Saturday, August 19, 2017

Solar Lights in the Gardens of Chateau Du Mer, Boac, Marinduque

My favorite time of the day in Marinduque is at sunset and at twilight. During this time and up to midnight, I could show case my more than 50 solar lights of various types around the resort. Besides the solar lights, I have installed spot lights in all of the statuary's and garden sculptures near the Conference Hall and also in the Main House. The three photos( taken at twilight) above focused on the bridge lighting (red and white). The bridge is the focal point of the landscaping design of the beach house.




Solar Lights as viewed from the Conference Hall







The creek under the bridge is filled with native fish, crabs and snails during the summer season. Two years ago, I seeded the creek with tilapias in November. By May, it was already about 3 to 5 lbs. I feed the tilapias twice a day with commercial fish food. I told Edwin, my caretaker to harvest them before the rainy season, otherwise they will be flushed into the ocean, when the monsoon rains start around July-August. Edwin was able to harvest more than a dozen for his table. A couple of tilapias that remained in the creek were flushed into the ocean by August.


This photo is one of my favorite sunset picture taken from the balcony of the beach house. Macrine and I hope to see you soon in Marinduque-our island Paradise.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Have You Tried Beef Tripe Soup?

My American-Italian neighbor and I started talking about food again yesterday. We talked about tripe and garbanzo dishes. This subject reminded me of my article on tripe dishes that I am reposting as follows: Bon Apetit!

Beef Tripe Soup-Italian-Pinoy Style

Last month, my next door neighbor who was originally from Italy surprise my wife and I with beef tripe soup that she cooked. She said she just makes this soup once and a while, but she was very grateful with us taking her out to the Casino every other week so she makes the soup as a special treat. I once mentioned to her that in the Philippines, one of my favorite dish is beef tripe cooked in tomato sauce with garbanzo beans and plantains.

I also know that the best tripe soup is the Caribbean version that a former college mate once prepared during one of our pot luck parties while I was still in graduate school. I also am aware that tripe has to be pressured cook so it will be tender or boil for at least two hours. During the boiling process, the fat that floats at the top of the pot is removed so that it still be a healthy meal for people who are overweight, diabetics or have high blood pressure like myself and my wife. Here's the recipe that my Caribbean friend gave me. He said this recipe was from his mother a native of Jamaica. The following recipe will served 6 and takes about 3 to 4 hours to prepare.

Ingredients:

2 Tsp oil
1 cup diced onions( preferably sweet onions)
4 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
2 lbs cow tripe, cut up and thoroughly washed
Salt and pepper to taste
Water
1 lb pumpkin (calabaza squash), cut into small sized chunks
2 lbs half-ripe plantains, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch
8 -10 okra
Dumplings (optional)

Preparation:

Heat oil in pressure cooker. Add onions and saute until translucent, 3-4 minutes

Add 2 sprigs of thyme and saute for 1 minute. Add tripe along with salt and pepper to taste and saute for 4 minutes. Add 6 cups water, stir and cover pressure cook and let cook for 50-55 minutes. Time begins from the first whistle.

Add enough water to make soup, cover pot and pressure cook for 6 minutes. Time begins from the first whistle. Release pressure cooker valve to let out steam and open pressure cooker. Add pumpkin, plantains and remaining thyme. Cook until plantains are almost melting. (Do not close pressure cooker at this stage, just rest the cover on top of the pot).

Add okra and dumplings to pot, cover and let cook for 7-9 minutes or until dumplings are cooked thoroughly. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Stir and serve.

The Philippines-Italian version is much simpler. Instead of plantain, my neighbor used potato cubes and no squash and okra are in the recipe. The pure Filipino version is very similar to the Caribbean recipe, but instead of okra, garbanzo beans are used. This soup is one of my favorite dishes. It is considered a main dish in the Philippines, not just a soup. There is a restaurant in Marinduque that prepares a delicious version of this tripe dish. Have You tasted a tripe dish?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Night Activities at Chateau Du Mer, Boac, Marinduque

I was looking at my articles posted in 2008. I found this post I wrote during the Christmas Holiday that year still relevant today. In that posting, I forgot to list watching the moon while lying on the beach in our front yard as one of the most relaxing activities I have enjoyed with Macrine. We have been doing our snow birding life style from November to March annually from 2002 to 2013.

Twilight-Main House Front Balcony of Chateau Du Mer, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines

Night Time -Balcony of the Beach House


One of our Outdoor Christmas Trees


Watching Fireflies


The Bridge at Night-the focal point of the landscaping Design of the Beach House



My Angel Statuary-one of the dozens sculptures at Chateau Du Mer


Fishing, Camping or just Beach walking at Night

Sunset Over Amoingon Bay as viewed from the Balcony of the Beach House-start of night life soon!

Among the many activities, my wife and I enjoyed are night camping and building camp fires by the seashore, watching fireflies, enjoy the Christmas lights and d├ęcor and watching night fishermen from the balcony of the beach house as well as just relaxing in our beach house. The nights are so quiet, all you will hear are the sound of the waves and your heart beat. These are moments, we will always remember.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Marinduque Beloved-My First Acrostic Poem

Mt Malindig and Poctoy White Beach

My first attempt to write an acrostic and free style poem about our second home- Marinduque-Beloved. I hope you like it.

M ajestic Mount Malinding and its sulfur springs,
A bundance of fresh sea foods, fruits and vegetables;
R eknowned for its hospitable residents and the Putong
I sland of my dreams and my beloved second home.
N eglected sometimes by its leaders and balikbayans,
D evelopment of its natural resources sometimes butchered.
U nder the guise of political scheming, its residents suffer,
Q uite silence from majority of its residents.
U nity needed, but not attained due to crab mentality,
E manates apathy, indifference retards progress to my Island.

B eyond its borders, former residents are concerned
E very thing in this island paradise I treasured;
L et my dreams of the place be a tourist mecca,
O vershadowed sometimes by enmity and jealousy.
V erdant hills, white sands beaches, panoramic views,
E lixir of my life, my beloved Marinduque,
D reams and goals of my life be a reality soon!

I never claimed to be a poet, so if this poem stinks, I will understand.
The last time I wrote a poem was during my high school days in the 1950's.
Comments, anyone?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I Love Sunsets! How about You?


1. Sunset from Balcony of the Beach House, Amoingon, Boac, Marinduque



2. Sunset, Eagle Beach, Aruba



3. Sunset, San Juan, Puerto Rico



4. Sunset, Hanalei Bay, Kauai



5. Sunset, Kaanapali, Maui



6. Sunset, Kona Village, Big Island, Hawaii



7. Sunset, Marbella, Spain



8. Sunset, Cancun, Mexico



9. Sunset, on Manila Bay, Philippines



10. Sunset, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Over the years, I have seen and photographed several dozens of sunsets in several countries that my wife and I have visited. We have been to Marbella, Spain, Rome, Italy, London,England, Vancouver, B.C., Cancun, Mexico, Aruba, Hawaii( Maui, Kawaii, Big Island), Puerto Rico and most of the US big cities, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Kansas City, St Louis, Miami, New Orleans, Washington, D.C. and other small cities . But the two most beautiful sunsets that stirs my emotion are the one at Amoingon Bay ( taken at the balcony of our Chateau Du Mer Beach house-top photo) and the one over Manila Bay(# 9 photo). You will probably say, I am partial since I am a Filipino-American, but judge it yourself. Above are ten of my favorite sunset pictures for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy! Comments, anyone?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Some of My Favorite Relaxing and Romantic Music

Let's start the month of August with some relaxing and romantic music. It' been hot here in Northern California for the last two weeks and 3-digits temperature are predicted in the next ten days. Thanks God for Central Air Conditioning!

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