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, September 25, 2010

Tornadoes-Have you Seen and Heard One Recently?



Have you seen or heard a tornado so close that you thought you will die? Or just far enough to scare you? I have seen and heard a tornado when we were still in Kansas City. It was close enough, we all have to run for cover in the basement. Luckily, it was a small and weak tornado (probably a T0 or T1). It dissipated fast enough in the opposite direction where our house was located. It did topple a couple of trees in the backyard of our neighbor though. It was still scary for you will never know if it is your house that will be in its direct path.

So what is a tornado? A tornado (often referred to as a twister or, erroneously, a cyclone) is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. Tornadoes come in many shapes and sizes, but are typically in the form of a visible condensation funnel, whose narrow end touches the earth and is often encircled by a cloud of debris and dust. Most tornadoes have wind speeds less than 110 miles per hour (177 km/h), are approximately 250 feet (80 m) across, and travel a few miles (several kilometers) before dissipating. The most extreme can attain wind speeds of more than 300 mph (480 km/h), stretch more than two miles (3 km) across, and stay on the ground for dozens of miles (more than 100 km).

Various types of tornadoes include the land spout, multiple vortex tornado, and waterspout. Waterspouts are characterized by a spiraling funnel-shaped wind current, connecting to a large cumulus or cumulonimbus cloud. They are generally classified as non-supercellular tornadoes that develop over bodies of water. These spiraling columns of air frequently develop in tropical areas close to the equator, and are less common at high latitudes. Other tornado-like phenomena that exist in nature include the gustnado, dust devil, fire whirls, and steam devil.

Tornadoes have been observed on every continent except Antarctica. However, the vast majority of tornadoes in the world occur in the Tornado Alley region of the United States, although they can occur nearly anywhere in North America. They also occasionally occur in south-central and eastern Asia, the Philippines, northern and east-central South America, Southern Africa, northwestern and southeast Europe, western and southeastern Australia, and New Zealand. Tornadoes can be detected before or as they occur through the use of Pulse-Doppler radar by recognizing patterns in velocity and reflectivity data, such as hook echoes, as well as by the efforts of storm spotters.

There are several different scales for rating the strength of tornadoes. The Fujita scale rates tornadoes by damage caused, and has been replaced in some countries by the updated Enhanced Fujita Scale. An F0 or EF0 tornado, the weakest category, damages trees, but not substantial structures. An F5 or EF5 tornado, the strongest category, rips buildings off their foundations and can deform large skyscrapers. The similar TORRO scale ranges from a T0 for extremely weak tornadoes to T11 for the most powerful known tornadoes. Doppler radar data, photo grammetry, and ground swirl patterns (cycloidal marks) may also be analyzed to determine intensity and assign a rating. Here's a video of tornadoes for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Filipino Today- Be Proud You are a Filipino

The August 23 Hostage Drama of Hongkong Tourist Bus in Manila-Put the International Image of the Philippines to Zero

I received the following article from a friend in the Philippines today. As I read this article, my heart starts to hurt and I shed a tear or two. I am joining this author for forgiveness from the families of the Hongkong tourists who were killed by a crazy ex police man. The article is THE FILIPINO TODAY and written by Alex Lacson.

"After the August 23 hostage drama, there is just too much negativity about and against the Filipino. “It is difficult to be a Filipino these days”, says a friend who works in Hongkong. “Nakakahiya tayo”, “Only in the Philippines ” were some of the comments lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles received in her Facebook. There is this email supposedly written by a Dutch married to a Filipina, with 2 kids, making a litany of the supposed stupidity or idiocy of Filipinos in general. There was also this statement by Fermi Wong, founder of Unison HongKong, where she said – “Filipino maids have a very low status in our city”. Then there is this article from a certain Daniel Wagner of Huffington Post, wherein he said he sees nothing good in our country’s future.

Clearly, the hostage crisis has spawned another crisis – a crisis of faith in the Filipino, one that exists in the minds of a significant number of Filipinos and some quarters in the world. It is important for us Filipinos to take stock of ourselves as a people – of who we truly are as a people. It is important that we remind ourselves who the Filipino really is, before our young children believe all this negativity that they hear and read about the Filipino.

We have to protect and defend the Filipino in each one of us.The August 23 hostage fiasco is now part of us as Filipinos, it being part now of our country’s and world’s history. But that is not all that there is to the Filipino. Yes, we accept it as a failure on our part, a disappointment to HongKong , China and to the whole world.

But there is so much more about the Filipino.

In 1945, at the end of World War II, Hitler and his Nazi had killed more than 6 million Jews in Europe . But in 1939, when the Jews and their families were fleeing Europe at a time when several countries refused to open their doors to them, our Philippines did the highly risky and the unlikely –thru President Manuel L Quezon, we opened our country’s doors and our nation’s heart to the fleeing and persecuted Jews. Eventually, some 1,200 Jews and their families made it to Manila . Last 21 June 2010, or 70 years later, the first ever monument honoring Quezon and the Filipino nation for this “open door policy” was inaugurated on Israeli soil, at the 65-hectare Holocaust Memorial Park in Rishon LeZion, Israel.

The Filipino heart is one of history’s biggest, one of the world’s rare jewels, and one of humanity’s greatest treasures. In 2007,Baldomero M. Olivera, a Filipino, was chosen and awarded as the Scientist for the Year 2007 by Harvard University Foundation, for his work in neurotoxins which is produced by venomous cone snails commonly found in the tropical waters of Philippines . Olivera is a distinguished professor of biology at University of Utah , USA . The Scientist for the Year 2007 award was given to him in recognition to his outstanding contribution to science, particularly to molecular biology and groundbreaking work with conotoxins. The research conducted by Olivera’s group became the basis for the production of commercial drug called Prialt (generic name – Ziconotide), which is considered more effective than morphine and does not result in addiction.

The Filipino mind is one of the world’s best, one of humanity’s great assets. The Filipino is capable of greatness, of making great sacrifices for the greater good of the least of our people. Josette Biyois an example of this. Biyo has masteral and doctoral degress from one of the top universities in the Philippines – the De La Salle University (Taft, Manila ) – where she used to teach rich college students and was paid well for it. But Dr Biyo left all that and all the glamour of Manila , and chose to teach in a far-away public school in a rural area in the province, receiving the salary of less than US$ 300 a month. When asked why she did that, she replied “but who will teach our children?” In recognition of the rarity of her kind, the world-famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States honoured Dr Biyo a very rare honor – by naming a small and new-discovered planet in our galaxy as “Biyo”.

The Filipino is one of humanity’s best examples on the greatness of human spirit!
Efren Penaflorida was born to a father who worked as a tricycle driver and a mother who worked as laundrywoman. Through sheer determination and the help of other people, Penaflorida finished college. In 1997, Penaflorida and his friends formed a group that made pushcarts (kariton) and loaded them with books, pens, crayons, blackboard, clothes, jugs of water, and a Philippine flag. Then he and his group would go to the public cemetery, market and garbage dump sites in Cavite City – to teach street children with reading, math, basic literacy skills and values, to save them from illegal drugs and prevent them from joining gangs. Penaflorida and his group have been doing this for more than a decade. Last year, Penaflorida was chosen and awarded as CNN Hero for 2009. Efren Penaflorida is one of the great human beings alive today. And he is a Filipino!

Nestor Suplico is yet another example of the Filipino’s nobility of spirit. Suplico was a taxi driver In New York. On 17 July 2004, Suplico drove 43 miles from New York City to Connecticut , USA to return the US$80,000 worth of jewelry (rare black pearls) to his passenger who forgot it at the back seat of his taxi. When his passenger offered to give him a reward, Suplico even refused the reward. He just asked to be reimbursed for his taxi fuel for his travel to Connecticut . At the time, Suplico was just earning $80 a day as a taxi driver. What do you call that? That’s honesty in its purest sense. That is decency most sublime. And it occurred in New York , the Big Apple City , where all kinds of snakes and sinners abound, and a place where – according to American novelist Sydney Sheldon – angels no longer descend. No wonder all New York newspapers called him “ New York ’s Most Honest Taxi Driver”. The New York City Government also held a ceremony to officially acknowledge his noble deed. The Philippine Senate passed a Resolution for giving honors to the Filipino people and our country.

In Singapore , Filipina Marites Perez-Galam, 33, a mother of four, found a wallet in a public toilet near the restaurant where she works as the head waitress found a wallet containing 16,000 Singaporean dollars (US $11,000). Maritess immediately handed the wallet to the restaurant manager of Imperial Herbal restaurant where she worked located in Vivo City Mall. The manager in turn reported the lost money to the mall’s management. It took the Indonesian woman less than two hours to claim her lost wallet intended for her son’s ear surgery that she and her husband saved for the medical treatment. Maritess refused the reward offered by the grateful owner and said it was the right thing to do.

The Filipina, in features and physical beauty, is one of the world’s most beautiful creatures!Look at this list – Gemma Cruz became the first Filipina to win Miss International in 1964; Gloria Diaz won as Miss Universe in 1969; Aurora Pijuan won Miss International in 1970; Margie Moran won Miss Universe in 1973; Evangeline Pascual was 1st runner up in Miss World 1974; Melanie Marquez was Miss International in 1979; Ruffa Gutierrez was 2nd runner up in Miss World 1993; Charlene Gonzalez was Miss Universe finalist in 1994; Mirriam Quiambao was Miss Universe 1st runner up in 1999;and last week, Venus Raj was 4th runner up in Miss Universe pageant.

I can cite more great Filipinos like Ramon Magsaysay, Ninoy Aquino, Leah Salonga, Manny Pacquaio, Paeng Nepomuceno, Tony Meloto, Joey Velasco, Juan Luna and Jose Rizal. For truly, there are many more great Filipinos who define who we are as a people and as a nation – each one of them is part of each one of us, for they are Filipinos like us, for they are part of our history as a people.

What we see and hear of the Filipino today is not all that there is about the Filipino. I believe that the Filipino is higher and greater than all these that we see and hear about the Filipino. God has a beautiful story for us as a people. And the story that we see today is but a fleeting portion of that beautiful story that is yet to fully unfold before the eyes of our world.

So let’s rise as one people. Let’s pick up the pieces. Let’s ask for understanding and forgiveness for our failure. Let us also ask for space and time to correct our mistakes, so we can improve our system. To all of you my fellow Filipinos, let’s keep on building the Filipino great and respectable in the eyes of our world – one story, two stories, three stories at a time – by your story, by my story, by your child’s story, by your story of excellence at work, by another Filipino’s honesty in dealing with others, by another Pinoy’s example of extreme sacrifice, by the faith in God we Filipinos are known for.

Every Filipino, wherever he or she maybe in the world today, is part of the solution. Each one of us is part of the answer. Every one of us is part of the hope we seek for our country. The Filipino will not become a world-class citizen unless we are able to build a world-class homeland in our Philippines .

We are a beautiful people. Let no one in the world take that beauty away from you. Let no one in the world take away that beauty away from any of your children! We just have to learn – very soon – to build a beautiful country for ourselves, with an honest and competent government in our midst.

Mga kababayan, after reading this, I ask you to do two things. First, defend and protect the Filipino whenever you can, especially among your children. Fight all this negativity about the Filipino that is circulating in many parts of the world. Let us not allow this single incident define who the Filipino is, and who we are as a people. And second, demand for good leadership and good government from our leaders. Question both their actions and inaction; expose the follies of their policies and decisions. The only way we can perfect our system is by engaging it. The only way we can solve our problem, is by facing it, head on. We are all builders of the beauty and greatness of the Filipino. We are the architects of our nation’s success.

To all the people of HK and China, especially the relatives of the victims, my family and I deeply mourn with the loss of your loved ones. Every life is precious. My family and I humbly ask for your understanding and forgiveness.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tour of Sacramento and the State Capitol

My two Sisters ( Myrla and Agnes) and Brother-in-law ( Dennis) and ME in front of the Capitol. This photo was taken in the summer of 2009. Agnes and Dennis are from Maryland and Myrla is from Toronto, Canada



The California State Capitol sits in Sacramento, California, at the west end of Capitol Park. The grounds are framed by L Street to the north, N Street to the south, 10th Street to the west, and 15th Street to the east. The Capitol houses the California State Legislature and the Office of the Governor of California. The building was constructed in the Neoclassical architectural style between 1861 and 1874 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as of 1973.

Exterior

The building is based on the distant Capitol in Washington D.C. The west facade ends in projecting bays, and a portico projects from the center of the building. At the base of the portico, seven granite archways brace and support the porch above. Eight fluted Corinthian columns line the portico. A cornice supports the pediment above that depicts Minerva surrounded by Education, Justice, and Mining.

Above the flat roof with balustrade rise two drums supporting a dome. The first drum consists of a colonnade of Corinthian columns; the second, Corinthian pilasters. Large arched windows line the drum walls. The dome rises 220 feet, matching the dome of the U.S. Capitol. This dome supports a lantern with a smaller dome capped with a bright gold ball.

Interior

The California Senate Chamber seats its forty members in a large chamber room enveloped in red, which is a nod to the British House of Lords, also the upper house of a bicameral legislature. The Chamber is entered through a second floor corridor. The red carpeting has a Victorian-era design. From the coffered ceiling hangs an electric reproduction of the original gas chandelier. A hand-carved dais caps off a recessed bay framed by Corinthian columns.

The Latin phrase "Senatoris est civitatis libertatem tueri" ["It is the duty of a Senator to protect the liberty of the people"] lines the cornice. A portrait of George Washington by Jane Stuart, the daughter of Gilbert Stuart, looks down from the wall above. The State Seal hangs above.

Gilded Corinthian columns support the gallery above, and dark red curtains that can be drawn for privacy are tied back along the columns. High arched windows run along the bottom below rectangular pane windows. Behind the rostrum, there are two chairs with red velvet cushions, reserved for the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly, but are never used.

The California Assembly Chamber is located at the opposite end of the Senate. Like the Senate, its green tones are based on British House of Commons, the lower house. The dais rests along a wall shaped like an "E", with the central projection housing the rostrum. Along the cornice appears a quotation from Abraham Lincoln in Latin: legislatorum est justas leges condere ("It is the duty of legislators to pass just laws").

2001 attack

On January 16, 2001, Michael Bowers, a semi-trailer truck driver with a criminal history, drove over a curb, up a short walk-way, and rammed his truck into the southern portico. The truck's fuel tank ignited, killing him and causing $15 million in damage to the Capitol.



If you are in the Sacramento area, a free tour of the capitol and it grounds is a good use of your time. Adjacent to the capitol is the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, A National Shrine, It is also a must see if you are Catholic.
Inside the Cathedral

Note: This is No.3 ( Part 1) of a series of articles of places that my family have resided or visited since 1960 to the present( #1 New York City, #2 Washington, DC).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Philippine Cuisine-What is Your Favorite Dish?

Assorted Filipino Dishes

My last blog about Marinduque cuisine was about 8 months ago. A comment from an OFW worker in Facebook aroused my curiosity of what is written about Philippine cuisine in Wikipedia. Here's a summary for your reading pleasure. Caution: Do not read if your are hungry!

Philippine cuisine consists of the foods, preparation methods and eating customs found in the Philippines. The style of cooking and the foods associated with it have evolved over several centuries from its Malayo-Polynesian origins to a mixed cuisine with many Hispanic, Chinese, American, and other Asian influences adapted to indigenous ingredients and the local palate.

Filipinos traditionally eat three main meals a day: agahan or almusal (breakfast), tanghalían (lunch), and hapunan (dinner) plus an afternoon snack called meriénda (also called minandál or minindál). Dishes range from the very simple, like a meal of fried salted fish and rice, to the elaborate paellas and cocidos created for fiestas.
Macrine, Carenna and ELanie and the Roasted Pig (Lechon)
Popular dishes include lechón (whole roasted pig), longganisa (Philippine sausage), tapa (cured beef), torta (omelette), adobo (chicken and/or pork braised in garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar or cooked until dry), kaldereta (meat in tomato sauce stew), mechado (larded beef in soy and tomato sauce), pochero (beef in bananas and tomato sauce), afritada (chicken or pork simmered in a tomato sauce with vegetables), kare-kare (oxtail and vegetables cooked in peanut sauce), crispy pata (deep-fried pig's leg), hamonado (pork sweetened in pineapple sauce), sinigang (meat or seafood in sour broth), pancit (noodles), and lumpia (fresh or fried spring rolls).

Malayo-Polynesians during the pre-Hispanic era in the Philippines prepared food by boiling, steaming, or roasting. This ranged from the usual livestock such as kalabaw (water buffaloes), baka (cows), manok (chickens) and baboy (pigs) to various kinds of fish and seafood. In a few places, the broad range of their diet extended to monitor lizards, snakes and locusts.[citation needed] Filipinos have been cultivating rice since 3200 BC from their arrival of the Austronesian people from Southern China Yunnan Plateau and Taiwan, when they settled in what is now the Philippines. They brought with them rice cultivation and a lot of other various traditions that are used in forms today.[1] Pre-Hispanic trade with other Asian nations introduced a number of staples into Philippine cuisine, most notably toyo (soy sauce) and patis (fish sauce), as well as the method of stir-frying and making savory soup bases.

The arrival of Spanish settlers brought with them chili peppers, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, and the method of sauteing with garlic and onions, which found their way into Philippine cuisine. Although chili peppers are nowhere as widely used in Filipino cooking compared to much of Southeast Asia, chili leaves are frequently used as a cooking green, again distinct from the cooking of their neighbors. They also used vinegar and spices in foods to preserve them due to lack of refrigeration. Spanish (and Mexican) dishes were eventually incorporated into Philippine cuisine with the more complex dishes usually being prepared for special occasions. Some dishes such as paella or arroz de valenciana remain largely the same. Some have been adapted or have come to take on a slightly different meaning. Arroz a la cubana served in the Philippines usually includes ground beef picadillo. Philippine longganisa despite its name is more akin to chorizo than Spanish longaniza.

While there were some Chinese in the Philippines before the Spanish, a significant Chinese population grew only after the Spanish established themselves. Chinese food became a staple of the panciterias or noodle shops that sprang up in the nineteenth century, but were often marketed with Spanish names. The influence of comida china (Chinese food) is seen in dishes like arroz caldo (congee), morisqueta tostada (an obsolete term for sinangag or fried rice), and chopsuey.

Today, Philippine cuisine continues to evolve as new techniques, styles of cooking, and ingredients find their way into the country. Traditional dishes both simple and elaborate, indigenous and foreign-influenced, are seen as are more current popular international viands and fast food fare.

Common ingredients

As with most Asian countries, the staple food in the Philippines is rice. It is most often steamed and served during meals. Leftover rice is often fried with garlic to make sinangag, which is usually served at breakfast together with a fried egg and cured meat or sausages. Rice is often enjoyed with the sauce or broth from the main dishes. In some regions, rice is mixed with salt, condensed milk, cocoa, or coffee. Rice flour is used in making sweets, cakes and other pastries. Other staples derived from crops include corn and bread.

Fruits are often used in cooking as well. Coconuts, coconut milk, coconut meat, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and bananas are usually added to meals. Abundant harvests of root crops occur all year round. Potatoes, carrots, taro (gabi), cassava (kamoteng kahoy), purple yam (ube), and sweet potato (kamote) are examples. Kamote and a certain type of plantain called saba can be chopped, dusted with brown sugar, fried and skewered, yielding kamote-cue and banana-cue which are popular caramelized snacks.

Meat staples include chicken, pork, beef, and fish. Seafood is popular as a result of the bodies of water surrounding the archipelago. Popular catches include tilapia, catfish (hito), milkfish (bangus), grouper (lapu-lapu), shrimp (hipon), prawns (sugpo), mackerel (galunggong), swordfish, oysters (talaba), mussels (tahong), clams (halaan and tulya), large and small crabs (alimango and alimasag respectively), game fish, sablefish, tuna, cod, blue marlin, and squid/cuttlefish (both called pusit). Also popular are seaweeds, abalone, and eel.

The most common way of having fish is to have it salted, pan-fried or deep-fried, and then eaten as a simple meal with rice and vegetables. It may also be cooked in a sour broth of tomatoes or tamarind as in pangat, prepared with vegetables and a souring agent to make sinigang, simmered in vinegar and peppers to make paksiw, or roasted over hot charcoal or wood (inihaw). Other preparations include escabeche (sweet and sour) or relleno (deboned and stuffed). Fish can be preserved by being smoked (tinapa) or sun-dried (tuyo).

Food is often served with various dipping sauces. Fried food is often dipped in vinegar, soy sauce, juice squeezed from kalamansi (Philippine lime, calamondin, or calamansi), or a combination of all. Patis (fish sauce) may be mixed with kalamansi as dipping sauce for most seafood. Fish sauce, fish paste (bagoong), shrimp paste (alamang) and crushed ginger root (luya) are condiments that are often added to dishes during the cooking process or when served.

My mouth is starting to water( salivate) now and my stomach is starting to growl, so I better finish this blog and run to the Kitchen or call a Chinese Restaurant. There are no Filipino restaurant nearby. The nearest one is about one hour drive from our house here in Northern California. Bon Appetit to All!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, Maryland, USA


This garden is in the middle of a residential area and only about one mile from our residence in Colesville, Maryland(1990-2002). It is one of our favorite garden for relaxation and jogging, since it is walking distance from our house. I love the butterfly and Japanese gardens. Entrance to the garden is free. This garden is a haven for butterflies as can be seen in the following video.


Brookside Gardens is a 50-acre award winning garden located within Wheaton Regional Park in Wheaton, Maryland. The gardens include a variety of horticultural displays including an aquatic garden, azalea garden, butterfly garden, rose garden, children's garden, formal garden, fragrance garden, Japanese style garden and trial garden. Brookside Gardens is a Montgomery County Park operated and maintained by the Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission.

Indoor facilities include two glass-covered conservatories that display a large tropical plant collection and special exhibits that rotate throughout the year. The Visitors Center has a horticultural reference library and a gift shop.

Brookside Gardens offers a variety of educational programs for adults and children. Adult programs include lectures, guided walks, bus trips, and workshops. Children’s programs include story times, hands-on activities, educational games, classes and summer camps. Brookside Nature Center is located within walking distance to the gardens. The nature center provides additional hands-on activities for children.

Brookside Gardens also offers a beautiful setting for weddings, private receptions and corporate retreats. From April through October, groups as large as 250 can enjoy the colorful gardens and the conservatories can be rented for private events throughout the year.

Monday, September 20, 2010

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The Philippines has five UNESCO World Heritage inscriptions in 11 cities and municipalities around the country. These are the Tubbataha Reef in Cagayancillo, Palawan, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan, Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Batad and Bangaan in Banaue, Nagacadan in Kiangan, Hungduan and Mayoyao all in Ifugao), Historic Center of Vigan in Ilocos Sur, and the Baroque Churches of the Philippines (Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte, Sta. Maria Church in Ilocos Sur, San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila, and Miag-ao Church in Iloilo).

Here is a documentary called Legacy: Philippine World Heritage Sites narrated and written by Architect Augusto F. Villalon which gives a good introduction to all these sites. The videos were divided it into four parts due to length by the uploader, Ivan Henares. This article was reprinted from The Philippine Travel Journal, Ivan About Town, dated September 15, 2010.

Part 1 introduces the UNESCO World Heritage List and talks about Tubbataha Reef.

Part 2 discusses the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park and the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras.


Part 3 discusses the Historic Center of Vigan and the Baroque Churches of the Philippines.

Finally, Part 4 talks about conservation challenges that each site is faced with and a conclusion for the whole documentary.


Personal Note: I have traveled to almost all the big cities in US, London, Rome, Spain, Belgium, Vancouver, Toronto, Cancun,Mexico, Puerto Rico, Hawaii( all islands) but sad to say, I have only visited three World Heritage Sites in the Philippines, namely the San Agustin Church in Manila,the Miagao Church in Iloilo and the Ifugao Rice Terraces. I have plans of visiting Palawan's Underground River in the next year or so and perhaps, Vigan. I have no desire visiting the Tubbataha Reefs, since I am prone to sea sickness. I will leave the Reefs to the diving enthusiasts of the world. I hope you enjoy the videos and the excellent narration.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Most Popular Folk Dances from the Philippines

The Singkil Entourage
Folk Dances of the Philippines may be classified by regions or the times in the history of the Philippines( Spanish influence, muslim rule, etc..). The first in the list are the highland tribal dances from the Cordillera Regions of Luzon.

Cordillera – highland tribal dances

1. Dances from within the depths of the mountains among the honorable braves and beautiful belles, ring the music of long ago, heralding a victorious return and a blessed merry-making. With the wildness in their blood and forest freedom in their spirit; the Kalinga, Ifugao, Gaddang, Bontoc and other tribal groups celebrate with wild feasting, headhunt, death, peace pact, wedding and/or a bountiful harvest:

a.Chua-ay – call to get together featuring nose flute

b. Kayabang – depicts a maiden's trip to the lowlands. She beats the bamboo sticks called the bungkaka to drive away the unseen evil spirits along the mountain trail

c. Paligo – a beautiful Igorot maiden cleansing herself in preparation of the coming courtship

d. Sayap & Banga – an intricate dance of the maidens, where they skillfully display versatility on the use of the indigenous Igorot cloth, Sayap and balancing clay-pots, Banga,(clay jars) on their heads

e.Lima Nga Gangsa – a dance where tribal elders start the ceremonies with a display of rhythms on the beat of the Gangsa gongs

f.Bumayah – a dance traditionally held during thanksgiving or after a bountiful harvest

2. Nostalgia Filipina – Los Bailes De Los Anos Pasados (Dances of Yester years Past)

The coming of the Spaniards in the 16th century marked the conversion of the Filipinos, principally those in the Luzon and the Visayan regions, to the Catholic faith and the introduction of western civilization; hence, the influence on the Philippine life:



a. Polka sa Plaza – a grand parade of beautiful ladies in their traditional Spanish gowns called Maria Clara and parasols (umbrellas). With their partners, wearing their traditional Barongs, they gladly parade, beginning from the church yard going around the town

b. Valse Filipina - a waltz dance of young collegiala showing off (or showcasing) elegant Maria Clara gowns

c. Panuelo - a dance where the ladies show off their beautifully embroidered shawls (panuelo)

d. La Simpatica - A courtship dance where the picky lady charms her four suitors, who will she choose?

e. Paseo de IloIlo - a dance originating from Llo-Llo (Visayas region) where the young lady who is trying to choose suitors by dancing with them

f. Jota Rizal – This is a lively and exhilarating dance originating from the Rizal province (Luzon region)

g. Baile De Amor – a provocative teasing lovers' dance


h. La Jota Moncadena – The clicking of castanets accompanies this dance with influences of polka, waltz and mazurka

i. Polka sa Batangas – a very popular polka dance originally from Batangas (Luzon region) performed during town fiestas, religious celebration and various events either to welcome a newly wed couple or an announcement of important social gatherings

j. Alcamfor – a courtship dance where the female dancer teases her suitor with a handkerchief scented with camphor fragrance

k. Bajo de los Cocoteros – combines the two European steps, polka and waltz, in a lively dance

3. Hariraya – Muslim and lowland tribal

When the Spaniards came to the Philippines they encountered pockets of the Muslim religion in Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan. They tried to occupy and replace Islam with Christianity, but in vain; the Filipino Muslims resisted. However, they had beautiful songs and dances which were easily liked and adopted by the people:

a. Budyong – a call for a gathering of town folks for a celebration using large seashells

b. Dugso – a dance ritual from Bukidnon region, showing a man's desire to thank his gods, featuring colourful headgear and rhythmical stomping

c. Tig-Ani – a ritual dance to overcome the malevolent omen of the predator hawk

d. Tahing Baila – a dance imitating the playfulness of fish as they swim through the water

e. Kapa Malong-Malong – a Muslim dance showing the versatile uses of the Muslim tubular cloth called Malong

f. Pang-Alay Pamansak
– a courtship dance from Sulu (Mindanao) whose intricate hand movements take their influence from Bali and Thailand

g. Silong Sa Ganding – a dance that imitates the movement of the gandingan (brass gongs) and the single headed Philippine drum dabakan

h. Singkil – taken from the Maranao epic Daranagan performed only by members of the ruling class. This exotic dance features the royal prince and princess as they dance in and out of the clashing criss- crossed bamboo poles


4. Sa Kabukiran – dances from the countryside

The Filipinos are by nature lovers of the arts. They have developed songs, music and dances, peculiarly their own but with a blending of three centuries of Spanish domination and half a century of American, Asian and European influences. These are the dances from the countryside - the rice fields, lake shores, the birds, the animals and coconut groves. They depict the various moods of the people in appreciation of nature and the quiet mode of life in rural areas:

a. Pandanggo sa Ilaw
– a dance using candle-lit glasses swayed like beacons for the homecoming of the fisherman

b. Sunduan – celebrating the spirit of the villagers working on the farm. Involves sowing, harvesting, thrashing, pounding and winnowing rice

c. Subli – a ceremonial dance from Bauang, Batangas to pay homage to the Holy Cross

d. Sayaw sa Bangko – a dance showing off dancing skills and good balance on top of narrow benches

e. Alay – an offering dance to welcome special guests on special occasions

f. Binuyugan – a dance imitates the ladies fetching water and balancing the pots on their head

g. Itik-Itik – a dance imitating the movements of ducks

h. Ilocana A Nasudi – a dance of the old people from Ilocos

i. Maglalatik – a dance celebrating coconut harvest, featuring coconut shells attached to different bodyparts clicked to create the sounds and beats of the dance as the movements get faster and faster

j. Binasuan – a skill dance showing town maidens balancing wine glasses on their heads and the hands without spilling a drop as they twirl and roll on the floor

k. Salakot – a dance showcasing/featuring traditional beautifulPhilippine straw Coolie hats

l. Tinikling - the best known of all Philippine Dances. Dancers hop in and out of fast clapping bamboo poles, imitating the movements of the tikling birds

The World Reknown Tinikling
I hope you have a good idea now of the diversity and richness of the folk dances in the Philippines

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Papaya Trees in the Garden of Chateau Du Mer



I have about six varieties of papaya trees in my garden at Chateau Du Mer in Boac, Marinduque. Of the six varieties, I like the Solo variety imported from Hawaii. The fruits are small but sweet and firm. The other varieties yields bigger fruits but is not as sweet and firm. (see photo above)

Speaking of Papaya Fruits, I am proud to inform readers of this blog, that my doctoral thesis from the University of Illinois, Chicago, USA was on the Papaya Fruit. The title of my thesis was " Chromatographic Analysis of the Volatile Components of the Papaya Fruit". This was published by the Journal of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Vol 54, No 6, pages 891-894 dated June, 1965. The following is additional information about the Papaya from Wikipedia.

Originally from southern Mexico, particularly Chiapas and Veracruz, Central America and northern South America, the papaya is now cultivated in most tropical countries, such as Brazil, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Philippines and Jamaica. In cultivation, it grows rapidly, fruiting within 3 years. It is, however, highly frost sensitive.

In the 1990s, the papaya ringspot virus threatened to wipe out Hawaii’s papaya industry completely. Two varieties of papaya, SunUp and Rainbow, that had been genetically modified to be resistant to the virus, were introduced into Hawaii.By 2010, 80% of Hawaiian papaya was genetically modified. Today there is still no conventional or organic method of controlling the ringspot virus. In 2004, non-genetically modified and organic papayas throughout Hawaii had experienced hybridization with the genetically modified varieties.

Papaya Fruit
Uses

Papaya can be used as a food, a cooking aid, and in medicine. The stem and bark are also used in rope production.

Gastronomy

The ripe fruit is usually eaten raw, without skin or seeds. The unripe green fruit of papaya can be eaten cooked, usually in curries, salads and stews. It has a relatively high amount of pectin, which can be used to make jellies.

Green papaya is used in Thai and Filipino cuisine, both raw and cooked.

The black seeds are edible and have a sharp, spicy taste. They are sometimes ground up and used as a substitute for black pepper. In some parts of Asia the young leaves of papaya are steamed and eaten like spinach. In parts of the world papaya leaves are made into tea as a preventative for malaria, though there is no real scientific evidence for the effectiveness of this treatment. The following is Papaya, raw Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)

Energy 163 kJ (39 kcal)
Carbohydrates 9.81 g
Sugars 5.90 g
Dietary fibre 1.8 g
Fat 0.14 g
Protein 0.61 g
Vitamin A equiv. 55 μg (6%)
- beta-carotene 276 μg (3%)
Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.04 mg (3%)
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.05 mg (3%)
Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.338 mg (2%)
Vitamin B6 0.1 mg (8%)
Vitamin C 61.8 mg (103%)
Calcium 24 mg (2%)
Iron 0.10 mg (1%)
Magnesium 10 mg (3%)
Phosphorus 5 mg (1%)
Potassium 257 mg (5%)
Sodium 3 mg (0%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.

Cooking

Green papaya fruit and the tree's latex are both rich in an enzyme called papain, a protease which is useful in tenderizing meat and other proteins. Its ability to break down tough meat fibers was used for thousands of years by indigenous Americans. It is included as a component in powdered meat tenderizers.

Medicine

Papaya is marketed in tablet form to remedy digestive problems.

Papain is also applied topically (in countries where it grows) for the treatment of cuts, rashes, stings and burns. Papain ointment is commonly made from fermented papaya flesh, and is applied as a gel-like paste. Harrison Ford was treated for a ruptured disc incurred during filming of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom by papain injections.

Women in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and other countries have long used green papaya as a folk remedy for contraception and abortion. Enslaved women in the West Indies were noted for consuming papaya to prevent pregnancies and thus preventing their children from being born into slavery.[citation needed] Medical research in animals has confirmed the contraceptive and abortifacient capability of papaya, and also found that papaya seeds have contraceptive effects in adult male langur monkeys, possibly in adult male humans as well.[11] Unripe papaya is especially effective in large amounts or high doses. Ripe papaya is not teratogenic and will not cause miscarriage in small amounts. Phytochemicals in papaya may suppress the effects of progesterone.

Papaya is frequently used as a hair conditioner, but should be used in small amounts. Papaya releases a latex fluid when not quite ripe, which can cause irritation and provoke allergic reaction in some people. The papaya fruit, seeds, latex, and leaves also contains carpaine, an anthelmintic alkaloid (a drug that removes parasitic worms from the body), which can be dangerous in high doses.

It is speculated that unripe papayas may cause miscarriage due to latex content that may cause uterine contractions which may lead to a miscarriage. Papaya seed extracts in large doses have a contraceptive effect on rats and monkeys, but in small doses have no effect on the unborn animals.

Excessive consumption of papaya can cause carotenemia, the yellowing of soles and palms, which is otherwise harmless. However, a very large dose would need to be consumed; papaya contains about 6% of the level of beta carotene found in carrots (the most common cause of carotenemia) per 100g.

Medicinal potential

* The juice has an antiproliferative effect on in vitro liver cancer cells, probably due to its component of lycopene or immune system stimulation.[16]

* Papaya seed could be used as an antibacterial agent for Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus or Salmonella typhi, although further research is needed before advocating large-scale therapy.
* Papaya seed extract may be nephroprotective (protect the kidneys) in toxicity-induced kidney failure.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ylang Ylang Trees in the Garden of Chateau Du Mer

The Ylang Ylang Tree

I have two mature trees of Ylang Ylang in my garden at Chateau Du Mer. The two trees along with six mango trees were planted after the completion of the construction of our retirement house in 1990. When the trees are in bloom, you can smell the fragrance of it flowers to as far as 50 meters and even farther if the wind direction is favorable. It is one fragrance, that I will never forget at Chateau Du Mer in Marinduque. Its reminds me of the perfume, Channel No.5.

On the subject of Ylang Ylang Oil,I am proud to inform readers of this blog that my Master's degree thesis was the Analysis of the Volatile Constituents of Ylang Ylang Oil by Gas Chromatography. This was published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Vol.52, No.3 252-258 dated March, 1963.

I believe not too many non-Filipinos have heard of this tree and it fragrant flowers. Here's a short information from Wikipedia for your reading pleasure.

Cananga odorata, commonly called Ylang-ylang (pronounced /ˈiːlæŋ ˈiːlæŋ/, EE-lang-EE-lang), cananga tree, ilang-ilang, kenanga (Indonesian), fragrant cananga, Macassar-oil plant or perfume tree), is a tree valued for its perfume. The essential oil derived from the flowers is used in aromatherapy and in the manufacture of perfumes.

Cananga odorata is a fast-growing tree of the custard-apple family, Annonaceae, that exceeds 5 m (15 ft) per year and attains an average height of 12 m (40 ft). It grows in full or partial sun, and prefers the acidic soils of its native rain forest habitat. The evergreen leaves are smooth and glossy, oval, pointed, with wavy margins, and 13–20 cm (5–8 in) long. The flower is drooping, long-stalked, with six narrow greenish yellow (rarely pink) petals, rather like a sea star in appearance, and yields a highly fragrant essential oil.

The Chemical Composition Typical chemical compositions of the various grades of Ylang ylang are reported as follows:

Constituents Linalool, geranyl acetate, caryophyllene, p-cresyl, methyl ether, methyl benzoate, other, sesquiterpenes.

Etymology

The name ylang-ylang is derived from Tagalog, either from the word ilang, meaning "wilderness", alluding to its natural habitat, or the word ilang-ilan, meaning "rare", suggestive of its exceptionally delicate scent. A more widely accepted translation is "flower of flowers". The plant is native to the Philippines and Indonesia and is commonly grown in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.

Characteristics

The fragrance of ylang-ylang is rich and deep with notes of rubber and custard, and bright with hints of jasmine and neroli. The essential oil of the flower is obtained through steam distillation of the flowers and separated into different grades (extra; 1; 2; 3) according to when the distillates are obtained. The main aromatic components of ylang-ylang oil are benzyl acetate, linalool, p-cresyl methyl ether, and methyl benzoate, responsible for its characteristic odor.

The essential oil of ylang-ylang is used in aromatherapy. It is believed to relieve high blood pressure, normalize sebum secretion for skin problems, and is considered to be an aphrodisiac. According to Margaret Mead, it was used as such by South Pacific natives such as the Solomons where she did much of her research. The oil from ylang-ylang is widely used in perfumery for oriental or floral themed perfumes (like Chanel No. 5). Ylang-ylang blends well with most floral, fruit and wood smells.

In Indonesia, ylang-ylang flowers are spread on the bed of newlywed couples. In the Philippines, its flowers, together with the flowers of the sampaguita, are strung into a necklace (lei) and worn by women and used to adorn religious images.

The Ylang Ylang Flowers
Uses

Medicinal uses

Ylang Ylang is a common ingredient in the herbal motion sickness remedy, MotionEaze.

Circulatory System: Ylang ylang is recommended for treating palpitations and reducing high blood pressure

Nervous System : Ylang ylang is known for its ability to slow down over-rapid breathing and over-rapid heart beat. These symptoms are usually associated with shock, anxiety and anger.

Reproductive System: Ylang ylang has proven beneficial for treating PMS, especially associated with extreme mood swings that occurs just before the onset of menstruation. For this purpose, Fischer-Rizzi recommends blending Ylang ylang with clary sage and neroli. This blend should be used in a bath, massage oil or in a vaporizer.

Skin care: Added to the skin care preparation, Ylang ylang oil is beneficial in softening and balancing the moisture of the skin. It is recommended in hair care to treat split ends. It can be used in a shampoo base of massaged into the tips of the hair after shampooing with a base oil such as apricot kernel or jojoba oil. Ylang ylang is recommended for dry and oily skin and is reputed to have a balancing action on sebum production.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Two of the Top Ten Non Music Videos in YouTube



There are two non-music videos that are in the top ten of the most viewed videos in YouTube. Both videos are about Babies and their antics. The first one is Charlie Bit My finger with 227,926,261 views as of today. The second is a Laughing Baby with 135,572,931 views. These two videos are worth your time. The other eight videos in the top ten are music videos of Lady Gaga(2 videos), Justin Beibers, Miley Cyrus, Sakira and others etc... Enjoy!
Charlie Bit My Finger

The Laughing Baby, Ha, Ha, Ha!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Have you Heard of You Tube Instant?


Feross Aboukhadijeh-Inventor of YouTube Instant

I just finished using YouTube Instant. I love it. This was the idea of a college student from Stanford University. Yesterday, Gawker News published a story written by Peter Kafka on Feross Aboukhadijeh who coded YouTube Instant in three hours. Here is the article from Gawker.

“YouTube Instant” Dude Can’t Go to Work for Chad Hurley, Because He’s Already Working For Mark Zuckerberg


There are lots of ways to become famous on the Internet. It took Feross Aboukhadijeh three hours of coding.

When he was done, he had built “YouTube Instant,” a great riff on Google’s (GOOG) own Instant search service. On Thursday night he told a couple hundred friends about the site via Twitter, and from there it went to Y Combinator’s Hacker News, and then to this site, and then on to the rest of the Web.

So far the most tangible benefit Aboukhadijeh has gotten from his instafame is a job offer, via Twitter, from YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley. But the Stanford junior can’t take him up on it — he’s already working for Mark Zuckerberg, as a Facebook intern, working on something “really cool.”

Here’s more on Aboukhadijeh, via a quickie email interview we put together on Friday. He was a little time-pressed: In addition to class, and work at Facebook, he had to figure out how to keep his site running under a crush of traffic.

Peter Kafka: Great site. What’s the inspiration?

Feross Aboukhadijeh: I decided to do this after hearing about Google Instant. I thought that instant search for YouTube videos would be really cool. My roommate bet me that I couldn’t code it up in an hour. It ended up taking 3 hours, so he won the bet.

Kafka: What’s the goal here?

Aboukhadijeh: I think YouTube Instant makes sense if you’re looking for a serendipitous video browsing experience. It’s not as useful as Google Instant if you know exactly what you’re looking for, since you’re shown distracting YouTube videos on the way to your destination. But I think this is perfect for many Internet users. :)

Kafka: What are you specializing in at Stanford?

Aboukhadijeh: I’m a Junior in the Stanford CS program. I’m interested in Internet technology, building websites, and computer security. I really enjoy building products that entertain and delight people, like YouTube Instant.

Kafka: Besides this, what’s your favorite project you’ve worked on?

Aboukhadijeh: I’ve been working at Facebook as an software engineer intern for the summer. Right now, we’re building something really cool that’s going to be released soon, but I can’t share any details because it’s top secret! :)

Kafka: I’m assuming you used the YouTube API to build this, correct? Any reaction from them so far?

Aboukhadijeh: I built YouTube Instant using a combination of the YouTube API and scraping YouTube search suggestions. No reaction from Google so far, but I think they’ll probably get a kick out of it. The YouTube CEO actually offered me a job on Twitter, he liked it so much.

I initially ran into some issues when Google automatically blocked my server for making too many repeated requests, but I just rewrote the site to query YouTube directly using Javascript on the client-side. This means that all the magic happens in each visitor’s browser, so it’s faster and Google can’t block it.

Kafka: What’s the plan after you graduate?

Aboukhadijeh: One day, I’d like to start a company that becomes the next Google and fundamentally changes the world for the better.

I like the ambition! Meanwhile I like YouTube Instant a lot. FYI, this classic is what the site suggests if you type in “Facebook”:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Excerpts from the Inspirational Talk of Dr. Randy Pausch-The Last Lecture



Today's news featured the widow of Dr Randy Pausch who died of pancreatic cancer about two years ago. The news reminded me of his original video-The Last Lecture about three years ago. The whole video is available in the web but it is too long. So, I think this 10 minute video from the Oprah Wimprey show will also inspire you and reminds you of his memory and will be an easy read. Viewing this video will not take too much of your time. Enjoy and be inspired!

Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

On September 18, 2007, Carnegie Mellon professor and alumnus Randy Pausch delivered a one-of-a-kind last lecture that made the world stop and pay attention. It became an Internet sensation viewed by millions, an international media story, and a best-selling book that has been published in 35 languages. To this day, people everywhere continue to talk about Randy, share his message and put his life lessons into action in their own lives.

Randy died July 25, 2008, at the age of 47. May He Rest in Peace, Amen

Personal Note:In this video Randy said that after finishing his Ph.D.,his Mom introduced him to all their relatives and friends this way,"This is my son who is now a doctor, but he doesn't help people".

This reminded me of my wife's introduction to all our relatives and friends after I graduated with my Ph.D degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1964. You may call my husband a doctor now, the kind that does not have a stethoscope". My wife informed me this is an easier way of trying to explain what my Ph.D.in Pharmaceutical Chemistry means to all our relatives and friends.

Monday, September 13, 2010

UST Singers and Pavarotti




Luciano Pavarotti
Born 12 October 1935(1935-10-12)
Modena, Italy
Died 6 September 2007 (aged 71)
Modena, Italy
Nationality Italian
Occupation Opera singer (tenor)
Years active 1961–2006


Announcement as Winners of the Choir of the World Contest, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Welcome Ceremony-Putong and Eating Balut in Marinduque


Two and a half years ago during our 50th wedding anniversary celebration, we welcome my American son-in-law(David King) and his son Ian ( my oldest grandson) with a balut eating ceremony. They have never eaten a balut but heard about it in the TV show Fear Factor. With them is my oldest son Dodie who immigrated to US when he was 18 months. The other two is my youngest son David III(not in photo below) who was born in US and Alex Chaplin, the American fiancee of my niece, Elaine Lazarte from Mountain View, California. Prior to their first balut tasting, I demonstrated how to eat the balut properly starting from cracking the eggs and sipping the juice and not eating the hard white part. The picture below showed how happy and enthusiastic the group was. We had a Putong Ceremony the day before for the group. Included in the Putong Ceremony besides the five guys mentioned were my two daughters, Dinah Katague King and Ditas Katague Thompson along with their daughters, Elaine Katague King and Carenna Katague Thompson. Dodie's wife and three children were not able to attend our wedding anniversary celebration. If you have not heard of Putong before, I have a short article on this ceremony of welcome (only done in Marinduque) in my other blog, http://marinduqueawaitsyou.blogspot.com.

Alex Chaplin,Ian Katague-King, David King and Dodie Katague eating their first balut washed with San Miquel beer in the front yard of Chateau Du Mer-our retirement home in the Philippines

So what is really is a balut. Here's a short write-up from Wikipedia.
A balut is a fertilized duck (or chicken) egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell.
Popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac and considered a high-protein, hearty snack, balut are mostly sold by street vendors in the regions where they are available. It is commonly sold as streetfood in the Philippines. They are common, everyday food in some other countries in Southeast Asia, such as in Laos and Thailand (where it is called Khai Luk), Cambodia (Pong tea khon in Cambodian), and Vietnam (Trứng vịt lộn or Hột vịt lộn in Vietnamese). They are often served with beer. The Filipino and Malay word balut (balot) means "wrapped" – depending on pronunciation

Here's a video I found in YouTube of a white young man tasting his first balut with the encouragement of his Filipino friends. I get a kick seeing his facial expression while he was eating the balut. He passed the test just like my relatives in the above photo in Marinduque.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Time for Lady Gaga's- Alejandro Music Video

Lady Gaga before and after her nose job plastic surgery

I heard this song when Lady Gaga was featured in the TV show, American Idol. Since then this song had more than 12 million hits all over the world. Hope you enjoy it as well as I do! If you have not heard about Lady Gaga, here is a short write-up about her in Wikipedia.

Lady Gaga (born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta; March 28, 1986) is an American recording artist. She began performing in the rock music scene of New York City's Lower East Side in 2003 and enrolled at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She soon signed with Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records. During her early time at Interscope, she worked as a songwriter for fellow label artists and captured the attention of Akon, who recognized her vocal abilities, and got her signed to his own label, Kon Live Distribution.

Released on August 19, 2008, her debut album, The Fame, reached number one in the UK, Canada, Austria, Germany and Ireland, and reached the top-ten in numerous countries worldwide; in the United States, it peaked at two on the Billboard 200 chart and topped Billboard's Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Its first two singles, "Just Dance" and "Poker Face", co-written and co-produced with RedOne, became international number-one hits, topping the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States as well as the charts of other countries. The album later earned a total of six Grammy Award nominations and won awards for Best Electronic/Dance Album and Best Dance Recording. In early 2009 she embarked on her first headlining tour, The Fame Ball Tour. By the fourth quarter of the year, she had released her second studio album The Fame Monster, with the global chart-topping lead single "Bad Romance", as well as having embarked on her second headlining tour of the year, The Monster Ball Tour.

Lady Gaga is inspired by glam rock artists such as David Bowie and Queen, as well as pop musicians such as Madonna and Michael Jackson. She has also stated fashion is a source of inspiration for her songwriting and performances. Gaga was ranked the 73rd Artist of the 2000-10 decade by Billboard. As of May 2010, Gaga has sold over 15 million albums and over 40 million singles worldwide. In May 2010, Time magazine included Gaga in its annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Justin Beiber's ( Baby) versus Lady Gaga (Bad Romance)


Justin Beiber's music video "Baby" has just by-passed Lady Gaga's " Bad Romance" as the most viewed music video in YouTube. "Baby" as of today has about 317 million views and "Bad Romance has only about 275 million views. Personally, I like Lady Gaga song better than Justin Beiber's. For some reason, I am not really enthused to Justin Beiber's song. Perhaps I am just too old for this kind of music. Here are the two videos for your listening pleasure.
Justin Beiber's BaBY
Lady Gaga Bad Romance

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Julio Iglesias, Sr- My wife's Favorite Singer



I am talking about the senior Julio, not the son. My wife and I first attended a concert that Julio gave way back in the late 1970's in Burlingame, CA. The theater was mobbed by screaming women of all ages. One of the women screaming for his name is my wife who was in her late thirties at that time. Luckily, she was not one of several women who throw their panties to the stage. Macrine, my wife for 53 years is one out of the millions of Julio's groupie and fans. She has a complete collection of all his songs from 1970 to 1990.

The second Julio concert we attended was in Lake Tahoe, NV in the late 1980's. This time the crowd was a little bit tamer and no panties were thrown on the stage. However, I have to pay scalped tickets for about 10 times the regular price, so I could also see the show. Macrine also attended two other live converts of Julio in Reno, NV with her girl friends(Julio fans) in the mid 1980's.

Here's a video of his US National TV debut during the Johnny Carson Show in 1983 singing "Hey".

Julio Iglesias US TV Debut during the Johnny Carson Show,1983

In case you are too young and have not heard of Julio Iglesias, Sr., here's his bio from Wikipedia. Today, Julio Sr has two sons who are also singers, Julio, Jr and Enrique. Enrique is more popular than Julio, Jr.

Julio José Iglesias de la Cueva (born September 23, 1943) better known as Julio Iglesias is a Spanish singer who has sold over 200 million records worldwide in 14 languages and released 77 albums. According to Sony Music Entertainment, he is one of the top 10 best selling music artists in history. While Iglesias rose to international prominence in the 1970s and 1980s as a performer of romantic ballads, his success has continued on as he entered new musical endeavors.

Iglesias was born in Madrid, the eldest son of Dr. Julio Iglesias Puga and Maria del Rosario de la Cueva y Perignat. Iglesias' father's family was from Galicia and Iglesias' mother, who was of Jewish origin, traced her ancestry to Andalusia, Puerto Rico and Cuba. He has a younger brother, Carlos. When Iglesias was 61 years old, his 89 year old father produced more children: half brother Jaime born in May 18, 2004, half-sister Ruth born in July 26, 2006. Julio's siblings were born to Dr. Iglesias Puga's second marriage to Ronna Keitt.

In the 1960s, he studied law in Madrid and was a goalkeeper for one of Real Madrid's football team, however, a car crash in September 22, 1963, ended his football career. His doctors thought he would never walk again, but slowly, he began recovering his health. To develop and increase the dexterity of his hands, he began playing guitar. When he recovered from his accident, he resumed academic studies and traveled to the United Kingdom to study the English language, first in Ramsgate, then at Bell Educational Trust's Language School in Cambridge.
Julio and son, Enrique

In 1971, he married Filipina journalist Isabel Preysler and had three children, Chabeli Iglesias, Julio Iglesias, Jr. and Enrique Iglesias. Their marriage was annulled in 1979.

Iglesias married Dutch model Miranda Rijnsburger at a private ceremony in Marbella, Spain in August of 2010. The couple has three sons and twin daughters: Miguel (born September 7, 1997), Rodrigo (born April 3, 1999), Victoria and Cristina (born May 1, 2001) and Guillermo (born May 5, 2007).

In 1968, he won the Benidorm International Song Festival, a songwriter's event in Spain, with the song "La vida sigue igual" used in his film "La vida sigue igual" about his life. After his events he signed a deal with Discos Columbia, the Spanish branch of the Columbia Records company. He represented Spain in the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest, earning fourth place, after Northern Irish singer Dana and the Welsh singer Mary Hopkin. His entry was the song "Gwendolyne". Shortly after he had a number one hit in many European countries with "Un Canto A Galicia". That single sold 1 million copies in Germany. In 1975 he found success in the Italian market by recording a song exclusively in Italian called "Se mi lasci non vale" ("If you leave me, it can't be"). Notable albums from this decade are A Flor de Piel (1974, with the European hit "Manuela"), "El Amor" (1975) and "Soy" (1978). He also sang in French. One of his popular songs is "Je n'ai pas changé".

Following the annulment of his marriage to Preysler in 1979, he moved to Miami, Florida, in the United States and signed a deal with CBS International, and started singing in different languages such as English, French, Portuguese, German and other languages to his music. Iglesias released the album De Niña a Mujer (1981), from it came the first English-language hit, a Spanish cover of "Begin the Beguine" which became number 1 in the United Kingdom, he also released a collection, Julio (1983). In 1984, he released 1100 Bel Air Place, the hit album which gave him publicity in the English speaking entertainment industry. It sold four million albums in the United States, with the first single "To All the Girls I've Loved Before", a duet with Willie Nelson, earning a fifth place spot in the Billboard Hot 100; it also featured "All of You", with Diana Ross.

In 1985, Julio Iglesias, Sr, was kidnapped, but found alive two weeks later, prompting Julio Iglesias to move his children to Miami, Florida. That year he recorded duets with Diana Ross and Willie Nelson. Iglesias won a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album in the 1988 Grammy Awards for the album Un Hombre Solo (A Man Alone). He recorded a duet with Stevie Wonder on "My Love", in his Non Stop album, a crossover success in 1988. In the 1990s, Iglesias returned to his original Spanish melody in Tango (1996), nominated for Best Latin Pop Album at the 1998 Grammy Awards, losing to the Romances album by Mexican singer, Luis Miguel. Also that year, his youngest son from his first marriage, Enrique Iglesias, also was nominated for the Vivir album.

Julio Iglesias went on to win the World Music Award for Tango in Monaco later that year where he was up against singer Luis Miguel and son Enrique for the second time. Julio performed two "Tangos" to the delight of the audience. In 1995 he appeared as a guest star in the videoclip of Thalía's song "Amandote"; she had starred in the video clip of Iglesias's hit "Baila Morena". Iglesias returned to the headlines in October, 2003, when he went to Argentina and kissed show host Susana Giménez three times during a live telecast of her show.

In 2003, he release his album Divorcio (Divorce). In its first day of sales, Divorcio sold a record 350,000 albums in Spain; and reached the number 1 spot on the charts in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Russia.


In 2003 and 2004, he was featured on a ten month world tour; which took Iglesias, aided by the success his album Divorcio and toured from Europe and Asia to North America, South America and Africa. More than half the shows on the tour sold out within days of going on sale. In December 2004, his Dutch girlfriend Miranda Rijnsburger and Iglesias himself recorded a duet of the Christmas song "Silent Night". The song, which was not officially released, also included a voice message from Iglesias, Rijnsburger and their 4 young children. The song was released online through the singer's official website and a CD was included on their Christmas card as a holiday gift from the Iglesias family to their friends and fans around the world.

In 2008, Iglesias recorded another song as a gift to his fans. The family recorded "The Little Drummer Boy" in Spanish and English and included it in the family's Christmas card. Iglesias also made investments in the Dominican Republic's eastern town of Punta Cana, a major tourist destination, where he spends most of the year when he is not on tour. Iglesias' south Florida mansion on the exclusive private Indian Creek Island property was placed on the market in 2006 for a quoted $28 million dollars, making it one of "Ten Most Expensive Homes in the South" in 2006 according to Forbes Magazine.

In September 2006 a new English album titled Romantic Classics was released. Iglesias stated "I've chosen songs from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s that I believe will come to be regarded as the new standards," he says in the album's sleeve notes. The album features the hits "I Want To Know What Love Is", "Careless Whisper" and "Right Here Waiting". Romantic Classics was Iglesias's highest debut on the Billboard charts entering at number 31 in the United States, 21 in Canada, 10 in Australia and top spots across Europe and Asia. He returned to the studio to record songs in Filipino and Indonesian for his Asian releases of Romantic Classics which helped propel record sales in the Asian entertainment industry. Iglesias promoted Romantic Classics in 2006 and was seen all over the world on Television shows and in the United States, he appeared on Dancing With The Stars where he sang his hit "I Want To know what Love Is," "Good Morning America," "The View," "Fox and Friends" and "Martha Stewart."

In 2008, Iglesias promoted his Romantic Classics album worldwide and in 2009-2010, he plans for a world tour as a celebration of forty years in the music industry.

More Power to You Julio!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Joke of the Day From Sandee-Comedy Plus

Image from teacupyorkies.com

Here's another joke from Sandee to spice your day! The title is The Handsome Stranger

The woman entered the room, and with a knowing smile teasing her full lips, she sank into the comfort of the plush chair in the corner.

The handsome stranger turned, having sensed her approach. Locking his steely gray eyes on hers, he moved slowly toward her, his experienced gaze measuring her, hypnotizing her with his soft murmurs of assurance. He sank to his knees before her and without a word, smoothly released her from her constraining attire.

With a sigh of surrender, she allowed his foreign hands to unleash her bare flesh. He expertly guided her through this tender, new territory, boldly taking her to heights she had never dared to dream of, his movements deliberate, confident in his ability to satisfy her every need.

Her senses swam. She was overcome with an aching desire that had gone unfulfilled for so long.

And, just as it seemed that ecstasy was within her grasp, he paused, and for one heart-stopping moment, she thought, “It’s too big! – it will never fit!”

Then, with a sudden rush, it slid into place as if it had been made only for her. As pleasure and contentment washed over her, she met his steady gaze, tears of gratitude shining in her eyes.

And he knew it wouldn’t be long before she returned. Oh, yes, this woman would want more. She would want to do it again and again and again… Don't ya just love shopping for shoes?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

You Must be Rich, Since You are From Marinduque

Marinduque Sunset

You are from Marinduque, So,You Must be Rich!

This is a statement from my new Filipino-American mailman. I was surprise of his statement and ask why he has that impression. Well, you have the copper, gold and iron mines don't you? When I told him the mines had been closed for a while, he replied, I did not know that.

Latest Mining News: On 26 July, 2010, the provincial board of the Marinduque approved a resolution reiterating the declaration of a 50-year large scale mining moratorium issued in the year 2005, 'so as to avoid further impairment and damage' to their 'affluent island province'.

So, I ask him where did he grew up in the Philippines and when did he immigrated to US. He said he grew up in the Manila area and has been in US since 1985.

Evidently, there is a lot of misinformation about Marinduque even from Filipino-Americans here in US. This is only not true here in the Sacramento area, but also in Chicago, Kansas City, Washington, DC, but most of all here in Northern California. The above places I have listed are places where we have resided since 1960. A lot of these Filipino- Americans, professionals or non-professionals only have a vague idea of where Marinduque is located in the Philippines. Some think it is a Visayan province. Only a few know that it is a southern Tagalog province.

One of the reasons why Marinduque is not known to most Filipino-Americans here in US is the lack of publicity and information about Marinduque in the Internet. Even the provincial website is not operational. Today, there are only a few web sites, mostly personal and travel blogs describing the beauty of the island. So, how can our provincial officials promote world wide tourism with out a website?.

I am doing my best in promoting tourism to Marinduque with my nine blogs about the beauty of our island. Recently, I received the following e-mail.This will indeed promote travel to Marinduque once the project is completed.

Hi David,

I'm Erwin Ricamonte of ABS-CBN Global The Filipino Channel, Currently we are producing TFC Connect, a five minute program that gives an update about the Philippines for the subscribers worldwide. I would like to ask for your help if you have contact with the Marinduque Province such as the Tourism Department. I read an article about Marinduque and I saw your email address.

We would like to feature the Marinduque as of the best tourist destination for our kababayan abroad. I'm looking for your favorable response. Thank you very much.

ERWIN RICAMONTE
Interstitial Production and Program Development
Integrated Global Content
415.2272 local 4471
0917.3080421 / 0928.9575281

I immediately forwarded the e-mail to two of my contacts in Marinduque- Mr Eli Obligacion and Mr. Jerry Jamilla. I hope that this TV project will help in enticing Filipino-Americans to visit Marinduque.

So if you are from Marinduque, help me achieve my goals of making Marinduque a tourist attraction not only during Easter but also whole year round by supporting my websites.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Julie Andrews-My Favorite Things-40 years After


A friend from the Philippines forwarded the following article just recently. It rings a bell as a senior citizen. The Sound of Music is one Broadway play and movie, I will always treasure.

"It wouldn't be funny if it weren't so true... Julie Andrews turned 69 and to commemorate her 69th birthday on October 1, actress/vocalist Julie Andrews made a special appearance at Manhattan 's Radio City Music Hall for the benefit of the AARP. One of the musical numbers she performed was "My Favorite Things" from the legendary movie "The Sound Of Music."

Here are the actual lyrics she used:

Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Cadillac's and cataracts, and hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favorite things..

When the pipes leak, When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pains, confused brains, and no need for sinnin',
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin',
And we won't mention our short, shrunken frames,
When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache, When the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Ms. Andrews received a standing ovation from the crowd that lasted over four minutes and repeated encores. Please share Ms. Andrews' clever wit and humour with others who would appreciate it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...