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

Friday, October 30, 2015

Chapter 8: The Ancestral Roots of the Nieva Clan of Marinduque-The Magnificent Six

Continuation of Series authored by Rene Nieva
THE MAGNIFICENT SIX NIEVAS OF GENERATION I: The Founding Father of the Nieva Clan of Marinduque -- from whom all the subsequent Nieva descendants to the present all came from whether surnamed Nieva or not -- was Calixto Nieva. Calixto
was Cabeza or Governadorcillo of Boac in 1867. He came from a line of Gobernadorcillos himself.

Calixto's wife was Epifania, also known as Capitana Maning. She was known for her mestiza beauty, being the daughter of a parish priest of Boac of Spanish-French descent. Thus, the good looks of most if not all of the subsequent Nievas likely came mainly from Epifania or the Morente side. Nonetheless, Calixto had a certain roguish handsomeness himself as may be seen from the attached photo.

Epifania must have not been just a pretty face but must have served as a supportive partner to Calixto. The leadership qualities of the Morentes seemed to have manifested themselves in her siblings, one of whom, Juan or Juancho, became governor of Mindoro, as well as subsequent generations of Morentes that have produced National Artist Lucrecia Kasilag, DOTC Undersecretary Josie Trinidad-Lichauco and an assortment of business and professional leaders.

Calixto and Epifania had six children, whom we can dub as belonging to Generation 1. They compose the six branches of original Nievas from whom the generations following can connect themselves even if they no longer carry the Nieva surname through their marriages. The six are, in the order of birth, Juan, Victoria, Dionisio, Gregorio, Jose and Rosita, who were all of course surnamed Nievas. I would like to refer to them as the Magnificent Six, for they all were extraordinary and impressive men and women who have made indelible marks not only in the history of Marinduque but that of the nation as a whole.

The first and oldest child was Juan, born in 1860, a contemporary of Jose Rizal who was his schoolmate (he called him Pepe) at the Liceo de Manila, forerunner of the Ateneo. He was a good friend of Manuel Luis Quezon, who was his provincemate (Tayabas and Marinduque were then one province). Juan even made Quezon godfather to his first-born son Guillermo (Willie).

Juan became Cabeza de Barangay of Boac and Sta. Cruz and lieutenant governor or "sub-governor" of the then sub-province (of Tayabas) of Marinduque from 1907 to 1916. He was credited for the planting of coconut trees throughout Marinduque and connecting all the towns through telegraphic lines.

From Juan descended not just the Nievas but also the Jambaloses, the Carrions, the Luarcas, the Senos, the Sto. Domingos and the Ocampos of Generation 2 and other surnames in succeeding generations.

Victoria was the political right-hand woman of Juan. Even if she was lame (from falling from a calesa) she was an astute and dynamic politician and was said to be the "king-maker" behind the political successes of Juan and other political leaders of Marinduque at the time.

Victoria (no photo available) was also active in civic and charitable affairs, putting up and becoming the first president of the Boac Puericulture Center which looked after the health of mothers and their babies. Victoria married Doroteo Mercader and from her and her husband came the Reyeses, the Sto. Domingos and the Laurels of Generation 2 and 3 and again other surnames in succeeding generations.

(Next, the rest of the Magnificent Six -- Dionisio, Gregorio, Jose and Rosita.)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

11. Places in the US that Macrine and I had Visited-San Luis Obispo, California and the Hearst Castle

Macrine and I had been to the Hearst Castle in San Simeon twice in the late 1970's. There are five tours one can take, but if it is your first time, Tour #1 is highly recommended by the National State Park officials. It is about 41 miles from San Luis Obispo, where most tourist stay overnight to return the next day for another tour.
The Garden

Hearst Castle is a National Historic Landmark mansion located on the Central Coast of California, United States. It was designed by architect Julia Morgan between 1919 and 1947 for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who died in 1951. In 1957, the Hearst Corporation donated the property to the state of California. Since that time it has been maintained as a state historic park where the estate, and its considerable collection of art and antiques, is open for public tours. Despite its location far from any urban center, the site attracts roughly one million visitors per year.

Hearst formally named the estate "La Cuesta Encantada" ("The Enchanted Hill"), but usually called it "the ranch". The castle and grounds are also sometimes referred to as "San Simeon" without distinguishing between the Hearst property and the adjacent unincorporated area of the same name. The history of this castle is fascinating and interesting. For details read the Wikipedia.
The Pool-edged with Gold

Now for information about San Luis Opispo, just recently listed as one of the top ten and best cities to live in the United States.

San Luis Obispo (pronounced /sæn ˈluːɪs ɵˈbɪspoʊ/; Spanish for St. Louis, the Bishop) is a city in California, located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on the Central Coast. Founded in 1772, San Luis Obispo is one of California’s oldest communities. The city, referred to locally as "SLO", "SLOtown", "S.L.O" and "San Luis", is the county seat of San Luis Obispo County and is home to the California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly).

One of Macrine's nephew graduated from Cal Poly in the late 1980's. This Fall, my granddaughter Marina Katague entered as a Freshman at Cal Poly.

The City in 1876
Earliest human inhabitants of the local area were the Chumash peoples, who settled in the vicinity circa 5,000 to 10,000 years BC. One of the earliest villages lies south of San Luis Obispo, and reflects the landscape of the early Holocene when estuaries came farther inland and sea levels were higher. These Chumash people exploited marine resources of the inlets and bays along the Central Coast and inhabited a network of villages including sites at Los Osos and Morro Creek.

San Luis Obispo once had a burgeoning Chinatown in the vicinity of Palm St. and Chorro St. Laborers were brought from China by Ah Louis in order to construct the Pacific Coast Railway, roads connecting San Luis Obispo to Paso Robles and Paso Robles to Cambria, and also the 1884 to 1894 tunneling through Cuesta Ridge for the Southern Pacific Railroad. SLO's Chinatown revolved around Ah Louis Store and other Palm Street businesses owned and run by Chinese business people. Today, Mee Heng Low chop suey shop is all that remains of the culture, although a revitalized Chinatown development is being planned. A display of some of the unearthed relics from this period can be seen on the first floor of the Palm Street parking garage, which was built over the location where Chinatown once stood. The San Luis Obispo Historical Society (adjacent to the Mission) also contains rotating historical exhibits.

Among San Luis Obispo's historical buildings is the former San Luis Obispo Carnegie Library, located at 696 Monterey Street. The San Luis Obispo Carnegie Library was built in 1905 with a grant of $10,000 from Andrew Carnegie, who funded the establishment of 142 California libraries in the early 1900s. The Romanesque style building was designed by architect W.H.Weeks of Watsonville, California and was built by contractor Joseph Maino of San Luis Obispo. As one of numerous California public buildings designed by W. H. Weeks, it shares features with Carnegie libraries in nearby Lompoc and Paso Robles.

The San Luis Obispo Carnegie building served as the city library until 1955, when a new public library was built at the corner of Palm and Morro Streets. It has been home to the San Luis Obispo County Historical Museum since 1956. The Carnegie Library building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Note: This is no. 11 of 30 ( Part 1) articles on places that the Katague family had visited or resided in the US since 1960.

Monday, October 26, 2015

10. Places in the US that Macrine and I had Visited-Los Angeles, California and Surrounding Cities

Macrine and I at the Huntington Beach Pier, 2010

We have been to the Los Angeles area more than a dozen times since 1960. Like New York, my personal opinion is that it is a nice place to visit, but even if you gave me a million dollars, I will never live in the area. Why? the Smog, the overcrowded freeways and just too many people. But as far as tourist attractions, the area is one of the best in US with Disneyland, Catalina Island and the surrounding beaches such as Huntington Beach, Santa Monica and of course Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

Even in the most remote corners of the world, the name Los Angeles is known. As one of the most popular cities in this country, LA draws millions of tourists every year, catering to the unique desires of each one with unparalleled diversity and countless entertainment options. There truly is something for everyone around this city.

Take a tour through the world of the rich and famous in Beverly Hills, find the classic California surfing lifestyle at Huntington Beach, or follow the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole into the funky and eclectic world of Venice Beach. Appease your inner child by visiting attractions like Disneyland and Magic Mountain, or summon your inner performer by visiting Universal Studios and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. While picking the right destination for activities may be difficult, one sure thing is that there will never be a lack of options. Los Angeles is almost synonymous to Disneyland in Anaheim. We have visited Disneyland three times since 1960. It is a must see for both adults and children of all ages. Here are two short videos for your enjoyment.

Here are a few suggested tours besides Disneyland for you to consider if you happened to be in the LA area.

Newport Landing Whale Watching
1. One of the most unique ways to spend any day is by taking to the sea to watch whales and dolphins in their sparkling natural habitat. Newport Landing offers multiple whale watching tours departing daily, year-round, from Newport Beach, and individuals, groups and school classes are welcome to enjoy this breathtaking experience. Gray whales, giant blue whales (the largest animal on the planet), finback whales, and several other species of whales, 6 different species of dolphin, sea lions, and more are all viewable from their large specially made for whale watching ship.

2. Escapes Sightseeing and Food Tours
See famous sites in Hollywood and dine at the hottest restaurants. All this can now be accomplished with TOURific Escapes' Hollywood Sites & Bites Tour. The four-hour tour kicks off at iconic landmarks around Hollywood. Experience major attractions like the famous Hollywood Sign, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Grauman's Chinese Theatre and the site of the Academy Awards. Next up is a trip down Hollywood Boulevard, swinging by trendy Melrose and down The Sunset Strip, probably LA’s most famous attraction. Along the way, you’ll dine at some of LA’s best restaurants. Some are hidden gems known only to Foodies and locals. Don’t miss this TOURific adventure.

Another Side of Los Angeles Tours
3.Whether you're visiting Los Angeles or you're a local, Another Side of Los Angeles Tours is a great way to see all the sites that LA has to offer and in a very unique way. This LA tour provider is famous for their Segway Tours covering the best spots around LA including Beverly Hills--probably the most popular tour--and Another Side of Los Angeles Tours also offers studio tours, golfing tours, shopping and LA spa tours along with general sightseeing tours. For the ultimate Los Angeles experience, try the Ultimate Hollywood Tour which cruises through Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, the Farmers Market, swings by Hollywood Mann's Chinese Theatre, takes a stroll on the Walk of Fame, rolls down Sunset Strip, drives through the Avenue of the Stars, and checks out amazing Hollywood homes.

Cruise Newport Beach
4. Whether visiting Los Angeles or living there, a cruise exploring the beautiful waters of Southern California is a treat for anyone. Cruise Newport Beach offers affordable sunset cruises and brunch cruises, as well as evening cruises and Latin themed cruises complete with margaritas and live Latin music. This Los Angeles cruise company also offers ship rentals for events like bachelor parties, company parties or holiday gatherings.

Go Los Angeles Card
5.The Go Los Angeles Card offers free general admission to over 35 Los Angeles attractions, including Universal Studios Hollywood, the Los Angeles Zoo, California Science Center, Los Angeles City Tour, LEGOLAND California, and the Hollywood Wax Museum.

Note: This is No.10 ( Part 1) of a series of articles on places that the Katague family have either resided or visited in the US.

Friday, October 23, 2015

9. Places in the US that Macrine and I had Visited-Las Vegas, Nevada and Surrounding Areas

Macrine and I in front of the Mirage Hotel and Casino during a Volcanic Eruption,2009

Las Vegas is our family favorite city for relaxation. Macrine and I have been to Las Vegas more than a dozen times since 1960. Our first trip to LV was in the late 1980's, when I attended an American Chemical Society Meeting. Since then we have visited the city 10 times and our latest visit was four years ago.

As members of International Interval (II) Time Exchange Program, Las Vegas is the easiest city to exchange any time of the year. Exchanging our vacation resort (our home resort is The Ridge at Tahoe) via II to other cities such as Hawaii or San Francisco is almost impossible. We waited for three years to get an exchange in Maui, two years in San Francisco and finally give up waiting for a vacancy in Paris, France. So if you have not been to Las Vegas, here are two tour videos of the sights and sounds of Las Vegas and surrounding areas.

The last time we visited Las Vegas( Polo Towers) we spent one day with a bus tour of the nearby three national parks in Utah. Details of this tour will be described in my series of articles about the National Parks that we have visited.

Note: This is No 9 (Part 1) of a series of articles on places that we have visited or have resided in the United States since 1960.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

8. Places in the US that Macrine and I had Visited-South Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada and Vicinity

South Lake Tahoe, California

Three years ago about this time of the year Macrine, David III and I spent one week of vacation at our time vacation resort at the 5 star The Ridge Resort, Tahoe in the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. David III played golf everyday and also poker at the three Casinos, Harvey, Harrah and the Horizon. Macrine and I played the slots machine and also went to a lake cruise and dinner. This is our yearly vacation through a time-share program that we purchased in the early 1990's.

A detail description of our time-sharing experience is also described in this blog. Use the search gadget in this blog for the article, if you want to know more about time-sharing vacation packages from The Ridge, Tahoe.

Enjoying the amenities and scenery at the Ridge, Winter Time

Personal Note: Casino Gambling in Lake Tahoe is on the decline due to competition from Indian Casinos in Northern California, such as Thunder Valley, The Red Hawk, Cache Creek and other Casinos in Northern California.


South Lake Tahoe is a city in El Dorado County, California, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The population was 23,609 at the 2000 census. The east end of the city, on the California-Nevada state line, is mainly geared towards tourism, with T-shirt shops, restaurants, hotels, and Heavenly Mountain Resort with the Nevada casinos just across the state line in Stateline, Nevada.

The city extends about five miles (8 km) west-southwest along U.S. Route 50, also known as Lake Tahoe Blvd. The western end of town is mainly residential, and clusters around "The Y" (new intersection October 2008), the X-shaped intersection of US 50, State Route 89, and the continuation of Lake Tahoe Boulevard after it loses its Federal highway designation.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.5 square miles (42.7 km²), of which, 10.1 square miles (26.1 km²) of it is land and 6.4 square miles (16.7 km²) of it (39.03%) is water. Its elevation is about 6,260 feet (1,910 m).


The city incorporated in 1965 by combining the previously unincorporated communities of Al Tahoe, Bijou, Bijou Park, Stateline, Tahoe Valley, and Tallac Village. A post office was established in 1967. In 1991, Jaycee Lee Dugard was abducted from a bus-stop in South Lake Tahoe, aged 11. She was found in 2009 in Antioch, California 18 years later.


View of Lake Tahoe from the California South Side

Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains of the United States. At a surface elevation of 6,225 ft (1,897 m), it is located along the border between California and Nevada, west of Carson City, Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. Its depth is 1,645 feet (501 metres) making it America's second-deepest (the deepest is Crater Lake in Oregon, being 300 ft deeper, at 1,945 feet (594 m) deep).

The lake was formed about 2 million years ago and is a part of the Lake Tahoe Basin with the modern lake being shaped during the ice ages. It is known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides. The area surrounding the lake is also referred to as Lake Tahoe, or simply Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction in both California and Nevada. It is home to a number of ski resorts, summer outdoor recreation, and tourist attractions. Snow and skiing are a significant part of the area's economy and reputation. Mountain and lake scenery are attractions throughout the year. The Nevada side also includes large casinos. Highways provide year-round access from Reno, Carson City, Virginia City and Sacramento.

Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the U.S., with a maximum depth of 1,645 feet (501 m), trailing only Oregon's Crater Lake at 1,949 ft (594 m). Tahoe is also the 16th deepest lake in the world, and the fifth deepest in average depth. It is about 22 mi (35 km) long and 12 mi (19 km) wide and has 72 mi (116 km) of shoreline and a surface area of 191 square miles (490 km2). Washoe Indians used the lake.

Approximately 2/3 of the shoreline is in California. The south shore is dominated by the lake's largest city, South Lake Tahoe, California, which adjoins the town of Stateline, Nevada, while Tahoe City, California, is located on the lake's northwest shore. Although highways run within sight of the lake shore for much of Tahoe's perimeter, many important parts of the shoreline now lie within state parks or are protected by the United States Forest Service. The Lake Tahoe Watershed (USGS Huc 18100200) of 505 sq mi (1,310 km2) includes the land area that drains to the lake and the Lake Tahoe drainage divide traverses the same general area as the Tahoe Rim Trail.

Lake Tahoe as viewed from Heavenly Valley Ski Resort during the Winter Season

This article is No.8 ( Part 1) of a series of articles that the David B. Katague family has either resided or visited in the United States. If you are somewhere in Northern California, this is a must place to visit and maybe spent some of your vacation money in the Casinos, enjoy a leisurely cruise on the lake ( summer time) or if your visit is on winter time, visit the ski resort of Heavenly Valley at 9000 ft elevation with a panoramic view of the lake.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

7. Places in the US that Macrine and I had Resided/Visited-Modesto, California

The Modesto Arch

We resided in Modesto from 1969 to 1974. I was employed by Shell Development Company as an Analytical Research Chemist in Research Department of their Agricultural Division. We resided at the northern suburb of Modesto- a typical middle-income housing development in the early 1970's. Compared to Kansas City, Missouri, Modesto is a very small town at that time, although there was a private Country and Tennis Club, Sportmen Club of Stanislaus County known as SOS, that we enjoyed very much. We played tennis, eat at the country club restaurant and play party bridge at night. The kids enjoyed swimming during the day and we made a few good friends at the club.
Bridge Nights at Sportmen Club of Stanislaus County(SOS)

The highlights of our stay was when we met The Gallos during a tennis tournament. The Gallos were already millioners at that time since they owned the Gallo Winery, but were friendly to most of the members of the Club. The other highlight was that we became US citizens in Modesto. Our citizenship party was featured in the society column of the Modesto Bee, the local newspaper.
Central Valley Farm Land
The Modesto Metropolitan Area is a part of the Central Valley of California. The Central Valley (also known as The Valley) is a large, flat valley that dominates the central portion of the U.S., State of California. It is home to many of California's most productive agricultural efforts. The valley stretches approximately 450 miles (720 km) from northwest to southeast inland and parallel to the Pacific Ocean coast.

Its northern half is referred to as the Sacramento Valley, and its southern half as the San Joaquin Valley. The Sacramento valley receives about 20 inches of rain annually, but the San Joaquin is very dry, often semi-arid desert in many places. The two halves meet at the huge Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, a large expanse of interconnected canals, stream beds, sloughs, marshes and peat islands. The Central Valley encompasses around 42,000 square miles (110,000 km2), making it roughly the same size as the state of Tennessee. The Central Valley is the bread basket of the State producing fresh fruits, meat products, vegetables( fresh and canned) and rice and grains and other agricultural products. It is the most fertile agricultural region of the Pacific.

Counties commonly associated with the valley:

* North Sacramento Valley (Shasta, Tehama, Glenn, Butte, Colusa)
* Sacramento Metro (Sacramento, El Dorado, Sutter, Yuba, Yolo, Placer)
* North San Joaquin (San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced)
* South San Joaquin (Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Kern)

About 6.5 million people live in the Central Valley today, and it is the fastest growing region in California. There are 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in the Central Valley. Below, they are listed by (MSA) population. The largest city is Fresno, followed by the state capital Sacramento, but the Sacramento area is the most populous region.

* Sacramento Metropolitan Area (2,136,604)
* Fresno Metropolitan Area (1,002,284)
* Bakersfield Metropolitan Area (827,173)
* Stockton Metropolitan Area (664,116)
* Modesto Metropolitan (505,505)
* Visalia Metropolitan Area (410,874)
* Merced Metropolitan Area (241,706)
* Chico Metropolitan Area (214,185)
* Redding Metropolitan Area (179,904)
* Yuba City Metropolitan Area (165,081)

Modesto is the county seat of Stanislaus County, California. With a population of approximately 211,156 as of April 2009, Modesto ranks as the 17th largest city in the state of California. Modesto is located in Northern California, 92 miles east of San Francisco, 68 miles south of the state capital of Sacramento and 66 miles west of Yosemite National Park. Modesto, a 29-time Tree City USA honoree, is surrounded by rich farmland, lending to a ranking for the county as 6th among all California counties in farm production. Led by milk, almonds, chickens, cattle, and walnuts, the county grossed nearly $2.5 billion in agricultural production in 2007.
The Gallo Art Center
Locally, Modesto is home to the critically acclaimed Gallo Center for the Arts, Prospect Theater Project, the Modesto Nuts (a Colorado Rockies MLB affiliate) and the Amgen Tour of California, which in 2009 saw cycling legend Lance Armstrong cross the finish line. The Xclamation Festival, X-Fest, has become the city’s largest entertainment and cultural gathering, recently celebrating its 10th year. The event in 2009 had an estimated 16,000 attendees enjoy music and food on the streets of downtown Modesto. Modesto also encompasses various cultural and social diverse schools, especially Modesto High School. MHS, being the oldest school of Modesto, embodies a rigorous academic and physical curriculum for students such as the International Baccalaureate program, AVID, and more.

In February 2010, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which interviewed more than 353,000 participants and asked individuals to assess their jobs, finances, physical health, emotional state of mind and communities, ranked Modesto 161 out of the 162 cities surveyed. In December 2009, Forbes ranked Modesto 48th out of 100 among "Best Bang-for-the-Buck Cities;" according to Forbes. In this ranking, Modesto ranked 8th in housing affordability and travel time but also ranked 86th in job forecast growth and 99th in foreclosures. In variety of other past rankings, Modesto has scored in the top ten worst places to live due to its high cost of living, high unemployment, long commutes and high crime rate.

Note: This is No.7 (Part 1) of a series of articles on places that we have resided or visited in US since 1960 to the present.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

6. Places in the US that Macrine and I had Resided/Visited-Pinole, California and Vicinity

The East Bay Satellite Map

We resided in the small city of Pinole from 1974 to 1990. Pinole is part of the area known as the inner East Bay. This is the town where all our children finished high school. Our oldest and youngest children obtained their Bachelor degrees at University of California in Berkeley. The other two obtained their Bachelor degrees at UC Davis and Sacramento State University. All of them went to Graduate or Law School after finishing their Bachelor Degrees. My oldest son went to Law School at UC Davis. My oldest daughter went to St Mary College for her Para Legal studies in Moraga. My youngest son took his Masters Degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My youngest daughter took her Masters degree at The University of Southern California in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
This was our first and last 2-story house (we prefer ranches or one story houses) in Ramona Street, Pinole in 1986.

I was employed first by Stauffer Chemical Company for 12 years and later by Chevron Chemical Company for 4 years in Richmond, California as an Analytical Chemist Research in the field of pesticides residues method development.
My Picture was Used by Stauffer Chemical for Press Relation Activities Locally and Nationally

Our Pinole years were wonderful and memorable since Macrine and I were fully involved with our local church charitable activities, University of the Philippines Alumni Association activities as well as with the activities of the Filipino-American community in the area.
Pinole and Surrounding Area

The East Bay is a part of the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Originally referring only to cities along the east side of the San Francisco and San Pablo bays, the conception of the East Bay has grown with the expansion of the Bay Area to include all of Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The East Bay contains an extremely wide range of people and communities, ranging from the older and poorer cities on the bay, through the wealthy suburbs along the I-680 corridor, all the way to the freshly built developments in the far east of the region. The region is linked primarily by highways, with the BART rail system also connecting the East Bay with San Francisco. Here's a video of Bart ride from East Bay to SFO under the TUBE.

History and Development

Although initial settlement interest focused on San Francisco due to its location controlling the Golden Gate strait and sea access to the bay, the coastal East Bay came to prominence in the middle of the nineteenth century as the part of the Bay Area most accessible by land from the east. The Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1868 with its western terminus at the newly constructed Oakland Long Wharf, and the new city of Oakland rapidly developed into a significant seaport. Today the Port of Oakland is the Bay Area's largest port and the fifth largest container shipping port in the United States.

In 1868, the University of California was formed from the private College of California and a new campus was built in what would become Berkeley. The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake saw a large number of refugees flee to the relatively undamaged East Bay, and the region continued to grow rapidly. As the East Bay grew, the push to connect it with a more permanent link than the transbay ferry service resulted in the completion of the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge in 1936.

The Bay Area saw further massive growth in the decades following World War II, with the population doubling between 1940 and 1960, and doubling again by 2000. The 1937 completion of the Caldecott Tunnel through the Berkeley Hills fueled growth further east, where there was still abundant land. Cities in the Diablo Valley, including Concord and Walnut Creek, saw their populations increase tenfold or more between 1950 and 1970. The addition of the BART commuter rail system in 1972 further encouraged development in increasingly far-flung regions of the East Bay. Today, the valleys east of the Berkeley hills are covered in largely affluent suburbs, where enclaves such as Alamo, Orinda, and Danville all have median household incomes over $100,000. Significant expansion continues in the far east reaches of the East Bay, where new developments such as the 2007 Dougherty Valley community are common.

The East Bay remains a somewhat vaguely defined region. The coastal cities, including Oakland, Berkeley, Fremont and Richmond, maintain an identity very separate from the inland areas and can be referred to as the "inner East Bay". In general, these cities tend to be poorer and more urban. The crime-plagued cities of Oakland and Richmond accounted for over half the violent crime and almost two-thirds of the region's murders in 2008, despite having only one-fifth of its population. In contrast, the so-called "outer East Bay," consisting of a stretch of inland valley from Livermore and Dublin north to Concord and Martinez is on average wealthier, newer, and more suburban than the coastal areas.

As development continues on the fringes of the East Bay, new areas are added to the definition of the East Bay, and of the Bay Area in general. In 1996, BART was extended from its terminus in Concord to a new station in Pittsburg, symbolically incorporating the newly expanded Delta communities of Pittsburg and Antioch into the Bay Area. A similar trend exists beyond the borders of Alameda County, as an increasingly large commuter population in Tracy begins to add its influence to the ever-expanding Bay Area.


The East Bay is the birthplace of many popular musical acts such as Creedence Clearwater Revival, Santana, Y&T, Operation Ivy, Digital Underground, Rancid, Green Day, Primus, NOFX, Tower of Power, The Pointer Sisters, The Dead Kennedys, MC Hammer, Tupac Shakur, Spice 1, Too Short, Tony! Toni! Toné!, en Vogue, Pete Escovedo, Keyshia Cole, and Mac Dre.

Symphonies, operas, and ballets include: Oakland East Bay Symphony, Oakland Ballet, Berkeley Opera, which typically stages only three productions in a season, and in a relatively small venue, but is attractive because of its innovative and accessible productions, sometimes using complete modern English libretto translations, or showing lesser known works by major composers. Another small opera company operates in Livermore. High quality small orchestras such as the California Symphony can be found in the larger suburban centers. Other more urban venues for music such as La Peña (Hispanic/Chicano music), Ashkenaz (World Music & Dance), and Freight and Salvage (folk music) provide specific cultural orientations not found in major venues and so continue to thrive, with many of these venues operated as cooperatives rather than as for-profit private endeavours.

The Oakland Museum of California offers quality permanent and touring exhibitions in a modern setting, with emphasis on artworks, photography, and artifacts related to California and its history, while the smaller Bedford Gallery hosts a number of exhibitions each year, usually exhibits related to themes of popular culture such as motorcycles or hot rods or keen social and political observations as expressed through sculpture, pottery, quilting, weaving, or photography. The Bedford Gallery is located in Walnut Creek's Lesher Center For the Arts, which is the usual venue for the California Symphony and the Diablo Light Opera among others.

The Chabot Space and Science Center is a modern science hall with interactive exhibits and both a planetarium and an IMAX dome theater. Tilden Regional Park is one of the oldest parks in the district with over 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) of wilderness. Highlights of Tilden Park features include an antique merry-go-round, Lake Anza, and the botanic garden. The East Bay is also home to the restaurant that established California cuisine, Chez Panisse. We have patronized this restaurant for a number of years while residing in Pinole.

Note: This is No.6 (Part 1) of a series of articles on places that we have resided or visited in US from 1960 to the present.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

5. Places in the US that Macrine and I had Resided/Visited-Kansas City, Missouri and Its Suburbs

We resided in Platte Woods, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri from 1964 to 1969. This was the place where we purchased our first home here in US. Platte Woods is North of downtown Kansas City and close to the International Airport. At that time, the airport has not been built but was still on the planning stage. Platte Woods is adjacent to Lake Waukomis, another suburb as well as North Kansas City-a smaller town. Our favorite place to shop was in the Plaza Area and downtown Kansas City. Kansas City, Kansas is a much smaller town- a typical example of a mid western small city.
Our first home in Platte Woods, Missouri at Northwest Linden Road, in 1967

When we first move to Missouri from Chicago, we thought Kansas City was just a small cowboy town, but we were surprise to see skyscrapers, shopping malls and a sport stadium that could compare to Chicago. There were a couple of colleges and of course the University of Missouri, Kansas City branch and also the Midwest Research Institute that employed more than a hundred chemists, physicists and other natural scientists with Ph.D and master degrees. At that time, I was employed as as an Analytical Research Chemist for a private corporation, a subsidiary of Bayer Corporation, a German conglomerate. Here's a short video of the sights of Kansas City, Missouri, not Kansas City, Kansas.

Kansas City is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metro area in Missouri. It encompasses 318 square miles in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties. It is one of two county seats of Jackson County, the other being Independence, which is to the city's east. As of February 6, 2009, it was revealed that the US census had underestimated Kansas City's population, and re-released it to be 475,830, with a metro area of over two million. Kansas City was founded in 1838 as the "Town of Kansas" at the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas rivers and was incorporated in its present form in 1850. Situated opposite Kansas City, Kansas, the city was the location of several battles during the Civil War, including the Battle of Westport. The city is well known for its contributions to the musical styles of jazz and blues as well as to cuisine (Kansas City-style barbecue).

Downtown Kansas City at Night

Kansas City, Missouri, is often abbreviated as "KCMO", or simply "KC" (both abbreviations often refer to the metro area). It is officially nicknamed the City of Fountains. With over 200 fountains, the city claims to have the second most in the world, just behind Rome. The fountains at Kauffman Stadium, commissioned by original Kansas City Royals owner Ewing Kauffman, are the largest privately-funded fountains in the world. The city also has more boulevards than any city except Paris and has been called "Paris of the Plains." Residents are known as Kansas Citians. It is sometimes referred to colloquially as the Heart of America as it is near both the population center of the United States and the geographic center of the 48 contiguous states.

One of the more than 200 Fountains in the City

Note: This is No.5 ( Part 1) of a series of articles on places that we have resided or visited in the US from 1960 to the present.( #1. New York City, #2 Washington, DC, #3 Sacramento, CA, and #4, Chicago, Illinois)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

4. Places in the US that Macrine and I had Resided/Visited-Chicago, Illinois and Its Suburbs

My family ( wife and 3 children at that time) resided in the Chicago area for four years from 1960 to 1964. We stayed at the University Of Illinois Medical Center Staff Apartments. During that time I was a part-time Instructor in Chemistry and at the same time pursuing my doctorate degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Illinois.
University of Illinois, College of Pharmacy, Medical Center-my part time employer during my graduate school years in Chicago.

My family favorite places at that time were the Lincoln Zoo and Lake Michigan. We also love the Chicago Art Institute and the downtown area department stores(Marshall Fields and Sears). On several occasions, we have been invited for Thanksgiving weekends in Danville & Springfield, Illinois and surrounding towns. On a couple of Christmas days we have been lucky to be invited at the home of the late Pat and Patty Crowley in Wheaton, Illinois as well as in the homes of the Dean and Faculty members of the College of Pharmacy.

The Crowleys were very active leaders of the Christian Family Movement(CFM) at that time. Our fours years in Chicago is synonymous to our involvement with CFM. The Christian Family Movement (also known as CFM) is a national movement of parish (neighborhood) small groups of families that meet in one another’s homes to reinforce Christian values and actively encourage other fellow Christian parents through active involvement with others. CFM groups contain five to seven families and the adults meet two nights each month in each others houses.

At meetings the members of CFM use many different programs provided by CFM USA Offices. Parents talk about what they have seen in their family or neighborhood and discuss these opinions on what they have seen through the life and teachings of Jesus. After these discussions they make plans on how they can act out the changes they talked about that will positively affect families in their community. The method used by CFM members is called the Observe/Judge/Act technique. Members say this method helps in such areas as “foster-parenting, prison ministry, refugee sponsorship, religious education and couple counseling.” Joseph Cardijn, the founder of the Young Christian Workers Movement in Belgium, was the first person to bring about the observe/judge/act technique (also known as the Jocist Method).
Simple Gifts-Pat and Patty Crowley
The Christian Family Movement had its first national seminar in June 1949 where it was represented by 59 delegates from 11 different cities. Pat and Patty Crowley were first elected to be the Executive Secretary Couple where they lead the movement for the next 20 years. CFM had become a nation-wide movement. This was shown through their first publication (ACT), its official recognition by the church, and the way that CFM groups from other cities were able to communicate with each other. The first CFM program was called For Happier Families and was dispersed to over 2,500 groups within the span of a year.

Here's a video tour of Chicago also known as the Windy City. I truly believe that in Winter time, the city is the coldest place in the earth because of the wind. After graduation, I vowed that I will never live in the Chicago area even if you gave me a million dollars because of the harsh winters and humid summers. Spring and Fall are the only time we love Chicago during the early 1960's. Enjoy this videos.

Chicago was founded in 1833, near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed. The Potawatomi were forcibly removed from their land following the Treaty of Chicago. The city became a major transportation and telecommunications hub in North America. Today, the city retains its status as a major hub, both for industry and infrastructure, with O'Hare International Airport being the second busiest airport in the world. In 2008, the city hosted 45.6 million domestic and overseas visitors.

The city is a center for business and finance and is listed as one of the world's top ten Global Financial Centers. The World Cities Study Group at Loughborough University rated Chicago as an "alpha world city" due to Chicago's important role in the global economic system. In a 2010 survey collaboration between Foreign Policy and A.T Kearney ranking the world's top global cities, Chicago ranked 6th behind Paris and Hong Kong and above Los Angeles and Singapore. The ranking assesses five dimensions: value of capital markets, diversity of human capital, international information resources, international cultural resources, and political influence.

Chicago is a stronghold of the Democratic Party and has been home to many influential politicians, including the current President of the United States, Barack Obama.

Globally recognized, Chicago has numerous nicknames, which reflect the impressions and opinions about historical and contemporary Chicago. The best known include: "Chi-town," "Windy City," "Second City," and the "City of Big Shoulders." Chicago has also been called "the most American of big cities."

Note: This is No.4 ( Part 1) of a series of articles of places that Macrine and I have resided or visited in the US since 1960 to the present ( New York City #1, Washington DC #2 and Sacramento #3)

Monday, October 5, 2015

3. Places in the US that Macrine and I had Resided/Visited-Sacramento, California and Its Suburbs

3. This is Number 3 of the series of places in the US that the David B Katague family had either resided or visited.*
My two Sisters ( Myrla and Agnes) and Brother-in-law ( Dennis) and ME in front of the Capitol. This photo was taken in the summer of 2009. Agnes and Dennis are from Maryland and Myrla is from Toronto, Canada

The California State Capitol sits in Sacramento, California, at the west end of Capitol Park. The grounds are framed by L Street to the north, N Street to the south, 10th Street to the west, and 15th Street to the east. The Capitol houses the California State Legislature and the Office of the Governor of California. The building was constructed in the Neoclassical architectural style between 1861 and 1874 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as of 1973.
The building is based on the distant Capitol in Washington D.C. The west facade ends in projecting bays, and a portico projects from the center of the building. At the base of the portico, seven granite archways brace and support the porch above. Eight fluted Corinthian columns line the portico. A cornice supports the pediment above that depicts Minerva surrounded by Education, Justice, and Mining.
Above the flat roof with balustrade rise two drums supporting a dome. The first drum consists of a colonnade of Corinthian columns; the second, Corinthian pilasters. Large arched windows line the drum walls. The dome rises 220 feet, matching the dome of the U.S. Capitol. This dome supports a lantern with a smaller dome capped with a bright gold ball.

The California Senate Chamber seats its forty members in a large chamber room enveloped in red, which is a nod to the British House of Lords, also the upper house of a bicameral legislature. The Chamber is entered through a second floor corridor. The red carpeting has a Victorian-era design. From the coffered ceiling hangs an electric reproduction of the original gas chandelier. A hand-carved dais caps off a recessed bay framed by Corinthian columns.
The Latin phrase "Senatoris est civitatis libertatem tueri" ["It is the duty of a Senator to protect the liberty of the people"] lines the cornice. A portrait of George Washington by Jane Stuart, the daughter of Gilbert Stuart, looks down from the wall above. The State Seal hangs above.

Gilded Corinthian columns support the gallery above, and dark red curtains that can be drawn for privacy are tied back along the columns. High arched windows run along the bottom below rectangular pane windows. Behind the rostrum, there are two chairs with red velvet cushions, reserved for the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly, but are never used.

The California Assembly Chamber is located at the opposite end of the Senate. Like the Senate, its green tones are based on British House of Commons, the lower house. The dais rests along a wall shaped like an "E", with the central projection housing the rostrum. Along the cornice appears a quotation from Abraham Lincoln in Latin: legislatorum est justas leges condere ("It is the duty of legislators to pass just laws").

2001 Attack
On January 16, 2001, Michael Bowers, a semi-trailer truck driver with a criminal history, drove over a curb, up a short walk-way, and rammed his truck into the southern portico. The truck's fuel tank ignited, killing him and causing $15 million in damage to the Capitol.

If you are in the Sacramento area, a free tour of the capitol and it grounds is a good use of your time. Adjacent to the capitol is the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, A National Shrine, It is also a must see if you are Catholic.
Inside the Cathedral

*Note: The Eastern suburb of Sacramento is our current residence since 2002 after my retirement from the Food and Drug Administration. Sacramento is about 75 to 90 minutes from San Francisco depending on traffic. There are two Indian Casinos within 40 minutes from Downtown Sacramento, Thunder Valley in Lincoln and Red Hawk in Placerville.

Friday, October 2, 2015

2. Places in the US that Macrine and I had Resided/Visited-Washington, DC and Its Suburbs

2. The Tristate area is the name of the area which include all of Washington DC, Eastern Maryland and the Northern Virginia suburbs where most of the Federal employees worked or resided.

We have resided in the suburbs of Washington D.C.( Colesville, Maryland) for 12 years (1990-2002). Going to the National Mall from our residence via the Metro takes only about 30 minutes. The National Mall is an open-area national park in downtown Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States.

The National Mall is a unit of the National Park Service, and is administered by the National Mall and Memorial Parks unit. The term "National Mall" commonly includes areas that are officially part of West Potomac Park and Constitution Gardens to the west, and often is taken to refer to the entire area between the Lincoln Memorial and the United States Capitol, with the Washington Monument providing a division slightly west of the center. The National Mall receives approximately 24 million visitors each year.

The National Mall-Gets about 24 million visitors a Year

Washington, D.C. (pronounced /ˈwɒʃɪŋtən ˌdiːˈsiː/, WOSH-ing-tən DEE-SEE), formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, the District, or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States, founded on July 16, 1790. Article One of the United States Constitution provides for a federal district, distinct from the states, to serve as the permanent national capital. The City of Washington was originally a separate municipality within the federal territory until an act of Congress in 1871 established a single, unified municipal government for the whole District. It is for this reason that the city, while legally named the District of Columbia, is known as Washington, D.C. The city shares its name with the U.S. state of Washington, which is located on the country's Pacific coast.

The city is located on the north bank of the Potomac River and is bordered by the states of Virginia to the southwest and Maryland to the other sides. The District has a resident population of 599,657; because of commuters from the surrounding suburbs, its population rises to over one million during the workweek. The Washington Metropolitan Area, of which the District is a part, has a population of 5.4 million, the eighth-largest metropolitan area in the country.

The centers of all three branches of the federal government of the United States are located in the District, as are many of the nation's monuments and museums. Washington, D.C. hosts 174 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The headquarters of other institutions such as trade unions, lobbying groups, and professional associations are also located in the District.

The highlight of our stay in the Washington DC area is my employment with the Food and Drug Administration as Chemistry Team Leader for the Center Of New Drugs in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Winter scene in the front yard of our residence at Hammonton Rd.

This was the place where Macrine and I were the happiest because of our active involvement with the Filipino-American community.
Monuments of Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., is governed by a mayor and a 13-member city council. However, the United States Congress has supreme authority over the city and may overturn local laws. Residents of the District therefore have less self-governance than residents of the states. The District has a non-voting, at-large Congressional delegate, but no senators. D.C. residents could not vote in presidential elections until the ratification of the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1961.

Cherry Blossoms at the Tidal Basin

My favorite time of the year in the DC area is spring time. The city is famous for it annual Cherry Blossom Festival. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a spring celebration in Washington, D.C. commemorating the March 27, 1912, gift of Japanese cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington. Mayor Ozaki donated the trees in an effort to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan and also celebrate the continued close relationship between the two nations.

This article is No.2 (Part 1) series of articles of the places that we have resided and/or visited in the US since 1960 to the present. The New York City write up was No.1.
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