Saturday, July 14, 2018

A Message of Gratitude-It is Indeed a Small World

Rena Lathrop and Husband ( From Rena's FaceBook Page).

Some time ago, I received this message( in Ilonggo) via FB messaging. I was surprise of this unexpected message of Gratitude. This message brings back memories of my life in the Philippines and reminds me of the history of the Land Reform Movement in the Philippines in the early 1960's. The Agricultural Land Reform Code (RA 3844) was a major advancement of land reform in the Philippines and was enacted in 1963 under President Diosdado Macapagal. It abolished tenancy and established a leasehold system in which farmers paid fixed rentals to landlords, rather than a percentage of harvest. The 2nd phase of the land reform program (CARP) was instituted under the Cory Aquino Administration(1986-1992). All my 10 hectares of inherited Riceland in Barrio San Geronimo, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, Philippines were affected.

A typical rice field scenery in rural Philippines. This picture reminded me of the 10-hectare of Riceland I inherited but had not give me a single income after the 1963 Land reform was instituted in the town of Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, Philippines.

Hello Tito David, kamusta? Ako si Rena, bata nga subang ni Ramon Badayos nga taga San Geronimo.

My Translation: Hello Uncle David, How are you? I am Rena, the oldest daughter of Ramon Badayos from San Geronimo.

San Geronimo is one of the barrios of Barotac Viejo Iloilo Philippines. I inherited a 10-hectare parcel of Riceland from my parents. Ramon Badayos and his mother is one of the ten of my mother's tenant in San Geronimo. In my case with one exception during and after the land reform almost all rental and rice products were no longer paid to the land owners. During and after the 1963 reform, my mother (and Me) and my sister who manages my land in my absence had never received the fixed rental supposed to be paid to the land owners as required by the Law. During this time, I was already residing in the US and had received zero rentals* from my 10 hectares of inherited Riceland in San Geronimo, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, Philippines.

Here's the message:

Tito, gusto ko lang magpasalamat sa imo in behalf ni nanay kag tatay sa tanan nga nabulig nyo sa amon. Tungod sa imo duta may naestaran kami kag nakuhaan sang amon palangabuhian sa kada adlaw. Dako gd katama ang nabulig sang uma kag sa bukid kay maski ano ka pigado kag sakripisyo ang amon na experiensyahan, nahimakasan kmi nila nga napatapos sa pag eskwela. Thank you so much. God bless you more and your family.

Rough Translation: Uncle, I just like to express my thanks to you for the help you given us in behalf of my mother and Father. Your land where we live and obtained our livelihood has helped my parents a lot and was able to send me and my siblings to finish our education. Thank you so much. God bless you more and your family.

My Response: You are welcome. Are you still in Fairfield, Ca? Your two kids are handsome.

Rena response: Thank You (Salamat). Yes, we're here in Fairfield, in Cordelia (sa may Cordelia).
Note: Cordelia and Fair Oaks is within 80 minutes driving time, less if there is no traffic. It is indeed a small world!

My Response: Come visit us when you have the time. My wife and I are in our 80's ( matanda na). We are old already. My wife has Parkinson's and have a hard time travelling. We are blessed that our son lives with us and help me takes care of his MOM. Rena, I am touched by your message. I remember your Lola very well. She was in my Mother's house almost every month before the Land reform. May I post your message in my blogs?

Rena Response: Thanks for the invitation. Yes, I will be very glad if we can come and visit your place. We will be travelling to Washington State next week to visit my husband's family. We will plan a schedule to come over at your house when we get back.
Yes, you can post it in your blogs.

Si tatay amo man gihapon, gapananom lang ghapon ka mga utanon kag baligya sa banwa during harvest. He loves working in the field. Kag ang sa bukid damo sila nga napundar, kay ang ika apat ko nga manghod amo ang ga atender didto. There's so much memories in the up hill area and it is very hard to let go. Malipay gid ni si tatay kon mahambalan ko siya nga naka exchange ako ka conversation sa imo.

My Rough Translation: My Father is still the same. He plants vegetables and sells it to the town market. My 4th youngest brother takes care of the land and fields. My father will be happy to know that I am in touch with you.

Looking forward for your visit. How old is your father( Tatay na?)

*Note: Just recently I heard from my sister in the Philippines that one of the tenants and his heirs have been faithfully paying their rental to the encargado for a number years. However my sister who manages my lands has never received those payments.

Anyway, The above message brightens my day!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Hip Avascular Necrosis and Marijuana for Pain Management

A closed relative was just recently diagnosed to have hip avascular necrosis (AVN)- giving her pain every now and then. The orthopedic doctor gives options for treatment ranging from the less risky and invasive to the more risky and higher risk of treatment. Less risky and invasive is pain management, followed by removal of hardware, hemiarthroplasty and the most risky and invasive is total hip replacement. This was discussed by our orthopedic surgeon during our recent visit. The surgeon did not informed us on the stage of my closed relative AVN. According to the link below if the AVN is still in Stage 1, Core Decompression surgery might be a viable option.

Currently my closed relative is still in poor health so total replacement is not an option. For her pain she is just taking Tylenol. However, there will be a time later when Tylenol is not enough to ease her pain. I am thinking pf CBD- a marijuana drug now available at Dispensaries here in the State of California. I am now in the process of talking to our Primary Care Physician on this subject. The links below discussed in detail hip avascular necrosis and medical marijuana for medical use. If you have experience on the use of marijuana for pain control, please let me know. Thank You!


Medical Marijuana:

Monday, July 9, 2018

Another Trip to the Emergency Room and An Overnight Stay at the Mercy San Juan Hospital

Last Friday morning, Macrine can not moved and confused and slept until 1PM. She was feverish (100.4) and I had a feeling another UTI infection is brewing. She had her Catheter replaced the day before. I checked her blood sugar and it reads 150 ( normal). I called our regular Family Physician ( his office was closed) and talked to the Physician on Call. He agreed about a possible another UTI attack and asked me if I want an antibiotic prescription. I said I think we should just call for an ambulance for the Emergency Room of the Mercy San Juan Hospital. He agreed.

We called an ambulance and arrived at the ER about 1:30PM. After 4 hours of the numerous standard tests in the ER, Macrine's urine was positive. Her other blood tests though were Ok. She was immediately given an IV antibiotic and fluids. Macrine appeared in good spirits after 5 hours in the ER. Since she did not eat breakfast or lunch, Macrine was hungry. The ER was able to get her a turkey sandwich and Cranberry juice. Macrine eat her sandwich with gusto. The ER physician recommended an overnight stay until the results of Macrine's urine culture is done. The attending nurse including the Chief Nurse and even the Indian-American housekeeper was very friendly and helpful to me during Macrine's 5 hours stay in the ER.

It was almost 6:30PM when we had an available room at the Main Hospital. The room was located at the Russell Towers in the 5th Floor. It was a single room. The room was small but had space for a lounging chair for me to sleep for the overnight stay. The attending nurse and Chief Nurse for the night shift were Filipino Americans. At first the nurse thought Macrine was Chinese-American. Later on when she realized we were Filipino-Americans, she became more friendly. Her service was excellent. She changed the dressings on Macrine's wound on her right heel. She monitored her IV and turned her every 2 hours. In the morning at 7AM the end of her shift, she introduced us to the Day Nurse who was a Caucasian. The Day nurse appeared haughty and aloof, but the Nurse Assistant was very helpful and cheerful( also a Caucasian). The Nurse Assistant immediately asked me If I wanted coffee and I said yes. She said she will be back after she finished getting the VITALs of her other patients.

At 7:30 AM I had my free coffee. At 8:00 AM, the nurse assistant brought us 2 breakfast TRAYS, ONE for me and the other for Macrine. I was surprised since I did not expect this. I was ready to go down to the Hospital Cafeteria and buy my own breakfast, but this unexpected service was indeed very much welcome. At 11:00AM the Physical therapist came to evaluate Macrine. At 11:30AM Mele came to relieve me. The Physician who is supposed to make a decision whether Macrine will be release in the Hospital has not arrived. When I came home at 11:45AM, David received a text from Mele that Macrine will be released today as soon as the paper work is finished. David went to the hospital to help Mele for Macrine's homecoming. At 1:30PM, I called Macrine's room. Mele answered that the discharged nurse is still working on the paper work. At 2:30PM Mele and David was in our garage transporting Macrine from the car to her wheel chair. Before entering the house, Macrine enjoyed a cigarette at 100F temperature in our outside patio. At 3:00 PM I went to the Pharmacy to pick up Macrine's antibiotic tablets (10 tablets of Amoxicillin).

All in all I am very happy of the services of the nurses and physicians and other personnels of Mercy San Juan Hospital. We are lucky this time that Macrine's UTI was a mild one and was caught up early. Thank you, Mercy San Juan for the excellent services of your medical personnel and other support employees for a job well done.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Maintaining our Sanity for $120 per Day

Three weeks ago, David and I decided we will hire help to take care of Macrine so we can have relief even for just 4 hours per day on week days and 8 hours on Saturday and Sunday. This was the best decision we made so far.

David is worried that I may not be able to afford this extra expense because home care/custodial care is not covered by my insurance. He suggested I apply for a Line of Credit from the Equity of our Home. A good suggestion- because you do not get charge interest if you do not use your line of credit. So far, I have save enough to cover this extra expense in our budget and also cutting unnecessary expenses such as our Casino Outings and Dinner Expenses.

I thank the Lord I have the financial capability to pay $120 per day, so David and I could have our sanity and peace of mind for at least a few hours per day. As Caregivers of a Love one, we need also to care of ourselves first. I am reposting the following Caregiver's Prayer by Kelly Combs.

"Being a caregiver is hard. Whether it is your aging parents, a sick spouse, or another chronically ill person, the weight can be overwhelming, even as it is done in love. We can’t do it alone, but when we partner with God, His strength can sustain us. I hope this prayer blesses you or know someone who is a caregiver. Please feel free to share it.

Dear God,

I’m feeling overwhelmed. I don’t know what to do. I’m tired Lord, the work is hard, and so I come to You.

My role here isn’t easy, but it’s one I wouldn’t trade. I know I’m following Your will, but my strength’s begun to fade.

You said Your yoke is easy, and that Your burden’s light.

I need to rest my soul in You, and lean on You tonight.

I pray for peaceful, restful sleep; to wake fully restored.

I hope that’s not too much to ask of You, my precious Lord.

I pray that You renew my strength because in You I hope; Then I will soar, and not be faint, and You will help me cope.

You modeled loving-kindness, teaching us to be like You.

That gives me the strength to care. I know it’s what You’d do.

So I will keep care giving, on the bad days, and the good.

I’ll love the way You love me, treating others as I should.

Please bless the one for whom I care and hold us in Your hands. Together, with You, we will make a strong cord of 3 strands.

And when I get to heaven, and stand before Your Son,

He’ll call me faithful servant and say to me, “Well done.”

– Amen"

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Home Health Care Services of Helping Hearts

For the last couple of months, David III and I had been hesitating to hire complete strangers to help us taking care of Macrine. However, since Macrine's hospitalization, we decided it was time we really need help. So we did some inquiries on several home care agencies in our area. We decided the help of the Helping-Hearts.

My Federal Medical Insurance ( Blue Cross Blue Shield) does not cover home care services. However, David III and I decided we should hire the services of a home care agency to help us take care of Macrine's daily activities even for just 4 hours per day Monday to Friday as well as 8 hours on Saturday and Sunday. The weekends the wife of David's co-worker takes care of Macirne for 8 hours.

This will relieve me of lifting Macrine because my back is starting to ache and also help me with housekeeping duties. It is an additional expense to our budget, but if you die, you can not take the money with you anyway, so why not use it so I can also enjoy my aging years.

The Home care aides services include, but are not limited to:

*Helping a client bathe, dress or use the restroom
*Assisting a client with exercising,transferring, ambulating, and/or positioning
*Housekeeping duties and laundry
*Driving the client to appointments or to run errands
*Preparing meals and assistance with eating
*Keeping a client company and assisting with telephone calls

The aides are prohibited from arranging for medical services such as catheter care, physical therapy, bed sore treatments and other medical services normally provided by a visiting home care nurse. For more information on Helping-Hearts visit their site as follows:

Note: We requested for a Tagalog Speaking Aide if possible. It appeared we may not be able to get one. I can not believe that the agency with 55 aides do not have a single Filipino-American CNA.

First Day of Service: No regular aid available, sent somebody from the office(Black Lady). She was ok. Did some minor housework( throwing the garbage and arrange closet) besides taking care of Macrine personal hygiene needs. Happy with the service.

Second Day of Service: A regular Aide ( Black Lady). Very Happy with service and taking care of Macrine needs including legs,neck and shoulder massage. Wash and shampoo her hair. Vacuum bedroom and family room. Requested that she be Macrine's regular aide. However she is not available on Wed and Thurs, but will be available this coming Friday. I hope she will be available next Tuesday. Macrine's likes her.

Third Day- A regular Aide-a Latina. She said she will be our Aide on M, W and F. She is ok. Wash the dishes, change Macrine's diaper and keep her company. She seemed to be caring, and a little bit talkative. Volunteered to clean the kitchen floor before she check out. Macrine is practicing her Spanish with her.

Fourth Day: At 9AM the agency called the aide assigned to Macrine call in sick. The agency said they will try to look for a replacement. By then 10:30AM no one showed up so I decided to cancel todays shift.

In the meantime I started calling home health agencies in our area to ask for a female tagalog-speaking aide. I have talked to five agencies and no luck as of today. One agency informed me they have a male aide who speak tagalog. I decline their offer of service.

Fifth Day of Service: The Latina aide came right on time this time. Macrine likes her as they both enjoyed listening and singing along with Julio Iglesia.

I am happy with the MWF service, but still hoping they can provide the same aide on Tuesday and Thursday.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Another Writing Goal Achieve in My Hubpages Account

I have a writing account on for a couple of years but had been inactive for the last two years. I have written 32 hubs but only 12 are featured. The 20 hubs are not featured because of low traffic and readership. HubPages is a user generated content, revenue-sharing website founded in 2006. The company acquired its main competitor, Squidoo, in 2014 and moved from a single-site to a multi-site business model in 2016. Last year it was purchased by Maven of Seattle, WA.

I always wanted some of my hubs be included in the vertical network sites recently created by Hubpages to attract more traffic.

Last year Hubpages started hosting articles according to topic. This is good for attracting more traffic as Google does not love general content as much as it used to. In general the more traffic the more Adsense dollars income for the writer.

The other day I received three letters that three of my hubs have been selected for the network site Exemplore (one).* and for LetterPile** (two). The first letter is as follows:

Congratulations, Chateaudumer!

One or more of your articles were selected for a vertical site in the HubPages Network — way to go! Only the highest quality articles are selected for the new sites.

The following articles have been moved to Exemplore*:

Encounters With Aswangs, Witches, Goblins, and Ghosts in the Philippines

Hi David! We loved reading about the Aswangs and we are now genuinely spooked! We only made a few changes to this article, otherwise, you are an excellent writer. We are excited for both the community on Exemplore and people seeking information on Aswangs to read your article. Great work, keep it up! Looking forward to your next submission.

Now is a great time to check that your articles have About the Author biographies added — they are a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to your readers. We strongly recommend it!

If you have questions, feel free to email us at


The HubPages Team

This is the second letter:

Congratulations, Chateaudumer!

One or more of your articles were selected for a vertical site in the HubPages Network — way to go! Only the highest quality articles are selected for the new sites.

The following articles have been moved to LetterPile**:

Our Love Story and 60th Wedding Anniversary

Now is a great time to check that your articles have About the Author biographies added — they are a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to your readers. We strongly recommend it! If you have questions, feel free to email us at


The HubPages Team

The 3rd hub moved to LetterPile is:

My Bucket List: 101 Things to Do Before I Die

Here's a list of the Hubpages Network Sites:

*Exemplore is the site for mystics. It covers advanced ancient civilizations, animal guides, astrology, auras, cryptids, dreams, fortune telling and tarot, healing and magic, paranormal, paganism, and UFOs.

** LetterPile is a literary site. The menu lists the following classification and subjects: books, correspondence, creative writing, newspapers/magazines, poetry, quotations and writings

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Choosing the Right College/University for Your Child

Choosing the right college/university for your child is not easy and require advance planning. It is essential that your child attends college that he/she likes. Ditas and Carenna visited and toured three of the seven Sisters Colleges last week. They visited Mount Holyoke, Smith and Wellesley Colleges all located in Massachusetts.

Here are the photos taken during their visit. Ditas fell in love with the Smith College campus and wants to do her undergraduate studies again.

Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA

Smith College, Northhampton, MA

Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA ( west of Boston)

The Seven Sisters was a name given to seven liberal arts colleges in the Northeastern United States that are historically women's colleges. Five of the seven institutions continue to offer all-female undergraduate programs: Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and Wellesley College. Vassar College has been co-educational since 1969. Radcliffe College shared common and overlapping history with Harvard College from the time it was founded as "the Harvard Annex" in 1879. Harvard and Radcliffe effectively merged in 1977, but Radcliffe continued to be the sponsoring college for women at Harvard until its dissolution in 1999. Barnard College was Columbia University's women's liberal arts undergraduate college until its all-male coordinate school Columbia College went co-ed in 1983; to this day, Barnard continues to be an all-women's undergraduate college affiliated with Columbia.

All seven schools were founded between 1837 and 1889. Four are in Massachusetts, two are in New York, and one is in Pennsylvania.

There are seven factors to consider when choosing the right fit of college/university for your child: Geography, Size, Setting, Type, Family Input/Recommendation, Costs and Availability of Scholarships and Financial Aid. For more details read the following:

It is never too early to plan choosing a college/university that will be the right fit for your child. If you are now looking for a college/university for your child, Good Luck and Have Fun in your search!

Personal Note: The David B Katague Family have chosen the following universities for their four Children based on the above 7 factors:

Dodie-UC Berkeley-BS in Geography; UC Davis-Law Degree
Dinah-Sacramento State U-BS and St Mary's College-Para Legal Studies
David III-UC Davis-BS in Agricultural Economics and Carnegie Mellon U-Master's Degree
Ditas-UC Berkeley-BS in Arts and Communications and USC-Master's Degree in Government Relations

Macrine and I list the following universities for our Education:

Macrine-BS in Commerce(UST-Philippines), AA in Nursing (Contra Costa College, Richmond, Ca) and BS in Nursing/Public Health- Holy Name University, Oakland, CA

Me-BS in Chemistry (UP, Diliman, QC, Philippines), MS and PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, U of Illinois, Chicago and UC Berkeley-Certificate in Business Management

Here are the schools where our five grand Children Graduated:

Ian-BS ( Sacramento State University)
Philip BS in Sociology( UC Santa Cruz)
Elaine BS ( University of Oregon)
Alix BS in Computer Science( Cornell U-New York)
Marina BS in Kinesiology (CA Polytechnic U, San Luis Obispo)

Carenna ???????? We will see and hopefully I will still be alive and kicking when she graduates from college! Carenna is familiar with UC Berkeley and has toured Stanford U in Palo Alto just recently besides the three colleges mentioned in this blog.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Taking Care of Your Aging Parents

When I was growing up in the Philippines in the late 1930's, my yaya (nanny) told me that a child who take care of his(her) aging parents is blessed and will certainly go to Heaven when he( she) dies. I was not able to do this, since I was in the US when my parents were in their senior years. Our youngest sibling was the one who took care of our aging parents and she is blessed!

Today, as I witnessed my younger son takes care of her Mom, reminds of the above paragraph. My heart is full of gratitude of what my son is doing for her Mom. I hope you go directly to Heaven when its your time to say Good Bye in Planet Earth.

The following link discussed the tips on sharing the care of your aging parents.

The following are tips for those caregivers to their aging parents

Last, but not least is the link for tips if you decide to take care of your aging parents at home.

This blog is also a call for David's other siblings to help If at all possible in the care( emotionally if not physically) of their Mom. I know you have your own lives with its problems and complications, but a regular telephone call is sometimes what your Mom only wants.

To all our friends and relatives who calls every now and then to inquire on Macrine's Health status, thanks a million again for your concern.

Here's a video that touched my heart and I can really identify on the subject of taking care of your aging parents.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Wesley and His Lola Macrine

The latest photo of Wesley Lazarte Chalfin

Wesley is the son of Elaine and Alex Chalfin. Elaine is the oldest daughter of Fe Jambalos, Macrine's younger sister. Wesley has a younger sister, Samantha. ( see video of her feeding the chickens in Amoingon below).
This is from Wesley’s kindergarten journal. It says:

In Winter break I went to Folsom and I went out to dinner and I went to Lola Macrine’s. She was so excited.

Wesley and her Lola Macrine's during her 81st Birthday Celebration, Fair Oaks

Lolo David and Lola Macrine sending their hugs and kisses to you Wesley and sister Samantha! Visit us soon!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Photos from a Recent Wedding Reception at Chateau Du Mer

Chateau Du Mer has hosted a number of wedding receptions since it was opened to the public several years ago. The following is a typical example of a romantic and lovely wedding reception both in the beach house and Hall. The photos were taken by Toby Jamilla during the Luzares-Montalban wedding reception at Chateau Du Mer Beach House and Conference Hall just recently.

I have the permission of the bride and groom as well as the photographer to put the following photos in my blogs. Congratulations to the Bride and Groom! What a Romantic and Lovely Wedding Reception.

The Beautiful Bride the Night Before the Wedding in the Bedroom of the Beach House

The Groom's Party in front of the Stairs of the Beach House(Conference Hall in the background)

The Bride's Family in front of the Beach House( Amoingon Beach in the background)

The bride inside the Beach House. Notice the Capiz shells Door.
The next four photos were taken in the Conference Hall during the Wedding Reception Ceremonies

Chateau Du Mer is opened all year round. For more information and rates call:

SIONY JAMBALOS –(Boac) 042-332-1754

DAVID B KATAGUE (US)-916-961-3365



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