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.
Wedding Day Group Picture of Relatives in Attendance, Boac, Marinduque, May 8,1957
Altar of the Boac Cathedral and Group Wedding Picture
Last December, 2007 we celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary at the Boac Cathedral ( the same church where we were married in 1957) in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines. All of our four children and three of our grandchildren, a son-in-law and two nieces from the United States were in attendance. In addition about 150 friends and relatives from Manila and Marinduque were also present. A friend from Vancouver, B.C., Canada also attended this memorable event.
The Bishop Blessings
The Bishop of Boac( Most Reverend Reynaldo Evangelista, D.D.) officiated the renewal of vows and mass. The Governor( Bong Carrion) and his wife with about 150 guests attended the reception held at our conference hall( Chateau Du Mer Conference Center)
Entering the Reception Hall with 100 live butterflies to be release after the cake cutting and champagne toasting ceremony.
Sister Guia and Bing Carrion on the background.
The governor dancing with Macrine and me dancing with his wife.
Incidentally, Ex-Governor Carrion is Macrine's first cousin on her maternal side of the family(The Nieva Clan). This is an obligatory dance for social etiquette in Marinduque.
Carenna wants her share of the wedding cake. After all she serenaded her Lolo and Lola. She deserves the cake.
The following is a write-up of Ditas, my youngest daughter, of her experiences during this momentous event in our life. She titled it " Survivor Philippines and my Parents Golden Wedding Anniversary.
" Resembling the journey survivor contestants make to get to their island, after 47 hours of travel -planes, trains, automobiles and a long ferry ride-- Carenna and I finally arrived on the peaceful island of Marinduque. Staying at my parents winter home and resort, One Great performance- Carenna sings "New World" at the Anniversary reception
2. Two Happily married parents ( renewed vows after 50 years)
3. Three Hours of holding Carenna (50 lbs), sweating during midnight mass in an ancient (no A/C) cathedral built in 1660 with 1000+ mass attendees( imagine survivor LOG HOLD challenge)
4. Four Roasted Pigs -aka Lechon . Carenna got to meet the live pigs the day before they appeared at the party ( albeit with tan).
David Ernst after all of the four lechons are almost consumed.
5. Five guys eating balut- Ian, Dave, Alex, Dodie and David E had a Christmas day Balut eating contest-- yes that's the fertilized duck embryo boiled eggs that they eat in Survivor and Fear Factor TV shows
Balut and San Miguel beer. Where's number 5, David E ?
6. Six aquamarine bridesmaid dresses that did not fit
7. Seven words in tagalog that Carenna knows, ( Tabi po Nono', tubig, paroparo, salamat po, maganda and Kain na)
8. Eight bouts of prickly heat-poor Carenna
9. Nine hours of marathon shopping in Metro Manila with Cousin Cindy Nieva ( professional shopper)
10. Ten asthma attacks in Manila-not known for air quality
11. Eleven types of rice cakes ( 11 hour hangover for Ella)
12. Twelve of us crammed in a van during the round Marinduque Island Tour
Yes, at that time there was no air transportation available from Manila to Marinduque. Air transportation from Manila and Marinduque by Zest Air was resumed October, 2008.
Ditas and husband, Nick Thompson (deceased)
Note: Ditas is my youngest daughter. She has B.A degree ( double major) in Communications and Art from UC Berkeley, CA. She has also a M.A degree from the University of Southern California on Inter Governmental Studies. She is married to Nick Thompson of Sacramento. Currently, she is Director of Census, 2010, The State of California.
The Governor in one of the Outreach meetings with Ditas and Guest, Sacramento, August, 27, 2009
Ditas Staff with the Governor
The following were three press releases on Ditas professional career in 2011 and 2012
1. Ditas Katague was appointed by Governor Brown in March 2011 as Commissioner Sandoval’s Chief of Staff.
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.
In the private sector, she was First Vice President, State and Local Government Affairs for Countrywide Financial where she managed and maintained legislative coverage and activities in the top tier western states (20 states), analyzed state and local laws and regulations that impact the corporation’s priority business objectives. Ditas was also a manager for Deloitte Consulting’s Public Sector practice in New Jersey and Sacramento where she provided project management, business process improvement, reorganization and transition management, change leadership, and communications and public relations consulting services.
In the non-profit sector, Ditas was the Program Director for the non-profit California Telemedicine & eHealth Center.
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 School of Policy, Planning and Development.
Ditas is based in Sacramento.
2. Oct. 12, 2012: Census Bureau Names Ditas Katague to National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations! Read the press release as follows.
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 32 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.
3.A Call for All Filipinos for Action- From the Asian Journal By Joseph Pimentel
Published: October 19, 2012
WHEN the Director of the Census Bureau appointed Ditas Katague to a new national advisory committee, it was just another milestone accomplishment for one of the highest-ranking Filipino-American officials in the United States.
Groves appointed the 47-year-old Katague as a member of the new National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations.
The purpose of the 32-member committee is to advise the Census Bureau on topics such as housing, children, youth, poverty, privacy, race and ethnicity, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) 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 in a statement.
“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,” Mesenbourg added.
According to the Census Bureau release, Katague was chosen because of her expertise and knowledge of the cultural patterns, issues and/or statistical needs of hard-to-count populations. In Katague’s case, for years she has advocated for the Filipino community to stand up, participate and be counted in the Census.
“It is about us, but not only that, it’s about each other, the Filipino people,” Katague said to the FilAm Star, during a census event in 2010. “Nobody can match our spirit. It means standing up and being counted.”
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Ditas Katague is the youngest daughter of Dr. Dave and Macrine Katague.
Ditas Katague, the current Chief of Staff of Under Commisioner Sandovals, Pubilic Utilities Commission, Office of the Governor, received a Bachelors degree in Social Sciences and Practice of Art from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning and Development.
For the past 20 years, Ditas has served in several leadership positions in the public, private and non-profit sector.
She served as a first vice president of state and local government affairs for Countrywide Financial; a manager at Deloitte Consulting’s Public sector; and program director for the non-profit California Telemedicine & eHealth Center, according to her bio.
Most recently, she served as chief deputy commissioner for California Department of Corporations where she was appointed by then governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Prior to that, she was one of the most important figures in the 2010 Census. As Director of Census 2010, Katague was tasked with overseeing and directing statewide outreach and coordination of the census. She was responsible for all aspects of the $24.7 million grassroots campaign.
During the 2010 census, Katague reached out to her fellow kababayans and urged them to participate and be counted.
She told many reporters that having the large Filipino counted would ultimately lead to more Fil-Am representation in local and state level politics.
“Why don’t we have a state or congressional representative? It is a challenge all of you should think about,” Katague told Asian Journal San Diego.
“What separates Ditas from other Filipino-Americans is that she’s proud to be Filipino,” said Dr. David Katague, Ditas’ father, in a conversation with the Asian Journal.
Despite being born in America, David said his youngest daughter never forgot where she comes from.
“There are a lot of Filipino-Americans out there and you know, they don’t even like being called a Filipino but my daughter is not one of them. She’s a proud Filipina,” he said.
David added that Ditas has always been a very dedicated and driven woman.
“She wants to help the community,” he said.
In his blog, David said he hopes the next generation of Filipinos should look up to his daughter and see what they could accomplish through hard work and dedication to the community.
“As her father, I am very proud of her accomplishments. If you are a member of the Filipino-American community in California and other parts of the United States, you should also be proud of her accomplishments I hope. I also hope that Ditas achievements can inspire all second generation Filipino-Americans in their search for a better and successful life here in the United States.”
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