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.
The first entry of my first blog on May 10, 2008 was on the Joy of Retirement. I described in that post my feeling of getting lost and useless after working for three years in the Philippines and 37 years in the United States. My feeling of uselessness completely disappeared after my wife and I started babysitting for our grand daughter, Carenna. I commented that we love more our six grandchildren than our four children, because our children are considered our capital investments and our grandchildren are already our profits.
After retiring from FDA as chemistry team leader from the Center of New Drugs, I realized I have plenty of free time. I decided I had to learn more about computer technology besides just e-mailing and word processing technology. Through trial and error, I created my own website, http://www.chateaudumer.com. My goal was to advertise my beach resort business worldwide. As a result of this endeavor, I was able to attract clients from Europe and the United States.
I also started paying all household bills on line through electronic banking, shopping on line, chatting on line and playing games on line specifically duplicate bridge, my favorite game since I was in college. Just six months ago, I discovered the world and joys of blogging. I did not realized that today there are 7 million bloggers in the world and it started in 2003. At present I have 8 blog sites on topics ranging from personal experiences, politics, education and other topics of the day. I want to concentrate on the subject about Marinduque. My goal is to promote Marinduque as a world tourist destination not only on Easter Week ( Moriones Festival) but also whole year round.
Our first guests from Europe at Chateau Du Mer Beach House were two couples from Southern France. They two men are physicians and their wives are a psychologist and an English teacher. The picture above was taken at Paradise Valley Resort in Cabugao, Gasan with the Engles on March 27, 2008. The French couples learned about the resort through my website.
My goal of advertising the beach resort through a website did not really give me lots of traffic. I have more traffic on my 8 blog sites than on my website, moreover, I found blogging relaxing and enjoyable. Recently, I had my first article, Marinduque-Ecotourism Capital of the Philippines published by www.huliq.com, making me a citizen journalist. This was followed by two other articles on US National Parks and Monuments and The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant revival.
Governor Carrion Inauguration in Front of the provincial Capitol
On August, 2008, Macrine and I received a Letter of Appreciation from the Office of the Governor as a results of my blogs promoting tourism in the province. The letter reads as follows:
Dave and Macrine Katague,
Peaceful Greetings from the Marinduque Provincial Government.
Having read your messages through the official website of the province, we are very thankful and overwhelmed for promoting Marinduque as a tourist destination not just in the country but also worldwide.
Indeed, Marinduque is a beauty not just because of its scenic spots but also because of people like you who support and promote this province and considers it their home. Hearing beautiful comments from people like you enthuse me more to serve my people and gives me the strong will to develop the province into a first class tourist destination.
In behalf of the people of the province, thank you very much and I salute you for making us proud of our province.
Jose Antonio N. Carrion
For the Governor: Signed by() Atty.Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco, Provincial Administrator
Macrine and I had recently been involved with the distribution of relief goods( rice and can foods through the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boac to victims of typhoon Reming. Reming devastated about 90% of the homes in the island.
The first picture was taken in Mogpog with Macrine, me, Bishop Evangelista of the Diocese of Boac, Retired General Sarmiento, Thelma Santos of MI, Inc and another volunteer during our rice distribution to victims of typhoon Reming in the Island of Marinduque. The person on the left is one of the thousands that receive 5 kilos of rice and can goods.
At present, Macrine and I are still devoting our free time on our favorite humanitarian project in Marinduque. For the last 12 years, we have been involved with the medical mission in Marinduque. Visit, www.marinduqueinternational.org for details.
Dave and Macrine in their tailored-made matching Hawaiian Outfits enjoying their retirement years. Photo taken at the backyard of Dodie's residence in Walnut Creek, CA.
May, I reiterate that the joy one gets from retirement is very specific. Some enjoy their free time by learning new activities, getting involved with humanitarian projects or spend more time with their grandchildren. Others hate retirement. They missed their coworkers and interaction at work. Others with no children or grandchildren spend their free time on traveling, turning their hobbies into small business or more community involvement. Those that retire and hate it, is believe to die early and than those who enjoy their retirement years. I suggest you plan your retirement as early as you can. The happier you are on retirement, the longer you will live.
EPILOGUE: We are Poor in Gold but Rich in Memories
Macrine and I, Christmas, 2013
I woke up this morning very early(5:30AM). While enjoying a cup of brewed Baracco coffee in the front porch of our retirement home here in Marinduque, I remember that I am no longer young. If I were 20 years younger, I would have been jogging in the beach. Instead I am seating in my ass watching the sunrise and reminiscing my younger days. Today, I am exactly 79 years and 120 days old. So please allow me to re post an article that I wrote in my blogs 3 years ago as follows:
Our life is not rich in terms of dollars or pesos, or material possessions( luxurious villas or mansion here or abroad) but in pleasant memories and accomplishments.
How was this attained? First, I grew up in the 1940's in the midst of the Japanese-American War in the Philippines. My father at that time was a Dental Officer for the Philippine-American Guerrilla Forces in Panay and Romblon Islands. Thus, I did have a lot of contacts with American GI's from all parts of the US. These contacts initiated and triggered my desire and ambition to someday see and visit the US. ( I had no desire or dream to reside in US at that time)
Second, my elementary and high school years were also filled with accomplishments. I graduated with honors in 6th Grade and valedictorian in my high school class. Except for a bullying incident in my freshman year, I had pleasant memories of my elementary and high school years.
Third, my college years at UP, Iloilo and Diliman were also filled with scholastic achievements. I received the Fernando Lopez Scholarship in Iloilo for attaining the highest grade in the whole university. In Diliman, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry missing 0.02 points to graduate CUM LAUDE(with honors).
Fourth, my graduate school years at the University Of Illinois in Chicago were also filled with pleasant memories. Those years were the hardest and most challenging years of my life. Those years started with seeing my first snow in US, followed by raising three children ( my 4th child was born after my graduate school years) while a graduate and teaching assistant and culminated with my Ph.D graduation in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in 1964.
Fifth, my professional career working as a chemist for 20 years for three private companies and later for the federal government (FDA) for another 12 years ( as team leader) were unforgettable. My years in FDA were the happiest and most productive years in my professional career. I was informed by my superiors in FDA that I was the first Filipino-American Chemistry team leader in the Center of New drugs in the history of the US Food and Drug Administration.
Sixth, Macrine and my involvement with the activities of the Filipino-American Community in the Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Missouri, Modesto and Pinole, California areas were memories that we will treasure and will never forget as long as we live.
Macrine helping in the distribution of free medicines during MI, Inc Medical Mission, Mogpog. Marinduque, 2011.
Last, but not least were the civic, social and humanitarian projects that Macrine and I had been involved since the early 1960's here in the Philippines and US. Our involvement with the Marinduque International, Inc medical mission projects since 1996 to the present are memories we will never forget. The letters of Appreciation and Thanks that Macrine and I received from the Office of the Governor in Marinduque in 2009 regarding our efforts in promoting tourism in the province, we will always treasure. The publication of my two articles in HULIQ News about Eco tourism in Marinduque in 2010 was indeed memorable and unforgettable.
Indeed, we are not rich in GOLD or SILVER, but in MEMORIES, ACCOMPLISHMENTS and Personal Relationships.
The front yard of our Retirement Home in Marinduque-Chateau Du Mer, A Seaside Garden Paradise
For details of the above accomplishments and activities, visit my blog sites at
http://theintellectualmigrant.blogspot.com or http://lifeinus1960present.blogspot.com
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