Thursday, December 29, 2016
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
I am crying as I am posting the following photos sent by my sister-in-law who was in Amoingon, Boac at Chateau Du Mer, Christmas Day. The damage to the landscaping and some structures will cost a lot of money. Luckily no one was hurt and we will recover. The clean-up will probably take at least one week to one month.
According to the news Super Typhoon Nock-ten was the most intense late December tropical cyclone anywhere on the globe in over a half century. Known in the Philippine area of responsibility as "Nina," this super typhoon first made landfall on Christmas Day as the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, with winds of 155 mph. Nock-ten/Nina was the strongest Christmas Day tropical cyclone anywhere on the globe dating to 1960, according to Colorado State University tropical scientist, Dr. Phil Klotzbach.
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Christmas Eve here in US and Canada but already Christmas in the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. This is a perfect time to greet my siblings and their families, Maligayang Pasko!
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Today is my 82nd birthday. There will be no party, just a Lobster Dinner with Champagne. The party will be in four days during Christmas Eve when all my 4 adult children and 6 grand children celebrate Christmas with us (Macrine and I). As usual we have Honey-Baked ham and Chicken Macaroni Salad. I am reposting an excerpt from my recent posting on the subject topic of my last blog as follows.
"Today, I am also thinking of the subject topics of my last blog. It will not be lecture although, I used to be a teacher, Instructor, UP Chemistry(1956-1959)in the Philippines. What would be the subject of my last blog ? For sure it will not be an article filled with high sounding words. It would be a simple and a direct post that comes from the heart. It will probably be a summary of what I have done both professionally and personally. I hope that my last blog will continue to inspire the younger generation as they read the ups and down of my autobiography.
Here's a summary from my Pamana Award in Chemistry Nomination Package, perhaps my future epitaph with the addition that I was also a loving and caring husband, father and grand father and maybe a loving great grand father.
"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.
Dr Katague had also more than 22 years experience in agricultural research( pesticides residues analytical method development) working for three private companies in the US".
Again, I am thanking the Lord for his blessings on my 82nd birthday. As an addendum to my 82nd birthday, I have reposted a few days ago my article on the Chapel of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in UP Diliman, Q.C. Philippines that was inaugurated on my 21st birthday. My name is one of the one thousand names buried in the Foundation of the Chapel.
Thank you to all my Relatives and Friends who follow my blogs as well as to all my FaceBook friends especially those who had already sent their birthday greetings in my FB page.
Note: Today is also the 22nd birthday of my grand daughter Alix Katague, oldest daughter of my oldest son, Dodie( Diosdado) Katague.
I will always be 60 years older than Alix.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
When our children were growing up and our residence have cathedral ceilings, our Christmas tree every year was a living tree which varies in height from at least 8 to 15 feet. When we retired in 2002, I found it ecologically relevant not to decorate with cut living trees. Therefore, since my retirement in 2002 to the present, we decorate our home with a simple and a small artificial Christmas tree. Decorating with an artificial tree is not messy ( no dropping pine needles) and no watering is required. Our Parol and Belen are however all made and imported from the Philippines. The following are five photos showing our simple Christmas décor in our Living Room.
Yesterday, December 16 was the start of Simbang Gabi in the Philippines. The “Simbang Gabi” is a long treasured Philippine tradition originally a series of “dawn masses” for nine consecutive days before Christmas Day. Its liturgical significance emanates from the Season of Advent, being the time of spiritual preparation and purification to worthily welcome and receive the Child Jesus in our midst. The Mass at Dawn, Simbang Gabi, is a nine-day novena to the Blessed Mother. It starts every December 16th and is one of the longest and most important religious celebrations in the Philippines that has lasted over 600 years.
The Simbang Gabi is a time when Catholic churches across the Philippines celebrate mass outdoors in order to accommodate the faithful. At times, when mass is not celebrated outside, the doors of churches are, nevertheless, left wide open to allow attendants to share in the atmosphere of the mass. Its origins began in Mexico, where the practice of holding mass outdoors began, first, in 1587, when the Pope gave permission to Diego de Soria, a Mexican friar, to hold mass outdoors because the churches could not accommodate the huge number of worshipers that came to celebrate Christmas. The novena culminates, on the ninth day, with the Mass of the Gifts, or Misa de Gallo, which celebrates the birth of Jesus.
However, it was not until 1669, during the early years of Christianity, in the Philippines, that the Misa de Gallo became a Philippine spiritual tradition. During Advent, in preparation for the birth of Christ, missionary friars held pre-dawn masses for nine consecutive days, to usher in the event of Jesus' birth. The masses were celebrated very early, usually at 4 in the morning, since they took place during the harvest season, when farmers had to be in the fields at the crack of dawn. The word gallo means rooster, in Spanish. At the first sound of dawn, at the crowing of the rooster, the entire family would get up and walk to the nearest parish church.
During this time, colorful lanterns are hung in every door, window, tree branch, and street corner. Bands play native carols all across town while families, couples, and individuals make their way to the nearest church. Shortly after the mass, people gather in their homes to celebrate Noche Buena and feast on local delicacies made of rice flour, coconut milk and other traditional deserts.
Here in the United States, Filipino immigrants brought with them this distinct tradition which is slowly taking roots and thus the observance of this time honored spiritual and cultural tradition has grown significantly in California, New York, Chicago, New Jersey and even in the Hampton Roads to the point where it has now earned a strong and unequivocal support. Halina Hesus, Halina! (O Come, O Come Emmanuel)
Source for Simbang Gabi: www2.richmomddioscese.org Enjoy the following short video!
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
I have been planning to write some tidbits about our two cleaning ladies for quite some time. However, every time they finished cleaning the house they are always in a hurry to leave for their next job. Just recently their scheduled changed and after they finished, they stayed for a little while so we had some time to visit and chit chat. The two cleaning ladies are under the umbrella of the company named " Heavenly Help". Their services are indeed heavenly for me and Macrine. We hired them twice a month for two hours each time. If we have a special job such as painting, cleaning my car we pay them an extra $40 per hour.
The first cleaning lady is in her late 40's and originally immigrated from Belize. For anonymousity sake let me call her OA. She is one of nine children. She studied and graduated from Nursing from a local college and worked in a Nursing home for a number of years. When she got tired and burnt out as a Nurse she and a partner joined Heavenly Help. They were introduced to us by Ditas, our youngest daughter. Ditas and us are among the dozens of their satisfied clients.
About a month ago, OA did not clean during her regular schedule for personal reasons. She went to Los Angeles to attend the funeral services for her mother. After the burial ceremony, we asked her about her mother's funeral. She showed us a nine page souvenir program of the funeral mass and ceremony filled with pictures of her mothers children, grand children and other closed relatives. Each page contain pictures of each of her Mom's nine children. She told us this is a tradition from Belize. Her Moms had over 100 grand children and great grand children. Our cleaning lady is the only one in the family without any children since she is single.
After OA informed us about this tradition, I got curious about Belize. I did some Internet search and here's a brief information about Belize from Wikipedia.
"Belize, formerly British Honduras, is a country on the eastern coast of Central America. Belize is bordered on the north by Mexico, on the south and west by Guatemala, and on the east by the Caribbean Sea. Its mainland is about 290 km long and 110 km wide.
With 22,800 square kilometres (8,800 sq mi) of land and as of 2015 a population of 368,310, Belize has the lowest population density in Central America. The country's population growth rate of 1.87% per year (2015) is the second highest in the region and one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere. Belize's abundance of terrestrial and marine species and its diversity of ecosystems give it a key place in the globally significant Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.
Belize has a diverse society, composed of many cultures and languages that reflect its rich history. English is the official language of Belize, but over half the population is multilingual."
Our second cleaning lady (MC) is probably in her early 40's. She is a mixed Mexican-American, but do not speak Spanish. MC is well read, judging from the topics of our conversation ranging from local history, tourism and travel. MC loves to clean our carpet, paint and varnished our front door as well as detailing our car besides her regular household vacuuming and dusting. Macrine and I had not yet learned much about her personal life but she was very interested in my blogging activities. I gave her my website last week. I teased her that if she does not pass and give me the correct answers from questions I will ask her about my blogs I will fire her. She is also single. I have a feeling she and her business partner are also a couple, but I dare not ask them.
Macrine and I love our two cleaning ladies. If you live in the area and need household help, I highly recommend OA and MC services!
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Today December 1, 2016 reminds me of the Katague's clan several decades of Christmas celebration here in the US. Our first Christmas was in 1960 in Chicago, Illinois. Christmas also reminds me of Christmas tree decorations at home. Macrine and I started our very small collection of White House Christmas Tree Ornaments during the Clinton-Gore Administration (1993-2000). What inspired us to do this was a receipt of a Personalized Christmas Card from the White House in 1994. It came from Former President Bill and Mrs. Hillary Clinton. At that time my son was working for the Office of the President( White House), as a Policy Analyst for the Office of Management and Budget. I believe this was the reason why we were in the Christmas List of the Clinton's during Bill Clinton's presidency.
Macrine and I considered receiving Christmas Cards from the White House, one of the several successes that both of us have accomplished here in the US. (http://davidbkatague.blogspot.com dated April 22, 2016).
Yesterday, I purchased one White House Christmas tree ornament at our the Post Office for $24.95 (see photo above). It is honoring former President Herbert Hoover. It depicts the picture of a Fire Engine that responded during the 1929 to 1933 years. Most of our ornament collections were during the Clinton-Gore years.
Here's a video about the White House Christmas Ornaments from the White House Historical Association.