Monday, May 27, 2019

Dimiao celebrates 2nd Pamakwan Festival 2019

Farmers in Dimiao town displayed their watermelon of different varieties last Saturday, May 25, for the 2nd Pamakwan Festival 2019. 

The festival aims to boost the tourism industry and to further address the importance of watermelon as the primary product of the town.

At least 62 farmers in Barangay Balbalan grow watermelons for extra income for the family while the extreme heat due to the weak El Nino was drying up the land.

The 2nd Pamakwan Festival 2019 was held
on Saturday, May 25, 2019, in Dimiao, Bohol
where farmers grow the sweetest and juiciest
watermelons in the province for extra income for
 the family while the drought is drying up the land.  Photos by Leo Udtohan
Balbalan, known as Bohol’s “watermelon country,” is producing the one of the country’s sweetest and juiciest watermelons, according to municipal agriculturist Jayrell Adanza.

Their hardwork paid off as they showcased during the festival at least  different variety of watermelons---Sweet 16, buffalo, Diana, cantaloupe, black panther, red and yellow delight,  and honey dew--- they vary widely in taste, texture, and color.

Watermelon season starts from April and ends in late June or July in the country, a period when extreme hot weather persists in parts of the country.

Adanza attributed the distinct sweetness to the farmers’ use of saline water  to irrigate the plants and the juiciness to alluvial soil.

“It’s near the coastal area,” said Adanza who initiated the Pamakwan Festival last year upon the approval of Dimiao Mayor Danilo Guivencan.

Guivencan said the festival is to give recognition among watermelon growers in the town. He hopes an ordinance will be passed by the new administration to give full support to the farmers.

Watermelon planting begins in the Balbalan village on the first week of March after harvesting their palay . They immediately prepared a total of 60 hectares of rice fields to plant watermelons.
Some farmers started planting in April when they have enough funds to buy farm inputs.

Seed germination to harvest usually takes two and a half months.

Watermelon farming here began in 1986 when a few farmers started planting pakwan in Barangay Balbalan. It was stopped for many years since nobody was interested to buy their products.

Farmers came back to watermelon planting in 2000 when the demand was high.

 Many health conscious people buy watermelons. Health experts say that sufficient intake of watermelon is a perfect remedy for a dehydrated body as it contains essential vitamins and minerals.

When other farmers made money from watermelons, others followed, according to Carlito Galleto, president of Dimiao Watemelon Growers Association.

Herasmo Galleto, 62, planted watermelons in early March in his 600-square-meter farm and expected to harvest the fruits in the first week of May. His wife, Eleuteria, 61, and their only son Jeffrey, 18, help in the farm.

Eleuteria said she liked planting watermelons during summer because the waiting time to make a profit was shorter.

Although watermelons thrive on warm weather, she said these still need to be watered twice a day.

Generally, the fruits are ready for harvest after 70 to 80 days. One vine can produce three to five fruits.

She said to know if the fruits are ripe, farmers usually thump the fruits to determine ripeness.  She said a hollow sound indicate that it is right for picking.

Eleuteria and other farmers sell the watermelons under small sheds along the highway for P30 to P35 per kilo for Sweet 16 variety and P50 for Diana variety.  A sliced-cold watermelon put inside a Styrofoam is sold at P10 per slice.

On a slow day, she could earn P5,000 the least.  When sales were brisk, her sales could go as high as P20,000 a day.

Most of the customers are motorists who stop at the shed. Sometimes, vendors buy in bulk and sell the fruits in public markets in the capital city of Tagbilaran.

So far, Eleuteria said it has been financially rewarding.

“Dako gyud  ikatabang, nakapausob sabalay, nakapalit og mga gamit, ug makabayad sab sa mga utang. Basta magkugi naa jud ((It is a big help. We improved our house, buy new things and paid our debts. It’s just hardwork),” she said.

Carlito, 41, said he spent P30,000 in farm inputs this planting season, including watermelon seeds, fertilizers and chemical spray.

Luckily, he has a sales of P200,000 before May ends.

“Bawi na kaayo mao nga nagpasalamat mi sa Ginoo sa iyang kayo (I recovered from my investment and I thank the Lord for his mercy),” said Carlito who started planting watermelons in 2012. 

Neighboring Lila town and even Sierra Bullones, Talibon and Ubay are also growing watermelons, but they can’t match the number of varieties and the quality produced here, Adanza said.

Saturday’s Pamakwan Festival was attended by the farmers, municipal officials and partners from the provincial agriculture, private seed companies and the Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center 7 (ATI-RTC 7).

It started with field tour that visitors and melon growers visit the farms. Visitors can directly buy their own choice of melons from the farmers.

Dr. Carolyn May Daquio, center director of ATI-RTC 7, said agriculture plays a  big role in the community especially that Bohol is a booming tourist destination.

 She further encouraged and challenged the youth to venture into agriculture.

“Who will feed us for the next 10 years kung  walay mutikad sa atong kaumahan,”  said Daquio.

Mayor Baba is handsomest and hottest mayor

aHugyaw, the entertainment section of Banat News in Cebu announced on Tuesday, May 21, that the region’s handsomest and hottest mayor is Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell “Baba” Yap II.

Reelected Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell “Baba” Yap II is
the region’s ‘handsomest and  hottest mayor.’ Contributed Photo
The three-day online survey was opened on May 15 with three nominees :  Yap , Mayor Neil Lizares of Talisay City, Negros Occidental and Mayor Carlo Martinez of Bogo City, Cebu .

The most liked photos by Tuesday, May 21, at 9p.m. would become the winner.

Yap had  5.3k reactions and 4.1k  likes.

He was followed by Lizares who had  3.8k reactions and 3.2k  likes and Martinez  with 603 reactions and 310 likes.

The staff of Hugyaw said that they will feature Yap and other nominees in the coming issues.  

Voters here gave incumbent Mayor Yap  a landslide victory last May 13 elections.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Tradition of ‘bolibong kingking’ lives on in Loboc

Scene: The 2nd Pamakwan Festival in Dimiao town on Saturday, May 25. In Dimiao, farmers grow different variety f watermelons- they vary widely in taste, texture and color. The town grows the sweetest watermelon in the province that visitors can buy directly from the farmers during the festival.

Scene: At least 500 stakeholders from civil societies and people’s organizations convened here to strengthen further local anti-poverty initiatives by the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) as it introduced a five-year strategic framework development plan or the “Sambayanihan Serbisyong Sambayanan”. Present were NAPC Secretary Noel Felongco and Boholana Usec Pat Ruiz.


Last Friday was my nth time attending the annual “bolibongkingking” in Loboc town. It was US-based insurance broker and travel specialist Andy Digal Doria who reminded me that the dance would start at 11  a.m.  But sadly, Andy missed it!

At the St Peter the Apostle Parish, I saw a woman who was dancing for almost two hours in front of the caro (carriage) of the Black Madonna.

Prof. Grace Odal-Devora, Ph.D. of the University of the Philippines- Manila joins residents of Loboc in Bohol province in dancing the "bolibong kingking," a time-honored tradition of the town in honor of the Our Lady of Guadalupe de Extremadura. Photo by  Leo Udtohan 
It was easy to spot her in the crowd not just she donned in white and flowers adorned her head but people watched her body gestures, expressions leading to a graceful storytelling- that would feel inspired to see her passion.

Later, I learned it’s the famous Prof. Grace Odal-Devora, a faculty member of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of the Philippines-Manila. After the dance, she told me that it was her first time to dance the “bolibong kingking,” a ritual devotion of dance and music that survives for centuries as residents still perform it in honor to the town’s patron saint, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Extremadura (Our Lady of Guadalupe de Extremadura).

“Kasi alay yun (It was an offering),” said Devora, an expert on ceremonies, shamanism, ritual, and dance.

She said her visit to Loboc was to reconnect her roots and continue the vow of her father, a devotee of the Our Lady of Guadalupe de Extremadura, who passed away in 2007.

She said that coming to hometown of her father in Dec. 2018 would lead her to discovering her own spiritual dance offering practice that started in 1985.

In Loboc, she found the expansion of her dance not only to the indigenous and pre-colonial dances, the Inter - Faith dance offerings, and now to the folk dances mixing the indigenous and traditional with the mainstream religious traditions in dances leading to the creation of folk traditional dances, including that of people's dances.

As a time-honored tradition, parents bring their children
in front of the statue of La Virgen Guadalupe de Extremadura
while dancing the "bolibong kingking" in Loboc, Bohol.
Photos by Leo Udtohan 
“Bolibong kingking” refers to the practice of  dancing in front of the caro (carriage) of a patron saint with the accompaniment of percussion instruments like gongs and drums. It is authentic, charming, and filled with life in every dance, move and story.

People in coastal areas such as Maribojoc and Tagbilaran call it “basao,”  while interior towns like Loboc, Sevilla  and Bilar call it “bong bolibong kingking” now known as  “bolibong kingking.” In Panglao town, people call it “guronggong.”

The “Basao” or “Bong Bolibong Kingking” is a unique and interesting practice in a fiesta in Bohol usually done after the Pontifical Mass until the next two days.

There is a variety of dance steps in other places but one thing is common, the dancers usually touch a part of their body that has an ailment. They believe that dancing in front of an image of a saint would heal their afflictions.

Men played the drums and gong accompanied by the symbolic dance ritual mirroring the people’s belief to the Lady. 

Devora said since the particular dancing style was not required, she did her own dancing, mixing her own inner-flowing movements with trying to follow what the others were doing.

“I am happy to see that many old women who had the vow of dancing for the Blessed Mother, dancing with great skill. I also saw many women and men of various ages, sizes and form, dancing. We were collectively dancing towards one harmony, despite our similar and diverse movements: a unity in diversity,” she later posted on Facebook.

Some parents carry and offer their infants while in front of the patron saint’s statue. Others wave their handkerchiefs or hold up candles to the statue of the saint.

In the Visayas, Catholic faithful venerates two black Madonnas- the Virgin de la Regla of Lapulapu and the Virgin de Guadalupe de Caceres (Extremadura) in Loboc town.

The devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe originated  from the hilly town Guadalupe  in Spanish region of Extremadura, close to the Portuguese border.

Like its Bohol descendant, the Spanish image is dressed like a queen, stands erect, and holds the Child in one arm. Both the mother and child are dark-skinned, and belong to the tradition of the “Black Madonnas” of medieval Western Europe.

Church records said the Augustinian Recollect brought the image of the Lady carved from black wood and stands 7 feet high.

The image was placed on a crate and was intended for veneration in Tagbilaran.  Since the people found it hard to open the enclosure of Our Lady, they chose to let her stay inside the crate while visiting several parishes in Tagbilaran.

The image went to as far as Carmen town overlooking the town of Loboc that was then plagued by a cholera epidemic that killed many people. However, feeling responsible for ignoring Loboc of the visitation of Our Lady  they pursued in bringing the image of the Lady to the Parish of Saints Peter and Paul on May 24, 1843.

And the crate bearing the image of the Lady was unlocked without difficulty. The Lobocanons with grief and with hope turned to Our Lady. There was a miraculous healing of the people during the outbreak which was attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe de Extremadura.

When the St. Peter the Apostle Parish or the Loboc Church was destroyed by the strong earthquake in Oct. 15, 2013, it didn’t stop residents and devotees to dance. Although it was held in a makeshift church  and in the  alternative church up to this year.

The Loboc Church is one of the four churches damaged or ruined by the 2013 earthquake in Bohol.

It is now nearing complete reconstruction with the churches of Cortes, Maribojoc and Loon.

Loboc’s San Pedro Apostol and Cortes’s Santo Niño churches were severely damaged during the 2013 earthquake while Loon’s Nuestra Señora de la Luz church and Maribojoc’s Santa Cruz church were totally ruined.

Spearheading the restoration and reconstruction of these churches and related structures is the National Museum.

The traditional dance, however, is struggling to attract younger followers. The challenge of keeping this tradition alive will depend on the residents.  Loboc has a population of 16,000.

For Marites Jala, 44, a resident of  Sitio Soso in Barangay Villaflor, dancing the “bolibongking” is not just a tradition but an exercise as well.  The catchy music can entice even the most die-hard, wallflower to move.

Residents dance the "bolibong kingking" believed to be a healing ritual wherein the faithful sway their bodies, especially the aching parts, in front of the image of the Blessed Virgin.

Jala brought her daughter, Anne Marae, 7, to dance together with other devotees.

“I want her to grow good, humble and God-fearing,” said Jala who was also taught to dance by her parents when she was a kid.

She said she wants her three children to observe the “bolibong kingking”  while a number of young people interest dwindled in the “age of smartphone.”

Loboc has been enjoying a tourism boom with its floating restaurant at the Loboc river and inclination to music as the home of the world-famous Loboc Children’s Choir.  But the “bolibong kingking” is seen only on May 23 and 24.

But Devora has another mission: to help preserve and continue the devotion.

“Gusto ko nga mag-survive kaya ngayon nag-decide ako next year pupunta ulit ako para maging tradisyon. Kasi ang feeling ko  nag-cocontribute yung positive energy mo if you participate. Actually, it creates some effect in people around you, they get encouraged,” she said.

(I want this tradition to survive. And now I decided to come back next year to become a tradition for me.  I have the feeling that your positive energy overflows if you participate. Actually, it creates some effect in people around you, they get encouraged.)

“Ako naman ipagpatuloy ko yung  (I would continue my) offering  because that’s where I was called to do,” she added.


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

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Election 2019: Who were the winners and losers?

Ex-youth leader is youngest incoming Bohol board member

It is clear after Monday’s election that the color blue turned out to be the favorite color during the 2019 midterm elections.  

Padayon Bol-anon did gain a clear majority in the towns, added more seats and scored victories in the provincial race. 

Both sides, the Tinuod nga Bol-anon and Padayon Bol-anon,  are claiming the results as a victory. So who really came out on top? 

Add captionvsFormer Sangguniang Kabataan (SK)
leader Frans Garcia (second from left) was
proclaimed as one of the three board members
in the second district of Bohol on Tuesday night,
May 14. She is said to be the
youngest provincial lawmaker elected
for the midterm elections. Photo: Leo Udtohan

Here is a look at the winners and losers from Monday: 

There were two winners who were proclaimed on Tuesday, May 14.  They were Bohol Second District Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado and Board Member Alexie Tutor.

Aumentado, who was reelected after winning by a huge margin over his opponent, was accompanied by his wife Vanessa, mother Greenie, and his siblings.

Aumentado thanked his supporters for their unwavering support.

“I promise to continue to help you in whatever way I can,” he told VRS after the proclamation.

Tutor was also proclaimed representative of Bohol’s third district with her husband reelected Candijay Mayor Christopher Tutor and family.

A former youth leader from the Carlos P. Garcia Island, is now an incoming board member of the province. She would occupy one of the three seats in the Provincial Board for the second district of Bohol.

Frans Garcia, a former Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) leader, also was Barangay Captain in Tugas on Carlos P. Garcia Island before running for the board member.

Images during the canvassing and proclamation
of winners at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, New Capitol. Photos: Leo Udtohan
At 26, Garcia is the youngest elected provincial lawmaker for this midterm election.

Outgoing Rep. Arthur Yap of Bohol’s 3rd district is now the new governor of the province after he defeated former Cabinet secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. by 2,161 votes. He got 326,895 votes, while Evasco received 324,734 votes.

Yap, who was with wife Carol and some supporters, was proclaimed at 3 a.m. on Thursday, May 16,  after the canvassing of the returns from Panglao town, the last municipality to submit the election returns due to defective SD cards.

“I thank the Boholanos for giving me the opportunity to serve them. It’s a big pride for me and my family,” Yap who said in the vernacular.

The star power of President Duterte and his daughter, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio didn't work magic for their close friend Evasco.

Even before Yap was proclaimed, Evasco announced plans to contest the result and ask the Commission on Election (Comelec) to declare a failure of elections in Bohol due to massive vote buying.

 In a statement on Wednesday, Evasco, 74, said he heard reports of vote-buying employed by the camp of Yap in nearly all towns of the province and in Tagbilaran City.

"The possibility of defeat was therefore no longer a remote possibility. And yet, I did not entertain fear because I was well aware of the enormous task and responsibility that an electoral victory would bring," he said.

Images during the May 13, 2019 midterm elections.
 Everyone, both young and old, of different
 backgrounds and social classes, exercise their
right to vote. Photos: Leo Udtohan
Evasco said he instructed the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC)-Bohol and Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP)-Bohol to prepare the filing of a petition to declare a failure of elections in the province. He said it didn't matter to him if the Comelec would grant or deny his request.

"I wish I can say the people have spoken, but that would be a monumental lie. This is not my fight. It has never been. But I will fight it to my last breath because it is a fight of the Boholano people and because they deserve nothing less,” he said.

But Yap, in a separate statement, maintained that there was no failure of elections in Bohol and that the Boholanos merely decided to choose him.

"The people have spoken. I have won this election," he added.

The battle between Yap and Evasco had been likened as the fight between the Biblical story of David and Goliath.

But it was Yap, the official candidate of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan for governor for Bohol, who was viewed as the Goliath since he had the machinery and the money to fuel his gubernatorial bid.

Evasco opted to run under the NPC since it had been his party ever since. He also ran on the campaign slogan of the “real Boholano” since Yap was not a native of the province but was based here after he married a Boholana.

While he didn't have enough financial resources to run his candidacy, Evasco was banking on the popularity of President Duterte and Mayor Duterte-Carpio who both endorsed the candidacy of Evasco during their rallies here.

During his miting de avance in Hernando-Garcia town, President Duterte took time to fly to Bohol to make a sales pitch for his old friend who had been with him when he was a prosecutor in Davao. Yap, however, chose to have a series of rallies to cap his campaign on May 9. But his attraction in his rallies in the towns of Dauis, Maribojoc and Balilihan and Tagbilaran City was popular actor, Coco Martin.

During the campaign, Evasco refused to do the sing-and-dance route and instead, chose to speak before his audience. But Yap, on the other hand, didn't focus much on speech but sang his way to the hearts of his audience. His favorite repertoire was the Filipino ballad – Remember Me by Renz Verano. During the election day, reports came out that 2 P100 bills were tucked in the sample ballots of Yap who denied these came from his camp.

The canvassing in the province, however, didn't go smoothly. Eight SD cards were found defective and had to be reconfigured at the Comelec office in Cebu City. These SD cards contained the returns from the towns of Sagbayan, Tubigon and Panglao towns.

 While the canvassing resumed on Wednesday night, about 300 supporters of Evasco held a prayer-vigil in front of the Capitol to protect the uncanvassed ballots at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. Dr. Sharleen Lim, who lost mayoral bid to her nephew, Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell Yap II, said the prayer-vigil was their way to show support to Evasco whom she said was the rightful governor of Bohol.

“We are here to pray. We wished that the truth would come out, the real sentiment of the people would come out. We know for a fact that Evasco is winning. We know for a fact there was massive vote buying. There was even harassment done to our supporters so we were hoping against hope that this last precinct would show the real score,” said Lim.

But the crowd, however, after Yap was proclaimed past 3 a.m

In Loay town, a local dynasty in Bohol has crumbled after three family members lost in last Monday’s polls.

None of the Imboys, who ran for various elective positions, made it last elections.

The patriarch, incumbent Loay Vice Mayor Brigido Imboy, failed to make it in the magic 8 for the municipal council. The Commission on Elections data showed that he was 11th in the ranking.

His wife, Rosemarie Lim-Imboy, lost to a lawyer in the mayoral race in Loay town.  Three hours after the counting, Rosemarie posted a statement on her Facebook account, congratulating Ayuban for his victory.

Imboy’s daughter, incumbent Mayor Rochelle Brigitte Imboy-Abutazil, lost in her reelection bid against , Rodrigo Cubarol Jr.

In Tagbilaran City, voters gave incumbent Mayor John Geesnell “Baba” Yap II a landslide victory.

Yap garnered 43,924 votes against his aunt, Dr. Sharleen Lim who had  5,770 votes.

Lim is married to former Tagbilaran mayor Dan Lim, older brother of Yap’s mother.

“I would like to thank the Tagbilaranons for the opportunity to serve them for 3 more years under the ‘asenso (progress) pa more’ theme,” said Yap. “Rest assured that the consultative and participative style of governance will continue.”

Lim also thanked her supporters. “My slate and I may have lost this battle, but it is with heads up high and big smiles that we can say we fought fair and square because to the end, we did not resort to vote-buying,” she said in a post on Facebook.

Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso got a fresh term after he defeated Barangay Poblacion 1 Captain Arlene Karaan.

Other winners: Also proclaimed as vice governor-elect was outgoing Rep. Rene Relampagos of Bohol’s 1st district; outgoing Gov. Edgar Chatto as first district Representative; Aldner Damalerio, Ricky Masamayor and Lucille Lagunay as first district board members; Dionisio Victor Balite, Jade Bautista, Elpidio Bonita and Elpidio Jala as board members for 3rd district; and Vierna Boniel-Maglasang, Restituto Auxtero were also proclaimed as board members for 2nd district of Bohol. 


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

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Your vote matters

Scene:  A women advocate asked President Rodrigo Duterte to apologize for publicly flirting with Garcia Hernandez town Mayor Tita Baja-Gallentes. “Mr. President, stop attacking women. After days of just resting in Davao, you’d have more time to think of respectful ways to address the mayor,” said Akbayan Party-list nominee Doris Dinorog-Obena, who hails from Bohol. “The President should apologize to the mayor and to all Filipino women after his attacks. He should say sorry for his vile words for Mayor Baja-Gallentes. Bol-anons don’t deserve to be humiliated,” she added.

Scene:  Mayor Tita Baja-Gallentes of Garcia Hernandez town did not take offense over remarks of President Rodrigo Duterte that he wanted to run away with her and would not let her go even if it meant pulling her panty until it snaps. “First of all it was just, clearly, a joke.  I have spent 15 years in public service, so I’m not easily affected,” she said.  “I don't see any bad interpretation with those remarks. Thank you,” she added. Gallentes was referring to the remarks made by Duterte during a campaign rally in Bohol last Wednesday night wherein he said of Gallentes: “If it were me, why would I ever break up with you? I will really grab and hold on to your panty if you try to leave, even until the garter snaps. You’re just too beautiful.”


Every election, you have one vote. But that one vote can define the future of our country.

Vote wisely. Photo: Leo Udtohan
As we vote tomorrow, May 13, we will decide who will run our province for the next three years.  

Your vote is your dignity and respect.

While reading this little corner, read carefully the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV)’s 10 commandments for Responsible Voting:

1. Vote according to the dictates of your conscience.

2. Respect the decision of others in choosing their candidates.

3. Seek to know the moral integrity, capabilities, and other personal qualities of the candidates you will vote for.

4. Strive to understand the issues, platform, and programs of candidates and parties campaigning for your vote.

5. Do not sell your vote.

6. Do not vote for candidates using guns, goons, gold, and glitter.

7. Do not vote for candidates tainted with graft and corruption.

8. Do not vote for candidates simply because of “utang na loob” (debt of gratitude), popularity, good looks, or “pakikisama” (peer pressure).

9. Do not vote for candidates living an immoral life.

10. Always put the welfare of the country as top priority in choosing the candidate you will vote for.

VRS wants to hear from you. Tell me what you thought about the election! You can e-mail me at

Saturday, May 11, 2019

3, 580 government troops to secure May 13 polls in Bohol

A total of 3, 580 government troops will secure the May 13 elections in the province.

The Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) held a send-off ceremony at Camp Francis Dagohoy in this city last Friday, March 10.

The security forces are composed of troops from the  Philippine Army, Philippine National Police and the Philippine Coast Guard from  Bohol, Mandaue and Lapulapu City in Cebu.

Government troops are all set for the May 13 elections.
Photo by Leo Udtohan 
The ceremonial send-off was attended by ranking officials from the AFP, PNP, and Comelec.

"We are 100 percent ready," said Provincial Election Supervisor Eddie Aba after receiving the 3,560 government troops and resources to secure Bohol for clean and peaceful elections.

Colonel Julius Cesar Gornez, BPPO director, said the security plans of the police force in the province are all set.

"We should know our job, do our job and do it right," said Gornez.

Bohol has 898,682 registered voters with a total of 1,065 voting centers, which will all be secured by police personnel on election day and will also provide a round-the-clock security during the poll process.

A mass was held by Rev. Fr.  Lukas Wona, SVD who blessed the troops and the firearms, equipment, gears, and mobile cars to be used by the police and military forces for the May 13 elections in Bohol.

The troops also secured the machines (vote counting machines and voter registration verification machines) at the polling precints after  the final testing and sealing held on Friday morning.

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

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Travels with Andy D.

The last time I saw  fellow Boholano Andy Digal Doria was in 2015 during a whirlwind visit to Los Angeles.  

Andy, an insurance broker in California, is a fashionista famous for his sexy facial hair.

When at home, he loves to cook using Saladmaster, the world premium 316 surgical stainless steel cookware that inspires better cooking, healthier living and a variety of delicious opportunities. He’s really confident when he’s in the kitchen with Saladmaster.

"Santorini erupts with charm,” says Boholano traveller Andy Digal Doria, who visited the island recently which is immortalized by poets and painters. 

What I love Andy is he likes to travel.

So far, Andy has visited 25 countries including Canada, Japan, Prague, Singapore and France. His favorites are Amsterdam in Netherlands and Santorini, Greece.

Just recently, he visited Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary and Greece for 14 days!

What’s in Andy’s backpack when he travels?

Of course, first and foremost on the list is his passport, cash and sunblock.    
“They are a must,” he said. “Otherwise, I would get lost.”

The reasons why people love to travel are varied.  But for Andy, travel is not about how many new cool things you see, but how you experience them.

“Travel definitely makes me happy,” he said.

Whether it’s your first time visiting Europe or you visit multiple times per year, Andy said avoiding some of the most common travel mistakes will make your trip so much more enjoyable.

From the background of these pictures,
 it’s easy to tell where Andy Digal Doria
posed for posterity. Travel,
according to Andy, broadens someone’s
 perspective, making a person more aware
and open to new things.
Here are tips for travelling Europe:

1. Check visa requirements. “A quick search online will find tourist visa requirements and whether you need to acquire a visa upon arrival at the airport or online prior to arrival,” said Andy.

2. Make reservations in advance.  “Booking airfare, hotels, train tickets, and tours in advance also ensures that you are getting the best price,” he said.

3. Visit on Off season. Traveling during the off season is the best way to avoid the crowds and save money on accommodations, airfare, train tickets and tours.

4. Use budget airlines.  

5. Bring comfortable shoes to walk everywhere. As one of the best ways to explore a city, you will do lots of walking during your European vacation, therefore having a pair of comfortable walking shoes is a must

6. Bring suitcase you can carry. Packing light. “Bring a backpack. You’ll need something to carry your phone, camera and souvenirs while you’re out exploring in Europe,” he said.

7. Pay with cash mostly, use your credit card sparingly.

8. Travel by train and stay longer in one place.

9. Do as the locals do.

10. Learn the language.

Andy’s dream trips are to Moscow in Russia next year.

“I would also like to visit Scandinavia,” he said.

Scandinavia covers the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

In the meantime, Andy is busy preparing for his homecoming this week. He plans to explore Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, Dumaguete and Leyte.

In Bohol, Andy would like to visit his relatives in Loboc, Sevilla and Alburquerque. And of course, he would want to attend every fiesta.

Speaking of fiesta, in every sitio, barangay (village), town, somewhere, we are celebrating the merry month of fiestas here in Bohol province.

The island sinks about an inch during May because thousands of Bol-anons who come home to attend the many town and barrio fiestas celebrated during the month.  

The fiesta celebration is not complete without the famous lechon (roasted pig), humba (stewed pork) and plenty of beer and tuba to match.

If you are adventurous enough, you can practically go round the whole province without any money and eat for free and experience the famous Boholano hospitality.

Everyone is welcome, no invitations required!

May 1 - Tagbilaran City (Saint Joseph the Worker)
May 4 – Alburquerque (Santa Monica)
May 4 – Mabini (Santa Monica)
May 4 – Sagbayan (San Agustin)
May 8 - San Miguel (Saint Michael)
May 10 - Calape (Saint Vincent Ferrer)
May 15 - Bilar  (Saint Isidore the Farmer)
May 15 - Trinidad (Saint Isidore)
May 15 - Tubigon (San Isidro Labrador)
May 19 - Candijay (Saint Joseph)
May 29 – Talibon (Blessed Trinity)
Last Saturday of May (Holy Trinity)- Talibon

P.S. Pakapin lang ning June He! He! He!

June 13- Sikatuna- (Saint Anthony de Padua)
June 15- Loay  (Holy Trinity)
June 24- Garcia-Hernandez (Saint John the Baptist)
June 29- Loboc (Saint Peter the Apostle)
June 30 –Inabanga (Saint Paul the Apostle)

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