Showing posts with label Bishop Alberto Uy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bishop Alberto Uy. Show all posts

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Loboc Wildlife & Nature Park is Bohol’s newest attraction

Scene: AJ Wincielou Johanna “Cielo” Araoarao Gabin was one of the TOP 9 passers of the Civil Service -SubProfessional Examination (National Level). She placed 6th as the only top performer in Central Visayas and Bohol. Cielo is the daughter of Engr. Jerome Gabin and Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin.

SPO3 Melinda Mendez- Basalo, duty team
leader of the PNP Personnel of Tagbilaran Aviation,
assisted and facilitated the arrival of the cast
 of “Home Sweetie Home” like Piolo Pascual, Toni
Gonzaga and Ogie Alcasid.  Contributed Photos
SceneKapamilya actor Piolo Pascual joined the rest of ABS-CBN’s “Home Sweetie Home” cast on their Bohol trip last week (May 21).  Home Sweetie Home is a situational comedy topbilled by John Lloyd Cruz and Toni Gonzaga. Later on, Piolo Pascual was officially added late last year due to John Lloyd’s absence. Fans shared photos of Papa Piolo, Toni G at the airport and at Flushing Meadows where they had a shoot. According to fans, Piolo’s smiles melt the hearts and washed all the stress away.

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A little over a hundred species of animals— and counting, many are endemic to the Philippines, roaming on one-hectare of natural environment in an interior mountain village of Loboc town.

The opening of the Loboc Wildlife and Nature Park
in an interior mountain village is also an opportunity
to put Loboc on the tourism map.  Photo shows (l-r)
Businesswoman Uca Trotin, Loboc Councilor Boboy Baguio,
Loboc Mayor Helen Calipusan-Alaba, provincial disaster
 risk reduction and management officer Anthony Damalerio,
former Loboc Mayor Leon Calipusan and Loboc Councilor
Margel Hilot during the grand opening of the wildlife and nature
park last Saturday, May 26. 
Photo courtesy: Anthony Damalerio
The Loboc Wildlife and Nature Park in Barangay Bonbon Upper is part of a 1-hectare property, some 30 kilometers from Tagbilaran City.

The huge property boasts of hundred species of animals including  the Mariana deer, ostrich and a lion can also be seen from a distance grazing on the park.

The park also has reptiles such as crocodiles and snakes, the most prominent of which is the albino Burmese python.

Many bird species such as the crowned pigeons, parrots, peacocks, lories, wild ducks, can be seen. The birds freely fly or perch on trees inside the structure.

The animals are kept in huge cages but prowl in open spaces to simulate their natural habitat.

Elevated steel walkways serve as viewing deck for Philippine crocodiles.  Bearcat lives nearby.

The favorite selfie spot remains the bearcat cage and the “serpentarium” where visitors can feed the bearcat and hold the snakes.

Guests who had been there were all in awe with what they saw.

“The snakes and deer are my favorites,” said 5-year-old Mario, who went to the park last Saturday with his parents and friends.

Visitors can interact and feed some animals inside the Loboc Wildlife and Nature Park
which is now home to hundreds of animals- and counting.  Leo Udtohan
Visitors can take a cool walk down the canopy trail under the shelter of trees.

The park is not all about animals as guests will also be treated to the breathtaking sight of over hundreds of trees and other plants.  The trees are marked with their local and scientific names.

And, all this is just phase 1 of the park.

Former Loboc Mayor Leon Calipusan, one of the owners, said they intend to bring in more animals by the end of this year.

He said the opening of Loboc Wildlife and Nature Park is more than just lifting and boosting Loboc’s image as a tourism destination, but is also about improving the quality of livelihood in the town.

Loboc is known as the music capital of Bohol with the floating restaurants as one of the added attractions.

About 50 workers are employed in the park are from Loboc.  Calipusan said part of the proceeds from the entrance fee helps fund school children in Loboc town.

Topnotcher AJ Wincielou Johanna “Cielo” Gabin
in a rare moment with Bishop Alberto Uy
of the Diocese of Tagbilaran after she and her
 parents- Engr. Jerome and Fiel Angeli Gabin
and younger brother Renji, participated
 in the Flores de Mayo  at the Saint
 Joseph the Worker
  Cathedral.  Contributed Photo
“We’ve initially hired 50 employees for the Loboc Wildlife and Nature Park, and we will increase the employment as soon as we will introduce more activities here,” Calipusan said.

Provincial disaster risk reduction and management officer Anthony Damalerio, who represented Gov. Edgar Chatto, said that the Loboc Wildlife and Nature Park was a welcome development in Bohol’s tourism industry.

“This is an added attraction of Bohol where locals and foreign guests will love this place,” he said during the grand opening of the park last Saturday, May 26.

Other guests during the opening were Loboc Mayor Helen Calipusan-Alaba, Lourdes Sultan of Travel Village, Bohol Tourism Officer Josephine Remolador-Cabarrus, Loboc Councilors Margel Hilot and Boboy Baguio, businesswoman Uca Trotin and barangay officials.

Calipusan said they will be developing another five hectares for an adventure park where tourists can camp and trek.

Though these structures are still on the drawing board, the nature park alone has certainly placed Loboc on the tourism map.

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Year in review 2017: The shocking events that changed Bohol in 2017

As the New Year approaches, it seems like every year is dubbed “a year like no other.” But 2017 truly was more dramatic than many other years in recent memory.

In the last 12 months, we faced terrorism, discovered new attractions and talked about shocking feats and deaths.

From the murder of an environmentalist lawyer, to downfall of power couple, to Abu Sayyaf infiltration in the province and Miss Universe beauties, take a look back at the key moments of 2017, as they were reported by your trusted VRS.

The New Year started with the formal installation rites of Bishop Alberto Uy as the new bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran at the St. Joseph Cathedral. It was officiated by His Excellency Archbishop Bernadito Auza, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.

There can be no doubt that 2017 will be remembered
as one of the most eventful years in Bohol’s history.
The month of January also saw young Boholano talent Julia Faith Joaquin into the road of stardom as she sang her way to the semi-finals on ABS-CBN’s Tawag ng Tanghalan (TNT).

So, while you and I were sleeping, Miss Universe 2016 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach had a whirlwind visit to Bohol last Jan. 23 to shoot a video for the Department of Tourism to be used for the Miss Universe 2016 coronation night on Jan. 30. Since it was a surprise visit, many fans were dismayed they didn’t get to see her since there was no Miss Universe event staged in Bohol.

Speaking of Miss Universe 2016, your VRS was the only media personality from Visayas and Mindanao who was invited during the strictly by-invitation red carpet event. Your VRS had the chance to interview the candidates, former beauty queens, judges and performers of the 65th Miss Universe a few hours before the grand coronation event.

“There is no formula to is being at the right time and the right place and the right judges,” said Miss Universe 1973 Margie Moran.

The 66th Miss Universe held in Las Vegas was over but the Miss Universe fever in the Philippines has not subsided yet. Last December 8, Miss Universe 2017 candidates- Miss Philippines Rachel Peters, Miss Russia Kseniya Alexandrova and Miss Malaysia Samantha James, visited Bohol for at least six hours.

The vigilance of ordinary residents prevented the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) to establish a base in Bohol. Children reported the presence of armed men and the quick-thinking of a habal-habaldriver helped the government troops locate the remaining members and killed them.

We will missed environmental activist, health advocate and visionary-leader Zenaida Darunday who paved the way to countless earthkeeping advocacies in Bohol, strongly opposed the controversial "water and power deal” and prevented the entry of GMOs here.

We bid farewell to Bohol’s Queen of Tourism Rose Soy who paved the way for the now booming Bohol tourism in her capacity as a travel specialist; educator and businesswoman Dr. Cristeta Balili-Tirol who co-founded the Victoriano D. Tirol (VDT) Advanced Learning Center and Cristel-E; andVictoria Migriño Chatto, who once served as town mayor of Balilihan.

We bid adieu to two bishops- Rev.  Juan De Dios Pueblos, D.D., who served as bishop of the Diocese of Butuan for 22 years; and retired bishop Christian Vicente Fernandez Noel, the first bishop of the Diocese of Talibon for nearly 28 years.

We dearly missed our media colleague broadcast journalist Nestor B. Daarol, the man behind the popular radio program “Silab sa Udtong Tutok.”

Residents of Bohol province were plunged into shock and disbelief when environmental and human rights lawyer Mia Manuelita Mascarinas-Green was ambushed on Feb. 15 inside her car in front of her three children- aged 10 and two-year old twins and a nanny.  Her death hit the province hard.  The alleged suspect, Lloyd Lancer Gonzaga, was arrested after hiding for months.

"I'm happy they made an arrest, it is a welcomed news to all of us who are seeking justice for her death," said Pat Ruiz, one of the convenors of the “Justice for Atty. Mia Kalinaw sa Bohol Movement.

The Boniel case left Bohol residents in shock and grief with the news that the body of Bien Unido Mayor Gisela Bendong-Boniel was thrown into the sea after she was allegedly killed by her husband Niño Rey.  The Boniel couple had a promising political career especially that they looked good together and had good credentials.  When they got married in 2015, their constituents thought it was a union made in heaven.  Although Niño Rey and Gisela were seen together in public functions, their marriage started to rock in December last year. 

A look back at some of the most people we've said goodbye to.
 Many residents vented their frustration on social media when a power outage happened in Bohol after an earthquake hit Leyte province which damaged power sources.

“Almost four years since the Yolanda blackouts and yet it seems that we didn't learn something from it at all,” said Daisy Jane Sajulga-Galve on Facebook. “Having our own source of electricity should have been the number 1 priority of this province.”

Residents affected by the power outage also lost flowing potable water. Many residents in Tagbilaran City were carrying their containers as they lined-up to wait for their turn to get water from the water tankers sent by the city government to ration water to the affected areas.

Resort owners and operators in Panglao Island, the province’s tourism jewel, said the tourism industry was also affected by the power outage.  “Now that Leyte is affected, Bohol is also affected. They have to not only listen now, they have to learn not only to learn but to work now because this happened thrice already,” said Dr. Doloreich Dumaluan.

Unlike in Tagbilaran City which holds barangay level search for Miss Tagbilaran in advance to find the finest girl, Tubigon and other towns have discovered beauty queens effortlessly and learned how serendipitous things can be. Miss Tubigon Pauline Amelinckx was crowned Miss Bohol 2017, the third beauty queen from this town to conquer the crown. 

Boholana beauty shone in the national pageant as Miss Bohol 2016 Glyssa Perez was crowned first princess in the Miss World-Philippines 2017.

Carlo Roy Roslinda was chosen as Mister Earth Philippines 2017. He will represent the Philippines in the inaugural Mister Earth International.

Environmental lawyer and triathlete Ingemar Macarine, also known as the “Pinoy Aquaman,” failed to conquer the English Channel, the “Mt. Everest” for open swimming. He was about 3.8 km (2.3 miles) from Dover, United Kingdom when his swim was stopped because of bad weather. Macarine said he would come back in 2018 to fulfil the ultimate swim of his life.

ALA Gym’s undefeated Jessel Mark Araula Magsayo defended his WBO International Featherweight title against Japanese challenger Shota Hayashi during the main event of Pinoy Pride 43: The Battle in Bohol. Magsayo, also called Magnifico, has remained undefeated, improving his record to 18-0 with 13 knockouts.

The local government unit of Ubay transformed the old dumpsite in Barangay Imelda into something “touristic.” Celosia and coxcomb flowers are grown at Ubay Green Park and Techno Center. Here, plastic bottles and car ties were turned into pots and decorations reminding residents and visitors to “reuse, recycle and reduce.”

The Jardin Necitas in a hilltop in Barangay Bagumbayan, Pilar town is adorned with 15,000 multi-colored tulips and 5,000 red and white roses made of plastic.

In Getafe town, at least 1,200 umbrellas were hoisted high above the town plaza of Getafe providing shade and an amazing sight similar to the hundreds floating parasols in a street in Agueda, Portugal.

The “Lovely Place,” at the peak of Barangay Sua in Inabanga town has 30,000 leatherette red, heart-shaped anthurium flowers. Here, one can view the “Sea of Clouds,” the Chocolate hills and Cebu City.

Corporal John Romulo Caresosa Garcia of San Miguel town was one of the 13 Marines who were killed on June 9 in a 16-hour firefight against Maute group members in Marawi City.  He was given a posthumous military merit award for his gallantry in action. “The only thing I could say was my grandson was a good man who was gone too soon,” said Conrada Caresosa, Garcia’s grandmother.

Tales of heroism have emerged in the aftermath of the Las Vegas mass shooting.  Winifredo Balbido Maquindang, 66, a taxi driver in Las Vegas was hailed as a hero during the Las Vegas mass shooting, which left 58 people dead and more than 500 injured. Maquindang loaded six wounded victims in his taxi and took them to the hospital, speeding through red lights to make sure they got treated as soon as possible.


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

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Dead oarfish found in Panglao sparks fears among locals

The discovery of a dead oarfish floating in the waters off Barangay (Village) Doljo in Panglao town had sparked debates and discussions on social media whether oarfish can predict earthquakes.

According to Lampell Cloma, the dead oarfish was found floating in the sea on Wednesday afternoon in Barangay (Village) Doljo this town.

Cloma, 24, said that around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, a fisherman Gomer Milanes found the oarfish. With the help of another fisherman, they brought the oarfish to the shore.

It was not known how the fish died and how it ended up near the beach. However, according to Cloma, the gills were fresh.

Since their sightings are rare so not much is known about the behavior of the oarfish, residents were worried and afraid when they saw the oarfish.

Stories proliferated linking the earthquake to incidents of oarfish beaching that prefaced a disaster.

“Nakurat ug nahadlok mi pagkakita namo kay naa lagi daw meaning basta mogawas na isdaa (We were terrified because it has meaning when it can be seen on the surface),” said Cloma.

Another resident Marina Guibone knelt on the sand, prayed with fervour, and made the sign of cross when she the oarfish.

“Kuyaw nga tilimad-on (It’s a bad omen),” said Guibone.

Cloma said it was their first time to see an oarfish in the village. 

She said that around 6 p.m., a municipal employee measured the oarfish which was 15 feet.

Oarfish is sea creature living in a deep water and can be rarely spotted in shallow waters.

Some experts believe that the deep-sea creatures living more than 1,000 ft. under the sea are very sensitive when it comes to fault movements and nature activities. They were living in the deep waters so they can easily detect any ground movement.

In Japanese folklore, the oarfish is known as the “Messenger from the Sea God’s Palace” and appears on beaches to predict earthquakes.

An oarfish was found on Feb. 8, two days before the 6.7-magnitude earthquake that hit Surigao City.

A magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit Bohol province in 2013.

3 death penalty votes that surprised us

Our representatives- Rene Relampagos (1st District), Erico Aristotle Aumentado (2nd District), and Arthur Yap (3rd District)- went along with the majority, voting “Yes”.

Only 54 voted “No”, and one abstained for the reintroduction of death penalty up to the final voting on Tuesday.

Yap based his vote on the survey through social media and his district which showed majority of the respondents preferred death penalty.

In a statement, Yap said that it was not a decision lightly reached even as more than a great majority of those polled voted affirmatively for the body of crimes outlined in the original bill.

“It is not that the Third District of Bohol is populated by blood thirsty people. And surely, let it not be said that we love God less. It is just that my District believes that when one commits barbaric acts against our fellow man, such as rape, murder, kidnapping, treason, piracy and more, that perpetrator has also given up his right to live among civilized men and women,”  Yap said in a statement.

“The Government sees the death penalty as the natural consequence of justice paid by a convicted felon for having robbed the lives of others. But this should not mean that the Government must focus on sending as many people to meet this penalty. The Government must instead continue strengthening institutions and programs that deliver basic services that create opportunities for its citizens to live decently and honorably. When income rises and poverty decreases, the scourge of drugs will naturally abate,” Yap said.

Aumentado said he preferred that it would include murder, rape and plunder as originally proposed.

“I was at first inclined to abstain, finally decided to vote “Yes” on the second and the third reading, considering the watered-down version,” he said.

Aumentado said House Speaker Bebot Alvarez assured him that rape, murder and plunder would have their own death penalty bill that will be more specific.

“In totality, I want rape, murder and plunder  to have death as penalty. They are equally as heinous as selling drugs. However, since the measure was cut down to only one punishable act in focus, it helped me to come up with a stand,” he said.

 In a statement, Relampagos said that human rights does not only refer to the rights of the accused but to all citizens.

“I voted yes an affirmation of hope for the future and for a culture of peace. The fact that hundreds of thousand surrendered under the governments drive against drugs show the manifest vastness of our problem against drugs. It is high time that we strengthen our fight against it. If we do not do anything about it, we can just imagine where we will be a few years from now. Hundreds of thousand more?” he said.

He said he voted yes an affirmation of the country’s shared fight drugs.

“You name it, drugs destroys life, liberty and property. It destroys families and communities. It destroys good governance and integrity in the public service. It destroys trust in the Maker of life. I join it the fight against it,” he said.

Tagbilaran resident Bienna Ursula Bautista Cornacchia, 29, had expressed her support for death penalty for drug addicts who committed heinous crimes.

“I am in favor of death penalty for specific crimes such as murder, homicide and, rape, especially those done unto minors and children. And if not, perhaps castration without anesthesia would serve as a good punishment for sex offenders. They should have thought of that. However, for drug-related cases, as long as they have not committed heinous crimes such as rape and murder, they can go to jail for as long as the court decides or have one finger cut to teach them a lesson. Harsher punishment is necessary. Death penalty can be a good punishment for certain crimes but not for all crimes,” said Cornacchia.

Some Boholano Catholics maintain that the death penalty is a violation of the right to life and an unauthorized by human beings of God’s sole lordship over life and death.

“Our Philippine Constitution guarantees our right to life,” said Juanito Niluag, 43.

“The direct and voluntary killing of a human being is always gravely immoral,” he added.

He suggested that the justice system should be improved first before death penalty will be imposed again.

“I was not surprised because Boholano solons have almost always kowtowed to the ruling party. But it's still sad to be proven right this way,” said cultural worker architect Liza Macalandag who is in Netherlands. “Death penalty, which has been proven to stop criminality, is regressive, inhumane and just plain wrong. This Congress has made in humans of us all.”

Bishop Alberto Uy of the Diocese of Tagbilaran said on his Facebook account that imposing death penalty to the offenders could not guarantee that it gives justice and peace to the victims.

In Bohol, the devotion of the people to religion gave rise to numerous old stone churches before it was damaged due to the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the province in 2013. In Tagbilaran City, tricycles have biblical quotes.


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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Their New Year’s resolutions

Scene:  The formal installation rites of Bishop Alberto Uy as the new bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran on Friday at the St. Joseph Cathedral was officiated by His Excellency Archbishop Bernadito Auza, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.


They think that it’s important to start 2017 the right way—by having a New Year’s resolution!

Bishop Alberto Uy of the Diocese 
of Tagbilaran Courtesy: Elvie Bongosia
Leah Tirol-Magno
I am not so much of a fan for New Year’s resolution. I would go for a goal instead. The goal this year and for the years to come is to focus more on Jesus and the personal relationship with Him and everything will fall into the right places and let God take charge of my life.

Anthony Aniscal
My new year's resolution is to make sure that time spent for family will be of priority. Being a public servant, it demands time for the constituents and at times the precious time for family are set aside.

Benjie Oliva
My New Year's resolutions: Make time for meditation and more prayer. More  workout for a healthier body. Work harder for the family and for the country.

Imaculada Cleofe Leopardas
My New Year's resolution is to make time to what really matters to me. I want to spend my whole life doing the things that defines me and be with somebody who really cares for me. I would focus on improving myself so that I can totally love, serve and protect my priorities now. I want to become the best for a good cause and for the purity of intention on helping in making this world a better place. I would love to spend my life in spreading the seeds of love.

Ferome Almine
I personally wish that I’ll have more hosting and coordinating events this 2017 since I want to have a blessed and fruitful new year. I wish also for a strong economy, clean government and a total change of the facade of our country.

Adelyn Joy Esclamado
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a chef. I was always curious how delicious foods were prepared and asked my mother about it. When she would start telling me the answers to my questions, I tend to listen eagerly. But then, my curiosity perhaps gone too far, I accidentally put our kitchen on fire while trying to cook the new dish I learned. My mother burnt small portion of her legs trying to save me. It happened too fast that I can’t even remember what exactly happened. On that day, my dream to be a chef turned into ashes. And now, I think it’s the right time to start all over again, I will try my best to face my fears and will open my heart and mind for new experiences. In short, my new year's resolution is to make cooking a hobby.

Mikee Andrei
My New Year's resolution would be for better health---to always prioritize health despite tremendous work. Also, this year, I hope I’ll have more time with my family.... and save up!
Whether it’s by pursuing their dreams or cultivating 
their passions, they have plans to rev up their lives this 2017. 
Contributed Photos

Marianne Domivee Chatto
The past year has been a roller coaster ride for me. For this brand new 2017, I envision myself to be a dedicated public servant, an optimistic leader, and a passionate and caring mother. The best thing that happened in my 2016, my baby Dom.

EJ Relampagos
My New Year's resolution is to stop making resolutions to myself. He! He! He! I would rather master more on self discipline, self responsibility and self respect. These are what we need to have in order to live a good life in today's world dominated by diversions! Love to all.

Vilma Yorong
May this year bring more opportunities not only for myself but also to the people I serve.  I hope my dreams will turn into reality and my efforts and hardwork will translate into great achievements. I am praying that the Lord will give me enough strength and faith to face the challenges of 2017.


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