Planning to Visit the Philippines Soon?

There are hundreds of tourists attractions in the Philippines. But as a lover of the Island of Marinduque (Home of the Morions and Heart of the Philippines), I am indeed partial to its beauty, charm and its friendly and hospitable residents. Therefore, help me achieve my dream of seeing this island becomes a world tourist destination, by telling all your friends and relatives about this site. Welcome, to you all, new readers and faithful followers of this site! The photo above is Poctoy White Beach in Torrijos, Marinduque with beautiful and majestic Mt Malindig in the background. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing your copyrights. Please do not forget to read the latest National and International news in the right side bar of this blog!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Armageddon-End of the World- 2012 ?


I just received an e-mail from a friend reminding me that the end of the world as predicted by Nostradamus, or by the Masons is just a little more than 2 years from now., that is 2012. He asked me if I am ready. I answered him, yes without a doubt. I even told him, that it could be sooner, if the US and other countries do not watch carefully what is going on in North Korea,Iran,or Pakistan these days.

The e-mail aroused my curiosity so I went to the website, http:// www.history.com under Armageddon I found several videos, about the Masons, Nostradamus and Egypt saying the same thing. But I am not worried and still feel ready for the end of the World. I feel I have done my best to the utmost of my ability, to be a productive citizen of the world as well as a good father and grandfather, husband and chemist. I even informed, him I just finished organizing highlights of my autobiography and is now published in one of my seven blogs that I dedicated to family and friends.

My question to you, my readers, Are you also ready? If not, start organizing your life. If you believe in this prediction you have only about two years to get ready. What do you think? Is this pure fiction or just a hype to sell more videos. Is there scientific basis for this prediction? Here's a short video for your information.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort and Conference Center, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines


The Beach House and Bridge at Night

Solar Lights as seen from the Conference Hall




Looking for a romantic get away? Tired of city Living? Looking for an affordable vacation? Marinduque Islands, Philippines awaits you. Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort a private resort is now open to the public. For details visit the website, www.chateaudumer.com or http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com

Call 916-961-3365 (US) or 042-332-1338 (Manila) for further information

Mothers Day



Mothers Day is fast approaching. Advertisement for flowers and other mothers day gifts is starting to flood the TV, radio and in the internet. But who could afford those flowers if you are jobless and only in a retirement pension. I have an idea though to send you a flower from my garden in Boac.( See photo above). This photograph was taken by Gabby Del Rosario, son of Renan and Gilda Del Rosario of Muntinglupa, PI. The Del Rosario family were our guests at Chateau Du Mer in Boac last December, 2008.

Remember motherhood is the hardest and most challenging job in the world. A good mother is not only patient, devoted and loving but also a friend. I hope you have a fun mothers' day. If you are reading this blog, you are one of the many mothers that have touched our lives the last 52 years of our married life. Comments will be appreciated. Dave and Macrine Katague

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Christmas Story-The Ugly ( ? ? ) Americans


Is it too early to talk about Christmas? Tomorrow is Halloween, but the nights are getting colder here in Fair Oaks. The trees on my yard are starting to turn dark yellow, orange, red and gold and have started dropping on my swimming pool. With Fall season in full swing, I can not help myself thinking about Christmas. I can not think of any article in the past that I have written, that is more appropriate than this article I wrote for our employees newspaper at Stauffer Chemicals, Richmond, California in 1983. I titled it : A Gift from the Ugly Americans-A true story. Here's the full article as published in the Stauffer News, Christmas Edition, Vol.14, 1983, page 11.

December, 1959. It was my first year as a graduate student at the University of Illinois, Chicago. As a foreign student from the Philippines, away from home, wife and family, I was lonely, homesick and almost ready to quit school. However, my burning ambition to get a Ph.D. in Chemistry and not to be labeled a quitter, forced me hang on for a whole year.

All my co-graduate student assistants realized how much I missed my newly wedded wife, and they had been inviting me to their homes on weekend and holidays. I wrote to my wife almost every week, but how I wished I could afford to talk to her via overseas call, even just for 10 minutes. But my stipend as a graduate assistant of $190 a month was barely enough to pay for my room and board and an overseas call was beyond my means.

Realizing my need, ten of my classmates arranged to pay for a call as a surprise Christmas gift to me. They organized a potluck party in one of the assistant's apartments and called the Philippine operator ahead to arrange for an open line to my wife. In the middle of the party, I was told I had a telephone call. What a big surprise to hear my wife's voice after one year of separation. I was dumbfounded.

I stuttered like a three year old kid as tears streamed down my face-tears of happiness and appreciation of what the group had done- the best Christmas present I have ever received. I will never forget that act of kindness and thoughtfulness from people I once called the "Ugly Americans". With that surprise gift, my preconceived ideas that most Americans were clones of Lederer and Burdick's characters went down the drain. Gone were my impressions that Americans were imperialists or colonial pigs, selfish and heartless people.

Today, we have lived in this country for 24 years, and pledged citizenship in 1970. From the beginning of our time here, we have made it a family tradition to invite foreign students into our home every Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. This is our way of saying "thank you", to the ten "Beautiful Americans" who gave $2.00 each to pay for the telephone call so that a poor and homesick student could enjoy the spirit of Christmas.

Note: William Roberts, Manager Employee Communications of Stauffer wrote me a personal note as follows:

Dr. Katague: Your story has been chosen to be published in the 1983 issue of the Stauffer News. It gives me great pleasure to tell you that you will received shortly in the mail a $75 U.S. Savings Bond to thank you for sharing your memories with us.

>Here's a short video of the movie made of the book in 1963 starring Marlon Brando. Enjoy the trailer of the movie.

Childhood Memories of the Japanese-American War in the Philippines, 1941-1945




General MacArthur Returns,October,1944(top)
David J Katague Family, 1956

I am writing this blog for the benefit of my children and grand children and the new generations of Filipinos who have no knowledge or memory of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. It was 13 days before my 7th birthday when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in the morning, Sunday , December 7, 1941. That same day in the evening, Japanese planes had taken off to attack several targets in the Philippines. The Japanese had planned six landings: Bataan, Aparri, Vigan, Legaspi, Davao and Jolo Island. For the sake of clarity in this narrative, here are the important dates of that war: Here's a 10 minute video of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

December 7, 1941 Sunday Morning Bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
December 7-22, 1941 Start of Bombing of the Philippines and Japanese landed in several places in the island.
April 9, 1942 The Fall of Bataan and the Death March
May, 1942 The Fall of Corregidor and General MacArthur fled to Australia
October 1944 General MacArthur landed in Leyte " I Shall Return"
September, 1945 Japanese Surrender
July 4, 1946 Philippines Independence from US

When Japan started bombing the Philippines, I was in 2nd grade at the Jaro Elementary School,Iloilo. When my family heard of the bombings, we all panic and decided we moved from the city of Jaro, a most likely bombing target to our farm in Barotac Viejo, least likely target for bombing and Japanese occupation. Barotac Viejo, my mother's ancestral town is a small town about 60 Km North of Jaro, Iloilo City.
I remember every one in my family was in chaotic mood and within a couple of days we packed all the essentials we could take and the rest of our household goods we left behind at our residence in Arguelles Street. I remember clearly my mother ordered all her china and sterling silver buried at the backyard of our house. We left all the furnitures and household goods that were heavy and cumbersome.

( Later we found out, our house was bombed and all the china and silver were stolen)
The house was 80% demolished and all the furnitures were either destroyed or stolen.

So for a while we settled in a small farm house of one of our tenants in one of the distant barrios of the town. As war progressed and we heard Japanese forces have penetrated most of the big cities in the Philippines and are starting to occupy even small towns, my father who was a captain and dental officer for newly organized Philippine Guerrillas- a resistant movement, decided to move to the jungle in the interior of Panay Island. I remember we walked for 3 days in the jungles, creeks and mountains just following a small path. My parent's tenants create a path for us with their bolos or machetes. We found a hidden valley with a creek with crystal clear water. Our tenants started building a bamboo and nipa hut, an out-door kitchen and a dining area. Using a bamboo sledge and a water Buffalo, our tenants brought us about 20 sacks of rice, salt, sugar and a few spices. In the jungle we started to clear areas where we could plant vegetables, corn and sweet potatoes. We also started to raise chickens and ducks and goats for eggs, protein and milk.

My pets were the chickens and the goats. One of the chicks, I raised personally and even slept with me. He got attached to me ( fingerprint) and kept following me where ever I go. That chicken believe I am her mother. My mother tolerated it, since there were no other kids in the jungle except my younger brother. To keep us from being bored, my father home schooled us ( me and my brother as well as two of my older cousins). Every day for almost 4 hours, we were taught arithmetic, spelling and history. We were lucky to have brought with us a few books in Philippine and US history. Every now and then our tenants would bring us additional supply of rice and tell us news of the extent of the Japanese occupation.
Late in the war when the Japanese war atrocities appeared to stop, we decided to move from the jungle to a seaside village and stayed at the house of one of our tenants. My father instructed us not to talk to any stranger, and if asked what our names, we do not give Katague as our name but Katigbak. Rumors have circulated that the Japanese has commandeered a lists of all guerrillas, and my father's name is in that list. There were a few natives that work as spies for the Japanese- known then as collaborators. One day, we saw a platoon of Japanese soldiers in uniform complete with guns and bayonets passed by our village. The whole village was agog with excitement. My brother and I also watched hiding in the bushes. I was trembling with fear that one soldier will see us. Fortunately, the soldiers continued their march to next village. That incident of actually seeing Japanese soldiers was one of the highlights of my experiences during this Japanese war.

A scary and frightening incident occurred to my mother's relatives at the time when were hiding in the jungle. My mom's cousins family of 30 individuals ( children, cousins, aunts, brothers and sisters) were also hiding in the jungle on a mountain ridge next to us. We heard that they were all killed by the Japanese soldiers who were able to penetrate their hideouts with help of spies collaborating with the Japanese. Only one member of the clan was spared. She was handicapped and in a wheel chair. During the massacre, she fell on the creek and was mistaken for dead and was left alone to tell the story.

When I was in graduate school, I was often asked by friends if I harbor resentment to the Japanese because of the atrocities they have committed. My answer is a resounding no. My family never did experience a personal attacked by the Japanese. But my mother in law has never forgiven the Japanese for killing her sister who was a nurse in the Philippine Army. One of my classmates in Illinois, whose father was killed by the Japanese will not seat in the same table in the school cafeteria with other Japanese students.

When General MacArthur landed in Leyte, that was the happiest day to all Filipinos. The Japanese started to retreat and peace in the Philippines was welcome with excitement. The schools were planning to reopen, so from the sea village we move to another barrio much closer to town. In that barrio, we built a much bigger house. In the back of the house, there was a hill. On a clear day you could see the next island of Negros. It was also an observation hill for us. We could watch Japanese and American planes "dog fight" during a clear day. My brother and I actually saw two planes attacking each other and one plane blown to pieces and burning as it falls from the sky to the sea between Panay and Negros Islands. What a thrill! We assume, it is a Japanese plane since the Americans are winning all the battles at this stage of the war.

When schools reopened, we were required to take a test, to see what grade level is our current knowledge. I passed the test for a 4th grade level, although I was only in second grade before the war. So, I completed six grades in only four years. I was two years younger than most of my classmates. This was the result of my father's drilling us every day with arithmetic, spelling and history while we were hiding from the Japanese in the jungle.

On July 4, 1946 the Philippines was granted independence by the US. In 1947, I was freshman in our local high school. In 1951, I graduated valedictorian of our high school class, then later enrolled at the University of the Philippines. In 1955, I graduated with a Bachelors degree in Chemistry. A year later I passed the Board Examination for Chemists, 3rd place nationwide. In May, 1957, I married the former Macrina Nieva Jambalos from Boac, Marinduque. We are still married and next year in May will be our 52nd wedding anniversary.
Our Wedding Day, May 8, 1957

Link within

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