Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Koja: A clam that makes Booy a destination

Scene: Undefeated Filipino boxer Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo returns to fight in "Pride of Bohol” on Aug. 31 at the Bohol Wisdom Gymnasium.

Scene:  Radio personality and public servant Julian "Teban" Daan passed away last Wednesday, August 21. "Sabrina Rayna sa Karagatan" is my all-time radio drama favorite written by Teban.

Scene:  From Chiqui Hollman’s trendsetting Crazy Colors in the late ‘70s; Pops Fernandez’ Crazy Curls in the ‘80s; and Milk and Gold Rebonding from the ‘90s through the new millennium, hair and beauty innovator Jun Quimpan (Fausto Quimpan Jr in real life) had been at the forefront of solving the Boholanas' most urgent image problems. The hair and beauty guru known by all as Jun passed away on Wednesday, August 21 at 52.  Cebu-based artist Edik Dolotina shared on Facebook that Quimpan was his hair cutter since college. "He is a great stylist, setting my hair in orange, blue, blond, green, one of the few people who dared in a conservative Bohol," said Dolotina. "Jun took styling seriously, aside from a great singer, together with Bebei Tagoctoc, they made beauty pageants more beautiful," he added. Talent manager Roger Ryan Magtagad  of The Art Noveu (Tan) said it was Quimpan who helped her transition she went out at age 16.  Jun, together with his partner Bebei Tagoctoc, he changed the face of beauty pageant and hairstyling in Bohol and helped many LGBT members to know their valuable role in helping and making a difference in other people’s lives.

If the stalls, rocks and the seas at Caingget Beach in Tagbilaran City could speak, they’d tell the same tale: The stars were here!
A visit to Bohol is deemed incomplete without dropping by the famous Caingget Beach to  taste the koja.  Photos by Leo Udtohan

Indeed, Filipino celebrities like Nora Aunor, the late Fernando Poe Jr., Eddie Perigrina, Victor Wood, Bernard Bonin, Stella Strada, TonTon Gutierrez and Cesar "Buboy" Montano, have at one time, dined in Caingget Beach that is renowned for fresh seafoods and koja.

Caingget Beach is known for koja, a sea clam abundantly found here that it has become a popular delicacy in the province both for locals and tourists.

Koja is so good that even top-rating show Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho (KMJS) has  featured the clam in 2007 that  intrigued with no less than Buboy Montano raving.

Koja is a collective name for saltwater clams of Chama lazarus and Spondylus of genus of bivalve molluscs.
While you eat koja fresh, vendors can 
cook level-up koja recipes-  abobo, calderita,
  Bicol Express and lumpia. Photos by Leo Udtohan

Chama is a genus of cemented saltwater clams in the family Chamidae, while Spondylus is in the family Spondylidae. They are known in English as thorny oysters or spiny oysters (though they are not, in fact, true oysters).

At Caingget Beach, many species of Spondylus and Chama vary considerably in appearance. Locals call them tapurok (Chama), tikud-tikod and koja (Spondylus), grouped in the same superfamily as the scallops.

The original koja divers were the late Angi Gabi, Juan Bermoy, Gunying Tagulalac, Pabling Telmo, George Gabi and Armando Oguis.

Early in the morning, some 10 fishermen including Aniano Quibol, Tito Niluag and  Boy Deja dive at least three to six feet deep to harvest koja that look like ordinary stones.

They break the seashells using an improvised hammer and use a small knife to extract the meat from the shell.  Vendors sell it for Php50 per serve.
The annual Koja Festival is held every July 24 at
Caingget Beach to honor the koja divers and vendors.
Photos by Leo Udtohan
To honor the koja divers and vendors, an annual Koja Festival is held every July 24 at Caingget Beach.

Different activities are held to entertain festival goers included koja cooking, lumba sa yaruk sa tuba (coconut wine drinking) and swimming contests.

While you eat koja fresh, vendors can cook level-up koja recipes-  abobo, calderita,  Bicol Express and lumpia, well, just for the festival only.

Vendors are not trying to be fancy. Those who are not familiar with the taste will eventually warm up to it. The food tastes even better because of, well, nostalgia.The heaviest day is Sunday to eat koja and other seafoods, eliminating gustatory confusion.

Koja, like most seafoods, is perfect when eaten fresh with chili and camote (sweet potato) and banana, along with tuba (coconut wine).

Residents claimed koja is an aphrodisiac that arouses sexual instinct or brings on desire or increases sexual pleasure or performance. But there was no scientific study that can support koja can increase libido or fertility.

Although Caingget Beach is getting stiff competition from other public beaches and restaurants, the vendors are unperturbed.

Many of the vendors and divers are open to rehabilitate the place to bring back the old glory of a famous landmark in the city.

“Just taste the koja,” said Francing Ayeng.

She was right. One bite and you’d think you had died and gone to heaven.And that’s just for starters.  
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Friday, August 23, 2019



 The Latin Recording Academy announced today , Aug. 22, 2019, that Eva Ayllón, Joan Baez, José Cid,Lupita D’Alessio, Hugo Fattoruso, Pimpinela, Omara Portuondo, and José Luis Rodríguez "El Puma," will receive this year's Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, Mario Kaminsky will receive the Trustees Award.

The honorees will be celebrated during a private luncheon ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas on Nov. 13, 2019, as part of the milestone 20th anniversary Latin GRAMMY week.

Singer, composer and Latin GRAMMY winner Johnny Ventura, and renowned Mexican journalist Paola Rojas will be the hosts of the event.

"I’m delighted to recognize a remarkable and well-rounded group of individuals with this year’s Lifetime Achievement and Trustees Awards," said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., Latin Recording Academy President/CEO.

"Each of these legends continues leaving their mark in the Latin music world through their talent, grace, and passion for creating sounds that have vibrated throughout our communities while helping to build our music for decades. We are looking forward to spotlighting their accomplishments during our landmark 20th anniversary Latin GRAMMY week."

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to performers who have made contributions of outstanding artistic significance to Latin music. The Trustees Award is bestowed to individuals who have made significant contributions, other than performance, to music during their careers. The Latin Recording Academy's Board of Trustees is the body that votes on both distinctions.

Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees:

Eva Ayllón (Peru)
Eva Ayllón is one of the most celebrated voices in the Afro-Peruvian tradition. Her career started as a member of the popular group Los Kipus, with whom she recorded a catalog of Peruvian folk gems marked by nostalgic melodies and lilting guitar harmonies, followed by a debut solo album, Esta Noche, six years later. Ayllón performed a series of unforgettable concerts at Lima's Teatro Municipal throughout the '90s. Her fame spread beyond South America, with frequent European tours, performances at Carnegie Hall, and a live DVD recorded in Los Angeles. Besides joining the Peruvian version of "The Voice" as a coach, Ayllón continues to tour while expanding her recorded repertoire with a wide array of Latin styles.

Joan Baez (U.S.)
Folk superstar singer-songwriter Joan Baez bravely embraced her Latin roots in times where being Latino in the U.S. would backfire in most cases. By recording luminous versions of classic Latin anthems in the '60s, she helped pioneer the American roots revival, paving the way for like-minded artists such as Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. In 1974, she released her Latin magnum opus, Gracias A La Vida, that framed her never ending context of fighting for the socially abandoned, civic causes and cultural values. With definitive renditions of "Guantanamera," Víctor Jara's "Te Recuerdo Amanda," and even the self-penned "Las Madres Cansadas" Baez has continued exploring an eclectic array of genres and styles across more than 30 albums.

José Cid (Portugal)
José Cid has effortlessly adapted the influence of Anglo popular music into an original style of Portuguese pop-rock. In 1956, the emergence of his cover band Os Babies marked a before-and-after moment for pop-rock in Portugal. His next group, Quarteto 1111, created the foundations of Portuguese rock, with a strong psychedelic tinge and groundbreaking releases such as the massive 1967 hit "A Lenda De El-Rei D. Sebastião." Continuing as a solo artist, in 1978 he released 10000 Anos Depois Entre Vénus E Marte, widely considered a progressive rock masterpiece. As he reached a new stage of musical maturity in the '80s, Cid turned his songbook to the roots of Portugal on the haunting Fado De Sempre. With dozens of hits under his belt, he remains a major concert draw in Portugal, releasing new music and live concert albums.

Lupita D’Alessio (Mexico)
Lupita D’Alessio, also known as "La Leona Dormida" (the Sleeping Lioness) began her career in the early '70s and continues to this day. She has moved effortlessly between slick pop hooks and epic ranchera sessions and has been a key singer in Mexican popular music for the past five decades. In 1971, she released her superb debut, Mi Corazón Es Un Gitano. Boasting ornate arrangements, the album included hit singles such as "Con Amor" and the title track, a cover of an Italian hit. By the mid-'70s, D’Alessio found additional success in the children's music genre and in the '80s she appeared on Mexican soap operas and had a string of radio hits. Since then, she has continued releasing albums and she re-emerged as a key performer after 2010 and in 2017 launched the autobiographical TV series "Hoy Voy A Cambiar."

Hugo Fattoruso (Uruguay)
Iconic Uruguayan keyboardist, singer, and composer Hugo Fattoruso is known for blending rock and roll, electric jazz, and bossa nova with traditional styles and creating his own contemporary sound, which led to a number of key records that span the past six decades of Latin music. Fattoruso began playing the piano professionally at age 12 with his father and brother Osvaldo—a lifelong collaborator—as part of Trío Fattoruso. In the mid-'60s he founded Los Shakers, which became one of the first bands to define the rock en español genre. The band's 1968 album, La Conferencia Secreta Del Toto's Bar, was a definitive masterpiece of the genre, and the next year Fattoruso and his brother released La Bossa Nova De Hugo Y Osvaldo. Fattoruso spent most of the '70s in the United States playing with the trio Opa before moving to Brazil in the '80s, where he worked with a gallery of musical giants, from Milton Nascimento and Chico Buarque to Djavan and Maria Bethânia. In recent years, Fattoruso has performed in a variety of formats and settings, continuing to explore the fusion of jazz and South American folk. His discography includes dozens of albums, rich in innovation and experimentation.

Pimpinela (Argentina)
Argentinian brother-sister duo Pimpinela's novel approach of mixing music with theatrical drama changed the face of Latin pop, generating sales of more than 30 million records. The emotional honesty and rich melodic content of their work struck a chord with the public beginning with their 1984 hit "Olvídame Y Pega La Vuelta." In the '80s they released albums in English, Italian, and Portuguese, and performed at the Viña del Mar International Song Festival, and collaborated with Spanish crooner Dyango. In the '90s they embarked on a change of style, favoring a more relaxed approach and experimenting with traditional Latin formats. Always eager to try new projects, in 2003 they released an album of Italian pop covers titled Al Modo Nuestro, staged the musical comedy Pimpinela, La Familia in 2010, and even published an autobiography in 2017.

Omara Portuondo (Cuba)
Few vocalists have enjoyed a career as dazzling and mercurial as veteran Cuban singer Omara Portuondo. Born in Havana in 1930, Portuondo began her career as a dancer before joining the all-female Orquesta Anacaona in the early '50s. In 1952, she and her sister Haydeé, along with Elena Burke and Moraima Secada, helped form the vocal quartet Cuarteto D’Aida, acclaimed for its refreshing combination of jazz harmonies and traditional Cuban styles. Portuondo remained with Cuarteto for 15 years, performing in Cuba and touring the United States while finding the time to record a stunning debut album, Magia Negra, in 1959. Later, Portuondo remained active as a member of classiccharanga Orquesta Aragón, touring in Europe, Africa, and recording a series of solo performances. In 1999, her performance of "Silencio" with Compay Segundo for the Buena Vista Social Club film soundtrack was a highlight of the million-selling album. In 2000, the Social Club presented an exquisite album featuring Portuondo, and in 2009 she received a Latin GRAMMY Award for Best Contemporary Tropical Album for Gracias. At 89, she remains active in the recording studio and on concert stages around the globe.

José Luis Rodríguez (Venezuela)
José Luis Rodríguez, also known worldwide as "El Puma," transcended the boundaries of classic Venezuelan baladasand Latin pop, becoming a cultural treasure for people all over Latin America and in many countries around the world. He began his career singing as a kid with the pop group Los Zeppy, but in 1963, bandleader Luis María "Billo" Frómeta spotted him on a television show and invited him to join Billo's Caracas Boys (Venezuela's great Afro-Caribbean orchestra). Rodríguez spent four years singing boleros, merengues, and other tropical formats, honing the smoldering vocal style that he would later transpose to the balada genre. In 1968, he simultaneously released the album Lo Romántico De José Luis while acting in soap operas. In 1972, he expanded his style with a broader pop repertoire and gained his artistic moniker when portraying the character El Puma in the soap opera "Una Muchacha Llamada Milagros."  International success arrived in the late '70s, with recordings in Spain and the release of major hits such as "Voy A Perder La Cabeza Por Tu Amor," "Pavo Real," and "Dueño De Nada." In 2017, he survived a double-lung transplant and returned to action in 2019 with the appropriately titled Agradecido (Grateful) tour.

Trustees Award Honoree:

Mario Kaminsky (Argentina)
The enjoyment, promotion, and preservation of music has been at the core of Mario Kaminsky's professional life for over 60 years. The Argentine executive who was a native of Chile has been involved in every possible aspect of the business, including the intersection of music, film, and television. Kaminsky founded Microfón Argentina, a record label in 1959. It was through the management of this label that Kaminsky's strength as an eclectic tastemaker shone through, effectively changing the landscape of Latin music by recording pioneering artists such as singer/guitarist Atahualpa Yupanqui, folk groups Los Chalchaleros and Los Fronterizos, and iconic rock stars Charly García and Luis Alberto Spinetta. After tremendous efforts and not less success, Microfón and Mario became considered the home and father of rock en español. The Microfón catalog was sold to Sony in 1995, as Kaminsky continued to explore new creative avenues. From 1997 to 2000, he was president of the Argentine branch of Fonovisa Records. He has also played a prominent role in radio, television, music publishing, and film production.

Latin GRAMMY Week will culminate with the 20th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards, which will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Nov. 14, from 8–11 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. Central) on Univision.

For more information and the latest news, please visit the official Latin Recording Academy website at: LatinGRAMMY.com (#LatinGRAMMY).

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Cleia Tadena: The Eskaya girl with the golden voice

Retired hospital administrative staff Fidelito Digal Doria
 (second from right) with his nephew, US-based
insurance broker Andy Digal Doria and niece Fatima at
The Buzzz last May 23, 2019. 

: Sandra Jele, who represents Tagbilaran City, in Mutya Pilipinas 2019. The pageant night is on Aug. 18 at SM MOA Arena at 7 p.m.

Seen: Brian Klein Villapaz Fernandez, a graduate of the University of Bohol, held the 8th spot with a rating of 85.55 percent in the Physical Therapist Licensure Examination given by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) last August 2019.

Scene: Lobocanon Fidelito Digal Doria, a retired hospital administrative staff at Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital, passed away last Aug. 11. He was 62. Known to his friends as "Dodong", Sir Fedel was a wide reader (he was also a fan of The Bohol Chronicle) and a story-teller. The last time I met him was on May 23 this year when his nephew, US-based fashionista and insurance broker Andy Digal Doria and his sister Fatima visited him. So long Sir Fidel.


The mountainous regions of Bohol hide one of the province’s well-kept mysteries—the Eskaya Tribe. But it also hide a young girl whose voice reverberates in the mountains, a lullaby for neighbors in a less visited place.  

Cleia Tadena from Eskaya Tribe in Taytay, Duero.
Photo: abs-cbn.com
Cleia Tadena, from the Eskaya Tribe in Taytay, Duero town brought her heritage to a wider audience when she joined "The Voice Kids Philippines,” the first in her tribe to share and charm the nation with her voice.

The Eskaya is an indigenous tribe found in the hinterlands of the towns of Duero, Guindulman, Pilar and Sierra Bullones, Bohol's southeast interior. The settlement of this tribe is at Biabas, Guindulman, established in the early 20th century by one Mariano Datahan. The tribe has its own distinct culture, literature, and language.

Cleia, a Grade 5 student at Taytay Elem. School, bagged the top spot in the provincial search for Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Kids for 2019 organized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to recognize the performance of children belonging to the family beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

The awarding ceremony was held last week at the Panda Tea.

Criste Tadena receives the award
on behalf of her daughter Cleia
who was the winner in the provincial
 search for Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Kids
for 2019 organized by the Department
 of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Photo: Leo Udtohan
Cleia, 10, is eldest of three siblings. Her younger sister, 6-year-old Cian and Ernie Jr, 2. His father, Ernie, 37, is a farmer while her mother, Criste, 29, is a housewife.

Cleia performed effortlessly “Oras Na” last Sunday’s episode of “The Voice Kids,” while delivering a fresh sound to those familiar with the lyrics. The three judges- Lea Salonga and Bamboo and Sara Geronimo- turned for her. But it isn’t just her stage presence captivating a crowd of followers. It’s her highly relatable, humble disposition as well.

Criste said Cleia likes singing when she was two years old. Her favorite songs were "My Heart Will Go On" of Celine Dion and "May Bukas Pa" by Rico J. Puno.

Criste narrated that when the family had TV, Cleia was curious to watch singing contests. She would ask her lola how to be inside the TV.

Years later, Cleia’s question was answered on TV last Sunday.

“Nalipay ko pag-ayo kay dili tanan bata makaabot ana,” Criste told VRS.

As she continues her journey in “The Voice Kids Philippines,”  Cleia's eyes are gleaming with excitement; her voice resonates with enthusiasm.


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

Thursday, August 15, 2019

LGBTQ+ Inabanga members show support for Gretchen Diez

Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) community in Inabanga town are showing some love for the Filipino LGBTQ+ community after transgender woman Gretchen Diez was discriminated against in a mall in Quezon City.
Gerwin Melicor Yudelmo

Gerwin Melicor Yudelmo, LGBTQ+ Inabanga vice president, shared a photo of a rainbow flag on his Facebook account to enlighten netizens about the concept of sexual orientation, gender identity and sexual characteristics.

"May #GretchenDiez story will trigger the Philippine Government that we are still not safe, and that the SOGIE bill is so important to the Filipino LGBTQ+," he said.

For Yudelmo, one way to avoid this problem is for companies to hold gender sensitivity seminars to educate employees.

"It is also important that employers include SOGIE education to their employees as part of corrective action plan to help prevent future incident," he said.

Transgender Gretchen Custodio Diez (Queen of the Philippines 2019 candidate) was cursed, pushed, slapped and handcuffed by Araneta Center Farmers' Market security after being blocked by using the female toilet, then brought to the Camp Karingal police station.

Following the incident of Diez, Yudelmo encouraged LGBTQ+ not to lose hope and continue to fight for their rights.

"We are with you #GretchenDiez," said Yudelmo who used the hashtag #SOGIEEqualityNow,
#PassSOGIEEqualityBillNow and #GenderNeutralWashroom.
He also believed the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill is an answer to solve the problem of discrimination.


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

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Pareng Yap and Mareng Jade no-show at Asoy's son's baptism

A dance pair from BIT International
 College in Tagbilaran City, Bohol
 is now an internet sensation after their
video becomes viral.  Screenshot 
Scene: Celebrity Chef Boy Logro at Ubay municipal gymnasium for Pilmico food, agri and livelihood expo on Saturday, Aug. 10. As the food subsidiary of the Aboitiz Group, part of Pilmico’s advocacy is to promote sustainable livelihood through backyard farming.  The event was to create a venue that celebrates local businesses and opportunities for aspiring agri-entrepreneurs.

Seen: Maricor "Hearty" Benitez-De Leon, mother of Jane De Leon, the new  Darna, spotted in Barangay Ubujan, Tagbilaran City.

Scene: A video of a dance pair becomes viral on the social media.  Cristorey Vincent Cavalida, 16, and Angelyn Prieto, 17, from BIT International College in Tagbilaran City, Bohol joined the basic education day “DanceSport” competition. In the video, the pair is seen starting their performance with the usual Latin dance steps. A little later, Cavalida starts to go freestyling with some hip-hop moves.  The crowd goes craze on the part when Cavalida’s shoe incidentally goes into the air.  Prieto told VRS that they didn’t have enough time to practice for the competition.   Nevertheless, they enjoyed the event.  The video has 800,000 views.

The Asoy family celebrates the baptism
of Ceff Khydox. Fr. Anecito "Joy-Joy" Polinar
officiated the baptism of Ceff Khydox
at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Church
in Sevilla town. Photo by Helen Darato Del Rosario

These "Things You Should Know" from Googled Facts shared to me by some friends.

1.) When you wake at 3am, without any reasons, there is someone looking or watching you (spirits I think).
2.) In every 200 people we met everyday, two of them are ghost.
3.) When you walk at night, your weight is heavier than in the morning. It's because some spirits are hanging at your shoulder for a free ride.
4.) Ghost has sense of humor and love to hear human's laugh. The more you laugh, the more you attracts ghost.
5.) People who bite straw when drinking are a good kisser.
6.) When someone gives you a nickname, it means you're special to that person.
7.) In the circle of your friend, there is at least one who secretly admiring you.
8.) It takes 15 months and 27 days to forget someone you love with all your heart.
9.) People who are good in Math are the people who always complicated in their relationship.
10.) When you found out that someone like you, a little part of you starting to like them back even when you have no feelings before.
11.) When a woman's ring finger has the same size with the man's little finger, they are meant to be.
12.) Man only fell inlove once and the rest are product of attraction.
13.) Girl who lacks in height will be the prettiest one.
14.) At the age of 16, 80% of people have already met the person they are going to marry.
15.) Everytime you see your crush, your life extended for 4hours.
16.) Tall guys and short girls makes the cutest couple.
17.) In argument, the one who says 'sorry', loves you more.
18.) Having communication with your ex without the consent of your bf/gf is already considered as a 'cheating'.
19.) Heart grows weaker everytime we do something opposite of what we feel.
20.) Kissing is more hygienic and healthier than shaking hands.

Godparents welcome Ceff Khydox to the
 Christian world on Friday, Aug. 9.
Photo by Helen Darato Del Rosario 
My Kumpareng Art and Kumareng Jade didn’t make it to the baptism of Ceff Khydox, son of former youth leaders Doxson Asoy and Marie Karen Joy (nee Digal) Friday afternoon, Aug. 9, at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Church in Sevilla town.

That’s how I call Bohol Gov. Art Yap and provincial board member Jade Acapulco Bautista that we were godparents in the occasion —kumpare and kumare. But I failed to attend the important occasion for health reasons.

Asked if she was disappointed, a smiling Karen said no. “I know Gov. Art Yap has busy schedules for the province and for the people.”

Board Member Jade, she said, had an earlier appointment.

Instead, Gov. Yap and BM Jade congratulated Doxson and Karen earlier.

Some classmates and friends of the young couple stood as ninangs and ninongs.

Fr. Anecito "Joy-Joy" Polinar officiated the baptism.

Doxson, an aviation engineer based in Singapore, went home for his only son's baptism. He was the provincial federated president of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) and a former town councilor of San Isidro town.

Karen, a former municipal federated president of SK Sevilla, is the daughter of former Sevilla mayors (the late) Ceferino and Ernesita "Nene" Digal.

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Sunday, August 4, 2019

300 moms simultaneously breastfeed babies in Bohol

Scene: Police Colonel Jonathan Cabal formally took over as Bohol Provincial Police Office director on Aug. 1, replacing Col. Julius Cesar Gornez, who was BPPO chief for six months. Cabal vowed to be more liberal and a result-oriented police director. “I will lead by example and I will always be fair,” he said.

Scene: The 10th birthday of Bohol Balita Daily News.

Scene: The alarming increase of suicide cases in Bohol has prompted the public discussion of the level of awareness on mental health issues in the province.  


The second Global Big Latch On in Bohol. Photos:  Leo Udtohan

"Breastmilk is still best for babies," a statement we usually see and hear at the end of formula milk commercials, still holds true until today. 

Invited guests. 

More than 300 mothers from Bohol gathered at the BQ Mall on Saturday, Aug. 3, to breast-feed their babies simultaneously for one minute to join the Global Big Latch On.

The event, a second time in the province, was spearheaded by the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital for
the World Breast Feeding Month.

After the simultaneous latch-on, lactation experts, peer counselors, and breastfeeding advocacy supporters shared the benefits and importance of breastfeeding to the mothers.

There were invited guests like former beauty queen Ebone Cimafranca-Ong and Tagbilaran City Mayor Baba Yap and wife Jane.

“Kilay Doctor” Karla Tirol Magno, proprietor of The Brow Clinic and Beauty Lounge also shared her breastfeeding journey.

Participant Hannah Balite shared that each latch is an intimate moment “which keeps my heart falling in love with motherhood and the wonders a mother’s body can do.” She said she feels so blessed to exclusively direct breastfeed her little one since day one with a relatively smooth experience.

Police Colonel Jonathan Cabal. Photo:  Leo Udtohan
For Angelica Omus-Trigo, breastfeeding isn’t easy.  “Sometimes, I doubt about having enough mil for lil one because my breasts aren’t that engorged,” said Trigo, a mother of one-month-old Clian Gideon. “Nevertheless, I continue to exclusively breastfeed my son.”

Photo and glam mom/baby fashion show contests were also held to enliven the event.

According to a UNICEF global database, 34% of Filipino children were fed only breast milk, with no additional foods or liquids, before the age of 6 months. The organization cited data from 2008, the most recent available.

Many of the mothers are having difficulty with breastfeeding, and they don't really appreciate the benefits of breastfeeding because the media promotes formula milk.

"We need to really advocate breastfeeding," said Karla.

The World Health Assembly calls for an increase in the rate of global exclusive breast-feeding to at least 50% by 2025.

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