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

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Family Pictures Slide Show-Trip Adviser

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Feng Shui- Art or Science?

Our beach house with the Japanese bridge as the focal point in the landscaping design of the property. The bridge was my own design.

A few months ago, I was viewing pictures in Facebook from a relative friend showing pictures of a hotel lobby and the living room of a house being redecorated by his well-known interior decorator spouse. I commented and asked him, if his wife incorporates the principles of Feng Shui in the rearrangement of furniture as well as coordination of colors scheme in her design and renovation projects. I have not received an answer, but those pictures in FB reminded me of my previous posting in my blogs. I titled it "Is Feng Shui a Science or Art", December, 2012.

Please note that I am not a famous interior decorator or a landscape architect, but I have been practicing Feng shui principles in my adult life in the decoration of our homes, beach house and gardens both here in US and in the Philippines.

In my younger days, I used to be an enthusiast of the practice of Feng shui. I have read several books on the subject. The practice is very interesting and to me it is all common sense. So what is Feng Shui?

Feng shui is an ancient art and science developed over 3,000 years ago in China. It is a complex body of knowledge that reveals how to balance the energies of any given space to assure health and good fortune for people inhabiting it.

Feng means wind and shui means water. In Chinese culture wind and water are associated with good health, thus good Feng shui came to mean good fortune, while bad Feng shui means bad luck, or misfortune.

Historically, Feng shui was widely used to orient buildings—often spiritually significant structures such as tombs, but also dwellings and other structures—in an auspicious manner. Depending on the particular style of Feng shui being used, an auspicious site could be determined by reference to local features such as bodies of water, stars, or a compass. Feng shui was suppressed in China during the cultural revolution in the 1960s, but since then has increased in popularity.

Modern reactions to Feng shui are mixed. The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience states that some principles of Feng shui are "quite rational", while noting that "folk remedies and superstitions, that have been incorporated into Feng shui's eclectic mix" borders to a pseudo science.

I have applied the principle of Feng shui in the arrangement of furniture in our house, color scheme in the room decor of our retirement home, the location of the front door of buildings in the Philippines and also the landscaping and orientation of trees and plants in my garden. I have not become a very rich person due to my practice of Feng shui, but I do enjoy practicing the art of Feng shui in all facets of my life.

Try Feng shui and you will feel better, happy and who knows you might win in the lottery and become very rich in the near future. As New Year approaches, this is a good time to start new and fresh and have fun in your Feng shui practices.

Here's a short video on the rearranging furniture with the basics of Feng shui!

Friday, October 21, 2016

A Dangerous Life-Movie on the Final Years of Ferdinand Marcos

Just in case you have not seen this..

A Dangerous Life is a 1988 English-language Australian film about the final years of the Philippines under Ferdinand Marcos' rule, from the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr. in 1983 to the People Power EDSA Revolution in 1986 that ousted Marcos. The film focuses on American TV journalist Tony O'Neil (Gary Busey), who finds himself in the middle of key events that lead to the downfall of the Marcos regime. Originally airing on television as a mini-series that ran for a total of six hours, the film was edited to 162 minutes for the home video release.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I am Finally Using Windows 10

For the last four weeks, I have been using Windows 10. I am getting used to it and really getting to like it. Please read my post dated May 19, 2016 on this subject as follows:

" Last month, my son wanted me to try Windows 10. Currently, I am happy with my Windows 7. I tried Windows 10 just for a few hours now. I notice the resolution and speed is better. However, I am not sure if I really need to upgrade since I am not into Gaming. So I did some search on Windows 10 differences with Window 7 and here's what I found in the Web. It is a very informative article. I like to hear from you if you have similar experiences as discussed in the more than 700 comments in the article as follows:


Here's the conclusion from the above article:

There's nothing wrong with sticking with Windows 7, but upgrading to Windows 10 definitely has plenty of benefits, and not too many downsides. Of course the fact that it's a free upgrade right now makes it even more tempting.

Windows 10 has a lot of genuinely useful new features, as well as key improvements to old features, compared to Windows 7. None is enough on its own to make an upgrade necessary, but when combined they do make a compelling case.

You’ve got better search, window management, file management, gaming tools and more. Windows 10 is faster in general use, too, and the new Start Menu is in some ways better than the one in Windows 7.

The only real sticking point is that Microsoft wants you to sign in with a Microsoft account and if you choose not to you lose some features. Features that shouldn't need to be linked to any online account. You certainly can get away with a normal 'offline' version but Microsoft really doesn't want you to, and that's something we're not keen on".

Read more at http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/windows-10-vs-windows-7#CE2u7i3UcP40ToSJ.99

Monday, October 10, 2016

Have You Played Pai Gow Poker Recently?

I have played Pai Gow Poker a number of times in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe as well as in our local Casino. However, in most Casinos the lowest bet is $5.00. However in some Casinos in Lake Tahoe, there are tables with only a $2.00 minimum bet. In this way if your gambling money is only $250, you can play longer. In the table with minimum of $5, you should have at least $500 capital to play. For that reason, I have not played Pai Gow Poker for the last 4 years. My gambling entertainment budget is for only $250. So what is Pai Gow Poker. Here's what Wikipedia says:

Pai gow poker (also called double-hand poker) is an Americanized version of Pai gow (in that it is played with playing cards bearing poker hand values, instead of Pai gow's Chinese dominoes). The games of Pai gow poker and Super Pan-9 were created by Sam Torosian and Fred Wolf.

The game is played with a standard 52-card deck, plus a single joker. It is played on a table set for six players, plus the dealer. Each player attempts to defeat the banker (who may be the casino dealer, or one of the other players at the table).

The object of pai gow poker is for a player to create two poker hands out of the seven-card hand he/she is dealt by the dealer: a five-card hand, and a two-card poker hand. According to the rules, the five-card hand's rank must exceed the two-card hand's, and that is why the two-card hand is often called the hand "in front" or "on top" or "hair", or the "small" or "minor" or "low" hand. The five-card hand is called the hand "behind", or the "bottom" or "high" or "big" (as they are placed that way in front of the player, when the player is done setting them).

Californian casinos typically charge a flat fee per hand (such as 5 cents or one dollar) to play, win or lose. Other casinos take, out of the winnings, a 5% commission (usually known as the rake). While this may seem high, a hand of Pai Gow poker takes a long time to play compared to a game like blackjack, and there are many pushes; therefore the house doesn't collect that 5% as often as it would collect the house percentage on other games.


There are a number of variations of Pai Gow poker that are popular in casinos today. These variations were mainly formulated in 2004 - 2009. Pai Gow Mania was the first variation to be created which allows for two side bets instead of the traditional one side bet per hand. Fortune Pai Gow is another variation which allows players to make a side bet on a poker hand ranking of trips or better. This is one of the most popular variations. Similar to fortune pai gow, is emperors challenge which also allows a side bet on a 7 card pai gow (no hand). The final variation of the game developed was Pai Gow progressive, which is the addition of a progressive jackpot to the pai gow table. This jackpot is the combined of $1 side bets placed by players during the play.

The 6 card Pai Gow Poker Variation:

There is a six Card Pai Gow Poker variation( not popular) of the basic popular seven-card game. It features head-to head play against the dealer and an optional bonus bet. Players and the dealer each get six cards to make two poker hands—a five-card “high” hand and a one-card “low” hand. The dealer then compares his five-card hand with each player’s five-card hand, and he compares his one-card hand with each player’s one-card hand. If the player wins both matchups, he is paid 1 to 1 on his standard wager. If he loses both matchups, he loses his standard wager. If he wins one and loses one, the standard wager is a push. The house wins copies. Exceptions: 1) If the player uses a Joker in his low hand, it beats any dealer low hand. There is no commission on winning bets. There is no player banking. The game is played with a 53-card deck, including a joker that is used as an Ace or to complete a straight or flush. A2345 is the second-highest straight.

I played this variation in Las Vegas a decade ago, I like it because you do not pay a commission. I believe this is only played in Las Vegas and only in a few Casinos. Last year when I asked our local Indian Casino if they have this variation, they stared at me as if I was in another planet. I really enjoyed this game, since it is much easier to play than the regular 7 card game.

The following video show how to play basic 7 card Pai Gow Poker!

Friday, October 7, 2016

I Ordered Ready to Eat Gourmet Meals from Freshly Today

If you have been following my blogs, you probably know that I have been ordering gourmet ready to eat meals from Munchery.com Today, I ordered six meals for $36 (a promotional price) with this food delivery company( Freshly) that I saw in Facebook. The regular price for this 6 meal plan is $59 from the company website, https://www.freshly.com

My first shipment will be next week and every Friday. The promotional price included free delivery to my front door. The meals are packed in dry ice. Just heat the meals for 1.5 to 2 minutes in the microwave and you have your dinner, lunch or breakfast. I am lazy to cook, so ordering good quality meals with out driving to a restaurant is a must for our lifestyle. The following videos (6) summarizes what Freshly is all about.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

I took a Break from My Primary Care Duties

Two days ago, I took a 4-hour break from my primary care duties. If you have been reading my blogs, you probably already know that I am the primary care giver to my wife of 59 years who had been diagnosed with Parkinson Disease in 2013.

Due to the kindness of my son, David III, he suggested I took the afternoon off and go to the Casino by myself and play video poker or Pai Gow Poker. My son knows that I have been practicing both poker games in my computer. My wife did not complain that I am leaving her since she was not feeling well today. I think my wife is under the weather as it rained a little bit here last night and also this morning. Speaking of rain, this was our first rain this year since last February.

At first, I felt ill at ease and weird driving alone to the Casino. My wife and I (sometimes with our neighbor) have always been going to the Casino together for the past 4 years. But after a while I felt like a bird that has been freed from his cage. There were no hustles prior to my departure. I did not have to bring a walker, a small luggage, drinking water and pills for this Casino escapade. All I have was $250 for Casino gambling at my own pace. I planned on using $100 for video poker and the rest for the standard slot machines. Once this is gone, I go home.

Prior to my departure I called Thunder Valley and ask for the location of their video poker machines. So when I arrived at the Casino I immediately was able to inspect the pay out schedule and percentage of the machines. Thunder Valley have more than a dozen video poker machines but only 2 have payouts of 10/8 for the Full House/Flush hands for the Jack or better game which would guarantee close to 99% pay off( http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com/2016/10/video-poker-machines-versus-slots.html). I was looking for a 9/7 machine but there was none. I played video poker for almost two hours before my $100 disappeared.

By this time, I was getting bored and my back and neck was starting to ache. I shifted to the regular old slots betting on the Quarters and Dollar machines. In another hour my $100 was gone. I decided to play my last $50 on the penny newer slots machines. I was entertained and I played for another hour when only $20 was left of my $50 capital. I decided to cash in and buy my favorite Chinese Take out dish-Shrimps and Angus Beef for our dinner. I was home by 5 PM, tired but happy. I really enjoyed this much needed break. Thank you my beloved son for taking care of your Mom while I was away at the Casino.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Video Poker Machines versus the Slot Machines

Last week, I started playing video poker* instead of the standard slots to improve my chance of winning in our local Casino. The reasons why one should play video poker instead of the regular slots is to minimize your losses and improve your chance of winning because of the casino term, pay out percentage discuss in the following article. The following is an article from www.pokertao.com for your information.

Again, May I remind you to go to the Casino for fun and do not expect to become rich or win a lot of money. The odds of winning big is against you! Also remember that most Casinos earned 70% of their income from the slots machines. Your winning big has the same odds as winning in the lottery. However you can minimize your losses if you are a smart player.

Slot machines and video poker machines have a lot in common, but they have notable differences as well. The following are the details as to what makes them unique and what their differences are.


So what makes video poker and slot machines the same? First, they both look the same. Both machines are coin operated. The player sits in front of them and pushes buttons or pulls a lever to operate them. Both machines have a hopper for the player's winnings in coins or in a form of tickets for the new versions. So the machines basically look the same and serve the same purpose, which is to let the gamblers play without any interaction from another player or a dealer.

Both video poker and slot machines run on random numbers generated by a chip aptly called as random number generator or RNG. The machines still gets a series of random numbers even though nobody is playing them. This series of randomly generated numbers is like a wheel of fortune that stops spinning as soon as a player places a bet.


What makes the video poker and the slot machine differ from each other is the random numbers generated within them. The program for the RNG of the slot machine is designed so that the machine pays out a percentage of the amount of money that runs through it at a certain percentage which is usually about 83% to 97%. The amount of money is known as the payback percentage determined solely by the program of the random number generator. It is impossible to determine the payout percentage of a slot machine by merely looking at it. It would probably take hundreds of thousands of trial and error to figure it out.

The random number generator on a video poker machine is another story. It replicates a deck of 52 or, in some other poker variation, of 53 playing cards. The video poker machine has the same odds of getting the same card as an actual dealer dealing from an actual deck of cards. Because a player can mathematically figure out the odds of getting each hand and because the payouts are determined by the hand the player receives, a player can somewhat estimate the payback percentage of a video poker machine quite easily.

It is also because of the difference in which the random number generator produces the outcome of the player that we can tell the other differences of the slot and video poker machines.

◾The casino can change the payout schedule of a video poker machine to change its payout percentage. On a slot machine, its RNG has to completely reprogrammed.

◾ A video poker machine with the right payout schedule generally receives a positive expectation as compared to the slot machine that always receives negative expectation.

◾ With the right strategy and a good play, a video poker machine can have a payout percentage from 97% upwards. A slot machine can have a payout schedule beginning from 80% upwards but never higher than the optimum play video poker machine .

◾ There are no skills needed on a slot machine. A player needs to be skilled in playing a video poker machine. However, video poker can become boring after two to three hours continuous play compared to the new standard slots with high-tech graphics and sounds.

The best video poker machine is the full pay or optimum pay video poker machine that pays 6 and 9 for flush and full house hands respectively for the Jack or better game. The pay out percentage for these machines is closed to 99.95% percentage payback. If you know the right strategy and skill for good play, your chance in winning in a video poker machine is highly improved compared to the standard slots. Learn the basic skills and strategy for playing video poker to minimize your losses during your visit to a Casino near you or in Las Vegas!

However, if you get bored playing video poker, try to follow this strategy of this player in the following video.

* I played video poker for almost two hours and did not win or lose any money. I finally got bored and went back playing the new slots! The new slots have high-tech graphics and sounds that I love and is not boring and very entertaining! By the way, according to the VPfree2.com website Thunder Valley has 6 different types of video poker machines whereas Red Hawk has none.

Monday, October 3, 2016

A Third Indian Casino May be Near Us by 2020

The Proposed Indian Casino of the Wilton Rancheria Tribe in Elk Grove, California

We have two Indian Casinos within 20 to 30 minutes driving time from our residence that we currently patronized. The first one is Thunder Valley(TV) in Lincoln and the second one is Red Hawk (RH) in Shingle Springs. In both Casinos we not only play but also dine in the several restaurants that offers food to fit everyone taste and budget. A third one may be coming in the near future as published in the Elk Grove News the other day as follows:


In a lengthy meeting, in front of a packed city council chamber, the Elk Grove City Council approved an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with the Wilton Rancheria Tribe on the proposed casino to be located in Elk Grove near the still unfinished outlet mall. The vote was 5-0. A majority of the speakers were in favor of the MOU and the casino. There were 45 people who signed up to speak.

The tribal leader, Raymond “Chuckie” Hitchcock made a brief presentation of the benefits of the casino and working with the community. Then the community had a chance to speak and by our count there were 39 speakers, with 28 in favor of the MOU.

During the city council debate, City Councilman Pat Hume gave a heartfelt, emotional commentary on why approving the MOU was the right thing to do for the city and for the tribe.

The complete video of the presentation is on the Elk Grove Laguna Forums Facebook page. The video was broadcast live to give more people a chance to see the meeting that may not ordinarily attend a council meeting.


If this proposed Indian Casino is built, it will be also only about a 30 minute drive from our residence. I am looking forward for the completion of this project, because if there is competition, the percentage pay out of the slot machines may be improved in all of the three casinos, so customers and patrons of the Casinos will have higher chances of winning playing the slot machines.

Construction will start in 2019 if everything is approved and construction completion time is expected to take from 18 to 24 months. I hope I will still be alive and kicking when this Casino is ready for operation.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Tips for Improving your Chance to Win Playing the Slots

Last week Macrine and I won $200, got a free dinner and a nice gift playing slots in our local Casino. Macrine won $45 and I took home $155 following the tips that I have written in my last posting (http://davidbkatague.blogspot.com/2016/09/we-go-to-casino-for-free-dinners-and.html )as well as the following tips from Las Vegas Slots on line website posted in this article.

I played on the older 25c machines at 3X, making 75c per bet. I also waited until one player lost about $100. When she left the machine, I took over. Based on the our last four escapades, it appeared that the old machines are giving higher percentage pay offs compared to the new slots with sophisticated sounds and graphics. Macrine just played the minimum from 30C to 60c per bet. I played from 75c to S2.00 per bet depending on my mood or if the stats(for certain slots) are in my favor.

Please watch the video at the end of this post and you will improve your chance of winning the slots or at least minimize your losses. Have FUN and ENJOY the Casinos!

Try the following when you play the slots in Las Vegas or in your local Indian Casinos.

Tip #1 – Play for fun. The house has a mathematical edge, and you can’t beat it. So you should go into your gambling sessions expecting to lose, but hoping for the occasional win. Your goal should be to have some fun while you’re at it.

Tip #2 – Join the slots club. Almost all casinos have loyalty bonuses, rebates, and rewards for players who patronize their establishments. They provide you with a card to insert into the machine so that they can track how much action you’ve bought to the casino. They then return a tiny percentage (something like 0.1% or 0.2%) to you in the form of rebates, food, travel benefits, and entertainment.

One slot machine myth you should ignore is that slots pay out less when you’re playing with your slot card inserted. That’s just nonsense. We discussed how the random number generator works earlier.

Tip #3 – Skip the progressives, unless you’re determined to win a life-changing amount. Since the potential rewards on progressive slot machines are so high, the machines pay out less often. They have to in order to afford the rare huge jackpot. For the casual gambler, playing a machine with lower jackpots provides more opportunities to win, even though the winnings are smaller.

On the other hand, if you’re determined to win a million dollars, stick with the progressives. Just understand that you’re still unlikely to change your life with a huge slot machine jackpot. The odds are similar to those of winning the lottery.

Tip #4 – Don’t play with the rent money. This should be common sense, but if you’re gambling with money you can’t afford to lose, then you have a problem and should seek professional help of some kind. You cannot play slots professionally.

Tip #5 – Try video poker. These games are similar to slot machine games, but they provide better payout percentages and an opportunity to use strategy to improve your chances. Video poker isn’t for everybody, but I know lots of slots players who’ve made the switch once they tried it.

Tip #6 – Slow down. Some slot machine players make 600 spins per hour or more. Keep this in mind though. The more action you bring to the casino, the more opportunities the house edge has to whittle away at your bankroll. So slow down. Talk to the gamblers next to you. Sip your drink between spins. Anything you can do to reduce the amount of money you’re putting into action each hour is going to make your bankroll last longer.

Tip #7 – Don’t play the slots at the airport. These are the worst games in town in any gambling destination. Wait until you get to the casino to play the slots, and your money will last longer, and you’ll improve your chances of winning.

Reference: vegasslotsonline.com

Personal Note: Watch out for my blog on improving your chance to win playing video poker in stead of the regular slots.
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