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, February 18, 2014

Coconut Crab and Spiny Lobster of Marinduque

Coconut crab or lobster cooked in coconut milk is one of the most delicious dish that I have tasted in Marinduque. So what what is a coconut crab? Here's what Wikipedia says:

The coconut crab, Birgus latro, is a species of terrestrial hermit crab, also known as the robber crab or palm thief. It is the largest land-living arthropod in the world, and is probably at the upper size limit for terrestrial animals with exoskeletons in recent Earth atmosphere, with a weight of up to 4.1 kg (9.0 lb). It can grow to up to 1 metre (3 ft) in length from leg to leg. It is found on islands across the Indian Ocean and parts of the Pacific Ocean as far east as the Gambier Islands, mirroring the distribution of the coconut palm; it has been extirpated from most areas with a significant human population, including mainland Australia and Madagascar.


In the Cook Islands, the coconut crab is known as unga or kaveu, and in the Mariana Islands it is called ayuyu, and is sometimes associated with taotaomo'na because of the traditional belief that ancestral spirits can return in the form of animals such as the coconut crab


Slipper lobsters are a family of decapod crustaceans found in all warm oceans and seas. Despite their name, they are not true lobsters, but are more closely related to spiny lobsters and furry lobsters. Slipper lobsters are instantly recognizable by their enlarged antennae, which project forward from the head as wide plates. All the species are edible, and some, such as the Moreton Bay bug and the "Balmain bug" (Ibacus peronii) are of commercial importance.

I am looking forward to eat these two delicacies in Marinduque next week.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Two Scam Letters I Received Recently


Here's Letter Number 1:

Dear Good Friend,

Sorry for not having the pleasure of knowing your mindset before making you this offer, it is utterly confidential and genuine by virtue of its nature. I write to solicit your assistance in a funds transfer deal involving US$14.5M. Meanwhile, I know there is absolutely going to be a great doubt and distrust in your heart in respect of this email, coupled with the fact that, so many miscreants and impostors (scammers) have taken possession of the internet to facilitate their nefarious deeds, thereby making it extremely difficult for genuine and legitimate business class persons to get attention and recognition.

This fund has been stashed out of the excess profit made last year by my branch office of the International Commercial Bank- Burkina Faso, which I am the manager. I have already submitted an approved end of the year report for the year 2013 to my head office here in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and the financial report has been endorsed without the excess fund, and they will never know of this. I have since then, placed this amount in a Non-Investment Account without a beneficiary, and I am contacting you as a foreigner to claim the money into your account. Upon your response, I will configure your name on our database as holder of the Non-Investment Account. I will then guide you on how to apply to my head office for the Account Closure, thereafter, bank-to-bank remittance of the funds to your designated bank account.

It is up to you to decide whether this letter deserves your trust and confidentiality. And if indeed it does, whatever your actions and your decision let me know immediately so that I will give you the detail how we should go about it. If you concur with this proposal, I intend for you to retain 45% of the funds while 55% shall be for me.

Kindly forward your response to my private e-mail box: ch.teodoro@laposte.net

Thanks

Yours sincerely

Chintia Teodoro

______________________________________________________________________________

Here's Letter number 2:

Salam: I hope you have good health.

Please I am a widow from Syria and my life and kids are in danger. I need
help from someone honest and sincere that care humanity for we not
know where good thing come from ok if you accept please reply me so I
tell you details of what i want you do for us ok. thank you for understand

Allah Afiz

Note: I am posting the two letters verbatim without correcting the grammar and sentence construction of the two letters.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Daughter and Grand Daughter Art Shows

One of Carenna's Animal Sketches

I am proud to announce that both Ditas ( my youngest daughter) and Carenna( my youngest grand daughter) are having art shows this month and next month and up to May.

Carenna - at age 10 has had several art shows. Her latest featuring 3 photographs is below:

ANIMAL HOUSE - 9th Annual Juried Fine Art Exhibition of Animal Themed Artworks

February 18-March 8, 2014, Sacramento Fine Arts Center, 5330-B Gibbons Drive, Carmichael, CA 95608.

Second Saturday Reception and Award Presentation - March 8, 2014, 5:30-8:30 pm

NOTE- MY 10 YEAR OLD GRAND DAUGHTER HAS BEEN ACCEPTED IN THIS SHOW. SHE WILL BE SHOWING THE FOLLOWING PHOTOGRAPHS.

"Peacocks" - Digital Photograph 8" x 10"

"Snow Leopard" - Digital Photograph 8" x 10"

"Leapin Leopard" - Digital Photograph 8" x 10 "\

=========================================================================

Ditas was selected to be in Ironstone Vineyards Spring Obsession Art show from March 1-May 11. Information is below:

SPRING OBSESSION - Annual Art Competition, Ironstone Vineyards
March 1- May 11, 2014, Ironstone Vineyards, 1894 Six Mile Road, Murphys, CA 95247

www.ironstonevineyards.com

Opening March 1 & 2, 2014 - 10-5 pm. Special event - March 1st 4 to 6:30 pm Wine and Food Pairing from around the World

"Roots Before Branches" - Acrylic on Canvas, 60"x48"

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine-Formula for a Lasting Marriage-Part 2


TODAY is Valentine's Day. A day for lovers, young and old. This is the best time to write Part 2 of my article on the Formula for a lasting marriage. I wrote my first article on my formula for a lasting marriage about a year ago. I did receive several positive comments on that article. In that article I emphasized that open trust and communication between the husband and wife is a must for a lasting marriage. Another point I discussed in that article was accepting the flaws as well as the strength of your partner is a must for a lasting marriage. This new article (Part 2) is inspired from two incidents that I experienced recently.

The first incident occurred while my wife and I were waiting in the patient lounge at the diagnostic laboratory for our normal six month interval blood work check up. A couple seating near us mentioned that they have been married for 63 years. I asked the guy, if he has a secrete formula for their lasting marriage. He jokingly answered "I do what she wants pointing to his wife". His wife heard it, she smiled and reply, that is not true because I also like to please him whatever he wants almost all the time. The lesson here is the "gave and take" is still one of the formula for a lasting marriage.

The second incident happened while I was in line at our friendly local bank cashing a check. The line was long and the bank had only two clerks because it was about lunch time. The wait was about 30 minutes and to get rid of boredom, I started a conversation with an elderly lady next in line. After a few pleasantries, she mentioned that yesterday was her 54th wedding anniversary with her second husband. Her marriage with her first husband lasted only about a year, because both of them were young and immature. So I asked her if she has a formula why her second marriage has lasted for more than 54 years. Her quick reply was, my husband and I just laugh a lot. If we have problems we talk about it and just laugh about it.

To me this means that to have a positive attitude and not taking problems seriously is another formula that helps guarantee a lasting marriage.

So my dear readers if you have been married for more than 10 years, can you share with me and my readers, your formula for a lasting marriage. I will appreciate it very much and thank you in advance for sharing. Again, Happy Valentine to You All!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Good News and Looking Forward to Sweat Like Pig


This week there are three good news in the David Balleza Katague Family.

The first good news is that we have finalized our snowbird vacation dates leaving the US next week and staying in the Philippines up to the first week of May. We have also arranged for a 90 day supply of all of our prescription drugs. I am looking forward to see my blooming orchids, fruit-bearing trees ( mangoes, papayas and bananas) and of course the beach house. I am also looking forward to play with Miko, our pet dog and walking on the beach and gardens every day if it is at all possible( not raining).
One of my favorite orchids ( The Princess Mikasa) at the Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines

However, there will be pain and suffering when during the months of April and May, there will be numerous days when the heat and humidity of summer will turn to its ugly head in the Philippines. There will a slight relief from the ocean breeze in our beach house in Marinduque, but I will not be surprised if I sweat like a pig again this year. Moreover, I am not also looking forward staying in Manila for a couple of days during the summer months due to the oppressive heat, high humidity, air and noise pollution as well as the traffic jam for 12 to 14 hours per day. Manila on summer time is appropriately correct to be referred to as the Gates of Hell in Dan's Brown recent novel published last year.

The second news is that my youngest daughter have been invited to Spain for a study trip (for work). A great honor for her and hopefully she will be able to take her daughter out of school the last week of May. My grand daughter (Carenna) can therefore experience Northern Spain and Paris, France. She will have to hire a nanny to baby set for Carenna in Barcelona and Bilbao while she work. Any volunteers?

*The third good news is that my oldest daughter found another job in San Francisco with much higher pay than her current job doing identical work and responsibilities. The not so good news is that she will have a longer commute. But my daughter is so delighted of this new challenge and personal growth in her professional life and the much higher pay she will receive. Her new position will start March 1.

Again, wish me well in our snow birding days in the Philippines this year!

*Addenda: My oldest daughter just called me a few minutes ago she will not be commuting to San Francisco. Her current employer promoted her when she asked for permission to leave. Her current employer will match the salary offer plus 5% more. Thus, she is staying with her current job which she enjoys. I am so happy of this new development and is indeed good news!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Do You Have a Favorite Pinoy Dish?


Kare-tripe and ox tail in peanut butter Sauce ( photo from lakbay.com)


Lumpia Shanghai (photo from photobucket.com)


Halo-Halo for Merienda( photo from freeweb.com)

My wife and I have resided here in the US since 1960. We have adapted to hamburgers, hot dogs, salad, cottage cheese, yogurt and typical US cuisine, fast foods, as well as filipino dishes that we craved once in a while. Cooking filipino food here is no longer a problem, since you can purchase ingredients in the Filipino-American store or an Oriental store(Chinese, Korean or Japanese). In the 1960's there was only one Filipino store near our residence in Chicago. We oftentimes have to shop in China Town downtown. Today, there are Filipino grocery stores in most medium-sized and big cities in US to cater to the expanding population of Filipino Americans who had immigrated to US in the 1980's.

We have resided in several cities here in US ( Sacramento, Pinole, Modesto, CA, Chicago, Kansas City and Maryland). Every time we moved, my first job was to look at the telephone directory for the nearest oriental or filipino store to our house.

The above two main dishes and one dessert or merienda are some of the dishes that my wife loves to cook every now and then to satiate our longing for filipino dishes. Not pictured are pancit( a noodle dish), Chicken or pork adobo( cooked in water-vinegar mixture), chicken afritada,(a chicken dish cooked in tomato sauce with potatoes and green peppers) and deboned and stuffed chicken called relleno. The above dishes are also the favorites of our children who grew up here in US and does not really know the cuisine of the Philippines.

Our children are brown and looked very Filipino, but they are as American as apple pie. In their college years, some of their friends called them “coconuts”. Their friends would comment, “ you guys are brown outside but very white inside”. That indeed is the truth!

My wife is an excellent cook. The saying " the way to a man's heart is through his stomach", applies to our life. When we were student at the University of the Philippines our romance was on and off, since I was not really ready to get married. One day before my 21st birthday (we have not talked or seen each other for almost a year), I was surprise to receive a birthday gift from her. Her gift was a chiffon orange cake that she baked from scratch. It was the most delicious cake I have ever eaten. It reignited our romance and we started dating again. The next year we got married. I was only 22 years old at that time. The next year, we had our oldest son and I was already in US doing graduate work at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

Do you have a favorite filipino dish or an some other native dish of your country of origin? I will appreciate if you share it with me and my readers.

Here's a video about Filipino food-an opinion of one person. I do not agree with some of his assessments.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Marinduque's Environmental Problems-Updates and Highlights

 A must read article if you are from Marinduque or have roots in this Island Province in the Philippines-my second Home
marinduque rising: Updates and highlights: Marinduque environmental c...: A rally in Boac against Placer Dome / Barrick Gold “Yes, you can say that we are close to a potential settlement,” Scott said in a p...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Exotic Filipino Dishes That I have Tasted

Balut

The Philippines have several exotic dishes not very popular to the western world. Besides the common balut( boiled fertilized duck eggs) and dinugu-an ( blood pudding made from cow's internal organs, tripe etc..), I have tasted several other exotic Filipino dishes as follows:

1. Ginataang kuhol (Snail cooked in coconut milk) and Suso' ( escargo) There are varieties of snails being cooked and eaten in the Philippines. Ginataang kuhol or suso is sautéed with garlic, onion, ginger and pepper plus coconut milk. There are also other ways of cooking these snails. The creek under the bridge at the Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort in Marinduque is filled with Suso that my workers harvest for their lunch and dinner along with their steam rice.

2. Fried Crickets and grasshopper Crickets are usually deep fried.

3. Bull Testicles Soup- I tried to taste this one. I had not the courage to swallow a mouthful. It was just too rich for my taste buds. .

4. Adobong pusa or cat adobo or dog stew Do you know that even cats/dogs are eaten by people in the Philippines? They cook it in adobo style, sautéed with garlic, onion and laurel leaf seasoned with soy sauce and vinegar. This is a favorite appetizer during their drinking spree. I have tasted the dog stew but not the cat adobo. Who eat their pets anyway?

5. Kilawing bunog (raw young of a mudfish) These are eaten raw spiced up with vinegar or citrus juice, pepper, and salt.

6. Adobo o pritong palaka (adobo or fried frogs) Frogs can be cooked in adobo style or deep fried. It’s tastier than chicken. There are also some people in the Philippines that eat legs of bullfrogs cooked in the same manner. The native frogs thrived very well at the Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort in Marinduque. I have eaten frog legs in a French restaurant here in the US.

7. Adobong ahas (snake adobo): This dish is also cooked in adobo style. Snake is commonly eaten in Asia because of its medicinal value. It’s also a good source of protein and supposed to be an aphrodisiac. I have tasted this dish when I was a little boy in the jungles of Panay Island during the Japanese-American War in the Philippines. It tasted like chicken.

8. Adobong bayawak/itlog (monitor lizard meat/eggs) It is sautéed in garlic and onion, ginger and laurel leaf with pepper, soy sauce, and vinegar or more popularly called adobo. This is perfect for “pulutan” (food appetizer while drinking wine or liquor). The eggs are usually cook by simply boiling it, it taste salty and delicious. Their eggs are considered exotic because it’s rare and hard to find. My workers here at Chateau Du Mer had caught several bayawaks about two years ago and made it into adobo for their sumsuman( appetizer during a drinking party)

Bizarre it may seem but these eight items listed here are eaten in the Philippines. There are other exotic dishes in the Philippines not listed here. If you need more information read the reference cited below. Want to try some?

Reference: http://trifter.com/practical-travel/world-cuisine/the-17-most-popular-exotic-foods-in-the-philippines/

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Are You an Eonophile?

Crushing the Grapes with your Feet

What, that sounds like a bad word, so close to the word that starts with the "p" and with "d" in the middle. The first time I heard this word was about 20 years ago, when a distant cousin told me he was planning to take enology (oenology)at UC Davis. He just graduated from high school and his parents lived in the Napa Valley. He worked during summer in one of the vineyards in Napa. At that time, I learned that UC Davis is the only university in California that has a Department of Viticulture and Enology and one can obtained a Bachelor's degree in Enology. I believe today, one can get a PhD degree in Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis.

For those of you who is not familiar with enology and viticulture, here is the definition. Enology is the science of wine and wine making and Viticulture is the culture and cultivation of grapes. But what is an Oenophile? It is a simply a person who loves wine. Other terms are a wine aficionado or a wine connoisseur. So are you an Oenophile? A lot of people have an obsession for good wine, they spend a fortune on good wines. My daughter has a friend who spends a lot of money on his wine collection. He keeps it in his temperature-controlled wine cellar in his home here in Sacramento. He had spent a lot of money for the construction of this wine cellar. His collection of wine costs him a lot of money. However, he has no children going to school so all his savings goes to his wine collection. He told me he has a wine bottle appraised for $1000. I told him I will choke to death if you let me drink a wine that cost that much. However for addicted wine lovers paying $100 per bottle is not extraordinary in their life style.

The most expensive wine that I have drunk was an Australian wine that cost me $27 per bottle. That was in celebration of our 54th wedding anniversary in the Philippines three years ago. I have drunk from a bottle of champagne that cost $40 about 15 years ago in Maryland, but that was a treat from a friend celebrating his 50th birthday. Although, I am not an avid oenophile, Macrine and I have a glass of red or white wine for dinner about three times during the week. There are some studies that drinking one glass of red wine a day is good for you. My problem is I am suffering from a hyper acid stomach, so drinking red wine exacerbates my problem. So if you are a wine aficionado, an oenophile or a wine connoisseur, please share your experiences with my readers and give us tips on good buys of wine and related products. Here's my toast to all you my readers, Salud, Peseta y Amor ( Health, Money and Love) to all of you and your love ones. Remember, a lot of people still believe wine is the "Drink of the Gods".

Friday, February 7, 2014

I Left My Heart in Marinduque-A Song Parody


I have always wanted to write a song about "Leaving my Heart in Marinduque"—a parody of the signature song of Tony Bennett, I left My Heart in San Francisco. My sincere apologies to George Cory and Douglas Cross who wrote, I left My Heart in San Francisco in 1954. This song should be sung to the tune of the famous song in honor of the city by the Bay (San Francisco, California).

Here it is, I hope you like it:

The loveliness of Fair Oaks seems somehow sadly gay

The glory that was Boac is another day!

I've been terribly alone and forgotten in Sacramento

I'm going home to my town by the sea.

I left my heart in Marinduque

Near by the beach it beckons me

To be where the Moriones are

Come, visit wherever you are

The morning sun rise by the sea

I don't care!

My love waits at Chateau Du Mer

Near the blue and calmy sea

When I come home to you, Marinduque

Chateau Du Mer will welcome me!

Note: Chateu Du Mer, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines is our second home. Boac is the capital town of the province. Fair Oaks (an eastern suburb of Sacramento), California is our first home here in the US.

My wife and I called ourselves snowbirds, because in winter time, we fly to tropical Philippines to get away from the winter chills of Northern California.

Marinduque is a small island province in the Philiipines. It is the heart and geographic center of the Philippines. Marinduque is also known for its Morions and the Moriones Festival during Holy Week.

This year and last year, the island has been in the world and national news due to the on-going controversy regarding the election of its lone representative to Congress, presumed but not proven to be an American citizen. Both the Supreme Court and the House of Congress of the Philippines are involved with this case.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

An Update-Snowbird Lifestyle in the Philippines

Marinduque-my Island Paradise
The following article was written by Celina Macaisa and posted by www.myphilippineretirement.com dated January 2, 2010. It was titled Retiring Half-a-Year in the US and the Philippines.

When a Global Filipino Retires, which country does he choose for the next part of his life? Will he need to leave home, friends, and family (a second time)?

For decades, due to lack of well-paying jobs in the Philippines, Filipinos have been leaving their country and families behind to improve their own and their families’ standard of living.

And after decades of working hard in a highly-competitive, fast-paced business environment, and ‘you are on your own culture’ of a 1st world country; these (former) Filipinos are now prioritizing how to increase the quality of their retirement years.

Ironically, the Philippines which may not have been a great country to make a living in during their younger years is an excellent country for retirement: warm climate and culture, relaxed pace of life, and lower living expenses.

Hence, the ‘snowbird lifestyle’ of having two residences in different parts of the world, which has been practiced by Europeans and North Americans for centuries, is now gaining more acceptance by Filipinos who immigrated abroad.

The Rise of the Filipino Snowbird

“I know of another person who is doing the same lifestyle we have, 6 months in PI [Philippine Islands] and 6 months in the US. We call ourselves snow birds. A lot of our friends are envious of us.” - David B. Katague

However, although many Filipinos living abroad are aware of the ‘snowbird’ retirement lifestyle, many are not quite sure about the planning and costs needed to make it work.

Hence, this article is written to give a look on how one Filipino couple, David and Macrine Katague was able to put into reality their wish to live their retirement years both in the U.S. and the Philippines—-two countries they think of as home and where key family members live.

David B. Katague is a retired Chemistry Team Leader of the Food and Drug Administration in Silver Spring, Maryland USA. He is also currently a proprietor of Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort, in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines.And one of the most interesting things you will learn from this interview is that beyond harsh winters and cost, ‘family’ is the driving reason and support factor for making this retirement lifestyle work.

Here is our interview with David B. Katague:

1) How many years have you spent in the US?
“[We] have lived in US since 1960 to the present.”

2) What were your top reasons for choosing your retirement lifestyle of living half-a year in the Philippines and half-a-year in the States?

“[Our reasons were] climate (even though the winters of Northern California are much milder than that of Chicago or Toronto), relatives, and cheaper standard of living.”

3) Before making this decision, did you know of another former Filipino retiree who practiced this ‘snowbird lifestyle’ that influenced you?
“[Yes], my sister-in-law”

4) Did you re-acquire your Filipino citizenship or retired in the Philippines under the Special Resident’s Retirement Visa (SRRV)?

“My wife reacquired her Filipino citizenship 2 yrs ago. I will consider applying for dual citizenship if I decide to live in Philippines permanently.”

5) How do you spend your time here in the Philippines? What makes retiring in the Philippines interesting and inspiring in terms of activities, new experiences, and living with other Filipinos?

”Setting up a small business (a beach resort and conference center (www.chateaudumer.com), keeps me busy while I am in Marinduque.

In addition since my favorite hobby is gardening, the tropical climate is conducive to growing orchids, fruits, and vegetables and other tropical ornamentals. This gives me plenty of exercise both physical and mental, an antidote to developing AZ disease.”

Also the presence of relatives makes life masaya lalo na [happy especially] during the Christmas and Easter Season. I do miss my grandchildren during Christmas while we are in PI [Philippine Islands].”

6) Practical concerns on this retirement lifestyle:
a) Are you receiving pension? How is this retirement way of life feasible?

“I have SS, private and federal pension. Since I am maintaining 2 households, it is a very expensive proposition. Luckily, I have a son, who takes care of our house here in NC [Northern California] while we are in PI.

When we are in US, I have a full time caretaker who takes care of the house and the beach resort.”

b) In articles discussing retiring in the Philippines, an allowance of US$1,000 to $1,500 a month is often quoted as enough for a retiring couple to live on. Is this still true in your experience?
“Yes, $1500 a month is still adequate in the provinces. In Manila, this amount will be probably too tight.”

c) Did you need to have a trial-run first? Or did you stay in the Phil with a tourist visa first before making the final decision?

“[No.] I know life in PI as I grew up there until I was 21 years old. The only question is where in the Philippines, we should retire, my home province or my wife's home province. Marinduque was the winner.”

7) Medical Insurance and Healthcare: In living half-a-year in the Philippines, what plans did you make for medical emergencies since U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not cover for treatment in the Philippines?

“I have Blue Cross under the Federal Insurance Plan. My wife has Phil Health. I recommend a minimum of $2000 for medical emergency.”

8) Are there any individuals and organizations who were a big help to you in setting-up your retirement life in the Philippines? What do you think the government can improve on to attract more former Filipino retirees?
“Yes, my sister-in law helped us built our retirement home, while we were still working here in US.”

“To encourage Filipinos expatriate, the government should help in relocation by exempting them of taxes for their household goods and car. Also, there should be someone in the Philippines to help them settle and facilitate their move.”

Note: Currently, one-time tax exemptions for importing personal goods (except for cars) to the Philippine is only provided to former Filipino retirees who applied for the Special Resident Retirees Visa (SRRV), within 90 days of SRRV issuance and not exceeding $7,000. These tax exemptions are not accorded to former Filipinos who are retiring in the Philippines through re-acquisition of Filipino citizenship. - myphilippineretirement.com

9) Advice on doing it right:

a) Any suggestion/advice for other Former Filipinos who are still evaluating their decision in living part of their retirement life in the Philippines?
“Always plan ahead. Choose a location, where you have relatives and friends [emphasis mine]. Get health insurance accepted in PI, but reserve cash for medical emergency.”
b) Last question: Are there some common pitfalls to avoid?

“Do not engage in business if you can not personally manage it or have a trusted relative or employee to do it.

Keep your mouth shut in local politics. [Get] acculturated again to the Filipino lifestyle of [being] easy going, no value of time [or different regard for time as compared to N. America] to avoid the rat race again, thus preventing a heart stroke.

Keep always busy both in mind and body, thus enjoying your retirement, and hopefully a long life.”

To summarize this interview, a global Filipino can enjoy his retirement years both in his country of birth and new home country through adequate financial preparation and family support.

Why make a tough choice of permanently leaving your new home, new friends, and family in North America; or forego the warmth of the climate and culture of your country of birth when you can be a Filipino snowbird?

Personal Update:Since last year after my wife was diagnosed with Parkinson Disease, we have limited our stay in the Philippines only for 3 months. Her illness requires more medical attention that is not available in the island of Marinduque. One of her PD drugs is not available in the Philippines and currently we can purchase only in advance a 90-day supply of the drug.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Jeopardy-My Favorite TV Reality Show


Jeopardy is one of my favorite reality TV and Game show. In case you have not heard of Jeopardy here's a short description of the show from Wikipedia.

Jeopardy is an American television game show created by Merv Griffin. The show features a quiz competition in which contestants are presented with general knowledge clues in the form of answers, and must phrase their responses in question form. The original daytime version aired on NBC from March 30, 1964 to January 3, 1975, then spawned a weekly nighttime syndicated edition that aired from September 9, 1974 to September 5, 1975, and was later revived as The All-New Jeopardy!, which ran from October 2, 1978 to March 2, 1979. The program's most successful incarnation is the daily syndicated version, which premiered on September 10, 1984.

With over 6,000 episodes aired as of May 2011, the daily syndicated version of Jeopardy! has won a record 30 Daytime Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award. Game Show Network (GSN) ranked the show number 2 on its 2006 list of the 50 greatest game shows, and TV Guide ranked it number 1 in its 2013 list of the 60 greatest game shows ever. The program has gained a worldwide following with regional adaptations in many foreign countries. The 30th season of the daily syndicated version of Jeopardy! premiered on September 16, 2013."

In a recent show one of the categories was words with at least 5 syllables. The words selected were monosyllabic, chemotherapy, justifiable, undeniable and neurological. The following are some of five syllabic words that I seldom used in my writings but worth mentioning in this articles for emphasis. Can you give me an English word with more than six syllables?.

Accumulation, arbitrarily, automatically, beneficiary, chemotherapy, congratulatory, diagonally, evolutionary, fiduciary, geometrically, hippopotamus, indiscriminately, justifiable, kaleidoscopic, lasciviously, monosyllabic, neurological, observatory, qualification, renunciation, telepathically, undeniable, vociferously and xenophobia.

As I mentioned above, I rarely used words that have five to six syllables in my blogs. However, in some cases to relieve monotony in my writings, I use polysyllabic words. The last word is my own play with words and its syllables.

Do you watch the TV show Jeopardy. If so, do you ever dream in auditioning for the show? Your chance of being selected for the show is very slim. However, I have a friend who tried and she auditioned four times. In her last try, she made it! So if you are very patient, why not. But first you have to qualify by passing an on-line test. You have to be trivia expert and enthusiast to be a contestant in this show. The auditioning process is well described on the NBC jeopardy web site if you are interested.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My Relative has Internet Addiction Disorder


I have a relative who is a computer addict. He does not want help and his addiction is getting worse. Do you know of an organization that can help?

My wife's nephew has been suffering from computer addiction since he was in college (15 years ago). Let us call him Jim (not his real name). The irony and sad fact is that computer science was his major. Because of this disorder, it took him six years to graduate for a four year course with the constant nagging of his Dad. After graduation, his Dad literally forced him to take a job. He stayed only four weeks in this job. He was either fired or he quit. His dad has a relative who needed a programmer. Jim worked there for six months. For reasons unknown he quit this second job without telling anyone. Today he is jobless.

Today, Jim lives alone in the ancestral home of the family here in US. Lucky for him, he has an older brother who is single that supports him. He has no friends and goes out of the house once week to buy his groceries. I talked to his brother last month and inquired about Jim. He is getting worse and is not communicative. The family wanted to commit him to a public mental hospital, but he would not go of his own free will. The family has no financial resources to get private medical help, because he has no insurance, nor is he covered with his brother's insurance. According to his brother, he seemed to be physically healthy, but not communicating at all. When you talk to Jim, he just gives you a blank stare according to his older brother. Jim's current status is as follows:

He has no friends, zero social interaction, is sometimes moody and just uses his computer almost all day and night except when he eats or does his bodily needs. He does not want help and will not talk to his family. Both Jim's father and mother are dead. He has a sister nearby, but he ignores her. Sometimes he complains to his brother that he has a hard time sleeping. He is also overweight and complains of back pain. I believe the above symptoms are typical of a computer addict.

What is computer addiction? According to Wikipedia, "Computer addiction is a loosely used term for the excessive use of computers to the extent that it interferes with daily life. Excessive use may explain problems in social interaction, mood, personality, work ethic, relationships, thought processes, or sleep deprivation. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not include a diagnosis for such a disorder.

Internet Addiction or Internet addiction disorder (IAD), covers a variety of impulse-control problems, including:

1. Cybersex Addiction – compulsive use of Internet pornography, adult chat rooms, or adult fantasy role-play sites impacting negatively on real-life intimate relationships.

2. Cyber-Relationship Addiction – addiction to social networking, chat rooms, texting, and messaging to the point where virtual, online friends become more important than real-life relationships with family and friends.

3. Net Compulsions – such as compulsive online gaming, gambling, stock trading, or compulsive use of online auction sites such as eBay, often resulting in financial and job-related problems.

4.Information Overload – compulsive web surfing or database searching, leading to lower work productivity and less social interaction with family and friends.

5.Computer Addiction – obsessive playing of off-line computer games, such as Solitaire or Minesweeper, or obsessive computer programming."

I believe my wife's nephew is not only suffering from item number 5 but also numbers 3 and 4. I hope he is indeed not suffering from items Number 1 and 2.

I feel sorry for the brother and his relatives, but there is nothing my wife and I can do. Do you know of an organization that can help Jim, considering the family financial situation?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Psychics and Palm Readers


I am not a true believer of psychic and palm readers. But two incidents in my life, made me realized that there may be some truth in this pseudo science-one was the psychic readings of my mother in the 1950's in the Philippines and the other was the psychic reading for my wife in the 1980s in Pinole, California, USA.

In the early 1950s when I was in college, my late mother consulted a local psychic and had her palm read. My mother at that time was concerned with the future of her seven children especially her oldest son—that's me. She was only 45 years old at that time, but was very curious of the future of her seven children. My mother at that time wanted me to be a priest or a doctor. To please her I enrolled as a pre-medical student at the University of the Philippines in Iloilo City.

However, one day after she consulted the local psychic my mother was very unhappy. The psychic informed her that not one of her seven children would either become a priest or a doctor of medicine, but all will have successful professions. In addition, the palm reader told her that a few of her children will live far away in other continents and she will be very happy with their accomplishments. My mother was not pleased to hear that a few of her children would not be residing near her in her old age.

A year later I changed my pre-medicine course to chemistry. A couple of years later, with the constant nagging of my mother, my younger brother entered seminary school for Catholic priesthood in the Diocese of Jaro, Iloilo. My mother was delighted that one of her dreams would now be fulfilled. However, one year before his ordination, my brother quit seminary school and got married. The psychic prophecy that a few of us will live in far away oceans and other continents became a reality when, in 1960, I emigrated to the US. Two years later, my younger brother emigrated to Australia. Then in 1970, my younger sister emigrated also to the US. This was followed just five years ago, when my other sister emigrated to Canada. The psychic prediction that all of us would have a profession was also realized.

I am not a believer of psychics and palmistry, but an incident in my married life in the early 1980s, made me believe that the pseudo science of palmistry may be true. There was a local psychic residing not too far from our residence in Pinole, California. This psychic was not well known, until a local newspaper published an article that this psychic was instrumental in helping the police locate the body of a murdered child in our area.

The appointment calendar of this psychic was so busy that my wife had to wait for six months to have a one hour consultation with her. My wife was curious of my future job in the pesticide business as well as our future here in the US. At that time, we were contemplating going back to the Philippines, since it is much cheaper to send our children to college there than in the US.

The psychic one hour session allows you to tape record her readings and to pose three questions for her to answer. She will also read the future of a love one if you bring her a picture. My wife brought my picture, because I did not want to go. I felt it was a waste of money, since the reading for one hour cost my wife $200 (big money at that time). After the session, my wife felt the $200 fee was worth it. The psychic advised her not to relocate to the Philippines. She said however, there was to be a big move in our future. The psychic also saw something happening and dark in my stomach area. There were several other things that the psychic mentioned.

All of the psychic prediction happened. Six months after the psychic reading, I had a gallstone operation. Three years after the reading we relocated to the East Coast, when I lost my job at Chevron Chemical Company in Richmond, California. Our decision to stay in the US was the best decision we have ever made in our life. Thanks to the psychic advice!

Do You have similar experiences about psychics predicting your future? Please Share!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

My Simple Recipe for Potato Salad


I love potato salad. I usually purchased a quart of the classic dish from a deli store near us. However when I have the time, I will prepare the simplest but tasty potato salad according to the following recipe omitting the vinegar and using sweet relish in its place.

Ingredients

10 medium potatoes, cooked and diced
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar*
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 celery ribs, sliced
1 cup onion, minced
6 hard-boiled eggs
paprika or hot devil sauce

Directions:

1 .Boil peeled potatoes in salted water until done. Cool to room temperature.
2. Place diced potatoes in large bowl.
3 Mix mayonnaise, cider vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in another bowl.
4 Add to potatoes.
5 Add celery and onions and mix well.
6 Stir in eggs. Reserve one egg slice for decor on top of the dish,
7 Sprinkle a little paprika or hot devil sauce on top if you want it a little bit spicy.

* Omit the cider vinegar if you hate sour potato salad. Use instead sweet relish or sweet pickles (diced) Enjoy!



Saturday, February 1, 2014

Let The Games Begin!


Let the 2014 Winter Olympics Begin!

The 2014 Winter Olympics, officially the XXII Olympic Winter Games, or the 22nd Winter Olympics, are scheduled to take place from 7 to 23 February 2014, in Sochi, Russia, with some events held in the resort town of Krasnaya Polyana.

There will be 98 events in 15 winter sport disciplines at this competition. . Sochi was selected as the host city in July 2007, during the 119th IOC Session held in Guatemala City. The Sochi Olympics will be the first Olympics in the Russian Federation since the breakup of the USSR in 1991.

There will be 12 new competitions as follows: biathlon mixed relay, women's ski jumping, figure skating mixed team, luge mixed team, ski half-pipe (men’s and women’s), ski slopestyle (men’s and women’s), snowboard slopestyle (men’s and women’s) and snowboard parallel slalom (men’s and women’s). One of my favorite winter sports is the Figure Skating Competition. The following update from guardianlv.com was written by Day Donaldson.

"This year’s Olympics figure skating competition is scheduled to begin at the newly built Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi Feb. 6, one day before the official start of the Olympics, and end Feb. 22 with the figure skating gala exhibition. Olympic skating this year will have five events for the first time. A new event has been added to the traditional solo men’s, ladies’ and pairs skating competitions and the ice dancing division, which was added to the Olympics in 1976.

The team event in figure skating will be featured at Sochi for the first time. Because of this extra event, Olympic skating will have an unusual schedule this year. Skating events will begin Feb. 6, the day before the Sochi Games officially begin.

The heavy favorites to win this year are the defending gold medalist Yuna Kim of South Korea and the U.S. ice dancing team Meryl Davis and Charlie White. It has also been remarked that Canada and Japan have particularly strong chances to win in the skating divisions.

The countries with the most skaters this year are Canada (17 athletes), the United States (15), Russia (15), Italy (11), France (11), Japan (10), Germany (10) and China (9). A total of 149 skaters from 30 countries will participate in the combined Olympic skating events. This number reflects the extra man Great Britain is being permitted to send to the games in order for that country to participate in the team event. The actual number of quota spots set by the International Olympic Committee is 148.

There will be 30 skaters in the Sochi Olympics men’s and ladies’ singles. There will be 20 pair skating teams at Sochi, and 24 ice dancing teams. Another 10 countries will participate in the team event.

On Feb. 22, a figure skating gala exhibition will be held as the culmination to the skating portion of the Winter Olympics. At this gala the top five pairs and top five men’s and ladies’ solo skaters will give a performance without consideration of judges scorecards.

Figure skating was begun as an Olympic event in the 1908 Summer Olympics that took place in London. It was also part of the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games. Figure skating is among the oldest Winter Olympic sports, having its first competition at the 1924 Chamonix Olympics. Throughout the period since Chamonix, the three skating events had been men’s and ladies’ solos and pairs skating until 1976, when ice dancing was added in Innsbruck, Austria. This year’s Sochi Olympics figure skating schedule will mark the first time team skating will be competing at the Olympics, the fifth skating event".

I can hardly wait for the games to start. I am sure I will be glued to Television from Feb 3 to 23 every day. Let the Games Begin!
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