Planning to Retire Soon!

If you are planning to retire in the Philippines soon, I suggest you visit several excellent websites on pro's and cons of retiring in the Philippines. However if you want to retire in the provinces, where life is simple, standard of living cheaper, less traffic congestion and pollution, availability of fresh seafood and vegetables compared to the big cities, my island province is the place for you! If this is your first time in my site, welcome. Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news in the right side bar of this blog. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on the infringement of your copyrights. The photo above is the front yard of Chateau Du Mer-Our Retirement Home in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Have You Tried Beef Tripe Soup?

My American-Italian neighbor and I started talking about food again yesterday. We talked about tripe and garbanzo dishes. This subject reminded me of my article on tripe dishes that I am reposting as follows: Bon Apetit!

Beef Tripe Soup-Italian-Pinoy Style

Last month, my next door neighbor who was originally from Italy surprise my wife and I with beef tripe soup that she cooked. She said she just makes this soup once and a while, but she was very grateful with us taking her out to the Casino every other week so she makes the soup as a special treat. I once mentioned to her that in the Philippines, one of my favorite dish is beef tripe cooked in tomato sauce with garbanzo beans and plantains.

I also know that the best tripe soup is the Caribbean version that a former college mate once prepared during one of our pot luck parties while I was still in graduate school. I also am aware that tripe has to be pressured cook so it will be tender or boil for at least two hours. During the boiling process, the fat that floats at the top of the pot is removed so that it still be a healthy meal for people who are overweight, diabetics or have high blood pressure like myself and my wife. Here's the recipe that my Caribbean friend gave me. He said this recipe was from his mother a native of Jamaica. The following recipe will served 6 and takes about 3 to 4 hours to prepare.

Ingredients:

2 Tsp oil
1 cup diced onions( preferably sweet onions)
4 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
2 lbs cow tripe, cut up and thoroughly washed
Salt and pepper to taste
Water
1 lb pumpkin (calabaza squash), cut into small sized chunks
2 lbs half-ripe plantains, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch
8 -10 okra
Dumplings (optional)

Preparation:

Heat oil in pressure cooker. Add onions and saute until translucent, 3-4 minutes

Add 2 sprigs of thyme and saute for 1 minute. Add tripe along with salt and pepper to taste and saute for 4 minutes. Add 6 cups water, stir and cover pressure cook and let cook for 50-55 minutes. Time begins from the first whistle.

Add enough water to make soup, cover pot and pressure cook for 6 minutes. Time begins from the first whistle. Release pressure cooker valve to let out steam and open pressure cooker. Add pumpkin, plantains and remaining thyme. Cook until plantains are almost melting. (Do not close pressure cooker at this stage, just rest the cover on top of the pot).

Add okra and dumplings to pot, cover and let cook for 7-9 minutes or until dumplings are cooked thoroughly. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Stir and serve.

The Philippines-Italian version is much simpler. Instead of plantain, my neighbor used potato cubes and no squash and okra are in the recipe. The pure Filipino version is very similar to the Caribbean recipe, but instead of okra, garbanzo beans are used. This soup is one of my favorite dishes. It is considered a main dish in the Philippines, not just a soup. There is a restaurant in Marinduque that prepares a delicious version of this tripe dish. Have You tasted a tripe dish?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

My First Acrostic Poem-Marinduque Beloved

Mt Malindig and Poctoy White Beach

My first attempt to write an acrostic and free style poem about our second home- Marinduque-Beloved. I hope you like it.

M ajestic Mount Malinding and its sulfur springs,
A bundance of fresh sea foods, fruits and vegetables;
R eknowned for its hospitable residents and the Putong
I sland of my dreams and my beloved second home.
N eglected sometimes by its leaders and balikbayans,
D evelopment of its natural resources sometimes butchered.
U nder the guise of political scheming, its residents suffer,
Q uite silence from majority of its residents.
U nity needed, but not attained due to crab mentality,
E manates apathy, indifference retards progress to my Island.

B eyond its borders, former residents are concerned
E very thing in this island paradise I treasured;
L et my dreams of the place be a tourist mecca,
O vershadowed sometimes by enmity and jealousy.
V erdant hills, white sands beaches, panoramic views,
E lixir of my life, my beloved Marinduque,
D reams and goals of my life be a reality soon!

I never claimed to be a poet, so if this poem stinks, I will understand.
The last time I wrote a poem was during my high school days in the 1950's.
Comments, anyone?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I Love Sunsets! How about You?


1. Sunset from Balcony of the Beach House, Amoingon, Boac, Marinduque



2. Sunset, Eagle Beach, Aruba



3. Sunset, San Juan, Puerto Rico



4. Sunset, Hanalei Bay, Kauai



5. Sunset, Kaanapali, Maui



6. Sunset, Kona Village, Big Island, Hawaii



7. Sunset, Marbella, Spain



8. Sunset, Cancun, Mexico



9. Sunset, on Manila Bay, Philippines



10. Sunset, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Over the years, I have seen and photographed several dozens of sunsets in several countries that my wife and I have visited. We have been to Marbella, Spain, Rome, Italy, London,England, Vancouver, B.C., Cancun, Mexico, Aruba, Hawaii( Maui, Kawaii, Big Island), Puerto Rico and most of the US big cities, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Kansas City, St Louis, Miami, New Orleans, Washington, D.C. and other small cities . But the two most beautiful sunsets that stirs my emotion are the one at Amoingon Bay ( taken at the balcony of our Chateau Du Mer Beach house-top photo) and the one over Manila Bay(# 9 photo). You will probably say, I am partial since I am a Filipino-American, but judge it yourself. Above are ten of my favorite sunset pictures for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy! Comments, anyone?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Some of My Favorite Relaxing and Romantic Music

Let's start the month of August with some relaxing and romantic music. It' been hot here in Northern California for the last two weeks and 3-digits temperature are predicted in the next ten days. Thanks God for Central Air Conditioning!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Azilect ( Rasagiline) and Its Side Effects-An Update

One of the medications, Macrine is taking for her PD. She takes this with Carbo-levodopa to control the tremors and muscle movements and other symptoms of Parkinson.

Rasagiline is used alone or with other medications (such as levodopa/carbidopa) to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease. It can help improve symptoms such as shakiness, stiffness, and difficulty moving. It can also help reduce the amount of "off" time (periods of slow movement or stiffness).

Rasagiline belongs to a class of drugs known as MAO inhibitors. It works by increasing the levels of certain natural substances in the brain (such as dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin). Parkinson's disease is thought to be caused by too little dopamine in the brain.

However, sometimes the side effects is worst than the benefits, so be aware of the side effects and monitor closely the side effects as follows: The following is information from the Patient Insert provided by the manufacturer of Azilect.

SIDE EFFECTS:

Dizziness, drowsiness, joint pain, heartburn, nausea, fever, muscle pain, dry mouth, and stomach/abdominal pain may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To minimize dizziness and the risk of fainting, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position. This is especially important if you are also taking levodopa and when you first start taking rasagiline.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

If you are also taking levodopa, you may experience more side effects from the levodopa when taking rasagiline. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur: nausea, shakiness, muscle stiffness, mental/mood changes such as hallucinations /abnormal dreams. Your doctor may need to change your medication or dose. Do not stop or change the dose of your levodopa without talking with your doctor first.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fainting, loss of balance, mental/mood changes (e.g., agitation, confusion, depression, hallucinations), worsening muscle stiffness/twitching, changes in sexual ability/interest, increased shaking (tremor), swollen ankles/legs, change in amount of urine, unusual weight gain/loss, easy bleeding/bruising, black/tarry stools, unusual strong urges (such as increased gambling, increased sexual urges), vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Some people taking rasagiline have fallen asleep suddenly during their usual daily activities (such as talking on the phone, driving). In some cases, sleep occurred without any feelings of drowsiness beforehand. This sleep effect may occur anytime during treatment with rasagiline, including up to 1 year after starting the medication. If you experience increased sleepiness or fall asleep during the day, do not drive or take part in other possibly dangerous activities until you have discussed this effect with your doctor. Your risk of this sleep effect is increased by using alcohol or other medications that can make you drowsy. See also


Precautions section.


This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take. Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: hallucinations, unusual restlessness, loss of coordination, fast heartbeat, severe dizziness, unexplained fever, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles.

This drug may rarely cause an attack of extremely high blood pressure (hypertensive crisis), which may be fatal. Drug and food interactions can increase this risk. (See also Drug Interactions section.) Get medical help right away if any of these serious side effects occur: frequent/severe headache, fast/slow/irregular/pounding heartbeat, chest pain, neck stiffness/soreness, severe nausea/vomiting, sweating/clammy skin (sometimes with fever), widened pupils, vision changes (e.g., double/blurred vision), sudden sensitivity to light (photophobia).

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Note: Macrine's oftentimes experienced chest pain, difficulty breathing, stiffness and soreness of the neck, dry mouth, mild confusion/hallucinations and constipation. Most of the time it is mild. Thanks God!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Carbo-Levo Dopa and Its Side Effects-An Update

One of the medications, Macrine is taking for her Parkinson's Disease(PD). If you have a love one suffering from PD I am sure you have heard of this medication. Here's an update of the side effects of this essential drug.

Sinemet (carbidopa-levodopa) is a combination of an inhibitor of aromatic amino acid decarboxylation and an aromatic amino acid used to treat Parkinson symptoms such as muscle stiffness, tremors, spasms, and poor muscle control.

Sinemet is also used to treat Parkinson symptoms caused by carbon monoxide poisoning or manganese intoxication. Sinemet is available in generic form. Common side effects of Sinemet include:

dizziness,
drowsiness,
blurred vision,
nausea,
vomiting,
dry mouth,
loss of appetite,
heartburn,
diarrhea,
constipation,
sneezing,
stuffy nose,
cough,
other cold symptoms,
muscle pain,
numbness or tingly feeling,
trouble sleeping (insomnia or strange dreams),
skin rash,
itching,
and headache.

Tell your doctor if you experience unlikely but serious side effects including:
greatly increased eye blinking/twitching, fainting,mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, depression, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide), unusual strong urges (such as increased gambling, increased sexual urges),or worsening of involuntary movements/spasms.

Starting dosage is one tablet of Sinemet 25-100 (carbidopa-levodopa) three times a day. Dosage may be increased by one tablet every day or every other day, as necessary, until a dosage of eight tablets a day is reached. Sinemet may interact with other Parkinson's medications, metoclopramide, isoniazid, phenytoin, papaverine, blood pressure medication, antidepressants, or medicines to treat psychiatric disorders. Tell your doctor all medications you use.

Note: The side effects that are blocked are some of the side effects Macrine is feeling at times. She is also feeling confused and sometimes depressed and feel isolated and not loved. She needs attention and wants relatives to call her!
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