Showing posts with label Gisela Bendong-Boniel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gisela Bendong-Boniel. Show all posts

Sunday, June 11, 2017

When love falls apart

Captain Gisela Bendong-Boniel was making waves as the first female pilot of a budget airline.

Mayor Niño Rey Boniel of Bien Unido was making a mark, not just as one of the youngest chief executives in Bohol but for improving his town's classification from 5th class to 4th class.

When they got married in 2015, their constituents thought it was a union made in heaven. They elected Gisela as mayor in 2016 to replace her husband who also won as 2nd district board member.

On the outside, everything looked well between the couple. But on Thursday, the residents were shocked with the news that the body of their mayor was thrown into the sea after she was killed by her husband.

Danilo Salabe, 40, said he didn’t expect that tragedy would fall on their favorite couple.

“We were sad when we heard the news,” said Danilo, who is managing the Dive Camp.
Happier times. Board member Niño Rey Boniel with his
 wife Mayor Gisela Bendong-Boniel. File Photo/Nestor Daarol
Another resident, Eisen Avenido, 51, described the couple as “good people.”

“Mayor Giselle is very close to the people, especially the senior citizens. She is a pilot, young, pretty and on top of it, a mayor,” he added.

Gay Mabanag-Delima, 36, councilor of Barangay Poblacion in Bien Unido said the news about the Boniel couple left them in a state of shock.

“How I wish they will not be able to find her body so there is still a chance that she is alive,” she said.

Gisela, 40 and a native of Iligan City, had made history in the male-dominated aviation industry as the first female pilot of AirAsia Philippines with a rank of captain.

Her high school friends said that she had always been fascinated by planes since she was a little girl. In turning her dream into a reality, she inspired other women to take courage in pursuing their aspirations.

On Feb. 28, 2016, she received a commendation for outstanding airmanship after she steered an AirAsia plane to safety at Mactan Cebu International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City even if the plane only had one working engine.

Niño also made his own mark in his town in Bien Unido, about 108 km from the capital Tagbilaran City.

Although he is from Bohol, he studied in Cebu and a product of the University of San Carlos where he studied from elementary to college. He finished Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and later took up Law while running his businesses. But he dropped out in his second year in law school because of his work.

Aside from an insurance firm, Niño owned Diamond Trading that imports vehicles from Japan and a restaurant in SM City. He was a also a Director of ABN Dreamworks Corporation. Niño returned to Bien Unido to  follow the footsteps of his father  Cosme who became a town mayor in 1980s.

Bohol Board member Niño Rey Boniel  
At 29, he was elected mayor in 2007 election and was the second youngest chief executive in Bohol's history.

During his term, he elevated Bien Unido’s economic status from 5th to 4th class town. He also tried to put the town in the tourism map by joining the Sinulog Grand Parade in Cebu and the Sandugo Festival in Bohol.

He also put up the Dive Camp, an accommodation to bring in tourists and divers who wanted to experience the Bien Unido Double Barrier Reef.

The Danajon Reef is the only documented double barrier reef in the Philippines and reportedly, one of only six in the entire world. Niño also improved the water system and infrastructure, while addressing the other concerns such as health and sanitation, livelihood and peace and order.

Niño was also instrumental in curbing illegal fishing in the coastal municipality. He put up underwater grotto near the coral reefs of the Danajon Double Barrier Reef consisting of 14-foot tall statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Sto. Niño (the Child Jesus).

 “Illegal fishers will be scared when they see these images,” he told the reporters during the launching several years ago.

Since the mayor was a bachelor, his constituents were curious if he would settle down and with whom since he was seen with several women. Most of his ex-girlfriends were older than him.

In 2010, Niño introduced Gisela to his friends. Five years later, the two got married. They have a three-year-old son.

 The Boniel couple had a promising political career especially that they looked good together and had good credentials, said a local official who asked not be named.

Bien Unido Mayor Gisela Bendong-Boniel
Indeed, Gisela won over the hearts of the residents of Bien Unido when she ran for mayor in 2016. She had grand plans for the town that remained underdeveloped and unfrequented by tourists unlike other towns in Bohol.

When she was sworn into office last year, Gisela said her priorities would be to bring in tourists as well as provide health services, education and livelihood to her constituents.

Since she was criticized by her lack of experience in public service, Gisela took a crash course in local governance at the National College of Public Administration and Governance in Quezon City.

Although Niño and Gisela were seen together in public functions, their marriage started to rock in December last year when Gisela was attacked on Facebook by her husband's political opponents and was dragged into controversies involving her husband.

Financial problems also took a toll on her marriage after Gisela took out a big loan to finance a watch business and to buy a watch worth P2.5 million. Niño reportedly got angry because Gisela could not pay off her debts. But some close friends of the couple told the Inquirer that what infuriated Niño was Gisela's move to file a petition for annulment.

“She discovered that her husband used her for his political advancement,” said another friend.

Friends of Gisela have taken to social media to express their sadness over her reported death.

Loraine Anne Marie Baguio, a flight attendant at AirAsia Philippines, posted on Facebook: “I still can’t believe this news. Really?? A very reputable woman pilot was killed by her husband?? Rest in peace Capt Gisel. I am deeply hurt right now and I know the Air Asia family is also sad by this sudden news. May justice prevail in your death. My condolences to the Biel family.”

One of her friends, Grace, posted her photos with Gisela on her Facebook account. The caption read: “Giselle I am going to miss you more than words can say.”

“I can’t believe such a beautiful soul is gone so soon,” she said.

Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado of Bohol’s second district said that he was saddened by the tragic events involving the couple who was close to him.

“We all have our own marital problems which we try to solve in a discreet and private manner. I understand that lives of politicians take so much of one’s time from the family. This sometimes breaks down the closeness of siblings,” Aumentado said.

“While I wish to understand their situation, we also have laws to obey. Let justice move,” he added.

Bohol Gov. Edgar M. Chatto said they did not know that the couple had problems.

“Board Member Boniel deserves due process as he is brought to the bar of justice,” he said in a statement.


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Saturday, July 2, 2016

Fashion highlights from Bohol’s inauguration

Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte from Davao City took his oath of office last Thursday as the 16th president of the Philippines at Malacañan Palace in Manila.
Gov. Edgar Chatto recites his
third-term official oath as daughter
 Trisha holds a Christian Bible and
first lady Balilihan Mayor Pureza Chatto
 looks on during swearing-in ceremony
at the Bohol Cultural Center on Thursday morning. 
Contributed Photo
He told the Filipinos that “I am ready to start my work for the nation.”
In his inaugural address, Duterte listed what he considers the ills of society: Corruption, criminality, rampant sale of illegal drugs and the breakdown of law and order.
He also said the erosion of trust in government, tainted with corruption, has to be restored.
Duterte’s speech was fluent---stringent in words and magnanimous in essence.
Lawyer Dionisio Balite surrounded by his
 family swearing in as Bohol Vice Governor. 
Contributed Photo
“His Excellency President Rody Duterte delivered a very sincere and heartfelt presidential speech,” said youth awardee Clement Lofranco.  
“Moreover, he resonated the themes and clarified the mandate and itemized the programs and framing the fundamental problems of governance like the erosion of trust from the people to the government and the message of real change that must start from each one of us,” he added.
In Bohol, Edgar Chatto officially began his third and last term as Bohol’s governor  last Thursday, taking the oath of office in a low-key ceremony at the Bohol Cultural Center and preparing to provide the province of his vision for the next three years on Monday.
Bien Unido Mayor Gisela
 Bendong-Boniel and board
member Niño  Rey Boniel. 
Courtesy: Nestor Daarol
It was a crisp and flawless event that Chatto and other public officials--- Vice Gov. Dionisio Balite, Reps. Rene Relampagos, Erico Aristotle Aumentado and Art Yap--- recited the constitutionally mandated avowal, word for word.  With their spouses and families, the public officials quickly repeated the words from their administering officers.
After the swearing-in, Relampagos, Aumentado, Yap, Balite and Chatto delivered their inaugural addresses.
The biggest sidelight of this year’s inaugural and oathtaking ceremonies was the red carpet where the province’s government officials and then some have come to make a statement.  We’re paying to all the pretty outfits!
Dazzling ternos and dashing barongs worn by the officials and their spouses make the ceremonies solemn, dignified and formal.
The men decided to stick with the traditional plain barong Tagalog.
The traditional Filipina formal wear that is the terno was in the limelight.
Provincial board members Jade
Acapulco Bautista and Alexi Tutor
Courtesy: Nestor Daarol
Board member Kristine Alexis Tutor made a big statement during the event with her simple yet sleek figure-hugging gown that emphasized her curves. She instantly became a hot topic with audience complementing her.   She has a keen eye for style, right?
New lawmaker Jade Acapulco Bautista had a dazzling look on her Filipiniana. Her entire look was totally sustainable that she had us all talking.
The audience were also quick to notice how confidently beautiful Balilihan Mayor Pureza Chatto and her daughter Trisha in their purple-colored terno. They wore them with dignity and pride.
Bohol's Queen of All Media Ardy
Contributed Photo
Bien Unido Mayor Gisela Bendong-Boniel left the audience open-mouthed after showing her stunning figure in a sleek deep-blue gown.  The lady aviator did not need an interview nor a red carpet to turn heads at the event. She was there to support her husband board member Niño Rey Boniel. 
The Balite ladies (and girls) were wearing shade of pink-colored cocktail dresses making a big statement during the event. Color pink is unconditional love and nurture.
Another real highlight was Ardy Araneta-Batoy (who was the event’s emcee. Take a bow, Ma’am Ardy!) who wore  a dazzling lemongrass gown.  Bohol’s Queen of All Media understood special occasion dressing.
Aside from gushing about their looks, the usherettes (mostly from the Capitol) were wearing ternos.
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