) or tulingan is added to the dish and a tint of shrimp paste( bagoong)

To All Married Men Readers! Do you believe in the statement that, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach". This statement really applies to me! Comments?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thunder Valley Casino-Latest Expansion/Amenities

Casino gambling is a reasonable entertainment for seniors if you have a budget and strictly adheres it. After my wife and I retired in Northern California, our entertainment budget was reduced, thus we could barely afford attending Broadway shows, movies or expensive restaurants. Lucky for us, Thunder Valley(TV) Casino is only about 20 minutes drive. The Casino offers discount for seniors in several of the restaurants as well as enjoyed the latest high-tech slot machines that Macrine and I enjoy so much. There is another Casino, Red Hawk,(RH),that is about 8 miles farther. However, Macrine and I feel that the slots machines in TV are programmed so that the odds of the players winning is more favorable than the slots in RH( or in Casino Filipino in Paranaque, Philippines).

Casino gambling may be addictive. But if you have a reasonable budget, it is one of the most affordable entertainment for senior citizens,like us.

Here is the latest news on the expansion of TV Casino. We do not have to drive to Lake Tahoe or Reno, or fly to Las Vegas, Nevada to enjoy a world class casino and its amenities that fits our entertainment budget.

LINCOLN, Calif. – Thunder Valley Casino Resort opened a new steakhouse, poker room and expanded gaming space May 7 in advance of the grand opening of its new hotel, pool and spa July 1.

“The opening of the new poker room and steakhouse is just the beginning of a big summer ahead at Thunder Valley,” said General Manager CJ Graham. “We have the rest of the expansion opening soon with a new hotel, pool and spa and a summer concert series that is already generating buzz. Guests at Thunder Valley have come to expect the unexpected so we are intent on making the experience unique and special for each individual.”

Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s newest restaurant is High Steaks Steakhouse. High Steaks features a menu that includes original appetizers, salads and soups. There will also be several entree options featuring kobe beef from Corning, Calif. as well as the freshest seafood dishes and the finest grilled steaks in the region. High Steaks, with its completely new look and atmosphere will continue to feature creative cocktails in the bar and the highest level of customer service.

For the first time in its history, Thunder Valley will feature live poker with real chips and live dealers in its poker room. The new poker room can hold 80 players now, but will open to its full capacity of 160 players in June. Guests will be able to play Texas Hold ‘Em as well as Omaha Hi-Lo, but will also be able to play other variations that players request.

Thunder Valley Casino Resort, a 200,000-square-foot, entertainment and dining complex owned by the United Auburn Indian Community, opened in June 2003. Thunder Valley Casino currently offers approximately 2,700 slot and video machines, 100 table games, a 500-seat buffet, food court, Thunder Café, High Steaks Steakhouse and Koi Palace. Also on property is the Falls Bar, Thunder Bar and parking for more than 4,000 vehicles.

Construction is underway on an expansion that will include:
42,500 square feet of expanded gaming space designed to accommodate additional slot machines, table games and a poker room (in addition to the current 102,000 square feet of gaming space);
A 17-story, 297-room hotel;
A 35,000-square-foot pool area , with pool bar, restrooms and cabanas;
A 10,100-square-foot spa;
A new center bar, service bars and gift shop;
A 10,000-square-foot entertainment hall;
A complete remodel of the existing casino and restaurants;
A seven story parking garage with approximately 3750 spaces.
The expansion is expected to be completed in July 2010.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Marinduque Wildlife Sanctuary for Birds*

Yellow Breasted Bird
What is this Bird's Name?
For the last four months this year while we were in Marinduque, Macrine and I had been enjoying watching the beautiful wild birds that resides in the gardens and fruit trees of Chateau Du Mer. I do not know most of the bird names except for one, they called "the cuckoo", because of the sounds the bird makes. This bird had a long tail, blackish-brown almost look like a small parrot and very elusive. It flies from the tamarind tree in our back porch to the huge palm tree by the side of the house. It hides in the thick foliage of the trees, so unless you look closer, you may not be able to see this beautiful wild bird. Another bird is multicolored and almost look like the California blue Jay but with a yellow breast but blue throat. It is smaller than the cuckoo, but this one would stay on our clotheslines for minutes and you can enjoyed watching its beautiful plumage for a long while. Besides the above two birds, there several varieties of birds, butterflies, and bees that also reside in the gardens and fruit trees of Chateau Du Mer.

Today, I found out that there are bird sanctuaries in Marinduque. The wildlife adventure organization of the world listed the following birds that can be watched in the six towns of the province as follows:

Amethyst Brown-dove, Blackish Cuckoo-shrike, White-browed Shama, Mangrove Blue Flycatcher, Purple-throated Sunbird, Mountain White-eye Zosterops, Philippine Duck, Philippine Cockatoo and Green Racquet-tail.

Other activities recommended by the group besides Bird Watching are, Caving, Trekking and Camping. The seashores near Chateau Du Mer is excellent for bathing and snorkeling as well as jogging or just beach walking/combing. Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort and Conference Center is located in Western Marinduque, 8 KM from downtown Boac- the capital town of Marinduque.

Marinduque Wildlife Sanctuary regions are located on the western side of Gasan, northeast side of Sta. Cruz, southern side of Buenavista, northwest side of Boac and at the eastern side of Torrijos.

The best time of the year for bird watching is from December 1 to May 30. For details, visit As Marinduquenos, we should do our best to help in the conservation of these wild birds. They are our national treasures.

* The above article is my reaction after watching the whole week news on the effects of the Oil Spill in the US Gulf Coast to the wild birds ( brown pelicans and others) in the Louisiana marshes. Oil companies especially BP should be accountable and held responsible for their mistake and mismanagement of this catastrophic event.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Latest News about Marinduqueno's in the Philippines

The following news regarding Marinduquenos in the Philippines attracted my attention today. Mrs. Irene De La Santa Kho, the mother of Hayden Kho made the news again today. Irene originally hails from Boac, Marinduque. Her son, Hayden had been involved with the video sex scandal that rocked the Philippines last year, because her son is a celebrity and associated with socialite and plastic surgeon Vicki Belo in a May-December coupling. If you have not heard of the Kho-Halili news, and you are a Filipino or Filipino-American, you must be residing in another planet. Here's the news for your reading pleasure( From Manila Standard).

Hayden mom’s arraignment in libel suit deferred

Irene Kho, mother of cosmetic surgeon Hayden Kho, has asked the court to defer her arraignment over the libel case filed by actress Katrina Halili.

Last May 17, she and her counsel Jose Paolo Patajob sought a review of her indictment while posting a P20,000 bail after Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Luisito Cortez of branch 85 issued a warrant for her arrest.

“The accused is merely defending her son, and it should not be viewed as a criminal act,” Patajo said.

Coming in at last minute, Kho showed up on Thursday to sign the court’s minutes even as she had manifested earlier to beg off from the proceedings because she would be “subjected to humiliation by the large number of media covering the case.”

On Aug. 6, 2009, QC Assistant Prosecutor Rafael Villordon junked the two counts of libel filed by Halili against Kho for lack of basis.

But on March 12, 2010, upon Halili’s petition, former Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera reversed Villordon’s findings and ordered Kho’s indictment.

The arraignment was reset to June 17.

Kho appeared on May 25 and 26 in an ABS-CBN program saying Halili got her son into drugs.

Hayden himself faces charges for taking videos of him and Halili having sex. The videos were circulated on the Internet and pirated copies sold like hot cakes on the streets. Angelica Carballo

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Time to Go to Las Vegas

Las Vegas at Paris-Night Time

The other day, I received a brochure from MGM indicating that most of the Tuesday to Thursday dates for the month of June is FREE. All other dates for the whole month of June are discounted. Macrine and I were allmost tempted to Fly to Las Vegas. But we have other priorities right now. Anyway, you could easily get bargain accommodations in LV during the summer months. If you decide to go, Have FUN and Good Luck in the Casinos.

Las Vegas is one of my favorite cities in US. For gamblers, this is the city where they enjoy their fantasy of becoming a millioner. For the non-gambler, it is the city for entertainment and food ( daily buffet served in all of the casino hotels at reasonable prices). For me, although I am not a slot machine addict, I still enjoy an occasional game of pai gaw poker. For my wife, a slot machine enthusiast, this place is heaven until all her money is gone for that day. Anyway, I love Las Vegas. The three pictures were taken showcasing the MGM Hotel Casino( at night) and New York, New York Casino Hotel and Paris Casino and Hotel. If you decide to go to Las Vegas, bring a lot of money whether you want to gamble or not.
Here's another photo in front of the Mirage Hotel and Casino
Here's a video of New York, New York Casino Hotel, Las Vegas, NV.


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