Sunday, December 30, 2012

End of an era: Erico passes away

Boholanos here and abroad were united in mourning after the passing of Bohol 2nd district Rep. Erico Boyles Aumentado.
According to Boy Pernia, Aumentado passed away at the St. Luke’s Medical Center-Global City, 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 25 after a bout with pneumonia.

He was 72.
Aumentado chaired the House ethics committee and was the chairman in forming the guidelines to make public the Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth of House members.
In a statement, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. called Aumentado an “exemplary public servant.”
 “He [Aumentado] deserves full credit for transforming Bohol into one of the most progressive, peaceful and richest provinces today. He was truly an outstanding solon -- learned, dedicated, and principled,” Belmonte said.
 He also lauded the late congressman for his “integrity and honor” which “have never been in doubt.”
“He [Aumentado] died a poor man because he never made politics the source of his livelihood. He was a very dear friend for whom I had the highest respect both as a colleague in Congress and in the writing profession,” the House leader added.
Occidental Mindoro Representative Amelita Villarosa, a colleague of Aumentado in the House minority bloc, said the late congressman will be remembered for transforming Bohol into one of the country's most peaceful provinces.
"He had made a record of having won all his political battles since 1967," Villarosa said, as he recalled how Aumentado rose from extreme poverty to become a lawyer and a public servant.
Charina and her dad
Aumentado served his constituents "so humbly yet so honorably," said Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas. “Your monument need not be erected in marble for it is enshrined in the heart of each and every Boholano,” he said.
Meanwhile, Aumentado’s daughter, Charina, described the late lawmaker as “my hero, my inspiration, my father.”
 “We commemorate Jesus birth last night as it marked the day we came into redemption. Last night, our dearest papa Rico joins our creator. The saddest Christmas for us , his beloved family, as he left coincidentally as Jesus came. Papa Erico wants us to celebrate instead of mourning every time we remember the time he left for this world. Papa, go ahead in your journey.... Yet alone ....but the lives you've touched and the inspirational life you've lived will forever be remembered. We love you always, We will miss you very much...” she posted on Facebook.
Aumentado’s son, Erico Angelo, also shared his thoughts about his father.  “He was a self made man. He owes his success to God only who gave him his intellect. A gift God took last until his last breath. With no voice to speak, he managed to show how important his work is... A painful sight only his family witnessed. His dedication to serve the people was his life. Public service is not a position for him... It was his vocation and calling. His presence is strong even without words. His face radiates with inner goodness. His body became weak and frail... But his mind remains vibrant and brilliant. A great mind with a good heart. Forever he will be missed.., a void never will be replaced.. But heaven is your place now. Rest well papa.. Your legacy will remain unsurpassed! PAPA ERICO I LOVE YOU...”
The provincial government of Bohol has declared a period of mourning and hoisting of national and provincial flags at half mast in honor of Aumentado starting Wednesday until his burial day on Jan. 5, 2013.
Shortly after the news broke, people also expressed their condolences on the death of Aumentado on the social networking site. His work and legacy were remembered by many people.
Steven Suganob- Condolence to the family of the late Congressman Erico Boyles Aumentado. Our prayers and sympathy. Tried to call you, Charina Aumentado extend our condolences. Our prayers to your Mama (Nang Grennie) and siblings (Aris Aumentado, Erico Angelo Cabagnot Aumentado, Rainer Maria Cabagnot Aumentado). He is such a great loss to the Province of Bohol but his legacy will be remembered forever.
Half mast for Aumentado in the province
Benjie Oliva-I pay tribute to the man that made me what I am today! I thank you for you have trained me well. You are a great loss to our province but your deeds and goodness will live on us forever. RIP Rep. Erico B. Aumentado. My condolences to Mam Grennie and d Aumentado family.
Chin Vader- Half-staff for the passing of a good son.
Ulysses Cagande- OUR DEEPEST AND SINCEREST CONDOLENCE TO THE BEREAVED FAMILY OF THE LATE GREATMAN OF BOHOL, CONGRESSMAN ERICO can not be denied by our group yesterday when we visited the IRRIGATION DAMS of MALINAO and BAYONGAN wherein his name came out that, BASTA AUMENTADO mga kabasakan sa BOHOL IRRIGADO...WE CAN NOT FORGET YOU SIR!....MAY YOUR SOUL MAY REST IN PEACE!!!!....our prayers for you.....from cebu with love.......OUR PRAYERS GOES THIS WAY.......pahulay nga dayon ihatag nimo kaniya oh GINOO, ug ang kahayag nga walay pagkapalong, modan ag unta kaniya hangtod sa kahangturan....amen...
Anna Maris Igpit- Bohol lost a great man. My deepest condolences to the family of former Governor and Congressman Erico Aumentado. May he rest in peace.
Trisha Chatto- Our deepest condolences to the family of Cong. Erico Aumentado. May he rest peacefully in the arms of our Lord.
Judith Uy-Sumatra- I was terribly shocked to hear that Cong. Erico Boyles Aumentado passed away last night. His 9-year performance as governor of Bohol was a trail-blazer especially in terms of poverty reduction and peace development. Condolence to Ma'am Grenie and family! Christmas will never be the same again.
Aumentado's remains arrive in Tagbilaran City, Dec. 29
Glenda Ceniza Maniwang- I have my own personal encounters with Cong. Erico, while we were working with people’s organizations. Most of these groups we have met referred to him as the “Father of Cooperatives” here in Bohol. He championed the needs of the masses. He provided them irrigation dams where it is needed and we owe to him the cemented roads all around Bohol, hence the slogan, “Basta Aumentado, ang calzada cementado.” This project has contributed mainly to the rise of tourism activities in Bohol. My father & mother, who are very good friends of Cong. Erico, told us stories of the many times that Cong. Erico upheld what was for the common good. His integrity, according to my father, is something that we should emulate. I would say, he was not just a politician, but a statesman to the highest degree.
Roger Gee Gatal- Our Deepest Condolonces to you and your Family.. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers...
In Ubay, Bohol
Mellanie Wallace- A very sad day for us boholanos.. RIP, Erico Boyles Aumentado, you were truly a blessing to our community. You and the deeds you did for us will NEVER be forgotten.
Raul Phillip Orimaco Gatal- One of the greatest leaders that Bohol has ever produced has already gone to the Great Beyond leaving behind not only a grieving family but also legions of paisanos that mourn his untimely demise. He will be remembered for the legacy of good governance, tangible projects and a better and progressive Bohol. May we all set aside our politics and differences for the meantime and reach out to the Aumentado family on their hour of bereavement.
Reuben J. Gulle-My deepest sympathy to the family of my former "boss", CONG. ERICO B. AUMENTADO, whose untimely demise had left a vacuum in the field of development management in the province of Bohol. He was a trailblazer and a visionary whose plans made Bohol to what it is now... a top tourist destination in the Philippines. Thank you Sir Rico for giving me the opportunity to work with you. It was such a wonderful experience working you. Am praying for the eternal repose of your soul. Paalam!
Atty. Julius Gregory Batausa Delgado-In behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Association of Young Boholanos in Metro Manila, Inc., our deepest sympathy to the bereaved family of the late Hon. Erico Aumentado, representative 2nd District and former Governor of the Province of Bohol. He was one of the finest public servants Bohol ever had.
Gisela May Apalisok Leggington- My condolences to the Aumentado family. May he rest in peace. Take it easy Angelo. Please extend my condolences to your Mama Genie and the whole family. I was shocked to know his demise. He was such a great man. He touched many peoples' lives, including mine. Good bye Sir Erico!
At Ubay Gym
Fr. J Roel Lungay- rest in peace, former governor and congressman, erico b. aumentado. you've done a great service to bohol and the boholanos. you will not be forgotten!
Jennifer Matig-a Alforque- Our deepest condolences to the Aumentado Family Charina Aumentado, Erico Angelo Cabagnot Aumentado, Vanessa Cadorna Aumentado, Joerick Cleavon Aumentado Villamor.. Thank you for the great things that you've done to our province. A great family man indeed, you'll surely be missed by everyone but your legacy will live on... Our prayers and love to the whole family.. HUGS..
Hazel Vallejos-de Asis- There are facts in life which are hard to understand and harder to accept. Although we all know that we can't physically live forever, it still tears our hearts to pieces when someone dear to us leaves ahead. To one of our father figures, to the man who wouldn't make any other appointment on my wedding day, to the man who has mesmerized me with his memory of people's first names (irregardless of social bracket), to the man who finds bliss in just sitting on my parents' rocking chair, to the man who preferred my Mom's cooking rather than the resto, to the man who would suddenly invite me & Man2 to dinner just to chat, to the man who would have connected Jetafe,Bohol & Cordova,Cebu with a bridge, to the man who has done great things for Bohol, NINONG ERICO, may God grant you eternal rest & peace. There are still a lot of "why's" in our mind, and we can only lean on the thought that God has a reason for everything. For you to leave on Christ's birthday may be a good sign that you're in good hands. We will surely miss you but your memory will forever be etched in our hearts & in the hearts of a lot more others whose lives you have touched. We thank God for allowing us to share in your inspiring life.
Marjy Maluenda-Fisher- To one of the greatest man i know Congressman Erico Aumentado, thank you for the service you have given to Bohol, the place i call home. And to the family he left behind Aris Aumentado, from my whole family to yours, our heartfelt condolences, your dad was a great man.
Fritzie Mae Dote Zamora- Aris, my heartfelt Condolences to your family. His Legacy will always be remembered.
Fatima Mapesos- We will miss you boss!
Fellow public servants also posted their heartfelt messages on Facebook about the Boholano icon.
“RIP Hon.Erico Aumentado-A remarkable man. Orphaned at 8, he persevered to finish school w/highest honors & devoted hs life to public service,” Emmeline Aglipay of Diwa Partylist tweeted.
Zambales Representative Milagros MitosMagsaysay tweeted,” Attended the Necrological service for Cong. Erico deepest sympathy to his family..”
Cebu Rep. Rachel “Cutie" del Mar also tweeted that she attended the special requiem mass for Aumentado. She posted a photo on tweeter.
“This is a shock. My deepest condolences to the family & constituents,” tweeted Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño
“Sad post-Christmas news. Rest In Peace Gov/Cong Rico Aumentado of Bohol. We will definitely miss you,” tweeted Dato Arroyo.
Lani Mercado-Revilla tweeted, “Condolences to the family of Cong. Aumentado of Bohol. Another good man lost in Congress.”
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The 'Cobra Walk' and Wishlist

The ‘cobra walk’ in Miss U 2012
My own ‘recycled’ Wishlist
Costume change: Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon went from sexy to elegant as she switched from the swimsuit portion of the night to the evening gown competition. Courtesy: Mikey Gatal
The Philippines nearly had another Miss Universe.
Miss USA Olivia Culpo was crowned Miss Universe 2012, beating out beauties from around the world to claim the coveted title.
Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon came second and Miss Venezuela, Irene Sofia Esser Quintero was third.
Culpo’s victory came as a big surprise as a majority of viewers, mostly Filipinos, were expecting Tugonon to win the crown.
Culpo brought the Miss Universe crown back to the United States for the first time in more than a decade, while Tugonon duplicated Miriam Quiambao's first runner-up finish in 1999. The Philippines has won the Miss U twice with Gloria Diaz in 1969 and Margie Moran in 1973.

Mikey Gatal
Renowned photographer Nigel Barker asked Tugonon the following question: "As a global ambassador, do you think speaking English should be a prerequisite to being Miss Universe?"

She replied, "I don't think speaking English is about speaking a specific language. Being Miss Universe is about being able to influence and inspire people, regardless of language. It's about being able to influence and inspire other people. If you have a heart to serve and a strong mind to show people, then you can be Miss Universe."
Tugonon also displayed her piercing eyes and her signature "Cobra Walk," a type of strut similar to the "tsunami walk" popularized by 2011 Miss Universe third runner-up Shamcey Supsup.
Some Filipinos went to the Sin City to support Tugonon including US-based Boholano socialite Mikey Gatal who covered the event for his website. As a Pinoy veteran beauty pageant watcher, Mikey was also interviewed by GMA News and Telemundo. Another Boholano director RD Alba also covered the Miss U.
The following letter from Mikey Gatal says it all:
Hi Leo,
First of all, I would like to thank you for the trust and giving me a chance to share with you my experiences inside Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada USA where the Miss Universe beauty pageant took place.
I arrived in Vegas on Monday afternoon, two days before the actual finals night, upon arrival, I already met some of the important people behind this event, some were Miss Teen Bahamas Shanae Strachangets, the winner in 2008, and challenged her to give a sample of her catwalk skills because Miss Philippines has a "Cobra Walk" and she did in front of some passersby when we bumped each other while shopping at Aldo Store.
Miss Teen USA 2012 Logan West is a trooper, I asked her if she is a contestant at first because she wasn't wearing a sash in one of the sections of the lobby and she gladly told me, "I am Miss Teen USA"! Before our photo shoot, the mom reminder her. "wear your sash" :)
As the days go by, I finally met former beauty queens Venus Raj, Shamcey Supsup, the mother of Janine Tugonon and mother of Shamcey Supsup, I  am forever thankful to them for letting me get inside a pass as one of the relatives of Miss Philippines! because of that pass, you can have access to all candidates during their rehearsals and meals.
Literally, they were all over the place and I was overwhelmed of their beauties in person, Miss Philippines' so regal and look like they were living dolls especially Miss Georgia, Miss Australia, Miss Brazil, Miss Indonesia, Miss Vietnam, Miss Guyana, Miss India, Miss Venezuela and Miss USA and many more!
I talked to Janine's mom, Tess, a day before the pageant and she said that she won’t change her gown what she wore during the preliminaries and she would still used it during the finals. The powder blue evening gown created by Colombian designer Alfredo Barraza was very elegant in person and seeing it live was more pleasant to see than on TV especially knows how to carry it. She was not overpowered by the gown but, she overpowered the gown that's why she looks so queenly and a real winner to many.
The atmosphere during the pageant night was awesome and at the same time, everyone's nervous every time a candidate was being called and so on until two were finally left and one of them will be chosen to be the new Miss Universe. Everyone stood up before a name was called and I really heard from most of the audience, shouting Miss Philippines name because she gave a convincing answer but Miss USA won and stunned everyone.
We continued to talked about it at the lobby for several hours and waited for the contestants to come out and still debated of what really happened out there, so many good feed backs for Miss Philippines, some other nationalities would congratulate us too and we cannot just stop talking about it. Very proud of Janine Mari Tugonon!
I met the ever beautiful up Sushmita Sen during the Miss Universe after party together with Ohio, Miss Utah, Miss Wyoming and jokingly said, we are here to support Miss USA who defeated us during our pageant Ha !Ha! Ha!
Anyways,  I really have to go for I am still catching up a flight to go back to LA and I hope you continue to give us more updates and more power to you Leo Udtohan and GMA7 for the opportunity, until next time!
Mikey Gatal

(Watch video of GMA 7's 24 Oras)
You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, I'm telling you why: Santa Claus is coming to town. Yes, it's only two days before Christmas and I’d like to make a wishlist not only for myself, but for my friends on the social spotlight and favorite who’s who.
My (recycled) wishlist is not about bundles of books, DVD sets, or a tropical vacation but from my
heart's desire and let's see if we can make a few Christmas dreams come true.
I am asking the big guy to deliver the gifts before he leaves the North Pole and makes his rounds. Hoh! Hoh! Hoh!
For Vanity Kintanar Salinana — The Queen of Cebu Universe 2012 deserves a break, a Roman holiday. In her vacation, she can inspire transwomen to reach for their goals and never ever give up!
For Nemi Monton—A long-delayed award! Is he ripe for an award (Hall of Fame)? Our answer is yes, yes, yes! He opened doors wider for Boholano athletes. His tireless dedication is one of a kind! Paging people out there!
For Dame Rose Soy —- Good health, more years and eternal beauty to continue her works as Bohol's Queen of Tourism and Santacruzan Queen.    
For Rep. Art Yap — To go right on with what he has started. He has done many great things which have positive impact on the lives of ordinary people in his district. His legislative track is already blazing a trail.
For Mayor Dan Lim and Gov. Edgar Chatto—  A peace pipe to be smoked with Mayor Lim on one end and Gov. Ed on the other. Same for Loboc Mayor Leon Calipusan and Vice Mayor Louie Digal. Peace, peace, peace! Love! Love! Love!
For Ardy Batoy — Do we need to say more? Bohol’s Queen of All Media deserves great things in life. Same for Gloria Leodivica Araneta. More years of hosting stints, PR works, seminars and travels.
For Raul Gatal—Bohol’s seasoned host should discover, train and nurture new emceeing talents and to be able to organize Boholano emcees so they can improve their craft, police their ranks and protect their interests.
For Nonito Donaire — Glory and gold! Same for Aj Banal, Jedara Docena, Caesar Amonsot, Boom-Boom Bautista and Jesus Pacaldo, 2007 gold medalist for Track and Field Event in Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai, China.
For Bishop Leonardo Medroso and Boholano priests— Good health and more years to continue teaching and witnessing the Word of God. Same for Pastors Nelson Rio III, Bobby Rio, Vicente Agustin, George Lungay, Franco Trigo, Rey Rodriguez and Bro. Libby Aba. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
For Marc Joseph Batoy— A smiling doll that will teach him to smile. Like Clement Paulinel Lofranco Ingking and Ar-Ar dela Serna, this Mr. Bisu and Mr. SCUAA is good-looking but he’s hardly smiling. Remember, your smile can bring joy to the whole world. May you keep smiling always.
For EJ Relampagos— To remain level headed and focused as she maintains her status as Bohol’s numero uno.
For Atty. Brian Gaviola — A marriage contract! Same for Lemuel Belarmino and Dr. Renz Acedo.
For Doc Homer Singco — A hot “partner” to love him dearly. Same for Atty. Greg Delgado and Benjie Oliva.
For Anna Maris Igpit— A marriage contract (indefinite!).
For Fer Mary Baliquig — To be patient, to be assertive and to have that “I’m here to win attitude.” As she trains and take shot again at Bb. Pilipinas, her friends maintain that she has what it takes to be a Bb. Pilipinas winner.
For Chito Visarra, Fred Araneta, Jerry Pabe, BG GuingGuing —More “controversial” and "talkative" guests to spice up their programs. More seamless and no-nonsense segments on their programs. Same for Atty. Salva Diputado, Lito Responte and Ted Ayeng.
For Peddy Bolanio and Glee Orcullo(for their Showbiz Rampa) — More exciting showbiz news and live guests to enliven our afternoon. Same for Anjing Poquita and Inday Charity (for Showbiz Chika).
For Rep. Rene Relampagos. — A New Year (and more years) full of hope and goodwill. Same for Catigbian Mayor Bert Salinas, Board Member Dioning Balite, vDauis Mayor Jimmy Jimenez, Sevilla Mayor Ernesita Digal and Toto Veloso.
For Paloma/Marimar — Strong bones for more acrobatic and kagwang performance!
For Zenaida Darunday and Company—Good things in life so that they can continue to help protect the environment of Bohol. Same for Raul Barbarona, Salvio Makinano, Mightee Palo, Alvin Acuzar, Dorris Dinorog-Obena, Atty. Kins Aparece, Isidore Ancog, Ellen Gallares and Shem Quezon.
For Mark Ramasola and Rache Tan-Ramasola — A healthy baby. They badly need one to make them a happy Family 3.
For Mizken Tirol Andan — Bohol’s eventologist needs a partner in the strictest sense of the word…a boy friend.
For Junibe Froilan and Doc April Lumuthang-Froilan— A long-delayed stork’s visit. Same for Mark and Analyn Pollenza-Arbilo.
For Cesar Montano, Lailette Boiser, Rich Asuncion and Tintin Ng — More new projects on TV and films to show their effective "natural" acting.
For Cathy Remperas, Rebecca Lusterio, Amigo talents and Mich Capili— Another film or TV showcase to follow up on their promising introduction as showbiz stars.
For RD Alba — Another film. Maybe he can shift gears again and do another film (action or comedy) that will duplicate or even surpass critical acclaim he received for Biktima. Same for Ted Ramasola whose Bells Ring Mr. King proved he is committed to making films that provoke, cultivate, enlighten and entertain.
For Inday Rufing and Inday Charity — More shows and colorful lovelife.
For Idy Cagas — A sexy, seductive and handsome boyfriend to color her life.
For Centerstage Band — A long-delayed album! More gigs! Same for Brownbuds and Fr. Fro Lungay.
For Daday Uy-Fuertes, Nila Montero, Paz Trotin, Helen Binangbang, Barbara Ong, Jojo Baritua, Tessie Pagdato, Sylvia Fernandez-Maristela, Baby Collins, Dianne Uy, Gen Jamisola , Doc Gerry Egos and Musette Hontanosas. — Success in business and good things to come! Same for Pureza Chatto, Doc Joy Yap, Dr. Mary Grace Uy, Dr. Angelito Lechago, DonDon Suganob, Fancy Baluyot, Beryl Elizabeth Lupot, Primitiva Ontong, LJ Lumayag, Kit Oppus, Vicky Wallace, Hans and Lani Schoof, Aris Aumentado, Atty. Jas Montes, Nora Pahang, Guy Bernaldez, Dr. Nenita Po, Ma. Fe Lejos, Romy Tagaan, Ate V Yorong, Judith Uy-Sumatra, Dr. Wilfreda Bongalos, Dr. Cristeta Tirol, Dr. Henya Tirol-Sotelo, Amalia Tirol, Liza Quirog, Fiel Araoarao-Gabin, Betty Veloso-Garcia, Greenie Aumentado, Freda Tirol and Roygie Jumamoy.
For Alfeo Jabinez and Amy Fiel Booc — A chain to bind them and lock their hearts for better or for worse…
For Pepe Recitas, Ramie Cadag, Francis Dompor, Manuel Cempron and Company — O Lord. Bless them with your love and the strength they need to continue in their work. Encourage them, Father, for their labor is often thankless and forgotten by so many.
For Greatwich Brothers: Simon Clive, Christopher Robert and Philip Carlo of the Philippine Football Team — They will hold free football camps in Bohol.
For Onecimo “Onie” Oclarit — Another album with songs that will make us cry or smile like his Ubilandia’s  Carlos P. Garcia: Bantugang Bol-anon that replaying the song anytime won’t do any harm.
For Bien Unido Mayor Niño Rey Boniel— Marriage contract (hurry!).
For Danao Mayor Thomas Gonzaga — Seductive partner!
For Penales Hunks of LA: Marvin, Marlon, Mark, Martin, Miquo, Vincent, Nildjan and Venn— To have a successful career as they have finished their studies already. Their friends wish that they can truly handle their love affairs… and true love can wait!
For Baby Tagoctoc— Success in business and great things to come for Bohol’s most powerful bading. Same for Maximiel, Charlo Arbasto, Omie Auza and Tracy Remolador Torres.
For Jeroen Hellingman, Leah Tirol-Magno, Jerome Auza, Mike Ligalig, Roy Bayonas, Alfonso Potane, Rene Econg and company— Patience to continue their work to bring Boholanos abroad closer to Bohol!
For Rep. Erico Aumentado — More years of public service and protection shield for his safety. In this country, when you do what is good and what is right, you make enemies. Aumentado has proven to be a good public servant to Bohol.
For Carmen Mayor Conchita Toribio — A silencer….so that she can celebrate a worry-free Holiday season and she can concentrate on her multi-million business.
For Tessie Labunog-Sumampong—  Success in business and great things in life. Same for Connie Geonzon and Dalareich Polot.
For Mikey Gatal — A partner who will love him forever and ever, amen! To quote Dionne Warwick, “I say a little prayer for you...”
For Sam Penaso, Nene Lungay, Glenn Lumantao, Joey Labrador, Ric Ramasola and Marianito Jose Luspo — More new projects to remind everyone of their exceptional abilities. How about another group art exhibit abroad after conquering Manila? Same for Ryan Macalandag, Liza Macalandag, Vida Tirol-De Juan, Vera Villocido, Enriquieta Butalid, Tadiyandi, Baji, Bohol visual artists and Arte Malaya.
For Aldrin Palaca—Another reality search to follow up on his promising introduction as the Beatbox king of Bohol. Same for Butch de Juan.
For Eden Descallar — Wedding bells! Wedding bells! (We are all so really tired of waiting He!He!He!)
For Mila Lim — More years to light her Christmas village! And to see more talented Boholanos in Pasko sa Plaza, not only for three nights but for one week!
For Loboc Children’s Choir — More performances and exposures! Same for Bukang Liwayway Dance Troupe, the Alicia Bamboo Ensemble, Dimiao Children’s Rondalla, Loboc Youth Ambassador and HNU Diwanag Dance Troupe.
For Miss Bohol Sandugo and Miss Tagbilaran— A topnotch production and new concept to celebrate independence, beauty and womanhood. It will be right on track in its noble aim of discovering, guiding, inspiring and training Boholana beauties who can compete in national beauty pageants. Same for Ubi Queen Festival, the most boring beauty pageant. We wish the organizers will introduce something new and exciting production.
For our Media friends — No more painful and violent deaths in the media industry. Well, we all have to go but not painful.
For the Diocese of Tagbilaran— They will work out the canonization process for Miguel Ayatumo. For ages, this holy man was eclipsed and forgotten.
For our lawmakers, fiscals, police officers, et al in the province— Discerning hearts, strength and active participation to prove that they are there. 
For The Bohol Chronicle Radio Corporation — To continue the mission! For more half a century, The Bohol Chronicle has been a paragon of fair and balanced journalism. It has covered all the milestones of our province’s history and has never wavered from its commitment to deliver insightful reports and analysis of issues, current events, and developments. Our kinaham di ba?
For Bared Readers —May this lovely Christmas season bring you delights in all possible forms. May you receive love in abundance and joy that lasts throughout this season. Watch out for the new breeze is coming in 2013! Muchas gracias!
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

9 days of 'Misa de Gallo' officially starts Christmas season

Seen: The giant Santa Claus, which measures 25 feet high, in Sierra-Bullones, Bohol colors the Yuletide Season! The biggest and tallest Santa Claus in Bohol and probably in the Philippines has been attracting visitors for years.
Scene: Supreme Court Associate Justice Roberto Abad will visit Bohol on Monday, Dec. 17 to give a lecture to judges, prosecutors, government and private lawyers and police investigators on the Judicial Affidavit Rule (A.M. No. 12-8-8-SC).
Seen: 3rd District Rep. Arthur Yap is the only Boholano solon who showed up and voted against the Reproductive Health Bill in Congress.  Yap cited some provisions in the Reproductive Health Bill that need to be scrapped or heavily amended for being unjust, unconstitutional and harsh or unnecessary at all.
Seen: Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Manager Rey Anthony Chiu received the "Most Prolific Writer." He has written the most number of news stories and features for 2011. PIA-7 RD Minerva Newman assisted by PCOO Sec. Sonny Coloma presented the award to Chiu.
Seen: Paul Emerson Salinas Almontero was recently adjudged as one of the Ten Outstanding Expat Pinoy (Overseas Filipino Worker) Children - Ibang Klaseng Talino Category - 2012. He is the first Boholano to receive such prestigious award from the Bank of Philippine Islands search for outstanding expat children that made its final judging from among 86 national finalists nationwide.
What a busy, busy schedule I had last week! After watching Pacman-Marquez IV, I hurriedly went to JJ’s Seafoods for the preliminary interview of the Mr and Ms Teen Bohol 2012 organized by Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Provincial Federation headed by Jethro Nathaniel Imboy.  
The 28 contestants sat down for a conversation with Jeycelle Espejo and yours truly. I could say, this year’s contestants are “one of the best batches” of Mr and Miss Teen Bohol. Many of the contestants were recruited from the modeling field so we’re seeing familiar faces. There were also neophytes and veterans.
Last Friday, Dec. 14, Adryan Mila of Panglao and Thea Rose Rizaldo of Tubigon were crowned Mr and Miss Teen Bohol 2012.  
Rep. Sonny Angara
As we were about to end our interview, I saw Alvin Acuzar and Myttee Palo who were busy preparing the function room for senatorial aspirant Aurora Rep. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara. Rep Angara was the guest of honor during the State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association (SCUAA)- Regional Meet.
Rep. Angara, who was named one of the country’s Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) in 2010, is the author of the measure seeking to create a Philippine High School for Sports (HB No. 3825). This will answer the clamor for a stronger national grassroots sports program that will help young Filipino athletes become more competitive in the global arena.
Rep. Angara gladly listened to the queries and concerns from the people’s organizations/civic organizations and from the media.
We ended the night saying, “What a Sonny Day! Angara ang buhay!”
The next morning, Edward Guyano, Janet Villarojo and other media friends went to Pilar to cover the inauguration and turn-over ceremony of the modern Bohol Rice Processing Complex (BRPC) funded by the Korean International Cooperation Agency (Koica).
Rep. Arthur Yap, the only Boholano solon who showed up and voted against the RH Bill in Congress, delivers his message during the inauguration and turn-over ceremony of the modern Bohol Rice Processing Complex in Pilar town. Courtesy: Ric Obedencio
The BRPC intends to improve efficiency in the rice postproduction system through the reduction of postharvest losses, enhancement in the quality of milled rice, improvement of the distribution system and maximization of rice by-products.
It is very modern that Edward and I witnessed how brown, red, pink and white rice separate from each other. The rice processing complex has post-harvest facilities like modern rice mills, mechanical dyers and warehouses.
According to Gov. Edgar Chatto, Bohol is considered as the rice granary of the Central Visayas and farmers from the 18 towns of Bohol will be benefited from the modern rice complex.
"Ang RPC po ay magbibigay sa mga magsasaka  ng mataas  na kalidad ng bigas dahil sa makabagong makina nito," said Usec Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, DA for Special Concerns.

Hon. Lee Hyuk, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to the Philippines, stressed the importance of Korea-Philippine relationship. He said that BPRC is a testament to the continuing and deepening commitment of the governments of the Philippines and Korea to develop the agricultural sector of the Philippines.

"I hope that this PRC project will set a milestone, a starting point for the national growth of the Philippines as well as the helping and empowering of the Filipino farmers."
Jerome Sala
Rep. Arthur Yap recalled that the project was proposed in 2009 during the administration of then Bohol Governor now 2nd district Rep. Erico Aumentado. Yap said, "As our population is increasing, we have also to increase the use of our land and we have to increase rice production. Koreans and Filipinos stand side by side together in this battle against poverty, in this battle for self sufficiency in food.”
Also spotted during the event were Pilar Mayor Wilson Pajo, Mabini Mayor Esther Tabigue, Pureza Chatto, Ae Damalerio, Larry Pamugas, and other officials.
The event was also an opportunity to see ABS-CBN Star in A Million 2005 grand champion Jerome Sala who sang the Philippine Anthem after years of inactivity.
The nine-day Simbang Gabi (Tagalog term that literally means "Night Mass") or Misa de Gallo (Spanish term for "Mass of the Rooster") begins today, Dec. 16, officially starting the Christmas season, the longest Christmas celebration in the world.
Young entrepreneur Dalareich Polot and her tableya
The Catholic Church says that the nine-day dawn Masses are held at 4 a.m. to commemorate the actual birth of Christ. The liturgy for nine consecutive days is in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The tradition dates back to 1587 in Mexico, when Fray Diego de Soria, prior of the convent of San Agustin Acolman, petitioned the Pope to hold Christmas Mass outdoors to accommodate the huge number of mass-goers.    
However, the novena Mass has no longer been strictly held before dawn. The Catholic Church has adjusted to modern urban schedules.

In our times, the Misa De Gallo has also become an opportunity to keep in touch with relatives and friends. And, ehem, it is also the time for young boys to court girls and many lovers also tend to spend more time in the churchyard rather than inside.

Some people still challenge to complete all nine masses especially if they have special petitions this Christmas.  A friend told me that if someone can attend the nine masses, wishes will be granted.

During Misa de Gallo, our love affair with food is heightened.  We don’t have puto bumbong (sweet taro steamed in small bamboo tubes) here but we have native rice cakes such as bingka, suman and puto maya. To keep warm during the cold weather, there are salabat (ginger tea) and sekwati.    
One who is excited for Misa de Gallo is the young entrepreneur Dalareich Polot, owner of Dalareich Tableya (Booy District, Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Tel No: 038-501-9549/411-0584/+63939-902-3462/+63927-214-1456, website:, email:, Bohol’s finest homemade native chocolate solids.
“I can't wait for simbang gabi.. hot chocolate after mass!” Dalareich posted on Facebook.
Dalareich, who started her tableya business years ago, shares how to make sekwati (hot chocolate drink): Add 3 pieces of Dalareich Tableya on a cup of boiling water. Stir for two minutes. Remove from heat. Add sugar. Milk maybe added to make it creamier. Serve hot.
Make sure you have something in your stomach to have a memorable Misa de Gallo experience.
Meanwhile, join Bared for a look back at all the buzzed-about newsmakers who made the year -- and decade -- so unforgettable. Send your feedback to or text +639212446791.
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas card from Kris Aquino

Scene: Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao and Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez will try to settle who's the best boxer in their prime when they clash December 8 (December 9, Manila time) for the fourth time. Where to watch for free?  Geresonic (along Ma. Clara Street) and Diccion Electronics (along CPG Avenue fronting the Bohol Cultural Center) provide small screens for their parokyano for the nth time. If you want to witness the fight on a wide screen, go to Island City Mall Screenville Cinema and BQ Mall Cinema.
Scene: All roads lead to Sevilla and Booy District, Tagbilaran City on Dec. 12 for the fiesta, in honor of its patron saint Our Lady of Guadalupe. Happy fiesta to all the good people of Sevilla headed by Mayor Ernesita Digal. Like Sevilla, Booy District in Tagbilaran City will also celebrate its barangay fiesta lead by Barangay Captain Jun Telmo. It is also a nationwide celebration in Mexico in honor of Virgin of Guadalupe.
Scene: The Loboc town plaza comes alive with a dancing lights and vibrant Christmas parols. Christmas lights adorn the facade of the centuries-old Loboc Church.
Scene: There was no streetdancing during the Sambat Mascara y Regatta Festival in Loay town last Dec. 1.
Scene: The Philippine National Police (PNP) told, a social news network where stories inspire community engagement and digitally fuelled actions for social change, that Bohol is the only province in Central Visayas that has private armed groups (PAGs). PNP says PAGs are organized groups of two or more persons, legally or illegally armed, who use their weapons to intimidate for political or economic purposes. Meanwhile, another website posted the same news and asked, “Where are Bohol’s 2 private armed groups at?
Fishing vessel ravaged by Pablo. LPU
Willy “Robocop” Maestrado (of dyRD), Edward Guyano (of dyTR) and I searched for news the morning after Typhoon Pablo (international name Bopha) visited the province.

Pablo was relentless.

Hundreds were forcibly evacuated in several areas of Bohol as Pablo headed towards land.  Residents were evacuated in Villalimpia, Loay , barangays Looc and Cantagay in Jagna, barangay Magsaysay in Sierra-Bullones, Bool in Tagbilaran City, barangays Casbu and Trinidad in Guindulman,  Moalong River in Loon and Mantatao Island in Calape.

We also witnessed how Pablo ravaged eight fishing vessels in Mayacabac, Dauis town.

Fishermen try to look for the missing boats.LPU
Some 100 Badjaos were evacuated in Totolan because of the rising waters.  Dauis Mayor Jimmy Jimenez who, unlike most public servants/officials who forever “cannot be reached, please try again later,” answered the call himself. He spent sleepless night monitoring the situation.

It was Mayor Jimenez who told us that there’s one casualty in his hometown.

We checked with the Badjaos several minutes after we interviewed Mayor Jimenez and they said that, yes, the Mayor had helped them while they feared for their lives.
More small talk.

We also learned that Dauis has now potable water. Unlike Panglao where officials are still debating on potable water for their constituents, a perennial problem of the town over the years already, the officials of Dauis led by Mayor Jimenez have answered this problem.

 Jimenez: Quick to the rescue
On the way back to Tagbilaran yesterdays afternoon, we saw on TV scores of people in Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte (and other parts of Visayas and Mindanao) begin to rebuild their lives from massive death and destruction wrought by Pablo last week.

The storm is over now…

Perhaps because of advances in technology, not many people bother to send Christmas cards like they did in olden times. They simply text or email which are admittedly faster and much cheaper. Oh, sad!
That’s why Tessie Labunog-Sumampong of Loboc Riverwatch was so thankful when she received a Christmas card from someone special — the Queen of All Media Kris Aquino.
Kris still do- sends Christmas cards to her friends, especially for Tessie, who is one of Kris’ friends in Bohol.
The card has picture of Kris and siblings. It is written by Kris herself which says, “Merry Christmas to you my friend. I thank God for the blessing that is you.”
So Tessie treasures the card.
 “I didn’t expect a Christmas card from Kris. I was thinking that Christmas cards are passé,” says Tessie. “This is my first Christmas card I received this year.”
Meanwhile, Tessie also shares that the Kapamilya Network will have a new teleserye. Part of the story, there will be scenes situated in Bohol.  
ABS-CBN will bring another quality entertainment to the Filipino viewers worldwide as it will launch a new project, May Isang Pangarap, topbilled by Vina Morales and Carmina Villaroel with a special participation of Rico Blanco.
If plans do not miscarry, the shooting will be on Dec. 13.
May Isang Pangarap is a series that will showcase acting, singing and dancing prowess of its cast. It will be directed by award-winning Jerry Lopez- Sineneng (of Walang Hanggan), who visited Tessie in Loboc last week.  
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.
Tessie Labunog-Sumampong with the staff and Jerry Lopez- Sineneng (front, extreme right) who will direct the Kapamilya’s new teleserye.