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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

An Unexpected and Treasured Check from My Google Adsense Account


I started blogging about two years ago with no intention of making a single dollar. I was blogging just for the fun of writing and also to advertise my small beach resort in the Philippines. After a year, I felt I run dry with topics and ideas and I almost quit blogging. However, one of my readers suggested I write on subjects closed to my heart, perhaps based on my life experiences both here in US and in the Philippines. Another reader suggested, I signed up for the Google Adsense Program.

Today, I received $128.88 from Googles. This amount covered a period of 24 months. That means I averaged about $5.37 per month. Not enough to pay just for one day of my Internet subscription, but more than enough money to inspire and keep me writing for quite some time.

Another incentive, that inspired me to continue writing in spite of some physical limitations( back and neck pains from sitting too much in front of the PC) are the positive comments from several of my readers. Here are five comments that had inspired me to write almost everyday for the last 15 months:

1. " I have been reading your various blogspots and websites for about one week now. They are all well written and great reading. What I have been reading and following intently in your blog is your life story, very interesting indeed. Please keep on writing and thanks for opening yourself up in your blogs."

2. A second reader also commented:

"I have been following your blog for quite sometime.I learned a lot about Marinduque and the Philippines. I specially enjoyed reading your childhood experiences during the Japanese-American War. Your contribution as an FDA employee to the burnt victims of the bombing in New York and the Pentagon is indeed commendable and worthy of an award. Keep writing !

3. Response to my question, why I am only earning about $5 per month from my blogs.

" There is nothing wrong with your articles, they are all great. If you are expecting to generate money from your blogs through advertising revenues, you are in the wrong business. You could sell and advertise your business in your blogs and make more money selling your own products. If you are into blogging for the love of writing and getting fabulous reader feed backs, you should continue to focus writing on topics that interest you. You can never be everything to everyone. If you try to please everyone, you will be writing articles half heartedly on topics beyond your interests. If you want to broaden the readership of your blogs, there are ways of advertising without shelling out your own money. You could get in touch with your local American, Filipino-American or Filipino newspapers and ask them to post some of your articles and plug in your blogsites. They in turn can benefit by advertising their papers in your sites. There are many other ways to get more readers, but I hate to bother you with more details".

4. A Reader Response to my Post on Delightfully Named Places in the US:

"Your posts can be very amusing, you just made my day. If you haven't heard there is a town named French Lick, Indiana, which is less thought-provoking. Have a nice day".

5. A reader comment after reading my article "Why We Love Marinduque."

WOW!! I didn't know that Marinduque is such a nice paradise on earth. Hope to visit that place someday.

So my dears readers, please continue your suggestions/comments about my blogs. I really welcome your feedback either positive or negative. Lastly if you want to help add a few dollars to my Adsense Account, feel free to click on my ADS. Cheers to All!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Legit Business or is it a Scam?

A sample of a coffee Table Book about the Philippines
I have a cousin in the Philippines who owned a Coffee Table Book** Publishing business. He writes books in coffee table format and sells it mostly to the an exclusive and rich clients who are the subject of his books. Some of his books titles are: Father and Sons, Mothers and Daughters and the Rich and the Famous. The books are selling well but mostly to the people( and their relatives) mentioned and listed on his books. The price of each book ranged from $500 to $1000. One of his best seller is a coffee book that has the autobiography of the 25 riches Filipinos in the Philippines. From what I heard all of the 25 listed in the book donated $10,000 each and received 5 copies of the books. If they purchased additional copies they have to pay additional $500 for each copy. What a racket, indeed!

Today, he has exhausted his list of rich and well-known(in high society) Filipinos in the Philippines, so he is pitching his sales talk to Filipino-American residing here in US. One of the sales pitch is that if you donate $1000, your name will be included in a book that he is planning to write about the lives of Filipino-Americans in the US. You will receive one copy of the book. For additional copies you have to pay $500. The book will discuss the struggles and accomplishments of these eleven Filipino-Americans here in US. The book will be published by November 11,2011. There will be an award ceremony and party for those whose names has been selected in a 4 star hotel in Makati, Philippines. The party and award ceremony is scheduled for November 11, 2011 ( 11-11-11) at 11:11 AM. The luncheon will consists of 11 dishes served ala chinese lauriat by 11 waiters at 11 minutes interval. The lunch will start with a soup, a salad, an appetizer then 7 main dishes and finally the dessert ( his birthday cake). The cake will have only 11 candles to signify 6+5=11, since November 11, 2011 happens to be also his 65st birthday. He plans on inviting only 111 guests including the 11 names selected in the book. The book title will be "Who's Who Among Filipino-Americans". I will write an article about my cousins obsession of the number 11 later in this blog.

I was approached by my cousin to be included in the book, but I politely refused. I think the $1000 donation is a scam. However, I am pretty sure he could convinced at least 11 people (male or female) who will be willing to pay that amount to have a little publicity and an ego-boast in their lives. My cousin is a smooth talker, very personable and has lots of connection to the rich and famous in Metro Manila. My question is: Is this Legit business or a Scam? Let me hear from you.

Note: The reason why I refused to be included in the book is not because I do not want to pay him the $1000 fee, but because I have already written by own autobiography and memoirs here in US. For details about my biography, Please visit, http://theintellectualmigrant.blogspot.com Chapter 1 to 14

**What is a coffee table book: A coffee table book is a hardcover book that is intended to sit on a coffee table or similar surface in an area where guests sit and are entertained, thus inspiring conversation or alleviating boredom. They tend to be over sized and of heavy construction, since there is no pressing need for portability. Subject matter is generally confined to non-fiction, and is usually visually-oriented. Pages consist mainly of photographs and illustrations, accompanied by captions and small blocks of text, as opposed to long prose. Since they are aimed at anyone who might pick the book up for a light read, the analysis inside is often more basic and with less jargon than other books on the subject. Because of this, the term "coffee table book" can be used pejoratively to indicate a superficial approach to the subject.
Source: Wikipedia

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Things To Do (100+1) Before You Die!


I have just finished reading several articles on things to do before you die. The articles ranged from just 10 to 1000 fabulous and incredible things that an average person will probably had a hard time doing, because it requires money and a lot of time. There is another article that listed 75 things, a bit more practical. But what inspired me is an article that listed 101 things and most of them I have already done(www.squidoo.com) Thus, I have created my own list. It is not a wish list since I have already done most if not all of the things in the list. Does this mean, I am ready to die? I hope the following list will inspire you to write your own list. There is no order of priority in the list,but my favorites are numbers 1,3 and 101.

1. Write your autobiography and memoirs.
Marinduque International Medical Mission, 2011
2. Join a medical mission to a third world country(Philippines recommended)
3. Create a web site or start a blog
4. Create a YouTube video
5. Try eating three exotic fruits ( durian, tamarind, passion fruit and others)
6. Go wine tasting and visit at least 10 wineries in the Napa Valley, California
7. Join a tour to one of Americas top ten Breweries
Seafood Paella Dish-One of my Favorite Dishes in Boac
8. Eat raw oysters, escargot, seafood paella or or any dish that you have not eaten before (maybe a balut or dinugu-an)
9. Take up Yoga or Tai Chi
10. Watch a Foreign Film or an Opera in TV
11. Have a really Expensive Meal with your Love One
12. Go to the Casino without Gambling. Just eat a buffet lunch or dinner

13. Visit Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks
14. Learn how to play a musical instrument
15. Join a church or community choir
16. Walk on San Francisco China Town and Visit the De Young Museum
17. Play duplicate bridge on line just for fun and not for gambling

18. Attend a Broadway Show in New York City or in San Francisco
19. Go to a jazz club at the French Quarter, New Orleans, LA
20. Visit the Rock of Gibraltar and Tangiers, Morocco
21. Join a Cruise to the Bahamas, Alaska or at Baja California
Chichen Itza, Mexico
22. Visit at least one Mayan Ruins in Mexico( Chichen Itza and/or Tulum Ruins)
23. Attend a Tennis Academy for one week at Rancho Bernardo, California
24. Visit at least five National Parks/Monuments in US
25. Try something you have not done before, perhaps sky diving, deep sea fishing or a helicopter ride
My Daughter, Dinah Katague King, first Sky Diving Experience
26. Visit St Peter's Square, the Vatican and have an audience with the Pope
27. Visit the White House and the National Monuments, Washingron, D.C.
28. Visit Gettyburgh, Pennsylvania, Civil War National Cemetery

29. Visit Dutch and Amish Country in Southern Pennsylvania
30. Learn how to snorkel or Scuba Dive
31. Learn a new dance, perhaps a Cha Cha, a Tango, a Rhumba or a Quick Step
32. Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
33. Go on a canopy tour( tranverse between trees on a zip line)

34. Go bungee jumping
35. Ride a mechanical bull in Sugar Land, Texas
36. Go Fire Walking in Hawaii

37. Attend a Cock Fight or a Bull Fight
38. Visit Disneyland and Ride a Roller Coaster
39. Swim with the Dolphins or with the manatees
40. Go whale watching in Hawaii
41. Visit a Zoo ( San Diego Zoo highly recommended)
42. Visit a Botanical Garden( Longwood Gardens in PA or Buchart Gardens in Victoria Island recommended)
Bouchart Garden, Victoria Island, BC, Canada
43. Ride a camel or an elephant
44. Milk a cow or a Goat
45. Go Bird Watching
46. Watch sea turtle eggs hatching and running toward the sea

47. Visit Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
48. Visit Death Valley National Park, California
49. Visit The Everglades National Park, Florida
Yosemite National Park, California
50. Visit Yosemite National Park, California
51. Visit at least one out of the "Seven Wonders of the World"
52. Witness a meteor shower, a comet or a lunar eclipse

53. Visit Niagara Falls and Take a Picture of the Falls at Night
54. Visit the Alhambra and its Gardens in Spain
55. Visit Big Ben and the House of Parliament, London
56. Visit the Coliseum in Rome and Saint Francis de Asissi Church, Italy

57. Visit Corregidor Island, Philippines
58. Visit at least one out of the "Seven New Wonders of the World"
59. Visit a Museum in US (J Paul Getty Center in LA, Art Institute in Chicago or the Museum of Modern Art in New York City)
60. Visit all of the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C.
61. Live in a Foreign Country for at least 4 months ( Philippines recommended from November to February)

62. Visit Historic Williamsburg, Virginia and Virginia Beach
63. Climb up to the Statue of Liberty or the Lincoln Memorial
64. See the Empire State Building and take a bus tour of New York City
65. Visit the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California
66. Attend the National Cherry Blossoms Festival in Washington, D.C.
67. Attend a Mardi Gras in New Orleans, LA
Morion Parade in Boac, Marinduque
68. Attend the Moriones Festival in Marinduque, Philippines
69. Learn How to Play Bridge or Hongkong Mahjong
70. Learn how to Grow Orchids and other tropical plants
71. Have a "High Tea" at the Victoria Hotel, Victoria Island, BC, Canada
Chateau Du Mer Beach House, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines
72. Own your own Beach House or a small Island
73. Kick negative habits and Mild Addiction(smoking,alcohol, computer or Facebook)
74. Learn how to be a Good Listener
75. Learn how to accept criticism
76. Discover your family tree and traced your ancestry and genealogy
77. Go to mass and communion every day for at least one year
78. Meditate for at least 20 minutes every day for at least one year

79. Get a whole body reflexology massage
80. Visit a planetarium (Chicago Planetarium recommended)
81. Sit in A Jury
82. Have your portrait painted
83. Get your Palms read
84. Eat a pistachio ice cream and leche flan
Gateau le sans Rival
85. Eat gateau le sans rival and mercedes de brazos without being guilty
86. Eat raw oysters, escargo, dim sum and kare-kare
87. See a Cirque de Soleil Show in Las Vegas, Nevada
88. Have a timeshare vacation exchange in Puerto Rico and Cancun, Mexico

89. Visit Aruba and surrounding areas
90. Visit Malaga, Marbella and Costa del Sol, Spain
91. Take a long train ride( may be the Orient Express or the Skunk Train)
92. Write your own 101 things to do before you die (at least 25 items)
93. Sing Karoeke in front of people without blushing
94. Write a song or a poem on a subject close to your heart
95. Give up something for a lenght of time and stick to it

96. Visit a volcano ( Hawaii Volcano National Park recommended)
97. Learn a new language, take music lessons or a music appreciation class
98. Bathe in a hot spring or sulfur spring in Marinduque
99. Treat yourself and your love one to an expensive vacation
100.Learn How to say "NO" without feeling guilty.
last but not least
101. Make a difference in at least one person's life

As my favorite quote says: "The time that you have touched the life of others is the time that you have really lived".

I hope the above list will inspire you to write your own list.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Illegal Sale of Geicos or "Tuku" in the Philippines



We have a couple of Tuko residing happily at the Chateau Du Mer Beach House in Boac, Marinduque as well as in our main house. The sounds they make is very reassuring that they are alive and healthy. Sometimes, I would count the number of times, the geico say "Tuku". It varies from 7 to 10 times. The first tuku sound is very loud. It decreases in decibels so that the last one you could barely hear. Have you ever hear this Tuku sound? Speaking of tuku, we have a guest from Maryland recently. He is 35 years old, but very scared of the tuku. Evidently, when he was growing up in the Philippines, the locals informed him that once the tuku landed in your body, you will never be able to get rid of him. Until now, he still believe in this folk tale. Thus, when his dad and him stayed at the beach house, he made it sure that the tuku is never near him. When he told me of this incident, I started laughing, but I know he was serious. Before they check out, I told him finally that I believe his story about the tuku.

I do not want any poachers coming to the resort offering me a lot of money for a live Geico. A couple of my friends in FaceBook are now soliciting live Gieco's for sale offering a lot of money depending on the weight of the geico. Shame, Shame to all of you, Poachers and Sellers! The following news item attracted my attention today.

Here's the latest news on this subject. Indiscriminate sale of ‘Tuko’ by Charlie V. Manalo, Daily Tribune published on 06/27/2011

"The gecko-hunting frenzy that is now sweeping many of the country’s rural communities has called the attention of several congressmen who now want the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to look into the massive and indiscriminate trading of geckos, a specie of lizards belonging to the family Gekkonidae, found in warm climates throughout the world and known locally in the Philippines as “tuko.”

Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento warned that this fad might push the extinction of this particular animal which is known to feed on insects such as mosquitoes and flies and cause irreversible effects on the environment.

According to Sarmiento, the Internet and even some of the country’s top buy-and-sell magazines are flooded with classified ads on gecko trading, some of which even claim to be agents of the World Health Organization (WHO).

They claim that geckos have potent medicinal properties and are being bought by pharmaceutical companies that are developing medicines for cancer and even the dreaded Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

Sarmiento said some of these ads looking for geckos offer to pay as much as P3 million for a single live gecko that weighs 400 grams and up. Because of this, gecko-hunting have become a nationwide fad although there is not a single proof showing that one had become a millionaire for selling geckos.

“Whether or not these ads are authentic or not, this indiscriminate poaching of geckos have very serious and long-term implications on our ecosystem. Our tukos are a key element in balancing our ecosystem,” Sarmiento said.

Ang Kasangga Rep. Teodorico Haresco said geckos are nature’s most effective weapon against insect overpopulation, and their extinction would certainly offset the country’s biodiversity.

“There is a need for the DENR to look into this gecko-hunting frenzy and possibly get into the bottom of these claims on the alleged medicinal properties of this lizard. The DENR should now move to save the tuko from total annihilation,” Haresco stressed.

The solon also noted that not a single pharmaceutical firm or any certified scientific and medical research organization which has confirmed the medicinal values of the geckos.

Haresco said while the Philippine gecko is not included in the list of endangered animal species, the DENR can classify them as part of the “Other Threatened Species” because of the recent gecko-hunting frenzy.

He said he would file a measure that would seek to re-classify gecko as endangered to protect the lizard from total extinction.

According to Haresco, Paragraph E and F, Chapter IV of Republic Act 9147 spelled out that trading of wildlife and collection, hunting or possessing wildlife, their by-products and derivatives are considered illegal acts.

For illegal acts under paragraph E (trading), penalties/fines can be imprisonment of 10 days to one month, or a fine of not less than P200 or not more than P20,000, if inflicted or undertaken against other wildlife species.

For illegal acts under paragraph F (collection, hunting or possession), imprisonment of one month and one day to six months and a fine of not less than P5,000 to P50,000 will be imposed if inflicted or undertaken against species as other threatened species".

What do you know about tuko's( geicos)in the Philippines? Let me hear from you! Cheers!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Eat A Healthy Breakfast Today: It Helps me Loss Weight


Yesterday, my next door neighbor gave me about a pint of fresh raspberries from her backyard. I thought immediately, that the next morning, I will put it in my oat meal for breakfast with low fat milk.

So my breakfast this morning was oatmeal with fresh raspberries and low fat milk. Before the oat meal, I had a cup of freshly brewed Barraco coffee from the Philippines that I enjoyed while reading my e-mail and updating my blogs.

An after-thought after breakfast came into my mind and I ask myself a question. Am I really eating a healthy breakfast? Here's the answer to my own question.( From "The Importance of Eating a Healthy Breakfast", by Jennifer R. Scott, About.com, Health Guide, dated February 26, 2009).

"Eating a healthy breakfast gets your day and your weight loss efforts off to a great start. Eating a healthy breakfast is important for many reasons. Not only does breakfast help you perform better at school or at work by improving your concentration level and the rate at which you complete tasks, it can also help you keep the extra pounds at bay. Eating a healthy breakfast gives you energy and helps to keep blood sugar stabilized which can play a part in keeping your appetite controlled until lunch time. Plus, going too long without eating makes your metabolism slow down. The key to eating a healthy breakfast is eating complex carbohydrates, protein and, if possible, also including a healthy fat.

Consider these healthy breakfast-builders:

Complex Carbohydrates

•oatmeal
•bran cereal
•whole wheat bread
•high-fiber cereal
•fruits ( berries, bananas etc..)

Protein

•lean protein
•eggs
•chicken or turkey
•low-fat dairy

Healthy Fat

•nuts
•nut butter
•extra virgin olive oil
•avocados

Some examples of healthy breakfasts include:

•whole-grain cereal with skim milk, berries and chopped walnuts
•low-fat cottage cheese, fruit, ground flax seeds, and a whole wheat English muffin
•whole-grain waffle with blueberries and a scrambled egg
•whole wheat English muffin with one tablespoon almond butter, sliced bananas and skim milk

Did you have any breakfast this morning? Don't tell me, you did not have the time to have one. A poor excuse! I hope you eat a healthy breakfast this morning. Good Day!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lady Gaga Beats Them All-My Blog Stats as of Today


I started blogging in May of 2009 just for the fun of writing and to promote my Beach Resort and Conference Center in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines. Currently, I have nine blogs. Two are personal blogs, three are about Marinduque-my island paradise, two are about retiring and traveling to the Philippines, one is about life in US and in the Philippines and the last one is the most popular which is about unusual, amazing, funny and sexy images, stories, and other topics from the Web.

Here's the list of my nine blogs, its ranking and total number of page views as of June 24, 2011. This changes every day, since I average about 300 to 350 viewers daily.

1. Unusual Images from the Web- 158,465
2. Marinduque Awaits You- 60,616
3. Life in US 1960-Present- 47,699
4. Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort- 46,869
5. Marinduque,My Island Paradise- 44,980
6. The Intellectual Migrant-(Autobiography)- 32,093
7. Marinduque On My Mind- 17,455
8. Why Retire in the Philippines- 15,471
9. Planning to Visit the Philippines- 10,052

TOTAL PAGE VIEWS- 433,700

The top thirteen most popular topics based on the number views (date posted) are as
follows:

1. Lady Gaga, Alejandro Video 24,719 (6/11/10)
2. Lady Gaga Has a Penis 14,988 (6/20/10)
3. The U. of Philippines Oblation Run 10,507 (5/1/10)
4. My College Years, 1951-1955 10,316 (5/09/09)
5. Have You Eaten a Durian 10,266 (9/12/10)
6. Awkward Boner Pictures and Videos 10,174 (9/25/10)
7. Death Valley National Park 9,853 (12/1/10)
8. Everglades National Park 6,398 (1/11/11)
9. Philippine Bench Underwear Fashion Show 6,168 (7/3/10)
10.I Love Sunsets! How About You? 4,696 (9/16/09)
11.Fruit Trees in the Gardens of CDM 3,849 (6/27/10)
12.Hundred Islands Marine National Park 3,278 (9/10/09)
13.Lagen Island Resort, El Nido, Palawan 3,091 (1/11/11)

The top two postings are about Lady Gaga. Numbers 6 and 9 have sexual connotation. Numbers 3 and 4 have some naughty pictures. Numbers 7 and 8 are about nature and national parks. Numbers 5 and 11 are about gardening and fruit trees. Numbers 12 and 13 are tourists places in the Philippines. Number 10 has some stunning photography. Now, I know exactly what my readers want. If you are one of my readers, I will appreciate some feed back and comments. What do you want to read and see from my blogs? Any suggestion to improve my blogs will be appreciated.

Please note that I have numerous positive comments on my blogs. However, one reader wrote me that my blog stinks. I wrote back why does he waste his time reading it, if he dislikes it. He did not respond! Cheers to All!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Marinduque's Senakulo vs Germany's Oberammergau Passion Play

Oberammergau Passion Play
It has been six weeks since we left Marinduque ending our six months of snowbird lifestyle and sojourn in the Philippines. But the memories of the Moriones Festival and Holy Week Celebration still linger in my mind. Macrine and I did not accept any guest in the beach house last April, so we enjoyed the Holy Week Festivities to the fullest. We attended all the parades, processions, and other activities ( Fairs) except for the two Battle of the Morions Presentations on Thursday afternoon. One was held in Boac and the other in Santa Cruz at the same time. The Philippine Inquirer even commented that politics is now part of the Moriones Festival, since the two sponsors of the Battle of the Morions are political rivals. The Boac Contest is headed by the Governor while the Santa Cruz presentation is headed by the Congressman, political rivals in the province. So, when I saw the YouTube video of the Oberammergau Passion Play from Germany today, it reminded me of our Senakulo Presentation in Boac.

Incidentally, Easter 2012 is still about 10 months away, but I have already one inquiry on the Chateau Du Mer Beach House. As of today, I am not sure, if we will be accepting guests for the 2012 Easter Season. But continue your inquiry and I will answer all your questions. The 2011-2012 rental rates is posted in my Chateau Du Mer blog site. Now back to the subject of the Oberammergau Play of Bavaria, Germany versus the Senakulo Play of Boac, Marinduquue.

Have you heard of the Oberammergau Passion Play? The first time I heard of this play was in 2000. Macrine and I were on our vacation time exchange at that time in Marbella, Spain (a package tours sale offer). Our one week schedule was full so we had no time to go to Germany then, but I have always compared (in my mind) this event to the Easter Passion Play ( Senakulo) of Boac, Marinduque. The similarity is in the theme of the play, but otherwise Germany's celebration( every 10 years) is much grander and pompous than Marinduque's yearly presentation based on the information below.

Oberammergau Passion Play is a passion play performed since 1634 as a tradition by the inhabitants of the village of Oberammergau, Bavaria, Germany.

Origin:

The town's residents vowed that if God spared them from the effects of the bubonic plague ravaging the region, they would produce a play every ten years thereafter for all time depicting the life and death of Jesus. The death rate among adults rose from one in October 1632 to twenty in the month of March 1633. The adult death rate slowly subsided to one in the month of July 1633. The villagers believed they were spared after they kept their part of the vow when the play was first performed in 1634. Performances took place in 2000, and the most recent season of 102 performances took place from Saturday 15 May until Sunday 3 October 2010.

The play, now performed repeatedly over the course of five months during the first year of each decade, involves over 2,000 performers, musicians, and stage technicians, all residents of the village. The play comprises spoken dramatic text, musical and choral accompaniment and tableaux vivants, which are scenes from the Old Testament depicted for the audience by motionless actors accompanied by verbal description. These scenes are the basis for the typology, the interrelationship between the Old and New Testaments, of the play. They include a scene of King Ahasuerus rejecting Vashti in favor of Esther, the brothers selling Joseph into slavery in Egypt, and Moses raising up the nehushtan (bronze serpent) in the wilderness. Each scene precedes that section of the play that is considered to be prefigured by the scene. The three tableaux mentioned are presented to the audience as prefiguring Christianity superseding Judaism, Judas selling information on the location of Jesus, and the crucifixion.

It can be said that the evolution of the Passion Play was about the same as that of the Easter Play, originating in the ritual of the Latin Church, which prescribes, among other things, that the Gospel on Good Friday should be sung in parts divided among various persons.

Length and frequency
The Oberammergau play has a running time of approximately seven hours, with a meal break provided. Audiences come from all over the world, often on package tours, the first instituted in 1870. Admission fees were first charged in 1790. Since 1930, the number of visitors has ranged from 420,000 to 530,000. Most tickets are sold as part of a package with one or two nights' accommodation.

The play is today staged every ten years, in the final year of each decade - that is, the year whose numeral ends with a zero; hence, the next performances will be in 2020. However, these regular performances at ten-year intervals have been punctuated with additional performances such as those of 1922, and again an entire cycle of performances in 1934 (over and above the regular 1930 schedule) to commemorate the 300-year anniversary of the original vow, and again in 1984 (over and above the regular performances of 1980 and 1990) in celebration of the 350th anniversary of the very first play in 1634.
Here's a short video of Oberammergau Passion Play


**********************************************************************************
Senakulo is one of the highlights on Moriones festival in the Island of Marinduque during the Holy week. Moreover, it is the reenactment of the Holy bible history starting from the creation of everything until the resurrection of Christ. The play usually starts from Holy Tuesday till Maundy Thursday.

Senakulo is a three part theatre play that is executed on the town’s outdoor Moriones Arena in Boac. This play has been executed by the group of people called “Senakulista” since 1977. Senakulista is composed by people from Boac, Marinduque and by the group named “Kapatiran ng Morion”, a group of people who participate as the centurions that roams at the vicinity of Boac every Lenten season.



Yearly, their preparation takes a month ahead before the holy week arrives. And to make Senakulo more realistic, the town of Boac built a place where the act will fit perfectly. The place is addressed as the Moriones Arena where the annual presentation of the Senakulo, Pugutan Play, and the Via Crucis, the Passion of the Christ, are performed. The Moriones Arena is located within the town proper, by the side of the Boac Riverbed. Starting from the stage that has the resemblance of a Roman’s Temple up to the extension on the right side of the stage where trees, waterfall, a cave, and a hill can be seen. The venue is surely a realistic place that really compliments the play.

The town people and the tourists always look forward on this event during the festival. The participants always make sure that spectators will be astounded once they start executing Senakulo. And because of this, Senakulista is considered a very effective group on performing the Senakulo for they are also affecting their audience as if they are part of it. Here's a video of Marinduque's Holy Week Activities.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Joke of the Week-Levels of Stress


I received this posting via the comment section from a reader in one of my blogs. I found it hilarious and I am reprinting it for your reading pleasure: Thanks, Eric for sending it.

If you haven't read this, you may want to post it. I cracked up so hard on this. Have fun.

Levels of Stress:

You pick up a beautiful girl hitchhiker. Suddenly she faints inside your car and you take her to the hospital. Now that's stressful! But at the hospital they say she is pregnant and congratulate you because you are going to be a father. You say that you are not the father, but the girl says you are. This is getting very stressful! So then... you request a DNA test to prove that you are not the father. After the tests are completed, the doctor says that you are infertile, and probably have been since birth. You are somewhat relieved... but extremely stressed!! On your way back home, you think about your 3 kids at home... NOW THAT'S STRESS!!! Eric Raurich

By Anonymous on Time for Laughs from Comedy Plus by Sandy

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

You Are From Marinduque, You Must be Rich!

Marinduque Sunset

You are from Marinduque, So,You Must be Rich!

This is a statement from my new Filipino-American mailman. I was surprise of his statement and ask why he has that impression. Well, you have the copper, gold and iron mines don't you? When I told him the mines had been closed for a while, he replied, I did not know that.

Latest Mining News :On 26 July, 2010, the provincial board of the Marinduque approved a resolution reiterating the declaration of a 50-year large scale mining moratorium issued in the year 2005, 'so as to avoid further impairment and damage' to their 'affluent island province'.

So, I ask him where did he grew up in the Philippines and when did he immigrated to US. He said he grew up in the Manila area and has been in US since 1985.

Evidently, there is a lot of misinformation about Marinduque even from Filipino-Americans here in US. This is only not true here in the Sacramento area, but also in Chicago, Kansas City, Washington, DC, but most of all here in Northern California. The above places I have listed are places where we have resided since 1960. A lot of these Filipino- Americans, professionals or non-professionals only have a vague idea of where Marinduque is located in the Philippines. Some think it is a Visayan province. Only a few know that it is a southern Tagalog province. Most non-Filipinos confused it with the eastern Carribean island of Martinique.

One of the reasons why Marinduque is not known to most Filipino-Americans here in US is the lack of publicity and information about Marinduque in the Internet. Even the provincial website was just recently activated and had not been operational for quite a while. Today, there are only a few web sites, mostly personal and travel blogs describing the beauty of the island. I am doing my best in promoting tourism to Marinduque with my nine blogs about the beauty of our island. Recently, I received the following e-mail from Mr Ricamonte of ABS-CBN. This will indeed promote travel to Marinduque once the project is completed.

Hi David,

"I'm Erwin Ricamonte of ABS-CBN Global The Filipino Channel, Currently we are producing TFC Connect, a five minute program that gives an update about the Philippines for the subscribers worldwide. I would like to ask for your help if you have contact with the Marinduque Province such as the Tourism Department. I read an article about Marinduque and I saw your email address.

We would like to feature the Marinduque as of the best tourist destination for our kababayan abroad. I'm looking for your favorable response. Thank you very much".

ERWIN RICAMONTE
Interstitial Production and Program Development
Integrated Global Content
415.2272 local 4471
0917.3080421 / 0928.9575281

I immediately forwarded the e-mail to two of my contacts in Marinduque- Mr Eli Obligacion( blogger and writer) and Mr. Jerry Jamilla(provincial tourism officer).I am not sure if they had made contact with Mr.Ricamonte. I hope that this TV project has been completed by now. It will certainly help in enticing Filipino-Americans to visit Marinduque.

So if you are from Marinduque, help me achieve my goals of making Marinduque a tourist attraction not only during Easter but also whole year round by supporting my websites.

Related News: In yesterday's meeting of the provincial board of the province of Marinduque, the 50 year ban on mining in Marinduque has been upheld/renewed. Are you in favor of mining in Marinduque or not?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Popular Filipino Desserts and Meriendas


The following are my favorite Filipino desserts. All are of Filipino origin except gateau le sans rival and brazo de mercedes. Looking at the pictures below has my salivary gland fully activated. Yum, Yum indeed! If you have not tasted any one of the desserts below, I feel sorry for you, but it is not too late unless you are dying of diabetes. Even if you are diabetic, a small portion of the dessert is fine. Just do not forget to take your metformin or an equivalent anti-diabetic drug.

1. Bibingka
Puddings are big in the Philippines. Bibingka, a popular dessert of pudding is made of ground rice, sugar and coconut milk. This pudding is baked in a clay oven and topped with fresh, salted duck eggs or shredded cheese.

2. Guinat-an
Another popular pudding in the Philippines is guinatan served with lashings of deliciously sinful coconut milk. It even taste better if garnished with fresh jack fruit slices.
3.Halo-halo

Halo-halo or literally mix-mix is actually an exotic fruit mix that is similar to Malaysia's 'ice kacang'. This delightful fare, featuring exotic fruits and vegetables come colorfully stacked under shaved ice. Due to its popularity in the country, this dish is known as the 'Queen of Desserts'.
4.Kutsinta

Kutsinta or brown rice cake is a favorite snack among the locals. This rice cake made of rice flour and brown sugar is delicious, especially when served with freshly grated coconut.

5. Gateau le sans Rival popularly called sans rival or Cake without a Rival
There are several recipes of this very delicious and sweet dessert in the Web!
6.Leche Flan


7. Brazo de mercedes


8.Maja blanca-

Here's a short video how to prepare this delicious dessert

9. Suman-could be made with sweet rice, or cassava flour wrapped in either coconut or banana leaves.

Last but not least is Turon.

9. Turon- ripe plantain ( saging na sab-a) wrapped in lumpia wrapper. Deep fried and sprinkle with a tinge of brown sugar. Yum, Yum.

Note: Filipinos love to it. Besides the three meals, there is always a merienda at around 3 to 4 PM. Sometines there is a morning snack at 10AM. Our favorite afternoon merienda in Marinduque is turon because of the abundance of plantains. Living in the Philippines reminds me of our Bahamas cruise vacation several years back when we had meals six times a day which included a mid night buffet. If you love food joined a cruise vacation or live in the Philippines.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Discovering Marinduque and Bellarocca Island -Four Videos

Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort, Boac-Getting Ready for a Garden Wedding
There are more than 60 videos about Marinduque and Bellarocca Island in the Web. However, the following four videos are my favorites. If you have not been to Marinduque, these videos is a "must view". The beauty of Marinduque is hard to describe in words. But a picture is worth more than thousand words, so here are the videos.





Paradise - that is Marinduque from Junnie on Vimeo.




Watch more Marinduque videos at tripfilms.com

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Marinduque Confused with Martinique



The two islands name is almost spelled alike, but Marinduque is in the Philippines and Martinique is in the Eastern Caribbean. Both islands however are tourist's destination because of its natural beauty, white beaches and tropical climate.




Martinique (French pronunciation: [maʁtinik]) is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of 1,128 km2 (436 sq mi). Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. To the northwest lies Dominica, to the south St Lucia, and to the southeast Barbados. As with the other overseas departments, Martinique is one of the twenty-seven regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the Republic. The first European to encounter the island was Christopher Columbus in 1502.

As part of France, Martinique is part of the European Union, and its currency is the Euro. Its official language is French, although many of its inhabitants also speak Antillean Creole (Créole Martiniquais)



Marinduque (Filipino: Marinduke pronounced [mɑrinˈduke]) is an island province of the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA region in Luzon. Its capital is Boac. Marinduque lies between Tayabas Bay to the north and Sibuyan Sea to the south. It is located south and west of Quezon, east of Mindoro, and north of Romblon. It is only about 30 minutes from Manila by air.

For details about Marinduque visit: http://marinduquemyislandparadise.blogspot.com

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Fathers Day-Bluebirds in My Backyard-Start of the Summer Season


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-May 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.

Now for a short history on the Blue Birds in My Back yard!-Posted last year about the middle of July.

"For the last four years from Spring To Fall I have bluebirds residing in my back yard here in Northern California. They nest and play in the Holly and Pyracantha Shrubs planted as screens for the small swimming pool in my backyard.

Are blue jays common in my neighborhood ? I know my yard is the only one with four or more residents of blue jays that enjoys the water and food that I give them every day. Sometimes, I forget to give them bread crumbs or rice. They will remind me by their loud chirping, jumping and coming closer to the patio. They are getting so tame, that they stay only a few feet from their feeding station when I go out to give their daily bread crumbs or rice morsel. As soon as I put the food in the feeder, they would happily consume the food and bring some to their nests for their babies. If I gave them too much food, the leftover is welcome by a couple of residents squirrels in the yard.

My neighborhood is a subdivision of older homes from 30 to 40 years old. But I do not see too many birds in the neighborhood. Our house is still very close to the mall, shops and and schools which are populated with a lot of people during the day. However, my yard is the only one with two big maples trees and one oak tree that give a lot of shade during summer.

This week has been perfect weather wise. The temperature from 12 Noon to around 6:00 PM is in the low 80's. However, as soon as the sun sets, the temperature goes down to a comfortable low 70's. By early morning, when you wake up, it is cool with temperature in the mid 60's. The temperature slowly rises, so by 12:00 noon it will be in the 80's. Today the “High” was only 83 degrees F. This morning “Low” was 65 degrees with a gentle wind, which feels very comfortable. This temperature pattern will last the whole summer, except that there will a week of three digit temperatures later in mid July or early August. When Fall comes in September, the normal Low and High in this area will be around 55 degrees and around 78 degrees respectively. By late October, my blue birds will be gone. I will not see them until the middle of April next year. I am not sure where they spend their winter months, probably in Southern California or Mexico(definitely not in the Philippines, as Macrine and I do).


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, one dog, two cats 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 have pets in your back yard?
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