Sunday, January 28, 2018

Art Yap not (yet?) keen on running for Bohol guv

Some of the models under The Art Nouveau
Models management. Contributed Photos
Scene:  Talent manager and performer Nicole Kim Gonzales (Roger Ryan Magtagad in real life) berated and declared an event coordinator a “big liar” whose modus operandi was slashing the budget for her models. Kim, the founder of The Art Nouveau Models, posted on her Facebook that their relationships go sour due to issues of finances. According to VRS, because of its unpleasant encounter with the event coordinator, Kim has decided to blacklist her. Clue: Hello, Billy? Buking na siya!
Scene: A young socialite cried a river (nay, an ocean!) when her high-profile parents vehemently opposed her budding romance with a hunky classmate. Reason: the parents confirmed that the hunky classmate comes from a poor family background.  Langit ka,  lupa ako,  hanggang tanaw lang ba tayo....
Scene:  President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed former Bohol OIC governor Victor dela Serna as one of the 18 members of the consultative committee that will conduct consultations and review the provisions of the 1987 Constitution.
Bohol 3rd district Representative Arthur Yap’s daily schedule might be full due to his public service commitments, but he’s never too busy to meet the members of the Bohol media.
It looks like it but Bohol 3rd district Rep. Art Yap
 has yet to decide if he will run for Bohol governor in 2019.
 Leo Udtohan
In fact, last Friday’s meet and greet, Yap answered questions and issues intelligently and satisfactorily from the case filed against him on the P15.8-M car plan, to 2019 Election political plans, Charter Change, Train Law and his PDP-Laban affiliation.
He lamented that the graft case against him by the Sandiganbayan over a car plan for employees of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) was unfair and unjust.
“We found it very unfair. And we will really fight the case very aggressively,” Yap said.
He stressed that he was not present when the rules on the car plan was drafted and approved by the PhilRice Board of Trustees.
He also said it was hard to believe if the case was politically motivated.
“On politics behind the PhilRice case, I hope not. I hope not. But sometimes I should be honest to you in my moments in despair and loneliness, sometimes my thoughts really there. I pray not,” he said.
Is he running for Bohol governor?
Because he’s often seen these days in the barangays, Yap may have unwittingly set off speculations that he is running for Bohol governor with outgoing Bohol 1st district Rep. Rene Relampagos as his running-mate in the 2019 elections against the tandem of Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, Jr and Vice Governor Dionisio Balite.
Rep. Art Yap with the Bohol reporters. 
Courtesy: Angie Valencia
To set the record straight, Yap told reporters that he is not yet running.
 “I have not decided to run,” he said.
But he maintained it is one of his options.
“Whatever it is, I know it is a raging issue. I think it is one of my options. Thankful ko sa mga tawo that they are talking about it. That means they are seriously considering that I am material for governor. Daghang salamat for considering me. Until I made up the final decision, I stick to my answer before that I have not decided,” he said. 
As he has been saying in interviews, Yap’s mindset is very much in the third district of Bohol, known for its richness in cultural and natural tourism landmarks especially the Loboc River, the Chocolate Hills and the pristine beaches and diving spots in Jagna and Anda.
Asked by reporters to name at least one leader who fit to replace him, Yap played it safe.
“It’s very difficult to say if who is the best person who will succeed me. He or she has to be somebody who is willing to sacrifice for the district,” he said.
Nonetheless, he stressed that only the people can change the course of the district’s direction by installing the right and deserving leader.
“With all humility, I will end my third term and I have visited all the barangays in my district more than once. I was able to give projects to fulfil my promise during the campaign and I was able to fulfil it,” he said.
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohanINQ at Twitter /Facebook.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

VRS’ Tagna-Tagna 2018

Scene: The #RockAgainstDrugs2018 on Jan. 26, 6 p.m. at the Ubay Port Area. Admission is free. Featured bands are Cueshe, Brownbuds and Bo Young Music.  Businessman Van Delima said the event is presented by Bohol 2nd District Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado who is consistent in his anti-drug advocacy to impact the community to be self-policing and self -reliant continuing to protect themselves against illegal drug activities. “Because ARIS CARES," he said.
Scene: The Guimbawan Festival on Jan. 28 at Batuan town plaza in honor of Sto. Nino de Praga.  The first festival was held in 1986 founded by Rev. Fr. Danilo Maniwan.  Guimbao is a Boholano traditional drum.
Seen:  Karen Gallman will try her luck for the second time in the Bb. Pilipinas 2018. Make-up artist Tamara said, “She will represent the sweetness of Chocolate Hills, Bohol.”  Gallman, 25, was crowned Miss Ubay 2007 and she joined the Bb. Pilipinas 2012 where she reached the Top 12 and was also named Miss Photogenic.
Since the Chinese New Year is fast approaching (Feb. 16, 2018 if you want to mark it down in your calendar right now) – a lot of VRS diehard believers in the horoscope, feng shui and other “supernatural forces” (that will apparently dictate how the next twelve months will play out for each of us) are asking yours truly what’s in store for them in the Year of the Earth Dog.
As we know, dogs are widely pointed out to be man's best friend.
Astrologers said 2018 is an eventful year, marked by security concerns and the rise of social conservative movements within society. It is also a good time for lifestyle changes and for new business ventures.
And as tradition is hard to break, VRS is up with its annual “Tagna-Tagna,” which is so notorious that last year’s “Tagna-Tagna” had a good batting average, with 98 percent credibility! Clap! Clap! Clap! (Thank you! Thank you!-LPU)
What will the Dog bow-wow this year? 
Read what the Year of the Dog bow-wows for our favorite Boholanos who make yours and our lives a bit more exciting this year.
• It will be a healthy baby boy for Miss Bohol Sandugo 2005 and Bb. Pilipinas-Word 2006 Anna Maris Igpit and Thomas Taylor in May! Maris’ #2018Goal: “To be the best mother that I can be for our tiny little one coming this year.”
• Miss Bohol 2016 and Miss World Philippines 2017- First Princess Glyssa Perez will embrace show business as she will sign a contract under Regal Films.
•Mark "Magnifico" Magsayo will continue to inspire every Filipino who is struggling with life's challenges to achieve a bright future.
•Lawyer Ingemar Macarine aka Pinoy Aquaman will make a world-breaking record.
• Actresses TinTin Ng and  Lailette Boiser will bounce back and spring a big surprise on all of us, proving to all and sundry that they are not done yet, career wise.  They will have more challenging roles in teleseryes and movies.
•Mister Supranational Philippines-2016 AR de la Serna will have a big break in the industry.
•A successful Tigum Bol-non sa Tibuok Kalibutan (TBTK) in July 2018 under the leadership of Dr. Rhine T. Pamaong.
• Miss Bohol 2014 Melody Queenie Fullante will find her ideal man! Her #2018Goal: “My #2018goal is to be Better. A better Queenie at home and at work. A better Queenie to her friends and to her self. And to be a totally better person for the community and to the Lord.”
•Cabinet Secretary Leoncio “Jun” Evasco Jr. will make a final decision (to run or not to run for governor in 2019) middle of this year. 
•Beauche owner and former Carmen Mayor Conchita “CheChe” Toribio- delos Reyes will make a political comeback.  She will run for congresswoman in the third district where her hometown Carmen belongs. The post is to be vacated by Rep. Art Yap who is reportedly eyeing to run for governor with last-termer Rep. Rene Relampagos probably his running-mate.
• Many people will support the “The Mermaid” Jammy Ungab on her “Plastic Free Bohol” Movement.
The blind items...
• A controversy will rock (again) a beauty pageant in the province. So what else is new?
• With love, patience and no small degree of soul-searching about their relationship, a young couple will have a tearful reconciliation.  So sweet!
• No reconciliation for the young couple who will end in a bitter court battle. The hubby (who is a young politician) had walked out on his wife and kids and into the arms of a younger woman. The breakup surprised us all. But unlike other troubled couples, their separation did not lead down the long, sad road to annulment.  However, the family of the politician’s wife decided to sue him after he went wild disturbing the whole village! However, the wife still loves him! The love is still there.
•After all her noble initiatives for the improvement of public health, the head will be dismissed due to “unseen hands.” Her “frenemies” don’t like her new brand of leadership and hate her for being so kind.  Ooops... they are not so kind!
•A certain politician will make a painful decision of finally “outing” himself.  Well, those close to him have long known his sexual preference. Just show your true colors!
• Another big scandal will shake the political scene. No elaboration.
• A title holder’s wholesome image will be tarnished by issues against him.
• A favorite radio program will fade out.
• A surprise announcement about a major revamp of a top-rating radio program. New heads will roll (in).
• A talent from Bohol will shine on international TV talent shows.
• The province of Bohol will make a world headline. No elaboration.
• Before the year ends, politicians will announce their intention to join the 2019 elections, if, that is a big if, there will be elections. And some will begin mudslinging in the last quarter of the year.
• Towards the end of the year, more (young and inexperienced) politicians will declare their intention of running in the 2019 elections.  However, only few (old and veteran) politicians will dare run in 2019 because of no money for “vote buying.”
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohanINQ at Twitter /Facebook.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Goodbye, Gen. Matanguihan; Hello, Col. Madriaga

CARMEN, Bohol– The 302nd Infantry (Achiever) Brigade under the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division (3ID) of the Philippine Army has a new commander following a change of command ceremony held at Camp Rajah Sikatuna in this town on Thursday, Jan. 11. 

Outgoing commanding officer Brig. Gen. Arnulfo 
Matanguihan turned over the command of th
302nd IB to its new commander Lt. Col. Ignacio Madriaga 
on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The ceremony was 
presided by Brig. Gen.  Dinoh Dolina, commander 
of 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.
/Leo Udtohan
Lt. Col. Ignacio Madriaga replaced Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Matanguihan who relinquished his duty after more than a year of service as commander.

During the ceremony, Matanguihan was awarded with a military merit medal interim to a distinguished service star for his excellent service as commanding officer.

Brig. Gen. Dinoh Dolina, commander of 3ID, presided the turn-over of command which was attended by local government officials, PNP and Navy officials, civil society organizations, partners and stakeholders and men and women of the 302nd Brigade.

 Under Matanguihan’s leadership, the infiltration of the 11 members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) who tried to build a base in Inabanga town was foiled. Government troopers successfully neutralized the ASG members by killing each of the stragglers. He also led to prevent the resurgence of insurgency in the province.

“Highlight nung tenure ko yung operations natin against the Abu Sayyaf. They tried to challenge the Bol-anon and we stood our ground, we fought and we succeeded. Yung ang pinaka-highlight sa tenure ko dito,” said Matanguihan.

He will be transferred to the 9th Infantry Division in Bicol as its assistant commander.

He said he would surely miss Bohol.

“Ma-mimiss ko yung fiesta dito at yung mga tao na sobrang hospitable,” he said.

Gen. Arnulfo Matanguihan with Inabanga 
Mayor Josephine Socorro Jumamoy
 and Clarin Mayor Allen Ray Piezas.  /Leo Udtohan
Matanguihan, who was a company commander in the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Division in Mindanao, was the deputy brigade commander of 802nd Brigade, 8th Infantry Division based in Leyte prior to his assignment in Bohol.

During the ceremony, Matanguihan thanked the support of the local government units, especially the provincial government, as well as other stakeholders in peace and development for helping his leadership achieve many feats and for giving him a chance to serve the people in his best capacity.

For his part, Madriaga, who was at Army’s 5th Infantry Division under the Northern Luzon command, vowed that he would sustain the peace and development in his new area of assignment.

 “Ako po naman ay handa, napaghandaan ko po ang position na ito. At hihingin ko po yung tulong ng mga kababayan dito sa Bohol na tulungan niyo po ako at sama-sama tayo na magawa po natin at mahigitan po natin kung ano po yung nagawa yung mga nauna sa akin. Ngayon lang po ako ay nagpapasalamat na po ako sa inyong lahat,” said Madriaga.

Provincial board member (l-r) Ricky Masamayor, 
provincial legal officer Atty. John Mitchell Boiser., provincial
 prosecutor Macario Delusa and acting  governor Benjie Arcamo
attended  the change of command ceremony.  /Leo Udtohan
Dolinah congratulated the outgoing and incoming commanders and urged the soldiers to continuously do their best in maintaining, winning the people’s minds, hearts and further strengthening the peace and development efforts in the province.

Hundreds climb Bohol Calvary
for the feast of Black Nazarene

GARCIA HERNANDEZ, Bohol — Devotion to the Black Nazarene is not only confined to those who flock to Quiapo in Manila every Jan. 9.

Hundreds of pilgrims and devotees in Bohol province climbed the mountain in this town to ask to be healed and give thanks on the feast of the Black Nazarene on Tuesday, Jan. 9.

Rosalinda Huertas, 66, walked at least 3 km to visit the chapel and offer prayers.

Huertas, who suffered from pneumonia last week, believed that the Black Nazarene played a big role in healing her sickness.

Edward Guyano, 43, was also emotional when he visited the place.

Some members of the Bohol media -(l-r) your VRS, Dave Charles 
Responte of dyRD and Allen Doydora of dyRD paid
 their traditional New Year  courtesy call on Bohol PNP director Senior 
Supt. Felipe Natividad last Thursday at the Bohol Provincial Police Office.
 /Allen Doydora
He visited the mountain two years ago before he had a stroke last year.

Guyano said the Black Nazarene had never failed to answer his prayers.

It was on May 29, 2011 when Marina Reblinca, a visionary and healer, brought the image of the Black Nazarene from Palawan to Bohol Calvary (originally named Mount Kalagan) in Barangay Malinao, Garcia Hernandez town and established a small chapel funded by devotees.

Reblinca said the Nazarene told her he wanted to be in Bohol Calvary.

“I followed his order, then people flocked here,” Reblinca said.

She also said that the Black Nazarene protected the place during the strong earthquake in 2013 and typhoons.

Since then, devotees consider the mountain, with its serene silence, holy.

Devotees walked more than 3 kilometers to
reach the summit of “Bohol Calvary” in Garcia Hernandez,
Bohol province, to attend the feast of the Black Nazarene
on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. Here pilgrims and devotees attended a
healing session conducted by visionary Marina Reblinca.
 /Leo Udtohan

On Tuesday, hundreds of devotees attended the Mass. Since it was fiesta, they were treated to a sumptuous lunch.

After the lunch, devotees waited for the “patunob,” wherein the image of the Black Nazarene was placed on the parts of the body for healing.

Huertas patiently waited for her turn.

“Mutuo jud kay milgaroso mani kay yearly ni kada simba diri naa man gud magpatunob ani magpasalamat naay kaayuhan sa sakit. Magpasalamat,” she said.

[I believe the Black Nazarene is miraculous. Every year there is patunob for healing and thanksgiving.]

When Reblinca placed the little statue of the Black Nazarene at the devotees’ heads, shoulders and
hands, the devotees prayed and kissed the image praying for healing and miracles.

She would give flowers she blessed for healing and success in business.

Marina Reblinca 
“Kinahanglan maniwala jud sa Poong Nazareno. Kay gamhanan mana siya, kay Ginoo gud na siya. Tanang problema tabangan ta bisan muhilam sa iyang sinena, muhilam sa iyang kamut tanang sakit nimo mawala. Basta mutuo ka naa sa imo na kung mutuo ka. Hugot imong pagtoo mamaayo jud ka maskin cancer pa imong sakit,” she said.

[We should have faith in Him because He is powerful. He is God. Even just touching his dress and hands, he will help you in all your problems. Just have strong faith in him, even cancers will be cured.]

For Huertas and Guyano, they admitted that climbing Bohol Calvary was like embarking on a spiritual journey.

“Going there has nourished my soul,” Guyano said. “It deepens my faith to a Supreme Being and nature.”

Huertas said that reaching Bohol Calvary can help make one have a better perspective of life.

At the crest of the mountain, visitors also visited a “wishing cave” to purify themselves and wish for prosperity and abundance.

There was also a cave of faith healers, known as a sacred place and some old boat coffins carefully protected by local residents.

Visitors also felt mystery of the huge stone shaped like a boat.


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

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Their #2018Goals

A new year, a new you.

As we start another year, it’s always good to strive for certain goals for better, healthier and more fulfilled lives—physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Here are some notable (my favorite!) Boholanos who shared their #2018goals:

Idy CaseƱas Cagas — PERSONAL: Learn something new. Move more! Create a workout routine, find time to exercise. Eat healthy and increase water intake. Be more grateful. RELATIONSHIP: Visit my parents more often and call them more often. Be in better touch with my closest friends. Have regular date nights with the fiance. WORK: Learn the difference between important and urgent. Keep on learning. Drive my own development. Celebrate successess, big or small, reward myself and stay motivated. Stress less. Understand others better.

Leah Tirol-Magno — To continue innovating, be a blessing to someone each day and also to be a doctor.

Some Boholanos think that it’s important 
to start 2018 the right way—by having a New Year’s goals!
Doris Dinorog-Obena — To visit one or two countries like Brunei and Bali  (Indonesia) and visit Coron (Palawan) then study and explore an online business. I would also want to develop more grounded participatory planning processes inclined towards gender equality...anything that will make use of my previous governance experience.

Benjie Oliva — My 2018 goals are: 1) To lose weight through regular exercise and proper diet; 2) a short-term  scholarship  abroad; and 3) with God’s blessings  another baby in the family.

Jeryl Lacang-Fuentes — This year I intend to be bolder and better. Also, I intend to unapologetically spend more time putting myself first, say NO to others and spend time on myself and my girls.

Imaculada Cleofe Leopardas — My 2018 goals seem like my most genuine decisions. I want to be really mindful, be more passionate wherever I go and I want to change for the better. I will no longer dwell on negativities and insecurities but rather, I will practice positive thinking and be more focused. I want to be closer to God, I want to still make time to some people who matters to me. I will have a healthy lifestyle and take care of myself. Lastly, I want to be a woman who's selfless and she knows her purpose and lives with it. And I will live a meaningful life.

Tessie Labunog-Sumampong —I want to  travel more around the world with my family, to be physically fit because I am not getting any younger and to expand my catering business and to have a home my own na jud

Charina Aumentado-Jones:  To lose weight.  Ha!Ha!Ha!

AR De La Serna— Achieve more. Continue working hard. Travel to places I've never been before.

Mikey Gatal — I need a break before I get crazy in America! My plan is to apply for a dual citizenship to be able to stay longer in the Philippines especially in Bohol for a well deserve vacation and not rushing to go back and work. I am considering a job over there at The Panglao International Airport if there is an opportunity and be closer to my family again, I will also consider a work in Congress for that’s where I started and hopefully I will have a happier and peaceful mind this 2018!

Lourdes Brunidor Cempron — Maintain a healthy lifestyle, success for my loved ones and most of all to be more prayerful.

Gisela Mae Apalisok-Leggington—My goals in 2018: track my calories intake and diet, exercise regularly, be a minimalist at home and whichever, spend on things necessary and finish food n the fridge or pantry before buying, not a hoarder, to travel anywhere, time management.  Another goal: go to the gym regularly, go to bed early to get a real good eight hours of sleep

Ingemar Macarine— To conquer the English Channel!

Today is the best time to relate to VRS readers some inspiring stories sent to me by travel specialist Jocelyn Pilayre and beauty queen Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin who must have gotten them from their other friends or other sources.

Anyway, “A Shoe Seller Walks in the Shoes of Kindness” is worth retelling, from which we can all learn a lesson or two.

I am sharing you this to make you smile and inspire you this 2018.

A Shoe Seller Walks in the Shoes of Kindness

Today, I felt terrible. My head was full of problems and confusion.  I decided to take a walk even though I didn't know where I would go. The most extraordinary thing happened when I was out on this walk.

I saw an old man sitting on a chair. He was a seller of second-hand shoes. I thought he looked at least 70 years old. He seemed so tired and nobody was buying his shoes. I wanted to give him something but I had not brought anything with me.

Then, a little girl came toward him. I heard the child say, "Grandfather, may I polish your shoes?" That old man took pity on her, smiled and he gave her a  shoe to polish.

The girl said, "I polish the shoe because I need money to buy my brother a new school uniform."

SubmitI heard this and tears came to my eyes. The old man answered, "Oh, little girl. Just stop doing this. Come with me and I will buy you a uniform." Then they walked to a market (I followed behind) and he bought her a uniform.

The girl was so happy.  She said, "Thank you so much for doing this. May God bless you." Then she left, leaving the old man smiling.

He walked away from the market, but I stopped him. I whispered in his ear, "You are a hero! Thank you for your kindness!"  As I walked away, I glanced back and I could see him still smiling.

I was blown away by the kindness I had just seen.  Someone who had so little themselves, was able to show such incredible generosity! Amazing! My own sadness had completely disappeared, chased way by the light of this kind act.

I began realizing that I have a lot to be thankful for. I hope, some day, I can show my appreciation of what I have by following the example of the old man who only had a little, but shared it so beautifully with someone who had nothing.


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