Santiagenians of the USA did it again – 46th anniversary celebration at Stockton was a blast


The two-day celebration of the Sangtiagenians of the USA 46th anniversary at Stockton Hilton, CA last weekend more than met expectations.  For one, the attendance was among the best in decades, 220 plus. The vibrancy couldn’t have been matched. The Saturday banquet/dinner-dance glittered with the ladies’ elegant Filipiniana wear and the gentlemen’s formal Philippine attire. The entire ambience at the Stockton Hilton ballroom was undoubtedly festive.  The zest was infectious. General impression at the start of the event was excited anticipation. There was no let-down.

Upon arrival at the celebration site, warm greetings were the usual protocol, accented by brief chats focused on catching up after the restricted covid years.  Everyone looked good. “Aging” diplomatically described as getting older didn‘t seem to mar the sparkle in everyone’s eyes and the lilt in the smiles that greeted attendees.  And of course, posing for pictures often broke conversations that never seemed to find resumption in the milieu of party-goers that swarmed, waved and robustly called out greetings. It was a joyful chaos that continued till the last dance of the evening.

(Photos from Dr. Chandra Vadhana)

Saturday evening banquet at Stockton Hilton.

The Santiagenian Sunday picnic at Lodi park, CA.

Lunch at Fremont Thai restaurant on the way to Stockton.

Read More »

Pedal boating and family bonding – perks at Shoreline Lake Park by the bay


I love paddle boating, I told my son John, daughter-in-law Natasha and grandson Eliott.  I stood corrected.  It’s pedal boating.  Okey, I love pedal boating.  So, John and family took me to Shoreline Park lake in Mountain View, CA last weekend, to enjoy an activity I experienced in the last five years.  This was the fourth since before the start of the pandemic.  All my expectations were met, and the weather couldn’t have been more glorious for that outdoor activity on the lake.

The first challenge was stepping on to the boat.  It was a slow process with a lot of help from John, Eliott and the Shoreline attendant. Surprise, the boat didn’t dip low into the water with my heavy step. Next challenge was taking a seat on the bench. Hmmm … a little hard plop on the seater, but not bad. Once comfortably positioned, this baby boomer Lola was ready for the fun adventure.

(Photos by John S. Jacob)

Read More »

Grocery shopping with a list – does it work?


No, it doesn’t for me. But I still bring a list when grocery shopping. Nuts! Why and what for? Actually, the intent is there – just stay with the list; don’t buy too much; don’t go overboard with spending and don’t get carried away with the attractive and tempting come-ons of the displays.  Nagging reminders – good, right?

But what happens? The list is ignored, and the number of purchases at least triples. When I get home and try to find places to keep the purchased commodities, frustration and some  disappointment creep up. Strange, though, that mixed with that disappointment is satisfaction that there is more than enough food to last – a month? Secretly gloating over quick whims is like forbidden pleasure, especially when the goods are “black listed” by health restrictions.  The excuse is, I eat them only once in a while – that can’t hurt. Of course and you guessed right.  They weren’t on my list. So, do I remember the “once in a while” part?

Read More »

Youthful musical geniuses on the rise


Kudos to the Music Teachers’ Association of California for presenting another successful convention at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, CA last Friday to Sunday.  People watching in the lobby while waiting for my son John, daughter-in-law Natasha and grandson Eliott, I observed the great number and diversity of families that came to support their student virtuosos. It was heartwarming to feel the infectious vibes ranging from excitement to nervousness, relief to delight, shaky uncertainty to victory. I was part of the family of a piano student, my grandson Eliott (14 this July) going into his 9th year of studying piano; so I felt all those emotions snowballed into – exhilarating and pleasurable.

Chopin, Debussy, Bartok, Khachaturian and Wild were on spotlight during the Monday afternoon piano recital I attended at the 2023 music convention. But I’d add that really on spotlight were my grandson Eliott and eleven other piano students who performed. I was mesmerized by their talent, skill and artistic expression.  A magnificent gift to us, the audience.

Read More »