Showing posts with label GLBT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GLBT. Show all posts

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Vanity Salinana: Queen of Cebu 2012

• She makes history as the first transgender from Bohol to win the crown
• Gender issues are important, but she also wants to represent all people
• Transgenders should not join pageants for natural born women
It took a while before I could reconcile the dainty and young ladyboy I met a few years ago in a campus pageant to the girl so sexy and sophisticated in the poster of the official candidates of Queen of Cebu 21012, a pageant for alternatives.
She was then simply VanVan Kintanar Salinana, who lived with her parents and two siblings at Baclayon town. She was hired to choreograph the Mr and Miss University of Bohol Personality in 2003. She had a unique style of executing her ideas that made the pageant as one of the most unforgettable campus pageants in Bohol. Then, she invited us to attend the town fiesta, my last encounter with her.
The moment of glory: Vanity Kintanar Salinana reacts with disbelief as she is crowned Queen of Cebu 2012. Courtesy: Queen of Cebu on Facebook
Years later, I heard through friends that VanVan became Vanity Kintanar Salinana who won the Carnival Queen of Mandaue 2010 and Bb. Gay Pilipinas Region VII in 2011.
And now, here she is Queen of Cebu 2012, in full bloom at 30--- with a flourishing career to boot (a call center agent team leader in Cebu City where she can express herself without borders) and made history for her province, after becoming the very first Boholana transgender to be crowned Queen of Cebu.
An early favorite, Vanity who was also voted as Best in National Costume award, Best in Costume and Best in Long Gown, dashed the dreams of 20 other candidates as she dazzled the panel of judges (chaired by Mariquita Salimbangon-Yeung, Miss Universe 2010 fourth runner-up Venus Raj, pageant co-chair Tessa Prieto Valdez, Marguerite Lhuillier, Mark MacMahon, Michael Carandang, Ferdie Salvador, Alice Galang Eduardo, Marissa “Small” Laude and Tim Yap) with both her beauty and brains.
During the Q&A portion, Vanity expressed her gratitude and appreciation for the non-discriminatory culture towards LGBTs (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders) in her workplace for the last eight years.
The pageant also served as a reunion of her former classmates and friends.
“Vanity is an achiever. We were classmates and barkada since high school. Until now, she has blossomed into a unique combination of beauty, brains and breeding,” said fashion icon EJ Relampagos who watched the pageant along with make-up artist and hairstylist Tracy Remolador Torres, Epeh Relampagos, Ryan Sines, Keith Cantoneros, Dandie Josol and Agua Monteclaro.
Former Tubigon’s Queen of All Media Raymund Delgado, Vanity’s fellow Carolinian said, “She’s such a vision in her Dino Lloren gown. A well deserved win.”
A Capricorn (January 1, 1982), Vanity stands 5'5", weighs 135 lbs., and measures 37-26-42. She finished Business Administration at University of San Carlos.
Here is Vanity:
When did you realize that you are Queen of Cebu 2012? During the coronation night or the morning after?
“To be honest, it hasn't fully sunk in yet! Up until now, I still could not believe I won the prestigious title!”
Do you have secrets sustaining your poise, your grace under pressure, especially during the crucial points in any contest?
“Just be yourself but maintain your focus on the choreography and blocking if you do not want the choreographer beating you up! (Laughs) Smile a lot and think of happy thoughts or any thoughts that empower you...if you think that way, it will show on stage.”
What are your preparations for the pageant?
“Diet! And hit the gym at least three times a day! Read newspapers and articles to update yourself with current events. Do not indulge into stressful activities, be worry-free as much as possible.”
What is your best asset and why?
“Physically, it is my eyes- they are so expressive! My wit and intelligence also play a vital part.”
How do you maintain your beautiful body and flawless skin?
“Gym and diet. I do facials and diamond peel twice a month. I moisturize my skin with a lotion.”
Would you rather be smart but not too beautiful, or beautiful but not too smart?
“Intelligence will get you to places. Being smart attracts people of the same kind. Physical beauty fades over time, so I’d rather be smart. Besides, if you really are so smart, you will find ways and means to make yourself beautiful!”
What do you think is the biggest decision that you’ve made in your life?
“It is accepting what I am- a transwoman. I remember my mom telling me the first she saw me when I was transitioning from m to f way back 15 yrs ago. She said," Is this what you really wanted? People will ridicule you for it." I just told her that this is me and I cannot deny myself for being what I am. I just have to be brave enough to face everything that life throws at me, be strong enough to endure the challenges and struggles. That decision was the greatest decision I have ever made, no regrets!”
A winning combination: Miss Paraguay Vanity Kintanar Salinana shines in her national costume, evening wear and swimsuit as well as her intelligent answer to promote acceptance for transgenders. Courtesy: Queen of Cebu on Facebook
Who’s your role model?
“My mother. I am inspired by her selflessness and unconditional love.”
How's your love life?
“Let us just say I am in a relationship with myself at present.”
If, that is a big if, you have a boyfriend now… you were to choose between your boyfriend and Queen of Cebu 2012 title, which would you choose?
“Queen of Cebu. I don’t understand why I have to choose. If my bf loves me and wants me to be happy, then he would not mind the crown in my head for a year. Being Queen of Cebu inspires transwomen out there, I somehow influence their lives and I want to be that positive influence to the younger generations.”
What advocacy experience do you have? Maybe you have an important message to share ... and Queen of Cebu 2012 would be the venue or forum to start your advocacies.
“Queen of Cebu has three beneficiaries- home for the aged, missionaries of the poor (kids suffering from cerebral palsy) and COLORS, a TS organization formed to help out transwomen in Cebu live better lives. I would support all three all the way!!”
Young people today are liberated and adventurous, willing to try everything. What's your stand on pre-marital sex?
“It all boils down to being responsible to oneself. Before you do something, take time to think what are the possible consequences of your actions.”
What’s your take on the transgender issue, should transgender be allowed to compete in beauty contests for women?
“Transwomen are special women, there is no need to compete with genetic women for whatever reason. This isn’t about equality. Transwomen will never be 100% the same as genetic women, you cannot compare. We do not have to join beauty pageants for genetic women just to prove that we are equal.”
If you were to change something in yourself, what would it be?
(Laughs) “My legs, I want Barbie legs!”
What is your favorite quote?
“You are worth not for what you have, not even for who you are but for what others have become because of you.”
Describe yourself in three words:
(Thinks for a while then smiles) “I am real!”
What do you find sexy in a man?
“His maturity.”

And what turns you off?
“His arrogance!”
What is the essence of Queen of Cebu 2012?
“It is to inspire transwomen out there and to positively influence them to reach for their goals and never ever give up!”
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Songs of praise and worship with Don Moen on Nov. 10


Scene: From Lion and fellow journalist Priscilla Richards, this invitation:  The U.S. Embassy will host “U.S. Election Watch 2012,” in partnership with SM City Cebu on November 7, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 3 pm.  Guests at the event can vote in a “mock election,” watch live elections returns from the actual polls in the U.S., and take part in intermission activities such as trivia games, a free photo booth, and avail of elections-related information. Representatives of the U.S. Embassy will be on hand to answer questions pertaining to the U.S. elections, and the U.S. electoral system.
Atty. Delgado
Scene: As Halloween approaches, excited costume enthusiasts queue at BQ Mall to buy some Halloween costumes and props such as skull face glowing or bleeding costume, witches, vampires, hanging screaming zombie, inflatable body form and other ghoulish trick-or-treating costumes. Skulls and other scary objects are to greet people at the entrance of the Island City Mall. Bohol's first hotel, the Hotel La Roca, has creepy and creative Halloween decorations. At the Tagbilaran City Square, Hoocha has also Halloween decors to treat customers.  There will be an Ultimate Halloween Dance Party on Oct. 31 at JAD Memorial Center in Loboc town. Dubbed the Hottest Halloween Disco in Loboc, entrance fee is P30 with one bottle SMB, while partygoers can pay P400 pesos per table which is good for four persons. Tickets are available at the Loboc Tourism Office or call 510-1428. 
Seen: Lawyer Julius Gregory Delgado is spotted in Japan. He is enjoying Kyoto, Japan’s ancient city and Osaka and Nara. He posted on Facebook: “Kampai para sa mahabang buhay! In joy and sorrow, triumph and defeat, Sake is part of Japenese life!”
God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me

He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way, He will make a way…
               - Don Moen
Don Moen
What an inspiring (powerful) song, isn’t it? I’ve been listening to Don Moen ever since I was a kid at the old Caingget neighborhood. I love his songs. It’s really true that God will make a way for each one of us whatever troubles or big problems we have. God will never leave nor forsake us. 
Many people from all over the world can testify that God Will Make A Way has helped them (including yours truly) renew their faith so many times especially during tough times when we feel like God is nowhere to be found. 
Here is a trivia: Don Moen’s song God Will Make A Way sprang from a tragedy in his family. According to, “after learning that his young nephew was killed in a car accident, Don Moen searched for some way to help bring comfort to his grieving family even as he struggled with his own sorrow. While reading Isaiah 43, he asked God to give him something that would bring hope to the family in the middle of a hopeless situation. As he prayed, the words for “God Will Make A Way,” came to mind. He works in ways we cannot see, He will make a way for me. For a while, that song remained a private message for his family. But slowly, he began sharing it with others and soon found that it was a message for the whole church. A message to cling to when “there seems to be no way.”
Don Moen will perform at the Bohol Wisdom gym on Nov. 10 in a concert produced by Ovation Productions. The concert is part of his three-day tour “God Will Make A Way! Philippine Tour 2012.” (Don Moen will have performances on Nov. 8 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City and at the JCCU Auditorium in Butuan City on Nov.11.)
Expect Don Moen to include in his repertoire his hits praise-and-music songs that interpret closely the words of the Bible, such as God Will Make A Way, Thank You, Lord, God Is Good All The Time and Give Thanks.
Other Christian songs that he has popularized include Lord, I Offer My Life To You, I Want To Be Where You Are, Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord, Celebrate, Jesus, Celebrate, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, and many more.
Now at 62, Don Moen is as captivating as ever, treating audiences all over the world with his worship songs. His voice quality has remained the same through the years. He produced a total of 11 volumes in the series, including the first album, Hosanna! Music: Give Thanks, which sold hundreds of thousands of copies and became the label’s bestseller and his list of accomplishments (a Dove Award) is a testament to an incredible professional career as singer, composer, pastor and producer of Christian music. 
Don Moen has enjoyed a long music career that refuses to fade away because God and the fans won’t allow it.  It will be a history that Don Moen makes his Bohol debut on Nov.10. You can’t afford to miss watching one of the greatest performers in Christian music history — it’s a chance of a lifetime.
Tickets are priced at P1, 200 (Gold/Court Area), P700 (Silver/ Lower Side Bleacher) and P400 (Bronze/General Admission).  Ticket outlets are PCBS (call 501 0823), Island City Mall, Bohol Tropics Resort and All Dunkin Donut Outlets.  For details, call
0923-160-5876 (Claire), 0927-211-2448 and 0921-284-7653 (Rachael).

Mayor Nene gets warm birthday cheers from people
Sevilla Mayor Digal
Sevilla’s well-loved public servant Mayor Ernesita “Nene” Digal celebrated her birthday last Saturday, October 20, at Digal’s residence in Poblacion, Sevilla town. 
Rain or shine, the celebration went smoothly as the people of Sevilla were treated a birthday celebration ala fiesta. Heavy rain didn’t stop those invited from showing up. 
Mayor Nene, as she is fondly called in Sevilla, played host to her people and friends from academe and politics, such as Loboc Mayor Leon Calipusan, reelectionist Rep. Art Yap and former provincial board member Josil Trabajo.
"What is Mayor Nene’s wish?"  Inday Charity chided the birthday girl. Mayor Nene’s daughter, Karen, who’s former SK municipal federation president, answered for her mom, “Good health and mudaog siya!” 
Mayor Nene is seeking reelection in May 2013 elections. 
Also present were her Vice Mayor (to be) Councilor  Victoriano Fernandez and councilors (to be)  Geny Calamba, Marcelita Adolfo, Glenn Rubenial, Beverly Beniga, Dinah Barrete and reelectionists Councilors Marcelo Item, Antonio Patac and Anastacia Lagrosa
Of course, Mayor Nene’s husband, former Mayor Ceferino Digal, was also there entertaining guests and visitors. He has significantly improved Sevilla during his three consecutive terms.
Tracy is elected gay assn prexy
Tracy Torres
Bohol's most popular make-up artist and hairstylist Tracy Remolador Torres is the newly-elected president of the newly-formed gay association of Tagbilaran City. 
According to Kim (who posted on Facebook that s(he) is hoping for peace, unity and progress to the group),  other elected officials are Jun Quimpan as vice president,  Charlow Arbasto as secretary, EJ Relampagos (treasurer), Rany Gespert ( auditor), Rizalino Torralba aka Inday Rufing and Alexis CalediƱa are press relation officers, sergeant at arms are Reynald Culgue, Stanley Hamilton Sevilla and Jonathan Ocat and Donna Betos (muse). 
The oathtaking of the new officials and members is in December.
 The United Society of Artists (USA) is the newest Tagbilaran-based gay/bisexual and transgender rights organization and the new progressive voice for full gay equality. Tracy has distinguished himself as a strong supporter and advocate for human rights. 
“It is both exciting and a privilege to be part of this association," he says. “I am deeply inspired by the people of all ages and circumstances and from all backgrounds who create positive change in their communities.”
According to Tracy, the Boholano Gay Community has undeniably been the backbone of many events in the province. 
“I am confident that this organization will reach its goals of providing peace, unity, and progress to the Gay Community of Tagbilaran City,” says Tracy. “I am encouraging everyone to actively participate in all our advocacies. I, as the President of this organization, I will do my best for the betterment of the gay community of this city and for the progress of our home province Bohol  and with that, I encourage everyone to join me in this cause because we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided! Thank you!”
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.