Saturday, January 28, 2012

Candy Cumayas & a few of her favorite things

Seen: Miss Netherlands 2006 Sheryl Lynn Baas was in Valencia town to judge Miss Valencia 2012.  A half-Pinay, half-Dutch, Sheryl competed in the Miss World 2006 in Poland. “Sheryl Lynn is in the Philippines for her Sheryl Lynn Foundation. This foundation was started by Sheryl when she was Miss Netherlands and she wanted to use her title not only for herself but also for the people who are in need in the Philippines. She is now in Leyte with her mother Susana Paderes-Baas,” reported Bared’s VRS.

Seen: Miss Ubay 2012 is Melody Macalolot. The yearly pageant was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Ubay. Also seen during the pageant were Ubay Mayor Eutiquio Bernales, Rotarians Greenie Aumentado, Leah Tirol-Magno, Irena Heberer, Rose Soy, Louela Bantol and Bohol’s first lady Pureza Chatto. 

Scene:  The Valencia Residents of Southern California (VALRESCA) celebrated their annual Señor Santo Niño Fiesta at the City of Buena Park, California on January 21. The show was hosted by Dr. Corazon C. Medina.

Seen: Boholano actress and performer Lailette Geulen-Boiser will be seen on Biritera (The Belter), an upcoming Philippine musical drama aired on GMA Network starring Dennis Trillo, Glaiza de Castro and Angelika dela Cruz. It is directed by another Boholano award-winning director Maryo J. de los Reyes. Lailette was last seen on GMA’s Time of My Life.

You didn’t know that one of the beauties in Rotary’s Santacruzan (a popular religious festival in the country as the highlight of the month-long celebration of Flores de Mayo during the month of May, and is considered to be the "Queen of Filipino Festivals") is a Panglaoanon, did you? I first heard about it last year when I was in Alona Beach for a spree. It was Bohol’s seasoned host and personality guru Raul Gatal who told me that the Reyna Elena or Queen Helena (the discoverer of the true Cross, symbolized by the small cross she carries) is one of Panglao’s beautiful young ladies. I got curious and interested when Raul said she could be a future beauty queen.

Anyway, the Reyna Elena is none other than Candy Cumayas, who is pure Panglaoanon. Raul sent me a nice story about Candy. Here’s Raul’s report:

Tall and Tan and Young and Lovely. Except that she’s not from Ipanema. This sweet 5’ 8” sixteener who has a pair of kilometric legs that could go on for miles and miles is from our very own Alona Beach in Tawala, Panglao.

Who is she? She is Candy Cumayas, the middle of three children of Marcosa Horcerada-Cumayas and the late Fernando Cumayas. She is presently in her sophomore year taking BS Tourism Management at the Holy Name University.

Why the course? Candy foresees the time that she will take over their tourism oriented- family businesses; Spiked Coconut Bar, one of the hottest party places in Alona Beach noted for its acoustic music, and Mhar’s Paradise, a quaint bed and breakfast inn 

Born under the zodiac sign of Aquarius, Candy is creative, funny, gifted with a sense of humor and whiles away her time by strumming her guitar.

Candy Cumayas
When asked who her greatest inspiration is, she said it’s her mom Marcosa who single-handedly raised her and her siblings when their dad met his untimely demise.

With her facial beauty that resembles Assunta de Rossi in her younger years, statuesque figure and towering height, she was asked if she has plans of joining beauty pageants. “I reluctantly joined the 2011 Miss Panglao Pageant after the organizers led by SK Panglao Chair Aya Montero discovered me during the Rotary 2011 Santacruzan where I reigned as Reyna Elena. To my surprise, I made the Top Eight and was voted as Miss Globe and Face of the Night. Hopefully, with luck, timing and ample preparation, I just might join again and win a crown next time,” said Candy.

Who knows? With the right mentor and if it’s destined for her, Candy Cumayas just might be the next Panglaoanon to make a splash in the Binibining Pilipinas pageant!

And get to know a little more about Candy as she "plays favorites."

• ACTOR (foreign): Taylor Lautner

• ACTRESS (foreign): Angelina Jolie

• ACTORS (local): Coco Martin

• ACTRESS (local): Angel Locsin

• MOVIE: Twilight trilogy, Harry Potter series, Sherlock Holmes

• TV SHOWS (foreign): Glee, America’s Next Top Model

• TV SHOW (local): Showtime

• SONG: A Thousand Years

• SINGER(s) (foreign): JLo

• SINGER(s) (local): Kean Cipriano and Sitti

• CRUSH: A Mr. Teen Bohol winner

• HIDEAWAY: Secluded part of Alona Beach

• HOBBIES: Guitar- strumming

• RECIPE(s): Leche Flan

• TIME OF DAY: wee hours of the morning

• DAY OF THE WEEK: Thank God It’s Friday! (LOL)

• RESTAURANT: Golden Cowrie Restaurant

• BEAUTY PARLOR: David’s Salon

• FOOD (Filipino): lechon

• DRINK(s): Iced Tea

• FRUIT: Watermelon

• FLOWER: Red roses for they represent romance and passion.

• COLOR: White for it represents cleanliness. I’m a neat freak.

• HANGOUT: Alona Beach

• CITY: Of course, the City of friendship, Tagbilaran!

• FRIENDS: Too many to mention!

• SUBJECTS (in school): Accounting and English

• AUTHOR: Nicholas Sparks

• PART OF HER FACE: My tantalizing eyes.

• PART OF A BOY’S BODY: The arms!


• EXPRESSION: Buak ra ang show!
Valencia Residents of Southern California fiesta

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

A misty-eyed look at Ubi Fest


Scene: There were only 8 candidates for Miss Ubi Festival Queen 2012. At least 18 towns in Bohol are known as ubi country.

Seen: Kinampay was the best seller during the 12th Ubi fest. Ubi kinampay is still the queen of all varieties because it can fetch the high price in the market. It has purple flesh color and aroma.

Seen: There were no balitaw and ubi cuisine contests during the Ubi fest.

Seen:  Alburquerque Central Elementary School is one of the twelve (12) finalists nationwide in the P&G e.Studyante program. It is one of the four schools in the Visayas and the only one Bohol. To vote: Log onto Facebook and search for e.Studyante.

Seen: A Boholana was featured on Yahoo Philippines homepage last week. Ma. Laurice “Darling” Jamero was rated top pick to click among the 12 Y! Rocks breakthrough acts for 2011.


With the 12th Ubi Festival over and done with, let’s loosen up a bit and play a fun game which I’m calling “How well do you know the ubi?” Ready?

1. What is the scientific name of ubi or purple yam?
Answer: Dioscorea alata

2. What are the other names of ubi?
Answer: Ubi is also known as ubi jam, food for the gods, purple yam and sweet lavender.

3. True or false: Ubi is sacred in Bohol.
Answer: We venerate it! We kiss it whenever it accidentally falls on the ground.

4. True or false. Bohol is the largest ubi producer in the country.
Answer: True. 66 percent of the total ubi production in the country comes from Central Visayas, and over half of that comes from Bohol making it the leader of ubi production in the Philippines.

5. Who is the Miss Ubi Queen Festival 2012?
Answer: Jade Nica Obedencio

If you’re able to answer all the questions, you were there at the Ubi fest!

And it seems like it was yesterday when I saw balitaw (a traditional song and dance courtship strategy in the olden times), kuradang, balak and all ubi varieties (kinampay, kabus-ok, iniling, tam-isan, baligonhon, binanag, binugas/gimna, binato, apale, cagay-anon, bot, kot and lema,); heard Onie Oclarit’s Ubi Festival jingle; and listened to ubi folklore and cultural traditions in Bohol. How time flies noh?  
As the country’s ubi capital, the Ubi festival was patterned as an eco-tourism event that showcases ubi products, contests and cultural shows featuring ubi. It doesn't showcase street dancing (but organizers can consider it in the near future), but zooms in on the development of ubi products or the entrepreneurial aspect of ubi's existence.

We consider ubi a “sacred” crop. In fact, when I accidentally lose the ubi I bought from Plaza Rizal, our neighbor Moning Aquino shouted, “Ginoo! Hagki jud nang ubi para dili ta gabaan sa Ginoo!” And Manang Tasing had to put an ubi on the altar. According to our elders, when anyone accidentally drops an ubi to the ground or table, they would utter an apology and kiss it as a sign of reverence and respect, so you will not be inflicted with 'gaba' (wrath or misfortune).

Why we kiss the ubi? Historian and cultural icon Jose Marianito Luspo has an explanation. “I think the practicing of kissing the ubi originated as a form of psychological way to make people respect a very important root crop for us. It is interesting to know that among the people of the Philippines, it is the Boholanos who had the long and intimate relationship with the crop. Boholanos learned to revere it… in a very special way, ubi is considered more useful than rice…”

Sir Luspo added that during the World War II and several famines, it is said that ubi was the only crop that grew in Bohol soil that saved the Boholanos from death, thus their great respect for it, so much so that it's the only staple food included in their Bohol hymn.

The Ubi festival gives an opportunity to the young generation to grasp of the traditions involving ubi culture like one would have to do chanting or incantations before he or she plants the tuber. Call it palihi, our elders said it’s effective.

The historical significance of the ubi crop to the Boholano is described by a Jesuit missionary Fr. Ignacio Alcina, S.J. In his Historia de las islas e.indios de Bisayas”: The so-called Ubi, which are numerous in kind, color and shape. The larger ones are called kinampay and are mulberry in color. The Ubi are the chief staple of the island of Bohol and other islands (Dauis / Panglao Island) where they yield abundantly and very well.” In addition, Fr. Blancos Flora de Pilipinas mentioned the best variety of ubi, is Cebu Ubi which comes from Bohol.

On the beauty aspect, the Ubi Festival has the search for Miss Ubi Festival Queen. The Miss Ubi Queen Festival is supposed to act as ambassador of goodwill and must be well-versed on information about the ubi so she can help in its promotion.

One beauty (and brains) contest sorely missed by beauty-watchers is the Miss Ubi Festival Queen launched in 2000 and “scrapped” in 2006 much to the sadness of its followers. Miss Ubi usually picked candidates from the towns which are “ubi” country (Alburquerque, Antequera, Baclayon,  Corella, Dagohoy,  Dauis, Dimiao , Garcia-Hernandez, Jagna,  Loay, Loboc, Mabini, Maribojoc, Panglao, Sikatuna, Tagbilaran, Ubay and Valencia) from whom the winner is chosen in a pageant, promoting, yes of course, ubi. The winners, as Bared’s beauty watcher Bohol’s seasoned host and personality guru Raul Gatal puts it, “the beauty of the Boholana can be likened to that of our very own ubi. Seemingly in the outside is just like any other but in the inside is sensitive, sweet, steadfast because of life’s adversities have given her that distinct uniqueness. Just like the ubi which thrives best under the most harsh environment which results in its texture and delicate flavor that have been tempered by the most unforgiving terrain.” And, if I may add, they combined the modesty, femininity and sophistication of a modern Boholana.

Pinky Gica Beldia–Socias was the first Miss Ubi Festival Queen in 2000 which was held in Dauis town.

The very eloquent Rhiz Nova Tagsip Arenas of Inabanga (who became Miss Bohol Sandugo 2004) was declared Miss Ubi Festival Queen 2004. She was famous for her line, “Basta ubi Bohol, basta Bohol ubi."

1999 Miss Universe 1st runner-Up Miriam Quiambao was amazed of the sweet and purple-colored ubi kinampay when she visited Dauis in 2008. LPU
Unfortunately, after January 2004, there has been no search because of lack of funds. Interest in the Miss Ubi Festival Queen waned once more in the succeeding years even in this supposed beauty contest-crazy province.

Last week, Jade Nica Obedencio of Balilihan got everyone excited again when she was declared Miss Ubi Festival Queen 2012 in a low-budgeted and less fanfare search. However, it was such a happy event for Boholano beauty watchers who were watching the 8 candidates with their winning smiles. There was a collective heave of a call for a yearly Miss Ubi Festival Queen with a topnotch production. But how?

“Miss Ubi contestants should have talents focused on ubi…culinary, visual and performing arts. Schools should be required to attend, too. Script and concept for each segment should incorporate the ubi element to set it apart from other pageants. Trivia questions can be included too to heighten and arouse interest in respect for the ubi,” said Raul.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

It’s more fun in Bohol because…

Days before the Department of Tourism launched its latest “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign, our family had the fun this New Year as we visited the town of Loboc for fun and adventure.  Indeed, it’s more, more, more fun in Bohol! (Many thanks to my cousin Shiela Olorvida-Glaring and her husband Martin for the treat!)

Forget about the six-decade-old Swiss tourism advertisement because whatever it is, we can always claim the slogan, "It's more fun in the Philippines," because it is true.

I got the idea from Tessie Labunog-Sumampong when she tagged me on Facebook the promotional video of the Philippines, “It’s more fun in the Philippines” where the famous Loboc River was included.

Trivia, also from Tessie: Filipinos have been posting photos of the country at its most beautiful—festivals, scenic spots, cuisine, people, you name it. And some are really "crazy" but still funny memes, er, celebrating Pinoy creativity.

So with the DOT in mind, I asked some personalities and friends to give their answers: It’s more fun in Bohol because…

More than half of those asked simply didn’t answer. Here are those who did:

Pureza Chatto, Bohol’s First Lady- She is blessed with the beauty of nature and she entrusted to a group of people who have the heart to take care of her beauty, the mind to enhance her beauty and the will to keep her beauty as magnificent as ever for generation after generation to make a life, to enjoy, and to be grateful.

Jessica Soho, TV Personality/GMA News- There is nothing more pristine and pure than the Loboc River and the voices of the Loboc Children’s Choir.

Rovilson Fernandez, TV Personality/Model- The air is fresher, the sand is softer, the smiles are brighter and the hills are more chocolateeey. Who can argue with that?

Alex Santos, TV Personality/ABS-CBN News- You can grab hills of chocolate there.

Melchor Daniel, Teacher- Everything is here.

Larry Marshall, Singer/Businessman- Panglao is there.

Loida Lagonoy, Beauty Queen-It’s the safest place in the country. No NPAs, typhoons or earthquakes.

Dr. Rhenz Acedo, Orthodontist- You can enjoy and live a life full of adventure. From hills to the sea shore, rivers  till the ocean life. Every thing is still so virgin. Its life a little paradise where you never want to escape from.

EJ Relampagos, Fashion Icon- Most of the people I love are here.

Joven Menorias, Travel and Tours Specialist- Where you find peace and serenity.

John Maraguinot, Government Consultant/Youth Achiever- Fiestas are like no other.

Tessie Labunog-Sumampong, Proprietor of Loboc Riverwatch- Of Riverwatching!

Morres Sarabia, Music Genius/Band Leader- Of the Bilwaboys and the Rabadab Connection, calamay-dub style.

JunJun Karaan, Nurse- There’s no place like Bohol which has a tricycle for house to house and door to door rides.

Atty. Gregory Delgado, Lawyer/Runner- You can survive the whole month of May without money because there are town and barrio fiestas.

Doris Dinorog-Obena, Community Leader- You can see and visit more exciting sights with less travel time because traffic is not a problem and you can go around the 10th largest island of the Philippines in five hours.

Councilor Kit Oppus, Councilor/Women’s Advocate- Fun means, to me, friends you need. It’s the people that make Bohol fun.

Joseph Lemuel Camacho, Government Employee- Of the amazing beauty of nature and culture and traditions of the Boholanos.

Reigh Monreal, Pres. Of Bohol Society of Tourism Officers/2011 CPG Awardee for Cultural Advocacy-  Nature’s beauty, rich culture, and creative and warm-hearted people beautifully combine to keep tourists coming!

Sam Penaso, Visual/Performance Artist- Kilalang may tarsier, Chocolate Hills, masarap daw makapangasawa ng Bol-anon sabi sa kanta, at namiss ko ang bayle sa tibuok kalibutan pero mukhang wala na ata ngayon, at maligo sa dagat kaya malapit lang kami nakatira diyan.

Val Santiago, TV News Producer- Enjoy ang Loboc river cruise! Sarap ng buffet, hinaharana ka pa!

Aldrin Avergonzado, Globe Customer Care Representative- It’s like a paradise.

Tintin Ng, Actress- Bohol is one of the best tourist destinations in the world. It’s more fun to experience Bohol during the Sandugo Festival.  

Dennis Balbero, Cultural Icon-  Rich in culture, arts and heritage.

Mayor Niño Rey Boniel-  Of the underwater grotto in Bien Unido!

Mayumi Lugod, Beauty Queen/UNTV Host- Boholanos are so warm and hospitable. Tourists spots are amazing and unique. Bohol is the best place to relax.

Rammel Decasa, Runner/Adventurer- We have cultural, historical and adventure. Meaning completos recados. All in one tourist destination.

Tracy Torres, Make-up artist/Hairstylist-  Bohol has it all. If you’re a fan of history, you can visit Baclayon Church and the Blood Compact site. If you love animals, come see the macaque monkeys, dolphins and the famous tarsier. If you love adventure, come to Danao’s adventure, swim and dive at Panglao Island. If you live the city night life, come to Tagbilaran City. If you’re a romantic, dine at Loboc floating restaurant. And if you want world-famous, climb the chocolate hills. So if you want to have fun and you want to have it all, come to Bohol! Because Bohol has it all!

Dianne Uy, Businesswoman-  Of Island City Mall!

Ariel Fullido, Publicist- You can poke a tarsier in your palm, sale one of the chocolate hills, run a marathon along Panglao beaches. Crunch a Peanut Kisses. And party at Lazer!

John Consulta, TV News Reporter- With the exciting encounter with tarsier, breathtaking scenery of the majestic Chocolate Hills, and precious friends, you just can’t get enough.

Dominic Aparicio, Adventurer- A lot of beautiful scenery like beaches and adventure tour, and most of all it’s more fun when you get involve with the people who are friendly and hospitable. Just like me, it’s more fun  if you are with me. Yahooo! it’s more fun!

Ahd Marco-Bautista, TV News Executive Producer- Of the Choco hills, Loboc River cruise, honey spread of Bee Farm and my sister’s farm is there!

Jojo Alegre Buron, DYHP Radio Personality-  Has a beautiful and romantic beaches!

Annie Arcay, Resort Owner- We have a lot to will enjoy both the mountains and the seas!

Lourdes Talosig-Bartolome, TV Senior Desk Officer- It’s LOL in Bohol!

Piux Jabinez, Student- There are lots of wonderful places to visit.

Butch Bernas, Teacher-  A one package tour, fun-filled adventures and many more. A one stop and have it all!

Rep. Rene Relampagos-  Of its people!

Leah Tirol-Magno, UB Registrar/Internet Princess- Koja in Caingget Beach is yummy!

Blair Panong, Event Organizer- We have sexier sunrise and sunset.

Guy Bernaldez, PR Specialist- I get to do all the things that I enjoy like swimming, dining out, nature tripping and clubbing without having to travel far.

Jocelyn Pilayre, Businesswoman-  It’s tarsierus!

Karen Batuhinay, Cebu Pacific Operations-  Only in Bohol where airplane landing feels like you re bungee jumping or riding a roller coaster. Blag! Keeps you on the edge of your seat.

ArieLlanos, Metro Centre Front Desk Officer-  Everything is in here… white beaches, warm people and nice scenery. Bohol is considered as the tourist haven in Asia.

Dr. Homer Singco, Veterinarian- Nice beaches, friendly and kind people.

Edward Guyano aka Inday Charity, Radio Personality- Tourists are enjoying their trips.

Boy Pernia, Consultant- You both have the mountains and the sea to experience. Its magical and fun!

Rhea Alba, NGO/Community Worker- Of the hospitality and musicality of its people..di ako pang tourism pero I love your place.

Leslie Ramirez, Bank Teller/Businesswoman-  There is no place like home.

Mayor Oliver Yu- Bohol has it all. Name it, and we have it, adventures thrills, nature at is best, the people around, ambience, and many, many more.

Mary Anne Aparece-Verga, DILG Officer/Mother- My family and true friends are here.

Musette Hontanosas, Businesswoman- It’s a one stop shop, countryside, seaside, with ‘fiestas’ everyday in May, habal-habals everywhere, most of all, it’s where you can get my PEANUT NUGGETS, tasty, crunchy, delicious Boholano delicacy!

Jose Marianito Luspo, Cultural Icon/Teacher- Because Boohl is just WOW!

Remus Mark Carballo, Travel Specialist- The fun rolls from the top of the hills to the bottom of the sea.

Adonis Damalerio, DILG Officer- You will never go hungry especially on fiesta time!

Atty. Handel Lagaunay-  You can have a good time with the family.

Dr. Nenita Po, GCGRMH Chief of Hospital-  Boholanos are beautiful people inside out!

Vera Villocido Gesite, Consultant-  Of the sun and the beaches, the rivers and the hills, caves and tarsiers, stone churches and watchtowers, habal-habal and tricycles, BQ and ICM, island hopping, great food, nice families and good friends.

Flor Mesina, Government Employee-  We are known for being hospitable and friendly, asife from the beauty spots that we have in Bohol.

Maryo de los Reyes, Award-winning Director- I farm in the island!

Edik Dolotina, Consultant/Artist- There is one way to see everything- Bohol.

Danny Tamayo, TV Producer-  There are lots of things to enjoy and explore. An experience you’ll never forget.

Fatima Mapesos, Government Employee- We’ve got a lot to offer better than other destinations. It’s fun to take adventures like EAT Danao, fun to enjoy natural beauty like the Choco Hills and beautiful beaches. And it’s more fun  to cherish Boholano lifestyle because there’s warmth of friendship like fiesta  and festivities.

Judith Uy-Sumatra, Government Worker- Basta! it's more fun in Bohol!

Gabriel Medel, Businessman- Of the Boholanos!

Jeycelle Espejo Inting, Teacher/OFW- Bohol's like a Five star hotel...

Liza Azil - We are known for being hospitable and friendly, aside from the beauty spots that we have here in Bohol....

Sam Pingkian, Sales/Marketing Consultant- You can stay in a cheapest places to live and also the most beautiful and exotic destination where u can live well for less.

Che Rubrico, Wife- Because it's where my heart belongs! Truly a little paradise where my family and most of my friends live. Beautiful Bohol!

Jerome Magallen, Guidance Counselor- Bohol is truly WOW! Wealth of Wonders!

Marc Christopher Labastilla- Naa tay chix dha!!!period.:-)

Ryan Sines, Hairstylist- ‎It’s my yutang gi paradise..char!

Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter or email at Facebook.