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!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Learning To Enjoy Canned Menudo with Tripe and Garbanzo Beans

Yesterday, I tasted my first canned menudo with honeycomb tripe dish (see photo). It was good but not as good as the taste of my own Filipino recipe. I added a small canned of tomato sauce and it tasted better. I also boiled it for another 10 minutes and to soften the garbanzo beans.

For my own Philippines recipe of a tripe dish read: https://myfavoritepinoydishes.blogspot.com/2014/10/have-you-tasted-tripe-soup.html

There are 6 other canned of menudo made by Juanita's food as follows:


Saturday, November 17, 2018

Going to the Dentist is a Pain in the Butt and in the Pocket

Citrus Heights Dental Patients Waiting Area

According to the Web in 2015 the average tooth removals cost is $75 to $300 for non-surgical, gum-erupted tooth extraction, $150 to $650 for a surgical extraction utilizing anesthesia and $185 to $600 for soft-tissue and complicated surgical extractions. It is very important to select a Dentist who will not overcharge you specially if you do not have dental insurance. My Federal Medical Insurance do not cover my Dental needs.

A couple of months ago, I broke four teeth that is supporting my lower denture( partial). It was not aching so I did not go to the dentist. However, yesterday one of my four teeth started aching showing signs of infection. I called several dental offices in the area, but only one could accommodate me within 24 hours. This office is the Citrus Heights Dental-a private group practice. The four teeth (lower left) extraction cost me over a $1000 even after my 10% senior discount. The office normally do not give discount, but I charmed the office manager for the discount by promising to write a good review of my visit.

I went to the Citrus Heights Dental for evaluation for my lower denture repair last September. I have also an upper denture and I am very happy with it. I informed the office I just want the lower denture repair or replace. As a new patient I had free X'ray of my whole mouth and Evaluation( Office Promotion). After the 30 minutes consultation, I was told my lower denture can not be repaired. I was told I need a complete mouth repair including a new upper denture at a cost of over $6000 even after a 10% senior discount. I will have all my remaining teeth ( 6) extracted. Needless to say, I went out of the dental office in a hurry. I felt that the dentist who saw me is pressuring me for more dental work that I really do not need. I went to the Internet and found the following reviews for Citrus Heights Dental.

Latest Review #1: The staff was good and friendly and all. It's the dentist that sucked. Long story short; I had a tooth ache, they x-rayed and she looked in my mouth for literally about 15 seconds and said I needed a root canal, post and a crown. Cost was 2500. I called BS and got another opinion from another dentist and after a more through examination, I was told all I needed was the crown. Cost about 1000. This place is unscrupulous and dishonest. I will never go back.( One Star)

Latest Review #2:
I lost a portion of the bridge and was forced to get it replaced. I had no insurance and certainly didn't have the money to pay upfront for the work but this place was absolutely as accommodating as they could be with the payments. Now let's talk about the doctors and the assistants. I was sitting there with missing teeth and some pretty tough cosmetic work needing done. But when I left I had a temporary bridge in place that looked phenomenal! Talk about being happy smile again!! It was definitely a long session but the staff tried to make me as comfortable as possible and that included laughing when we could. I would recommend this location in a heartbeat! (Five Star)

Latest Review #3: I will never come back to this dental office. All they do is to pressure you on adding for service. My husband went in for a regular cleaning and half way thru the cleaning. The hygienist said she doesn't know how to clean his teeth unless he paid her more using the laser which will cost another $100+ dollars. She has done this so many times. He didn't want to argue with her. So this will be the last time he's coming back here. I'm canceling all my appointments also because I think they only think about money and not treat their patients as real customers.( One Star)

Latest Review #4: I woke up on a Tuesday morning with a terrible toothache. I had to call and make an emergency appointment at 4:30 P.M. They were able to get me in at 5:30. The office was easy to find and the staff was super helpful. The dentist was good and the exam ended with having to have my wisdom tooth pulled. The extraction took minimal time and I had zero complications afterwards. No swelling and very little pain. I HATE going to the dentist but I have found a place that has made me comfortable.( Four Star)

My Personal Review: I gave this place a four star. The office manager assigned me to a new dentist. He pulled my four teeth with professional expertise. I went home with prescriptions of antibiotics and Tylenol and a mouth wash. Today is the second day after the extraction and I feel good except for a pain in my pocket.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo, Rizal, Philippines

Do you like museums? If so visit the Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo, Rizal, Philippines if you are in the area.

This is a beautiful contemporary and modern art museum housed in a mission-styled architecture on a 1.2 hectare property owned privately in a subdivision in Antipolo, Rizal. Several art galleries can be found in the open-air Mediterranean-inspired villas, shrouded by well-manicured gardens and landscaped greens. Pinto means door in Filipino, and the museum aims to be a gateway for modern and contemporary art.

For more details VISIT:

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Have You Been to Malacanang Palace?

If not the following photos taken by Dr Joel Cuello, President of PAASE, October 24, this year is a must see.
Entrance to The Palace( Night Time)
The Court Yard

Dr. Cuello wrote of his recent visit to Malacanang: "Arguably the most storied and iconic residence in all of the Philippines, Malacanan Palace has endured and has -- since 1863 -- served as the principal workplace and official residence for 18 Spanish Governors-General, 14 American Military and Civil Governors, and the subsequent Presidents of the Philippines. It is without doubt a national historical treasure and has in recent decades become a powerful locus of contention for the soul of the Philippines' modern-day vibrant, though at times still seemingly tenuous, democracy".

The Reception Hall

I have been to Malacanang Palace a few decades ago when I attended a Paranggal Ceremonies honoring a friend from Maryland. Dr Cuello's photos also showed The Drawings of Juan Luna -a coffee book from the collections of my former classmate in Chemistry in UP, Dr Eleuterio Pascual.

My association with Dr. Pascual and his coffee book about the paintings and drawings of Juan Luna is discussed in my blog as follows:


Note: The photos of Dr Cuello has a SAMPLE mark because I converted it from PDF to JPG format. I have not purchased the converter program, thus the SAMPLE mark. I have the permission of Dr. Cuello to post some of his pictures in this blog.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Enjoying Mexican Food-Beef Tamales, Chile Relleno and Menudo

Beef Tamales

For the last two weeks, Macrine and I had been enjoying Mexican Food. We have hired two more Mexican-American aides (LC and CB) just these past two weeks on a part time basis and on trial. Both of them love cooking Mexican dishes. One day, I mentioned that my favorite Mexican dish is Chile Relleno. The next day LC brought us 4 Chile Rellenos(CR), she cooked the night before. Besides the CR, she brought with her one dozen tamales. She said her MOM ordered the Tamales from a friend. I have not eaten a Tamale for quite sometime. The first Tamale(TA) I had was in Chicago in the mid-1960's. Both CR and TA were delicious. My taste buds for TA were awaken by this event, I searched for frozen Tamales in our local Mexican-American Grocery store ( Food Maxx). I found the El Montery brand( see photo) that I really enjoy for breakfast.

For the Chile Relleno, two Mexican Restaurants in our neighborhood have it in their menus. However, it is expensive. I was searching for frozen CR that I could just heat in the microwave. The Internet shows, Walmart carries the Goya brand. I called our local Walmart store, and they have no stock. There are several brands you can buy on-line but expensive. I decided to check our Food Maxx store. Food Maxx carries the Frida brand. I purchased a package of 4 for only $10.50. It is still in the freezer, since yesterday LC cooked us again six Chile Rellenos costing me only $10 for the ingredients.

Another Mexican dish that Macrine and I enjoyed just recently is the Menudo soup purchased from our neighborhood Mexican restaurant(TH). I purchased the dish from Tres Hermanos(TH) which is available only on weekends. The dish serving for 4 cost me $10. Besides the tripe it has one pig's feet but no hominy. The dish was good and the tripe was soft. The pigs feet just melted in my mouth. To the left over two servings, I added Garbanzo beans and Macrine and I enjoyed the soup again the next day.

Speaking of tripe, I have a favorite Filipino recipe for tripe that I cooked every now and then. The recipe is listed in my Food blog as follows:


Sunday, November 4, 2018

My Movie Review of Metro Manila

The Bar Scene

I am not an avid movie goer, but a couple of years ago, I rented a movie because I heard so many good reviews about the above film. In addition, the title attracted my attention having resided in Metro Manila for a number of years during my college years.

The movie was advertised as a crime drama and thriller. However, the first hour of the movie was no thriller at all. It was almost like a love story of a poor couple with two young kids from Northern Philippines who went to Manila for a better life. It was only 45 minutes before the end of the movie when the movie fulfilled its label as a crime drama and thriller

The opening scenes in the movie with the Ifugao Rice terraces in Banaue was mesmerizing and beautiful. It makes me feel like visiting the place again. I was in Banaue in 1970.

As the movie progresses the scenes of the poverty and traffic congestion in Manila was filmed so realistically even including the smog from exhaust of thousands of vehicles including Jeepneys, tricycles, buses and cars of all kinds , The movie was filmed entirely in the Philippines, mostly in Manila. This has save thousands of British pounds for movie director and producer Englishman Sean Ellis. As a Filipino-American, the movie brings me some nostalgia even though some of the scenes were filmed in a neighborhood, I will never visit even in broad day light.

The movie starts with farmer Oscar (played by Jake Macapagal) and his wife, Mai (played by Althea Vega), unable to make a living on rice fields of Banaue Province in the Philippines. decided to migrate to Manila to find work, tagging along their two young children . They obtained a ride on a cramped produce and vegetable truck. Immediately after arriving in the city, they encounter a real estate swindler who rented them a house that is government owned. They were forced to live in the streets for a while and witnessed a kidnapping episode.

Later on the story, Oscar was able to move his family to a slum outside of town. After searching for a job for quite sometime, he was so glad to finally get a modestly paying job as an armored car driver. Mai on the other hand finds work in a bar where she’s routinely exploited and harassed by the male clientele. The manager of the Bar is Charlie( played by Angelina Kapati), a masculine woman, who seems sympathetic to Mai needs for money...

Oscar learned very fast of the ways of downtown, or “metro” Manila, after being taught by his driving partner, Ong (played by John Arcilla). Arcilla's acting ability was fantastic and superb.

The movie, Metro Manila offers a realistic view of a crowded and chaotic place where Oscar and Mai struggle against poverty and indifference. Manila is so unforgiving, and their poverty is so desperate. It is no surprise that when the Ramires Family seem to get a happy welcome to the city, their story turns up to a sad and, deadly ending. Watch the movie for a twist in the end.

I recommend this movie to all especially to those who enjoys a love story with a twist at the end. The movie is in Filipino (tagalog) with English subtitles. Since I understandTagalog there was no need for me to look at at subtitles which was hard to read because it was in a small font on my TV screen. Otherwise I enjoyed the movie very much. It was worth more than the $4.99 rental fee that I paid to Comcast Movie in Demand-My Internet and Cable movie Provider.

The film is unrated. It contains profanity, violence, smoking, adult themes and brief nudity, The running time is 115 minutes. It is available through Amazon Google Play, YouTube and Sony Entertainment Network. Metro Manila is 2013 British-Filipino independently produced crime drama film directed by Sean Ellis. Ellis also co-produced and co-wrote the film. The film was selected as the British entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards.

Metro Manila had its International premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival on 20 January 2013. It was also released on 17 July 2013 in France, 28 August 2013 in Belgium, 29 August 2013 in the Netherlands, and 20 September 2013 in the UK. Metro Manila had its Philippine premiere on October 9, 2013. It is now available in Comcast Movie in Demand under Indie and Foreign Films category. The two day rental is $4.99 here in Northern California.

Other Reviews-From the Washington Post

Perhaps inevitably, the complications that ensue in “Metro Manila” begin to look a little contrived and exaggerated. But Ellis has nonetheless created an absorbing, poignant portrait of contemporary life in the Philippines, here pessimistically depicted as a place of cruelty and greed, but also courageous striving. And he’s enlisted a superior group of actors to ground his sometimes schematic story in unguarded sincerity. Macapagal and Arcilla are both solemn and attractive as a young couple the audience never hesitates to root for, and Arcilla handles his character’s own complexities with talky, charismatic flair.

“Metro Manila,” finally, is a sobering portrayal, not just of the abuse of power, but the abuse of hope, which might be even more unforgivable. As Mai tells Oscar at one point, “sometimes the only thing left to hang on to is the blade of the knife.” It cuts even deeper when there’s another human being holding the handle.

Another Review-Telegraph.CO.UK

Metro Manila is so spellbound by its setting that it is a good hour before we discover what kind of film it is going to be. It begins as a swirling drama of survival in the Filipino capital — but then suddenly it slips off down an alleyway, only to emerge a scrupulously engineered, Christopher Nolan-ish crime thriller.

On paper, that sounds awkward: in fact, it’s an entirely logical reflection of the experience of anyone who has ever taken on a city and won. Early in the film, Manila is an inscrutable tangle of bodies and streets, but it gradually takes on the shape of a puzzle that is waiting to be solved. At stake are the life-changing contents of a missing safety deposit box, and a changed life is the reason Oscar Ramirez has come to Manila.

Oscar (Jake Macapagal) is a penniless rice farmer who brings his young family to this city of close to 12 million souls in search of work and food. Slum landlords and brutal employers take an almost overwhelming toll, particularly when Oscar’s pretty wife Mai (Althea Vega) takes a job in a smouldering go-go bar.

Oscar tell his new boss a joke is crisply written and beautifully performed. Moments like that can give you dangerously high hopes for a film, and Metro Manila amply meets them. For details visit the following site.


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