Monday, December 25, 2017

My Christmas wishes (again)

O’ Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

One of my favorite Christmas carols is O’ Holy Night. I like Dionne Warwick’s version in her Christmas concert in Italy in 1993. Her rendition was breathtakingly beautiful. She respected every single original note and managed respiration impeccably.

One line that really stands out for me is “His law is love and His Gospel is peace.”  This reminds us to love one another and make peace.

Remember, Jesus is the Star of Christmas.

Since it’s Christmas, here’s my own list of Christmas wishes to my favorite Boholanos.

Environmental lawyer and triathlete
 Ingemar “Pinoy Aquaman” Macarine  Leo Udtohan
For Ingemar “Pinoy Aquaman” Macarine— A successful swim across the English Channel in 2018.  Hopefully, he will be the first Filipino to swim the English Channel, considered the Mount Everest for open swimming.

For Vanessa Cubrado—More-risking taking and challenging ventures that will redound to progress for the municipality of Pilar.

For Benjie Oliva and Atty. Joan Jagonos-Oliva —More energy to liase between provincial and national leaders.  But Benjie’s ultimate Christmas for Bohol? “My Christmas wish is for lower prices of fish, fuel and electricity in Bohol,” he said.  

For  Anthony Aniscal and DarL— A “joint venture.”  The night is getting colder!  Ha!Ha Ha!

For Dr. Mutia Tirol-Macuno — More noble initiatives for the promotion and improvement of public health. So Gallares, so kind!

For Anna Maris Igpit —A healthy baby in 2018.

For Mila Lim — Grace under pressure in keeping with the demands of business pursuits.  More, more Santa Clauses to make her home the “Most Christmassy House” in Bohol. Same for Blair Panong, Greenie Aumentado, Karla Magno Tessie Labunog-Sumampong and Sarah Dejaresco.

For Fiel Angeli E. Araoarao-Gabin — Renewed combined grace under pressure and strength of character to share talents and hurdle future challenges and good health of family.

Former youth leader and a high-ranking Boholano
 official of the Cooperative Development Authority
 (CDA) Benjie Oliva and family.  Contributed Photo
For Marianito Luspo and Gardy Labad—More zeal to promote and preserve the historical and cultural assets of the province.

For Sam Penaso and Joey Labrador— Physical strength to embark on more creative pursuits in visual arts and sculpture.

For Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto— More high-impact projects for Bohol that are worthy of accolades from national/international award-giving bodies. How about he gets no.1 in Galing Pook 2018? Because no one else in the entire country is doing what Bohol and Gov. Chatto is doing.

For Vera Villocido Gesite aka Pinay — A round-trip ticket back to California, USA! Her greatest wish? “Being reunited with my children.”  Beautiful heart, beautiful life.

For  Gian Luigi Ale— More enriching experiences and opportunities to harness God-given talents to inspire young people. How about performing in The Voice USA/UK and other television shows in the US! His version of Thinking Out Loud has gathered 17 million viewers on Youtube. Amazing!!!

For Dr. April Lumuthang-Froilan (of Touch of April) and Arch. Junibe Froilan— A long-delayed stork’s visit.  Same for  Dr.  Aleksander  and Jessa Ylanan and Eden Descallar and Mikel Ceballos.

For Totsie Escobia—Good health and strength. His wish? “No more stray dogs in the streets and noisy motorcycles.”

Beauty queen Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin
 and cultural worker Alexis A. Cadeliña 
Contributed Photo
For EJ Relampagos— A European tour!

For Elvie Bongosia and Erol Macalandag—  Wedding bells! Wedding bells! Same for Atty. Jammy Aumentado-Villamor and beau, and Alfeo Jabinez and Amy Fiel Booc

For Butch Bernas— More opportunities for professional growth. And, a  new car! Bongga!  Same for Jeycelle Espejo.

For Baby Tagoctoc—Willingness to support budding make-up artists and designers. After all, Bohol’s most powerful and influential bading is the “Queen Mother.”

For Dalareich Polot — Chocolate overload! Unwavering commitment to advocate for the furtherance of the entrepreneurial spirit among the young Boholanos. Her chocolate factory - Dalareich Chocolate House, the first of its kind in Bohol that no one in the province has done before. She is a living testimony that great things start with small beginnings.

For Peddy Bolanio and Glee Orcullo — More current, trending and credible news reports and headlines on the biggest controversies, issues and events in the Philippine and Hollywood entertainment industry in Showbiz Rampa.

For Leah Tirol-Magno —Continued balance in professional and artistic endeavors. Baking Mama!

For  Fred Araneta, Chito Visarra and Gerry Pabe (of dyrd’s Inyong Alagad) and Allen Doydora and Anthony Anisca (of dyRD’s Tagbilaran By Nite) — Hot issues, biggest issues and events, more  explosive topics and more interesting and “controversial” personalities in their radio programs.  Same for Ted Ayeng and Edgar Tumanda of dyTR’s Cuentas Claras and Bohol’s Queen of All Media Ardy Ines Araneta.

For Atty. Julius Greg Delgado and Marie Nickie Bolos — A chain to bind them and lock their hearts forever and ever. Amen! 

Jagna councilor Anthony Aniscal and 
wife DarL l Contributed Photo
For Joseph Alexis A. Cadeliña—More creative concepts that will level up the entertainment landscape of Tagbilaran.  Same for Josephine Remolador- Cabarrus and Ma. Fe Dominise.

For Second District Rep. Aristotle C. Aumentado— Forging of more dynamic partnerships that will pave the way to more progress and development in the second district.

For Joseph Gara—Another album to showcase his artistic talent.

For Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell “Baba” L. Yap II — Confidence that he has the continued support of his constituents and more successful efforts in local governance.

For Bishop Albert Uy -More eloquence that could inspire and draw more sheep to his flock. Same for Bishop Daniel Patrick Parcon,  Msgr. Jeff Malanog and Fr. Warli Salise Jr.

For Miss Bohol 2017 Pauline C. Amelincx - An opportunity to represent the Boholanos in a national pageant.

For Loboc Children’s Choir, Alicia Bamboo Ensemble, Dimiao Children’s Rondalla, Loboc Youth Ambassador, Katipunan Elem. School Rondalla, HNU Diwanag Dance Troupe and Bohol Master Singers — Enhance individual members' dedication and commitment to harmoniously sing as a group to capture varied audiences.

For Rosalinda Paredes, Emilia Roslinda, Pat Ruiz,  Atty. Kins Aparece, Salvio Makinano, Judge Raul Barbarona, Mightee Palo, Alvin Acuzar, Dorris Dinorog-Obena, Liza Macalandag, Jammy Ungab, Ludwig Quirog, Isidore Ancog, Ellen Gallares, Lester Ouano, Michael Canares and Regina Macalandag—More developmental work/projects/contracts for social change.

Vera Villocido Gesite  Contributed Photo
For Mizken Tirol Andan—Colorful lovelife. Seriously, the eventologist is wishing good health for his family. Same for Jholly Lim.

For TinTin Ng and  Lailette Boiser — More challenging roles in teleseryes and movies.

For Ryan Sines, Ramil Dolauta and Tamara — Colorful love life! More projects, more exposures.  Same for Donna Vitos, EP Relampagos, Jonathan Ocat, Rholly Ingking and Nina Jasmine Cadeliña.

For Kimpoy Mainit, Humfrey Nicasio, Hannah Precillas and Alexis Calipusan — A one night concert in Bohol... and more opportunities to inspire many people.

For Mikey Gatal— A partner to color his world.

For Inday Rufing, Inday Balbacua, et al — Another program to tickle funny bones.

For Rich Asuncion and beau— A marriage contract!

For  Shanon Pamaong, Maximiel Tallo, Omie Auza, Jong Magallano, Omie Auza, Henry Baron, Rhigel Dulfo, Charlow Arbasto and Tracy Remolador Torres—Reignited passion for their craft. A huge runway project to display their artistic collections!

For Clement Paulinel L. Ingking— More fervor in advocating for the Global Ecobricks Alliance towards environmental protection.

For Mister Earth Philippines 2017 Carlo Roy G. Roslinda —Positivity and drive to bring home the honor and pride to Bohol in the coming international competition.

Miss World Philippines First Princess Glyssa B. Perez Contributed Photo
For  Rebecca Lusterio and Thomas Mejiso —Another “joint venture.”  He!He!He! Same, David Maulas and Jenissa Laguda Peteros, Abdul Wallace and Chandrina Elluiska Schreurs-Wallace, and Doxson Asoy and Karen Digal.

For Mister Supranational Philippines 2016 AR dela Serna — A big break in the industry.

For Miss World Philippines First Princess Glyssa B. Perez —An opportunity to be cast in a movie with important Filipino showbiz celebs as a Regal baby.

For Dr. Rhine T. Pamaong— Motivation in the preparations for the Miss Bohol International 2018 during the Tigum Bol-non sa Tibuok Kalibutan in July 2018.

***

Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at leoudtohan@yahoo.com, follow leoudtohanINQ at Twitter /Facebook.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Lovely Place is home of 30k anthuriums

Wake-uppers:
Scene: Isabel Iris Garsuta wins first place in an on-the-spot Jingle Making contest during the Regional Festival of Talents in Dumaguete City. Isabel, 18, is the reigning Miss UB Personality 2017.

Some of the country’s most beautiful blooms
 can be found in Barangay Sua, Inabanga town, 
Bohol province. Leo Udtohan
Scene: Following a sold-out tour of the UK, Collabro will make their live debut in the Philippines when they perform at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila on February 26, 2018. The show will be produced and promoted by Spicy Lemon. Comprising singers Jamie Lambert, Michael Auger, Matt Pagan and Tom Redgrave, the British act won TV’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ in 2014 before releasing their debut album 'Stars', which went to No.1 in the UK and registered double gold in sales. After a hugely successful sold-out UK Tour in 2017, the foursome will come together again with dates in the New Year, including that first ever show in the Philippines at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila. Tickets are on sale now through http://www.spicylemon.rocks.

Scene:  The 155 star-shaped lanterns hanging beside the Maribojoc town hall.  The giant “parol” is an added attraction at the town plaza. There are stalls selling foods and snacks for those who want to satisfy their gastronomic adventure.

Lovely Anzano on “Lovely Place”: ‘The garden shares 
to deepen visitors’ understanding and appreciation
 of the natural world.’ Leo Udtohan
Scene:  Residents in Catigbian town showed creativity and ingenuity by making parols (Christmas lanterns) from garbage. The CD parol is among the attractions displayed at Catigbian town hall, whose town also features 47other parols made of indigenous and recycled materials. Another parol is made of tansans (bottle caps) while another is made of recycled straw, plastic bottles and wrappers.

Scene:  The Tubigon town retains its title as the province’s “Most Christmassy Place,” thanks to the thousands of festive lights and decorations at the town plaza.

***
What was known as a lovers’ dating place in a remote area in Bohol province is now a new tourist destination.

The “Lovely Place,” which is found at the peak of Barangay (Village) Sua in Inabanga town, at least 84 km from the capital city of Tagbilaran, offers unique landscapes and vistas.

The little-known garden which was launched this month was decked with flowers on the ground. The garden contains up to 30,000 leatherette red, heart-shaped anthurium flowers as far as the eye can see inside the 2.5 hectares.

Visitors prefer to see the 30,000 red anthurium 
flowers glow at night time.  Leo Udtohan
“This place is created by humans to feel the blessings of nature,” said Lovely Anzano. Her business partner, Maximo Garcia, said that the place would help the tourism industry in the province.

The Sua Peak was known only for lovers until they decided to transform the place into something magical.

But visiting the place is not only for the artificial flowers that would glow in the midday sun and still stand out at twilight, but including the appreciation of nature’s beauty.

At Lovely Place, one can view the “Sea of Clouds,” the famous Chocolate hills and Cebu City.

The “Sea of Clouds,” an overcast layer of clouds with a breathtaking view comparable to Mt. Pulag (that can be viewed well in Danao and from the nearby town of Dagohoy) can be observed at Lovely Place.

Visitors can also view the Chocolate hills from a different perspective.

“The hills are alive here,” said Anzano.
The 155 floating parols beside the Maribojoc town hall.   
Leo Udtohan

The tall buildings of Cebu City are visible from here.   

Anzano, 38, said visitors can come any time of the day to fully appreciate the anthuriums.  

“The garden shares to deepen visitors’ understanding and appreciation of the natural world,” she said.

Visitors are overwhelmed by the beauty of the garden.

Maria Torres, 58, from Tagbilaran City, said she was in awe of what she saw.

“Why aren’t they telling people about this? I’ve never seen such a beautiful sight as this,” she said.

Torres said she never imagined “Lovely Place” could be possible.
The holiday ambiance that Tubigon offers
 to visitors this Christmas.  Leo Udtohan

Another tourist, Yul Park, 37, said the place was magical.

“I have never seen anything like this, a three-in one package experience in Bohol,” he said.”So lovely!”

GETTING THERE: Lovely Place is a mere two-hour drive from Tagbilaran City via the Sagbayan-Danao Road.  If you are from Tubigon town, it is at least 8 km from Sagbayan Public Market. Be sure to have your own vehicle if you wish to spend the night here.


***

Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at leoudtohan@yahoo.com, follow leoudtohanINQ at Twitter /Facebook.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

3 Miss Universe 2017 beauties enjoy ‘brief’ stay in Bohol

Wake-uppers:
Scene:  Sikatuna town is among Bohol’s most charming tourist attractions. It turned 100 last Dec. 5. “We’ve celebrated well as a community, our 100th year celebration was a great success,” said Mayor Jose Ellorimo. A strong working relationship with his fellow public servants, an effective strategic plan for the municipality and the close connections made with residents highlighted the three terms of Mayor Ellorimo.  He said he felt one of the most rewarding parts of being mayor was being able to look back at what’s been accomplished.

The girls get a warm welcome at Bohol Beach Club.
Leo Udtohan
Scene:  The “Lovely Place” is Bohol's newest tourist attraction!  Found in Barangay Sua, Inabanga town, it offers a breathtaking view of the world famous Chocolate Hills, Sea of Clouds and Cebu! And there’s more... the “30,000 magical and lighted anthurium” are “planted” here.  More about “Lovely Place” next week.


***
Is tarsier a monkey?

Miss Universe 2017 candidates- Miss Philippines Rachel Peters, Miss Russia Kseniya Alexandrova and Miss Malaysia Samantha James- were asked by tour guide Cristopher Boncales of the Bohol Tourism Office (BTO) when they visited a tarsier and wildlife sanctuary in Bohol province last Friday, Dec. 8.

Bohol is perhaps most famous for the tiny tarsiers, one of the smallest primates in the world.

The tarsier (Tarsius syrichtais already a tourist symbol. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Philippine tarsier as a near threatened species
The crystal clear water and white sand on 
Panglao Beach leave Miss Universe 2017 candidates--- 
Miss Philippines Rachel Peters, Miss Russia Kseniya Alexandrova
 and Miss Malaysia Samantha James--- spell-bound 
as they visited Bohol province on Friday, Dec. 8. Leo Udtohan

Although tarsier is mistaken as a monkey because of its features, Boncales said tarsier is not a monkey but actually a primate.

“Wow, it’s so cute,” they said when they saw the timid tarsier hiding in one of the trees inside the 8.4 hectare of the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary in Barangay (village) Canapnapan in Corella town.

James shared they had a tarsier in Malaysia.

The Philippine tarsier is commonly found on Samar, Leyte, Bohol, and Mindanao.

“What happened if I will touch a tarsier?” asked Peters.

Boncales said the Miss Universe beauties were so “inquisitive” that they wanted to more about Bohol.

Peters, Alexandrova and James arrived in Bohol at 10:40 a.m. on Friday.  They were met my local officials, BTO and Department of Tourism (DOT)- Central Visayas and fans at the Tagbilaran Airport. They proceeded to People’s Mansion where they met acting Bohol vice-governor Benjie Arcamo, Bohol first lady and Balilihan Mayor Pureza Chatto, provincial administrator Ae Damalerio and provincial legal officer lawyer Mitchell John Boiser.
Miss Russia Kseniya Alexandrova and 
Miss Malaysia Samantha James hit the beach! Leo Udtohan

They were given a raffia, a native product of Bohol and a copy of the book “The Bohol We Love”.

After brunch, the Miss U beauties did not waste any time taking in the beauty of the place.

They went to the tarsier sanctuary in Corella town. They just stayed there for half an hour and proceeded to Bohol Beach Club on Panglao Island, known for its pristine and white-sandy beaches.

Alexandrova and James were spell-bound as they swam in the crystal waters of Panglao. They also took a banana boat ride, another fun and popular activity in the island.

Although they stayed only for five hours before their 3:30 p.m. private flight to Manila, they said they enjoyed their stay.

“I love it. Really. It’s my first time in Asia and I am so happy that I started in Philippines,” said Alexandrova.

She said she fell in love with the beauty of the Philippines.

“It’s so beautiful, it’s so different in my country. I really enjoyed, I really loved it. It’s so beautiful. People here (are) too kind,” she added.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Samantha told the girls while having her mango shake on the beach.
Miss Russia Kseniya Alexandrova  (with your VRS) 
on Bohol: ‘I’m falling in love with this fabulous paradise. ‘ 
Photo courtesy: Mike Ligalig 

Peters, who visited Bohol twice, agreed, “The best part after Vegas.”

Boncales said the beauties wanted to see more of Bohol.

“Unfortunately because of the time element kinapus ng oras. Kaya naghihinayang kasi they wanted to see more of the island especially the beaches and of course the Chocolate Hills,” said Boncales.

But for Alexandrova, she said she had a good reason to come back.

“I will definitely come back,” she said.

“And I will bring my friends,” she quipped.

***

Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at leoudtohan@yahoo.com, follow leoudtohanINQ at Twitter /Facebook.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

A TOUCH OF BOHOL CHRISTMAS

Christmas lights up Bohol

By the time you are reading this corner, the holiday season must already be in full swing-- Christmas decorations are up, get-togethers and reunions planned and carols are played.

As joyous sights and sounds are everywhere, colorful series lights, lanterns made of indigenous materials, a house with Santa Claus collections and a giant Christmas tree are some of the main attractions for the Christmas season in the province.

Hermila “Mila” Lim collects Santa Claus 
images of different shades and shapes 
and other quirky Christmas items for the past 17 years. 
Leo Udtohan  
For businesswoman Hermila “Mila” Lim, she started decorating her home on M. Torralba Street in Tagbilaran City with Christmas decorations as early as September.

Fascinated by St. Nicolas since childhood, Mila has adorned her house with a vast collection of Santa Claus memorabilia, ranging from life-sized, singing and dancing Santas to Santa theme plates and mugs, candles, toys, dolls and figurines.

Upon entering, a visitor immediately hears the song, “Deck the Halls,” and sees a garden decorated with small and life-size snowman figures.

Inside her house, more Santa Claus images of different shades and shapes and other quirky Christmas items collected for the past 17 years are displayed. 

There are drunk Santa, a photographer Santa, a dancing Santa, a Santa Claus band, Santa in a parachute, singing and dancing Santas with reindeer and even a Tarzan Santa.

There are Santas at the doorsteps and all over inside the place. Her dining table is complete with Christmas inspired drinking glasses, place, placemats and utensils.

The Santa Clauses and other Christmas decorations were acquired during Mila’s travels with her husband Teofilo to Cebu, Manila, Israel, Australia, Hong Kong and China.

Mila and Teofilo own one of the biggest liquified petroleum gas (LPG) dealership firms in Tagbilaran City.

In 2008, Mila began her Christmas Village project. Her collection of miniature Christmas houses and objects has grown since that it captured the attention of GMA News to feature her collection.

The Barangay Hall of Poblacion 3 has been
 wrapped with holiday decorations to welcome Christmas. 
Leo Udtohan
However, some of her miniature collections were broken during the Oct. 15, 2013 earthquake that brought Bohol to its knees. For personal reasons, she stopped putting up her Christmas Village since 2016.

Instead, Mila has filled the house with Santa Claus.

“I love Santa Claus,” she says. “It gives me joy,” she adds.

To date, her collection has 350 Santa Clauses.

The spirit of the season is ever so felt by residents of Poblacion 3 in Tagbilaran City as parols (lanterns) of different colors are hanging along the busy street.

The traditional parol is a five point star-shaped Christmas lantern which has been a time-honoured Christmas symbol in the Philippines.

Follow the parols and it would lead you to the Barangay Hall of Poblacion 3.

“The Christmas parol is a reminder of the star of Bethlehem. It symbolizes the guiding light of the Three Wise Men to the manger of the Child Jesus,” says the workaholic Pob. 3 councilor Leo Cinco.

The Barangay Hall of Poblacion 3 has been wrapped with holiday decors.

Last Friday, village chief Ody Glovasa led barangay officials in the ceremonial lighting of Christmas decorations at Poblacion 3 Barangay Hall to formally welcome Christmas 2017. This year’s decorations include a giant Christmas tree, Santa Claus and his sleigh and a giant belen (manger) featuring the nativity scene.

"We are doing this every year, but we want it more colorful this year," says Cinco. 


The 30-feet Christmas tree at St. Joseph 
the Worker Cathedral becomes an attraction this Christmas 
season. Leo Udtohan
A few meters from Poblacion 3, as beams of lights illuminate the St. Joseph the Worker Parish Cathedral, which attracts attention, parishioners can see the 30-feet high Christmas tree beside the church.

The giant tree, which is adorned with parols and small baskets, uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

At the top of the Christmas tree is a cross which reminds the parishioners the true meaning of Christmas.

Lilian Foronda, 12, likes to stroll around the church’s “rotonda” to see the Christmas tree.

“Ganahan ko sa Christmas tree diri sa simbahan kay nindot (I like the Christmas tree here because it’s nice),” says Lilian.

In Baclayon town, parols with different colors literally lit the highway.  Just follow the parols and it would guide you to a biggest star at the top of a belen (manger) in Barangay Santa Cruz.

The belen is made of indigenous materials. The figures representing Joseph and Mary, the child Jesus and the three kings measuring about four feet in height, and the sheep are made from coconut husks, fibers, beads and shells.  

Villagers said they utilized materials out of coconut in keeping with up the government’s environmental campaign and the use of recyclable materials.

The “Belen” as this year’s theme is to remind everyone about the real meaning of the yuletide celebration.

The Yuletide season is definitely bright and twinkling in the Philippines,

***
Christmas is the most exciting time of the year. VRS wants to hear and see your best, most spectacular story and images of Christmas where you live.

What is Christmas like for you? What do your decorations or lights look like this year? What holiday traditions do you celebrate? Will you be attending particular Christmas events such as Simbang Gabi? If you do not celebrate Christmas, how will you spend the holidays?

Send your story and favorite images of your Christmas celebrations to leoudtohan@yahoo.com for a chance to be featured in VRS.

***

Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at leoudtohan@yahoo.com, follow leoudtohanINQ at Twitter /Facebook.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Miss UB's Isabel turns 18

“When I was born into this world, I was like an unlit candle
Whose wick is time’s fickle friend in itself.
As I grew up, I learned to treasure beautiful moments in life
My family, loved ones and most of all, God are my sources of light
 and because of them, the fire inside me continues to burn bright
This is my 18th lap around the sun.”
Isabel Iris Tirol Garsuta

 “Is this the little girl I carried?
I don't remember growing older,
When did she?
When did she get to be a beauty?
Wasn't it yesterday when she was small?
Sunrise sunset, sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly flow the days,
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers,
Blossoming even as they gaze...
Sunrise sunset…”
Marissa Tirol-Garsuta


A lady of talent and lustre, and she's just 18.

Growing up in an amazing household, like what one of her friends called it, Isabel Iris Tirol Garsuta is someone who is young, eloquent, lovely and admirable. Not surprising for the young lady who was obviously raised well by her parents- Lt.  Col. Lino and Marissa Garsuta.

Isa, short for Isabel Iris, had a coming-out party when she turned 18 recently. Gold was the theme of the night.

Isabel Iris Tirol Garsuta, who started in the singing industry at four years old, 
now turns 18 and hopes for the best things that life can offer. Courtesy: TJ Medrana Photography
Isabel’s mother was hands-on in the preparation of “Isa at 18” — from the theme, invitation, giveaways to other details — to ensure that it will create special moments and unforgettable memories for her and the people who will be part it.

The party went well as planned.

Isabel sauntered into the ballroom of the Metro Centre Hotel without any tinge of stress or tension typical of most debutantes. She was radiant in her gown which fit her image and status as a teen queen creation by Kim Villamor.

Isabel is apparently a well-loved friend, relative 
and family member. She was the star that night 
and her parents  Lino and Marissa, brother 
Dr. Lemuel and sister Sofia— simply took
 the sidelines, allowing  Isabel to shine more.
   Courtesy: TJ Medrana Photography
Instead of table hopping for the posterity shots, Isabel got to sit on centerstage and the guests in every table were requested to pose with her. Prior to that, she also got to enjoy dinner unhurriedly with her close friends in one table, where she had a spotlight to herself.

Isabel waltzed with her dad Lino and her good-looking brother Dr. Lemuel Lino Garsuta.

Her 18 roses were Johnmar Yap, Kheim Dexter Garay, Rei Christian Sepe, Christian Butlig, Jomel Campaña, Adrian Blanco, Rogelio Lomotos Jr, Jake Kinno Ursos, Vince Cabagnot, Juvan Angelo Garsuta, Geovil Graphy Garsuta, Van Vincent Garsuta, Sean Rey Tupaz, Daryl Fadri, Floyd Gillian Salomon, William Erick Karcher, John Franklin Gallares and Marcus Andrei Villas.

Isabel’s 18 candles were Niña Janielle Sumeguin, Giesil Grace Garsuta, Zyra Zamora, Norden Debby Bual, Marian Daphny Tare, Bea Rosari Supanga, Dennissa Lorelle Owen, Regine Mae Mondelo, Vanessa Marie Grandeza, Mikhaela Anne Alagon, Angeli Tirol, Alicia Nicole Bomediano, Jasmine Shania Tasker, Hannah Logarta, Erika Sofia Karcher, Adrianna Kyla Sevilla, Shyra Reyna Tupaz and Shekinah Sofia Garsuta.

Her 18 books were Eunice Mae Limbaga, Herma Darien Pamplona, Julia Faith Joaquin, Elmare Samocino, Nicolett Lapay, Donabel Faye Igagamao, Irgel Jude Enriquez, Keanna Inferido, Zedneli Paulet Alas, Angelica Ayco, Jacobe Joaquin Sevilla, Danielle Mae Floresca, Vanessa Achacoso, Carlos Rey Garcia, Maruen Sevilla, Dacylle Lou Alaba, Ralph Jacob Medina and Celine Alveona Marcos.

Her 18 treasures were Dr. Katrina Logarta, Maricel Tirol, Angelica Garsuta, Thea Garsuta-Hontanosas, Ruffa Sumeguin. Dr. Janice Aurora Tirol, Jenny Estoquia, Rosemarie Nini, Dr. Vida May Tirol-De Juan, Christian Jane Tiu, Roy Mondragon, Daryl Paredes, Atty Gee Galon, Pretty Anifel Edulan, Shannon Ray Tupaz, Mehulbhai Dabhi, Lina Alaba and Jocelyn Omas-as.

Isabel, who is Miss University of Bohol (UB) Personality 2017, undoubtedly, she also has the talent to boot. She is a singer, composer and a black belt beauty queen.

In her 18th birthday party, she delighted the guests were her song number and playing the violin.  The event was an evening of heartstrings and violins.

She started singing at the age of four and she joined local contest like Little Big/Star, The Voice Kids Philippines and Tawag ng Tanghalan.

In 2013, Isabel topped the BEAT100 Music Video Chart with her original track, Glad You Came. Her entry received a Bronze Video award.

After dinner, an audio-visual presentation with Isabel’s beautiful photos kicked off the night’s program. Her family and close friends only had nice words and praises for her.

Marissa said, “I consider myself blessed to have you in my life and it’s always a privilege to be your driver, personal assistant, mentor, manager, producer and a stage mom. Keep in mind that God has great plans for you and no matter what problems or obstacles come your way take those as a challenge. I love you Ate.  Enjoy your special day and welcome to legality.”

Her dad said, “I'm so blessed to have a daughter like you. Count your blessings, be grateful and keep the Faith. Surely you can move mountains. Happy 18th Birthday Anak!”

Meanwhile, just like that of a typical debutante, her mind is whirling with thoughts of her formal "coming out". Let's "dissect" that mind a bit.

Do you have any birthday wish?
“My birthday wish is for God to continue being the Light and Guidance in my life so I may walk in His path. I also wish good health and happiness unto the Lord for the people who I love.”

Now that you're 18, what are the things that you'll be deciding on by yourself?
“Now that I’m 18, I challenge myself to take initiative and be more responsible when it comes to making decisions in life.”

 What are your most cherished memories as a child?
“My most cherished memories as a child were trips and spending quality time with the family. I also treasure my achievements during the past years.”

What's the best lesson that you learned from your parents?
“The best lesson that I learned from my parents is that in everything I do and whatever I have in life, I should give thanks to the Lord because He is the source of It all.”

Which song means so much to you?
“The song which means so much to me is One Sweet Day by Mariah Carey because it is also the title of the band that my siblings and I formed. It means that One Sweet Day, we would all be reunited with our brother Jake who is in heaven.”

***

Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at leoudtohan@yahoo.com, follow leoudtohanINQ at Twitter /Facebook.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

‘Pinoy Aquaman’ finishes Pamilacan-Panglao swim despite shoulder pain

Wake-uppers:
Scene: Virgo Chyl of Dumaluan Beach Resort shares the 7  Rules for a Happy Life: 1.) Think of others more than yourself.  2)  Laugh every day. 3) Spend less money than you make. 4)  Be an encourager NOT a critic. 5)  Pray when you feel like worrying. 6) Give thanks when you feel like complaining; and 7) Keep going when you feel like quitting.

Scene: From hair and make-up expert Donna Ligtas  Betos:  So far  Philippines is the only country in Asia which produces...3 Miss Universes, 1 Miss World, 6 Miss Internationals,  4 Miss Earths, 1 Miss Supranational,  1 Miss Globe, 1 Miss United Continents and 1 Miss RienaHispanoAmericana.

Scene: From May Hope Arcenal: To All BLCI Valued Consumers: For your information and guidance. The supposed NGCP scheduled maintenance activity set on November 18, 2017 (Saturday) will not push through and is moved to December 2, 2017, same time from 5am to 6pm.

***
Environmental lawyer and triathlete Ingemar Macarine almost abandoned his swim from Pamilacan Island to Panglao Island in Bohol province last Sunday (Nov. 12), because of shoulder pain after being in the water for almost two hours.

Macarine, who earned the moniker “Pinoy Aquaman” for setting records as the only Filipino who swims in several parts of the country and abroad in open-water swimming.

“All of a sudden I had a problem with my right shoulder,” Macarine said.

It took Ingemar Macarine 6 hours and 43 minutes
 to complete his swim from Pamilacan Island to 
Panglao Island in Bohol province on Sunday, 
Nov. 12, 2017, despite experiencing shoulder pain. 
Leo Udtohan
At first, he tried to raise his right hand while swimming, but there were times where he could hardly lift it out of the water.

“I was thinking of abandoning the swim because of the painful right shoulder,” he said.
But he didn’t stop.

He only stopped for some seconds to drink his energy drink. He was not allowed to touch the boat.

Macarine, 41, woke up early at 4 a.m. on Sunday to prepare for his swim.

He read Psalm 23 while his coach, Roel Catoto, applied sunblock on him.

He started his swim at 6:30 a.m. from Pamilacan Island, which is part of the municipality of Baclayon town, to Alona Beach in Panglao Island, a 15-killometer trip that would normally take four to six hours of continuous swimming.

It took Macarine six hours and 43 minutes to finish the swim.

He will now undergo medical examination of his right shoulder.

Macarine got into open-water swims as part of his lifetime advocacy for marine resource protection, environmental tourism and climate change awareness.

His attempt last Sunday was to promote cleaner seas and tourism in Panglao.

Panglao, a tourism jewel in the province of Bohol, is the home of the country’s white sandy beaches which dot the island coast. The fine white sands are often compared to the white beaches of Boracay.

“I hope the swim will encourage or inspire fellow Filipinos to take care of our marine environment,” he said.

‘Pinoy Aquaman’ with Panglao disaster risk
 management officer Art Bagcat, lawyers 
Idonah Lee Grupo-Coritico, Ted Lagang, Warren Yap 
and Lord “Cocot” Marapao of the Integrated Bar of the
 Philippines (IBP)-Bohol Chapter and Othoniel Galia, Jr and 
Ondoy Bustalino of Dagohoy Masonic Lodge No. 84 
and Order of Demolay. Leo Udtohan
The Pamilacan-Panglao swim was his 7th marathon swim in Bohol seas including the October 2013 Balicasag Swim, the 15-km Pamilacan-to-Baclayon swim in January 2015, the 16-km Bohol-to-Cebu swim in June 2016, the 17-km Bohol-to-Maasin City swim in November 2016, the 13-km Calape-to-Loon swim in May 2017, and the 18-km Cebu-to-Bohol swim in June 2017.

Macarine said that the swim was also a part of his preparation for his last and final attempt to conquer the English Channel, a swimming route considered as the “Mt. Everest” for open-water swimming in August 2018.

Last August, Macarine was stopped in his bid to complete crossing the English Channel due to bad weather.

After the successful swim, a buffet lunch was served for Macarine and support crew at Alona Tropical Beach Resort courtesy of Panglao Mayor Leonila Paredes-Montero.

***

Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at leoudtohan@yahoo.com, follow leoudtohanINQ at Twitter /Facebook.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Bohol fans remember Isabel Granada

Wake-uppers:

Scene:  Angelica Panganiban and John Prats were spotted in Bohol last Friday, Nov. 10. They visited Bohol to shoot some scenes for ABS-CBN’s “Banana Sundae,” which will be aired on Nov. 19, after ASAP.  Panganiban and Prats were mobbed by fans as they visited the Loboc River, Panglao, Chocolate Hills and Sevilla Hanging Bridge.

Scene:  Environmental lawyer and triathlete Ingemar “Pinoy Aqumana” Macarine will attempt to swim from Pamilacan Island, Baclayon to Alona Beach in Panglao Island on Sunday, Nov. 12. This solo and unassisted swim which will promote clean seas and beaches is sponsored by the municipality of Panglao thru Mayor Nila Paredes-Montero and supported by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines -Bohol Chapter led by lawyer Warren Yap and Dagohoy Freemason Lodge No. 84 led by Worshipful Master lawyer Lord Cocot Marapao.  The 15-km swim will start at 5 a.m.  “This is part of my preparation for my last and final attempt to conquer the 21-Mile English Channel in August 2018,” said Macarine.

Scene:  “The Rise of the AMERICAN BULL-ANONS Invitational Show 2017”  on Sunday, Nov. 12 at the Bohol Wisdom Gymnasium. This event intends to unite dog lovers and enthusiasts in the province.  It is organized by Bol-anon Pitbulleros and Metropolitan Pitbull and Bully Club which committed to promote animal welfare and responsible pet ownership.

***
Friends and fans of singer- actress Isabel Granada were saddened of her death after she succumbed to brain hemorrhage due to aneurysm, a localized weakening of a blood vessel, in Qatar.  She was 41.

Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin (extreme right) and her
sister Ann Claire Araoarao-Young come to see Isabel Granada
and her love team Rueben Manahan in 1992, the singer- actress’
 first visit to Bohol.

Her fans in Bohol remembered the singer-actress who visited Bohol thrice.

Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin, 47, a fan of Granada, recalled that her first visit to Bohol was in July 1992 when she was invited to perform for the Sandugo Festival.

She was with her love team Rueben Manahan.  Her parents- Isabel Villarama, aka Mommy Guapa, and the late Huberto Granada accompanied her.

 “She was so sweet in person, buotan siya sa akong first impression,” said Gabin who came along with her sister Ann Claire Araoarao–Young to have photo ops with the singer-actress.

 “She had a strong Spanish features and long curly eyelashes,” recalled Gabin.

In 2015, Granada came back to Bohol for a holiday. Tessie Labunog-Sumampong said Granada was so accommodating to her fans when she had lunch at Cuisina ni Tisay in Carmen town in 2015.

She said her smile was infectious.

As the first Ever Bilena model, Granada came to Bohol to attend the event of Ever Bilena Cosmetics in 2016, according to Gabriel Medel, Ever Bilena-Tagbilaran manager.

Isabel Granada’s fans will never forget the singer-actress
who was admired both for her beauty and talent. (Clockwise)
Isabel Granada in Bohol with Gabriel Medel of Ever Bilena-Tagbilaran,
 Libby and Tessie Labunog-Sumampong of Cuisina ni Tisay
 and Engr. Jerome John Gabin of Department of
Trade and Industry-Bohol. Contributed Photos 
The cause of Granada’s death instantly brought public attention to the dangers of brain aneurysm.

Gabin, a Miss Tagbilaran 1987, hopes that Granada’s death could raise public awareness of aneurysm as well as funding for additional research.

“It’s shocking for people because we have our misconception that only those obsessed people are prone to this, but even those health-conscious people could die unexpectedly because of this,” said Gabin.

“There are diseases which could cause instant death even those who looked seemingly health or healthy buffs,” she added.

Granada rose to fame as part of the late ‘80s variety show That’s Entertainment hosted by the late German Moreno and had been visible in TV shows and movies.

***
Ultimate frisbee teams compete in
championship tournament in Bohol

Beryl Elizabeth Lupot on the successful 6th TARSIER ULTIMATE 2017:

Twenty four seasoned Ultimate Frisbee teams from all over Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao competed in the 6th TARSIER ULTIMATE 2017 which was held last Oct. 27-29.

Team Mohawks from Bohol  Contributed Photo
Last year’s champion, Mohawks Ultimate together with the other four teams from Bohol - Tarsier Ultimate, Mercenaries, Patapak Ultimate Doggs and the youngest Gladiators also participated in the event.

The Boholano players did not disappoint as they showcased their ultimate skills and gave the visiting teams a good run for their money, playing head to head with other great athletes with some of them from the national team.

The annual tournament is hosted every semestral break here in Bohol at the CPG Sports Complex Tagbilaran City and is looked forward to by everyone in the Philippine Ultimate Frisbee Community. This year has been the biggest so far with over 500 players participating in the 3-day tournament.

After the intense games, the participants were in for a treat when the awarding was held at the famous Alona Beach, side trips to the Chocolate Hills, Bilar Manmade forest, Alexis Cliff dive and other attractions where also part of the itinerary.

The players did not only come to Bohol for the games but also to see its world-famous beauty.

***
3 Duterte secretaries test New Bohol International Airport

A test flight has been carried out by three secretaries of the Duterte administration to evaluate the function of the New Bohol International Airport on the tourist-island last Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Secretaries Arthur Tugade of Transportation (DOTr), Ernesto Pernia of National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) and Leoncio Evasco took a private aircraft from Manila and landed safely at the Bohol International Airport at 10:05 a.m. on Panglao Island at least 18 km from the capital city of Tagbilaran.

After the coverage of the successful test flight at the
New Bohol International Airport, a lunch at Giuseppe Pizzeria
 and Silican Roast Italian Restaurant in Tawala, Panglao town
hosted by Bohol Tri-Media President and Loay Municipal
Councilor Engr. Tibss Bullecer.  With Bullecer are
Dave Responte (dyTR), Rey Tutas (dyRD) and your VRS





The aircraft flew back to Manila on Tuesday afternoon.

Tugade said they planned to start operations at the P7.8-billion facility in June 2018 .

“However, it will be commercially operational in August 2018,” said Tugade.

Once it becomes operational, the Tagbilaran Airport, the 11th busiest airport in the country, will immediately be closed.

Tugade said the test flight had successfully proven that the new airport met the standards for civil aviation.

He said the airport, which can accommodate large aircrafts for international flights, will be ready by August next year with day flights of international standard.

Other buildings now being constructed under the current project phase are the terminal building, control tower, administration building, fire station and ancillary buildings.

***
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at leoudtohan@yahoo.com, follow leoudtohanINQ at Twitter /Facebook.