Tuesday, February 4, 2020

STARS CONTINUE TO LINE UP FOR THE 92ND OSCARS

UTKARSH AMBUDKAR, SALMA HAYEK, BRIE LARSON, 
SPIKE LEE, RAY ROMANO AND REBEL WILSON

LOS ANGELES, CA – Show producers Lynette Howell Taylor and Stephanie Allain today announced the next wave of star presenters headed to the stage on the 92nd Oscars® telecast.  The Oscars will air live Sunday, February 9, on ABC.

The lineup includes Utkarsh Ambudkar, Salma Hayek, Brie Larson, Spike Lee, Ray Romano, and Rebel Wilson.

Previously announced Oscars presenters include Mahershala Ali, Zazie Beetz, Timothée Chalamet, Olivia Colman, James Corden, Penélope Cruz, Beanie Feldstein, Will Ferrell, Gal Gadot, Zack Gottsagen, Mindy Kaling, Diane Keaton, Regina King, Shia LaBeouf, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, George MacKay, Rami Malek, Steve Martin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anthony Ramos, Keanu Reeves, Maya Rudolph, Mark Ruffalo, Kelly Marie Tran, Sigourney Weaver and Kristen Wiig.

The 92nd Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 9, 2020, at the Dolby® Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.  “The Oscars Red Carpet Show” will air at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.  The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

HOLLYWOOD STREET CLOSURES FOR 2020 OSCAR WEEK

LOS ANGELES, CA – To ensure public safety, support security strategies and facilitate the production of this year’s Oscars®, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the City of Los Angeles have finalized street closure plans around the Dolby® Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood.

To accommodate the construction of press risers, fan viewing areas and pre-show stages along the Oscars red carpet, Hollywood Boulevard will be closed between Highland Avenue and Orange Drive beginning at 3 a.m. on Sunday, February 2, and remain closed until 6 a.m. on Wednesday, February 12.

MTA subway trains will bypass the Hollywood & Highland station after the last regularly scheduled train on Saturday, February 8, until the first scheduled train after 6 a.m. on Monday, February 10.  Service at the station will resume with the first scheduled train after 6 a.m.

Between Sunday, January 26, and Oscar Sunday, February 9, additional streets and sidewalks will be closed for varying periods.

Details of the closures and maps of affected areas are available from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the Sixth and the Thirteenth District City Council field offices and on the Academy's website at http://www.oscars.org/closures

The 92nd Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 9, 2020, at the Dolby® Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. “Oscars: Live on the Red Carpet” will air at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Monday, January 13, 2020

92nd OSCARS® nominations announced

LOS ANGELES, CA – Actor-producer John Cho and producer-actress-writer Issa Rae announced the 92nd Oscars® nominations today (January 13), live from the David Geffen Theater at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, opening later this year, via a global live stream on Oscar.comOscars.org, the Academy’s digital platforms, an international satellite feed and broadcast media.

Cho and Rae announced the nominees in 8 categories at 5:18 a.m. PT, and the remaining 16 categories at 5:30 a.m. PT. For a complete list of nominees, visit the official Oscars website, www.oscar.com.

Academy members from each of the 17 branches vote to determine the nominees in their respective categories – actors nominate actors, film editors nominate film editors, etc. In the Animated Feature Film and International Feature Film categories, nominees are selected by a vote of multi-branch screening committees. All voting members are eligible to select the Best Picture nominees.

Active members of the Academy are eligible to vote for the winners in all 24 categories beginning Thursday, January 30, through Tuesday, February 4.

To access the complete nominations press kit, visit www.oscars.org/press/press-kits.
The 92nd Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 9, 2020, at the Dolby® Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. “Oscars: Live on the Red Carpet” will air at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.


Nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards

Performance by an actor in a leading role
  • Antonio Banderas in “Pain and Glory”
  • Leonardo DiCaprio in “Once upon a Time...in Hollywood”
  • Adam Driver in “Marriage Story”
  • Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker”
  • Jonathan Pryce in “The Two Popes”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
  • Tom Hanks in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
  • Anthony Hopkins in “The Two Popes”
  • Al Pacino in “The Irishman”
  • Joe Pesci in “The Irishman”
  • Brad Pitt in “Once upon a Time...in Hollywood”

Performance by an actress in a leading role
  • Cynthia Erivo in “Harriet”
  • Scarlett Johansson in “Marriage Story”
  • Saoirse Ronan in “Little Women”
  • Charlize Theron in “Bombshell”
  • Renée Zellweger in “Judy”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
  • Kathy Bates in “Richard Jewell”
  • Laura Dern in “Marriage Story”
  • Scarlett Johansson in “Jojo Rabbit”
  • Florence Pugh in “Little Women”
  • Margot Robbie in “Bombshell”

Best animated feature film of the year
  • “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” Dean DeBlois, Bradford Lewis and Bonnie Arnold
  • “I Lost My Body” Jérémy Clapin and Marc du Pontavice
  • “Klaus” Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh and Marisa Román
  • “Missing Link” Chris Butler, Arianne Sutner and Travis Knight
  • “Toy Story 4” Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen and Jonas Rivera

Achievement in cinematography
  • “The Irishman” Rodrigo Prieto
  • “Joker” Lawrence Sher
  • “The Lighthouse” Jarin Blaschke
  • “1917” Roger Deakins
  • “Once upon a Time...in Hollywood” Robert Richardson

Achievement in costume design
  • “The Irishman” Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson
  • “Jojo Rabbit” Mayes C. Rubeo
  • “Joker” Mark Bridges
  • “Little Women” Jacqueline Durran
  • “Once upon a Time...in Hollywood” Arianne Phillips

Achievement in directing
  • “The Irishman” Martin Scorsese
  • “Joker” Todd Phillips
  • “1917” Sam Mendes
  • “Once upon a Time...in Hollywood” Quentin Tarantino
  • “Parasite” Bong Joon Ho

Best documentary feature
  • “American Factory” Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert and Jeff Reichert
  • “The Cave” Feras Fayyad, Kirstine Barfod and Sigrid Dyekjær
  • “The Edge of Democracy” Petra Costa, Joanna Natasegara, Shane Boris and Tiago Pavan
  • “For Sama” Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts
  • “Honeyland” Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska and Atanas Georgiev

Best documentary short subject
  • “In the Absence” Yi Seung-Jun and Gary Byung-Seok Kam
  • “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)” Carol Dysinger and Elena Andreicheva
  • “Life Overtakes Me” John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson
  • “St. Louis Superman” Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan
  • “Walk Run Cha-Cha” Laura Nix and Colette Sandstedt

Achievement in film editing
  • “Ford v Ferrari” Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland
  • “The Irishman” Thelma Schoonmaker
  • “Jojo Rabbit” Tom Eagles
  • “Joker” Jeff Groth
  • “Parasite” Yang Jinmo

Best international feature film of the year
  • “Corpus Christi” Poland
  • “Honeyland” North Macedonia
  • “Les Misérables” France
  • “Pain and Glory” Spain
  • “Parasite” South Korea

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
  • “Bombshell” Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker
  • “Joker” Nicki Ledermann and Kay Georgiou
  • “Judy” Jeremy Woodhead
  • “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” Paul Gooch, Arjen Tuiten and David White
  • “1917” Naomi Donne, Tristan Versluis and Rebecca Cole

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
  • “Joker” Hildur Guðnadóttir
  • “Little Women” Alexandre Desplat
  • “Marriage Story” Randy Newman
  • “1917” Thomas Newman
  • “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” John Williams

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
  • “I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away” from “Toy Story 4”
    Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
  • “(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman”
    Music by Elton John; Lyric by Bernie Taupin
  • “I'm Standing With You” from “Breakthrough”
    Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
  • “Into The Unknown” from “Frozen II”
    Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
  • “Stand Up” from “Harriet”
    Music and Lyric by Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo

Best motion picture of the year
  • “Ford v Ferrari” Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and James Mangold, Producers
  • “The Irishman” Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Producers
  • “Jojo Rabbit” Carthew Neal and Taika Waititi, Producers
  • “Joker” Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Producers
  • “Little Women” Amy Pascal, Producer
  • “Marriage Story” Noah Baumbach and David Heyman, Producers
  • “1917” Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Jayne-Ann Tenggren and Callum McDougall, Producers
  • “Once upon a Time...in Hollywood” David Heyman, Shannon McIntosh and Quentin Tarantino, Producers
  • “Parasite” Kwak Sin Ae and Bong Joon Ho, Producers

Achievement in production design
  • “The Irishman” Production Design: Bob Shaw; Set Decoration: Regina Graves
  • “Jojo Rabbit” Production Design: Ra Vincent; Set Decoration: Nora Sopková
  • “1917” Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales
  • “Once upon a Time...in Hollywood” Production Design: Barbara Ling; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
  • “Parasite” Production Design: Lee Ha Jun; Set Decoration: Cho Won Woo

Best animated short film
  • “Dcera (Daughter)” Daria Kashcheeva
  • “Hair Love” Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver
  • “Kitbull” Rosana Sullivan and Kathryn Hendrickson
  • “Memorable” Bruno Collet and Jean-François Le Corre
  • “Sister” Siqi Song

Best live action short film
  • “Brotherhood” Meryam Joobeur and Maria Gracia Turgeon
  • “Nefta Football Club” Yves Piat and Damien Megherbi
  • “The Neighbors' Window” Marshall Curry
  • “Saria” Bryan Buckley and Matt Lefebvre
  • “A Sister” Delphine Girard

Achievement in sound editing
  • “Ford v Ferrari” Donald Sylvester
  • “Joker” Alan Robert Murray
  • “1917” Oliver Tarney and Rachael Tate
  • “Once upon a Time...in Hollywood” Wylie Stateman
  • “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” Matthew Wood and David Acord

Achievement in sound mixing
  • “Ad Astra” Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson and Mark Ulano
  • “Ford v Ferrari” Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Steven A. Morrow
  • “Joker” Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic and Tod Maitland
  • “1917” Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson
  • “Once upon a Time...in Hollywood” Michael Minkler, Christian P. Minkler and Mark Ulano

Achievement in visual effects
  • “Avengers: Endgame” Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Matt Aitken and Dan Sudick
  • “The Irishman” Pablo Helman, Leandro Estebecorena, Nelson Sepulveda-Fauser and Stephane Grabli
  • “The Lion King” Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Elliot Newman
  • “1917” Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler and Dominic Tuohy
  • “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach and Dominic Tuohy

Adapted screenplay
  • “The Irishman” Screenplay by Steven Zaillian
  • “Jojo Rabbit” Screenplay by Taika Waititi
  • “Joker” Written by Todd Phillips & Scott Silver
  • “Little Women” Written for the screen by Greta Gerwig
  • “The Two Popes” Written by Anthony McCarten

Original screenplay
  • “Knives Out” Written by Rian Johnson
  • “Marriage Story” Written by Noah Baumbach
  • “1917” Written by Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns
  • “Once upon a Time...in Hollywood” Written by Quentin Tarantino
  • “Parasite” Screenplay by Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won; Story by Bong Joon Ho
# # #

Monday, December 16, 2019

92ND OSCARS® SHORTLISTS IN NINE AWARD CATEGORIES ANNOUNCED

LOS ANGELES, CA –  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced shortlists in consideration for the 92nd Academy Awards® in nine categories: Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, International Feature Film, Makeup and Hairstyling, Music (Original Score), Music (Original Song), Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film and Visual Effects. To download shortlists by category, visit https://oscars.org/oscars/92nd-oscars-shortlists.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Fifteen films will advance in the Documentary Feature category for the 92nd Academy Awards®.  One hundred fifty-nine films were submitted in the category.  Members of the Documentary Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.
The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:
“Advocate”
“American Factory”
“The Apollo”
“Apollo 11”
“Aquarela”
“The Biggest Little Farm”
“The Cave”
“The Edge of Democracy”
“For Sama”
“The Great Hack”
“Honeyland”
“Knock Down the House”
“Maiden”
“Midnight Family”
“One Child Nation”

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Ten films will advance in the Documentary Short Subject category for the 92nd Academy Awards.  Ninety-six films qualified in the category.  Members of the Documentary Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.
The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:
“After Maria”
“Fire in Paradise”
“Ghosts of Sugar Land”
“In the Absence”
“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”
“Life Overtakes Me”
“The Nightcrawlers”
“St. Louis Superman”
“Stay Close”
“Walk Run Cha-Cha”

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
Ten Ten films will advance to the next round of voting in the International Feature Film category (formerly known as Foreign Language Film) for the 92nd Academy Awards.  Ninety-one films were eligible in the category.
Academy members from all branches were invited to participate in the preliminary round.  They must have viewed the submitted films theatrically and met a minimum viewing requirement to be eligible to vote in the category.  Their seven choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s International Feature Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist.
In the nominations round, Academy members from all branches are invited to opt-in to participate and must view all 10 shortlisted films in order to cast a ballot.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:
Czech Republic, “The Painted Bird”
Estonia, “Truth and Justice”
France, “Les Misérables”
Hungary, “Those Who Remained”
North Macedonia, “Honeyland”
Poland, “Corpus Christi”
Russia, “Beanpole”
Senegal, “Atlantics”
South Korea, “Parasite”
Spain, “Pain and Glory”

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Ten films will advance in the Makeup and Hairstyling category for the 92nd Academy Awards.  All members of the Academy’s Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch will be invited to view seven-minute excerpts from each of the 10 shortlisted films on Saturday, January 4, 2020.  Members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscar® consideration.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:
“Bombshell”
“Dolemite Is My Name”
“Downton Abbey”
“Joker”
“Judy”
“Little Women”
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”
“1917”
“Once upon a Time…in Hollywood”
“Rocketman”

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
Fifteen scores will advance in the Original Score category for the 92nd Academy Awards.  One hundred seventy scores were eligible in the category.  Members of the Music Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.
The scores, listed in alphabetical order by film title, are:

“Avengers: Endgame”
“Bombshell”
“The Farewell”
“Ford v Ferrari”
“Frozen II”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Joker”
“The King”
“Little Women”
“Marriage Story”
“Motherless Brooklyn”
“1917”
“Pain and Glory”
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
“Us”

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
Fifteen songs will advance in the Original Song category for the 92nd Academy Awards.  Seventy-five songs were eligible in the category.  Members of the Music Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.
The original songs, along with the motion picture in which each song is featured, are listed below in alphabetical order by film title and song title:
“Speechless” from “Aladdin”
“Letter To My Godfather” from “The Black Godfather”
“I’m Standing With You” from “Breakthrough”
“Da Bronx” from “The Bronx USA”
“Into The Unknown” from “Frozen II”
“Stand Up” from “Harriet”
“Catchy Song” from “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”
“Never Too Late” from “The Lion King”
“Spirit” from “The Lion King”
“Daily Battles” from “Motherless Brooklyn”
“A Glass of Soju” from “Parasite”
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman”
“High Above The Water” from “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am”
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from “Toy Story 4”
“Glasgow” from “Wild Rose”

ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Ten films will advance in the Animated Short Film category for the 92nd Academy Awards.  Ninety-two films qualified in the category.  Members of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:
“Dcera (Daughter)”
“Hair Love”
“He Can’t Live without Cosmos”
“Hors Piste”
“Kitbull”
“Memorable”
“Mind My Mind”
“The Physics of Sorrow”
“Sister”
“Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days”

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
Ten films will advance in the Live Action Short Film category for the 92nd Academy Awards.  One hundred ninety-one films qualified in the category.  Members of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.
The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:
“Brotherhood”
“The Christmas Gift”
“Little Hands”
“Miller & Son”
“Nefta Football Club”
“The Neighbors’ Window”
“Refugee”
“Saria”
“A Sister”
“Sometimes, I Think about Dying”

VISUAL EFFECTS
Ten films remain in the running in the Visual Effects category for the 92nd Academy Awards.  The Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee determined the shortlist.  All members of the Visual Effects Branch will be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films online or attend satellite bake-off screenings in January 2020.  Following the screenings, members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscar consideration.
The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:
“Alita: Battle Angel”
“Avengers: Endgame”
“Captain Marvel”
“Cats”
“Gemini Man”
“The Irishman”
“The Lion King”
“1917”
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
“Terminator: Dark Fate”

Nominations voting begins on Thursday, January 2, 2020 and concludes on Tuesday, January 7, 2020.

Nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards will be announced on Monday, January 13, 2020.

The 92nd Oscars® will be held on Sunday, February 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network.  The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Miss South Africa is Miss Universe 2019


Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi is the new Miss Universe.

Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi. Picture: Instagram
Tunzi  was crowned by Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray at the 68th edition of the pageant held in Atlanta on December 9, Monday.

Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson is first runner-up followed by Miss Mexico Sofia Aragon as second runner-up.

During their Final Word, all three women were asked the same question which was, “What is the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today?”

Her winning answer was:

The most important thing we should be teaching young girls today is leadership. It’s something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a very long time, not because we don’t want to but because of what society has labeled women to be. I think we are the most powerful beings in the world and that we should be given every opportunity and that’s what we should be teaching these young girls to take up space. There is nothing more important than to take up space in the society.
Before the announcement of winners, all three of them were given a chance to grace the stage and say their final speech.

Zozibini said, “I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me, with my kind of skin and my kind of hair is never considered to be beautiful and I think that it is time that stops. I want children to look at me and see my face and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine.”

Philippine bet Gazini Ganados was one of the Top 20. 

Zozibini is the third beauty queen from South Africa to win Miss Universe after Margaret Gardiner (1978) and Demi-Leigh Nel Peters (2017).


Sunday, December 1, 2019

The white-eyed carabao at Ubay Stock Farm

When people look at this carabao at the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) at Ubay Stockfarm, they often do a double take. There’s a good chance you will, too.

It has to do with the carabao's big white eyes! Yes, white eyes!

There are more than 400 carabaos at the PCC. However, the white-eyed carabao from Bulgaria is so peculiar.

People like to say that its eyes make it seem very wise or soulful. It is timid when people come to check its eyes.

A carabao with white eyes is an attraction
 at Ubay Stock Farm. People like to say
 that the carabao's white eyes make
it seem very wise or soulful.
Karen Ciroy, PCC staff, never imagined how much attention the white-eyed carabao would get for it looks.
  
According to Science, blue-eyed people are more attractive, but this white-eyed carabao is  attractive, too.

Incidentally,  the province of Bohol celebrated the 5th Bohol Milk Congress last Thursday, Nov. 28.  It was graced by Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food,  who pushed for more affordable milk for children.

The 5th Bohol Milk Festival, as part of the effort to push the province’s stature as the Dairy Capital of the Philippines, highlighted the launch  of the school-based milk feeding program of the Department of Education and the Bohol Integrated Community-Based Dairy Farming.

"I have been proposing and pursuing the use of locally-produced milk in the National School Feeding Program to help solve malnutrition among school children and to provide livelihood to dairy farmers," Villar told at least 500 farmers, teachers and school children. 

Under RA No. 11037, the school-based milk feeding program, fresh milk and fresh milk-based food products should be included in the fortified meals and cycle menu in schools.

Villar said that she has been pursuing the use of locally-produced milk in the National School Feeding Program to help solve malnutrition among school children and to provide livelihood to dairy farmers.

"We want to further grow and develop our country's milk sector,  and to improve the nutrition of Filipinos, especially the children who need it most," she said.

The province of Bohol celebrates the
5th Milk Festival which was graced
by Senator Cynthia Villar. 
Photo by Helen Castaño
Long considered a complete food, milk contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. Milk is also a significant source of riboflavin (Vitamin B2) which helps promote healthy skin and eyes, as well as vitamins A and D.

Only two percent of the total national dairy requirement is produced in the country, while 98.2 percent are imports.
In Bohol, at least 2,000 hybrid carabaos are found at the PCC at the 3,000-hectare Ubay Stock Farm in Ubay town.

Farmers who produce carabao’s milk must be able to free themselves from poverty, Villar said, citing the testimony of a housewife, who now earns some PHP18,000 a month from buffalo’s milk.

The housewife, Villar said, having augmented her husband's income, has been delisted from the government's Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, otherwise known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

* * *
New Loboc public market eyes February completion


After Ubay, my media colleagues (veteran broadcaster Lito Responte, Rey Chiu, Allen Doydora, Rey Tutas, Edward Guyano, Nilo Sapong and Helen Castaño) and I visited the town of Loboc.

The Loboc Tourism Complex has been undergoing renovations.

The heritage house was transformed into an entrance, while the former ticketing office area would serve as the exit and souvenir area. The second floor serves as a function room.

With at least 3,000 guests a day, Mayor Leon Calipusan said that tourists deserve a spacious terminal building while waiting for their Loboc River cruise.

Loboc Mayor Leon Calipusan shows the
 new Loboc Market.   Photo by Helen Castaño
Mayor Calipusan also toured us to the renovated two-story rural health unit and the almost complete Loboc Market.

He is targeting to complete the P20-million new public market at Barangay Camayaan  in February next year.
“They can expect that it will be a comfortable public market,” Calipusan said.

The ground floor of the public market will have  stalls for fruits, grains vegetable, dairy products, bilao (circular basket), delicatessen, and dry goods sections, while at the back is a terminal building and a separate building for  fish, shell, and meat sections.

It’s building footprint is 600 square meters. The land intended for the public market is five  hectares.

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

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Emmanuel "Doy" Comendador: Running from painful childhood

The Southeast Asian Games (SEA) Games, which the country will host for the first time in 14 years, will be held starting November 30 in multiple parts of the Philippines.

A Boholano duathlete Emmanuel “Doy” Comendador will compete in the SEA games.

Here's a backgrounder of Comendador courtesy of Rey Anthony Chiu, manager of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Bohol:

Emmanuel “Doy” Comendador
As a young kid, he has dreamt of getting a new pair of shoes.

Poverty and an unstable childhood kept him from getting that.

Today, as Boholanos are clasping their palms praying for luck to a local swimming sensation making ripples in the Philippine swimming circles, another Boholano contribution to the national pool of athletes for the upcoming ASEAN Games, still runs with an old pair he bought at an ukay-ukay rummage.

Unknown to most, unlike most Philippine Team athletes who bask on national television, this Boholano from Cambangay Norte, San Miguel town remains humbly hidden from the cameras in the country.

But somewhere in Asian races, as he silently traverses the trails and roadways of Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, he gets occasional media attention, in his trail battered shoes even climbing a dais.

Shoes are secondary. Toning his muscles to get him to the podium is the motive and this can only be through painful training, dedication and discipline that has put a Tagbilaran swimmer into the same national team for the ASEAN Games.

Boholano duathlete Emmanuel “Doy” Comendador literally crawled his way through hard work, discipline, mental toughness and perseverance to be picked part of the Philippine Duathlon Team for the ASEAN Games to open next week.

The achievement, for Comendador, 31, was never walk in the park.

In fact to him, it was through biking, and running, and biking and running in a vicious training that would literally burn-out the mentally weak, that kept him focused: shoes, immaterial.

Born to a poor family and too weakened by the hardships of a child fending off his way to a future that has nothing to do with what he was born into, leaving a painful hungry childhood in Limasawa Island, Southern Leyte was Doy’s first long run.

His decision to swing to sports as a way of forgetting his past and building a strong resolve to mold a full-toned body from an emaciated spirit was his first plan to voluntarily escape his past.

That resolve pushed him to go past the edges of pain and sacrifice, let him inch his way to join a Leyte bike group. From then on, he cranked up more muscle straining and hurting revolutions in his pedals than almost everyone in his group.

“I had a painful past I wouldn’t want to talk about. What is more painful than that?” he timidly asked, when posed with what his most painful training regimen was like.

“All training is painful, because our coaches know how to squeeze out the best in us. Believe me, it is not easy and is far from painless, he said, severely sun-blasted face and bulging veins in his hand witness to the hard training showing even in the dimly lit café.

Sharing how he disregarded the weird looks of other athletes when they see his old sneakers, he said “I couldn’t buy one, so I have to use this old pair.”

Already a strong biker when he left Leyte, Doy decided to live with an aunt in San Miguel. Since then, he considered himself an adopted Boholano and has since used Bohol as his home address.

While in Bohol, he banked on his bike riding speed in Tagbilaran, knowing that there is far better chance here than in San Miguel.

But with very few bikers then in Tagbilaran, he decided to shift to running where there was prize money to sustain him.

Starting a cross training for running in 2014 in Bohol, Doy, who has logged long hours on a bike, became a sensation.

His long rides and improved spinning cadence on road bikes and off-road mountain bikes worked on his glutes, quadriceps and hamstring, while his calves gradually trimmed from running regimen.

Having worked on both disciplines, Doy became a fixture in Bohol runs, and occasionally on road races, capping on his podium finishes, while getting adopted into a legendary local bike group Paseo de Loon was his biggest break.

He asked his team if he could take up Marine Engineering at the local Philippine Maritime Institute (PMI) while representing the school in races. When the team was more than willing to support him, he run further and swung off to Paseo during his lean days where there are no races in school, Richard Acero, another athlete where Comendador homed in Tagbilaran volunteered the information.

Comendador said he felt like he was family with the Aceros, and it helped him immensely, adjusting his running shades as the café filled with light banter from patrons.

Comendador, who stepped into the café after completing a short afternoon bike spin, for the late afternoon interview, came in full bike gear: lime yellow Navy Standard Insurance jersey, a seemingly overused bike helmet and his favorite battered running shoes.

Sitting now with a girlfriend who also runs marathons, Doy said his break came in the eighth qualifying leg of the 37th National Milo Marathon eliminations in 2013 in Bohol.

Then a graduating Marine Engineering student at PMI, despite lack of training as he was busy preparing for the closing exercises, the phenomenal biker and amateur runner still bested 6,153 athletes and carved for himself a name winning the 21 K half marathon. This catapulted him into the National Finals.

With free travel and accommodations, he went to Manila and competed in his first Milo marathon performance, placing among the top finishers.

The following years, Comendador would win the 2014 and 2015 Milo Marathon qualifiers and placed top among national finalists.

This got the attention of national coaches who invited him to train with them.

Running under Philippine Navy in national races, Doy continued with zealous training and pious respect for the coaches which he never had the luxury in his races.

Running races while on training with the national team did not obtain for him the perks of a full-time athlete. He has to look for sponsors to help defray the costs while in Manila.

 Standard Insurance picked him to carry their banner in his race jerseys.

The sponsorship also allowed him to survive in Manila, although not well. Scrimping on a tight budget was nothing new to him. If for his dream, Comendador knew he had to persevere.

In 2015, at the Philippine Duathlon National Championships, Elite Men Category, he finished 5th and so was his finish in the 2016 National Duathlon Championships five months later.

Shifting to triathlon, Comendador competed in the 2016 Subic Bay NTT ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup and placed 11th but was the third Filipino to the top with John Chicano and Mark Hosana competing against a full roster of Asia’s elite triathletes.

By March of 2017, Doy took his first international podium at the 2017 Putrajaya ASTC Powerman Middle Distance Duathlon Asian Championships when he placed third against a Dutch and an Australian. Here, he also picked his first Asian championship honor.

Comendador placed fourth at the Putrajaya ASTC Powerman Middle Distance Duathlon Asian Championships in March of 2018.

This year, he competed again in the 2019 Putrajaya ASTC Powerman Middle Distance Duathlon Asian Championships for Elite Men and dropped in finish ranking to 8th but was among the three Asians in the top.
In fact, among those on the top were himself, and two more Filipinos, and an Iranian.

Now competing against Asians, the self-appointed Boholano athlete said he has seen a near perfect moment to strike a gold medal in the ASEAN Games. After all, he has proven to Asian duathletes that he is somebody they can be running after.

As a member of the Philippine Team now, Doy still wears old running shoes, which he said he bought at an ukay-ukay, while his competitors sport the newest models from the greatest brands.

Asked if this bothers him, he said he dreams of a new pair but his allowance would not allow him that.

“I tried the new Nike when a friend runner let me try it. It was comfortable as it was designed to fit a runner’s foot profile, but I just can not afford that, so I have to be realistic and run in my old pairs. As long as it does not give up on me, like I have never given up on my dream, there is still that huge chance I’d get a gold. Would that not be a bigger shoes to fill by other Filipino athletes after me?” he asked speaking in Cebuano.

Whether one talks about his old shoes and the resolve to bring honor to Bohol and the Philippines, this guy has just shred a tale worth commending.

That can happen, when the country would well be this guy’s comendador.

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