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

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

My Collection of Miniature Liqueur Bottles

Do you collect Miniature Liqueur or mini Bottles of Liqueur? I started collecting miniature liqueur bottles in the late 1980's. I stopped after I retired from FDA in 2002. So I only have a small collection, but I enjoyed looking at them every now and then.

A miniature is a small bottle of a spirit, liqueur or other alcoholic beverage. Their contents, typically 50ml, are intended to comprise an individual serving.

Part of My Collection

Some of My Favorites

Miniatures may be used as gifts, samples, or for promotional purposes. In the Northeastern United States they are known as "Nips", and referred to elsewhere as "airplane bottles". They are sometimes available in hotel mini-bars, on trains and planes, and in other circumstances where serving from a full size bottle is impractical or uneconomical.

My small collections with our a mini plate souvenir photos from Gibraltar sandwiching the mini San Miguel beer, Pale Pilsen mini bottle from the Philippines

These mini bottles are sometimes sold in sets, allowing the comparative tasting of different types of beverage. They are also sold in gift sets with a corresponding drinking glass. Miniatures are collected by some people, and I am one of them. I have only a small collection numbering only about 70 bottles.

My recent purchase of 2 sets of Mini-Jim Beam and Jack Daniels

Monday, March 27, 2017

Macrine's 81st Birthday at Manor Care of Citrus Heights

Yesterday was Macrine's 81st Birthday. Instead of celebrating it in our residence with friends and relatives , my spouse ( it will be 60 years this May), Macrine, celebrated with just closed relatives at a Rehab Center because of her recent hip surgery. Attached is a video of Carenna singing one of her original song and some photos of the occasion. Special thanks to Jean who brought her Pinoy dishes. Thanks to all her sisters, nieces and their kids who sent beautiful flowers and arrangement. Here's the short video.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

He who Squeaks, Gets the Oil-Events in the Past Six Days

The Mercy San Juan Medical Center, Carmichael

If you are reading my FB status you probably know that Macrine had hip surgery (repair) on her left hip after a Fall on Thursday March 16 at around 10 AM. The surgery was successful. She is out from Mercy Hospital and now checked in at Manor Care Rehabilitation Center and scheduled to stay from 20 to 30 days(if needed) for Physical Therapy and Healing. A lot of my friends and relatives are curious what exactly happened. Thus this blog.

On the morning of Thursday while eating her brunch of left-over Pancit, she walked straight to the kitchen sink a couple of feet away with out her walker. I was in the bedroom fixing and cleaning up and suddenly I heard a scream. David our son who lives with us was a few feet standing on trying to help her standup but she screams with pain lying on the floor. She can not move because of the pain on her hip, so I decided to call 911 and asked for an ambulance. In exactly 7 minutes the County Ambulance and Fire Truck was in our front door. The whole neighborhood was curious and told me that if I need help I can just ask. In 10 minutes we were in the Emergency Room of Mercy San Juan Medical Center. Incidentally the driver of the ambulance is our neighbor.

Three hours later after all the X'ray, Cat Scan and other tests, Macrine was admitted to the Hospital and scheduled for surgery the next day at 10 AM. At about 9:55AM she was transferred from her room to the pre-operation room where the anesthesiologist talked to me about the anesthesia and the orthopedic surgeon explained to me the procedure and if I have any questions. Ten minutes later the scheduling nurse informed me there was a delay because there is an emergency which will use the same operating room. It was not until 12:30 PM when she was wheeled to the OR.

David III and I waited until 3:30PM when we learned that surgery was completed and Macrine was in the recovery area. In the surgery waiting room for visitors were Jean Maeda( Macrine's sister), Dinah (our daughter), Elaine, our granddaughter besides David III and myself. At about 5PM Macrine was still sleepy and the nurse requested that one of us should talked to her to facilitate her waking up. Jean, Dinah and I took turns to keep Macrine awake so she can be transported to her regular room in the Hospital.

The surgery recovery time at Mercy turned out to be 3 days. The nurses and assistants scheduled for Macrine's recovery were all excellent, helpful and industrious except for one male nurse. There were 3 Filipina nurses and one Filipina Assistant who were particularly industrious, concerned and doing their job perfectly. I was also particularly impressed by a young Indian Nurse who was assign on the night Shift. She was very young and soft spoken. At first I thought she was a student nurse. For the last two days Macrine's room had been hot we have to turn the electric fan to keep the air circulating. On the 3rd day during this Indian nurse shift, she notice the room was also hot. She immediately called the maintenance man and in 5 minutes the problem was solve. I was impressed by the decision making capability of this young nurse.

Now on the details of one lazy male nurse. On one of the day shifts, Macrine's IV was ringing, telling me its clogged and need attention. I dialed his extension and he answered he will take a look at it. I waited for 10 minutes he did not arrived. The alarm bell bothered me, so when I saw another nurse in the hallway, I requested her to look at the IV. She straightened the IV tube to remove the air bubbles and hit the restart button and the problem was solved.

An hour later when this male nurse went to check for Macrine's blood sugar I confronted him with of what happened and he just ignored me. When I told this story to the Filipina Nursing Assistant, she told me that this nurse is known to be the Lazy One. One afternoon, on my way home after David III took over to kept his Mom's company I confronted this Nurse in front of the other nurses of the event. Later on the afternoon David informed that this nurse was very helpful and appeared to be compassionate and did not appeared lazy at all. So the above incident is the first example of the Filipino proverb, He who squeals(complain)gets the oil(attention/help).

After Macrine's release from Mercy San Juan Hospital, we followed the recommendation of the Mercy Staff to have Macrine admitted to Manor Care of Citrus Heights only a few miles from our residence for rehabilitation for her hip surgery. The Physician in Mercy said that Manor Care of Citrus Heights is the Cadillac( the best) of skilled nursing facility in our area. Prior to our signing in, David III visited the facility and talk to the Manager asking for all the financial details and services rendered by the facility.

Dodie( my oldest son) and I followed it up the next day and toured the facility. We were impressed plus it is only 5 minutes from our residence. For the basic care for 20 days covered by Medicare, Macrine has to share a room with a complete stranger. You have an option for an upgrade of to a private room for an additional $60 per night at your own personal expense. I opted on the Upgrade Service telling my oldest son, that when you die you can not bring your money with you, you might as well enjoy it while you are still alive. My Blue Cross Blue Shield(BCBS) Federal Insurance will cover the next 21 to 30 days if needed, but will not pay also for the upgrade private room. The only reason BCBS will pay for the upgraded single room is for the insured to show she has an infectious disease.

Manor Care of Citrus Heights

Another example supporting the above proverb, occurred on our first two hours at Manor Care. We hired a van transport ( at the additional expense of $75 according to the manager at Manor Care) transferring Macrine from Mercy San Juan Hospital to Manor Care. The transfer took only 10 minutes since the distance was only about 4 miles. The gurney guys transferred Macrine to her new bed at Manor at about 2:30PM. No one greeted us so we waited for 30 minutes. I got tired waiting so I went out of the room and went to the nurse station. I told her we have arrived. She looked at her file and said oh yes, the paper work is here. When I asked her when could we have nursing service since Macrine's CarboLevodopa is due. If she missed her medications by 30 minutes she trembled and get agitated and really feel sick. Maybe another hour since we are in the process of Shifts. I was mad and demanded to see Chief nurse and give a lecture about the recommendation of the Mercy Staff that they are supposed to be the Cadillac of Skilled Facility in our area. In five minutes there was a nurse and assistant helping us check in and I sign all the paper work.
Macrine resting on her wheel chair
The Beautiful flower arrangement sent by Jean and Family. Thanks a Million!

Today, as I am writing this, we are happy of the services rendered by Manor Care specially their physical therapy department. Food service is excellent. Most of the nurses and nurse assistants are industrious and compassionate. The longer wait I had was about 10 minutes after I pressed the bell for assistance. The facility employs a few Filipinos, Latinos and other Asians(Indians/Chinese). I am specifically impressed by one of the nursing Assistant, named Christine, a Chinese-American. We are scheduled for evaluation this coming March 27, the day after Macrine's 81st Birthday. Incidentally, the party for Macrine's 81st BD this coming March 26 Sunday has been cancelled. The above are the details of Macrines Hip Surgery and Recovery for the past 6 days. Again for those who sent their prayers via FaceBook, thanks a million!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Our Four Luxuries in Life in US Today

The David Katague Clan, 2016

This year is our 57th year living in the US. Macrine will be 81 years old next week and I turned 82 years old last December 20. We have lived in almost all regions of the US except the South. We have resided in Chicago, Illinois* (5 years), Kansas City, Missouri** (5 years), Modesto, California*** (5 years), Pinole, California**** (12 years), Colesville, Maryland *****( 12 years) and currently in the Sacramento, California suburb since 2002.

We have purchased six houses during those years and saw our four children and six grandchildren finished their college education ( BS and professional degrees) except for our youngest grand daughter who is only 13 years old. We have enjoyed vacationing in several countries outside the US. We have also visited almost all the big cities in the US.(http://davidbkatague.blogspot.com)

We have also built a retirement home and beach house and conference hall in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines (http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com).

Front Yard of our Retirement Home, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines

Today we live a simple life. Our four luxuries are:

1. The service of two Cleaning Ladies for the whole house twice a month.

2. The home service for a whole body massage (one hour each) once a month

3. Food Delivery Service for Gourmet cooked meals ( just heat it for 2 minutes) once to twice a week and our

4. Twice a month Escapade to our local Indian Casino for Dinner and a little Gambling ( slots and Pai Gow Poker)

Prior to the PD diagnosis of Macrine, we spent from 3 to 5 months every year at our retirement home in Marinduque. However, since last year, because of Macrine's health we were not able to travel to the Philippines and enjoyed our beach house. We really missed Amoingon, Boac (Chateau Du Mer) this time of the year when the weather in the Philippines is dry and cool.

Because of her PD and medications, Macrine felt isolated once in a while. Thus a visit and phone call from relatives and friends are very much welcome.

So what is in our future? This will depend on the progression of Macrine's Parkinson. For me, my arthritis has limited my movement a little, but my mind is sharp! I still enjoyed a mean game of duplicate bridge on line.

Friends and Relatives, please pray for our health so that we can continue our simple life here in the US perhaps for another decade. Another decade may be a dream but one can hope, anyway. Give us a call just to say hello, message us in FB or send us an e-mail and if you are nearby visit us! Macrine and I are looking forward for your call, message or visit. Surprise US!






Friday, March 17, 2017

All You Want to Know about Generic Drugs But were Afraid to Ask

When I was still employed by FDA ( 1990-2002), I have numerous contacts with other chemistry reviewers and team leaders from our Division Of Generic Drugs. Thus I did have knowledge that if a drug is approved by the Generic Drug Division, it will be as effective, safe and of the same quality as the brand name drug, but it will be definitely cheaper in cost. Thus if my physician changed my prescription to the Generic version, I have no problem with it. However, I have friends and relatives who still believe that the generic version of the drug is inferior than its brand name, thus they are cheaper. Unlike dietary supplements, generic drugs are approved by FDA prior to marketing.

Just recently, one of Macrine's prescription drug for her PD was changed to a generic version which was a hundred time cheaper than the brand name drug. The brand name drug was very, very expensive I have to purchase it via Mail through my Federal Insurance Mail Prescription Benefits. The brand name was Azilect and the Generic version is Rasagiline. Here's the announcement of the approval of the generic version of Azilect on March 17, 2016.

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of rasagiline was announced by its manufacturer, Orchid Pharmaceuticals. Rasagiline, is the company’s first AB-rated generic for Azilect (Teva Neurosciences) tablets, indicated for the treating of Parkinson’s disease.

The drug works by blocking the activity of monoamine oxidase-B (MAO-B), an enzyme that breaks down dopamine, which therefore helps to stabilize blood levels of dopamine. It is important that dopamine levels are regulated because low dopamine levels, may lead to problems with balance, movement, muscle control, and other symptoms of Parkinson’s.  The recommended dose of Rasagiline for the treating of Parkinson’s is once daily either alone or in combination with levodopa, another Parkinson’s medication.

Orchid Phamaceuticals plans to introduce Rasagiline to the U.S. market in the third quarter in 2016. Orchid has a 180-day exclusivity period for Rasagiline. Global sales for Azilect in the year 2015, was approximately $514 million, according to Teva Neuroscience’s annual report".

But why are Generic drugs cheaper than the brand name drugs, let me explain. But first here the official definition of Generic Drugs.

Generic drugs are copies of brand-name drugs that have exactly the same dosage, intended use, effects, side effects, route of administration, risks, safety, and strength as the original drug. In other words, their pharmacological effects are exactly the same as those of their brand-name counterparts.

Generic drugs are only cheaper because the manufacturers have not had the expenses of developing and marketing a new drug. When a company brings a new drug onto the market, the firm has already spent substantial money on research, development, marketing and promotion of the drug. A patent is granted that gives the company that developed the drug an exclusive right to sell the drug as long as the patent is in effect. This patent will last from 17 to 20 years depending on the date of approval.

As the patent nears expiration, manufacturers can apply to the FDA for permission to make and sell generic versions of the drug; and without the startup costs for development of the drug, other companies can afford to make and sell it more cheaply. When multiple companies begin producing and selling a drug, the competition among them can also drive the price down even further.

There is no truth in the myths that generic drugs are manufactured in poorer-quality facilities or are inferior in quality to brand-name drugs. The FDA applies the same standards for all drug manufacturing facilities, and many companies manufacture both brand-name and generic drugs. In fact, the FDA estimates that 50% of generic drug production is by brand-name companies.

Another common misbelief is that generic drugs take longer to work. The FDA requires that generic drugs work as fast and as effectively as the original brand-name products. This is called the Bioequivalence Studies.

Sometimes, generic versions of a drug have different colors, flavors, or combinations of inactive ingredients than the original medications. Trademark laws in the United States do not allow the generic drugs to look exactly like the brand-name preparation, but the active ingredients must be the same in both preparations, ensuring that both have the same medicinal effects.

References: Office of Generic Drugs, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Generic Drugs: What you need to know, 2009 and http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=46204&page=2

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls for New Drug Applications

My primary function as the Chemistry Reviewer and Team Leader in the Division of Anti-Infective Drug Products ( New Drugs Chemistry), when I was still working for FDA was to insure that all chemistry, manufacturing and control(CMC) requirements are followed by the Pharmaceutical companies before their new drug application are approved for marketing.

I had worked for FDA for 12 years. It was of my most satisfying and productive job in my more than 22 years of professional career here in the United States. Working for FDA was the best move I have ever made in my career. My 12 years in the FDA was filled with awards, accomplishments and personal growth. Our life in the suburb of Washington, DC was filled with civic involvements, social and cultural activities, humanitarian projects and pleasant memories. The highlight of our stay in the Washington, D.C area was a private tour of the WHITE HOUSE.

A couple of years ago, I posted this article in my blogs. However, recently I hired a new gardener. He was very friendly and asked me what I was doing before my retirement. I told him to visit my site. I am not sure if my gardener is computer savvy, but he is young and appeared to be curious and intelligent. I hope he reads this:


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Some of Our Treasured Photos in the 1950's

A photo speaks more than a thousand words: The following are some of our treasured photos of the 1950's. If you know of any one in the photographs, please let us know.

Our Wedding Cake Décor-Miniature of the Chapel of the Holy Sacrifice, UP, Diliman, May 8, 1957

For more information on the Chapel of Holy Sacrifice read: https://missionwithoutfear.wordpress.com/2007/05/09/the-vision-of-fr-john-p-delaney-sj/

Macrine and the UP Women's North Dorm Delegates to the UP Men's South Dorm ( Narra Hall) Dance, 1953:

For more information on the UP Men's South Dorm( Narra Hall) read: https://www.facebook.com/groups/narraresidencehall/

Macrine and Guia, 1954

Macrine's PE Swimming Class-1952 with Remedios Pinion as Instructor

Macrine and Angie Villanueva( Sisters of the Cenacle) were classmates in PE swimming class, 1952 For additional information about the Cenacle Sisters of the Philippines read: http://www.cenaclephilsing.org/about/

Macrine Bachelors Science in Commerce(Accounting)Graduation with Dad and Mom Jambalos, 1956

My childhood, Boys Scout Years and Elementary school graduation Photos

UPIC Picnic, Santa Fe Resort, Bacolod City, 1953

UPIC News of My 3rd Place Finish, Chemistry Board Examination, 1957

In this news clipping, Roman Sirilan, my contemporary took first place in the private land surveyor board exam. He graduated magna cum laude from the College of Engineering in Diliman, UP and taught also in UP after graduation, a path that I followed although I did not graduate with honor in Chemistry. Roman and I were in the same boarding house, El Chalet, during our first two years in college at UP Iloilo. For details on my not graduating with honor that inspired to strive for success read:


If you are in any of the photos or if you know of someone in any of the photographs, I like to hear from You!

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Manila and Balleza Clan Massacre During World War II

The most famous and documented massacre of Filipino civilians by the Japanese Imperial army during World War II was the bombing of Manila. My mother-in-law youngest sister, Blanca Decena Nieva who was an army nurse died during that time. The summary of this massacre as documented in Wikipedia is as follows:

The Manila massacre involved atrocities committed against Filipino civilians in the city of Manila, Philippines by Japanese troops during the World War II Battle of Manila (1945). The Manila massacre was one of several major war crimes committed by the Imperial Japanese Army, as judged by the postwar military tribunal. The Japanese commanding general, Tomoyuki Yamashita, and his chief of staff Akira Mutō, were held responsible for the massacre and other war crimes in a trial in late 1945 in Manila. Yamashita was executed on 23 February 1946 and Muto on 23 December 1948.

In the Battle of Manila from February to March 1945, the United States Army and the Philippine Commonwealth Army advanced into the city of Manila to drive out the Japanese. During lulls in the battle for control of the city, Japanese troops took out their anger and frustration on the civilians in the city. Violent mutilations, rapes, and massacres occurred in schools, hospitals and convents, including San Juan de Dios Hospital, Santa Rosa College, Santo Domingo Church, Manila Cathedral, Paco Church, St. Paul's Convent, and St. Vincent de Paul Church. Dr Antonio Gisbert told of the murder of his father and brother at the Palacio del Gobernador, saying, "I am one of those few survivors, not more than 50 in all out of more than 3000 men herded into Fort Santiago and, two days later, massacred. The Bayview Hotel was used as a designated "rape center".

According to testimony at the Yamashita war crimes trial, 400 women and girls were rounded up from Manila's wealthy Ermita district, and submitted to a selection board that picked out the 25 considered most beautiful. These women and girls, many of them 12 to 14 years old, were then taken to the hotel, where Japanese enlisted men and officers took turns raping them. One Japanese order read, "The Americans who have penetrated into Manila have about 1000 troops, and there are several thousand Filipino soldiers under the Commonwealth Army and the organized guerrillas.

The combined death toll of civilians for the battle of Manila was approximately 100,000, most of which was attributed to massacres by Japanese forces. Some historians, citing a higher civilian casualty rate for the entire battle, suggest that 100,000 up to more than 500,000 died as a result of the Manila massacre on its own, exclusive of other causes.

However, similar events in Panay Island is not well documented including the Balleza Clan massacre in my hometown Barotac Viejo, Iloilo. Philippines, with the exception of the Hopevale Martyrdom of American soldiers in Tapaz, Calinog, Panay Island.(www.us-japandialogueonpows.org/Ibuki%20Kumai.htm)

However, through oral communications, I have received the following FB communication regarding the Balleza clan killings. These were events that I heard from relatives when I was growing up in my hometown of Barotac Viejo in the 1940's. The Balleza family that were killed were closed relatives of my mother, Paz Balleza Katague. I remember very well Noel Balleza, Sr and his wife Nay Edna who was a paraplegic( wheel chair bound)were survivors of the massacre. The following is from the FB page of Freya Tupas Tamon-member of the Balleza clan from Barotac Viejo, Iloilo.

Me and My youngest sister(Amor Katague Gregorio) in front of Barotac Viejo National High School, pointing at the sign showing the Land Donation of my mother (Paz Balleza Katague) and my uncle Jose Balleza-members of the Balleza Clan. This is the school where I graduated valedictorian in 1951.

Freya Tupas-Tamon: "During World War II, Japanese Troops were searching for the well-known BALLEZA CLAN ! But before they reached the House. GOOD that maybe it was LOLO GENARO who let HIS SONS: Tay Noel, Tay Adan,& Tay Alec to FLEE AWAY (Hide in Forest) to SAVED their LIVES... GOD hath MIRACLES !!! Then, Nay Edna, wife of Tay NOEL was placed in the river for she was sickly, and water was her only Medicine. I won't also FORGET the story of Nay COLING (SOCORRO Balleza TUPAS BOQUIREN): It was in Bgry. Gen. Luna that the Japanese ordered them to make two lines: Balleza Family & Workers!! Some workers joined the Group of Balleza w/out knowing that Group of Workers were NOT MASSACRED !!! All the Balleza clan were killed".

The following is my FB communication with one of the grandson of the Genaro Balleza, whose father was saved because he fled from the hideouts of the Balleza clan who were rounded up by the Japanese soldiers.

"All I know from the story was that my father was not there when they were rounded up. He fled to Balaring. My mom was not there too for she could not walk. "Lupog sya". The one who led the Japs was their former servant. All in all there were 17 members of the family killed including servants. Dads two sisters were killed also (Concordia, and the other sister) and one of the husband and their child. I hope this will explain a bit more of that painful tragedy."

Another undocumented massacre by the Japanese of Filipino civilians closed to my heart was the killing of my aunt( youngest sister of My Dad) family in Negros Occidental. I just heard this from another aunt ( first cousin of my Dad) just last year. I have no details of the event.

If you are reading this and have details on the Balleza clan killings please let me know. I really would like to know the exact date of the massacre and how many were killed and who survived to tell the story.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Joseleo Logdat and the Musika sa Isla Project

Have you heard of Musika sa Isla and/or Joseleo Logdat? If you have no Marinduque roots your answer will probably be a resounding NO!

Musika sa Isla spearheaded by Joseleo C. Logdat, is a private group that aims to promote music to the grassroots; hone the musical talents of the youth, exposed them to classical music and international performances, make a symphony orchestra in each municipality to be merged into one big orchestra and make the province the center for musical arts excellence.

Here's a video on the life of Joseleo Logdat, Lyric Baritone from Marinduque.

Here's a video about Marinduque and a report of a recent performance of the Group!


The above video is from Yong Nieva ( Macrine's first cousin) FB page. Yong and wife Ivy are two of the original benefactors of the project. The project is now in its fourth year of success. Congratulation to All Benefactors of the Musika sa Isla Project.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Other Botanical Dietary Supplements Touted to be Good for Arthritis

Just about three weeks ago, I started taking turmeric capsules for my arthritis on my left knee instead of Naprosin-a synthetic drug prescribed by my family physician. I have just taken it for 10 days and it appeared to reduce the swelling and pain of my knee joints. I was so curious what other dietary supplements are touted to be good for arthritis. The list are as follows and for details read the following site: http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/natural/supplements-herbs/guide/turmeric.php

Here's the list of 30 Supplements: Some names in the list, I have never heard before.

1. Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU):
Avocado Soybean is a natural vegetable extract made from one-third avocado oil and two-thirds soybean oil. Get information about benefits, studies and dosage.

2. Black Currant Oil: Black currant seed oil contains 15 to 20 percent gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Learn more about the origin of Black currant and recommended dosage.

3. Borage Oil: Borage seed oil contains about 20 to 26 percent GLA. Learn more about the origin and dosage of borage oil.

4. Boswellia: Boswellia also known as Indian Frankincense may have some everyday benefits in your daily diet. Find out what boswellia may offer.

5. Bromelain: Bromelain is a group of enzymes found in pine­apple that break down protein. Find out the benefits of bromelain.

6. Capsaicin:
Capsaicin can be applied as a topical cream, gel or patch, capsaicin works by depleting the amount of a neurotransmitter called substance P that sends pain messages to the brain. Learn more about studies and dosage of capsaicin.

7. Cat's Claw: Cat's claw is an anti-inflammatory that inhibits tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a target of powerful RA drugs. It also contains compounds that may benefit the immune system. Learn more about the benefits and recommended dosage.

8. Chondroitin Sulfate:
Chondrotin sulfate is known to reduce pain and inflammation, improves joint function and slows progression of osteoarthritis (OA). Learn more Chondrotin and its' benefits.

9. Curcumin: Curious about curcumin? Get the basics and more on the natural supplement - also known as turmeric.

10. Devil's Claw:
Devil's Claw can relieve pain and inflammation and may help lower uric acid levels in people with gout.

11. DHEA:
DHEA can help control lupus flares and may help regular the immune system.

12. DMSO: Also known as Dimethyl Sulfoxide, can relieve pain and inflammation, improve joint mobility in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, JRA and scleroderma, and manage amyloidosis. Learn about the usages of Evening Primrose to help relieve arthritis symptoms.

13. Fish Oil: Fish oil is reduces inflammation and morning stiffness. Treats rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, depression and Raynaud’s phenomenon. Important for brain function and may inhibit RA development.

14. Flaxseed: You've heard a lot about flaxseed or flax. But should you add it to your diet to help relieve arthritis symptoms?

15. Ginger: Thinking about supplementing your diet with ginger? Find out more about ginger as a nutritional supplement.

16. Ginkgo: Lots of people supplement their diets with ginkgo (ginkgo biloba), but is it for you?

17. GLA: Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) lessens joint pain, stiffness and swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and also eases symptoms of Raynaud’s phenomenon and Sjögren’s syndromes.

18. Glucosamine: Glucosamine slows deterioration of cartilage, relieves osteoarthritis (OA) pain and improves joint mobility.

19. Green-lipped Mussel: The New Zealand mussels are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and may have the same anti-inflammatory effects as fish oil. Learn more about Green-lipped Mussel extract.

20. Indian Frankincense: It sounds exotic but Indian Frankincense may have some everyday benefits in your daily diet.

21. Melatonin: Thinking about taking melatonin to help with sleep problems? Read more about the hormone, produced by the pineal gland in the brain.

22. MSM: MSM is an organic sulfur compound that is claimed to reduce pain and inflammation. Read more for how MSM can help with your arthritis symptoms.

23. Pine Bark: Pycnogenol (Pine Bark) contains procyandin, a powerful antioxidant, and also seems to inhibit pro-inflammatory enzymes, including COX 1 and COX 2. Read on to discover more about Pine Bark and its' benefits.

24. Rose Hips:
Rose Hips powder – a rich source of vitamin C – appears to decrease inflammation by inhibiting production of inflammatory proteins and enzymes. Read about studies on Rose Hips, dosage and more.

25. Sam-E:
Sam-E has been known to treat pain, stiffness and joint swelling; improve mobility; rebuild cartilage and ease symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA), fibromyalgia, bursitis, tendinitis, chronic low back pain and depression. Find out if Sam-E could benefit you.

26. St. John's Wort: St. John's Wort has been to known to act as an antidepressant drug and reduce inflammation and pain. Read about the benefits, dosage and studies of St. John's Wort.

27. Stinging Nettle:
Stinging Nettle is a natural supplement that reduces inflammation, aches and pains of osteoarthritis. Find out if Stinging Nettle could benefit you.

28. Thunder God Vine: Thunder God Vine is a natural extract that reduces pain and inflammation and treats symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other auto­immune diseases. Read about its' benefits, dosage and more.

29. Turmeric: Tumeric has more uses than just cooking. Tumeric also reduces pain, inflammation and stiffness related to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). Learn more about the benefits and uses of Tumeric. This is what I am taking formulated with 10% Black Pepper Extract to enhance the absorption and bioavailability of curcuminoids-the active ingredient in Turmeric. The supplement I am taking is a registered trademark of Sabinsa Corporation*.

30. Valerian:
Valerian is claimed to treat insomnia and help ease pain and also has antispasmodic and sedative effects. Learn about the uses and benefits of Valerian.

Personal Note: Remember when taking dietary supplements that FDA has not approved the efficacy or safety of these products prior to marketing. The risk of contamination and poor quality is greater in Dietary supplements compared to Drugs approved via the New Drug Application (NDA) process. In the mid-1990's when I was still working for FDA it was common knowledge that the supplements manufactured in Europe and in the US were more dependable in quality than the supplements manufactured in the East ( mainland China and India). Today, the quality of supplements in general are better and no incidents of toxic contamination had occurred in the last two decades. However, consult your physician before taking supplements and do not exceed the suggested daily dosage. I hope you find the above list useful.

*Sabinsa Corporation, East Windsor, New Jersey is a manufacturer, supplier and marketer of herbal extracts, cosmeceuticals, minerals, dietary supplements and specialty fine chemicals for the nutritional, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries.

It was founded in 1988 by Muhammed Majeed, Ph.D. In October 1995, Dr. Muhammed Majeed, founder of Sabinsa, received the National Award for Quality Products (Basic Drugs) from the President of India.

In 1996 and 1997, the company has been placed in the top ten among New Jersey's top 50 fastest growing technology-based companies (NJ Technology Fast 50 Awards). In 1996 and 1997, Sabinsa was amongst the top 100 companies in the prestigious INC. 500, which is the magazine's annual list of the 500 fastest growing private companies.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Some Memorable Events and Guests at Chateau Du Mer, Boac, Marinduque

The front view of the Chateau Du Mer Beach House
The Conference Hall Decorated and ready for the Wedding Reception Party

As of today, we have hosted more than 45 clients for the beach house from United States, Canada, Australia, Europe and in the Philippines. The Hall have hosted more than 25 wedding receptions, birthday parties, meetings, seminars and family reunions. We have hosted three garden weddings and two Beach (seaside) weddings as of today.

Our first guests at Chateau Du Mer (CDM) were two couples from Southern France in 2010. The two men were physicians and their wives were educators. They have heard of CDM via my site and blogs.

This picture was taken at Hidden Valley Paradise Resort in Cabugao, Gasan where we took our Guests for a visit and a Picnic for the Day with the Dutch-Filipino Couple who Owns the Resort

Another group of guests we had fun hosting was during the visit of Veronica (Ronie ) Nieva Ettinger and family, Pepi Nieva and husband John Brown and their mother, Tia Teresa Feria Nieva widow of Tony Nieva, first cousin of Macrine's mother in January, 2013. They stayed for a week enjoying the sights and sounds of Marinduque and visiting relatives. Ronie and Pepi are grand daughters of Gregorio Nieva, younger brother of Juan Nieva, Macrine's grand father(http://davidbkatague.blogspot.com/2014/12/very-informative-article-on-achievement.html).

Photo taken in the front Porch of the Main House
Pepi Nieva and Ronie Nieva & Family with Macrine and I at the restaurant in the Boac Hotel bonding with their second cousin Luisito Reyes, owner of the Hotel.

Our first garden wedding was held in 2013.

The handsome Groom and his beautiful Bride

Our first beach( seaside) wedding was held in 2014:

For details visit the site as follows: http://davidbkatague.blogspot.com/search?q=garden+wedding

After my retirement from the Food and Drug Administration in 2002, my wife and I decided that we should divide our year between the US and in the Philippines. Our goal was to stay in the Philippines in the island of Marinduque ( my wife's ancestral province) when it starts to get chilly and cold here in Northern California. When the hot and humid summer starts in the Philippines we will fly back to US. We have achieved this goal since 2002 and to the present. Our friends and relatives call us snowbirds because of this lifestyle. We know a lot of our friends, relatives and contemporaries are jealous of our lifestyle.

We have planned this lifestyle two years before my retirement. We started construction of our main house in 1998. It was a 3-bedroom French Style Ranch house in a 5-acre lot formerly a coconut plantation. The lot was inherited by my wife and about 7 miles from the downtown Boac. It has a beach at the back and the national road in the front.

Two years later at the urging of our kids, we build a two story beach house. We named it Chateau Du Mer.. The next year we built a conference hall big enough to accommodate 300 attendees. In 2005, we decided to open the Beach House and Hall for rent to the public. With this development, I decided to advertise the Beach house and Conference Hall via the Internet.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Botanical Drugs versus Botanical Dietary Supplements

Two weeks ago, I started taking Turmeric Capsules for my arthritis on my left knee instead of the synthetic drugs for arthritis( anti-inflammatory drugs-Naprosin, Aspirin, etc..). Turmeric Capsules is a botanical dietary supplement and is not considered a botanical drug. It appears that the turmeric had reduced the swelling. My pain is now about 1-2 from 3-4 based on a 1 to 10 scale. I am taking only 2- 1000mg capsules daily with no side effects( very mild constipation). I stopped taking Naprosin, since it is bad for my kidneys. This is my first time THAT I HAVE TAKEN a botanical dietary supplement although it can not claim in the label that it can cure, prevent or mitigate a disease. In my case it is my arthritis.

Do you know the differences between botanical drugs from botanical dietary Supplements? Please read on even if you know the answer.

There are only three botanical drugs approved by FDA as of today. Last January, FDA approved Fulyzaq, the first anti-diarrheal drug for HIV/AIDS patients. Fulyzaq (crofelemer) is only the second botanical drug approved by FDA. The drug is made from the sap of the Croton lechleri plant. It is indicated for the treatment of watery diarrhea due to the secretion of electrolytes and water in the HIV/AIDS patients gastrointestinal tract. FDA reported that a recent clinical trial of 374 HIV-positive patients established the safety and efficacy of the drug. In the study, nearly 18 percent subjects taking Fulyzaq twice daily experienced clinical improvements.

FDA approved the first botanical prescription drug, Veregen, in 2006. VEREGEN® is indicated for the topical treatment of external genital and perianal warts (Condylomata acuminata) in patients 18 years and older. It is formulated as an ointment.
Approval of this first botanical drug came about two years after FDA issued a guidance for the submission of a New Drug Application (NDA)in 2004.

Last April 14, 2014 FDA approved Merck’s GRASTEK® (Timothy Grass Pollen Allergen Extract) Sublingual Tablet as Immunotherapy to Treat Grass Pollen-Induced Allergic Rhinitis with or without Conjunctivitis in Children and Adults. This is so far the 3rd Botanical drug approved by the FDA. GRASTEK is the Only FDA approved Sublingual Allergy Immunotherapy Tablet indicated for Children as Young as 5 Years of Age. There are several botanical drugs in various stages of development.

Personal Note: Prior to my retirement from FDA, I was a member of a Committee that drafted the guidance titled, Guidance for a New Drug Application (NDA) for Botanical Drug Products. I was also a member of the committee that drafted the guidance for the Investigational New Drug (IND) application.

Two important distinctions between botanical drugs versus supplements are product claims and designated uses. In some cases the formulations of botanical drugs and botanical dietary supplements can be similar, but labeling has to be different.

Moreever, a botanical drug can claim to treat, prevent, cure, mitigate or diagnose a disease, but a supplement cannot. Therefore in order to become a botanical drug, the manufacturer/marketer must obtain pre-market approval from FDA by submitting an IND application, and then move on to the extensive NDA process to confirm safety and efficacy.

In the United States, a dietary supplement is defined under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) as a product that is intended to supplement the diet and contains any of the following dietary ingredients: a vitamin, a mineral, an herb or other botanical (excluding tobacco), an amino acid, a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of any of the above or a substance historically used by humans to supplement the diet.

Furthermore, it must also conform to the following criteria: intended for ingestion in pill, capsule, tablet, powder or liquid form, not represented for use as a conventional food or as the sole item of a meal or diet, and labeled as a "dietary supplement"

Based on the Dietary Supplement Health And Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements as a category of foods, and not as drugs. Therefore, pharmaceutical companies are required to obtain FDA approval, which involves assessing the risks and benefits prior to their entry into the market, dietary supplements do not need to be pre-approved by FDA before they can enter the market. Thus approval of new botanical drugs is a slow and tedious process, whereas dietary supplements are freely available for the consumers.

In September 2012, a report said sales of herbal dietary supplements in the United States rose by 4.5 percent in 2011. That report estimated 2011's U.S. sales as US$5.3 billion, whereas sales of the two botanical drugs approved was poor and sluggish.

I hope more botanical drugs are approved by FDA in the future. Botanical drugs in general have less side effects compared to the synthetic drugs.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Google Adsense and President Trump's Income Tax Policy

Let me start by saying that Google AdSense and President Trump Income Taxes policy are the same. It makes the Rich more richer and the Poor more poorer.

Six months ago, I accidentally push an update button on my Google AdSense Account. My account was instantly frozen. Since I am not earning more than $100 a month, I have no direct access to the Google Adsense Help Desk. On the other hand if you are earning $100 or more per month, you have a direct e-mail access to Google Technical and Help Desk. I have my Google Adsense account approved since 2010.

I know my account is still active but I can not read any ads in my site, thus no income. It took me three months to figure out what I did not do to receive the following message:

"We’re reviewing your site. Reviewing your site will take up to 3 days. We'll email you when we're done".

It had been three weeks since I received this message. If you have similar experience with Google Adsense, can you help me find out what is going on! Will the 3 days turned to 3 months or to 3 years? I will appreciate any help or advise to get my Adsense account going active again.

Here's a video on how to set-up an Adsense Account for your site.

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