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

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!!.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Marinduque-Communist Free

Photo from mindanao.com
ABS-CBN NEWS, Philippines announced recently that the Philippine Military would turn over the responsibility of addressing communist’s insurgency in Marinduque to the local Philippine National Police (PNP). The news stated that membership of the New People's Army (NPA), a group of communist rebels has gone to zero in the island. Marinduque is the first province throughout the Philippines where internal-security operations will be turned over to the local PNP.

Arm Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Lt. General Roland Detabali said that for the past few years, no reported incidents involving the communists rebels (NPA) had been reported in my island province. My family and I have been residents of this island six months every year since 2002 after my retirement from the Food and Drug Administration, in Rockville, Maryland. I am not surprise of this news.

General Detabali also said that the military has plans to turn over to the local police the counter-insurgency operations against the communist’s rebels in the neighboring provinces of Romblon, Cavite and Laguna in the near future.

AFP estimated that there are still around 4,800 members of the NPA scattered all over the country. There are still problems with the communist rebels in the Bicol Regions as well as in the province of Batangas. Lt. General Detabali hopes that by the end of President Arroyo's term in about 10 months the threats of communist insurgency will be completely eliminated in the whole country.

The handover ceremony was held recently at the village of Paye in the capital town of Boac.Local government executives, top military and police officials attended this turnover ceremony.

AFP officials declared that this turn over of responsibility is a milestone in the internal security operations of the Philippine Military and its fight against communist rebel’s activities in the country.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Reopening of Mines in Marinduque??

Are you in favor or not of reopening the mines in Marinduque? If Yes, why? If No, why? Here is the latest news item on this subject, I found in the Philippines newspaper recently. Let us not be apathetic to the future of our province.By posting your comment in this posting you are showing interest in the future of Marinduque.

A couple of weeks ago, there was news from the Manila Bulletin, that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippines was keen on reopening the mines in my beloved province of Marinduque. DENR is seeking the support of the current governor Bong Carrion in order to win popular support from residents of this island. The news also reported that DENR officials assured the governor that the department will not be averse to the clean-up of the 26-kilometer Boac River. This river sustained the most ecological damage when the Taipan mine tailings collapsed in March, 1996. Millions of liters of toxic discharge and contaminated waste drained into the river system and then on to the Philippine sea. This destruction of the main river in Marinduque and six other sub-river systems in the island has deleterious effects to the livelihood of fishermen as well as of the farmers. There are pending lawsuits against Marcopper- the operator of surface mining in the province. Not only was the livelihood of residents affected but serious health concerns were also raised due to the high level of arsenic, cadmium and copper that has contaminated agricultural lands and drinking water. There is a pending lawsuit by local officials against the new owner, Placer Dome Inc., a Canadian mining company.

Governor Carrion said that bioremediation and phytoremedaition must first be completed, before the people of Marinduque could even consider the proposal as environmentally sound. DENR undersecretary Eleazar Quinto is quoted as responsive to the idea of cleaning up first and is not bent on opposing any viable project to clean up the mess.

Here in California, our organization, Marinduque International, Inc( MI,Inc.) has added this subject on our business meeting agenda next week in Buena Park, California. I am scheduled to make a short report on the current status of this proposed reopening project. Other speakers on the subject are lawyers handling the pending lawsuits. The other speaker is the Chairman of our MI, Inc, Environmental Committee. The meeting is scheduled for August 22 at 9:00AM. All Marinduquenos are invited to attend. MI, Inc will hopefully publish a position paper on this subject after our meeting. The position paper will be submitted to Governor Bong Carrion and Representative Carmencita Reyes, with a copy to DENR officials.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bitik and Tarug Caves,and Hinulugan Falls

Three recent boosts to the local ecotourism development in Marinduque includes the latest exploration of Bitik Caves in Santa Cruz, the Hinulugan Falls in Torrijos and the Tarug Caves in Mogpog.
Here's is the video of the exploration of Bitik caves published recently in the provincial blog as part of the Adventure Series, edited by E. Obligacion.

Two other sites that were also recently explored are Hinulugan Falls in Torrijos and Tarug Caves in Mogpog. May I reiterate that development of these local natural wonders of the province will definitely add to the claim of Marinduque as the ecotourism capital of the Philippines.
Entrance to Tarug Cave, Mogpog and Hinulugan Falls, Torrijos

Time for Second Contest to win Free 2-nights and 3 Days stay at Chateau Du Mer,Boac, Marinduque

About two years ago, I announced a contest to win 2-nights and 3 days stay at Chateau Du Mer. A winner was chosen last year. Today, I am announcing a second contest to win this prize. I encourage all members of Face Book Katague/Catague Clan Group to participate in this contest. Read the details below:

Have you heard about the scenic beauty and unspoiled beaches of the island of Marinduque? Here is your chance to win a free 2-night stay at the Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines. All you have to do is write an essay of not more than 250 words why you want to visit Marinduque. The essay will be judged on originality and honesty. The winning essay will be published in my blog above. It is open to all non-marinduqueno over 13 years old.

The prize is redeemable whole year round except on the weeks of Easter and Christmas and will not expire until December, 2011. It is non transferable and requires at least 60 days notice prior to the date of arrival.

Please note that the beach house maximum capacity is only 4 adults and 2 children. For details about the beach house, visit my website www.chateaudumer.com and for information on the province of Marinduque, visit www.marinduque.gov.ph

Please submit your essay as a comment in this blog or to my e-mail tagajaro@comcast.net
I am looking forward for your submission..

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Music for Motivational Meditation and Relaxation

Recently,I was searching for music for relaxation in You Tube. I found this short video to be the best on this genre by Alexandra Witch. I love the flowers and the music. Most of the flowers remind me of my gardens at Chateau Du Mer in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines. To get maximum effect follow her instruction. I happened to have a new 32 inches LCD monitor. I viewed the video full screen with only a black background. It is fantastic, and it did relax me. Do this everyday and you do not need sleeping pills to sleep. Let me know if you like this video also. Thank you, Alexandra. Here's the video!
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