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

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Time for Some Violin and Piano Music-Sibelius Violin Concerto

The news of the passing of Macrine's first cousin ( Rene Elizalde Nieva) a couple of days ago caused a lot of turmoil in our household. For the last three days, Macrine kept on asking me when and what time is the wake. She wants to attend the funeral services. I told her its impossible since we are in the US and the service is in the Philippines. Today she finally calm down and realize our situation. With this in mind its about time to have some Piano and Violin Music! We dedicate this piece to Rene Elizalde Nieva! May you rest in Peace, Amen!


2015 Heifetz Institute Artist-In-Residence Ji-Won Song performs a stunning rendition of the Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47 by Jean Sibelius, in a piano reduction featuring Heifetz faculty collaborative pianist Carlos Avila. Performed at a "Heifetz Sunday Matinee" concert at the 2015 Heifetz International Music Institute, located on the campus of Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA.

More Details: http://www.heifetzinstitute.org

Two Comments of this Performance:

1.labémolmineur : I don't think the point was to laugh at the end of her introduction. She was being serious, and Sibelius's tragedy should not be laughable. What a moving performance, from both violinist and pianist. I love that Ji-Won Song is sensitive (and humble) enough to allow the pianist to be a whole orchestra and that this is played intact, no cuts- an intense, continuous story, delivered by two equal artists.

2. elgatosucio : I dare to say this young girl is one the great one of this opening century. Perfect technique and pure passion. She makes the violin talk, scream and cry. Just sparks coming out of that instrument. Congratulations on the pianist too. They are both incredible musicians.

Notes about Sibelius from Wikipedia: Jean Sibelius was born Johan Julius Christian Sibelius on December 8 1865 and died on September 20, 1957 in Finland. He was a composer and violinist of the late Romantic and early-modern periods. He is widely recognized as his country's greatest composer and, through his music, is often credited with having helped Finland to develop a national identity during its struggle for independence from Russia.

The core of his oeuvre is his set of seven symphonies which, like his other major works, continue to be performed and recorded in his home country and internationally. His other best-known compositions are Finlandia, the Karelia Suite, Valse triste, the Violin Concerto, the choral symphony Kullervo, and The Swan of Tuonela (from the Lemminkäinen Suite).

Other works include pieces inspired by nature, Nordic mythology, and the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, over a hundred songs for voice and piano, incidental music for numerous plays, the opera Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the Tower), chamber music, piano music, Masonic ritual music, and 21 publications of choral music

Personal Note: Carlos( pianist)is Macrine's nephew-only son of Charro Jambalos-Macrine's youngest sister.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Tribute to Rene Nieva-Macrine's First Cousin

Rene Nieva, Macrine's first cousin on her mother side of the Family (Nieva Clan of Marinduque) passed away yesterday after three weeks at the ICU in the Philippines. He was just like a younger brother to us. His life is filled with accomplishments as a writer, PR man, a loving husband, Father and Grand father. Attached are some of his personal and professional accomplishments and a couple of photographs of our family personal relationship with Rene and his family. We will missed you Rene, But I know You are in Peace Now! Macrine and I love you very much!!!
I can not stopped crying!






Sunday, February 11, 2018

A Surprise Visit from Dinah, Ian and Sara DiCampli

Today we have a surprise visit from my oldest daughter Dinah- a resident of Oregon ( Portland area). She and a friend from Walnut Creek ( Tom) along with Ian(-Dinah's only son) and his girlfriend Sara from Roseville spent 2 hours with us enjoying Chinese lunch- courtesy of Dinah.

Ian and Sara DiCampli

Both Macrine and I are ecstatic of their visit specially Macrine who is suffering from Cabin fever. We had not been to our neighborhood Casino for the last three weeks-because we are scared of the Flu epidemic in our neighborhood.

The last couple of days Macrine had been suffering mild confusion a side effect of one of her medications for her Parkinson. She wants me to drive her to our beach house in Amoingon, Boac, Marinduque. Philippines.

However, after Dinah's visit Macrine's mood improved. She is now binging on the Sees Chocolate candies that Dinah gave her for her advance Valentine gift. Dinah and Ian: Thanks a million again for your visit, the Chinese lunch and the See's Candies.

Hope to see you soon!

Friday, February 9, 2018

What Do You Know About Minimalism?

Photo from Pinterest.com

My own curiosity of Minimalist art started about forty years ago, when I saw a just plain white painting on canvass exhibited on two Art museums in Kansas City, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois. Just recently, I admired a wall painted white that can be seen thru a bedroom sliding door of a relative vacation house in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines. There is nothing in the wall except your imagination. On the side of the wall is a small water fountain with the soothing sound of water drops dribbling and bubbling in the center of the Fountain.

So what is minimalism?

Here's a short paragraph from Wikipedia. For the history of the minimalist movement read the reference on the bottom of this page.

In visual arts, music, and other mediums, minimalism is a style that uses pared-down design elements. Minimalism began in post–World War II Western art, most strongly with American visual arts in the 1960s and early 1970s. Prominent artists associated with minimalism include Donald Judd, John McCracken, Agnes Martin, Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, Anne Truitt, and Frank Stella. It derives from the reductive aspects of modernism and is often interpreted as a reaction against abstract expressionism and a bridge to post minimal art practices.

Besides art there is a movement for minimalist architecture and Music. The following photo of the Bellarocca Resort in Marinduque is in my opinion an example of minimalism in architecture. Agree or Disagree? Comments anyone?

In minimalist architecture, design elements strive to convey the message of simplicity. The basic geometric forms, elements without decoration, simple materials and the repetitions of structures represent a sense of order and essential quality. The movement of natural light in buildings reveals simple and clean spaces


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Have You Heard of Jose Antonio Vargas?


Jose Antonio Vargas is a journalist, filmmaker, and immigration rights activist. Born in the Philippines and raised in the United States from the age of twelve, he was part of The Washington Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting in 2008 for coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting online and in print. Vargas also has worked for the San Francisco Chronicle, the Philadelphia Daily News, and The Huffington Post. He wrote, produced, and directed the autobiographical 2013 film, Documented, which CNN Films broadcast in June 2014.

In a June 2011 essay in The New York Times Magazine, Vargas revealed his status as an undocumented immigrant in an effort to promote dialogue about the immigration system in the U.S. and to advocate for the DREAM Act, which would provide children in similar circumstances with a path to citizenship. A year later, a day after the publication of his Time cover story about his continued uncertainty regarding his immigration status, the Obama administration announced it was halting the deportation of undocumented immigrants age 30 and under, who would be eligible for the DREAM Act. Vargas, who had just turned 31, did not qualify.

Vargas is the founder of Define American, a nonprofit organization intended to open up dialogue about the criteria people use to determine who is an American. He has said: "I am an American. I just don't have the right papers."
The following post is a summary of Jose Antonio's life story. DACA-Dreamers Act had been in the news for the last six months. Jose Antonio Vargas- a Filipino-American -an undocumented American life story initiated Obama Dreamers Act Law in 2012. Here's a video summarizing his story. *


Jose Antonio Vargas, an award-winning multimedia storyteller, is the founder of Define American, a campaign that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration. Born in the Philippines, Vargas immigrated to the United States at age 12. Stunning the media and political circles and attracting world-wide coverage, Vargas wrote the groundbreaking essay, "My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant," for the New York Times Magazine in the summer of 2011. A year later, he was the author (and subject) of a cover story for TIME magazine headlined "We are Americans — just not legally."

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jose_Antonio_Vargas

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Binging on an Award Winning TV Series-Shameless

I started watching this comedy drama last week. I am now in Season 3 and looking forward to be current ( Season 8) in the next few weeks. The show makes me cry and laugh. It has some nudity, vulgar language and a lot of sex scenes both hetero and homo. The lead actor and actress won several acting awards. In case you have not heard of this TV show, here's a summary from Wikipedia.

Shameless is an American comedy-drama television series developed by John Wells that debuted on Showtime on January 9, 2011. It is a remake of the British series of the same name created by Paul Abbott. The series features an ensemble cast, led by William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum. Set in the South Side of Chicago, the series is filmed in Los Angeles, with the exterior scenes shot in Chicago.

The series has been renewed for a ninth season, which will make it the longest-running original scripted series in Showtime's history

The series depicts the dysfunctional family of Frank Gallagher, a single father of six children. While he spends his days drunk or in search of misadventures, his kids learn to take care of themselves.

The show's producers sought to distinguish it from previous American working-class shows by highlighting how Frank's alcoholism affects his family. Paul Abbott, the show's creator, has said, "It's not My Name Is Earl or Roseanne. It's got a much graver level of poverty attached to it. It's not blue collar; it's no collar." When John Wells, the showrunner, began pitching the show, he had to fight efforts to place the show in the South or in a trailer park. He explained, "We have a comedic tradition of making fun of the people in those worlds. The reality is that these people aren't 'the other' – they're people who live four blocks down from you and two blocks over".

Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter said that "Shameless is excellent, compelling television from the first moment. As long as it stays true to the roots of the original, it's going to be essential viewing". The show's first season score on Metacritic is a 66 of 100, which is a generally favorable review.

The second season score on Metacritic is a 76 of 100, indicating increasingly favorable reviews. Tom O'Neill of the Los Angeles Times reported on the Emmy buzz about Shameless, especially with respect to the performance of Emmy Rossum, stating "she didn't have much Emmy buzz after Shameless debuted in January, but that changed after she gave powerhouse turns in such episodes as 'But at Last Came a Knock'".

Buddy TV ranked Shameless #8 on its list of 2011's best new TV shows. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the first season a 'fresh' rating of 74% based on 31 reviews, with the critical consensus "Shameless is a dark, urban dramedy that overcomes its leaps of logic thanks to fantastic casting, intriguing ambiance, and shock value." Seasons 2-5 each have a 100% rating as of January 27, 2015.

For more details on the widely nominated and award winning TV series read:


Monday, January 29, 2018

Latest Developments on the Treatment of Parkinson Disease

Dinah's Visit last Year- Macrine's enjoyed very much visit from relatives. A phone call from relatives and friends are most welcome!

In the next couple of weeks will be the 5th year after Macrine was officially diagnosed with Parkinson Disease. Today I believe she is on Stage 2, thus the medications, diet and exercise did retard the progression of her debilitating nervous system disorder. There are days when she feels she can do anything even cook or travel, but there are days when she is down and could barely walk. Most of the time she sleeps about 10 to 12 hours per day as side effect of her medication. Sometimes she is confused and thinks she is in the Philippines. She sometimes forget where she places things. You have to remind her of taking her medications etc...

I am lucky and grateful that our youngest son (David III) helps me taking care of His Mom on his day off from work. Otherwise my duty as the primary care taker would be unbearable. We are in the process of hiring part-time help ( not covered by my insurance) to help me with daily care and demands of Macrine, my spouse for over 60 years now. One of the positives, I learned for being a primary care giver was to be more patient and understanding.

Again, thank you David III for your help! Thanks to all relatives and friends who had visited Macrine both here in the US and in the Philippines. Special thanks to those relatives who call Macrine regularly just to say Hello. I would not mentioned names but you know you are and indeed we highly appreciate your thoughtfulness and kindness. Keep the call coming, rain or sunshine!

The Nieva Brothers and their wives visit in Amoingon, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines 2016 ( From L to R: Yong, Rene, Genny, Wendy, Oski, Macrine and Me)

Below is the latest development on treatments of Parkinson Disease for your information. Read on..


Friday, January 26, 2018

My Prediction for the Three Major Oscar Winners for 2018

I have been following the Oscar Winners for the last three decades. This year my prediction for Best Picture is Call Me by Your Name, for Lead Actor-Timothee Chalamet and for Lead Actress-Sally Hawkins ( from the Shape of Water). The are nine movies nominated for Best Picture, five for Lead actor and five also for Lead Actress.

For the Best Picture category, I based my prediction from the Trailers and Reviews and from opinions of friends and relatives who have seen the movies. I have only viewed the movie, Get Out.

For the rest of the 8 Best Picture nominees: I have read all the reviews, trailers and TV interviews, story lines and viewers reception published in the Web. My second and third choices for best Picture is The Shape of Water and Lady Bird respectively. The nominees for the three major categories ( best picture, lead actor and actress) are as follows:

Best Picture:

“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Lead Actor:

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Lead Actress:

Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”

The Oscar nominations for the 90th annual awards in all categories were announced last week from the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California.

Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” lead the pack with 13 nominations. “Dunkirk” followed behind with eight nods and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” with seven. All three films earned best picture nominations.

The rest of the category was rounded out by “Call Me By Your Name,” “Darkest Hour,” “Get Out,” “Phantom Thread,” “Lady Bird,” and “The Post.”

The Academy Awards will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and will be aired live on ABC on March 4.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Did Your Parents Give You a Lucky Name?

Image from luux.com

My late Mother-in-law had given my wife a formula based on numbers for predicting whether a marriage, a birth of a child or any addition to your household will bring good or bad luck or even death to your family or household. My wife had followed this formula when we assigned names to our four children. I am not superstitious, but I follow it also, because I have witnessed several cases of relatives in the Philippines, that had suffered early death, divorce or sickness because the combination of the baptismal names of the couples falls into the category of CONDENADO ( meaning condemned or death). This an update.

There are five categories, BUENAS( good luck), DUDUSO ( doubtful), PELIGRO ( danger), MALAS( bad luck) and CONDENADO. I have the number values for the 26 alphabets and the numbers that are suppose to be lucky, doubtful, danger, bad luck or condemned. But my wife refused to give her permission that I divulge this in my blog. But here is the essence of this pseudo science of numerology.

The 26 alphabets are assigned numerical values from zero to 26. Some of the alphabets have the same values. Eight alphabets are valued 12, four alphabets are valued 9, three alphabets are valued 18, and the rest from of the alphabets are valued from zero to 26.

The letters in your Baptismal name is added. This sum tells the numerologist if your number is either of the above five categories. Then the baptismal name of your wife is also added. The sum of your name and your spouse is added. If it exceeds 30, you start counting to 1. If you have a baby, the baptismal name of the baby is added to both husband and wife's total. Any addition to the household, even household help must be considered especially if the maid, cook or gardener lives in your house.

So how will you know if the sum of all the names in your household will bring you good or bad luck?

There is a list of lucky numbers, unlucky numbers, doubtful numbers, danger numbers and condemned numbers. There are 7 lucky numbers among them are 7, 9 and 11. There are eight unlucky numbers among them are 4, 8, and 29. There are 20 doubtful numbers among them are 5, 6 and 27. There are 8 danger numbers among them 12, 15 and 23. There are 8 condemned numbers among them are 3, 13 and 30.

Let me cite a specific example. My name "David" has a numerical value of 30 or zero. From the chart of 5 categories it is a bad number. So my parents did not give me a lucky name. But if you combined it with my wife's name value 21 our total is 21. The number 21 is doubtful. When our oldest son was born we made it sure that the combination of our 3 names is among the lucky numbers of 1,3,7, 9, and 11.

This numerology system is similar but not identical to the Chinese numerology. For example number 4 is a pretty bad number in Cantonese, for it sounds death, but in this system 4 is a good number. Eight is a good number in Chinese, but a danger number in this system. Both 1 and 9 are good numbers in Chinese and in my mother-in-law numerology chart.

Curious? I am sorry I can not elaborate more on this. My wife says, it will be bad luck to give details of this Numerology Activity that my Mother-in-law had been practicing for years when she was still alive. Evidently, this has been passed from generation to generation and believe to have originated from Spain. Have you heard a similar activity in your local province in the Philippines, UK or in Spain?.

Read the following related article:


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E-Minor-Hilary Hahn

Time for some violin music

I first heard of this violin piece in 1952 when I was in first year college at the University of the Philippines, Iloilo College. One of my dorm mates was a violinist. He informed me he had been playing the violin since he was 10 years old. He hailed from Bacolod City. On Saturdays, he would play his violin with his door closed not disturbing his fellow dorm mates. But the sound of his violin reverberated on the thin walls separating our room. One day I heard the Mendelssohn concerto and I was forced to knock on his door asking him if I could stay in his room to listen while he was playing the piece. This was the first time I really enjoyed listening to a classical violin music. Here's more information on Felix Mendelssohn.


Here's Hilary Hahn with her violin! Enjoy!
Hilary Hahn is an American violinist and was born on November 27, 1979. In her active international career she has performed throughout the world both as a soloist with leading orchestras and conductors and as a recitalist. She also has built a reputation for championing contemporary music. Several composers have written works especially for her, including concerti by Edgar Meyer and Jennifer Higdon and partitas by Antón García Abril.
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