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Bared (Know the latest tsismis and updates from Bohol)

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Panglao Island has to breathe

Wake-uppers:
Scene: Bohol Province and co-host Tagbilaran City are expecting 6,000 to 7,000 student-athletes from the 19 schools divisions in the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (Cviraa) set on Feb. 24 to March 2. Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto said, “This is not only a DepEd event. This is a province of Bohol event which the entire people of Bohol will be welcoming our visitors and guests.  Ato silang dawaton ug ipakita ang  atong Boholano hospitality.”
  
Scene: Isabel Iris Garsuta was declared champion during the National Festival of Talents 2018 Jingle Writing and Singing competition.

Mister Supranational-Philippines 2016 AR De La Serna,
Glorivic Yap- De La Serna  and
Man of the World 2017 Mustafa Galal Elezali during an outreach program in Bohol province.
Contributed Photo
Scene: Man of the World 2017 Mustafa Galal Elezali from Egypt was spotted at “Luto-Luto ta, Bai” in Tagbilaran City last Friday night. Elizali was in Bohol for a charity event. He visited elementary schools in Haguilanan Grande in Balilihan and Badiang, Sikatuna for an outreach program organized by prime Event Productions Philippines Foundation, Inc. (Pepps).  He was assisted by Mister Supranational-Philippines 2016 AR De La Serna.  According to Glorivic Yap-De La Serna, some 280 slippers, stand fans, educational and sports items were given to the schools.

SceneEmilia Roslinda, executive director of PROCESS-Bohol on ubi (purple yam) during the Ubi Festival 2018: “Ubi is actually a good substitute for rice and corn especially now that rice is expensive.”

***

As recent reports of Panglao Island as the next target after Boracay pervaded the news, it disheartened many people who admired the island for its crystal clear water and white sand that put Bohol province on the global map.

But national leaders and environmental experts have said that Panglao, known as Bohol’s tourism jewel, is suffering from environmental problems because of unregulated development, lax enforcement of laws, and continued surge in tourist arrivals.

Tourists enjoy Panglao’s miles of powder sand beaches.
Leo Udtohan
Panglao Councilor Rogelyn Degoma said that the island is teeming with resorts with no septic tanks and proper waste disposal facilities and illegal structures.

“About 80 to 90 percent resorts are without waste water facility and sewerage treatment plant (STP). A
nd 60-70 percent are not compliant on septic tanks regulations,” said Degoma.

Most resort owners and investors were reluctant to build their own sewerage system and wastewater treatment plant because of the cost, she said.

Degoma stressed that even the requirement that septic tanks should have three to five chambers had not been complied with by some resort owners.

Some resorts on Alona Beach empty their sewage and other wastes directly into the cave or holes in the resort which would go directly the ground which then transport into the water surrounding coral reefs and other sensitive marine habitats.

Degoma said that the local government should strictly implement the “no discharge permit, no business permit,” policy and individually inspect the sewerage treatment plants to minimize and prevent the rise of coliform.

Dauis Mayor Marietta Sumaylo says the municipal government
 is closely monitoring the establishments in her town. Leo Udtohan
Panglao has at least 200 business establishments which 33 had only permits from Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), an agency attached to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

On Alona Beach in Barangay Tawala in Panglao town, the EMB reported last January that the levels of fecal coliform bacteria had exceeded DENR standards for recreational water.

The total fecal coliform in the area was 305.70 most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters, way above the acceptable level of 100 MPN per 100 ml.

According to the EMB report, the total coliform (including other forms of coliform) level in waters of the village of Tawala in the second quarter of 2017 peaked at 841.69 MPN per 100 ml, still below but near the safe level of 1,000 MPN per 100 ml for water for swimming and other activities.

Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto said that the resort owners had been properly warned already.

“We have never tolerated any violation,” said Chatto as he stressed that Bohol was the first local government unit in the country to pass an ordinance of an “Environmental Code.”

Resort owner Dr. Doloreich Dumaluan 
explains to reporters Dave Responte (dyTR) 
and Allen Doydora (dyRD) his wastewater 
treatment facility. Leo Udtohan

He said the provincial government had a design of the wastewater treatment facility to be put up on Alona and the whole Panglao Island. He said he asked the national government to fund it.

The Panglao municipal government also didn't have money to build a wastewater treatment facility, said acting Panglao Mayor Pedro Fuertes.

 To build a common wastewater facility for the resorts would cost millions which the town didn't have, he added.

In Dauis, Mayor Marietta Sumaylo said that the LGU is closely monitoring the town’s beaches.

She said only three of 19 establishments have no sewerage treatment facilities.

However,  she said that the Badjao community had contributed to the pollution of the seas. The Badjao community, with at least 1,000 population, refused relocation.

Resort owner Dr. Doloreich Dumaluan said that he had foreseen the environmental problems on Panglao years ago.

He spent P 9 million to construct his own wastewater treatment facility in his resort in 2005.

“Panglao is growing, Panglao is bigger that of Boracay. I expect this thing to happen because we have no sewerage treatment plant also in Alona,” said Dumaluan.

“So, I tried to build my own treatment. It’s really worth that I spent this much because I am protecting the environment and I am making money out of the beauty of nature, I have to return back what they gave it to me,”  he added.

Beside the wastewater treatment, he also invented machines- glass pulveriser and coconut shredder- to recycle and reuse the bottles, plastics and coconuts found on the seashore.

He said there is still hope for Panglao to protect the environment.

“We should not damage the environment in the name of progress. We have only one Panglao. For me, we have brighter future than Boracay, we could still continue, mitigate, correct what is happening now,” he said.

All is not lost, however, as various government agencies are now cooperating together to protect and save Panglao Island. 

A massive cleanup will be held on March 6 so that Panglao’s sandy white beaches will see brighter days.
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Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at leoudtohan@yahoo.com, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Mga Kuwento ni Bagyong Basyang

I’ve chased storms myself, so I know firsthand that chasing storms is risky.  I always keep a safe distance and practice important safety measures that would get me home to share my stories.

But Tuesday’s chase was different. There were four of us —Allen Doydora (DYRD), Dave Responte (DYTR), Helen Castaño and I—“chasing”  typhoon “Basyang” (internationally known as “Sanba”) on Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 13) to deliver information.

Reporters take you to chase the wind. Your “storm chasers”
(l)- Leo Udtohan, Dave Responte (of DYTR) and
Allen Doydora (of DYRD) during the coverage of typhoon “Basyang”.
Photo by Helen Castaño
 As a stringer for GMA News for the past 18 years, I know covering typhoons is extremely dangerous. I don’t have a choice since we need a visual proof that persuade people that what they see in news is real and matters to them.

I told Allen, Dave and Helen not to push the limits of safety and common sense. We didn’t have equipments like those professional storm chasers in the US.

As we travelled south, your “storm chasers” listened to weather reports, while Dave and Allen took their listeners to chase the wind to give their listeners their first information at the threat posed by such a storm.

 In Loay town, we found out that there was no killer shark washed up on a beach on Tuesday, according to Loay Police Station and local disaster risk reduction and management office.

We saw ricefields flooded in Candijay and Alicia towns.  While visiting the evacuation center in Candijay, Basyang started showing her fierce. We decided to have a quick dinner in Alicia with Allen’s family.

It got too dark to continue the chase, especially since we were without adequate gear — a dangerous rookie mistake. We left Alicia at 7 p.m, amidst thunder and heavy rains.

Mary Ann Berto, a resident of Barangay Guinsularan in Duero town, showed several pieces of woods left after her house stood was washed out. Teaching materials and several equipments such as computers, laptops and sewing machines were destroyed when floodwater mixed with mud swamped Guinsularan High School and Guinsularan Elem. School in Duero, Bohol. Leo Udtohan
Unfortunately, our vehicle got stuck in high water and stalled out in Guindulman town. We pushed it off the road while it was raining hard with lighting and thunder. We decided to stay inside the vehicle for our safety while watching the floodwaters rising gradually.

We stayed for about 30 minutes as we remained quiet, in awe of what was happening in front of our eyes. However, Dave and Allen didn’t fail to update their listeners.

When Dave fixed it, we moved slowly until we reached Guinsularan in Duero, particularly Guinsularan High School. We were stranded since the highway was no longer passable even for big buses.

We saw the school submerged in water. A portion of the concrete fence of the school had fallen due to the strong rampaging floodwater.

Residents said it was the first that they experienced such extent of flooding where a concrete fence of a school had been damaged to such degree.

Local rescuers told us that we would respond to the three residents who had to climb to the roofs of their houses when the rainwater flooded their houses.

At 9 p.m., when the rains stopped for the meantime, some teachers waded through knee-to-waist deep flood water to check the school.  They only entered the principal’s office where materials and equipment such as computers were all wet.

Affected families in Sitio Punta in Barangay Tabajan, Guindulman town, Bohol, have to stay temporarily in a chapel or with their relatives after their houses were washed out and destroyed on Wednesday dawn. Leo Udtohan
Allen and Dave reported the situation on dyRD’s Tagbilaran By Nite (with Allen’s co-host Jagna Councilor Anthony Aniscal) and dyTR’s Tomorrow’s News Tonight (anchored by Lito Responte)

We arrived in Tagbilaran City at 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday.  It was a long journey. Since, Allen and Dave came home late after the coverage, they were thinking of sweet surprises and ideas to please their wives for Valentine’s Day, or else, they would experience the wrath of “Basyang.” 

I returned to Guinsularan on Wednesday afternoon to see the devastation.

When students and teachers returned to Guinsularan High School on Wednesday morning, they would be cleaning their muddied classrooms.

Teacher Lourdes Jordan went to the school early to check her classroom. Although she anticipated it, the damage still shocked her.

“Nothing was left. It destroyed our teaching materials,” she said.

She said more newly delivered textbooks for senior high school students, new sewing machines and some computers could no longer be used because these were destroyed when floodwater mixed with mud swamped the school.

But students, with their parents and some volunteers, helped the teachers and school staff in cleaning up and repairing the school.

 “Report mi, report mga bata, nagtibangay mi limpyo. Ganiha naa sab mga parents pud boluntaryo ra. Yes, nagbayanihan..arun makahuman og limpyo para maka-klase og sayo,” she said.

Teacher Lourdes said classes would be suspended until Friday since they needed time to clean up the classrooms.

Provincial Board Member Dionisio Victor Balite, who checked the school on Wednesday afternoon, said he would ask his colleagues in the Provincial Board to donate computers to the school because these got wet during the flood.

“Sa akong nahibaw-an mga computers, lisud raba ang computer mabasa replacement jud na. Wala na chance magamit pagbalik. So, siguro sa mga kauban nakong mga Sangguniang Panlalawigan, hatag lang ta og tagsa nga computer para sa Guinsularan High School,” he added.

The flood and mud also damaged the desks, chairs, teaching materials and student records at the Guinsularan Elementary School (Annex) which is beside the high school.

At the Guinsularan Elem. School (Annex) which is beside the high school, floodwater and mud damaged desks, chairs, teaching materials and student records.

“Basyang” also flooded several houses in Duero and Guindulman towns.

The family of Mary Ann Berto, 38, of Barangay Guinsularan in Duero evacuated to their relative when it was raining heavily on Tuesday night. The thunder and lightning caused her to scare more. When she woke up the following day, she only saw only several pieces of wood left in her house.

“The house is all gone,” said Berto who was not able to save things. “Kumpyansa mi kay di siguro dad-on among balay kay pila ka beses ingana kay wala man, okay raman. Gabii kay grabe jud.” she said.

Her eldest son, 15-yer-old Edmar Jun, who is a grade 9 student at Guinsularan High School lost his school supplies. But like other students, he went to school to help for cleaning out the mud.

In Guindulman town, some houses were destroyed and still submerged on water.

Gerardo Besas, 47, a resident of Barangay Tabajan, said his family only evacuated to Trinidad Elem. School at past midnight on Wednesday when the water rose to neck-deep.

Four houses were “washed out” after a flood and four houses were destroyed in Sitio Punta in the same barangay.

Most of the residents evacuated to the school at dawn Wednesday.

Virgilia Betonio-Bernido, 44, said their family soundly asleep on Tuesday night. She said the sea was calm with little rainshowers, but they woke up when the water entered their sala.

Provincial Board Member Dionisio Victor Balite and
 Rammel Cagulada went to Guinsularan High School in Duero, Bohol,
 to check the devastation on Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 14, 2018.
Balite said he would ask his colleagues to donate computers to the school.
Leo Udtohan
She woke up her children to go to the evacuation center.

“Nakatug man mi. Pagmata pa namo diha na ang tubig sa among purtahan. Gipukaw among mga anak. Dayun mi gawas kay ang tubig diha na sa among sala,” she said.

When she returned, what left only was her close closet (aparador) as her house was washed-out.

The semi-concrete house of Dominga Bernido, 42, was also destroyed. The cemented floor broke into half.

The affected families were safe, although were given relief goods from the local government, they wished they could build a new house.

 “Arang lisura unsaon jud namo pagbangon namo diri sa among panimay kay naguba naman jud ni pag-ajo. Maayo unta naay malumong kasing-kasing nga mutabang sa among bay unta pud,” said Dominga.

Virgilia said they would stay temporarily in a small chapel in the sitio until such time they could build a new house.
 Basyang also flooded villages and farms in Candijay town, a major rice-growing area.

More than 300 people were evacuated from the villages of Cadapdapan, Panadtaran, Cambane, Cogtong, San Isidro, Poblacion and Panas, which were considered landslide and flood prone areas, when the typhoon crossed the province, said local disaster risk reduction and management officer Jeryl Lacang-Fuentes.

Two houses in Sitio Gabayan in Barangay La Union owned by Romeo Bautista and Rosalinda Macarayan were damaged. There were three major landslides along Barangay Cambane, said Fuentes.

One was electrocuted when a cluster of coconut fruits fell and tripped an electric line. The victim suffered minor burn.

The flooding in a number of farming areas triggered harvest failures and damage to farmland.

Fuentes said initial estimate was that 180 hectares (444.79 acres) of rice have been damaged or destroyed.

In Barangay Panadtaran, 14 hectares of rice that were almost mature for harvest have been damaged or destroyed, according to village chief Rolly Limbangaon.

He said most of the palays were to be harvested next month.

Ursulina Pahuyo, 71, a resident of Barangay Lungsod-daan in Candidjay town, said she had huge losses when her small swathe of farmland was flooded.

 “Akong kahumayan nalunupan tungod sa bagyong basyang. Siyempre, masayang kay gutom walay maani. saying ang gastos, mahal ang suhol sa tawo,” said Pahuyo who tried to salvage what she can from her flooded ricefield on Wednesday.

The typhoon drenched Tagbilaran City overnight but caused no widespread flooding. The sprawling capital of 105,000 people has been hit hard by floods in some areas because of poor infrastructure and clogged drainage and water canals.

“Basyang” also destroyed some roads and bridges. A portion of the Guinacot Bridge in Guindulman was destroyed and a bridge in Abachanan in Sierra – Bullones town was not passable on Wednesday after it a portion was destroyed.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, which is still assessing the damage brought by Basyang, said that no casualties were reported.

As we would say in reference to anything in excess, when it rains...

Let’s just pray that no more (heavy) rains will fall.

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

Sunday, February 11, 2018

For a change, a food trip on V-Day

Wake-uppers:
NFA-Bohol administrator Maria Fe Evasco (center),
NFA-Bohol Information Officer Jhoel Lim and Aldetrudis Quijada
 inside the warehouse. Evasco asked the public  to be ‘rice-ponsible’.
 Leo Udtohan 
Scene: National Food Authority (NFA)-Bohol manager Maria Fe Evasco said that the 30,000 sacks of rice which arrived from Cebu last week was an allocation to augment the low NFA rice stock in the province.   She stressed that there was no rice shortage in Bohol, considered the rice bowl of Central Visayas, since there was enough supply of commercial rice.

SceneFeliz compleaños to erstwhile Tagbilaran Mayor Joe Torralba, Walter Toston, Dr. Cyrilda Tallo, Maximiel, Feb. 9; former Tagbilaran City Councilor Ann Mariquit Oppus, Feb. 10; former Tagbilaran City Mayor Dan Lim and Lloyd Guttierez, Feb. 11; Raul Gatal, Feb. 12;  Atty. Handel Lagunay and Fr. Val Pinlac, Feb. 14; Melchor Daniel, Feb. 15; Engr. Jes Tirol, Elvie Macalandag and former Tagbilaran City Councilor Lucille Yap-Lagunay, Feb. 17; Fr. Joe Sumampong, Feb. 20; Gov. Edgar Chatto, Feb. 21; and Fiel Angeli Gabin and Dr. Jojo Maniwan, Feb. 24.

***
In case it slipped your mind, Valentine’s Day is on Wednesday, and you still have some time to plan your dates.

Fortunately, there are a number of destinations, restaurants and activities to choose from, depending on your preferences.

The universe is vast, but somehow you  found each other. The K of C
promenade in Tagbilaran City is ideal place for contemplating your
place in the cosmos. Leo Udtohan
In Tagbilaran City and nearby towns, there are various dining establishments and coffee shops that dishing up treats and savory meals will surely make every individual believe in the saying that the way to a man’s heart is his stomach.

CRAWL FOR FOOD TRIP
To make the love month even more memorable, have an intimate dinner at Mithi (formerly the Panglao Island Nature Resort), Amorita, Amarella, South Palms and Astoria.

If you’re spending the day with your family, make a stop at Mosia Cafe (V. Inting Avenue,  Tagbilaran City), Tamper Cafe and Brunch (P. Del Rosario Street, Tagbilaran City) and Tuko Cafe (Gallares Street), Cafe Majestea (Luisa Galleria, Gallares Street), Hugot Cafe (Venancio P. Inting Avenue Tagbilaran City), The Library (Panda Tea Garden Suites, J.A. Clarin St, Tagbilaran City) indulge in milk tea, waffle, salads, sweet treats and pastas. This is also a great spot to get some family photos.

Smoque Bohol Bistro and Cafe (CPG East Avenue along ACE Medical Center in Bool District, Tagbilaran City will have a Valentine’s Day set menu. Visit the restaurant to make reservation or call 0918 300 8180.

Visit the Lite Port Center Mall along Gallares Street for a wide-array of restaurants. Craving for some spicy kimchi or intense bibimbap? Visit Bohol Pearl Korean Restaurant to satisfy those cravings!  You can also start the day of hearts right at this chic Moon Cafe and Restaurant.   

The Gerarda’s Family Restaurant is serving delicious Filipino cuisines with a twist.  Gerarda’s takes their cooking to heart and serves dishes that would absolutely satisfy your palate. 

Visit Cresencia (Poblacion, Baclayon), Tableya de Maria Clara (Ma. Clara Street, Tagbilaran City)10:31 By Chef M (Miguel Parras St, Ext, Tagbilaran City, Bohol),  Just Sizzlin’ (P. Del Rosario Street, Tagbilaran City), The Buzzz Cafe (Island City Mall, Luisa Galleria and Alona Beach) and Kinaham Resto Bar (M. Torralba Street, Tagbilaran City), Peacock Garden (Baclayon), Swiss Garden Restaurant (Alona Beach, Panglao), Socorro (P. Del Rosario Street, Tagbilaran City) , Miravilla Resort (Booy, Tagbilaran City), Time Out Resto Bar (BQ Mall), Walk Express (BQ Mall), Gerry's Grill (BQ Mall), Mang Inasal (Gallares, Street, Tagbilaran City), STK (Graham Avenue, Tagbilaran City), Prawn Farm (ICM), Chicken Ati-Atihan (Putong Street, Tagbilaran City), Rai-Rai Ken (ICM), Payag (CPG Avenue, Tagbilaran City), Cuisina ni Tisay (Chap Complex in Carmen), Giuseppe Pizzeria and Sicilian Roast Italian Restaurant (Alona Beach, Panglao),  JJ's Seafood Village (Tagbilaran City), Garden Café (Tagbilaran City near St. Joseph Cathedral), Persona Mesa  (J.A. Clarin Street, Tagbilaran City), Tarsier Botanika (Tawala, Panglao), BringHouse Garden and Restaurant (0047 Cabalit St, Tagbilaran City,(038) 412 4736), Shiang Ma Nou (J. Borja Street cor C. Gallares Street, Tagbilaran City) and Heritage Crab House Seafood Restaurant (V.P. Inting Street, Mansasa Seaside, Tagbilaran City).

Denrick’s offers a dinner buffet for P499 per person on Feb. 14, at 6 p.m. to 10 p.m,   There will be an acoustic live band to set the evening mood at Denrick’s Restaurant. Don’t forget to try their  grilled squid and crispy sisig. For inquiries and reservations, call 412-3640/09178259759/09209476369.
On Feb. 14, some restaurants and cafes in Tagbilaran City
 and nearby towns give dining pairs a private time to enjoy
 the delicious food and each other’s company.
Courtesy: Smoque Bohol Facebook

Gather all your girl friends and head out for some drinks. Publicity (Lite Port) has a new cocktail menu that you might enjoy. Visit Atmosphere (Metro Center Hotel)  for a fruity mix of passion fruit, raspberry puree, hibiscus, and soda water and Martin’s Bar Corner M. H. del Pilar & C. Gallares Street, Tagbilaran City) to chill out.

If you want to have a post-Valentine, celebrate at The Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort on February 15 to watch 'Your face Sounds Familiar' first runner up Michael Pangilinan in a Valentine dinner concert. Tickets are still available. P2,500 comes with dinner buffet or P 800 with two round of non-alcoholic drinks. Call 038 416 0702 for more info.

If you have a tight budget, make sparks fly at Acacia de Bubu (Burgos cor Butalid Streets, Tagbilaran) for a yummy barbecue!

LOVE YOURSELF & OTHERS
Treat the number one love in your life, yourself to a spa day. Take this time to take a break from all the stress in your life. Book at Body and Sole  and Masaje de Bohol depending on your body’s needs. You can also have other treatments done like a facial and manicure.

Have a make-over! Change your hair and make-up. Call Ryan Sines, Tracy Torres Remolador, Jojo and Bebei Tagoctoc, Charlow Arbasto, Jonathan Ucat, Ramil Dolauta, Tamara, EP Relampagos, Donna Vitos and Rolly Ingking. For the latest collections, see EJ Relampagos, Henry Baron, Omie Auza and Maximiel.

See Bohol's first cosmetic surgeon Dr. April Lumuthang-Froilan of Touch of April General and Cosmetic SurgiCenter (4th Floor, Lim Hong Khu Medical Arts and Wellness Center, Tagbilaran City; 09283687041) and face the world confidently with a beautiful heart!

Appreciate the opportunity to experience the love being shared with us by our family and friends.

Fill up some of your community service hours. Do some charity works. Spend time with the less fortunate, give love on Valentine’s Day. Share your blessings by visiting Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital, Sunshine Home  and Holy Trinity Orphanage Home in Albur town. Visit the Philippine National Red Cross-Bohol chapter if you want to give the safest blood possible to save life.

ROMANTIC PLACES
On Valentine’s Day you can hit the beach for sun, sea and sand and other romantic places.  The Morning Hills in Loay town, in itself, is a destination that speaks of romance in so many ways. Here, you can enjoy a much sought peace and quiet, an authentic serenity that can be rarely had in the city.

You can visit K of C Tagbilaran for a romantic date, and the scenic view as the sun sets over the city is also sure to take your breath away.

If you have time, Jardin Necitas in Pilar town offers an experience that is easy to fall in love with. The entire ambiance filled with glowing flowers offers romance, relaxation, and intimacy.

You have many reasons to celebrate V-Day even though Feb 14 divides the world into “the haves,” or those with a significant other, and the “have-nots,” the ones with zero love life.

Celebrate V-Day with your own style.

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

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Super blue blood moon, a time for cleansing & renewal of powers

Forty-seven year old Edward Guyano was waiting for the rare celestial event that graced the skies on Wednesday night (Jan. 31)called the “super blue blood moon.”

The “super blue blood moon” was the first time that a blue moon (two moons within the same month), a super moon (a full moon that comes as close to the earth as it can in its orbit), and a lunar eclipse (also known as a blood moon) happened simultaneously after 150 years.

It was not only stargazers who witnessed the rare triple moon phenomenon but including occultists and Wicca followers in many parts of the country. Most of them performed rituals in private though.

Occultists and believers of the ancient knowledge
have considered Jan. 31’s astrological phenomenon rare
 and powerful. Some gathered their crystal stones for
cleansing and recharging its power, while others performed
 rituals for abundance and celebration of life. Leo Udtohan
Guyano, a Christian Wiccan, gathered his crystals and other gems for cleansing, blessing and renewal of power since many occultists considered the phenomenon a night of compounded lunar activity.

 “The super blue blood moon is both extremely rare and extremely potent,” he said.

At 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Guyano, a radio personality in Bohol, went outside his house in Barangay Poblacion in Lila town, to thank and appreciate Mother Nature.

While he was performing a ritual in solitude, his friend who identified as Master Owl was also performing a ritual with other five believers in Tagbilaran City.

Master Owl said his group had gathered for some serious introspection. They also performed a ritual during the super blue blood moon rituals in private.

In Siquijor, some occultists also gathered for a secret ritual. Madamme Luz was reciting oracion to make it powerful. She said this year’s phenomenon was powerful to make their herbs and gayumas (love potions) potent.

After offering a prayer, Guyano left their crystals and other gemstones outside to allow the moonlight to shine on the stones.

 He said the light of the moon of would cleanse the stones of the negative energy it absorbed from people and environment.

 “The stones were recharged,” Guyano said after he collected the stones at past 10 p.m.

He  said it was also an opportunity to pray for healing after he suffered a stroke last year. He also said that since eclipse was an extra special event, there was a special energy.

 “It has a special energy especially when it's a rare Blood Moon eclipse. This rare event is used for honoring and celebrating life,” said Master Owl.

Guyano although didn’t elaborate said that there would be many “break-ups” are expected after the super blue blood moon.

The moon is ruled by the goddess Artemis who never married, he added.

In Tagbilaran City, some residents gathered to watch the skies. Others used telescope to see the moon closer.

Some students took time to gaze the skies since the phenomenon was discussed in their Science subject.

Classmates Keith Batutay and Jerwin Jala, both grade six pupils at Booy South Elem. School, said they learned about the moon and eclipse from the school but watching it was totally different from the textbook.

“It was amazing,” said Batutay.

“The full moon appeared larger and brighter than usual and there was a total lunar eclipse,” said Jala.