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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lantern Parade and Oblation Run at the University of the Philippines

Preparing for the Lantern Parade just after the Oblation Run, UP, Diliman, Q.C., Philippines

I am a University of the Philippines(UP)alumnus and the annual Lantern Parade in UP Diliman, Quezon City is one event in my college student days that I will always remember. The Oblation Run that preceded the Lantern Parade was not celebrated during my student days. The run was a fairly recent event in the student life in UP Diliman. The run is as popular as the Lantern Parade in Metro Manila and vicinity. For more photos, videos and detailed discussion of the Oblation Run, visit http://davidbkatague.blogspot.com Chapter 4, dated 12/16/11

The following video attracted my attention and it reminded me of my student days in Diliman in the early 1950's. The U.P. Lantern Parade is a parade of large lantern-floats around the oval of the main campus of the University of the Philippines (U.P.), the Diliman campus. The first parade was held in 1922 but it was institutionalized as a university celebration in 1934 by then UP President Jorge Bocobo. This annual U.P. tradition and competition takes place on the late afternoon of the last day of classes before the Christmas break, just a few hours after the Oblation Run.

The UP lantern parade attracts crowds of people from all over Metro Manila. Each U.P. unit and college creates a lantern-float on a given theme and presents a brief program to accompany the presentation of the lantern before the judges and audience gathered at the administration hall. An Over-All Best Lantern Grand Prize is awarded, along with "Judges' Choice" and "Most Resourceful." Cash prizes are given to the winners.

Having for many years swept up all the prizes, since 1929 to 1989, the College of Fine Arts (CFA) no longer joins the University competition. Instead, groups of fine arts students try to outdo each other in creating lanterns on the theme assigned by the CFA. The parade of the fine arts follows the main lantern parade and promises to provide the most attractive and creative floats in the parade. In 2004, for example, the college floats and lanterns featured Filipino folklore and mythological creatures like the tikbalang, kapre, and nuno sa punso. In celebration of its centennial, their lanterns in 2007 paid tribute to National Artists for the Arts. THE PARADE IS CONCLUDED WITH FIREWORKS DISPLAY. Reference: WikiPilipinas.com

Please note that I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from UP in 1955. The next year I passed the Chemistry Board Examination coping 3rd place nationwide. For the last 30 years, prior to my retirement from FDA in 2002, I have been also active with activities of the UP Alumni Association here in US both in Maryland and Northern California.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Romantic Piano Music for Relaxation

Classical Music Composers



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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Susan Boyle and Elaine Page Duet



If you have not heard of Susan Boyle, you must be living in another planet. The video and related videos highlights Susan Boyle rise to International fame. This one is a duet with Elaine Page, Susan's idol. Enjoy!



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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Marinduque, Philippines-My Second Home

Postard from Marinduque-Would this postcard not encourage sex tourism in the Philippines?

Marinduque-our second home was chosen by the Philippines Tourism Congress as the Island destination for 2013 just recently. This is indeed good news. If you have been following my blogs, I had indicated that seeing Marinduque become a tourist destination worldwide is one of my dreams and goals after my retirement. Thus, I have been blogging about Marinduque after my retirement in 2002. The article below is an article published by the Tourism Congress of the Philippines-a private organization.(www.philippinetourismcongress.com )Chateau Du Mer Sign from the Beach

"The Island of Marinduque is covered in a forest of green. An idyllic poster province for eco-tourism, Marinduque is an example how beautiful and scenic an island can be when it is not over developed. Rising from an environmental disaster of a mining accident, Marinduque is set to become a major tourist destination.

Marinduque is a safe and peaceful place. Traveling around Marinduque, one cannot miss the welcoming smile of its people. Getting lost is next to impossible as a helping hand is always nearby to guide you to your intended destination. The jails are almost empty for the lack of criminality in the island.

The circumferential coastal roads of the islands are cemented and well maintained, making going around the island pleasurable. The public transport consists mainly of jeepneys and tricycles but air-conditioned vans are available for hire.

Being a net producer of agricultural products, the prices of food in Marinduque is lower compared to the Luzon mainland. Cows, goats and chicken in considerable quantity can be seen in the fields all over the island. The wet markets are full of sea food in their freshest state".

Indeed, I am so delighted to read this news. It is more Fun in the Philippines! For more information about Marinduque, visit my blog at http://marinduqueawaitsyou.blogspot.com or at http://marinduquemyislandparadise.blogspot.com

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cebu Prisoners Did It Again-Dancing



Due to insistent public demand, the world renowned dancing inmates of Cebu finally had their own version of Psy's Gangnam Style music video. Their first video that went viral was their interpretation of Michael Jackson classic dance, the Moon Walk a couple of years ago.

Despite the heavy rain on September, 29, at least a thousand inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) entertained guests with their ecstatic adoption of the Guinness World Record holder for the "Most Liked in YouTube." Credits to Mark Anthony Bautista for taking the video. No comments: Links to this post

Monday, October 15, 2012

Have You Heard of Maniwaya Island?



A couple of days ago, I was reading on the development of Balesin Island Club Resort by a US based conglomerate headquartered in Miami, Florida. After reading the article, Maniwaya Island comes to my mind. The scenic beauty of Maniwaya Island is comparable if not better than Balesin Island. Moreover, the proximity of Maniwaya to Manila is a big plus for Maniwaya's future development. Marinduque tourist officials would like to claim that Maniwaya Island is the next Boracay without the night clubs and big crowds. I have a feeling that big resort developers will be wishing they have a chance to develop the island into a luxurious resort, once they see the island in person. This will only happened if our local government officials gave their support.

The status of being another Boracay without the night clubs has already been claimed by the developers of the Balesin Island Club Resort. Balesin Island is a 500 hectare island south of the Pollilo Island of Quezon province. A private and exclusive resort has just recently opened. Completion of the resort complex is expected to be finished by the end of this year.

Below is a video of Maniwaya Island from YouTube that attracted my attention.

Here's some tidbits from an article published in the local paper on Maniwaya Islands.

Freddie Pelaez, former village chair of Maniwaya, said the island got its name from the Filipino word maniwala (believe). According to old-timers, a story went that a visitor with a speech disorder was asked by locals about his impression of the island, and he replied, “Maganda. Maniwaya kayo sa akin (It’s beautiful. Believe me).”

Maniwaya has a land area of 264 hectares and a population of 1,900 or 370 households. The residents’ major sources of livelihood are fishing and farming, Pelaez said.

Local blogger Eli Obligacion in his blog site Marinduque Rising said nights could be creepy on the island with the “strangest bird sounds you’ll ever hear. But when the moon is full and the water is still, you might experience some state of freedom and enlightenment.”

“Maniwaya is still untouched by commercial developers so the bigger number of visitors just come by to spend the whole day swimming and exploring the shore—and maybe taste the bibingka (rice cake) or agar-agar seaweed jelly that the local inhabitants make,” he wrote.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Escalating Gas Prices- A Sticker Shocker



Today, I gas up in preparation for a trip about 30 miles from our residence for tomorrow. The price of regular gas in my favorite gas station was $4.45 per gallon, But I paid only $3.95 per gallon since I had a 0.50c/gallon discount coupon. This is the highest price I have paid for regular gasoline since we moved here in Norther California. Based on the published average price of regular gas as $4.63 per gallon in California, this is a good price. But I still have sticker shock, since today is the highest amount I have paid for a gallon of gas since 2002 when my family moved here in Northern California.

There is a daily data published in the AAA website listing gas prices of all grades of gas including diesel in the US, state by state. The data shows prices are cheaper in the South, but more expensive in the North East, California, Hawaii and Alaska. I am a Democrat, but I think I will vote Republican this November, if the gas prices continues to go up or remain the same. What do you think? Who is to blame for this ridiculous price of gasoline? The Democrats or the Republicans?

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Time for Ballet-The Swan Lake



I hope you like Ballet. If you do the following video of the Kirov Ballet will certainly tickle your fancy. If you are a ballet enthusiast, there is a new TV reality show called the Breaking Point at Hulu Internet site. It chronicled the ins and outs of the life of six ballet dancers for six weeks at the West Ballet Company, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.



In this production of the best loved classical ballet 'Swan Lake' the naturally gifted Yulia Makhalina dances the challenging role of Odette/Odile while the part of Prince Siegfried is danced by Igor Zelensky. This classic Kirov production includes the familiar happy ending in the final act where Siegfried fights and ultimately defeats the evil magician von Rothbart and at dawn is reunited with Odette.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Proud to Announce My Daughter's New Appointment

Ditas J Katague-my youngest daughter

Census Bureau Names Ditas Katague to National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today the establishment of the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations and has named Ditas Katague as a member of the committee.

The National Advisory Committee will advise the Census Bureau on a wide range of variables that affect the cost, accuracy and implementation of the Census Bureau’s programs and surveys, including the once-a-decade census. The committee, which is comprised of 31 members from multiple disciplines, will advise the Census Bureau on topics such as housing, children, youth, poverty, privacy, race and ethnicity, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other populations.

“We expect that the expertise of this committee will help us meet emerging challenges the Census Bureau faces in producing statistics about our diverse nation,” said Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau’s acting director. “By helping us better understand a variety of issues that affect statistical measurement, this committee will help ensure that the Census Bureau continues to provide relevant and timely statistics used by federal, state and local governments as well as business and industry in an increasingly technologically oriented society.”

The National Advisory Committee members, who serve at the discretion of the Census Bureau director, are chosen to serve based on expertise and knowledge of the cultural patterns, issues and/or statistical needs of hard-to-count populations.

Ditas Katague has more than 20 years of experience at federal, state and local government agencies. Currently, she is chief of staff to California Public Utilities Commissioner Catherine Sandoval. While in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, she served as California’s 2010 Census director as well as the 2000 Census chief deputy director — overseeing and directing the statewide outreach and coordination. She received her bachelor’s degree in social science and practice of art from University of California, Berkeley and her master’s of public administration in organization development and intergovernmental management from the University of Southern California's Sol Price School of Public Policy.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Iloilo Province-My Place of Birth

Sunset and the Iloilo River Iloilo is a province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Iloilo occupies the southeast portion of Panay Island and is bordered by Antique Province to the west and Capiz Province and the Jintotolo Channel to the north. Just off Iloilo's southeast coast is Guimaras Province, once part of Iloilo Province but now a province in its own right. Across the Panay Gulf and Guimaras Strait is Negros Occidental. Iloilo's capital is Iloilo City though the city itself is independent and not governed by the provincial government of Iloilo.

I was born in Jaro, Iloilo a suburb of Iloilo City- the capital of the province. However, most of my childhood and teenager years I experienced in the small town of Barotac Viejo- about 60 Km North of Jaro. Barotac Viejo is my mothers ancestral town.

I have a separate article on Barotac Viejo posted in my blogs recently. This posting is about the province. As seen from the video above, the tourist potential of this province is beyond expectation. I hope you enjoyed the short video above. The next video is the Miagao Church-a world heritage UNESCO site.

I do not owned these videos and I apologize for its amateur video presentation

Miag-ao Church (also known as the Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva) in the town of Miagao, Iloilo is an Augustinian-built baroque church and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built between 1787 and 1797, its fortress-like design suggests its dual purpose as a place of worship and as a fort used in defending the town against moro raiders.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sex and Dental Tourism in the Philippines

Photo Credit: msmagazine.com

How rampant and common is sex tourism in the Philippines? Based on reports and articles in the Internet, my conclusion is that it is very common. Last year the US Ambassador commented that 40% of US men who visits the Philippines have sex in their minds. He later apologized for his comments. A recent blog from a US visitor described how easy it is to get prostitutes in the former Clark Air Base site in Los Angeles, Pampanga. He said for around $10 to $50 (400 to 2000 thousand pesos), one can have a girl overnight. The amount varies from bars to bars. I have heard of similar stories of prostitution in Manila, Cebu and other big cities in the Philippines. There are women prostitutes, as well as male prostitutes. Child prostitution is sometimes in the news. The Philippines is a Catholic country and the subject of prostitution is taboo. But it is a reality of life!

The Philippines is not the only country in Asia known for the sex tourism. One country in my mind is Thailand. Other countries mentioned in the news for prostitution( adults and child) are Brazil, Dominican Republic and Columbia

Another popular activity in the Philippines is DENTAL tourism. My wife and I are beneficiaries of this activity. It is much much cheaper to have your dental work done in the Philippines compared here in US. My wife and I have been getting our dental work in Manila, since our dental insurance coverage here in US is very poor. This is however not true with our medical insurance coverage.

So if you hear of US men visiting the Philippines for sex, do not be surprise. They do not advertise it, but it is the reality of life. Income from sex tourism is one way of uplifting the economy of the country in addition to the billions of pesos remittances from the OFW ( Overseas Filipino Workers). Note that the OFW's are touted to be the modern heroes of the Philippines.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kalutang versus Kulintang Music Ensembles

Have you heard of the words Kalutang and Kulintang? Although these two words sounds and is spelled very similarly and are associated to musical instruments, these two words are a world apart. Kalutang is made of wood and Kulintang is made of metal. Kalutang is associated with Marinduque and Kulintang with the Muslims of Mindanao. Kulintang Ensemble from Mindanao

The Kalutang, a pair of wooden bars that create four basic notes when struck together. Each person carry a pair of softwood bars made from kwatingan trees. Each set ranges in length and width to create truly unique musical performances. As far as I knew, this type of music is only known in Marinduque and originated in the town of Gasan. Kalutang playing is unique to Marinduque. Originally used as auditory signal by farmers, it later came to be associated with the Moriones in the town of Gasan according to Eli Obligacion, Marinduque's well-known blogger. In the 70's Tirso Serdena, a farmer, developed a series of kalutang pairs and used them together with other players to play popular folk melodies. It is now considered part of the town's - and Marinduque's - cultural treasures. The National Commission for Culture & the Arts (NCCA), municipal government of Gasan, Gasan DepEd and Serdena organized a project to teach the art of kalutang playing to elementary and high school students in Gasan town. All recognize the importance of handing down this skill to the next generation.

The Kulintang is different as seen in the two videos below



Kulintang is a modern term for an ancient instrumental form of music composed on a row of small, horizontally-laid gongs that function melodically, accompanied by larger, suspended gongs and drums. As part of the larger gong-chime culture of Southeast Asia, kulintang music ensembles have been playing for many centuries in regions of the Eastern Malay Archipelago — the Southern Philippines, Eastern Indonesia, Eastern Malaysia, Brunei and Timor, although this posting is focus on the Philippine Kulintang traditions of the Maranao and Maguindanao peoples in particular. Kulintang evolved from a simple native signaling tradition, and developed into its present form with the incorporation of knobbed gongs from Sunda, Indonesia.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Travel Advisory Warning to the Philippines

I am glad, Marinduque is not included in this travel Advisory warning. I was reading the news today and I learned that there is still a travel advisory for US and British citizens to the Philippines specifically in Mindanao and Metro Manila. The travel advisory in the Philippines was issued for US and British citizens to South-west Mindanao and around Manila in the Pasay Neighborhood effective today and until October 10, 2012. The following message is from the UK government website.

We advise against all travel to south-west Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago because of on-going terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent groups. We advise against all but essential travel to the remainder of Mindanao for the same reason. See Safety and Security - Terrorism and Safety and Security - Local Travel.

The US Embassy in Manila has issued a message advising of a threat against US citizens in Manila, particularly in the Pasay City neighbourhood. The threat is considered to be in effect until 10 October 2012. Any attack could be indiscriminate and we advise British nationals to exercise particular caution and extra vigilance in places frequented by expatriates and foreign nationals.

There is a high threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Such places could include, but are not limited to, airports, shopping malls, places of worship etc.

There is a threat from kidnapping in the Philippines, particularly in the south. Kidnapping could occur anywhere, including on coastal and island resorts and dive boats and sites in the Sulu Sea.

There is a risk of flooding in many areas throughout the monsoon season. Travellers should check news and weather updates regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) provide local weather forecasts. Approximately twenty typhoons hit the Philippines each year. The monsoon season in the Philippines normally runs from June to November. Most typhoons occur during this period but they can affect the country at any time. Travellers should check news and weather updates regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) provide local weather forecasts.

The European Commission announced an operating ban on all air carriers certified in the Philippines from 1 April 2010. This follows an audit of the Philippines carried out by ICAO in October 2009. The EU ban has been imposed because the Philippine regulatory authority is unable to verify that these airlines comply with international safety standards. We recommend that you avoid flying with Philippine-certified airlines subject to the EU operating ban.

There is a high threat from terrorism throughout the Philippines. Terrorist groups continue to plan attacks and have the capacity and the intent to carry out these attacks at anytime and anywhere in the country. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Such places could include, but are not limited to, airports, shopping malls, public transport, places of worship etc.

There is also a threat from kidnapping in the Philippines particularly in the southern Philippines. Kidnapping could occur anywhere, including on coastal and island resorts and on dive boats and sites in the Sulu Sea. Foreigners have been targeted in rural, urban and coastal areas in the past. On 1 February two foreign nationals were kidnapped from Parangan in the township of Panglima Sugala in the Tawi Tawi island province. On 5 December 2011, an Australian citizen was kidnapped in Zamboanga Sibugay. On 12 July 2011 two US citizens and a Philippine national were kidnapped from a resort on the island of Tictabon near the southern port city of Zamboanga. You should be aware that it is the long-standing policy of the British Government not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British Government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners increases the risk of further hostage taking.

The Philippine government is taking action against the terrorist and kidnapping threat. It has tightened security in Metro Manila and other areas considered at high risk, including airports and seaports.

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Carenna as Martha in STC Play-The Miracle Worker

Here are some souvenir photos of Carenna's debut as a Child Actress during Sacramento's Musical Theatre Company that started last October 3 and ending on October 28, 2012.









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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Scandalous Political Dynasties of the Philippines

Is Corruption and Family Dynasty a Way of Life in Philippine Politics?

marinduque rising: Group slams ‘scandalous’ political dynasties: Group slams ‘scandalous’ political dynasties. Very interesting read, Indeed- Related to my recent post on Family Dynasty in Philippine Politics dated September 28, 2012 at http://lifeinus1960present.blogspot.com and at www.pu.blish.us dated 9/27/12.

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Friday, October 5, 2012

My Top 20 Filipino American Pride List



I have always wanted to publish my own Filipino-American Pride List. The 20 names (BOTH LIVING AND DEAD) below are not listed in order of importance. This is my personal list and you are welcome to suggest any names that could be added in this list. My only requirement is that they have excelled in their field of expertise ( entertainment, sports, science, medicine, literature, arts, law and politics). I have personally meet Olivera, Comiso, Cabaldon, Pasquil, and Nicolas-Lewis. Cabaldon and Pasquil are associates and friends of my daughter, Ditas Katague ( Number 8). And last but not least, Number 14 in this list is my oldest son, Dodie Katague, Writer and Lawyer. Pure Filipinos like Manny Pacquiao, Dr Fe Del Mundo, Lea Salonga or Charice Pempengco are not included in this list. They belong to the Filipino Pride list.

1. Baldomero Olivera, Ph.D. – Distinguished Professor of Biology, University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah; first Fil-Am member of the United States National Academy of Science. Research: neurotoxins from venoms of predatory cone snails

2. Emil Guillermo – award winning journalist, writer, and broadcaster. First Filipino American to anchor a regularly scheduled national news program, NPR "All Things Considered," May 1989. Winner of American Book Award, 2000.

3. Jose Antonio Vargas – 2008 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Journalism for his work with the Washington Post; DREAM Act advocate; "illegal alien"

4. Carlos Bulosan – Author, America Is in the Heart. Discrimination of Filipinos in the 1930's.

5.Loida Nicolas-Lewis – Chairman and CEO, TLC Beatrice International Holdings, Inc. Active on Filipino American politics and policy

6. Cristeta Comerford – First woman executive chef at the White House.

7. Josefino Comiso, Ph.D. – physics expert at NASA. My contemporary at PAASE, Research on arctic melt and global warming

8.Ditas Katague was appointed by Governor Brown in March 2011 as Commissioner Sandoval’s Chief of Staff, California Public Utilities Commission. Ditas has more than 20 years of experience at federal, state and local government agencies as well as in private and non-profit sectors. Prior to coming to the CPUC, Ditas was Chief Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Corporations. She also served in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research as Director of Census 2010 and is an expert in civic engagement and public participation. She was also Assistant Secretary for Transportation at the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency. Ditas has a B.A. in Social Sciences and Practice of Art (double major) from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Masters in Public Administration (Intergovernmental Management and Organization Development) from the University of Southern California. Ditas is my youngest daughter.

9. Eleanor Mariano – Rear Admiral (Lower Half), U.S. Navy, retired. First Filipino American to be promoted to a flag officer rank; former White House physician

10. Mona Pasquil Rogers- in November 2009, became the first woman to serve as acting lieutenant governor of California, Friend and associate of my daughter, Ditas

11. Steve Austria - Republican congressman from Beavercreek, Ohio.

12. Rozita Villanueva Lee – daughter of Eugenio Villanueva, who immigrated from Pangasinan to Hawaii as part of the recruited labor force for the Hawaii plantations, has been described as one of the top ten successful Filipinos abroad. She has served as National Vice Chair of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations and in a number of other prominent positions of responsibility. On September 16, 2010, the White House announced her appointment as a member of the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

13. Christopher Cabaldon – Mayor of West Sacramento, California, born in 1965. Openly gay activist. Have attended fun raising activities for his political activities.

14. Dodie Diosdado Katague- author of Cloyne Court and Prosecuting Attorney,Contra Costa, California. Here's a summary of his first novel Cloyne Court" In 1946, the "real" all male "Animal House" was born when Cloyne Court become a student co-op. But the real story begins when Cloyne Court went co-ed in 1972 with the arrival of sixty-two women. Katague's sexy, reveal-all memoir takes place in the late 70s, soon after the women moved in. All it takes is one kiss to transform animals into horny princes.

15. Enrique Iglesias – a Spanish pop music singer-songwriter. Is now mainstream US singer

16. Christine Gambito – an American Internet personality, actress, and comedian; she maintains one of the most-subscribed-to channels on YouTube. Also appointed Ambassador of Philippine tourism

17. Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye was born on October 19, 1959). She is a Filipino-American jurist, and is the 28th Chief Justice of California. She was nominated by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for California's highest judicial office on July 22, 2010, and retained in office by California voters on November 2, 2010, and was sworn in on January 3, 2011. Her Hawaiian-born father, Clarence, was of Filipino and Portuguese ancestry, while her mother, Mary Gorre, was Filipino. She was a classmate of my oldest son ( Dodie) in Law School at UC Davis.

18. Alex S. Fabros, Jr. – Historian, professor, retired U.S. Army officer; Documentaries: “Filipino Americans: Discovering their Past for the Future”, "Unsung Heroes"; historian, "Filipinas Magazine"; Historian and Guest Curator, National Steinbeck Center's "Filipino Voices: Past and Present."; and winner of New American Media's "Ethnic Pulitzer Prize".

19. Cheryl Burke- Professional Dancer, Trophy Winner-ABC Dancing with the Stars

20. Jessica Sanchez- 2012 American Idol Runner-Up

Here's a video of famous Filipino-American in the Entertainment Industry.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Romney Beats Obama in First Debate



At the first presidential debate last night, Mitt Romney in my opinion beat Barack Obama. It was not a convincing defeat, however. Facts wise it appears in my opinion to be a tie. However, when it comes to presentation and awareness, Romney was at his best. Romney was aggressive and the President appeared defensive. An independent survey just after the debate based from reactions of 500 undecided voters gave Romney a 2 to 1 margin. This is just a small sample and statistically insignificant, but if Romney continues to be himself and performs well as last night in the next two debates, he will win the election. Romney did indeed change the voters perception that he cares from 30% to 63%. On the other hand, the positive change regarding the President's caring for the middle class changed only from 60% to 69%. The next debate will be the Vice Presidential debate this coming October 11 to be followed by two more debates between Romney and Obama(Oct 16 and 22). I am looking forward for these coming three debates.

I am a registered Democrat but if Romney continues to do well in the next two debates, I might vote Republican this year. However, since I am a resident of California, my vote for Romney will not count since Obama is pretty sure to win the electoral votes of California. Romney will only win the election if he wins in the seven borderline States if the election are held today. The fate of the US presidency will depends on the voters from Florida, Iowa, Virginia and Ohio and other borderline States.

Before the debate, newscasters had been saying that Obama has already 271 electoral votes if the election was conducted yesterday. THIS IS ONE ELECTORAL VOTE more THAT IS NEEDED TO BE PRESIDENT OF US. ONLY 270 ELECTORAL VOTES IS REQUIRED TO BE ELECTED PRESIDENT OF US in case you are not aware of the US Constitution.

In the Philippines, there are no electoral votes. The president wins by popular votes. I wish the US has the popular votes system, so if I vote for Romney even if I reside in California, my vote will be personally counted.

Did you watch the debate last night? If so, who won in your opinion and why. I will be delighted to hear from you.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ethnic Tribal Music from Cebu, Philippines

Here's an excellent example of an ethnic tribal music( Kadangyan) from Cebu Island in the Philippines. I like the video and I hope you like. It is different kind of music for the mind and spirit. The video maker encouraged viewers to share this video based on the comment section of the video in YouTube. KADANGYAN is one of Cebu's foremost ethnic bands, composing and playing in their own unique style. Most of their instruments are original and handmade from natural products. Here's the comment of the video maker.

"I shot this video in the jungle near the reservoir and it was an extremely difficult shoot because we wanted to use the natural surroundings, rather than a studio setting! The hike, carrying instruments and video equipment was a challenging one! info@globalvideoprotv.com". Please share.!

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Balesin Island Club versus Bellarocca Resort

Sunset of Bellarocca

Balesin Island Club Official Video A destination of unmatched natural beauty located off the Eastern coast of Luzon in the Philippines, Balesin is a 500 hectare tropical island paradise with 7.3 kilometers of pristine white sand beaches. Located 21 kilometers southeast of Polillo, Quezon Province and just 60 nautical miles east of Manila, Balesin is a quick 25-minute plane ride from Manila, yet is a world completely unto itself. Alphaland Balesin Island Club is your unique, members-only, private leisure getaway-today and for generations to come.

Members will be given 14 complimentary days in any of our seven themed villages inspired by world-class beach destinations namely: Balesin, Bali, St. Tropez, Costa Smeralda, Mykonos, Costa Del Sol, and Phuket. Members can enjoy the landscaped pools and authentic restaurants while giving them an impressive view of the ocean.

Masterfully planned by EcoPlan of Miami, Florida, USA, Balesin Island Club was designed with the environment uppermost in mind and to be in perfect harmony with its natural surroundings. Water harvesting, 80% water recycling, a reverse osmosis plant, on-site eco friendly transportation, organic farming, and alternative sources of energy reduce the amount of waste and ensure sustainable development on this beauty of an island – without scrimping on luxurious, top-notch facilities.

Bellarocca Resort, Buenavista, Marinduque

Located between the southeastern portion of Luzon and Mindoro islands, Marinduque is flanked from four sides: North, South, Northeast and Southwest by the Tayabas Bay, Sibuyan Sea, Mompoy Bay and Tayabas Strait, respectively.

Bellarocca Island is situated off the south west coast of the Marinduque province. Characterized by seaside cliffs, valleys, hills and sparsely dotted plains across this heart-shaped region, therein lies even more impressively hot springs, waterfalls and underwater flora and fauna. In addition to these, there are caves that await exploration by adventurous travelers. Many are yet to be fully investigated or documented. The most famous of these cave systems is Bathala Caves which hosts a complex network of seven mostly uncharted caves. In the capital Boac, spelunkers can take delight in the limestone Talamban caves situated on a 300-meter hill.

Because of the location within the Philippine archipelago, Marinduque has been aptly dubbed the heart of the Philippines.

For those who wish to travel privately, guests can choose to arrive at the island directly via private helicopters, chartered flights or luxury yachts from Manila to Marinduque. Arrangements are coursed through our Manila Reservation Staff.

Marinduque is a short 30-minute flight south of Manila. Another access available to guests is the commercial flights from Manila to Marinduque by Zest Air, which flies on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Advance purchases of promo airfares online(www.zestair.com.ph) are being offered as low as PHP3,000.00 net round trip per person.

Land and sea transfers to Bellarocca: From the airport in Marinduque, our guests are met by our airport representatives and picked up by private vans for a 40-minute land transfer to the town of Lipata, Municipality of Buenavista, where Bellarocca is located. From there guests are transferred via speed boats and yachts, depending on the expected number of arrivals, for a brief 5 – minute crossing to the island.

You have seen the videos of the two exclusive resorts. Just based on the videos and on the brochures above, which one will you visit first if money is not your problem?

I have stayed in Bellarocca over the weekend and it was fantastic, but I believe it is overpriced( the non-promo package). I do not know the membership fees for the Balesin Island Club, but based on the description, it will be a threat and a competition for Bellarocca clients. Both resorts do not participate in the International Exchange Vacation Program. So even if you have a time exchange membership in a five star US resort, you will not be able to exchange it at either Balesin Island Club or in Bellarocca Resort.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Have You Heard of Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, Phl?

Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, Philippines National High School. Me and My sister (Amor) in front of the Sign at the entrance of the school showing our mother's land Donation to the School

If you have not heard of this place, I do not blame you. It is a 4th class municipality about 60Km North of Iloilo City, Iloilo. Iloilo is one of the four provinces in Panay Island. Panay Island is part of the Western Visayas Region of the Philippines. The Visayas Region is the Central Part of the Philippine Archipelago. You may ask me why I am writing about Barotac Viejo, Iloilo (BVI) . Let me explained.

BVI is the town where I grew up. It is the town where I finished my elementary school years. It is also the town where I finished high school. In 1951 I graduated valedictorian of my high school class. It is the town where I have both pleasant and unpleasant memories of my childhood and teenaged years.

My childhood memories of the American-Japanese war occurred in the town proper, foothills and jungles of this town. ( http://davidbkatague.blogspot.com). My memories of my elementary and high school years as discussed in my autobiography , http://theintellectualmigrant.blogspot.com , (Chapter 2 and 3) also occurred in this town.

When I left BVI in 1951 to pursue my college degree in Iloilo City and later in Diliman, Quezon City, BVI was a 4th class town with less than 5000 residents. Today, Wikipedia states that is still a 4th class municipality, but with around 39,000 residents. When I left BVI in 1955, there was the elementary and high schools, public market, Cockfighting Arena, the Catholic Church, the Post office and one gas station, a couple of hardware stores, a Chinese bakery and may be 100 residential homes in the town proper. Today it is still a 4th class town with more buildings both for business and private homes. The local high school was named to be a national agricultural high school. Part of the land for the school was donated by my uncle ( Jose Balleza) and my mother Paz Balleza ( see photo above). There is a beach resort ( Balaring Beach) about 5 Km from the town proper.

When I left the town in 1955, the mayor of the town was Luis Tupas, a relative of my mother. Today the local politics, are still controlled by the Tupas family and their clan. When I left the town, my parents bestowed me a 12 hectare parcel of rice land as part of my inheritance, as discussed in my blog http://lifeinus1960present.blogspot.com. Today that land has been land reformed and I have not received a single centavo from the Philippine government. What was left of my inheritance is a 2-hectare parcel in the upland area without water irrigation and almost useless for crop growing.

So after all this years, almost 57 years, the town has not really changed. I found a Facebook Page about the town last year. Searching in Google, there is not much information about BVI. If you click on the Image Section, two of my pictures are in the first page.

In 2005, my wife and I accompanied by my sister visited our parents grave in the cemetery of BVI.Me and my wife and sister Amor at the Cemetery. Our old house (located at the back of the Post Office) was gone. The only thing that remained was the foundation stone with the engraving Dolce Building, 1952.

Tears from my eyes flowed like a gentle rain, when I saw that foundation, recalling the pleasant memories of my teen-age years. The house is gone but my memories of BVI will live forever. I wish for a better future for BVI and its residents. If you know of someone from Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, I will appreciate your comments.

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