I first wrote my autobiography in 2008 and updated it in 2011. There are several things that changed since 2011 in my family personal lives and a few significant events that is needed to be updated. I will include more photos so the articles will be not too boring for those who have already read this post. Again, I will appreciate any comments. I will highlights all the updates.
Dodie and Family with Me and Macrine
Here's Dodie's description of his trip to attend our Golden Wedding Anniversary Celebration in Boac, Marinduque. Dodie ( Diosdado) is our oldest son. Unfortunately, none of his family were able to attend.
"Last Christmas and New Years (2007-2008), I spent the holidays away from my wife and children. I was in the Philippines with my parents, brother, and sisters celebrating my parent 50th wedding anniversary. I had a great time visiting the country of my birth, but missed my family, who stayed home. I know it would be an adventure with or without them. And what an adventure it was! Just getting to the small island of Marinduque from Manila after a 16 hour plane ride took another 8 hours via a van on a two lane road dodging cars, jeepneys, motorized tricycles and livestock to get to the ferry port. We missed the ferry by 15 minutes and had to wait another 4 hours on the dock. The 3-hour ferry trip was crowded because of the Christmas holidays and there were no seats in the passenger section so we slept in the van in the cargo hold for most of the sea-faring trip. Fortunately, I did not get sea sick.
Please note that on November, 2008, Zest Air( formerly Asian Spirit Airline) started air service from Manila to Marinduque, and back 4 days in the week. It takes only 30 minutes of flying time. This is indeed a relief for visitors to Marinduque.
We arrived at my parents house around midnight-24 hours after boarding the plane. But that was the worst part of the journey and I kept thinking that I was glad that my family was not with me because they would have complained the entire time and there was nothing I could do about it. I took in all the bad and the good things that happened, and I had the experience of a lifetime.
Chateau Du Mer Main House-My Parents Winter Residence
What I discovered about my parents surprised me. They were raised closer to the land than I ever know. Just imagine going back to visit your relatives on the farm back in Iowa that's how I felt. Except my parents were rural folks in the tropics. Still, they have a retirement home on a few acres right on the beach,a housekeeper, cook, driver and gardeners, so it was a very comfortable vacation once we arrived. My parents renewed their wedding vows in the same historic church(the Boac Cathedral built in 1756) they were married in 1957. We wore traditional Filipino clothes( barong tagalog for men) and my brother and sisters were all part of the ceremony. I saw some American tourists peaking into the church and taking pictures of us and I remember thinking, "Those tourists are going to show pictures of me to their friends thinking they got a snapshot of the Filipino culture when all they really got was a picture of some overweight short guy from California". From Dodie (Diosdado) Katague, newsletter, 2007-2008
Note: Dodie, my oldest son was born in the Philippines, but immigrated to US when he was only 18 months old. He has a law degree from UC Davis and now a successful prosecuting attorney in Northern California. He is married to his former classmate, Ruth Carver, also a lawyer and they have 3 children, ages 21, 19 and 17. This trip was his first trip back to the island. Here's a short bio of Dodie as the author of Cloyne Court.
Dodie Katague lived at Cloyne Court Coop from 1977-79 while he attended the University of California, Berkeley. he graduated in 1981 with a degree in Geography. He graduated from the University of California, Davis, King Hall School of Law in 1985. Since then, he is a prosecutor in Martinez, California. Dodie is working on his second novel, "Rock Star Planet", a Young Adult science fiction adventure. He is waiting to retire to finish his third novel, "Devil Mountain DA", a fictional account of life in a dysfunctional district attorney's office.
Prior to the golden wedding celebration, we had a Christmas party for relatives on December 23. We had a putong ceremony by the group of Tita Glory Jambalos from Laylay and the customary lechon. We were also serenaded by a blind guitarist from Santa Cruz. The kids gave him a lot of tips for his excellent singing and guitar playing.Carenna, Elaine and Macrine watching the lechon getting ready to be devoured by hungry guests.
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