Monday, January 26, 2015

Miss Colombia wins Miss Universe 2014

Miss Colombia Paulina Vega, 22, was named 2014’s Miss Universe! After a rigorous competition starting with 88 girls from around the world showing off their stunning beauty and talent at the FIU Arena in Miami, Florida, the stunner went home the ultimate winner over Miss USA Nia Sanchez!

Photo by Alexander Tamargo
 / Getty Images North America / AFP
Miss Jamaica was the top trend on Twitter towards the end of the competition, so viewers were really loving her.

Miss Spain was the top trend earlier in the night, but didn’t make it into the top 5.

Miss Philippines MJ Lastimosa was on top 10 but failed to make it to the final 5.

Miss Congeniality Universe was Miss Nigeria, Miss Photogenic Universe was Miss Puerto Rico, and Best National Costume was Miss Indonesia.

This is the full list of winners.

Miss Universe: Colombia
1st runner-up: USA Nia Sanchez
2nd runner-up: Ukraine Ukraine Diana Harkusha
3rd runner-up: Netherlands Yasmin Verheijin
4th runner-up: Jamaica Kaci Fennel
National Costume: Indonesia
Miss Congeniality: Nigeria
Miss Photogenic: Puerto Rico

Rivermaya and Paolo Valenciano Live at Ubay Gym

SceneCongratulations to the selected OMG models Imaculada Cleofe Leopardas, Neil Namuag and Adelyn Joy Esclamado for  2015-2016. The contract signing was held yesterday, Jan. 24, witnessed by Bohol’s seasoned host Raul Gatal, Roger Gatal, Nikki Gatal-Quintia, Pam Marzon and other OMG members.
Scene: The 15th Ubi Festival was held on Jan. 21-23 to “venerate” the most important rootcrop in the province of Bohol. “We are holding the ubi festival to promote the products, the marginalized products of the farmers, to showcase to the community that ubiis unique in the province of Bohol and to promote the industry in order that it will become larger part of the high value crops in the province of Bohol,” said Larry Pamugas of the Provincial Agriculture Office. “This time, few farmers are going back to the farm, only few young people are going back to the farm, I hope this is a avenue to invite farmers to plant more ubi in Bohol.” Pamugas also said that climate change has affected the ubi production in Bohol. “One of the reasons why the harvest of ubi in the province now is (low) due to the impact of climate change. With that we hope we can innovate technologies that ubi can still survive even with the change of the climate.”
Seen: Spotted in Doral Miami, Florida in USA is fashion icon EJ Relampagos. EJ will be watching the 63rd Miss Universe. The pageant night is on Jan. 25 (Jan. 26 Manila time, to be aired live on ABS-CBN).
Multi-platinum-selling rock band Rivermaya goes live at Ubay gymnasium on Jan. 28.
Catch Rivermaya and Paolo Valenciano\
 on Jan. 28 in Ubay town.
Rivermaya is one of the most significant Pinoy rock bands in the Philippines. Formed in 1994, it is one of the several bands which spearheaded the ’90s Philippine alternative rock explosion.
Rivermaya is composed of Mark Escueta, Mike Elgar, Japs Sergio, Ryan Peralta and Norby David. Rivermaya popularized chart-busting songs UlanKisapmata and Himala.
Joining Rivermaya in the concert is Filipino music royalty Paolo Valenciano who is giving OPM a new twist.
Tickets to Rock and Rebuild 2 are priced at P300; P500; P1,000 (VIP); and P1, 500 (VVIP).
For details, call/text 0939-765-4093, buy your tickets at Tngardz Bicycle Supply, DPWH-Ubay, Ubay Parish Office, Van Trading Ubay and Omie Fashion Hauz in Talibon.
Produced by Bohol 2nd district Rep. Aris Aumentado, the concert will again be a vehicle to raise funds for Ubay Pastoral Parish Council.
“Part 2 is back to back live band/disco sponsored by Colt 45. Proceeds of the disco will dole out for the expenses,” said Van Delima of Van Trading, one of the sponsors of the concert.
Added Van: “Don’t miss the chance of lifetime!”
Encounter with Pope Francis strengthens faith
Many Filipinos braved the crowd and the weather to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis and be blessed by the Pope during the pontiff's five-day visit to the country. 
Pope Francis has lunch with some Yolanda typhoon
 and Bohol earthquake survivors at the archbishopric in
 Palo, Leyte on January 17.  Photo shows Salome Israel
receives a blessing from Pope Francis with
Saturnino Barace, Jr and Niza Flores (partly hidden)
and other Yolanda survivors.  
\Courtesy: REUTERS/Osservatore Romano
Even though Pope Francis had to rush back to Manila from Leyte as gales from Storm Amang picked up, forcing him to shorten his visit to Leyte by four hours, he managed to have a quick lunch with several survivors of super typhoon Yolanda and Bohol strong earthquake.
Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila who joined the lunch, recalled that he had asked the Pope whether he wanted to say something to the survivors. “But what can we say?” The Pope responded. “Before these 30 survivors, he himself was reduced to silence,” Tagle said in an interview.
The five Boholano survivors who had lunch with Pope Francis described it as "a blessing and meaningful experience." 
“Very happy, very luck to meet the Pope,” said Shirley Bongay of Loon. “I can’t describe my feelings. I felt enthusiastic. I was enlightened by the Holy Spirit with mixed emotions.”
Saturnino Barace Jr of Antequera shared that he found consolation in Pope Francis’ presence. “Nalipay ug minggaan ang akong pamati.”
“Malipayun mi nga among gikasalo si Pope Francis sa lunch bisan kadiyot ra nga higayun apan malipayun gihapun mi kay iya man ta gi-bless tanan,” said Niza Flores of Sagbayan. “Giapil kitang tanan sa iyang panalangin, mao kitang tanan nakadawat sa iyang panalangin.”
Salome Israel of Tubigon shared that she was moved by Pope Francis’ presence, stating that the pontiff spoke to them “heart-to-heart.”
“Our meeting with the Pope was once in a lifetime. Dako kaayo ang impact niya sa akong life. Kana bitaw moestorya siya nimo eye to eye contact nga naa jud listening ears, then he responded,” said Salome. “He gives me strength to move on.”
Veneranda Gentallan on meeting
Pope Francis: ‘I knelt down for his blessing
and I even kissed his shoes.’ While another
Boholano survivor Shirley Bongay looks on.
REUTERS/Osservatore Romano
Salome was able to give the nipa hut souvenir and my personal letter to Pope Francis. Confirmed! Confirmed!
For Veneranda Gentallan of Maribojoc meeting the Pope was a blessing. When it was her turn to meet the Pope, she knelt down and kissed the papal shoes while crying. 
“All of them had kissed the Pope’s hand. Pero ako na wala ko ka-kiss sa iyang kamot. Kay sa hunahuna nako ‘sa ubos lang ko unya siya sa taas’. Mingkalit lang ko luhod sa iyang atubangan. Minghilak nako, ug akong gihagkan iyang sapatos,” said Veneranda. “Iya ko gitindug unya akong nasulti niya nga ‘Salamat Lord, thank you Lord’ while iya kong gi-blessingan.”
Asked why she cried when she met the Pope:
“Mura jud ko naa sa heaven na! Nga akong hunahuna si Jesus Christ na akong nahimamat. Nice hunahunaun nga gipakita sa Diyos si Jesus Christ thru Santo Padre,” said Veneranda.
Veneranda will preserve her dress she was wearing during the luncheon with the pontiff.
 “Kini akong sinina nga gisuot kadtong nagkita mi ni Pope Francis, I will preserve this. Dili na ni nako suoton hangtud sa hangtud kay hunahuna nako holy nani. Naapil nani nga holy sukad nagkita mi ni Pope Francis,” shared Veneranda. 
How were you blessed by the pope?
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.

Pope Francis is smiling!

Pope Francis is in the Philippines.
The world is watching.  We are all praying.
I feel so happy and blessed with the presence of Pope Francis. I have followed his every move from the time his papal cap flew away till his arrival at the Apostolic Nunciature, his trip to Tacloban and today’s outdoor mass in Manila.
Sights and sounds in Bohol amid Pope mania
 in Philippines.- LPU
I like the attitude and smile of the Pope. His smile is pleasant and genuine. His smile is just co contagious.
Since Thursday, the Pope mania has hit the road, cyberspace and the airwaves.
In Bohol, some kids brought flags and papers with messages “Welcome Pope Francis,” and “We Love you Pope Francis” while St. Joseph Cathedral's bells pealed to welcome the Pope.
It’s business for Edgar delas Eras who sold pope-inspired souvenir items in front of the St. Joseph Cathedral in Tagbilaran City.Key chains, button pins, mugs and posters with the pontiff’s pictures were some of the mementos being sold by delas Eras while there’s a free public viewing of the Pope’s arrival at the church’s entrance.  
There’s even a Pope Francis standee at Print All You Can (beside Our Deli Bread) in front of the UB Founders Building in Tagbilaran City.
In Manila, some Boholanos were lucky to see the Pope in person.
“Surreal. Unexplainable. Magical,” said Engr. Aprimel Lupot when she saw the Pope along Finance Road, going to Manila Cathedral in Intramuros. “I cannot describe the feeling of being so close to Pope Francis even for just a few seconds. Such an unforgettable moment. It's like I'm closer to God or something. I love you, Pope Francis!”
Lupot had told herself, "I have to see him!" It took her 10 minutes to make her way to Quirino Avenue. She even paid P150 for the pedicab.
“I guess I was lucky. I squeezed my way thru the crowd and into the center island of the street. About 25 minutes after, the Pope passed the crossing of Roxas Boulevard and Quirino Avenue. Everyone was cheering loudly. The pope mobile was too fast. All my pictures were blurred. It was a momentous 3 seconds seeing Pope Francis on his customized Isuzu D-max pope mobile,” narrated Lupot. 
Such an unforgettable moment: Pope Francis in Philippines. Courtesy: Engr. Aprilmel Lupot
She said, “My knees went numb. I can hardly catch my breath after the cheer of excitement I made. The hair all over my body stood up. Goosebumps! So that is how it feels to see the Pope!”
For the second time, Lupot saw the Pope with another Boholano JP Maslog. They called themselves “Popestalker.”
“This time, I had to step backward and allow my fellow ‪‎PopeStalker JP Maslog experience the crowd and see the Pope up close. As expected, he cried, turned cold and his knees were numb. The usual goosebumps when you see the Pope.”
Engr. Aprilmel Lupot and JP Maslog have to endure
everything just to see the Pope in Manila. 
Courtesy: Ape Lupot
JP Maslog also shared his experience, “So this is how it feels to see the Pope... I cried and I cannot explain why!”
The Pope had been a few feet away from couple Benjie Oliva and his wife lawyer Joan.

“Honored to have joined the crowd of Catholic faithful today at SM MOA and Roxas Boulevard to experience a personal encounter with Pope Francis, the vicar of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth,” said Oliva. “Father in Heaven bless the Pope and the Filipino people.”
Hundreds of thousands showed up for the Pope including Engr. Dionisio Neil Balite who was at MOA Arena to join the “Encounter with Families” with the Pope.
On Saturday, amid the storm threat, Pope Francis didn’t cancel his trip to Leyte. Pilgrims didn’t mind the cold weather and mud-filled road as they waited for the Pope.
Although the 160 Boholano pilgrims were not able to make it to Leyte due to typhoon Amang, there were some Boholanos who were among the thousands of people who braved the strong winds and rainfall to catch a glimpse of the Pope. 
Taclobanons were in tears as they listened to Pope Francis' impromptu homily that struck a chord with many, voicing compassion for their plight and encouraging them to look for Jesus’ love.
“I’m here to be with you. A little bit late I have to say, but I’m here.”
"I come to tell you that Jesus is Lord and he never lets us down..."
"Let us look to the Christ on the cross. He understands us because he endured everything..."
"We are not alone. We also have many brothers, who in this moment of catastrophe came to help you..."

The five Boholano quake survivors who
 have a lunch date with Pope Francis
in Leyte. –LPU
"With the power that comes from Jesus on the cross, let us move forward and walk together." 
"We have a Lord capable of walking with us in the most difficult moments of our life."
After his mass in Tacloban, the Pope went to Palo to have lunch with the Yolanda survivors and five Boholano survivors of the magnitude 7.2 earthquake.
It was last Thursday that I had the chance to interview the survivors before leaving for Leyte.
Niza Flores, Saturnino Barace, Jr., Salome Israel, Veneranda Gentallan, and Shirley Bongay-- all of them expressed nervousness and elation at the prospect of meeting with Pope Francis.
"Excited jud kaayo nga makauban..dili masabot ang feelings sa dugay pangandam naabot na gyud ang panahon.," Flores said.
"Wala ko makatug gabii sige hunahuna bah. Dili masabot akong gibati nga makakita ko niya personal nga naa siya sa akong atubangan," explained Barace.
I feel so much nervous na,” said Israel.
Bongay was “I'm glad to meet the Pope,” while Gentallan said, “I am very excited unya gikulbaan.”
Israel brought a nipa hut (accentuated with a small guitar) souvenir for the Pope. She explained that it symbolized her family's struggle to recover from the earthquake.
"This is very meaningful. This nipa hut means we are not yet totally recovered after the earthquake," she said.
Fr. Felix Warlie Salise Jr. of the Diocese of Tagbiliran said that while they were not left whole by the Bohol earthquake, they survived the tragedy and lived through the destruction.

Sila itong nag-survived sa dihang naglinog naguba ang ilang balay pinuy-anan, uban kanila naputlan og mga kamot, pero nabuhi sila ug sila matawag natong victim survivors," Salise said.
The five survivors were accompanied by Fr. Areston Limocon, parish priest of St. Augustine Church in Sagbayan.
I’d asked Israel to give my personal letter to Pope Francis during their lunch date. As of this writing, there’s no feedback from the five if Israel was able to give it to the Pope. But I am hoping....
When I saw on TV that the Pope had lunch with them and the other Yolanda survivors, I whispered, “May they finally find peace and comfort with the Pope.”
After lunch, Pope Francis was forced to cut short his trip to Leyte due to an incoming typhoon.
May Pope Francis continue to smile and spread his message of mercy and compassion.
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.

5 Bohol quake survivors excited, nervous to meet Pope Francis

Scene: Andrea Trinidad Echavez of USAid Compete on Visit Bohol 2015 Bohol Travel Fair at Glorietta: Such a glorious, blessed day! Today's opening of the Bohol Travel Fair was very successful. To God be the glory! Congratulations to Gov Chatto and team and all tourism stakeholders! And thanks to all friends who supported in one way or another. 
Sam Penaso (2nd from right) and friends on
The Metalscape.  -Contributed Photo
The Metalscape, the 22nd solo exhibit, of Boholano virtual artist Sam Penaso at Altro Mondo Gallery, 3rd level of Greenbelt 5 on Jan. 8.
SceneDespite heavy rains, devotees climbed the Mt. Calvary in barangay Malinao, Garcia-Hernandez for the feast of the Black Nazarene on Friday. Visionary Marina Tadle-Reblinca said that the image of the Black Nazarene came from Palawan. While their counterparts paid respect to the Black Nazarene, devotees also paid similar homage to the White Nazarene in barangay San Agustin, Talibon town.
Scene: The Laugh Out Loud Benefit Concert featuring K Brosas and two of Manila’s best comedians, Sweet Iyah and Divine Tetay, on January 10, 2015 at HNU Dampas Campus Oval, Tagbilaran City. Tickets are available at Dunkin Donuts Plaza Rizal, Gelateria Milano, Tambayahan CafĂ©, Gerisonic, Renaissance Spa, and DRC at P150 (student price), P200 (general admission), and P1,000 (VIP). Proceeds go to the rebuilding of classrooms in Bohol.
Scene:  The Rock N Rebuild 2! with Rivermaya and Paolo Valenciano on Jan. 28 at Ubay gymnasium.  According to Van Delima, there will be an after party, Back 2 Back Live Band/ Disco performances ‘til the break of dawn. Call or text 0939-765-4093 for info.
Last year, I was able to interview the five survivors of the powerful earthquake in Bohol province who will have lunch with Pope Francis on Saturday, Jan. 17. The Pope’s visit is to assure us of God’s mercy and compassion.
The five Boholano survivors who will meet Pope Francis are Veneranda Gentallan of San Roque, Maribojoc; Shirley Bongay of Lintuan, Loon; Niza Flores of Poblacion, Sagbayan; Saturnino Barace, Jr. of Tagubaas-Obujan, Antequera;  and Salome Israel of Tubigon.
 Niza Corbita Flores lost her youngest son, Geevie, 12, who was covered by rubbles of the collapsed internet cafe. She said that she’s can hardly overcome what happened to her youngest son.
Salome Israel lost her right arm and broke her pelvic bone when earthquake struck. However, the cheerful Salome said that“everything happened has a purpose.”
Shirley Bongay of Loon town lost her right hand after being trapped in wreckage for nine hours.

Veneranda Gentallan almost died when her house collapsed. She suffered a head injury and was brought to Cebu province to undergo an operation. She stayed at the hospital for one month. Her recovery was said to be a “miracle.”
Half of Saturnino “JR” Barace, Jr's body was buried underground after the quake. He too was injured, but managed to survive. Unfortunately, Barace lost four of his family members who died during the earthquake.  After the tragedy, Barace entered the seminary.
All of them couldn't help but get excited — and nervous — about their scheduled face-to-face meeting with Pope Francis. There can be no other more rewarding experience in this lifetime than “being with the Pope.”
After one year, how are you?
Salome Israel: If I am going to rate 1-10 about the recovery, it’s only 6 because I am not totally okay. A little bit.
Veneranda Gentallan: Ania gihapun buhi tungod sa presensya sa Ginoo. Ang Ginoo nag-uban kanato ilabina sa nahitabo nako niadtong linog. Wala nawala akong pagsalig sa Ginoo.
Saturnino Barace Jr:: Makahinumdum gihapun ko sa akong pamilya.
Shirley Bongay: Padayun ang life.  Wala gihapun nawala akong pagtuo sa Ginoo.
How does it feel being one of the chosen five Boholanos to dine with Pope Francis?
Veneranda Gentallan: Wala ko kasabot sa akong gibati sa pagkahibaw nako makauban nako si Pope Francis. Nahadluk ko nga murag excited. Wala jud ko kasabot sa akong gibati.

Shirley Bongay: Nalipay ko nga ako ang napili sa parokya namo.
Salome Israel: My feelings can’t be measured. I feel I am so blessed... we all know millions of Catholic people want to have that opportunity. I feel so happy and lucky to be given the opportunity to meet Pope Francis.
Niza Flores: Kinaunhan wala jud ko makatug sige ko hunahuna kung “tinuod ba ni? Nga makauban nako si Pope Francis?’ Nalipay ko pag-ayo kung mahitabo na.

Saturnino Barace, Jr.: Sa pagkahibaw nako nga usa ko sa napili makauban ang Santo Papa, nalipay ko pag-ayo kay wala nako damha nga sa kadaghan sa biktima sa linog napili ko.
What will you tell Pope Francis?
Veneranda Gentallan: Magpasalamat ko sa Santo Papa nga iya mi gitagad kaming mga pobre sama nako ug ubang mga biktima sa kinaiyahan. Nga maskin wala ko nakadawat og hinabang nga naguba akong balay aduna man diay labaw nga giandam ang Ginoo mao kana nga makauban nako ang Santo Papa.
Salome Israel: Actually, I want to surprise the Pope.  I will give you a hint. I just want to tell Pope about my experiences during the earthquake at that time it happened. For me, it’s a remarkable or tremendous or anything I can say about the calamity. Maybe I will ask Pope to pray for me, to give me guidance especially now that I am disabled. It’s really hard to be like this.
 Niza Flores: Magpasalamat lang ko kang Pope nnga mingduaw diri sa Pilipinas nga makauban niya ang mga biktima sa trahedya sama namo diri sa Bohol.
Shirley Bongay: Magpasalamat ko ni Pope nga nagpasalamat ko sa Ginoo nga buhi pa ko ug blessed nga makita nako siya personal.
Saturnino Barace, Jr.:  Magpasalamat ko nga buhi pa ko, magpasalamat ko nga makita nako siya sa personal ug kini usa ka blessing para nako ug sa akong family.
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.