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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

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An Experience of a Lifetime-Trip to Marinduque


Dodie and Family with Dave and Macrine
By Diosdado (Dodie) Katague
Last Christmas and New Year( 2007-2008), I spent the holidays away from my wife and children. I was in the Philippines with my parents, brother, and sisters celebrating my parent 50th wedding anniversary. I had a great time visiting the country of my birth, but missed my family, who stayed home. I know it would be an adventure with or without them. And what an adventure it was! Just getting to the small island of Marinduque from Manila after a 16 hour plane ride took another 8 hours via a van on a two lane road dodging cars, jeepneys, motorized tricycles and livestock to get to the ferry port. We missed the ferry by 15 minutes and had to wait another 4 hours on the dock. The 3-hour ferry trip was crowded because of the Christmas holidays and there were no seats in the passenger section so we slept in the van in the cargo hold for most of the sea-faring trip. Fortunately, I did not get sea sick.

(Please note that on November, 2008, Zestair( formerly Asian Spirit Airline) started air service from Manila to Marinduque and back, 4 days in the week. It takes only 30 minutes of flying time. This is indeed a relief for visitors and tourists to Marinduque.)

We arrived at my parents house(CHATEAU DU MER) around midnight-24 hours after boarding the plane. But that was the worst part of the journey and I kept thinking that I was glad that my family was not with me because they would have complained the entire time and there was nothing I could do about it. I took in all the bad and the good things that happened, and I had the experience of a lifetime.

What I discovered about my parents surprised me. They were raised closer to the land than I ever know. Just imagine going back to visit your relatives on the farm back in Iowa that's how I felt. Except my parents were rural folks in the tropics. Still, they have a retirement home on a few acres right on the beach, a housekeeper, cook, driver and gardeners, so it was a very comfortable vacation once we arrived. My parents renewed their wedding vows in the same historic church( the Boac Cathedral built in 1756) they were married in 1957. We wore traditional Filipino clothes( barong tagalog for men) and my brother and sisters were all part of the ceremony. I saw some American tourists peaking into the church and taking pictures of us and I remember thinking, "Those tourists are going to show pictures of me to their friends thinking they got a snapshot of the Filipino culture when all they really got was a picture of some overweight short guy from California".

Note: Dodie was born in Manila, grew up in Boac, but immigrated to US when he was only 18 months old. He obtained his law degree from UC Davis and now a prosecuting attorney in Northern California. In his spare time he writes. He is now in his second novel-a legal thriller in a DA's office. He also loves hiking and geocaching (www.geocaching.com) He is married to his former classmate,Ruth Carver, also a lawyer and they have 3 children, ages 15, 14 and 11. This trip was his first trip back to the island. Dodie's first novel, Cloyne Court is scheduled for publication this Fall, 2009 by Three Clover Press.
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