Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Surprise Visit from My Sister's Grandson from Iloilo, Philippines

John Patrick Hilaga Solinap, my Sister Myrla( Nen) grandson from Iloilo Philippines visiting us today. David Pick him up from his ship, the M/V Nordic Amelie now docked here in West Sacramento.

Selfie of JP, David III and Me at Home

Here's some info from his page book page.

Third Engineer at Nordic Hamburg Ship management

Studied at Iloilo Science and Technology University

Went to Iloilo National High School - School of the Future

JP enjoying champagne by our pool side

Monday, August 28, 2017

Our Five Luxuries Living in the United States-An Update

The David Katague Clan, 2016

Just recently I wrote about our four luxuries residing in the US. This posting is an update adding the 5th luxury that I just remembered the other day after buying a Shiseido lipstick for Macrine.

"This year is our 57th year living in the US. Macrine turned 81 years old last March 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 eastern suburb of Sacramento, California since 2002.

Alix Katague graduating from Cornell University with a Bachelors in Computer Science with her Dad( Dodie) and Mom ( Ruth). Dodie is my oldest son. Alix, I am very proud of your accomplishments. Alix is now working for EERO, manufacturer of WIFI in San Francisco.

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 14 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)
My youngest(14 yrs old)grand daughter, Carenna KT ( Katague-Thompson)

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 five 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( Munchery.com )

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

5. Macrine's used of Shiseido cosmetics and products for the last 5 decades. In case you do not know Shiseido cosmetics are very expensive. Their lipstick price ranged from $28 to $35 dollars. Just purchased one lipstick just the other day. Shiseido has a moisturizing cream priced at $280 for the 50 mL size.

However, the above is not their most expensive cream. For their most expensive cream read the article on the bottom of this page##.

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!"

*http://davidbkatague.blogspot.com/2011/12/chapter-7-life-in-chicago-illinois-and.html

**http://davidbkatague.blogspot.com/2011/12/chapter-8-social-life-in-kansas-city.html

***http://davidbkatague.blogspot.com/2011/12/life-in-modesto-california-1969-1974.html

****http://davidbkatague.blogspot.com/2011/12/pinole-california-years-1990-2002.html

*****http://davidbkatague.blogspot.com/2011/12/fda-years-and-maryland-1990-2002.html

## http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/06/shiseido-worlds-most-expensive-cream/

Friday, August 25, 2017

Pleasant Memories of My Writing Days for ViewsHound

* ViewsHound was a UK writing site that became defunct at the end of 2011. However I have pleasant memories writing for the site that will never be erased in my memory. Below is a post I wrote just a few months before the writing site went out of business.

Photo from allowwomenstalk.com

"Positive comments and feedbacks to my articles are the reasons why I keep writing for ViewsHound (VH). However, if by a twist of fortune and luck, I win a couple more awards, it will be icing on the cake and will be highly appreciated.

I started writing for VH only last August. As of today, I have submitted more than sixty articles and photographs. I have over 23,500 views, 22 followers, 9 badges, a gold and bronze winning articles. The following are my favorite commentators and their comments: M. Abott, D. Hamilton, G. Maoli, L. Arota, J. Bird, S. Ozmore, D. Page, D. Reynolds, J. Willoughby, S. Powers, S.C. Joy, L. Silverman, M. Dragoo, F. Lachica, V. Vizarra and G. Buesnel.

Mark Abbott.UTEP- Comment to, You have to fail on order to succeed.

I think this is the most positive thing I've read all week and possibly even all month. I wish everyone had the "can do" attitude that you have. I've been struggling like hell to perfect it for some time now and as discouraging as it can be at times, I think I've made a great deal of progress. I remember reading someones quote once (can't remember who it was) that said if you fail 999 times out of 1,000, you actually succeeded in finding 999 ways NOT to do something. Thanks so much for posting this. It makes a world of difference to see the necessary little reminders in the work of other writers.

Deb Hamilton · Top Commenter · Chicago, Illinois- Comment to, The best Christmas gift I have ever received.

I really loved this story! You must make friends easily... or I don't think your support system would have been this strong. You deserve some of the credit here, for sure. Very sweet tale.

Gianandrea Maoli · Top Commenter · Freelance writer at ViewsHound- Comment to, Am I a born or made writer?

Wow! One of the most encouraging pieces I've seen on VH! I would say that as far as great writers are concerned, I think there's a combination of being born to be great and being made into one. I think that even if your are born into it, it does take a writer a lot of time, patience, and even courage to keep writing and learning until they find the right way to express themselves. I do agree with you that it has great therapy tools to express your thoughts which is what I try to do with short stories in general. You did that very well in this work and I hope to see others from you in the future.

Lorna Paroginog Arota · Chinese Gen. Hospital school of nursing -Comment to, Childhood memories of the Japanese-American war in the Philippines-Part 2


You captured the WWII story through your wife's perspective in such an emotional and personal way. Your mother in- law lost a sister very dear to her heart from the hands of merciless Japanese soldiers who by no means will not spare any lives if you're in their way. I don't blame your mother for hating the Japanese, as my mother also did. That is the cruelty of war. Great article! you deserve another gold prize Dave.

Jan Bird · Top Commenter · College of Ripon & York St John -Comment to, Am I a born or made Writer?

This is the first article I've read today, David and it's a good one! I'm flattered to be quoted but I've never thought of myself as a "born" writer. I'm not fishing there, it's just not how I think of it. I think you can always learn and that we're all learning, constantly, from everything we write and everything we read, whether it's fiction, other writers' articles or mainstream journalism. We learn both how to do it and how not to do it. It is a craft and we can spend a lifetime perfecting and refining it. That's going to be one of life's pleasures for me for the rest of my life. I'm delighted for you that you've discovered such a love for writing and such a talent for getting your personal thoughts into words. You followed your heart and it shows. Your pieces are always deeply personal and reflective and I really enjoy that.

Susan Ozmore · Top Commenter- Comment to, I have an inferiority complex writing for ViewsHound

I really enjoyed your article. I'm a math/science person and also feel a sense of inferiority when compared to people who have spent far more time writing than I have. Although, I've done quite a bit of technical writing and have been told I do a very good job "translating" complex things into understandable prose, I still haven't gotten up the nerve to write for ViewsHound. I have started a blog though, and knowing that I'm not alone in feeling inadequate, maybe I'll get up the nerve soon to write for VH. The only thing is that your article is Excellent! I don't know if I can compare :-) Keep writing!

Dennis L. Page · Top Commenter · Onondaga- Comment to, Childhood memories of the Japanese-American war in the Philippines

You have presented the reader with a gut wrenching and true to life experience that only those like you, who experience such things can relay to the rest of us. My deceased father served in the United States Army in combat during WW II. First he was in New Guinea and then in the jungles of the Philippines. He was also taken from the front lines to learn how to do the initial land invasion of Japan. That, of course, never happened, but my dad always spoke highly of the Filipino people.

Debra Copley Reynolds · Top Commenter · Consultant at Princess House, Inc. -Comment to, Childhood memories of the Japanese-American war in the Philippines

A fascinating read, thank you. My grandfather served on a supply ship during WWII and told a few stories, I wish I had listened closer. Consider writing your tale in book length, please!

Jessica Willoughby · Top Commenter · Hard to Define at Developmental Skills Center-Comment to, Why I have an inferiority complex writing for ViewsHound

David, thank you for your kind words in your article. I love that you wrote this from such an authentic and honest viewpoint of how you felt. However, I want you to know that you are not alone in that feeling. To be completely honest, I think we all feel that way about something at some point. The very people you were so kind to put me in the company of, leave me in awe with their words. I could only aspire to someday write half as well as them. I think that you are a good writer. I write about topics which feel comfortable and creative for me. I love to read the work of so many others people because I can gain knowledge on topics that I am naive on. I enjoy reading about the things you write about, and there is never a need to feel inferior to anyone else. Easier said than done, I know. I am much better at giving that advice, than living that advice. Thanks again for your kind words. Nice piece, and keep up the good work. The more we write, the better we become. You know the old adage, practice makes perfect :) Have a great evening David!

Sarah Powers · Milwaukee, Wisconsin- Comment to, Domestic abuse against men: the battered husband

Thank you for writing this article, I know of a lot of people who don't believe, excuse, ignore, or even laugh at abuse of husbands. It's unfortunate that society feels this way about the abuse, and even rape of men. Hopefully articles like this will inspire people to think critically about these issues and what equality really means.

Susan Creamer Joy · Top Commenter · Works at Freelance Artist- Comment to, Memorable excerpts from the writings of my favorite authors at ViewsHound

Leslie is correct, David. We'll need enlarged exits from VH now:)) As for me, I am flattered and thrilled to be among this talented bunch and am equally inspired by and impressed with the many other wonderful writers here, yourself included:) Now, will someone call my driver and fetch my wrap? :)) Thank you, indeed!

Leslie Silverman · Top Commenter- Comment to, Why I am writing for ViewsHound

As always, David - honest, and direct well stated. Thanks for the mention. Keep writing for viewshound so we have the pleasure of reading you!

Michelle Dragoo · Top Commenter · Supervisor, Anatomic Pathology at Edward Hospital-Comment to, Memorable excerpts from my favorite ViewsHound authors

I have never been recognized, so, thank YOU. This truly brought tears to my eyes. I feel blessed to be in this esteemed group of writers.

Fernando Ceballos Lachica · Top Commenter · Works at Triond-Comment to, I have inferiority complex writing for ViewsHound.

Your writing style is great and I loved it! I can relate to your article actually. A Gold for you today! Cheers David!

Vic Vizarra · Top Commenter · Technology Consultant/Managing Owner at Viz-Mart Int'l. Computers-Comment to-Afterglows in the sunset of our lives.

I am now beginning to follow your articles and blogs. Hopefully you could lead me to your article about the revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. I was then an electrical engineering student in 1977 when I visited the nuclear power plant as part of our field trip requirement for graduation. I was pretty much impressed by the design and set-up of said power plant and was just sad to know it just got wasted and not utilized as intended.

**Gail Buesnel · Top Commenter-Comment to, Childhood memories of the Japanese-American War in the Philippines**

David thank you for this aspect of the war. My uncle was a British POW held by the Japanese and freed by General MacArthur the same day the Japanese sent in death squads to murder all prisoners. He has written a book and a portion of it deals with his POW experiences. It would be fascinating to have all aspects recorded in a book, yours as a civillian, the POW's, the liberating Americans and even a Japanese soldier. I am going to try to send this article to my uncle via my cousin. Congratulations on winning the prize.

I have several more positive comments from my other articles for the ViewsHound community. But this article is already long. May I reiterate that the above comments had inspired me to continue writing for ViewsHound-one of my favorite writing site. If you read ViewsHound, please continue your feedbacks and I will continue writing for ViewsHound ".

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Solar Lights in the Gardens of Chateau Du Mer, Marinduque

My favorite time of the day in Marinduque is at sunset and at twilight. During this time and up to midnight, I could show case my more than 50 solar lights of various types around the resort. Besides the solar lights, I have installed spot lights in all of the statuary's and garden sculptures near the Conference Hall and also in the Main House. The three photos( taken at twilight) above focused on the bridge lighting (red and white). The bridge is the focal point of the landscaping design of the beach house.




Solar Lights as viewed from the Conference Hall







The creek under the bridge is filled with native fish, crabs and snails during the summer season. Two years ago, I seeded the creek with tilapias in November. By May, it was already about 3 to 5 lbs. I feed the tilapias twice a day with commercial fish food. I told Edwin, my caretaker to harvest them before the rainy season, otherwise they will be flushed into the ocean, when the monsoon rains start around July-August. Edwin was able to harvest more than a dozen for his table. A couple of tilapias that remained in the creek were flushed into the ocean by August.


This photo is one of my favorite sunset picture taken from the balcony of the beach house. Macrine and I hope to see you soon in Marinduque-our island Paradise.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Have You Tried Beef Tripe Soup?

My American-Italian neighbor and I started talking about food again yesterday. We talked about tripe and garbanzo dishes. This subject reminded me of my article on tripe dishes that I am reposting as follows: Bon Apetit!

Beef Tripe Soup-Italian-Pinoy Style

Last month, my next door neighbor who was originally from Italy surprise my wife and I with beef tripe soup that she cooked. She said she just makes this soup once and a while, but she was very grateful with us taking her out to the Casino every other week so she makes the soup as a special treat. I once mentioned to her that in the Philippines, one of my favorite dish is beef tripe cooked in tomato sauce with garbanzo beans and plantains.

I also know that the best tripe soup is the Caribbean version that a former college mate once prepared during one of our pot luck parties while I was still in graduate school. I also am aware that tripe has to be pressured cook so it will be tender or boil for at least two hours. During the boiling process, the fat that floats at the top of the pot is removed so that it still be a healthy meal for people who are overweight, diabetics or have high blood pressure like myself and my wife. Here's the recipe that my Caribbean friend gave me. He said this recipe was from his mother a native of Jamaica. The following recipe will served 6 and takes about 3 to 4 hours to prepare.

Ingredients:

2 Tsp oil
1 cup diced onions( preferably sweet onions)
4 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
2 lbs cow tripe, cut up and thoroughly washed
Salt and pepper to taste
Water
1 lb pumpkin (calabaza squash), cut into small sized chunks
2 lbs half-ripe plantains, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch
8 -10 okra
Dumplings (optional)

Preparation:

Heat oil in pressure cooker. Add onions and saute until translucent, 3-4 minutes

Add 2 sprigs of thyme and saute for 1 minute. Add tripe along with salt and pepper to taste and saute for 4 minutes. Add 6 cups water, stir and cover pressure cook and let cook for 50-55 minutes. Time begins from the first whistle.

Add enough water to make soup, cover pot and pressure cook for 6 minutes. Time begins from the first whistle. Release pressure cooker valve to let out steam and open pressure cooker. Add pumpkin, plantains and remaining thyme. Cook until plantains are almost melting. (Do not close pressure cooker at this stage, just rest the cover on top of the pot).

Add okra and dumplings to pot, cover and let cook for 7-9 minutes or until dumplings are cooked thoroughly. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Stir and serve.

The Philippines-Italian version is much simpler. Instead of plantain, my neighbor used potato cubes and no squash and okra are in the recipe. The pure Filipino version is very similar to the Caribbean recipe, but instead of okra, garbanzo beans are used. This soup is one of my favorite dishes. It is considered a main dish in the Philippines, not just a soup. There is a restaurant in Marinduque that prepares a delicious version of this tripe dish. Have You tasted a tripe dish?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Night Activities at Chateau Du Mer, Boac, Marinduque

I was looking at my articles posted in 2008. I found this post I wrote during the Christmas Holiday that year still relevant today. In that posting, I forgot to list watching the moon while lying on the beach in our front yard as one of the most relaxing activities I have enjoyed with Macrine. We have been doing our snow birding life style from November to March annually from 2002 to 2013.

Twilight-Main House Front Balcony of Chateau Du Mer, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines

Night Time -Balcony of the Beach House


One of our Outdoor Christmas Trees


Watching Fireflies


The Bridge at Night-the focal point of the landscaping Design of the Beach House



My Angel Statuary-one of the dozens sculptures at Chateau Du Mer


Fishing, Camping or just Beach walking at Night

Sunset Over Amoingon Bay as viewed from the Balcony of the Beach House-start of night life soon!

Among the many activities, my wife and I enjoyed are night camping and building camp fires by the seashore, watching fireflies, enjoy the Christmas lights and d├ęcor and watching night fishermen from the balcony of the beach house as well as just relaxing in our beach house. The nights are so quiet, all you will hear are the sound of the waves and your heart beat. These are moments, we will always remember.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

My First Acrostic Poem-Marinduque Beloved

Mt Malindig and Poctoy White Beach

My first attempt to write an acrostic and free style poem about our second home- Marinduque-Beloved. I hope you like it.

M ajestic Mount Malinding and its sulfur springs,
A bundance of fresh sea foods, fruits and vegetables;
R eknowned for its hospitable residents and the Putong
I sland of my dreams and my beloved second home.
N eglected sometimes by its leaders and balikbayans,
D evelopment of its natural resources sometimes butchered.
U nder the guise of political scheming, its residents suffer,
Q uite silence from majority of its residents.
U nity needed, but not attained due to crab mentality,
E manates apathy, indifference retards progress to my Island.

B eyond its borders, former residents are concerned
E very thing in this island paradise I treasured;
L et my dreams of the place be a tourist mecca,
O vershadowed sometimes by enmity and jealousy.
V erdant hills, white sands beaches, panoramic views,
E lixir of my life, my beloved Marinduque,
D reams and goals of my life be a reality soon!

I never claimed to be a poet, so if this poem stinks, I will understand.
The last time I wrote a poem was during my high school days in the 1950's.
Comments, anyone?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I Love Sunsets! How About You?


1. Sunset from Balcony of the Beach House, Amoingon, Boac, Marinduque



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

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. and other small cities . But the two most beautiful sunsets that stirs my emotion are the one at Amoingon Bay ( 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?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Some of My Favorite Relaxing and Romantic Music

Let's start the month of August with some relaxing and romantic music. It' been hot here in Northern California for the last two weeks and 3-digits temperature are predicted in the next ten days. Thanks God for Central Air Conditioning!

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