Monday, August 31, 2015

Clyde Ebojo: ‘Music is my life’

Clyde Bongalos Ebojo isn’t touted as a Gospel Song Writer and Composer for nothing. These past years, he has been doing mostly inspirational songs, the latest of them is the Salamat, O Amahan, which won first prize in the recently Diamond Jubilee Songwriting Contest of the Diocese of Tagbilaran.
“Abot sa langit akong kalipay.  Among all successes, big and small, that I’ve had, winning this one gave me the best feeling. I believe God worked within me as I started to write and give melody to the song,” said Clyde. “Now, God gave me an overflowing happiness which I also share with my family, relatives and friends, and all Dauisanons.”
Gospel song writer and composer Clyde Bongalos Ebojo:
‘Gospel music is really close to my heart.’
Contributed Photo
Salamat, O Amahan will be the official theme song for the Diocese of Tagbilaran’s Diamond Jubilee in 2016.
Clyde’s greatest objective in writing gospel songs is to get the message out through lyrics that are grounded in the Word of God. It is his strong conviction that gospel songs should bring the lost to the Church and Lord Jesus Christ, comfort to God's people, and glory to God in the highest.
 “Yes, I do hope that parishioners, Boholanos or even Non-Boholanos, would share with me the same message to God as written in the song,” Clyde said. “And may it linger in their hearts.”
Clyde, 27, started writing and composing songs when he was nine. His involvement in the Parish Youth Ministry (PYM) in his hometown has helped him to write gospel songs.
“Gospel music is really close to my heart,” he said. “A couple of them were used as theme songs of Church Youth Events such as Summer Youth Camps.”
He was inspired to write and compose Salamat, O Amahan to express his love to the Lord through music.
“I was inspired to write and compose this song because when Rev. Fr. Jingboy Saco, Jr. made mentioned about the competition, I felt that this is an event where I can express myself to God through music. At the same time, this is an avenue where I can share my God-given talent that has long been asleep,” shared Clyde.
According to Clyde, he has already written plenty of songs now, including love songs.  Some songs he composed were “Karaang Balay,” an advocacy song used by Baclayon Homeowners; “Gugma Ko, Pauli na,”  a song for OFWs;  Bool Jingle used for Balik Bool event early this year; even commercial jingles like DES Srong Motors, DES Appliance Plaza and Honda DES Incorporated.
“I would say that music is my life. It gives me joy, a sense of hope, and an amazing beauty of life,” he said.  
Clyde said he loves Don Moen Songs, Gary Valenciano, Aiza Seguerra, Southborder, Side A Band and Michael Jackson.
As a member of the Lay Liturgical Ministers of the Assumption of our Lady Shrine Parish, he also sings in Dauis male choir.
“Yes, I sing a lot. I used to sing in various bands before,” he said. “And until now, I sing in tandem with my Papa Mer and my Uncle Michael (Mike), Uncle Vicente (Jun), and their colleagues in Quartet singing like Tito Gerry Saclao, among others.”
In between his roles as a husband to Marjorie (nee Robles) and a dad to their son Czed Miguel, Clyde plans to create more music.  Presently, he works as an operations officer at the Department of Interior and Local Government (DIG) in Dimiao town.
“My priority now is to pour my love to my family. I will give endless love to my wife and raise my son the best way I can,” he shared.
For Clyde, his career keeps getting mentioned in the same breath as his spirituality. He said being prayerful has always been an integral part of his life.
“Everywhere I go, I talk to God. And I listen to Him,” he stressed.
Did Clyde, a registered nurse whose clan, the “Bongalos”, is one of the powerful clans in Dauis and whose mother Betty (a Kabataan sa Barangay official) served as Gov. Edgar Chatto’s longest employee, ever entertain any thought of going into politics?
“Politics? Not for now,” he noted.
Is Clyde ready for stardom (soon)?  “Well, it rests in the power of God. For now, what matters is I am able to move the hearts of people listening to my songs.”

The Hudyaka celebration in Bohol’s tourist capital is an occasion in the Panglao community where faith, culture and tradition converge and oceans of people come together as one. Photos by Leo Udtohan
Panglao’s Hudyaka: Revelry with reverence
Last weekend, the Hudyaka sa Panglao was held in the tourist capital of Bohol. It is the oldest, one of the grandest, most distinguished and most colorful festivals in Bohol province.

In the Cebuano dialect, the word hudyaka, means merry-making. This merry-making is mirrored in the Hudyaka dance which characterizes the festival.
The central theme of the Hudyaka is Saint Augustine, a doctor of the Church.
Tourists, both local and foreign, flock to the town plaza every 28th of August to witness this one of a kind event. Streets are packed with viewers and vendors all wanting to witness the street-dancing.  The performers clothe in bright-colored costumes and amazing props, dance to the rhythm of drums and native gongs.  One of the event highlights was the search for the festival queens.
Take a bow, Mayor Nila Montero and Vice-Mayor Ped Fuertes!
(Personal note: Thank you to my high school classmate Alex Bongawan, a barangay kagawad of Tawala. Thank you to the Boy Arbilo and family, Mark and Analyn Pollenza-Arbilo for the food and nagka!)
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Happy and gay

It was a sultry Saturday when I saw Andrew and Angelo “El El” sporting new haircuts. They are my neighbors and my distant relatives who are clearly referred to Lady Gaga’s hit song “Born This Way.” 
Although there are no accurate predictions to be made based on a child’s behavior, we’re for sure then they were destined to become gays. Why? Andrew, who is four years older than El El, was effeminate, while El El when he cried to ask for milk--- it was different--there was something in his cry that made him different from other boys. When El El learned to talk, there we knew he’s different! When he learned to walk, he walked as if he’s on a catwalk. Confirmed!  They mingled with other kids mostly with girls where they played “Barbie dolls.”
El El and Andrew when they were kids (left) and reunited after ten years. Like straight people, gay people come in all shapes, sizes and colors, with all kinds of behaviors and mannerisms.  So you can't truly know your kid's sexuality until he/she tells you.

Aida, El El’s mom, sometimes bought some girlie things for her son like girl’s dress, headbands and make-up. Some neighbors scolded Aida for treating his son like a girl, but Aida defended she liked to see her son like a girl. 

When Andrew was seven, he left for Manila to stay with his only sister after his mom passed away. El El was left in the neighborhood. He had joined dancing and singing contests in the city. We didn’t hear what happened to Andrew until after ten years he came back to the province and reunited with El El. 
They become best buds! They’re inseparable. Andrew is now known as Princess Nicole Montenegro and El El is Princess Fherisse Aiko Fortigal. They are not only gays but openly and honestly gays. 

Andrew and El El are few of the homosexuals in our clan on my father’s side. We have had Nong Tildo (deceased), Fabio, Allan, Esoy, Dodong, Arnel and Bagoctoc. 

Why there are so many gays in our clan? The answer is I don’t know.  But like a flower blooms in the field, in every generation, there could be a different flower. 

So, we accepted the fact that we have gay cousins.  In many of our clan’s gatherings, they always brighten our days. It becomes livelier when they meet with other members of the federation.... as the saying goes, birds with the same feather are a good feather duster, ehem, flock together! It’s really more fun being gay in the Philippines. 
However, behind their happy faces, Andrew and El El have personally experienced discrimination. They’re often ridiculed. Since they are wearing women’s dress and heavy make-up when they go out, some people are badmouthing against them. But they don’t give it a second thought. They have accepted their fate as it is part of the society when you’re gay. 

Some religious people told them they could not enter heaven because they are homosexuals. But they answered those religious people in jest, “if we can’t enter heaven, we will stay in the rainbow!” 

Nothing is causing the level of gays. They don’t make babies but they are increasing. Aren’t they? 

You are born that way, according to some experts. The fact is being gay has been an accepted part of life in the Philippines though how many times the members of the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT) community have been fighting for their rights against discrimination. 

Here, homosexuals are called bakla or bading. The former has developed slightly derogatory connotations for some, while the latter is somewhat milder. In Visayas, bayot is the term forbakla

Effeminate men and homosexuals in general are called binabae ("of a womanly sort"), from the Tagalog word babae, which means "woman." 

If you act effem or sissy, people would tell you are a “member of the federation.” 

Stereotyped homosexuals openly work in beauty parlors and in the creative industries of fashion and entertainment, such as talk show hosts, female impersonators, writers, directors and comedians. They have long been part of the Filipino cultural landscape. 

There are also those "maya (a sparrow),” a term for bisexual men, who act like a real men but like men. They are doing bro-mance! 

There are also “paminta (pepper),” another term for bisexual who go to gym and outwardly straight-looking men who also like men. 

Like love, gays come in all different shapes, sizes, colors and backgrounds.   

Note: Two weeks ago, Andrew has left Bohol to find a greener pasture in Manila. Another gay relative Arnel aka Iwa Moto went to Manila to look for a job and he’s staying with Andrew.
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After visiting France and Rome, Anecita Neves-Arcay of Tierra Azul in Panglao went to Austria to see the glorious alpine scenery, monumental Habsburg architecture and the world’s favorite musical.
She visited Salzburg, the home to Mozart and all things baroque, and 
The Sound of Music.   “A fulfilled childhood dream,” said Annie. 

Tips on how to pass the US tourist visa interview

From Hollywood sign,  Statue of Liberty, Empire State, Golden Gate, Las Vegas neon, and the White House to Apple computers and Levi’s to Coca-Cola and hot dogs—these are the images of the United States of America that are familiar everywhere.
For EJ  Relampagos no trip 
to New York City is complete 
without a visit to the Statue
 of Liberty—or a ride on the
 Staten Island Ferry or Circle
 Line to ogle the "lady in the
 harbor" from a distance.
Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin
steps into style and
sophistication at the
birthplace of New York City.
But before you can see the spacious skies, the shining seas and the gorgeous cities in the beautiful America, you need a visa.
For many Filipinos, going to the US even just to pay a visit is the realization of a lifelong dream. Sadly, many Filipino applicants have experienced frustrations and disappointments when trying to obtain a US tourist visa.  
If you really want to go to US, then here are some tips on how to pass the US visa.
“I have only three tips,” says fashion icon EJ Relampagos, “you must have complete requirements, relax during the interview and smile.”
Beauty queen Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin says, “When your turn comes, stay focused, walk towards the assigned window quietly with all documents in hand, greet the consul, listen intently to what he is saying and give personal information and answer questions only when asked.”
Leah Tirol-Magno
at San Francisco’s
Lombard Street:
 "The crookedest street in
the world."
Vera Villocido with Eireen
 Ruth Tungol-Navarro at
the Hollywood Walk of Fame
in California.
The Consul will ask basic questions like: ‘What will you do in the US’? ‘How many days you will intend to stay?’ and ‘Where you will be staying  in the US?’
Be confident. Nervousness will bring you nowhere so you must act cool and poised.  
UB Registrar and accountant Leah Tirol-Magno shares: 1) Fill-out visa application firm properly, clearly, neatly and honestly. Be sure to provide an itinerary of your visit to the US, including the contact person's info, 2) Do not volunteer any information or documents if not asked for, 3) Answer questions honestly and confidently; 4) Be sure all the documents needed are in original or authenticated forms.
“Be prepared with proofs,” says Vera Villocido, a documentation specialist.  “Though there are some consuls who would not even take a look at the supporting documents of an applicant, but it is still recommend that you bring documents that will prove you have strong ties in the Philippines to be back.”
Your VRS at the Hollywood Sign (formerly the Hollywoodland Sign)
on Mount Lee, a world famous sign and American cultural icon in
Los Angeles, California. 
Here are the US visa application tips from Dustin Bradshaw, Foreign Service officer of the US Embassy in Manila courtesy of GMA News:
1.Be honest.
2.Have a good purpose for visiting the US.
3.Have a strong reason to return home to the Philippines.
4.Do not join visa seminars.
5.Visit the US Embassy’s official website.
6.You don’t have to bring your bank documents and land titles.
7.The embassy does not discriminate in choosing applicants.
8.There is no quota per day for number of applicants.
9.It’s easier to be approved for a US visa if you have been to other countries.
10.There is no dress code but applicants should wear decent attire.
11.Be at the embassy 15 minutes before your interview.
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AR dela Serna joins Misters of Pilipinas 2015

“I want to represent Philippines in the International runways if given the chance. And I know that I'm supported by great people who are with me towards my goals in life.”

Boholano model AR dela Serna is vying
for a title in Misters of 
Pilipinas 2015. Contributed Photo/Dennis Natividad Photography
Thus said AR dela Serna (real name: Alberto Rodolfu), the son of Alberto and former Poblacion 2 barangay captain Glorivic, on his decision to join Misters of Pilipinas 2015, the local pageant that’s responsible for selecting the country’s representative for four international male beauty contests--Mister International, Mr. Tourism International, Mister Model International and Mister Globe.

The 22-year-old model said he felt elated when his name was called during the final callback on July 25 at the Activity Center of Fisher Mall in Quezon City.

“It actually felt relieved and amazed when my number was called during the final screening,” AR told VRS.

According to AR, the screening process was tough.

“It was tough but thank God that I am one of the official candidates for Misters of Pilipinas 2015,” he said.

A month-long activity awaits the candidates in preparation for the big night. 

What are his preparations? “I have received a lot of critics about my physical features. I exert extra efforts in working out. I am also preparing mentally, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually,” he shared.

And how about his diet? “My gym friends are helping me a lot in my dietary plan. I have chicken and a lot of water lately,” said AR.

AR dela Serna (with Mister International 2014 Neil Perez)
on joining the Misters of 
Pilipinas 2015:
 ‘I want to represent Philippines in the International runways
 if given the chance.’ 
Contributed Photo
He said his modeling and acting workshops helped him become more conscious, confident and disciplined-traits he believes can help him in the competition.

AR said he will do his best to represent Bohol in the pageant.

“Lately, I'm inspired by the support of the people around me. I'm just astonished by how people could really help you when you need the utmost help,” he said. “I know that in this journey, as I represent the people of Bohol I have really the support of Bohol.”

He already joined other male beauty pageant in previous years. He won the title Mr Generation East 2013  of  Sta. Lucia Generation East Model Search. He was also declared first runner-up in Mr Philippine Youth in 2002 but he replaced the dethroned Mr. Philippine Youth 2012 Leo Angeles Flores of Parañaque in Nov. 2012.

AR will be competing with other 30 hunks and gorgeous men in the 2015 edition of the Misters of Pilipinas slated on Sept. 13 at Resorts World Manila.

Gian Ale wins in The Voice Kids battle rounds
Gian Ale wins in The Voice Kids battle rounds.  Contributed Photo 

Popstar Sarah Geronimo chose Gian Ale of Tagbilaran to move on to the next round of The Voice Kids Philippines Season 2 last week after the intense battle rounds of her team in which Gian Ale defeated Rock Opong and Krystle Campos.

The trio performed the OPM classing song Tuwing Umuulan at Kapiling Ka.

Lea Salonga chose Gian, while Bamboo Mañalac voted for Rock Opong.

Sarah was left with the difficult choice of keeping one and sending the other home. However, she picked Gian Ale as the winner in the three-way battle.

Gian will move on to the sing-off rounds.

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‘Unang Gugma’ is all about poignant love ; ‘Old Warrior’ releases new book

• ‘Unang Gugma’ is all about poignant love
• ‘Old Warrior’ releases new book
To start off, what young people today don’t know is that, while the names of the Visayan troubadours Max Surban and the late Yoyoy Villame were making waves in the music industry, there was Boholano singer-composer Emil Loseñada, who made his name in the music world singing Tagalogand Cebuano songs, in--demand for concerts during his younger days in the same way that the likes of Daniel Padilla, Sam Milby and company are today.
Emil, who is also known as Milyo Nario, has been in the music industry for six decades yet he remains very relevant in our lives.
Emil Loseñada ,Glee Orcullo and Atoy Cosap
 have teamed up to release a new album “Unang Gugma.”
Recently, Emil is now back in the limelight and collaborating with broadcasters Glee Orcullo and Atoy Cosap for their new album Unang Gugma (First Love).
Singing is his first love that eventually turned into a lifelong passion. Emil’s top selling albums were Sa Aking Pagbabalik, Its 5am, Ang Iyong Dangal Sayang/Hilo Hilo na Ako,  Matud Mo and Mag-Playing Playing Ta. His major hits were Pasawaya Ko Day (with Dulce), Dolor, Mingbalik AKo, Guhit ng Palad,  Inday, Ikaduhang Bathala and  May Kahati Pala Ako.  Emil also has written songs for other local Philippine recording artists like Max Surban, Willy Garte, Verni Gonzales, Roel Cortez, Butch Ilagan, Del Horest, etc.   His songs were later adapted to films like The Rookies and the Mighty Kids (1987), Ang Nusog at Tatlong Itlog, Bodyguard: Masyong Bagwisa Jr, Boy Tipos and Mga Parung-Parong Bukid.
In Unang Gugma, Emil sings Unang GugmaHoney, Uminit Na and Oh Babes.
Who knew dyRD’s news anchors Glee and Atoy could sing, too? It shouldn't come as a surprise to us, really, that some of our media friends also happen to be good singers. 

Glee and Atoy are
 gifted with a pretty good singing voice, but can keep an audience glued to the radio just by talking.
Glee is no stranger to singing. She showcases her vocal chops when she was a TV host in Cebu City. In Unang Gugma, she writes and sings Ayaw Nagbalik, Bakit Ba and Bakit Ganon Glee sounds as if she’s singing you to sweet slumber with sadness in her heart and caressing you with every word of every line of the songs. Well, all about love and heartaches. Ouch! (Her boyfriend left her for another nilalang, right Sir Peddie B.?—LPU)
Atoy has floored listeners with his gentle yet poignant melodies in Unang Gugma. He writes and sings Pahiri , Samtang Nagpitik ning KasingKasing and Kon Sala Man.
“The songs we chose for the album are based on our experiences,” Glee told VRS. "Easy listening tunes that most talk about love and heartaches."
Unang Gugma album is available at dyRD News Room. You may text/call 0910-135-7858.
I welcome the month of August with positive notes, high hopes and inspirations. After all, life is beautiful.
I have to thank whoever gave me a copy of Old Warrior and Other Poems last year. I opened the book while caught by boredom and I couldn‘t put it down. I was inspired to finish the poems by Dr. Nestor Maniebo Pestelos, a long-time resident of Bohol.
‘Old Warrior’ Dr. Nestor Maniebo Pestelos has released 
his book “Old Warrior’s Poems and the Bohol Quake Assistance Story.”
In case you didn’t know, the book’s Foreword will remind you that Nestor didn’t grew up surrounded by books as Emily Dickinson and many other poets were. Neither did he have highly educated parents nor did he have any formal education in poetry. So how do the precise words and phrases seem to flow so effortlessly from his neurons to his pen or to his laptop screen?
Dr. Nestor Pestelos earned his Master of management Degree from the Asian Institute of Management under the UNICEF scholarship and pursued successfully a doctorate degree on educational management at the University of Bohol. He organized the Bohol Local Development Foundation (BLDF) to serve as partner of government in implementing programs and projects under the theme poverty reduction and sustainable development.
According to Nestor, his poems assumed another dimension as it paved way to build more core houses to benefit those rendered homeless by the quake on Oct 15, 2013.
Last month, Nestor has released the book “Old Warrior’s Poems and the Bohol Quake Assistance Story” with Australian-based writer Milwida Sevilla-Reyes, a former classmate of Nestor at the Quezon National High School in Lucena.
The 227-page book, twice the size of the previous “Old Warrior and Other Poems,” has added a part two which documents the experiences of BLDF, the non-government organization headed by Nestor. Publication of the new book was made possible through a cash donation by Corazon Maxino Verzosa, a realtor in Metro Manila.
Proceeds from the sale of the book will help enable BLDF implement its new initiative, the youth livelihood and drug rehabilitation project.
Copies of the book are available at Crescenia Café, Baclayon Food Station, in Poblacion, Baclayon and Darunday Manor in Tagbilaran City. You can call Florencia Gilay-Pestelos at (038)- 540 9327 and 09173041484; Email:;  Lorena Sensen Balala- 09353635241; and Romulo Pasco- 09173066158; Email:
Oops!!! Before I get carried away, let me share with you some entries (only the printable ones) from Old Warrior and Other Poems:
In Old Warrior he writes:
Gone are the trenches
Gone are the nightly vigils
Gone are the songs to occupy poem-bullets.
In Silence he writes:
I remember the silence of roses in your eyes
And this longing you wrap it like a shawl
Around your frail body
In rain or sunshine.
In Afternoon Rain, he writes:
Yes, as raindrops disappear
And the sky seeks a new reason for being
The afternoon remains puzzled
In these desperate moments of missing you.
Anyway, the poems are introspective and insightful.  As I said, it will make you think that life is beautiful.
Thank you, Sir Nestor for sharing your poems!
They happen about…once in a blue moon
Boholanos living in some parts of Bohol missed out on Friday night's full moon, but some residents of Tagbilaran City had a spectacular view of the 'blue moon' as it lit up the sky briefly.
Wet and cloudy weather was to blame in Visayas region, where the Pag-asa said the blue moon began at 6:45pm.
The Blue Moon was briefly seen in Bohol province.  Photo  by Leo P. Udtohan

Tagbilaran was also predicted to miss out due to bad weather, but the moon was pictured revealing itself through rain clouds for some minutes before it disappeared.
Like other sky-gazers, Glendon Villagonzalo, 14, a grade eight student of Cogon High School enjoyed the unusually brief blue moon.
“I thought I could not see the moon because of the bad weather but I am very happy I got a glimpse of it,” said Villagonzalo.
Joshua Galleros, 16, a grade six pupil of Booy South Elementary School in Tagbilaran missed tonight’s celestial phenomenon. When he went outside to check the moon, it was covered with clouds.
Blue moons aren’t actually blue, but they are as rare as the saying goes.
Each month has one full moon. But, every once in a while the cycle of the moon and our calendar match up to give us two full moons in a month. The second full moon in a month is commonly referred to as a blue moon—this July, the first full moon was on July 2, and the second full moon is on July 31.
 The famous phrase "once in a blue moon" means rare or seldom.  It’s not because of the color of the moon, but because of how often you see two full moons in one month, according to NASA’s National Space Science and Data Center.  
The next blue moon will be in January 2018.

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