If this is your first time in my site, welcome! Chateau Du Mer is a beach resort with a beach house and conference Hall. The beach house could now accommodate 10 guests, six in the main floor and four in the first floor( air conditioned room). In addition, you can now reserve your vacation dates ahead and pay the rental fees via PayPal. I hope to see you soon in Marinduque- Home of the Morions and Heart of the Philippines. The photo above was taken during our first Garden Wedding ceremony at The Chateau Du Mer Gardens. I have also posted my favorite Filipino and American dishes and recipes in this site. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own, but I have no intention on the infringement of your copyrights!

Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands

Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands
View of Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands-Click on photo to link to Marinduque Awaits You

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Book Review-A Good Provider is One Who Leaves

I just finished reading Jason DeParle 2nd book on Migration. The central character of this non-fiction book is Rosalie, a nurse from the Philippines who immigrated to the US after decades of waiting.

I enjoyed the book so much, I finished reading it in one day. The story is one that I have read in the Philippine newspapers and stories from friends and relatives in the Philippines. I have relatives and acquaintances who had similar experiences, therefore  I really identified with the book.

I have relatives that worked in the cruise ships, maids, nannies, and nurses aides. I know of Filipinos MD's who worked as nursing aides in the US, because they have no medical license.  The author has captured the power, perils, and sacrifices of immigrants specifically a filipino family working away from home in foreign hospitals, hotels, cruise ships  and as maids. Loneliness, and broken marriages results. Here's one of the reviews of this beautifully written non-fiction book. Enjoy!


Friday, February 21, 2020

Grand Daughter Carenna Katague Thompson

I am very proud to announce that my youngest grand daughter, Carenna K. Thompson was appointed Student Representative of California Chief Justice

The Power of Democracy Steering Committee

Formed: July 2013
Charge: to implement the Chief Justice's civic education initiatives
Chair: Hon. Judith D. McConnell, Administrative Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District

The Committee was established by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, the Power of Democracy Steering Committee guides and supports her civic education initiatives to further Californians’ understanding of their judicial branch.

The highlights include spearheading the Civic Learning Awards for California Public Schools, convening two summits on civic education and launching the California Task Force on K–12 Civic Learning. External link iconPDF file type icon
The Chief Justice serves as the honorary chair and appoints a chair of the steering committee and members of the steering committee represented as follows:
Justices of the Court of Appeal involved in civic education and public information Hon. Halim Dhanidina
Justice of the Court of Appeal
Second Appellate District
Hon. Andrea L. Hoch
Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal
Third Appellate District
Hon. Judith D. McConnell, Chair
Administrative Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District
Judicial officers of the superior court involved in civic education and public information Hon. Stacy Boulware Eurie
Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento Hon. Carolyn M. Caietti
Judge of the Superior Court of California,
County of San Diego
Hon. Kristen A. Lucena
Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Butte
Federal court representatives Hon. Consuelo MarĂ­a “Connie” Callahan
Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Hon. Kimberly J. Mueller
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
State Supreme Court representative Ms. Sara Spero
Senior Staff Attorney
Supreme Court of California
State Superintendent of Public Instruction representative Mr. Khieem Jackson
Deputy Superintendent
Equity and Access Branch
California Department of Education
County Superintendent of Schools/representative of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) Mr. David W. Gordon
Superintendent of Schools
Sacramento County Office of Education
Civic education leader Dr. Michelle M. Herczog
Consultant, History-Social Science
Los Angeles County Office of Education
California Lawyers Association Representative Ms. Jerrilyn Malana
Chief Deputy District Attorney, Human Resources
San Diego County District Attorney's Office
Student Representative Ms. Carenna Thompson
C.K. McClatchy Senior High School
Emeritus Member Hon. Frank C. Damrell, Jr. (Ret.)
Senior Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

My Recurrent Dream and Its Interpretation

photo from briancollins.ca

Several years ago, I remember the following recurrent dream. The dream was so vivid and clear. I would have the same dream once every week so I was inspired to do some internet search of its meaning. But before I gave you my interpretation, here's my dream as I remembered it.

I was a teenager then and we lived in a farm house at the outskirts of my hometown in a 3rd class municipality in Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, Philippines ( the place where I grow up and went to high school). The farm house is a two-story house with a basement, 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms,and a banquet room (formal dining room). The decor were all antiques that my grandparents (my grandfather was a Spanish soldier and my grandmother was a Filipina) had collected during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines.

There was a grand piano in the living room with huge crystal chandelier that was imported from Spain. There is an underground passage in the basement that leads to the storage and Tool House. The house had a 10 acres of land with several outbuildings and a conference hall at the back, where my family held gatherings and parties for the community.

One day, we had a party for the community and my parents had invited about 300 guests. The farm house has a formal dining room that could accommodate around 20 guests in a sit down dinner, but since the number of guests will not fit inside the house, the party was held in the conference hall at the back of the property.

I was in the main house sleeping during this party and was awakened when one of the guest informed us that the conference hall was burning and told us to call the fire department. The fire department was late and we lost the whole conference Hall to the fire. Luckily all the guests were able to escape..

That's it, and I woke up angry that the hall was destroyed. (nothing sexy in this dream, although I have dreamed of many sexy things in the past). But my recurrent dream of this farm house that my parents and grandparents had resided and where I grew up always give me the chill. This dream is always clear and vivid in my mind. Sometimes it bothers me so I kept asking myself of the meaning of this dream.

Seven Common Dreams Theme

The following seven items appears to be the most common dreams theme.

1. Being chased– it may be interpreted as running away from problems. Interpretations would depend on who is chasing the dreamer which could give an idea of what the problem is.

2. Being naked as a jay bird– it apparently means you are trying to hide something; being naked without anyone noticing could signify that one is comfortable with himself.

3. Jumping or Falling from a building – it is interpreted that the dreamer has insecurities and anxieties. A dream where you are falling could mean that something is out of control in your life and you can’t stop it.

4. Flying or Parachuting– it could mean losing control or facing challenges you don’t feel you’re ready for.

5. Going to the Dentist and Teeth being pulled– It could mean that you feel your power being lessened or that you are not speaking your mind. It can also be related to one’s insecurities about his physical appearance and appeal to others.

6. Taking an examination or other tests – Taking an examination, not remembering that you have an exam, not being able to find your room for an exam, or a pen not working during an exam are interpreted as you feeling like you are being scrutinized for something.

7. Running – it may be a symbolism for having too much on your plate or that you’re trying to do a lot at the same time and can’t get ahead of anything.
Most of these dreams are related to the stress you are experiencing in your daily living and routine.

The following is an excerpt from the website, meaning of dreams.org in how to understand our dreams.

"Dreaming and sleeping are not mutually exclusive, so to embark on the journey of understanding why you dream and dream interpretation you must also explore the science or phenomena of sleep.

Everyone needs sleep and dreams, even if they're not always remembered, to function properly and successfully carry out daily tasks. When we do not sleep properly we become physically rundown and mentally incapable of coping with situations and problems favorably, lacking the means to flourish as a Human Being. If you go without sleep, depriving yourself of dreams, it soon becomes apparent that sleeping and dreaming are an essential part of being human.

It is widely believed that dreams are the mind's way of sorting through our waking thoughts, dealing with some of the harder to face issues in an abstract way that is less stressful and time-consuming than facing them while we are awake. After all, we would never get anything done if we spent all day worrying about our thoughts, relationships and childhood traumas. With this in mind, it is easy to see why we can breakdown mentally and physically without sleeping and dreaming",

My Own Interpretation of My Recurrent Dream

Using the three steps of interpreting my own dream as outlined in the article above, Here's my interpretation of my recurrent dream.

The old and big farm house of my dreams filled with antique furniture including a crystal chandelier in a big lot represent my dreams of building our own retirement home in the Philippines. The big party that was hosted by may late parents, represents all the wedding receptions and parties at our Conference Hall built after the construction of the main house.

Lastly, my dream of the burning building represent my fear of losing money in the small beach resort that we own in the compound of the Chateau Du Mer Resort in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines. I feel good analyzing my dream and its interpretation, thus for the last past ten years this recurrent dream had not happened.

How about you? Do you remember your dreams? Do you have recurring dreams? Could recurring dreams be linked to past lives?

Meanwhile, enjoy these photos, harvested from my garden

First Pineapple Harvest-Small but super Sweet

Monday, February 17, 2020

Today is National Kindness Day in the US

Today is National Random-Act of Kindness Day in US.  


The World or International Kindness Day however is November 13

Therefore, I am reposting this article about the kindness of a perfect stranger who happened to be a teenager in the Philippines that I wrote several years ago. Here's the article. 

An Unexpected Help from a Stranger

Bright Future for Philippines' Younger Generation

During the first leg of our trip home (Boac to Manila) from the Philippines to Northern California, I experienced an act of kindness and thoughtfulness that was not expected. This act of kindness that is unexpected is an omen that there is a bright future for the Philippines' younger generation.

Last April, Macrine ( my spouse of 56 years) and I were on our way to Manila from Boac, Marinduque for our first plane ride on our way back to Northern California. On this trip, I experienced an act of kindness from a complete stranger. It came from a handsome teenager from Manila. This act of kindness is an omen that if majority of the the filipino youth think and act this way, there is a bright future for the filipino younger generation.

I was carrying two hand carries boarding a Zest Air plane bound for Manila. Suddenly, a young man rushes in front of me and volunteered to carry one of my hand carry bags up to my seat in the plane. I was sort of shocked, since this was not expected. I gave him a look of surprise but gave him a thank you smile and appreciation of his thoughtfulness.

Perhaps, you are wondering why I had two "hand carry" bags. The reason why I have two hand carries is that Macrine is now using a quad cane and is not able to carry her own hand carry. She refused to use a wheel chair in boarding the plane, since it was just a short walk from the boarding gate to the plane.

The volunteer was a young and good-looking teenager named Carlo Yu. He is a student of De La Salle University in Manila. He is traveling with his mother and an older sister, returning to Manila after a three day vacation at the world-renown 5-star beach resort, Bellarocca Resort and Spa in Buenavista.

Thirty minutes later when we arrived in Manila, he and his sister again helped me picked up and load my three suitcases in my cart for check out.

Indeed what a kind and thoughtful young man. If most of the Filipino teenagers are like Carlo, there is indeed a bright future for the Filipino younger generation. Thank you again Carlo for your kindness. Perhaps someday our path will cross again, then I will have another chance to say thank you. Hep, Hep, Hurrah! for the Filipino Youth!

Meanwhile, here's the latest picture of Macrine as she waits for a visit from her sister Charro Jambalos Levine of Palo Alto, CA last Friday.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

An Incident of Mistaken Identity and Stereotyping

 ( Article first published in 2009)

While I was browsing in the Web today, I saw an article that the Rancho Bernardo Tennis and Swim Club in San Diego has closed. I thought this was the same place as the Rancho Bernardo Inn Resort also in San Diego that my wife and I attended (Tennis Vacation package) in 1982. I guess I made a mistake.

Anyway today, the above article reminded me of an incident that happened to us in 1982 when Macrine and I attended a 3-DAY of Tennis Class and Vacation Package at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, which at that time was a four star resort.

Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego, Caliornia
The following article (excerpt in Chapter 10 from my autobiography, written in 2009) is an example of an ethnic stereotyping based on my skin and appearance as an Asian man and a Filipino. The article is as follows:

"Life in Pinole, California would not be complete, If I do not write about our tennis activities as related to our 25th Wedding Anniversary in 1982. As part of our community activities, Macrine and I played tennis almost everyday after work. On weekends. I also played double with the men's team at Contra Costa College. So, as one of my silver wedding anniversary gift to Macrine, we decided to attend a 3-day tennis academy package at Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego. The five star resort is home of one of the best tennis academy in California at that time. For the three days, we played tennis 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. In between tennis we had gourmet meals and entertainment at night. The cost of the tennis package was very expensive, comparable to the cost of playing golf and staying at Bellarocca Resort here in Marinduque today.

The cost of the trip was not my concern, since it was my Silver Wedding Anniversary gift to both Macrine and myself. An incident at the resort is why I am mentioning this trip. As soon as we check in, Macrine stayed at the front office to smoke, while I carried our luggage to our room. On my way to our room, an elderly white couple approached me and requested that I also helped them with their luggage as soon as I finished what I was doing. I gave them a surprise stare and blurted out, "I am just checking in myself, and I do not worked here". They apologized profusely.

Later on, I realized why I had been mistaken for a porter. About 90% of the resort porters, janitors and maintenance workers were either Filipinos or Mexicans. This incident is an example of how people judged you with the color of your skin and not what you had accomplished or what is in your head".

The above tennis vacation package, a post 25th wedding anniversary gift to my wife and myself, we will never forget, because it reminds us of our younger days. Moreover, the above incident also reminds us that most people first impression of you is your external appearance and not what is inside your heart and head.

If you are a Filipino-American, have you experience a similar incident in your life?

Meanwhile, enjoy the following photo:
Macrine and I with our 49ers Jackets before the Super Bowl LIV, 2020

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Old But Treasured Photos frim My Album

Once again, my frustration and anger of our Dictator King Trump (his assault of our justice system) this week, inspired me to search for old treasured photos in my collection. Here's a few I like to share. 

Entrance of Main House( Chateau Du Mer)-Philippines
Side Yard ( south) of Main House-Philippines

My Computer Set-up at CDM-Philippines

Laylay Sunset-Macrine's Ancestral Home-Philippines
Amoingon Sunset-From the Balcony of Our Beach House-Philippines

Twilight at the Beach House-CDM-Philippines
My Miniature Orchid in Bloom-US
Lady Godiva Glass Sculpture-US
Some of Macrine's Music Boxes Collection-US
Macrine's Marble Eggs Collection from Romblon- Philippines

Philippine Anteater in Glass Case-US

Cactus in Bloom at Back Patio, US

 Meanwhile, enjoy Kulas video of Zanboanga City, Eleven Island

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Stages of Aging and Reversal of Roles

Our Golden Wedding Anniversary, 2007, Marinduque, Philippines
When you were a child you expect your parents to protect you always. But as you grow up you realize your parents can’t protect you no matter how much they want. As your parents grow older, there will be a role reversal.
Our Wedding Day, May 8, 1957, Philippines

The following are the Stages of Aging written by Karen Purze***:  

Stages of Aging #1: Your Parents Don't Need Help

This is the stage where you call up your parents and they’re too busy to meet up, or are traveling, or spending half a year in a different town. Or maybe they’re nearby, and eager to babysit your kids. They're fully independent and don't need any help from you. Stay here as long as you can, and enjoy it!

Stages of Aging #2: Your Parents Think They Don't Need Help (But They Do)

At this point, you’ve noticed some things that have you concerned. Maybe they aren’t able to maintain their house like they used to, or are having a hard time getting groceries or making meals — but they’re compensating somehow and are getting by. Or maybe there are physical or mental changes, foreshadowing something bigger that hasn’t yet arrived. In our case, it was nearly all of these things.

My parents needed help long before they accepted it, especially “outside” help.
This stage was purgatory for me because my parents were getting a lot of help — from me and my brothers. Yet they reacted to suggestions that they hire help as if they were independent. I was anxious and scared and wanted to pass through this stage as quickly as possible.

If that sounds like you, remember, your parents likely value their independence as much as you value your own, so try to be patient. See if you can have some conversations about what they’d like to happen if they were, one day far in the future, to hypothetically need help at home. (Remember only you know your parents already need help!)

Stages of Aging #3: Your Parents Don't Need Enough Help

After I told my parents I would no longer 15 miles out of my way to special deliver orange juice on my way home from work, they agreed to hire some help.
This is a version of their initial request: “We’d like someone to come in for an hour and a half in the mornings, and an hour at night. But maybe not every day.” Maybe your mom wants some help four hours a week, but not on the same day of the week. In this stage, your parents want some help, but not “enough”.

Here’s what I mean by that: it’s possible to get help to fit these really flexible needs, but it’s going to be hard to find. And it’s unlikely to be from a bonded, insured agency who can handle the hiring and back-filling if your caregiver can’t make it on any given day. Agencies often have minimum hours requirements, too, because they know that getting reliable help requires a mutual commitment.

If your parents can’t commit, you or they will need to start interviewing. You’ll need to find caregivers yourselves, through referrals or online platforms.

Stages of Aging #4: Your Parents Need Daily Help (And They Have It)

If you can’t stay in Stage 1 forever, stay here (not that you can choose or control much about this process!) You’ve finally figured out the right balance. Maybe someone in the family stepped up and is providing the care your parents need, maybe you’ve hired an agency, maybe your parents moved to a senior living community or assisted living. You’ve adapted to whatever came your way, and it’s working out. I hope things stay this way! Just in case, though, there are two more stages to consider.

Stages of Aging #5: They Need Medical Help

There may come a time when your parents need medical help that a home care agency or private caregiver can't provide. Medical help includes managing and administering medication, giving injections, wound care, and other skilled nursing services. This is a really stressful stage because the stakes have gotten higher. The need for medical help is often a turning point for someone who wanted to stay at home. It can dramatically increase the cost of care because many home care agencies are not licensed to provide “medical help.” so private-duty nurses must be hired.

Stages of Aging #6: They Need Full-Time Help

There may come a time when it’s not safe for your parent(s) to be left alone. The choices you have at this point are similar to those you’ve had all along. You can help them yourself (with as much support from others as you can muster), you can hire help in their home (or your own), or you can move your parents to a community that provides the necessary support.

Meanwhile, visit this site for more wedding anniversary photos:

***  Author: Karen Purze
Karen Purze is the author of Life In Motion: A Guide for Gathering Life’s Vital Details, a workbook to help people get their affairs in order. She blogs about end-of-life and emergency planning at lifeinmotionguide.com.

Personal Note: We are now in Stage 4 and 5 in our aging years!

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Reading a Good Book versus Watching Television

Decline of the American Book Lover-From the Atlantic.com
I finished reading a well written and engaging book just a few months ago.


I enjoyed it very much and felt that it was better than watching a good television show.



Are Books Superior to TV? How They Affect Our Minds in Different Ways

There are also long-term effects from reading books. Reading keeps your mind alert and delays cognitive decline in elders. Research even found that Alzheimer’s is 2.5 times less likely to appear in elderly people who read regularly, while TV was presented as a risk factor.

Six minutes of reading can reduce stress levels by 68 percent, according to researchers at the University of Sussex. Reading beat out other relaxing activities, including listening to music (61 percent), drinking tea or coffee (54 percent), and taking a walk (42 percent).

There’s a perception that books are good, while TV is bad. Spend a day curled up with a book and you’re an intellectual, but spend a day watching your favorite show and you become a couch potato.
Similar to how candy gives you cavities and sun tanning is bad for our skin, it’s common knowledge that reading books is good for you. It increases your knowledge and makes you think. Watching television on the other hand kills off brain cells.

But why is that? Why can’t watching TV be just as educational as reading a book? For example, does watching the show Game of Thrones lower your intelligence, while reading the books does the exact opposite?

After all, there are all sorts of books. Some good, some poorly written. The same applies to shows as well. Is the situation as simple as categorizing books as good and TV as bad?

What Science Says About Books and Television

In 2013, a study was performed at Tohoku University in Japan. A team led by Hiraku Takeuchi examined the effects of television on the brains of 276 children, along with amount of time spent watching TV and its long-term effects.

Researcher Takeuchi found that the more TV the kids watched, parts of their brain associated with higher arousal and aggression levels became thicker. The frontal lobe also thickened, which is known to lower verbal reasoning ability.  The more hours of television the kids watched, the lower their verbal test results became. These negative effects in the brain happened regardless of the child’s age, gender, and economic background.

In the same year, a study was done on how reading a novel affected the brain. Gregory Burns and his colleagues at Emory University wanted to see the before and after effects of reading based on fMRI readings.

College students were asked to read Pompeii by Robert Harriss, a thriller based on the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy. The book was chosen due to its strong narration and a dramatic plot based on true events.

After reading the novel, the students had increased connectivity in parts of the brain that were related to language. There was also increased activity in the sensory motor region of the brain, suggesting that readers experienced similar sensations to the characters in the book.

Why These Activities Have Opposite Effects on Us

So far, reading’s looking pretty good compared to television. We can see that it calms the nerves, increases language and reasoning, and can even keep you mentally alert as you age. TV, on the other hand, has the opposite effect.
But we still haven’t gotten to why that’s the case.

Let’s look first at a study on how preschoolers and toddlers interact with their mothers during TV viewing versus reading a book.

The results found that watching TV resulted in lower amounts and quality of communication between the mother and child. During an educational TV program, mothers made few comments to their children, and if they did, it was unrelated to what their children said.

On the other hand, reading books together increased the amount and level of communication. Mothers were more likely to ask their child questions, respond to their child’s statements and questions, and explain concepts in greater detail.
Beyond mothers and their children, it’s not just an issue of the quality of the TV program or the book. It seems that the nature of the activities themselves is what’s causing the differences.

Television is designed to be passive. After switching to the show you like, you can just sit back and watch everything unfold without effort on your part. You’re less likely to pause to reflect on what’s happening. TV also presents ideas and characters on a surface level. Shows don’t have the luxury of describing or explaining situations in great detail, since they need to keep viewers visually entertained.

TV programs are fast-paced in order to keep people from switching.
Books, on the other hand, are a more proactive form of entertainment and learning. The reader has to concentrate on what’s being said and to think through concepts in the book. When we read, we’re forced to use our imaginations to fill in the gaps.

Books also have the advantage of being able to describe everything in greater depth. While television is mostly composed of dialogue between characters, books can walk readers through scenes, characters’ thoughts, and provide lengthier commentary.

Source: http://www.jumpstartyourdreamlife.com/books-vs-tv/
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