Welcome to Marinduque-My Island Paradise

If this is your first time in my site, welcome! If you have been a follower, my heartfelt thanks to you, also. Help me achieve my dream, that someday, Marinduque will become a world tourist destination not only on Easter Week, but also whole year round. You can do this by telling your friends and relatives about this site. The photo above is Mt Malindig in Torrijos.
Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news in this blog . Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on the infringement of your copyrights. Cheers!

Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands

Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands
View of Mainland Marinduque from Tres Reyes Islands-Click on Photo to link to Marinduque Awaits You

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Marinduque in My Heart-Tribute to Allan Velasco


Here's the latest video from marindnquegov.blogspot.com posted by Eli Obligacion. It is a birthday and goodbye present to Allan Velasco's last day as provincial administrator. Allan is running for congressman for Marinduque lone district, I heard. The is a collection of scenes/images/pictures in the province and ecotourism projects that he spearheaded during his two year term as provincial administrator. There are a couple shots of Chateau Du Mer Conference Hall at the beginning of the video where the STTC ( Southern Tagalog Tourism Committee) Meeting promoting tourism in the province was held last year. So enjoy this video showcasing Marinduque's natural beauty. Hopefully you will be entice in visiting my island Paradise someday. As the title in my blog say: MARINDUQUE-MY ISLAND PARADISE !

Friday, November 20, 2009

My first Cockfighting Experience in Marinduque


I grew up in the Philippines, until I was 25 years old. But I have never attended a cockfighting tournament. When I was growing up my parents instructed me never to go inside the arena or else I get a beating in the buttocks. However, without my parents knowledge, my friend and I were outside the arena a number of times where there are stalls selling merienda's( Filipino cakes and balot) and other goodies. So outside the arena, I could still remember the noise and commotion inside when the winner is announced in my mind even until today.

It was only two years ago, when we celebrated our Golden wedding anniversary that I attended a cockfighting tournament in Marinduque. This was the first request of my two sons, nephew to be (boy friend of my niece) and son-in-law who all grew up in US. They have heard and read about it, so they were really curious. So the first Sunday of their visit in Marinduque, I took them to my first cockfighting experience. We were accompanied by a local relative who was a cockfighting enthusiast and a semi-addict of this bloody sport and gambling activity in the Philippines.

WOW! What an experience! The crowds were 99.9% male. There were only three women out of about 300 gamblers. My son-in-law and "nephew to be" were the only white-skinned males(gringos) in the crowd. Of course my son-in-law who is 6 feet and 6 inches tall stuck out like a sore thumb with his height and bald head. At first I really did not understand what was going on, as the attendees were all shouting their bets to the bet taker almost at the same time. But I heard the bet taker never makes a mistake. What a memory! There were two sides, MAYRON or WALA. When I was growing up, the two opposing sides were “ SA PULA and SA PUTI”.

MAYRON means you have something and WALA means you have nothing. PULA means red and PUTI means white, indicating the opposite color of the roosters. But sometimes the roosters have the same color, so this was abandoned to the current mayron or wala as the two opposing sides.

Anyway, the noise was so deafening once a winner or a “kill” was declared. It sounded like a thousand males had an orgasmic experience all at the same time. It was so loud, that I had to cover my ears. I enjoyed more watching the antics of the crowd than the actual cockfights except for the moment of kill. After a few of these bouts, I got tired, so I went outside the arena. In the meantime, my guests were betting and enjoying themselves. We stayed for only about an hour since I was getting tired due to the noise, the heat and humidity in the arena. My son won about $10, but my son-in-law lost $15. They had a grand and fantastic time. I did not!

I will never attend a cockfighting tournament again, I just don't like the gambling atmosphere and the smell of the place(amoy pawis). My preference in gambling are the casinos not the cockfighting tournaments. It was however, an experience worthy of posting in this blog. Cockfighting also reminded me of bull fighting in Spain, that I attended about ten years ago. I loved the bull fights, not the cock fights.

Singkil and Tinikling Philippine Folk Dances


The following two dances are the most popular of Philippine folk dances from viewers all over the world. These two dances were performed by the Leyte Dance Theatre group as inspired by the Bayanihan Dancers-famous for their award winning dance performances all over the world for the last decade.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

CNN 's Tribute to the Dancing Prisoners of CPDRC


The inmates of Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilatation Center (CPDRC) became a world wide sensation after their performance of Michael Jackson "Thriller" was posted on the web by Byron Garcia in 2007. The original video has been seen and received five star ratings from over 35 million viewers. The following video is CNN latest tribute to these talented dancers from Cebu, Philippines. You must be living in another world if you have not seen the original video by Byron Garcia. Here's latest update from CNN.

This second video by Byron Garcia is JUMP! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

An Update on the Diving Sites in Marinduque

Here's the latest update on diving sites in Marinduque. The following video was filmed by the provincial government department of tourism. It is a short video, but shows you do not have to go far to enjoy scuba diving in Marinduque. Baltazar Island is one of the three islands in the group called Tres Reyes Island-a marine sanctuary.
Diving in Baltazar Island
Image from asiadivesite.com
Our province is mostly known worldwide because of the Moriones Festival. However, it has recently been in the news due to interests of divers all over the world to explore the diving sites in the island and in the vicinity. Among the diving sites are:
1.Natanco- north of the island has good walls and drift diving. Corals are abundant. Close by is the wreck of a Japanese torpedo boat
2.Baltazar-west of the Island-one of the Tres Reyes Island Chain- has a cave 20m worth exploring. Stone fish may be a problem.
3.Elephant Island-now known as Bellarocca- private resort with good walls, coral formation and and several varieties of tropical fish. Currents could be strong, but conditions for photography good.
4. Torrijos- canyons and fissures to explore. Can expect to encounter grouper, barracuda, tuna and shoals of tropical fish.
5.Maestro De Campo Island-southwest of Marinduque- a wall on the west side and a wreck of a ferry boat, MV Mactan on the east side
6.Banton Island- farther southwest – amazing corals and an array of fish. Dolphins, sharks and sting rays may be seen. From February to May are the good months for scuba diving
7.Sibuyan Sea- outlying areas to the south and east of Marinduque are fairly unexplored. Puerto Galera, Mindoro is the place to organize this tour if you are adventurous.
Here are two excellent videos, I found in You Tube. Enjoy! Happy Diving

Diving Video from Southern Leyte, Apo Reefs, Sogod Bay, and Puerto Galera

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pacquiao TKOs Cotto, Makes History


Like most Filipino-Americans residing in the US, I had been excited the last couple of days and had planned watching the Pacquiao-Cotto professional boxing match in TV. However, when I learned that I have to pay $54 to watch it on Cable TV Pay per View, I decided it is not worth spending that much money, for a match that I already know who will be the winner. As a retiree and living an my SS and Federal pension, the $54 I will spend will come in handy for other expenses, such as my Christmas gifts to my grandchildren next month. So it was only this morning when I woke up that I found the results of the boxing match. Attached is an excerpt from the Philippine Inquirer-Philippine newspaper and a short video of Round 4 out of 12, I found in YouTube. Keep up with the good work, Manny Pacquiao! You are putting the Philippines on the world map again! I am proud to be a Filipino-American today because of your accomplishments.
Round 4 of 12

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao made history Sunday (Manila time) when he bagged the welterweight title, his seventh in as many divisions, via technical knockout of Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto, the reigning champion in that division.

Kenny Bayless, the referee of the match, stopped the fight at 2:04-minute mark of the 12th round declaring Pacquiao the winner in the fight held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Pacquiao bucked a size disadvantage against Cotto on his way to becoming the first fighter to win world titles in seven divisions.

Pacquiao has won the world championships in the flyweight (112 pounds), super bantamweight (122 lb), featherweight (126 lb), super featherweight (130 lb), lightweight (135 lb), and light welterweight (140 lb).

No man has won seven world titles in seven weight divisions and only five boxers have won six – Pacquiao, Oscar de la Hoya, Thomas Hearns, Hector Camacho, and James Toney.

Pacquiao looked unstoppable for the third consecutive fight, knocking Cotto down twice in the early rounds before putting the finishing touches on in the 12th round to claim Cotto's World Boxing Organization title.

The Filipino dominated from the second round on, putting on a stunning display of boxing skills and laying a savage beating on the champion.

"I tried my best to knock him out," Pacquiao said. "I thought in 11th round they would stop the fight. I am surprised he continued to fight."

Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) solidified his status as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Love and Hate of Life in the Philippines

Photo from anton.blogs.com
Several months ago I wrote two articles as a guest writer for Bob Martins' web magazine “Live in the Philippines. The first article is the ten items that I love about the Philippines from the perspective of a balikbayan retiree living the “snow bird” lifestyle. Snow bird means that if it is winter time in US, my wife and I flew to the Philippines. When it gets super hot and humid in the Philippines we fly back to US. We do this every year. Most of our friends and contemporaries are envious of our lifestyle. But I say, “Eat your Hearts Out”.

Of course there is no perfect place on earth even if I call Marinduque my Heaven on Earth and my Island Paradise, (http://marinduquemyislandparadise.blogspot.com). So I wrote a second article on the ten most annoying things in the Philippines also listed below.

The following are the ten items I like and love about the Philippines. I modified and revised this list from the one published in Bob Martin's web magazine a while ago to reflect current conditions in the Philippines. These ten items are not in order of importance. I also sited my blogs for references on the subject listed.
1.The cheap standard of living: The cost of food and services with the exception of electricity is cheap in the Philippines specially services. For example haircuts, massages , pedicures and manicures is much cheaper in Philippines than in US. A specific example are Mens’ haircut. I pay between 60 to 100 pesos in Marinduque, but here in Northern California, I pay between $12 to $14 for a haircut. For $1500 plus or minus 10% a month, my wife and I live like a Queen and King here in Marinduque. The current exchange rate is about 48 pesos for one dollar as of this writing date. For fast conversion from pesos to dollars or vice versa, use “50” as the factor.
2.The simplicity and peaceful life in the provinces. The locals are easy going and do not hurry for their appointments. There is not much traffic in the provinces and in small towns. (http://marinduqueonmy mind.blogspot.com).
3.The abundance of fresh meat and seafood, vegetables and fresh fruits ( papayas, mangoes and bananas) at a reasonable prices as well as the Filipino delicacies ( lechon, lumpia and pancit) and desserts ( bibingka , leche flan and Halo-Halo).
4.Accessibility to the beaches, mountains, caves , rivers , islets for picnicking, bathing, snorkeling, scuba diving or just relaxing ( I am talking about Marinduque, not the big cities).
5.The social support system is fantastic. The presence of friends and relatives specially during Christmas and Easter seasons is an experience one can not forget. The Philippines celebrates Christmas five months every year starting from September 1 to January 31. (http:/planningtovisitthephilippines.blogspot.com)
6.Availability of all modern amenities, good restaurants, international food , modern health services in Manila, Iloilo, Cebu and other big cities and five stars vacation resorts all over the islands.
7.The dry and cool weather, ocean sea breezes ( at Chateau Du Mer )during the months of November to February. (http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com)
8.The numerous Fiestas and Festivals the whole year round, specially during the months of January and May. (http://lifeinus1960present.blogspot.com).
9.The hospitality of the people and their attitudes toward foreigners and visitors.
10.Historical and Cultural heritage we have as a nation from Spain , such as our old churches, folk dances, Kundiman music, Putong, Kalutang and respect for our elders and freedom of the press and speech and educational opportunities we had from the United States.(http://theintellectualmigrant.blogspot.com).

The ten items I dislike about the Philippines are listed below. This list is modified from what was published in Bob Martin's magazine to reflect current conditions (#4, #6 and #10) in the island.
1.Traffic and Pollution ( in big cities) There is always traffic congestion almost 24 hours a day, especially in big cities. The only time of the day when there is no traffic congestion in Manila and suburbs is between 2 to 4 AM. This is a good time to go to the airport to be in time for your 6AM flight.
2.Jeepney and Bus drivers: They drive like maniacs. They pick up and drop passengers in the middle of the road. Most provincial drivers drive like maniacs. They will overtake private cars on the wrong side of the highway and even on dangerous curves.
3.The long lines in the banks and ATM machines and people cutting-in the lines
4.The noise of crowing cocks and the barking dogs at 4AM or even earlier and loud karaoke music and out-of -tuned and horrible singing of the neighbors
5.When you invite one in your party, he or she brings one or two others, without advising you ahead
6.Filipinos seldom RSVP an invitation or answers their e-mails in a timely manner. Some have Face Books accounts , but seldom or never opens it. ( why open an account if you do not open it at all ?)
7.The heat and humidity during the summer months especially the months of March, April and May
8.The smell of fish and Durian-(probably only in Davao) in the wet markets
9.Littering'/urinating on the streets and on the beaches, parks and other public places
10.Frequent brown outs/ black outs, typhoons and torrential rains in the provinces.
You could probably add more items, but the good things outnumbered the annoying things.DO YOU HAVE ITEMS TO ADD TO THE ABOVE TWO LISTS? PLEASE SHARE!
Again as snowbirds, my wife an I are happy whether we are in the Philippines or United States. We believe that “HOME IS NOT A PLACE, BUT IN THE HEART!”.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Time of the Year for "Autumn Leaves" to Fall


In two weeks time, Macrine and I will be in our beloved province of Marinduque enjoying our winter sojourn. But before we could do that, I need to do a lot of things here in Northern California. First the raking of the leaves, then the cleaning of the gutters, then covering the swimming pool and finally sending balikbayan boxes to the Philippines for Christmas presents to relatives. But for the moment, let me share you the following photo from my backyard and a song appropriate for this time of the year.

As I gaze at my backyard window( see photo above) a few minutes ago, the beauty of the maple trees in my yard with its yellow, orange and light red leaves getting to fall in the next couple of days, reminds me of the song Autumn Leaves. There are several interpretations of this song by several musicians, but this video is one of my favorites. Moreover, the autumn scenery in the video is just mesmerizing. Autumn or Fall is one of my favorite seasons here in Northern California. However, next week when these leaves start to fall, I will certainly spend a number of hours raking these leaves and definitely an aching back after wards. But this is the way of life here in Northern California this time of the year. Enjoy this video.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Culture and Arts Development for Marinduque


I found the following posting from marinduquegov.blogspot.com last year on the development of culture and arts in the province. I hope that NCCA continues it support for this important project in our province. We are the only province with the Putong and Kalutang, and as Marinduquenos we should be proud of it and support the development of arts and culture in our province. By posting this on my site, I hope to revive interest to this topic that should not be tainted with political innuendos and bickering during this coming election, May 2010. Here is the article by E. Obligacion to serve as a reminder of the importance of this project for our province.

MARINDUQUE: PRIORITY AREA FOR CULTURE & ARTS DEVELOPMENT!

"The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the highest governing body in the Philippines for culture and the arts has identified the province of Marinduque as a priority area where it hopes to open various avenues in the field of culture and arts development.

In relation to this, an orientation on NCCA programs and a work shop on the development of cultural projects to be participated in by representatives of local people's organizations, non-government organizations, artists and cultural workers is set to be held within May 2008.

Among those that have been identified to attend the workshop are representatives from cultural organizations in Marinduque who are actively working for the preservation, promotion and development of Philippine culture and arts, such as Kalutang Band of Bangbang, Kapatirang Morion ng Marinduque, MISTAH, Marinduque Capitol Choir, Boghai Cultural Group of IFI Gasan, Boac Historical Society, Gasan Historical Society, the morion artisans of Anapog & Sibucao, Torrijos loomweavers, Teatro Balangaw community theater group and others.

The importance of culture and promotion of indigenous arts as part of the provincial government's thrust to promote tourism in the province has been underlined by Gov. Bong Carrion at the assumption of his position as the leader of the province. For the last six months, the strengthening of events such as "Battle of Pulang Lupa" (Sept) commemoration, introduction of new programs like "Sining Kambayoka Outreach Tour" (Nov), the first official celebration of Marinduque's founding anniversary, through the"Araw ng Marinduque" festivities, "Viva Marinduque!" (Philippine Arts Festival 'o8), touring cultural showcase (Feb), "Moriones 2008" and support to municipal tourism programs during lent (March), were largely hailed here by various organizations and LGU's".

I salute all supporters of Arts and Culture in our province. May their tribe increase!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Solar and Wind Technology-Long Term Solution to Power Crisis in Marinduque and Other Parts of the Philippines


The following video discussed new aerotecture of wind technology of the future, although this technology is now applied in Germany. Combined with solar panel this new design is the future of green and renewable power resources in crowded cities, urban buildings and populated areas. The current windmills ( see photo above) is not suited to crowded and populated areas. This new wind power technology is the long term solution to Marinduque's power crisis as well as other parts of the Philippines.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Aswang and Manananggal of the Philippines

Image from www.manananggal.com

This coming Saturday is Halloween Day here in Northern California. To celebrate Halloween Day, I thought that the following story from Dave DeWall (I have his permission to post this story in this blog) is worthy of publication and very timely.

I know that most of us here in US do not believe in witches. But in the Philippines (this is true story according to the author) witches, nono's, manananggals, giant capri's, and ghosts are part of life and folklore specially in rural areas and in the provinces. Personally, if I am in the Philippines, I tend to believe it, but when I am here in Northern California, I am not a believer. However during Halloween, the subject of witches becomes a topic of interest to me.

The Witches and Manananggal of Guimaras Island, Iloilo-by Dave DeWall
Source: www.rooster4am.com October 21 and 22, 2009

“My wife’s younger sister Emily, was a beautiful baby. Cute sharp nose and just one of those infants people would gush over and comment on how maganda (beautiful) she was. She was the favorite of her parents and adored by her older brothers and sisters. When Emily was about a year old, she became extremely ill. Wouldn’t drink her milk and didn’t want to eat. What she did eat was immediately vomited. She suffered diarrhea and dehydration, and couldn’t sleep at night.
Melinda’s Tatay (Father) and Nanay (Mother) bundled up the sick little one and took her to the doctor. The doctor examined her, and prescribed some medicine. Emily got a little better the next day, but then she became quite ill again, and so another trip back to the doctor. Quite expensive for Melinda’s Father and Mother who struggled to make ends meet and support a family of eleven. The doctor prescribed more medicine, again Emily got a little better for a couple of days. Then she worsened again. More trips to the doctor with the same results as before. The same pattern persisted, get a little better, than sick again. Tatay and Nanay were becoming increasingly worried and extremely distraught; the doctor’s visits had drained what few pesos they had before Emily became sick, and now all their money was gone. What could they do to save their little infant Emily?

Only one thing to do, Tatay and Nanay decided they would have to sell the family carabao (water buffalo, the ultimate work animal on farms in the Philippines, not caribou as the carabao is often mistakenly referred to by foreigners like myself --check this link out by my friend Mindanao Bob from “Live in the Philippines” for a great explanation of what a carabao is and for a photo: http://liveinthephilippines.com/content/2007/10/are-there-caribou-in-the-philippines/). They had to raise the cash to take Emily to the hospital and have extensive tests run on her. This was an act of utter desperation; the caribou plowed the rice fields for the family farm. Without the carabao there would be no rice fields plowed and no rice next season: No rice to sell. No rice to eat. The decision was final; the next morning Melinda’s Mother and Father would bring the carabao into San Miguel to be sold.

Darkness then falls in the heart of the jungle as the giant lizards’ cries of “tukkku …tukkku..tukkku” reverberate throughout. Giant pythons hang menacingly on the trees. An evening where Melinda and her family, distraught with worry over baby Emily, huddle inside their candle lit nipa hut shorn of any modern conveniences such as electricity and running water. No telephone. No television. The only contact with the outside world was a tiny transistor radio. Emily was especially ill that evening, vomiting and crying; reinforcing Tatay’s and Nanay’s decision to sell the carabao and bring their beloved infant daughter to the hospital. Nanay held the little baby in her arms to try and comfort her and rock her to sleep. The hour is around midnight.

Suddenly the family heard a loud commotion outside! A cat emitting strange high-pitched screams was outside the front of the nipa hut. Melinda peered out the window and saw its eyes as they glowed fiery red! Tatay cracked open the front door, and the demon cat jumped inside the front entrance of the nipa hut, and according to my wife Melinda who witnessed it, FLEW across the room. It was common knowledge in the Philippines that a witch or Manananggal had the ability to inhabit an animal’s body and possess it. Melinda’s father quickly grabbed his bolo (machete) and ran towards the flying cat screaming: “You are NOT going to eat my child, you Son of a b----!” The cat literally flew out the front door, and my father-in-law shouted at all the children to gather all their old slippers (rubber flip-flops) and put them in the front yard. The multitude of old flip flops were piled up and put in a semi-circle, and Melinda’s father set fire to them.

As Melinda and her family huddled in the nipa hut, she could hear piercing screams and laughter coming from just beyond the burning mountain of rubber: it was the witch tormenting them, still in the cat’s form! Thick black smoke poured from the mound of melting flip flops, and the terrorized family huddled inside with Tatay in the doorway, bolo in his upraised right hand. The evil laughter continued from right beyond the flames tauting them.

And Blood Shall Spill!

Yesterday’s blog concluded with Melinda and her family being taunted by the Manananggal, a witch that took the form of a cat. As Melinda’s father continued to stand at his post at the front door, armed with his bolo, Melinda relates that she could still hear the witch cat laughing and screaming at them, but the burning pile of rubber flip flops was keeping the creature at bay. A half hour passed and finally the jungle fell silent; the witch was gone for the moment, and even the cry of the lizards halted.

Morning finally arrived, and though shaken by the previous evening’s horrible events, Melinda’s Mother and Father prepared the carabao for the long journey out of the jungle to San Miguel; Emily’s condition was worsening, and the carabao had to be sold to raise the funds necessary to admit the little infant to the hospital. Hospital services had to be paid for when those services were completed.

Tatay and Nanay, Melinda and the family reach the outskirts of San Miguel, and Nanay (Melinda’s Mother) runs into her sister Feliciana, a local healer. They had not seen each other for months. “Have you heard there is a new Manananggal in town looking for a baby so she can eat the infant’s liver?” asks Tita (Aunt Feliciana.) Tatay and Nanay froze! That was the witch that visited their house last night! Manananggal take on the form of an attractive woman during the day, and are known to seek out the most beautiful of babies. The witch was after little Emily!

With a quivering voice, Melinda’s Mother told her sister of the visit last night. Tita grabbed her sister’s arm, and told her they had to get Emily to the local healer that had far greater powers than Tita, the healer, had. They would need an extremely powerful healer to deal with the wretched Manananggal!

Tatay and Nanay, and Melinda and family along with Tita Feliciana who needed to make the necessary introductions since this particular healer was know throughout the region as “the healer of all healers”. One could not expect to just walk through his door without waiting for hours as he had a multitude of people that sought his services every day; but this was a dire situation. Immediate action was needed. Tita Feliciana intervened.

The healer listened to the story of the previous night’s harrowing event. His face remained stoic. Did not nod in agreement or disagreement with anything said. Asked no questions. He knew how to deal with this menace. The Healer instructed Melinda’s Mother and Father to go out and purchase a black chicken and then come back with it and Baby Emily.

Fortunately it was early Sunday morning, the busiest market day in San Miguel. It did not take long for Tatay and Nanay to purchase a black chicken. They rushed back to The Healer with the ailing Emily, Melinda and the rest of the family in tow. As witnessed by Melinda, The Healer chopped off the head of the black bird with one swift blow of the bolo. He poured the blood of the chicken out into a vessel, and made the sign of the cross on Emily’s forehead, legs, arms, and stomach. Then he took some ginger and rubbed that on the infant Emily. The Healer instructed Tatay and Nanay to go straight home, but be sure to leave the candles lit the whole evening.

Melinda’s family made the long journey back home to the jungle. Nanay fed Emily some milk. She hungrily drank all of it. Did not vomit any of it. Nanay fed her some rice porridge. Again Emily ate it all, and again, did not get sick. The house was lit with every candle available in every room. Nightfall came again. Emily went to sleep quickly, still covered with the dried chicken blood; it was the first time in almost a month that she slept so peacefully. The little one did not get ill the whole day since she left The Healer that morning. Tatay sat near the front door the whole evening with his bolo nearby, but the night slipped away without any event.

Morning came, and Emily again drank all her milk and ate her porridge. Nothing happened, she was completely healed. The chicken’s blood was then washed off of her, and Nanay patted her dry, and held her in her arms, grateful for what The Healer had done. Oh, and the carabao? It was still there. Didn’t need to sell it now. The witch? Don’t know what happened to her, but a new one has taken her place here in San Miguel now. She is a young one in the second year of high school, and it is said she is looking for a beautiful young child to devour that child’s liver. Again, The Sainted Patient Wife was eyewitness to this account, and swears it is true. Who am I to say? Many forces of darkness battle against the good every day in this world. I am but a stranger in a strange land”. Thank you Dave for your story!

Here is a short video from a movie trailer about aswang in the Philippines to complement the story above

Friday, October 23, 2009

Viva Marinduque-The Kalutang Group


I found this on You Tube. The background music is from the KALUTANG Group of Bangbang, Gasan. Source of video: marinduquegov.blogspot.com
This video is a slideshow of "Viva Marinduque" performance tour in Marinduque's six municipalities in celebration of Araw ng Marinduque and Philippine International Arts Festival in February. Background music performed by Pangkat Kalutang of Bangbang, Gasan using wooden percussion instruments made from twatingan and bayog trees endemic to this Philippine island.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lolong Rejano Erguhan Video about Marinduque

If you are a Face Book user, I am sure you have seen Lolong Rejano's video. His topic is mostly about Marinduque. The last few weeks his topic focused on the Power Crisis in Marinduque. In his video below, he acknowledge me and Macrine. Thank you Mr. Rejano. Again, I am with you that long term solutions to the power crisis is important. There were five proposed suggestion in Tagalog at the speech of Bishop Rey during the rally at the Capitol and Meralco offices in Ihatub last Monday. If you have not read it visit, marinduquegov.blogspot by E Obligacion.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rally for Truth and Transparency-Marinduque Power Crisis


I found this video on you Tube today. It is about time that Marinduquenos find out the truth on the reasons behind this Power Crisis in our beloved province. I salute Bishop Rey Evangelista, D.D. for his concerns and dedication to the welfare of all Marinduquenos.

For the last six months, I had been posting on my blogs to find out the truth on this crisis. Finally, some of the truth had come out. However, we still need more transparency on how our government conducts and awards projects to private corporation such as 3I Powergen.
What is the real reason why Powergen was not able to fulfill its contract? Was there bribery involved? We need the truth! I do smell rotten eggs on the failed contract between the former Reyes Administration and 3iPowergen and Meralco. Marinduquenos need the TRUTH!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Latest Update on Power Outages in Marinduque


Candle Power- Image by Daisy Catague Cababasay
Here's the latest news on the Power crisis in Marinduque from marinduquegov.blogspot.com

The power crisis in Marinduque has escalated into an all-out war staged by the Camp of Congresswoman Carmencita Reyes, who has declared her intention to run for the position of Governor in the May 2010 elections, against the incumbent Gov. Jose Antonio N. Carrion. The local media machinery ranging from 'text brigades' to radio-TV programs have been activated by the said powerful camp. Reyes accuses Carrion of trying to extort money from 3i Powergen and that it is the principal reason why the said company backed out of the contract, "umatras na".

Gov. Carrion has declared that he "will not go down to the level of text brigades" and the ways of traditional politics, believing that the people of Marinduque are mature enough to understand the root and real causes of the current energy crisis.

Meanwhile, Napocor has guaranteed the arrival of a power barge from Palawan with units with a total capacity of 3.1 MW to temporarily resolve the local crisis. An interim power supply agreement between Napocor and Marelco is being proposed with the latter still adamant to accept the proposal.

.

Monday, October 5, 2009
MARINDUQUE POWER OUTAGES – part 2
WHAT'S REALLY BEHIND ALL THESE?

("Vicious and pernicious" is how Board Member Eleuterio Raza, Jr., Chair, Committe on Rules & Legal Matters of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, rightly describes the power outage situation in Marinduque. It has worsened now with up to 24-hour brownouts. "When will we see the light at the end of the tunnel?", asked BM Jose Alvarez, vice-chair of the said committee, during a public hearing last Thursday, Sept. 30 at the Capitol Session Hall. Alvarez went as far as suggesting that a declaration of a State of Emergency in Marinduque might be an option to consider. Following is the second post on this subject by this blogger).

In a consultation meeting with the Department of Energy and Napocor that transpired in 2004, the Marinduque Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Marelco), opted to have its own New Power Provider (NPP), in the promulgation of DOE’s Circular No. 2004-01-001.

Under this arrangement, Napocor’s function is limited to the maintenance of existing capacity with units at Bantad and Poctoy, including the power barge in Balanacan that was secured in 1997 by Gov. Carrion during his incumbency (1995-1998).


The said existing Napocor units being used today are already too old and their capabilities have greatly diminished. Marinduque requires 6.76 MW at its peak. Current capacity is only 3.1 MW. This has resulted in recurring brownouts lasting up to 24 hours.

The Marelco decision in 2004 to have its own New Power Provider put into place pilot projects for the privatization of the National Power Corp. under the Small Power Utilities Group (NPC-SPUG).

3i POWERGEN, the New Power Provider:

3i Powergen became the New Power Provider for Marinduque on the basis of a contract signed on Sept. 27, 2005, between Marelco, Napocor and the said company with then incumbent government officials, then Cong. Edmundo Reyes, then Gov. Carmencita Reyes and then provincial administrator Luisito Reyes signing as witnesses.

3i Powergen was to introduce a new technology in power generation that will harness wind energy potentials in the island province. It was to utilize Wind-Diesel Hybrid Technology to boost the electric power requirements of Marinduque.

It was to put up a 15.7-mw hybrid wind-diesel plant with investments estimated at P677 million.


The commercial operation of the plant was to start by February 2007. 3i Powergen, however, failed to implement the contract as the company went bankrupt and its financiers have left the country, according to its Vice-President, Domingo Lagundi, and as reported by Marelco itself. (SP Public Hearing, Sept. 30, 2009).

The contract was never implemented, the project never took off. Marelco, however, has remained passive and has not taken up the issue squarely with Napocor and the relevant authorities until today, that would have led to a resolution of this particular issue.

NAPOCOR, the Power Development Entity:

State-owned Napocor at the present time, is still planning to raise money for the financing of its Small Power Utilities Group’s (SPUG) budget to cover next year’s requirements. SPUG is Napocor’s missionary electrification arm, taking on a leading role in planning power development in missionary areas such as Marinduque.


Napocor assesses requirements and prospects for missionary electrification including the program for private sector participation. SPUG operates 304 generating units with a total generated capacity of about 129 MW. It serves 78 small islands and eight off-grid areas or those areas not connected to the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao grids. It provides electricity to 42 customers consisting of 39 electric cooperatives. (manilatimes.net, Sept. 11, 2009; phistar.com, Oct. 5, 2009)

MARELCO, The Power Distributor:

Marinduque Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Marelco), exists as a cooperative under the jurisdiction and control of the National Elecrification Administration (NEA). Marelco is tasked with the distribution of power.

Under Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA), electric cooperatives are given the option to register either with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Under R.A. 9136, electric cooperatives should enjoy the principles of democratic control, autonomy and independence wherein the general membership assembly is the highest policy and decision-making body empowered to dictate to the cooperative board of director and management what it wants, and not to the whims and caprices of any government agency.

Cooperatives could then thrive as "self-sufficient and independent organizations with minimal government intervention or regulation" as envisioned under the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008.

Further, registration of cooperatives under the CDA would result in the restoration of their exemption status from taxes by local government units (LGUs) on real property, franchise, income, as well as on importation of needed equipment, value-added tax, translating into lower electricity rates for the benefit of the member-customer-owners.

Marelco, however, has opted NOT to register with the Cooperative Development Authority nor the Securities and Exchange Commission and therefore not an independent organization but one subject to the “whims and caprices of any government agency.

Life in Marinduque, Philippines: Fire in Gasan Public Market, Dili - Marinduque


Here's Dave's Caruana posting on the recent fire in Gasan Public Market.

Life in Marinduque, Philippines: Fire in Gasan Public Market, Dili - Marinduque

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Marinduque Power Crisis- Part 1

Russel Pielago sent me this You Tube video via Face Book. Just like any projects in the Philippines, I could also smell a slight aroma of politics. Anyway, thanks Russel for the update. Looking forward for Part 2.

Marinduque Power Crisis-Part 2

Here's Part 2 of the Hearing in Congress, Oct 5, 2009 on the Marinduque Power Crisis. Part 1 was sent to me by Russel Pielago this morning. It looks like Marinduque will have power by end of this month or by November 1 ( ALL Saints Day). Good work Congresswoman Carmencita Reyes. It looks like a solution of the mess created by your previous administration regarding the failure of 3iPowergen, Marelco and Napocor to provide adequate power to Marinduque based on the contract that failed. For details on this contract that was never implemented and the reasons, why Marinduque has all this power outages, read http://marinduquegov.blogspot.com dated October 5, 2009. Very interesting and informative on the reasons behind the current power crisis in Marinduque. I smell an aroma of politics, corruption, innuendos and secrets behind all these negotiations. So what is new in the Philippines? It looks like political manuevering is on its way!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Finally, SEAIR flies to Marinduque


Here's the schedule of SEAIR from Manila to Marinduque and back. I am glad to see Zest Air will now have a competition. This schedule was posted by Sheila Evano in her Face book Notes. Thank you Sheila!

South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) will commence flight for their newest route Manila – Marinduque – Manila this October 17, 2009. Flight frequency and schedules are as follows:

Tuesday, Saturday
Manila – Marinduque DG 385 ETD Manila: 0940H
ETA Marinduque: 1040H
Marinduque – Manila DG 386 ETD Marinduqe: 1100H
ETA Manila: 1200H

Thursday
Manila – Marinduque DG 387 ETD Manila: 1100H
ETA Marinduque: 1200H
Marinduque – Manila DG 388 ETD Marinduqe: 1220H
ETA Manila: 1320H

Sunday
Manila – Marinduque DG 389 ETD Manila: 1300H
ETA Marinduque: 1400H
Marinduque – Manila DG 340 ETD Marinduqe: 1420H
ETA Manila: 1520H

As per SEAIR (www.flyseair.com) website , the LET410 Turbolet is a twin engined short-range transport aircraft manufactured by the Czech aircraft manufacturer LET, mostly used for passenger transport. With more than 1,100 produced, it is the most popular 19-seat plane in history. It provides first class comfort, while simultaneously servicing unpaved airstrips. In the 19-seater class, no plane is better suited for short-haul.

Manufacturer: LET A.S.
Powerplant: M601-E
Length: 14.42 m (47 ft 4 in)
Wingspan: 19.98 m (65 ft 5 in)
Height: 5.83 m 19 ft 2 in)
Seat Capacity: 19 + 2 crew
Number of planes: 6
Max. Take-off Weight: 6,600 kgs (15,520 lbs)
Speed: 175 knots

To book your flight to Marinduque), contact the SEAIR CALL CENTER : +632 849.0100

OFFICE: Makati/Manila – Commercial; 2nd Floor La'O Centre, Arnaiz Ave. Makati City, Philippines 1200 Commercial FAX: +63 2 849.0219 Reservation FAX: +63 2 849.0239.

The round trip fares were not published in Sheila's posting, but I hope it will be competitive with Zest Air. This means that after October 17, there will be daily flights from Manila to Marinduque and back, since Zest air flies Monday,Wednesday and Friday. This will surely be a boast to Marinduque's tourism business and a convenience for some Marinduque residents & businessmen.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Latest Update on Power Outages in Marinduque


Here's the latest update on the power outages in Marinduque from Eli Obligacion blog, in case of you have not read it. I found this post very informative and educational.

Monday, October 5, 2009
MARINDUQUE POWER OUTAGES – part 2
WHAT'S REALLY BEHIND ALL THESE?

("Vicious and pernicious" is how Board Member Eleuterio Raza, Jr., Chair, Committe on Rules & Legal Matters of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, rightly describes the power outage situation in Marinduque. It has worsened now with up to 24-hour brownouts. "When will we see the light at the end of the tunnel?", asked BM Jose Alvarez, vice-chair of the said committee, during a public hearing last Thursday, Sept. 30 at the Capitol Session Hall. Alvarez went as far as suggesting that a declaration of a State of Emergency in Marinduque might be an option to consider. Following is the second post on this subject by this blogger).

In a consultation meeting with the Department of Energy and Napocor that transpired in 2004, the Marinduque Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Marelco), opted to have its own New Power Provider (NPP), in the promulgation of DOE’s Circular No. 2004-01-001.

Under this arrangement, Napocor’s function is limited to the maintenance of existing capacity with units at Bantad and Poctoy, including the power barge in Balanacan that was secured in 1997 by Gov. Carrion during his incumbency (1995-1998).


The said existing Napocor units being used today are already too old and their capabilities have greatly diminished. Marinduque requires 6.76 MW at its peak. Current capacity is only 3.1 MW. This has resulted in recurring brownouts lasting up to 24 hours.

The Marelco decision in 2004 to have its own New Power Provider put into place pilot projects for the privatization of the National Power Corp. under the Small Power Utilities Group (NPC-SPUG).

3i POWERGEN, the New Power Provider:

3i Powergen became the New Power Provider for Marinduque on the basis of a contract signed on Sept. 27, 2005, between Marelco, Napocor and the said company with then incumbent government officials, then Cong. Edmundo Reyes, then Gov. Carmencita Reyes and then provincial administrator Luisito Reyes signing as witnesses.

3i Powergen was to introduce a new technology in power generation that will harness wind energy potentials in the island province. It was to utilize Wind-Diesel Hybrid Technology to boost the electric power requirements of Marinduque.

It was to put up a 15.7-mw hybrid wind-diesel plant with investments estimated at P677 million.


The commercial operation of the plant was to start by February 2007. 3i Powergen, however, failed to implement the contract as the company went bankrupt and its financiers have left the country, according to its Vice-President, Domingo Lagundi, and as reported by Marelco itself. (SP Public Hearing, Sept. 30, 2009).

The contract was never implemented, the project never took off. Marelco, however, has remained passive and has not taken up the issue squarely with Napocor and the relevant authorities until today, that would have led to a resolution of this particular issue.

NAPOCOR, the Power Development Entity:

State-owned Napocor at the present time, is still planning to raise money for the financing of its Small Power Utilities Group’s (SPUG) budget to cover next year’s requirements. SPUG is Napocor’s missionary electrification arm, taking on a leading role in planning power development in missionary areas such as Marinduque.


Napocor assesses requirements and prospects for missionary electrification including the program for private sector participation. SPUG operates 304 generating units with a total generated capacity of about 129 MW. It serves 78 small islands and eight off-grid areas or those areas not connected to the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao grids. It provides electricity to 42 customers consisting of 39 electric cooperatives. (manilatimes.net, Sept. 11, 2009; phistar.com, Oct. 5, 2009)

MARELCO, The Power Distributor:

Marinduque Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Marelco), exists as a cooperative under the jurisdiction and control of the National Elecrification Administration (NEA). Marelco is tasked with the distribution of power.

Under Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA), electric cooperatives are given the option to register either with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Under R.A. 9136, electric cooperatives should enjoy the principles of democratic control, autonomy and independence wherein the general membership assembly is the highest policy and decision-making body empowered to dictate to the cooperative board of director and management what it wants, and not to the whims and caprices of any government agency.

Cooperatives could then thrive as "self-sufficient and independent organizations with minimal government intervention or regulation" as envisioned under the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008.

Further, registration of cooperatives under the CDA would result in the restoration of their exemption status from taxes by local government units (LGUs) on real property, franchise, income, as well as on importation of needed equipment, value-added tax, translating into lower electricity rates for the benefit of the member-customer-owners.

Marelco, however, has opted NOT to register with the Cooperative Development Authority nor the Securities and Exchange Commission and therefore not an independent organization but one subject to the “whims and caprices of any government agency”.

(to be continued)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Life in Marinduque, Philippines: Electrical Power Outages 'brownouts' in Marinduque


Here's the latest posting on Marinduque Power Outages. Also please read the article of Eli Obligacion in marinduquegov. blogspot.com Thank you Dave Caruana for writing this article. I do enjoy reading your blogs about Life in Marinduque.
Life in Marinduque, Philippines: Electrical Power Outages 'brownouts' in Marinduque

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Music for Relaxation ( Ambient Music)


My nephew from Australia was telling me the other day, that one of his other interest besides graphic design and photography is what he called ambient music. I am not familiar with the term "ambient music", so he send me a video example via Face Book. It sounded to me just like music for relaxation. This inspired me to search for relaxation music in Tube You. Below is a seven and one-half of pure relaxation music. The scenery is a feast to the eyes of the beauty of nature here in the US. A few of the pictures were from Zion National Park, that my wife and I have recently visited. I have listened to other relaxation videos, but this one is the best so far. I guarantee that your 7.5 minutes will not be wasted. Please let me know if you enjoy this music video by Enya Kitaro.

Note: I viewed and listened to this video in my newly purchased 32" LCD PC screen. It was fantastic, mesmerizing and a pure delight. If you know of other relaxation or meditation videos that are comparable or better than this one, please share.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Marinduque-World Tourist's Destination


Here's the latest report from marinduquegov.blogspot.com by Eli Obligacion spotlighting Marinduque as tourist destination, dated September 6, 2009. My dream and hope is to see my beloved island, Marinduque, become a worldwide and whole year round tourist destination in the years to come competing with Boracay and officially declared as the eco-tourism capital of the Philippines. This is the reason, why I devote so much time promoting the island province as a tourist destination in my two blogs: http://marinduqueawaitsyou.blogspot.com and http://marinduquemyislandparadise.blogspot.com

TOURISM SEC. ACE DURANO AND TOURISM ATTACHES COMING TO MARINDUQUE TODAY

Marinduque Airport streamer welcoming Secretary Ace H. Durano and party. The party of thirty expected to arrive today at the Marinduque airport includes Undersecretary Eduardo Jarque, Jr. and other top officials from the Department of Tourism and tourism attaches from Philippine embassies abroad. The list also includes directors Ma. Victoria Jasmin, Allan Canizal, Benito Bengzon, Jr., Ma. Rica Bueno, Dir. Louella Jurilla from among others, as well as local and foreign media representatives.

The visit is part of the tourism department’s annual marketing and technical visits to top priority destinations such as Albay, Cebu, Bohol and Manila. Marinduque which is now on the list, has drawn the attention of the travel industry with the launching of Bellarocca Resort and Spa. Part of Bellarocca’s promotional thrusts for resort guests is the integration of visits to Marinduque’s tourist attractions as well.

In recent months, the provincial tourism office has taken time to show the Bellarocca group headed by its sales manager for travel, Sheila Evano, to local tourism sites like Tarug caves, Bathala caves, Paadjao falls, Poctoy Beach and the Torrijos loom-weavers. Support for development of eco-tourism sites with potential to generate livelihood has been adopted by the resort as part of its social responsibility program. A joint undertaking of the provincial government, the municipality of Buenavista and Gold Barrel, Inc.,resort owner, is the current establishment of a 100-hectare forest area in Barangay Tungib-Lipata in Buenavista, where a 9-hole golf course has been developed, part of Bellarocca facilities.

These moves have triggered greater optimism for local tourism stakeholders as well as for bigger prospects for Bellarocca Island Resort and Marinduque tourism in general.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Frequent Brown Outs in Marinduque, Philippines

Photo from mgx.com/blog
Recently, I have received several e-mails from residents of Marinduque, as well as comments from several bloggers from Marinduque, that frequent brown outs in the province is still the norm of life in the province. Is this still true or has it improved? I have also read from several Philippine blogs and Web magazines in the Philippines that in most parts of the Island with the exception of big cities and metropolitan areas, this power outage is also currently an irritant to the comfort of residents. Although this occurrence will be an economic boost to the sellers of generators, not every ordinary citizen could afford the luxury of buying even just a small generator, especially in Marinduque.

If Marinduque wants to promote tourism worldwide and whole year round, it is imperative that this frequent brownouts be solved soon. This frequent brown outs have not affected Bellarocca, for it has big industrial generators according to Kristin Rebutica, answering my questions in Face Book just recently.

In the case of Chateau Du Mer, I also have an industrial generator that I described in my blog http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com dated 8/17/09, so the frequent brown outs do not also affect my beach resort and conference center business.

I am however imploring the provincial officials to place solving this problem as their highest priority, if they want to promote tourism worldwide and whole year round in the province. I am hoping that the problem of frequent power outage will be solved soon in Marinduque-My Island Paradise and Second Home.
Comments anyone?

Update on Diving Sites in Marinduque, Philippines

Here's the latest update on diving sites in Marinduque. The following video was filmed by the provincial government department of tourism. It is a short video, but shows you do not have to go far to enjoy scuba diving in Marinduque. Baltazar Island is one of the three islands in the group called Tres Reyes Island-a marine sanctuary.
Diving in Baltazar Island
Image from asiadivesite.com
Our province is mostly known worldwide because of the Moriones Festival. However, it has recently been in the news due to interests of divers all over the world to explore the diving sites in the island and in the vicinity. Among the diving sites are:
1.Natanco- north of the island has good walls and drift diving. Corals are abundant. Close by is the wreck of a Japanese torpedo boat
2.Baltazar-west of the Island-one of the Tres Reyes Island Chain- has a cave 20m worth exploring. Stone fish may be a problem.
3.Elephant Island-now known as Bellarocca- private resort with good walls, coral formation and and several varieties of tropical fish. Currents could be strong, but conditions for photography good.
4. Torrijos- canyons and fissures to explore. Can expect to encounter grouper, barracuda, tuna and shoals of tropical fish.
5.Maestro De Campo Island-southwest of Marinduque- a wall on the west side and a wreck of a ferry boat, MV Mactan on the east side
6.Banton Island- farther southwest – amazing corals and an array of fish. Dolphins, sharks and sting rays may be seen. From February to May are the good months for scuba diving
7.Sibuyan Sea- outlying areas to the south and east of Marinduque are fairly unexplored. Puerto Galera, Mindoro is the place to organize this tour if you are adventurous.
Here are two excellent videos, I found in You Tube. Enjoy! Happy Diving

Diving Video from Southern Leyte, Apo Reefs, Sogod Bay, and Puerto Galera

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Live Like a King, a Queen or a Slave!

Chateau Du Mer Beach House at Twilight, Marinduque

Currently my wife and I are lucky that we have a choice of living like a King or a Queen or a Slave. We spent half of our retirement lives annually living like a King and a Queen in our island Paradise in Marinduque, Philippines ( www.chateaudumer.com ). The benefits and advantages of our staying in the Philippines six months of the year are detailed in my article as a guest writer for Bob Martin web magazine ( www.liveinthephilppines.com) dated June 25, 2009. In that article, I cited ten things I love about the Philippines. The number one item is the cheaper standard of living, availability of maids, gardeners and helpers at a reasonable expense. Of course there is no perfect place in the world including the Philippines, so I wrote the 10 most annoying things about the Philippines in the same web magazine dated June 11, 2009. My number one complaint are the traffic, jeepneys and pollution in big cities like Manila or Cebu. But in Marinduque, there are no traffic or pollution problems. The island is only crowded during the Moriones Festival, Easter Week every year. As I mentioned, the availability of helpers in Marinduque, makes you feel like a king. We have two gardeners, a driver, a housekeeper and cook permanently. Macrine hires a laundry woman once a week for 200 pesos a day, plus 50 pesos tip. By hiring helpers, you are contributing to the improvement of the the local economy. The current dollar to pesos exchange is now about 1 to 48. Last year, I paid $1.00 for a haircut, $3.00 for 1 hour body massage and $2.00 for manicure and pedicure.(Note: These prices will vary, depending on the dollar to pesos exchange rate as well as the area in the Philippines you reside or plan to reside).

Compared to life here in Northern California, I pay $12 for a haircut. I can not afford to have a manicure or pedicure every month. I do it myself. Here in US, I am the driver, the gardener, the laundry man, and the dish washer. I do not cook or clean the house, those are Macrine's duties, but I know how to use the microwave and vacuum the carpets once in a while. So comparing our lives here in US to that in PI it is fair to say, that we live like a King or Queen in PI, but like slaves in US.

However, we have adjusted to the differences in lifestyles between the Philippines and United States. We consider both places HOME. But as the saying goes, HOME is not a place but in the HEART!

If perchance you have plans visiting or retiring in the Philippines in the near future, start by reading Bob Martins website above. I do not have any monetary gains by my advertising his website, but if you are serious retiring in the Philippines because of the cheaper standard of living, then you must start reading Bob Martins website. If you need more information about Marinduque, please read my blog
http://marinduqueawaitsyou.blogspot.com or http://lifeinus1960present.blogspot.com

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bellarocca Island Resort Promo Package, 2009


I do not have any financial gains by posting that Bellarocca Island Resort has now a promo package for 3-days-2-nights including meals for a fairly reasonable price if you compared it to their standard rates. Moreover, If I have a choice, I would rather that you book your vacation at Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort for a much, much more reasonable price( $25 per person per night plus 10% discount for 7 days or longer stay). (http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com) or www.chateaudumer.com
Chateau Du Mer Beach House, Marinduque, Philippines (916-961-3365) or (042-332-1754)

The Package Promo 2009 is effective September 1 to October 31, 2009. So, if you have been planning to see this island resort in Marinduque, now is the time. Otherwise the standard rates are so expensive, unless you are rich and famous or you are a Japanese or Korean tourist. For details, visit their newly available website, www.bellaroccaresorts.com Enjoy Marinduque-my island Paradise!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Escape Mechanism or Bad Habits?

Some Representatives of Northern California Chapter at the MI, Inc. Dinner Dance, August 22, 2009 in Buena Park, CA

MI, Inc four days of fun, dancing, feasting, meetings and reunion concluded last weekend. There were five coping mechanism EXHIBITED by several members and guests of Marinduque International ( MI, Inc).

MI, Inc is a non-profit organization based here in US with nine chapters. Two from Canada, one from Saudi Arabia and the rest are Southern CA, Northern CA, Chicago, New Jersey, Washington DC and Texas. MI, Inc main project is to conduct medical mission to the province of Marinduque.

The five coping mechanism I observed during the meeting were:

Overeating, Filipino time ( always late for events), gambling in the Casinos, smoking & drinking and public outburst. Although I am not an MD or a psychiatrist, I know that the above activities are one of the many ways of coping with the pressure of daily life here in the United States. I will discuss my observations but will not mentioned names. You know who you are , by the activities I described. I hope you do not get mad at me. My purpose of writing this is to make you aware of your bad habits. As the Filipino saying indicates "Bato Bato sa langit, kon sino ang matama-an, huwag magalit". It means do not get upset if you are the one I am describing in this article. In controlling your bad habits, I hope you will live longer and hope to see you more in our future meetings and reunions.

1.Overeating and Hoarding: A typical activity would be indulging in “All you can eat Buffet” ( Sea Food or Chinese). All of the California Indian Casinos offered “All you can eat Buffet” ranging from $14.99 to $24.99 per person. With the food discounts, senior citizen discounts and promo discounts, one could enjoy this buffet for as low as $9.99 per person. I am always amazed at the pile of food some people put in their plates in these places. Another observation that inspired me to write this -is how much food people took to their hotel rooms during the “after dinner dance snack “ at our dinner dance last Saturday. I called this hoarding.
2.Filipino Time: I notice that the same people are the one always late for events. I have attended almost all the Reunions of MI, Inc for the last 10 years, and the same people are the ones that are always late. Lucky for me, I am not the host. Moreover, in Filipino Parties, there is always extra food prepared. If the hosts expect 50 attendees, there is always food for 100. Macrine and I could identify on the subject of preparing two times the amount of food when we have a party in the Philippines. The reason for these is that when you invite one person to your party, she or he would bring one or two more guests. This indeed is bad manners in US, but for some reason , it is tolerated in the Philippines.
photo from cbc.ca/news
3.Gambling in Indian Casinos: The popularity of Indian Casinos and their profits are soaring in spite of the economic recession here in US. An example of the popularity of this activity was our escapade to the San Manuel Casino in San Bernandino County, Friday Night. Forty-six members of MI, INC joined this activity. After this activity, I heard that only two participants went home as winners. The rest of us lost adding to the income of the Casino. Most of us, consider this as part of our entertainment expenses. It is a good way to escape from the daily pressures of living. And If you are a retiree, it is one way to relieve boredom. The trick is to have a budget for this activity, otherwise you can be easily addicted to it.
4.Alcohol and Tobacco: You know who you are. The smokers and drinkers in MI, Inc are known to everybody. They are the same members from year to year. I just hope we are not influencing our young members to follow your footsteps. Every smoker or drinker has reasons why they smoke or drink. Most of them knows the bad effect of these habits to their health, but they can not stop because they are already addicted.

5.Public Outburst: I have thrown one public outburst about five years ago in Marinduque, when somebody cut ahead of me on the line when I was opening a bank account in Boac. I gave a public lecture why people should not cut in line, Last year, I also give a one-to-one lecture to a clerk of Zest Air who changed the schedule of my flight without informing me. But I have never thrown a tantrum or public outburst during an MI, Inc meeting . However, I know of two MI members and three incidents of public outburst during an MI Inc meeting. The first incident was during the Texas reunion two years ago and the other one was during a medical mission in Boac when Macrine was president of MI,, Inc. The latest one was last week at our business meeting and Election of Officers. Again, may I reiterate that the only reason why I am writing this, is to insure that the person(s) involved should get medical help. If the public outburst is a side of effect of medication, then it should also be reported to your physician. I hope that by my writing these incidents in my blog, whether it is overeating, habitual lateness to events, gambling, smoking, drinking or temper tantrums in public, the person(s) involved should be aware of these bad habits . The earlier you recognize you have a problem, the earlier it should be treated by a medical professional. Hopefully, you will live longer and can attend more MI, Inc meetings and reunions in the future.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Six Marinduque Videos


Recently, I was surfing on the Web and You Tube. I found about sixty short videos on Marinduque. The following six videos are my favorites. The first one was made by Eli Obligacion to honor Governor Carrion and his administration. The second was a vacation video by a typical tourist. I do not even know the video maker and the people in the vidoes, but the video was well made and shows several beauty spots and beaches of Marinduque. The third and fourth videos are from NBN, Channel 4, with Mayo Suzuki featuring the town of Gasan and Torrijos. The video contains a tour inside the beautiful mansion of Mayor Vicky Lim in Bacong Bacong, Gasan, a butterfly farm, a facility for making virgin coconut oil and a fishing village in Torrijos.
The fifth video is by Mykvan, taken 2007, Views of Marinduque.

Video by Eli Obligacion. This video made me homesick. It is an excellent video of the sites, scenery, a little bit of history, culture and traditions of our island paradise with the background music by Yanni.(one of my favorite musician)

Vacation Video from a typical tourist to Marinduque. One of the best vacation videos, featuring the beauty of our islands. There are more than fifthy videos made by tourists about Marinduque in the Web, but the quality of most of the videos is not worth your time. But the above short video, I hope you will enjoy.

Part 1 of Mayo's Video of Channel 4- Lakbayin ang Magandang Pilipinas

Part 2 of Mayo's Video of Channel 4- Lakbayin ang Magandang Pilipinas
Video by mykvan, 2007
Here's the sixth and latest video from the tourism department of the provincial government.This is one of the best video about Marinduque that I have viewed recently

Why We Love Marinduque



The White Beach of Poctoy, Torrijos with Mt Malinding in the background

The following are some of quotes and comments from the web from visitors to our island of "Why They Love Marinduque".

Photo from marinduquegov.com
Traveling to the island during the Easter peak season can drive one nuts, but Marinduque greatly rewards your "penitencia" with one-of-a-kind religious revelry, beautiful landscape and gracious people. From: eazytraveler.blogspot.com

A small island province in central Philippines, Marinduque speaks of such profound natural beauty that will not escape the notice of a well seasoned traveller. From: instaurareperomniachristo.blogspot.com


I stayed in Marinduque for almost three weeks. It's a heart-shaped island surrounded by pristine blue waters, beautiful white sand beaches ( in most areas) and marine sanctuaries. I have been told it has one of the most beautiful virgin coral reefs. It is truly such an awesome place. While I was there I've seen so much picturesque views that more than once took my breath away. They were like pictures from National Geographic. From: www.myscrapworks.com/mswdigi/


It is with a heavy heart that I left Marinduque the next morning to go home. I wish to thank all Marinduquenos for their hospitality. Marinduque is for sure one of those places you should see before you die. http://my_sarisari_store.typepad.com/moriones Festival, May 26, 2006

My whole Holy Week experience was utterly engaging and can hardly be forgotten. Leaving the island of Marinduque after a week-long joyful festivities is quite saddening. On the Monday after the Festival, tourists begin to leave and the island become once more a place of simplicity, complacency and beauty. I am thankful to the Marinduquenos for giving me a temporary home away from my true home. Dennisvillegas.blogspot.com/april/2008.


Memories of a nocturnal walk in Boac, June 29, 2008

It was the last night of my week long sojourn to Marinduque. Eight in the evening, I went out of my hotel room to stroll once more the lovely streets of Boac. The evening was peaceful and cool with a lovely soft breeze of wind in the air. This reminded me that I was in one of the most rural places in the Philippines.etc...etc..

The sky was well illuminated with the romantic glow of the moon, creating lovely silhouttes of ancient houses from beyond, dwarfed only by the lowly clouds from above
etc... etc.... It was past midnight when I started back to my hotel room, still photographing street sceneries. Boac indeed is a lovely little town from the olden days, but its evening is even lovelier... Dennisvillegas blogspot.com/, june, 2008.


If it's your first time in Marinduque, do not worry. Almost everyone seems to be a friendly guide. Genuine hospitality is what I like most in this island.
From dongism.blogspot.com

Buenavista and Mt Malindig
Characterized by pristine natural beauty, Marinduque boasts of a wide spectrum of unspoiled beaches, mountain peaks, fabled sulfur springs, limestone caves, cascading waterfalls, fringing reefs, virgin islets and old Churches. From: www.marinduque.gov.ph


Last but not least from www.chateaudumer.com
Are you looking for a perfect and affordable vacation in the sun? Marinduque Island is the place for you! Stay at Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort. All you will hear are the sound of the waves and your heart beat. This will be an experience to remember!!.
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