Monday, December 16, 2019


LOS ANGELES, CA –  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced shortlists in consideration for the 92nd Academy Awards® in nine categories: Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, International Feature Film, Makeup and Hairstyling, Music (Original Score), Music (Original Song), Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film and Visual Effects. To download shortlists by category, visit

Fifteen films will advance in the Documentary Feature category for the 92nd Academy Awards®.  One hundred fifty-nine films were submitted in the category.  Members of the Documentary Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.
The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:
“American Factory”
“The Apollo”
“Apollo 11”
“The Biggest Little Farm”
“The Cave”
“The Edge of Democracy”
“For Sama”
“The Great Hack”
“Knock Down the House”
“Midnight Family”
“One Child Nation”

Ten films will advance in the Documentary Short Subject category for the 92nd Academy Awards.  Ninety-six films qualified in the category.  Members of the Documentary Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.
The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:
“After Maria”
“Fire in Paradise”
“Ghosts of Sugar Land”
“In the Absence”
“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”
“Life Overtakes Me”
“The Nightcrawlers”
“St. Louis Superman”
“Stay Close”
“Walk Run Cha-Cha”

Ten Ten films will advance to the next round of voting in the International Feature Film category (formerly known as Foreign Language Film) for the 92nd Academy Awards.  Ninety-one films were eligible in the category.
Academy members from all branches were invited to participate in the preliminary round.  They must have viewed the submitted films theatrically and met a minimum viewing requirement to be eligible to vote in the category.  Their seven choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s International Feature Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist.
In the nominations round, Academy members from all branches are invited to opt-in to participate and must view all 10 shortlisted films in order to cast a ballot.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:
Czech Republic, “The Painted Bird”
Estonia, “Truth and Justice”
France, “Les Misérables”
Hungary, “Those Who Remained”
North Macedonia, “Honeyland”
Poland, “Corpus Christi”
Russia, “Beanpole”
Senegal, “Atlantics”
South Korea, “Parasite”
Spain, “Pain and Glory”

Ten films will advance in the Makeup and Hairstyling category for the 92nd Academy Awards.  All members of the Academy’s Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch will be invited to view seven-minute excerpts from each of the 10 shortlisted films on Saturday, January 4, 2020.  Members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscar® consideration.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:
“Dolemite Is My Name”
“Downton Abbey”
“Little Women”
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”
“Once upon a Time…in Hollywood”

Fifteen scores will advance in the Original Score category for the 92nd Academy Awards.  One hundred seventy scores were eligible in the category.  Members of the Music Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.
The scores, listed in alphabetical order by film title, are:

“Avengers: Endgame”
“The Farewell”
“Ford v Ferrari”
“Frozen II”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“The King”
“Little Women”
“Marriage Story”
“Motherless Brooklyn”
“Pain and Glory”
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

Fifteen songs will advance in the Original Song category for the 92nd Academy Awards.  Seventy-five songs were eligible in the category.  Members of the Music Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.
The original songs, along with the motion picture in which each song is featured, are listed below in alphabetical order by film title and song title:
“Speechless” from “Aladdin”
“Letter To My Godfather” from “The Black Godfather”
“I’m Standing With You” from “Breakthrough”
“Da Bronx” from “The Bronx USA”
“Into The Unknown” from “Frozen II”
“Stand Up” from “Harriet”
“Catchy Song” from “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”
“Never Too Late” from “The Lion King”
“Spirit” from “The Lion King”
“Daily Battles” from “Motherless Brooklyn”
“A Glass of Soju” from “Parasite”
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman”
“High Above The Water” from “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am”
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from “Toy Story 4”
“Glasgow” from “Wild Rose”

Ten films will advance in the Animated Short Film category for the 92nd Academy Awards.  Ninety-two films qualified in the category.  Members of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:
“Dcera (Daughter)”
“Hair Love”
“He Can’t Live without Cosmos”
“Hors Piste”
“Mind My Mind”
“The Physics of Sorrow”
“Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days”

Ten films will advance in the Live Action Short Film category for the 92nd Academy Awards.  One hundred ninety-one films qualified in the category.  Members of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.
The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:
“The Christmas Gift”
“Little Hands”
“Miller & Son”
“Nefta Football Club”
“The Neighbors’ Window”
“A Sister”
“Sometimes, I Think about Dying”

Ten films remain in the running in the Visual Effects category for the 92nd Academy Awards.  The Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee determined the shortlist.  All members of the Visual Effects Branch will be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films online or attend satellite bake-off screenings in January 2020.  Following the screenings, members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscar consideration.
The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:
“Alita: Battle Angel”
“Avengers: Endgame”
“Captain Marvel”
“Gemini Man”
“The Irishman”
“The Lion King”
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
“Terminator: Dark Fate”

Nominations voting begins on Thursday, January 2, 2020 and concludes on Tuesday, January 7, 2020.

Nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards will be announced on Monday, January 13, 2020.

The 92nd Oscars® will be held on Sunday, February 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network.  The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Miss South Africa is Miss Universe 2019

Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi is the new Miss Universe.

Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi. Picture: Instagram
Tunzi  was crowned by Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray at the 68th edition of the pageant held in Atlanta on December 9, Monday.

Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson is first runner-up followed by Miss Mexico Sofia Aragon as second runner-up.

During their Final Word, all three women were asked the same question which was, “What is the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today?”

Her winning answer was:

The most important thing we should be teaching young girls today is leadership. It’s something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a very long time, not because we don’t want to but because of what society has labeled women to be. I think we are the most powerful beings in the world and that we should be given every opportunity and that’s what we should be teaching these young girls to take up space. There is nothing more important than to take up space in the society.
Before the announcement of winners, all three of them were given a chance to grace the stage and say their final speech.

Zozibini said, “I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me, with my kind of skin and my kind of hair is never considered to be beautiful and I think that it is time that stops. I want children to look at me and see my face and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine.”

Philippine bet Gazini Ganados was one of the Top 20. 

Zozibini is the third beauty queen from South Africa to win Miss Universe after Margaret Gardiner (1978) and Demi-Leigh Nel Peters (2017).

Sunday, December 1, 2019

The white-eyed carabao at Ubay Stock Farm

When people look at this carabao at the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) at Ubay Stockfarm, they often do a double take. There’s a good chance you will, too.

It has to do with the carabao's big white eyes! Yes, white eyes!

There are more than 400 carabaos at the PCC. However, the white-eyed carabao from Bulgaria is so peculiar.

People like to say that its eyes make it seem very wise or soulful. It is timid when people come to check its eyes.

A carabao with white eyes is an attraction
 at Ubay Stock Farm. People like to say
 that the carabao's white eyes make
it seem very wise or soulful.
Karen Ciroy, PCC staff, never imagined how much attention the white-eyed carabao would get for it looks.
According to Science, blue-eyed people are more attractive, but this white-eyed carabao is  attractive, too.

Incidentally,  the province of Bohol celebrated the 5th Bohol Milk Congress last Thursday, Nov. 28.  It was graced by Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food,  who pushed for more affordable milk for children.

The 5th Bohol Milk Festival, as part of the effort to push the province’s stature as the Dairy Capital of the Philippines, highlighted the launch  of the school-based milk feeding program of the Department of Education and the Bohol Integrated Community-Based Dairy Farming.

"I have been proposing and pursuing the use of locally-produced milk in the National School Feeding Program to help solve malnutrition among school children and to provide livelihood to dairy farmers," Villar told at least 500 farmers, teachers and school children. 

Under RA No. 11037, the school-based milk feeding program, fresh milk and fresh milk-based food products should be included in the fortified meals and cycle menu in schools.

Villar said that she has been pursuing the use of locally-produced milk in the National School Feeding Program to help solve malnutrition among school children and to provide livelihood to dairy farmers.

"We want to further grow and develop our country's milk sector,  and to improve the nutrition of Filipinos, especially the children who need it most," she said.

The province of Bohol celebrates the
5th Milk Festival which was graced
by Senator Cynthia Villar. 
Photo by Helen Castaño
Long considered a complete food, milk contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. Milk is also a significant source of riboflavin (Vitamin B2) which helps promote healthy skin and eyes, as well as vitamins A and D.

Only two percent of the total national dairy requirement is produced in the country, while 98.2 percent are imports.
In Bohol, at least 2,000 hybrid carabaos are found at the PCC at the 3,000-hectare Ubay Stock Farm in Ubay town.

Farmers who produce carabao’s milk must be able to free themselves from poverty, Villar said, citing the testimony of a housewife, who now earns some PHP18,000 a month from buffalo’s milk.

The housewife, Villar said, having augmented her husband's income, has been delisted from the government's Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, otherwise known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

* * *
New Loboc public market eyes February completion

After Ubay, my media colleagues (veteran broadcaster Lito Responte, Rey Chiu, Allen Doydora, Rey Tutas, Edward Guyano, Nilo Sapong and Helen Castaño) and I visited the town of Loboc.

The Loboc Tourism Complex has been undergoing renovations.

The heritage house was transformed into an entrance, while the former ticketing office area would serve as the exit and souvenir area. The second floor serves as a function room.

With at least 3,000 guests a day, Mayor Leon Calipusan said that tourists deserve a spacious terminal building while waiting for their Loboc River cruise.

Loboc Mayor Leon Calipusan shows the
 new Loboc Market.   Photo by Helen Castaño
Mayor Calipusan also toured us to the renovated two-story rural health unit and the almost complete Loboc Market.

He is targeting to complete the P20-million new public market at Barangay Camayaan  in February next year.
“They can expect that it will be a comfortable public market,” Calipusan said.

The ground floor of the public market will have  stalls for fruits, grains vegetable, dairy products, bilao (circular basket), delicatessen, and dry goods sections, while at the back is a terminal building and a separate building for  fish, shell, and meat sections.

It’s building footprint is 600 square meters. The land intended for the public market is five  hectares.

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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Emmanuel "Doy" Comendador: Running from painful childhood

The Southeast Asian Games (SEA) Games, which the country will host for the first time in 14 years, will be held starting November 30 in multiple parts of the Philippines.

A Boholano duathlete Emmanuel “Doy” Comendador will compete in the SEA games.

Here's a backgrounder of Comendador courtesy of Rey Anthony Chiu, manager of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Bohol:

Emmanuel “Doy” Comendador
As a young kid, he has dreamt of getting a new pair of shoes.

Poverty and an unstable childhood kept him from getting that.

Today, as Boholanos are clasping their palms praying for luck to a local swimming sensation making ripples in the Philippine swimming circles, another Boholano contribution to the national pool of athletes for the upcoming ASEAN Games, still runs with an old pair he bought at an ukay-ukay rummage.

Unknown to most, unlike most Philippine Team athletes who bask on national television, this Boholano from Cambangay Norte, San Miguel town remains humbly hidden from the cameras in the country.

But somewhere in Asian races, as he silently traverses the trails and roadways of Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, he gets occasional media attention, in his trail battered shoes even climbing a dais.

Shoes are secondary. Toning his muscles to get him to the podium is the motive and this can only be through painful training, dedication and discipline that has put a Tagbilaran swimmer into the same national team for the ASEAN Games.

Boholano duathlete Emmanuel “Doy” Comendador literally crawled his way through hard work, discipline, mental toughness and perseverance to be picked part of the Philippine Duathlon Team for the ASEAN Games to open next week.

The achievement, for Comendador, 31, was never walk in the park.

In fact to him, it was through biking, and running, and biking and running in a vicious training that would literally burn-out the mentally weak, that kept him focused: shoes, immaterial.

Born to a poor family and too weakened by the hardships of a child fending off his way to a future that has nothing to do with what he was born into, leaving a painful hungry childhood in Limasawa Island, Southern Leyte was Doy’s first long run.

His decision to swing to sports as a way of forgetting his past and building a strong resolve to mold a full-toned body from an emaciated spirit was his first plan to voluntarily escape his past.

That resolve pushed him to go past the edges of pain and sacrifice, let him inch his way to join a Leyte bike group. From then on, he cranked up more muscle straining and hurting revolutions in his pedals than almost everyone in his group.

“I had a painful past I wouldn’t want to talk about. What is more painful than that?” he timidly asked, when posed with what his most painful training regimen was like.

“All training is painful, because our coaches know how to squeeze out the best in us. Believe me, it is not easy and is far from painless, he said, severely sun-blasted face and bulging veins in his hand witness to the hard training showing even in the dimly lit café.

Sharing how he disregarded the weird looks of other athletes when they see his old sneakers, he said “I couldn’t buy one, so I have to use this old pair.”

Already a strong biker when he left Leyte, Doy decided to live with an aunt in San Miguel. Since then, he considered himself an adopted Boholano and has since used Bohol as his home address.

While in Bohol, he banked on his bike riding speed in Tagbilaran, knowing that there is far better chance here than in San Miguel.

But with very few bikers then in Tagbilaran, he decided to shift to running where there was prize money to sustain him.

Starting a cross training for running in 2014 in Bohol, Doy, who has logged long hours on a bike, became a sensation.

His long rides and improved spinning cadence on road bikes and off-road mountain bikes worked on his glutes, quadriceps and hamstring, while his calves gradually trimmed from running regimen.

Having worked on both disciplines, Doy became a fixture in Bohol runs, and occasionally on road races, capping on his podium finishes, while getting adopted into a legendary local bike group Paseo de Loon was his biggest break.

He asked his team if he could take up Marine Engineering at the local Philippine Maritime Institute (PMI) while representing the school in races. When the team was more than willing to support him, he run further and swung off to Paseo during his lean days where there are no races in school, Richard Acero, another athlete where Comendador homed in Tagbilaran volunteered the information.

Comendador said he felt like he was family with the Aceros, and it helped him immensely, adjusting his running shades as the café filled with light banter from patrons.

Comendador, who stepped into the café after completing a short afternoon bike spin, for the late afternoon interview, came in full bike gear: lime yellow Navy Standard Insurance jersey, a seemingly overused bike helmet and his favorite battered running shoes.

Sitting now with a girlfriend who also runs marathons, Doy said his break came in the eighth qualifying leg of the 37th National Milo Marathon eliminations in 2013 in Bohol.

Then a graduating Marine Engineering student at PMI, despite lack of training as he was busy preparing for the closing exercises, the phenomenal biker and amateur runner still bested 6,153 athletes and carved for himself a name winning the 21 K half marathon. This catapulted him into the National Finals.

With free travel and accommodations, he went to Manila and competed in his first Milo marathon performance, placing among the top finishers.

The following years, Comendador would win the 2014 and 2015 Milo Marathon qualifiers and placed top among national finalists.

This got the attention of national coaches who invited him to train with them.

Running under Philippine Navy in national races, Doy continued with zealous training and pious respect for the coaches which he never had the luxury in his races.

Running races while on training with the national team did not obtain for him the perks of a full-time athlete. He has to look for sponsors to help defray the costs while in Manila.

 Standard Insurance picked him to carry their banner in his race jerseys.

The sponsorship also allowed him to survive in Manila, although not well. Scrimping on a tight budget was nothing new to him. If for his dream, Comendador knew he had to persevere.

In 2015, at the Philippine Duathlon National Championships, Elite Men Category, he finished 5th and so was his finish in the 2016 National Duathlon Championships five months later.

Shifting to triathlon, Comendador competed in the 2016 Subic Bay NTT ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup and placed 11th but was the third Filipino to the top with John Chicano and Mark Hosana competing against a full roster of Asia’s elite triathletes.

By March of 2017, Doy took his first international podium at the 2017 Putrajaya ASTC Powerman Middle Distance Duathlon Asian Championships when he placed third against a Dutch and an Australian. Here, he also picked his first Asian championship honor.

Comendador placed fourth at the Putrajaya ASTC Powerman Middle Distance Duathlon Asian Championships in March of 2018.

This year, he competed again in the 2019 Putrajaya ASTC Powerman Middle Distance Duathlon Asian Championships for Elite Men and dropped in finish ranking to 8th but was among the three Asians in the top.
In fact, among those on the top were himself, and two more Filipinos, and an Iranian.

Now competing against Asians, the self-appointed Boholano athlete said he has seen a near perfect moment to strike a gold medal in the ASEAN Games. After all, he has proven to Asian duathletes that he is somebody they can be running after.

As a member of the Philippine Team now, Doy still wears old running shoes, which he said he bought at an ukay-ukay, while his competitors sport the newest models from the greatest brands.

Asked if this bothers him, he said he dreams of a new pair but his allowance would not allow him that.

“I tried the new Nike when a friend runner let me try it. It was comfortable as it was designed to fit a runner’s foot profile, but I just can not afford that, so I have to be realistic and run in my old pairs. As long as it does not give up on me, like I have never given up on my dream, there is still that huge chance I’d get a gold. Would that not be a bigger shoes to fill by other Filipino athletes after me?” he asked speaking in Cebuano.

Whether one talks about his old shoes and the resolve to bring honor to Bohol and the Philippines, this guy has just shred a tale worth commending.

That can happen, when the country would well be this guy’s comendador.

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Sunday, November 17, 2019

Bohol designers unite for 'Exodus' in December; Fr. Parilla's 'Hashtags for Young Seekers' released

•Bohol designers unite for 'Exodus' in December
•Fr. Parilla's 'Hashtags for Young Seekers' released

Scene: The municipality of Sierra Bullones was the first in the province to put up their Christmas decor- the tallest Santa Claus. It was displayed last September. However,  the Santa Claus was dismantled last weekend.

Scene:  After K-Pop star Sandara Park who spent her pre-birthday celebration in the province, Boholano boxer Nonito "Junjun" Donaire Jr  went home. He posted photos of his Bohol vacation in Instagram and Facebook. Junjun posted a video of him with his son Logan dancing at the Loboc River.  He captioned the video, "Showing my son Logan a native dance from my home island where I was born in Bohol, Philippines."

Scene: The homecoming of Pinoy Big Brother(PBB) Otso Ultimate Winner William "YamYam" Guc-ong at Inabanga Cultural and Creative Park yesterday, Nov. 16. PBB Otso finalist Fumiya Sankai accompanied YamYaman. Saturday's event was also the  INB Christmas Tree Lights-on Ceremony.

* * *
Boholano priest releases new book: Hashtags for Young Seekers

Fr. Harold Anthony Parilla is the author
 of "Hashtags for Young Seekers" that seeks
to answer the important questions that young people ask.
Contributed Photo
Fr. Harold Anthony Parilla, the rector of Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in this city, launched his second book of homilies  "Hashtags for Young Seekers". 

The book is composed of 49 homilies organized into seven chapters.  All these homilies seek to answer the important questions that young people, its intended audience, fearlessly raise.

Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium,135 said that “The homily can actually be an intense and happy experience of the Spirit, a consoling encounter with God’s word, a constant source of renewal and growth.”

“We took the cue from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) which declared 2019 as the “Year of the Youth”, a segment of the preparation for the fifth centenary celebration of the arrival of Christianity in the country," Fr. Parilla said.

He added, "This book is our modest contribution to the challenging and exciting ministry of accompanying young people in their own journey of faith.”

Movie actress and book author Dimples Romana wrote the foreword of the book.

In praise for Fr. Parilla’s work, she said, “I read the reflections and immediately felt the Holy Spirit come upon me. What a beautiful testimony of God’s love. These reflections will tug at your heartstrings and make you rethink just how deep you can go when it comes to nurturing your faith. These stories have left me with a heart yearning for more and a spirit ready to give.”

In this new volume, Fr. Parilla targets young seekers. 

In 2017, Fr. Parilla’s authored "Hashtags for Seekers" was published by Creannovate Publishing. It was praised by several leaders, no less than His Excellency Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle who wrote the foreword of the book.
Cardinal Tagle said, “Reading through Harold’s reflections, I felt assured that I do not need to be embarrassed or fearful of my faults, misconceptions, wounds, pains, and doubts for God remains faithful and near to us. God knows we are pilgrims, God’s work in progress. That is why God walks with us, for alone we perish.  God’s hope for us knows no bounds. These are some themes in Harold’s book that warmed my heart, as I wish they would yours.”

Fr. Parilla was ordained to the priesthood in 2003, after he finished his theological studies at the Loyola School of Theology in Quezon City.

After some years of work at the local seminary and in the chancery of the Diocese of Tagbilaran, he left for Rome to obtain a licentiate degree in canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

He also finished masteral degrees in pastoral ministry and educational management from two Jesuit universities in the Philippines.

He also facilitates at spiritual retreats for various groups.

Currently, he is rector of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Tagbilaran City.

* * *
Bohol designers unite for Exodus fashion show for a cause

Fashion has been used for a lot of worthy causes. 

In Bohol, 12 designers unite for Suppor+'s fund-raising show ‘Exodus-Bohol Fashion Forward' on December 21.

Exodus will be more than just about fashionable clothes and gorgeous men and women. It will showcase courage on the catwalk and stories of survival.

Exodus, a year-ender fashion show for a cause
will feature the creations of 12 Boholano designers
 for the benefit of HIV/AIDS Positive Organization,
iSuppor+. Contributed Photo 
The year-ender fashion show will feature the creations of Bebie Tagoctoc, Aileen Sendrijas Pasagad, La'doi Aquino, Kim Villamor, Nikki Simporios, Rose Paul Silhouette,  Christian Bustrillos, Tracy Remolador Torres,  Ryan Sadudaquil, Christian Relator, EJ Relampagos and Charlow Arbasto.

The clash of art, expression and glamour will be on December 21, 8 p.m. at the Bohol Cultural Center in Tagbilaran City.

For inquiries,  contact BDC Secretariat (Ryan Sadudaquil) at 09101244637.

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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Barajan proves that not all heroes wear capes

The costume and the superhero have become
 inseparable for Seaman First PO3 Ralph Barajan of the Philippine
 Coast Guard in this 2013 photo. Contributed Photo
Many of us are familiar with the often-caped superheroes that star in blockbuster movies. While these “heroes” save lives and overcome villains, their story ends when the movie ends.

But for the 59 people aboard the MV Siargao Princess that sank off Sibonga, Cebu after it was battered by strong waves on Thursday morning (November 7) , a different kind of superhero exists. One that doesn’t wear a cape, but saving lives — in a behind-the-scenes but in an awesome way.

The hero is Seaman First P03 Seaman Ralph Barajan, a native of Barangay La Paz in Cortes town. He played a key role in saving many passengers and crew.

The weather was fair but it became horrendous an hour after they left Loon Port. The vessel was battered  by strong waves and  the forward portion of the ship began to sink, throwing the passengers into panic.

It was fortunate that there was Barajan, a trained Coast Guardsman, who was among the passengers of the vessel who was on his way to the substation in Southern Cebu. 

He let the Coast Guard in him overcome fear and placed the safety of his fellow passengers above that of his own. He was able to direct the passengers and crew when the ship began to sink.

“Gusto ko lang ma save tanan mao tong naningkamot ko nga mag uban-uban mi tanan.

Ako lang naa sa mind kay way mamatay sa ako atubangan (I wanted everyone to be saved that’s why I tried to bring us all closer. That no one would die),” Barajan told VRS.

He took the initiative to ensure all passengers and crew wore life vests and that they stayed close together before the rescue. 

Architect Ernie Gelbolingo could testify to the bravery of Barajan.

"Kon di pa niya, di mi maluwas. Siya maoy nagpakalma sa mga pasahero, siya maoy nag-instruct ug nag-guide sa mga pasahero kanus-a mangambak, pag-abot sa dagat, siya maoy nagpahiluna sa mga bata ug tiguwang sa life raft,"  Gelbolingo told reporters.

Daphne Marielle Tudtud,15, also thanked Barajan's bravery.

"Magpasalamat gyud mi ni Kuya kay walay daotang nahitabo namo," said Marielle.

Maria Encarnacion Arellano, 65, who spent the two long hours with her sick husband Eduardo floating in the sea, said it was a miracle. She said Barajan calmed down the passengers.

Presence of mind, training and bravery helped
the Coast Guardsman Ralph Barajan to save passengers
 from the MV Siargao Princess that sank off the shore
 of Sibong town, Cebu on November 7, 2019.
Photo from Ralph Barajan FB 
Lieutenant Junior Grade Michael Encina, spokesperson of Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)-Central Visayas, praised Barajan as his leadership skills as a Coast Guard was essential to keep the passengers and crew alive during the maritime accident.

Everyone called him a hero.

However, Barajan shrugged off hero title for doing his duty.  He is just happy to be called dedicated and dependable.

Not all superheros wear capes. Ang uban taga La Paz, Cortes!

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