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. If you enjoy this site, then help support it by also clicking on the ads below. 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, April 17, 2014

Guest Post from Dodie Katague-Author of Cloyne Court

I was looking on articles in my blogs written by guests writers. The following article written by my oldest son deserves re posting and should be interesting to couples with college age kids. This post was the backbone of Dodie's book titled Cloyne Court.
Cloyne Court, UC Berkeley, 2009

This article is from madmoosemama.blogspot.com dated Thursday, November 24, 2011

Guest Post - Dodie Katangue author of Cloyne Court

Posted by Heavensent1 at 4:58 PM

My college days were very unique. During the late 1970’s, while attending the University of California, Berkeley, I lived one block north of the campus in a student-run, private cooperative called Cloyne Court. When I first moved in, I was glad that I turned down my parent’s offer to accompany me. Had they seen the place back then, they would have been opposed to me moving into the house. Any parent would have.

The “Clones”(as we called ourselves) who lived there were required to do a five-hour weekly work shift to keep the place running and maintained, and other students supervised that requirement. As a result, the place was a pigsty.

There were empty beer bottles strewn around the main public rooms. Old newspapers were piled five high under a faded handwritten sign that said “Recycling”, but hadn’t been “cycled” in ages. There were dozens of marijuana plants growing in pails on a porch balcony in the back yard. The windows were opaque with dust and grime and the carpets were stained with grey spots. The walls were painted with eclectic murals and spray painted graffiti with slogans like “THERE IS NO GRAVITY. THE EARTH SUCKS.” The toilet seat in the bathroom was painted as a shark’s open mouth with the sharp teeth about to swallow the sitter. The place also had a musty old smell, with intermittent wafts of reefer smoke coming from somewhere upstairs.

The students ran the place, voted on policies by consensus at the weekly meetings, and allocated our discretionary housing fees with political earnest but total disregard to the business side of feeding and maintaining a house of 151 people. Should we buy food this month or restock the vending machines with doobies? Should we fix the locks on the front door to keep the homeless out or should we buy a ten-person hot tub and sauna?

Because I was a freshman both to college and adult life, I did not question the way things were. I didn’t question the dozen or so marijuana plants growing in pails on the backyard balcony porch. I didn’t question the co-ed shower room where men and women showered side by side in a communal space. I thought this was part of the regular college experience. I was at Berkeley, and everything was tolerated to excess.

Many college campuses around the country were known for their crazy naked streaking events. But our house pushed it to the limit. We had political nudists who were naked all the time, including at meals. They advocated going to class in the buff and some even did so. We also had the annual springtime Naked Hallway Races, which is an event that still exists today.

I knew that what I where I was living and what I was experiencing was out of the ordinary even for other Berkeley students who lived at the dorms, apartments or fraternities/sororities. So I kept a journal of the daily mundane things I did and the absolutely insane things that happened. And many of those stories are the basis for the novel.

Since the publication of the book, I’ve gotten emails from past Clones who have lived there and everyone has a raucous memory or two to tell. And lots of Clones remember when a new unknown band called Sweet Children (now known as Green Day) played a set in the dining room as an opening act for other punk rock bands. The police arrived and shut the party down.

Right after the book was published, I was in a parental dilemma. After writing a novel about sex, betrayal, drugs, rock and roll, nudism, co-ed showers, and radical politics, how was I going to have any credibility with my teen-age children when I needed to tell them not to do these things when they went to college? I couldn’t tell them not too, because they knew I did. So the best I could counsel was “Don’t do anything that will get you arrested. Stay safe. Do things in moderation. And remember, you’re at school to study and get a degree.”

We’ll see if that advice does any good.

I hope that current college students as well as Baby Boomers will read this, but not as a “how-to” manual of college debauchery, but as a reminder that they should enjoy their college lives now, but not to the point that they’ll be embarrassed to read about themselves thirty years later. Thank God, we didn’t have YouTube back then. It’s easier to deny written stories of your wild college years than seeing real video of it.

Cloyne Court is a coming of age, fish out of water, nostalgic novel. It takes the true stories I experienced living in this wild, counter-culture, youthful house and weaves it into a story of first love, life, regrets, first impressions and camaraderie. I hope that after reading it, readers will come to the same conclusion that took me thirty years to discover: that your college years are the best years of your life.

** Thank you very much Dodie for sharing your experiences with us all~!! Sounds like Cloyne Court would have been my kind of gig~!! May you always find the best in all that you do~!! **

BOOK: Cloyne Court by Dodie Katangue

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Marinduque Video-Moriones Festival, 2014


Today was the first day I was able to attend the Moriones Festival in downtown Boac. As in previous years, the traffic congestion is pretty bad just before and after the morning parade. I was able to take a few pictures but had no time to download it. Anyway, this morning parade reminded of the following video( 4.5 minutes) with the beautiful Somewhere Over the Rainbow as the background music. The whole video is all about Marinduque and course about the Moriones Festival. Enjoy

Monday, April 14, 2014

I am a Senior Citizen and a Proud One


I received the following posting from a friend in the Philippines recently. A must read if you are over 50. Enjoy!

Senior citizens are constantly being criticized for every conceivable deficiency of the modern world,real or imaginary.We know we take responsibility for all we have done and do not blame others.

HOWEVER, upon reflection, we would like to point out that it was NOT the senior citizens who took:

The melody out of music,
The pride out of appearance,
The courtesy out of driving,
The romance out of love,
The commitment out of marriage,
The responsibility out of parenthood,
The togetherness out of the family,
The learning out of education,
The service out of patriotism,
The Golden Rule from rulers,
The nativity scene out of cities,
The civility out of behavior,
The refinement out of language,
The dedication out of employment,
The prudence out of spending.
The ambition out of achievement, or,
God out of government and school.

And we certainly are NOT the ones who eliminated patience and tolerance from personal relationships and interactions with others!!

And, we do understand the meaning of patriotism, and remember those who have fought and died for our country. Does anyone under the age of 50 know the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner? Just look at the Seniors with tears in their eyes and pride in their hearts as they stand at attention with their hand over their hearts!

YES, I'M A SENIOR CITIZEN!

I'm the life of the party...... even if it lasts until 8 p.m.
I'm very good at opening childproof caps.... with a hammer.
I'm usually interested in going home before I get to where I am going..
I'm awake many hours before my body allows me to get up..
I'm smiling all the time because I can't hear a thing you're saying.
I'm very good at telling stories; over and over and over and over...
I'm aware that other people's grandchildren are not nearly as cute as mine.
I'm so cared for -- long term care, eye care, private care, dental care.

I'm not really grouchy, I just don't like traffic, waiting in long lines, crowds, lawyers, unruly kids, barking dogs, politicians and a few other things I can't seem to remember right now.

I'm sure everything I can't find is in a safe secure place, somewhere..

I'm wrinkled, saggy, lumpy, and that's just my left leg.

I'm having trouble remembering simple words like.....

I'm beginning to realizing that aging is not for wimps.

I'm sure they are making adults much younger these days, and when did they let kids become policemen? I'm wondering, if you're only as old as you feel, how could I be alive at 150? I'm a walking storeroom of facts..... I've just lost the key to the storeroom door.

Yes, I'm a SENIOR CITIZEN and I think I am having the time of my life!

Now if I could only remember who sent this to me, I wouldn't send it back to them, but I would send it to many more too! Now- Have I already sent this to you???????

Saturday, April 12, 2014

We are Poor in Gold But Rich in Memories

Macrine and I, Christmas, 2013
I woke up this morning very early(5:30AM). While enjoying a cup of brewed Baracco coffee in the front porch of our retirement home here in Marinduque, I remember that I am no longer young. If I were 20 years younger, I would have been jogging in the beach. Instead I am seating in my ass watching the sunrise and reminiscing my younger days. Today, I am exactly 79 years and 120 days old. So please allow me to re post an article that I wrote in my blogs 3 years ago as follows:

Our life is not rich in terms of dollars or pesos, or material possessions( luxurious villas or mansion here or abroad) but in pleasant memories and accomplishments.

How was this attained? First, I grew up in the 1940's in the midst of the Japanese-American War in the Philippines. My father at that time was a Dental Officer for the Philippine-American Guerrilla Forces in Panay and Romblon Islands. Thus, I did have a lot of contacts with American GI's from all parts of the US. These contacts initiated and triggered my desire and ambition to someday see and visit the US. ( I had no desire or dream to reside in US at that time)

Second, my elementary and high school years were also filled with accomplishments. I graduated with honors in 6th Grade and valedictorian in my high school class. Except for a bullying incident in my freshman year, I had pleasant memories of my elementary and high school years.

Third, my college years at UP, Iloilo and Diliman were also filled with scholastic achievements. I received the Fernando Lopez Scholarship in Iloilo for attaining the highest grade in the whole university. In Diliman, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry missing 0.02 points to graduate CUM LAUDE(with honors).

Fourth, my graduate school years at the University Of Illinois in Chicago were also filled with pleasant memories. Those years were the hardest and most challenging years of my life. Those years started with seeing my first snow in US, followed by raising three children ( my 4th child was born after my graduate school years) while a graduate and teaching assistant and culminated with my Ph.D graduation in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in 1964.

Fifth, my professional career working as a chemist for 20 years for three private companies and later for the federal government (FDA) for another 12 years ( as team leader) were unforgettable. My years in FDA were the happiest and most productive years in my professional career. I was informed by my superiors in FDA that I was the first Filipino-American Chemistry team leader in the Center of New drugs in the history of the US Food and Drug Administration.

Sixth, Macrine and my involvement with the activities of the Filipino-American Community in the Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Missouri, Modesto and Pinole, California areas were memories that we will treasure and will never forget as long as we live.
Macrine helping in the distribution of free medicines during MI, Inc Medical Mission, Mogpog. Marinduque, 2011.
Last, but not least were the civic, social and humanitarian projects that Macrine and I had been involved since the early 1960's here in the Philippines and US. Our involvement with the Marinduque International, Inc medical mission projects since 1996 to the present are memories we will never forget. The letters of Appreciation and Thanks that Macrine and I received from the Office of the Governor in Marinduque in 2009 regarding our efforts in promoting tourism in the province, we will always treasure. The publication of my two articles in HULIQ News about Eco tourism in Marinduque in 2010 was indeed memorable and unforgettable.

Indeed, we are not rich in GOLD or SILVER, but in MEMORIES, ACCOMPLISHMENTS and Personal Relationships..
The front yard of our Retirement Home in Marinduque-Chateau Du Mer

For details of the above accomplishments and activities, visit my blog sites at
http://theintellectualmigrant.blogspot.com or http://lifeinus1960present.blogspot.com

Friday, April 11, 2014

One of My Favorite Video on Marinduque

Front Gate of Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort and Conference Center, Amoingon, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines
The Moriones Festival, 2014 is starting in a couple of days. I am looking forward to host two professional photographers and their wives from US and Australia here at the Chateau Du Mer Beach House.

There are hundreds of videos about Marinduque made by private individuals as well as government agencies. One video that is Number 1 in my opinion is the one below made by Provincial government at the time Of Carrion as the Governor and Velasco as the Congress Representative. In this video, titled Marinduque in My Heart, the natural beauty and tourist attractions of Marinduque are featured. Chateau Du Mer is featured in the first 1.1 minute of the video for a few seconds. I hope you enjoy the video as much as I do.
Any comments will be appreciated.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Microscopic Ants Attacked My PC Monitor



The other day, a weird and unexpected event had caused so much bewilderment in my life here in Boac. My Computer was working perfectly in the morning. However, after lunch when I turned on my PC I heard a click and my Monitor was completely blank. I was so mad since my monitor is new ( two months old).

I thought immediately of the warranty, but I can not find it. I decided to call my computer technician in downtown Boac. Luckily, he was free. In 15 minutes he was doing home service with my PC. He checked my Monitor and there is no power going through it. He diagnosed it must be the voltage regulator that got busted. He replaced it with a new voltage regulator and bingo my monitor is alive. He examined the busted regulator and he noticed small ants almost microscopic coming out from inside the regulator box.

We checked the vicinity of my PC working area and we saw lines of small ants crawling all over the cables and wires not only in my monitor but also in my CPU unit. Thanks God for Baygon Chalk and spray, I was able to eradicate/kill instantly the microscopic ants that were coming from the walls and windows outside and then to my PC table and into my PC units. The ants were so small, you can barely see them unless you focused or use a magnifier on these pests.

When my sister-in-law heard of my story, she immediately sprayed the area around her PC unit since she has observed ants crawling on her walls nearby. The positive side is that it cost me only $20 to have a new voltage regulator and have my PC running again via door to door service. Thanks to my computer technician for a perfect diagnosis and bringing with him the parts that I need. I gave the technician a 100 pesos tip (about $2.50) and we were both very happy.

Do not tell me that my room is dirty and messy. Our housekeeper cleans and dusts the PC area almost every other day and visually it is clean. However, these microscopic ants have their own way of making my life miserable for almost 2 hours. This is a true story not a Fake story just to attract readers to my blogs.

Speaking of ants, we have several species that thrives very well here at CDM. The most common specie is the red big ones that build their nest in my guayabano and star apple fruit trees. The locals call the ants, alamitas. Another specie is the medium size black ants that comes from the outside and invade clothes closets. The other specie are small brownish ants that bites and stick to your moist skin (from perspiration)and likes to bite diabetics.

My worst enemy are the white ants ( termites) that will attacked wood and even electrical cables. Six month ago termites attacked the electrical cable connecting the Generator house to the Conference Hall. My electrician until now is still complaining to me about how hard did he work to diagnose this specific electrical problem, because termites are not expected to attack electrical cables. We did spray for termites before construction of the Generator house, but not in the exact location where the electric cables are installed. I hope this incident will not be repeated.

Ants, mosquitoes, flies and other insects are part of life in a tropical country like the Philippines in case you do not know, my dear readers from other parts of the world particularly the US. Thanks God for insect repellents/insecticides and and ant killers, life in rural Philippines specifically here at CDM can be free from these insect pests.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Snorkeling in the Amoingon Coast of Western Marinduque

Son David III after his daily snorkeling with Miko our pet dog at Amoingon Beach- a few meters from the CDM beach house.

Three weeks ago, two prospective clients for Chateau Du Mer from Australia and Virginia, USA asked me if the beach in front of the beach house is excellent for snorkeling. I told them, i really do not know( because I do not snorkle), but last year when my youngest son was vacationing here, he snorkeled almost every day when the waves are calm and the sun is bright. Their questions prompted me to search for old articles about the Amoingon coast. Attached is a posting from Marinduque Rising titled Amoingon Beach Colors written by the prolific writer, Eli Obligacion- a fellow blogger, former neighbor and friend.

marinduque rising: Amoingon beach colors: Just a few meters away from the pebble-strewn beach in the quiet coastal barangay of  Amoingon in Boac are coral gardens still home to a ...

Personally, I like to promote the Amoingon Coast as the snorkeling capital of Marinduque and the Torrijos Coast as the diving capital of the province.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Marinduque Island-A Photographer's Delight

Sunset taken from the Balcony of the Chateau Du Mer Beach House

My two guests at Chateau Du Mer for this coming Moriones Festival are both professional photographers. I believe both are primarily interested in photographing the colorful and unique Moriones costumes and festivities but perhaps also interested in photographing Marinduque's natural beauty, perhaps its limestone caves*, white sands beaches, waterfalls, coral reefs, gorgeous sunsets, old churches and antique homes. Their visit here at the Chateau Du Mer this coming Holy Week reminds me of an article I wrote in my blogs about 2 years ago titled Marinduque-A Photographer's Dream as follows:


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. 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. 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.
Sunset over Tres Reyes Islands- Photo from panoramnio.com
The nearest and most accessible islands from the capital town of Boac are the Tres Reyes Islands ( Islands of the Three Kings), Gaspar, Melchor and Baltazar in the town of Gasan. The local names are Laki, Pangkog and Man-nga ( see map above). These islands are located southwest of the mainland. The other three group of islands bigger in area and more populated are Polo, Maniwaya and Mongpong Islands. These are located in the Northeast part of the mainland in the town of Santa Cruz. Maniwaya's Polo Maria White Beach is being develop as an alternative to Boracay. There is a bigger island, Salamongue Island which is not as well known to the tourists and residents.. I really do not know the reason, but I believe it is not as accessible from the mainland . Moreover, it is not as developed( no electricity or running water) compared to the other islands.

One of the most popular white beach located in the mainland in the town of Torrijos is Poctoy White Beach. It is about a 70 minutes drive from downtown Boac. Poctoy White beach with Mt, Malindig as the background is the most photogenic and the most photographed scenery in the island.

Two or three years ago, the former Elephant Island in Lipata, Buenavista, owned privately, was renamed Bellarocca Resort Island and Spa. It has been converted to look like Santorini Island, Greece with buildings all painted in white sticking in the cliffs. From what I heard, this resort is one of the most expensive and luxurious resort in Southeast Asia. The cheapest room charges $300 per night excluding meals and other amenities. When I was in Marinduque last year, I met a few rich and famous Filipinos( businessmen, actors and actresses, TV personalities)) from Manila as well as Korean and Japanese tourists at Masiga Airport in Gasan on their way to the resort. From the resort advertisement, I know that the most expensive accommodation is a 3-bedroom villa with its own pool and jacussi charging about $ 800 per night without meals.

MI, Inc members stayed overnight at the resort with a dinner and dance last February 14, 2011-celebrating Valentine's Day and the success of the 2011 medical mission.

Dong Ho, Oggie Ramos, Ferdz Decena, Allan Barredo, Sydney Snoeck and Dennis Villegas are some of the photographers that I know who have photo blogs about Marinduque. Their pictures are beautiful, unique and mesmerizing. It is worth your time to visit their photo blogs sites. Looking at their photographs of Marinduque, its Tradition and Culture will surely make you proud of the beauty of our island paradise.

Here's the latest on Recommended Caves in Marinduque from Joven Malabana Lillies:

"As one of the member of Provincial Cave Committee and Provincial Assessment Team, we are not recommending and promoting Bathala Cave anymore, the reason is based on the National Cave Act, before any cave is offered for tourism, there should be a classification approved by the IPCC & RCC (Regional Cave Committee) and with a management plan to protect the cave and trained cave guides for visitors, which Bathala do not have....We are recommending Bagumbungan Underground River Cave (San Isidro,Sta. Cruz) Ka Amon Cave (Bonliw , Torrijos) Camarines Cave (Bintakay, Mogpog) and Talao Cave (Tiguion, Gasan).We just finished a week long Cave Guides Training Seminar and Workshop sanctioned by the DOT,DENR,PCGA (Phil. Cave Guides Assn), Philippine Speleological Society and Province of Marinduque".

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rigodon de Honor-Philippines Royal Square Dance

Macrine and I are right in the middle of the Dance Promenade

Today is the 45th day of our 90th day of our annual snow birding ritual in our second home-the beautiful island of Marinduque. Without the brown outs, political intrigues/shenanigans and corruption and with air transportation services resumed the next year( I hope), I will be glad to call Marinduque with out doubt and with pride as my Island Paradise. But for now, I am content with enjoying the beach, my gardens, fresh vegetables and seafood as well as the friendship and company of my fellow Marinduquenos and relatives in this island province.

Our return to US is scheduled the second week of May. That means we will not be able to attend the culmination of the May Flower Festival that is highlighted by a Parade and Grand Ball at the end of the month. But our memories of our participation with May Flower Festivities several years ago including our dancing the Rigodon De Honor will never be erased in our memory. Attached is my article on the Rigodon De Honor published in my blogs three years ago.
The Grand Entrance and Parade of Participants- Note my matching Barong to Macrine's Terno! Macrine did not used her matching removable butterfly sleeves bolero, since it was a very warm evening.

About twelve years ago, Macrine and I had the honor to be invited to participate at the Rigodon De Honor dance at the Grand Ball of the May Flower Festival in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines.

The Rigodon de Honor is an elegant dance which was brought to the Philippines by the Filipinos who returned from their travels abroad during the Spanish era. This dance takes its name from its opening performances at formal affairs such as the President's Inaugural Ball and other Festivals in Philippines and also in other parts of the world. In Marinduque, members of the provincial government, including the Governor and his wife, legislative officials, and other prominent members of the town are usually invited to participate in the Rigodon. Traditionally, a ballroom waltz dance would follow the Rigodon. This particular dance is a form of quadrille which is a historic dance performed usually by four couples in a square formation.

In Marinduque, it is an honor to be invited to participate in the dance. It meant you belong to the high society of the town and recognized as a leader in the community. Macrine and I were invited to dance at the Grand Ball of the May Flower Festival in Boac in May, 2001. At that time Macrine was the President of Marinduque International Inc-a non-profit worldwide organization based in US and Canada whose main goals is to conduct medical mission to the needy in Marinduque every other year. At that time, I also served as acting Treasurer of the organization. For the whole month of May, we (sixteen couples) practiced almost everyday. Near the end of the dance, a part called the CADENA ( it means chain) had to be performed perfectly, otherwise confusion and mayhem could ruined the dance. Attached is a video( taken during the Philippine Gala of the Filipino-American Community of Washington, D.C.) for your viewing pleasure, I found in You Tube! The video is a bit grainy, but does illustrate the movement and choreography of the dance. Note that the women are wearing their ternos( with butterfly sleeves) and the men their barongs.


As I mentioned above, to be invited to participate in the Rigodon is considered as the subtle way of "branding" certain members of the community to specific social ranks. Usually performed as a party opener, the Rigodon starts off by calling the names of the participants; first the rich and influential who will compose the cabezera or headline followed by the not so popular and lesser ranking dancers who will then form the costados or sideline. The Cabezera's will start the dance movement and then followed by the costados. What a way to brand and assign social ranks in the community!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Joys and Pains of Managing a Beach Resort in Marinduque

Moriones Parade, 2013
In eight days The Moriones Festival, 2014(April 14 to 20) will start and from what I heard a similar program that was presented the last 5 years will be again offered to guests and tourists all over the world.

In spite of the absence of air services from Manila, I am lucky that both the upper and lower floors of the beach house are booked. A couple from the US has reserved the upper level and another couple from Australia has reserved the lower level. I believe the two men are professional photographers who are looking forward to take photographs of the Morions and other colorful events scheduled for the whole Easter week. The Moriones Festival always remind me of an article I wrote in my blogs a couple of years ago on the joys and pains of managing a small beach resort. Here it is in case you have not read it.

Center Stage of the Conference Hall-Ready for a Wedding Reception

A closer view of the Conference Hall

Entrance to the Conference Hall

The Conference Hall

The third Bedroom with Two Double Deck Beds-The Room is Air Conditioned

The Second Bedroom with Two Single Beds

The Master Bedroom with the Queen Size Bed

The Beach House after Completion of the Bottom Floor as the 3rd Bedroom

Early Evening in the Main House-so Quiet and Calm

The front yard of the Main House

The landscaping in the front yard of the Main House

The driveway from the main house to the national road

In 2005, three years after my retirement from FDA, Macrine and I started constructing a beach house with no intention of opening it to the public. Two years later we decided building a multi-function Hall by the side of the beach house.
(Note: The main house-our retirement home was built in 1999-three years before our retirement).

However, in 2008 after numerous inquiries and urgings from friends and relatives, we decided to open both the Beach House and Function Hall to the public. I then created a website( www.chateaudumer.com) and a blogsite ( http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com).
Just this year, I posted a video on YouTube titled Chateau Du Mer-Marinduque. Since then, the hall had hosted more than 40 wedding receptions, seminars, parties, and community prayer meetings and picnics. The beach house on the other hand had less than fifteen guests, mostly from abroad ( US and Europe).

So, what are the joys of running a beach resort and conference center. First of all, Macrine and I enjoyed meeting strangers which afterwards become our friends. Second, I love hearing positive comments about the resort, such as: your garden is so beautiful, the landscaping is perfect and I feel like I am in the Garden of Eden in this place.
It was indeed a joyous moment, when one day, one of our young guests during a wedding reception informed me, that our retirement house ( which was built earlier) is her dream house and that someday, if God permits she will have a similar one constructed.

This Holy week, a van load of tourists from Manila stopped by and requested to take pictures of the beach house and conference center area. One of the tourists had seen my website and wanted to see the place in person. She commented the place is as beautiful as the pictures in the Internet. Last, but not least, the conference center is the only Hall in the whole province of Marinduque that can accommodate more than 300 attendees in doors and up to 500 attendees outdoors. This resort is also providing permanent employment for two local residents and temporary employment to four local residents, which help the economy of this 3rd class province.

So what are the pains of running Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort and Conference Center?
First, there are unique physical maintenance problems, since the compound is exposed to salty air and breezes almost all year round. Most of the fixtures even stainless steel had to be cleaned and rusted almost every year. Repainting and repairing equipments are common. Just recently, the water pump did not work. I had to replace it immediately at the costs of $400. Wood borers and mites attacked most of the wooden and bamboo structures as well as furnitures. If you know of a chemical that will kill the wood borers and mites( not termites), please let me know.

Second we have problems with the recruitment of reliable and honest personnel. Since 2008, we had already two managers. One we caught stealing. The current one is honest but super sensitive.

Lastly, the resort income is only enough to pay for the taxes. Hopefully as the economy improved more tourists will visit Marinduque and more young people will hold big wedding receptions; the resort will then earn enough to pay for both maintenance expenses and taxes and might even earn a little profit. But I am not depending my livelihood on this project. We build the place for our personal enjoyment. Our relatives called the place "Macrine's and David's Follies" in their old age.

Above are some recent pictures that I took of the main house, the conference Hall and the Beach House. Hopefully you visit one of my sites, in case this is the first time you have heard of Chateau Du Mer. Comments are appreciated.
Here's a short video of Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort and Conference Center
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