Friday, April 12, 2013
Snowbirding in the Philippines, 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 Nievas and Ettinger
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( 3rd) we had a Garden Wedding and Reception in the resort. This was the fourth garden wedding ceremony we have hosted since the opening of the reception hall in 2005. The ceremony started with fireworks which scared my dog Miko making him hide inside our bedroom. The next day, Macrine and I attended my sister-in-law golden jubilee as a nun for the Order of the Cenacle. That momentous event was similar to our 50th Golden wedding Anniversary(2007) which included a renewal of vows, a mass and a reception for more than 500 guests. The ceremony was held at the Cenacle Convent, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. The next day Macrine made an appointment for a healing service performed by the local priest of Loyola Heights. The wait took more than three hours, we had to abandon the process and just opted for a long distance healing prayers.
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.