Sunday, July 16, 2017

Balikbayans arrive for Sandugo festivities

Mikey Gatal with his high school 
classmates-Father Alberic Bonje, Jorge Besa 
and Roel Rosco. Courtesy: Mikey Gatal
Scene: The 163rd Bohol Day Governor's Awardees:  Ambassador Fernando "Ding" Borja (Diplomacy/International), Relations, Fr. Arnold Zamora (Music), Atty. Ingemar Macarine  (Advocate for Environment/Long Distance Swimmer),  Carmen Gatal (Community Service) and Mr. and Mrs. John and Geesnell Yap (Business). Special Citations: Dr. Jeong Taek Lee, Country Director, Korea Project for International Agriculture (KOPIA) and  Engr. Tadashi Aoi , Project Manager, Japan Airport Consultant.

Scene: The first “ToFarm Film Festival” in Bohol on July 26-28, 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The festival features farmers, agriculture and bounties of nature. Contact BITGAP and KABOG for direct purchase of tickets. Text 09172034705/09102450515/09277932406/09128109145/09332253163.

They’re back again for the Sandugo.

The Sandugo beat, hugs and smiles greeted our balikbayans from abroad as early as last week.

Pushing a cart filled with baggage that includes “pasalubong” for his friends, US-based socialite Mikey
Gatal has been coming to Bohol and all for the Sandugo festival.

“It truly feels like home,” said Mikey who arrived with his mother Fely.

Aside from the Sandugo, Mikey came for a reunion with former high school classmates at Divine Word College High School Batch 1987 which was held at Boffo Resort in Loon town.

Mikey Gatal with his mom Fely. Courtesy: Mikey Gatal
He said he plans to join the 2nd “Bangga sa Kuradang ug Subli sa Sandugo” street-dance on Sunday.

Kuradang is dance during social gatherings such as birthday, baptism, wedding and fiesta because of its lively moves and the life it gives to the gatherings. It is dance with the accompaniment of the rondalla that it makes kuradang flared, brisk and romantic.

The kuradang, a courtship dance, imitates the playful "birig" or courting movements of the aggressive rooster and coy hen.

Mikey said although he visited some places he wants to explore more. He said he plans to make a countryside tour. He said it never fails to amaze the towns for a relaxing encounter with sight.

It is, indeed, a time for milestone high school reunions.

According to Fiel Angeli E. Araoarao-Gabin, overall coordinator of the Bohol National High School (BNHS) Class of 1987, the 30th (Pearl) anniversary celebration on July 21-22, 2017 anchored on the theme "Polished Over Time."

She said Boholanos from different parts of the world came home not only to be with their families, to attend weddings and to witness the Bohol Sandugo Festival, but to relive the 30 glorious years of their high school life.

The Divine Word College-High School 
Class of 1987 Pearl reunion. Courtesy: Mikey Gatal
A combination of "advocacy" and "lingaw-lingaw," the BNHS Class of 1987 turned over to Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School principal Virgilia Omictin P20,000 for the SpEd classroom ceiling repair from Pia Madronero-Bongulto of San Diego, California, more than 600 K to 12 books for the regular classes and more than 100 pairs of school shoes for the SpEd students from the San Joaquin Kalawaan High School of the Pasig City Schools Division, through Nicolasa Clarito-Enierga, and P10,000 worth of sports equipment.

Balikbayans who joined were Noel Cericos and Doods Bullen from the United States, Annaliza Preciado-Yano and Jadel Salazar-Karasawa from Japan and Jessica Vidal-Glyde from Australia.

Moreover, Leo Madanguit, Rolland Clarete, and Clarissa Matela - Arado from the United States got in town for their July 14-16, 2017 Divine Word College of Tagbilaran 30th year HS reunion, so with Paulino Biloy, Jr. from Hongkong, also for his church wedding to Shirmie Cuadra last July 21, while Holy Spirit School graduates Ma. Nerissa Virtusio - Clarete, Jacqueline Malanog - San Pedro, and Rebeca dela Serna also from the United States, made it in time for their July 22-23, 2017 pearl anniversary reunion.

On the other hand, those balikbayans from the US also participated in their Holy Spirit School Elementary Class of 1983 gathering last July 20 at KEW Hotel in preparation for their grand 35th anniversary reunion in 2018.

The Holy Spirit Elem. Class of 1993 gathered 
for their reunion in preparation for their
 big 30th event next year. 
Courtesy: Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin
Boholano movie actress and performer Leah Scarnet "Scarlet" Geulen-Boiser, Bohol Quality Corporation CEO Raymond Ong, Tagbilaran City Community Hospital's Rey Inting, accomplished Chicago, Illinois businessman Leo Madanguit, and Tagbilaran City Information Officer Fiel Angeli E. Araoarao - Gabin are among the graduates.

Welcome greetings from friends and relatives also filled the arrival area at the Tagbilaran Airport and pier for Saudi Arabia-based couple Marvin and Jolzeccar Uy-Fronteras and  Miss Bohol International 1999 Chan Cajegas-Casabal and her family.

Unlike past years, balikbayans didn’t come in a single large group, but traveled individually.

Some came as early as May to attend some reunions and fiestas. Last May, erstwhile society writer Gisela Mae “Jiji” Apalisok came home to attend their town fiesta. I told her to wait for July. “Next year perhaps,” she said.

Pinoy Aquaman swims from Cebu
 to Bohol before English Channel trip

Triathlete lawyer Ingemar Macarine, known as "Pinoy Aquaman," swam nonstop for eight hours covering at least 18 kilometers from Argao town in Cebu to Cabilao Island in Loon town in Bohol province last Sunday.

Helen Castano with triathlete lawyer Ingemar Macarine,
 known as "Pinoy Aquaman," swims Cebu
  to Bohol, his last intense training session before 
embarking on the English Channel swim. 
Macarine was one of the Awardees during the 
163rd Bohol Day on July 22.  Leo Udtohan
Macarine said his latest feat was not easy because of the jellyfish he encountered along the way.

"During the first 8 kilometers I was really thinking of abandoning the swim because of the jellyfish. l suffered for the first 8 kms, the good thing  no more jellyfish along the way but I encountered the strong current,” he said.

The Cebu-Bohol stretch is part of his training as the first Filipino to swim through the English Channel, known as the “Mount Everest” of swimming, next month.

“This is my last swim before I depart for UK next week to start my training for the ultimate swim of my life that would be August 14," he said.

"So, I will try to swim again the English Channel because last year I was not able to swim because of the bad weather," he added.

Last May, he successfully endured New York's freezing Hudson River as he swam from Newburgh-Beacon Bridge to Bannerman Island for one hour and 49 minutes, about 8.4 kilometers.

Macarine swam from Guinsiliban, Camiguin Island, crossed the Macajalar Bay, and reached Talisayan town in Misamis Oriental to promote peace in Mindanao last June.


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