Sunday, February 26, 2012

G is for Gloria Penales Pabualan

Scene: Today, Feb. 26, is the monthly final of Island City Mall's Mannequins Live-A-Model Search 2012 at the Activity Center, 5.p.m. Five hunks and five babes will compete for the monthly title. “It’s a modeling search to select models that can be part of our promo ads (print) and at the same time to discover new set of model-talents,” says Ritchel Mutia of AGC’s marketing group.
Seen: The Bourne Legacy fever is heating up and guess who showed up catching some sun in Bohol? None other than International actors Louis Ozawa Changchien and Jackie Chung. “They visited the Loboc River, the tarsier and the Chocolate Hills,” says Bared’s roving VRS. “They are also enjoying the white sandy beach on Eskaya Beach Resort,” adds VRS. The fourth installment of the smash-hit Bourne Identity (based on the best-selling trilogy by Robert Ludlum) was shot in Manila.
Scene: Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV was the guest of honor during the Samahang Magdalo Tagbilaran City Chapter general assembly yesterday, Feb. 25 at Cogon gym, Tagbilaran City.
Louis Ozawa Changchien and Jackie Chung
Scene: The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-7) conducted an experimental test blast fishing last Thursday, February 24 at BFAR-7 Regional Fisheries and Development Center in Calape town. The experiment was to determine the impact of blast fishing at the different development stages of fishes as well as the various damages caused by blast fishing.  BFAR Dir. Asis Perez says, “We have a small country, we are totally dependent on fisheries and BFAR will do everything to stop it.
Scene:  Exactly 30 days after she was born, Arriane Athena Toroy made her formal entrance into the Christian world last Feb. 12, 10 a.m.,  at the San Antonio De Padua Parish , Ubujan District, Tagbilaran City, the place where she lives with her parents, Aris and Venus Toroy.
Scene: The 80 pregnant mothers on “Buntis Party” of the Island City Mall held last week. From nurse Junjun Karaan: The event was for the pregnant employees of Alturas Group of Companies whether agency based like pregnant lady guard and tenants or promodisers or Alturas employees like sales clerk or cashiers, etc. They are given importance by the Alturas Company with the effort of Alturas Group of Companies Medical team midwife and nurses. We are conducting Buntis Party yearly; however, it was just this year that it was held at the ICM Activity Center to accommodate public pregnant mothers. There was a lecture from Dra. Formilleza about pre-natal care and family planning. There were games such as the largest tummy, bring me a picture of your husband and the sexiest pregnant mom. The event was sponsored by Trust company and IMAP lying centers.
Sixty looking Sweet Sixteen is Gloria Penales Pabualan who celebrates her 60th birthday. Photo by Mikey Gatal  
Unfazed by her back-breaking job as a nurse, Gloria Penales Pabualan, amazes many people by looking forever young. Looking at her, it seems unthinkable that Gloria, still called simply and fondly Glo for short, is sixty last Feb. 18.
How does she manage to look so young?
“Laugh often, be with friends, love more, love everyone, sleep well and lots of sunscreen,” she said.
And exercise and a healthy diet.
She doesn’t feel 60 at all. “Sixty? I don’t feel 60. It’s just a number to me. I act young, I dress young. I only think I’m 60 when I see my gray hair and some wrinkles,” said Gloria, who wanted to become a businesswoman and a singer. (Well, she could carry a tune but she eventually turned out to be not a singer but a great nurse.)
Gloria with hubby Manny Pabualan Photo by Mikey Gatal
She has a great husband Manuel "Manny" Pabualan who loves her dearly. Their son Jr. and daughters Glyness and Maegan are successful in their chosen fields.
Glo thought she could get away with letting her 60th birthday slip by unnoticed. But her family believed she deserved to celebrate it – with a bang.
“We had a big group celebrating a birthday event. Service went well and we did family style. The food was very tasty,” said Glo’s friend, US-based Boholano socialite Mikey Gatal, who’s busy in line dancing (which is very famous in America).
There was a surprise birthday song from the grandkids.
“I thought I was going to cry,” she said, touched by the show of affection.
Gloria and her friends
The birthday girl’s wish? “I am happy to have all my kids finished college already, having a wonderful husband and happy people surrounding me. When I arrived here in America, it was my dream of getting my sisters and brothers to see America, so I petitioned them and now they are here.”
Here is Mikey to share her story:
Gloria Penales Pabualan was born in Dauis, Bohol on February 18, 1952 but moved to Panglao where her mother (Baning) was a teacher. She went to school at Tawala during her elementary days and finished high school at Divine Word College now (HNU).

Her father Agustin Penales wants her to become a nurse so that she can go abroad (America), the only way she can help her family and younger brothers and sisters to go to school. They are nine in the family, she doesn't want to be a nurse, says Gloria because she likes to be in the business world or accounting where she can have her own office and a personal secretary someday.

She went to study nursing at the Bohol Provincial School of Nursing per parents wishes, graduated at the age of 20 and then worked at Cebu Doctors Hospital at the same time went to Southwestern University Cebu City to finish her BSN.

Gloria came to United States of America unexpectedly. She was sleeping at that time because of a night work shift when a friend of hers woke her up to go to Magellan Hotel for an interview to go to America. She passed the interview, arrived in Arkansas on March 1974 at the age of 21 and the rest is history.

She recently celebrated her 60th birthday in Texas, USA with family and friends. She is married to Manuel "Manny" Pabualan with three successful kids. I personally thanked the family and especially to Lilia Penales Olano for bringing me to Texas, my first time ever. The Penales Hunks Venn Maderazo Penales, Neal John Penales Romero and Marvin Penales Olano performed "Moves Like Jagger."

I'm looking forward to coming back and visit H-town again!
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter or email at Facebook.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Richard Gutierrez in Bohol; 2 Boholana in Bb. Pilipinas 2012; Triplets celebrfate 84th birthday

• Richard Gutierrez spends Valentine's Day in Bohol
• 2 Boholana beauties in Bb. Pilipinas 2012 tilt
• Phl’s oldest surviving triplets celebrate 84th birthday
Scene: The delegates of the CFC Singles for Christ International Convention held at CPG Sports Complex on Feb. 17-19.
Scene: Catch KC Concepcion in a benefit concert for victims of typhoon Sendong on Feb. 24, 7 p.m. at the Bohol Wisdom gym.  Tickets are available at Php1, 000, Php500 and Php300 student price (good for two). This is a project of the Holy Spirit School Federated Parents-Teachers Association.
Scene: From Pinay Adiong: Please help us campaign for more votes for the Alburquerque Central Elementary School here - Click on the Like then it will open to a page - click install, allow, vote enter your personal info, click I agree, click Register, then click on +1vote on Alburquerque Central Elementary School - 3  votes a day per FB account up to Feb. 20!
Scene: Feliz compleaƱos to erstwhile Mayor Joe Torralba, Walter Toston, Dr. Cyrilda Tallo, Maximiel, Feb. 9; Tagbilaran City Councilor Ann Mariquit Oppus, Feb. 10; Atty. Zoilo Dejaresco, Jr., Tagbilaran City Mayor Dan Lim, Lloyd Guttierez and Dr. Antonio Porticos, Feb. 11; Raul Gatal, Feb. 12; Valentino Gamutin, Atty. Handel Lagunay, Joselino Baritua, Gary Silagan and Fr. Val Pinlac, Feb. 14; Melchor Daniel, Feb. 15; Engr. Jes Tirol, Elvie Macalandag, Louella Husain and 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.
Who is Richard Gutierrez dating on Valentine’s Day?
Kapuso actor Richard Gutierrez celebrates Valentine’s Day with the schoolkids of Guiwanon Elem. School in Baclayon town. LPU

On Valentine’s Day, it is always fun to find out which celebrity is dating who. One is Richard Gutierrez.
The Kapuso actor was spotted in Bohol on Valentine’s Day. Richard was not dating someone but he was with the kids of Guiwanon Elementary School in Baclayon (hometown of actor Cesar Montano) who are the recipients of the Bikes for the World initiated by Jo Grant and Joel Uichico.
Richard formally gave the 600 bikes to the schoolkids who walk to school.
Richard also visited Pamilacan Island. He also attended the coronation rites at Laya Elementary School and Baclayon Central Elementary School crowning the Valentine’s 2012 queens.
“What better we do celebrate with the kids in Bohol. It's a great opportunity for me,” Richard told Bared.
Did she bring “someone” in his Bohol visit?  “Nope, I am celebrating Valentine’s with my friends."
Boholana beauties in Bb. Pilipinas Final Cut
Actually, there were three Boholana beauties who underwent training for the Binibing Pilipinas 2012: Miss University of Bohol 2006 and Miss TBTK 2006 Loida Lagonoy, Miss Ubay 2007 Karen Gallman and Miss Tagbilaran 2010 and Miss Bohol Sandugo 2010 1st runner-up Fer Mary Baliquig.
Karen and Fer joined other 100 wannabes who met the deadline for the submission of application forms to this year’s search of the three Bb. Pilipinas who will represent the country in the Miss Universe, Miss International and Miss Tourism pageants. However, Loida didn’t continue the training and pass her application.
Last week, Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI) chair Stella Marquez de Araneta announced the 30 official candidates including Karen and Fer.
According to beauty watchers, Fer, 5'8", “could snatch one of the crowns.”
 “She is already one of the early favorites for the Miss Philipines- Universe title,” said Bohol’s seasoned host and personality guru Raul Gatal.
Some people say that Karen, 5’7”, looks like Miss Universe 2010 Ximena Navarrete. “This Boholana-Australian is really a head turner,” says one fan.
“Her official number is number 1, I hope she will make an impact right away considering the number she picked,” said US based socialite and beauty watcher Mikey Gatal.
The big question is: Will they follow the footsteps, if not surpass, the record of Anna Maris Igpit (2006) who represented the country in Miss World, first princess Rich Asuncion (2009) and first runner-up Perla Salig-Teves (1979)? Again, we keep our collective fingers crossed.
Launched in 1964, the Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant has become the biggest and most anticipated beauty event participated in by hundreds of aspirants nationwide.
The new set of winners will be crowned during a glittering coronation night that will be held on April 15 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and will be aired live on ABS-CBN.
Phl’s oldest triplets celebrate 84th birthday
The oldest triplets in Bohol and probably in the Philippines (from left to right) Maria Cleofe, Maria Salome and Maria Magdalena Buagas, known as Tres Marias, have shown that they have no intentions of slowing down – by celebrating their 84th birthday. Inset: Three's a crowd, the old photo of the girls circa 1930s. LPU
The triplets who are thought to be the oldest in Bohol have celebrated their 84th birthday together - as well as their unique status as being the only of their kind in the country.
Maria Magdalena, Maria Salome and Maria Cleofe Buagas were born in 1928, an event that was a shock to their parents; Lucio Buagas, a farmer, and his wife Feliciana Lumain.

Their birth was years before ante-natal scans. The triplets, who are identical, caused a stir when they were born in the Poblacion, Corella town.
The triplets were nicknamed "Tres Marias" in the community because people could not tell them apart. At Corella Elementary School, they sat far from each other in class so the teacher would not mix them up. They were all dressed the same by their mother who died when they were seven years old.
What are their secrets to longevity? The Tres Marias still share a strong bond, which they say is the secret behind their long life. And of course, proper diet.
Maria Salome said: "Musimba mi sa simbahan kay dili nato angay kalimtan ang Ginoo (We go to church and we don’t forget the Lord)”.
Maria Cleofe: “Dili mi mawad-an og utan ug ubang lagutmon, dili mawala ang law-oy (We eat vegetables and root crops. We also have vegetable stew.).”
Maria Magdalena: “Unya tagsa ra mi mukaon og karne (We rarely eat meat).”
Maria Magdalena and Maria Cleofe Buagas who still live in Poblacion, Corella, and Maria Salome Buagas-Pondoc who lives in La Paz, Cortes town, celebrated their birthday with family and friends on Thursday afternoon.
They show no signs of slowing down or crankiness usually equated with age.

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Their favorite pick-up lines for Valentine’s

Seen: Tessie Labunog-Sumampong (of Loboc Riverwatch) and her family are spotted in the US. “They are having a great time here in California. Next week, they will visit New York,” says the US-based VRS. “The other day, Tessie and hubby Libby, Hazel Marie Labunog, Miguel and Melecia Labunog visited the Napa Valley, home of the finest wines in the world,” adds VRS. A website says on Napa Valley, “Breathtaking views abound at every turn – mustard in the late winter, picturesque rolling hills planted with vineyards year-round and wineries of every stature dot the landscape.”

Scene: Condolence to the family of Mrs. Asuncion “Asun” Mira, trustee and treasurer of the University of Bohol (UB). Maam Asun passed away on Feb. 9. “You will surely be missed Maam Asun. You have helped a lot of people and touched a lot of hearts and lives. You are certainly loved by many. That place will never be the same again. Your kindness, generosity, sweet words, listening and caring heart, compassion and many more good things about you, will always be remembered and kept in our hearts. You’re ever so understanding and considerate to others' needs. God will surely reward you for all these. We love you Maam Asun!” says Leah Tirol-Magno, UB Registrar, on Facebook.

Scene: A magnitude 6.9 quake rocked the provinces of Negros Oriental and Cebu that left a number of residents dead and many others missing. The strong earthquake was also felt in Bohol on Feb. 6, 2012. Memorable earthquakes that hit Bohol: May 27, 1996 (5.6 magnitude) and January 8, 2009 (6.8 magnitude). The earthquake on February 8, 1990 (magnitude 6.8 at 3:15 pm) was the worst- six people died, 200 were injured and 7,000 were homeless. Phivocs reports that Six fatalities were reported and more than 200 were injured in the event. About 46,000 people were displaced by the event and at least 7,000 among them were rendered homeless. Estimated damage to properties is amounting to 154 million pesos.


Couple Tessie and Libby Sumampong of the famous Loboc Riverwatch are in the US for a vacation. Photos show Tessie and Libby at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge…and with their family at the Napa Valley wine country.

Let’s start this Valentine’s Day with a little story (told to me by my nephew YakYak who read it on Facebook):

“A Letter from Mom and Dad”

My child,

When I get old, I hope you understand and have patience with me. In case I break the plate, or spill soup on the table because I’m losing my eyesight, I hope you don’t yell at me. Older people are sensitive, always having self pity when you yell. When my hearing gets worse and I can’t hear what you’re saying, I hope you don’t call me ‘Deaf!’ Please repeat what you said or write it down. I’m sorry, my child. I’m getting older.

When my knees get weaker, I hope you have the patience to help me get up. Like how I used to help you while you were little, learning how to walk.

Please bear with me, when I keep repeating myself like a broken record, I hope you just keep listening to me.

Please don’t make fun of me, or get sick of listening to me. Do you remember when you were little and you wanted a balloon? You repeated yourself over and over until you get what you wanted.

Please also pardon my smell. I smell like an old person. Please don’t force me to shower. My body is weak. Old people get sick easily when they’re cold. I hope I don’t gross you out.

Do you remember when you were little? I used to chase you around because you didn’t want to shower.
I hope you can be patient with me when I’m always cranky. It’s all part of getting old. You’ll understand when you’re older.

And if you have spare time, I hope we can talk even for a few minutes. I’m always all by myself all the time, and have no one to talk to. I know you’re busy with work.

Even if you’re not interested in my stories, please have time for me. Do you remember when you were little? I used to listen to your stories about your teddy bear. When the time comes, 'n I get ill 'n bedridden, I hope you have the patience to take care of me. I’m sorry if I accidentally wet the bed or make a mess.

I hope you have the patience to take care of me during the last few moments of my life. I’m not going to last much longer, anyway. When the time of my death comes, I hope you hold my hand and give me strength to face death.

And don’t worry… When I finally meet our Creator, I will whisper in His ear to bless you. Because you loved your Mom and Dad. Thank you so much for your care. We love you!

And here’s another love story:

The tale of a 70-year-old Chinese man who hand-carved over 6,000 stairs up a mountain for his 80-year-old wife has moved millions of people in 2006. The man passed away in the cave, which has been the couple's home for the last 50 years.

The story began half a century ago when 20-year-old Liu Guojiang fell in love with widowed mother Xu Chaoqing. In a twist worthy of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, friends and relatives criticized the relationship because of the age difference and the fact that Xu already had children. Desperate to escape market gossip and the scorn of their communities, the pair eloped to live in a cave in Jiangjin County in southwest China's Chongqing municipality.

At the beginning, life was harsh and Xu felt that she had tied Liu down and repeatedly asked him, "Are you regretful?"

Liu always replied, "As long as we are industrious, life will improve."

Liu and his wife were not present at the award ceremony due to their age, but their son, Liu Mingsheng, came with a kerosene lamp that his father had made from an ink bottle.

"My parents have lived in seclusion for more than 50 years because of their love for each other. They had no electricity and my father made kerosene lamps to lighten our lives," he said.

"My mother seldom goes down the mountain, but my father cut the 6,000-plus stairs for her convenience," Liu said. "It's a ladder of love."

Touching, isn’t it?

I’m sure you have your own “Valentine” stories. I have my own.

When I was in elementary, our grade four teacher Mrs. Magdalena S. Cespon taught us Valentine’s songs during break. I don’t know if how many of you have heard these songs and I wonder if my classmates in grade school (at Booy South Elem. School) can still remember or sing these songs:

"Mother's Valentine's Song"

Dearest child believe me you are truly my friend;
So today with gladness to you will I spend,
just a kind of friendship from this heart of mine that will tell you in words you are my Valentine.
This well it says, mother's heart is true and never will change the love she gives you.

Ako’y nagtanim ng laguerta sa puso,
Puso ang tinamnan puso ang tumubo
Puso ang namunga ibinunga’y puso
Puso ang kumitil kinitil ay puso.

Nguni’t ang puso ng magulang
Ang s’yang tunay na pagmamahal.

Love is a many-splendored thing!

Love will find a way.

Love conquers all.

Love makes the world go round.

Love isn't finding a perfect person. It's seeing an imperfect person perfectly.
Love is patient and kind.

Love can move mountains.

Di porket lumindol, end of the world na kaagad? Di ba pwedeng kinikilig lang ang mundo dahil malapit na ang Valentine's Day?

Want to hear some of the pick-up lines?

Trisha Chatto: Bakit kasi ang likut-likot mo? Iyan tuloy, natabig mo na nga puso ko, nahulog pa sa ‘yo.

Mayor Bertsal Salinas: Saging ka ba? Kasi para kong nadarama ang puso mo.

Leah Tirol-Magno: You are making me think. I may give you more than one. First: Ballpen ka ba? Kasi, di ko na matuloy maisulat ang estorya ng buhay ko kapag wala ka. Second: Asin ka ba? Kasi, walang lasa ang buhay ko pag wala ka!

Benjie Oliva: Boy: Bilangguan ka ba? Girl: Bakit? Boy: Kasi gusto kong ikulong mo ang puso ko sa iyo habang buhay!

Atty. Greg Delgado: “Sana keyboard nalang tayo para magkatabi ang U and I” and “Chief Justice ka ba? Hindi ko kasi maimpeach-impeach sa puso ko.”

Dodong Almedilla: I have none of my own, diha koy nadunggan: Lalaki: Menteryo ka ba? Babae: Bakit? Lalaki: Kasi patay na patay ako sa iyo.

Ryan Sines: Postiso ka va? Bakit? Coz I can’t smile without you.

Aida Tanghal: Ako ang cancer mo ug muabot sa imong life, din a mawagtang.

Fatima Mapesos: Musika ka ba? Dahil kulang ang araw ko pag di kita mahagilap at marinig tulad ng isang musika.

Emerson Pinos: Crayon ka ba? Kulayan mo nga ang buhay ko!

Marianne Chatto: Heart valve ka ba? Bakit? Laman ka ng puso ko!” and “Handa akong takbuhin ang mundo mo basta ang finish line sa puso mo.”

Karen Batuhinay: Pag-ibig Fund ka ba? Mo-loan unta kog lovelife nimo.

JunJun Karaan: Nurse ka ba? Bakit? Eh, kasi parang gusto kong mag-hire ng private nurse para magcare ng puso ko.

Tracy Torres: Hindi ko akalain pati ako natamaan sa economic crisis dahil pati ako nagmahal na rin. Coke ka ba? Everyday kasi ako happy.

Raul Gatal: Keyboard ka ba? Kasi type na type kita.

Joven Menorias: Kuto ka ba? Mag-hapon ka kasi nasa ulo ko.

Sam Pingkian: Ampalaya ka ba? Kasi kahit anong pait ang nararanasan ko sa iyo ikaw pa rin ang sustansya ng buhay ko.

Reigh Monreal: Lubi ka? Ganahan man gud kang pakudkod. Kudkod as in kugos or sapnay sa bukton.

Jea Dano: Asa ka? Dalha nalang ni akong heart beh.. hago kayo sige pangita nimo.

Bon Ryan Bongato:  It’s not the earthquake that shook me- it’s you who rocks my world.

Ariel Fullido: Ikaw ang susi ng puso ko! Bisan og matay-an na walay duplicate ikapuli kanimo.

Morres Sarabia: Relo ka ba? Bakit? Anong oras na? Boom!

Dorris Dinorog-Obena: Susi ka ba? Bakit? Nabuksan mo kasi ang nakalock kong pag-ibig.

Ariel Llanos: Sana exam ka! Bakit? Kasi para nasa isipan kita palagi.

Glenn Blasquez: I.D. ka ba? Bakit? Kasi kung sakaling mawala ka, alam nilang akin ka.

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

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Simon Greatwich of Azkals is proud Bol-anon


Scene: Catch Vice Ganda in a Valentine concert on Feb. 11, 2012 at the Verdant Pavilion of Panglao Island Nature Resort (PINR), with Jon Avila as special guest together with MC & Lassy. Show starts at 8 p.m. Call (038)-412-3964/411-2599 for inquiries.

Scene: From Vida May Tirol-De Juan: We are going to hold the Balut Beer ug Balak III on February 11, 2012, 7 p.m. at the Plaza Rizal in Tagbilaran City. Please get your poems and balak ready. You can read your own poem or somebody else's work. Please invite your friends, too!

Seen: The University of Bohol (UB) continues to reinforce its status as one of the country’s finest institutions in architecture and engineering education as one of its graduates takes the 8th spot in the 2012 Architecture Licensure Examination administered by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) held last week. Prime Daryl Calamba Deliman garnered the eight place with a rating of 83.60. UB graduates are known to perform well in architecture as well as engineering board exams. In 2006, Jess Cyril Chatto Siton placed second in architecture exam. This year, Deliman bested 822 other examinees from different colleges and universities nationwide.


Perhaps not many people knew that an Azkals member is a Bol-anon. It was Vera Velocido-Gesite a.k.a. Pinay Adiong, a Wikipedia editor and now Albur’s PR, who informed yours truly of the Azkals visit to Bohol and the interesting trivia that the Azkals member is kaliwat ni Dagohoy.
Simon Clive Barbon Greatwich: ‘I’m single!’

It’s 7 o’clock Monday morning and Simon Clive Barbon Greatwich, the midfielder of the Philippine Football Team, who arrived from Talisay City, Cebu for a football clinic (he distributed the 70 t-shirts donated by Teleformance to kids who are participating in the 8-a-side Mayor Eric Saratan Weekend Football League), was early for his “activities” in Alburquerque town for that day.

Contrary to what my friend Edward Guyano a.k.a. Inday Charity and I feared, Simon isn’t hard to interview. He is easy and breezy, very friendly, and is surprisingly more handsome than he looks on screen. Edward admits that “Simon is drop-dead gorgeous, sexy and impish that he makes you feel that he is vulnerable.” Edward adds, “He has dangerous puerile charm!

Simon Clive is the youngest of the Greatwich brothers. His elder siblings Christopher Robert, 28 and Philip Carlo, 25, are also football players.

Football is really famous in England, the perfect ground for breeding professional football players. It is a popular sport much like basketball in the Philippines.
With his drop-dead looks, Fil-Briton Azkals member 
Simon started playing football at a young age.

Growing up in Brighton, England, Simon was already learning the basics of football with the help of his father who was his first mentor. He used to watch the Premier League happening almost whole year round, and David Beckham is living just 74 kilometers or one hour and 31 minutes by car.

Simon’s mother, Carol, hails from Tagbuane, Alburquerque, Bohol but grew up in Davao, Cebu and Manila because of the nature of business of her father Camilo Dumagan Barbon. She flew to London and worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital where she met her husband Clive.

Simon, 23 (born on September 30 and a Dragon in the Chinese horoscope), along with other Azkal members like Phil and James Younghusbands, Aly Borromeo, Anton Del Rosario and Neil Etheridge, is getting a new lease on the limelight with the ascendance of soccer/football as the Filipinos’ new favorite spectator sport.
The Azkals have actually been on the field for quite a time now but it was only after they beat Vietnam in the 2008 AFF Suzuki Cup qualification, they became Crushes ng Bayan. It was their early fans who named the group Azkals because like the asong kalye (stray dogs) they were not getting financial support. The same thing happened to our footballers in Bohol. Years ago, I met erstwhile Garcia-Hernandez councilor Alvin Mangubat who organized football games in Bohol. Alvin devoted his time and money helping the players. In one instance, the footballers who had a game in Mindanao were stocked because the group had no money to buy tickets going back to Bohol. To save them, Alvin pawned his cellphone and jewelry. Unluckily, Alvin didn’t win in 2007 elections. Where is he now? Nobody knew.
The Greatwich family: (l-r) Dad Clive, Mom Carol, Simon,
Chris and Phil…

Wearing a Pacman shirt, Simon had “meet and greet” last Monday the teachers and pupils of Alburquerque Central Elementary School and LGU Alburquerque officials and employees headed by Mayor Efren Tungol.

"I am very proud to be Bol-anon. I love visiting my family and during my visits people have always been very accommodating. The reception I received from the supporters during my recent visit was overwhelming! Maraming, maraming salamat po,” said Simon.

Of course, it helps that the Azkals are drop-dead gorgeous. The Fil-Briton was got mobbed by screaming teachers and students at San Roque National High School and Holy Name University (HNU). He also met the members of the HNU football team.  

“You’re so cute and handsome. You’re my idol. Thanks you so much... and thanks for the autograph. OMG I have a lot of things to say... looking forward to see you again and had a picture with you,” said one kilig student.

Good news, girls and pa-girls, Simon is not “taken.” As in, “I am single!”
…and the Greatwich brothers’ jerseys

Fans had the opportunity to ask Simon about his family affairs and lovelife. And he was “game” to answer them like:

Student: Can you say “I love you’ in Visayan? (Students were screaming!)
Simon: Okay, you teach me.
Student: Gihigugma ka nako..
Simon: Gimumu na aaako.. it's too much for me.
Student: No, it's not.
Simon: How about Mahal Kita?! (Students were screaming!)
Student: Same to you!

Edward and I accompanied Simon and his family visiting schools and offices. Thanks also to Clyde Ebojo for the sumptuous lunch at the Heritage Crab House Seafood Restaurant (along Mansasa Seaside, Tagbilaran City).
Simon visited the Holy Name University high school department.


Aside from football, what other sports do you like?  Well, football is my main passion. Growing up, I used to play basketball when I was 8 or 9 years old.  My mom was our coach for the basketball team. (Edward said that “you can almost smell his passion for football.”)

What is the feeling when you first joined football for Azkals?  It was great to be part of Azkal team. That was in 2008, when they invited me to join; I had to pay for my flight to come to the Philippines. When I arrived, if I’d joined the team, they would get me back my money. It is something I want to do... the coach invited me to a tournament in Cambodia. It was great for me. When I received my t-shirt with my name was on the back with a national flag, it was a privileged for me. It was three years ago, hopefully to play more games for the national team.
His visit to the HNU Football team ignites the interest of football in Bohol. 

What are the qualifications to become a member of the Azkals team? The only qualification is you have a Filipino blood, and then perhaps the talents and ability to play for the team. Some people say you have to be good-looking to play for the Azkals that is not the reason to play. We want to play so that guys would like to play the football.

Simon paid a courtesy visit to Albur Mayor Efren Tungol (extreme left) 
with mom Carol, dad Clive and a cousin.
Did you play for the Azkals versus LA Galaxy exhibition game? I didn't play. My brother managed to play with LA Galaxy. I was there in America and it was held in Philippines.  It was an opportunity to play the game but unfortunately, I missed the game.

What are your secrets of becoming a good athlete? I think it is important that I start at a small age, the basic of football, playing every day. It is more challenging for me, staying in good condition. And don't get disruptive from women and partying.

Who is your best friend in the Azkals? There are lots of players in the team, but for me, Phil Younghusband and Captain Aly (Borromeo) are one of my best friends. (The Younghusbands also began playing football early in life.)

What are your likes and dislikes? My dislike is the Filipino time. When you say we meet 8:30, and it is one hour late. Do you know that one? What I like here, it's the people and the food. The food is great.
Simon and Pacman

What is your secret of being pogi?  I think my mother she wants to take credit for that reason... but they claim my father is the one who is more guwapo.

Do you have showbiz crush? (Smiling) I don't have showbiz girlfriends yet.

Do you have a girlfriend? For now, I travel around the world so much. And I enjoy a single life.

Is there a chance to fall in love with a Boholana? This is my second visit in Bohol. The first was in 2008 and so far I haven't meet a lady here in Bohol. But one day maybe.

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