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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Miss Universe 2016 is Miss France

Miss Universe 2016 is Miss France
(Steve Harvey got it right)

Manila, Philippines –– The Philippines is no stranger to hosting the prestigious Miss Universe pageant, but the recently concluded 65th Miss Universe has proven that beauty pageants are very much embedded in our society.

Fans, armed with crowns, flags and banners, all over the country (and the world) had descended here to cheer for their bets competing at the “most prestigious” beauty pageant in the world or universe.

Beauty pageant watcher Oliver Acebes with Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres 
and Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen.
Courtesy: Oliver Supsup Acebes
Oliver Acebes and his five companions had to take a leave from work in Cebu on Saturday just to watch the pageant on Monday (Philippine time). Another fan Helen Castaño came all the way from Tagbilaran City to watch the pageant.

As soon as the plane touched down Manila on Sunday, Castaño went straight to the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena to see the venue.  She had photos taken at the replica of the Miss Universe crown.

Both admitted being Miss Universe fans, particularly due to its advocacies.

“I am crazy when it come to beauty pageants because it’s my childhood dream to join beauty pageants,” said Acebes. He said it becomes his passion watching the contestants showcasing their beauty and intelligence.

“From the start, I have been a fan since I love beauty pageants,” Castaño told VRS at MOA.“It’s rarely held in the country so I grabbed the chance.”

Acebes, a PIAnatics (fans named after Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach) who hails from Jagna town, wore his Miss Universe sash during the coronation.

Acebes and Castaño were among the 40,000 people inside the MOA Arena who watched the pageant won by France’s Iris Mittenaere.

Miss France Iris Mittenaere is the new Miss Universe at the conclusion of the 65th Miss Universe on Monday, January 30, held at the Mall of Asia Arena.  Photo by Leo Udtohan
Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere Photo: Leo Udtohan
And the Miss Universe fever has not completely died down yet, and with the much-talked rumors about Mittenaere being gay is circulating on social media.

France’s Mittenaere was crowned the new Miss Universe on Monday (Philippine time) in a glittering ceremony at SM Mall of Asia Arena, bringing her country its first win in the annual pageant in 64 years. 

Mittenaere, 23, was born north of France in a town called Lille. Mittenaere has kept herself busy the last 5 years by pursuing her degree in Dental Surgery. Besides dental school, Mittenaere has always been fond of extreme sports, travelling the world and cooking new French dishes. She enjoys making others happy, especially when
Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere Photo: Leo Udtohan
volunteering at Bienvenue-Tongasoa and Les Bonnes Fées.

"When you fail, you have to be elevated, you have to try again and keep going. If tonight, I'm not one of the winners, I will still have the great of honor of being one of the three finalists," she told the judges minutes before she was crowned by Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.

Haiti's Raquel Pelissier, a model from Port-au-Prince who survived the 2010 earthquake in the Caribbean country, was first runner up, while Colombia's Andrea Tovar was second runner-up.  Kenya’s Mary Were, Philippines’ Maxine Medina and Thailand’s Chalita Suansane, representing Kenya, the Philippines and Thailand, respectively, rounded out the top six.

Comedian Steve Harvey was able to laugh at himself when he hit the stage once again to host the Miss Universe pageant.

At last year's pageant, Harvey made a major blunder when he accidentally announced that Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, was Miss Universe when the crown was really supposed to go to Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach.

Fans come to the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena
 to support the 86 candidates of the Miss Universe 2016. 
Photos by Leo Udtohan/Solar/MOU/LCS
"Every time I read off a card, I pucker up just a little bit," he admitted during pageant.

Wurtzbach addressed the host's epic flub when she joined him onstage. "Steve, I never got to thank you, but thank you for making me the most popular Miss Universe," she quipped.

"That’s okay,” Harvey responded. “I want to thank you for making me the most famous host of Miss Universe."

Continuing to make jokes throughout the night about his gaffe, Harvey also spoke with Gutierrez about what the people of Colombia thought of him. “A lot of people hate you,” she said lightheartedly. “But you know I love you.”

The jokes carried on until the end of the evening when an Ernst & Young accountant came onstage to give Harvey a stern warning. "Listen to me Sir, this has got to be right, okay?" he quipped. "Can’t let this happen again — you will not leave the Philippines."

As Harvey went to open the envelope to announce the winner, Wurtzbach tapped him lightly on the shoulder and handed him his reading glasses.

“Thank you. Thank you so much, Pia,” he said with exaggerated gratitude. “A year late, but thank you. Thank you, God.”

Luckily, Harvey did end up correctly announcing that Iris Mittenaere of France was the new Miss Universe.

No make-up
At the Miss Universe Media Center, Mittenaere told reporters that she’ll focus on helping children — especially girls — attend school. The Miss Universe website also said the dental-surgery student hopes to advocate for dental and oral hygiene.

Your VRS with Miss U judge Cynthia Bailey
"I think France and Europe really need a Miss Universe,” she told reporters. The Continent hadn’t seen a hometown winner since Amparo Muñoz of Spain was crowned in 1974.

“I was very surprised. I’m always touching the crown. Oh my God, I don’t believe it. It was a big surprise. Every step was a surprise. I wanted to cry in every step. I feel blessed,” Mittenaere said during the press conference.

She believes that her triumph will raise awareness on the pageant owned by the US-based talent agency WME/IMG.

“I think France really needs a new Miss Universe. As you know French people really love beauty pageants, but they don’t really know Miss
Your VRS has a ‘selfie’ with one 
of his favorite candidates Miss Bolivia 
Antonella Moscatelli 
during the Miss Universe Red
 Carpet event on Sunday night, 
January 29, 2017.  
Universe because never do our country win. So, this way, a lot of people will know and will watch Miss Universe. I’m very proud to win this crown,” she said.


She said she enjoys “no makeup.”  “When you join Miss Universe, you have to be confident. I’m confident with no makeup. We don’t need make-up. We don’t need surgery. I just need confidence. I don’t need makeup to love myself.”

Perks
Aside from taking home the most coveted Miss Universe crown, Mittenaere would also enjoy several perks from becoming the title holder.

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach passed on her crown to Mittenaere. She is the third to wear the crown worth $300,000.

The Miss Universe crown made by jeweler Diamonds International Corporation was first worn by Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega of Colombia and was turned over to Wurtzbach. Miss Universe Organization (MUO) President Paula Shugart explained that Mittenaere’s predecessor cannot take home the crown by tradition.

According to Miss Universe press,  the Miss Universe prize package includes: a year-long salary as Miss Universe; luxury accommodations in a New York City apartment for the duration of her reign, including living expenses; a one-year supply of haircare products and tools from Farouk Systems, the makers of CHI Haircare; a shoe wardrobe from Chinese Laundry Shoes & Accessories; a personalized face chart and products from MAC Cosmetics; personal services including membership to Gravity Fitness at Le Parker Meridien Hotel and hair services from John Barrett Salon; a modeling portfolio by leading fashion photographers; dermatology and skincare services; a professional health and nutrition consultation; dental services; professional representation by The Miss Universe Organization; extensive travel representing sponsors and charitable partners; access to various events including casting opportunities, movie premiers, screenings, Broadway shows and launch parties; and personal appearance wardrobe and styling by the official Miss Universe Organization fashion stylist.


New format
Courtesy: Solar/MUO/LCS
The 65th edition of Miss Universe followed a brisk format that trimmed the number of semifinalists to 13 instead of 15.

The 13 competed in swimsuits then the group was whittled down to 9 for the evening gown round. Six advanced to the first interview round. Mittenaere, Pelissier and Tovar were the finalists.

US rapper Flo Rida opened the show with a medley of his hits, including his debut, "Low," and most recent radio staple "Zillionaire."

A surprise soundtrack to the evening gown parade was indie act Kiiara's "Gold."

Boyz II Men lent '90s R&B flair when they serenaded the finalists with "I'll Make Love To You," "On Bended Knee," and "End of the Road."

An estimated 100 million votes were tabulated from fans around the world to determine which lucky contestant would advance into the Top 13 at the start of the live broadcast, with millions more voting throughout the competition. Eighty-six women represented their countries in this year’s pageant.


Miss U Red Carpet
Miss Universe 2016 in Manila
Photos: Leo Udtohan
Amid tight security, the strictly by-invitation event had given the members of the media (including your VRS) a chance to interview the candidates, former beauty queens, judges and performers of the 65th Miss Universe a few hours before the grand coronation event.

There were Steve Harvey and backstage host Ashley Graham.

The event was also a reunion between Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres and Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen.

Beauty queens Gloria Diaz, Miss Universe 1969, and Margie Moran, Miss Universe 1973 also showed up for the glamorous occasion.

Also present were Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes, Miss Universe 2015 2nd runner-up Olivia Jordan, and Miss Universe 2014 1st runner-up Nia Sanchez.

Performers Boyz II Men and Flo Rida showed up in their trendy tuxedos.

Your VRS asked the former beauty queens and judges what they were looking for the next Miss Universe.

Miss Universe 1973 Margie Moran said that there is no magic formula in winning the Miss Universe crown.

“I believe winning the pageant is for me a destiny,” said Moran.

“There is no formula to winning..it is being right time and the right place and the right judges,” she added.

For TV star and former model Cynthia Bailey who was one of the judges, she was looking for a Miss Universe who can make an impact in the society.

“I am looking for the whole package,” she said. “Someone who is confident, someone who is beautiful inside and out, someone who got class, grace and style. Someone who can make an impact.”

“Miss Universe is a woman who is capable of inspiring other women and young girls,” said Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopez.

Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen said she was hoping the best girl would win.

““Honestly, I’d rather be a contestant than a judge. Because as a judge, especially if you have been a contestant, I cannot do that to someone who has worked so hard. I cannot just give her no marks for this. But this is a competition and the best girl must win and the best country must put its best foot forward tomorrow,” said Sen.

Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz said all the candidates had an equal chance in winning the Miss Universe crown.

Filipino hospitality
No other province in the Philippines had given prime spot during the Miss Universe pageant other than Bohol.  Sadly, the ladies were not able to visit the province.

When your VRS asked them if they had visited Bohol, I got a blunt reply: “Where’s that?” Most of them were unaware and they shared that their unforgettable places were Cebu, Davao, Boracay and Baguio. I tried to convince them to visit the province which they said they would love to visit if they have the chance.

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, Flo Rida and
Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen attend the
Miss Universe Red Carpet event on Sunday night, January 29, 2017.
  Photo by Leo Udtohan
Most of the candidates have expressed their desire to visit and stay in the Philippines after the pageant.

 The candidates also have nothing but good things to say about this year’s host country.

Their most favorite part? The Filipino people!

Miss Finland Shirley Karvine said one of the most amazing parts of her Miss Universe experience is getting to know the Filipino hospitality.

“I love the Philippines. Everyone is nice and kind. Everyone is full of love.  I can’t find that treatment anywhere. I can’t pick the three places because I love the whole Philippines,” she said.

Miss Malaysia Kiran Jassal had visited Vigan.

“I love the Filipino people....  Everywhere you go the people are warmth. They would ask you, “Are you okay? Do you need anything?” They really touched my heart,” she said.

Miss Bolivia Antonella Moscatelli said Philippines is a beautiful country. “It’s my first time and it is wonderful for me to be here. I will keep you in my heart.”

“It’s been wonderful. Philippines is an amazing place. It reminds me home because the weather is tropical. But the people here is warmth and welcoming,” said Miss Panama Keiy Drennan.

Miss Argentina  Estefania Bernal said the support from her Filipino fans has been humbling and overwhelming.

When I asked her if she would be back, she replied: “Claro de si. Kisses to all my fans. I love you much. I love you Filipino people. “

“I love to be here because everybody is very kind and sweet,” said Miss Hungary Veronika Bodizs.

More trivia:
* Countries with the most number of Miss U wins: USA, eight; Venezuela, seven; Puerto Rico, five; and Philippines, three.
* Number of years countries have to wait between wins: Colombia, 58 (the late Luz Marina Zuluaga in 1958 and Paulina Vega in 2014); Japan, 48 (Akiko Kojima in 1959 and Riyo Mori in 2007); Philippines, 42 (Margie Moran in 1973 and Pia Wurtzbach in 2015); Australia, 32 (Kerry Anne Wells in 1972 and Jennifer Hawkins in 2004); Finland, 23 (Armi Kuusela in 1952 and Anne Photamo in 1974); and Canada, 23 (Karen Dianne Baldwin in 1982 and Natalie Glebova in 2005).


Final Results:  

Miss Universe: Miss Universe France Iris Mittenaere

First Runner-Up:  Miss Universe Haiti Raquel Pelissier

Second Runner-Up:  Miss Universe Colombia Andrea Tovar

Top Three:  Miss Universe Colombia Andrea Tovar; Miss Universe France Iris Mittenaere; Miss Universe Haiti Raquel Pelissier.

Top Six:  Miss Universe France Iris Mittenaere; Miss Universe Kenya Mary Esther Were; Miss Universe Colombia Andrea Tovar; Miss Universe Philippines Maxine Medina; Miss Universe Thailand Chalita Suansane; Miss Universe Haiti Raquel Pelissier.

Top Nine:  Miss Universe USA Deshauna Barber; Miss Universe Thailand Chalita Suansane; Miss Universe France Iris Mittenaere; Miss Universe Mexico Kristal Silva; Miss Universe Kenya Mary Esther Were; Miss Universe Colombia Andrea Tovar; Miss Universe Canada Siera Bearchell; Miss Universe Haiti Raquel Pelissier; Miss Universe Philippines Maxine Medina.

Top Thirteen:  Miss Universe Kenya Mary Esther Were; Miss Universe Indonesia Kezia Warouw; Miss Universe USA Deshauna Barber; Miss Universe Mexico Kristal Silva; Miss Universe Peru Valeria Piazza; Miss Universe Panama Keity Drennan; Miss Universe Colombia Andrea Tovar; Miss Universe Philippines Maxine Medina; Miss Universe Canada Siera Bearchell; Miss Universe Brazil Raissa Santana; Miss Universe France Iris Mittenaere; Miss Universe Haiti Raquel Pelissier; Miss Universe Thailand Chalita Suansane.


***

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

Monday, January 30, 2017

No formula to win the Miss Universe crown

PASAY,Philippines-   Miss Universe 1973 Margie Moran said that there is no magic formula in winning the Miss Universe crown.
Photo: Leo Udtohan
 
“I believe winning the pageant is for me a destiny,” said Moran during the Miss Universe red carpet event on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 29, 2017).
 
“There is no formula to winning..it is being right time and the right place and the right judges,” she added.
 
For TV star and former model Cynthia Bailey who is one of the judges, she is looking for a Miss Universe who can make an impact in the society.
 
Photo: Leo Udtohan
“I am looking for the whole package,” she said. “Someone who is confident, someone who is beautiful inside and out, someone who got class, grace and style. Someone who can make an impact.”
 
“Miss Universe is a woman who is capable of inspiring other women and young girls,” said Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopez.
 
Photo: Leo Udtohan
Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen said she is hoping the best girl would win. 
 
“Honestly I rather be a contestant than a judge especially if you have been a contestant,” said Sen.
 
Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz said all the candidates have an equal chance in winning the Miss Universe crown.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Queen P in Bohol & Miss U 2016 trivia

Queen P in Bohol & Miss U 2016 trivia
Fans dismayed at not seeing her


Beauty pageant enthusiasts were surprised that reigning Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach was in Bohol province last Monday (Jan. 23).

Pia Wurtzbach arrives in Bohol Courtesy: Dave Responte
Wurtzbach arrived at the Tagbilaran Airport around 10 a.m., along with Miss Universe organizers and plus-size model Ashley Graham, backstage host of the pageant.

She was met by provincial officials led by Gov. Edgar Chatto and Vice Gov. Dionisio Balite.

At the airport, Wurtzbach was given a symbolic key to Bohol.

Since it was a surprise visit, many fans were dismayed they didn’t get to see her.

“I am one of the millions all over the world who shared in the great joy when Pia Wurtzbach was crowned Miss Universe 2015. However, I was dismayed upon viewing the photos of Pia’s Bohol visit today spreading in social media and not having the opportunity to see in person the woman who has gained the admiration of many,” said Miss Tagbilaran 1987 Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin.

Another fan, LJ Laquinta, said that Boholano fans should have been given the chance to see her since there was no Miss Universe event staged in Bohol.

“The Miss Universe 2016 candidates didn’t come here since Bohol was not part of their itinerary … they didn’t have to hide Pia from us” he said.

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach (2nd from right) 
and model Ashley Graham (center, 4th from left), 
are welcomed by local officials in Bohol led by
 Gov. Edgar Chatto and Vice Gov. Dionisio Balite. 
Courtesy: Leah Sumampong
Sources said that the Miss Universe organizers implemented tight security measures.

“Undisclosed for security reasons,” said a Capitol employee.

There was no motorcade for the Miss Universe. She, instead, went directly to work.

According to sources, Wurtzbach was in Bohol to shoot a video for the Department of Tourism to be used for the Miss Universe 2016 coronation night on Jan. 30.

It was still unknown which tourist attraction she would be visiting, since details of her trip here were kept under wraps.

But it was expected that Wurtzbach would visit sites such as the beaches on Panglao Island, Loboc River, Chocolate Hills and the viewing and care centers for the tarsier.

She had also visited the Bohol Bee Farm in Dauis town where she had an interaction with Ms. Vicky.

“She will like the balmy weather here,” added the Capitol employee.

Watch the 65th Miss Universe coronation live on Fox Channel, GMA 7, ABS-CBN Channel 2 and TV 5 on January 30, 2017 Monday 8 a.m. (Manila time).

***
Miss U 2016 Trivia

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach shows
 to the world that “I am confidently beautiful with a heart.” 
Photo from Pia Wurtzbach Official Page on FB
● There are 86 women from across the globe who will compete for the title Miss Universe 2016.

● Emmy Award Winner Steve Harvey returns to host the exciting three-hour programming event.

● Model, designer and body activist Ashley Graham joins as Backstage Host.

● Four-Time Grammy Award-winning R&B group Boyz II Men will perform.

● Grammy Award Nominee Flo Rida and set to perform.

● This year's judges who will help crown the next Miss Universe include:

Dayanara Torres: Former UNICEF ambassador and Miss Universe from Puerto Rico, author, model, and actress.

Sushmita Sen: Bollywood actress, philanthropist and champion of women’s rights in India; founder of I AM Foundation and first ever Miss Universe from India.

Leila Lopes: First Miss Universe from Angola and former United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Desertification currently working with various charitable organizations in Africa.

Mickey Boardman: Editorial Director of popular fashion and pop-culture magazine, PAPER.

Cynthia Bailey: TV star, former model, and founder of The Bailey Agency School of Fashion, a modeling and fashion school dedicated to helping young women achieve their dreams.

Francine LeFrak: Emmy and Tony award-winning producer, social entrepreneur, women’s empowerment activist and founder of Same Sky, a jewelry initiative that provides training and employment to HIV+ women survivors of the Rwandan Genocide.

***

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

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Tagna-Tagna 2017

Wake-uppers:
Scene: The two “controversial” beauty pageants in Ubay town: Miss Ubay 2017 organized by the Rotary Club of Ubay (Jan. 24) and Matahum sa Ubay 2017 (Jan. 26) organized by the local government unit of Ubay.

Seen: Jim Paredes of Apo Hiking Society during the 17th Ubi Festival.

Scene:  Pres. Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States of America, gave one of the shortest inaugural speeches ever given on Friday with heavy emphasis on nationalism:  “Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny. Your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way. Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. Yes, together we will make America great again.”

Scene: Whale sharks (not killer sharks) were spotted off Barangay Malinao in Garcia Hernandez town.  According to Dr. Alessandro Ponzo of Large Marine Vertebrate Project Philippines (Lamave),the whale sharks were feeding in the area. “They just follow the plankton bloom,” he said. The whale sharks are protected by the Philippine law since 1998. “They need to be respected for what they are. Magnificent wild animals. The local government units should ensure that the coastal habitat are healthy and clean from plastic, one of the big threats for marine wildlife,” said Doc Ale.

Scene: The Miss Universe 2016 coronation night is on Monday (January 30), at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena at 8 a.m. This is the 3rd time the pageant is happening in the Philippines. The first one was in 1974 when Spain's Amparo Muñoz was crowned while the second happened in 1994 with Sushmita Sen of India winning as Miss Universe. Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach won the title on December 20, (December 21 in Manila) 2015, after more than 4 decades of special awards and podium finishes.


***
When the Rooster crows at the start of its year (Jan. 28, 2017, according to the Chinese Calendar), a lot of VRS readers who are diehard believers in the horoscope and feng shui have been asking what’s in store for them in 2017? Will they be pretty? Will they be rich?  Well, it’s hard to tell.
Snake Princess (with Medyo Maldito in this photo)
 is another big personality in 2017. 
Courtesy: Snake Princess Facebook

The Year of the Rooster expresses inner warmth and insight, as well as the quietness of privacy and family ties, according to astrologers and feng shui experts.  

Gold, brown and yellow are lucky colors of 2017, they said.  

This year is often marked by brilliant success for those who have endured with patience the draining and often solitary build-up of a business project. It is also a year of a blend of righteousness and justice, bombast and logistical efficiency. Public and private administration jobs, military careers or police jobs are highly favored.

And as tradition is hard to break, this corner’s “Tagna-Tagna” has a good batting average, with 98 percent credibility! 

(A gentle reminder: Readers are not constrained to take the “predictions” seriouslyAs I said, these are all tagna-tagna (bunga lang sa panghunahuna) and I could be wrong, you know.)

Now, let’s take a quick look at what the notorious and the famous Boholanos have in store for them for the Year of the Rooster.

• A busy year for Snake Princess and Medyo Maldito. The duo will have a “controversial” revelation.

• Former beauty queen Anna Maris Igpit will start having morning sickness middle of the year and it will make her husband Aussie football player Thomas Taylor very happy.

• Gian Ale will bounce back and spring a big surprise on all of us, proving to all and sundry that he’s not done yet, career-wise. Same for TinTin Ng and Lailette Boiser.

• Miss Bohol 2014 Queenie Melody Fullante will finally find a boyfriend who is romantic, confident, artistic, foreign, free spirit (aka the bad boy), intelligent/witty and considerate!

• Tableya Princess Dalareich Polot will remain loveless. Oopps, someone will come!

• Laywer Joan Jagonos and husband Benjie Oliva will welcome the stork’s visit before the end of the year, also for Abdul Wallace and Chandrina Elluiska Schreurs.

• Actress Rich Asuncion and her beau are planning to seal their love this year despite her busy and hectic showbiz career.

•Lawyer Ingemar Macarine aka Pinoy Aquaman will make a world-breaking record.

• Something “big” is in store for Vivoree.

• Julia Faith Joaquin’s star will shine even brighter and bigger.

• A popular personality will become the new “face” of Touch of April of Dr. April Lumuthang-Froilan as Doc April beautifies the province.

• It will be a busy year for Prof. Marianito Luspo, Joey Labrador, Nestor Pestelos, Direk Maryo delos Reyes and cultural icon Lutgardo Labad.

• A “super-bonggacious” fashion show will feature Boholano fashion artists and couturiers—Shanon Pamaong , Maximiel Tallo, EJ Relampagos, Rhigel Dulfo Jong Magallano, Omie Auza, Henry Baron, Bebie Tagoctoc and Tracy Remolador Torres— to display their artistic collections!  After the show, they will establish a fashion and interior design school.

• Rex Alba will have another challenging role in movies.

• Center Stage Band will finally (finally!!!) release their debut album.

• Miss Bohol 2016 and Miss JCI-Philippines 2016 Glyssa Perez will join a national beauty pageant, the second Boholano to bring home the crown.

•dyRD’s Glee Orcullo and her friend Poybe Ingking will finally release a new album.

• Something “big” is in store for the first Mister Supranational Philippines AR de la Serna.

And now, the blind items:

• A new talent from Bohol will rise to make Boholanos proud.

• Another big scandal will shake the political scene!

• A high ranking official and a young politician will find themselves in a headline-hogging controversy.

•Bohol will produce more topnotchers in the field of education, nursing and engineering.

• A beauty pageant organizer and host will draw controversies.

• A popular radio program will undergo a major revamp.

• A popular young couple might not reconcile despite “intervention” and it will end in a bitter court battle.

• A drug-related scandal will rock the business industry, including local leaders.

• A popular radio personality will quit the first love for many years, leaving the followers (this one included) orphaned. It will be a long story.

***

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

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Boholanos in Tawag ng Tanghalan; Lee Min Ho in Bohol?

●Boholano young talents join ‘TNT’
●Korean actor Lee Min Ho in Bohol?

Wake-upper:
Young singer Isabel Garsuta has
 a future in the music industry. 
Courtesy: ABS-CBN
Scene: The bad weather brought by typhoon Auring cancelled the Saturday’s swim of lawyer Ingemar Macarine aka Pinoy Aquaman who planned to embark on two-way unassisted, open water swim from Guinsiliban Port on Camiguin Island to Balingoan, Misamis Oriental, and back for a total of 24 km to promote tourism and clean environment. “Our swim was cancelled because of bad weather. It is dangerous for the escort boats to escort me during the swim. It’s okay for me to swim but the escort boat is still the problem,” said Macarine. He instead swam the 2.1 km from Paras Beach Resort to the White Island, one of the province’s tourist destinations with some members of the Camiguin Swimmers Association headed by Gilbert Grado. 

***
I can’t recall the last time I saw a Boholano who joined a national singing contest. It must have been a long time ago. But I remember Jerome Sala— yes, who was a champion on ABS-CBN’s Star in A Million.

That’s why I’m happy to see young Boholano talents singing who are making inroads into the national scene.

Last week, Julia Faith Joaquin of Tagbilaran City sang her way to the semi-finals on ABS-CBN’s Tawag ng Tanghalan (TNT), a singing competition conducted as one of the segments of the noontime show It's Showtime.

Joaquin, a high school student, defeated daily challenger Cresmon Padero with her cover of Liza Minnelli's "Maybe This Time." She scored 92.6 percent, while Padero got 90.2 percent for his performance of Air Supply's "Here I Am."

Joaquin first joined TNT in August last year. She was able to become the defending champion but was dethroned after just one day.
Julia Faith Joaquin has secured 
her spot as semi-finalist on Tawag ng Tanghalan
Courtesy: ABS-CBN

Another young singer, Isabel Garsuta, tried her luck on TNT last Friday (Jan. 6). Although she didn’t win, Isabel had an adorable performance of Jessie J’s “Price Tag.”

Isabel, 17, teaches voice, piano and violin.  She is the daughter of Lino and Mariz Garsuta (nee Tirol) of Caingget Beach, Tagbilaran City.

Rey Valera said Isabel, who dreams to become a lawyer, has a future in the music industry.

Isabel posted on Facebook, "To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven."
She thanked her family and supporters who supported, congratulated and watched her performance on TNT.

“It was really an honor to represent Visayas.   I did my best and I am just really happy with all the positive responses from everyone. I may not have won but knowing that there are people out there who supported and appreciated me, it is what really inspires me,” said Isabel on Facebook.

On a similar note, 24-year-old Mary Ann Palma had a spot when she performed Manchester Melissa’s “Looking ThroughThe Eyes of Love.” 

A pastor’s wife, Palma said she will use the prize money for the construction of their new home. Her family currently stays in a temporary shelter that has no electricity and water supply.

Boholanos are indeed talented singers. We should be proud as they continue to win in competitions and exemplify that we can sing.  And even if they don’t win, like soldiers, they refuse to fade away. They just sing and sing even if only to their hearts' content.

***
Lee Min Ho’s visit to Bohol: A bluff

While typhoon Auring hit the Visayas region last week, some died-hard Korean fans were posting on the social media that Korean actor Lee Min Ho was in Bohol.

Korean actor-singer Lee Min Ho
 of “Legends of the Blue Sea” 
was apparently spotted in Bohol. 
Courtesy: Facebook

Miss Tagbilaran 1987 Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin and Jocelyn Pilayre were among others who were overwhelmed when they learned that Lee Min Ho was in Panglao town.

It all started when a Facebook user Rowena Aranar claimed she spotted the actor on Alona Beach in Panglao.  She shared a photo on Facebook with Lee Min Ho in a black tank top and damp hair as people flocked him for a photo.

Aranar, posted on January 7, “Lee Min Ho, is in Hennan , Alona Resort, Panglao, Bohol , sobrang gwapo at freindly, smiling face bida sa, Boys Over Flower.”

Her post has become viral, with almost 3,433 shares on the social media site as of writing.

Many fans believed that the singer-actor was in the Philippines for the taping of the “Legends of the Blue Sea.”  In one of the episodes, Heo Joon-jae (Lee Min Ho) tells Shim Chung (Jun Ji-hyun) that he plans to bring her to Boracay.

However, the news turned out to be, well, fake.

(We heard a loud thud from Fiel and Bjosh!)

The candid photo of Lee Min Ho was apparently snapped by Twitter user @minozindonesia, the first Indonesian fan base of the actor.

Internet user Leorenzi Dangoy said that Aranar’s post even “destroyed the reputation of Hennan” on a global scale.

There were others who agreed that the location does not look like Hennan Beach Resort at all. The photo was taken in 2013 in “The Heirs” days at Huntington Beach in California.

KPOP and Culture Fest on Facebook said, “Okay, bes, kalma. Lahat tayo nag-hyperventilate sa rumored Bohol photo ni Lee Min Ho. Nakaimpake na kami for Bohol. Apparently it was an old photo taken during his visit in the country. Who else have thought that they'd prolly doing the last few episodes of Legend of the Blue Sea here in the Philippines? Mianhe for the mini heart attack. Hindi kayo nag-iisa. *checks BP*”

Whatever the reason, it can’t be denied that fans are swarming over the charming actor.

Think before you post.


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

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Their New Year’s resolutions

Wake-upper:
Scene:  The formal installation rites of Bishop Alberto Uy as the new bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran on Friday at the St. Joseph Cathedral was officiated by His Excellency Archbishop Bernadito Auza, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.

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They think that it’s important to start 2017 the right way—by having a New Year’s resolution!

Bishop Alberto Uy of the Diocese 
of Tagbilaran Courtesy: Elvie Bongosia
Leah Tirol-Magno
I am not so much of a fan for New Year’s resolution. I would go for a goal instead. The goal this year and for the years to come is to focus more on Jesus and the personal relationship with Him and everything will fall into the right places and let God take charge of my life.

Anthony Aniscal
My new year's resolution is to make sure that time spent for family will be of priority. Being a public servant, it demands time for the constituents and at times the precious time for family are set aside.

Benjie Oliva
My New Year's resolutions: Make time for meditation and more prayer. More  workout for a healthier body. Work harder for the family and for the country.

Imaculada Cleofe Leopardas
My New Year's resolution is to make time to what really matters to me. I want to spend my whole life doing the things that defines me and be with somebody who really cares for me. I would focus on improving myself so that I can totally love, serve and protect my priorities now. I want to become the best for a good cause and for the purity of intention on helping in making this world a better place. I would love to spend my life in spreading the seeds of love.

Ferome Almine
I personally wish that I’ll have more hosting and coordinating events this 2017 since I want to have a blessed and fruitful new year. I wish also for a strong economy, clean government and a total change of the facade of our country.

Adelyn Joy Esclamado
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a chef. I was always curious how delicious foods were prepared and asked my mother about it. When she would start telling me the answers to my questions, I tend to listen eagerly. But then, my curiosity perhaps gone too far, I accidentally put our kitchen on fire while trying to cook the new dish I learned. My mother burnt small portion of her legs trying to save me. It happened too fast that I can’t even remember what exactly happened. On that day, my dream to be a chef turned into ashes. And now, I think it’s the right time to start all over again, I will try my best to face my fears and will open my heart and mind for new experiences. In short, my new year's resolution is to make cooking a hobby.

Mikee Andrei
My New Year's resolution would be for better health---to always prioritize health despite tremendous work. Also, this year, I hope I’ll have more time with my family.... and save up!
Whether it’s by pursuing their dreams or cultivating 
their passions, they have plans to rev up their lives this 2017. 
Contributed Photos

Marianne Domivee Chatto
The past year has been a roller coaster ride for me. For this brand new 2017, I envision myself to be a dedicated public servant, an optimistic leader, and a passionate and caring mother. The best thing that happened in my 2016, my baby Dom.

EJ Relampagos
My New Year's resolution is to stop making resolutions to myself. He! He! He! I would rather master more on self discipline, self responsibility and self respect. These are what we need to have in order to live a good life in today's world dominated by diversions! Love to all.

Vilma Yorong
May this year bring more opportunities not only for myself but also to the people I serve.  I hope my dreams will turn into reality and my efforts and hardwork will translate into great achievements. I am praying that the Lord will give me enough strength and faith to face the challenges of 2017.

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