Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Coconut Crab and Spiny Lobster of Marinduque

Coconut crab or lobster cooked in coconut milk is one of the most delicious dish that I have tasted in Marinduque. So what what is a coconut crab? Here's what Wikipedia says:

The coconut crab, Birgus latro, is a species of terrestrial hermit crab, also known as the robber crab or palm thief. It is the largest land-living arthropod in the world, and is probably at the upper size limit for terrestrial animals with exoskeletons in recent Earth atmosphere, with a weight of up to 4.1 kg (9.0 lb). It can grow to up to 1 metre (3 ft) in length from leg to leg. It is found on islands across the Indian Ocean and parts of the Pacific Ocean as far east as the Gambier Islands, mirroring the distribution of the coconut palm; it has been extirpated from most areas with a significant human population, including mainland Australia and Madagascar.


In the Cook Islands, the coconut crab is known as unga or kaveu, and in the Mariana Islands it is called ayuyu, and is sometimes associated with taotaomo'na because of the traditional belief that ancestral spirits can return in the form of animals such as the coconut crab


Slipper lobsters are a family of decapod crustaceans found in all warm oceans and seas. Despite their name, they are not true lobsters, but are more closely related to spiny lobsters and furry lobsters. Slipper lobsters are instantly recognizable by their enlarged antennae, which project forward from the head as wide plates. All the species are edible, and some, such as the Moreton Bay bug and the "Balmain bug" (Ibacus peronii) are of commercial importance.

I am looking forward to eat these two delicacies in Marinduque next week.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Two Scam Letters I Received Recently


Here's Letter Number 1:

Dear Good Friend,

Sorry for not having the pleasure of knowing your mindset before making you this offer, it is utterly confidential and genuine by virtue of its nature. I write to solicit your assistance in a funds transfer deal involving US$14.5M. Meanwhile, I know there is absolutely going to be a great doubt and distrust in your heart in respect of this email, coupled with the fact that, so many miscreants and impostors (scammers) have taken possession of the internet to facilitate their nefarious deeds, thereby making it extremely difficult for genuine and legitimate business class persons to get attention and recognition.

This fund has been stashed out of the excess profit made last year by my branch office of the International Commercial Bank- Burkina Faso, which I am the manager. I have already submitted an approved end of the year report for the year 2013 to my head office here in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and the financial report has been endorsed without the excess fund, and they will never know of this. I have since then, placed this amount in a Non-Investment Account without a beneficiary, and I am contacting you as a foreigner to claim the money into your account. Upon your response, I will configure your name on our database as holder of the Non-Investment Account. I will then guide you on how to apply to my head office for the Account Closure, thereafter, bank-to-bank remittance of the funds to your designated bank account.

It is up to you to decide whether this letter deserves your trust and confidentiality. And if indeed it does, whatever your actions and your decision let me know immediately so that I will give you the detail how we should go about it. If you concur with this proposal, I intend for you to retain 45% of the funds while 55% shall be for me.

Kindly forward your response to my private e-mail box: ch.teodoro@laposte.net

Thanks

Yours sincerely

Chintia Teodoro

______________________________________________________________________________

Here's Letter number 2:

Salam: I hope you have good health.

Please I am a widow from Syria and my life and kids are in danger. I need
help from someone honest and sincere that care humanity for we not
know where good thing come from ok if you accept please reply me so I
tell you details of what i want you do for us ok. thank you for understand

Allah Afiz

Note: I am posting the two letters verbatim without correcting the grammar and sentence construction of the two letters.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ditas Katague and Carenna Katague Thompson Art Shows

One of Carenna's Animal Sketches

I am proud to announce that both Ditas ( my youngest daughter) and Carenna( my youngest grand daughter) are having art shows this month and next month and up to May.

Carenna - at age 10 has had several art shows. Her latest featuring 3 photographs is below:

ANIMAL HOUSE - 9th Annual Juried Fine Art Exhibition of Animal Themed Artworks

February 18-March 8, 2014, Sacramento Fine Arts Center, 5330-B Gibbons Drive, Carmichael, CA 95608.

Second Saturday Reception and Award Presentation - March 8, 2014, 5:30-8:30 pm

NOTE- MY 10 YEAR OLD GRAND DAUGHTER HAS BEEN ACCEPTED IN THIS SHOW. SHE WILL BE SHOWING THE FOLLOWING PHOTOGRAPHS.

"Peacocks" - Digital Photograph 8" x 10"

"Snow Leopard" - Digital Photograph 8" x 10"

"Leapin Leopard" - Digital Photograph 8" x 10 "\

=========================================================================

Ditas was selected to be in Ironstone Vineyards Spring Obsession Art show from March 1-May 11. Information is below:

SPRING OBSESSION - Annual Art Competition, Ironstone Vineyards
March 1- May 11, 2014, Ironstone Vineyards, 1894 Six Mile Road, Murphys, CA 95247

www.ironstonevineyards.com

Opening March 1 & 2, 2014 - 10-5 pm. Special event - March 1st 4 to 6:30 pm Wine and Food Pairing from around the World

"Roots Before Branches" - Acrylic on Canvas, 60"x48"

Friday, February 14, 2014

Formula for a Lasting Marriage and Happy Valentine


TODAY is Valentine's Day. A day for lovers, young and old. This is the best time to write Part 2 of my article on the Formula for a lasting marriage. I wrote my first article on my formula for a lasting marriage about a year ago. I did receive several positive comments on that article. In that article I emphasized that open trust and communication between the husband and wife is a must for a lasting marriage. Another point I discussed in that article was accepting the flaws as well as the strength of your partner is a must for a lasting marriage. This new article (Part 2) is inspired from two incidents that I experienced recently.

The first incident occurred while my wife and I were waiting in the patient lounge at the diagnostic laboratory for our normal six month interval blood work check up. A couple seating near us mentioned that they have been married for 63 years. I asked the guy, if he has a secrete formula for their lasting marriage. He jokingly answered "I do what she wants pointing to his wife". His wife heard it, she smiled and reply, that is not true because I also like to please him whatever he wants almost all the time. The lesson here is the "gave and take" is still one of the formula for lasting marriage.

The second incident happened while I was in line at our friendly local bank cashing a check. The line was long and the bank had only two clerks because it as about lunch time. The wait was about 30 minutes and to get rid of boredom, I started a conversation with an elderly lady next in line to me. After a few pleasantries, she mentioned that yesterday was her 54th wedding anniversary with her second husband. Her marriage with her first husband lasted only about a year, because both of them were young and immature. So I asked her if she has a formula why her second marriage has lasted for 54 years. Her quick reply was, my husband and I just laugh a lot. If we have problems we talk about it and just laugh about it.

To me this means that to have a positive attitude and not taking problems seriously is another formula that help guarantee a lasting marriage.

So my dear readers if you have been married for more than 10 years, can you share with me and my readers, your formula for a lasting marriage. I will appreciate it very much and thank you in advance for sharing. Again, Happy Valentine to You All!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Good News and Looking Forward to Sweat Like a Pig


This week there are three good news in the David Balleza Katague Family.

The first good news is that we have finalized our snowbird vacation dates leaving the US next week and staying in the Philippines up to the first week of May. We have also arranged for a 90 day supply of all of our prescription drugs. I am looking forward to see my blooming orchids, fruit-bearing trees ( mangoes, papayas and bananas) and of course the beach house. I am also looking forward to play with Miko, our pet dog and walking on the beach and gardens every day if it is at all possible( not raining).
One of my favorite orchids ( The Princess Mikasa) at the Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines

However, there will be pain and suffering when during the months of April and May, there will be numerous days when the heat and humidity of summer will turn to its ugly head in the Philippines. There will a slight relief from the ocean breeze in our beach house in Marinduque, but I will not be surprised if I sweat like a pig again this year. Moreover, I am not also looking forward staying in Manila for a couple of days during the summer months due to the oppressive heat, high humidity, air and noise pollution as well as the traffic jam for 12 to 14 hours per day. Manila on summer time is appropriately correct to be referred to as the Gates of Hell in Dan's Brown recent novel published last year.

The second news is that my youngest daughter have been invited to Spain for a study trip (for work). A great honor for her and hopefully she will be able to take her daughter out of school the last week of May. My grand daughter (Carenna) can therefore experience Northern Spain and Paris, France. She will have to hire a nanny to baby set for Carenna in Barcelona and Bilbao while she work. Any volunteers?

*The third good news is that my oldest daughter found another job in San Francisco with much higher pay than her current job doing identical work and responsibilities. The not so good news is that she will have a longer commute. But my daughter is so delighted of this new challenge and personal growth in her professional life and the much higher pay she will receive. Her new position will start March 1.

Again, wish me well in our snow birding days in the Philippines this year!

*Addenda: My oldest daughter just called me a few minutes ago she will not be commuting to San Francisco. Her current employer promoted her when she asked for permission to leave. Her current employer will match the salary offer plus 5% more. Thus, she is staying with her current job which she enjoys. I am so happy of this new development and is indeed good news!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Do You Have a Favorite Pinoy Dish?


Kare-tripe and ox tail in peanut butter Sauce ( photo from lakbay.com)


Lumpia Shanghai (photo from photobucket.com)


Halo-Halo for Merienda( photo from freeweb.com)

My wife and I have resided here in the US since 1960. We have adapted to hamburgers, hot dogs, salad, cottage cheese, yogurt and typical US cuisine, fast foods, as well as filipino dishes that we craved once in a while. Cooking filipino food here is no longer a problem, since you can purchase ingredients in the Filipino-American store or an Oriental store(Chinese, Korean or Japanese). In the 1960's there was only one Filipino store near our residence in Chicago. We oftentimes have to shop in China Town downtown. Today, there are Filipino grocery stores in most medium-sized and big cities in US to cater to the expanding population of Filipino Americans who had immigrated to US in the 1980's.

We have resided in several cities here in US ( Sacramento, Pinole, Modesto, CA, Chicago, Kansas City and Maryland). Every time we moved, my first job was to look at the telephone directory for the nearest oriental or filipino store to our house.

The above two main dishes and one dessert or merienda are some of the dishes that my wife loves to cook every now and then to satiate our longing for filipino dishes. Not pictured are pancit( a noodle dish), Chicken or pork adobo( cooked in water-vinegar mixture), chicken afritada,(a chicken dish cooked in tomato sauce with potatoes and green peppers) and deboned and stuffed chicken called relleno. The above dishes are also the favorites of our children who grew up here in US and does not really know the cuisine of the Philippines.

Our children are brown and looked very Filipino, but they are as American as apple pie. In their college years, some of their friends called them “coconuts”. Their friends would comment, “ you guys are brown outside but very white inside”. That indeed is the truth!

My wife is an excellent cook. The saying " the way to a man's heart is through his stomach", applies to our life. When we were student at the University of the Philippines our romance was on and off, since I was not really ready to get married. One day before my 21st birthday (we have not talked or seen each other for almost a year), I was surprise to receive a birthday gift from her. Her gift was a chiffon orange cake that she baked from scratch. It was the most delicious cake I have ever eaten. It reignited our romance and we started dating again. The next year we got married. I was only 22 years old at that time. The next year, we had our oldest son and I was already in US doing graduate work at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

Do you have a favorite filipino dish or an some other native dish of your country of origin? I will appreciate if you share it with me and my readers.

Here's a video about Filipino food-an opinion of one person. I do not agree with some of his assessments.

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Highlights of My Professional Career

In my more than 40 years of professional career, I have experienced both working rank and file, as well as supervising the work of subordinates. I have worked in four private firms and the Federal Government, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where I retired. I enjoyed the challenges and difficulties of both types of job situations. This is the highlights of my work experience story.

My first job after completing my doctorate degree was a Chemist for Chemagro Corporation in Kansas City, Missouri. It was a subsidiary of Bayer Corporation, a German conglomerate. I worked for the analytical chemistry department comprised of about fifty people; half that number was either chemists or biologists. My specific task was to develop analytical methods for the detection of pesticide residues in plant and animal tissues. I worked on my own, similar to six other bench chemists, and we all reported to the same supervisor.

The firm sponsored my visa conversion from a student to a permanent resident, and I was able to legally work and reside in the United States with my family. The company generously took care of its employees. At the end of each successful year, everyone received a 13th month salary bonus. The employees and their families celebrated wonderful annual Christmas parties in a downtown Kansas City hotel, with dancing and free drinks for the whole night.

Inasmuch as I enjoyed and loved working for Chemagro for five years, I found a new job which offered a substantially higher pay. Due to my exemplary work performance, my supervisor preferred and lobbied for me to stay with the company. I had to turn him down because they could not match the package presented by my new employer. It was also a chance for me and my family to move and live in the US west coast, where the mild winter climate is bearable compared to the Midwest.

My next job was at the agricultural research division of Shell Development Company in Modesto, California. I was a Research Chemist, and again I worked individually, same as five other chemists who all reported to a supervisor. My specific duty was similar to my previous job. I worked for them for five years, until the company decided to get out of the pesticide business. They closed their research facility affecting the jobs of more than 200 employees.

My third industrial job was with the agricultural research division of Stauffer chemical company, located in Richmond, California. I was a Senior Research Chemist doing the same project as my two previous jobs. I worked for twelve continuous years for the company, with outstanding annual job performance. I became a Principal Research Chemist, the highest attainable non-supervisory position.

One day in 1986, my supervisor informed me that my job had been eliminated, and I had one day to vacate the facility. It was the most dreadful lay off experience in my life. I felt anger, sadness and humiliation to be dismissed from work with one day notice, after all the years of hard work invested for the company. This was an unforgettable incident and was the gloomiest point in my professional career.
The company terminated sixty research employees, who were upset of the bad news.

One of the chemists was distressed and expressed his outrageous anger by threatening the company and its workers. He told his supervisor of his intention to bomb and burn down the laboratory. He was immediately escorted by the security staff out of the building and into his car. He was informed to leave behind his personal belongings; they will be mailed to his residence. He was warned never to show up again near the company premises or risk getting arrested.

My supervisor was kind and allowed me to take my time to pack up my belongings. It took me two days to clear up my workplace, after toiling for a long period in the same jobsite. We were provided clerical help and office space, in preparation to look for another job, such as updating our resumes, and using the computer and copy machine. We were given six weeks of separation pay plus benefits.

Fortunately, with the help of a friend who is a Church parishioner, I found another job thirty days after leaving Stauffer chemical company. He hired me as a senior research chemist and as a group leader with two technicians to supervise. It was in the same field as my expertise in my previous three jobs spanning the last twenty one years. My new employer was Chevron Chemical Company, and which was located in the same area as my former employer.

This job gave me the introduction and basic knowledge of managing the work of subordinates. I worked for Chevron Company for four and a half years. The company decided to consolidate their research facilities in Texas, and lay off all its research employees. This time I had enough distress and agony from working, and eventually getting laid off from several private companies. To avoid going through any more miserable layoffs, I made a vow that I would never again work for a private company.

In my work experiences, there were noticeable and unavoidable jobsite occurrences. One can never miss the office romantic relationships between co-workers, both illicit and permitted. Though it was frowned upon, there was a boss and staff relationship, which was used as a ploy to get ahead in the company. Some relationships had chemistry, no pun intended, but some never worked out. Oftentimes, there was a sense of distrust among bench chemists for some workers who unjustly obtained preferred work assignments.

Some employees resorted to bribing superiors to get special privileges, such as being able to attend choice conferences and meetings in exciting venues or locations. Likewise, politics was always present at the worksites. It was during an era when various forms of harassment, equal opportunity and discrimination laws were not yet enforced in the workplace. Occasionally, an unexpected chemical explosion happens in a laboratory setting, where luckily no one got seriously hurt.

In the three private companies I worked for, I was able to publish scientific journals for some of the research studies and analytical methods which I developed for the respective companies of Chemagro, Shell Development and Stauffer.

After deciding and making a vow to avoid working in the private sector, I made my new goal which was either to work for the state of California, or the Federal government in Washington, D.C. Four months after I lost my job in Chevron, I was lucky and joyful to be hired by the Food and Drug Administration as a review chemist in the fall of 1990.

In 1994 I was promoted as an Expert Research Chemist with a GS-14 rating. My expertise was on Anti-malarial and Anti-parasitic drug products. In 1997, I was again deservingly promoted to Chemistry team leader, supervising the work of six Chemistry reviewers including five with doctorate degrees.

As team leader, I was responsible for prioritizing, assigning, and assuring the technical accuracy of all chemistry, manufacturing and control issues for all new drug applications submitted to the Division of Anti-Infective Drug Products, Center of New Drugs.

It was part of my responsibility to give advice, instruct and promote high morale and teamwork in my group. My work in the FDA is confidential, until the drug patent on the products I worked on has expired. There are manufacturing supplements that I have approved that are now open for the public in the Internet.

In 1998, I won the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Award. The citation reads, “For outstanding accomplishments in fostering the objectives of the EEO Program by hiring minorities and encouraging their professional growth while providing excellent leadership.” I have received numerous certificates of appreciation, awards in leadership and communications, commendation for teamwork and excellence in the accomplishment of the FDA mission. I have also received several letters of appreciation from private industry for my review work.

There are many good things working as rank and file while enjoying doing one’s job individually. It is a humbling, satisfying and productive experience, if one can work in harmony with one’s immediate supervisor. Working individually develops one’s skills in goal setting and scheduling. But in general, the financial rewards are less than a person who has supervisory responsibilities.

Managing the work of others has its challenges. Moreover, it develops one’s skill in handling and developing people, and the compensation rewards and benefits are better. Due to additional duties, responsibilities and leadership, supervisory work can be more stressful than working as a subordinate. However, supervisory jobs give one more personal growth and satisfaction, based on my personal experience. My work in FDA as a team leader managing the work of six scientists had been the happiest and rewarding work experience in my career in Chemistry. You might also like:

Comments

Write a Comment

David B Katague

Hi, David, thank you for your comments.

Monday, September 17th, 2012 at 11:54am

David Oles

It seems that you've had a very interesting and exciting career!

Sunday, September 16th, 2012 at 05:04pm

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I love gardening, play duplicate bridge, has collection of orchids, bougainvillas, hibiscus and other tropical plants

Dave and Macrine Katague

Dave and Macrine Katague
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First Thanksgiving in the US

First Thanksgiving in the US
Dave, Macrine and Dodie with Mrs Johnson, November, 1960, Danville, Illinois

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50th Wedding Anniversary
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2009 Thanksgiving Celebration

2009 Thanksgiving Celebration
The David Katague Family, November, 2009, Walnut Creek, California

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