Sunday, August 24, 2014

Anna Maris Igpit engaged to Aussie football player

Boholana beauty queen Anna Maris Arcay Igpit is ready to walk down the aisle.

Anna Maris Igpit and Tommy Taylor. 
(Photo taken from Anna Maris Igpit’s Instagram account)
Maris is now engaged to Aussie football player Thomas “Tommy” Luke Taylor.

Maris shared the happy news on her Instagram page, posting a photo of her showing off her new bling. 

"On a romantic night in the beautiful island of Panglao...i said YES!!!," Maris captioned the photo. She and Taylor have been dating for years.

Taylor also posted on Facebook, “The love of my life Anna Maris Igpit .. She said Yess!!! #happiestmanalive#loveyoububz.”

Taylor is the midfielder of the Kaya Futbol Club, a Filipino association football club based in Makati City. They are currently playing in the first division of the United Football League.

Maris was crowned Miss Bohol Sandugo 2005 and Bb. Pilipinas-World 2006. She was behind the Oplan Bangon Bohol campaign to help the victims of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol in 2013.  

As soon as Maris announced the engagement, her Facebook was flooded with congratulations and wishes.

Anna Maris Igpit shares 
a glimpse of her engagement 
ring. (Photo taken from Anna Maris Igpit’s Instagram account)
During the AYBM's 17th anniversary last Aug. 17, Maris and Taylor attended the event together.

“Engaged...congrats to my daughter Anna Maris Igpit! I’m happy for you...,” said Maricor Igpit, Maris mom.

No wedding date has been set.

Another yummy place in Panglao

Binalot Panglao is one of Bohol’s hidden culinary gems that offers Filipino dishes wrapped in banana leaves.

In Filipino, binalot means “wrapped.”  The owner of Binalot Rommel Juan had been inspired by his memories from childhood, when food used to be served in banana leaves during family picnics. The re-discovery of an age-old but very clever Filipino dining practice much better than styrofoam lunch packs – banana leaves! The “banana leaves” are a welcome, refreshing substitute to the non-biodegradable styrofoam box.

“I like the way the taste stays even after you ate them,” shares Bon Ryan Bongato. “It's affordable and great to eat during the mountain side and island hopping tours, beach party and any other types of party, family gathering and even just eating within our homes.” 

Binalot Panglao feels so Filipino with their Filipino
 foods wrapped in banana leaf.
Ian Grupo says, “I love the taste... Good and cheap food in the area. I want to go back here.”

Bestsellers at Binalot Panglao restaurant are their Tapa rap sarap (P99), Vivo Tocino (P85), Sinigang with a bang (P85), Pork bongga longganisa ( P85), Its dat you pork BBQ (P85), Bistek Walasyik (P99), No bones daing nab angus (P99), Anytime Inihaw na baboy (P109),   Sisig na makisig (P80), Pride Tilapia (P99) and Fiesta Adobo (All pork for P104, All chicken for P124, and chicken and pork for P114).

They have also their Ulam sa Bilao for parties, family picnic, school blowout and barkada gimmick.

To end your meal, make sure to order the halo halo and mais con yelo.

Visit Binalot Panglao at #2, Tawala, Panglao.  For
Binalot Panglao offers affordable and yummy Filipino foods.
inquiries and deliveries, call Binalot Panglao at (038) 502-4946 or 0925-5004627.


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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Robin Williams and his Bohol connection

Seen: Noel Tuazon has won 1st Prize for his short story, “Gutom,” in the Cebuano Short Story Category of the 2014 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. The awarding ceremony is on Sept. 1.

Scene: The hashtag #makeuptransformation has taken over Twitter and Facebook.  People post photo collages of themselves transforming into someone new with the help of a little make-up with the last panel of their goal look plus humor. Case in point: Luke Mejares transforms himself into a tarsier! Cool!

Scene: Burglary crime wave hits the area of Graham and Pamaong streets in Tagbilaran City as several houses have been burgled in recent weeks recently. Police authorities are warning residents to be vigilant following a high number of burglaries in the area. Unfortunately, there was an intruder in our house last Saturday dawn. We lost our tabs, cellphones and cash. Most of the items, luckily, are easily replaced. And we're not hurt at the time, which is the biggest blessing. Please be warned of any text messages from my old mobile number 09212446791. Several of the burglaries happened as offenders gaining entry via an open ground-floor window or door. They also happened during the day.

Robin Williams, the beloved comedic actor known for his roles in “Dead Poets Society,” “Mork & Minday,” Mrs. Doubtfire,” and most recently his role in “The Crazy Ones,” died Monday, August 11 at the age of 63.

Robin Williams and Marsha Garces
Up to now, dozens of fans including Filipinos in America could be seen visiting Williams’ star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame to honor his memory and say “Thank you” for bringing joy into their lives.

“We’re so sad that he’s gone,” said US-based Boholano socialite Mikey Gatal who brought a large bouquet of flowers to lay on the Hollywood star. “He’s really a great actor. One of Hollywood’s finest actors of our time.”

Many fans, including yours truly, grew up watching his television shows and movies or listening to his comedy albums. He won an Oscar for the 1997 movie “Good Will Hunting,” and won five Grammys over the years for live and recorded albums.

In his past interviews, Williams bared his strong Philippine connection. His second wife, Marsha Garces, a half-Filipino half-Finnish, is from Ubay in Bohol.

Marsha is the daughter of Pantaleon “Leon” Marciano Fernandez Garces and Ina Rachel Matilla, a Finnish. Pantaleon was born on July 27, 1909 in Ubay town. He immigrated to the United States in 1929, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and then chose Milwaukee  as his home where he devoted himself to family, friends, and his work as a chef. During the last twenty-five years of his life, he enjoyed retirement close to family in Phoenix and San Francisco. He died on March 9, 2002 at age 92. His wife Ina died in 2003. The couple’s ashes were buried alongside those of Pantaleon’s siblings and cousins in the Ubay cemetery.

Pantaleon and Ina Garces
Marsha served as nanny to William’s first child Zachary. The couple had two kids Zelda and Cody. As part of an extended Pinoy family, Williams visited the Philippines years ago and Marsha introduced Pinoy foods like “adobo, chicken hinalang and pansit.”

Marsha’s cousins (l-r) Archt. Joy Delfin-Abrigos, Jewel Delfin
and Judge Daniel Jose Garces.  
As a wife, Marsha was producing and assisting Williams in his films such as such as "Mrs. Doubtfire," "Dead Poets Society," "Patch Adams," and "Good Morning, Vietnam."

After marrying in 1989, Williams and Marsha divorced in 2008.

People from all over the world shared stories and photos of meeting the comic legend, and several families spoke about what an impact he made on their lives.

In 2007, Williams donated US$10,000 to finish the construction of the Sacred Heart Shrine in Poblacion, Ubay town. When Williams learned that the church had no budget, he sent donation to the Garces family.

“It feels good, actually ang kadtong gihatag niya nga US$10,000 maoy nakatiwas sa building. Kay kuwang man gud og roofing, paghatag niya adto hallelujah, nahuman jud ang building,” said Judge Daniel Jose Garces, Marsha’s cousin. “So very grateful for that...unya we hope he may rest in peace.”

Robin Williams donated US$10,000 to help finish
 the Sacred Heart Shrine in Ubay, Bohol. LPU 
According to Marsha’s relatives in the US and in Ubay, Williams was friendly and funny and they were touched of his generosity as well.

“Robin was really a very nice person, friendly and down to earth,” said Jewel Delfin, Marsha’s first degree cousin, who runs the Bohol Northeastern Colleges (BNC). “We’re surprised when my cousin Marsha filed a divorce and the divorce was something irrevocable. At first we didn’t know about it, we just knew about it just recently when he died.”

However, Delfin didn’t elaborate details why Marsha divorced Williams. Delfin shared that Williams was close to Pantaleon even after their divorce.

“When my uncle and aunt Ina had their golden wedding anniversary, it was really very bongga,” said Delfin. “It was held at the ranch where they invited celebrities during the party. That’s how Robin respected my uncle.”

The world has lost an immense talent, a creative genius and one of the great voices of Hollywood ...but his fans around the world will continue to honor his memory through laughter. 

A star not soon forgotten. Your VRS at 
the star of Robin Williams at 
The Hollywood Walk of Fame, a place
 where movie stars live
 on and fans can go to celebrate their favorites. 
The legend's star was showered with 
flowers, candles and a mini Oscar statuette. 
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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Touch of April to ‘beautify’ Bohol

Seen: Spotted in Dauis town last Friday were sexy actress Maui Taylor and sexy comedienne Giselle Sanchez.

Kris and Pokwang in Panglao
Seen: Also spotted in Bohol last Friday were the Queen of All Media Kris Aquino and Pokwang. They were visiting beach resorts in Panglao for KrisTV.

Scene: The 18th wedding anniversary of Engr. and Mrs. Jerome John Jumawan Gabin (nee Fiel Angeli Espejo Araoarao) today, August 10, and at the same time the 6th death anniversary of former Panglao Mayor Derclo Reparato "Rep" Bongoyan Araoarao. Being married for almost two decades, they find ways to appreciate each other.  Fiel, the Miss Tagbilaran 1987 and president of Bohol’s Toastmasters International has a loving and happy family. To mark the date, Fiel has this message for her hubby: Indeed, I am so blessed for having you in my life... Thank you for everything, especially for loving me (with all of my imperfections), our children Cielo and Renji, and my family - Mama Wincie, Papa Rep, Ondoy, Baby, Coeli and Lola Pining..So lovely.

Scene: Amateur and professional photographers are encouraged to submit images that capture the wonders of Ubay – its natural splendor, unique attractions, colorful events, and the remarkable spirit of its people and communities for the 2014 Ubay Tourism Photo contest! Deadline is on August 27. For queries, contact (038) 518-8099 or 09291126719 and look for Maxwell Cutamora.

Engr and Mrs. Gabin celebrate 18th wedding anniversary
Years ago, a nurse named Glysa shared her OR experience while assisting a doctor at the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital. During the operation the patient began to bleed heavily that caused the surgeon and the team to worry. The surgeon asked the staff to immediately call Dr. Maria April “Doc April” Lumuthang-Froilan, the first female surgeon in Bohol and the former chief surgeon of Gallares hospital, for help.

“She looked stunning in simple jeans and t-shirt,” said Glysa. “She was so relaxed. Just an instant diagnose, the bleeding stopped. I was amazed! What a great surgeon!”

Last year, Doc April went to Pan Pacific Aesthetic Institute (an organization consisting of seven well-respected cosmetic surgeons in the country and the first to offer a formal training program in cosmetic surgery), to study cosmetic surgery.

Now, Doc April is set to share her experience and knowledge on beauty to Bohol and nearby provinces by opening her first clinic Touch of April tomorrow, August 11, at Bohol Medical Care Institute (BMCI) in Dao District, Tagbilaran City.

It’s not enough to be born beautiful. You have to do something to keep yourself that way.

Ask Doc April, now Bohol’s first cosmetic surgeon.

“Life is beautiful! We want to see beauty everywhere,” exclaimed Doc April.

According to the Pan Pacific Aesthetic Institute, the promise of youthful look and vibrant beauty brought about by cosmetic surgery among both the female and male gender and its greater acceptance of the public has prompted many doctors to enter and specialize in this field.

There is no need to go to Cebu or Manila for cosmetic surgery because Doc April is equally competent with those cosmetic surgeons in imperial Manila.

My visit to Doc April’s clinic last Thursday was “howlarious,” “naughty,” and “daring”! There was no restriction asking Doc April unnerving questions that delve into, would you believe, body parts (such as, ehem, size and the like).

You must have noticed at this point that today’s story is a bit “sanitized” (yes, PG is needed) to avoid offending the sensibility of some readers. VRS is treating the subject as clinically as possible, especially the following extreme procedures “for men” and “for women” only.

Dr. Maria April Lumuthang-Froilan is now ‘beautifying’ Bohol’ as the only cosmetic surgeon in the province.

Doc April’s Touch of April surgicenter offers noselift (rhinoplasty), nosetrim (alarplasty), eyebag removal (lower blepharoplasty),  slit eye ( upper blepharoplasty), cleft chin creation, dimple creation, buttocks augmentation, vaginal repair (vaginoplasty), virginity restoration (hymenoplasty), penile enlargement/lengthening, ear reconstruction (otoplasty), breast augmentation, liposuction, tummy tuck lip reduction, chin augmentation, warts/mole, keloid removal, botox injection and glutathione injection.

According to Doc April, rhinoplasty (medical term for nose jobs) procedures are performed on women and men. Since the facial bones are fully matured and stable by the age of 16, the typical age range of persons undergoing rhinoplasties is from 16 to 60 years old.

Doc April had already three patients who underwent nose jobs who are extremely happy with the result.

“More than the aesthetic benefit to enhance their physical appearance, they regain their self-confidence and realize their self-worth,” revealed Doc April. “And it is safe.”

Tummy tuck is the removal of excess wrinkled skin, subcutaneous fat (the fat between the muscles of the abdomen and the skin) to tighten the abdominal musculature.

Breast enhancements come in many different forms - bust lift, breast reduction, reshaping and augmentation.  
“Breast augmentation is for women who want to look better and more comfortable with their bodies,” said Doc April. “It is to create a breast more appropriate and most natural to one's overall body physique.”

Dr. Maria April Lumuthang-Froilan (2nd from right) with her mentors during her extensive training at the Pan Pacific Aesthetic Institute
Tired, puffy or dropped eyes can make us look differently from how we really feel inside. Through eye bag removal, the eyes can give others a glimpse of our mood, thoughts and well-being.

 “Liposuction is not a substitute for weight reduction or weight loss,” warned Doc April. “Rather, it is an ideal for those who have already lost weight but still have stubborn bulges despite extensive dieting and exercise.” The procedure shapes up the stomach, hips, thighs, buttocks and arms by removing excess fats in these areas. Liposuction is also ideal for post-pregnancy bulges.

The extreme makeover “for women only” is veiled in secrecy. Giving birth, aging and obesity can cause stretching and looseness of the muscles well “down there,” so Doc April is offering vaginal repair (vaginoplasty) and virginity restoration (hymenoplasty).

“Vaginoplasty is a procedure that aims to "tighten up" a vagina that's become slack or loose from vaginal childbirth or aging,” said Doc April.

Virginity restoration is also known as hymen restoration which is a simple procedure that stitches back together what a moment of passion might have shattered giving girls with a past a new future. Doc April turns sexually experienced women into surgical virgins.

But it isn't just women wanting to have their breasts made bigger or their noses made smaller, but also men who want to have the package.

How about the six pack abs?  Many men want them, but few actually have them! People work out for years trying to get ripped abs, some are successful, and some are not.  According to Doc April, for those that are unsuccessful, there is a solution.

“Liposuction can be used to give you the definition of a six pack,” revealed Doc April. “I rather call it liposculpture because liposuction is an art. It gives you the sexy 100% you and natural.”

The penile enlargement is “for men only.”

“Is bigger really better?” asked Doc April.

It seems that penis size has been a source of male anxiety throughout history and across cultures. Those men who “are not gifted” can have penile enlargement.  A penoplasty consists of two parts which can be done together or individually. One procedure adds thickness, the other adds length.

“We maintain the utmost in patient confidentiality,” assured Doc April.

Patients must have a pre-surgical consultation and thorough examination prior to the surgery. Individual needs and expectations are discussed at this time. Patients are individually counselled and educated on what to expect, including possible risks, benefits, and options.

“Your transformation starts here at Touch of April,” said Doc April.

For inquiries and appointments, Touch of April General and Cosmetic SurgiCenter has a clinic at Bohol Medical Care Institute (BMCI), Dao District, Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Contact No: 09234639168/09296950445.

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

Monday, August 4, 2014

Touching moments in Hong Kong and Macau

Scene: During the pre-pageant activities, two Boholana beauties have done well in the 2014 Mutya ng Pilipinas.  Candidate # 20 Candy Cumayas is Miss Fishers Mall, while candidate #2 Dorina Loseñada Doerr (half German half Filipina) is Miss Photogenic. The grand coronation night on August 8 will have the theme, “Mutya ng Pilipinas, Where Beauty Begins…” The top 3 most coveted titles are Mutya ng Pilipinas-Asia Pacific, Mutya ng Pilipinas - Overseas Communities and Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism International. To vote for Candy and Dorina, visit

Mrs. Aumentado
Seen: Vanessa Cadorna-Aumentado, wife of Bohol 2nd district Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado, was wearing a black Filipiniana accentuated with white fern and gumamela flower (the provincial flower of Bohol) created by fashion icon EJ Relampagos during the President’s fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA). Someone requested a solo pic with Mrs. Aumentado who looked gorgeous on the red carpet.

Scene: The memorable church wedding of Abdul Wallace and Chandrina Elluiska Schreurs at St. Augustine Church in Panglao. “To our families of both sides thank you for knowing us deeply.. to our friends who came: thank you for witnessing and for sparing some time on our day..” said Chandrina.

Pardon my ignorance (blush, blush, blush!) but I didn’t know that Hong Kong was the shopping capital of world and Macau was world’s gambling capital until last week my cousin Eva Aquino-Idon with her daughter Shiela Mae, my nephew Jerwin Jala and I came here for a vacy on such a hot summer weekdays arranged by IJEA Travel and Tours (31-A Airport Road, fronting DILG, Tagbilaran City, Tel No:   038-412-3885/09182610130).

During the four-day tour, we explored and loved Hong Kong’s and Macau’s vibrant and cosmopolitan lifestyle, it’s cultural fusion and diversity, as evident in everything from its shopping, dining, arts, history, entertainment, nightlife, festivals and events. 

Your VRS at the St. Paul Ruins, arguably Macau’s most famous landmark.
We used our first day in Hong Kong as a walking day. We roamed around the city’s Central watching the dramatic skyline with 1,251 skyscrapers and high-rises, the most in the world.

“HK has amazing skyscrapers!” exclaimed Shiela Mae.

On the second day, we visited the Avenue of Stars (modelled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame which pays tribute to Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Chow Yun Fat, Maggie Cheung, John Woo, Wong Kar-wai and Hong Kong's rich cinematic tradition), Aberdeen Fishing Village, Mid-Level of Victoria Peak, Jewelry Shop and Chocolate Shop.

After the city tour, we went to Disneyland until fireworks displayed at 9 p.m. The smallest in the world, Disneyland Hong Kong has a legendary fairy tale kingdom which celebrates the spirit of fantasy and an amazing world of tomorrow with a forever-young sense of adventure.

Hong Kong offers travelers the opportunity to experience a vibrant living culture featuring a unique blend of East and West.
Shiela Mae and Jerwin did enjoy the seven theme parks (The Main Street of USA, Adventure land, Fantasy land, Tomorrow Land, Toy Story Land, Grizzly Gulch and the Mystic Point) in Disneyland. However, they confessed that they liked the It’s a Small World, a musical boat ride located in the Fantasyland which features over 300 brightly costumed audio-animatronic dolls in the style of children of the world, frolicking in a spirit of international unity, and singing the attraction's title song, which has a theme of global peace.

“Look, there’s a tarsier!” said Jerwin while we’re approaching Asia. The Philippines spot has two dolls wearing Filipiniana inside a bahay kubo, tarsier and chocolate hills.

Inside Venetian Hotel
People go shopping in Hong Kong, by day or night. They have many night markets (Mong Kok, Stanley and Temple Street) where you can bargain certain products at the lowest price. Your shopping in Hong Kong would not be complete if you would not try their street foods.

After visiting Temple Street, my VRS (noted for dishing out, ehem, hard to guess blind items) were sending some “goodies” straight from Bohol:

1) This “center of the class (COC)” likes to grab the responsibilities from his co-COC. Flashing a Garfield smile, this COC is close to the controversial head of all COC. This psychopant Garfield has been known for his character of humiliating their heavenly leader and creating faction within the community. “Careful, this Garfield is cunning,” warned VRS.

2) This businessman envisioned to earn millions outside the south pearl. He became successful only to find out his girlfriend spent all his cash and pawned his jewelries. “He is back in Bohol,” VRS said, “empty-handed. No money. No girlfriend.”

3) “Since you’re there in Hong Kong maybe you’ll bump into this son of a wealthy family who is doing a miracle while far away from home,” texted VRS. “Last month, he was spotted at Kow Loon in HK holding hands with a young gentleman while giggling and whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears.” Confirmed!

I just smiled...

On the third day, we went to Macau, Asia’s Sin City. It is just an hour by ferry (TurboJet) from Hong Kong.

Tourism is a major industry in Macau. It is famous for the blend of Portuguese and Chinese cultures and its gambling industry and entertainment.  

Most come to Macau for the casinos, but it has a wealth of activity to offer for those who want to enjoy a non-gaming environment, such as a UNESCO world heritage site, museums, historic buildings and areas.

Macau is a small place just like Panglao Island but it has striking architecture and ambitious new developments.

The best part for visitors is that the city is compact, making the best of Macau simple to explore. We visited the Kuan Iam statue considered as one of Macau’s finest Buddhist temples, and the Ama Temple, a destination offering silence and spectacular views, has a classical Chinese architectural treasures.

We also visited the Macau Tower, a new tourist spot with cinema, cafes and restaurants, shopping mall, 360° Cafe, 180° Lounge, conference centre, theatre and exhibition hall and a local cake shop for some delicious treat found only in Macau.

Of course, we went to St. Paul Ruins (also known as Sam Ba Sing Tzik), the most famous sight in Macau. The front façade and the grand stone stairs are the only remains of the greatest church in Macau. It is said the original church was probably designed by an Italian Jesuit in the early 17th century. It reflects great Catholic history of this former Portuguese colony.

Our guide Ken laughed when I told him about lutong Macau in Philippines. "Lutong Macau" is coined from the way the Chinese (Macau) prepared their food in advance.  When Pinoy says "lutong Macau," it means that there is something wrong or unscrupulous with the transaction from the beginning. It also means the transaction was "fixed" already before it was started to give way to a "favored" party just like in beauty pageants or singing contests.

Harbor in Hong Kong
The remaining hours in Macau were spent at the Venetian Hotel to experience a lavish full-service haven featuring sophisticated accommodations and numerous dining establishments and entertainment facilities.  The Venetian Macau has fake perfect skies.

Eva and Shiela Mae insisted that we should have an authentic gondola ride down the canals of the Shoppes at the Venetian.

Our gondolier was a Filipino who is working in Macau for four years. He was singing Italian opera melodies during our ride. He engaged us in a breezy, free-wheeling and delightful conversation, calling us by names and making us feel we’re in the Philippines.

“You will love my next song,” he said.

Surprisingly, he was singing “Usahay” ala Luciano Pavarotti. Before he was able to finish the song, people were clapping and saying bravo! He captured the attention and affection of the tourists with his heart-rending rendition of the Visayan love song.

We took home a souvenir photograph to remember our wonderful experience.

How can you not love Hong Kong and Macau? I asked my co-turistas.

“What a beautiful experience!” gushed Eva.

Night market in Hong Kong
Said Shiela Mae: “I want to come back!”

Jerwin commented, “I love Disneyland!”

It’s only a quick three hour flight away to see you again Hong Kong and Macau!

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