Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunrise, Sunsets and Moon Lights at Chateau Du Mer

The following photos are a few of my favorite shots of sunsets, sunrise and moon lights taken from either the balcony of the beach house or from the balcony of the main house.
Two Moons taken from the Balcony of the Main House
Only One Moon ( Main House Balcony)

Sunset from the Balcony of the Beach House, 2013( Photo Credit-Joe Hobson)

Sunrise from the Master Bedroom of the Beach House ( Photo Credit-Joe Hobson)
Sunset From the Balcony of the Beach House
Sunset with the Japanese Bridge in the Background!

I hope you enjoy the above pictures.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Photo Essay of Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort and Conference Center

Amoingon Beach just outside the Beach House abound with coral reefs ideal for snorkeling
The following selected photographs were taken at Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort and Conference Center(CDM) last January to March, 2013. It is arranged from the time guests arrived up to their departure.

Here is my modus operandi if we have guests from US or Europe. If pre-arranged the guests are pick up from the Masiga, Marinduque Airport. On arrival at the resort, they are given refreshments ( buko or mango juices). A ten minute orientation is given after their registration. Orientation includes amenities of the resort, food and transportation, attractions in the island and other questions the guests might want to know about the resort and Marinduque.

A map of Marinduque is given to the guests, but they have to return it on departure. IF BREAKFAST is included during their stay, a menu is shown for their perusal and comments. The guests have a choice of either a typical Filipino or continental breakfasts.
Entrance to the Resort
The Main House for Registration and Orientation
The backyard leading to the beach house
The Conference Hall on the Way to the Beach House
The Beach House
The Beach Outside
Pathway Leading to the Beach
Sunset as Viewed from the Balcony of the Beach House
Snorkeling or Bathing are popular activities at the resort
Banca Sailing Can be Arranged
Island Hopping Can be Arranged
Butterfly Tour or Bird Watching Can be Arranged
Table Tennis Complimentary
Two Picnic Tables Nearby
Last but Not Least is the Moriones Festival during Holy Week.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Love and Hate for Marinduque, 2013

Macrine, Miko and the Sunset

This year my wife and I spent only three months for our winter sojourn in Marinduque, Philippines instead of our normal 4 to 5 months of winter escapade for personal reasons.

The following are ten items I like about Marinduque followed by my dislike of life in this island, known as the Heart of the Philippines and Land of the Morions. But in spite of my dislikes, I still consider Marinduque, my winter haven.

1. I love the Moriones Festival and the tourists it attract, but I hate the crowds, traffic congestion and pollution it brings during the Easter Holy Week Season

2. I love downtown Boac, because of its quaint restaurants and convenient computer cafe's, but I hate the lack of parking spaces and inadequate potable water supply.

3. I love the Marinduque cuisine, availability to pre-order cakes and special dishes, but I hate the wait and delivery time in spite of an advance notice for pick-up.

4. I love the chirping of the birds almost all day and the sound of the waves, but I hate the barking of the dogs and crowing of the cocks during the early morning hours.

5. I love the magnificent sunsets and glimmering moon lights, but I hate the scattered plastic wastes by the seashore.

6. I love our honest government officials, but I hate politicians who are liars and goon happy.

7. I love the sound of the BALUT vendors but I hate the loud voices of the FISH vendors ( I--s---d--a)

8. I love my beautiful gardens and prolific fruit trees, but I hate the weeding, mowing and watering chores

9. I love the Flea and Open Markets, but I hate the public market in downtown Boac

10. Last but not least, I love the peace,and solitude of Chateau Du Mer, the mild and cool weather from December to February, but I hate the hot and humid weather during the months of March, April and May.

If you have visited Marinduque, I will appreciate if you share with my readers what you like and dislike about this beautiful island in the Philippines. Happy spring time to All!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Selected Photos from Our Two Abodes


If you have been following my blogs, you probably know we called ourselves snowbirds. We have a retirement home in the Philippines, but our primary residence is in Northern California. The following are some photos showing the differences between our two lifestyles. Since pictures are worth more than a thousand words, all you will read are labels of the photos; Enjoy my photos:

The first photo is our ranch style home in the Philippines and the second is our home in Northern California


Our backyard in Marinduque versus our backyard in Northern California

The first photo is our side yard in the Philippines versus our side yard in Northern California


The first photo is the twin orchids in my front yard in the Philippines versus the yellow orchid in my yard in Northern California

My jack fruit tree in the Philippines versus my lemon tree in Northern California


My PC in the Philippines versus my PC in Northern California
Last but not least is Party time:

The first photo is in northern California with salad and Dungeness crab, versus filipino cuisine of Marinduque.

Our friends often asked us which abode do we prefer. Our answer is always, both places. Marinduque is excellent place during winter time and Northern California is an excellent abode during Spring, Summer and Fall.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Death, Family and Taxes



Four days prior to our departure to the Philippines, last January, my brother-in-law, my wife's younger brother died. We tried to change our ticket for an earlier departure. We found out we have to purchase a new ticket at a ridiculously high price. Since we are not rich, we decided not to attend my brother-in-law funeral services. One of my sister-in-law residing here in Northern California was able to fly to the Philippines representing all of us residing abroad for the burial ceremonies and wake.

When we arrived four days after the burial, one of my wife's nephew invited us for dinner at his house in Quezon City. Their residence was our first home, a wedding gift from both of our parents. When we immigrated to US, the house was sold to my brother-n-law who in turned gave it to his son. His son was the one who invited us for dinner (see photo above). Here's a caption of the photo above as published in his FaceBook page”.

" I believe tracing roots help the current generation in understanding themselves focus on strengths to better themselves. Family is the base of a person’s stability and values. If we could present the uprising generation the heritage we all strive for, we could pass on a proud legacy of continuance & betterment”.

I could not agree more. Perfectly stated indeed!

The above statement reminded me of a Filipino saying “ You have to know your past in order to see your future”

The death of my brother-in-law also reminded me, that there are only two things that you can not avoid: Death and Taxes. Regarding taxes, today I mailed my Federal and State Income Taxes. Luckily as a retiree and earning very little, I did not pay any taxes. But submitting my annual income tax returns, is a must.

So my dear readers, do you agree that in order to see your future you must look at your past. Your comments will be highly appreciated. Happy tax time to All!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Have You Heard of the Sisters of the Cenacle?

St Therese Couderc-Founder of the Sisters of the Cenacle

Last month my wife and I attended the Golden Jubilee of Sisters Guia, Emma and Joyce of the Order of the Cenacle.

Sister Guia is my wife's younger sister. It was a very momentous and memorable event, reminding me of our own golden wedding anniversary celebration six years earlier. It was held at the Cenacle Convent in Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines. The event included a mass, renewal of vows and followed by a sumptuous reception attended by more than 400 guests. My wife and I were so proud to witness Sister Guia's golden jubilee as a nun for the Cenacle Sisters.

I am sure, that not too many of you reading this post know who are the Cenacle sisters, and their mission. The following information, I found in their website.

The Sisters of the Cenacle (full title: Congregation of Our Lady of the Retreat in the Cenacle) is a Roman Catholic Congregation founded in 1826 in the village of Lalouvesc (Ard├Ęche), France. Their mission is threefold: prayer, community, and ministry. Their ministry is always focused on faith, whether it is retreats, spiritual direction, adult faith formation, or another form of spiritual ministry. It was founded in 1826 by Saint Therese Couderc and Father Stephen Terme. There are now congregations in 16 countries. There is a branch in the Philippines with convents in Quezon City and Davao. Their Generalate is in Rome and the North American provincialate is in Chicago. The North American novitiate is in Houston, while the pre-novitiate takes place in a local community.

The sixteen countries are: Australia ,Belgium ,Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, England, France,Ireland, Italy Madagascar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Togo and the United States.

Most of the nuns in the Philippines I know personally and six of them were my former colleagues at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Q.C in the mid 1950's. I hope you support the congregation mission and its ministry.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Snowbirding and Vacation, 2013






We just arrived in Northern California, yesterday after a 3 months hiatus and winter vacation in my tropical paradise in the island of Marinduque, Philippines. The 3 months passed by very fast. The first three weeks of January was a very hectic, hosting Macrine's relatives from the Washington, DC, Hawaii and Manila. It was however so much fun showing them Marinduque's tourist attractions and introducing them to relatives they have not meet before. They stayed only for four days, but I felt they had a grand time enjoying the amenities of the the beach resort and meeting relatives.

The last two weeks of January, we hosted a couple from US and their 23 year old daughter for 13 days. The couple resides in State of Washington. The wife was originally from Marinduque and her husband a white Anglo Saxon had been planning this trip for the last two years. Their goal was to visit his wife's family as well as enjoy the sites and tourist attractions of the island. Their daughter was delighted to meet her grandmother for the first time. I am sure they had a fantastic time and memorable reunion with relatives. It was fun hosting them, but had been an exhausting experience preparing their breakfast for 13 days.

I was delighted that my taxes for this year has now been earned with the January income of the beach resort. I am still in need for a couple more clients so I can pay for the annual maintenance of the resort. So if you have plans on vacationing to Marinduque this year, please consider staying at Chateau Du Mer. For details visit my site at http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com

The whole month of February was quite. But during the first week of March we had a Garden Wedding and Reception in the resort. During last week of March (Holy Week), we had guests from Ireland, UK and South Korea. We hosted two young couples who are now touring Palawan and other parts of the Philippines. I was sure they enjoyed Marinduque very much. They not only had visited Gaspar Island, and the hot spring in Buenavista, but also had meet a couple of natives who shared drinks and food with them. They enjoyed sun bathing and swimming in the front yard of the Chateau Du Mer beach house. They also enjoyed Filipino food in the restaurants in downtown Boac and Gasan and the Moriones Festival activities.

The week before we flew back to Northern California, the summer heat of the Philippines had started. Daily temperatures of 34.0 to 36.6 degrees centigrade with humidity of over 55% forced us to stay indoors in air conditioned rooms. You are almost a prisoner either in your hotel room or house, because the heat and humidity were really very uncomfortable and also unhealthy specially from 1 to 4PM. But our experience with the January and February weather was very pleasant in Marinduque.

The last two days of March was the start of electioneering for local politicians. Marinduque local politics is one that I can not be proud of. I am almost embarrassed to say, that the Philippines at this week was just like HELL, not only because of the HEAT but also the political practices of Filipino politicians who are willing the sell their souls so they can get rich from “pork barrel” if elected. Marinduque political shenanigans included a disqualification ( one candidate was a US citizen, also lied about her age and marital status), physical threats to opponents and their supporters , vote buying , and using goons and guns toward opponents and of course the standard political dynasties practices so they can be elected and become rich.

I am indeed glad to be out of the Philippines before the election next month. Let me say however, that I know of a couple of politicians who are honest and not corrupt, but these honest politicians are a rare breed in the Philippines.

Again, this year, I took a few pictures during the Moriones Festival, and the gardens of Chateau Du Mer. ( see photos above and below). Visit also my FaceBook page for the rest of my photographs.


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