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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Unbroken-A World War II Movie in the Pacific

If you like World War II movies between the US and Japan, you will enjoy this movie. I did not really enjoyed it because of the brutality and cruelty in the movie. It also reminded me of other sad movies as the Bataan Death March and American Guerrilla in the Philippines. But the movie is based on a true story and decently produced and directed by Angelina Jolie. It received a few Oscar nominations, but did not win any major Oscar award this year, except for the best sound and editing.

Unbroken is a 2014 American biographical war drama film, produced and directed by Angelina Jolie, and based on the 2010 non-fiction book by Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. The film revolves around the life of USA Olympian and athlete Louis "Louie" Zamperini, portrayed by Jack O'Connell. Zamperini survived in a raft for 47 days after his bomber was downed in World War II, then was sent to a series of prisoner of war camps.

At the end of the film, there is a slideshow showing what happened after the war. Louis was married and had two children. Phil survived and eventually married his sweetheart. Mutsuhiro "Bird" Watanabe went into hiding for several years and successfully evaded prosecution in spite of being listed in the top 40 most-wanted Japanese war criminals by General Douglas MacArthur. Louie forgave his war-time captors and met with many of them. Watanabe, however, refused to meet with Louie.

In January 1998, Louis had an opportunity to revisit his time as an Olympian when he ran a leg of the Olympic Torch relay for the Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan. He was four days short of his 81st birthday. The site for his leg of the relay was not far from one of the POW camps where he was held during the war. The closing titles reveal that Louie died on July 2, 2014 at age 97.

The film had its world premiere in Sydney on November 17, 2014, and received a wide release in the United States on December 25, 2014. The film received mixed reviews from critics. Watch the movie on line at:


We watch this movie on Comcast on Demand movie for $4.99. Let me know if you like the movie or not.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Simple Celebration of Macrine's 79th Birthday

Last Thursday( March 26) was my wife ( of 58 years) 79th Birthday. We celebrated her birthday by just going out to a nearby Red Lobster Restaurant and ordered her favorite dish of two Maine Lobster Tails and her favorite drink, the Margarita Gold. Along with the main dish we have cheese cake with fresh strawberries. We also had a mushrooms stuffed with Dungeness crab meat as appetizer.

Macrine received several birthday greetings on her FaceBook page. The one above was from her first cousin Angie Jambalos Aulds from Paradise, California. Macrine also received a video greeting from Wesley Lazarte Chalfin, son of Lanie Lazarte Chalfin from Mountain View, California. Lanie is the oldest daughter of Fe Jambalos, younger sister of Macrine. Merlet Perlas and Violeta Laririt also send their birthday greetings.

Another greeting that Macrine treasured was a note card from Loyda Sore from Silver Spring, Maryland. Loyda is a long time friend of ours. We have known Loyda since 1990 when we first moved to the Washington DC area after accepting a position with the Food and Drug Administration, Center of New Drugs, Division of Anti-Infective Drug Products.

We received another note from Irene Rose Catague, a relative we first meet in Maryland in the mid 1990's. Irene send us a card from Paris France just wishing Macrine well and noting she has not forgotten how we welcomed her during her first few months here in the US. She is now married with one son and resides in Texas.

Macrine also received birthday greetings from her other sister, Sister Guia Jambalos, R.C from Davao. Her Facebook page listed birthday greetings from Ditas, from me, Efren Katague my brother in Australia, Yong Nieva ( first cousin in Manila,Olga Quiazon ( first cousin from Vancouver via telephone)) and Agnes Apeles ( also Clemen Lardizabal). The first photo below was taken during our Red Lobster early dinner last Thursday and the second photo taken prior to dinner at our kitchen and breakfast area.

At Red Lobster in her light blue outfit.
At our residence before dinner

The day culminated with us watching Angelia Jolie movie Unbroken. We watched it on Comcast Movie on Demand for only $4.99. If you have not seen this movie, read my review on my next blog in a couple of days.

Lastly, Thank you all for wishing Macrine a Happy Birthday on her 79th year on planet Earth!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Time for Some Music for the Soul and Spirit

Its about time to enjoy music for the soul. Enjoy the video and all 50 videos in the playlist!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Photo Mementos from Ditas 50th Birthday Party

About 100 guests, friends and relatives attended Ditas Macrine Katague 50th birthday Party last Saturday. However today, March the 23rd is the real date of her birthday. Ditas was born in Kansas City, Missouri on a snowy morning 50 years ago at the Kansas City North Memorial Hospital. I could not forget that day, since I was so scared driving on ice and sleet that day on my way to the hospital, after my wife Macrine Nieva Jambalos Katague started to complain of labor pains telling us our youngest daughter is ready to see the world.

Last Saturday celebration was a blast based on comments and photos published on Ditas FaceBook page. The following are some of the photos of that happy event in my youngest daughter's life.

The highlight of the party was Carenna's singing and guitar playing. Carenna sang 4 songs. One of the songs she wrote and composed herself. Here are two comments from the guests regarding Carenna's singing talent.

"She has an amazing and special voice. I was spellbounded listening to her live. I am sure that you will open all the doors that are needed for her to get a recording.

A room full of adults stood there spellbound. She's peaceful and graceful. When she takes the stage, she's brave and her voice can hit the soft and strong notes so naturally. And she writes her own music. Amazing. What a finale to a great party."

Here are some comments about the party:

"Dang, do you know how to throw a party, Ditas Katague!! This was truly special and unique event. What a beautiful, positive way to celebrate an important milestone year. Thanks for sharing your special day with me and so many of your wonderful friends. Happy Birthday!!!"

"Such a great event. Unique and memorable, Just like you!"

"I became interested in Pranayam breathing after listening to a lecture by a western medicine doctor who had studied ancient Indian meditation. After years of resisting anything related to spiritualism (I suffered at the hands of a very abusive method called the Grinberg Method) I gave into the gentle peersuasions of a very special person, Ditas Katague. She organized a beautiful birthday party in downtown Sacramento and the first hour involved a full lesson of Yoga. I'm hooked. Going to start regular lessons. One day I guess I'll master the art of alternate nostril breathing "

"Happy 50th Birthday Ditas! I do miss you. Your art is amazing...Just like you!"

Last Saturday's party was a fun afternoon-evening filled with arts, yoga, music, food and drinks and good company. Again, my beloved daughter may you have several decades more birthdays to come. Remember when you celebrate your 100th birthday, I will be 130 years old, long gone, but happy to know that I have a good daughter and grand daughter named Ditas and Carenna. Love you both!(From DAD and MOM).

Friday, March 20, 2015

Time for Some Oldies from the Platters

If you grew up in the 1950's to 1960's, you should remember these two songs by the Platters. Enjoy! Comment?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Daily Struggles of Two Caregivers

In my first posting about Caregivers, I emphasized that caregivers must have a break or help from others to prevent burning out. In this article I will describe in detail what my daily activities are and how I manage not to burn out. The second story is a conversation of myself and another caregiver of how she manages her life and at the same time taking care of her husband. She will remain anonymous for privacy reasons

One of my primary duties as the primary caregiver for my wife who has Parkinson's Disease is to help her take her medications on time. The second item is to insure she take balance meals and reminds her of her daily exercises. If its a good and sunny day, we will take a short walk around the house perhaps from 5 to 10 minutes depending in how she feels that day.

My wife needs help dialing the phone and putting on the TV. In the morning she is sometimes weak before she takes her medications. Later on in the afternoon, she feels better and will try to help me cook dinner. Before I know it is time to bed. This daily routine is only interrupted by our twice a month trip to the Casinos and Dinner. Her monthly beauty shop and quarterly trip to two doctors-a GP and a neurologist is another break in our daily routine. There are times when she feels like going to church or to the Filipino store after church, otherwise we attend mass in Television every Sunday. My son who lives with us and works full time help me takes care of his Mom on his day off. Without my son's help, I probably would have burn out by now. In between my care giving duties, I manage maintaining my blogs, writing activities, and play computer games(bridge) for my own mental health.

The following is a FB conversation between myself and a long long time friend who is also the primary caregiver to her husband suffering from a rare neurological disorder. For the sake of privacy I will just call her FBM and her husband Steve( not his real name)

"Hi Dave, Just started a while ago face booking and I saw your message. I am sorry I was not able to respond to you soon today. Great to be able to contribute on your new article about caregivers. Being a nurse helps me a lot understanding the medical "lingo" thrown at me whenever I take Steve to the doctors. Taking care of Steve and understanding his illness are challenging but I can handle them.

The hardest part I went through and is still is, is making decisions for every day problems, whether I should do this or do that without getting a second opinion from somebody I trust. I guess I was afraid to make a mistake then and even up to now with my decision making. An example is our rental house, which I am debating whether to upgrade the bathrooms and the flooring; will I have to increase the rent and how much? I guess we grew up in our culture that expects the man/husband to do the decision making for the family and that's how I got used to.

So, since Steve became ill, I have to learn fast and do all the decision making. Reading books, navigating the internet, talking with friends are my resources to increase my knowledge on problems/issues I have to solve.

Praying also helps me a lot to ease the burden of making a decision. Since I am able to leave Steve alone for 2-3 hours, I can see my friends for lunch or go do my errands which is a great therapy for me.I walk everyday as much as possible for half an hour for health reason. I still do the housework but I am not over zealous in keeping our house neat, tidy and clean.

I hired a gardener and a pool cleaner when Steve started to get sick so that has been a big help for me. My oldest son and family live closely so if in emergency I can call him or his wife to help me out. Just this week, my daughter in-law took my car to Modesto for front power window repair. I have a handy man who helps me fix little things in the house. I enjoy reading articles about caregivers and I know your article will be a good one for me to read once you have finished it. I hope my little contribution may add a little insight to your project. Love and regards to Macrine."

My response: Hi FBM, thank you so much for your reply. Your detailed response is much appreciated. I think, I will make a separate article on this. I will not mentioned your name, but your personal experience will be helpful to others who are in your situation. Again may I reiterate that as a caregiver, we should not forget to take care of ourselves otherwise we will burn out.

Friday, March 13, 2015

My Octogenarian or Older Seniors Pride List

My wife's Aunt- Elizabeth Nieva Santo Domingo and Yong Nieva( Macrine's first cousin)-Photo by Yong Nieva

If you have been reading my blogs, you know I remain mentally active by writing and reading every day since my retirement from the Food and Drug Administration(FDA), Center of New Drugs in 2002. This blog is dedicated to all senior citizens all over the world who are 80 years old or older but are still active both physically and mentally. The list is not in any particular order of importance.

The first senior citizen in this Pride List is Macrine's aunt- Mrs Elizabeth Nieva Santo Domingo. She is 91 years old (see picture above). She keeps active by her daily walk to daily mass to church. She eats healthy meals and had a happy married life without any children but surrounded and loved by nephews and nieces and other relatives.

The second senior citizen in my list is my next door neighbor, Mrs Lina Edison. She is 84 years old, She lives alone, walks every day and work in her garden everyday. She has never smoked in her life, eat primarily vegetables and seafood products. She attributes her good health by daily exercise and not eating too much meat.

The third person in my list and the most known nationally in Philippines and Marinduque politics is Carmencita Ongsiako Reyes. She was born November 9, 1931. She served as an Assemblywoman from 1985 to 1986, Congresswoman of Marinduque from 1978 to 1998 and 2007 to 2010, as well as governor from 1998 to 2007 and 2010 to present.

Reyes won a seat in the Batasang Pambansa in 1984 under the ruling Kilusang Bagong Lipunan Party of President Ferdinand Marcos. She aligned herself with then-Marinduque Governor Aristeo Lecaroz, also of the KBL Party. Reyes was a close ally of the Marcos regime. Her husband, Edmundo M. Reyes, was appointed by President Marcos as the Commissioner on Immigration. Reyes served as an Assemblywoman until the 1986 EDSA Revolution drove Marcos out of power. Edmundo Reyes (now deceased) her husband is my wife's second cousin.

The fourth senior citizen in my list is Imelda Marcos. She is known all over the world as the widow of Ferdinand Marcos. Imelda Marcos was born July 2, 1929. In popular culture, she is often remembered for her collection of more than a thousand pairs of shoes.

When President Marcos' government was accused of being involved in the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr., the people in Manila led the so-called People Power Revolution and forced Marcos out of office in 1986. Corazon Aquino, as the then new elected President, requested that American forces at Clark Air Base have the Marcos family exiled to the United States, and they were sent to Hawaii. After the death of Ferdinand, Imelda and her family were granted permission by Aquino to return to the Philippines. Her return has since allowed her to restore her political dynasty. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 1995 for Leyte, and again in 2010 for Ilocos Norte.

The fifth senior citizen in my list is Dr Jose Gan, Ph.D Joe was born on November 30, 1933 in Pavia, Iloilo. He has a Ph. D.,in Biochemistry, U of Illinois at the Medical Center, Chicago,(1960-1964) and was a Postdoctoral fellow at the University of California in Berkeley

During his elementary and high school years he was active in basketball and soccer and other sports . In the US, He plays tennis two to three times during the week.(mainly single); He also dabbled in martial arts (tae kwon do and ninjutsu) in his early fifties and sixties. He quit these sports about 5 years ago when chronic neck pain and other arthritic pains caught up with him. Today he confines his physical activities to yard work (mowing, edging trimming, etc) and flower and vegetable gardening.

Other names in my list are: Dr. Tino Ibabao, MD (91), and Dr Lilia Ferrer Ibabao, MD ( 84)

Here's a video about The Relevant Octogenarians. Octogenarians are persons from 80 to 89 years old and I belong to this group.

Finally, if you know of senior citizens over 80 years old or over who are still active, please let me know so I can add their names to this list.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Primary Caregivers and Burnout

I am a primary caregiver to my wife of 58 years who has Parkinson's Disease. I have learned to be patient, more loving and understanding, but there are times when I am so tired and just want to give up. Parkinson's Disease patients have problem with movement, cognitive problems and change of moods and other physical and mental problems ( side effects of medications).

There are times when my wife could hardly walk in the morning. In her good times, she wants to travel and visit relatives. Sometimes, she acts like a ten year old kid and is hard headed. In my frustrations, I will raise my voice and she will plead because her ears hurt from my high pitch voice. I then realized, it is not her fault to be hard headed because she has a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of her brain.

I am lucky that my wife is not suffering from Alzheimer's Disease (AZ) because the care needed by Alzheimer's patients are more extensive than that of a Parkinson Disease patient. In the case of AZ patients professional caregivers are highly needed and recommended besides the immediate relative in the household. I am also lucky that our youngest son lives with us. He works full time but on his day off, he helps me take care of his Mom. He drives us to our social appointments if the drive is at night and takes longer than one hour because of my eyes( needed cataract surgery). Occasionally, he would help me with the shopping and cooking. He maintains our yard and swimming pool.

Are you a primary caregiver? Who are the caregivers? According to estimates from the National Alliance for Caregiving, during the past year, 65.7 million Americans (or 29 percent of the adult U.S. adult population involving 31 percent of all U.S. households) served as family caregivers for an ill or disabled relative.

Estimates also suggest that the majority of caregivers are female. The percentage of family or informal caregivers who are women range from 53 to 68 percent, according to the Family Caregiver Alliance. While men also provide assistance, female caregivers tend to spend more time providing care than male caregivers (21.9 versus 17.4 hours per week). Further, women are likely to assist with more difficult caregiving tasks, such as toileting and bathing, while men are more likely to assist with finances or arrange for other care (Family Caregiver Alliance, 2012).

I know of two personal friends who are caregivers. One is a retired nurse who takes good care of her husband suffering from a rare neurological disease. The other friend takes care of her mother who is suffering from Dementia. Lucky for her, she has a husband and a sister taking turns taking care of her Mom.

Here's a video about the burning out of a Caregiver. The caregiver need to take care of herself or himself and really needs a break from his or her responsibility every now and then to prevent burnout.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Coping Up with Empty Nest Syndrome (ENS)

I was exchanging messages with a relative in FB recently. In our conversation, she mentioned that all her children have left the house and she misses them. I informed her she is suffering from empty nest syndrome and it is normal or another stage in one's life as we age. Here's her exact words. I am not mentioning her name for the sake of anonymity.

"I was in tears reading your blog(Thank You Lord,I Have Thoughtful Relatives). It reminds me of our situation....just me and my husband in a 4,000sq. ft. house and I have to do the cleaning. My health is not good. I miss my children, how happy and busy was our household before and now they are busy in their professions and family. My eldest who has his medical practice in San Antonio, Texas. He calls us every Sunday, the second one calls when he has a chance. His having two kids is hard and my daughter calls when she remembers. They are all in medical field so working night shifts sometimes is hard. I will have them read your blog. Thanks Nong David".

Here's my response:

I appreciate your feedback, I think your feeling is very normal at this stage of your life. You are suffering from-empty nest syndrome. Keep busy and just count your blessings. Are you still working? Keep in touch! Give my regards to the family!

Here's another conversation between myself and an expat FB friend whose son, ( 18 years old) is leaving the Philippines to visit the US and probably stay there for a year with his American grand parents

Me: I guess this is the time for the oldest one to fly away from home. FBM are you feeling the empty nest syndrome?

FBM: Definitely David. My heart ached already. But I have to let him spread his wings. He has to learn the other side of his culture. But you are spot on, I'm definitely in pain already. Big sigh...

So what is empty nest syndrome(ENS) and how one can cope up with it Here's some information from Wikipedia.

Empty nest syndrome is a feeling of grief and loneliness parents or guardians may feel when their children leave home for the first time, such as to live on their own or to attend a college or university. It is not a clinical condition.

Since a young adult moving out from his or her parents' house is generally a normal and healthy event, the symptoms of empty nest syndrome often go unrecognized. This can result in depression and a loss of purpose for parents, since the departure of their children from "the nest" leads to adjustments in parents' lives. Empty nest syndrome is especially common in full-time mothers.

All parents are susceptible to empty nest syndrome, although some factors can create a predisposition to it. Such factors include an unstable or unsatisfactory marriage, a sense of self based primarily on identity as a parent, or difficulty accepting change in general. Full-time parents (stay-at-home mothers or fathers) may be especially vulnerable to empty nest syndrome. Adults who are also dealing with other stressful life events such as menopause, the death of a spouse, or retirement are also more likely to experience the syndrome.

Symptoms of empty nest syndrome can include depression, a sense of loss of purpose, feelings of rejection, or worry, stress, and anxiety over the child's welfare. Parents who experience empty nest syndrome often question whether or not they have prepared adequately for their child to live independently.

Many mothers, often the primary caregivers, are more likely than fathers to experience empty nest syndrome. However, research has shown that some fathers expressed feelings that they were unprepared for the emotional transition that comes with their child leaving home. Others have stated feelings of guilt over lost opportunities to be more involved in their children's lives before they left home.

One of the easiest ways for parents to cope with empty nest syndrome is to keep in contact with their children. Technological developments such as cell phones, text messaging, and the internet all allow for increased communication between parents and their children.

Parents going through empty nest syndrome can ease their stress by pursuing their own hobbies and interests in their increased spare time. Discussing their grief with each other, friends, families, or professionals may help them. Experts have advised that overwhelmed parents keep a journal, or go back to work if they were full-time parents.

Our personal experience with empty nest syndrome started when our oldest son, went to college. My wife did cry and I told her he will be back at the end of the week to do his laundry. My wife finally accepted the fact that her oldest child is growing up and let him go. This feeling of loneliness was repeated four times, since we have four children. Their first day away from home always gave us a feeling of sadness. The first one was the hardest and the last one was the easiest.

Finally if you are in the stage of your life when you children has to go to college or live by themselves, do not feel sad, It is part of the stage of life. Keep busy and try to communicate to them as often as you can. Here's a short video from UK.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

My First and Last Cock Fighting Experience in Marinduque

I was browsing the Internet yesterday and the subject of cock fighting caught my attention. It reminded me of an article I wrote on the subject about four years ago. Here's a repost of my first and last cockfighting experience in Marinduque, in case you have not read it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 6, 2015

Blind Devotion- A Short Film by the Jubilee Project

The following video went viral in FaceBook just recently. However, just in case you have not seen, here it is, Be sure to have a tissue of Kleenex by your side. I guarantee it will touch your heart. As the primary care giver to my wife who is suffering from Parkinson Disease, I could personally identify with the sentiment of this video.

Blind Devotion is the second in a series of short films that were created by the Jubilee Project, a non-profit organization that exists to tell uplifting and inspiring stories that elicit change. Blind Devotion explores the relationship between a husband and wife who must come to terms with the wife's life-changing diagnosis of developing blindness. From beginning to end, this short subtly examines what it means to truly love another person. Instead of focusing on the passionate aspects of love that Hollywood films tend to dote on, Blind Devotion fixes its gaze on the delicate and minute actions of the day-to-day that express a deep and powerful level of love and companionship.

Jubilee Project was started by three friends with a diverse set of backgrounds - one of them is a businessman, one is in medicine, and the third in government - but they found a strong connection in their mutual love of film and their devotion to philanthropy. Jason, Eddie, and Eric got the idea to create impactful films for change after raising money for Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. They initially asked for donations in a New York City subway station, but when they didn't reach their goal, they decided to make a video and put it online. This video raised ten times as much money as their efforts in the subway, and this was the moment they realized how powerful film could be to their philanthropic endeavors. They now produce short films, PSAs, and documentaries in conjunction with non-profit organizations with the hope that their work will inspire others to take positive action.

If you like this video please feel free sharing it with others.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

My Baby is Turning 50 in Two Weeks

Time does fly when you are having a Good Time! Next week my youngest daughter Ditas Macrine is turning half a century. It feels only like yesterday, when on the snowy day in March 23, 1965, I have to drive my wife Macrine (married for almost 58 years), to the Kansas City North Memorial Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri with labor pains. I still remember how scared I was because of the slippery road on the way to the hospital. A few hours later I saw Ditas in the baby nursery room. She gave me a smile showing her dimples that I will never forget. A few months later we had her baptism party which was in the news in the Kansas City Star.

Before I could winked my eye, she was in elementary school in Modesto California. A few years later she was in high school in Pinole Valley, California and then her College years at UC Berkeley. Later on she took her Masters degree in Southern California and in Washington DC. In between these years she occasionally traveled with us to Southern Spain and Cancun, Mexico. Then her marriage to Nick Thompson, her birth to Carenna and her widowhood years. For details of her accomplishments and career I am reposting this article from the Internet.

Ditas Katague was appointed by Governor Brown in March 2011 as Commissioner Sandoval’s Chief of Staff.

Ditas has more than 20 years of experience at federal, state and local government agencies as well as in private and non-profit sectors. Prior to coming to the CPUC, Ditas was Chief Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Corporations.

She also served in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research as Director of Census 2010 and is an expert in civic engagement and public participation. She was also Assistant Secretary for Transportation at the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency.

In the private sector, she was First Vice President, State and Local Government Affairs for Countrywide Financial where she managed and maintained legislative coverage and activities in the top tier western states (20 states), analyzed state and local laws and regulations that impact the corporation’s priority business objectives. Ditas was also a manager for Deloitte Consulting’s Public Sector practice in New Jersey and Sacramento where she provided project management, business process improvement, reorganization and transition management, change leadership, and communications and public relations consulting services.

In the non-profit sector, Ditas was the Program Director for the non-profit California Telemedicine & eHealth Center.

Ditas has a B.A. in Social Sciences and Practice of Art (double major) from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Masters in Public Administration (Intergovernmental Management and Organization Development) from the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning and Development.

Ditas is based in Sacramento. Oct. 12, 2012: Census Bureau Names Ditas Katague to National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations! Read the press release.

Happy Birthday, our beloved Daughter!!Your Mom and I wish you a hundred more birthdays to come.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Thank You Lord for Having Thoughtful Relatives

Yesterday, Macrine's two younger sisters from the Bay Area ( Alameda and Palo Alto), Jean and Charro along with Merlet Perlas, visited her with a big surprise. Although Macrine's birthday is still at the end of this month(the 26th), the three young ladies brought us some Pinoy goodies ( Dungeness crab in Ginger Sauce, Chicken Adobo sa Gata, Pancit, Dinuguan and Arroz Valenciana with Halo-Halo for dessert). The goodies were yum, yum and delicious.

Aside from the Pinoy goodies, Macrine was so surprised to receive the latest model of the Apple i-Pod 16 GB. The three sisters immediately called their two other sisters in the Philippines ( Fe and Sister Guia). Macrine was so happy that after the three left, she started to embrace me and engaged me to dance.

The gift was signed as follows:

To Our Dearest Manang: Happy Birthday! Love, Charro, Jean, Fepot, Sr Guia, Lanie, Merlit and the Kids.

The above event in our daily lives here in the US, reminds me that the tempo of life here in the US is so much more hectic compared to the life in the Philippines. Every body is busy earning a buck. Therefore, I really do not expect relatives and friends to visit us in our old age in person as often as every month. However an occasional phone call, FaceBook message or e-mail is always welcome.

With regards to our four children, all of them have busy lives and three of them have families of their own. A Once or twice a year Family Get Together (Thanksgiving and Christmas) is all that we expect from them.

With my wife suffering from Parkinson Disease, her feeling of isolation and depression (side effects of her medications) has been overwhelming sometimes. I wished our children and other relatives will give me a call to give me strength to do my duty as the primary caregiver. This occasional outburst of isolation and not being remembered by friends and relatives is a source unhappiness in our household. If you are reading this, a call to Macrine or an e-mail once in a while will certainly help her in coping up with Parkinson's Disease and other problems of aging.

We do appreciate, the weekly calls from our oldest daughter who lives about a 2hr drive from us. We appreciate her just saying Hello to her Mom every Sunday, even for just a few minutes in spite of her busy schedule supporting herself as a divorcee and sending two offspring to college.

Our youngest daughter who lives about 30 minutes visits or at least call us at least once a month in spite of her busy schedule also as a State Executive and raising alone an 11 year old precocious and talented daughter.

Our oldest son who has a family of his own and also busy with his profession as a Prosecuting Attorney, has always attended family reunions at least once a year even though we do not get telephone calls from him. Once in a while his wife will send pictures of activities of our grand children in school and other extracurricular activities.

Finally, our million thanks to our unmarried youngest son who lives with us. He helps me in taking care of her mother and drives us to our social activities especially at night since my eyes are no longer perfect driving at night. During the day, I do all the driving doing errands ( groceries, bank, church, beauty shoppe etc.. ) and to the Casinos. Once in a while my son helps me in cooking our dinner. Of course he is in charge with of all the yard work and maintenance of the swimming pool and odds and ends jobs in maintaining a big and old house. We have two cleaning ladies come to the house twice a month, compliments of our children. Again, thank you 4D's for this gift.

Again, Macrine and I extend our thanks to all our thoughtful relatives and especially to the surprise 79th Birthday gift above. It is one gift Macrine will never forget and will always treasure.
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