Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Coconut Crab and Spiny Lobster of Marinduque

Coconut crab or lobster cooked in coconut milk is one of the most delicious dish that I have tasted in Marinduque. So what what is a coconut crab? Here's what Wikipedia says:

The coconut crab, Birgus latro, is a species of terrestrial hermit crab, also known as the robber crab or palm thief. It is the largest land-living arthropod in the world, and is probably at the upper size limit for terrestrial animals with exoskeletons in recent Earth atmosphere, with a weight of up to 4.1 kg (9.0 lb). It can grow to up to 1 metre (3 ft) in length from leg to leg. It is found on islands across the Indian Ocean and parts of the Pacific Ocean as far east as the Gambier Islands, mirroring the distribution of the coconut palm; it has been extirpated from most areas with a significant human population, including mainland Australia and Madagascar.


In the Cook Islands, the coconut crab is known as unga or kaveu, and in the Mariana Islands it is called ayuyu, and is sometimes associated with taotaomo'na because of the traditional belief that ancestral spirits can return in the form of animals such as the coconut crab


Slipper lobsters are a family of decapod crustaceans found in all warm oceans and seas. Despite their name, they are not true lobsters, but are more closely related to spiny lobsters and furry lobsters. Slipper lobsters are instantly recognizable by their enlarged antennae, which project forward from the head as wide plates. All the species are edible, and some, such as the Moreton Bay bug and the "Balmain bug" (Ibacus peronii) are of commercial importance.

I am looking forward to eat these two delicacies in Marinduque next week.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Two Scam Letters I Received Recently


Here's Letter Number 1:

Dear Good Friend,

Sorry for not having the pleasure of knowing your mindset before making you this offer, it is utterly confidential and genuine by virtue of its nature. I write to solicit your assistance in a funds transfer deal involving US$14.5M. Meanwhile, I know there is absolutely going to be a great doubt and distrust in your heart in respect of this email, coupled with the fact that, so many miscreants and impostors (scammers) have taken possession of the internet to facilitate their nefarious deeds, thereby making it extremely difficult for genuine and legitimate business class persons to get attention and recognition.

This fund has been stashed out of the excess profit made last year by my branch office of the International Commercial Bank- Burkina Faso, which I am the manager. I have already submitted an approved end of the year report for the year 2013 to my head office here in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and the financial report has been endorsed without the excess fund, and they will never know of this. I have since then, placed this amount in a Non-Investment Account without a beneficiary, and I am contacting you as a foreigner to claim the money into your account. Upon your response, I will configure your name on our database as holder of the Non-Investment Account. I will then guide you on how to apply to my head office for the Account Closure, thereafter, bank-to-bank remittance of the funds to your designated bank account.

It is up to you to decide whether this letter deserves your trust and confidentiality. And if indeed it does, whatever your actions and your decision let me know immediately so that I will give you the detail how we should go about it. If you concur with this proposal, I intend for you to retain 45% of the funds while 55% shall be for me.

Kindly forward your response to my private e-mail box: ch.teodoro@laposte.net

Thanks

Yours sincerely

Chintia Teodoro

______________________________________________________________________________

Here's Letter number 2:

Salam: I hope you have good health.

Please I am a widow from Syria and my life and kids are in danger. I need
help from someone honest and sincere that care humanity for we not
know where good thing come from ok if you accept please reply me so I
tell you details of what i want you do for us ok. thank you for understand

Allah Afiz

Note: I am posting the two letters verbatim without correcting the grammar and sentence construction of the two letters.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Daughter and Grand Daughter Art Shows

One of Carenna's Animal Sketches

I am proud to announce that both Ditas ( my youngest daughter) and Carenna( my youngest grand daughter) are having art shows this month and next month and up to May.

Carenna - at age 10 has had several art shows. Her latest featuring 3 photographs is below:

ANIMAL HOUSE - 9th Annual Juried Fine Art Exhibition of Animal Themed Artworks

February 18-March 8, 2014, Sacramento Fine Arts Center, 5330-B Gibbons Drive, Carmichael, CA 95608.

Second Saturday Reception and Award Presentation - March 8, 2014, 5:30-8:30 pm

NOTE- MY 10 YEAR OLD GRAND DAUGHTER HAS BEEN ACCEPTED IN THIS SHOW. SHE WILL BE SHOWING THE FOLLOWING PHOTOGRAPHS.

"Peacocks" - Digital Photograph 8" x 10"

"Snow Leopard" - Digital Photograph 8" x 10"

"Leapin Leopard" - Digital Photograph 8" x 10 "\

=========================================================================

Ditas was selected to be in Ironstone Vineyards Spring Obsession Art show from March 1-May 11. Information is below:

SPRING OBSESSION - Annual Art Competition, Ironstone Vineyards
March 1- May 11, 2014, Ironstone Vineyards, 1894 Six Mile Road, Murphys, CA 95247

www.ironstonevineyards.com

Opening March 1 & 2, 2014 - 10-5 pm. Special event - March 1st 4 to 6:30 pm Wine and Food Pairing from around the World

"Roots Before Branches" - Acrylic on Canvas, 60"x48"

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine-Formula for a Lasting Marriage-Part 2


TODAY is Valentine's Day. A day for lovers, young and old. This is the best time to write Part 2 of my article on the Formula for a lasting marriage. I wrote my first article on my formula for a lasting marriage about a year ago. I did receive several positive comments on that article. In that article I emphasized that open trust and communication between the husband and wife is a must for a lasting marriage. Another point I discussed in that article was accepting the flaws as well as the strength of your partner is a must for a lasting marriage. This new article (Part 2) is inspired from two incidents that I experienced recently.

The first incident occurred while my wife and I were waiting in the patient lounge at the diagnostic laboratory for our normal six month interval blood work check up. A couple seating near us mentioned that they have been married for 63 years. I asked the guy, if he has a secrete formula for their lasting marriage. He jokingly answered "I do what she wants pointing to his wife". His wife heard it, she smiled and reply, that is not true because I also like to please him whatever he wants almost all the time. The lesson here is the "gave and take" is still one of the formula for a lasting marriage.

The second incident happened while I was in line at our friendly local bank cashing a check. The line was long and the bank had only two clerks because it was about lunch time. The wait was about 30 minutes and to get rid of boredom, I started a conversation with an elderly lady next in line. After a few pleasantries, she mentioned that yesterday was her 54th wedding anniversary with her second husband. Her marriage with her first husband lasted only about a year, because both of them were young and immature. So I asked her if she has a formula why her second marriage has lasted for more than 54 years. Her quick reply was, my husband and I just laugh a lot. If we have problems we talk about it and just laugh about it.

To me this means that to have a positive attitude and not taking problems seriously is another formula that helps guarantee a lasting marriage.

So my dear readers if you have been married for more than 10 years, can you share with me and my readers, your formula for a lasting marriage. I will appreciate it very much and thank you in advance for sharing. Again, Happy Valentine to You All!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Good News and Looking Forward to Sweat Like a Pig


This week there are three good news in the David Balleza Katague Family.

The first good news is that we have finalized our snowbird vacation dates leaving the US next week and staying in the Philippines up to the first week of May. We have also arranged for a 90 day supply of all of our prescription drugs. I am looking forward to see my blooming orchids, fruit-bearing trees ( mangoes, papayas and bananas) and of course the beach house. I am also looking forward to play with Miko, our pet dog and walking on the beach and gardens every day if it is at all possible( not raining).
One of my favorite orchids ( The Princess Mikasa) at the Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines

However, there will be pain and suffering when during the months of April and May, there will be numerous days when the heat and humidity of summer will turn to its ugly head in the Philippines. There will a slight relief from the ocean breeze in our beach house in Marinduque, but I will not be surprised if I sweat like a pig again this year. Moreover, I am not also looking forward staying in Manila for a couple of days during the summer months due to the oppressive heat, high humidity, air and noise pollution as well as the traffic jam for 12 to 14 hours per day. Manila on summer time is appropriately correct to be referred to as the Gates of Hell in Dan's Brown recent novel published last year.

The second news is that my youngest daughter have been invited to Spain for a study trip (for work). A great honor for her and hopefully she will be able to take her daughter out of school the last week of May. My grand daughter (Carenna) can therefore experience Northern Spain and Paris, France. She will have to hire a nanny to baby set for Carenna in Barcelona and Bilbao while she work. Any volunteers?

*The third good news is that my oldest daughter found another job in San Francisco with much higher pay than her current job doing identical work and responsibilities. The not so good news is that she will have a longer commute. But my daughter is so delighted of this new challenge and personal growth in her professional life and the much higher pay she will receive. Her new position will start March 1.

Again, wish me well in our snow birding days in the Philippines this year!

*Addenda: My oldest daughter just called me a few minutes ago she will not be commuting to San Francisco. Her current employer promoted her when she asked for permission to leave. Her current employer will match the salary offer plus 5% more. Thus, she is staying with her current job which she enjoys. I am so happy of this new development and is indeed good news!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Do You Have a Favorite Pinoy Dish?


Kare-tripe and ox tail in peanut butter Sauce ( photo from lakbay.com)


Lumpia Shanghai (photo from photobucket.com)


Halo-Halo for Merienda( photo from freeweb.com)

My wife and I have resided here in the US since 1960. We have adapted to hamburgers, hot dogs, salad, cottage cheese, yogurt and typical US cuisine, fast foods, as well as filipino dishes that we craved once in a while. Cooking filipino food here is no longer a problem, since you can purchase ingredients in the Filipino-American store or an Oriental store(Chinese, Korean or Japanese). In the 1960's there was only one Filipino store near our residence in Chicago. We oftentimes have to shop in China Town downtown. Today, there are Filipino grocery stores in most medium-sized and big cities in US to cater to the expanding population of Filipino Americans who had immigrated to US in the 1980's.

We have resided in several cities here in US ( Sacramento, Pinole, Modesto, CA, Chicago, Kansas City and Maryland). Every time we moved, my first job was to look at the telephone directory for the nearest oriental or filipino store to our house.

The above two main dishes and one dessert or merienda are some of the dishes that my wife loves to cook every now and then to satiate our longing for filipino dishes. Not pictured are pancit( a noodle dish), Chicken or pork adobo( cooked in water-vinegar mixture), chicken afritada,(a chicken dish cooked in tomato sauce with potatoes and green peppers) and deboned and stuffed chicken called relleno. The above dishes are also the favorites of our children who grew up here in US and does not really know the cuisine of the Philippines.

Our children are brown and looked very Filipino, but they are as American as apple pie. In their college years, some of their friends called them “coconuts”. Their friends would comment, “ you guys are brown outside but very white inside”. That indeed is the truth!

My wife is an excellent cook. The saying " the way to a man's heart is through his stomach", applies to our life. When we were student at the University of the Philippines our romance was on and off, since I was not really ready to get married. One day before my 21st birthday (we have not talked or seen each other for almost a year), I was surprise to receive a birthday gift from her. Her gift was a chiffon orange cake that she baked from scratch. It was the most delicious cake I have ever eaten. It reignited our romance and we started dating again. The next year we got married. I was only 22 years old at that time. The next year, we had our oldest son and I was already in US doing graduate work at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

Do you have a favorite filipino dish or an some other native dish of your country of origin? I will appreciate if you share it with me and my readers.

Here's a video about Filipino food-an opinion of one person. I do not agree with some of his assessments.

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Sunset Afterglow

Sunset Afterglow
Most Beautiful Sunset Ever Photographed

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Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort and Conference Center

These are the reviews from from two of our guests published at the Trip Adviser web site. Visit the Trip Adviser website for additional details. 1.What a peaceful place to spend relaxing time in Marinduque! The cottage is very comfortable, and right on the beach, with a large deck for watching the sunset. The location in Boac (and not too far from Gasan) is well placed for a home base for day trips around Marinduque. But the best part of our stay here was the graciousness of the hosts, David and Macrine. They are warm-hearted, know the island well, and truly made us feel at home. Although we were there to explore the island and relax, the property has a great conference/meeting facility as well. Highly recommended. 2. Nestled against the beach, this cottage on stilts was a great place to spend a week away from all the insanity of urban life. With a spacious deck, two bedrooms, a living room and a full kitchen, my entire family truly enjoyed their stay. The hosts, Dave and Macrine do everything possible to make you feel like family, while still giving you space and privacy. The beach is all of 25 feet away and early morning walks on the beach are what I remember most. My kids were fascinated with the bamboo flooring. A reef is just off shore and filled with beautiful fish to enjoy while snorkeling. I would go back in a minute if I could.

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I love gardening, play duplicate bridge, has collection of orchids, bougainvillas, hibiscus and other tropical plants

Mountain View Reunion

Mountain View Reunion
Some members of the Katague and Jambalos Clan- Double Click Photo for LINK

I love Sunsets! How About You?

1. Sunset from Balcony of the Chateau Du Mer Beach House, Amoingon, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines Over the years, I have seen and photographed several dozens of sunsets in several countries that my wife and I have visited. We have been to Marbella, Spain, Rome, Italy, London,England, Vancouver, B.C., Cancun, Mexico, Aruba, Hawaii( Maui, Kawaii, Big Island), Puerto Rico and most of the US big cities, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Kansas City, St Louis, Miami, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, NV, Houston, TX and other small cities . But the two most beautiful sunsets that stir my emotion are the one at Amoingon Bay (#1- taken at the balcony of our Chateau Du Mer Beach house-top photo) and the one over Manila Bay(# 9 photo). You will probably say, I am partial since I am a Filipino-American, but judge it yourself. Above are ten of my favorite sunset pictures for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy! Comments, anyone? 2. Sunset, Eagle Beach, Aruba 3. Sunset, San Juan, Puerto Rico 4. Sunset, Hanalei Bay, Kauai 5. Sunset, Kaanapali, Maui 6. Sunset, Kona Village, Big Island, Hawaii 7. Sunset, Marbella, Spain 8. Sunset, Cancun, Mexico 9. Sunset, on Manila Bay, Philippines 10. Sunset, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Wedding Day

Wedding Day
Dave and Macrine, May 8, 1957

Daily Horoscopes