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 30, 2013

A Simple Recipe for Sweet Corn and Crab Soup

With the Dungeness crab in season here in Northern California, the cost of whole Dungeness crabs is only $4.99/lb in Safeway and $ 5.19/lb at Raleys yesterday. I bought two 2-pounder crab for only $20. After cleaning, the two whole crabs yielded about 16 oz of meat including the meat from the claws. I was looking for a simple recipe in the Web, but I did not find one that is simple enough, so that an amateur cook like me can do it without using my brain. Then suddenly I remember a very simple dish that my wife used to prepare. It is her corn and crab soup. Here's the recipe, so simple even a person who has never cook in his/her life will enjoy doing it.

8 oz crab meat ( Dungeness,Maryland or Philippine hard or soft shell)
1 onion ( sweet preferably)-minced
1/2 clove garlic
1 16 oz can golden sweet corn, cream style ( Del Monte brand preferred)
salt and pepper, soy sauce to taste
2 cups water
vegetable oil
chives or green onions (optional)

Saute the onions and garlic in oil until cooked. Add the sweet corn and 2 cups of water. Add salt and pepper or soy sauce to taste. Let the mixture simmer and add the crab meat. Mix and stir until the soup simmers. Add the chives or green onions as the garnishing.(optional). Serve Hot!

Very, very simple! Delicious and Nutritious!

Friday, November 29, 2013

My Recipe for Chicken-Macaroni Salad

Yesterday at the Thanksgiving dinner in Walnut Creek at my son's residence and every party in the David B Katague household, my wife always prepares Chicken Macaroni salad. The recipe is a favorite of my four adult children and six grand children who all grew up here in the US. There are several Chicken Macaroni salad recipes that I know of but this one is the simplest one.

16 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked
1 lb boneless chicken breast, boiled and cubed
1 ½ cup pineapple chunks
1 cup Spanish, sweet onion
1 cup raisins( optional)(sweetened and dried cranberries may be used)
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped( optional)
2 cups mayonnaise (can be 1 cup mayo and 1 cup miracle whip)
1 ½ cup Cheddar cheese, cubed
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 apples chopped into small cubes

Cooking Preparation:

Cook the macaroni as directed in the package. Place the macaroni in a large container. Add the mayonnaise (and /or miracle whip) and mix well. Put-in the minced onions and mix well. Place the cheddar cheese in and mix again
Now, add the chicken and distribute evenly. Put-in the pineapple chunks, boiled eggs(optional), and and apples (raisins optional) and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill inside the refrigerator for about an hour. Serve chilled.

Note: The popular Pinoy recipe has raisins but no apples. I love raisins, but my wife hates it. So in this recipe, I listed raisins as optional. Apples in the Philippines is very expensive. Another option that I enjoy is to use sweetened dried cranberries instead of raisins. Here in the US, the dried and sweetened cranberries are more expensive than the raisins.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Our 53rd Thanksgiving Day in the United States

Today, is our 53rd Thanksgiving Day celebration in the US. The whole David B Katague Clan will have another mini-reunion at my oldest( Dodie) son's residence in Walnut Creek, California at 3PM today. My four adult children and three of my six grand children will also be able to attend. My grand daughter, Alix, who is in College at Cornell University in New York decided not to come, reserving her transportation money for the coming Christmas break. My two other grand children spent thanksgiving with their other grand mother in Santa Rosa. My wife and with my son's assistance has prepared her favorite recipe of Chicken-Macaroni salad. My youngest daughter has prepared pumpkin/sweet potato-leek soup. We will have the usual turkey and its trimmings to be served by my oldest son and wife, Ruth. For dessert we will have pecan pie, chocolate cake, cheese cake and mercedes brazoz. My oldest son's wife, Ruth turns 53 years old today. My other son, David III turned 51 years old last week.

Again, every thanksgiving day always reminds me of our first Thanksgiving Celebration here in US in 1960.

An excerpt of an article that I wrote about that memorable day is as follows:( see photo above also)

"It was November,1960 when Macrine and I and our oldest son, Dodie(who was only 2 years old then) experienced our first Thanksgiving Celebration in the United States. That year, I was a graduate student of the University of Illinois at the Medical Center in Chicago. The Chicago Hospitality Center along with YMCA and Christian Family Movement(CFM) invites all foreign students in the area to spend a thanksgiving weekend to the homes of volunteers in small towns of Illinois away from the crowded city of Chicago. Some of my foreign student friends were reluctant and did not accept the invitation, but I had an adventurous spirit so with great anticipation, Macrine and I along with Dodie went with 12 other foreign students and their families to Central Illinois.

Our host for that weekend was Mrs. Johnston, a widow from Danville, Illinois. She lives alone and her beautiful bungalow house right in downtown Danville. We left Chicago in the morning, had thanksgiving dinner ( turkey and all its trimmings)in late afternoon. This was followed by a program in the evening at a local community center, where all the hosts met and socialized with other invited students from Korea, Iran, Mexico, Japan, Chile, South Africa, Egypt and the Philippines.

The next day we had a grand tour of the area, the farms and then to Springfield, the capital city of Illinois. The tour of the area and Springfield was the highlight of our two days break from our hectic schedules as a graduate students.

So, did I like the roasted turkey? Nope, that was first time I had turkey. In the Philippines we do not celebrate Thanksgiving and I had never tasted turkey before. I did not like the pumpkin pie either. What I enjoyed was the oyster stuffing, vanilla ice cream and the cranberries sauce".

I wrote another article on my impression of inviting foreign students to American homes during thanksgiving day. This article was published in the Christian Family Movement(CFM) Newsletter. Here's a short excerpt from that article.

" As the first couple of CFM and Interfaith group in our diocese, we will do our very best to reciprocate, promote, and encourage hospitality programs to foreign students and scholars in our area. We believe that opening our homes and our hearts on weekends and holidays, is one of the best ways of promoting world peace and understanding. Let us then make it possible for foreign students and scholars get the true picture of America and its people. Let us give them the opportunity to share with us our way of life. Let us get busy as a group or perhaps join other groups in order that we can show to the future leaders of the world, how sincere, friendly and aware we are of other human beings in other parts of the world. This is one of the many ways we could be more Christlike, we believe".

This year I am thanking the Lord again for all the good things and for the past 53 years of our Thanksgiving Days here in US. The Lord has given me and my family so much good things here in US. To all my friends and relatives all over the world, May God bless you and your love ones this Thanksgiving Day!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Avocado Shake and Madeleine Cookies

Have you tried snacking (merienda) with Avocado shake and Madeleine Cookies? This combination is one of my favorite snack items. Madeleine french cake cookies are commercially available. The brand that I love is made by Sugar Bowl Bakery. The cookies reminds of the Pinoy mamon, The cookies advertised it as "every bite is just right" The cookies are also good with just a cup of hot tea or coffee.

However, combining it with homemade fresh avocado shake, makes me feel like royalty enjoying high tea at the most expensive hotel in England or for that matter at the Queen's Elizabeth Hotel in Victoria, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I have my own recipe of Avocado Shake. The ingredients are as follows:

1 ripe large Avocado ( Hash variety preferred)
2 teaspoons white sugar( or 1/8 cup condense milk)
1/4 cup Half and Half ( or milk if less fat is desired)

Blend the mixture until all the avocados chunks are homogenous and creamy. Add water if you want the mixture not too creamy. Refrigerate for one hour and served cold. Blend the mixture with ice cubes if there is no time for refrigeration. Bon Apetite and Happy Merienda Time!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Review of the MHL US Concert Tour at TVC

My wife and I attended the My Husband's Lover(MHL) US Concert Tour last Sunday at the Pano Hall, Thunder Valley Casino(TVC) and Resort, Lincoln, California. This was our first live concert after more than 20 years of not attending live events. The last live concert that we have attended was the Julio Iglesias, Sr. Concert at Lake Tahoe in the late 1980's.

Our two tickets for the MHL concert were complimentary. Thanks to the Vice President of Slot Operations, Jay Duarte of Thunder Valley Casino and Resort.

The concert started only about 5 minutes late. The Hall was only 3/4 filled. About 90% were women of all ages. There were a few groups of teenagers who were screaming most of the time. The program started with a 30 minute commercial hosted by three Filipino-American comedians. The sound system was very loud and the commercial too long. There were a couple of audience participation warm-ups commercial which were boring.

However when the concert started with Kuh Ledesma singing One More Try, the crowd went frenzy with excitement. The program was similar to the concert held at the Araneta Colosseum in the Philippines that I saw in the Internet several weeks ago as follows:

Part 2 is in this set!

The three headliners, Abellana, Trillo and Rodriquez were greeted with enthusiasm and screams from adoring fans, mostly young Filipino-American women.

All in all the choice and variety of songs were good. However, the sound was so loud, and deafening you could barely hear the lyrics of the songs. The Minus -1 music that accompanied the songs was so loud, it gave me a headache. The sound system was geared for a bigger hall like the Araneta Colosseum. But it was a concert to remember and seeing the actual actors and actresses of my favorite TV soap opera made up for the deafening and overkill sound system. The concert was targeted to Filipino-American audiences and if you do not speak Tagalog, the concert is not for you.

Again, thank you Thunder Valley Casino and specifically Jay Duarte for the two complimentary tickets.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Anyone Interested for a Salmon Head Fish Soup?

When I saw the salmon fish heads yesterday at the grocery store, I changed the menu for our dinner instantly. I was planning on purchasing 2 rib eye steaks to broil, but the temptation for fish head soup was just so great, I forgot about the rib eye steak.
I paid only six dollars for two large salmon fish heads instead of $18 dollars for two pieces of rib eye steaks.

Fish head soup ( sinigang) is a delicacy in the Philippines and one of the most common dishes in an oriental family's diet. My favorite fish head soup besides salmon is the head of bingao, an big ocean fish that belongs to the snapper specie However, to most non-oriental fish head soup is not for human consumption and just looking at the fish head disgust them. My four US born children and six grand children do not eat fish head soup, but they love salmon steaks or red snapper fillet. Of course they love Fish and Chips.

When I was growing up in the Philippines the fish head was always reserved for the head of the family(my DAD) or for the guest of honor at dinner time. The other parts of the fish are for other members of the family. I have a very simple recipe for salmon head fish soup which contained a lot of vegetables( green beans, baby bokchoy, tomatoes, radishes and eggplant)and of course flavored with tamarind cubes.

Here's my recipe. If other vegetables are not available in your area, baby bokchoy, radishes and green beans must be a must if you want your soup to taste good! The following recipe will serve from 6 to 8 adults with other dishes in the dinner table.

2 pcs salmon fish heads (red snapper or other big ocean fish heads may be used)
1.5 liters of water
1 medium onions (quartered)
2 tbsp of ginger slices
2 pcs of medium tomatoes (quartered)
6 pcs string beans (cut 3 inches approx)
6 bunches of baby bokchoy( Kangkong is used in the Philippines)
2 small raddish (sliced)
2 pcs of egg plant (sliced)
1 pck of sinigang mix (Tamarind based) (for 1.5 liter mix)

In a large sauce pan, boil water and onions & ginger then add fish and cooked for approx 5-10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients( slice the vegetables evenly) except for the bokchoy and cooked for about 2-3 minutes and serve hot. Add the baby bokchoy last. Shut off the heat and let the pan simmer. Do not over cook veggies.

Fish heads contain a lot of omega 3 fatty acids and fish oil that promote brain development according to a recent report on nutrition and health. There are some studies that shows that if a pregnant women eat fish (which means lots of omega3 fatty acids or fish oil on her diet) her babies will have higher IQs and fewer learning disorders, and were less likely to develop mental retardation or cognitive delays.

As for me even if I can not get pregnant, I will eat fish as often as I can, since I love fish and I know it is good for my health and in my aging years. For those of you who hate fish, especially fish heads, I feel sorry for you since you are missing one of the most nutritious and delicious dish easily available all over the world.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

One Hour of Calm and Relaxing Music for Today

Today is Sunday. If you are a Church goer, today is the time to thank God for all his blessings a couple of days before the Official Thanksgiving Day here in the US. Today, my wife and I are also going to attend a live concert-My Husband's Lover Concert. We have not been to alive concert for the last decades and we are excited. But for you who are home bound, get a comfortable chair, close your eyes and just listen to this peaceful and calming music. Guaranteed to relax you and to forget the worries and problems of daily living for at least one hour. Try it and let me know of the results of your experience. Happy Relaxing!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Feasting on Dungeness Crabs this Season

I purchased my first fresh Dungeness crabs yesterday for this year crab season. Safeway had a sale for only $4.99 per lb. I bought two medium-sized whole crabs costing me only $16.24. The price of Dungeness crab in the other stores in our area were at $6.99 per lb. Dungeness Crab season started last November 5 in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Needless to say Macrine and I had a feast eating with our hands and fingers. The crab meat was delicious along with garlic bread and green salad with fresh avocado slices and honey mustard dressing. There was a left over crab (claws and 1/4 body) that I cleaned today and made into an omelet. Here's my simple recipe for a crab omelet.

2 potatoes- peeled and slice into 1/4 inch cubes
1 onion-cut into small cubes
1/4 small cabbage shredded
3/4 cup crab meat
olive oil and garlic salt
6 eggs

Sauted the onions in oil until cooked. Add the shredded cabbage and heat at low heat until cooked. Add the potato cubes and continue heating until the potatoes are cooked. Add the crab meat and mixed and then pour the beaten eggs into the pan. Cooked until the eggs are cooked. Invert the omelet in the pan and continue heating at low heat. Serve 6.

Bon Apetit!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Memories of a Frustrated Singer

When Macrine( my spouse of 57 years) and I were students at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City (early-1950's), we joined the University of the Philippines Student Catholic Action Choir (UPSCA). This was an extracurricular activity that we both loved and enjoyed.

So every time I heard choral music it reminds me of my student days, making me feel young again. This video is one of the best choral music that I have heard so far from You Tube. Enjoy "the Prayer" as sang by the world renown Philippine Madrigal Singers. The background are scenery's of nature, animals and birds with most of the photographs highlighting the four seasons in the US. A couple of photos show children from the Philippines and India. This will be my tribute to the thousands of victims from Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in Central Philippines.

Macrine and I loved singing in the choir here in Northern California. In our younger days, we sang in our church choir on Sunday masses in Pinole, as well as with the UP Alumni, Berkeley Chapter Choir based in El Sobrante, California. Five years ago, we sang in the Church Choir here in Fair Oaks. We even sang a duet of Silent Night in Tagalog at the concert before the Christmas midnight mass. Macrine and I had also organized the Marinduque Association of the Capital Area( MACA) Christmas Caroling Group in Colesville, Maryland in the late 1990's.

Macrine used to be a soloist. She sang soprano coloratura in her younger days. Today her voice is ruined by her cigarette smoking. I sang baritone, also comfortable with tenor. I could read notes, and took piano lessons, when I was a kid. I have taken only about six months of voice lesson, but did well on my first concert singing "O Solo Mio", an Italian song and Buhat, a Tagalog song. This shows that I am not only a frustrated writer but also a frustrated singer.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Have You Heard of Wakeskating?

I must be living in another planet, since this is the first time I heard of wakeskating, although I have heard of wakeboarding. The following video is so amazing, I have to share it with you. The fact that the venue was in the Ifugao Rice terraces made it more unique and worth sharing. The wakeskaters had permission to do this at the Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao, Northern Philippines.

Wakeskating is a water sport and an adaptation of wakeboarding that employs a similar design of board manufactured from maple or from fibre glass. Unlike wakeboarding, the rider is not bound to the board in any way, which gives the sport its own unique challenges. Instead, the top surface of the board is covered with grip tape, (in a similar fashion to a skateboard) or a soft, high-traction, foam, usually referred to as EVA foam, covering that is kinder to riders in the inevitable crashes and also allows a rider to ride barefoot. Riders usually wear shoes while riding to afford themselves extra purchases on the board, similar to skateboarding. The speed at which riders wakeskate behind a PWC (Personal Water Craft: Jet ski), boat, cable system, or winch is generally 16 – 22 miles per hour. However, this depends on water conditions, the weight of the rider, their proficiency in the sport as well as a preference matter of the rider.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Deep Brain Stimulation for the Cure of PD, AZ and DT

If you have been reading my blogs, you probably know of my interest in Parkinson Disease(PD), Alzheimer's(AZ), Dystonia(DT) and other neurological diseases. In my latest web search, I was excited to find this very informative video by Dr Andres Lozano on Deep Brain Stimulation for the cure of PD, AZ and Dystonia. I am delighted to share it with you.
What is Deep Brain Stimulation? Here's some information from Wikipedia.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical treatment involving the implantation of a medical device called a brain pacemaker, which sends electrical impulses to specific parts of the brain. DBS in select brain regions has provided therapeutic benefits for otherwise-treatment-resistant movement and affective disorders such as Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, dystonia, and chronic pain. Despite the long history of DBS, its underlying principles and mechanisms are still not clear. DBS directly changes brain activity in a controlled manner, its effects are reversible (unlike those of lesioning techniques), and it is one of only a few neurosurgical methods that allow blinded studies.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved DBS as a treatment for essential tremor in 1997, for Parkinson's disease in 2002, and dystonia in 2003. DBS is also used in research studies to treat chronic pain and has been used to treat various affective disorders, including major depression. Neither of these applications of DBS have yet been FDA-approved. While DBS has proven helpful for some patients, there is potential for serious complications and side effects.

While DBS is helpful for some patients, there is also the potential for neuropsychiatric side-effects. Reports in the literature describe the possibility of apathy, hallucinations, compulsive gambling, hypersexuality, cognitive dysfunction, and depression. However, these may be temporary and related to correct placement and calibration of the stimulator and so are potentially reversible.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

X-linked Dystonia Parkinsonism

Medication induced Dystonia

Last week, My wife and I visited our neurologist who specialized in movement disorder, dystonia and Parkinson Disease. During our visit we were able to discuss a little bit of Lubag a neurological disorder endemic to Panay Island in the Philippines, where I grew up. I have seen one case of Dystonia during my teenage years in Iloilo, Panay Island. In case you have not heard of Dystonia, here's some information I found in the Web.

Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder, in which sustained muscle contractions cause twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures. The disorder may be hereditary or caused by other factors such as birth-related or other physical trauma, infection, poisoning (e.g., lead poisoning) or reaction to pharmaceutical drugs, particularly neuroleptics. Treatment is difficult and has been limited to minimizing the symptoms of the disorder, since there is no cure available.

X-linked dystonia-parkinsonism (XDP) is a genetic form of dystonia found almost entirely among males of Filipino descent specifically in Panay Island. There are two terms used to describe this genetic disease endemic to Panay Island in the Philippines: XDP and Lubag. Lubag means twisted in the Ilonggo dialect of Panay. I know of a distant relative who had this disease when I was growing up in Panay Island in the 1960's. The disease is characterized by both dystonia and parkinsonism including signs and symptoms such as slow movement (bradykinesia), tremor, rigidity, and a loss of postural reflexes.

XDP occurs throughout the Philippines but is also diagnosed in the US and Canada in people of Filipino descent. All known cases of XDP originate from one common ancestor. The gene associated with XDP, called the DYT3 gene, was discovered only in 2003.

Treatment for XDP involves using medications to address dystonia, parkinsonism, or both. Parkinsonism symptoms may slightly improve with levodopa or dopamine agonist therapy, and dystonic features may respond to anticholinergics or benzodiazepines such as clonazepam (Klonopin). Zolpidem and tetrabenazine may be used if dystonia symptoms become multifocal or generalized. Botulinum toxin injections may improve focal dystonias in some cases.

For more details visit, http://www.dystonia-foundation.org/pages/more_info___x_linked_dystonia_parkinsonism

Monday, November 18, 2013

Neurological Diseases Familiar to Me

The following 12 neurological diseases are familiar to me, since I have relatives and friends that are affected by one or more of the diseases listed as follows: The maladies are listed in alphabetical order. If you need additional details please visit the website cited in the reference below.

1. Alzheimer's disease (AZD), also known in medical literature as Alzheimer disease(AD). It is the most common form of dementia. Dementia is a serious loss of global cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person, beyond what might be expected from normal aging. There is no cure for the AZD disease, which worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death. It was first described by German psychiatrist and neuro pathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and was named after him. Most often, AZD is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age, although the less-prevalent early-onset Alzheimer's can occur much earlier. In 2006, there were 26.6 million sufferers worldwide. Alzheimer's is predicted to affect 1 in 85 people globally by 2050. My aunt from the Philippines died of AZD a couple of years ago.
Last year during our winter sojourn in the Philippines, my wife and I met two of our college years contemporaries diagnosed with early AZ disease.

2. Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger disorder (AD) or simply Asperger's, is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical (peculiar, odd) use of language are frequently reported. The syndrome is named after the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger who, in 1944, studied and described children in his practice who lacked nonverbal communication skills, demonstrated limited empathy with their peers, and were physically clumsy. A teenage son of a close relative was diagnosed with AS just recently.

3. Chorea (or choreia, occasionally) is an abnormal involuntary movement disorder, one of a group of neurological disorders called dyskinesias. The term chorea is derived from the Greek word χορεία (=dance; see choreia), as the quick movements of the feet or hands are comparable to dancing. The term hemichorea refers to chorea of one side of the body, such as chorea of one arm but not both (comparable to hemiballismus). Chorea is characterized by brief, semi-directed, irregular movements that are not repetitive or rhythmic, but appear to flow from one muscle to the next. I know of a distant relative who has chorea in the Philippines.

4. Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder, in which sustained muscle contractions cause twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures. The disorder may be hereditary or caused by other factors such as birth-related or other physical trauma, infection, poisoning (e.g., lead poisoning) or reaction to pharmaceutical drugs, particularly neuroleptics. Treatment is difficult and has been limited to minimizing the symptoms of the disorder, since there is no cure available.
I have a neighbor in the Philippines with symptoms of Dystonia in the mid 1950's.

5. Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which a person has repeated seizures (convulsions) over time. Seizures are episodes of disturbed brain activity that cause changes in attention or behavior. I had a classmate in college who had an epileptic attack during class for one minute but recover immediately.

6. Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative genetic disorder that affects muscle coordination and leads to cognitive decline and psychiatric problems. It typically becomes noticeable in mid-adult life. HD is the most common genetic cause of abnormal involuntary writhing movements called chorea, which is why the disease used to be called Huntington's chorea. It is much more common in people of Western European descent than in those of Asian or African ancestry. The disease can affect both men and women. The disease is caused by an autosomal dominant mutation in either of an individual's two copies of a gene called Huntingtin, which means any child of an affected person typically has a 50% chance of inheriting the disease. Physical symptoms of Huntington's disease can begin at any age from infancy to old age, but usually begin between 35 and 44 years of age. I have heard of this disease from my classmates in graduate school in Chicago, Illinois sometime in the mid 1960's.

7. Lou Gehrig's disease is a disorder that's also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS. Amyotrophic means that the muscles have lost their nourishment. When this happens, they become smaller and weaker. Lateral means that the disease affects the sides of the spinal cord, where the nerves that nourish the muscles are located; and sclerosis means that the diseased part of the spinal cord develops hardened or scarred tissue in place of healthy nerves. ALS is often called Lou Gehrig's disease after Lou Gehrig, a hall-of-fame baseball player for the New York Yankees who was diagnosed with ALS in the 1930s. People in England and Australia call ALS motor neurone disease (MND). The French refer to it as maladie de Charcot, after the French doctor Jean-Martin Charcot, who first wrote about ALS in 1869. Lou Gehrig's disease damages motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Motor neurons are nerve cells that control muscle movement. Upper motor neurons send messages from the brain to the spinal cord, and lower motor neurons send messages from the spinal cord to the muscles. Motor neurons are an important part of the body's neuromuscular system. My knowledge of this disease comes from what I read in the Internet.

8. Meniere's disease
is a disorder of the inner ear. It can cause severe dizziness, a roaring sound in your ears called tinnitus, hearing loss that comes and goes and the feeling of ear pressure or pain. It usually affects just one ear. It is a common cause of hearing loss. Attacks of dizziness may come on suddenly or after a short period of tinnitus or muffled hearing. Some people have single attacks of dizziness once in a while. Others may have many attacks close together over several days. Some people with Meniere's disease have "drop attacks" during which the dizziness is so bad they lose their balance and fall. I have a couple close relatives suffering from a mild form of this malady.

9. Multiple sclerosis (MS
), also known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminata, is an inflammatory disease in which the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged. This damage disrupts the ability of parts of the nervous system to communicate, resulting in a wide range of signs and symptoms, including physical, mental, and sometimes psychiatric problems. MS takes several forms, with new symptoms either occurring in isolated attacks (relapsing forms) or building up over time (progressive forms). Between attacks, symptoms may go away completely; however, permanent neurological problems often occur, especially as the disease advances. While the cause is not clear, the underlying mechanism is thought to be either destruction by the immune system or failure of the myelin-producing cells. Proposed causes for this include genetics and environmental factors such as infections. MS is usually diagnosed based on the presenting signs and symptoms and the results of supporting medical tests. There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis. Treatments attempt to improve function after an attack and prevent new attacks. I know of two distant relatives affected by this malady.

10.Parkinson's disease
(PD also known as idiopathic or primary parkinsonism, hypokinetic rigid syndrome/HRS, or paralysis agitans) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. The motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease result from the death of dopamine-generating cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain; the cause of this cell death is unknown. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are movement-related; these include shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait. Later, thinking and behavioral problems may arise, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease, whereas depression is the most common psychiatric symptom. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep and emotional problems. Parkinson's disease is more common in older people, with most cases occurring after the age of 50. My wife was diagnosed with PD just recently.

11. Tourette syndrome (also called Tourette's syndrome, Tourette's disorder, Gilles de la Tourette syndrome, GTS or, more commonly, simply Tourette's or TS) is an inherited neuropsychiatric disorder with onset in childhood, characterized by multiple physical (motor) tics and at least one vocal (phonic) tic. These tics characteristically wax and wane, can be suppressed temporarily, and are preceded by a premonitory urge. Tourette's is defined as part of a spectrum of tic disorders, which includes provisional, transient and persistent (chronic) tics. Tourette's was once considered a rare and bizarre syndrome, most often associated with the exclamation of obscene words or socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks (coprolalia), but this symptom is present in only a small minority of people with Tourette's. Tourette's is no longer considered a rare condition, but it is not always correctly identified because most cases are mild and the severity of tics decreases for most children as they pass through adolescence. I saw a couple of cases of children suffering from this disease here in Northern California as well as in the Philippines.

12. X-linked Dystonia Parkinsonism or Lubag
-X-linked dystonia-parkinsonism (XDP) is a genetic form of dystonia found almost entirely among males of Filipino descent of Panay Island. XDP is a recessive disorder affecting males almost exclusively. It is characterized by both dystonia and parkinsonism including signs and symptoms such as slow movement (bradykinesia), tremor, rigidity, and a loss of postural reflexes. With disease progression, the dystonia usually becomes generalized. In some patients, signs of parkinsonism may accompany, precede, or "replace" symptoms of dystonia. The disease is transmitted through unaffected females, so-called carriers. A few cases have been described in which females who carry a copy of the disease gene may manifest mild symptoms of the disorder, such as relatively mild dystonia or chorea.
When I was growing up in Panay Island in the 1960's I saw a man suffering from Lubag.
The locals believed he was a victim of the witches or the aswang in the area.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

White House Response to the Victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

The following is an E-mail I received the other day from the White House-Office of the President.

Last Friday, Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Eastern Philippines. The images coming out of the disaster over the course of the past week have been devastating.

Entire towns and cities have been washed away. Tens of thousands of families are without homes and searching for loved ones.

The President recorded a message addressing this tragedy, describing the response and recovery efforts of American teams on the ground right now -- and most importantly, how you can help.

Last weekend, the President ordered a swift, coordinated response: U.S. Marines were some of the first on the ground in the hardest-hit areas after the storm made landfall.

And right now, American aircraft are delivering bottled water, generators, and trucks to affected areas. Emergency shelter material and basic supplies for 10,000 families are on the way. Aid workers will help feed tens of thousands of adults and children in the days to come.

Watch the President's message, and learn how you can support the disaster-relief efforts on the ground:


Thank You, Mr President for your concern of the Filipino People!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

An Appeal for a Charitable Donation

I received the following e-mail asking for a charitable donation. I believe it is a scam. Incidentally, have you donated to the victims of typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines?

Charity Donation
From Mrs. Mabel Ovis
Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire
West Africa.


Greetings in the name of the Almighty God/Allah the giver of every good thing. I know this proposal will definitely come to you as a huge surprise, but I implore you to take your time to go through it carefully as the decision you make will go a long way to determine my future.

I am Mrs. Mabel Ovis an ageing widow of 57 years old suffering from long time illness. I have some funds which I inherited from my late husband, the sum of USD $4,500,000.00 and I needed a very honest and God fearing person who can withdraw this money then use the funds for Charity works. I WISH TO ENTRUST THIS FUND TO YOU FOR CHARITY WORKS.

I found your email address from the internet after honest prayers to the Lord/Allah to bring me HONEST PERSON I CAN CONFIDE ON, and I decided to contact you if you may be willing and interested to handle these trust funds in good faith. I am desperately in keen need of assistance and I have summoned up courage to contact you for this task, you must not fail me and the millions of the poor people in our today’s WORLD.

This is not stolen money and there are no dangers involved. Please if you would be able to use the funds for the Charity works please kindly let me know immediately.

Please kindly respond quickly for further details if you can handle this task.


Mrs. Mabel Ovis.

Personal Note: Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda that devastated Central Philippines last week has spurred numerous appeals for donation all over the Web. Be sure that your donation goes to the right organization. Your donation must go directly to the victims and not for the administrative expenses of the organization.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Yolanda Update: Keep Away Relief Goods From Politicians

The official death list is more than 3,600 as of today. The police official that projected the deaths to be more than 10,100 was fired. Tearful Anderson Cooper of CNN defends news broadcast of typhoon disaster. Relief is slowly progressing. Thank you to all the donors of goods, medicines, money from the International community and to all the local and non-filipino volunteers. Do not give the Relief goods to the Pinoy politicians. They will put it in their own pockets just like the Pork barrel Funds. Excellent Instructions from the UN to the US Marines!
Haiyan Relief: UN Instructs U.S. Marines to Keep Relief Goods Away from Philippine Officials - International Business Times

UN Instructs US Marines to Keep Away Relief Goods from Pinoy Politicians

The official dead list is more than 3,600 today. The police official that projected the deaths to be more than 10,100 was fired. Tearful Anderson Cooper of CNN defends news broadcast of typhoon disaster. Relief is slowly progressing. Thank you from all the donors of goods, medicines, money from the International community and to all the local and non-filipino volunteers.
Do not give the Relief goods to the Pinoy politicians. They will put it in their own pockets just like the Pork barrel Funds. Excellent Instructions from the UN to the US Marines!
Haiyan Relief: UN Instructs U.S. Marines to Keep Relief Goods Away from Philippine Officials - International Business Times

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Indian Casinos Of Northern California

The newest and biggest Indian Casinos in Northern California, Draton Resort and Casino at Rohnert Park grand opening was last November 5. I applied for a players card two weeks prior to the opening and received a reply that I will received it before the opening day. Today 8 days after the opening no player cards have appeared in my mail box. I do not feel this is a good public relation effort from Draton. On the other hand Thunder Valley Casino (TVC) in Lincoln, I believe has the best public relation department of all the Casinos in Northern California.

Two weeks ago, I sent an e-mail to the four biggest Indian Casinos in Northern California (Numbers 1, 2. 3 in the list below and Draton ). I was asking for pay out percentages of their slot machines and some information on the manufacturers. Only TVC replied, the others Casinos ignored my question. The Vice President of Slot Machines Operations at TVC was very helpful and very patient in answering my questions. In addition he promised that the next time we visit the Casino, he will give us ( me, my wife and a neighbor) $50 each free slot play that day. Yesterday the three of us went to TVC and enjoyed our free slot play as well as a buffet dinner that the manager also gave us. This is an example of excellent public relation effort of a Casino. Needless to say, we will patronize TVC and not the other Casinos nearby.

If you have been following my blogs, I have already written a couple of postings on this subject. There are two Indian Casinos within 30 minutes driving time from our residence, Thunder Valley (TVC) and Red Hawk Casinos (RHC). TVC is the second most profitable casino in the US according to recent reports. RHC is only about four years old, but catching up in earnings with TVC. There are two other casinos within 90 minutes driving time from our residence.

The top ten Indian Casinos in Northern California excluding Draton are as follows: This is based on the total number of slot machines. Based on floor size Thunder Valley Casino is the number 1. If you enjoyed the Casinos, Northern California is an ideal place to live or visit.

1. CACHE CREEK CASINO RESORT, Brooks, California
Slot Machines: 3,130
Floor Size: 74,720 square feet
Table Games: 143
Tribal Organization: Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation

2. THUNDER VALLEY CASINO, Lincoln, California
Slot Machines: 2,700
Floor Size: 165,000 square feet
Gaming Tables: 105
Tribal Organization: United Auburn Indian Community

3. RED HAWK CASINO, Placerville, California
Slot Machines: 2,100
Floor Size: 88,000 square feet
Gaming Tables: 75
Tribal Organization: Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians

4. TABLE MOUNTAIN CASINO, Friant, California
Slot Machines: 2,000
Floor Size: 50,000 square feet
Table Games: 47
Bingo: 800 seat
Tribal Organization: Table Mountain Rancheria

5. TACHI PALACE CASINO, Lemoore, California
Slot Machines: 2,000
Floor Size: 140,000 square feet
Table Games: 56
Bingo: 850 seats
Tribal Organization: Tachi Yokut Tribe - Santa Rosa Rancheria

6. CHUKCHANSI GOLD RESORT & CASINO, Coursegold, California
Slot Machines: 1,800
Floor Size:
Table Games: 41
Tribal Organization: Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians

Slot Machines: 1,525
Floor Size: 147,000 square feet
Table Games:49
Tribal Organization: Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians

8. RIVER ROCK CASINO, Geyserville, California
Slot Machines: 1,600
Floor Size: 35,500 square feet
Table Games: 29
Tribal Organization: Dry Creek Band of Pomo Indians

9.EAGLE MOUNTAIN CASINO, Porterville, California
Slot Machines: 1,400
Floor Size: 70,000 square feet
Table Games: 13
Bingo: 450 seats
Tribal Organization: Tule River Tribe of Yokuts

10. BLACK OAK CASINO, Tuolumne, California
Slot Machines: 1,024
Floor Size: 22,500 square feet
Table Games: 27
Tribal Organization: Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk

My wife and I have visited all of the above casinos except numbers 5 and 6 and Draton.

Gambling on Line: If you are lazy to drive or dress-up, you could always enjoy gambling by playing on line any time of the day or night with live dealers. Most of these on-line websites are outside the US. The one in England www.livecasino.uk.com comes to mind. You can play poker, black Jack and other games free for a while and then you are enticed to bit and play with money via credit card. Be careful again, this is also addicting and convenient.

May I reiterate that any form of gambling is addictive. Beware of "come-ons" and other advertising gimmicks targeted to senior citizens. Gamble wisely and stick to your budget and have FUN! Lastly gamble only the money you can afford!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Dancing Prisoners of Cebu, Philippines

The last week typhoon that devastated Central Philippines including the island of Cebu has shown that most of the people in this planet have a kind heart as shown by aids and donation from more than a dozen countries of the World to the Philippines. This natural disaster also reminded me of the latest video of the Dancing Prisoners from Cebu. I am posting this to lift our spirits and just for a few minutes forget about the sufferings of the victims of typhoon Yolanda in Central Philippines. Enjoy this video.

This is the latest video of the Prisoners from the Cebu Detention and Rehabilitation Center in the Philippines. Just in case you did not remember, the prison inmates Thriller performance made it to the pages of Time—on the international magazine’s list of the most watchable Internet videos for 2007.

The inmates' interpretation of the Thriller music video was ranked the fifth of 10 "most popular viral videos" of the year, or the "Web clips we couldn’t stop watching". The list also included appearances by Hillary Clinton, Will Ferrell and Chris Crocker for his Leave Britney Alone! clip. Time described the convicts as "orange-jump-suited accused murderers, rapists and drug dealers", and noted that their performance was made in "homage" to Jackson's Thriller. The magazine stated that the viral video had been downloaded more than ten million times.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Today is 11-12-13- Is this Your Lucky Day?

Is today your lucky day? A lot of people believe it is a lucky day, since today it is a three-consecutive day( 11-12-13). Couples all over the world, homo and hetero have scheduled this day to get married according to reports from several news agencies. Others go to the Casino and hope their dreams of hitting the jack pot will be realized. Others promise to themselves to change the direction of their lives and make a few resolutions just like it is a New Year.

A three-consecutive day occurred last year on 10-11-12. The next and last three-consecutive day will be next year, on 12-13-14. Next year three consecutive day is just seven days before my 80th birthday, so I hope it will be a lucky day for me. Whether today is a lucky day for you or not, you must be thankful to God for all the blessings He gave you and your loved ones. Personally, I am thankful to God for giving me good health if not riches. I am also hoping that this lucky day will continue as long as I am in this planet Earth.

Along this line and thinking of the recent natural disaster in the Philippines with a projected fatalities of over 10,000, I wish the Filipino people particularly in Central Philippines, Good luck. I am also extending my prayers to all who had been affected by typhoon Yolanda specially today and the future months ahead for a rapid recovery and return to normalcy as soon as possible.

In the meantime, please enjoy this video for today is your Lucky Day.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Children Choir of Looc, Bohol, Central Philippines

Today's update on the typhoon Yolanda that hit Central Philippines including Bohol last Friday has projected the death toll to over 10,000. It is indeed very depressing to read this. The inhabitants of Central Philippines specialty in Tacloban, Leyte need our help. Let us forget for a moment this depressing news and listen to the following video to give us hope and pray that there will not be another storm as destructive as Yolanda.*

Last month earthquake in Bohol had place the town of Looc in the world's map again. Prior to this catastrophic natural disaster, Looc, Bohol has been known because of its award winning children choir(LCC). The following video shows some of the songs that made the choir known over the world. The LCC was composed of 26 children ages 10 to 13 from the Loboc Central Elementary School

In 2003, the choir was presented by the Metropolitan Museum of Manila in a series of concert tours in Europe dubbed "TUBO: A Musical Journey for Heritage and Peace."

The Choir garnered two major awards at the Europe and its Songs 6th International Folksong Choir Festival, held in Barcelona, Spain, from September 17 to 21, 2003. The LCC rated 97.5 points which earned it the First prize with a Gold Medal in the Children's Choir category. The international jury likewise awarded the Loboc Children's Choir the Europe and its Songs 2003 Cup for having achieved the overall highest mark in all categories, surpassing the marks of twelve other international choirs.

* A storm named Zenaida is projected to reach the Philippines in the next three days. I hope it will be milder and less fierce as its sister Yolanda. Let us hope and pray, it will not pass Central Philippines again.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Carenna Says Farewell to Bo Bear

Bo Bear, my granddaughter pet dog has found a permanent home. She will have the company of Bea ( a black pomeranian) all day. Carenna will miss Bo Bear but glad Bo has found a place she will be happy all day.

Gimlet saying goodbye to Bo Bear
Bea-Bo Bear New Buddy All Day

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Origin of the Word Olympics

I saw this article from the status page of a FB friend. He said he does not mind if I share it with you, my blog and skrive.it readers. Also remember, there are only 90 days before the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

A slave call girl from Sardinia named Desdemona was attending a great but as yet unnamed athletic festival 2500 years ago in Greece. In those days, believe it or not, the athletes performed naked.

To prevent unwanted arousal while competing, the men imbibed freely on drink containing saltpeter before and throughout the variety of events.

At the opening ceremonial parade, Desdemona observed the first wave of naked magnificent males marching toward her and she exclaimed: "OH!! Limp pricks!"

Over the next two and a half millennia that morphed into " Olympics".

Just thought I'd share this new found knowledge with you. You're very welcome!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Storm of the Century Hits Central Philippines

My former neighbor In Barotac Viejo, Iloilo sent me a message in FaceBook a few minutes ago, that the storm is now hitting the town. His Dad is in the hospital. I can not do much but pray. Here's today video from CNN.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Biggest Storm of the Decade Heading for Central Philippines

The biggest storm of the year heading for Central Philippines. My special prayer for the residents of my second home in the Island of Marinduque.
marinduque rising: Typhoon Haiyan Poses A Serious Threat To The Phili...: Super Typhoon Haiyan a Serious Threat to the Philippines By  Kristina Pydynowski , Senior Meteorologist November 06, 2013; 5:58 AM...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

One of My Favorite Slot Machines-China Shores

Last month playing with the One Cent slot machine, China Shores( manufactured by Konami from Japan), with a bet of 60c, I won 381 free games that resulted into a $350 cash win at our local Casino here in Northern California. This win arose my curiosity on the payout percentages of slot machines. My article on pay out percentages and manufacturers of slot machines was published yesterday on this blog.

The following video shows how this anonymous player won $770 choosing the free games instead of the cash price with a 0.90c bet and winning more than 500 free games. So which is better, the cash price or the free games? Watch this video and judge it for yourself.

In a rare cases you can win up to $150 with the minimum bet of 0.30c in some Slots. In general, the bigger you bet the more you win...

This is another video showing a big win, but the gambler was betting $2 per push. I never bet more than $1 in a One cent Slot machine, so my chance of winning big is zero. I do not really go to the Casino to get rich, but just have a good time. I can not afford a $2.00 bet per push in any of the One Arm Bandit Machines.

ATTENTION: Slot Machines Playing is very addicting. So before you play the slots, be sure it is your extra money, not the money you will need to buy your groceries or pay for your electric bill or house payment. Your chance of getting rich playing the slots( one-arm bandits) is almost nil or very near zero.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Slot Machines-Pay Out Percentages

If you have been following my blogs you already know that my wife and I go to the Casino every other week for our entertainment. We usually play the Slots and partake the delicious and reasonably price food offerings of the buffet and other restaurants inside the Casinos. We usually take our neighbor who is also a slot enthusiast. One day my neighbor ask me if I know the pay out percentages and return to player (RTP)of the slots machines. I told her I really do not know except that the slots are run by the computers based on the Generated Random Numbers (GRN). I promise my neighbor I will do some Internet search on it and asked questions from Executives in the Casinos that we patronize here in Northern California.

My questions are: Can you gave me the percentage pay out of your slot machines?
Who manufactures the most popular slot machines in your Casino? My favorite slot machine is China Shore made by Konami? What do you know about Konami slots?

I sent this to the four Northern California Casinos including the newest one opening this week. I only received an answer from one. Here's the answer on pay out percentages and on slot machines manufacturers from one of the local casino we patronize.

1.Regarding the payback percentages or RTP of our machines, this information will not be provided by any casino here in the US. Just as with any other privately held/owned company in this country we do not share any financial, operational or revenue data.

2.Regarding payout- There is a regulation in most States that says the difference in payout percentage between the minimum and maximum bet can’t be more than 4%. That means if you’re playing a machine that allows you to bet 1 credit minimum up to 5 credits maximum the payback percentage for the one credit bet cannot be 4% less than the payback percentage for 5 credits bet. That keeps the machine manufacturers from forcing a player to bet more to get a better payback percentage. But there is very little regulation from State-to-State regarding minimum and maximum payback percentages allowed.

3. With regards to slot machines manufacturers: Most of the slot machines today have the software developed by the manufacturer that allows the casino to select from several payback percentage options. And, depending on the game, there are options from as high 97- 98% to as low as 88%. There are machines on the floor in our Casino that are set to over 98% payback. I know of other Casinos that has had game software developed specifically for them with payback percentages as low as 84%. The rule of thumb for just about every casino operator is that the more the player bets the better the payback percentage offered. That’s why someone playing a dollar game betting $5 at a time would get a better payback percentage than a player on a penny machine betting $3 at a time. That’s a generally accepted rule but I’m sure there are casino operators that don’t follow that rule.

4. As far as the gaming manufacturers, there are probably 20 – 25 different slot manufacturers in the U.S. and more around the World. We currently have machines on our floor from 15 different manufacturers most in the U.S. but with two coming from Australian owned companies and two from Japanese owned companies. Konami is just one of those. And while their machines perform well they are not the best machines on our floor. The machines from IGT make up the largest percentage of the floor. Konami would be somewhere around the 4th or 5th as far as how many machines they have on the floor in our Casino.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Writing for ViewsHound was a Pleasure

Photo from allowwomenstalk.com

Positive comments and feedbacks to my articles are the reasons why I keep writing for ViewsHound (VH). However, if by a twist of fortune and luck, I win a couple more awards, it will be icing on the cake and will be highly appreciated.

I started writing for VH last August. As of today, I have submitted more than sixty articles and photographs. I have over 23,500 views, 22 followers, 9 badges, a gold and bronze winning articles. The following are my favorite commentators and their comments: M. Abott, D. Hamilton, G. Maoli, L. Arota, J. Bird, S. Ozmore, D. Page, D. Reynolds, J. Willoughby, S. Powers, S.C. Joy, L. Silverman, M. Dragoo, F. Lachica, V. Vizarra and G. Buesnel.

Mark Abbott.UTEP- Comment to, You have to fail on order to succeed.

I think this is the most positive thing I've read all week and possibly even all month. I wish everyone had the "can do" attitude that you have. I've been struggling like hell to perfect it for some time now and as discouraging as it can be at times, I think I've made a great deal of progress. I remember reading someones quote once (can't remember who it was) that said if you fail 999 times out of 1,000, you actually succeeded in finding 999 ways NOT to do something. Thanks so much for posting this. It makes a world of difference to see the necessary little reminders in the work of other writers.

Deb Hamilton · Top Commenter · Chicago, Illinois- Comment to, The best Christmas gift I have ever received.

I really loved this story! You must make friends easily... or I don't think your support system would have been this strong. You deserve some of the credit here, for sure. Very sweet tale.

Gianandrea Maoli · Top Commenter · Freelance writer at ViewsHound- Comment to, Am I a born or made writer?

Wow! One of the most encouraging pieces I've seen on VH! I would say that as far as great writers are concerned, I think there's a combination of being born to be great and being made into one. I think that even if your are born into it, it does take a writer a lot of time, patience, and even courage to keep writing and learning until they find the right way to express themselves. I do agree with you that it has great therapy tools to express your thoughts which is what I try to do with short stories in general. You did that very well in this work and I hope to see others from you in the future.

Lorna Paroginog Arota · Chinese Gen. Hospital school of nursing -Comment to, Childhood memories of the Japanese-American war in the Philippines-Part 2

You captured the WWII story through your wife's perspective in such an emotional and personal way. Your mother in- law lost a sister very dear to her heart from the hands of merciless Japanese soldiers who by no means will not spare any lives if you're in their way. I don't blame your mother for hating the Japanese, as my mother also did. That is the cruelty of war. Great article! you deserve another gold prize Dave.

Jan Bird · Top Commenter · College of Ripon & York St John -Comment to, Am I a born or made Writer?

This is the first article I've read today, David and it's a good one! I'm flattered to be quoted but I've never thought of myself as a "born" writer. I'm not fishing there, it's just not how I think of it. I think you can always learn and that we're all learning, constantly, from everything we write and everything we read, whether it's fiction, other writers' articles or mainstream journalism. We learn both how to do it and how not to do it. It is a craft and we can spend a lifetime perfecting and refining it. That's going to be one of life's pleasures for me for the rest of my life. I'm delighted for you that you've discovered such a love for writing and such a talent for getting your personal thoughts into words. You followed your heart and it shows. Your pieces are always deeply personal and reflective and I really enjoy that.

Susan Ozmore · Top Commenter- Comment to, I have an inferiority complex writing for ViewsHound

I really enjoyed your article. I'm a math/science person and also feel a sense of inferiority when compared to people who have spent far more time writing than I have. Although, I've done quite a bit of technical writing and have been told I do a very good job "translating" complex things into understandable prose, I still haven't gotten up the nerve to write for ViewsHound. I have started a blog though, and knowing that I'm not alone in feeling inadequate, maybe I'll get up the nerve soon to write for VH. The only thing is that your article is Excellent! I don't know if I can compare :-) Keep writing!

Dennis L. Page · Top Commenter · Onondaga- Comment to, Childhood memories of the Japanese-American war in the Philippines

You have presented the reader with a gut wrenching and true to life experience that only those like you, who experience such things can relay to the rest of us. My deceased father served in the United States Army in combat during WW II. First he was in New Guinea and then in the jungles of the Philippines. He was also taken from the front lines to learn how to do the initial land invasion of Japan. That, of course, never happened, but my dad always spoke highly of the Filipino people.

Debra Copley Reynolds · Top Commenter · Consultant at Princess House, Inc. -Comment to, Childhood memories of the Japanese-American war in the Philippines

A fascinating read, thank you. My grandfather served on a supply ship during WWII and told a few stories, I wish I had listened closer. Consider writing your tale in book length, please!

Jessica Willoughby · Top Commenter · Hard to Define at Developmental Skills Center-Comment to, Why I have an inferiority complex writing for ViewsHound

David, thank you for your kind words in your article. I love that you wrote this from such an authentic and honest viewpoint of how you felt. However, I want you to know that you are not alone in that feeling. To be completely honest, I think we all feel that way about something at some point. The very people you were so kind to put me in the company of, leave me in awe with their words. I could only aspire to someday write half as well as them. I think that you are a good writer. I write about topics which feel comfortable and creative for me. I love to read the work of so many others people because I can gain knowledge on topics that I am naive on. I enjoy reading about the things you write about, and there is never a need to feel inferior to anyone else. Easier said than done, I know. I am much better at giving that advice, than living that advice. Thanks again for your kind words. Nice piece, and keep up the good work. The more we write, the better we become. You know the old adage, practice makes perfect :) Have a great evening David!

Sarah Powers · Milwaukee, Wisconsin- Comment to, Domestic abuse against men: the battered husband

Thank you for writing this article, I know of a lot of people who don't believe, excuse, ignore, or even laugh at abuse of husbands. It's unfortunate that society feels this way about the abuse, and even rape of men. Hopefully articles like this will inspire people to think critically about these issues and what equality really means.

Susan Creamer Joy · Top Commenter · Works at Freelance Artist- Comment to, Memorable excerpts from the writings of my favorite authors at ViewsHound

Leslie is correct, David. We'll need enlarged exits from VH now:)) As for me, I am flattered and thrilled to be among this talented bunch and am equally inspired by and impressed with the many other wonderful writers here, yourself included:) Now, will someone call my driver and fetch my wrap? :)) Thank you, indeed!

Leslie Silverman · Top Commenter- Comment to, Why I am writing for ViewsHound

As always, David - honest, and direct well stated. Thanks for the mention. Keep writing for viewshound so we have the pleasure of reading you!

Michelle Dragoo · Top Commenter · Supervisor, Anatomic Pathology at Edward Hospital-Comment to, Memorable excerpts from my favorite ViewsHound authors

I have never been recognized, so, thank YOU. This truly brought tears to my eyes. I feel blessed to be in this esteemed group of writers.

Fernando Ceballos Lachica · Top Commenter · Works at Triond-Comment to, I have inferiority complex writing for ViewsHound.

Your writing style is great and I loved it! I can relate to your article actually. A Gold for you today! Cheers David!

Vic Vizarra · Top Commenter · Technology Consultant/Managing Owner at Viz-Mart Int'l. Computers-Comment to-Afterglows in the sunset of our lives.

I am now beginning to follow your articles and blogs. Hopefully you could lead me to your article about the revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. I was then an electrical engineering student in 1977 when I visited the nuclear power plant as part of our field trip requirement for graduation. I was pretty much impressed by the design and set-up of said power plant and was just sad to know it just got wasted and not utilized as intended.

**Gail Buesnel · Top Commenter-Comment to, Childhood memories of the Japanese-American War in the Philippines**

David thank you for this aspect of the war. My uncle was a British POW held by the Japanese and freed by General MacArthur the same day the Japanese sent in death squads to murder all prisoners. He has written a book and a portion of it deals with his POW experiences. It would be fascinating to have all aspects recorded in a book, yours as a civillian, the POW's, the liberating Americans and even a Japanese soldier. I am going to try to send this article to my uncle via my cousin. Congratulations on winning the prize.

I have several more positive comments from my other articles for the ViewsHound community. But this article is already long. May I reiterate that the above comments had inspired me to continue writing for ViewsHound-one of my favorite writing site. If you read ViewsHound, please continue your feedbacks and I will continue writing for ViewsHound.

* ViewsHound was a UK writing site now defunct, but my pleasant memories writing for the site will never be erased in my memory.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Non-Filipino Choir Singing Philippine Classics

As a Filipino-American, hearing Filipino classics sang by non-Filipinos gave me the chills and hearing it makes me nostalgic of my high school and college years in the Philippines. The following videos and other in the sets is a must viewed if you like choral music. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Nutritional Supplement for Diabetics-My ABC Shake

My wife is taking a nutritional supplement for diabetics as prescribed by her doctor called Glucerna. This is similar to Ensure, but formulated for those who have diabetes. You could purchase Glucerna Shake in any store either in Vanilla or Chocolate flavor. It will cost you around $9.99 to $11.99 for a 6-pack 8 oz bottles depending on the store.

Today, my sister in law sent me a recipe for a homemade nutritional supplement, she called it the ABC Smoothie or Shake. A is for apple, B is for Bitter melon( ampalaya) and C for Cucumber or Carrots. Here's a very simple recipe. One Bitter Melon or Ampalaya (large size), One cucumber ( large) and One apple, yellow delicious ( large). Two carrots if you don't like cucumber. Blend all in the blender. Add water, the amount will depend in how you like the consistency of the shake. The shake taste good but a slight bitter taste because of the ampalaya. The bitter taste ingredient in the Ampalaya is known to lower blood sugar.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Tripe Soup-Caribbean versus Pinoy-Italian Version

Cow Tripe Soup-Italian-Pinoy Style
Yesterday, my next door neighbor who was originally from Italy surprise my wife and I with cow tripe soup that she cooked. She said she just makes this soup once and a while, but she was very grateful with us taking her out to the Casino every other week so she makes the soup as a special treat. I once mentioned to her that in the Philippines, one of my favorite dish is cow tripe cooked in tomato sauce with garbanzo beans and plantains.

I also know that the best tripe soup is the Caribbean version that a former college mate once prepared during one of our pot luck parties while I was still in graduate school. I also am aware that tripe has to be pressured cook so it will be tender or boil for at least two hours. During the boiling process, the fat that floats at the top of the pot is removed so that it still be a healthy meal for people who are overweight, diabetics or have high blood pressure like myself and my wife. Here's the recipe that my Caribbean friend gave me. He said this recipe was from his mother a native of Jamaica. The following recipe will served 6 and takes about 3 to 4 hours to prepare.


2 Tsp oil
1 cup diced onions( preferably sweet onions)
4 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
2 lbs cow tripe, cut up and thoroughly washed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb pumpkin (calabaza squash), cut into small sized chunks
2 lbs half-ripe plantains, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch
8 -10 okra
Dumplings (optional)


Heat oil in pressure cooker. Add onions and saute until translucent, 3-4 minutes

Add 2 sprigs of thyme and saute for 1 minute. Add tripe along with salt and pepper to taste and saute for 4 minutes. Add 6 cups water, stir and cover pressure cook and let cook for 50-55 minutes. Time begins from the first whistle.

Add enough water to make soup, cover pot and pressure cook for 6 minutes. Time begins from the first whistle. Release pressure cooker valve to let out steam and open pressure cooker. Add pumpkin, plantains and remaining thyme. Cook until plantains are almost melting. (Do not close pressure cooker at this stage, just rest the cover on top of the pot).

Add okra and dumplings to pot, cover and let cook for 7-9 minutes or until dumplings are cooked thoroughly. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Stir and serve.

The Philippines-Italian version is much simpler. Instead of plantain, my neighbor used potato cubes and no squash and okra are in the recipe. The pure Filipino version is very similar to the Caribbean recipe, but instead of okra, garbanzo beans are used. This soup is one of my favorite dishes. It is considered a main dish in the Philippines, not just a soup. There is a restaurant in Marinduque that prepares a delicious version of this tripe dish. Have You tasted a tripe dish?

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