Iloilo – The Heart of the Philippines

Subli

Iloilo City, the capital of Iloilo province, is on the southeast coast of Panay, the Ilonggos or Hiligaynons’ homeland. Iloilo City is on the Iloilo River’s wide mouth, which juts out into the Guimaras Strait. The offshore Guimaras Island shelters it.

Iloilo is one of the country’s loveliest Spanish colonial settlements. Iloilo City is a charming place known for its 16-century churches, ancestral mansions, beautiful gardens, unspoiled beaches, and bustling markets in addition to jusi (raw silk) and piña (pineapple fiber) fabrics.

Iloilo is also the cultural, religious, educational, commercial, manufacturing, and transportation center of the Western Visayas. It has retained some of the period’s genteel charm while remaining the most important port in the region since international shipping opened in 1855. Fortunes were made in sugar during the late 19th century, and some fine old mansions still stand. Life is more relaxed here than in Manila or Cebu…

View original post 795 more words

The Polar Vortex Is Proving Exactly Why Green Energy Is a Disaster for America’s Power Grid

Green Energy is not sustainable!

depolreablesunite

H/T Western Journal.

Frozen wind turbines can not produce electricity neither can snow covered solar panels.

In the name of environmentalism, many on the left have proposed switching the nation’s energy from reliable fossil fuels to new green energy sources that rely on the good fortune of clear skies and proper wind velocity to power America.

As if that weren’t enough cause to hesitate to indulge in such wishful thinking, another vulnerability has become painfully apparent as a third of the contiguous U.S. was plunged into subzero temperatures Monday due to a polar vortex weather pattern, according to CNN.

Not only have freezing temperatures created an excessive draw on the power grid as residents struggle to keep warm, but generating electricity has also become a major issue for areas that rely on sources such as solar and wind power.

In Texas, freezing temperatures and winter precipitation have caused some…

View original post 579 more words

The Wentworth Legacy – Chapter 1

A glimpse of life on the North Shore of Long Island.

Long Island Past and Present

Kirkus Review:

Morgan (The Iron Butterfly, 2015, etc.) offers a historical novel about a wealthy young man struggling to choose between marrying the woman he loves and maintaining his family’s legacy.

In 1927, 25-year-old Spencer Wentworth receives a telegram calling him home to New York City from his travels in London. When he returns to his family’s estate on the North Shore of Long Island, known as the “Gold Coast,” he’s devastated to learn that his grandfather has died. Worse, the old man has bequeathed all his personal holdings to Spencer. Daunted by his new obligations regarding the family banking business and the Wentworth Hall estate, he decides to work as a teller in order to learn his business from the ground up. Meanwhile, he grows emotionally attached to his sister’s friend, Lorna Beckett, a middle-class girl of striking beauty. At the bank, Spencer learns quickly, but his success is…

View original post 3,943 more words

Roses are Red, My Love

‘Grande Amore’ Rose

To all those young at heart, here’s a reminder of those long forgotten happy days. Close your eyes and listen to Bobby Vinton or Jim Reeves’ rendition of the beautiful song fit for Valentine’s Day.

Roses Are Red (My Love) – Bobby Vinton – Bing video

https://youtu.be/u9Rwwn6TXm8 by Jim Reeves

Lyrics by Bobby Vinton:

 
 A long, long time ago,
 on graduation day
 You handed me your book,
 I signed this way
  
 “Roses are red, My Love,
 Violets are blue
 Sugar is sweet, My Love
 But not as sweet as you.”
  
 We dated through high school,
 And when the big day came,
 I wrote into your book,
 next to my name:
  
 “Roses are red, My Love,
 Violets are blue,
 Sugar is sweet, My Love,
 But not as sweet as you.”
  
 Then I went far away, 
 and you found someone new.
 I read your letter, Dear, 
 and I wrote back to you:
  
 “Roses are red, My Love,
 Violets are blue,
 Sugar is sweet, My Love,
 Good luck, may God bless you.”
  
 Is that your little girl?
 She looks a lot like you.
 Someday some boy will write
 in her book, too.
  
 “Roses are red, My Love,
 Violets are blue,
 Sugar is sweet, My Love,
 But not as sweet as you.” 

Happy Valentine’s Day!







			
					

Thursday Thought – Lincoln and Kennedy

Abraham Lincoln
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is john_f._kennedy_white_house_by-cecil-stoughton.jpg
John F. Kennedy

February 12 is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Below is a fun history lesson. Have a history teacher explain this if he/she can.

Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.

John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860 and sworn into office in 1861.

John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960 and sworn into office in 1961.

Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.

Both wives lost a child while living in the White House.

Both President were shot on a Friday.

Both Presidents were shot in the head.

Now it gets really weird.

Lincoln’s secretary was named Kennedy.

Kennedy’s secretary was named Lincoln.

Both were assassinated by Southerners.

Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.

Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.

Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy was born in 1908.

John Wilkes-Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.

Lee Harvey-Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.

Both assassins were known by their three names.

Both names are composed of fifteen letters.

Now hang on to your seat.

Lincoln was shot at the theater named “Ford.”

Kennedy was shot in a car called “Lincoln” made by “Ford.”

Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.

And here’s the “kicker”:

A week before Lincoln was shot, he was in Monroe, Maryland.

A week before Kennedy was shot, he was with Marilyn Monroe.

And . . .

Lincoln was shot in a theater and the assassin ran to a warehouse.

Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and the assassin ran to a theater.

Hope you enjoy this little and weird history lesson.

A Rose (Top Gun) and a Motivational Tip for the Day

Name of Rose: Top Gun

Class: Shrub

Registration Name: Rosa cv. ‘WEKmoridahor

Parentage: ‘Memorial Day’ x ‘Home Run’

Hybridizer: Tom Carruth

Date of Introduction: 2016

‘Top Gun’ rose is a true breeding breakthrough. True to its name, this new rose tops in disease resistance and flower power. It even shows resistance to rose rosette disease. ‘Top Gun’ offers intense red with dark red veining flowers that seems to glisten in clusters of 3-5 blooms, 3” in diameter with moderate, fruity fragrance. ‘Top Gun’ produces clusters of single to semi-double, and is quick to repeat bloom cycles so you’ll enjoy constant color in your garden, even into late fall. It has large, glossy, full, dark green foliage of 3-7 leaflets that greatly enhanced disease resistance. This tough-as-nails landscape rose grows 3-4 ft. tall x 4-5 ft. wide.

Looking for a tough, easy-care rose with loads of brilliant glistening blooms? ‘Top Gun’ rose knocks out the competition in test gardens. ‘Top Gun’ exhibited excellent natural resistance to powdery mildew, downy mildew, rust, black spot and even rose rosette disease, so common in other “tough” roses. This new introduction is a top choice for beginning gardeners or gardeners who want a healthy low-maintenance shrub rose that can be grown without chemicals. It’s true best performing shrub rose you can grow.

I have two growing in pots and they are constantly in blooms and make a great statement with that vivid red petals with yellow stamens!

Tip of the Day – Do a good deed. Helping others helps you. Acts of kindness spark release of the hormone oxytocin, which is good for heart health. You’ll get a psychological boost, too.

January 23, 1899 – Inauguration of the First Philippine Republic in Malolos

Subli

Barasoain Church Bell Tower

Malolos, the provincial capital of Bulacan, was a political center in the 19th century for being the seat of government for Emilio Aguinaldo’s first Philippine Republic and Asia’s first democracy. It is the leading historical site in the province of Bulacan.

For four months in 1898-99, Malolos was the capital of the Republic. After the defeat of Spain and Aguinaldo’s declaration of independence, the tension between Filipino revolutionaries and Americans who have arrived in the country escalated. The Philippine Revolutionary government moved its capital from Bacoor, Cavite to Malolos, Bulacan where Aguinaldo and his cabinet held office in Malolos Cathedral and convent.

On September 15, 1898, Emilio Aguinaldo convened the First Philippine Congress, otherwise known as the Malolos Congress, at Barasoain Church.

Delegates to the Opening of the Malolos Congress in Barasoain Church

On January 21, 1899, the Malolos Congress ratified independence and framed the…

View original post 275 more words

Is raising the Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour and Tax Increases Good for the Economy?

Is raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and tax increases good for the economy? Not according to history.

Joe Biden’s Economic Stimulus Plan includes $15 Minimum Wage and Tax Increases. The U.S. Congress hasn’t raised the minimum wage, currently at $7.25 an hour in more than a decade. Employers generally have to pay their workers the highest minimum wage prescribed by federal, state and local law. Since July 24, 2009, the federal minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 an hour although as of January 2020, there were 29 states and D.C. have a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum. The effective nationwide minimum wage is $11.80 as of May 2019.

Biden’s plan neglected an important consideration that wages are a cost of doing business. By demanding high wages, particularly when businesses are closing in a rapid phase or about to close, suffering from lockdown is the worst the government can do. It would be difficult for businesses to hire people. It will result in more business closings and mass unemployment.

It happened during the Great Depression when President Hoover demanded the same. Hoover’s mistake was to presume that high wages were the cause of American prosperity which was not. If high wages could produce prosperity on their own, we could eliminate world poverty by merely enforcing a minimum wage of $100 an hour. No intelligent person would support such a policy since the result would be unheard of unemployment levels and utter devastation to the economy.

President Hoover should have learned from President Harding, whose strategy for the downturn of 1920-1921 was to do nothing at all except to tighten the government’s purse strings by cutting spending. The economy was hopping within the year.

When President Harding took office on March 4, 1921, the United States was in a postwar economic decline. At the suggestion of its leaders, Harding called a special session of Congress to convene on April 11. When Harding addressed the joint session the following day, he urged the reduction of income taxes (raised during the war), tariffs’ increase on agricultural goods to protect the American farmer, and wide-ranging reforms like support for highways, aviation, and radio. Does that sound like President Trump, whose tax cut bolstered the economy to new heights during his term till the pandemic hit our shore? I give credit to who the credit is due.

Treasury Secretary Mellon also recommended to Congress to cut the income tax rates. He also asked to abolish the excess profits tax on corporations. The House Ways and Means Committee endorsed Mellon’s proposals, but some congressmen, who wanted to raise tax rates on corporations, fought the measure. Harding tried to compromise and gained passage of the bill in the House after the excess profits tax was delayed a year.

Mellon ordered a study that demonstrated that historically, as income tax rates were increased, money was driven underground or abroad. That is happening now as more and more companies are moving out of high-tax states like New York and California. Mellon concluded that lower rates would increase tax revenues. Based on his advice, Harding’s revenue bill cut taxes, starting in 1922. The top marginal rate was reduced annually in four stages, from 73% in 1921 to 25% in 1925. Taxes were cut for lower incomes starting in 1923. The lower rates substantially increased the money flowing to the treasury. They also pushed massive deregulation and federal spending as a share of GDP fell from 6.5% to 3.5%. It sounds like Trump’s policy again.

By late 1922, the economy began to turn around. Unemployment was pared from its 1921 high of 12% to an average of 3.3% for the remainder of the decade.

The misery index, which is a combination of unemployment and inflation, had its sharpest decline in U.S. History under President Harding up to that time. Wages, profits, and productivity all made substantial gains; annual GDP increases averaged over 5% during the 1920s.

Historians argued that “Mellon’s tax policies set the stage for the most remarkable growth yet seen in America’s already impressive economy. So does Trump’s.

That is the difference between Trump’s economic policy and Biden’s proposed economic plan. So would you embrace Biden’s economic plan? Whether you like Trump or not, he knew how the economy works. Some congressmen and congresswomen should go back to school and study economics 101.

Raising the minimum wages and tax increases have proven disaster results for the country, and history should teach us something. The government should know better than to impose the worst economic policies in history.

References:

Wikipedia

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

What are your goals for 2021?

I am grateful 2020 is over, gone and done. The New Year comes with an opportunity to reinvent, refresh, renew, and brings us better luck. It’s up to each of us to make plans for a better YOU.

2020 was a very stressful year for the whole country. We lost loved ones, the economy started going south, unemployment shot up, and with the lockdown caused by Covid-19, the entire world went into a spin. We got isolated from our loved ones, got restrictions to enjoy life, even going to church was forbidden. I hope with the coming of the vaccine, 2021 will be a lot better.

I need life to go back to normal. I’m tired of what is going on in the country. The election, the politics, divisiveness, the riot, the life restriction are not the life I envision in America. I long to return to the old days before Covid. I want to see my friends and be able to travel again and be free again.

To cure my loneliness, I found out music is good therapy. I find myself playing music most of the time. I play Filipino Kundiman to keep me connected to the Philippines. I want to go home and visit my parents’ grave. I missed Mom’s funeral, and it saddens me to no end.

What are your goals for 2021? I call it goals because it seems that resolutions do not work anymore. Studies show that resolutions seem to be out the window by the end of January or early February.

So forget about resolution. Instead, set some goals for a better YOU. 

With some determination, you can accomplish a lot if you set your mind to it.

Did you accomplish anything about your goals in 2020? I accomplished a lot but not all.

Interestingly enough, diet or losing weight was not one of my goals. I lost a lot of weight last year without going on a diet or even thinking of losing weight. I think the fact that I had to go up and down the stairs at least 20 times a day (17 steps to the second floor) to attend to my sick husband made me lose weight. I did not follow any of those diet fads. If I do, I’m sure I will gain weight. I’m slowly getting back to my normal weight while maintaining a good eating habit.

I tried to learn a new language last year. That did not go too well because I lost motivation to do anything after my husband died. Grief took hold of me, and I could not function. I will try again this year.

One of my goals last year was to learn how to play the piano. I bought a piano a week before 2020, and I started teaching myself how to play the piano again. I play to distract myself from things I don’t want to think about. It’s for my enjoyment only and an exercise for my fingers to thwart arthritic pain.

I will continue to downsize my garden to a sustainable level. I’m planting more shrubs and vegetables and cutting down on roses which need more care. Since we don’t have a rose show anymore, I’m opting for easy-care roses.

Regarding books, I was able to spend less on books last year. This year, I’ll try to cut more on book purchases. I have enough books to read in my lifetime. Last year, I only read 12 books. I plan to read more this year.

And write more. Last year, I edited one of my manuscripts, and with the help of a friend who is reading it will try to finalize it this year. Then on to the next one. I have plenty of ideas percolating in my head, but in 2020, I felt overwhelmed after losing my husband and could not get back to the swing of things. I hope 2021 will be a better year. I need to stay focused.  

One last thing I plan to do this year is to continue organizing my home, although I can’t find stuff after I get organized. Right now, I know where things are. Every year I said it is time to organize, but life gets in my way.

One important thing I found comforting, despite the pandemic. My true friends came to my rescue when I needed it most. They called and emailed me to comfort me, and we reconnected again after so many years of disconnection. I am very grateful to all of them. After the pandemic, we plan to get together and have a blast.

For a change, I plan to do things for myself. Charity begins at home!

So that’s my plan for this year. I hope 2021 to be a wonderful year for all of us!

Wishing everyone a very Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year!!

What are your plans for 2021? Share and comment below.

How do You Deal with Grief?

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Did you ever lose a loved one? I lost two within six months of each other – my mother in November 2019 and my husband in May 2020.

My mother’s passing in the Philippines was devastating to me. I could not attend her funeral because my husband was nearing death himself. I could not leave him. My mother’s 1st death anniversary is coming soon in two weeks, and it brings tears to my eyes in unexpected moments. Now that I can go, the pandemic prevents me from going to visit her grave in the Philippines.

When my husband died, I always thought I was ready for the inevitable since he was very sick for five years. I found out it was not that easy.

After his death, there were so many things I had to deal with. I kept myself busy organizing the house to where it was before his illness. Then I had to deal with all the paperwork concerning social security, his will, and other tax and financial matters. For a while, I trudged along.

I started editing my old manuscript to keep me busy – the last one I did for the NaNoWriMo in 2017. After I was done with it, I asked an old friend to help me read it and see what he thinks of it. That helps tremendously. If you are reading this, BP, thank you very much, and I mean it sincerely. I joined the NaNoWriMo again this November to give me something to do.

When my husband got sick, I slowly abandoned all my charity work and devoted myself to taking care of him. He was my charity.

When he became bedridden, I didn’t go anywhere because I could not leave him alone. I worked doubly hard as a caregiver.

When he died in May this year, we were already into the pandemic, and social distancing was already the norm. So I continued isolating myself. I’m so used to it that it did not bother me initially, but I believe deep down, it did.

I tried listening to music, mostly classical and ballads, when I’m alone. It soothes my soul and helps me cope with my grief. I even started to teach myself how to play the piano again. It helps a little bit. Music is a great equalizer.

I don’t know what happened to me yesterday and today. I could not stop crying. I have not cried this hard since the funeral parlor’s people took my husband’s body away for cremation, and I said my final farewell. I could not even go to the funeral parlor because of the Covid-19 restriction.

All these months, I thought I’m fine, but I guess not. It was all bottled up inside me.

I don’t know what hits me this week. I feel miserable, and yesterday and today were the worst.

I don’t know if it is the pandemic, the election, the veterans’ day, or just being alone and isolated for almost six years. Maybe it’s a combination of everything around me. Most likely, it’s my mother’s death anniversary causing it. I miss her terribly.

I feel all alone all of a sudden. Yes, my son is in residence, but he works all day. Maybe I need someone to talk to besides Skipper, my son’s dog, and a shoulder to cry on.

Usually, I keep my feelings to myself. Today, I feel a need to share it and get it off my chest. It helps ease the pain.

Thank you for reading.