Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Do you believe in the benefits of the power nap ? I am a believer and a practitioner of this activity because it boost my memory, creativity, and energy level during my working hours and even after work at home. I had been power napping, since I first started working for FDA in 1990 and until my retirement in 2002. Today I still Power nap at home even for just 15 minutes whenever I can.
According to Dr. Sara C. Mednick, PhD, sleep expert and author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life.
"You can get incredible benefits from 15 to 20 minutes of napping, You reset the system and get a burst of alertness and increased motor performance".
According to the article from WebMD, the length of your nap and the type of sleep you get help determine the brain-boosting benefits. The 20-minute power nap. sometimes called the stage 2 nap which is good for alertness and motor learning skills like typing and playing the piano.
What happens if you nap for more than 20 minutes? Research shows longer naps help boost memory and enhance creativity. Slow-wave sleep -- napping for approximately 30 to 60 minutes which is good for decision-making skills, such as memorizing vocabulary or recalling directions.
When I was still working for FDA ( 1990 to 2002), I take power naps during my one hour lunch break. I take a nap whenever I can, that is if we do not have all day meetings with the pharmaceutical companies, or seminars and emergency project meetings.
My office was very conducive and had ultimate privacy when it comes to power naps. Speaking of offices in FDA, during my working years at the agency, I had offices ranging from small and no windows to an office with 3 windows with venetian blinds and big enough for a sofa and lounging chair.
During my first 6 months in FDA my office was in the old Parklawn Building in Rockville, MD. I had even to share the office with another review chemist. The opportunity to take a power nap is zero except when my office mate went out to lunch and I had packed my lunch before I left for the office.
During this period at about 3PM, two hours before closing time, I could barely open my eyes and my productivity is almost zero as a chemistry reviewer. When I arrived from the office after saying Hello to my wife and kids, I take a 30 minutes nap. After my nap, I am ready for dinner and conversation with the family. This has been my habit until my retirement in 2002. The kids when they were still small know not to bug me when I arrived from work and not until I have my nap.
In 1995 our Division ( Anti-Infective Drug Products) moved to a newer building with bigger offices with windows, new furniture and computers. As a reviewer with five years seniority I was entitled to have an office with one window by myself. During lunch time, I could closed my office and take a nap between 15 to 20 minutes.
When I was promoted to Chemistry Team Leader in 1998, my office had three windows and space big enough to bring my own private lounging chair and sofa, a small microwave oven and a small refrigerator. With the oven and the small refrigerator, I brought my own lunch every day except on Fridays when our team went out to lunch. This office set-up was perfect for power napping.
In FDA at the time, the sizes of the offices had direct connection to your position. Specifically, the reviewers ( chemists, medical officers, pharmacologists/toxicologists, project managers) have offices with one window. The team leaders could have offices from 2 to 3 windows. The directors and up will have offices with 4 windows or more, depending on their seniority and location of the office buildings. The size of your office is a status symbol, indeed!
May I conclude this article that power naps had made me a productive and happy Federal employee from 1990 to 2002.
Today, I still practice my after lunch nap whenever I am at home which is almost every day except on Tuesday when my wife and I are gallivanting to the Indian Casino near our home.
I suggest you start taking power naps as your New Year resolution. I guarantee you will like it.
Monday, December 29, 2014
A Mahjong Set
I learned this tile game when I was a child. It is mostly a game of luck, once you learned the basics of the game. This tile game is similar to the card game, gin rummy, but played with tiles. It is a game that most Filipina housewives are addicted to. I am sure if you reside in the Philippines or Hongkong, this game must be very familiar to you. You may be even addicted to it.
My mother taught me as well as my brothers and sisters how to play mahjong when we were growing up in the Philippines. We have two mahjong sets in the house. The cheap one was made of plastic which we used quite often and the expensive one made of ivory. The one made of ivory, we only used on special occasion when we celebrate birthdays, weddings and other special events when I was growing up in the Philippines.
According to my mother, I started playing mahjong very well when I was only 5 years old. It is a game of luck with a little skill involve once you learn the basics. I also learned how to play a card game called "Pangingue" in the Philippines, probably similar to pinochle, but different from gin rummy. Mahjong can be played on line or you can buy a disk and play it in your computer.
I have a disk (Hongkong mahjong) in my computer, but it has been a while since I played this game. Mahjong like any gambling game is very addictive. I have heard that a close relatives in the Philippines died of tuberculosis(TV) because he played mahjong almost all day and do nothing else. Unbelievable,if this is true.
Mahjong rules and specifics varies from region to region in the Philippines, but it is still a favorite past time of the middle class in the Philippines. A lot of Filipina housewives are addicted to mahjong. Besides mahjong there are two card games popular in Marinduque and other parts of the Philippines are PIKWA and TONG-IT. A number of housewives in my neighborhood in Amoingon, Boac, Marinduque play Tong-it every afternoon, both for recreation and a little gambling activity. We play Tong-it during a party break as a family game but no betting involved, when we are in Marinduque.
For rules and instruction how to play Mahjong read Wikipedia or ask a friend or relative for a demonstration. Once you learned the game, be careful it could be very, very addictive. But again, it is an excellent way to get rid of your boredom and the long, long hot summer in the Philippines. Here's a summary of the game from Wikipedia.org
"Mahjong, also spelled majiang, mah jongg, and numerous other variants, is a game that originated in China. It is commonly played by four players (with some three-player variations found in South Korea and Japan). The game and its regional variants are widely played throughout Eastern and South Eastern Asia and have a small following in Western countries. Similar to the Western card game rummy, mahjong is a game of skill, strategy, and calculation and involves a degree of chance.
The game is played with a set of 144 tiles based on Chinese characters and symbols, although some regional variations use a different number of tiles. In most variations, each player begins by receiving 13 tiles.(In Iloilo we used 16 tiles) In turn players draw and discard tiles until they complete a legal hand using the 14th drawn tile to form four groups (melds) and a pair (head). There are fairly standard rules about how a piece is drawn, stolen from another player and thus melded, the use of simples (numbered tiles) and honors (winds and dragons), the kinds of melds, and the order of dealing and play. However there are many regional variations in the rules; in addition, the scoring system and the minimum hand necessary to win varies significantly based on the local rules being used".
So my dear friends and relatives, if you have nothing else to do this new year why not play mahjong?
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Who we are and what we do...
As they say in New Orleans,"Laissez les bons temps Rouler". Let the good times roll. Fun is what we're all about.
We are Branch 146 of Sons in Retirement (SIR), part of a larger organization with branches in many communities in Central and Northern California. The purpose of SIR is to provide opportunities for retired men to socialize. The number of members in Branch 146 is about 270 - large enough to provide opportunities for members to renew old friendships and to develop new friends by participating in any number of many activities that might be of interest to them. Branch 146 holds its luncheons in the Boundary Oak Golf Course Clubhouse in Walnut Creek on the 2nd Thursday of the month.
Branch 146 members are a congenial group of guys. A lot of friendships have been formed over the years since the branch's inception in 1988. Energy and a willingness to contribute to the good of the branch are personal qualities that have been dominant factors in our steady growth.
Golfing remains the largest activity, involving half the membership. Foursomes for regular Tuesday golf are selected randomly using an innovative computer program, which ensures that members play with different players each week. In addition, there are many "away golf" outings throughout the year, some of which include golfers from other branches. Bowling is another activity. Our bowlers participate in a larger bowling league and in state and other local tournaments. Bocce ball, table pool, duplicate bridge, party bridge, and cribbage are also part of the branch's activities scheduled once or twice per month. Many other social groups round out the weekly and monthly social calendars, including four cooking groups, fishing, gardening, investment, four poker groups, SongSirs, theater, veterans, and walkers. Importantly, members' spouses and significant others participate in special social activities including scheduled dances, couples' bridge, ladies day luncheons, wine tasting events, and travel both domestically and internationally.
The Sons in Retirement organization and especially SIR Branch 146 is, at least in the hearts and minds of its members, second to none!
• SIR 146 Monthly Luncheon -- 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Jan. 8. Guest speaker will be Deputy District Attorney Dodie Katague, head of High Tech Crimes Unit of the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office, speaking about "High Tech Crimes." Katague is an expert in the field of high crime and white collar crime and has prosecuted these types of crimes since 2000 for the DA's office. Katague has a nationwide reputation within the law enforcement community and has authored legislation in California related to high-tech issues. Clubhouse at Boundary Oak, 3800 Valley Vista Road, Walnut Creek. $25. Reservations by Jan. 2. 925-937-3833, www.sir146.com.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
We have lived in our house here in Northern California for 12 years, but yesterday was the first time, Macrine and I saw about ten wild turkeys grazing in our front yard. Yesterday was Christmas Eve. The day was gloomy and a bit foggy. Macrine and I were just relaxing in our living room picture window after breakfast when all of a sudden we saw several wild turkeys leisurely grazing in our front yard. At first we saw a couple, then suddenly about six more just came into our site. I was thrilled especially when I saw two of the turkeys were white. They stayed for about 3 minutes then walked away across the street and disappeared. This incident was the most unusual event we experienced this Christmas eve day with the exception of the Children Christmas mass that we attended later in the afternoon.
The above incident is a big contrasts of other events happening in our Christmas eve day of 2014. We have received pictures and activities from Amoingon, Boac Marinduque Philippines of the Christmas reunion of Macrine's relatives in our retirement house, Chateau Du Mer. The above picture made us envious but such is life. We hope we can fly to the Philippines after February 8, 2015 if Macrine's is feeling well enough to travel. February 8 is the final performance of the children musical The Velveteen Rabbit, starring my granddaughter Carenna Katague Thompson. The musical play is the first play that Carenna has the leading role and I would not want to miss it.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
My Six Grand Children, Photo Taken on my 80th Birthday on 12/20/14. From Left to Right- Carenna Katague Thompson (11), Elaine Katague King (22), Ian Katague King (24) Philip Katague (22), Alix Katague (20) and Marina Katague (18).
Recently I joined a secrete FB group named the Balleza clan. After joining this group, I realized the numerous relatives I have on my mother side of the family. Pictures of seconds cousins, third cousins, nieces and nephews on my first and second cousins lines, I viewed with interest and curiosity. I realized I have good looking relatives that I have just meet via FaceBook. The following are some of the photos of a new-found relative as well as old ones that I like to share with you.
Rick Katague-my nephew from London, UK (son of my brother Erico of Jaro, Iloilo)
Reagon Katague Gregorio-my nephew from Kuwait and Philippines ( son of Amor Katague Gregorio from Jaro, Iloilo) -
Joerick Santiago, son of my first cousin Dr Sylvia Balleza Santiago from Boston, MA
Efren Katague and Family-my brother from Australia
"This one's my favourite" | Steph & Dave's Birthday, 2014 from Dave Katague on Vimeo.
I have relatives from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK as well as here in the US. Specifically, I have good looking nephews and nieces in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental,as well as in Iloilo, Philippines. If I have not mention you in this blog, please forgive me. It does not mean you are not handsome or beautiful, because beauty is not only outside but also inside. Again, Merry Christmas and Happy New year to All!
Sunday, December 21, 2014
My 80th Birthday Celebration with Family and Neighbors-Yesterday
The day before my birthday party, I spent about 4 hours preparing a dish that my whole family likes. It is my classic chicken macaroni salad. That day our cleaning ladies)(2 ladies in their late 40's)were also busy cleaning the house for the party. At the end of their cleaning chores, I invited them to taste my chicken macaroni salad. I asked them how is the taste, that is if it needs more sweet relish or mayonnaise.
One of the ladies said the taste is perfect. The other lady exclaimed, Wow, David this is the best tasting salad that I have ever tasted in my life. She wanted the recipe and I give it to her as soon as they left for another cleaning job.
Speaking of cleaning ladies, Macrine and I are lucky to have twice a month the services of these two housekeeping ladies whose company named is called Heavenly Help House Cleaning. Their pay is a compliment of our 4 children. This service was started after my wife was diagnosed with Parkinson Disease. Again, thank you to our dear children Dodie, Dinah, David III and Ditas.
Birthday cake and card from Ditas
One of a few e-card that I received. This one one is from Mariam Mataac.
I like to thank my four children and six grandchildren for making this occasion, a day I will always remember. Specifically to Dinah for managing and set-up ( decor and party utensils), for Ditas for the cake, wine, ice cream) for Dodie for the drinks and for David III for preparing the fruit salad, picking up of food and clean-up. Last but not least to my spouse of 57 years who helped me in the preparation of the chicken Macaroni salad above.
In addition my special thanks to all my FB friends and other relatives( more than 100) who posted their greetings in my timeline, to Agnes Katague Galvin ( my sister from MD) and to Olga and Lito Quiazon ( first cousins from Vancouver) for their personal call and BD greetings.Last but not least to my sister-in-law from Mountain View, Charro Jambalos Levine for the empanadas and my two neighbors, Lina Edison and Dennis & Karen Richardson for the potatoes side dishes. Special thanks to Carenna and Philip for serenading me with their vocal solos and guitar renditions, the entertainment portion during the party.
Most of all thanks to the LORD for all his blessings throughout this eight decades of my life.
Monday, December 15, 2014
I went to high school in Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, Philippines from 1947-1951. I was only 13 years old in 1947. I was a shy and skinny teenager, but smart and had a photographic memory according to my parents. I was not athletic at all but an avid reader and maybe called a nerd in today's lingo. I graduated valedictorian of my school class at age 17. I was a voracious reader of several books that my parents were able to save from the bombing of our house in Jaro just after at the start of American-Japanese War in the Philippines on December 7,1941.
I remember listening to radio soap operas( Aklat Ng Pagibig- Book Of Love) with my family in the early evening from Monday to Friday. There was no television then. No Computers, no Internet, no Charge Cards or FaceBook. Our only two luxuries were a weekly subscription of an English news magazine, the Philippines Free Press for my father and the subscription of a local Magazine for my mother named Yuhum( Smile) published in the dialect called HILIGAYNON. The Yuhum contains episodes of novels in the Ilonggo dialect that the whole family anticipates eagerly week by week. As soon as we received the magazine, my mother has the first priority. After she finished she will pass the magazine to me. It is only after, I finished reading the magazine that it is free to all other members of the family. Our maids and helpers were the last in the order of priority for readership.
The Philippine Free Press was my father's favorite news magazine. I remember reading all the weekly news, the fight for democracy in the country, corruption and other political issues and subjects during that time. Yes, I remember there was corruption in the Philippines at that time, but not as blatant and rampant as of today with the pork barrel scams and several others corruption activities of the Pinoy politicians.
I was also lucky to get a subscription of a monthly US Magazine called The Farm Journal published in Iowa, USA. In one issue, I sent a letter to the Editor, describing how I enjoyed the journal specifically an article on gardening and fruit trees culture. I was surprised my short letter was published. Along with the notification of publication, I received a $1 cash payment. This was the first dollar I have earned in my life. Needless to say, I was so proud receiving that one dollar, I brag about it in my high school class. All my classmates were envious of my accomplishment and were very curious how I was able to do it. I did not spend the $1 but keep it in my scrapbook. At that time the dollar to peso exchange was still 1 to 2. My guess was that the value of that one dollar at that time is now equivalent to $50 today.
Another activity that I treasured was reading comics magazine of Batman, Superman and the Classics such as Les Mesirables, Don Quixote, The Last of the Mohicans and Tale of Two Cities. I have a collection of these comics that I treasured. When I left for college in Diliman, Quezon City, I placed it in a trunk with my photos and scrapbook. Four years later, after I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, I went back to Iloilo and my trunk was gone. I have no idea where it went. My father was supposed to know where it was but he died that year.
The memories during my high school years when there were no computers, television, Facebook, YouTube or charge cards, I will always treasure. Today, I often wonder how I survive those years without today's amenities and luxuries and technological advances.
Part of my coin collection during the late 1940's.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Next Saturday, December 20, I will turn 80 years old. I am asking myself if I am successful and if so, what have I contributed to society and to the world as a whole. Personally, I feel very successful and very thankful to God for his blessings in my attainment of eight decades of a happy life( both with my personal and professional accomplishments*). My contributions to the world is summarized in the last paragraph of this blog.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, a simple party is planned. My oldest daughter, Dinah is coordinating the menu and details. It will be from 1 to 5PM at our residence here in Fair Oaks. A Thanksgiving mass has also been scheduled on December 18, at 7:00 AM at St. Mel's Catholic Church. A gift is not required, but a side dish will be welcome.
The main course for the party are honey baked ham, pancit (noodles) for long life, and dinugu-an ( blood pudding) and puto ( rice cake). Side dishes will be chicken macaroni salad, ambrosia fruit salad and a birthday cake/ice cream for desserts. There will be champagne for lovers of alcoholic drinks as long as you promise not to drive after the party.
For entertainment, my youngest granddaughter, Carenna Katague Thompson promise to serenade me with a new song that she had learned recently from her voice, guitar and piano lessons. Incidentally, 11-year old Carenna will be the lead actress in a children musical, The Rabbit Velveteen scheduled for February 6 to 8. The musical is presented by the Sacramento Theatre Company. I am indeed a very proud grandpa of Carenna's musical and acting accomplishments.
The following articles are excerpts from my autobiography previously posted in my blogs.
Last week, I had a chance to chat( via FB) with a former student who was a Pre-Med at UP Diliman, Q.C in 1957. He is now retired and had been a successful surgeon in the US for many years. For those of you who have not read my autobiography, I did taught Chemistry courses to Pre-Med, Nursing and Engineering students as Instructor in Chemistry, UP Diliman from 1956-1959.
During our chat about retirement and our professional careers, he asked me If I had a formula for success. I thought for a moment and replied: Patience, Common Sense, Hard Work and Luck. The above four words did indeed apply to my success in my professional career. The first three words I used to obtain my Master and Doctorate degrees in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Illinois. Luck when I become the Chemistry Team Leader ( first line Supervisor) for the Division of Ant-Infective Products, FDA when my supervisor was transferred to another division.
I am re posting today, excerpts from my article "The highlights of my Professional Career in Chemistry" just in case you have not read it in my blogs.
My picture used by Stauffer Chemicals in their Advertisement Brochures, 1981
In my more than 40 years of professional career, I have experienced both working rank and file, as well as supervising the work of subordinates. I have worked in four private firms and the Federal Government, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where I retired. I enjoyed the challenges and difficulties of both types of job situations. This is the highlights of my work experience story.
My first job after completing my doctorate degree was a Chemist for Chemagro Corporation in Kansas City, Missouri. It was a subsidiary of Bayer Corporation, a German conglomerate. I worked for the analytical chemistry department comprised of about fifty people; half that number was either chemists or biologists. My specific task was to develop analytical methods for the detection of pesticide residues in plant and animal tissues. I worked on my own, similar to six other bench chemists, and we all reported to the same supervisor.
The firm sponsored my visa conversion from a student to a permanent resident, and I was able to legally work and reside in the United States with my family. The company generously took care of its employees. At the end of each successful year, everyone received a 13th month salary bonus. The employees and their families celebrated wonderful annual Christmas parties in a downtown Kansas City hotel, with dancing and free drinks for the whole night.
As much as I enjoyed and loved working for Chemagro for five years, I found a new job which offered a substantially higher pay. Due to my exemplary work performance, my supervisor lobbied for me to stay with the company. I had to turn him down because they could not match the package presented by my new employer. It was also a chance for me and my family to move and live in the US west coast, where the mild winter climate is bearable compared to the Midwest.
My next job was at the agricultural research division of Shell Development Company in Modesto, California. I was a Research Chemist, and again I worked individually, same as five other chemists who all reported to a supervisor. My specific duty was similar to my previous job. I worked for them for five years, until the company decided to get out of the pesticide business. They closed their research facility affecting the jobs of more than 200 employees.
My third industrial job was with the agricultural research division of Stauffer Chemical Company, located in Richmond, California. I was a Senior Research Chemist doing the same project as my two previous jobs. I worked for twelve continuous years for the company, with outstanding annual job performance. I became a Principal Research Chemist, the highest attainable non-supervisory position.
One day in 1986, my supervisor informed me that my job had been eliminated, and I had one day to vacate the facility. It was the most dreadful lay off experience in my life. I felt anger, sadness and humiliation to be dismissed from work with one day notice, after all the years of hard work invested for the company. This was an unforgettable incident and was the gloomiest point in my professional career.
My supervisor was kind and allowed me to take my time to pack up my belongings. It took me two days to clear up my workplace. I was provided clerical help and office space, in preparation to look for another job, such as updating resumes, and using the computer and copy machine. I did received six weeks of separation pay plus benefits.
Fortunately, with the help of a friend who is a Church parishioner, I found another job thirty days after leaving Stauffer Chemical Company. He hired me as a senior research chemist and as a group leader with two technicians to supervise. It was in the same field as my expertise in my previous three jobs spanning the last twenty one years. My new employer was Chevron Chemical Company, and which was located in the same city as my former employer.
This job gave me the introduction and basic knowledge of managing the work of subordinates. I worked for Chevron Company for four and a half years. The company decided to consolidate their research facilities in Texas, and lay off all its research employees. This time I had enough distress and agony from working, and eventually getting laid off from several private companies. To avoid going through any more miserable layoffs, I made a vow that I would never again work for a private company.
In the three private companies I worked for, I was able to publish scientific journals for some of the research studies and analytical methods which I developed for the respective companies of Chemagro, Shell Development and Stauffer Chemical Company.
After deciding and making a vow to avoid working in the private sector, I made my new goal which was either to work for the state of California, or the Federal government in Washington, D.C. Four months after I lost my job in Chevron, I was lucky and joyful to be hired by the Food and Drug Administration as a review chemist in the fall of 1990.
In 1994 I was promoted as an Expert Research Chemist with a GS-14 rating. My expertise was on Anti-malarial and Anti-parasitic drug products. In 1997, I was again promoted to Chemistry team leader, supervising the work of six Chemistry reviewers including five with doctorate degrees.
As team leader, I was responsible for prioritizing, assigning, and assuring the technical accuracy of all chemistry, manufacturing and control issues for all new drug applications submitted to the Division of Anti-Infective Drug Products, Center of New Drugs.
In 1998, I won the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Award. The citation reads, “For outstanding accomplishments in fostering the objectives of the EEO Program by hiring minorities and encouraging their professional growth while providing excellent leadership.” I have received numerous certificates of appreciation, awards in leadership and communications, commendation for teamwork and excellence in the accomplishment of the FDA mission. I have also received several letters of appreciation from private industry for my review work.
Managing the work of others has its challenges. Moreover, it develops one’s skill in handling and developing people, and the compensation rewards and benefits are better. Due to additional duties, responsibilities and leadership, supervisory work can be more stressful than working as a subordinate. However, supervisory jobs give one more personal growth and satisfaction, based on my personal experience. My work in FDA as a team leader managing the work of six scientists had been the happiest and rewarding work experience in my career in Chemistry.
While looking at my old files, I found a copy of the nomination package( over 50 pages of documentation) that was sent by the Philippine Embassy, Washington, D.C. to Office of the President of the Philippines in 2002 for the Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organization Overseas. I was nominated for the Pamana Award in Chemistry. My package was approved and endorsed by the Philippine Embassy but was denied by Office of the President, Malacanang Palace in 2002. I was disappointed and irked because I was never given a formal letter of its denial, thus it reminded me of the above selfie photo that self destruct.
I have completely forgotten the above event in my professional life until today. I am comparing this event in my professional career as a selfie that self destruct or a pregnancy that was conceived ( endorsed by the Philippine embassy in Washington DC) but was aborted ( denial by the Powers in Malacanang in 2002).
In the above nomination package I have also listed several awards that I have received during my professional career from 1957 to 2002. My four most memorable, prestigious and non-aborted awards with no monetary value are as follows:
1. In 1990 I donated books and technical journals worth more than $1500 to the University of the Philippines Library. This donation was facilitated by the Commission of Filipino Overseas and accepted by the Executive Director, Alfredo Perdon. Perdon wrote me a Thank You letter as follows: " Your donation is a manifestation of the willingness of Filipino overseas to be actively involved in the development efforts of the country. Such participation through the commission's " Lingkod Sa Kapwa Pilipino or Linkapil serves to strengthen the linkages between Filipino overseas and their countrymen. Attached is the Linkapil Certificate of Acceptance along with the picture of the turnover ceremony at the UP library on May 23, 1990.
2. In 1998, I won the Equal Employment Opportunity Award (EEO) at the Food and Drug Administration. I received a plaque with the following citation: It reads, " For outstanding accomplishments in fostering the objectives of the Equal Employment Opportunity Program by hiring minorities and encouraging their professional growth while providing excellent leadership".
3. In 1995, I was elected (to a 5-year term) to the United States Pharmacopeia(USP) Council of Experts in the Standards, Antibiotics and Natural Products Divisions. As an elected member, I was responsible for establishing standards of identity, safety, quality, purity of drug substances and drug products as well as in-vitro and diagnostic products, dietary supplements and related articles used in health care. In March 2000, I was reelected to another 5 year term to the USP Council of Experts.
4. Last but not least, in l998, I received an Outstanding Filipino-American Senior Citizen Award in Chemistry, Science and Research. The medal and plaque was presented by Philippine Centennial Festival Committee of the Philippine American Foundation of Charities in Washington D.C.
5. My last award had monetary value: In 1986, I was awarded a grant to participate in the Transfer of Knowledge through Expatriate Nationals (TOKTEN) program for two weeks at the University of the Philippines Natural Science Research Institute, Diliman, Q.C. The program provided for free round trip transportation from US to the Philippines and back plus a generous per diem in dollars for two weeks. The program was coordinated by the United Nations Development Program in New York and in Manila. Today the program is now known as the Balik-Scientist Program.
The summary of my Pamana Award in Chemistry nomination package reads:
Dr Katague is a trailblazer in the field of Chemistry and Drug Regulation. He is the first Filipino American to attain the position of Team Leader and Expert in the Center of New Drugs, Food and Drug Administration. He is also the first Filipino-American to be elected for two 5 year terms( 1995-2005) to the United States Pharmacopeia Council of Experts since its inception in 1820. Dr Katague's drive and energy to succeed is a representation of the Filipino people's talent and passion for excellence. He has shown that Filipinos can contribute significantly to the advancement of science, therefore help the world a better and safer place by insuring that only safe and better quality drugs are approved and marketed.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
This song reminds me of my student days at the University of the Philippines in the early 1950's. This song is one of the songs the University of the Philippines Student Catholic Action Choir sang in the 1952 Concert. Both Macrine and I will never forget those memories of our student days in UP, Diliman, Q.C., Philippines from 1951-1955. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Monday, December 1, 2014
A very informative article on the achievement of Gregorio (Yoyong) Nieva. Gregorio is the brother of Juan Nieva -my wife's grandfather. Gregorio is the grandfather of Veronica Nieva Ettinger from Chevy Chase, Maryland.
AKO'Y KASAYSAY $@ISLA DE MARINDUQUE: REVISITING THE BOAC WATERWORKS SYSTEM AND THE GREG...: REVISITING THE BOAC WATERWORKS SYSTEM AND THE GREGORIO NIEVA PUBLIC FOUNTAIN IN BOAC TOWN PLAZA ON THEIR 100 TH YEAR Th...
Saturday, November 29, 2014
Welcome to Locke, California
Last Thursday, Thanksgiving Day 2014, my youngest son was driving us for Thanksgiving dinner to my oldest son residence in Walnut Creek, California. This drive will normally be about 90 minutes duration without traffic via Interstate 80 West then thru I-680S. At About 10 minutes at I-80, the traffic was so clogged and we were on Stop and Go for ten minutes. My son decided to get out of the I-80 freeway at the Reed Ave exit in West Sacramento, with a plan to get to I-5 south then connecting to 12 to Rio Vista and to Route 160 to Antioch then SR 4 to Concord and I-680 to Walnut Creek.
My son however, missed our entrance to I-80 then to I-5 South (from Reed Ave to Jefferson Blvd) He decided to drive straight on Jefferson Blvd hoping there might be another entry to I-5. We were driving for almost 30 minutes on a country road and then along the Sacramento River and we realized we were at the California State Route highway 160-one of the most scenic route in the heart of the Sacramento River Delta.
I have always wanted to drive by this route because I know from my readings that in this route are historic small towns such as Walnut Grove, Locke, Isleton, Ryde and also Rio Vista.
We were not disappointed by the scenery. Since it was a beautiful sunny day, we took our time and still arrived in Walnut Creek about 90 minutes and was on time for our dinner appointment.
I searched on the Internet for information on California State Route 160. I also found two videos on Locke, CA. The following are some of the highlights of my search.
State Route 160 is a state highway in the U.S. state of California consisting of two sections. The longer, southern, section is a scenic highway through the alluvial plain of the Sacramento River, linking SR 4 in Antioch with Sacramento via the Antioch Bridge. The Northern section runs thru the City of Sacramento and ends on Highway 80 towards Roseville.
Heading from South to North ( opposite of our trip route): State Route 160 begins in eastern Antioch at SR 4. After two interchanges, the highway rises onto the two lane Antioch Bridge over the San Joaquin River. It cuts north across the center of Sherman Island, reaching the Sacramento River on the opposite shore. From here to Sacramento, SR 160 never strays far from the river, first following the east levee over the 1949 Three Mile Slough Bridge (a lift bridge), past Brannan Island State Recreation Area, and across SR 12 opposite the river from Rio Vista.
After passing Isleton, the highway crosses the river on the Isleton Bridge, a bascule bridge built in 1923, and runs along the west shore on Grand Island, where it meets the east end of SR 220.
The Walnut Grove Bridge carries County Route J11 east across the river to Walnut Grove, and, at the north end of the island, SR 160 crosses the 1924 Steamboat Slough Bridge onto Sutter Island and then the 1923 Paintersville Bridge across the Sacramento River to the mainland, both bascule bridges.
The Rio Vista Bridge
Locke and Isleton are the two historic towns that I have heard before. Here's a paragraph from Wikipedia about the two towns:
Locke (traditional Chinese: 樂居; simplified Chinese: 乐居; pinyin: Lèjū; Jyutping: Lok6geoi1), also known as Locke Historic District, is an unincorporated community in California's Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta built by Chinese immigrants during the early 20th century. It was originally named Lockeport after George Locke, who owned the land that the town was built upon at a time when Chinese people were not allowed to own land. Locke is located in the primarily agricultural region south of Sacramento, California, near State Route 160. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and further was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1990 due to its unique example of a historic Chinese American rural community.
Locke,California- historic town
Isleton is a city in Sacramento County, California, United States. The population was 804 at the 2010 census, down from 828 at the 2000 census. It is located on Andrus Island amid the slough wetlands of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, on the eastern edge of the Rio Vista Gas Field.
The city has many preserved 19th-century era storefronts along its main street, some of which show distinct Chinese influences. Chinese began immigrating to Isleton around 1875, and at its peak, the Chinese population numbered approximately 1,500. A Chinese tong (community organization) building in Isleton was featured on a July 2008 episode of the PBS program History Detectives.
Isleton is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. California State Route 160 passes through the city and crosses the 1923 Isleton Bridge.
For more pictures visit this blog at: http://sactoriver.blogspot.com/2011/10/morning-on-state-route-160.html
Thursday, November 27, 2014
I believe you are if:
1. FB is your homepage or default browser
2. You read your FB three times a day, in the morning, in the afternoon and before your bedtime
3. You open FB when you feel depressed or bored
4. You read all the chatters including all ramblings of your friends and people you do not even know
5. You love hearing all the compliants, plans and gossips and pictures of people you do not even know
6. Last in my list ( but probably not in yours) you get withdrawal symptons, if there is problem with your PC and the internet is not available for more than 3 hours and FB is not available.
I know there are other symptoms, I had not listed, so please feel free to add to the above list.
Last but not least, if you are reading this blog, you are not only a FB book addict but also an Internet addict. Any way Happy Thanksgiving and may your life filled with abundance and blessings.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
For the last six decades I have been playing bridge socially or alone via the computer. I found that this card game improves my memory, it is fun and a very challenging game. For this reason, I did some Internet search to confirm if my personal experience is only true for me or if there are scientific evidence that indeed playing bridge is one of the best way to exercise and stimulate your brain as you get older.
If you do not play bridge but wants to exercise your brain, now is the time to learn this fascinating and challenging game (specifically Duplicate Bridge). I have written in Hubpages an article/hub dated 12/09/11 describing the basics of both Party and Duplicate bridge ( http://chateaudumer.hubpages.com/hub/bridge-is-my-card-game). I urged you to read it if you want to know more about bridge-my favorite card game.
The following article is from home.comcast.net. I can really identify with this article so I am reposting it with my personal comments for your information. It was written by Karen Walker
“With so many activities competing for your leisure time, why invest your energy into learning a game as complex as bridge? Why bridge instead of computer games, poker, chess, golf? If you're wondering if bridge is for you -- or if you've always wanted to learn but have been afraid it's too difficult -- here are some of the reasons why millions of people around the world are hooked on this fascinating game.
Bridge can be a lifelong pursuit. It takes only rudimentary knowledge to begin playing and enjoying bridge, but as any player will tell you, this is not a game for those who demand instant gratification. Learning to play well takes time and effort, and the game is impossible to master. But that's precisely why bridge is so popular, and why it's called "the game for a lifetime". No matter how many years you play, you'll always find new challenges, and the learning process will never end. Bridge also caters to all physical conditions and disabilities, so players can actively pursue their pastime throughout their entire lives. Comment: I have been playing bridge for almost six decades and indeed this is a lifelong pursuit for me.
Bridge will never bore you. The game can be exciting, challenging, frustrating and humbling, but it will never be boring. There are more than 750 trillion possible hands, so you'll see something new every time you play. It's actually a fast-paced game, too. Each hand takes just five to ten minutes to play before you move on to the next deal and a new challenge. Comment: Each hand is different and the trillion of hand combination requires different degrees of challenge.
Bridge stimulates the brain. Bridge is one of the best ways to practice the "use it or lose it" advice for maintaining mental sharpness in older age. Research has shown that regular bridge playing improves reasoning skills and long- and short-term memory. You'll feel the neurons firing not only while you play, but long after. Many players say that hours after a bridge game, they still feel mentally alert and energized, similar to the "high" that long-distance runners experience after a race. Comment: I agree with above paragraph wholly and completely. After a duplicate game, my brain is super stimulated it will take more than 3 hours for me to sleep,
Bridge exercises both sides of your brain. Bridge is one of the few games that stimulates both the left and right sides of your brain. Every time you play, you use -- and improve -- your skills in communication, logic, math, memory, visualization and psychology. It's a unique type of mental workout that is both relaxing and invigorating, and that can't be duplicated by other leisure or work-related activities. Comment: This is the first time I heard of this, but I believe it is true.
Bridge can improve your physical health. Research has shown that a game of bridge can even boost your immune system. By stimulating the brain cortex, bridge-playing activity produces higher numbers of the white blood cells that fight disease. Other studies have found that people who play bridge regularly are 2½ times less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. Comment: This must be true, since I started playing bridge, I did not suffer any major or minor ailments except for my HBP.
Bridge is social. A game of bridge involves communication and cooperation with your partner and interaction with your opponents. There's a special camaraderie among bridge players that develops from the social setting and the game's emphasis on teamwork, ethics and sportsmanship. And if you play duplicate bridge, you can find new friends and partners at more than 3300 bridge clubs throughout North America. Comment: In the 1970's when my wife and I were still playing duplicate bridge, our communication and interaction with other bridge players were on high gear. It was one of the happiest social event in our married life.
Bridge is a bargain. All you need for a bridge game is a deck of cards and three other people. You don't have to leave your home, and if you have a computer, you don't even need the cards or the people. You can play and practice on your own with bridge software, or you can join in live games with thousands of players from around the world at one of the free online bridge clubs. You can also enter games at your local duplicate club, where you'll enjoy a three-hour session of bridge for less than the cost of a movie. Comment: Yes indeed it is a bargain, since playing bridge we do not have to go to the Casinos or attend a concert or a movie.
Bridge is fun. Of all the reasons to learn the game, the most important is that it's just fun to play. It offers the suspense of poker, the cerebral qualities of chess and the excitement of athletic sports, all in a sociable setting where you're a participant, not just a spectator. Every session allows you to test yourself and experience the feeling of accomplishment when you find a successful bid or play. Comment: I like to play games that are challenging and I agree that bridge is Fun, Fun, Fun..
That's what keeps people coming back to the bridge table, and it's why bridge will always be the world's most popular card game".
All I can say is Amen, Amen, Amen!
Friday, November 21, 2014
If you have been following my blogs, you probably know that my wife and I go the Casino every week as part of our entertainment budget We play the slots machines and also enjoy a delicious dinner either at the Buffet or the other five restaurants in the Casino(Thunder Valley, Lincoln, CA).
This month of November, we did not make it at the second week, since my wife was not feeling well. But yesterday, we did not only have an excellent dinner of grilled salmon with spicy rice and asparagus, but I won $200 playing the slots.
I played only in 8 slots. I won in 6 of the new slots of around $50 with a minimum bet of 30 to 50 cents. After 3 hours in the Casino I was still winning around $50. However, 15 minutes before our departure, I saw this machine called the Bufallo Stampede with minimum bet 0f 75c. I have never played on this machine because the minimum bet of 75 I felt is expensive. However, since I was $50 ahead, I decided to play the Bufallo machine. The first few minutes, I was not winning at all. At my 10th try I hit the bonus feature. At the end of the feature I won $150 and it was time to go home.
The following video I found in the web and is very exciting to watch. Good luck if you ever want to visit a casino soon or in the near future.
Buffalo Stampede Slots was introduced to Las Vegas in 2013. It is manufactured by Aristocrat Gaming. Although Aristocrat increased the cost per spin up to 75 cents minimum, it is a wonderful game. It is one one of those games that is worth saving up for to play as advertised by the Casinos!
Thursday, November 20, 2014
The following songs are 40 popular songs and melodies from operas, that I enjoy. Today most of the US are bombarded with the arctic vortex and cold temperatures. Luckily here in Northern California we are still in the 50-70's although today it is raining and misty foggy- a welcome event because of the drought we had been experiencing this year. I was looking at my old blogs and found the following videos. Of the 40 songs my favorites are:
#2 The Drinking Song from La Traviata by Verdi
#5 Nessum Dorma from Torandut by Puccini
#20 Meditation from Thais by Massanet and
#40 Flight of the Bumble Bee by Kimsky Korsakov
Enjoy the Video as follows:
Sunday, November 16, 2014
"Yes, Yong and Mon( Ramon Mayuga), one of our ancestors was a Spanish-French priest. His lapida has even been preserved on the aisle of the Boac Cathedral, the only one left there. He is the father of our Lola Lola (great great) grandmother Epifania (Maneng) Morente, wife of Calixto Nieva, who is our common great grandfather. This is why the Nievas are not only religious but also romantic. These two traits may seem incongruous but they seamlessly combine in us Nievas in some degree or another. That is why some of the descendants either also become saints, and others sinners, and most, like you, me and Yong, saints and sinners, the only difference being the degree to which one is of either".
The above paragraph is the comment of Rene Nieva as published in Facebook, November 16, 2014 regarding the cleric ancestry of the Nievas from Marinduque. The rest is my article on the Nieva ancestry from Marinduque, dated May 21, 2011 as published in my blogs.
Dave and Macrine with Olga Nieva Luarca Quiazon. Olga is Macrine's first cousin. The photo was taken during our Medical Mission Orientation in Marinduque.
See the two recent updates at the bottom of this page-An e-mail from Veronica Nieva, granddaughter of Gregorio Nieva, one of the brothers of Juan Nieva, Macrine's grandfather and a photo of me, Macrine and Rene Nieva, another grandson of Juan Nieva in front of the Nieva Street in Makati. This small street is located in the financial district of Makati was named after Gregorio Nieva.
It is summer time and time for family reunions. The Nievas of the World will probably be have a reunion in the Philppines or here in US sometime this year or next year. Hopefully, Macrine and I could attend this time.
Dave and Macrine Katague of Marinduque and Northern California
In 2003, there was a reunion of the Nieva clan in the Philippines organized by Rene Elizalde Nieva, Macrine's first cousin. We were invited but not able to attend. Rene wrote in his invitation that he is in the process of writing a book about the Nieva clan. He said the book will be privately published with limited printing which will include a general history starting on the possible roots of the Nieva family as well as the achievements of various members of the clan and their contribution to the betterment of Marinduque and of the Philippines. As of this writing date, I have not heard on the status of Rene's book.
In his invitation he invited all the direct and indirect descendants of the children and spouses of Calixto Nieva and Epifania Morente. Note that Rene is the great-grandson of Calixto Nieva and Macrine is also the great-granddaughter of Calixto Nieva , thus Rene and Macrine are first cousins.
I just can not believe that my six grand children are now the great-great-great grand children of Calixto Nieva and Epifania Morente.
Calixto and Epifania Morente had six children, four boys and two girls as follows (from oldest to youngest) along with their spouses.
1.Juan Nieva had two wives. The first wife was Isabel Decena. When Isabel died Juan remarried Elvira Sarmiento. Juan Nieva is both Macrine's and Rene's grandfather. He was the first governor of Marinduque and also the grandfather of the outgoing Governor. Rene and Macrine are first cousin of Jose Antonio (Bong) Nieva Carrion, the outgoing Governor of Marinduque.
2.Victoria Nieva married Doroteo Mercader
3.Dionisio Nieva married Salud de la Santa
4.Gregorio Nieva married Maria Arevalo
5.Jose Nieva married Trinidad Carmona
6.Rosita Nieva married Dr Angel Mayuga
Rene's invitation also included the descendants of the brothers of Calixto, namely Pedro and Francisco Nieva. It also included the brothers and sisters of Epifania Morente, which included not just the Morentes but also the Roceses, Abadas, Trinidads and the Kasilags. Incidentally, the Reyeses are second cousins of Macrine and the other Nievas of Marinduque.
This article will concentrate on the descendants of Juan Nieva and his two wives, Isabel Decena from Santa Cruz and Elvira Sarmiento from Buenavista..
Children of Juan Nieva and Isabel Decena ( from Oldest to Youngest)
1.Calixto Nieva married Juanita Jambalos
2.Blanca Nieva- single was killed by the Japanese during World War II
3.Elena Nieva married Bernardo Jambalos, Jr ( brother of Juanita)
Children of Juan Nieva and Elvira Sarmiento(from Oldest to Youngest)
1.Guillermo ( Willie) Nieva married Dr Celina Elizalde
2.Rosario Nieva married Ramon Carrion
3.Ester Nieva married Rafael Seno
4.Monica Nieva married Conrado Luarca
5.Elizabeth Nieva married Romulo Santo Domingo
6.Asuncion Nieva married Dr. Rafael Ocampo
7.Fr Constantino Nieva- single
For the purpose of this article, I will discuss only the descendants of Elena Nieva and Bernardo Jambalos, Jr. They have seven children as follows: ( From Oldest to Youngest)
1.Macrine Nieva Jambalos- married David B Katague from Iloilo ( that's me)
2.Sister Guia Jambalos- Order of the Cenacle-single
3.Bernardo Jambalos III married Loreta Mercader
4.Fe Jambalos married Edgardo Lazarte
5.Edgar Jambalos ( deceased) married Asuncion Pagalunan
6.Jean Jambalos married Mitch Maeda
7.Rosario Jambalos married Michael Levin
Note that Rene Nieva is the oldest son of Guillermo Nieva and Dr. Celina Elizalde. The younger brother of Rene, Yong is my partner in our literary project, I left my Heart in Marinduque ( not San Francisco). http://marinduqueonmymind.blogspot.com
Macrine's telephone buddy and first cousin from Vancouver, BC, Canada Olga Luarca Quiazon is the oldest daughter of Monica and Conrado Luarca
The outgoing governor of Marinduque is the second son of Rosario Nieva and Ramon Carrion
This posting continues with the offspring of Macrine Jambalos and David B. Katague. They have 4 children and six grandchildren as follows:
1.Dodie( Diosdado) Katague married Ruth Carver- They have 3 children, Philip Winchester, Alexandra and Marina Katague
2.Dinah E Katague married David E King- They have 2 children, Ian and Elaine King
3.David E III-single
4.Ditas Macrine Katague married Nick Thompson- They have one child, Carenna Nicole Thompson
Fe Jambalos has two daughters, Lanie and Ella
Jean Jambalos has two daughters, Yuri and Yuka
Rosario has two children, Carlos and Zehara
Asuncion Jambalos has three sons, Edmund, Nonoy and Jhun-Jhun and a daughter, Marilyn
Bernardo Jambalos III has five children and three grandchildren as of this writing date.
Accomplishments of the children of David B and Macrine J. Katague are discussed in detail at
Some Interesting Vignettes:
The marriage of Calixto and Juanita Jambalos was not approved by their father Don Juan Nieva. Juanita was the daughter of a barrio businessman from Laylay. During those time, if you are from the barrios, you are not welcome or accepted to the social group of the main town of Boac. The Jambalos family although well off were considered TAGABUKID ( from the bonies). Don Juan Nieva wanted his lawyer son to marry Enriqueta Nepomuceno, one of the popular socialites in Boac. When Juanita died, Calixto did not marry again. Soon Calixto also died and every one in town claimed he died with a broken heart. Enriqueta in the meantime was waiting for Calixto. Enriqueta never married and died as a spinster.
Blanca Nieva graduated from Nursing School at Philippine General Hospital and was earning well. When their father died, she helped in sending her half-sister Rosario to College. She supported her sister and spoiled her by dressing her up to maintain her place in the high society of Boac at that time.
Elena, is the third child of Isabel Decena from Santa Cruz. Isabel died giving birth to Elena. Elena was therefore nursed by the sister of Isabel, Regina Decena Reforma. Elena and Policarpio Reforma ( son of Regina) shared the same breast milk of Tia Regina. When Elena was five years old, she and sister Blanca as well as brother Calixto, were brought to Boac where their father Juan Nieva remarried Elvira Sarmiento from Buenavista.
Elena grew up under the care of Lola Victoria ( sister of Juan Nieva). They lived in the old Nieva Building at the foot of the hill leading to Mataas Na Bayan. Elena later went to college at the University of the Philippines and finished her Bachelor Degree in Education.
When Juanita Jambalos-Nieva( wife of Calixto) died during childbirth, Elena and Bernardo Jambalos II ( brother of Juanita) were made in-charged of bringing the corpse from Manila back to Marinduque.
During the trip, people mistook them as husband and wife. Their romance started then and later were married at the Boac Catholic Church.
Today, if I had to guess, there should be more than seven hundred members of the Nieva clan, just based on the six children of Calixto Nieva and Epifania Morente all over the world. If you include the descendants of Pedro and Francisco Nieva, the two brothers of Calixto, it could reached to more than a thousand Nievas all over the universe. If you are a member of this clan, please let me know. Someday, I may be able to trace the Nieva genealogy all the way to Spain, as I did with my mothers name "Balleza", several years ago. My e-mail is in this site and I am also in Face Book.
Addenda dated 5/20/2011:
In front of the Nieva Street in the Makati Financial District with Rene Nieva, Owner of Perceptions, Inc. This street was named in honor of Gregorio Nieva, one of the brothers of Juan Nieva.
There is also a bridge in Gasan Marinduque ( between the Gasan Market and Downtown) named the Nieva Bridge. I believe the bridge was named in honor of Juan Nieva being the first Governor of Marinduque.
Here's another addendum from Veronica (Ronie Nieva) granddaughter of Gregorio Nieva.
Thank you, Ronie for the update. Macrine and I had a grand time during our mini reunion last December at the The Relish Restaurant in Makati. Here's Ronie's e-mail to me:
Dave, I just read your genealogy. To help you complete the story, here is the Gregorio Nieva line (which you may know already). Gregorio and Maria Arevalo had two children Antonio (my father)& Lourdes Mila (who died early). Mila and Arturo Zamora had one son, Amando. Antonio and Teresa Feria had Veronica, Vicenta, Violeta and Juan Antonio. Veronica & Steve Ettinger had Jonathan & Kenneth. Vicenta & Emil Quinto had Edouard & Nicolo; Edouard & Traci Morinaga have Cade. Violeta & Mariano Arroyo had Manuela & Mariano Jr. Juan Antonio and Irene Casus had Paolo, Monique & Franco. That's it for us!
Ronie, do you know that the Nieva Street in Makati was named after your grandfather?.
Monday, November 10, 2014
This weekend, Macrine, David III and I attended Ditas Art Show at the Capitol Towers Penthouse in downtown Sacramento. The show was beautiful and inspiring and the venue has a mesmerizing and breathtaking view of the Capitol. At 3.20 of the slide show is the first selfie of my wife of 57 years, Macrine Nieva Jambalos Katague with Ditas and Me. Enjoy the video.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Aside from orchids and bougainvillas, I also collect Hibiscus, known in the Philippines as gumamela plants. I have a dozen varieties in a rainbow of colors both with single or double flowers. My favorite is the canary-yellow variety (second photo). Above are some of the hibiscus in my garden. The most common variety is the single red, but the flowers could grow as big as a small plate. The white and yellow varieties are susceptible to white molds and aphids. I have to literally hand washed each stem with soapy water as well as spray it with anti-aphids pesticide. Most of these plants, I purchased locally, but the white variety I purchased from a nursery in Manila. Enjoy my hibiscus collections. Here's a short video about Hibiscus, I am sure you will enjoy the flowers and the guitar background music !
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
and the Sacred Heart statue at the entrance.
Last January to April, I watched with excitement the construction of my sister's-in-law Prayer Room. here at the Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort compound. The design of the open cross was the idea of our architect and builder from Laylay and probably inspired by a similar design of our first cousin chapel in the next barangay in Cawit When my wife and I left Amoingon in mid-April this year, construction was 95% COMPLETED.
Today my sister-in-law posted in Facebook three recent pictures she took last week during her vacation/retreat in Amoingon, Boac, Marinduque. My sister-in-law is a nun and member of Order of the Cenacle, nuns who specialized in giving retreats and spiritual renewal to men and women who are Roman Catholics.
Since pictures are worth more than a thousand words, I will not waste time describing the prayer room. See it for yourself in the following three photos as well as the one photograph above. A quiet place for meditation and prayer, indeed.
Inside-close-up view-notice the cross on the wall
Garden at back of the Prayer Room. There is a small creek by the side of the garden feed by spring water as well as rain during the rainy season.
Friday, October 3, 2014
Heaven & Earth is a 1993 Vietnam war film directed and written by Oliver Stone, and starring Tommy Lee Jones, Haing S. Ngor, Joan Chen, and Hiep Thi Le. It is the third and final film in Stone's Vietnam War trilogy, which also includes Platoon (1986) and Born on the Fourth of July (1989).
The film was based on the books When Heaven and Earth Changed Places and Child of War, Woman of Peace, which Le Ly Hayslip wrote about her experiences during and after the Vietnam War.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Let us start the month of October with a joke. This is titled The Photographer as posted in Sandee Comedy Plus blog
"His request approved, the Bulletin Newspaper photographer quickly used his mobile phone to call the Townsville airport to charter a flight.
He was told a twin-engine plane would be waiting for him at the airport.
Arriving at the airfield, he spotted a plane warming up outside a hanger.
He jumped in with his bag, slammed the door shut, and shouted, 'Let's go'.
The pilot taxied out, swung the plane into the wind and took off.
Once in the air, the photographer instructed the pilot, 'Fly over Mount Stuart and make low passes so I can take pictures of the fires on the hillsides.'
'Why?' asked the pilot.
'Because I'm a photographer for the Bulletin' he responded,' and I need to get some close up shots.'
The pilot was strangely silent for a moment, finally he stammered, 'So, what you're telling me is... You're NOT my flight instructor?'
Hat tip: Willy of Hillbilly Willy
Monday, September 29, 2014
My Personal Review
The film Iloilo is an award winning Singaporean movie named after the province where the nanny Terry in the movie came from in the Philippines Teresa or Aunie Terry is played by Filipina actress Angeli Bayani from Manila. This.nanny who was hired by the Singaporean family (The Lims) the protagonist in the film happened to be from Iloilo. She is one of the more than 500 thousands Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) working for a better life abroad.
This movie has a special place in my heart since I was born and raised in the province of Iloilo. Iloilo is located in the Western Visayas Region in the Island of Panay. It has lots of tourist attractions,such as old churches as well as white beaches. Residents of Iloilo are called Illongos.
The movie reminds me of the pains and trials of all OFW in adjusting to their new working conditions and environment abroad. In the case of Teresa or Aunt Terry, at the beginning of the movie she was very patient and submissive as expected. However, later on, I was so glad that she exercised her authority over the 10 year-old brat,Jiale (played by.Koh Jia Ler).
I like her when Teresa said to Jiale," Although I am just your maid, I did not come here just to be bullied". After this incident the two bonded to the point that in the eyes of Jiale,.Teresa is more of a mother to him that his real mother, Hwee Leng ( played by Yeo Yann Yann). This of course created jealousy, exemplified by the statement of Jaile's mom to Teresa, that she is still the mother of Jiale and she maintains the authority and discipline over her son.
The movie has some funny scenes as well as scenes brimming with love and affection and at the end heart break..The story was set during the late 1990's when the Asian financial crises had affected the financial status and lives of thousands of middle income families in Singapore as well as in other Asian countries.
The father, Keng Teck Lim ( played by Chen Tian Wen) has lost his sales executive job, but hasn’t had the courage to tell anyone even his wife,.Hwee Leng. Hwee Leng is pregnant, but still works so hard as a secretarial clerk in a private company. Their son, Jiale wants attention and has problems with other kids at school, The Lims decided to hire a domestic help. Luckily Teresita or Terry was there to help them .. Teresita hails from the Philippine province of Iloilo (the title of this movie), Her duty was not only be a housekeeper but also to be Jiale caretaker..
I recommend this film to all who loves good movies. Special recommendation to all overseas Filipino workers, their friends and families. In addition I recommend this to all Illongos all over the world.
The film was written and directed by Anthony Chen. The director of photography was Benoit Soler and edited by Hoping Chen and Joanne Cheong. The sound design is by Zhe Wu and the art direction is by Michael Wee, The film was produced by Ang Hwee Sim, Wahyuni A. Hadi and Mr. Chen. The film was released by Film Movement, In Mandarin, Tagalog and English, with English subtitles. The Running time is 1 hour 39 minutes. The film is not rated.
Other Reviews-From Variety.com
The movie is brimming with love, humor and heartbreak. “Ilo Ilo” centers on the inseparable bond between a 10-year-old Singaporean boy and his Filipina nanny while the boy’s parents struggle to weather the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Anthony Chen is remarkably astute in his depiction of the class and racial tensions within such a household, his accessible style enabling the characters’ underlying decency and warmth to emerge unforced. This small but immensely likable gem should find a cozy spot at fests as well as niche European distribution, following its Camera d’Or win at Cannes.
Teresita Sajonia and her ward-Anthony Chen video
Friday, September 26, 2014
There are several hundreds of quotations on poetry in the Web. However, the following are my favorites
1.The smell of ink is intoxicating to me — others may have wine, but I have poetry. ~Terri Guillemets
2. Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted. ~Percy Shelley, A Defence of Poetry, 1821
3. He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life. ~George Sand, 1851
4. Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement. ~Christopher Fry
5. Perhaps no person can be a poet, or can even enjoy poetry, without a certain unsoundness of mind. ~Thomas Babington Macaulay
6. To have great poets there must be great audiences too. ~Walt Whitman
7. You can't write poetry on the computer. ~Quentin Tarantino
8. God is the perfect poet. ~Robert Browning
9.Science is for those who learn; poetry, for those who know. ~Joseph Roux, Meditations of a Parish Priest
10.Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words. ~Robert Frost
11.Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. ~T.S. Eliot, Dante, 1920
12. A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman. ~Wallace Stevens, Opus Posthumous, 1957
13.Poetry is ordinary language raised to the nth power. Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words. ~Paul Engle, New York Times, 17 February 1957
Personal Note: I heard the following phrases in TV today. Photographic memory versus phonographic memory versus pornographic memory. Which one is your favorite phrase and can identify with?
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Monday, September 22, 2014
A Dangerous Life is a 1988 English-language Australian film about the final years of the Philippines under Ferdinand Marcos' rule, from the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr. in 1983 to the People Power EDSA Revolution in 1986 that ousted Marcos. The film focuses on American TV journalist Tony O'Neil (Gary Busey), who finds himself in the middle of key events that lead to the downfall of the Marcos regime. Originally airing on television as a mini-series that ran for a total of six hours, the film was edited to 162 minutes for the home video release.
Friday, September 19, 2014
It is time to have some politically correct jokes for this week in this site. The following is from Sandee's Comedy Plus blog..Enjoy
Due to the climate of political correctness now pervading America , all Kentuckians, Tennesseans, and West Virginians will no longer be referred to as "HILLBILLIES." You must now refer to them as "APPALACHIAN-AMERICANS".
And furthermore, HOW TO SPEAK ABOUT WOMEN AND BE POLITICALLY CORRECT:
1. She is not a "BABE" or a "CHICK" - She is a "BREASTED AMERICAN."
2. She is not "EASY" - She is "HORIZONTALLY ACCESSIBLE."
3. She is not a "DUMB BLONDE" - She is a "LIGHT-HAIRED DETOUR OFF THE INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY."
4. She has not "BEEN AROUND" - She is a "PREVIOUSLY-ENJOYED COMPANION."
5. She does not "NAG" you - She becomes "VERBALLY REPETITIVE."
6. She is not a "TWO-BIT HOOKER" - She is a "LOW COST PROVIDER."
And, not to discriminate.... HOW TO SPEAK ABOUT MEN AND BE POLITICALLY
1. He does not have a "BEER GUT" - He has developed a "LIQUID STORAGE FACILITY."
2. He is not a " BAD DANCER" - He is "OVERLY CAUCASIAN."
3. He does not "GET LOST ALL THE TIME" - He "INVESTIGATES ALTERNATIVE DESTINATIONS."
4. He is not "BALDING" - He has "FOLLICLE IMPAIRMENT."
5. He does not act like a "TOTAL ASS" - He develops a case of RECTAL-CRANIAL INVERSION."
6. It's not his "CRACK" you see hanging out of his pants - It's "REAR CLEAVAGE."
Stolen from: Jonas of With a Smile