Monday, January 30, 2017

No formula to win the Miss Universe crown

PASAY,Philippines-   Miss Universe 1973 Margie Moran said that there is no magic formula in winning the Miss Universe crown.
Photo: Leo Udtohan
“I believe winning the pageant is for me a destiny,” said Moran during the Miss Universe red carpet event on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 29, 2017).
“There is no formula to is being right time and the right place and the right judges,” she added.
For TV star and former model Cynthia Bailey who is one of the judges, she is looking for a Miss Universe who can make an impact in the society.
Photo: Leo Udtohan
“I am looking for the whole package,” she said. “Someone who is confident, someone who is beautiful inside and out, someone who got class, grace and style. Someone who can make an impact.”
“Miss Universe is a woman who is capable of inspiring other women and young girls,” said Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopez.
Photo: Leo Udtohan
Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen said she is hoping the best girl would win. 
“Honestly I rather be a contestant than a judge especially if you have been a contestant,” said Sen.
Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz said all the candidates have an equal chance in winning the Miss Universe crown.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Queen P in Bohol & Miss U 2016 trivia

Queen P in Bohol & Miss U 2016 trivia
Fans dismayed at not seeing her

Beauty pageant enthusiasts were surprised that reigning Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach was in Bohol province last Monday (Jan. 23).

Pia Wurtzbach arrives in Bohol Courtesy: Dave Responte
Wurtzbach arrived at the Tagbilaran Airport around 10 a.m., along with Miss Universe organizers and plus-size model Ashley Graham, backstage host of the pageant.

She was met by provincial officials led by Gov. Edgar Chatto and Vice Gov. Dionisio Balite.

At the airport, Wurtzbach was given a symbolic key to Bohol.

Since it was a surprise visit, many fans were dismayed they didn’t get to see her.

“I am one of the millions all over the world who shared in the great joy when Pia Wurtzbach was crowned Miss Universe 2015. However, I was dismayed upon viewing the photos of Pia’s Bohol visit today spreading in social media and not having the opportunity to see in person the woman who has gained the admiration of many,” said Miss Tagbilaran 1987 Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin.

Another fan, LJ Laquinta, said that Boholano fans should have been given the chance to see her since there was no Miss Universe event staged in Bohol.

“The Miss Universe 2016 candidates didn’t come here since Bohol was not part of their itinerary … they didn’t have to hide Pia from us” he said.

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach (2nd from right) 
and model Ashley Graham (center, 4th from left), 
are welcomed by local officials in Bohol led by
 Gov. Edgar Chatto and Vice Gov. Dionisio Balite. 
Courtesy: Leah Sumampong
Sources said that the Miss Universe organizers implemented tight security measures.

“Undisclosed for security reasons,” said a Capitol employee.

There was no motorcade for the Miss Universe. She, instead, went directly to work.

According to sources, Wurtzbach was in Bohol to shoot a video for the Department of Tourism to be used for the Miss Universe 2016 coronation night on Jan. 30.

It was still unknown which tourist attraction she would be visiting, since details of her trip here were kept under wraps.

But it was expected that Wurtzbach would visit sites such as the beaches on Panglao Island, Loboc River, Chocolate Hills and the viewing and care centers for the tarsier.

She had also visited the Bohol Bee Farm in Dauis town where she had an interaction with Ms. Vicky.

“She will like the balmy weather here,” added the Capitol employee.

Watch the 65th Miss Universe coronation live on Fox Channel, GMA 7, ABS-CBN Channel 2 and TV 5 on January 30, 2017 Monday 8 a.m. (Manila time).

Miss U 2016 Trivia

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach shows
 to the world that “I am confidently beautiful with a heart.” 
Photo from Pia Wurtzbach Official Page on FB
● There are 86 women from across the globe who will compete for the title Miss Universe 2016.

● Emmy Award Winner Steve Harvey returns to host the exciting three-hour programming event.

● Model, designer and body activist Ashley Graham joins as Backstage Host.

● Four-Time Grammy Award-winning R&B group Boyz II Men will perform.

● Grammy Award Nominee Flo Rida and set to perform.

● This year's judges who will help crown the next Miss Universe include:

Dayanara Torres: Former UNICEF ambassador and Miss Universe from Puerto Rico, author, model, and actress.

Sushmita Sen: Bollywood actress, philanthropist and champion of women’s rights in India; founder of I AM Foundation and first ever Miss Universe from India.

Leila Lopes: First Miss Universe from Angola and former United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Desertification currently working with various charitable organizations in Africa.

Mickey Boardman: Editorial Director of popular fashion and pop-culture magazine, PAPER.

Cynthia Bailey: TV star, former model, and founder of The Bailey Agency School of Fashion, a modeling and fashion school dedicated to helping young women achieve their dreams.

Francine LeFrak: Emmy and Tony award-winning producer, social entrepreneur, women’s empowerment activist and founder of Same Sky, a jewelry initiative that provides training and employment to HIV+ women survivors of the Rwandan Genocide.


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

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Tagna-Tagna 2017

Scene: The two “controversial” beauty pageants in Ubay town: Miss Ubay 2017 organized by the Rotary Club of Ubay (Jan. 24) and Matahum sa Ubay 2017 (Jan. 26) organized by the local government unit of Ubay.

Seen: Jim Paredes of Apo Hiking Society during the 17th Ubi Festival.

Scene:  Pres. Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States of America, gave one of the shortest inaugural speeches ever given on Friday with heavy emphasis on nationalism:  “Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny. Your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way. Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. Yes, together we will make America great again.”

Scene: Whale sharks (not killer sharks) were spotted off Barangay Malinao in Garcia Hernandez town.  According to Dr. Alessandro Ponzo of Large Marine Vertebrate Project Philippines (Lamave),the whale sharks were feeding in the area. “They just follow the plankton bloom,” he said. The whale sharks are protected by the Philippine law since 1998. “They need to be respected for what they are. Magnificent wild animals. The local government units should ensure that the coastal habitat are healthy and clean from plastic, one of the big threats for marine wildlife,” said Doc Ale.

Scene: The Miss Universe 2016 coronation night is on Monday (January 30), at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena at 8 a.m. This is the 3rd time the pageant is happening in the Philippines. The first one was in 1974 when Spain's Amparo Muñoz was crowned while the second happened in 1994 with Sushmita Sen of India winning as Miss Universe. Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach won the title on December 20, (December 21 in Manila) 2015, after more than 4 decades of special awards and podium finishes.

When the Rooster crows at the start of its year (Jan. 28, 2017, according to the Chinese Calendar), a lot of VRS readers who are diehard believers in the horoscope and feng shui have been asking what’s in store for them in 2017? Will they be pretty? Will they be rich?  Well, it’s hard to tell.
Snake Princess (with Medyo Maldito in this photo)
 is another big personality in 2017. 
Courtesy: Snake Princess Facebook

The Year of the Rooster expresses inner warmth and insight, as well as the quietness of privacy and family ties, according to astrologers and feng shui experts.  

Gold, brown and yellow are lucky colors of 2017, they said.  

This year is often marked by brilliant success for those who have endured with patience the draining and often solitary build-up of a business project. It is also a year of a blend of righteousness and justice, bombast and logistical efficiency. Public and private administration jobs, military careers or police jobs are highly favored.

And as tradition is hard to break, this corner’s “Tagna-Tagna” has a good batting average, with 98 percent credibility! 

(A gentle reminder: Readers are not constrained to take the “predictions” seriouslyAs I said, these are all tagna-tagna (bunga lang sa panghunahuna) and I could be wrong, you know.)

Now, let’s take a quick look at what the notorious and the famous Boholanos have in store for them for the Year of the Rooster.

• A busy year for Snake Princess and Medyo Maldito. The duo will have a “controversial” revelation.

• Former beauty queen Anna Maris Igpit will start having morning sickness middle of the year and it will make her husband Aussie football player Thomas Taylor very happy.

• Gian Ale will bounce back and spring a big surprise on all of us, proving to all and sundry that he’s not done yet, career-wise. Same for TinTin Ng and Lailette Boiser.

• Miss Bohol 2014 Queenie Melody Fullante will finally find a boyfriend who is romantic, confident, artistic, foreign, free spirit (aka the bad boy), intelligent/witty and considerate!

• Tableya Princess Dalareich Polot will remain loveless. Oopps, someone will come!

• Laywer Joan Jagonos and husband Benjie Oliva will welcome the stork’s visit before the end of the year, also for Abdul Wallace and Chandrina Elluiska Schreurs.

• Actress Rich Asuncion and her beau are planning to seal their love this year despite her busy and hectic showbiz career.

•Lawyer Ingemar Macarine aka Pinoy Aquaman will make a world-breaking record.

• Something “big” is in store for Vivoree.

• Julia Faith Joaquin’s star will shine even brighter and bigger.

• A popular personality will become the new “face” of Touch of April of Dr. April Lumuthang-Froilan as Doc April beautifies the province.

• It will be a busy year for Prof. Marianito Luspo, Joey Labrador, Nestor Pestelos, Direk Maryo delos Reyes and cultural icon Lutgardo Labad.

• A “super-bonggacious” fashion show will feature Boholano fashion artists and couturiers—Shanon Pamaong , Maximiel Tallo, EJ Relampagos, Rhigel Dulfo Jong Magallano, Omie Auza, Henry Baron, Bebie Tagoctoc and Tracy Remolador Torres— to display their artistic collections!  After the show, they will establish a fashion and interior design school.

• Rex Alba will have another challenging role in movies.

• Center Stage Band will finally (finally!!!) release their debut album.

• Miss Bohol 2016 and Miss JCI-Philippines 2016 Glyssa Perez will join a national beauty pageant, the second Boholano to bring home the crown.

•dyRD’s Glee Orcullo and her friend Poybe Ingking will finally release a new album.

• Something “big” is in store for the first Mister Supranational Philippines AR de la Serna.

And now, the blind items:

• A new talent from Bohol will rise to make Boholanos proud.

• Another big scandal will shake the political scene!

• A high ranking official and a young politician will find themselves in a headline-hogging controversy.

•Bohol will produce more topnotchers in the field of education, nursing and engineering.

• A beauty pageant organizer and host will draw controversies.

• A popular radio program will undergo a major revamp.

• A popular young couple might not reconcile despite “intervention” and it will end in a bitter court battle.

• A drug-related scandal will rock the business industry, including local leaders.

• A popular radio personality will quit the first love for many years, leaving the followers (this one included) orphaned. It will be a long story.


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

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Boholanos in Tawag ng Tanghalan; Lee Min Ho in Bohol?

●Boholano young talents join ‘TNT’
●Korean actor Lee Min Ho in Bohol?

Young singer Isabel Garsuta has
 a future in the music industry. 
Courtesy: ABS-CBN
Scene: The bad weather brought by typhoon Auring cancelled the Saturday’s swim of lawyer Ingemar Macarine aka Pinoy Aquaman who planned to embark on two-way unassisted, open water swim from Guinsiliban Port on Camiguin Island to Balingoan, Misamis Oriental, and back for a total of 24 km to promote tourism and clean environment. “Our swim was cancelled because of bad weather. It is dangerous for the escort boats to escort me during the swim. It’s okay for me to swim but the escort boat is still the problem,” said Macarine. He instead swam the 2.1 km from Paras Beach Resort to the White Island, one of the province’s tourist destinations with some members of the Camiguin Swimmers Association headed by Gilbert Grado. 

I can’t recall the last time I saw a Boholano who joined a national singing contest. It must have been a long time ago. But I remember Jerome Sala— yes, who was a champion on ABS-CBN’s Star in A Million.

That’s why I’m happy to see young Boholano talents singing who are making inroads into the national scene.

Last week, Julia Faith Joaquin of Tagbilaran City sang her way to the semi-finals on ABS-CBN’s Tawag ng Tanghalan (TNT), a singing competition conducted as one of the segments of the noontime show It's Showtime.

Joaquin, a high school student, defeated daily challenger Cresmon Padero with her cover of Liza Minnelli's "Maybe This Time." She scored 92.6 percent, while Padero got 90.2 percent for his performance of Air Supply's "Here I Am."

Joaquin first joined TNT in August last year. She was able to become the defending champion but was dethroned after just one day.
Julia Faith Joaquin has secured 
her spot as semi-finalist on Tawag ng Tanghalan
Courtesy: ABS-CBN

Another young singer, Isabel Garsuta, tried her luck on TNT last Friday (Jan. 6). Although she didn’t win, Isabel had an adorable performance of Jessie J’s “Price Tag.”

Isabel, 17, teaches voice, piano and violin.  She is the daughter of Lino and Mariz Garsuta (nee Tirol) of Caingget Beach, Tagbilaran City.

Rey Valera said Isabel, who dreams to become a lawyer, has a future in the music industry.

Isabel posted on Facebook, "To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven."
She thanked her family and supporters who supported, congratulated and watched her performance on TNT.

“It was really an honor to represent Visayas.   I did my best and I am just really happy with all the positive responses from everyone. I may not have won but knowing that there are people out there who supported and appreciated me, it is what really inspires me,” said Isabel on Facebook.

On a similar note, 24-year-old Mary Ann Palma had a spot when she performed Manchester Melissa’s “Looking ThroughThe Eyes of Love.” 

A pastor’s wife, Palma said she will use the prize money for the construction of their new home. Her family currently stays in a temporary shelter that has no electricity and water supply.

Boholanos are indeed talented singers. We should be proud as they continue to win in competitions and exemplify that we can sing.  And even if they don’t win, like soldiers, they refuse to fade away. They just sing and sing even if only to their hearts' content.

Lee Min Ho’s visit to Bohol: A bluff

While typhoon Auring hit the Visayas region last week, some died-hard Korean fans were posting on the social media that Korean actor Lee Min Ho was in Bohol.

Korean actor-singer Lee Min Ho
 of “Legends of the Blue Sea” 
was apparently spotted in Bohol. 
Courtesy: Facebook

Miss Tagbilaran 1987 Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin and Jocelyn Pilayre were among others who were overwhelmed when they learned that Lee Min Ho was in Panglao town.

It all started when a Facebook user Rowena Aranar claimed she spotted the actor on Alona Beach in Panglao.  She shared a photo on Facebook with Lee Min Ho in a black tank top and damp hair as people flocked him for a photo.

Aranar, posted on January 7, “Lee Min Ho, is in Hennan , Alona Resort, Panglao, Bohol , sobrang gwapo at freindly, smiling face bida sa, Boys Over Flower.”

Her post has become viral, with almost 3,433 shares on the social media site as of writing.

Many fans believed that the singer-actor was in the Philippines for the taping of the “Legends of the Blue Sea.”  In one of the episodes, Heo Joon-jae (Lee Min Ho) tells Shim Chung (Jun Ji-hyun) that he plans to bring her to Boracay.

However, the news turned out to be, well, fake.

(We heard a loud thud from Fiel and Bjosh!)

The candid photo of Lee Min Ho was apparently snapped by Twitter user @minozindonesia, the first Indonesian fan base of the actor.

Internet user Leorenzi Dangoy said that Aranar’s post even “destroyed the reputation of Hennan” on a global scale.

There were others who agreed that the location does not look like Hennan Beach Resort at all. The photo was taken in 2013 in “The Heirs” days at Huntington Beach in California.

KPOP and Culture Fest on Facebook said, “Okay, bes, kalma. Lahat tayo nag-hyperventilate sa rumored Bohol photo ni Lee Min Ho. Nakaimpake na kami for Bohol. Apparently it was an old photo taken during his visit in the country. Who else have thought that they'd prolly doing the last few episodes of Legend of the Blue Sea here in the Philippines? Mianhe for the mini heart attack. Hindi kayo nag-iisa. *checks BP*”

Whatever the reason, it can’t be denied that fans are swarming over the charming actor.

Think before you post.


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

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Their New Year’s resolutions

Scene:  The formal installation rites of Bishop Alberto Uy as the new bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran on Friday at the St. Joseph Cathedral was officiated by His Excellency Archbishop Bernadito Auza, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.


They think that it’s important to start 2017 the right way—by having a New Year’s resolution!

Bishop Alberto Uy of the Diocese 
of Tagbilaran Courtesy: Elvie Bongosia
Leah Tirol-Magno
I am not so much of a fan for New Year’s resolution. I would go for a goal instead. The goal this year and for the years to come is to focus more on Jesus and the personal relationship with Him and everything will fall into the right places and let God take charge of my life.

Anthony Aniscal
My new year's resolution is to make sure that time spent for family will be of priority. Being a public servant, it demands time for the constituents and at times the precious time for family are set aside.

Benjie Oliva
My New Year's resolutions: Make time for meditation and more prayer. More  workout for a healthier body. Work harder for the family and for the country.

Imaculada Cleofe Leopardas
My New Year's resolution is to make time to what really matters to me. I want to spend my whole life doing the things that defines me and be with somebody who really cares for me. I would focus on improving myself so that I can totally love, serve and protect my priorities now. I want to become the best for a good cause and for the purity of intention on helping in making this world a better place. I would love to spend my life in spreading the seeds of love.

Ferome Almine
I personally wish that I’ll have more hosting and coordinating events this 2017 since I want to have a blessed and fruitful new year. I wish also for a strong economy, clean government and a total change of the facade of our country.

Adelyn Joy Esclamado
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a chef. I was always curious how delicious foods were prepared and asked my mother about it. When she would start telling me the answers to my questions, I tend to listen eagerly. But then, my curiosity perhaps gone too far, I accidentally put our kitchen on fire while trying to cook the new dish I learned. My mother burnt small portion of her legs trying to save me. It happened too fast that I can’t even remember what exactly happened. On that day, my dream to be a chef turned into ashes. And now, I think it’s the right time to start all over again, I will try my best to face my fears and will open my heart and mind for new experiences. In short, my new year's resolution is to make cooking a hobby.

Mikee Andrei
My New Year's resolution would be for better health---to always prioritize health despite tremendous work. Also, this year, I hope I’ll have more time with my family.... and save up!
Whether it’s by pursuing their dreams or cultivating 
their passions, they have plans to rev up their lives this 2017. 
Contributed Photos

Marianne Domivee Chatto
The past year has been a roller coaster ride for me. For this brand new 2017, I envision myself to be a dedicated public servant, an optimistic leader, and a passionate and caring mother. The best thing that happened in my 2016, my baby Dom.

EJ Relampagos
My New Year's resolution is to stop making resolutions to myself. He! He! He! I would rather master more on self discipline, self responsibility and self respect. These are what we need to have in order to live a good life in today's world dominated by diversions! Love to all.

Vilma Yorong
May this year bring more opportunities not only for myself but also to the people I serve.  I hope my dreams will turn into reality and my efforts and hardwork will translate into great achievements. I am praying that the Lord will give me enough strength and faith to face the challenges of 2017.


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

Sunday, January 1, 2017


What an amazing year 2016 has been!

2016 was a busy year, with big breaking news stories seemingly every week.

The presidential election was clearly a dominant topic of interest, but stories on drug war, loveteams,  and sometimes beauty pageants also drew avid readership.

As is our tradition, here's a look back at some of our favorite moments from the year gone by.

The Duterte-Cayetano political rally last April 3 in Bohol was “phenomenal.” Supporters called the visit “redemption,” “Duterte festival,” and “Duterte phenomenon.”

In Ubay town, a crowd of 10,000 greeted Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano at the town’s gymnasium. In Tagbilaran City, the crowd swelled to 60,000, an event really unexpected since Bohol is touted as bailiwick of the Liberal Party (LP).

After Tagbilaran, Duterte and Cayetano proceeded to Panglao where at least 20,000 supporters, wearing blue and red shirts with Duterte’s face and name on it, have gathered at the Panglao gymnasium.

It’s been an amazing year for VRS. So we’d like to stop and remember some 
of the most compelling stories of 2016. 
Courtesy: Ralph Paulo Libradilla/Chris Ramasola/PEPPS/ABS-CBN/et al

Of the 47 towns and one city in Bohol, 31 elected mayors are with LP while nine belong to PDP-Laban, the party of President Duterte. The UNA and the NPC have four mayors each.

For the Boholanos, the choice was a Duterte-Robredo leadership. But even though Duterte won in Bohol due to his campaign manager, former Maribojoc mayor Leoncio Evasco Jr., Duterte’s popularity in the province didn’t help for the local PDP-Laban leaders to win.

In Maribojoc town, considered the bailiwick of Evasco, their candidate incumbent vice-mayor Fructuoso Redulla Jr. failed to win the mayoralty bid. Also  PDP-Laban’s provincial chair Dr. Doloreich Dumaluan didn’t  win for mayor in Panglao town.

Prominent political families have maintained their political dominance. 

The Jumamoy family maintained its dominance in Inabanga town.  Josephine Socorro Jumamoy was re-elected mayor, while son Jose Jono Jumamoy was re-elected councilor.

The Cajes family maintained their hold in Trinidad town. Judith Cajes was reelected mayor, while daughter, Joan Robie, won a fresh mandate as councilor.

In Panglao, the Montero strengthened its position after Nila Montero was re-elected in the mayoral race and her daughter, Aya Montero was elected councilor.

The Imboy family continued its dominance in Loay town. Outgoing mayor Rosemarie who lost to Chatto will be replaced by her daughter, incumbent councilor Rochelle Brigitte Imboy, 25, who received a fresh mandate as the new mayor of Loay town. Rosemarie’s husband, board member Brigido Imboy, was elected as Loay vice mayor.

Capt. Gisela Boniel was elected mayor of Bien Unido, replacing her husband Mayor Boniel who won a seat in the provincial board.

Lawyer Ingemar Patiño Macarine, popularly known as “Pinoy Aquaman,” added feathers on his colorful cap by successfully crossing the 17.1-kilometer long Canigao Channel between President Carlos P. Garcia (Pres. CPG) island-town of Bohol and Maasin City, capital of Southern Leyte.

The swim was organized by the Municipality of Ubay courtesy of Mayor Constantino Reyes to promote tourism in Ubay and for cleaner seas.

Macarine, also the election officer of Tubigon town in Bohol, started the swim early morning of November 20 at Barangay Tugas of Pres. CPG town and tackled the channel in six grueling hours and 37 minutes to reach Barangay Guadalupe in Maasin City.

Macarine, one of this year’s nominees for the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, has conquered the seas in the United States and Philippines.  He plans to return to the United Kingdom to swim the English Channel sometime in September next year. The event was cancelled in August last year due to bad weather.

Bohol is their favorite destination. Those who visited Bohol in 2016 were singer-actress Manilyn Reynes,
Nonito “The Flash” Donaire Jr., former beauty queen Precious Lara Guigaman and husband Marco Alcaraz,  Sara Duterte, Vice President Leni Robredo and her kids, Valerie Concepcion, appl de Ap and K-Pop Star Sandara Park.

During the Earth Day celebration, members and supporters of the Bohol Nature Conservation Society (Bonaconso) gathered to celebrate Earth Day with multiawarded singer-songwriter Joey Ayala.  As a musician and artist, Ayala believes in the healing power of song, as well as the connection to the earth that it provides.

The former beauty queen Anna Maris Igpit and Aussie football player  homas Luke Taylor finally tied the knot in a church wedding at the St. Augustine Church in Panglao town.

By any standard—quantity, quality, variety—2016 was an amazing year for Bohol’s arts and culture.

Baskets of different sizes and shapes highlighted the 3rd basket festival in Antequera town.

The 2nd Calamay Festival was held in Jagna town, the home of the original calamay.  The 29-feet replica of the famous calamay added fanfare to the celebration. Amiela Balaba, Jagna information officer, said that “Jagna’s calamay is delicious, tasty and world-class ang quality.” Its Sinoog Estokada festival last Sept. 29 portrayed angelic war through rhythmic marching and movements following the beat of the drums.

This year’s Sandugo street-dancing competition had a new twist.  It had infused kuradang, a native Visayan dance practiced in Bohol, Cebu, Leyte and Panay, that might had a culture shock for the Boholano millenials.

Loon’s SidlaKasilak (Festival of Lights) revolved solely on the lights, choreography of lights such as movement, synchronization, formation and dynamics and quality of lights such as design, color harmony and brightness.

Amid  a downpour, the participants of the 3rd Panubig Festival in Pilar town last Oct. 11 drew cheers as they danced in honor  to Nuestra Señora del Pilar or Our Lady of the Pillar, the town’s patroness.

 The rain did not appear to affect the enthusiasm of the dancers (seven from elementary and three from high school) who wore colorful costumes and props as they showcased the tradition and culture of the Pilarnons.

History came to life as the show, “Dagohon sa Hoyohoy, Dagohoy the Musical 2016” by the Bohol Theater Network headed by Kasing Sining, exceptionally told the story and struggle of Bohol’s Dagohoy. The scenes were so intense that it impressed the audience.

“When I was watching the original show way back in 1990 I was already amazed. This time, I was totally captivated and hooked up to the show. I was even teary eyed along the way because it was really well performed, the music was well-arranged, all the actors portrayed the roles excellently. In general, the show was excellent,” said Jeycelle Espejo-Inting, a former history teacher at University of Bohol now teaching at Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School.

Glyssa Perez of Danao town was proclaimed Miss Bohol 2016. Perez was a former Miss Philippines- Australia.

Petche Ann “Che Anne” Vale of Bohol also tried her luck in Mutya ng Pilipinas 2016. Che Ann, 20, a Radiologic Technology graduate from Bohol International College, hails from Barangay Agape, Loboc, the music town of the province. She was the second Lobocanon to join the Mutya ng Pilipinas and the third Boholana to do so.

Carlo Roy Gorospe Roslinda  joined the Gentlemen of the Philippines 2016. Caloi, 27, underwent rigorous physical trainings as well as Q&A training under the supervision of his manager James Obedencio and some friends.

Mister Bohol AR dela Serna (real name: Alberto Rodolfu de la Serna),  23, won the first Misters of Filipinas-Supranational 2016.

AR, the son Alberto and former Poblacion 2 barangay captain Glorivic of Tagbilaran City, said winning in a national male pageant was a dream come true.

He represented the Philippines in the Mister Supranational 2016 in Poland and he was one of the Top 20 finalists. 

The housemates of the latest season of "Pinoy Big Brother" (PBB): Lucky 7 had two lucky teens from Bohol. They were: Ma. Niña Vivoree Matutes Esclito, the “Go Better Girl ng Bohol”  and  Fenech Aimee Veloso, “Ang Ballroom Baby ng Bohol.” 

Vivoree, 16, who hails from Loon town, is a grade 10 student of Tagbilaran City Science High School.

“She can sing and play the guitar,” said teacher and cultural worker Butch Bernas, who was Vivoree’s grade 7 adviser.

Vivoree, who dreams of becoming a performer, said that the reason she auditioned to for PBB was to, “At first po, try lang po talaga. Minsan lang po yun nangyayari, yung mga auditions po sa lugar namin, so sinubukan ko po. But then nung nagtagal po, narealize ko na I’m doing this for something not just for nothing. And that dream isyung pumasok sa bahay ni Kuya.”

Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano, collectively known as LizQuen, were in Bohol for ABS-CBN’s hit television series “Dolce Amore (Sweet Love).” The show explored the province’s scenic spots like the white sandy beaches on Panglao Island, Sevilla Hanging Bridge, Loboc River, man-made forest and the Chocolate Hills.

The Bohol episode showed Tenten (Enrique Gil) finally agreed to join Serena (Liza Soberano) in her trip to Bohol.

Many Boholano followers could not get over to the kilig serye’s episode on Bohol, trending on social media and unwittingly disrupting the diurnal of Boholanos.

Fans of real-life sweethearts Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza got excited upon knowing that the phenomenal love team were in Bohol to shoot for a movie they will be part of.  Alden and Maine, collectively known as Aldub, were in Bohol for the taping of "Enteng Kabisote 10, The Abangers.”

In Bohol, at least 30,000 drug dependents voluntarily surrendered and pledged not to use shabu again. At least 61 drug suspects had been killed in the province of Bohol but not a single case for extrajudicial killing has been filed at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) here.

As the war against illegal drugs took a brutal, and often left a bloody trail across the country, police in Cebu City (soon in Bohol?) had found a novel way of softening suspects up: serenading and asking them to surrender through singing the novelty song “Oplan Tokhang.”  The (un)official theme song of the “Oplan Tokhang,” was composed by the grandson of Yoyoy Villame PO3 Janew Villame of Clarin Police Station.

Pope Francis had appointed Monsignor Alberto Uy as the new bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran.  He will replace Bishop Leonardo Medroso, 77, whose resignation has been accepted by the pope.  A priest for 23 years, Msgr. Uy is currently the Episcopal Vicar of the Diocese of Talibon and at the same time the pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Jagna town.

Dr. Mutya Kismet Tirol-Macuno, MDM, was appointed as the new Medical Center Chief II of Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH). She took her oath before Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial.  Leah Tirol-Magno (of Bohol’s Baking Mama), Macuno’s youngest sister shared on Facebook, “We are very proud of you Anang. Carry on the torch of righteousness and continue to share God's love to His people with this new responsibility He entrusted you.”

Boholanos took to social media to vent their ire against a 21-hour power outage that hit the province last Dec. 3.

The outage started at 4 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, to give way for the annual preventive maintenance of the NGCP’s 138-kilovolt Maasin-Ubay Line 2.

But in its advisory, NGCP had said the outage would last only until 5 p.m. on Saturday. Time passed, however, and power has not returned by 6 p.m. By 7 p.m., NGCP issued another advisory to say that the outage would last until 8 p.m. The time came but still, there was no power.

The delay in the power restoration irked Boholanos who turned to social media to vent their anger.

There were power interruptions on Dec. 4, Dec. 17 and Dec. 27.--all unscheduled.

Some towns were just more creative than others.  The town of Tubigon had retained its title as the “Most Christmassy Place” in Bohol province.

The 28-foot tall Santa Claus in Sierra-Bullones had become the town’s center of attention, drawing people who take pictures with the Santa in the background.

 In Anda town, Christmas trees were created with discarded trash and indigenous materials. An array of skillfully crafted Christmas trees made from waste materials are now beautifully displayed at the town plaza and continue to surprise a lot of viewers.

Hundreds of devotees in Jagna town flocked to St. Michael the Archangel at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 24, not just to hear Mass but to witness the “Padagan sa Kometa (Gliding of the Comet).”  It was an reenactment of how the Christmas Star shown brightly above the manger to guide the shepherds and the three kings to where Christ was born.

Msgr. Ignacio Reyes, parish priest of Jagna, said that based on their records, the reenactment dated back to 1867 when parishioners were no longer contented of decorating their church with small stars.
Church records showed that the tradition was never interrupted even during the Japanese occupation in World War II.

Before the start of the first day of the Simbang Gabi (Dawn Mass), the parishioners already hang their kometa (star) near the mezzanine floor above the door of the church.

The kometa's tail was folded as it remained at the end of the pulley until Christmas Eve when it would be released and glide toward the belen near the altar, about 62 meters away.

Reyes and the choir --Pastorela Chorale-- led the congregation in singing the “Gloria in Excelsis Deo,” the church lights dimmed and the bright comet slowly glided across the church, passing the 12 stars that were evenly hanging from the ceiling.  It took at least 10 men to control the ropes that held the comet to the pulley, making the comet move up and down as it continued its glide toward the manger.

Once the comet is directly above the manger, it is made to move down thrice as a sign of respect to the infant Jesus. It would stay there until Jan. 3, the Feast of Three Kings.

Resident Aurelio Acebes, 52, said attending the “Padagan sa Kometa” made him feel proud and happy because this could only be witnessed in Jagna. “I feel that my Christmas is complete every time I attend the Padagan sa Kometa,” he added.

While some parishes have their own “Padagan sa Kometa,” it is only in Jagna where “Dagit sa mga Bitoon” (Snatching of the Stars) is being held every the first Sunday of January.

 “That makes it unique in Jagna because the celebration doesn’t end in "Pagdagan sa Komet’ but we have the ‘balik-dagit’,” said Reyes.

In “Dagit sa mga Bitoon,” the “kometa” begins its journey back home to coro. As it glides back, the 12 smaller stars that are also connected to the pulley followed the “kometa.” The journey will be accompanied by marching song. By the end of the song, the ceiling will be empty.

Jagna Councilor Anthony Aniscal said the tradition should be preserved since it gives identity to the town.

“It is already an identity of our town because we are one of the few, if not alone, practicing such tradition every Christmas for more than a century,” said Aniscal. “It must be preserved but must not defeat the real center of Christmas who is Jesus Christ,” added Aniscal.

From the tragic deaths of former Danao Mayor Thomas Gonzaga and Bohol Gov. Rolando Butalid and to the loss accomplished greats Dr. Luther Ramiro and Nemi Monton, we've done a lot of collective mourning in 2016.

Shock waves rippled through the political arena as news surfaced that former Danao Mayor Louis Thomas “Tom” Gonzaga passed away, two days after he was found unconscious inside his house in Tagbilaran City. He was 46. Mayor Tom was described as one of the coolest and unassuming public servants in the province.

Lawyer Rolando Gatal Butalid, former governor of Bohol and city mayor of Tagbilaran passed away at the age of 85. He served as provincial governor for eight years (1978-1986). He left a good legacy of an honest and friendly leadership.

Sports enthusiasts were devastated by the passing of sportsman and civic leader Nemi Monton last Oct. 4.  As president of Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (Abap) in Central Visayas, Nemi opened doors wider for Boholano athletes (he discovered Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista, et al).  He would be sadly missed for his energy, great sense of humor and timeless example as discoverer of athletes.

The founder of Ramiro Hospital Dr. Luther Ramiro passed away on Oct. 30.  He was 91.  As a civic leader, the late Ramiro was a pillar of the Rotary Club being a charter member and a former outstanding president.

News of his death spread on social media, and fellow Rotarians expressed their condolences. "Thank you for touching many lives Dr. Lu, you will live forever in the hearts of grateful Rotarians and all people dedicated to service above self,” Rotarian Andreimarie Thurman posted on Facebook.

Boholana beauty queen Marcelina Marcel Gatal-Diego, who was named Miss Young Bohol 1983, died after a long bout with breast cancer.  She was 53.
Her friends also took to social media with their condolences.

 “Another beautiful angel has gone to the Great Beyond,” said Miss Tagbilaran 1987 Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin. 

Also former chairman of Miss Tagbilaran Mary Anne Michelle Porticos left us.  Her friends at City Hall expressed their shock and grief of her passing.
Radio personality Joseph “Jojo” Ligan died on May 23. He was 56. Also known as George Gray, he was fondly remembered in radio with his deep booming voice, he brought back the music of yester years in “Good Morning, Yesterday” and the half-hour “Beatles Special.”

Writer Joe Espiritu wrote “30” on Oct. 15. He wrote a column “View from The Top” in the defunct Bohol Sunday Post. His friends said, “You can view us now from the top...thanks for sharing your talent...continue writing in heaven.”

And while most of us didn't know them personally, the loss of them, somehow, feels personal -- we cheered their victories, enjoyed their works and services and listened to their voices.

We remember them.

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