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

Friday, July 31, 2009

Eruption of Mount Malindig, Philippines


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

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

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

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sea Turtles in Marinduque

It's migration time now for the sea turtles in the Philippines. They are called "pawikan" in tagalog. I am glad to hear that the natives are protecting this endanger species from extinction in Marinduque. Here is a short video from GMA news TV for your viewing pleasure.

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Are You Suffering from some Form of Addiction?

If so, seek medical help before it is too late. There are several types of addiction. The most common from my personal point of view are gambling, computer, nicotine or TV addiction. There are other types such as drugs, pornography or sex addiction. Any activity that ruined the balance of your life is an addiction. Let me discuss only four types of addiction that I have personal experience.
Image from youcanstopnow.com
Nicotine: My wife is addicted to nicotine. She is a nurse and she knows the medical implications and effects of nicotine in her body. She tried to quit several times for the last 40 years. I even sent her to a Cessation Clinic, but after a few weeks, she is back to smoking. Nicotine causes changes in your brain, that makes people to use it more and more. Nicotine addiction is the hardest to break, because of the physical symptoms of withdrawal.Among the symptoms of withdrawal are: Irritability, anxiety, hostility,impatience, depressed mood, restlessness, difficulty concentrating and decreased heart rate.
The worst part of this habit, is that cigarettes increases one's risk of a heart attack My wife knows this as a medical professional, but she can't quit. I need help to convince her to stop. Can you help? For more information on nicotine addiction call 1-800-662-4357.
Photo from highlyvisitedblog.com
Computer/TV Addiction: I am mildly addicted to it. I spent about four to six hours in the computer every day. First thing I do, when I wake up is to read my e-mail. Then I check my Face Book and Twitter Accounts. Then I read all the news in US and in the Philippines. Then I manage my eighth blog sites. Afterwards I will start writing articles if I am in the mood. By the time I could get out of the computer, it is about noon time. I know I am mildly addicted, because when we are in Marinduque, if there is a power outage for more than an hour, I become restless and irritable and depressed. Luckily, I still could control my computer habit and it is not ruining my life. My wife is mildly addicted to the Filipino TV channel. She loves watching WOW WOW WEE and May Bukas Pa- a Filipino soap opera. For information on how to treat computer addiction, call 1-617-855-2908.
Photo from cbc.ca.gov
Gambling Addiction: Both my wife and myself are mildly addicted to the Casinos. As part of our entertainment, we go to the Casinos every week. My wife loves the slot machines and I play Pai Gow Poker. We used to go to movies, eat in fancy restaurants and attend Broadway shows and Concerts prior to my retirement. We do however, stick to our weekly budget. Once we reached that budget, we go home. Sometimes we win, but our losses are more than our winnings as expected. I know that I will never get rich going to the Casinos. We also go the Casinos because of the reasonable prices of food in the Buffet. When we are in the Philippines for six months every year, we go only to the Casino maybe once or twice and we really do not missed it. So, thank GOD, we are not GAMBOHOLICS yet ! If you know of someone with gambling problems, the number to call is 1-877-718-5543.
Again, let me emphasized, if you think you are addicted to the Casinos or the Computer, please seek professional help, as soon as possible. Do not wait until you are deeply addicted or have ruined your life.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

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


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

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

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

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

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Diving Sites in Marinduque

Image from asiadivesite.com
Our province is mostly known worldwide because of the Moriones Festival. However, it has recently been in the news due to interests of divers all over the world to explore the diving sites in the island and in the vicinity. Among the diving sites are:
1.Natanco- north of the island has good walls and drift diving. Corals are abundant. Close by is the wreck of a Japanese torpedo boat
2.Baltazar-west of the Island-one of the Tres Reyes Island Chain- has a cave 20m worth exploring. Stone fish may be a problem.
3.Elephant Island-now known as Bellarocca- private resort with good walls, coral formation and and several varieties of tropical fish. Currents could be strong, but conditions for photography good.
4. Torrijos- canyons and fissures to explore. Can expect to encounter grouper, barracuda, tuna and shoals of tropical fish.
5.Maestro De Campo Island-southwest of Marinduque- a wall on the west side and a wreck of a ferry boat, MV Mactan on the east side
6.Banton Island- farther southwest – amazing corals and an array of fish. Dolphins, sharks and sting rays may be seen. From February to May are the good months for scuba diving
7.Sibuyan Sea- outlying areas to the south and east of Marinduque are fairly unexplored. Puerto Galera, Mindoro is the place to organize this tour if you are adventurous.
Happy Diving!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Philippines-Holiday Destination



This is a five minute video tour of the Philippines. Enjoy the sights and sounds of this island paradise in the Pacific. It is where the East meets with the West.
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