Sunday, April 29, 2018

San Isidro beauty takes Mutya crown

An obvious crowd favorite from the start, Raclaire Stephan Trigo of Barangay San Isidro clinched the coveted Mutya sa Tagbilaran crown that won her the right to represent the city in this year’s Miss Bohol pageant held last Friday (April 27),  hosted by Manila’s eventologist Tim Yap  with actress Iza Calzado as co-host.

Raclaire Stephan Trigo of Barangay San Isidro
(with Butch Bernas, Ph.D.) was crowned Mutya sa Tagbilaran 2018.
Photo by Helen Castaño
The other four winners were Mutya sa Booy Dann Audrey A. Cadenas, first runner-up; Mutya sa Ubujan Rueggy Mae Namoc, second runner-up; Mutya sa Manga Lady Aira Lumantas,  third runner-up; and Mutya sa Poblacion 2 Margarett Requillo, fourth runner-up.

Youth leader and Booy village councilor Clement Paulinel Ingking told VRS that the winners were exceptionally beautiful and witty.

“All questions were answered with substance. The dreaded Q&A portion was as exciting as it promised. There were a few misses, some with very good saves but mostly, it proved that the level of competition is stronger than ever,” said Clement.

He added, “Most of the eventual winners had very impressive answers that had depth and delivered with conviction. They all performed exceedingly well during the finals.”

Cultural worker Butch Bernas, Ph.D. who also watched the pageant shared that the pageant was “full of innovation and incomparable.”

“The production number of the Mutya was so spectacular and grandeur like ever before. Stunning led wall helps the production awesome,” he said.

“Wow na wow,” he gushed.

Another crowd favorite Dann Audrey Cadenas 
was declared first runner-up in Mutya sa Tagbilaran 2018.  
Cadenas was as supported by her family and the Booy 
Council headed by village chief Jun Telmo, councilors 
Eulogia "Yolie" Ayeng and Clement Paulinel Ingking. 
Photo by Helen Castaño
Clement said that prior to joining Mutya sa Tagbilaran, Cadenas, a former president of the Supreme Student Government at Bohol Wisdom School, already represented Purok 5 during the barangay search level. She even slayed the Question and Answer portion with her presence of mind, poise, and confidence.

Cadenas and Requillo were also winners of Island City Mall’s beauty and modelling contests, and making the mall as their training ground. Cadenas was Miss Teen ICM 2017 second runner up, while Requillo  was Mannequins Live 2016 first runner-up.

2 young entrepreneurs
committed to help Bohol

Bright, ambitious Filipinos were leaving the Philippines In the 1970s in pursuit of better opportunities, a time period known as the “Brain Drain.”

To this day, the trend continues as the number of Filipinos leaving for work abroad has increased. However, some Filipinos opted to stay here. Some are staying here to build businesses and help communities that will engage more Filipinos and create more job opportunities for them.

Case in point:  Dalareich Polot of Dalareich Chocolate House and Joy Angeli Uy of Belian Hotel.

Just recently, they launched their personal advocacy-movement FAÇADE (Food, Agriculture, Culture and Arts, Development, Education) with a  tagline “"Opening an open space of possibilities."
FACADE aims to change the face of culture in the province of Bohol through community development and education.

“We want to see Bohol in the future as a creative hub for food, agriculture, culture and the arts and development,” said Dalareich.

Organizers, speakers and participants 
during the launching of FAÇADE (Food, 
Agriculture, Culture and Arts, Development, Education). 
Contributed Photo
“We want Boholanos to talk, collaborate, open a conversation and inspire each other. Shobe Joy and I personally thank all our sponsors who were at our back when we planned for this,” said the Belgian-trained chocolatier.

Two social entrepreneur speakers from Manila, Josh Mahinay, founder of BEAGIVER and Dr. Anton Mari Lim, co-founder and President of Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, also inspired the guests with the stories of the respective communities they are helping.

Young entrepreneurs, academe, community builders, resort managers, leaders and media were present during the event.

FAÇADE Series 1 happened last April 24-26 at Tagbilaran City Grounds, a side event of Fusion Nights 2018. Duke Minoza of Buenaventarada Farm and Paolo Rigotti of Rigotti Coffe talked about Coffee Seed to Cup and appreciation night last Tuesday. Ms Vina Antopina of Bean55Chocolaterie and Dalareich Polot of Ginto Chocolates talked about the cacao and chocolate journey.  Chocolate tasting was held last Wednesday. On the 3rd day, April 26, Efrenia Holt of Atbang Farm and Cyrus Lobrigas of KABOOM talked about Organic Food and Farming.

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental Karen Gallman gets warm welcome in Bohol homecoming

Whether catwalking or simply talking, Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental 2018 Karen Gallman has a magical way of charming and endearing herself to people, so down-to-earth, and thus grounded, that you want to hug her.

I experienced it myself Wednesday (April 18) last week in her first trip to the province after winning the national title in March where your VRS, including Allen Doydora (dyRD), Dave Responte (dyTR) and Helen Castaño (who was the instant “sash and crown bearer”), accompanied her during her Bohol homecoming.

When she was approaching the group of well-wishers, it was noticeable that she was much lovelier in person.

Our admiration strengthened when she spoke to us in her thick Bisaya accent.

Karen was elated by the warm welcome. She sported a big a smile and thanked Bohol 2nd District Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado and his wife Vanessa (who arranged her homecoming),  Aumentado’s chief of staff Boy Pernia, and some fans in greeting the Boholano beauty queen.

“I always look forward to visit Bohol. It’s home for me,” said the 25-year-old beauty queen.

Vanessa, a Miss Bohol 2001, revealed that she was a great fan of Karen since she joined the Bb. Pilipinas 2012.

“Thank you for making us proud,” Vanessa told her. “I am a fan of yours,” she added.
Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental 2018 Karen Gallman 
visited Panglao Island on Wednesday, April 18, to
 see the stretch of powdered white sandy beaches
 of the island which is now facing environmental issues.  
Photo by Helen Castaño

“I am so thankful, salamat kaayo sa inyong warm welcome nga gihatag ninyo nako (I am deeply grateful to all of you for the warm welcome you gave me), she said.

Asked if she could still speak in Binisaya, she snappily answered “Yes” and said “Kamao man gihapun ko mag-Binisaya (I can still speak Bisaya).”

What' is so impressive about her is the fact that she has never forgotten her mother tongue and in fact, speaks Cebuano so confidently and fluently without a foreign accent and even proudly calls herself "Bisdak" - which makes her all the more endearing to many Boholanos.

Police Officer Melinda Mendez-Basalo who escorted her as she stepped down a commercial plane and walked down the terminal ramp at the Tagbilaran airport shared, “I talked to her in Tagalog when I welcomed and congratulated her and she answered me in Bisaya I forgot she is a Bisaya man diay, such an attitude.... love her so much..”

Miss Tagbilaran 1987 Fiel Angeli Arao-arao-Gabin said: “I can't help admiring her beauty. During her first attempt in the Binibining Pilipinas pageant 6 years ago, she looked so naively charming in her photos and on television, but seeing her in the flesh this time, she certainly exudes both charm and inner strength that she has seemed to have polished over the years, prior to her recent BP Intercontinental 2018 victory, an honor that Boholanos here and abroad are so excited about.”

Karen went to KissFM for an interview with the bubbly Inday Rufing.  After the interview, she met Bishop Alberto Uy and Bishop Emeritus Leonardo Medroso of the Diocese of Tagbilaran and some priests at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary before she proceeded to Panglao Island.

Crown jewel

Karen Gallman with Bohol Rep. Erico Aristotle
 Aumentado and wife Miss Bohol Sandugo 
2001 Vanessa Cadorna – Aumentado.  Leo Udtohan
In Panglao, Karen spent time to appreciate the beauty of the place known for its miles of powdery white sandy beaches.  She was bothered of the environmental issues the island resort was facing.

“I went here last year and it was beautiful. And I didn’t see the problem,” said Karen who wants the island resort protected to prevent further environmental degradation.

“Of course, it such as beautiful place. And it will be so sad to see go to ruins. So, we should definitely do our best to preserve it and look after it. We need really to take care of Panglao so that it  doesn’t go to ruins,” she said.

Panglao Island, considered crown jewel of Bohol’s tourism, is composed of the towns of Panglao and Dauis.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) earlier identified the lack of waste water treatment facility and “bottomless” septic tanks as among the problems contributing to the environmental woes of the island.

The latest report of Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), an attached agency of DENR, said that the fecal coliform on Panglao Island was above average.

On the other hand, Karen was in favor of closing Boracay Island for rehabilitation.

“I am for the closure of Boracay just to rehabilitate so that at least ma-enjoy natin sa future so i-close natin ngayon. it’s so sad for the jobs , the Filipinos based there and tourists have no income for them.  If it is happening in Panglao, we should do our best to preserve it. This is not acceptable. We should not go it to ruins,” she said.

Warm welcome
While travelling to Ubay, Karen was sharing some stories about her Bb. Pilipinas journey. She even told your VRS  the place where she spent her childhood. She was also quick to point Bood Elem. School where she spent her Grades 1 and 2.

In Ubay town, at least 124 km from Tagbilaran City, she was welcomed by the departments heads and local officials headed by Mayor Constantino Reyes and his wife Councilor Violy and members of the Rotary Club of Ubay.

Karen joined a motorcade through the main streets of the town.
Hundreds of fans including local officials warmly 
welcomed  Bb.Pilipinas-Intercontinental 2018 
Karen Gallman, a native of Ubay, in her Bohol 
homecoming. Leo Udtohan

Holding welcome banners, some fans went wild with Karen’s acknowledgment of their presence along the street.  Some residents lined up the streets chanting “Karen, Karen,” as she waved and greet them.

Some of them came from far-flung barangays to have a first glimpse of the homecoming queen. One of them even sashayed as Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental.

Karen also visited the Bohol Dairy at the Philippine Carabao Center and Ubay Stock Farm in Barangay Lomangog to taste their newly launched products--- Chocobao Drinks, Caramilk Ice Cream, chocolate and candies, cakes and pastries, Cheese and Yogurt, CaraCalamay, and Caramilk-infused dishes---locally made by locals.

Karen was born in Barangay Fatima in Ubay town on September 27, 1992 to Gavin William Gallman, a retired Australian soldier, and Ubay native Editha Bayonas.

She spent her childhood days at Barangay Bood before she migrated to Australia at age 8.

 “So, I was basically born and raised in Bohol jud,” said Karen who was crowned Miss Ubay 2007.

Karen shared she had a happy childhood memories in Barangay Bood where she grew up.  Her best memorable experience in Ubay was when she fell from mansanitas tree. She said she likes ginamos (salted and fermented fish) and dried fish.  

She first joined Binibining Pilipinas in 2012 at the age of 19 and made it to the top 12 of the national beauty pageant and was also named Miss Photogenic of the batch.

Before trying her luck again in Bb Pilipinas 2018, she worked as an operations analyst in a company in London for two years.

In the Bb. Pilipinas 2018, Karen received flak for her Q&A response when asked about her thoughts on building a third restroom for transgenders.  She explained, “I love the LGBT community.”

She said  her 60-year old mother Editha trained them to speak Bisaya and embrace the Boholano way even if they were living in Brisbane, Australia.

Editha said her daughter is “independent, buotan nga anak (a good daughter)” whose big dream was to become a beauty queen.

Next month, she will begin her training for the Miss Intercontinental 2018 pageant to be held in December.

 “I haven’t started preparing yet but I think next month I will start. I will be back to the gym. I will have training on catwalk, QnA, public speaking and make-up. I think it will help me towards the international crown,” she said.

“I will do my best. Let’s pray that I will do bring the crown and make Bohol proud again. If ever I will win it will history, the first Filipina to win the crown,” Karen said.

Loon’s ‘Coral Garden’

The town of Loon has plenty of other intriguing attractions to offer to its visitors. Very recently, people visit the town to see the “Coral Garden” in Barangay Tangnan which offers new exhilarating experience.

The ‘Coral Garden’ in Loon town is 
the newest natural attraction in the province. 
The red orange color which gives a panoramic view are not because of corals but of the sun-loving purslane (ulasiman or ngalog) wild plants which naturally grow in the area, declared as geological monument, after the 2013 earthquake.

But according to cultural and tourism worker Reigh Monreal, the plant which gives red-tinted shoreline is not a purslane but a blutaparon. Locals called the perennial herbs as bilang” (Blutaparon portulacoides) of the Amaranthaceae family.  It looks like Portulaca (ulasiman or pigweed species).

He said that the name “Coral Garden” was first used by a blogger who missed to visit the “Loon Coral Gardens” in Barangay Song-on where exposed corals are found.

The Municipal Tourism Office called that colorful place in Tangnan as the “Loon Beach Prairie.”

How to go there?  Upon entering Barangay Tangnan, stop at "Kennethman" signage. Inquire how to go down the site.

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Bohol celebrates heroism a year after foiled Abu attack

I was in Panglao when media friends --Ric Obedendio and Dave Charles Responte-- informed me about the clash in Inabanga  town on April 11, 2017. When I told them I was interested to cover it, they fetched me in Panglao and rushed to the battlefield. At 10:30 a.m., we arrived in Barangay Napo. We met residents fleeing their homes from barangays Napo, Calenti and Banahao who were scared of being hit as bombs were being dropped. Other media friends from Bohol (Mike Ligalig and Chito Visarra) and Cebu arrived later in the afternoon. 

Kids at the top of military tanks carried
 placards on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, during
 first commemoration of the Bohol clash, when 
11 members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) entered
 Bohol province and never made it out.  Leo Udtohan
The following day, other media friends Allen Doydora, Ern Pahayahay and Helen Castaño joined us in the battlefield.  When we were told that some ASG members were still hiding, we ran looking for shelter.   A resident gave us water to drink to sustain.

Your media friends reported the clash and what followed.  We thanked our “foster families” in Clarin and Pangangan Island in Calape town for converting their houses  into a “media center,” until the last two remaining ASG members were killed.

After one year, the incident was still fresh.  It was a day to remember that the ASG landed in Bohol and never made it out.

Officials of the Bohol provincial government chose to commemorate, instead of forget, the attempt of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) last year to establish a base in Inabanga town last Wednesday, April 11.

The clash killed three Army soldiers, a policeman and two civilians, and displaced hundreds of families during the firefight that lasted for a month and spanned three towns.

Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto explained they were celebrating, not the entry of the Abu Sayyaf, but the heroism shown by the government troops who were relentless in hunting down the bandit group until all 11 were killed as well as the community involvement that enabled authorities to learn about their entry.

The switch-on ceremony of the road project 
that links Barangays Datag to Napo, Inabanga town
 and Libertad to Tan-wan in Tubigon town led by 
Acting Interior Secretary Eduardo Año. It was also 
witnessed by Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto, Inabanga 
Mayor Josephine Socorro Jumamoy and other officials.  
Leo Udtohan
“We are celebrating the positive value of heroism that was showcased because of that challenge. It is something worth remembering. It is something worth celebrating,” said Chatto.

Chatto led the ceremony that commemorated the first anniversary of the attempt of the bandit group to establish a base in Inabanga where they planned to launch kidnapping and terrorism activities in nearby provinces.

Members of the Inabanga Theatre Group held a dance drama that reenacted the events of April 11, 2017 when 11 men on board three kumpits (two-engine motorboats) arrived in Barangay Napo, Inabanga.

The children saw the group who were led by Napo native, Joselito Melloria as well as high-powered firearms with “bullets as big as corn ears.” They told their parents who then passed the information to the village officials who then told the police.

Combined forces of the police and Army arrived and a firefight ensued –something that was not seen in Bohol despite the presence of communist insurgents in some towns. Residents of Napo and nearby villages fled as the Philippine Air Force dropped bombs to flush out the bandits who were in hiding.

Four ASG members including bomb expert Abu Rami were killed during the initial assault. But also killed were three soldiers and one policeman and two civilians. The seven others fled to nearby Clarin town where Melloria was later killed.

At the height of Clarin clash, law enforcers arrested Supt. Ma. Cristina Nobleza and her husband Abu Sayyaf bomber Reenor Lou Dungon, Judith Dungon and a minor who allegedly tried to rescue the remaining Abu Sayyaf members.

Hunger prompted Abu Saad to surrender in Tubigon town but was killed by police after he allegedly tried to escape from prison.

The last two ASG members- Ubayda and Asis were killed in a firefight in Calape town on May 15, 2017, which ended the month-long operation.

The three kumpits used by the bandits as well as the military tanks and weapons used by the government troops were on display in a one-day exhibit outside the municipal gymnasium in Inabanga last Wednesday.

Also launched during the commemoration was SAFE Bohol (Security Always for Everyone: Boholano Bayanihan), a movement inspired by the community involvement that led to the discovery of the Abu Sayyaf 
Reporting from the battlefield- (l-r) Ric Obedencio
 (The Freeman/PhilStar), Dave Charles Responte
(dyTR)   Ern Pahayahay (dyTR), Allen Doydora
 (dyRD) and Helen Castaño in Barangay Napo
 in Inabanga town on April 12, 2017.   
Leo Udtohan
presence in Inabanga.

PO2 Rey Anthony Nazareno, 2nd Lieutenant Espelito Saldua, Jr, Corporal Meljun Cajaban, Sergeant John Dexter Duero who perished during the clash were also remembered and honored.

 Acting Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, who was the guest of honor, said the vigilance of Boholano community and the military’s tough and focused stance were the reasons why the Abu Sayyaf didn't succeed.

“Dito sa Inabanga is one ideal example on how the government, the NGOS (nongovernment organizations), the local government enforcement agencies, law enforcement agencies and local populace worked together and defeated the Abu Sayyaf threat,” said Año.

Part of the activities on Wednesday was the launching of the road project that links Barangays Datag to Napo, Inabanga town and Libertad to Tan-wan in Tubigon town.

 For so long time, Barangay Napo in Inabanga has been isolated because there is no access road that connects it to any existing road. It can only be reached by boat through the Inabanga river or on foot passing through mountainous trails.

Chatto said that with the assistance of Año, it is hoped that this project can be completed that will give positive impact to the communities in the said barangays.

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

Sunday, April 8, 2018

‘Tatay’ Virgilio graduates from senior high at 69

The crowd erupted in applause as one student walked across the stage during Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School (DCPNHS)’s graduation ceremony Friday.

For 69-year-old Virgilio Ganade Penticase, it’s never too late to go back to school and take home a diploma.

Penticase, who was born after World War II that not everyone in his community interested to get an education,    abandoned his studies at a young age.

Virgilio Ganade Penticase, 69, proved 
that age is really just a number after he 
achieved his dream of finishing senior 
high school at Dr. Cecilio Putong National 
High School on Friday, April 6.  Leo Udtohan
The newly minted senior high graduate arrived late to attend Friday’s 1st Senior High School Recognition Rites at Commencement Exercises at the Bohol Cultural Center.  He said he was not able to get a jeepney ride to the city.

Unlike other graduates who came with their parents and loved ones to celebrate the memorable day, Penticase came alone. His brother, Leonardo, 68, wanted to escort him on his special day but he begged off at the last minute since he was still nursing a cough.

He said he has a lot to be thankful for.

“Nalipay gud ko kay gitagaan pa man ko og taas nga kinabuhi sa Ginoo nga kaabot ko run adlawa nga akong graduation sa Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School. Nagpasalamat ko sa Ginoo nga gitagaan ko niya og maayong panglawas  sa akong pag-eskwela kutob sa paghuman sa ako ng senior high (I am happy that God has given me long life so that I can attend my graduation at Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School. I am thankful that the Lord God has given me good health while studying until I was able to finish senior high),” he told your VRS.

The other students at the school see Penticase as an inspiration, according to another graduate Janrel Alagadmo.

Virgilio Penticase  with teachers Mirasol Dela Peña, 
Jun Karaan, Jubel Martinez, Juliet Rellita,
 Joy Rebleza, Rhizza Abarquez and Gemma Pabata. 
Leo Udtohan
"If he can do it, why can’t we?" said Alagadmo who wants to become a seaman.

For Penticase, being an inspiration was almost as rewarding as the diploma he's about to earn.

As he walked across the stage to accept his diploma, everyone cheered.   Others watched through tears as the entire DCPNHS class of 2018 stood to cheer on him.

Teachers came to hug and congratulate him. Some parents and spectators came to have photo ops with him.

Class adviser Haidee Felisilda said Penticase was an example whose perseverance and strength of character greatly motivated him to finish senor high school.

“Even though he is 69 years old he is still determine to learn and to graduate in Grade 12. He still managed to come to school everyday. He inspired a lot of his younger classmates to study well, showing that poverty and age should not be hindrances to achieving our dreams,” said Felisilda who hugged Penticase after the graduation.

And even though he'll be 70 to start his college in June 2018, he has no plans to stop chasing his dreams.

"I want to go on. I want to take up Commerce," he said as long as his health allows him to.

Virigilio Penticase fulfilled his dream 
of graduating from senior high school 
with the help of his class adviser Haidee Felisilda. 
Leo Udtohan
He was born on June 26, 1948, to Antonio and Eusobia (both deceased) in Barangay Catarman, Dauis town.

At that time, people in their community were more interested in making money than investing in education.

So he and his sibling, Leonardo, now 68, never finished high school.

He was only 8 years old when he joined his neighbors in setting out to sea to catch fish. He also helped his parents plant vegetables on their small farm.

Penticase was already 64 years old when he decided to return to school in 2012 as a Grade 7 student.

 “There were several instances where people would dupe me because I didn’t know how to compute. It is difficult if you are not educated. You are easily duped,” he said, explaining why he wanted to return to school.

Leonardo also encouraged him to finish at least high school but would not join him because he would be too ashamed to go back to classes. Both brothers remain unmarried.

With only P20 in his pocket, Penticase went to DCPNHS on June 4, 2012, to enroll in Grade 7. He brought with him his birth certificate and certificate of good moral character issued by a village chief in Dauis.

Concepcion Bagotchay, who was then the school principal, initially turned him down.

“I was hesitant to accept him because I didn’t know his purpose. He’s already a senior citizen and he might teach naughty things to his young classmates,” said Bagotchay.

“I told him to enroll in another school in his hometown but he was persistent to study at DCPNHS,” she added.

Caregiving graduates of Dr. Cecilio Putong National 
High School- Jay Gardo Galos, Sheryl Cadorniga 
(graduated with High Honors), adviser Teacher Jun K, 
Lourdes Maputol (graduated with Honors), Miriam 
Asuncion (graduated with Honors), Daniel Quibol 
(graduated with Honors), Judith Binggan, Kate Dianne 
Gican (graduated with Honors) and Coleen Termulo 
(graduated with Honors).  Leo Udtohan
But Penticase would not take no for an answer. He insisted in enrolling at DCPNHS because he wanted to graduate from a known school, not an obscure public school in his barrio. Bagotchay eventually relented.

And Penticase didn’t disappoint his teachers. He didn’t miss a single class even if it meant taking a 30-minute jeepney ride from his house in Dauis to Tagbilaran.

He didn’t mind that his teachers were young enough to be his children and his classmates, grandchildren.

Going to school also means less time in his farm which is planted with banana, corn and root crops like yam, cassava and sweet potatoes.

But he managed to pass all his subjects and later advanced to Grades 7, 8 and 9.

His classmates respect him and call him “Lolo” or “Tatay.”

Filipino and Araling Panlipunan were his favorite subjects because he could easily understand the lessons.

His least favorites: English, Math and Science.

Being a student had its perks. Penticase was given “student’s discount” whenever he rides the tricycle and public utility jeepneys because he didn’t have a senior citizen’s ID.

“I only pay P8 instead of P10 because I am given a student discount,” he said.

He barred challenges in life while studying.  His health problems---arthritis and poor eyesight---and the additional two years in high school discouraged him to continue, but he didn’t quit and surrender.
“I'm 69 years old. If I could do it, they could do it. All they have to do is keep going and don't give up," he said.  
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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Sunday’s songs and hymns

The Easter Sunday of the Lord’s Resurrection is the greatest and most important Christian feast. It is the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as it reveals to all believers the deepest meaning and purpose of the Christian’s faith in the One who came to destroy death and give life to the world.

What better way to honor the sacrifice Jesus made, and celebrate the hope He offered to us through His sacrifice, than with songs of praise and love!

Of course, there are so many hymns and songs to sing during the most important celebration in the Christian calendar.

Your VRS has 5 favorite Easter songs and hymns. You can read alongside the Psalms and the Gospels "to feel" the spirit of the Easter.

Jesus took the sting for us so that we wouldn’t have too, so join with me in singing, “Hallelujah!”

1. Because He Lives.  It is not just popular around Easter or on Resurrection Sunday but all year long because the lyrics are timeless truth that comforts the believers.

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal and forgive
He lived and died to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove my savior lives

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives.

2. Amazing Grace. A beautiful hymn written by John Newton in 1779.

Amazing grace!
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear
And Grace, my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come.
T'was grace that brought us safe thus far
And grace will lead us home.

3.  Christ the Lord is Risen Today. The hymn perfectly fits the Easter Gospel of the Lord's resurrection.

Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth reply, Alleluia!

4. My Redeemer Lives. This brings us to the cross and to the grave, and the one is found empty because the Redeemer lives.

I know He rescued my soul
His blood has covered my sin
I believe, I believe
My shame He's taken away
My pain is healed in His name
I believe, I believe
I'll raise a banner
My Lord Has conquered the grave
My redeemer lives
My redeemer lives
My redeemer lives
My redeemer lives

5.  Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.  This well-known choral piece is usually sung at Christmastime. But when the German composer Handel wrote his oratorio “Messiah” in the 1700s, the Hallelujah Chorus was placed at the end of the second part of the piece after Jesus returns from the grave.  It has an excellent arrangement that sounds so amazing.

Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
 Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah

King of kings forever and ever  hallelujah hallelujah
And lord of lords forever and ever  hallelujah hallelujah
 King of kings forever and ever  hallelujah hallelujah
And lord of lords forever and ever  hallelujah hallelujah
King of kings forever and ever  hallelujah hallelujah
 And lord of lords King of kings and lord of lords
 And he shall reign
And he shall reign
And he shall reign
He shall reign
And he shall reign forever and ever.

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