Monday, March 24, 2014

Former Boholana beauty queen battling the Big C

Scene: The biggest winner during the opening of the 1st Bohol International Choir Festival on March 18 was no other than the Bohol Queen of All Media Ardy Araneta Batoy. I'd enjoyed watching the show with her expertise on emceeing the event! No need to say more! Salute!

Scene: How to raise an eyebrow? This factotum on special services (FSS) in the Highest Kingdom of Choco (HKC) is now suffering from hydrocephalous. “FSS was very down to earth when FSS was new,” said HKC’s the intruding cupbearer-VRS. “Now FSS feels like the king in HKC. In fact, FSS has PSG even inside the mall. Nakatungtong ra gani sa buko-buko sa kabaw Hahahaha

Tagbilaran Woman's Club members
Scene: Catch the Teen Idol 2014 Artista Search in your school: March 21 (Friday), 3 p.m.-6 p.m. at Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School gym and March 22 (Saturday), 1 p.m.- 3p.m. at PMI College Main Campus gym.

Scene: A strong call from Tagbilaranan Woman’s Club: We call on everyone to support the campaign to observe Wednesday as" no plastic bag day" and hopefully to eventually expand to everyday of the week. This initiative will enhance the earth's carrying capacity against pollution. We are enjoining all Tagbilaranons to hang the 2x2 ft. tarp as seen in this car in front of their residences so people can be reminded that for a start, let us make Wednesday, a plastic bag free day. It is only 60 pesos. You can order and get tarp yourself at EBA Printers: Tel no 4123502 or 0918 6029804. Look for Vicvic. Please. Help in the info drive. Our dumping site in Dampas cannot take anymore of the plastics. Thank you Tagbilaranons.

Atty. Victoriano B. Tirol, Jr., one of Bohol’s great educators, dies
Former DepEd-Western Visayas regional director and University of Bohol President Atty. Victoriano B. Tirol, Jr.  died Friday, March 21, at St. Luke’s Hospital, according to his family and relatives. His sudden death has left many in the academe nearly too stunned to speak. They are mourning the loss of a great educator and leader.

Atty. Victoriano B. Tirol, Jr.
As a lawyer and educator by profession, Atty. Tirol Jr. served as national president of the Philippine Public School Teacher, Employees Association (PPSTEA) and initiated the Magna Carta for Public Schools.

In July 2009, Atty. Tirol Jr. was awarded as one of The Outstanding Boholanos around the World (Tobaw) in the field of education. In his desire to open more avenues for educational advancement, he founded Cristal e College in Panglao, Information Computer Institute Bohol and Galeria, a computer school in Quezon City.

Atty. Tirol Jr. was a practicing lawyer with three Doctoral Degrees in Philosophy major in English, Education and Administration. He has also earned six masteral degrees. He also graduated Master of Arts in Theology, Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Divinity. The Confederation of Evangelical Ministries Association of Bohol Inc. ordained him Evangelical Bishop. 

Having known friends who are fighting the Big C, I can feel what US-based socialite Mikey Gatal and his family are going through when he shares about the condition of his sister, the 1983 Miss Young Bohol Marcel Gatal-Diego, who battles the Big C.

“Any journey down that road is not easy for a family,” says Mikey, holding back tears.

Marcel is suffering from breast cancer stage 3, the same one singer-songwriter Anastacia is a survivor of.

The American Cancer Society says, “Stage 3 breast cancer is more advanced than Stage 2, but it is not considered metastatic. For this diagnosis, cancer has not spread from the breast to organs or other distant sites in the body, but cancer cells will have traveled to nearby underarm (axillary) lymph nodes, or lodged in lymph nodes beneath your breastbone (sternum) or even under your collarbone.”

Marcel Gatal-Diego (Courtesy: Raul Gatal)
“She’s in high spirits,” adds Mikey, who will visit Marcel this summer.

VRS is requesting its readers to pray for Marcel’s speedy recovery. Remember, as poet Alfred Tennyson said, more things are wrought by prayers than this world dreams of. Prayer can move mountains.   

The news first appeared on Bohol’s seasoned host Raul Gatal’s blog ( Yes, what’s in the blog is true.

My Ate Marcel Battles the Big C

I have been trying to keep this to myself but I realized that by sharing our pain, people would get to be more cognizant of breast cancer and how it affects and devastates the families of its victims

It was only last December 2013 when I visited Ate Marcel and her family in Manila that I found out about the Big C. The biopsy results confirmed what she had dreaded ever since she felt a lump in her chest. The diagnosis was breast cancer stage 3b.  

I remember going to the toilet right after we talked. It was there at that very private area where I tore up and really cried. After regaining my composure, I went back to the living room where Ate Marcel, Kuya
Tony and their kids were gathered.

I remember going out with the whole family and with younger brother Junjun for some bonding moments. It was supposed to be a happy occasion for Christmas was approaching and yet there was that dark cloud of gloom that hovered over us.

.. with daughter Katrina after a chemotherapy session.
That was one sad Christmas reminiscent of the one that we had the year Papa Rogie passed away.
Yes, my dear Ate Marcel is facing the biggest battle of her life and we need the power of a Prayer Brigade as she continues her treatment regimens

Ate Marcel’s last visit to Bohol was only last January. She insisted in coming home to pay her last respects to our late uncle “Papa Rey Gatal” before he was to be buried last January 3. It was a heart-wrenching reunion for Ate Marcel and cousins Ate Roni and Manoy Rocky who practically grew up together since our respective houses in Gallares St. were right beside each other.

I couldn’t help but shed a tear when Ate Marcel was sobbing on Manoy Rocky’s shoulders. Manoy Rocky, then Tagbilaran City’s Kabataang Barangay Chairman was the one who insisted that Ate Marcel accept the offer to represent the city in the 1983 Miss Young Bohol Pageant. She followed his advice and the rest is history.

Cancer is such a treacherous disease. Once it latches onto the cancer patient’s system, it is irreversible unless there is medical intervention. The malignant tumour results from the abnormal and uncontrolled division of affected cells

Right now Ate Marcel has lost her hair as a result of her ongoing chemotherapy. Ate Marcel has always been a survivor and been a veteran of life’s battles and wars. She has always been a strong, opinionated and determined woman who never been known to back out from trials and challenges.

But Ate Marcel can never do this alone. Let’s rally behind her as she faces the biggest battle of her life. Give her some words of encouragement and please offer a prayer for her

Making this public has been a very difficult decision for us. We could just keep quiet about this but it would be unfair for family, friends and classmates.

We want to share this so that everyone would realize that cancer is very real and can happen to anyone including your loved ones.   

(Note: The American Cancer Society (ACS) stresses the importance of finding breast cancer early.  The goal of screening exams for early breast cancer detection is to find cancers before they start to cause symptoms.
“Most doctors feel that early detection tests for breast cancer save thousands of lives each year,” says ACS’ website. If you have sore, red and itchy nipples, upper back pain, a change in nipple appearance or size, change in breast size and pain, lumps or swelling in the armpits, it is advisable that you contact a doctor as early as possible.)

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