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

Monday, August 31, 2015

3. Places Outside the United States that Macrine and I had Visited-Gibraltar

Place #3: One Day Tour of the Rock of Gibraltar

Our tour started from our vacation resort( Four Seasons Country Club)in Marbella.
The minibus started along the Costa del Sol and ends at La Linea de la Conception, the border of Gibraltar. The tour included a winding minibus drive to the top of the Rock along the Europa Point and the Galleries. The view of the city and the strait from the top was fantastic. Since I had a fear of heights, I did not look down to see the view. Our visit to the St. Michael Caves and Underground Church and the Barbary Apes Reserve were the highlights of this tour. According to our guide they have concerts inside the cave and the sound is stereophonic. At the end of the tour there was plenty of time to do some duty-free shopping in the many duty-free shops.

We had a typical English lunch of Fish and Chips. The lunch for two cost us $19 ( US) dollars. Gibraltar merchants will accept either US dollars ,British pounds, or Spanish pesetas. Good buys are spirits, tobacco, perfumes, gold jewelries and Lladro sculptures.

Gibraltar is a huge rock found to the south of Spain. The region belongs to the United Kingdom. On one side there is the Bay of Algeciras, and on the other the Mediterranean Sea. Gibraltar borders the town of La Linea de la Concepción, part of the county of Cádiz. The Rock of Gibraltar is the most famous rock in the world.
Gibraltar is situated at the southern end of Europe with a land frontier to Spain on its northern front. It sits at the joining of the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea.

The stretch of water that separates Gibraltar from north Africa is called the Strait of Gibraltar and throughout history has played a strategic part in battles fought and won to control the western Mediterranean seaways. In ancient times Gibraltar was one of the Pillars of Hercules. It was known to the Greeks as Mons Calpe, the other pillar being Mons Abyla on the Moroccan side of the Strait. Gibraltar marked the limit to the known world.

Intrinsically linked with the sea, Gibraltar is one of the busiest ports of call in the Mediterranean. It is also a stepping stone for immigrants all over the world through Africa and finally going to Europe.

Note: This is No.3 (Part 2) of a series of articles on places outside the US that Macrine and I had visited since 1960. This vacation was part of our International Interval Exchange Package in the Fall of 2000.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

2. Places Outside the United States that Macrine and I had Visited-Spain

Place #2 : Malaga, Marbella, Granada and Costa del Sol and Vicinity, Spain

Marbella Sea Side

Macrine and I visited the Costa del Sol area of Southern Spain, Marbella, Malaga and vicinity in 2000. We spent one week( October 5 to 13) in this coastal area of Spain. This was again through our International Interval Exchange Vacation Package. This is a time sharing experience that beats them all! Not even Cancun, Mexico or San Juan, Puerto Rico could equal the sights, sounds, the history and grandeur of the Costa del Sol area of Southern Spain. Our one week stay at the Four Seasons Resort and Country Club, in Marbella was not enough. We were joined midweek by our daughter Ditas and niece, Ella Lazarte from US. The highlights of our one week stay were the three one day tours that we took as follows:

1. Granada City Tour with Lunch with a visit to the Alhambra Castles and Gardens
This tour included a short driving tour of Malaga and passed by the bull ring staduim. On the way to Granada, we enjoyed the sights of almond and citrus trees and olive plantation. It also included a lunch for two. At that time it cost us 8500 pesetas ( exchange rate at that time was 170 pesetas equals $1). To me this is a bargain, since I do not have to drive or rent a car ($70 per day for car rental). In addition, the tour guide knowledge of the area help you appreciate the tour more. We met another American couple during this tour. Most of the tourists are English or Germans with a few Americans.

2. One Day Tour of Gibraltar, including a winding ride to the Top of the Rock with the Barbary Apes and St. Michael Cave and some free duty shopping (For details see Article No.3)

3. One Day Tour of Tangiers, Morocco, highlighted by shopping and a Moroccan lunch and a ride on a German Hydrofoil yatch across the Gibraltar Strait. (For details see Article No. 4).

The Spaniards were very friendly, and very willing to help and answer questions of tourists. With my knowledge of Spanish, I felt home right away. My maternal ancestry and roots in Spain made me want to return and perhaps stay a little while longer. One week is indeed not enough to really savour the delights of Southern Spain.

The food specially seafoods( paella), wines and pastries were delicious and served promptly with gusto. The resort personnel were very helpful in arranging taxi service, tour planning, tickets confirmation, wake-up calls and other services. Someday, I like to go back to Spain and perhaps visit Seville, Cordoba and Barcelona. Here's a short video about Malaga.

Málaga (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmalaɣa]) is a city and a municipality in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Spain. With a population of 568,305 in 2009, it is the second most populous city of Andalusia and the sixth largest in the country. This is the southernmost large city in Europe. It lies on the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) of the Mediterranean Sea, about 100 km (62.14 mi) east of the Strait of Gibraltar and about 130 km (80.78 mi) north of Africa.
Málaga enjoys a subtropical climate. Here are the warmest winters in Europe, with average temperatures above 17.2 °C (63.0 °F) during the day in the period December to February. The summer's season lasts about 8 months, from April to November, although also in December and March sometimes there are temperature above 20 °C (68.0 °F). Málaga, together with adjacent towns and municipalities such as Rincon de la Victoria, Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Alhaurin de la Torre, Mijas and Marbella, forms the Málaga metropolitan area, with a population of 1,046,279 according to 2009 data.


Marbella is a city in Andalusia, Spain, by the Mediterranean, situated in the province of Málaga, beneath La Concha mountain. In 2000 the city had 98,823 inhabitants, in 2004, 116,234, in 2010 circa 135,000.

Marbella and the nearby Puerto Banús are important beach resorts of the Costa del Sol. Marbella is a popular destination for tourists from Northern Europe, including the UK, Ireland and Germany as well as the US.

The area around Marbella is particularly popular with those who like golf. Marbella also hosts a WTA tennis tournament on red clay, the Andalucia Tennis Experience

Would you believe that Marbella and the whole Costa del Sol area is littered with Chinese restaurants? Across the bridge from the Four Seasons are two Chinese restaurants. Ditas and Ella were dying to have chinese food after their two weeks sojourn in the interior of Morocco (Fez). One day, while we were in downtown Marbella, I talked to a Chinese lady. She said there is a labor organization in Spain that imports Chinese waitresses and cooks to serve in 6-months rotation at restaurants in several cities of Spain and Italy. It sounds like the Philippines OFW ( Overseas Filipino Workers) program.

Note: This is No.2 ( Part 2) of a series of articles on places that Macrine and I had visited outside the US since 1960.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

1. Places Outside the US that Macrine and I had Visited-British Columbia, Canada

Place #1: Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

This is Part 2 of a series of articles on places that Macrine and I had visited outside the US since 1960. Part 1 (No 1 to 30) were places that we either had resided or visited in the US including the Hawaiian Islands. This article is number 1.

The series will include our trips to Spain, Morocco, Rock of Gibraltar, London, Rome, The Vatican Cancun, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Cuernavaca, Mexico and the Bahamas.

One of the fifteen places that my wife and I have visited outside the US was our trip in August, 2005 to Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler, B.C., Canada. . This was in connection with another Grand Reunion of Marinduque International, Inc- a non-profit organization organized to give free medical missions to Marinduque, Philippines. It was one week of Fun and Relaxation that we will always remember.

British Columbia is on the western coast of Canada. The climate of Vancouver is Mediterranean similar to San Francisco, California. Vancouver is about 2 hours drive north of Seattle, Washington and has also a large Filipino-American community. We enjoyed Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth(Sunken Garden) Park and Exotic China Town. Historic Gas Town and the drive along English Bay Drive was great. We took a sunset dinner cruise along Vancouver Harbor passing through English Bay, False Creek, Burrard Inlet and under the Lions Gate bridge(photos above).

We took a tour of Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia. The tour started from Vancouver via a 90-minute ferry ride across Georgia Strait and the beautiful Gulf Islands. Included in the tour is an admission to the world famous Butchart Garden (photo above). Here's a short video of the Butchart Gardens, one of the most beautiful gardens in the world.

The tour included a 30 minute drive along Beach Drive with views of Juan De Fuca strait and the Olympic Mountains. We also passed by the Upland and Oak Bay Streets residential areas, the Royal Victoria Yatch Club and the University of Victoria ending at the Victoria Harbor. Photo of Victoria Inner Harbor at Night-from thelifeofluxury.com

The next day, we took a one-day tour to Whistler, site of the 2010 Winter Olympics. The scenic tour started with a relaxing drive up the Sea to Sky Highway which overlooks majestic Howe Sound with its panorama of mountain lakes and glaciers. Along the way we stopped at Shannon Falls, one of North America's waterfalls at the Squamish Forest Reserve.

Oo our way to Whistler, Canada-Photo from www. people.uleth.ca

We highly recommend the above three places in Western Canada for a relaxing and enjoyable vacation.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Chapter 6: The Ancestral Roots of the Nieva Clan of Marinduque-Epifania Morente

EPIFANIA MORENTE: FOUNDING MOTHER OF THE NIEVA CLAN: The wife of Calixto Nieva, the founding father of the present-day Nievas and other families who may not be surnamed Nieva but with Nieva blood flowing in their veins, was Epifania Morente nicknamed Maning. Thus, Maning could very well be referred to as the "Founding Mother" of the Nieva clan.

It is not known for sure if the Nievas who were originally from Camalig, Albay and who migrated to Marinduque had any foreign blood. But definitely, because of Calixto's marriage to Epifania, foreign blood was infused into the Nieva gene pool. I was told by the old folks that Maning was the oldest of four" love children of a Spanish friar with the name of Fr. Santiago del Rosario who was the parish priest of Boac in the early 1800s. Previously assigned in Bulacan, he brought along with him his mistress, a woman (name unknown) from a supposedly good family in Bulacan who was educated at one of Manila's leading school for women at the time.

It is believed that the mother of Epifania was given the priest's middle name of Morente. The priest himself must have been the a love child of a Spanish friar with a Filipina woman since such children were supposed to be given religious surnames like de los Santos, de Jesus or in the case of the priest, del Rosario.

Interestingly, to this day the lapida or tombstone of Fr. Del Rosario may be seen imbedded on the aisle of the Boac Cathedral, the only one such in the church. So when Nievas walk up the aisle, they better make sure they don't step on it. Give it the proper
respect it deserves. For without him, we Nievas would not be around today.

This is Chapter 6 of the series on the Ancestry of the Nieva clan of Marinduque authored by Rene Nieva. Previous Chapters have been published in my blogs just recently.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Ylang-Ylang Tree and Its Flowers

Photo of the Ylang-Ylang flower in my backyard, Chateau Du Mer, Marinduque, Philippines

This article was inspired by a friend's question regarding the best smell one has experienced. Mine is the smell of the blooming Ylang-Ylang trees in my garden at Chateau Du Mer, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines. I have two big mature trees in the backyard of Chateau Du Mer that are about 20 years old.

When the trees are in bloom, you can smell the fragrance of it flowers to as far as 50 meters and even farther if the wind direction is favorable. It is one fragrance, that I will never forget at Chateau Du Mer in Marinduque. Its reminds me of the perfume, Channel No.5.

The fragrance of ylang-ylang is rich and deep with notes of rubber and custard, and bright with hints of jasmine and neroli. The essential oil of the flower is obtained through steam distillation of the flowers and separated into different grades (extra; 1; 2; 3) according to when the distillates are obtained. The main aromatic components of ylang-ylang oil are benzyl acetate, linalool, p-cresyl methyl ether, and methyl benzoate, responsible for its characteristic odor.

On the subject of Ylang Ylang Oil,I am proud to inform readers of this blog that my Master’s degree thesis was the Analysis of the Volatile Constituents of Ylang Ylang Oil by Gas Chromatography. This was published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Vol.52, No.3 252-258 dated March, 1963.

I believe not too many non-Filipinos have heard of this tree and it fragrant flowers. Here’s a short information from Wikipedia for your reading pleasure.

Cananga odorata, commonly called Ylang-ylang (pronounced /ˈiːlæŋ ˈiːlæŋ/, EE-lang-EE-lang), cananga tree, ilang-ilang, kenanga (Indonesian), fragrant cananga, Macassar-oil plant or perfume tree), is a tree valued for its perfume. The essential oil derived from the flowers is used in aromatherapy and in the manufacture of perfumes.

Cananga odorata is a fast-growing tree of the custard-apple family, Annonaceae, that exceeds 5 m (15 ft) per year and attains an average height of 12 m (40 ft). It grows in full or partial sun, and prefers the acidic soils of its native rain forest habitat. The evergreen leaves are smooth and glossy, oval, pointed, with wavy margins, and 13–20 cm (5–8 in) long. The flower is drooping, long-stalked, with six narrow greenish yellow (rarely pink) petals, rather like a sea star in appearance, and yields a highly fragrant essential oil.

The Chemical Composition Typical chemical compositions of the various grades of Ylang ylang are reported as follows:

Constituents Linalool, geranyl acetate, caryophyllene, p-cresyl, methyl ether, methyl benzoate, other, sesquiterpenes.


The name ylang-ylang is derived from Tagalog, either from the word ilang, meaning “wilderness”, alluding to its natural habitat, or the word ilang-ilan, meaning “rare”, suggestive of its exceptionally delicate scent. A more widely accepted translation is “flower of flowers”. The plant is native to the Philippines and Indonesia and is commonly grown in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.

The essential oil of ylang-ylang is used in aromatherapy. It is believed to relieve high blood pressure, normalize sebum secretion for skin problems, and is considered to be an aphrodisiac. According to Margaret Mead, it was used as such by South Pacific natives such as the Solomons where she did much of her research. The oil from ylang-ylang is widely used in perfumery for oriental or floral themed perfumes (like Chanel No. 5). Ylang-ylang blends well with most floral, fruit and wood smells.

In Indonesia, ylang-ylang flowers are spread on the bed of newlywed couples. In the Philippines, its flowers, together with the flowers of the sampaguita, are strung into a necklace (lei) and worn by women and used to adorn religious images.

Medicinal uses

Ylang Ylang is a common ingredient in the herbal motion sickness remedy, MotionEaze.

Circulatory System: Ylang ylang is recommended for treating palpitations and reducing high blood pressure

Nervous System : Ylang ylang is known for its ability to slow down over-rapid breathing and over-rapid heart beat. These symptoms are usually associated with shock, anxiety and anger.

Reproductive System: Ylang ylang has proven beneficial for treating PMS, especially associated with extreme mood swings that occurs just before the onset of menstruation. For this purpose, Fischer-Rizzi recommends blending Ylang ylang with clary sage and neroli. This blend should be used in a bath, massage oil or in a vaporizer.

Skin care: Added to the skin care preparation, Ylang ylang oil is beneficial in softening and balancing the moisture of the skin. It is recommended in hair care to treat split ends. It can be used in a shampoo base of massaged into the tips of the hair after shampooing with a base oil such as apricot kernel or jojoba oil. Ylang ylang is recommended for dry and oily skin and is reputed to have a balancing action on sebum production.

I hope you find this article informative. It is the best smell, I have ever experience in my life.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Some of My Favorite Sunset Photos in Marinduque

The following are some of the sunset photos I have in my collections taken in Western Marinduque. Most of the photos were taken very close to the Chateau Du Mer Beach House in Amoingon in Boac.

DTaken from the Balcony of the Beach House

o you have a favorite photo? I really love sunsets! Sunset time is my favorite time of the day in Marinduque

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Latest Developments on Parkinson Disease Research

Last week, A FB friend and relative send me a note thanking me for the informative articles she has been following in my blogs. Specifically she mentioned my articles on Parkinson Disease. What attracted her attention is the fact that her mother was just recently diagnosed with PD. She wants to know what are the latest developments in the treatments of the disease as well as the medicines that my wife is currently taking.

As a result of this note, I did some Internet search on the latest research on PD that I am listing below. However, before you read the list, allow me again to post the following basic information about PD.

Parkinson's disease is a condition in which an area of the brain becomes progressively damaged over several years. The main signs of Parkinson's disease are tremor, slow movement, stiff and inflexible muscles. There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease. However, treatments are available to help reduce symptoms and maintain quality of life for as long as possible.

Therapy for Parkinson's disease focuses on treating the symptoms that undermine the patient’s quality of life - there is no cure.

Parkinson’s disease is caused by the destruction of dopamine-producing nerve cells, making it harder for the brain to control muscle movement.

Complications of Parkinson's disease includes chewing and swallowing difficulties, depression, sexual dysfunction and urinary incontinence.

There is no specific test for Parkinson’s disease, making it sometimes a difficult condition o diagnose, especially early on.

Risk factors for Parkinson’s disease include age, genetics, gender, toxin exposure and some medications such as anti-psychotics.

Current Therapy Recommendation: Medications, proper diet, daily exercise and social interaction. PD patients feel isolated and suffers side effects from the Carbo-Levo dopa medications specifically depression, nausea, itching, hallucination and loss of memory. These side effects can be mild or severe. If severe consult your neurologist.

Here are some of the latest Parkinson's disease research from prestigious universities and journals throughout the world.

1. Scientists probing molecular origins of Parkinson's disease highlight two proteins
Using a new approach to focus on relevant molecules, scientists discover two gene-regulating proteins that appear to protect neurons most affected by Parkinson's disease.

2.Parkinson's could be slowed with existing drug
A drug that has been used for decades to treat liver disease could be used to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease, according to researchers testing the drug on fruit flies.

3.Could sleeping on one's side reduce risk of Alzheimer's?
New research suggests that sleeping on one’s side is better for removal of brain waste, an accumulation of which may contribute to the development of neuro degenerative diseases.

4.Parkinson's disease risk 'lowered by diabetes drug'
Diabetes patients treated with glitazone have a lower risk of developing Parkinson's disease, suggesting the target of the drug could be a fruitful target for the condition.

5.Parkinson's disease may be treatable with antimalaria drugs
Breakthrough study shows existing malaria drugs directly activate the brain receptor Nurr1 and significantly reduce Parkinson's behavior in rats without inducing dyskinesia.

6.Parkinson's 'a risk factor for most cancers in Taiwan'
A new study has found a link between Parkinson's disease in Taiwanese patients and increased risk of 16 different cancer types, including colorectal, kidney, prostate cancers.

7.Parkinson's brain implant approved by FDA
A new implantable brain stimulation device has been given approval for reducing the symptoms of Parkinson's disease and essential tremor.

8.Depressed people may be at risk of Parkinson's disease
Researchers suggest that there is a direct association between Parkinson's disease and depression after conducting research over a timespan of more than 2 decades.


Personal Note: My wife was first diagnosed with PD in the winter of 2012. I could see the progression of this malady that affects the quality of her daily life and activities. She needs social interaction( e-mail, FB messages or phone call will be appreciated) from friends and relatives as well as your prayers.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Carenna Katague Thompson Debut as a Rock Star

Band Members Ages Ranged from 10 to 15 years old.

Last Sunday, August 9 was Carenna's debut as a rock star singing for the newly formed rock band called "Its all Ben's Fault". Here are some photos of this event. A proud grand Papa.indeed! Please note that Carenna is my youngest grand daughter and she is only 12 years old. I wonder how will she look when she turn 16.

The band during practice and before its debut performance at the Crest Theatre in Downtown Sacramento, August 9, 2015.

One of Carenna's song taped last year
One of Carenna's song taped last year

Monday, August 10, 2015

Can US Citizens Buy Land in the Philippines?

I have been asked by friends and relatives if our three children9(born in US) can owned land in the Philippines. The answers is yes, but with limitted acreage.

Our three children were born in the US when my wife and I were still Filipino citizens residing in US as Permanent Residents. The oldest was born in the Philippines but became a naturalized US citizen with us in the 1970's. The following from pinoymoneytalk.com are some of popular questions and answers for your information. I hope you find it useful.

1. Can I purchase several lots located in different cities and municipalities if the total area of all lots does not exceed 5,000 square meters of urban land or three hectares of rural land?

Answer: A former natural-born Philippine citizen can acquire not more than two lots situated in different municipalities or cities and the total area of the two lots should not exceed 5,000 square meters of urban land or three hectares of rural land.

2.If I am allowed to own a maximum of two lots situated in different municipalities or cities, can I own a 5,000-square-meter urban lot in Quezon City and three hectares of rural land and vice versa.

Answer: No. A former natural-born Philippine citizen who has already acquired urban land shall be disqualified from acquiring rural land and vice versa.

3 When my children were born, I was already an American citizen. Can they inherit my land in the Philippines?

Answer: Yes. Foreign nationals (even if they were not former natural-born Philippine citizens) can own land in the Philippines if they acquire it by inheritance. These nationals should, however, inherit the property by intestate succession. Intestate succession means that the foreign national inherits the property because he/she is an heir under Philippine law. Naming one’s heir by executing a “last Will and Testament” or a “Living Will” will not work to validly transfer real property in the Philippines to a foreign national.

4. My husband is a natural-born American citizen. Can he buy a condominium unit in the Philippines and have the title in his name?

Answer: Yes. The land on which a condominium building stands is always owned by a condominium corporation. When a person buys a condominium unit, he automatically becomes a stock-holder in the corporation which owns the land. Under Philippine law, foreigners are allowed to become stockholders of a corporation which own land but only up to a maximum of forty percent (40%) of the shares of the corporation. Foreigners, therefore, are allowed to own condominium units provided the total floor area owned by all foreigners in the condominium building does not exceed forty percent (40%).

Here are additional information regarding citizenship relevant to Filipino expats with children born outside of the Philippines.

1. What are the conditions that should be met for my child to be deemed a Filipino citizen?

Answer: Your child is a Filipino citizen if he qualifies under any of the following conditions:

Your child was born after January 17, 1973, with a Filipino father or a Filipino mother. In other words, if a child was born after January 17, 1973, he is a Filipino citizen if he has at least one parent who is a Filipino citizen at the time of his birth;
Your child was born before January 17, 1973, with a Filipino mother and your child elected Philippine citizenship when he reached his 21st birthday. If your child was born before January 17, 1973, with a Filipino father, he is a Filipino citizen without any need of electing Filipino citizenship upon reaching the age of 21;

Incidentally, January 17, 1973, is the date when the 1973 Philippine Constitution came into effect; thus the importance of the date.

2. Our son was born in the US at the time when my wife and I were still Filipino citizens. One week after our son’s birth, however, my wife and I took our oath as US citizens. Did our son lose his Philippine citizenship when we became American citizens?

Answer: No. The child was vested with the Philippine citizenship at the time of his birth. He does not lose his Philippine citizenship even if the parents acquire foreign citizenship after his birth.

3. My daughter was born in the US at the time when my wife and I were still Filipino citizens. My daughter has been using a US passport for 20 years. She has never visited the Philippines. Is my daughter considered a Philippine citizen even if she already is an American citizen?

Answer: Yes. Philippine law allows dual citizenship. A child can both be an American citizen and a Filipino citizen at the same time. Under present laws, a person loses his Philippine citizenship if he renounces it. Using a US passport exclusively and not visiting Philippines does not amount to a renunciation of Philippine citizenship.

4. If my child is born in the US at the time when my wife and I are still Filipino citizens, what should we do to document his Philippine citizenship?

Answer: A copy of the child’s birth certificate should be submitted to the nearest Philippine consulate will transmit the birth certificate to the National Statistics Office in the Philippines for registration purposes.

5. If a child is born in the US at the time when his parents are still Filipino citizens, can he later on run for President of the Republic of the Philippines?

Answer: Yes, The child is a natural-born Filipino citizen. A natural-born Filipino citizen is one who does not have to do anything to acquire Philippine citizenship because he is a Filipino from birth. On the other hand, a naturalized Filipino citizen is one who has to undergo a naturalization proceeding to acquire Philippine citizenship. The distinction is important because only natural-born Filipino citizens can become President, Vice President, Senator, Congressman, Supreme Court Justice, and other propositions in constitutional bodies.

Source: pinoymoneytalk.com

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Baking a Potato in a Microwave Oven

Yesterday, I had a yearning for baked potato, but do not have much time and our oven is occupied with another dish. I saw several recipes on the web in how to bake potato in a microwave. But the following from allrecipes.com attracted my attention.


Original recipe makes 1 serving Change Servings

1 large russet potato

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

3 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese

salt and pepper to taste

3 teaspoons sour cream


1.Scrub the potato, and prick several time with the tines of a fork. Place on a plate.

2.Cook on full power in the microwave for 5 minutes. Turn over, and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. When the potato is soft, remove from the microwave, and cut in half lengthwise. Season with salt and pepper, and mash up the inside a little using a fork. Top the open sides with butter and 2 tablespoons of cheese. Return to the microwave, and cook for about 1 minute to melt the cheese.

3.Top with remaining cheese and sour cream, and serve.

Source: allrecipes.com

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Extant and Tyrant-Two of My Favorite TV Shows

Extant is an American science fiction television drama series created by Mickey Fisher and executive produced by Steven Spielberg. The story revolves around astronaut Molly Woods (Halle Berry) who returns home to her family inexplicably pregnant after 13 months in outer space on a solo mission.

On August 7, 2013, CBS announced that it had placed a 13-episode straight-to-series order, bypassing the traditional pilot stage. Steven Spielberg served as one of the executive producers. Production began in Los Angeles on February 10, 2014. The series is broadcast in the United States on the CBS television network, and is a production of Amblin Television. It premiered on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/8:00 p.m. Central.

On October 9, 2014, CBS renewed Extant for a second season, which premiered on July 1, 2015.

Molly Woods, an astronaut with ISEA (International Space Exploration Agency) is assigned a 13-month solo mission aboard space station Seraphim. She returns home to her husband John, a robotics engineer who created their son Ethan, a prototype android called a "humanich". When Molly discovers that she has mysteriously become pregnant despite years of infertility, she begins a search for answers.

The series is available for streaming on Amazon Instant Video devices four days after broadcast on CBS. In Canada, the series premiered on July 9, 2014, on Global Television Network. In Australia, the series premiered on July 13, 2014, on Network Ten. The series premiered in the United Kingdom on July 10, 2014, on Amazon Instant Video. It made its television premiere on January 20, 2015 on Syfy.] In New Zealand, it debuted on July 23, 2014 on Prime.

In 2014, Extant was chosen, along with six others, for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Most Exciting New Series.


Tyrant is an American drama television series created by director and writer Gideon Raff and developed by Howard Gordon and Craig Wright. The first season of Tyrant consisting of 10 episodes premiered on American cable network FX on June 24, 2014 and ended on August 26, 2014. FX renewed Tyrant for a 13-episode second season which premiered on June 16, 2015.

Bassam "Barry" Al-Fayeed, the youngest son of an infamous Middle-Eastern tyrant, has been running from his past for 20 years. Now a pediatrician living in the United States, he has an American wife, son and daughter, and has no desire to revisit his familial origins. However, when he is reluctantly compelled to return to his home country (the fictional Abbudin) for his nephew's wedding, he is quickly drawn into a taut political crisis when his father passes away in the midst of growing popular revolution against the ruling family. Bassam must now attempt to use his influence to guide the new President, his brutal and unstable older brother Jamal, to a political solution that will avert a bloody conflict.

While the show is filmed throughout many cities in Israel (such as Kfar Saba, Petach Tikva, and Tel Aviv) and Morocco, but because of the ongoing violence between Hamas and Israel, FX has moved its production from Israel to Istanbul, Turkey. The fictional Arab country of "Abbudin" is deliberately compiled out of mixed elements of a few different actual countries, in order to not appear to simulate a particular nation or situation. The producers of the series have also said that no particular sects or clans will be named while relating details. Executive producer Howard Gordon stated, "We do want to stay away from reality and yet hew to it as long as it sort of feels emotionally correct and culturally correct. I think we’re going to try to stay away from names as much as possible."

Tyrant has received mixed reviews. On Metacritic, the show holds a score of 54 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". On Rotten Tomatoes, the show has a rating of 60%, based on 47 reviews, with an above average score of 6.2 out of 10. The consensus on the site reads: "Realizing a uniquely vital representation of life in the Middle East, Tyrant mostly thrives as a biting family drama set against immersive scenery".

The above two TV shows are my favorite drama series both Season 1(last year) and now Season 2. Season 1 of Tyrant is now available for sale as a DVD.

Do you have any favorite TV shows this season? I will delighted to hear from you.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My Balleza Ancestry from Barotac Viejo, Iloilo

Funeral Services for Paz Balleza Katague, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, 1988

I am posting this genealogy list of the Balleza clan from Barotac Viejo, Iloilo starting with Jose Balleza-my great grand father. My sources are from the Facebook Page of Toto Brilliantes, Ed Ditching and Joerick Santiago. Please note of the Editor's request for more information and correction.

BALLEZA TREE UPDATE!!! From the Balleza Clan FaceBook Page


This is the First publication of Partial Tree Line of the BALLEZA Clan from Barotac Viejo, ILOILO.

ZERO Generation as you note is the Father the 3 MAIN Trunks of JOSE, PEDRO and VICENTE who is still to be Identified.

If you find errors in the list please inform the EDITOR ( Toto Brillantes) for correction/s. Some names were given by contributors in Nicknames. If you know the real name please provide the same.

Thank you for those who have given their time and effort on some of the information as listed below.

For those who have not yet contributed, we understand that it will take some time to get information specially from the oldies. Thank you for your contributions to the pieces of the puzzle to come soon.

Some of the information already provided may not appear at this time and will posted as soon as they are collated.

Also. note the some names of the spouses have not yet been provided. Please provide if you have information.

### PEDRO and VICENTE TRUNK LINE has been published earlier but still to be corrected and refined.


Below is the Down line of JOSE BALLEZA.


0.1 JOSE BALLEZA -mto->
0.2 PEDRO BALLEZA -mto->

FIRST Generation

0.1 SIBLINGS OF JOSE BALLEZA--mto-->Tupas Candido Balleza -mto-> Engracia Vencer Genaro Balleza -mto-> Anna Vencer Talie Balleza -mto-> Celestino "Tinoy" Celera Perpetua "Tuwa" Balleza -mto-> Alfonso Tupas, Sr.

SECOND Generation SIBLINGS OF Candido Balleza--mto-->Engracia Vencer Trinidad -mto-> Gleceria Oben -mto-> Morita Causing Hormesda -mto-> Norma Rosario "Sayong" -mto-> Natividad Causing Mariquita -mto-> Alfredo Brillantes, sr. Corazon -mto-> Naro Dulos Santiago Baldevino * -mto-> Angeles Colinares Asuncion -mto-> "Iting" Resurrecsion -mto-> Consolasion Barreto SIBLINGS OF Genaro Balleza--mto-->Anna Vencer Noel Vencer Balleza, Sr. -mto-> Edna Adan -mto-> Carmelita Barretto Alexander -mto-> Eva Barretto Roberto -mto-> Liza Asong Alfredo -mto-> Susana "Bughak" -mto-> Luis Malapitan Henry, Sr. -mto-> Natividad -mto-> Robles Clarita "Cariting" -mto-> Asuncion (son of Candido) SIBLINGS OF Talie Balleza--mto-->Celestino "Tinoy" Celera Fe Celera -mto-> Apen Ballesta Judith Celera -mto-> Baldonado Aristotle "Tiring" -mto-->Consuelo Legislador SIBLINGS OF Perpetua "Tuwa" Balleza--mto-->Alfonso Tupas, Sr. Felimon -mto-> Alfonso Tupas, Jr. "Ponsing" -mto-> Felicedad "Cedad" -mto-> Benjamin Causing Barlizo, Sr. Tomas -mto-> Rita Josefina "Suping " -mto-> Alejo Boquirin Pepe -mto-> Soccoro "Qouling" -mto-> Tomas Boquirin Apen -mto-> Alpie -mto->



0.0 Pedro Balleza-Maria Vencer

1.0.1 Alfonso Vencer Balleza - Estefania Demit Barrido( my grand father and grand mother)
1.0.2 Manuel Rionda Balleza -
1.0.3 Juan Rionda Balleza
1.0.4 Quirico Asuela Balleza - Esperanza Rendon

SIBLINGS OF ALFONSO Jose, Sr. "Peping"-settled in Barotac Viejo Lolita Pacing "Paz" (youngest)- Dr. David Jamili Katague, Sr.) settled in Barotac Viejo Modesto(oldest)-grand father of Ed Ditching=settled in Iloilo City

SIBLINGS OF MANUEL Vicente "Cente" - Necitas "Citas" - Juaning - Evangeline "Eve" - Alpeio "Alping" -


From Joerick Santiago-son of Sylvia Balleza (MD) Santiago

Tito Nonoy Danilo T. Balleza married to Tita Minda Ballila
Tito Toto Roberto T. Balleza married to Tita Norma Gallila
Tito Nene Jose T. Balleza married to xxxx
Tito Nono Ismael T. Balleza married to Tita Marlene
Tito Dodoy Nemisio T. Balleza married to Tita Republica Conzha
Tita Amelia T. Balleza married to Francisco Ly
Tita Baby Rosalie T. Balleza married to George Doligosa

My mom: Sylvia T. Balleza married to Edgardo J. Santiago


Children of Paz Barrido Balleza and David Jamili Katague

David Jr( Nonoy) mto Macrine Nieva Jambalos( Boac, Marinduque)

Erico mto Helen Esparagoza( Negros OC)

Myrla mto Leonore Hilaga( deceasesd)

Agnes mto Ly ( deceased) and Dennis Galvin

Efren(Toto) mto Lourdes De Asis( Pavia)

Ruben( Dolce) mto Joy Escobar( Bacolod City)

Amor( Knitz) mto Apolonio Gregorio( Nueva Ecija)


From Ed Ditching-Grandson of Modesto and son of Fanny (Estefania) Balleza and Simplicio Ditching

Thanks Toto Brillantes for adding me... and to Tito David David B Katague and Noel Balleza for making me aware of this group. My Balleza branch (as far as I can remember) is from Dr. Modesto Balleza who is married to my Lola Taciana Rey.( Barotac Nuevo)

My mother is Estefania (Fanny) Balleza who was the eldest daughter of Lolo Modesto with Tito Moderas (Modesto Jr.), Tito Alnico, Arnulfo (Nulfing), Diomedes (Diome), Tita Visi (Sis. Visitacion), Taciana (Nita Tolosa) and Lourdes (Bauson) who were her brothers and sisters. Only Tito Nulfing, Tita Nita and Tita Lourdes are still living.

My father is Simplicio Ditching from Victorias and Molo. My brothers are George, Sim (RIP), Dennis (RIP), Edwin, Arthur and Robert. So if you encounter any of these names, we are relatives. I don't have much memories of Barotac or Iloilo as we grew up in Bacolod. My only memory is a vacation we took in Iloilo and stayed at Lolo Modesto's house in Calle Real in front of the St Paul Hospital (I think it was later sold to the Vidal sisters and there is a pharmacy in the ground floor at present).

Again, thank you Toto Brilliantes, Ed Ditching and Joerick Santiago for your updates. Mabuhay and Balleza Clan!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Carenna KT Rock Band Competition

I am proudly announcing Carenna's ROCK band debut "All Ben's Fault" at the CREST theatre on August 9th, 1 pm. It is Skip's "stairway to stardom" 35th Anniversary Battle of the bands. There will be 9 others bands plus special guest bands too!

Carenna( second from Left) and the band members. Carenna is one of the two soloists.

As I announced this event it reminded me of my preteens days in the Philippines. It reminded me of my first competition in a Declamation contest)posted on 6/17/13) sponsored by our school district that I did not win.

I guess most of you have participated is a contest whether in sports and music or in dance during your preteen years. But how many of you have participated in a rock band contest? I have a feeling, none of you reading this blog.

Note: Carenna KT is my youngest grand daughter. She is not only pretty( see selfie (below) but also talented. She makes me a very, very proud grand Papa!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

First Page of My Google Search for Caste System in the Philippines

The overseas Filipino workers (OFW) will be the new caste in the Philippines as discussed in my article titled above. Do you agree or disagree?

My article (Hub) about the caste system in the Philippines is the most widely read in my Hubpages.com account. It averaged about 5 views per day. My other eleven hubs have page views about 2 views per day. The rest of my other 20 hubs have one or zero views per day. Thus, I was wondering, what is the Google ranking of my article. My Google search showed it is the number 2 article (and also the last) on the first page of my search. This must be the reason why it is my most widely read hub.

Spanish-Filipino Caste System - The Pinoy Warrior
With a working caste system, it is just normal that discrimination exists. This system defined the lifestyle of many individuals in the Philippines, as well as ...

Caste System in the Philippines-Discrimination of Filipinos ...
There is a caste system between the poor and the rich and the educated and non educated Filipinos. The Overseas Filipino Workers( OFW's) are considered the modern ...

Filipino mestizo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Filipino mestizo is a term used in the Philippines to describe people of mixed Filipino and any foreign ancestry ... 2 Colonial caste system. 2.1 Marriages; 3 See ...
Racial caste system during the Spanish times | FILIPINO ...

RACIAL CASTE SYSTEM DURING THE SPANISH TIMES. 1. ... Philippine Travel Blogs: The Best Way To Promote The Country Online! Lorenzo Guerrero: artist, ...
Talk:History of the Philippines (before 1521) - Wikipedia ...
2 Major Objections to "Luzon Empire" and "Caste System" 3 Who was the first high ranking Spaniard to step on the Philippine ... before the Spaniards came (pre ...

Spanish Colonial Caste System in the Philippines - Scribd
Spanish Colonial Caste System in the Philippines - Download as PDF File (.pdf), Text file (.txt) or read online.

Caste System in the Philippines | Realm of Thought ...
Mabuhay ang sangkabaklaan! Chelsey and Merly react to the Supreme Court ruling in the US in this week's very gay episode of SMYT! read more

Spanish Colonial Caste System in the Philippines
Spanish Colonial Caste System in the Philippines When Spain came to the Philippines they instituted a racial caste system. Similar to what they

Philippines Facts: Philippines Caste System - blogspot.com
Philippines Caste System The Philippines had trade relations with southern China, and cultural ties with India through neighboring present-day Malaysia, ...

Is there a Caste System in the Philippines?
The Philippines is not India or Pakistan. But better believe it, there is a caste system in the Philippines. The caste system exits between the rich and ...

In case you have not read it, here's the site address at Hubpages. com


Last but not least: If you are a Filipino-American, Canadian or European, Have you ever experienced discrimination because of your race, color or creed? I will be delighted to hear from you!
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