Tuesday, February 4, 2014

'America's Next Top Model' Sophie Sumner visits Bohol

Seen: Spotted in Dubai last week was former Carmen Mayor Che Toribio-delos Reyes. “As they say Dubai is the playground for the rich and famous, indeed it is,” Mayor Che (as the title remains) posted on Facebook. Mayor Che was with her hubby and children.  She also met her Beauche business partners. “My family experience in Dubai is beyond compare, so amazing, every place we go so much fun and enjoyment, so with the Dubai Shopping Festival, shopping spree, great experience,” added Mayor Che.

Former Carmen Mayor and Beauche International president Che Toribio-delos Reyes (behind the Luxurious 7 star Hotel Burj Al Arab) in Dubai. Courtesy: Che Toribio-delos Reyes
Seen: Also spotted in Abu Dhabi were Bien Unido Mayor Niño Rey Boniel and his wifey. Mayor Boniel met with friends and business partners. He also went desert safari.

Scene: PCSUPT Louie T. Oppus and Dr. Cesar Saloma received the Metrobank Foundation's ACES (Award for Continuing Excellence and Service) award last January 29, 2014 at the Le Pavilion, Metropolitan Park, Pasay City. Oppus and Saloma came from Baclayon, Bohol.

Oppus and Saloma
I have to admit that I am a fan of Tyra Banks and Sophie Sumner. I like Tyra because she is helping other girls to achieve their dreams in the modeling world...and most of all, featuring and wearing creations of Filipino designers for her show, the America's Next Top Model.

And there’s Sophie Sumner. She might be a Brit, but she's also America's Next Top Model!

On screen, Sumner looks sultry, so fragile that she overwhelms movie audiences with her mere presence.

Anyway, Sumner was in Bohol last week to shoot a Bohol episode for her new travel show on Discovery Channel. It was made possible thru Boy Dumadag and Michael Yu of Blue Grass Project, a firm engaged in event styling and landscaping; Tel . No: 038-5049811; E-mail: josephvendumadag@yahoo.com/mikoyu@hotmail.com; Mobile: 09173042322/0921-2711464/0918-5759972).

 Bohol’s rising hairstylist “hair majesty” Ryan Sines (who also styled Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up Venus Raj and other actresses and models) and make-up artist EP Relampagos had a close-encounter with Sumner.

Surprisingly, in person, Sumner is self-effacing, very shy and soft-spoken but dignified and respectable just the same, speaking in subdued tone in a detached but still warm and friendly manner.

America's Next Top Model Sophie Sumner is holding a tarsier doll as posted on her Instagram.  “Thank you for having me #bohol- apparently I look like this little tarsier? What do you think?” Courtesy: Sophie Sumner on Instagram
She’s petite, believe it or not, and she couldn’t be taller than 5’9”.

“She is very friendly! She’s kalog and down to earth,” shared Ryan. “Her fame is also not in her head and she is totally unaffected by it. Whatever style we had for her she didn’t complaint. She’s really a supermodel!”

“She knows some Tagalog words like salamat, magandang araw and mahal na mahal kita,” added EP.

Sophie Sumner hosting her travel show...and with Ryan Sines and EP Relampagos.  Courtesy: Ryan Sines
Sumner visited Carmen, Loboc and Panglao.

Sumni was a runner-up of Britain's Next Top Model, Cycle 5 and later won America's Next Top Model, Cycle 18.

And, did you know that Sumner is Emma Watsons’ bff?

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

Sinulog 2014 and Pacman offers prayers for Bohol

• Boholanos wow Sinulog crowd
• Pacman offers prayers for Bohol

Scene: More than 5,000 participants from the different Christian denominations and faith movements attended this year's National Bible Week and 2nd prayer gathering at the CPG Sports Complex, Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Jan. 25.  Sarangani Province Rep. Emmanuel "Manny" Dapidran Pacquiao was the guest of honor.  The participants who cheered his name and received him like a hero, listened intently as Pacquiao shared about the word of God, sounding more like a pastor than a sports demigod. He encouraged the crowd to read the Bible everyday and deepen their relationship with God.

Rep. Manny Pacquiao has led the crowd in prayer and shared as well his beliefs during the National Bible Week in Bohol; and Pacman with Bohol 2nd district Rep. Aris Aumentado and wife Vanessa Aumentado.  Photo by: LPU/Charina Aumentado
Scene:  Some Boholanos preferred to attend mass at the St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral during the National Day of Prayer and Solidarity last Jan. 20. Tagbilaran City Central Elem. School teacher Mrs. Clementina Gamil said, “My prayer for the celebration of the national prayer is that we Filipinos will help one another to keep peace and unity and we will be freed from catastrophe like what happened before that God will be keeping us through Mama Mary.”

Scene: Former Sevilla SK municipal federated president Karen Digal gave birth to her daughter with husband former SK provincial federated president and San Isidro ABC president Doxson Asoy last Friday, Jan. 24.

Cebu was unmistakably the top destination last weekend.

“I heard the drumbeat and saw the merry spirit of this year’s Sinulog 2014,” said my sis Arlene who was with me in Cebu last Wednesday morning to meet some friends at the DFA.

Thursday night I had a brief chat with Elvie Bongosia of PIA-Bohol and she said that she, too, was going to Cebu but she didn’t make it because of the strong waves.

Friday afternoon Edward Guyano and I excitedly talked about his trip to Cebu on Saturday but he missed the chance to catch the last trip going to Cebu.

Engr. Aprilmel Lupot and some Boholano models in Sinulog 2014. Courtesy: Engr. Aprilmel Lupot
I found out that Engr. Aprilmel Lupot, a proud Boholano and obviously a Santo Niño devotee, was in Cebu not just to attend the Sinulog 2014 but was involved during the parade as the “float manager” for the Bohol delegation.

 “I felt so fulfilled that I got involved in this year's Sinulog festival that we didn't just stay home and claim it a usual day all for the two things we both care about - Sr. Sto Nino and Bohol,” shared Engr. Lupot.

Oh, sigh! The Panglao delegation failed to win in this year’s Sinulog. But there’s next time.

“Win or lose, Bohol made a statement that we've risen after a great fall through the participation of Tribu Panglaoanon in Sinulog this year. We may have failed to make it but no words can explain how proud I am that we were represented in the grandest and most awaited festival in the country. You made us more proud to be Boholanos!” said Bb. Pilipinas World 2006 Anna Maris Igpit. “To Municipality of Panglao headed by Mayor Nila Montero, choreographer Anthony, Province of Bohol, SouthPalms, Boholanos who were on the float, propsmen, instrumentalists and dancers, you all deserve a big congratulations for representing us well. Your participation in the parade is a winning act already that despite the earthquake that damaged some parts of our beloved province, we are still thankful to Snr. Sto. Niño for keeping our faith stronger than ever. Pit Señor! Bangon Bohol!”

The Sinulog fever is now over but the memories live on.

Anyway, here’s an article from Engr. Lupot who says it all:

This year’s Sinulog 2014 celebration had a different meaning for a Cebu-based Boholana like me. I initially thought I’d just watch everything on local television. Unexpectedly, I became part of the grand parade and even had the chance to ride our float!

Tribu Panglaonon and the team behind the Bohol float, assembled across Sunstar Building in P. Del Rosario Street. Our dancers and instrumentalists were identified with their gold costumes.

This is the first time that the Province of Bohol, in collaboration with the Provincial Tourism Council, displayed a float. It was designed by Bluegrass Project, Michael Yu and Joseph Dumadag, and with the invaluable support of South Palms Resort Panglao, through Mae Uy Yau. It bears the theme: “Beautiful Island, Beautiful People”. It has a stylized representation of the iconic Chocolate Hills through a series of arches running in the center of the float. The dominant white color represents the hopes and aspirations of the Boholanos, and the purple color is for the sweet and fragrant ube kinampay. Forest ferns, purple and lavender dendrobiums, sonia boom orchids and purple mums adorned this magestic float.

What made the float more appealing was the presence of our  lovely models—siblings Erika (reigning Ms. UB Personality 2013) and Erik Karcher, Kay Marie Berangel, Rami Harven Gallego, Ms. Cebu 2012 3rd runner up Jonnie Rose Louise Wee, Mr. Philippines Youth 2012 and HNU student  Ar Dela Serna, Mr. Rajah Bohol 2013 Danilo Torcende, Best Model of the World Philippines 2004 Liza Tandugon, Ms. HNU Personality 2013 Candy Cumayas and Jinlyn Talocod. Three of our lovely models wore white couture dresses by designer Hanz Coquilla.

Hanz Coquilla is a proud Boholano designer with a father who is from Antequera. He is known for his remarkable participation in Project Runway Philippines Season 2, Cebu Young Designers Competition 2006, Mega Young Designers Competition 2011, Look of Style Awards 2012, Sunstar’s Best of Cebu 2013; and with designs featured in magazines like Mega, Preview, Look, Style Weekend by the Inquirer; and an international exposure on Fashion One TV and Traversing the Orient. Hanz was the official designer of the Philippines for the recent Ms. Earth 2013.

The whole Bohol contingent was able to start moving around 11:00 am. We made a turn to Mango Avenue at 11:40 a.m., reached Fuente Osmeña Circle at 3 p.m., and arrived at the Cebu City Sports Complex at 5 p.m.

The most amazing part of the whole experience was seeing the people’s reactions when they saw our dancers, instrumentalists, float, and most specially our models. The crowd was cheering, shouting, screaming and taking pictures of the float and those on it. Our models were thought to have been Mariel Rodriguez Padilla, Robin Padilla, Enrique Gil, Xian Lim, among others. Well that’s quite a good comparison!

The Bohol contingent was overwhelmed with the positive response shown by our Cebuano friends.  It was about faith, devotion, warmth and hospitality — the very true spirit of this annual Cebuano festivity called Sinulog.

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

Pit Señor sa Bohol kini!


Scene: From Charina Aumentado of Las Vegas this info: The first Boholano NBI Director-from the Mendez Clan. According to Justice Secretary Leila De Lima from "clergy loss to NBI gain" referring to newly appointed NBI Director Virgilio Loquellano Mendez. Born from a humble beginning, "Dodong" as fondly called by his inner family circles entered the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary (IHMS) in his secondary school years in Taloto, at the outskirt of Tagbilaran originally to enter priesthood. Born from family who depended much of the farm produce and a teacher, Dodong opted to take up law courses after finishing prelaw course at the same school in Tagbilaran City- the Divine Word College (now Holy Name University) and passed the Bar. His father, the late Diomedes Mendez, a full-time farmer and from Ubay, Bohol acquired farms lots in Bayongan, San Miguel, Bohol while her mother, Carolina Loquellano from Dauis teaches kids in the local public school. Dodong rose from the ranks in the NBI as agent, then to provincial and regional top NBI positions in northern Mindanao areas until his appointment as deputy director and lately to the top NBI post.

Gen. Art  Mendez Evangelista (right) with his cousin new NBI director Atty. Virgilio Mendez. Courtesy: Charina Aumentado
Scene: From Bohol’s seasoned host Raul Philipp Gatal: Beauche International is joining the 2014 Sinulog Grand Parade in Cebu City this Sunday, January 19. Already acknowledged as one of the country’s leading names in beauty and skin care perfection nurtured by Former Carmen Mayor  Madame Conchita “Che” Toribio De Los Reyes, Beauche International will have its own float to be graced by the recently- crowned 2013 Miss Beauche International Anne Mabel Ubando of Dagupan City. Her court of honor composed of Miss Manila Patricia Ramos 1st RU, Miss Baguio City Alyssa Ashley Calimlim 2nd RU, Miss Quezon City Lynne de Mesa 3rd RU and Miss Zamboanga City Jovilyn Gavan 4th RU will be joining the beauty queen & Beauche product endorser in the spectacular parade.

The Philippines is a predominantly Roman Catholic nation. Nearly all Roman Catholic homes and businesses in the Philippines own and display a statue of Sto. Niño, a representation of the Christ Child.  

The Sto. Niño de Cebu ("Holy Child of Cebu") is a celebrated statue of the Christ Child venerated by Filipino Roman Catholics.  Similar to the Infant of Prague, it is claimed to be the oldest religious image in the Philippines, originally given by Ferdinand Magellan to Rajah Humabon and his wife Juana in 1521.

The Sto. Niño de Cebu statue is permanently housed under bulletproof glass at the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño in Cebu City. It is one of the most recognizable cultural images in the Philippines found in many secular and religious areas.  

Panglao Mayor Nila Montero
Unknown to many, Panglao Mayor Leonila Paredes-Montero, a devotee of the Sto. Niño, has a collection of religious icons and paintings of the Sto. Niño.

Sto. Niño icons of different materials can be seen at the Montero resort in barangay Tawala, Panglao.

The Montero collections range from centuries-old heirlooms to newly carved Sto. Niño pieces, paintings, and statues bought within and outside the country.

In one of her travels, Maam Nila asked me to accompany her to check some Sto. Niño religious icons and paintings in Manila antique shops.

So far, no one in Bohol can match the collection of Maam Nila. Those who know her say that she can well afford expensive art pieces. Her family owns the Alona Tropical Resort in Panglao.

Well, that is Maam Nila’s expression of her spirituality.

Incidentally, the Panglao contingent will perform in today’s Sinulog grand parade in Cebu City.

At dawn last Thursday, the contingent from Panglao arrived in Cebu City. They are composed of 100 dancers and 50 props men and instrumentalists with Anthony Ceniza as choreographer.

After a six-year absence, Panglao contingent is joining the free interpretation (FI) category. Their presentation is about the earthquake, the damage it caused to Panglao, and their dance of gratitude.

But to their members, it’s not about winning or losing this year’s competition. They just want to perform as a way to give thanks to Señor Sto. Niño for sparing Bohol from heavy damage.

It can be noted that Panglao earned the fourth and third place in the FI category in the Sinulog 2006 and 2007.

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

Tagna-Tagna 2014

This year, 2014 is the year of the wooden horse. It is a time of fast victories, unexpected adventures, and surprising romances. It is an excellent year for travel, and the more far away and off the beaten path the better.

According to astrologers, 2014 offers people an opportunity to make their lives better, especially those who hadn’t had much luck in the previous year.

“It is also a year of competitiveness and of jealousy, back stabbing and insecurities,” said my psychic friend who hails from Loon town. “It will also be a year of good relationships but a lot of people will also lose the handle on their relationships.”

“Energy is high and production is rewarded. But you have to act fast in a Horse year. If you are not 100% secure about a decision, then don’t do it,” said another psychic friend from Panglao. “Events move so quickly in a Horse year that you don’t want to gallop off in the wrong direction.”

In terms of disasters, my other psychic friends (who have the powerful “mutya” to see the future) said there will be more (knock on the wood!)  fire, earthquakes (the aftershocks??) and drought and less storms during the year of the wooden horse.

I must take a bow because last year’s Tagna-Tagna was 98% true without the mutya, tarot cards and crystal balls. Thanks to our very reliable sources, snitches, tipsters, snoops and spywitnesses for the “tagna.”

Without much ado, here is Tagna-Tagna 2014:

• It will be a baby girl for former SK provincial president Doxson Asoy and Karen Digal.

• Newly-wed Benjie Oliva and lawyer Joan Jagonos-Oliva  will be a complete family. Weeks from now, Joan will start having morning sickness. Same for newly-wed Diane Uy-Yap and Atty. Wrenly Yap.

•The stork might visit Chandrina Elluiska Schreurs and Abdul Wallace. They will tie the knot in July, in church this time.

David Maulas and Jenissa Laguda Peteros will not tie the knot, and neither will Alfeo Jabinez and Amy Fiel Booc nor Marianne Domivee Chatto and Haibon Lim Mapute. But beauty queen Fer Mary Baliquig and her beau just might (subject to further “testing”).

• Beauty pageants in Bohol may face dangerous situations and greater challenges. A group will “revive” the beauty pageants like Miss Tagbilaran and Miss Bohol Sandugo. In the end, people would say,
“What’s new?”

• Architect Junibe Froilan and Doc April Lumuthang-Froilan won’t produce “a little Junibe” or “a little April” this year no matter how hard they try.  Same for Eden Descallar and Mikel Ceballos, Mark Arbilo and Analyn Pollenza. But if they will pray or visit Sta. Clara’s monastery, heaven might smile at them.

Anna Maris Igpit will find a new boyfriend. But marriage is farthest from her mind this year.

Fashion icon EJ Relampagos likes to experience autumn and he will have it this year. He knows how to travel in style.

• Danilo Torcende and Ar-Ar dela Serna will join and win in prestigious contests (keep your fingers crossed!).

• The “missing” Miss Bohol Sandugo Brigette Burato and other beauty queens like Mary Ebone Cimafranca will resurface with a big “surprise.” We miss you!

• “Tableya” princess Dalareich Polot will venture into another business. No, not hot choco..it’s something new.

Looks like Joy Suares and her beau will put all their past drama behind them. 2014 will be a great year for a start.

After the long-delayed album (Hello?!? We’re tired of waiting!), Centerstage Band might release an album this year. The same for the Loboc Children’s Choir.  

• Another “Reveal” will be held this year (with Henry Baron, Maximiel Tallo, Jong Magallano, Omie Auza, Rhigel Dulfo, EJ Relampagos and Sony Pamaong) but another one will enter the dragon. Knock, knock! Who’s there? 

And the “blind item” tagna-tagna:

• A lot of girls (daughters of who’s who in Bohol) will be involved in plastic surgery epidemic.  Others will have real noses and others could wink without risking facial paralysis.

• 2014 might be not good for this high-ranking official born under the year of the rat (HROBUTYOR). HROBUTYOR might face greater passive situation in career, the villains might often make interference and obstacles behind. HROBUTYOR would face controversies but HROBUTYOR will wait for the dust to settle on that.

A beauty queen will make a comeback to Bohol but society watchers will hardly recall her after she went under the knife.

• A Boholana will step out of the limo and walk the red carpet in her finest duds as the cameras snap and flashes blind her.

• A son of a prominent family will make a desperate revelation that he has the deadliest catch. The victims of this deadliest catch are growing this year.

• Members of this band will emotionally face challenges that the band will fade away. However, new bands (from the towns of T, L and B) will make names this year.

• A popular model, a politician and a department head of a prominent place will make a shocking revelation that they are gays. So what? Although Bohol is not yet ready to accept and embrace “bromance” relationships the population of maya and paminta are growing fast!

• The wholesome images of prominent personalities will be tarnished by issues against them. Clue: Oink! Oink!

Chandrina Elluiska Schreurs is hitched! The former beauty queen and youth leader married her boyfriend Abdul Wallace last Dec. 2013. A church wedding is scheduled in July this year. Courtesy: Chan Chan
A beauty queen will make a shocking revelation that she is a he?!? No elaboration.

• Some paisanos in the field of beauty pageant, public service, tourism, music and fashion will make us proud.

• A young politician (YP) will get involved in a politically-motivated controversy that YP will be out of the country.

A Bol-anon will surprise everyone with a challenging role in a hit teleserye (if not a movie) to prove that Boholanos are talented.

• In preparation for 2016, a former politician will send feelers for a return to a prominent politician but the prominent politician will simply turn a deaf ear.

• The popularity of these comediennes will wane (temporarily) as young comediennes will steal the limelight.

• A radio station will initiate major reformatting of some of its shows. No elaboration.

This high-ranking official who’s big (HROWB) who left his family will make a dabble home-video that the public eyes will be eager to see how the HROWB, erm, measured-up.

A lot of Boholanos will offer up themselves on their FB and twitter accounts. It’s the year that there's almost no aspect of their lives that we don't know about. But apparently they want still want us to know more. Tweet! Tweet!

• A local chief executive of a curtained town born under the year of the snake (LCECTBUTYTS) will enjoy the lucky star showing unbeatable skill and unstoppable “pogi” points. However, LCECTBUTYTS will sink into panic and passive situation because LCECTBUTYTS’s partner is unlucky this year.

A new group of young girls and boys will be introduced into the glamour world. Their mentor (codenamed: MTA) will ditch extensions and opts for something a little more sophis.

• After three months after being hit by a magnitude 7.2-quake, Bohol formally welcomed foreign tourists the other day. Take note, there will be celebrity sightings in Bohol this year 2014  that people can take pictures of the celebrities out and about- what they’re wearing, where they’re going in Bohol.

I hear you screech! Pun very much intended.

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