Welcome and Mabuhay

If you love Marinduque and want to contribute articles to this site, please do so. My contact information is in my profile. The above photo was taken from the balcony of The Chateau Du Mer Beach House, Boac, Marindque, Philippines. I love sunsets. How about you? Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news in the right side bar of this blog. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing your copyrights. Thank you and Cheers!

Tres Reyes Island view of the Marinduque Mainland

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Solar Lights on 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

Feel like Eating Tripe Beef 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!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Azilect ( Rasagiline) and Its Side Effects-An Update

One of the medications, Macrine is taking for her PD. She takes this with Carbo-levodopa to control the tremors and muscle movements and other symptoms of Parkinson.

Rasagiline is used alone or with other medications (such as levodopa/carbidopa) to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease. It can help improve symptoms such as shakiness, stiffness, and difficulty moving. It can also help reduce the amount of "off" time (periods of slow movement or stiffness).

Rasagiline belongs to a class of drugs known as MAO inhibitors. It works by increasing the levels of certain natural substances in the brain (such as dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin). Parkinson's disease is thought to be caused by too little dopamine in the brain.

However, sometimes the side effects is worst than the benefits, so be aware of the side effects and monitor closely the side effects as follows: The following is information from the Patient Insert provided by the manufacturer of Azilect.

SIDE EFFECTS:

Dizziness, drowsiness, joint pain, heartburn, nausea, fever, muscle pain, dry mouth, and stomach/abdominal pain may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To minimize dizziness and the risk of fainting, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position. This is especially important if you are also taking levodopa and when you first start taking rasagiline.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

If you are also taking levodopa, you may experience more side effects from the levodopa when taking rasagiline. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur: nausea, shakiness, muscle stiffness, mental/mood changes such as hallucinations /abnormal dreams. Your doctor may need to change your medication or dose. Do not stop or change the dose of your levodopa without talking with your doctor first.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fainting, loss of balance, mental/mood changes (e.g., agitation, confusion, depression, hallucinations), worsening muscle stiffness/twitching, changes in sexual ability/interest, increased shaking (tremor), swollen ankles/legs, change in amount of urine, unusual weight gain/loss, easy bleeding/bruising, black/tarry stools, unusual strong urges (such as increased gambling, increased sexual urges), vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Some people taking rasagiline have fallen asleep suddenly during their usual daily activities (such as talking on the phone, driving). In some cases, sleep occurred without any feelings of drowsiness beforehand. This sleep effect may occur anytime during treatment with rasagiline, including up to 1 year after starting the medication. If you experience increased sleepiness or fall asleep during the day, do not drive or take part in other possibly dangerous activities until you have discussed this effect with your doctor. Your risk of this sleep effect is increased by using alcohol or other medications that can make you drowsy. See also


Precautions section.


This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take. Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: hallucinations, unusual restlessness, loss of coordination, fast heartbeat, severe dizziness, unexplained fever, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles.

This drug may rarely cause an attack of extremely high blood pressure (hypertensive crisis), which may be fatal. Drug and food interactions can increase this risk. (See also Drug Interactions section.) Get medical help right away if any of these serious side effects occur: frequent/severe headache, fast/slow/irregular/pounding heartbeat, chest pain, neck stiffness/soreness, severe nausea/vomiting, sweating/clammy skin (sometimes with fever), widened pupils, vision changes (e.g., double/blurred vision), sudden sensitivity to light (photophobia).

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Note: Macrine's oftentimes experienced chest pain, difficulty breathing, stiffness and soreness of the neck, dry mouth, mild confusion/hallucinations and constipation. Most of the time it is mild. Thanks God!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Carbo-Levo Dopa and Its Side Effects-An Update

One of the medications, Macrine is taking for her Parkinson's Disease(PD). If you have a love one suffering from PD I am sure you have heard of this medication. Here's an update of the side effects of this essential drug.

Sinemet (carbidopa-levodopa) is a combination of an inhibitor of aromatic amino acid decarboxylation and an aromatic amino acid used to treat Parkinson symptoms such as muscle stiffness, tremors, spasms, and poor muscle control.

Sinemet is also used to treat Parkinson symptoms caused by carbon monoxide poisoning or manganese intoxication. Sinemet is available in generic form. Common side effects of Sinemet include:

dizziness,
drowsiness,
blurred vision,
nausea,
vomiting,
dry mouth,
loss of appetite,
heartburn,
diarrhea,
constipation,
sneezing,
stuffy nose,
cough,
other cold symptoms,
muscle pain,
numbness or tingly feeling,
trouble sleeping (insomnia or strange dreams),
skin rash,
itching,
and headache.

Tell your doctor if you experience unlikely but serious side effects including:
greatly increased eye blinking/twitching, fainting,mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, depression, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide), unusual strong urges (such as increased gambling, increased sexual urges),or worsening of involuntary movements/spasms.

Starting dosage is one tablet of Sinemet 25-100 (carbidopa-levodopa) three times a day. Dosage may be increased by one tablet every day or every other day, as necessary, until a dosage of eight tablets a day is reached. Sinemet may interact with other Parkinson's medications, metoclopramide, isoniazid, phenytoin, papaverine, blood pressure medication, antidepressants, or medicines to treat psychiatric disorders. Tell your doctor all medications you use.

Note: The side effects that are blocked are some of the side effects Macrine is feeling at times. She is also feeling confused and sometimes depressed and feel isolated and not loved. She needs attention and wants relatives to call her!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Acts of Kindness from Strangers Reposted

National Kindness Day was last February 17, but I forgot to repost this blog that day. Anyway, every day should be kindness day to all Senior Citizens. Enjoy this long hot, hot summer in the next two months or so!


I posted this article about 3 years ago. It is timeless and I wish there will be more acts of kindness extended to senior citizens in this hectic and chaotic world.

http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com/2013/06/three-acts-of-kindness-from-strangers.html

For things you can do for seniors as an act of kindness any day of the year, read the following:

http://www.spinlife.com/blog/random-acts-of-kindness-for-seniors-thoughtful-ideas-and-inspiration/

Monday, July 3, 2017

Have You Heard of Cherrie Atilano and AGREA?




Cherrie Atilano, the president and founding farmer of AGREA was awarded as one of The Outstanding Women in the Nations Service (TOWNS) on November 10, 2016 at Dusit Thani Manila, Makati City. The next day, November 11, Cherrie was named ‘Earth Mover 2016’ during Rappler’s Annual Move Awards at the Ayala Museum. Cherrie is a founding farmer in AGREA Philippines, an agri-social enterprise on Marinduque island. AGREA aims to develop a replicable “one island” economy model founded on sustainable agriculture and quality education for the children of local farmers and fishermen. 

In 2016 Cherrie received one of The Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service awards, in recognition of her work in the Filipino agriculture sector over the last 18 years. Cherrie De Erit Atilano is a magna cum laude of the Visayas State University – Agriculture Program. She graduated in 2007 and was one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines a few years ago.

Cherrie was granted a two-year Fulbright scholarship and the opportunity to pursue her studies in America. But after seeing the plight of our farmers when she volunteered at the GK Enchanted Garden in Angat, Bulacan, she gave up the well-sought after scholarship for a chance to help her countrymen. “I can’t leave my farmers”, Cherrie said during the panel interview. The board’s panel was moved by her genuine words. The panel told Cherrie that she can have her scholarship anytime.

Cherrie has been working to help Filipino farmers through agricultural development initiatives in the past 18 years. Her main goal is to help the country achieve food security and food sovereignty while uplifting fishermen and farmers from poverty.
“I am a culprit of making farming glamorous,” she said. “When people are seeing dirt in soil, I see gold.”

One of Atilano’s recent works is the Agrea Agricultural System International Incorporated. It is an agri-social enterprise in Marinduque province that builds sustainable farming communities through organic agriculture and fair trade practices. She is also responsible for promoting agricultural development and education among the youth, including the children of farmers. For details and current AGREA projects in Marinduque visit Yong Nieva Face Book page.

On her Facebook account, Cherrie posted “Thank you very much Rappler for the Earth Mover Award and for the triennial search for The Outstanding Women in the Nation Service Award 2016 (TOWNS) for recognizing Agrea’s work. This may be a step ahead for Agrea, it is also a great big leap for our farmers and fishermen. Marinduque is very proud! But we do not stop here. There are still so many things to be done, still so many seeds to sow and take care of, and still a big island to think about. Above all else, still too many people to cultivate and empower that farming is cool, smart, sexy and humane. And echoing the lines of one of our youngest volunteers, “How are you doing guys? Keep working!”

Source: http://marinduquenews.com/2016/11/agreas-founder-cherrie-atilano-receives-top-awards/
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