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 30, 2010

Early History( up to 1945) and Ancient Artifacts of Marinduque

Marinduque Residents and Soldiers during the Philippine-American War, 1900

Battle of Manila- The Philippine-American War :1899-1902

The following is an excerpt of the early history of Marinduque up to 1945 from Wikipedia: For additional details visit the government website:

Legend has it that the island of Marinduque was formed as a consequence of a tragic love affair between two people: Marina and Garduke. Marina's father, a local chieftain, did not approve of this affair and ordered the beheading of Garduke. Before this could be done, the couple sailed out to sea and drowned themselves, forming the island now called Marinduque. Other versions of the legend also claim that the island was named "Malindik", named after Marinduque's highest mountain, Mt. Malindig. When Spanish conquistadors arrived in the Philippines, they found the name hard to pronounce, which led to the renaming of the island as "Marinduc" and later the current "Marinduque" when spelled in its French from (e.g. Antique for Hantik, Cavite for Kawit).

During the Spanish and early American occupations, Marinduque was part of the province of Balayan (now Batangas) in the 16th century, Mindoro in the 17th century, and had a brief period as an independent province in 1901, when the Americans arrived.

During the Philippine-American War, Marinduque was the first island to have American concentration camps.[2] Marinduque is the site of the Battle of Pulang Lupa, where Filipino soldiers under Colonel Maximo Abad, defeated a larger better trained force of Americans.

In 1902, the US-Philippine Commission annexed the islands of Mindoro (now two separate provinces) and Lubang (now part of Occidental Mindoro) to the province.

Four months later, the province became part of the province of Tayabas (now Quezon).

On February 21, 1920, Act 2280 was passed by the Philippine Congress, reestablishing Marinduque as a separate province.

In 1942, the Japanese Imperial forces landed in Marinduque.

In 1945, landed from the American and Philippine Commonwealth troops attacked from the Japanese Troops liberated to the Battle of Marinduque in the Second World War.

If you like antiquities and archeology you will enjoy this video on ancient artifacts found in Marinduque from

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Salubong-An Easter Ceremony-Only in the Philippines

Salubong in Marinduque, Easter Sunday,April, 2010
For those of you who is not familiar with this Easter Sunday Morning rite, I am posting the following article written by C.S. Suerte and F. De Los Santos for the Philippine Star a few years ago. Macrine and I were in Marinduque last Easter April, 2010 but missed this celebration because it is too early in the morning. But the short video below did suffice my longing to observe this Ceremony in person. Enjoy!

" A semblance of angels will fly in most Catholic churches all over the country at dawn today to mark the end of the three-day mourning following the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Easter Sunday also ends the 40-day Lent that reminds the world once again of the sufferings of Jesus for the salvation of mankind.

These "angels" are the little girls who remove the lambong (veil of mourning) of the Blessed Mother shortly after processions at Easter dawn, signifying the resurrection of Jesus.

"This ritual is popularly known as salubong because this is done in a procession where the men and women are separated and coming from different directions. But they eventually meet in front of the church," says Dez Bautista, a religious researcher.

The men are led by the image of the Resurrected Christ while the Blessed Mother, still covered in a black veil, comes in the front line of the women.

In Meycauayan, Bulacan, the group of men will come from the chapel in Barangay Zamora, while the women will advance from the chapel in Barangay Hulo, with the Meycauayan church in the poblacion serving as the point of salubungan (converging area).

Bautista believes there was no record that Jesus Christ met his mother when He rose from the dead. The Bible narrates that Jesus only met Mary Magdalene and the other Mary and his 11 disciples.

"But since people are naturally attached to their mothers," Bautista says, "we believe that Jesus Christ visited the Blessed Virgin Mother shortly after his resurrection, so the tradition of salubong was born."

In Cebu, when Jesus and His mother meet, an "angel" who is suspended in midair lifts the black veil from the head of the Blessed Mother. "The ‘angel’ is lowered inside a giant paper flower while a host of other ‘angels’ sing alleluias," Bautista says.

Folk superstition has it that the black veil has to be completely taken off from the image of the Blessed Mother or misfortune will befall the people. Which is why a stronger 12-year-old rather than a kindergarten kid is now assigned to do the enviable task of lifting the veil.

"Salubong signals a new beginning not for Jesus but for us. He paid with His life to save us from our sins and this means a new life for us," says Bautista.

Easter, the oldest of all Christian festivals, reflects many pagan customs that are now associated with the holiday. Present-day scholars accept the theory that Easter is derived from Ostern and Ostra, Teutonic and Scandinavian goddesses of spring and fertility.

Easter is a moveable feast, happening yearly between March 22 and April 25. The date is determined by the first Sunday of the first full moon of the vernal equinox.

According to Bautista, towns with elaborate rituals of salubong are Cebu, Angono (in Rizal), Naga City (in Bicol), Pampanga, Dinalupihan (in Bataan), and Marinduque.

Rev. Pros Tenorio, Malolos, Bulacan parish priest, interprets salubong as God’s way of showing the Blessed Virgin still has a mission, and that is to announce that Jesus Christ has resurrected.

"The message of salubong and Easter is that Christ is truly present in our lives, through the Eucharist, the word of God, and Holy Communion. God is present in every heart that loves another," he says.

The Easter Vigil has four liturgical components – the service of the light, liturgy of the word (Genesis 1-2, 22; Exodus 14-15; Psalms 16, 19, 30, 42, 104, 118; Isaiah 54-55; Romans 6 and Matthew 28), rites of initiation and the liturgy of the Eucharist.

Unlike penitensiya practices of folk Catholicism like self-flagellation and mock crucifixion (23 men and three women nailed themselves to the cross in Pampanga, Bulacan and Zamboanga on Good Friday) which the Catholic hierarchy frowns upon, the salubong ritual has the tacit approval of the church officialdom".

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Scuba Diving in Marinduque , Philippines

Image from
Diving in Balthazar Island, Marinduque
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.
Here are two other excellent videos on diving in the Philippines. Enjoy! Happy Diving
Diving Video from Southern Leyte, Apo Reefs, Sogod Bay, and Puerto Galera

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tourists Destination to the Philippines and Marinduque

Balanacan Harbor, Marinduque
These following videos is a "must see" if you plan to retire or visit the Philippines

This first video is all about Marinduque- My Island Paradise

The second video is about the Philippines-my Land of Birth

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Another Article on the Pork Barrel-Source of corruption in PI

Here's the latest article by Neal Cruz on Pork Barrel published in today's issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. It is indeed sad that perhaps even the new president P-Noy can not change this corrupt system in the political life in the Philippines.
What do you think? Is there a way to eliminate this corrupt system?
"BRIBERY IS A CRIME and a form of corruption that presidents, including the incumbent, P-Noy, routinely promise to stop and punish. Yet every year, when the president presents his administration’s proposed budget to Congress, he/she commits bribery. That is by including in the budget proposal appropriations for the congressional pork barrel disguised in innocent-sounding names like Priority Development Assistance Fund or Countrywide Development Fund.

Congress is prohibited from adding appropriations not in the original budget proposal of the executive department. It can only subtract from or transfer funds in the original budget. So that if there is no allocation in the budget proposal for pork barrel funds, there will be no pork, no theft of the people’s money, no corruption. That is not hard to do, is it?

But why is it that all presidents include in their budget proposals every year allocations for pork? Because it is their way of bribing legislators to do the president’s wishes—vote for pet bills, elect certain legislators to be Senate president or speaker, vote down impeachment complaints, etc. etc. Cooperate and your pork barrel gets released pronto; don’t cooperate and you get nothing.

By doing so, presidents, of all people, commit bribery. They become conspirators in corruption. Not only conspirators but the original sinners in the pork barrel thefts by including allocations for pork in their budget proposals. This is in addition to the shopping bags full of cash that a previous president was caught handing to congressmen summoned to Malacañang.

“Pagbabago” (change) is the promise of P-Noy and the theme of his inaugural speech. Will there be a change in his budget proposal to be submitted to Congress this month? Will there be no allocations for pork, or will it be “business as usual” and “tuloy ang ligaya”? I fear it will be the latter, considering that both P-Noy and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad are former congressmen who most likely benefited from the pork barrel system.

In fact, this is what attracts most politicians to run for Congress. Imelda Marcos, elected as representative of Ilocos Norte, has already made it known that she would collect her pork, although she qualified it by saying that she would use it “wisely.” Neophyte Rep. Manny Pacquiao, a multimillionaire, already has plans on what to do with his pork. A party-list representative, as soon as he set foot in the House of Representatives, was heard to ask a staff member: “How do we get our pork? I need it.”

To be fair, a few senators have spurned their pork allocations, and some congressmen, particularly those from militant party-list groups, have been denied by GMA’s Malacañang their pork.

Which brings me to these questions: Should party-list representatives get pork allocations? Where will they use them? They don’t have territorial districts that need infrastructure projects. Are pork barrel funds audited by the Commission on Audit?

Speaking of audits, do you know that the in-house auditors of most government agencies are sometimes co-conspirators in the theft of the people’s money. The auditors are the watchdogs of government spending, the guardians of the people’s money who are supposed to see to it that the money is spent properly. But they are co-opted into the immoral activities by being given shares in the bonanza.

For example, when giving themselves new cars at taxpayers’ expense, board members of government agencies or councilors of local government units also give cars to their auditors. That way, the auditors pass the expenditures in audit. Some auditors even teach the officials how to justify their expenses. The watchdogs have become lapdogs.

And why give vehicles, at the people’s expense, to board members and councilors who attend sessions only once a week and who already have one or more of their own vehicles.

I remember when senators gave themselves brand-new cars and there was a public uproar against it. Then Senate President Jovito Salonga told them to return the vehicles.

This penchant of public officials to give themselves unwarranted benefits is not confined to members of Congress. It is spreading to other branches of government. Councilors of Quezon City already have their own pork barrel allocations in the millions of pesos. I am sure other councilors and provincial board members also have their own pork and, if not, will soon follow Quezon City and have their own. Why, even barangay officials have their own pork. So you can imagine how much of the people’s money is leaking to private pockets.

The question is, where do they spend their pork barrel funds? Quezon City is already full of concrete roads. In fact, streets in perfectly good condition, like Edsa and España, are periodically torn up so that contractors can cement them over again. Why on earth do they do that, wasting the people’s money? Answer: To give the private contractors contracts for projects. Otherwise they would have no money to share with the congressmen and councilors. And because the pork is there waiting to be spent.

So we see so many concrete arches at the entrances of barangays with the names of the congressmen and barangay captains etched in stone as if they were the Ten Commandments. So we see so many waiting sheds with the names of councilors painted on them in big bold letters.

Yet we see no improvement in the living conditions in squatter colonies. On the contrary, squatters are increasing in Quezon City. What are the congressmen, councilors and barangay officials doing with their pork? Why not use them to provide homes, or at least sanitary toilets, for the squatters? Or why not organize livelihood projects for them?"

An excellent article and a Food for your Thoughts.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Road to Central Marinduque

Ferns along this Rural Road
The following video is from Marinduque Rising, Eli Obligacion blog about Marinduque.
HOPEFULLY, this project will be completed soon as central Marinduque is beautiful, scenic and the climate cooler because of the high elevation. I had the privilege of joining a tour of central Marinduque about 6 years ago through the invitation of current governor-elect Carmencita Reyes. There was then even a plan/talk about constructing a city( to be called Carmen City)and call it the summer capital of Marinduque. I hope this project will be continued to insure that Marinduque will indeed be officially recognized as the ecotourism capital of the Philippines

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