Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Bohol Panglao International Airport is now a reality

Many people think that the airport as a community's front door as it helps an individual’s overall perception of a destination.

Over the past few years, Bohol’s economic landscape has greatly improved. A new era for Bohol’s tourism is emerging, with the opening of high-end luxury hotels and resorts in Panglao Island, enticing more visitors to bask in indulgence and relaxation.

Tourism makes up 90 percent of Bohol’s industry and tourists are expected to swell with the new airport.

After three decades, the once “airport in the sand” is now a reality.

The P7.8-billion Panglao Island International Airport, renamed Bohol Panglao International Airport, is set to open on Nov. 27, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr). It will replace the small Tagbilaran Airport, the current Bohol gateway and the 11th busiest airport in the Philippines.

DOTr said the airport would be the country’s first eco-airport to be dubbed “Green Gateway to the World.”

Your VRS with provincial Ae Damalerio at the
 new airport during a media tour last August. 
Bohol officials consider the new airport an economic landmark and a game changer for the province’s progress.

“An airport acts as a driver of economic growth and development across all sectors. This will expand the production possibility frontiers of Bohol, the region and the country,” Gov. Edgar Chatto said.

The benefits of an international airport far outweigh its perceived challenges, Chatto said.

It serves as a backup facility to Mactan-Cebu International Airport, especially if flights need to be diverted during emergency.

As another entry point to the country, it helps ease airport operations in Manila and other cities while boosting Bohol’s connectivity to other destinations in the country and abroad.

Chatto said the new airport would attract more investments, particularly those related to tourism, and generate local jobs and livelihood.

“If a farming family is able to sell their produce to a hotel or restaurant, is that not a benefit to ordinary Boholanos? If the members of Tubigon Loomweavers Cooperative are able to sell their products to foreign buyers, is that not good for the local economy? If our drivers, boatmen, tour guides, room service staff, masseurs and reflexologists are able to secure sustained employment, is that not a benefit to ordinary Boholanos?” he asked.

Chatto described tourism as “one of the world’s largest and most resilient industries with 10 percent of global workforce.”

 “Its multiplier effect on various industries stimulates the local economy, which results in reduction of poverty,” he added.

Having an international airport has been the dream of five Bohol governors—Contancio Torralba, David Tirol, Rene Relampagos, Erico Aumentado and Chatto—and six presidents—Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Benigno Aquino III and Rodrigo Duterte.

The project idea started in the late 1980s, during Torralba’s term, but public interest somehow waned. It was revived during the time of Aumentado that drew the support of Arroyo though it had only a P1-billion budget.

On May 8, 2008, Arroyo laid the time capsule for the P4.2-billion airport in Panglao. The project went in limbo after the event.

It was only during the term of Aquino that it finally moved.

On Sept. 4, 2012, the National Economic and Development Authority gave the green light for the airport’s construction in a resolution.

Funding would come from the Official Development Assistance instead of the public-private partnership, a government program for infrastructure-building that allows the private sector to participate in any of the schemes authorized under the build-operate-transfer law.

On March 27, 2013, the Japan International Cooperation Agency signed an agreement with the Philippines to build Panglao Island International Airport at 10.78 billion yen under the project name New Bohol Airport Construction and Sustainable Environment Protection Project.

Construction began in June 2015.

When then President Aquino visited the project site on March 4, 2016, he said he was looking forward to coming back to Bohol no longer as the Chief Executive but as a tourist. He might just be able to do that soon.

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

Kurt Gerona: ‘Guwapo’ inside and out

The Pinoy Big Brother (PBB)-Otso episodes were packed with a lot of events. Last week, it showcased the first nomination night, first eviction and the first Star Dreamer who was voted in by the public to become a new housemate.

When Criza left Camp Star Hunt, a new teenager was introduced: Kurt Gerona, an 18-year-old half-Spanish, half-Filipino lad from Bohol.

Kurt Gerona, an 18-year-old half-Spanish, half-Filipino
 lad from Bohol, enters PBB-Otso.
Photo courtesy: The Art Nouveau

Kurt, who earns the moniker, “Pilyo Gwapito ng Bohol,” is now in Camp Star Hunt and will compete with seven other Star Dreamers to become an official teen housemate.

“It was really unexpected. I auditioned for Starhunt then I got a VTR two days after. I had surpassed the 5th levels of auditions,” he told VRS before he went to Bahay ni Kuya.

He was told by the show producers for another level of procedures and interviews again.

“It wasn’t in my mind because who have thought I would have this chance,” he said.

He said he was unprepared when the show producers called him during his birthday. (He turned 18 last Nov. 19. He described himself as "Sweet 18!”)

“I was a bit nervous but still eager to face everything there. I underwent lots of examinations, panel interviews and photo shoots,” Kurt said.

Kurt , who hails from Dauis town, is a Grade 12 student at Holy Name University.  He was Mr. HNU Intramurals 2017 and  4th runner-up in Alturas Campus Icon 2017. He loves taekwando and online games. 

It was Khim (Roger Ryan Laway Magtagad in real life) who discovered him. His classmates- The Art Nouveau (TAN) models Danica Mahumot, Dianne Ingles and Kyla Recio- persuaded him to join the talent agency. His mother Maria Fe Bolotaulo approved his decision.

“I was approached if I was interested to be part of TAN. I gladly accepted it because I want to explore myself,” said Kurt who considered Khim as his guardian.

Khim also persuaded him to audition for ABSCBN’s Starhaunt.

Kurt said he was surprised for the “Pilyo Guwapito” tag.

“I was surprised sa tag name "Pilyo Gwapito Ng Bohol" because in real life sa tinuod ka pagkatawo tahimik ko at mapagmahal. Pero sabi nila they based it daw sa physical appearance ko kaya okey na rin,” he said.

   Kurt Gerona (2nd row, left) with manager Khim
 (center)  and fellow TAN models.
Photo courtesy: The Art Nouveau
He added, “Guwapo for me is not only the physical features of the man. It will also best to say that guwapo ka if you have a good heart.  And you know how to deal with others.”

He confessed that he is a “mama’s boy.”

Khim said Kurt like other TAN “is good, kind and generous.”

“He is a silent type person,” said Khim. “I love his style and fashion taste.”

What is his ultimate dream?

“If given the chance I want to be an actor.  Maging member ng HASHTAGs.  It’s my dream that’s why I joined Starhunt,” he said.

Will it be easy for Kurt to get along with his fellow Star Dreamers? Let’s find out by not missing an episode of PBB Otso, weeknights after Halik on Primetime Bida and weekends at 7:30 pm.

To support Kurt in his PBB-Otso journey, you can like and share his official Facebook page: Andrew Cook; KurtAccOfficial@Twitter; KURTsTROOPOFCL ( for FANsCLUB ) and Kurt Andrew Gerona  on

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Their real names will surprise you

Scene:  The Shark Conservation Week and the 3rd Shark Summit was held in Bohol. Highlights of the three-day event were the Baby Shark Dance Challenge, mural painting and fora.   

Scene: Erik Karcher of (Ramp Model Association of Bohol (RMAB) was crowned Mister Continental International Tourism 2018.

Mural artist and eco-lifestyle advocate Anina Rubio 
(wearing white shirt) with Liza Macalandag of Baji Arts Collective
 of Bohol during the community painting mural in Tagbilaran City
 for the 3rd Shark Summit 2018.  Photo by Leo Udtohan 
Scene: Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) opened the Central Visayas Regional Science and Technology Week 2018 held at the Island City Mall. Various science and technology booths and exhibits also highlighted the event.   The main exhibit area was divided into different sections, which showcased present and upcoming science and technology innovations at home, at school, in the workplace, and in agriculture, as well as opportunities for scholarships and financial assistance from DOST and its partner agencies. Some of the highlights of the exhibit were 1:1 scale models of the Diwata-2 microsatellite and the Maya-1 cube satellite, a flight simulator with Filipino-developed components, and the OneSTore hub, which featured products from local small and medium enterprises.

Scene: A socialite VRS shared that a (young) lawmaker was in a hurry to return to Tagbilaran. However, the fastcraft already left, 15 minutes before he arrived at Cebu port.  “Do you who I am? I am a (name of place) Councilor,” the demanding lawmaker told staff. Other passengers were amused because he demanded the boat to return to the pier.  VRS said the staff who were snarky didn’t pay attention to address his concern since the lawmaker was “wael” (not known) in Cebu. “Don’t be late,” advised VRS.  “Now I know that being in the position is an entitlement,” laughed VRS.

A VRS reader suggested that a little story should be told about (screen-) naming people for a (refreshing) change.  Good idea, isn’t it?

When Hollywood system started, people commonly took simplified version of their names to make them easier for people to say or remember.

Giving pet names to our significant others, we take it to a whole new level. The (pet name/screen name) name has to be unique, short and cinematic, easy to recall and possibly with a rhythmic ring to it.

Their real names: Not many people know that
AR dela Serna is Alberto Rodulfo dela Serna,
Scarlet’s real name is Leah Scarnet and Rich
Asuncion is Richelle Angalot. Contributed Photos

Here are names of famous Boholanos whose real names might surprise you.

• Tagbilaran Mayor Baba Yap was born John Geesnell Yap II.  He was known as “Baba” for short, and just kept it.

• Manila-based fashion designer Mikee Andrei (as she is affectionately called) was born as Michael Tejano.

• Actress and performer Scarlet/Laiilette was born Leah Scarnet but goes by her screen name Scarlet.  This clearly seems to have worked in her favor, considering her teleserye and film career.

 • Actress-beauty queen Rich Asuncion became a household name through GMA’s Starstruck, was not born Rich. Her real name is Richelle Angalot. Two months after they got married, actress Rich Asuncion and her husband Benjamin Mudie are expecting their first child.

• Nobody knew why former CabSec  Leoncio Evasco, Jr.  was nicknamed “Toloy.”

• The gorgeous Dauis Mayor Miriam Sumaylo should be Marietta Tocmo-Sumaylo. But people called her “Miriam” with endearment.

• It was his father that gave him the name (Bohol 2nd district Rep.) Erico Aristotle Aumentado to distinguish one Erico (Erico Jr and Erico Angelo) from the other. But people called him “Aris” for short, just a cool name.

• Board Member Benjie Arcamo (Venzencio Arcamo), provincial legal  officer  Boloy Boiser (Mitchell John Boiser) , provincial administrator Ae Damalerio (Alfonso Damalerio II),  Inabanga Mayor Roygie Jumamoy (Josephine Socorro Jumamoy),  Batuan Mayor Dodo Jumawid (Antonino Jumawid) and Panglao councilor Aya Montero (Amira Alia).

• BQ Mall’s magnate RG Ong is Reginald Ong in real life.

• Eventologist Mizken was born Kenneth Tirol Andan. However, she took the name “Mizken” to match her personality after using “Kenneth” during her ABS-CBN years.

• Model and the first Mister Supranational-Philippines 2016 AR dela Serna was born Alberto Rodulfo dela Serna.  

• Famous designer and the pillar of the Fashion Institute of the Philippines Shanon Pamaong was baptized Luciano Pamaong, Jr.

• Event planner and organizer LJ Lumayag was born Gibyrlou Ma. Lumayag. His friends and wife called him “LJ.”

• Media personalities in Bohol: Willie Maestrado (Manolito Maestrado), Jun Gutierrez  (Alfredo Gutierrez), Fred Araneta (Teofredo Araneta), BJ Alba (Pacita Torralba), Bohol’s Queen of All Media Ardy Batoy (Gerarda Batoy) and Loay Councilor Tibbs Bullecer (Tiburcio Bullecer, Jr).  

Other famous names in Bohol are EJ Relampagos and Tracy Remolador Torres whose real names remained a mystery.

New doctors named

Four years of pre-medical course, four years of medical education, and one year of post-graduate internship condensed into two gruelling months of review. The fruitful years of medical practice commence as we welcome yet again the new batch of young Boholano doctors into the medical community.

Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital, the sole training institution in the entire province of Bohol, is home to these 16 new doctors where they served their 1 year of PGIship.

The new doctors are:

The new 16 doctors who served their internship
 at Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital
in Tagbilaran City. Contributed Photo 
Dr. Rovi Valerie Baguhin from Tagbilaran City, a graduate of Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine
Dr. Janelyn Daguro-Cero from Sikatuna, Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine
Dr. Hannah Maryse Cespon from Lila, Southwestern University
Dr. Lemuel Garsuta from Tagbilaran City,  Silliman University Medical School
Dr. Katrina Logarta from Tagbilaran City, Silliman University Medical School
Dr. Kristin Monte de Ramos - Managaytay, from Tagbilaran City, Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine
Dr. Ralph Edmund Recamadas of Municipality of Loon, Silliman University Medical School
Dr. Luvimae M. Tambis of Baclayon, a graduate of Gullas College of Medicine
Dr. Roy Benzon from Naga, Cebu, a graduate of Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine
Dr. Leo Val Adalla from Dumaguete City, Silliman University Medical School
Dr. Christian Keane Aguilar from Zamboanga , Silliman University Medical School
Dr. Kim Arvin Chan from Siquijor, Silliman University Medical School
Dr. Janus June Madrid from Bukidnon, Silliman University Medical School
Dr. Ruzz Jeremy Montejo from Dumaguete City, Silliman University Medical School
Dr. Carlene Nerez from Cebu City, Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine
Dr. Raiza Reina Ulangkaya from Aklan, Iloilo Doctors Universty

16 out of the 16 examinees from GCGMH passed.

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

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Crispy and tasty lechon belly? Try Tijan’s

Seen: Boholano Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) administrator Benjie Oliva received the Pillars of Youth Leadership Award 2018 from the National Youth Parliament at Grand Men Seng Hotel in Davao City.

Scene: GUGMA charity concert and album launching at Coclea Lounge Bar on Nov. 12. Ticket price: P200.

Scene: "Stick to the truth even it hurts you," said retired Judge Helen Cabatos during the necrological Mass for her husband human rights lawyer Artemio Cabatos on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 4.  in Valencia town, Bohol. Atty. Tim was tagged as a "rebel" for fighting against extrajudicial killings and the rights of farmers in Visayas. Cause-oriented and progressive groups such as Hugpong sa mga Mag-uumang Bol-anon (Humabol), Karapatan, Gabriel-Bohol gave their “labing taas nga pagsaludo” (highest salute).

In almost any occasion in the country, lechon is a must. It is the star during fiestas, Christmas and other major celebrations. Famous chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain had rated our lechon the best in the world.

Luckily we no longer have to go to Cebu, home to tastiest and excellent lechon, boneless or otherwise—for delicious boneless pork roast. We can have a taste of Cebu’s lechon since businesses in the city are now serving flavorful slabs of lechon belly.

   Pork lechon belly like of Tijan’s Boneless Lechon Inato
is slowly becoming part of Bohol’s special occasions.
Photos Courtesy: GMA News
Food experts, foodies and certified lechon lovers can recommend where to find the best “lechon” in the province.

One is “Tijan’s Boneless Lechon Inato,” run by couple Tina and Jan Dumas in Tagbilaran.  Jan, whose passion is cooking, created the boneless lechon belly recipe stuffed with herbs and spices.

“I was inspired to start Tijan’s because lechon here is a bit expensive,” says Jan.

Tijan’s lechon belly is similar to the traditional Cebu lechon, which is roasted slowly over a pit of smoldering charcoal. The only difference is that the whole boneless belly, not the entire pig, is roasted the old fashion way to yummy perfection.

“I wanted to make lechon which is affordable enough that the whole family and barkadas can enjoy the traditional lechon we love to eat,” he says.

Jan coined the name “Tijan’s” from his wife’s name Tina, and his name, “Tijan’s” as a reference to the Cebuano term for belly—“tiyan or “tijan” if you are really a Boholano.

In Nov. 2016, Jan started Tijan’s Boneless Lechon Inato with just a little investment, one brick oven and a few printed delivery boxes.

Instead of delivering a whole lechon, Tijan’s delivers boxes of lechon with all the aromas and flavors of lechon, utilizing his favorite part—the belly.

The business started with an offering of just three sizes: family, which could feed 3-5 persons; barkada, good for 8-10; and party, good for 15-20.

Couple Tina and Jan Dumas of Tijan’s Boneless Lechon Inato.
Photo by Leo Udtohan
Jan would sometimes personally deliver the lechon to pork lovers in the city.  Soon, from offering primarily in the city, they started also delivering to Panglao, Jagna, Ubay, up to Cebu and Manila.

Jan had to stop his work at the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to concentrate on their business. Tina, who is a guidance counselor at Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School in Tagbilaran, is helping him during free time.  

The lechon is cooked fresh every day, flavored with salt and pepper, spring onions, garlic and lemongrass, among others. Roasted until the skin is bright-gold and very crisp, it has an aroma that fills the air and makes one gulp in hunger and anticipation.

It took Jan almost a year to perfect the taste. He points out: “No sauce needed because the flavor is sealed in the meat.”

You can choose between original and spicy. One slab of the lechon belly, usually two kilos, is good for eight to 10 people. A kilo is P500.

“You’re getting your money’s worth because you can eat it up to the last piece,” says Tina.

Orders must be made one day in advance.  Customers may call for delivery, or they may pick up.

“Best of all, Tijan’s lechon is very affordable,” adds Tina. It is only P1,000 (small or for the family size), P1,500 (medium or for the barkada size) and P2,000 (large or for the party size).

What keeps the Dumas’ couple inspired to continue the business is the positive feedback they get from their satisfied customers.

Since Boholanos are food lovers, Tijan’s boneless lechon is easy to market,” Tina says.

Tina and Jan shared the different ways to enjoy the boneless lechon: Eat with rice (the lechon is rich, crunchy and tasty that you don’t need a sauce), with a cold beer (make sure your beer is extra cold) and with bread (pan Bohol, pan de sal and slice bread). The bread goes great with the tender and juicy meat and the crunchy laced with sinful fat—the explosion of textures and flavors will leave you wanting more.

Kagumkum (Crunchy)!!

Tijan’s Boneless Lechon Inato, Palma Street, Tagbilaran City. Text/call 0907-799-2983/0909-891-3770.

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

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Bohol celebrates CPG’s greatness

Ang lalawigang Bol-anon
May anak nga bantugan
Matarung ug maligdong
Sulundon ug buotan.

Ang iyang mga mithi
Gugma ug kaangayan
Pag- alagad nga hingpit
Sa yuta tang natawhan.

Ug halad ka sa langit
Alang Bol-anon katawhan
Ang mga buhat mong matarung
Kanunay namong gikamingawan
Ang dila mong balaknon
Garbo ning yutang tabunon
Carlos P. Garcia buhi ka sa tanang panahon.

Ikaw mao ang kadasig,
Ikaw mao ang kalagsik,
Ikaw mao ang kahayag,
Sa dalan namong mangitngit.

Among paninguhaun ang pagsunod sa imong mga lakang
Ug ang imong pagtulun-an
Dili namo hikalimtan.

 -- Carlos P. Garcia: Bantugang Bol-anon

While singing and humming that song (composed and written by Onecimo “Onie” Oclarit from his Ubilandia album), you and I can further reflect on the greatness of the late Carlos P. Garcia as Bohol celebrates his 122nd birth anniversary, Nov. 4.

Pres. Carlos P. Garcia’s commemorative postage stamp in 1973.
As we remember CPG, may we be inspired by his example of prioritizing the interests of the Filipino people.

Born in November 4, 1896, CPG was a teacher, poet, orator, lawyer, public official, political economist and guerilla leader. His administration was anchored on three basic policies: Austerity, Filipino First Policy and Cultural Revival.

Here are excerpts from the post of Prof. Marianito Jose Luspo on CPG:

Recently, I have been asked why is it that CPG never became popular among our people( no Garcia portrait in Philippine currencies, no major Manila thoroughfare named in his honor, etc.), both before and even now among millennials, especially the Boholano kind. Perhaps one reason is that Nationalism during the time of Garcia had never been popular at that time.

We have to admit that from the 1950's to well into our time, Filipinos have been notorious for the so -called "Stateside" mentality.

How do you think Garcia's nationalistic policies be received by the PX generation?

On the other hand, how would our present- day generation living under this prevailing climate called Globalization appreciate the rhetoric of Filipino First? In other words, the CPG legacy is saddled by the misfortune of having occurred at the wrong historical place and time, a beautiful song sung amidst the noise of adverse realities.

Still today, we continue to remember his birthday not just because he happened to be one of ours, but also because this " one of ours", the Lone Blue Star in the Bohol flag, once gave our people a dream and a greater vision of ourselves as Boholanos, as Filipinos.

Loved ones should not be forgotten

At least 15,000 people visited the Victoria Memorial Park on Thursday night, All Saints’ Day.

Most of them spent the night at the park, according to Aurelio “Ondoy Kalag” Gahit, the park’s caretaker.

After they offered flowers, candles, and flowers, some family members had dinner.

Some teenagers wore Halloween costumes such as “Valac,” a horror character. They roamed around the cemetery for fun.

Instead of being scared, some people came to have pictures taken with the horror character.

But the crowd was not bigger compared to last year.

“Some came early to visit their loved ones,” said Gahit.

Some residents have spent the night at the Victoria
Memorial Park in Tagbilaran City, Bohol on Thursday, Nov. 1.
Photo by Helen Castaño
The Victoria Memorial Park, which opened in 1975, has around 3,000 graves. Notable interred here include Doña Basing, JJ’s Obdulio Caturza Sr. and his wife Juana, businessman Antonio Ong Guat, Dr. Prisco and Socorro Tallo, Gov.  Erico Aumentado, Peanut Kisses matriarch Carolina Alvarez, Grace Christian Church founder Dr. Nelson Rio Sr., educator- lawyer Victoriano Will Tirol Jr. and his wife Cristeta, et al.

Gahit said police visibility helped deter the occurrence of crimes in the area.

Memories give comfort as people also visited the tombs of their loved ones.   At the Taloto Catholic Cemetery, it houses the remains of Gregorio Penaflor.

The Dampas Catholic Cemetery in Tagbilaran City features the final resting places of many professionals and leaders. Dean of Boholano journalists lawyer Zoilo “Jun” Dejaresco and his wife Rosario, Miguel Parras, Bernardino Inting, UB treasurer Asuncion Mira, composer and soldier Alberto Cainglet, former city councilor Dr. Margarito Lim and Alona’s entertainer Uly Dolojol are among the most recognizable of the interred.

Only a few meters away from Dampas Catholic Cemetery is the resting place for United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) members. Interred here are Dr. James Alexander Graham and his wife Merne. Graham was a native of Scotland, the first medical missionary in Bohol. The Graham Avenue is named after him.

The Masonic Cemetery of the Dagohoy Lodge No. 84 also hosts some of the most prominent deceased. First University of Bohol president Victoriano D. Tirol Sr. and his wife Illuminada, educator Pio Castro, Catalino Castillo and Angelita Tormis are among the diverse famous buried here.

My Visita Cementerio last week brought me to Anda Cemetery and the ancient graveyard in Barangay Basdio, Guindulman.

Believers of Potenciana Saranza, also known as “Inday Potenciana”, never forget.

 Instead of being scared, Babie Baricuatro and some
 people came to have pictures taken with the
 horror character “Valac” roaming around the cemetery. 
Photo by Helen Castaño  
Every year, on All Saints’ Day, they gather before the tomb of local saint at her shrine inside the Anda Cemetery.

Cresencia Gultiano, 63, a resident of Anda, never missed a year visiting Inday’s grave. It’s been like a tradition for her, right after offering candles for her dead parents, whose crypts are also at the Anda Cemetery.

But only a few boat coffins are now left inside the caves. Boat coffins can also be found in the towns of  Duero, Candijay, Mabini and Anda.

Prof. Jose Marianito Luspo said that boat coffins were utilized by our ancestors to understand the belief system particularly in relation to beliefs about the soul and the afterlife.  The boats were thought as a vessel for “sailing” to the heavens and the stars.

“The secondary practice here in Bohol stems from the belief that the passage of life to the next life always takes on the passage way of water. This is actually part of universal belief system of the importance of water in transmission of life,” he said.

Luspo said he would ask the National Museum to save the remaining boat coffins.

“We really would like our people to be aware of the importance of secondary burial coffin because this will help understand that our culture is that age old and it has been here for the past thousands of years and this will help chart our course towards the future,” he said.

To all those who’ve gone ahead, our prayers and flowers.

From the press: Dean of Boholano journalists Zoilo Dejaresco, Palanca winner and Bohol Sunday Post columnist Cloviz Nazareno, radio reporter Fil “Hitman” Layao, Bohol Balita Daily News publisher Tony Silagon, Bohol Sunday Post columnist-lawyer Isabelo Sales, dyTR’s Showbiz Chikka anchor Anzing Poquita, radio reporter Ben Pingkian, Bohol Sunday Post publisher Boy Guingguing,  Bohol Standard publisher and Tagbilaran councilor- lawyer Aleckoy Lim, broadcaster Nestor Daarol,  Reynaldo Daro, Sr. , Engr./Chairman Maurito Lim, Loy Palapos, Joseph Ligan, and people’s lawyer Tim Cabatos.

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

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Spooky places in Bohol we can’t resist

Halloween is perfect time to raise the dead. While you can creep yourself out at haunted places, why not go for the real deal.  As Halloween draws near, you’d probably stumble upon a lot of spooky stories that would send shivers down your spine.

1)The Old Capitol Building (now Bohol Museum) – Many people state they get an eerie unnatural feeling when visiting the Bohol Museum. Lately, visitors have noticed of the mysterious baby footprints roam around the museum.

Others are sharing their own experience with the said mysterious footprint, saying that it happens from time to time.

The footprints from the mysterious toddler sometimes even come with mud and grease.

According to some visitors, the footprints appear early morning in different places of the museum.

Aurelio “Ondoy Kalag” Gahit on visiting the cemeteries
 on Nov. 1 and 2: ‘Cemeteries are sacred and beautiful to find solace
 and peace.’  Photo by Leo Udtohan
The plot thickens as it turns out that the baby footprints are sometimes accompanied by an adult footprint.

One even pointed an eerie detail seen on the footprint. Seven fingers!

And when janitors try to wipe the footprints off the floor, the other pair of footprint would appear.

Years ago, a high ranking official confirmed that he saw small footprints on the toilet at the governor’s office. He also heard a flush coming from the toilet and it was really weird because no one had seen someone used the toilet.

The Capitol building became a concentration camp of the Japanese’ prisoners and hostages. Because of this, people can’t help but buy the story of headless priests and nuns prowling around at night.  

Until now, some guards and employees swear to hearing strange noises and disturbing shouts.

2) Tagbilaran Streets- Tagbilaran City is a good place to start your “ghost tour.”  Even though Tagbilaran is now a bustling city, it is a home to a lot of the “scariest” places.

Still many people claim to see sightings of the supernatural along Marapao Street. People share that they see “white ladies” and other strange creatures at night.  Cats going around, looking for trash to thrash, do add horror to an otherwise stagnant scene.

The Binayran Road in barangay Dampas is said to be the most haunted road in Tagbilaran City. Drivers have reported everything from strangely dressed wanderers, to ghosts, to phantom vehicles that chase them to its end.

A lot of habal-habal drivers have already encountered agta and big black dog including this woman who would walk to the middle of the road to stop a passing vehicle. Naturally, a driver would stop to avoid hitting her. She would then ask to be brought to the water reservoir, but would disappear before getting there.

3) Schools.  Schools are scary, too. All school campuses especially those that have seen and survived the war have stories of haunting.  And most of the schools in Tagbilaran City were built on what used to be cemetery grounds.

The Imelda Building at Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School is famous for the apparition of the white ladies and duwendes. Until now, stories of strange apparitions and aromatic smell coming out of nowhere are consistently reported.

Sightings of the mysterious headless nun are reported by students and teachers of the abandoned Holy Spirit School.

4) Cemeteries.  Anda cemetery has reports of cold presence and menacing feelings. It is unique because it houses an “ark” (similar to Noah in the Bible) where believers of a cult are waiting for another flood. While many ghosts are rumored to call this place their home, Inday Potencia, the local saint of Anda, reigns supreme.

But for Aurelio Romero Gahit, popular known as “Ondoy Kalag”, cemeteries are peaceful place for contemplation.

“You have to respect the dead,” he said. “You must constantly pray for our beloved dead.”

Gahit noted that cemeteries are sacred and beautiful. He said they are places of prayer and community.
“It’s also a place of solace and peace,” he said.

Are there ghosts and spirits?

This has been a common question to Gahit; he said that in all the years he’s been working in Victoria Memorial Park, the closest he got to paranormal activity was goose bump.

However, he shared his encounter with the mantiyanak in 1993. The mantiyanak stirred the villages of Taloto and Booy that people heard the mantiyanak singing lullabies to her baby, causing hair-raising chills and making them trembled in fear. 

The mantiyanak is the mother who died while pregnant, while a tiyanak is the ghost of the unborn child.

Ondoy Kalag who was at the Victoria Memorial Park saw the woman floating in the air. He lost his nerve at the sight of the mantiyanak.

“She appeared to me,” he said. He went to see a Catholic priest and he was told to pray at the grave of the person. After praying, the spirit was gone.

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