WELCOME TO CHATEAU DU MER BEACH RESORT

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. You can now read the national and international news in this blog at the right side bar. 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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Iloilo-An Award Winning Film from Singapore


My Personal Review

The film Iloilo is an award winning Singaporean movie named after the province where the nanny Terry in the movie came from in the Philippines Teresa or Aunie Terry is played by Filipina actress Angeli Bayani from Manila. This.nanny who was hired by the Singaporean family (The Lims) the protagonist in the film happened to be from Iloilo. She is one of the more than 500 thousands Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) working for a better life abroad.

This movie has a special place in my heart since I was born and raised in the province of Iloilo. Iloilo is located in the Western Visayas Region in the Island of Panay. It has lots of tourist attractions,such as old churches as well as white beaches. Residents of Iloilo are called Illongos.

The movie reminds me of the pains and trials of all OFW in adjusting to their new working conditions and environment abroad. In the case of Teresa or Aunt Terry, at the beginning of the movie she was very patient and submissive as expected. However, later on, I was so glad that she exercised her authority over the 10 year-old brat,Jiale (played by.Koh Jia Ler).

I like her when Teresa said to Jiale," Although I am just your maid, I did not come here just to be bullied". After this incident the two bonded to the point that in the eyes of Jiale,.Teresa is more of a mother to him that his real mother, Hwee Leng ( played by Yeo Yann Yann). This of course created jealousy, exemplified by the statement of Jaile's mom to Teresa, that she is still the mother of Jiale and she maintains the authority and discipline over her son.

The movie has some funny scenes as well as scenes brimming with love and affection and at the end heart break..The story was set during the late 1990's when the Asian financial crises had affected the financial status and lives of thousands of middle income families in Singapore as well as in other Asian countries.

The father, Keng Teck Lim ( played by Chen Tian Wen) has lost his sales executive job, but hasn’t had the courage to tell anyone even his wife,.Hwee Leng. Hwee Leng is pregnant, but still works so hard as a secretarial clerk in a private company. Their son, Jiale wants attention and has problems with other kids at school, The Lims decided to hire a domestic help. Luckily Teresita or Terry was there to help them .. Teresita hails from the Philippine province of Iloilo (the title of this movie), Her duty was not only be a housekeeper but also to be Jiale caretaker..

Personal Recommendation

I recommend this film to all who loves good movies. Special recommendation to all overseas Filipino workers, their friends and families. In addition I recommend this to all Illongos all over the world.

The film was written and directed by Anthony Chen. The director of photography was Benoit Soler and edited by Hoping Chen and Joanne Cheong. The sound design is by Zhe Wu and the art direction is by Michael Wee, The film was produced by Ang Hwee Sim, Wahyuni A. Hadi and Mr. Chen. The film was released by Film Movement, In Mandarin, Tagalog and English, with English subtitles. The Running time is 1 hour 39 minutes. The film is not rated.

Other Reviews-From Variety.com

The movie is brimming with love, humor and heartbreak. “Ilo Ilo” centers on the inseparable bond between a 10-year-old Singaporean boy and his Filipina nanny while the boy’s parents struggle to weather the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Anthony Chen is remarkably astute in his depiction of the class and racial tensions within such a household, his accessible style enabling the characters’ underlying decency and warmth to emerge unforced. This small but immensely likable gem should find a cozy spot at fests as well as niche European distribution, following its Camera d’Or win at Cannes.


Teresita Sajonia and her ward-Anthony Chen video


Friday, September 26, 2014

Some of My Favorite Quotes on Poetry

Photo source from searchquotes.com

There are several hundreds of quotations on poetry in the Web. However, the following are my favorites

1.The smell of ink is intoxicating to me — others may have wine, but I have poetry. ~Terri Guillemets

2. Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted. ~Percy Shelley, A Defence of Poetry, 1821

3. He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life. ~George Sand, 1851

4. Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement. ~Christopher Fry

5. Perhaps no person can be a poet, or can even enjoy poetry, without a certain unsoundness of mind. ~Thomas Babington Macaulay

6. To have great poets there must be great audiences too. ~Walt Whitman

7. You can't write poetry on the computer. ~Quentin Tarantino

8. God is the perfect poet. ~Robert Browning

9.Science is for those who learn; poetry, for those who know. ~Joseph Roux, Meditations of a Parish Priest

10.Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words. ~Robert Frost

11.Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. ~T.S. Eliot, Dante, 1920

12. A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman. ~Wallace Stevens, Opus Posthumous, 1957

13.Poetry is ordinary language raised to the nth power. Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words. ~Paul Engle, New York Times, 17 February 1957

Personal Note: I heard the following phrases in TV today. Photographic memory versus phonographic memory versus pornographic memory. Which one is your favorite phrase and can identify with?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Harrison Ford, Indiana Jones and Me



The above photo was taken in Las Vegas about 25 years ago. Do you recognized the face of Indiana Jones from the movie Temple of Doom? I looked good and young then! Photo Memories down memory lane indeed!

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Dangerous Life-A Movie on the Death of Benigno Aquino

Just in case you have not seen this..


A Dangerous Life is a 1988 English-language Australian film about the final years of the Philippines under Ferdinand Marcos' rule, from the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr. in 1983 to the People Power EDSA Revolution in 1986 that ousted Marcos. The film focuses on American TV journalist Tony O'Neil (Gary Busey), who finds himself in the middle of key events that lead to the downfall of the Marcos regime. Originally airing on television as a mini-series that ran for a total of six hours, the film was edited to 162 minutes for the home video release.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Joke of the Week-Politically Correct


It is time to have some politically correct jokes for this week in this site. The following is from Sandee's Comedy Plus blog..Enjoy

Due to the climate of political correctness now pervading America , all Kentuckians, Tennesseans, and West Virginians will no longer be referred to as "HILLBILLIES." You must now refer to them as "APPALACHIAN-AMERICANS".

And furthermore, HOW TO SPEAK ABOUT WOMEN AND BE POLITICALLY CORRECT:

1. She is not a "BABE" or a "CHICK" - She is a "BREASTED AMERICAN."
2. She is not "EASY" - She is "HORIZONTALLY ACCESSIBLE."
3. She is not a "DUMB BLONDE" - She is a "LIGHT-HAIRED DETOUR OFF THE INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY."
4. She has not "BEEN AROUND" - She is a "PREVIOUSLY-ENJOYED COMPANION."
5. She does not "NAG" you - She becomes "VERBALLY REPETITIVE."
6. She is not a "TWO-BIT HOOKER" - She is a "LOW COST PROVIDER."

And, not to discriminate.... HOW TO SPEAK ABOUT MEN AND BE POLITICALLY
CORRECT:


1. He does not have a "BEER GUT" - He has developed a "LIQUID STORAGE FACILITY."
2. He is not a " BAD DANCER" - He is "OVERLY CAUCASIAN."
3. He does not "GET LOST ALL THE TIME" - He "INVESTIGATES ALTERNATIVE DESTINATIONS."
4. He is not "BALDING" - He has "FOLLICLE IMPAIRMENT."
5. He does not act like a "TOTAL ASS" - He develops a case of RECTAL-CRANIAL INVERSION."
6. It's not his "CRACK" you see hanging out of his pants - It's "REAR CLEAVAGE."

Stolen from: Jonas of With a Smile

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Are you over 79 and is still Blogging?



If you are, I would like to be friends with you. We have something in common. And at our age, to be able to blog and be active also in social media sites, it is a reason to celebrate. Everyone, young or old bloggers had a reason for blogging. I have already stated my own reasons in several of my blogs. But in case this is your first time to read my blogs, the main reason why I blog is because I love to write and second to advertise my small beach resort in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines.

The latest information I have read on demographics of personal bloggers showed that gender wise, the percent between male and female is about the same with slightly higher female percentage(50.9% vs 49.1%). Majority of personal bloggers are from the US, followed by UK and Japan.

According to data published by sysomos.com, the most active bloggers are younger people who have grown up during the blogging "revolution", which started about nine years ago. Bloggers in the 21-to-35 year-old demographic group account for 53.3% of the total blogging population. This group is followed by the generation just behind them - people 20-years-old or under are 20.2% of the blogging landscape. This group is closely followed by 36-to-50 year -olds (19.4%), while bloggers who are 51-years-old and older only account for 7.1%. There is no specific data on bloggers over 79 years or older. I would guess less than 1% is a probable number.

Thus if you are over 79 and still blogging you are a rare breed. I would like to be friends with you. You can reached me via my personal blog and autobiography at http://davidbkatague.blogspot.com or via my Facebook Account under David B Katague.
I am looking forward to hear from you! Happy Blogging! Note: this invitation is also open to all readers of my blog.

Monday, September 15, 2014

I survived HubPages Boot Camp Training Period


I Survived HubPages Boot Camp but Still has Inferiority Complex Writing for HP was published on September 3, 2014 in HP.

With my 5th hub being featured today, I passed HP boot camp or training period as a new Hubber. When I wrote and published my first article, I notice a warning alert about being still in Boot Camp. I really did not know what it meant and did not pay much attention to it. All I know is that I will have to write four more hubs and have it featured before I pass the Boot camp period. I learn that after my 5th hub, I will receive an accolade that may motivate me to write more hubs of good quality. However, I still feel inadequate of my ability to write good quality hubs. I also learn that l will earn my first Accolade as soon I have the five Hub featured. Will this accolade really motivate me?

Feeling of Inadequacy as a Writer

The last couple of weeks even after passing boot camp, I started to feel again an inferiority complex about my writing abilities. This feeling of inadequacy was heightened when I learned of the numerous professionals, experienced and excellent writers here in HP. .

I believe I know the answer, but I will not put it in writing until the end of this article. Please read on..

Let me start by saying that writing has never been my goal in life. But after my retirement from FDA in 2002, I realized I need some kind of activity that will sharpen my old brain besides playing bridge and computer games. So in 2009, I started blogging as suggested by a friend who is a professional blogger and writer.

The topic I chose was about my life experiences here in the US and comparing it with my life in the Philippines. It was two years ago, when I realized that I have numerous readers, about 300 daily based on Google statistics, and comments on my blogs.

Several of my readers gave positive comments about my articles and indicated they like my writing style. There were two comments that were so negative it still hurts my ego even today. Luckily there were only two negative comments out of the more than 500 that I have received in my 8 blogs, as of today. I even thought for a while to quit blogging, but a friend advised me to ignore the two negative comments

In 2013, my writing activity soared to great heights when three of my articles were published in Huliq News. Another three articles were published in a widely read Internet magazine about Life in the Philippines. I also started writing my autobiography and created a website for Chateau Du Mer, my beach resort in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines.

Another friend suggested, I signed for the Google AdSense program and started earning about $10 per month. I joined Facebook and Twitter to advertise the Beach Resort and Conference Center. The readership of my eight blogs went up to about 300 readers daily and I was a very happy and a contented blogger.

ViewsHound, Squidoo and other Writing Sites

In August of 2011, I discovered ViewsHound.-a writing site based in UK I published 46 articles in that writing site until it went out of business around December, 2011. In 2012, I started writing foe Publish.us and Squidoo.com. I have 23 featured lenses in Squidoo and more than 300 articles in Publish.us. Both writing sites are now defunct.Publish.us went out of business last year. Squidoo will not be in existence by October 1 and key content acquired by HP as all of you probably know. I have an account in Triond and Open Saloon, but it has been inactive since 2012.

Today, I still feel inadequate about my writing activities. I am envious of the writing styles of other writers.. I know there is no reason why I should feel this way. Based on comments from my blogs, I know I am a fairly good writer and a lot of my readers like my style of writing.

Reason for Inferiority Complex

I believe the reason why I have still have an inferiority complex about my writing is deep rooted in my memory of my earlier years. It probably started during my elementary school days, when I received the lowest grade of 75% in my English and grammar classes. All my other grades in math, science, history and others were in the 90 to 95% range. Because of my low grade in English, instead of graduating valedictorian of the class, I only received a Second Honor award.

In my high school year, I was surprised when I was chosen editor of our high school newspaper. I wrote several poems, articles about the advantages and disadvantages of being the oldest child, and other topics about high school life that were of interest to my age group. My English grade improved. There was a point in my high school years that I wanted to get a degree in journalism. When I informed my parents of my plan to study journalism in college, they discouraged me. They said there is no money in journalism. I will starve and will never be able to support a family if I depend my livelihood as a writer. They insisted I take medicine, law or just become a Catholic priest.

In college, I took the Pre-Med course as suggested by my parents. At the end of my second year, I know medicine was not for me, since the sight of blood nauseated me. I shifted to chemistry and the rest is history. During my undergraduate and graduate school years, almost all of my courses were in science and mathematics. There was no need to be a writer ( except technical reports and homework) until five years ago, when I started blogging.

Are good writers born or made? Am I a Born or Made Writer?

I am not quite sure what the correct answer is, but I feel I am both. My early childhood has never been devoted to writing or art activities. It was science and mathematics that was emphasized in my early education. Later in my high school years, for some twist of luck, I was chosen by my English instructor to be editor of our high school newspaper. I was forced to write articles as fillers for the newspaper and was taught the basics of news writing and editing.

My years as an undergraduate and graduate student emphasized science, mathematics and engineering. It was only after my retirement that I started blogging and learned that I enjoy writing. This is true also for my oldest son. He wrote a novel (Cloyne Court) after finishing law school and now is on his second novel. He told me he writes as a hobby and is a relaxation therapy for him. Writing to him is a good diversion from his hectic life as a prosecuting attorney here in Northern California.

There is a common saying that if you can talk, you can write. But great writing is a born talent and I believe can not be taught. The passion to write is born. People have different reasons why they write. A few writes for the sake of writing and can not survive without it. Others write to earn a living and work hard to be a successful writer, reporter or novelist.

So why do I want to write for HubPages and my blogs. First, I enjoy writing. Second, to advertise my beach resort in the Philippines and last but not least is to get affirmation from readers and other writers that they enjoy reading my articles. Reading positive comments from others is an ego boast and makes me feel alive and useful during this stage of my life (retirement and old age.

Getting a monetary award ( from Ads) and accolades are another ego boosts, but I have learned these are no longer my primary incentives why I am writing. Today, I have realized not to compare myself with the other writers. I have my own style of writing and if I write from the heart, nothing can go wrong.

Most writers that I know write because they love writing. To them writing is just like breathing. These born writers do not work hard to create an excellent article, because their writing comes from the heart and their soul. Others write with a lot of work, training and pain. Good writers run in the family as exemplified by the family of Stephen King. Most writers however are made and only become good writers through hard work and constant practice. The most common traits of good writers are patience and persistence, whether their writing talent is inborn or just developed.

Allow me to quote from an article of a friend in FaceBook, The Writing Bug. "Writing for me right now, is like love. It isn't something I do, it happens to me. It takes me completely by surprise when I least expect it and then it absolutely refuses to let go until it wants to. It's intoxicating and irrational".

This is how a born writer feels everyday of his/her life. Writing to inborn writers must feel like addiction or a compulsion that must be satiated.

How about you? Are you a born writer or a made writer? Do you agree with the statement that good writers can be made but great writers are born? !

After passing my boot camp, I feel extremely happy and hopefully writing more good quality articles for HubPages and in my blogs.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Funny Animal Videos

The dog is man's best friend!

Carenna and Sierra on their Way to School



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Japanese-American Soldiers in World War II

photo from imranwrites.blogspot.com

Last week was the 70th Anniversary of the Surrender of Japan, Japanese-American War 1941-1945. This video is must see for all history enthusiasts or to everyone who wants to know about racial discrimination in the 1930 up to the 1950's. As a Filipino-American- I feel it is my duty to publicize this part in American history that is probably not too well known to the majority of the American people especially the younger generation.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Yesterday was Grand Parents Day

My Oldest Grandson,Ian and Mom visited us yesterday, but did not know it was our Day.

I believe not to many Americans knew that the First Sunday after Labor Day is Grand Parents Day. Even my own six grand children are probably not aware of it. One of reasons why it is not as popular as Mothers or Fathers Day is connected to commercialism. Not too many people will buy gifts for their grandparents. Perhaps, they have no money and are till very young. The only way for your young grandchildren to know that today is Grandparents day is for your own children to tell their children about this day. As a grand parent, I am not expecting gifts, but a telephone call will be nice and appreciated. But If I do not received any phone calls or e-mail today, I will not be surprised.

Here's a short history of Grand Parents Day here in US from Wikipedia.

Marian McQuade of Oak Hill, West Virginia, has been recognized nationally by the United States Senate – in particular by Senators Jennings Randolph; and Robert Byrd – and by President Jimmy Carter, as the founder of National Grandparents Day. McQuade made it her goal to educate the youth in the community about the important contributions seniors have made throughout history. She also urged the youth to "adopt" a grandparent, not just for one day a year, but rather for a lifetime.

In 1973, Senator Jennings Randolph introduced a resolution to the Senate to make Grandparents Day a national holiday. West Virginia's Governor Arch Moore had proclaimed an annual Grandparents Day for the state, at the urging of of Marian McQuade. When Senator Randolph's resolution in the U.S. Senate died in committee, Marian McQuade organized supporters and began contacting governors, senators, and congressmen in all fifty states. She urged each state to proclaim their own Grandparents Day. Within three years, she had received Grandparents Day proclamations from forty-three states. She sent copies of the proclamations to Senator Randolph.

In February, 1977, Senator Randolph, with the concurrence of many other senators, introduced a Joint Resolution to the Senate requesting the President to "issue annually a proclamation designating the first Sunday of September after Labor Day of each year as 'National Grandparents Day'." Congress passed the legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day and, on August 3, 1978, then-President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation. The statute cites the day's purpose as: "...to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer".

Some people claim the origin of the holiday resides with the efforts of Hermine Beckett Hanna of North Syracuse, New York, recognizing seniors and their importance as early as 1961. On February 21, 1990, New York Congressman James T. Walsh recognized the efforts of Hermine Beckett Hanna in front of the U.S. House of Representatives, thanking her "for her important role in the establishment of Grandparents Day".

So to all Grand Children of the US, if you are old enough to call, Please give your Grandparents a call today. If you are lazy to call, I know you rather TEXT, correct?
But your grandparents do not have a cell phone or do not know how to text?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Life in the United States versus Life in the Philippines

The Beautiful and Scenic Island of Marinduque( This article was originally published in my Hubpages account on 8/30/14)

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.( photos)and link http://livinginmarinduquephilippines.blogspot.com/

We have planned this lifestyle 4 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.
photo
Two years later at the urging of our kids, we build a two story beach house. We named it Chateau Du Mer. ( link)and Photos. 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.

As of today, we have hosted more than 25 clients for the beach house from US, Australia and Europe. The hall have hosted more than a dozen wedding receptions, birthday parties, meetings, seminars and family reunions. We have hosted three garden weddings and one seaside weddings as of today.

Marinduque, A Gardener's Paradise

The tropical climate of Marinduque is ideal for growing not only orchids, hibiscus and bougainvillas but also euphorbias, cacti, succulents, plumerias and Ylang Ylang trees. Since I am an avid gardener this place is paradise for me.

The above plants are easy to grow and almost pest- free except for the two varieties of hibiscus ( white and yellow). My favorite orchid, a blue orchid is called "The Princess Mikasa".The Ylang Ylang flowers is the most fragrant flower in the garden. It reminds me of the perfume Channel #5. I have several varieties of hibiscus. My favorite is the canary-yellow(light orange) variety.

Marinduque is a photographer's dream. The province is endowed with unspoiled white sand beaches, pristine blue waters, fringing reefs, virgin coral reefs, isolated coves, limestone caves, meandering and underground rivers, mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls and streams, fabled sulfur and hot mineral springs, old churches, antique homes and of course beautiful sunsets and sunrises.

The Internet is filled with photographs of the scenic beauty of this island not only from the local amateur and professional photographers but also from photographers all over the world. The province has more than six islands popular to beach lovers, scuba divers and snorkeling enthusiasts. Among the popular islands are Tres Reyes Islands and Maniwaya Island.

It has also Mt Malindig known to mountain climbers and hikers. It has Bathala* and Tarug Caves popular to spelunkers and just curious seekers. In one of the eight caves of Bathala, there is a resident python, believed to be enchanted. If he shows himself when you visit the caves, it is suppose to bring you good luck.

One of the tourist attractions in the Island is the Bellarocca Resort and Spa-a five star resort popular to rich Filipinos, Koreans and Japanese tourist. However, just recently I heard that the resort is not doing well financially for lack of foreign clients because of the absence of air transportation from Manila and back. The good news is that by next month the newly improved airport will be certified for air services from two national airlines. If this happens, this will be a boost to tourism business in the Island.

The Moriones Festival

This hub about Marinduque-our second home is not complete if I do not add or write a paragraph about the Moriones Festival.

The island of Marinduque celebrates every year one of the most colorful Festival in the Philippines. Morion means "mask" or "visor," a part of the medieval Roman armor which covers the face. Moriones, on the other hand, refers to the masked and costumed penitents who march around the town for seven days searching for Longinus.

This week-long celebration starts on Holy Monday and culminates on Easter Sunday when the story of Longinus is reenacted in pantomime. Longinus, is a Roman centurion who was blind in one eye but was cured when the blood of Jesus spurted on his eye during the Crucifixion.

Home is not a Place but in Your Heart

Our friends often asked us which abode do we prefer. Our answer is always the same, both places. Marinduque is an excellent place during winter time and Northern California is an excellent abode during Spring, Summer and Fall. We love both places and hopefully we can continue our snowbird lifestyle in the future years to come. To continue this lifestyle requires good health and finances. I am hoping for the best and thanking the Lord for all the blessings He has given us all the previous years and the years to come.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

I am Beginning to Like Being a Hubber

This was my second hub featured on HubPaged on 8/26/14.

When I first read the news on my Squidoo Dashboard that HubPages is acquiring Squidoo, I did not welcome the news. Like most of us, I do not welcome change if I am not sure if the change is for the better. However, of today I know this change is a positive change regarding my writing activities.

I joined Hubpages about 11 days ago without waiting for the transfer of my 23 featured lenses in Squdoo. I joined Squidoo in 2011 but after publishing my 23 lenses, I decided to be inactive. I did not have any incentive to continue writing. I earned less than $3.00 in my account since 2011 and I can care less because I am writing not for money, but for the pleasure of writing and meeting other writers who shares the same passion as I have for the written word.

The first day I joined Hubpages I wrote my first hub on the subject of home refinancing. The hub was a personal experience, thus it was written from my heart not from my mind. I was surprised when it made Editor Choice the next day. As a new hubber, I was not familiar with the capsules, format, styles, and other positive format to avoid monotony such as polls, quizzes, videos and maps. I am only familiar with photos. Now I am aware of these features and have incorporated it in my second hub published a couple of days ago. The subject of my second hub was on Feasting with Oysters and it aslo made it to Editors Choice less than 24 hours after I hit the Publish button on my HubPages Account.

I also joined a forum on the subject of the Squidoo Acquisution. The questions and answers were very informative especially to new hubbers like me. I started following old hubbers and made some comments on a few hubs that I found interesting. As a result of this activity. I have now 7 followers and four comments in my two hubs.

Based on my readings on the forum, I concluded that the Hubpages editorial Staff are more proactive than Squidoo. I had two questions in the Forum that received an immediate response from one of the HubPagers Staff.

I received two welcome notes in my Fan Mail from two veteran hubbers. This was indeed welcome and had inspired me to write this hub. I also realized that HubPagers have hubbers from all over the world. To my delight and amazement I found out there are several hubbers with Filipino roots or are residents of the Philippines. Being a Filipino-American and a citizen of both countries, my association with HubPages will turn out to be a very positive change in my writing activities.

The last point, I want to emphasize is my great chance to earn more pocket money for coffee here in HubPages. I signed in the Earnings Program just yesterday. When I checked my earnings this morning I was surprised I earned 0.05 cents. I hope this positive trend continue upward as I published more hubs in the future , Speaking on the earning program of HubPages, one of my FaceBook friends from India asked me recently if she can earned money by writing for the Site. I told her I am new to the site, but based on what I know now, she has to write more than 100 good Quality Hubs and sign in their Adsense, E-bay and Amazon programs. I have not heard from her. I guess hearing from me that she has to write 100 hubs will discourage almost everyone except for a few souls whose passion for writing is their way of life.

As a conclusion, I welcome with open an heart and mind, HubPages acquisition of Squidoo. I am 110% sure this change will bring a positive change ( if not lucrative) in my writing activities. I salute HubPages and its 15 industrious Staffs and looking forward to write more hubs and the completion of the transfer of lenses from Squidoo to HubPages

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Feasting on Fresh Pacific Oysters

This article with more information was first published on my HubPages account on 8/23/14.

Yesterday while I was shopping for groceries in Food Max, my eyes bulged with excitement when I saw 2 dozen of live fresh oysters. I was not intending to buy it, because it was not in my budget, but I thought it is time to celebrate the final closing of my home refinancing loan which will save me about $160 from my monthly mortgage payment beginning next month. The 24 live oysters( 12 medium and 12 large sizes)cost me $19.99. This is still cheap if you compare eating oysters in Red Lobster or in any seafood restaurant here in Northern California. The 12 large Oysters I baked in the oven at 350F for only 15 minutes. Do not over baked as the oysters will get dry. Shut off the oven as soon as the shells begin to open. Serve the baked oysters with a twist of lemon and Tabasco sauce. Serve with fresh steamed corn on the cub and a glass of white wine(chardonnay). Yum, Yum, Yum!

The species I purchased were the Pacific oysters farmed in the area near the Point Reyes National Park, North of San Francisco and South of Bodega Bay. These large oysters are sweet and meaty, but not as delicious as the Philippine variety that I am used to. These large oysters are a mouthful for eating raw, but they are perfect for grilling and baking!


The other 12 medium size I made into Oyster Rockefeller from my wife's collection of recipes as follows:

6 oz shredded sharp cheddar
12 fresh, live medium oysters
1 box frozen chopped spinach
1/8 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 dash hot pepper sauce( Tabasco or El Tapatio brand))
1/2 bar salted butter( margarine or Australian can butter will do)
2 cups Rock salt for presentation only

Clean oysters with warm water., Broil on High or boil until shells open. Do not over cooked.. Remove from oven or pot and cool oysters. When cooled break the top shell off of each oyster. Chopped oysters 1/2 cm.

Chopped the thawed spinach, bread crumbs, and green onions. Sauteed in butter or margarine until spinach is cooked. Add the salt and hot sauce to your taste, .

Arrange the oysters in their half shells on a pan with Rock salt. Spoon some of the spinach mixture on each oyster half shell. Add bread crumbs and Cheddar cheese on top. Broil for about 10 minutes until bread crumbs turn brown and the cheese melts..Served with garlic bread and chardonnay.

* My wife's other variation of this recipe is to use bacon chips instead of the cheddar cheese

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

marinduque rising: High Court, HRET 'legal skirmishes' by Atty. Ralph...

A must read to all Marinduquenos all over the world. Is this the finale of the moro-moro in Marinduque?  
marinduque rising: High Court, HRET 'legal skirmishes' by Atty. Ralph...: Courtesy of: Gingging Barredo Bunag August 31  ·  Edited PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT FINALLY DECIDED that ATTY. REGINA...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Teaching Our Kids Empathy and Compassion


Ditas ( my daughter) and Carenna ( my grand daughter) in Paris

My youngest 11 yr old grand daughter, Carenna Katague Thompson, is in 6th grade in our local Roman Catholic Elementary school.

Yesterday she came home in tears. As a big and tall 6th grader she is walking home in a big group of kids from her catholic school. The route passes a local hospital and their new Cardiology and Heart Center. As they were walking a woman ran outside of the center, obviously distraught and grief-stricken, wailing "why? Why?" One of the 7th graders started filming her on his phone and the 6th graders all started making fun of her imitating her. Not even making an effort to consider that she may have just lost her husband, or mother, or child.

The kids all laughed while my grand daughter held back her empathetic tears, knowing the searing pain of losing someone they loved. My daughter even said, "hey you guys, maybe she just lost a loved one?" and they all ignored her. So much for teaching compassion and empathy to our children.

When I posted this incident in my Facebook Page, I received a few comments. One of the comments I like to share is as follows

“ Values are taught by parents. I'd be curious as to how many kids enrolled in the Catholic school actually attend church of any denomination. It seems that many religious schools have become the places parents send their kids because they don't want to put their kids in the local public school. It has little to do with religious education.

If religious education stops at the end of the school day that is a real problem. Any child who is raised in a congregation ought to have attended many funerals by the time they are in 6th grade. They should have been around grief and understand what it is because their parents should have been right there with them explaining it as they attended funerals and visitations as a family. Kids will listen to, or ignore, what they choose as a message from the school if that message is not reinforced at home.”

My daughter wrote on her FaceBook Page:

"Carenna and I did email the Principal who is very compassionate and who does a great job at school assemblies telling teaching stories etc. I do want Carenna to learn both empathy and compassion for those facing adversity, BUT also to be gracious and congratulatory to those who have triumphs and joyful things happen to them as well.

The awesome Principal handled it beautifully and spoke with all the students and their parents. The kids were young and immature and just not thinking, but it became a learning experience for all and I think it turned out for the better. Thank you all for the support. Sometimes I feel very alone in raising this sensitive wonderful daughter of mine".

I can not agree more at the above comments. Do You agree?

As a background to this post, my grand daughter lost her Dad about two years ago. My son-in-law was a victim of colon cancer at a young age of 52. My daughter until now is still grieving at the loss of her husband. However through her paintings and art work, both her and my grand daughter are holding on. Thanks to the support of her numerous friends and family.

Here's the site where my daughter and grand daughter exhibit their paintings and photographs as part of their therapy. www.grievingthruglee.com


There are several articles on how to instill and develop compassion in children at home in the WEB. However an article from www.brighthorizons.com attracted my attention. In that article, the author four items that will encourage empathy, caring, and compassion as follows.

1. You need to discuss to your child feelings and consequences of actions. Children who are helped to understand emotions and how their behavior impacts others are more likely to develop a deeper sense of empathy

2. Don't be afraid to explore negative emotions. Children who are allowed to show anger, sadness, or distress and helped to cope with these emotions tend to become more sympathetic and competent in later social situations.

3. You must validate caring behavior when you observe it. It will help children identify positive courses of action and last but not least,

4. You must provide opportunities for your child to care for someone or something other than themselves - a pet, a plant, or another person. Even if you can't take in a pet, perhaps you can have your child feed a neighbor’s cat.

Children first have to feel good about themselves to turn those positive feelings towards others. Children who grow up with helping and responsibility modeled are more likely to show those behaviors towards others.

For more details: http://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/volunteer-children/parents#sthash.rOyqZwwu.dpuf
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