WELCOME TO MY SITE AND HAVE A GOOD DAY

Welcome to Las Vegas, Nevada- the Gambling Capital of US and the City that never sleeps! So, what has this city have to do with this site. The answer is none. I just love the photo, I took during our vacation to this city a couple of years ago. In this site, you will find articles from my autobiography, global warming, senior citizens issues, tourism, politics in PI, music appreciation and articles about our current experiences as retirees enjoying the "snow bird" lifestyle between US and the Philippines. Your comments will be highly appreciated. Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news, as well as on my ads below. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringement of your copyrights. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I Play Bridge Daily to Exercise My Brain

I play Bridge every day to Exercise My Brain

For the last six decades I have been playing bridge socially or alone via the computer. I found that this card game improves my memory, it is fun and a very challenging game. For this reason, I did some Internet search to confirm if my personal experience is only true for me or if there are scientific evidence that indeed playing bridge is one of the best way to exercise and stimulate your brain as you get older.

If you do not play bridge but wants to exercise your brain, now is the time to learn this fascinating and challenging game (specifically Duplicate Bridge). I have written in Hubpages an article/hub dated 12/09/11 describing the basics of both Party and Duplicate bridge ( http://chateaudumer.hubpages.com/hub/bridge-is-my-card-game). I urged you to read it if you want to know more about bridge-my favorite card game.

The following article is from home.comcast.net. I can really identify with this article so I am reposting it with my personal comments for your information. It was written by Karen Walker

“With so many activities competing for your leisure time, why invest your energy into learning a game as complex as bridge? Why bridge instead of computer games, poker, chess, golf? If you're wondering if bridge is for you -- or if you've always wanted to learn but have been afraid it's too difficult -- here are some of the reasons why millions of people around the world are hooked on this fascinating game.

Bridge can be a lifelong pursuit. It takes only rudimentary knowledge to begin playing and enjoying bridge, but as any player will tell you, this is not a game for those who demand instant gratification. Learning to play well takes time and effort, and the game is impossible to master. But that's precisely why bridge is so popular, and why it's called "the game for a lifetime". No matter how many years you play, you'll always find new challenges, and the learning process will never end. Bridge also caters to all physical conditions and disabilities, so players can actively pursue their pastime throughout their entire lives. Comment: I have been playing bridge for almost six decades and indeed this is a lifelong pursuit for me.

Bridge will never bore you. The game can be exciting, challenging, frustrating and humbling, but it will never be boring. There are more than 750 trillion possible hands, so you'll see something new every time you play. It's actually a fast-paced game, too. Each hand takes just five to ten minutes to play before you move on to the next deal and a new challenge. Comment: Each hand is different and the trillion of hand combination requires different degrees of challenge.

Bridge stimulates the brain. Bridge is one of the best ways to practice the "use it or lose it" advice for maintaining mental sharpness in older age. Research has shown that regular bridge playing improves reasoning skills and long- and short-term memory. You'll feel the neurons firing not only while you play, but long after. Many players say that hours after a bridge game, they still feel mentally alert and energized, similar to the "high" that long-distance runners experience after a race. Comment: I agree with above paragraph wholly and completely. After a duplicate game, my brain is super stimulated it will take more than 3 hours for me to sleep,

Bridge exercises both sides of your brain. Bridge is one of the few games that stimulates both the left and right sides of your brain. Every time you play, you use -- and improve -- your skills in communication, logic, math, memory, visualization and psychology. It's a unique type of mental workout that is both relaxing and invigorating, and that can't be duplicated by other leisure or work-related activities. Comment: This is the first time I heard of this, but I believe it is true.

Bridge can improve your physical health. Research has shown that a game of bridge can even boost your immune system. By stimulating the brain cortex, bridge-playing activity produces higher numbers of the white blood cells that fight disease. Other studies have found that people who play bridge regularly are 2½ times less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. Comment: This must be true, since I started playing bridge, I did not suffer any major or minor ailments except for my HBP.

Bridge is social. A game of bridge involves communication and cooperation with your partner and interaction with your opponents. There's a special camaraderie among bridge players that develops from the social setting and the game's emphasis on teamwork, ethics and sportsmanship. And if you play duplicate bridge, you can find new friends and partners at more than 3300 bridge clubs throughout North America. Comment: In the 1970's when my wife and I were still playing duplicate bridge, our communication and interaction with other bridge players were on high gear. It was one of the happiest social event in our married life.

Bridge is a bargain. All you need for a bridge game is a deck of cards and three other people. You don't have to leave your home, and if you have a computer, you don't even need the cards or the people. You can play and practice on your own with bridge software, or you can join in live games with thousands of players from around the world at one of the free online bridge clubs. You can also enter games at your local duplicate club, where you'll enjoy a three-hour session of bridge for less than the cost of a movie. Comment: Yes indeed it is a bargain, since playing bridge we do not have to go to the Casinos or attend a concert or a movie.

Bridge is fun. Of all the reasons to learn the game, the most important is that it's just fun to play. It offers the suspense of poker, the cerebral qualities of chess and the excitement of athletic sports, all in a sociable setting where you're a participant, not just a spectator. Every session allows you to test yourself and experience the feeling of accomplishment when you find a successful bid or play. Comment: I like to play games that are challenging and I agree that bridge is Fun, Fun, Fun..

That's what keeps people coming back to the bridge table, and it's why bridge will always be the world's most popular card game".

All I can say is Amen, Amen, Amen!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

I am in the Mood for Violin Music, Today

I am in the mood for some violin music today. Here are two of my favorite violin concertos for your enjoyment.



L. V. Beethoven - Romance for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 in F major, Op. 50
Renaud Capuçon, violin
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, conducted by Kurt Masur



Felix Mendelssohn - Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64

I. Allegro molto appassionato (00:00)
II. Andante (12:05)
III. Allegretto non troppo -- Allegro molto vivace (19:34)

Encore: C.W.Gluck - Melody from Orfeo ed Euridice (29:17)

Renaud Capuçon, violin
Jaap van Zweden, conductor
Verbier Festival Orchestra

Friday, November 21, 2014

I Got Lucky at the Casino, Yesterday


If you have been following my blogs, you probably know that my wife and I go the Casino every week as part of our entertainment budget We play the slots machines and also enjoy a delicious dinner either at the Buffet or the other five restaurants in the Casino(Thunder Valley, Lincoln, CA).

This month of November, we did not make it at the second week, since my wife was not feeling well. But yesterday, we did not only have an excellent dinner of grilled salmon with spicy rice and asparagus, but I won $200 playing the slots.

I played only in 8 slots. I won in 6 of the new slots of around $50 with a minimum bet of 30 to 50 cents. After 3 hours in the Casino I was still winning around $50. However, 15 minutes before our departure, I saw this machine called the Bufallo Stampede with minimum bet 0f 75c. I have never played on this machine because the minimum bet of 75 I felt is expensive. However, since I was $50 ahead, I decided to play the Bufallo machine. The first few minutes, I was not winning at all. At my 10th try I hit the bonus feature. At the end of the feature I won $150 and it was time to go home.

The following video I found in the web and is very exciting to watch. Good luck if you ever want to visit a casino soon or in the near future.



Buffalo Stampede Slots was introduced to Las Vegas in 2013. It is manufactured by Aristocrat Gaming. Although Aristocrat increased the cost per spin up to 75 cents minimum, it is a wonderful game. It is one one of those games that is worth saving up for to play as advertised by the Casinos!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Best Opera Music and Melodies


The following songs are 40 popular songs and melodies from operas, that I enjoy. Today most of the US are bombarded with the arctic vortex and cold temperatures. Luckily here in Northern California we are still in the 50-70's although today it is raining and misty foggy- a welcome event because of the drought we had been experiencing this year. I was looking at my old blogs and found the following videos. Of the 40 songs my favorites are:

#2 The Drinking Song from La Traviata by Verdi

#5 Nessum Dorma from Torandut by Puccini

#20 Meditation from Thais by Massanet and

#40 Flight of the Bumble Bee by Kimsky Korsakov

Enjoy the Video as follows:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Guest Article by Deb Hamilton

I was looking at my old blogs and discover this guest article from Deb Hamilton. It will make you smile and I hope brightens your day.



Today's guest article is from Deb Hamilton. It is a piece of writing I enjoyed very much. I hope it makes you smile and enjoy the humorous side of Deb. Deb is a middle-aged woman married to a trophy husband, a guy she just calls “Scotch.” Deb has three young adult children, three dogs, one cat, 137 pet peeves, and a fish named Goldengate. Deb loves to travel to funky places that require a passport and plenty of antidiarrheals. A “woman of a certain age,” she’ll readily tell you what she thinks or what you should think. Or maybe just tell you off. You’ll get used to it.

FAQ: What To Do With Your Weiner At The House Gym

Semi-nude photos of Representative Anthony Weiner taken at the House Gym on Capitol Hill have been recently, um, uncovered. This has caused the staff here at the gym to reconsider some of our guidelines. Many people don't know what to do with their Weiner while they're working out. These FAQs should help clear up any confusion and help you appropriately handle your Weiner:

1. Can I just leave my Weiner at home? No. Some Weiners get lonely if you don't take them out enough. They might chew the sofa or get on Twitter without you. Always take your Weiner wherever you go.

2. Does my Weiner have to pay a separate entrance fee? Please see the wall chart posted by the main desk. Only Weiners that are shorter than the height of Nancy Pelosi's outstretched arm can get in for free.

3. Who is obligated to watch my Weiner while I work out? Anyone may watch your Weiner at any time but the staff here at the House Gym cannot be held liable for any physical, emotional, or psychological damage caused by your errant Weiner. It is best to keep your Weiner close at hand. Unruly Weiners cannot be allowed on the premises.

4. My Weiner has needs; who is responsible to meet these needs during my workout routine? Please ensure that your Weiner is content prior to arriving at the gym. Exceptions cannot be made for sick Weiners, for Weiners following Kosher dietary laws, or for Weiners allergic to nuts.

5. Does my Weiner need to have a separate towel? Staff members are not permitted to make this determination. If you feel comfortable sharing a towel with your Weiner, this is allowable. Please be advised, however, that some Weiners require the use of two towels.

6. What should I do if my Weiner gets tired before I do? This is a sensitive issue for some of our clients. You may want to discuss this with your family doctor, after sending her photos of your Weiner.

7. Could my Weiner feel shy in the shower area? Yes. Just assure your Weiner that it is normal to have these feelings.

8. What if my Weiner doesn't feel shy enough in the shower area? Some Weiner behaviors just have to be ignored. Try not to make any sudden moves or draw undue attention to your Weiner.

9. How much time should I give it if my Weiner is having a hard time following the House Gym rules? Members who have Weiners continually breaking the rules should resign themselves to the fact that this might not be the place for their Weiner. Accordingly, they should secure alternate arrangements as soon as it is feasible.

Please visit Deb Hamilton blog at http://debutopia.blogspot.com

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Latest Update on the Nieva Ancestry from Marinduque

Dave and Macrine with Olga Nieva Luarca Quiazon. Olga is Macrine's first cousin. The photo was taken during our Medical Mission Orientation in Marinduque.


Today, I was reading the Facebook conversation of Macrine's first cousins in the Philippines, Yong and Rene Nieva. I found the following comment very relevant to my blog on the Nieva ancestry from Marinduque-the ancestral home of my wife, Macrine Nieva Jambalos Katague. I AM POSTING IT as an update and I hope Rene do not object since it is public knowledge already. Here's the comment between Rene, Yong and Ramon Mayuga(Mon) from the Rosita Nieva clan.

"Yes, Yong and Mon( Ramon Mayuga), one of our ancestors was a Spanish-French priest. His lapida has even been preserved on the aisle of the Boac Cathedral, the only one left there. He is the father of our Lola Lola (great great) grandmother Epifania (Maneng) Morente, wife of Calixto Nieva, who is our common great grandfather. This is why the Nievas are not only religious but also romantic. These two traits may seem incongruous but they seamlessly combine in us Nievas in some degree or another. That is why some of the descendants either also become saints, and others sinners, and most, like you, me and Yong, saints and sinners, the only difference being the degree to which one is of either".

The above paragraph is the comment of Rene Nieva as published in Facebook, November 16, 2014 regarding the cleric ancestry of the Nievas from Marinduque. The rest is my article on the Nieva ancestry from Marinduque, dated May 21, 2011 as published in my blogs.


See the two recent updates at the bottom of this page-An e-mail from Veronica Nieva, granddaughter of Gregorio Nieva, one of the brothers of Juan Nieva, Macrine's grandfather and a photo of me, Macrine and Rene Nieva, another grandson of Juan Nieva in front of the Nieva Street in Makati. This small street is located in the financial district of Makati was named after Gregorio Nieva.


It is summer time and time for family reunions. The Nievas of the World will probably be have a reunion in the Philppines or here in US sometime this year or next year. Hopefully, Macrine and I could attend this time.
Dave and Macrine Katague of Marinduque and Northern California

In 2003, there was a reunion of the Nieva clan in the Philippines organized by Rene Elizalde Nieva, Macrine's first cousin. We were invited but not able to attend. Rene wrote in his invitation that he is in the process of writing a book about the Nieva clan. He said the book will be privately published with limited printing which will include a general history starting on the possible roots of the Nieva family as well as the achievements of various members of the clan and their contribution to the betterment of Marinduque and of the Philippines. As of this writing date, I have not heard on the status of Rene's book.

In his invitation he invited all the direct and indirect descendants of the children and spouses of Calixto Nieva and Epifania Morente. Note that Rene is the great-grandson of Calixto Nieva and Macrine is also the great-granddaughter of Calixto Nieva , thus Rene and Macrine are first cousins.

I just can not believe that my six grand children are now the great-great-great grand children of Calixto Nieva and Epifania Morente.

Calixto and Epifania Morente had six children, four boys and two girls as follows (from oldest to youngest) along with their spouses.

1.Juan Nieva had two wives. The first wife was Isabel Decena. When Isabel died Juan remarried Elvira Sarmiento. Juan Nieva is both Macrine's and Rene's grandfather. He was the first governor of Marinduque and also the grandfather of the outgoing Governor. Rene and Macrine are first cousin of Jose Antonio (Bong) Nieva Carrion, the outgoing Governor of Marinduque.

2.Victoria Nieva married Doroteo Mercader

3.Dionisio Nieva married Salud de la Santa

4.Gregorio Nieva married Maria Arevalo

5.Jose Nieva married Trinidad Carmona

6.Rosita Nieva married Dr Angel Mayuga

Rene's invitation also included the descendants of the brothers of Calixto, namely Pedro and Francisco Nieva. It also included the brothers and sisters of Epifania Morente, which included not just the Morentes but also the Roceses, Abadas, Trinidads and the Kasilags. Incidentally, the Reyeses are second cousins of Macrine and the other Nievas of Marinduque.

This article will concentrate on the descendants of Juan Nieva and his two wives, Isabel Decena from Santa Cruz and Elvira Sarmiento from Buenavista..

Children of Juan Nieva and Isabel Decena ( from Oldest to Youngest)

1.Calixto Nieva married Juanita Jambalos
2.Blanca Nieva- single was killed by the Japanese during World War II
3.Elena Nieva married Bernardo Jambalos, Jr ( brother of Juanita)

Children of Juan Nieva and Elvira Sarmiento(from Oldest to Youngest)

1.Guillermo ( Willie) Nieva married Dr Celina Elizalde
2.Rosario Nieva married Ramon Carrion
3.Ester Nieva married Rafael Seno
4.Monica Nieva married Conrado Luarca
5.Elizabeth Nieva married Romulo Santo Domingo
6.Asuncion Nieva married Dr. Rafael Ocampo
7.Fr Constantino Nieva- single

For the purpose of this article, I will discuss only the descendants of Elena Nieva and Bernardo Jambalos, Jr. They have seven children as follows: ( From Oldest to Youngest)

1.Macrine Nieva Jambalos- married David B Katague from Iloilo ( that's me)
2.Sister Guia Jambalos- Order of the Cenacle-single
3.Bernardo Jambalos III married Loreta Mercader
4.Fe Jambalos married Edgardo Lazarte
5.Edgar Jambalos ( deceased) married Asuncion Pagalunan
6.Jean Jambalos married Mitch Maeda
7.Rosario Jambalos married Michael Levin

Note that Rene Nieva is the oldest son of Guillermo Nieva and Dr. Celina Elizalde. The younger brother of Rene, Yong is my partner in our literary project, I left my Heart in Marinduque ( not San Francisco). http://marinduqueonmymind.blogspot.com

Macrine's telephone buddy and first cousin from Vancouver, BC, Canada Olga Luarca Quiazon is the oldest daughter of Monica and Conrado Luarca

The outgoing governor of Marinduque is the second son of Rosario Nieva and Ramon Carrion

This posting continues with the offspring of Macrine Jambalos and David B. Katague. They have 4 children and six grandchildren as follows:

1.Dodie( Diosdado) Katague married Ruth Carver- They have 3 children, Philip Winchester, Alexandra and Marina Katague
2.Dinah E Katague married David E King- They have 2 children, Ian and Elaine King
3.David E III-single
4.Ditas Macrine Katague married Nick Thompson- They have one child, Carenna Nicole Thompson

Fe Jambalos has two daughters, Lanie and Ella
Jean Jambalos has two daughters, Yuri and Yuka
Rosario has two children, Carlos and Zehara
Asuncion Jambalos has three sons, Edmund, Nonoy and Jhun-Jhun and a daughter, Marilyn
Bernardo Jambalos III has five children and three grandchildren as of this writing date.

Accomplishments of the children of David B and Macrine J. Katague are discussed in detail at
http://theintellectualmigrant.blogspot.com

Some Interesting Vignettes:

The marriage of Calixto and Juanita Jambalos was not approved by their father Don Juan Nieva. Juanita was the daughter of a barrio businessman from Laylay. During those time, if you are from the barrios, you are not welcome or accepted to the social group of the main town of Boac. The Jambalos family although well off were considered TAGABUKID ( from the bonies). Don Juan Nieva wanted his lawyer son to marry Enriqueta Nepomuceno, one of the popular socialites in Boac. When Juanita died, Calixto did not marry again. Soon Calixto also died and every one in town claimed he died with a broken heart. Enriqueta in the meantime was waiting for Calixto. Enriqueta never married and died as a spinster.

Blanca Nieva graduated from Nursing School at Philippine General Hospital and was earning well. When their father died, she helped in sending her half-sister Rosario to College. She supported her sister and spoiled her by dressing her up to maintain her place in the high society of Boac at that time.

Elena, is the third child of Isabel Decena from Santa Cruz. Isabel died giving birth to Elena. Elena was therefore nursed by the sister of Isabel, Regina Decena Reforma. Elena and Policarpio Reforma ( son of Regina) shared the same breast milk of Tia Regina. When Elena was five years old, she and sister Blanca as well as brother Calixto, were brought to Boac where their father Juan Nieva remarried Elvira Sarmiento from Buenavista.

Elena grew up under the care of Lola Victoria ( sister of Juan Nieva). They lived in the old Nieva Building at the foot of the hill leading to Mataas Na Bayan. Elena later went to college at the University of the Philippines and finished her Bachelor Degree in Education.

When Juanita Jambalos-Nieva( wife of Calixto) died during childbirth, Elena and Bernardo Jambalos II ( brother of Juanita) were made in-charged of bringing the corpse from Manila back to Marinduque.
During the trip, people mistook them as husband and wife. Their romance started then and later were married at the Boac Catholic Church.

Today, if I had to guess, there should be more than seven hundred members of the Nieva clan, just based on the six children of Calixto Nieva and Epifania Morente all over the world. If you include the descendants of Pedro and Francisco Nieva, the two brothers of Calixto, it could reached to more than a thousand Nievas all over the universe. If you are a member of this clan, please let me know. Someday, I may be able to trace the Nieva genealogy all the way to Spain, as I did with my mothers name "Balleza", several years ago. My e-mail is in this site and I am also in Face Book.

Addenda dated 5/20/2011:
In front of the Nieva Street in the Makati Financial District with Rene Nieva, Owner of Perceptions, Inc. This street was named in honor of Gregorio Nieva, one of the brothers of Juan Nieva.

There is also a bridge in Gasan Marinduque ( between the Gasan Market and Downtown) named the Nieva Bridge. I believe the bridge was named in honor of Juan Nieva being the first Governor of Marinduque.

Here's another addendum from Veronica (Ronie Nieva) granddaughter of Gregorio Nieva.

Thank you, Ronie for the update. Macrine and I had a grand time during our mini reunion last December at the The Relish Restaurant in Makati. Here's Ronie's e-mail to me:

Dave, I just read your genealogy. To help you complete the story, here is the Gregorio Nieva line (which you may know already). Gregorio and Maria Arevalo had two children Antonio (my father)& Lourdes Mila (who died early). Mila and Arturo Zamora had one son, Amando. Antonio and Teresa Feria had Veronica, Vicenta, Violeta and Juan Antonio. Veronica & Steve Ettinger had Jonathan & Kenneth. Vicenta & Emil Quinto had Edouard & Nicolo; Edouard & Traci Morinaga have Cade. Violeta & Mariano Arroyo had Manuela & Mariano Jr. Juan Antonio and Irene Casus had Paolo, Monique & Franco. That's it for us!

Ronie, do you know that the Nieva Street in Makati was named after your grandfather?.
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