Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018 year in review: Stories that moved us

After another eventful year, VRS revisits the stories that moved us – the big news and the moments we can't stop talking about.


Nature is mysterious and unpredictable, and often leaves us open-mouthed at the inexplicable manifestations of its power.

Last Jan. 31, stargazers, occultists and Wicca followers witnessed the rare triple moon phenomenon - the “super blue blood moon.”

The “super blue blood moon” was the first time that a blue moon (two moons within the same month), a super moon (a full moon that comes as close to the earth as it can in its orbit), and a lunar eclipse (also known as a blood moon) happened simultaneously after 150 years.

Edward Guyano, a media personality, was waiting for the rare celestial event that graced the skies. He gathered his crystals and other gems for cleansing, blessing and renewal of power since many occultists considered the phenomenon a night of compounded lunar activity. 

In Ubay town, residents were treated to a rare phenomenon o May 16 when the sun appeared surrounded by a halo of light.

The rare solar halo circling the sun has a natural explanation: It is formed due to high clouds.  Scientists call it the halo because it has an approximate radius of 22 degrees from the sun.

Residents of Pilar town were surprised at a hailstorm last August 24. Witnesses said it lasted for only about five minutes. The residents were surprised of the hail, the size of a corn kernel.

It was the second time that a hailstorm had occurred in the town. The first hailstone happened in March 1964. 

Nature humbled us. On Feb. 13, Typhoon “Basyang” also flooded several houses in Duero and Guindulman towns.  The flood and mud also damaged the desks, chairs, teaching materials and student records at the Guinsularan High School and Guinsularan Elementary School (Annex) .

More than 300 people were in Candijay town when the typhoon crossed the province. At least 180 hectares (444.79 acres) of rice have been damaged or destroyed.

The typhoon drenched Tagbilaran City overnight but caused no widespread flooding. The sprawling capital of 105,000 people has been hit hard by floods in some areas because of poor infrastructure and clogged drainage and water canals.

“Basyang” also destroyed some roads and bridges in Guinacot Bridge in Guindulman and Abachanan in Sierra – Bullones town.

Farmers have been complaining of lack of rain that has affected at least 6,000 hectares of rice fields in Bohol, considered the rice bowl of Central Visayas.


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

He was the oldest graduate in the school’s history — a distinction made even more remarkable by his inclusion in the pioneering batch of senior high graduates under the K-12 education reform program.

As he walked across the stage to accept his diploma, everyone cheered.   Others watched through tears as the entire Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School (DCPNHS) Class of 2018 stood to cheer on him.

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

 “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.  


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

 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.

 Locals called the perennial herbs as “bilang” (Blutaparon portulacoides) of the Amaranthaceae family.  It looks like Portulaca (ulasiman or pigweed species).

“Hugot” lines?  Loon town has many of them.  The “Tajang Pass Causeway and Mangrove Garden Road” on Sandingan Island would also bring flashbacks of failed loves and embittered  “hugot” lines (emotional quotations).

The sadder, the better.  It hurts, you know! The funnier, the best. It melts your heart!

The Loboc Wildlife and Nature Park in Barangay Bonbon Upper houses a little over a hundred species of animals roaming on one-hectare of natural environment in an interior mountain village of Loboc town.


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.
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.

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

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.

Another Boholana, Miss Bohol 2017 Pauline Amelinckx was crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas - Miss Global Beauty Queen  2018. Pauline will be representing Philippines for Miss Global Beauty Queen 2018 which will be held in Seoul, Korea in May 2019.

In the early ’70s, local organizers would comb the entire town for beautiful women of good moral character and entice them to join the search Miss Loboc until it folded in 1990s. In its returned last May, Erika Limbago was crowned Miss Loboc 2018.  Incidentally, Erika’s mother, Cynthia was crowned Miss Loboc many years ago.

We love Miss Bohol, don’t we?

Not everyone was happy for Miss Tagbilaran Raclaire Stephan Trigo who was crowned as Miss Bohol 2018. Instead of the usual cheering, the audience booed the judges' decision, making it known that crowd favorite Miss Maribojoc’s first place wasn't good enough.

Trigo’s winning added to the theory that the Tagbilaran always is favored, a homecourt advantage, and a cooking show.

However,  Trigo kept her poise like a true beauty queen during the coronation despite the boos and chants of "Maribojoc!  Maribojoc!" that drowned out the moment.

The pageant emcees (whose voices were decibels down) and organizers didn’t step in and tell the crowd to calm down and respect the winner as the process was hard and stressful.

People bashed the pageant’s segment, “Walk of Shame,” the most talked in the social media after they have taken to social networking sites to vent out their frustrations

 “Where you can see a beauty pageant which insulted directly or indirectly the candidates by way of announcing first those who did not make it? You have insulted the candidates, their families their supporters and friends. How cruel and rude of you,” former society writer Gisela Mae “Jiji” Apalisok expressed her disgust on the walk of shame.

Others said that the “walk of shame” was rubbing salt to an injury and also an upfront to the towns. It was an idea patterned after reality TV show or an America’s Top Model that Boholanos are not yet ready to embrace a new style.

US-based socialite and beauty pageant expert Mikey Gatal defended the organizers saying there was nothing wrong with the new concept.

Pageant fans also expressed their support for  Trigo, saying she was the real winner in their hearts. 

In the world of modeling, Danica Joy Mahumot, 17, was the first and only Boholana who competed in the “Catwalk Philippines Modelling Competition 2018.”  She was discovered last year while swimming in Caingget Beach.

Acclaimed director Maryo Jarolan delos Reyes—Direk Maryo J to many—had thoughts of retiring in his mother's hometown in Alicia where he owned several pieces of property. But Direk Maryo didn’t make it home. He died on Jan. 27 after suffering a heart attack.

The industry began an outpouring of grief and remembrance immediately after news of his death.  The director’s reputation and generosity evidently touched those across his life.

His critically acclaimed drama films were "Magnifico" (2003) which received the Crystal Bear in the 2004 Berlin International Film Festival, "Naglalayag" (2004) which garnered major awards in the 2004 Manila Film Festival, the box-office hit "A Love Story" (2007) and his last film "The Unmarried Wife" (2016).

Despite the fame and recognition, Direk Maryo remained grounded and level- headed.

“He felt he was really Boholano even though he was born in Manila,”  said Gerry Lugod, close friend of Direk Maryo.

Direk Maryo made an effort to showcase local talents and promote Bohol when he directed movies such as “Nandito Ako,” “Nagmamahal Sa’yo” and “Bamboo Flowers” which were entirely shot in Bohol.

Tributes to former Sevilla Mayor Ceferino Digal began pouring in within minutes following the news of his death last Aug. 9.   His youngest daughter Marie Karen Joy Digal said that it was such a healing gift to be surrounded by  people who love and respect his father.  “Daddy, you were always there when I needed you, and I know you are still with us now. Remember that I will always be ‘Daddy's Little Girl’,” she said.

Buenavista Mayor Ronald Lowell “Sample” Tirol was killed by unknown suspects inside the cockpit arena he owned.

Police are considering politics, business, and personal conflict as possible motives behind the killing of Tirol, 38, a bachelor, and a scion of a political family in Bohol.

The death of multi-awarded sharp-shooting cop SPO1 Adonis De Los Amantes Dumpit shocked the entire region as he was killed in a buy bust operation on June 27 in a joint operation by the Regional Intelligence Division of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-Bohol.

Ma. Ella Amores, 45, the live-in-partner Dumpit, believed Dumpit was ambushed. But NBI-Bohol head Rennan Augustus Oliva denied Amores’ said it was a legitimate operation that they had monitored Dumpit’s illegal activities.

Oliva  also stressed that the information that Dumpit was a “narco police” first came from the police and not from NBI.

Boholano actress Rich Asuncion and her longtime boyfriend, Filipino-Australian rugby player Benjamin Mudie, tied the knot in Hong Kong last May 28. 

Her family and a few close friends -- Gerry Lugod, former beauty queen and reporter Mayumi Lugod-Ortiz, actress Cathy Remperas, April Recio, Vanessa Ramirez-McLaughlin and Kikoi Busalla –have flown to Hong Kong to witness the union, which took place at the Hong Kong Marriage Registry.

 “It was an intimate, beautiful wedding and Rich looked absolutely stunning in her wedding dress,” said Gerry.

After getting married, the couple had a celebration on a yacht.

Another Boholano actress, former Pinoy Big Brother housemate and GMA star Cathy Remperas, finally tied the knot with her non-showbiz beau Edmar de Luna last Oct.

Before their wedding, the couple flew to Tuscany, Italy for their prenuptial photos and videos. 

 We found ourselves embroiled on Panglao town having two mayors. 

Embattled Panglao Mayor Leonila Paredes-Montero returned to office on Sept. 10 even without a DILG order, triggering a confusion since the town had two mayors. 

Employees were confused when they were confronted by the sight of two officials  attended the weekly flag-raising ceremony.

Tension worsened when the office of Fuertes was cemented by unidentified men to prevent him from reporting. The incident was under investigation by NBI. 

On Oct. 29, Montero, reclaimed her position as town mayor after the Court of Appeals granted her appeal.

Speaking of Panglao,  the island was the next target of President Duterte's marching orders to shut down erring resorts. The DENR said it is suffering from environmental problems because of unregulated development, lax enforcement of laws, and continued surge in tourist arrivals.


 We exercised our rights, voting in the barangay elections.   But we were excited on the filing of the certificates of candidacy COCs.

Clad in a Barong Tagalog and black pants, Santos Amaga Abella, 56, a farmer from Dagohoy town, filed his certificate of candidacy  at the provincial Comelec office.

He said he wanted to run for senator but he didn’t have enough financial resources to go to Manila and file his COC.

But he said his dream to be a senator could wait.

When comedian Roberto Gloria Reyes, popularly known as “Amay Bisaya,” entered the office to file his candidacy, he tickled our fancies and funny bones.

Reyes, 60, and a native of Tubigon town, filed his certificate of candidacy for governor  against  Rep. Arthur Yap of Bohol’s 3rd district and resigned Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr.

“I am more qualified (to be the next governor). You cannot be an actor if you’re crazy,” he said.

Reyes was confident that he would be able to beat Evasco and Yap.

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

The P7.8-billion Panglao Island International Airport, renamed Bohol Panglao International Airport, was inaugurated last Nov. 27.

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

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

 Bohol officials consider the new airport an economic landmark and a game changer for the province’s progress.


Then, we ended the year with the news that  PO3 Gifredo Hampac and Reynaldo Felisilda survived two days at sea by thinking of Christmas. They drifted at sea for two days and were rescued by a fisherman in Zamboanga del Norte, about 140 nautical miles from Bohol.
Hampac was hugged tightly by his wife, Anecita upon his arrival in Tagbilaran City, Bohol on Saturday night (Dec. 22), grateful to be alive.

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

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Thank you, Miss U Catriona

While on her way back to the Philippines today from Bangkok via a private plane, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray signed the fan sign for your VRS facilitated by multi-awarded broadcast journalist Jessica Soho.

Gray said she loves Bohol and wishes to return to the beautiful paradise island when her schedule permits.

Gray enjoyed some downtime in Bohol last April 2018, stopping by Baclayon Church to celebrate the Lord's resurrection before hitting the beaches of Panglao.

More than the “lava walk” that she has popularized, it was her intelligence that helped Catriona clinch the country’s fourth Miss Universe crown.

Thank you, Catriona Gray. Bohol loves you, too!
I was supposed to cover the coronation night but something came up. Well, your VRS was happy for the fan sign.

My own 'recycled' Christmas list

Ania kami
‘Ning gabii sa among pagdaygon
Ug hinaut pa
nga kaninyo dili makatugaw;
Pasko karun
panahon, panahon sa kalipay
kay natawo na
ang manunubos sa kalibutan.
Sa alas dose ang takna,
may natawo sa pasungan;
ginatagna ug ginatuohan,
Manunubos sa kalibutan.
—Alas Dose by Susan Fuentes

Sumad karon, ang kalibutan nagpangilin
Ngano kaha natawo ang batang buotan gayud
Kinsa siya, wa ba iilhi
Siya manunubos sa yuta nga karon mikunsad gikan sa langit

Ring-kin-ding kin-ding, sayawan ta ang bata
Ring-kin-ding kin-ding, sa makalingaw nga hadla
Basin na man lang sa sunod unya nga katuigan
Padangaton ta ug ma-angkon tang maayong kalawasan
Ring-kin-ding kin-ding, hina-ot unta nga magpadayon
Ang pagbati ta ug ang atong pagkamalipayo.

Pasko na usab, sayawan ta ang bata,
Pasko na usab, sa makalingaw nga hadla,
Basin na man lang sa sunod unya nga katuigan
Padangaton ta ug ma-angkon tang maayong kalawasan
Ring-kin-ding kin-ding, hina-ot unta nga magpadayon
ang pagbati ta ug ang atong pagkamalipayon.
—Sumad Karon by Susan Fuentes

Christmas is only two sleeps away.

Here’s my own list of "recycled" gifts to my favorite Boholanos inspired by  Alas Dose and Sumad Karon, a Bisayan Christmas songs by Queen of Visayan Songs, the late Susan Fuentes, which open today's VRS.

When I was young, Christmas was simplier. Happier.  Alas Dose and Sumad Karun are two of my most favorite Visayan Christmas carols. These songs bring back so many childhood memories as many kids sang this in the neighborhood.

Since we are celebrating Christmas, here’s my own list of "recycled" gifts to my favorite Boholanos.
Nice or naughty? My own list of "recycled" gifts to my favorite Boholanos. Contributed Photos

Here they are:

-For Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental 2018 Karen Gallman The sash and crown in Miss Intercontinental 2019! Gallman is an icon of female beauty, wit and success.  Karen was born in Barangay Fatima in Ubay town to Gavin William Gallman, a retired Australian soldier, and Ubay native Editha Bayonas.

-For Mutya ng Pilipinas - Miss Global Beauty Queen Pauline Amelinckx The big prize, crown and sash in Miss Global Beauty Queen! Pauline will be representing Philippines for Miss Global Beauty Queen 2018 which will be held in Seoul, Korea in May 2019. A native of Tubigon town, Pauline is a woman of power and grace, commitment and intelligence, style and substance.

-For Miss World Philippines First Princess 2017 Glyssa B. Perez —A victory in Miss World-Philippines 2019. More modelling stints and endorsements.

-For Bebei Tagoctoc — Hair majesty deserves a grand vacation in Thailand or Europe.  Hurray to the  "The Mother of All Hair and Make-up Artists in Bohol.”

-For Ingemar Macarine — More swims here and abroad to promote clean seas and marine environment. I hope the “Pinoy Aquaman” can conquer (finally!) the English Channel in 2019.

-For Boholano film producer/writer Achinette Joy VillamorMore award-winning films in 2019.   Her film, “Balangiga: Howling Wilderness,” won several awards and accolades here and abroad. Another wish for her, a good sleep.

-For Peddy Bolanio and Glee Orcullo — An explosive radio show in 2019. They can invite “interesting,” “daring,” “talkative," and “controversial” local guests to spice up the program.  Speaking of Glee, I hope she will continue to write love songs to describe her aching heart.

-For Glorivic Yap-De La Serna— Another European trip to broaden her travel experience! Same for JP Maslog,

-For Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin- Strength of character to overcome challenges and to continue advocacies.

-For Mila Lim — More Santa Claus and other Christmas stuffs to fill her “Most Christmassy House” in Bohol.

-For AR De La Serna— To achieve what he keeps in his career.  After all, the country’s first Mister Supranational did prove to the world that Boholano men can flaunt!  Same for Carlo Roy Roslinda, the Mister Earth International 2017.

-For Mikey Gatal — A holiday with his special someone.

-For Butch Bernas and Jeycelle Espejo-Inting —Unwavering dedication for preservation of cultural heritage. Same for Edison Gumapac. 

-For  Fred Araneta, Chito Visarra, Anthony Aniscal, Allen Doydora, Lito Responte, Bob Galero  and Ted Ayeng— More  interesting, more explosive segments of their radio programs with interesting and “controversial” guests. Same for   Allan Mangmang,  Doc Louie,  Rey Tutas, Willy Maestrado, Dave Responte, Fred Amora, Ern Pahayahay, Atoy Cosap, Jun Gutierrez, Ven Arigo, Angie Valencia, et al.

-For Loboc Children’s Choir— Performances here and abroad to show to the world what hidden talents we have. Same for Alicia Bamboo Ensemble, Dimiao Children’s Rondalla, Loboc Youth Ambassador, Katipunan Elem. School Rondalla, HNU Diwanag Dance Troupe, HNU Chorale and Bohol Master Singers

-For  Shanon Pamaong , Maximiel Tallo, EJ Relampagos, Mikee Andrei, Omie Auza, Jong Magallano, , Henry Baron, Tracy Remolador Torres, Aileen Sendrijas, Roxanne Monton— They can establish a school of fashion to train young designers. And they can start the New Year with fashion shows to display their artistic collections.

-For PO3 Janew Villame— An album to showcase his singing prowess. The grandson of Yoyoy Villame, has composed the “Oplan Tokhang” theme song.

-For Ryan Sines, EP Relampagos, Ramil Dolauta, Rholly Ingking, Jonathan Ocat,  Tamara, Donna Vitos, Nina Jasmine Cadeliña,et al — A “hairy” year to beautify Bohol!  Oopps, more projects para sa ekonomiya! Same for Gerry Lugod and Emerson Pinos.

-For Ardy Araneta- Batoy — A round-trip ticket to Europe and America where the Bohol’s Queen of All Media can relax and enjoy the world. 

-For Dalareich Polot— A scholarship at Oxford University! A busy year for Bohol’s Chocolate Princess  who will go to Japan to receive the Best Entrepreneurship Award from The Takeda Foundation that highly evaluates her unique project and gives her the Selection Committee Special Award.  “I want Bohol chocolates to be in the world chocolate map,” she quipped.

-For Mizken Tirol-Andan— A hot partner to color the new year.  Same for Anthony Ceniza and Jhoel Lim.  

-For Lailette Boiser and TinTin Ng — A showbiz break.  More challenging roles in teleseryes and movies to showcase their natural acting.  Same for  Niña Vivoree Matutes Esclito and Fenech Aimee Veloso.

-For Atty. Julius Gregory Delgado and Atty. Marie Nickie Bolos— Wedding bells! Wedding bells!  Same for Vanessa Cubrado and her beau and Jethro Imboy and Joan Cajes.

For Dr. April Lumuthang-Froilan (of Touch of April) and Arch. Junibe Froilan— A long-delayed stork’s visit.  Same for  Dr.  Aleksander  and Jessa Ylanan, Fred Namoc and Nice Tirol  and Eden Descallar and Mikel Ceballos.

-For Inday Rufing— A busy, busy career to tickle our funny bones.  And.... a colorful lovelife!

-For Queenie Melody Fullante— A hot boyfriend! It’s about time to love someone after a busy career.
Everything is softer and more beautiful this Christmas
 in the “Most Christmassy Places” in Bohol province.
Photos  by Leo Udtohan

-For Center Stage Band—  More gigs, more music and a new album. Paging, Ariel Fullido!

-For Roger Magtagad (aka Nicole Khim Gonzales)  and Rhigel Dulfo ­— Hone the potentials of more young talents.

-For Gian Luigi Ale, Kimpoy Mainit, Humfrey Nicasio and Hannah Precillas— A one night concert in Bohol. Of course, a big break to showcase their singing prowess!

-For Rich Asuncion— To savor the joys of motherhood.

-For Willy Ramasola and Edik Dolotina — Their reputation for fierce, honest, and open-minded questions made them attractive in the social media.  More years of thought-provoking questions and analyses.

-For Lutgardo Labad and Marianito Luspo— A busy, busy good year to share their talents. Same for John Torralba, Joey Labrador, Glenn Lumantao, Sam Penaso and Ralph Maligro.

-For  Tessie Labunog-Sumampong, Marilou Dumaluan, Miss Bohol International 2012 Mary Ebone Cimafranca-Ong and Miss Bohol 2001 Vanessa Cadorna-Aumentado— Success in their business endeavors.  Same for Walter and Leslie Ramirez and Tina and Alexander Dumas.

-For Anna Maris Igpit and Tommy Taylor—Another “joint venture”! Same for Benjie and Atty. Joan Oliva, Rebecca Lusterio and Thomas Mejiso, David Maulas and Jenissa Laguda Peteros, Abdul Wallace and Chandrina Elluiska Schreurs-Wallace, and Doxson Asoy and Karen Digal. Remember, the nights are cold!

-For Danica Joy Galon A promising modelling career.  She was the only contestant from Bohol in Catwalk Philippines Modelling Competition 2018.

-For Rosalinda Paredes, Vera  Villocido-Gesite, Emilia Roslinda, Pat Ruiz,  Atty. Kins Aparece, Salvio Makinano, Judge Raul Barbarona, Mightee Palo, Maria Fe Evasco,  Dorris Dinorog-Obena, Liza Macalandag, Isidore Ancog, Ellen Gallares, Lester Ouano, Michael Canares and Regina Macalandag—More developmental work/projects/contracts for social change.  Same for Clement Paulinel Ingking in his advocacy for the Global Ecobricks Alliance towards environmental protection and Bohol’s mermaid Jammy Ungab for cleaner seas.

- For those who are running in 2019 elections (you know who you are), a big goodluck in the political arena.

VRS is wishing you a bountiful Christmas. May all your hopes and wishes be fulfilled to the utmost.


Bishop Uy welcomes young people to ‘Simbang Gabi’

 Despite the recent call of President Rodrigo Duterte for Catholics not to attend Mass, many of them filled churches in the predominantly Catholic province of Bohol for the first of the nine-day Simbang Gabi, or Misa de Gallo, on Sunday, Dec. 16.

Parishioners arrived early at the St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral in Tagbilaran for the first Misa de Gallo at 4:30 a.m.

Tagbilaran Bishop Alberto Uy said he was happy young people were going to church.

At least 2,000 parishioners, mostly young, attended the Mass. Others had to stay outside the church to hear the mass.

“Pinagga sila sa Ginoo. Pinangga sila sa Simbahan. Matagaan og kahigayunan nga ilang kusog ug talento magamit kang Kristo diha sa iyang Simbahan,” he said.

[God loves them. The Church loves them. They will be given a chance to use their strength and talents for Christ in His Church. ]

According to Uy, 2019 has been declared by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines as the Year of the Youth.

“Our young people don’t need a Church which is judgmental. They don’t want a judgmental church. What they want is a church which is willing to accompany them to their way to God,” Uy said.

He also challenged parishioners to affirm their faith in Christ.

“We are challenged to share what we have to others,” he said. “Dili ta mamintaha. Dili ta manikas. Dili ta mangurakot.”

[We should not take advantage of others. We should not cheat. We should not steal.”

Many parishioners wish to finish the nine-day masses either with a wish or special intention to ask.
“Whatever goal you have, I think that is the key. Whatever goal you have in the first Mass, it is the key,” Wincesa Araoarao, a resident of Graham Avenue, said.

Others said it was a thanksgiving of life.

“It is about thanksgiving and looking back to the blessings that we have in 2018, as well as looking forward to what we become of us in 2019,” said Fiel Gabin.

After the Mass, seminarians from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary rendered Christmas songs for the parishioners.


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

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

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Where they will spend the holiday break?

Scene:  Philippine bet Catriona Gray eyes to bring back the crown to the country at the 2018 edition of Miss Universe to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, on December 17 (Manila time). Representatives from 94 countries from around the world will participate in hopes of becoming the next Miss Universe. Five-time Emmy Award winner, and one of television’s favorite entertainers, Steve Harvey will host with Model, entrepreneur and body activist, Ashley Grahamas backstage host to take viewers behind-the-scenes interacting with the women participating in the competition. Three-time Grammy award-winning NE-YO will perform. TV personality and style guruCarson Kressley and supermodel and pageant expert Lu Sierra team up once again as competition insiders to provide analysis and commentary throughout the live telecast.
Meeting the man she was named after.  Bohol’s
Chocolate Princess Dalareich Polot met for the
first time Dr. Doloreich Dumaluan in a meeting arranged
 by Bishop Abet Uy and Pastor Ben Avidnigo Vallente. 
Scene: For the first time, Bohol's Chocolate Princess Dalareich Polot met the man she was named after. During a house to house campaign 31 years ago, Dr. Doloreich Dumaluan gave the name “Dalareich”. Dalareich posted on Facebook that the meet-up/celebration was unplanned and it was arranged by Bishop Abet Uy and Pastor Ben Avidnigo Vallente. “This meet up/ celebration was not written in our calendars. We had different plans” she said.  “Can't wait for your book soonest but I'm glad you are not a politician anymore. HaHaHa,” she added.
Scene: The tallest Santa Claus is found in Sierra Bullones town and not in Pilar as reported by VRS last issue. My apologies. Your VRS has been reporting that the tallest Santa Claus is found in Sierra Bullones for the past years on GMA and Inquirer.
Scene:  The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Bohol province just launched the shared service facility (SSF) for the differently abled members of the Bohol PWD Association, Inc. The project, Blind's Music and Recording Studio, will allow the members to record their songs.  The project is supported by the provincial  government of Bohol,  Tagbilaran City Government and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Christmas is the perfect time for families and friends to spend some quality time together and reconnect. A lot of our friends are spending quality time with their loved ones here and abroad. Taking a break from their hectic schedules, they take the opportunity to create precious moments with their families and friends.
See how some of our friends will spend the holidays:
Maria Fe Evasco
NFA-Bohol manager
“I will spend my Christmas holidays with my family by enjoying my Mom's homecooked Christmas recipes. It's our family tradition to host the Christmas dinner for our relatives and close friends on December 24 after which we play fun games and exchange gifts. We pray the holy rosary before 12 midnight to welcome the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ferome Almine
Events host/organizer
“I’ll spend my holidays with my family. I am planning to have a special dinner with my relatives and friends, in a way to celebrate Christmas.  I will also attend a Mass. Actually, I have a little time for holidays because of my work and business.”
Jeycelle Espejo-Inting
Educator and cultural worker
“Since 2007, Christmas was no longer the same as it was before. I dread the coming of this season but I am more anxious how to spend it being alone. The merriment of families in their homes just makes me feel so alone. But it doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate the season. I still do.  I am hoping wounds in the past will heal. I usually pack gifts for some special people in my life. I love the thought of a family eating together during noche buena which isn't the practice in our family being raised by our grandparents who are now with our Creator. So basically, my Christmas this year would be an all ‘me’ time.”
Willy Ramasola
Tennis enthusiast/social media influencer
“By eating and drinking and playing golf tennis and bonding with family and friends.”
Benjie Oliva
Public servant and CDA administrator
“We will spend our holidays in our beautiful island paradise of Bohol. With my wife Joan and two kids- Edelle Ross and Ben Victor, we would like to visit new tourist destinations like the waterfalls and rice terraces in Candijay, San Pedro Calungsod Shrine in Jagna, highland organic vegetables in Sierra Bullones and Jagna, dairy farm in Ubay among others. We will have also gift giving to children in Catigbian and visit family friends. We will celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ for the first time as a family in Catigbian.”
Chandrina Elluiska Schreurs–Wallace
Former beauty queen and entrepreneur
“Christmas is about family. I will spend the holidays with my husband and kids. On the 24th, we will be celebrating our Christmas party with my husband's side, while on the 25th, we will go back to my home town in Garcia Hernandez to celebrate Christmas with my mom and dad. And the kids are really excited to open their gifts.  My uncle just came from the United States, so spending time at the upper barrio with them will be a good idea.”
Butch Bernas
Cultural worker/educator
“I will spend quality time with my family on Christmas. I also plan to visit snow world in Cebu with my special someone and to visit the white beaches of the Visayan Islands.”
JP Maslog
“I will spend the Christmas holiday with my loved ones and family.”
Joshua Lillehagen
Sandugo Festival King 2018
“We do celebrate Christmas in our family. But for the last four years we are away most of the time for Christmas in different countries. We were in Bahrain in 2014, London in 2015, New York in 2016, Australia 2017. This year, we will be in Oman for Christmas the country where I was born.”
Mikey Gatal,
US-based socialite
“I will attend a wedding in the Big Apple. I look forward to travel some in the middle of December to attend a special and will be attended by intimate people in New York. I am so excited because it would be my first to see the Big Apple during Christmas Season.”
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohanINQ at Twitter /Facebook.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Duterte sings ‘Ikaw’ with Loboc Children’s Choir

By the time you are reading this corner, the holiday season must already be in full swing. Christmas is the most exciting time of the year.

VRS wants to hear and see your best, most spectacular story and images of Christmas where you live.

What is Christmas like for you? What do your decorations or lights look like this year? What holiday traditions do you celebrate? Will you be attending particular Christmas events such as Simbang Gabi? If you do not celebrate Christmas, how will you spend the holidays?

Send your story and favorite images of your Christmas celebrations to for a chance to be featured in VRS.


Over the years, our province of Bohol has had its share of presidential visits.

Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte was invited as a special guest during the inauguration of the new Bohol Panglao International Airport.

President Rodrigo Duterte listened to the Loboc 
Children’s Choir during the inauguration of the Bohol Panglao
 International Airport. Photo by  Leo Udtohan

When the Mr. Duterte arrived at the airport from Carmen town, the word-class Loboc Children’s Choir headed by  their conductress Alma Taldo sang “Ikaw.”

Mr. Duterte stopped.  He was seen smiling while hearing the music but eventually came closer and joined the children in singing the song.

This was not the first time Duterte was seen singing “Ikaw” in public. Duterte also sang the same song  during the gala dinner for the guests at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit front of regional and world leaders and during his visit abroad particularly during his meeting with the Filipino community in other countries.

My friends forwarded these tips traveler should do at the airport:

1) Arrive early at the airport. It is advised that you arrive at least 3-4 hours before your flight unlike before at the small Tagbilaran Airport that you could come 45 minutes before the flight.
2) Make sure you have all your travel documents with you.
3) Always check airport security guidelines to avoid hassle.

And, some friends forwarded these tips and reminders (they culled from Facebook) for passengers while at the new airport (for the meantime):

1.) Before leaving home, please bring your own food and drinks or you may buy those in Tagbilaran City as food stalls are scarce. (Drinking water are provided but bring your own empty bottles to refill)
2.) Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)  and money changer are not yet available so please bring cash before going to the airport.
Former provincial board member and AirAsia Capt. Jaja Jumamoy 
 (with Helen Castano) was the first female pilot to fly
 a jet to the new airport.  Photo by Leo Udtohan
3.) Accessibility is very limited to public utility vehicles. A private bus company is providing a ride to/from the airport terminal via Integrated Bus Terminal in Dao, Tagbilaran City near Island City Mall (ICM) for a cost: Regular pax: Php50.00 / Senior Citizen and Student Privilege discount: Php40.00. 

First trip: 4:00AM 6:00AM
Last trip: 5:00PM 6:00PM
Interval: EVERY 30 MINS.
Travel time: 30-45 minutes

4.) No evening flights were added and flights schedules were retained from old TAG Airport.
5.) Public Wi-Fi is good for 30 mins only. (#SmartWifi@PIIA)
6.) Please be in the airport at least 3 hours before the SCHEDULED TIME OF DEPARTURE (STD) to avoid missing your flight.

*Online check-in (at least 4 hours before STD) is highly suggested.*

7.) Triple check the items inside your baggage if its allowed for check-in and hand carry inside the cabin. Please refer to the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) and your airline for
baggage policies.

Mr. Duterte joined the Loboc Children’s Choir 
in singing the song “Ikaw.” Photo by  Leo Udtohan
8.) TERMINAL FEE :DOMESTIC FLIGHTS - included in tickets
INT'L FLIGHTS - Php500.00
TRAVEL TAX - pax with international flights only. Please refer to Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) counter or website.
PASSENGER RIGHTS COMPLAINTS - please refer to Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) desk or website.

Enjoy your new experience in the first eco-airport in the Philippines. Bon voyage!

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