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. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringement of your copyrights. Cheers!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Only in Marinduque, Philippines-An Update

Chateau Du Mer Main House, Amoingon, Boac, Marindque,Philippines-Our Winter Retreat

Just recently, I posted in my blogs an article written by a friend discussing his recent trip to the Philippines as a Senior Citizen. The article reminded me of my own experiences as a snowbird resident in our second home in the Island of Marinduque. The following is the article I wrote more than two years ago March 3, 2014 to be exact just in case you have not read it.

"This morning a door to door service woke me up at 4:30AM. I was in deep sleep when I heard the newly installed buzzer in our front gate. I thought the kids in the neighborhood were playing with the buzzer as in previous years. The bell rang two more times and I realized is time to wake up and see who is ringing the door bell . I walked barely awake to the front gate about 20 meters and asked what time is it and who is ringing the buzzer in this early morning hours.

I heard an apologetic response, door to door service Sir. What time is it? 4:30AM Sir. Why so early? Please be patient with us Sir. We are still delivering to Buenavista. Our load of fresh vegetables are rotting, that is the reason for this very early delivery.

I opened the gates, 4 small boxes and a long side table with glass top was delivered in my back porch. After checking that the glass top was not broken, the door to door service with another apology went on their way to Buenavista about 45 minutes away. The delivery was part of the mop and pail package that my sister in-law purchased for me in Manila. It cost 600 pesos. It is needed to clean our marble floors in the main house and the tile floors of the conference Hall. The glass top side table and other boxes were for my sister-in-law beach house and cottage.

Thank you dear sister-in-law for ordering the mop as well as my new PC and monitor, but hopefully the next delivery will not be early in the morning as this one.

Another item I want to mention is the dental service in this poor island with no air service from Manila. In general the dental services here are comparable to US standards and are much, much cheaper than the dental cost in California. I had ordered two new dental partials last year. The other day, one of the teeth in my lower partial broke after I eat a small piece of lechon skin ( roasted baby pig).

I tried to call my dentist in his land line several times. His telephone kept on ringing but no one is responding. I got tried ringing his phone, so I decided that my driver and I just drive to his office. Luckily, he was in his office and was able to fix my partial after leaving it overnight. I realize he does not answer his land line. He only respond to his cell phone that I did not have at that time.

Update: Just recently, Macrine had her teeth fixed ( a crown) and it cost us a fortune. As they say when you open your mouth to see a dentist here in US you also open your wallet. Like most Americans, we do not have dental insurance.

The third item I observed that is only in the Philippines is the special check out line for senior citizens in the grocery stores. During our 4 day stay in Manila prior to our land and sea trip to Marinduque, we purchased about a 2 weeks supply of grocery staples, fruits and vegetables. I was accompanied by my sister-in-law who has a senior citizen card and booklet. I was surprised to see a special check out line with seats for waiting only for senior citizens. I believe we got a 5% discount for certain basic food items, but not for alcohol and tobacco. Not much discount, but every penny here in the Philippines counts. There is no such line in the US.

Finally, I want to emphasize that I am really enjoying our 90 days snow birding time here in Marinduque so far. The mornings are cool but in mid day it is getting hot and humid- a sign that the hot summer season in the island Paradise is getting near ".

Update: The weather here in Northern California had been beautiful this past week. Cool in the morning ( in the 60'S and not too hot in the afternoon), sunny and not a single drop of rain!

Friday, August 26, 2016

One Hundred Years Anniversary of the National Park Service

Yesterday, August 25, 2016, was the 100th Anniversary of the Creation of the National Park Service which administers over 400 National Parks, National Monuments,and National Historic Sites. How many have you visited? The following is a repost of my blog on the 20 most popular National Parks, Monuments and Historic Sites in the US.

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah

Its almost the end of summer and time to think of visiting the nearest national monument and Landmark near you. This will save you gas money and probably these places are less crowded if you compare it to visiting a National Park. So what is the difference between a National Monument/Landmark versus the popular National Parks?

A National Monument in the United States is a protected area that is similar to a National Park except that the President of the United States can quickly declare an area of the United States to be a National Monument without the approval of Congress. National monuments receive less funding and afford fewer protections to wildlife than national parks. However, areas within and extending beyond national parks, monuments, and national forests can be part of wilderness areas, which have an even greater degree of protection than a national park would alone, although wilderness areas managed by the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management often allow hunting.

National monuments can be managed by one of several federal agencies: the National Park Service(NPS), United States Forest Service(USFS), United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), or Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

President Theodore Roosevelt established the first national monument, Devils Tower in Wyoming, on September 24, 1906. He established eighteen national monuments, although only nine still retain that designation. Fifteen presidents have created national monuments since the program began; only Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush did not. Bill Clinton created the most monuments, nineteen, and expanded three others. Jimmy Carter protected vast parts of Alaska, proclaiming fifteen national monuments, some of which later were promoted to national parks. The most recent national monument designated by Presidential Proclamation was by George W. Bush on January 6, 2009. Three marine locations in the central Pacific Ocean were protected, covering a total of 195,274 square miles (505,760 km2). The most recent monument, Prehistoric Trackways, was established by an Act of Congress, signed into law on March 30, 2009.

Concerns about protecting mostly prehistoric Indian ruins and artifacts—collectively termed antiquities—on western federal lands prompted the legislation. Its purpose was to allow the president to quickly preserve public land without waiting for legislation to pass through an unconcerned Congress. The ultimate goal was to protect all historic and prehistoric sites on U.S. federal lands.

Twenty-seven states have national monuments, as do the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Minor Outlying Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Arizona, with eighteen, has the largest number of national monuments, followed by New Mexico with twelve and California with ten. Fifty-five national monuments protect places of natural significance, including ten geological sites, seven marine sites, and five volcanic sites. Twenty-two national monuments are associated with Native Americans. Twenty-three are other historical sites, including ten forts. The total national monuments and landmarks in US is 100. I will just give a short description , agency in-charge and coordinates of the 20 most popular and visited national monuments as follows:

Of the 20 listed below, Macrine and I had visited only six since the 1960's. How many in the list have you visited ? I bet you must have visited the Statue of Liberty in New York City and probably the George Washington birthplace in Virginia.


1. Admiralty Island USFS Alaska57°38′N 134°21′W / 57.64°N 134.35°W / 57.64; -134.35 (Admiralty Island) 01978-12-01 December 1, 1978 Occupying most of Admiralty Island, the 7th largest in the United States, this monument is part of Tongass National Forest in the Alaska Panhandle. It has a large population of grizzly, black, and brown bears, as well as whales, mountain goats, and deer. Most of the monument has been declared the Kootznoowoo Wilderness, restricting future development. The Greens Creek mine lies within the monument.

2.African Burial Ground NPS New York40°42′52″N 74°00′15″W / 40.7144°N 74.0042°W / 40.7144; -74.0042 (African Burial Ground) 02006-02-27 February 27, 2006 Re-discovered in 1991 during excavations for a new federal building, this former burial ground that contains the remains of more than 400 free and enslaved Africans buried during the 17th and 18th centuries was designated a National Historic Landmark memorial in 1993.

3. Bandelier NPS New Mexico35°47′N 106°16′W / 35.78°N 106.27°W / 35.78; -106.27 (Bandelier) 01916-02-11 February 11, 1916 A historic district, Bandelier contains Frijoles Canyon, which contains Ancestral Pueblo homes, kivas, rock paintings and petroglyphs.

4. California Coastal BLM California36°53′N 122°11′W / 36.89°N 122.18°W / 36.89; -122.18 (California Coastal) 02000-01-11 January 11, 2000 This monument ensures the protection of all islets, reefs and rock outcroppings from the coast of California to a distance of 12 nautical miles (22 km), along the entire 840-mile (1,350 km) long California coastline.

5. Craters of the Moon NPS, BLM Idaho43°25′N 113°31′W / 43.42°N 113.52°W / 43.42; -113.52 (Craters of the Moon) 01924-05-02 May 2, 1924 One of the best preserved flood basalt areas in the continental U.S. contains three lava fields along the Great Rift of Idaho as well as the world's deepest open rift cracks and other volcanic features.

6. Devils Tower NPS Wyoming44°35′N 104°43′W / 44.59°N 104.72°W / 44.59; -104.72 (Devils Tower) 01906-09-24 September 24, 1906 The tower is a monolithic igneous intrusion of volcanic neck rising dramatically 1,267 feet (386 m) above the surrounding terrain. Proclaimed by Theodore Roosevelt, this was the first national monument.

7. El Morro NPS New Mexico35°02′N 108°21′W / 35.04°N 108.35°W / 35.04; -108.35 (El Morro) 01906-12-08 December 8, 1906 On the site of an ancient east-west trail is a great sandstone promontory with a pool of water at its base. There are inscriptions from the 17th century as well as older petroglyphs made by the Anasazi.

8. Fort McHenry NPS Maryland39°15′47″N 76°34′44″W / 39.263°N 76.579°W / 39.263; -76.579 (Fort McHenry) 01925-03-03 March 3, 1925 The only place designated a national monument and historic shrine, Fort McHenry is a star-shaped fort best known for its role in the War of 1812 when it successfully defended Baltimore Harbor from an attack by the British navy. It inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner".

9. George Washington Birthplace NPS Virginia38°11′10″N 76°55′50″W / 38.1861°N 76.9305°W / 38.1861; -76.9305 (George Washington's Birthplace) 01930-01-23 January 23, 1930 Representative of 18th-century Virginia tobacco farms, this site is the birthplace and boyhood environment of George Washington. The entrance includes a Memorial Shaft obelisk of Vermont marble that is a one-tenth scale replica of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. Also within the monument are the historic birthplace home area, a kitchen house, and the Washington family burial ground.

10. George Washington Carver NPS Missouri36°59′10″N 94°21′14″W / 36.986°N 94.354°W / 36.986; -94.354 (George Washington Carver) 01943-07-14 July 14, 1943 The site preserves Moses Carver's farm, which was the boyhood home of George Washington Carver, a scientist and educator who developed many uses for peanuts. It was the first national monument dedicated to an African-American and first to a non-president.

11. Giant Sequoia USFS California36°02′N 118°30′W / 36.04°N 118.50°W / 36.04; -118.50 (Giant Sequoia National Monument) 02000-04-15 April 15, 2000 The monument includes 38 of the 39 Giant Sequoia groves in the Sequoia National Forest, amounting to about half of the sequoia groves currently in existence. This includes one of the ten largest Giant Sequoias, the Boole Tree. Its two parts are around Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.

12. Gila Cliff Dwellings NPS New Mexico33°14′N 108°17′W / 33.24°N 108.28°W / 33.24; -108.28 (Gila Cliff Dwellings) 01907-11-16 November 16, 1907 Located within the Gila Wilderness, the people of the Mogollon culture lived in these cliff dwellings 180 feet (55 m) above the canyon floor from the 1280s through the early 14th century. They lived in five caves with 46 rooms. Henry B. Ailman discovered them in 1878.

John 13. Lava Beds NPS California41°43′N 121°31′W / 41.71°N 121.51°W / 41.71; -121.51 (Lava Beds) 01925-11-21 November 21, 1925 This is the site of the largest concentration of lava tube caves in North America. It also includes Petroglyph Point, one of the largest panels of Native American rock art. The monument lies on the northeast flank of the Medicine Lake Volcano, the largest volcano in the Cascade Range.

14. Montezuma Castle NPS Arizona34°37′N 111°50′W / 34.61°N 111.84°W / 34.61; -111.84 (Montezuma Castle) 01906-12-08 December 8, 1906 Montezuma Castle features well-preserved cliff dwellings built and used by the Pre-Columbian Sinagua people around 1400 AD. Several Hopi clans trace their roots to the area, which is not connected to Montezuma. The monument also includes the Montezuma Well, which has been used for irrigation since the 8th century.

15. Muir Woods NPS California37°53′N 122°35′W / 37.89°N 122.58°W / 37.89; -122.58 (Muir Woods) 01908-01-09 January 9, 1908 Part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, it protects one of the last old growth Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) groves in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as one of the most easily accessed.

16. Natural Bridges NPS Utah37°35′N 110°00′W / 37.58°N 110°W / 37.58; -110 (Natural Bridges) 01908-04-16 April 16, 1908 Located at the junction of White Canyon and Armstrong Canyon, it is part of the Colorado River drainage. It features the second- and third-largest natural bridges in the world, carved from the white Triassic sandstone of the Cedar Mesa Formation that gives White Canyon its name.

17. Petroglyph NPS New Mexico35°10′N 106°46′W / 35.16°N 106.76°W / 35.16; -106.76 (Petroglyph) 01990-06-27 June 27, 1990 This monument protects a variety of cultural and natural resources, including five volcanic cones, hundreds of archeological sites and an estimated 25,000 images carved by native peoples and early Spanish settlers. It lies on West Mesa, a volcanic basalt escarpment.

18. Rainbow Bridge NPS Utah37°05′N 110°58′W / 37.08°N 110.96°W / 37.08; -110.96 (Rainbow Bridge) 01910-05-30 May 30, 1910 One of the largest in the world, Rainbow Bridge is the most famous example of a natural bridge as well as the most accessible. It stands 290 feet (88 m) tall and spans 275 feet (84 m) wide; the top of the bridge is 42 feet (13 m) thick and 33 feet (10 m) wide. It was made from sandstone formed during the Triassic and the Jurassic periods.

19. Statue of Liberty NPS New York, New Jersey40°41′N 74°02′W / 40.69°N 74.04°W / 40.69; -74.04 (Statue of Liberty) 01924-10-15 October 15, 1924 This iconic statue, built in 1886 on Liberty Island and 151 feet (46 m) tall, commemorates the centennial of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence and is a gesture of friendship from France to the U.S. Liberty Enlightening the World is a symbol of welcoming immigrants to the U.S. and is listed as a World Heritage Site. Ellis Island, where 12 million immigrants entering the U.S. passed through, is included in the monument.

20. White Sands NPS New Mexico32°47′N 106°10′W / 32.78°N 106.17°W / 32.78; -106.17 (White Sands) 01933-07-25 July 25, 1933 Located in the mountain-ringed Tularosa Basin valley area, White Sands consists of the southern part of a 275square miles (710 km2) field of white sand dunes composed of gypsum crystals. It is completely within the White Sands Missile Range and is subject to closure when tests are conducted.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Vignettes on the Life of Benito Lopez of Jaro, Iloilo, Philippines



The following is a repost of the article written by Nereo Cajilig Lujan and posted in his Face book page just recently. I enjoyed reading it because I was born in Jaro, Iloilo and was curious about Roca Encantada- a summer house of the famous Lopezes clan of Jaro. The two well-known Lopez brothers are Eugenio and Fernando. Eugenio was an industrialist and philanthropist whereas Fernando was well known for his political achievements having been elected vice president in three presidential periods in Philippine History. According to Nereo Lujan, our blood relation to the Lopezes is thru the wife of Fernando, Mariquit Lopez.

Nereo and I share the same ancestry with the Javellana clan of Iloilo. He has a blog www.javellana.wordpress.com. Read it if you want more details on the Javellana clan of Iloilo. Here's a repost of his very informative and popular article that had been shared by 160 readers, 466 likes, and 33 comments as of today.

" HISTORY 101. On 27 December 1907, Governor Benito Lopez was shot four times in his office at the Casa Gobierno (Casa Real de Iloilo) by Joaquin Gil, a supporter of Francisco Jalandoni who he defeated in the gubernatorial elections two months earlier.

Lopez died 24 days later on 20 January 1908 at the Iloilo Mission Hospital and his assailant was executed for his crime while Gil's patrons were exiled for their role in the governor's assassination.

Mourning the death of her husband, Doña Presentacion Hofileña Lopez retired to her native town in Navalas (now Buenavista) in the island of Guimaras and built for herself a house there.

The Lopez widow left her two sons Eugenio (born 1901) and Fernando (born 1904) to the care of his sister Elena who married her late husband's brother, Vicente Lopez (who built the elegant Nelly Garden in Jaro in 1928).

Doña Presentacion's house, constructed on top of a huge coral rock in Barrio San Miguel overlooking the north eastern coast of Panay Island, was completed in 1910.

While residing in Guimaras, Doña Presentacion took fancy on a baby girl born in 1909 to a peon (unskilled farm worker) and an American soldier stationed there. She adopted her and named her Julieta.

The mestiza Julieta Lopez was crowned Miss Iloilo in 1927 and on 19 June that year married Vicente Arenas. Their son Ramon became the husband of socialite Rosemarie Bosch Jimenez, popularly known as Baby Arenas.

Sometime in the mid-1920s, Doña Presentacion married Daniel Evangelista but they were childless. She contracted pneumonia and her condition quickly worsened, resulting to her death in February 1930.

In the 1950s, the Lopez brothers had the house in Buenavista renovated, turned it into their summer home and called it La Roca Encantada as it is perched on a rock.

On 21 April 1967, after inaugurating the Iloilo Airport in Mandurriao, President Ferdinand Marcos and party had lunch at La Roca Encantada, becoming the first Chief Executive to set foot on Guimaras soils.

La Roca Encantada, which quickly became a tourist attraction, was declared a National Heritage House by the National Historical Institute on 14 August 2002.

Benpres, the holding company of the Lopez family that was incorporated in 1993, was coined after the names Benito and Presentacion. It was renamed Lopez Holdings Corporation in 2010 ".

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Macrine and I Pampered Ourselves Today

I woke up this morning under the weather. My 81.6 years old body is aching. It is not due to our bed mattress because it is new. I decided I will treat and pamper myself later on today. I decided to have a manicure and spa pedicure at our neighborhood salon. Macrine and I have manicure and pedicure services on a routine basis when we are Marinduque.

However, Macrine is the only one who has her manicure and pedicure on a monthly basis here in Northern California. She has this done at our neighborhood nail salon operated by a Vietnamese-American family. The salon is headed by the Mother( she is the only one with good English command with the exception of the daughter). She is assisted by her husband, her sister, sister-in-law and just recently her 25 year old daughter.



The cost is $10 for manicure and $20 for a SPA pedicure plus a $2 tip. The name of the Salon is Elegant Nails, about one mile from our residence. This is indeed a reasonable price compared to other nail salons not operated by Vietnamese-Americans. Today I had the same service and I like it. I enjoyed the service especially the massage part of the service. Beginning today I will now pampered myself with these services on a regular basis.

I was curious why more than 80% of the nail salon business are in the capable hands of the Vietnamese-Americans here in Northern California. The following article and the above video answered my question.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32544343 and
http://matadornetwork.com/life/why-vietnamese-americans-rule-the-nail-salon-scene/

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Causes of Lung Cancer of Non-Smokers and Treatment-An Update


Several days ago, I posted an article on possible causes of lung cancer of non-smokers. I wrote that article after I received a note that a close relative of Macrine was just diagnosed with lung cancer although she had never smoke a cigarette in her life. In that posting she does not know the stage and type of cancer she had.

Today she went to see her oncologist for the results of her PET scan last week. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. Fortunately there is a treatment plan available that will likely contain the spread of the cancer. The pill that she will take appears to be highly effective because of three conditions: she’s Asian, has no history of smoking, and she has metastatic non small cell lung cancer.

The drug prescribed for her is Gefitinib (Iressa). The drug has very tolerable side effects, namely, skin rashes and diarrhea. An alternative drug in the same class is Erlotinib ( Tarceva). According to the clinical literature, Erlotinib has been found to have improved overall survival rate than Gefitinib.

Tarceva is also indicated for stage 4 non small cell pancreatic cancer.

Last November, Tagrisso (omisertinib; formerly AZD9291) obtained FDA approval for the treatment epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients whose tumours carry the T790M mutation. The drug is a third-generation EGFR inhibitor, which is designed to overcome resistance to other drugs in the class such as Roche/Astellas' $2bn-a-year Tarceva (erlotinib), AZ's Iressa (gefitinib) and Boehringer Ingelheim's Giotrif (afatinib).

For details on Iressa and Tarceva read the following:

https://www.drugs.com/iressa.html and https://www.drugs.com/tarceva.html

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Newly Revamped San Francisco Museum of Modern Art



My daughter and grand daughter ( Ditas and Carenna) just visited San Francisco newly revamped Museum of Modern Art(MOMA)just recently. If you are a lover of art this must be one in your bucket list of places to visit.

Ditas and Carenna had fun and took a couple of pictures as follows.





Read the following news releases on the opening of MOMA last May.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/san-francisco-museum-of-modern-art-san-francisco-6

http://abc7news.com/entertainment/revamped-san-francisco-museum-of-modern-art-reopens/1338928/
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