Planning to Retire Soon!

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

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Photo Memories of the On Wings of Song Concert, 2000


On November 17, 2000, my wife and I hosted two singers from the On Wings of Song concert held in Washington DC. I have almost forgotten this memorable event in our social life in the Washington DC area. But last week, after I was befriended by Jonathan Badon in FaceBook, pleasant memories of this concert inspired me to post the following pictures in this blog.

For those of you who have not heard of the "On Wings of Song 2000": It was a tour of the Music Theater Foundation of the Philippines(MTFP). It aimed to foster Filipino cultural awareness with a scripted concert tracing the history of the Philippines through choreographed songs. This concert showcased six of Philippines finest musical talents, singing excerpts from classical opera, Broadway, Kundiman, folk songs and Pop Music. It was headed by Fides Cuyugan Asensio. The singers were Jonathan Badon(tenor), Lorna Llames(soprano), Bituin Domicel (soprano), Nova Ramirez( mezzo Soprano, and Marvin Gayramon ( baritone). The show was directed by Paul Morales.
Members of the Committee and Host Families
Summary of the Repertoire
Post Concert Reception at the residence of the Philippine Ambassador-Maceda
Welcome Dinner at our Residence in Silver Spring, Maryland
The singers at the Finale singing Time to Say Good Bye
Dinner Reception at Ambassador Maceda Residence after the concertLorna Llames welcomed by Maceda and the Group Picture
At the Ambassador Residence after the Dinner Reception

Brochure and News Clipping after the Concert

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Have You Heard of Jonathan Badon?


If you are not into Filipino operaticpop music, you probably have not heard of Jonathan Badon. But if you are you probably are a fan and supporter of Jonathan.

I first meet Jonathan in 2000 at our former residence in Silver Spring, MD. Since that time I have no contact or heard anything about him and his music until last month when we become "friends" in FaceBook.

Jonathan had been to our residence in Silver Spring, Maryland on November 16, 2000 along with several other Philippine opera singers with the Fides Santos-Cuyugan Asensio group-"On Wing of Songs". The other Filipino opera singers in the group are: Lorna Llames ( soprano), Bituin Domicel ( soprano), Nova Ramirez ( mezzo soprano), Marvin Gayramon ( baritone) and Reuel Tica (bass). I am wondering what had happened to the other singers besides Jonathan!

In 2000 he sang my Prayer at our house after a dinner hosted by the UP Alumni group of the Washington DC area. The two video below shows Badon cool, mesmerizing and booming tenor voice. Enjoy!


If you have not heard about Jonathan Badon, here's his short biography.

The Philippines' prince of operatic-pop is an Aliw Awardee for 2004 Best Male Classical Performer (Philippine version of Tony Awards). He just had a series of performances in Texas, California, and Southeast Asia. Badon is a Bachelor of Music in Voice graduate at the University of the Philippines College of Music as a scholar of the Music Promotion Foundation - Cultural Center of the Philippines. He has performed lead roles in various operas, oratorios, sarzuelas musicales and has done numerous solo concerts in the Philippines as well as in the United States, Canada, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Brunei Darrusalam. He also has represented the Philippines to different music and cultural festivals in Wales, Scotland, Indonesia, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Korea, China, Japan and the United States.

A versatile performer, Jonathan is one of the most sought-after stage and music personalities in the Philippines today. Also known as the Josh Groban of the Philippines, he is the ultimate cross-over artist in his effortless transition from classical to pop singing. It is no wonder that he is the favorite featured performer in Concert at the Park, Paco Park Presents, CCP-Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra Concerts, Teatrino Concerts and Hard Rock Cafe to name just a few.

He is an award winning composer and arranger as well, winning the grand prize in the AFP National Songwriting Contest for “Dugong Pilipino.” His artistry is also revealed in the visual arts. He favors realistic sketches of architectural and historical landmarks of places he has visited. Quite aptly, his extra ordinary talents in music and art featured in a CD which was released in 2002 titled “Sketches and Melodies.” Jonathan had a very successful solo US concert tour last 2005.

I am indeed proud to be one of the many Badon's FB friends!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunrise, Sunsets and Moon Lights at Chateau Du Mer

The following photos are a few of my favorite shots of sunsets, sunrise and moon lights taken from either the balcony of the beach house or from the balcony of the main house.
Two Moons taken from the Balcony of the Main House
Only One Moon ( Main House Balcony)

Sunset from the Balcony of the Beach House, 2013( Photo Credit-Joe Hobson)

Sunrise from the Master Bedroom of the Beach House ( Photo Credit-Joe Hobson)
Sunset From the Balcony of the Beach House
Sunset with the Japanese Bridge in the Background!

I hope you enjoy the above pictures.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Photo Essay of Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort and Confernece Center

Amoingon Beach just outside the Beach House abound with coral reefs ideal for snorkeling
The following selected photographs were taken at Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort and Conference Center(CDM) last January to March, 2013. It is arranged from the time guests arrived up to their departure.

Here is my modus operandi if we have guests from US or Europe. If pre-arranged the guests are pick up from the Masiga, Marinduque Airport. On arrival at the resort, they are given refreshments ( buko or mango juices). A ten minute orientation is given after their registration. Orientation includes amenities of the resort, food and transportation, attractions in the island and other questions the guests might want to know about the resort and Marinduque.

A map of Marinduque is given to the guests, but they have to return it on departure. IF BREAKFAST is included during their stay, a menu is shown for their perusal and comments. The guests have a choice of either a typical Filipino or continental breakfasts.
Entrance to the Resort
The Main House for Registration and Orientation
The backyard leading to the beach house
The Conference Hall on the Way to the Beach House
The Beach House
The Beach Outside
Pathway Leading to the Beach
Sunset as Viewed from the Balcony of the Beach House
Snorkeling or Bathing are popular activities at the resort
Banca Sailing Can be Arranged
Island Hopping Can be Arranged
Butterfly Tour or Bird Watching Can be Arranged
Table Tennis Complimentary
Two Picnic Tables Nearby
Last but Not Least is the Moriones Festival during Holy Week.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Video from My Nephew, Dave Katague


I like to share with you, the following video taken by my nephew from Australia who happens to have the same name as myself. Enjoy!

Visiting The Aquarium | "Turtle!" from Dave Katague on Vimeo.


Dave Katague, the only son of my younger brother is a Sydney( Australia) based Motion Designer. He has the passion for anything related to 3d / motionography, cinematography, photography, motion control time lapse, film, illustration /animation, typography, branding and special effects. You could see other samples of his work on his website, davekatague.com

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Love and Hate for Marinduque, 2013

Macrine, Miko and the Sunset

This year my wife and I spent only three months for our winter sojourn in Marinduque, Philippines instead of our normal 4 to 5 months of winter escapade for personal reasons.

The following are ten items I like about Marinduque followed by my dislike of life in this island, known as the Heart of the Philippines and Land of the Morions. But in spite of my dislikes, I still consider Marinduque, my winter haven.

1. I love the Moriones Festival and the tourists it attract, but I hate the crowds, traffic congestion and pollution it brings during the Easter Holy Week Season

2. I love downtown Boac, because of its quaint restaurants and convenient computer cafe's, but I hate the lack of parking spaces and inadequate potable water supply.

3. I love the Marinduque cuisine, availability to pre-order cakes and special dishes, but I hate the wait and delivery time in spite of an advance notice for pick-up.

4. I love the chirping of the birds almost all day and the sound of the waves, but I hate the barking of the dogs and crowing of the cocks during the early morning hours.

5. I love the magnificent sunsets and glimmering moon lights, but I hate the scattered plastic wastes by the seashore.

6. I love our honest government officials, but I hate politicians who are liars and goon happy.

7. I love the sound of the BALUT vendors but I hate the loud voices of the FISH vendors ( I--s---d--a)

8. I love my beautiful gardens and prolific fruit trees, but I hate the weeding, mowing and watering chores

9. I love the Flea and Open Markets, but I hate the public market in downtown Boac

10. Last but not least, I love the peace,and solitude of Chateau Du Mer, the mild and cool weather from December to February, but I hate the hot and humid weather during the months of March, April and May.

If you have visited Marinduque, I will appreciate if you share with my readers what you like and dislike about this beautiful island in the Philippines. Happy spring time to All!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Selected Photos from Our Two Abodes


If you have been following my blogs, you probably know we called ourselves snowbirds. We have a retirement home in the Philippines, but our primary residence is in Northern California. The following are some photos showing the differences between our two lifestyles. Since pictures are worth more than a thousand words, all you will read are labels of the photos; Enjoy my photos:

The first photo is our ranch style home in the Philippines and the second is our home in Northern California


Our backyard in Marinduque versus our backyard in Northern California

The first photo is our side yard in the Philippines versus our side yard in Northern California


The first photo is the twin orchids in my front yard in the Philippines versus the yellow orchid in my yard in Northern California

My jack fruit tree in the Philippines versus my lemon tree in Northern California


My PC in the Philippines versus my PC in Northern California
Last but not least is Party time:

The first photo is in northern California with salad and Dungeness crab, versus filipino cuisine of Marinduque.

Our friends often asked us which abode do we prefer. Our answer is always, both places. Marinduque is excellent place during winter time and Northern California is an excellent abode during Spring, Summer and Fall.
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