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Joys and Activities after Retirement in the Philippines and the United States

Updated on April 30, 2015
chateaudumer profile image

It is never too early to plan on your retirement. In our case we have built a retirement home five years before my retirement from the FDA.

Chateau Du Mer Beach House

Back View of the beach house. Photo taken in 2011
Back View of the beach house. Photo taken in 2011 | Source

Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort and Conference Center

After retirement from the Food and Drug Administration in 2002, my wife and I started construction of our retirement home in Marinduque, Philippines. Two years after that, we constructed a two-story beach house with a panoramic view of the western Marinduque sea. A year later we constructed the Conference Hall. As of today we have hosted more than 60 wedding receptions as well as seminars in the Hall. We have also hosted two beach weddings and four garden weddings as of today.

Sunset Afterglow-Marinduque

Photo Taken from the balcony of Our beach House
Photo Taken from the balcony of Our beach House

Joys of Retirement

My first activity after retirement was to write an article on the Joys of Retirement in one of my blog sites. I described in that artcle my feeling of getting lost and useless after working for three years in the Philippines and 37 years in the United States. My feeling of uselessness completely disappeared after my wife and I started babysitting for our granddaughter, Carenna. I commented that we love more our six grandchildren than our four children, because our children are considered only our capital investments but our grandchildren are already our profits.

After retiring from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)in 2002 as chemistry team leader from the Center of New Drugs, I realized that I have plenty of free time. I decided I had to learn more about computer technology besides just e-mailing and word processing. Through trial and error, I created and design my own website, http://www.chateaudumer.com. My goal was to advertise my beach resort business worldwide. As a result of this endeavor, I was able to attract clients from Europe, Canada and the United States.

Our first guests at my beach resort, Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort and Conference Center were two couples from Southern France. They two men were physicians. Their wives were a psychologist and an English and French teacher. I am a bit disappointed on the prospective clients response to my website. My goal of advertising the beach resort through my website did not really give me lots of traffic. I have more traffic on my nine blog sites than on my website.

I also discovered the joys and challenges of blogging. I did not realized that today there are over 8 million bloggers in the world and it started in 2003. At present, I have nine blog sites on topics ranging from personal experiences, travel to the Philippines, politics, education and other miscellaneous topics and news of the day. I wanted to concentrate my blogging activities on the beauty of Marinduque. My goal is to promote Marinduque as a world tourist destination not only on Easter Week (Moriones Festival) but also whole year round.

Macrine and I had also been involved with the distribution of relief goods( rice and can foods) through the Roman Catholic Dioscese of Boac to victims of typhoon Reming. Typhoon Reming devastated about 90% of the homes in the island of Marinduque about 3 years ago.

At present, Macrine and I are still devoting our free time and resources to our favorite humanitarian project in Marinduque- the Marinduque International Medical Mission of Love. For the last 15 years, we have been involved with the medical mission in Marinduque held every two or three years since 1996. For details about the medical mission, visit www.marinduqueinternational.org.

After retirement, I also started paying all our household bills on line through electronic banking. I discovered shopping on line, chatting on line and playing games on line specifically duplicate bridge, my favorite game since I was in college.


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Writing and Blogging Activities

Today, I found writing (blogging) very relaxing and enjoyable. I had my first article, Marinduque-Ecotourism Capital of the Philippines published in 2009 by www.huliq.com, making me a citizen journalist. This was followed by my two other articles on US National Parks and Monuments and The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant revival.

I am also writing for ViewsHound, a writing site based in the United Kingdom and also for Squidoo.com

May, I reiterate that the joy one gets from retirement is very specific. Some enjoy their free time by learning new activities, getting involved with humanitarian projects or spend more time with their grandchildren. Others hate retirement. They missed their coworkers and interaction at work. Others with no children or grandchildren spend their free time on traveling, turning their hobbies into small business or more community involvement. Those that retire and hate it, is believe to die early and than those who enjoy their retirement years.

I suggest you plan your retirement as early as you can. The happier you are on retirement, the longer you will live.

Sunset on Amoingon Bay, Marinduque

Photo Taken from the Balcony of Our Beach House Chateau Du Mer, 2013
Photo Taken from the Balcony of Our Beach House Chateau Du Mer, 2013 | Source

Quotes on Retirement from the Famous

Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples.

George Burns

Preparation for old age should begin not later than one's teens. A life which is empty of purpose until 65 will not suddenly become filled on retirement.

Dwight L. Moody

Retirement is not in my vocabulary. They aren't going to get rid of me that way.

Betty White

Letter of Appreciation from the Governor of Marinduquee

On August, 2008, my wife, Macrine and I received a Letter of Appreciation from the Office of the Governor of Marinduque as a results of my blogs promoting tourism in Marinduque. The letter reads as follows:

Dave and Macrine Katague

Peaceful Greetings from the Marinduque Provincial Government.

Having read your messages through the official website of the province, we are very thankful and overwhelmed for promoting Marinduque as a tourist destination not just in the country but also worldwide.

Indeed, Marinduque is a beauty not just because of its scenic spots but also because of people like you who support and promote this province and considers it their home. Hearing beautiful comments from people like you enthuse me more to serve my people and gives me the strong will to develop the province into a first class tourist destination.

In behalf of the people of the province, thank you very much and I salute you for making us proud of our province.

Jose Antonio N. Carrion

Governor

For the Governor: Signed by() Atty.Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco, Provincial Administrator

Afterglows in the Sunset of our Lives

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The other day, I took a photograph of a sunset and its afterglow from the west balcony of our retirement home in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines. Looking at the photo reminded me of both Macrine’s (my wife for 54 years) and my professional life in the US. Macrine retired as Manager, Quality Assurance Nurse from one of Maryland’s Home Health Nursing Company. I retired from the FDA as a chemistry Team Leader in the Center of New Drugs, Silver Spring, MD.

Both of us had satisfying careers (I had received several awards, letters of commendation and appreciation, and an EEO award from FDA). So when we retired in the early 2000, we often asked ourselves if this is all that we could contribute to society and to the community?

Retirement is often called “the sunset of your life”. Are there afterglows in our lives that we can be proud of? Yes, indeed! The following are examples of the afterglows in the sunset of our lives.

Five years ago, Macrine received a letter of appreciation and thanks from Governor Carmencita Reyes because of her involvement in Marinduque International Inc. Medical Mission of Love, 2006. Macrine was president and over-all chairperson of the medical mission in Marinduque that year. Here’s an excerpt from Carmencita Reyes letter of thanks:

Dear Mrs. Katague,

I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for all the assistances extended by MI, Inc. Your association is one of our full-time partners in the delivery of health services particularly in the conduct of medical/surgical missions which benefited hundreds of Marinduquenos. Thank you so much for the support and assistance extended to our administration and to the people of Marinduque. Mabuhay Kayo!

About four years ago, Macrine and I also received a letter of thanks and appreciation from then Governor Antonio Carrion for our efforts to promote tourism in the island not only during Easter but also the whole year round. The letter mentioned several of my blogs and articles that proclaimed my love for the province and encouraging other Filipino-American Balikbayans (Retirees) to build retirement homes on the island.

In 2009, my dream as a “citizen journalist” was attained when two of my articles were accepted for publication in HULIQ News. The first article was about Marinduque as the Ecotourism capital of the Philippines. The second was on the revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in Morong, Bataan.

Last but not least, just recently two of my hundreds of readers of my blogs commented: “I have been reading your various blogspots and websites for about one week now. They are all well written and great reading. What I have been reading and following intently in your blog is your life story, very interesting indeed. Please keep on writing and thanks for opening yourself up in your blogs.”

A second reader also commented: “I have been following your blog for quite some time. I learned a lot about Marinduque and the Philippines. I especially enjoyed reading your childhood experiences during the Japanense-American War. Your contribution as an FDA employee to the burnt victims of the bombing in New York and the Pentagon is indeed commendable and worthy of an award. Keep writing!”

Will there be afterglows in the future? I hope so. I would like to hear that our oldest grandson (now 20) got married and gave us a great grandchild (that Macrine and I can pamper whenever we want to). In addition, we would like to hear the news that our youngest grand daughter (now 8) had graduated from college and that both Macrine and myself are still healthy to attend her graduation.

Lastly, Macrine and I thank the Lord for the past, present and future afterglows in the sunset of our lives.

Sunset Afterglows

Sunset as viewed from the Balcony of the Beach House, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines
Sunset as viewed from the Balcony of the Beach House, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines

Senior Moments

Are you suffering from senior "momentitis"? If so exercise your mind daily by playing computer games such as bridge, read or write, or do any activity that uses your memory.

Am I suffering from “senior momentitis” or am I just getting senile? Last May, while still vacationing in the Philippines, I had an attack of “senior momentitis”. A specific case was when I misplaced my reading glasses. I thought I left them in the computer cafe or maybe in the bank. I called both places and my glasses were not there. I emptied my bag and, lo and behold, my glasses were hiding at the bottom. Note that I had searched my bag three times before calling the cafe and the bank, but my glasses were not there (I did not empty my bag though). Is this normal for my age group? (I am in my late 70s). I bet it is!

Currently, I have still a clear memory of past events in my life. My mind still gets ideas on various subjects that I want to write in my blogs. I just wish though that someone would invent a computer or typewriter that can type my thoughts or write an article without me sitting down in front of the computer (I hate tape recorders). Perhaps a machine that can type my dreams while I am asleep. But I know this is asking too much. But who knows, perhaps 50 years from now, someone can invent a machine that records your dreams while you are asleep.

Sometimes in my sleep, I get ideas of subjects I want to write about, mostly related to my past experiences, childhood memories and professional achievements. Just recently, I vividly remembered a “bullying event” during my freshman year in high school. This event I had already described in one of my blogs (my autobiography). I wanted to write about it again, but when I woke up, I felt it was too painful to write about it. But it reminded me how I felt a couple of years ago, when a number of news articles were published about teenagers committing suicide due to bullying and sexual harassment.

Now back to the subject of senior moments. As one gets old, it is normal to suffer from this aging process. However, to ensure that this is not going to an advanced stage, one must use his or her memory on a daily basis. In my case, I read and write. I play computer games such as bridge that require memorizing. As the saying goes, USE it or LOSE it!

Making the Most of Retiring in the Philippines

Plans for Retirement

Is 5 years before Retirement too Early to Plan your Retirement?

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New Guestbook Comments

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    • chateaudumer profile imageAUTHOR

      David B Katague 

      6 years ago from Northern California and the Philippines

      @HarrietC LM: Hi HarrietC, thanks for dropping by and your comment. Gheers!

    • HarrietC LM profile image

      HarrietC LM 

      6 years ago

      retirement...something to look forward to? I guess it is for some ^_^

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