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!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Funny Wedding Pictures-Not Worthy for your Album


The subject of wedding was brought to my attention recently, when Macrine's niece informed us that we will be the primary sponsor for her wedding this coming November (civil wedding ceremony) in Los Gatos, California to be followed next year (January 29) with a Roman Catholic ceremony in the Boac Cathedral in Marinduque. She will be inviting 14 guests from US, so we are currently planning their accommodations at Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort in Marinduque. Macrine's sister from Alameda, California and her family are also planning to attend, so it appears that Chateau Du Mer will be filled to capacity the last week of January. So, if you are planning to reserve the beach house on the dates between January 23 to 30, 2011 you are out of luck. Get your reservations from other hotels or beach resorts in Marinduque.
Here are the photos from golmao.com for your enjoyment. Comments will be appreciated.



Sunday, August 29, 2010

Are there Optional Clothing Beaches in Marinduque?

Love Formation in the Nude-Image from dannystewart.net

I posted a question in FaceBook recently about "clothing optional" beaches in Marinduque as follows:

Several friends here in Northern California are asking me if there are "clothing optional" beaches in Marinduque or any where else in the Philippines. I really do not know. But,I know of several secluded coves in Marinduque that you can sun bath in the nude if you wish. Any body from Marinduque or the Philippines have the answer?

I received three comments from FaceBook friends. Here are their comments.

1. David there are private beaches/cove in Torrijos or some of the islets around like south side beach of Gaspar Island in Tres Reyes. It is secluded and my foreign friends are using those areas but they should be discreet.
Isolated Cove in Gaspar Island-plenty of privacy for sun bathing

2.As long as they are discreet and not being a nuisance, I've found that you can pretty much do as you wish.(Note to everyone... No one wants to see what I've got!) Not certain about "official" nude beaches, but there are so many secluded, nearly empty stretches of beach here, and hundreds of little islets in the country, finding someplace shouldn't pose a problem.

3.Anybody may do what they want provided it is not causing public disturbance. Marinduque is still considered as conservative place with people warm and friendly, yet will react if they see nude body under the sun.

Image from the dailybeast.com
I have also heard that there are clothing optional beaches in Palawan and Boracay!

In this video are optional clothing beaches of Southern California and Santorini, Greece ( definitely not in Bellarocca Resort of Buenavista, Marinduque). Enjoy!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Twenty Most Beautiful Places in the World


The Niagara Falls at Night as viewed from the Canadian Side

Here's a video of the 20 most beautiful places in the world. Of the 20 listed, I have visited two of them, the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls both in North America. The other places in my wish list are Machu Picchu of Peru, the Great Wall of China and Great Barrier and Coral Reefs of Australia. However, in my retiring years, I will be happy to enjoy these places in front of my computer.

How about you? Have you visited any of the 20 places listed in this video? If you are young and healthy, but no money, then work harder to save and see the places listed in person before you are too old to travel. However, today just enjoy this video with me (background music will commence after 2.10 minutes). Comments?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Have you seen any Controversial Filipino Films?


Do you like controversial movies? In my previous blog, I have listed three US-made controversial movies that I love. Thus, I was curious for information and a list of most Controversial Philippine Films. The following is an article on this subject from Wiki-Filipinas, a filipino version of the Wikipedia.

"Throughout the history of the film industry in the Philippines, several filmmakers have already produced projects which tackled Philippine political, sexual, social and religious matters which are considered sensitive and controversial. Some of which are taboo subjects but are widely acknowledged by film audiences.

The following are some of the most controversial Philippine films which spawned heaps of rumors and comments from moviegoers and movie aficionados; were applauded; nearly banned, or totally banned in Philippine cinemas.

Toro (Live Show) - was one of the most talked about films released in Philippine cinema, such that it was even banned in all movie theaters. The movie dealt with a very sensitive issue--the plight of the "toreros and toreras" or people who do "live shows/live sex" for a living. Despite strong prohibitions, many people were still able to watch the film. Most of its viewers believed that this movie deserved international recognition because, unlike the typical bomba (Filipino soft porn) films, which are substantially weak, Toro is a film that gave the words sex and sexuality a different meaning.

Imelda - This is a documentary on one of the Philippines' most popular personalities, the former First Lady Imelda Marcos. The film explores Imelda's complex persona, documenting her stellar rise to power and her plunge into notoriety. This film showed the controversial opulence of the Marcos family amid the poverty of the people they enslaved. Initially, Mrs. Marcos opposed the public showing of this film in the Philippines. She even secured a temporary restraining order (TRO) from a local court, banning it from public viewing. Eventually, the former First Lady allowed it to be shown, with a condition to omit the word "documentary" attached to it.

Sample of Jose Rizal Movie in You Tube
Jose Rizal - This film is dubbed as "controversial" in the sense that it created a buzz as one of the biggest-budgeted films ever made in the history of Philippine cinema. It had a record breaking (by Philippine standards) P80-million budget or US$2 million. This biographical epic went on to become the most successful Filipino film of all time. Diaz-Abaya also settled a bitterly-debated issue on Rizal’s alleged retraction of his strongly anti-colonial and anti-clerical writings, since this film portrayed Rizal as the prodigal son who returned to the colonial Catholic religion of his oppressors and renounces the very works that “served to restore dignity, self respect, pride, and patriotism among the Filipinos”. This three-hour epic won several prestigious awards and has also premiered at several well-known film festivals around the world.

Red Diaries - tells the story of three different women, all of them played by Assunta da Rossi. One is a kept woman whose love affairs with many men end up in a bizarre triangle of illicit romances. This sexy film was almost banned, not because of its sexual theme, but because according to the Philippine National Police, it allegedly put the image of policemen in a bad light. The former chief of the national police, Leandro Mendoza, protested the showing of this movie claiming one of the three episodes is a direct insult to the police organization as it talks about a martyr wife of an abusive police officer who allowed his colleagues use his spouse. However, this protest proved futile and the movie was shown despite opposition.

Orapronobis (Pray For Us) - The movie was banned during the Aquino administration for depicting political killings, proliferation of paramilitary vigilantes and the abduction of rebels or non-conformists. The plot was based on actual incidents in the Philippines. According to director Lino Brocka, this film primarily deals with the human rights violations under the Aquino administration.

Kontrobersyal - is a movie created by National Artist for Film Lino Brocka in 1980 which deals with condemning and deploring pornography, ironically, was also deemed pornographic. Most of the scenes were deemed obscene and offensive to the viewers and was almost banned in Philippine cinemas.

Bona - Another 1980s film by Brocka for which he was criticized for using well-known movie stars to "attack the star system". Bona is a dramatic film about a schoolgirl who falls in love with a shiftless, aging gigolo, her willingness to eventually become his servant, and her formidable revenge in the end. The character of Bona was played by acclaimed actress Nora Aunor.

Burlesk Queen - A 1977 film considered controversial because of Vilma Santos's character as a stripper. To support her paralytic father, Chato (Vilma Santos) works as a utility girl for burlesque star Virgie Nite (Rosemary Gil). When Virgie gets drunk on the night of her scheduled show, Chato pitches in for her. She was wildly accepted by the audience, defied her father's admonitions and became an instant sensation. Vilma, known for portraying wholesome roles, shocked the movie industry when she did this film. Her provocative dances in the movie did nothing to help allay this reaction.


Tatlong Hambog
- This 1926 silent film which starred a race car sportsman, Luis Tuason and a vaudeville actress, Dimples Cooper was considered controversial because it was the first Filipino movie with a lips-to-lips kissing scene, considered scandalous at that time.

Hinugot sa Langit - This Ishmael Bernal film made in 1985 starring Maricel Soriano was considered a controversial film because it tackles the issue of abortion, something the Catholic Church deemed unsuitable.

Scorpio Nights - This is a 1985 movie directed by Peque Gallaga featuring Anna Marie Gutierrez and Dan Fernando. Aside from its provocative scenes and excessive skin exposure, the film is also a metaphorical representation of Philippine society during the early 80's. It received an X rating from the MTRCB, forcing it to be shown only in the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines.
Here's a short video, a collection of gay kissing scene from Pilipino movies. If you are homophobic do not view the video. Some of the kissing scene is funny, others very erotic even if you are heterosexual or bisexual. Comments?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

PHILIPPINE SCHINDLER'S LIST and being proud to be a Filipino


A friend from the Philippines forwarded this article via e-mail today. I was 5 years old when this was the news. I barely remember it from my parents conversation about World War II. Anyway, if you are a Filipino or Filipino-American, you should read this and be proud of the Philippines.

Monument in Israel honors Filipinos, For saving 1,200 Jews from Holocaustt, By Volt Contreras, Philippine Inquirer dated August 24, 2010.

"MANILA, Philippines—Before Schindler’s List, there was another document—the Philippine visa—that saved hundreds of Jews from the gas chambers and mass graves of the Holocaust.

In 1939, two years before World War II reached the Pacific, the Commonwealth government under President Manuel L. Quezon allotted 10,000 visas and safe haven to Jews fleeing Nazi Europe. Some 1,200 Jews made it to Manila before the city itself fell to Japanese invaders.

Before sunset on June 21, 70 years later, the first ever monument honoring Quezon and the Filipino nation for this "open door policy" was inaugurated on Israeli soil.

The monument—a geometric, seven-meter-high sculpture titled "Open Doors"—was designed by Filipino artist Junyee (Luis Lee Jr.).

At the program held at the 65-hectare Holocaust Memorial Park in Rishon LeZion, Israel’s fourth largest city south of Tel Aviv, the mere mention of "Taft Avenue" by one of the speakers brought Ralph Preiss to the verge of tears.

Preiss, a father of four now in his 70s, later explained that Taft Avenue was where a synagogue-run soup kitchen provided the first hot meals he had as a refugee. He was eight when he arrived from Rosenberg, Germany, with his parents at the port of Manila on March 23, 1939.

"If I stayed in Germany I would have been killed," Preiss, a retired engineer living in Connecticut in the United States, told the Inquirer in an interview.
"My cousin who lived in Berlin and whose father was a lawyer went to Paris [instead]. The Paris police handed them over to the Nazis, and they were sent to Auschwitz and got killed," he recalled, adding:

"I’m very grateful to the Philippines for opening the doors and letting us in."

‘Salamat sa inyo!’

THANK YOU, RP In gratitude for the Philippines’ ‘open door’ policy for Jews escaping persecution in Nazi Europe, a steel monument of three doors was unveiled last week in Israel. VOLT CONTRERAS

Sunday, August 22, 2010

London Show of "Miss Saigon" and Lea Salonga

Sun and Moon Scene
The other day, I received an e-mail from a Face Book friend complaining that the tickets for Cats with Lea Salonga singing the song Memories in Manila cost P5000 pesos each equivalent to a little more than $100. I told her that the price is worth it just to see Lea Salonga performed live and in person. Her letter reminded me that way back in 1990, Macrine and I paid to see Miss Saigon in London, the ticket price of $110 each. It was expensive then, but the seats were in front and it was the only two available seats at the time slot that we are free. The show was worth it. Macrine and I cried like babies at the end of the show. The finale was a tear jerking scene. I am now crying as I can still remember the scene after all these years. It was one of the best live musical we have seen in our lives(see the original Finale Scene in the related video below).

Here's a short video of the highlights of Miss Saigon courtesy of You-Tube. If you are not familiar with the story of the show, I have attached a short description and history of the show from Wikipedia below.

"Miss Saigon is a West End musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, with lyrics by Boublil and Richard Maltby, Jr. It is loosely based on Giacomo Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, and similarly tells the tragic tale of a doomed romance involving an Asian woman abandoned by her American lover. The setting of the plot is relocated to the 1970s Saigon during the Vietnam War, and Madame Butterfly's American Lieutenant and Japanese geisha coupling is replaced by a romance between an American GI and a Vietnamese bar girl.

The musical premiered at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in London on September 20, 1989, closing after 4,264 performances, on October 30, 1999. It opened on Broadway at the Broadway Theatre in 1991 and subsequently played in many other cities and embarked on tours.

The musical represented Schönberg and Boublil's second major success, following Les Misérables in 1980. As of August 2010, Miss Saigon is still the 10th longest-running Broadway musical in musical theatre history.

Background

The musical's inspiration was reportedly a photograph, inadvertently found by Schönberg in a magazine. The photo showed a Vietnamese mother leaving her child at a departure gate at Tan Son Nhat Air Base to board a plane headed for the United States where her father, an ex-GI, would be in a position to provide a much better life for the child. Schönberg considered this mother's actions for her child to be "The Ultimate Sacrifice," an idea central to the plot of Miss Saigon.

Highlights of the show include the evacuation of the last Americans in Saigon from the Embassy roof by helicopter while a crowd of abandoned Vietnamese scream in despair, the victory parade of the new communist regime and the frenzied night club scene at the time of defeat.

Many of the major European musicals on Broadway started in the 1980s, including Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, and Les Misérables and then included Miss Saigon into the 1990s.

West End

Miss Saigon premiered in the West End at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on September 20, 1989 and closed after 4,264 performances on October 30, 1999. The director was Nicholas Hytner with musical staging by Bob Avian and scenic design by John Napier. In December 1994 the London production became the Theatre Royal's (Drury Lane) longest running musical, eclipsing the record set by My Fair Lady.

The original Kim was played by Lea Salonga, who became famous because of this role and won the Laurence Olivier Award and Tony Award. The original Engineer was portrayed by Jonathan Pryce who won a Tony Award for the role.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Top Six Attractions of Marinduque-From Boosh


The following article attracted my attention. It was published in Boosh News dated August 21, 2010. The author is Lilliane Cobiao-see last sentence in this report for details.

Marinduque is an island province in the Philippines most popularly known for the unique Moriones Festival. Tourists, local and foreign, flock to the island to take part in the colorful parade where locals dress in Morion costumes and masks.

The province is also infamously known for the multi-billion dollar mining industry in the 60s that resulted in an accident that brought the industry into a halt. It also caused great damage to the environment and the people of the island. A pending lawsuit with the multi-billion dollar companies responsible for the disaster, Marinduque slowly get back to its feet. While tourism isn’t a major source of their economy, it should.

Here are my take on the Top 5 Attractions of Marinduque.

(1) Scuba dive or snorkel in the clear waters of one or all of the tres reyes islands: Melchor, Gaspar, Baltazar.

(2) Explore the caves of Bathala in Sta. Cruz. Get a local guide and roam the spunky damp cave where bats and python dwell. There is a little climbing involved.

(3) Dip into the therapeutic water of the hot spring in Malbog in Buenavista. It is known to cure health condition such as migraine and skin asthma.

(4) Walk the old town of Mariduque and basked in culture with old stone houses, locally known as “bahay na bato”. There are also several old churches around the island with Cathedral of Boac being an important national historical landmark.

(5) Indulge in the luxury of Santorini inspired Bellarocca built on the Elephant Island. First class amenities such as golf, spa, yoga, infiniti pools, and various water sports are available. Finally,

(6) Shop for souvenirs or “pasalubong” at the local handicraft makers and famous uraro at Rejanos.


Marinduque Island is reachable by a number of ports and by air via Gasan Airport. There are also bus companies that brings you to Marinduque by ferry.

Lilliane Cobiao is an avid traveler, photographer, and scuba diver. If she’s not actually doing one of the 3, she is either talking or writing about them. Join her in her wanderings at http://www.wanderlass.com

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Picture is worth more than Thousand Words

We need a bigger tent
It's time for pictures that will make you smile,I hope. Have a Good Day!Images from golmao.com
A Beach Shower
The Art Class
The airplane that got lost!
I still Don't See the Bird
Addicted to Twitter or FaceBook?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Unusual and Sexy Names of Places in the US and other Parts of the World

Chocolate Hills, Bohol, Philippines
While surfing the web, I found the following names unusual, sexy and funny. There is no particular order in the list. I also listed two places that are both surnames of my father and mother from the Philippines.

With regards to my wife's mother surname, NIEVA, there is a street named NIEVA in Makati, Philippines and a bridge, named NIEVA in Gasan, Marinduque, Philippines.

Sexy Names Indeed!

Sexmoan ( changed to Sasmuan in 1990), Pampanga, Philippines
Tinurian, Iloilo, Philippines ( it means a place for circumcision)
Landi, Santa Cruz, Marinduque, Philippines ( Landi' could mean flirt or whore)
Condom, Gers, France
Fucking, Austria
Bra, Italy
Pussy, France
Cockplay, Scotland
Agay, France
Pennis Wood, UK
Three Cocks, Wales
Blowhard, Australia
Dikshit, India
Titless, Switzerland
Long Dong, Guangxi, China
Weener, Germany
Cocktown, Wexford, Ireland
Onacock, Virginia, USA
Seman, Alabama, USA


Climax, Georgia, USA

More Unusual Names
Paradise, California, USA
Cool, California, USA
Manila, California, USA
Earth, Texas, USA
Jackpot, Nevada, USA
Truth or Consequence, New Mexico, USA
Happy, Texas, USA
New York, Cubao City, Philippines
San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, Philippines
Mexico, Pampanga, Philippines
Chocolate Hills, Bohol, Philippines

Personal Connections

Catague, Bohol, Philippines

Catague is my fathers' surname. When he was in high school he changed it to Katague.
Catague is a small town in Central Bohol, near the town of Sevilla. Any one knows the origin of the Catague name in Bohol, please let me know.

Balleza, Chihuahua, Mexico ( Balleza is my mother's maiden name)

Balleza is a town in Northern Mexico in the province of Chihuahua. The town is named after Fr. Mariano Balleza, a priest from Bilbao, Spain.


Any one knows where the town of Dildo is in the US?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ten Basic things you have to know about Filipinos


I found the following video interesting and informative. In case you have never meet a filipino or filipina, this video will be a good start to learn more about Filipinos. There are now close to four million Filipino-Americans residing in US. I am a Filipino-American and I am proud to be a "PINOY". Like any race, there are good as well as bad filipinos. But in general, Filipinos are friendly and hospitable and easy to get along with.



Here's a short article on Filipino-Americans from Wikipedia.

"Filipino Americans are Americans of Filipino ancestry. Filipino Americans reside mainly in the continental United States and form significant populations in California, New Jersey, New York, Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, and Northern Marianas.

The earliest recorded presence of Filipinos in what is today the United States occurred in October 1587, when mariners under Spanish command landed in Morro Bay, California. The earliest permanent Filipino Americans to arrive in the New World landed in 1763, later creating settlements such as Saint Malo, Louisiana and Manila Village in Barataria Bay. These early settlements were composed of formerly pressed sailors escaping from the arduous duties aboard Spanish galleons and were "discovered" in America in 1883 by a Harper's Weekly journalist.

Significant immigration to the United States began with the need for agricultural laborers in the 1900s, with Filipinos settling primarily in what was then the Territory of Hawaii and California, after the Spanish-American War, which turned the Philippines into a territory of the United States. This immigration would slow to a trickle during the 1930s due to multiple factors, including the United States' recognition of independence of the Philippines on July 4, 1946. Filipino immigration to the United States would not see a resurgence until the late 1960s. Of the immigrants who arrived after the late 1960s, most settled in California, while others found a new home around U.S. Navy bases, major metropolitan areas, the West, and to a lesser extent the South. Some came looking for political freedom, but most arrived looking for employment and a better life for their families.

Personal Note: I went to US to pursue my Graduate Degree in Chemistry in 1960. I have no intention of residing in US, then. But after graduation with my Ph.D, I was offer a job that was hard to refuse and I see this as a big opportunity for a better life for my family. A year later, my wife and oldest son joined me in Chicago, Illinois. The rest of the story is history. ( For the rest of my story visit http://theintellectualmigrant.blogspot.com)

The Filipino American community is the second largest Asian American group in the United States. Filipino Americans are also the largest subgroup of Overseas Filipinos.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the 2007 American Community Survey, identified approximately 3.1 million persons as "Filipino alone or in any combination." The census also found that about 80% of the Filipino-American community are United States citizens. Also in 2007, the U.S. State Department estimated the size of the Filipino American community at 4 million or 1.5% of the United States population. There are no official records of Filipinos who hold dual citizenship.

Intermarriage among Filipinos is not uncommon, as they have the largest number of interracial marriages among Asian immigrant groups, as documented in California. It is also noted that 21.8% of Filipino Americans are multiracial, second among Asian Americans".

I hope you find the above article informative and erased your homophobic attitudes toward Filipino-Americans due to ignorance. Here's a video of some famous Filipino celebrities. This list is just a sample of filipinos who are known worldwide.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Travel to Marinduque-From Manila Bulletin-8/12/2010


Moriones Festival (http://muntingpolo.weebly.com)

Here's a reprint from today's issue of the Manila Bulletin for your reading pleasure and information about Marinduque-my island Paradise written by Jacky Lynne Oiga. My personal/comment note is in bold.

"Located at the geographical center of the Philippines, Marinduque is home to the Moriones Festival, a top tourist attraction wherein locals parade in costumes and masks, representative of the Roman soldiers during Biblical times. It also boasts of scenic beaches, diving sites, mystical caves, hot springs, and serene isles, making it an ideal retreat for adventurers, spelunkers, and nature lovers.

The island of Marinduque owes its origin and name to the legend of Marina and Garduke – lovers whose romance ended tragically. It’s been said that Garduke, a prince from the nearby kingdom of Balayan (now Batangas) fell in love with Marina, the daughter of a local chieftain in the kingdom of Tayabas. Their parents were opposed to their love and so they eloped by going out into the sea where they perished and eventually their remains formed the island which bears their names.

Today, Marinduque is known for farming, fishing, and tourism, the last being seen as the next catalyst for development in the province. A treasure trove of exquisite natural beauty, this island of 370 square miles is dotted with various white sand beaches, well-preserved diving sites, enchanting caves, rejuvenating hot springs and tranquil islets that provide for a perfect getaway. Being an island of volcanic origin, hot springs, are also a common feature in Marinduque.

Local Dialect: Tagalog

Must dos:

Take part in the Moriones - The Moriones Festival is an amazing spectacle that takes part all over Marinduque during Holy Week. During the Lenten season, the province comes alive with people from all over the country visiting to witness the very popular Moriones mascots, a colorful religious celebration that links the story of Longinus with Christ’s Passion and Death.

Diving - Marinduque has a lot of places to explore underwater, generally the drop-off into the reefs and marine life of the island is a few hundred meters off shore. The Tres Reyes Islands are some of the nice spots for diving or snorkeling. The islands are surrounded by abundant marine life and warm tropical waters.

Personal Note/Comments:

1.Snorkeling in Amoingon Coast among the coral reefs

2.Shopping for native handicrafts

3.Visit butterfly farms and flea markets

4.Bird watching and hiking on Mt Malinding

5.Swimming in Poctoy White Beach and Hot/Sulfur Springs



Must See:

Bathala Caves - The Bathala caves are said to be mystical and the repository of psychic powers emanating from various points of the universe. It is believed that there are seven caves composing the Bathala Cave Complex. However, only four of these caves have been explored.

Paadjao Falls - A series of gently cascading falls ending in a 10-feet deep pool of crystal-clear waters, Paadjao Falls is an ideal place for family picnics and camping.

Natangco Islet - Natangco is an eight-hectare islet with a short stretch of powdery white sand beach that gradually slopes into the sea. This islet is a haven for scuba divers, its waters teeming with corals, marine life, butterfly fishes, and the occasional siganids.

Battle of Pulang Lupa Marker - A marker stands at the site of the bloodiest battle ever fought in the island between the Marinduque Revolutionary Forces and the Americans. The “Battle of Pulang Lupa” was the first known major battle won by the Filipinos over the Americans.

Boac Cathedral - This cathedral was built sometime in 1656. The architecture is Fil-Hispanic Gothic with much of the original structure faithfully preserved - the facade and main body, the belfry, and the altar. Stained glass windows, though a later addition, adorn the walls.

How to get there:

Regular flights from Manila can take you to Marinduque in about 45 minutes. You can also take a bus to Lucena City, and then hop onto a ferry for the Buyabod Port in Sta. Cruz or Balanacan Port in Morong. Other bus lines can also take you directly to Marinduque from Pasay, or Kamias, Quezon City".

Correction: Balanacan Port is in Mogpog not Morong.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The New 7 Wonders of the World( also 7 Natural Wonders)


Here's the new 7 wonders of the world. Of the seven, I have been only to two. The Coliseum in Rome, Italy and Chichen Itza in Mexico. I have plans of visiting Great Wall of China and Machu Picchu in Peru in my younger years, but in my aging years, I am just happy to view the following video. In the related video, the old 7 wonders of the world are also listed.

Do not forget to view the related videos specifically the new 7 natural wonders of the world. Of the seven new natural wonders, the only place I have visited is the Grand Canyon in US. The Philippines Longest navigable Subterranean River in the world made it to the top 28. For detail information visit, http://www.7wonders.info.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Only in the Philippines-Put a Smile in Your Face


The Tarsier-world smallest primate(Monkey) in the World. Can be found only in the Philippines in the island of Bohol.

The following article, I have read a couple of years ago. But today, a friend e-mailed it to me. I can help but smile and I decided it to share it with you my blog readers. If you have read this before, my apology. It was written by a British journalist, Matthew Sutherland, stationed in the Philippines. His observations are so hilarious but true!!! !

MATTER OF TASTE

"I have now been in this country for over six years, and consider myself in most respects well assimilated. However, there is one key step on the road to full assimilation, which I have yet to take, and that's to eat BALUT.

The day any of you sees me eating balut, please call immigration and ask them to issue me a Filipino passport. Because at that point there will be no turning back. BALUT, for those still blissfully ignorant non-Pinoys out there, is a fertilized duck egg. It is commonly sold with salt in a piece of newspaper, much like English fish and chips, by street vendors usually after dark, presumably so you can't see how gross it is.

Food dominates the life of the Filipino. People here just love to eat. They eat at least eight times a day. These eight official meals are called, in order: breakfast, snacks, lunch, merienda, merienda ceyna, dinner, bedtime snacks and no-one-saw-me- take-that- cookie-from- the-fridge- so-it-doesn' t-count.

The short gaps in between these mealtimes are spent eating Sky Flakes from the open packet that sits on every desktop. You're never far from food in the Philippines . If you doubt this, next time you're driving home from work, try this game. See how long you can drive without seeing food and I don't mean a distant restaurant, or a picture of food. I mean a man on the sidewalk frying fish balls, or a man walking through the traffic selling nuts or candy. I bet it's less than one minute.

Here are some other things I've noticed about food in the Philippines :

Firstly, a meal is not a meal without rice - even breakfast. In the UK , I could go a whole year without eating rice. Second, it's impossible to drink without eating. A bottle of San Miguel just isn't the same without gambas or beef tapa. Third, no one ventures more than two paces from their house without baon (food in small container) and a container of something cold to drink. You might as well ask a Filipino to leave home without his pants on. And lastly, where I come from, you eat with a knife and fork. Here, you eat with a spoon and fork. You try eating rice swimming in fish sauce with a knife.

One really nice thing about Filipino food culture is that people always ask you to SHARE their food. In my office, if you catch anyone attacking their baon, they will always go, "Sir! KAIN TAYO!" ("Let's eat!").

This confused me, until I realized that they didn't actually expect me to sit down and start munching on their boneless bangus. In fact, the polite response is something like, "No thanks, I just ate." But the principle is sound - if you have food on your plate, you are expected to share it, however hungry you are, with those who may be even hungrier. I think that's great!

In fact, this is frequently even taken one step further. Many Filipinos use "Have you eaten yet?" ("KUMAIN KA NA?") as a general greeting, irrespective of time of day or location.

Some foreigners think Filipino food is fairly dull compared to other Asian cuisines. Actually lots of it is very good: Spicy dishes like Bicol Express (strange, a dish named after a train); anything cooked with coconut milk; anything KINILAW; and anything ADOBO. And it's hard to beat the sheer wanton, cholesterolic frenzy of a good old-fashioned LECHON de leche (roast pig) feast.. Dig a pit, light a fire, add 50 pounds of animal fat on a stick, and cook until crisp. Mmm, mmm... you can actually feel your arteries constricting with each successive mouthful.

I also share one key Pinoy trait --- a sweet tooth. I am thus the only foreigner I know who does not complain about sweet bread, sweet burgers, sweet spaghetti, sweet banana ketchup, and so on. I am a man who likes to put jam on his pizza. Try it!

It's the weird food you want to avoid. In addition to duck fetus in the half-shell, items to avoid in the Philippines include pig's blood soup (DINUGUAN); bull's testicle soup, the strangely-named "SOUP NUMBER FIVE" (I dread to think what numbers one through four are); and the ubiquitous, stinky shrimp paste, BAGOONG, and it's equally stinky sister, PATIS. Filipinos are so addicted to these latter items that they will even risk arrest or deportation trying to smuggle them into countries like Australia and the USA , which wisely ban the importation of items you can smell from more than 100 paces.

Then there's the small matter of the purple ice cream. I have never been able to get my brain around eating purple food; the ubiquitous UBE leaves me cold.

And lastly on the subject of weird food, beware: that KALDERETANG KAMBING (goat) could well be KALDERETANG ASO (dog)...

The Filipino, of course, has a well-developed sense of food. Here's a typical Pinoy food joke: "I'm on a seafood diet.

"What's a seafood diet?" "When I see food, I eat it!"

Filipinos also eat strange bits of animals --- the feet, the head, the guts, etc., usually barbecued on a stick. These have been given witty names, like "ADIDAS" (chicken's feet); "KURBATA" (either just chicken's neck, or "neck and thigh" as in "neck-tie"); "WALKMAN" (pigs ears); "PAL" (chicken wings); "HELMET" (chicken head); "IUD" (chicken intestines), and BETAMAX" (video-cassette- like blocks of animal blood). Yum,yum. Bon appetit..

WHEN I arrived in the Philippines from the UK six years ago, one of the first cultural differences to strike me was names. The subject has provided a continuing source of amazement and amusement ever since. The first unusual thing, from an English perspective, is that everyone here has a nickname. In the staid and boring United Kingdom , we have nicknames in kindergarten, but when we move into adulthood we tend, I am glad to say, to lose them.

The second thing that struck me is that Philippine names for both girls and boys tend to be what we in the UK would regard as overbearingly cutesy for anyone over about five. Fifty-five-year- olds colleague put it. Where I come from, a boy with a nickname like Boy Blue or Honey Boy would be beaten to death at school by pre-adolescent bullies, and never make it to adulthood. So, probably, would girls with names like Babes, Lovely, Precious, Peachy or Apples. Yuk, ech ech.. Here, however, no one bats an eyelid.

Then I noticed how many people have what I have come to call "door-bell names". These are nicknames that sound like -well, doorbells. There are millions of them. Bing, Bong, Ding, and Dong are some of the more common. They can be, and frequently are, used in even more door-bell-like combinations such as Bing-Bong, Ding-Dong, Ting-Ting, and so on. Even our newly appointed chief of police has a doorbell name Ping . None of these doorbell names exist where I come from, and hence sound unusually amusing to my untutored foreign ear. Someone once told me that one of the Bings, when asked why he was called Bing, replied, "because my brother is called Bong". Faultless logic.

Dong, of course, is a particularly funny one for me, as where I come from "dong" is a slang word for well; perhaps "talong" is the best Tagalog equivalent!! !
Repeating names was another novelty to me, having never before encountered people with names like Len-Len, Let-Let, Mai-Mai, or Ning-Ning. The secretary I inherited on my arrival had an unusual one: Leck-Leck. Such names are then frequently further refined by using the "squared" symbol, as in Len2 or Mai2. This had me very confused for a while. Then there is the trend for parents to stick to a theme when naming their children. This can be as simple as making them all begin with the same letter, as in Jun, Jimmy, Janice, and Joy.

More imaginative parents shoot for more sophisticated forms of assonance or rhyme, as in Biboy, Boboy, Buboy, Baboy (notice the names get worse the more kids there are-best to be born early or you could end up being a Baboy).

Even better, parents can create whole families of, say, desserts (Apple Pie, Cherry Pie, Honey Pie) or flowers (Rose, Daffodil, Tulip). The main advantage of such combinations is that they look great painted across your trunk if you're a cab driver. That's another thing I'd never seen before coming to Manila --taxis with the driver's kids' names on the trunk.

Another whole eye-opening field for the foreign visitor is the phenomenon of the "composite" name. This includes names like Jejomar (for Jesus, Joseph and Mary), and the remarkable Luzviminda (for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao , believe it or not). That's a bit like me being called something like "Engscowani" (for England , Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland ). Between you and me, I'm glad I'm not.

And how could I forget to mention the fabulous concept of the randomly inserted letter 'h'. Quite what this device is supposed to achieve, I have not yet figured out, but I think it is designed to give a touch of class to an otherwise only averagely weird name. It results in creations like Jhun, Lhenn, Ghemma, and Jhimmy. Or how about Jhun-Jhun (Jhun2)?

How boring to come from a country like the UK full of people with names like John Smith. How wonderful to come from a country where imagination and exoticism rule the world of names. Even the towns here have weird names; my favorite is the unbelievably named town of Sexmoan (ironically close to Olongapo and Angeles). Where else in the world could that really be true?

Where else in the world could the head of the Church really be called Cardinal Sin?

Where else but the Philippines "!

Note: Philippines has a senator named Joker, and it is his legal name.




Here are three videos from the Department of Tourism for your viewing pleasure.








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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Improving the "Filipina" Image On Line


Two years ago,I wrote a short article on the improvement of the "Filipina" image on line in my blog, http://lifeinus1960present.blogspot.com dated August 6, 2008.
I am re posting it today after I read the same topic posted in Face Book. It seemed that no major improvement had occurred after two years based on present comments in FB. Here's the article I wrote two years ago.

"If you search for "filipina" in google, yahoo or scour search engines, majority of the "Hits" will be about mail order brides, sexy dates and dating filipino or asian women etc..

Today, it is not as bad compared to about 5 years ago. Thanks to the campaign of a few of our educated women in the Philippines( www.filipinaimages.com), the filipino women on line image is improving. However, there is still room for improvement. Please help! Visit the website above for specific instruction. As a Filipino-American blogger, I am doing my share and help to this campaign".

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Longest Underground River in the World


If you plan on visiting the Philippines and have a couple of days to spare, schedule a trip to Palawan for the longest subterranean river in the world. This site has been been nominated as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. However, if you are short of time, a mini version of an underground river has recently been discovered in Marinduque. Marinduque is only 30 minutes from Manila and you will save at least one day. Enjoy the following video.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Doing Business in the Philippines-Hopes for Improvement


The Makati Skyline, Philippines

The following posting, I wrote about two years ago during the previous Arroyo Administration. Today, I have high hopes that the P-Noy administration will improve the conditions of doing business in the Philippines. Just recently, I heard that the paper work for getting a business permit has been shortened from several pages to two and the time to get a permit was shortened from two days to two hours. Is this news true?

"I just finished reading a short article that it is not easy to do business in the Philippines. According to the article based on the World Bank survey, Singapore took the top spot in the rankings in the ease of doing business. New Zealand was 2nd and US was 3rd. Hong Kong was 4th, Japan 12th, and China 83rd. Could you guess PI ranking? A pathetic 140th!!

This is not news to me. Grease money runs the country. Unnecessary paper work slows down the growth of small business. For example just getting a permit takes a lot of paper work and grease money. Even in the business of tourism ( which should be encourage by the government), the presence of "grease takers" really frustrates me. There are other specific examples, that I will not mention for fear that it will have a detrimental effect in my small business in the Philippines. To survive, I follow the principle, "If in Rome do what the Romans are doing". Sad but that is the reality of life.

The article concluded that we should not be discourage from doing business in the Philippines. It says there are some rotten eggs in the basket, but the good ones outnumber the bad ones. It also advise us to know the proper way of doing things and stick to it and most of all ditch those greasers. What do you think? Is this a reasonable advice?"

Again, with P-Noy in power, I have high hopes that there will be an improvement in the business environment in the Philippines.

Link within

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