Showing posts with label Pinoy Aquaman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pinoy Aquaman. Show all posts

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Bohol fans remember Isabel Granada


Scene:  Angelica Panganiban and John Prats were spotted in Bohol last Friday, Nov. 10. They visited Bohol to shoot some scenes for ABS-CBN’s “Banana Sundae,” which will be aired on Nov. 19, after ASAP.  Panganiban and Prats were mobbed by fans as they visited the Loboc River, Panglao, Chocolate Hills and Sevilla Hanging Bridge.

Scene:  Environmental lawyer and triathlete Ingemar “Pinoy Aqumana” Macarine will attempt to swim from Pamilacan Island, Baclayon to Alona Beach in Panglao Island on Sunday, Nov. 12. This solo and unassisted swim which will promote clean seas and beaches is sponsored by the municipality of Panglao thru Mayor Nila Paredes-Montero and supported by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines -Bohol Chapter led by lawyer Warren Yap and Dagohoy Freemason Lodge No. 84 led by Worshipful Master lawyer Lord Cocot Marapao.  The 15-km swim will start at 5 a.m.  “This is part of my preparation for my last and final attempt to conquer the 21-Mile English Channel in August 2018,” said Macarine.

Scene:  “The Rise of the AMERICAN BULL-ANONS Invitational Show 2017”  on Sunday, Nov. 12 at the Bohol Wisdom Gymnasium. This event intends to unite dog lovers and enthusiasts in the province.  It is organized by Bol-anon Pitbulleros and Metropolitan Pitbull and Bully Club which committed to promote animal welfare and responsible pet ownership.

Friends and fans of singer- actress Isabel Granada were saddened of her death after she succumbed to brain hemorrhage due to aneurysm, a localized weakening of a blood vessel, in Qatar.  She was 41.

Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin (extreme right) and her
sister Ann Claire Araoarao-Young come to see Isabel Granada
and her love team Rueben Manahan in 1992, the singer- actress’
 first visit to Bohol.

Her fans in Bohol remembered the singer-actress who visited Bohol thrice.

Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin, 47, a fan of Granada, recalled that her first visit to Bohol was in July 1992 when she was invited to perform for the Sandugo Festival.

She was with her love team Rueben Manahan.  Her parents- Isabel Villarama, aka Mommy Guapa, and the late Huberto Granada accompanied her.

 “She was so sweet in person, buotan siya sa akong first impression,” said Gabin who came along with her sister Ann Claire Araoarao–Young to have photo ops with the singer-actress.

 “She had a strong Spanish features and long curly eyelashes,” recalled Gabin.

In 2015, Granada came back to Bohol for a holiday. Tessie Labunog-Sumampong said Granada was so accommodating to her fans when she had lunch at Cuisina ni Tisay in Carmen town in 2015.

She said her smile was infectious.

As the first Ever Bilena model, Granada came to Bohol to attend the event of Ever Bilena Cosmetics in 2016, according to Gabriel Medel, Ever Bilena-Tagbilaran manager.

Isabel Granada’s fans will never forget the singer-actress
who was admired both for her beauty and talent. (Clockwise)
Isabel Granada in Bohol with Gabriel Medel of Ever Bilena-Tagbilaran,
 Libby and Tessie Labunog-Sumampong of Cuisina ni Tisay
 and Engr. Jerome John Gabin of Department of
Trade and Industry-Bohol. Contributed Photos 
The cause of Granada’s death instantly brought public attention to the dangers of brain aneurysm.

Gabin, a Miss Tagbilaran 1987, hopes that Granada’s death could raise public awareness of aneurysm as well as funding for additional research.

“It’s shocking for people because we have our misconception that only those obsessed people are prone to this, but even those health-conscious people could die unexpectedly because of this,” said Gabin.

“There are diseases which could cause instant death even those who looked seemingly health or healthy buffs,” she added.

Granada rose to fame as part of the late ‘80s variety show That’s Entertainment hosted by the late German Moreno and had been visible in TV shows and movies.

Ultimate frisbee teams compete in
championship tournament in Bohol

Beryl Elizabeth Lupot on the successful 6th TARSIER ULTIMATE 2017:

Twenty four seasoned Ultimate Frisbee teams from all over Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao competed in the 6th TARSIER ULTIMATE 2017 which was held last Oct. 27-29.

Team Mohawks from Bohol  Contributed Photo
Last year’s champion, Mohawks Ultimate together with the other four teams from Bohol - Tarsier Ultimate, Mercenaries, Patapak Ultimate Doggs and the youngest Gladiators also participated in the event.

The Boholano players did not disappoint as they showcased their ultimate skills and gave the visiting teams a good run for their money, playing head to head with other great athletes with some of them from the national team.

The annual tournament is hosted every semestral break here in Bohol at the CPG Sports Complex Tagbilaran City and is looked forward to by everyone in the Philippine Ultimate Frisbee Community. This year has been the biggest so far with over 500 players participating in the 3-day tournament.

After the intense games, the participants were in for a treat when the awarding was held at the famous Alona Beach, side trips to the Chocolate Hills, Bilar Manmade forest, Alexis Cliff dive and other attractions where also part of the itinerary.

The players did not only come to Bohol for the games but also to see its world-famous beauty.

3 Duterte secretaries test New Bohol International Airport

A test flight has been carried out by three secretaries of the Duterte administration to evaluate the function of the New Bohol International Airport on the tourist-island last Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Secretaries Arthur Tugade of Transportation (DOTr), Ernesto Pernia of National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) and Leoncio Evasco took a private aircraft from Manila and landed safely at the Bohol International Airport at 10:05 a.m. on Panglao Island at least 18 km from the capital city of Tagbilaran.

After the coverage of the successful test flight at the
New Bohol International Airport, a lunch at Giuseppe Pizzeria
 and Silican Roast Italian Restaurant in Tawala, Panglao town
hosted by Bohol Tri-Media President and Loay Municipal
Councilor Engr. Tibss Bullecer.  With Bullecer are
Dave Responte (dyTR), Rey Tutas (dyRD) and your VRS

The aircraft flew back to Manila on Tuesday afternoon.

Tugade said they planned to start operations at the P7.8-billion facility in June 2018 .

“However, it will be commercially operational in August 2018,” said Tugade.

Once it becomes operational, the Tagbilaran Airport, the 11th busiest airport in the country, will immediately be closed.

Tugade said the test flight had successfully proven that the new airport met the standards for civil aviation.

He said the airport, which can accommodate large aircrafts for international flights, will be ready by August next year with day flights of international standard.

Other buildings now being constructed under the current project phase are the terminal building, control tower, administration building, fire station and ancillary buildings.

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

Sunday, August 20, 2017

‘Pinoy Aquaman’ English Channel bid aborted

DOVER, United Kingdom — Environmental lawyer Ingemar Macarine, also known as the “Pinoy Aquaman,” was about  3.8 km (2.3 miles) from this town when his swim was stopped because of bad weather.

He started his longest solo, unassisted swim at the English Channel, “Mt. Everest” for open swimming, at 2:45 a.m. on Sunday, August 13, (9:30 a.m. Philippine time) after facing high winds during his swim from Dover town, United Kingdom to France.

Environmental lawyer Ingemar Macarine who was 
almost an hour in the waters of the English Channel 
on Sunday, August 13, 2017, had to cancel his effort due
 to bad weather.  Photo by Leo Udtohan
The shortest distance between England and France over the English Channel is 34 km (21 miles).

Macarine, 41, was swimming freestyle. When he lifted his head to breathe, he could vaguely make out his destination on the horizon, Cap Gris Nez, a promontory on the French coast due to strong waves and gusty winds.

He was only wearing a latex swimming cap, an ordinary swimsuit and goggles. His shoulders and armpits, neck and crotch are coated with sunblock and petroleum jelly, to keep his muscles flexible and prevent chafing.

If he succeeded Macarine, an election officer of Tubigon town in Bohol province, would be the first Filipino swimmer to swim across the Channel.

Many swimming enthusiasts were tracking Macarine’s progress on the social media.

The journey was expected to take 15 hours in a 16 degrees Celsius temperature, but Eric Hartley, skipper of the support boat from the Pathfinder Charter, called off his bid when he noticed that the wind was getting stronger and colder.

Shortly after stopping his swim across the English Channel, 
Ingemar Macarine (right) chats with Pathfinder skipper
 Eric Hartley and Channel Swimming Association observer 
Keith Oiller on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. 
Photo by Leo Udtohan
Also with Hartley in the boat was CSA observer Keith Oiller who detailed to Macarine the rules of the English Channel.

“I stopped the swim really for safety grounds. “Because wind was blowing, it’s hard to control the boat with the current condition,” Hartley said. “The wind speed is too strong than what was forecast at 3 knots. It’s important to keep him beside the boat,” said Hartley.

Hartley said the wind that was gusting and it was unsafe for everyone involved.

“Safety is always first,” he said.

There have been less than half a dozen fatalities in the 137 years that it has been taking place, the CSA said.

Last week, two fatalities were recorded.

His goal had to swim the English Channel to promote clean seas, Philippine tourism and international friendship.

Macarine – who has swum seas in the Philippines and the United States – had waited patiently for days to swim the Channel.

Since arriving in Dover on July 28, he has been practicing for two hours daily at the port.

Although he didn’t finish the swim, he said he was satisfied with what he was able to accomplish.

Macarine said he would come back next year to fulfil the ultimate swim of his life.

“Tuloy ang laban toward reaching that goal,” he added.

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

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Boholanos in Tawag ng Tanghalan; Lee Min Ho in Bohol?

●Boholano young talents join ‘TNT’
●Korean actor Lee Min Ho in Bohol?

Young singer Isabel Garsuta has
 a future in the music industry. 
Courtesy: ABS-CBN
Scene: The bad weather brought by typhoon Auring cancelled the Saturday’s swim of lawyer Ingemar Macarine aka Pinoy Aquaman who planned to embark on two-way unassisted, open water swim from Guinsiliban Port on Camiguin Island to Balingoan, Misamis Oriental, and back for a total of 24 km to promote tourism and clean environment. “Our swim was cancelled because of bad weather. It is dangerous for the escort boats to escort me during the swim. It’s okay for me to swim but the escort boat is still the problem,” said Macarine. He instead swam the 2.1 km from Paras Beach Resort to the White Island, one of the province’s tourist destinations with some members of the Camiguin Swimmers Association headed by Gilbert Grado. 

I can’t recall the last time I saw a Boholano who joined a national singing contest. It must have been a long time ago. But I remember Jerome Sala— yes, who was a champion on ABS-CBN’s Star in A Million.

That’s why I’m happy to see young Boholano talents singing who are making inroads into the national scene.

Last week, Julia Faith Joaquin of Tagbilaran City sang her way to the semi-finals on ABS-CBN’s Tawag ng Tanghalan (TNT), a singing competition conducted as one of the segments of the noontime show It's Showtime.

Joaquin, a high school student, defeated daily challenger Cresmon Padero with her cover of Liza Minnelli's "Maybe This Time." She scored 92.6 percent, while Padero got 90.2 percent for his performance of Air Supply's "Here I Am."

Joaquin first joined TNT in August last year. She was able to become the defending champion but was dethroned after just one day.
Julia Faith Joaquin has secured 
her spot as semi-finalist on Tawag ng Tanghalan
Courtesy: ABS-CBN

Another young singer, Isabel Garsuta, tried her luck on TNT last Friday (Jan. 6). Although she didn’t win, Isabel had an adorable performance of Jessie J’s “Price Tag.”

Isabel, 17, teaches voice, piano and violin.  She is the daughter of Lino and Mariz Garsuta (nee Tirol) of Caingget Beach, Tagbilaran City.

Rey Valera said Isabel, who dreams to become a lawyer, has a future in the music industry.

Isabel posted on Facebook, "To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven."
She thanked her family and supporters who supported, congratulated and watched her performance on TNT.

“It was really an honor to represent Visayas.   I did my best and I am just really happy with all the positive responses from everyone. I may not have won but knowing that there are people out there who supported and appreciated me, it is what really inspires me,” said Isabel on Facebook.

On a similar note, 24-year-old Mary Ann Palma had a spot when she performed Manchester Melissa’s “Looking ThroughThe Eyes of Love.” 

A pastor’s wife, Palma said she will use the prize money for the construction of their new home. Her family currently stays in a temporary shelter that has no electricity and water supply.

Boholanos are indeed talented singers. We should be proud as they continue to win in competitions and exemplify that we can sing.  And even if they don’t win, like soldiers, they refuse to fade away. They just sing and sing even if only to their hearts' content.

Lee Min Ho’s visit to Bohol: A bluff

While typhoon Auring hit the Visayas region last week, some died-hard Korean fans were posting on the social media that Korean actor Lee Min Ho was in Bohol.

Korean actor-singer Lee Min Ho
 of “Legends of the Blue Sea” 
was apparently spotted in Bohol. 
Courtesy: Facebook

Miss Tagbilaran 1987 Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin and Jocelyn Pilayre were among others who were overwhelmed when they learned that Lee Min Ho was in Panglao town.

It all started when a Facebook user Rowena Aranar claimed she spotted the actor on Alona Beach in Panglao.  She shared a photo on Facebook with Lee Min Ho in a black tank top and damp hair as people flocked him for a photo.

Aranar, posted on January 7, “Lee Min Ho, is in Hennan , Alona Resort, Panglao, Bohol , sobrang gwapo at freindly, smiling face bida sa, Boys Over Flower.”

Her post has become viral, with almost 3,433 shares on the social media site as of writing.

Many fans believed that the singer-actor was in the Philippines for the taping of the “Legends of the Blue Sea.”  In one of the episodes, Heo Joon-jae (Lee Min Ho) tells Shim Chung (Jun Ji-hyun) that he plans to bring her to Boracay.

However, the news turned out to be, well, fake.

(We heard a loud thud from Fiel and Bjosh!)

The candid photo of Lee Min Ho was apparently snapped by Twitter user @minozindonesia, the first Indonesian fan base of the actor.

Internet user Leorenzi Dangoy said that Aranar’s post even “destroyed the reputation of Hennan” on a global scale.

There were others who agreed that the location does not look like Hennan Beach Resort at all. The photo was taken in 2013 in “The Heirs” days at Huntington Beach in California.

KPOP and Culture Fest on Facebook said, “Okay, bes, kalma. Lahat tayo nag-hyperventilate sa rumored Bohol photo ni Lee Min Ho. Nakaimpake na kami for Bohol. Apparently it was an old photo taken during his visit in the country. Who else have thought that they'd prolly doing the last few episodes of Legend of the Blue Sea here in the Philippines? Mianhe for the mini heart attack. Hindi kayo nag-iisa. *checks BP*”

Whatever the reason, it can’t be denied that fans are swarming over the charming actor.

Think before you post.


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

Sunday, November 27, 2016

AR de la Serna gears up for 1st Mister Supra ● ‘Pinoy Aquaman’ conquers Canigao Channel

The Philippines's bet AR dela Serna is now currently in Nowy Sacz in Poland for the 1st Mister Supranational pageant, to be held on December 3 (December 4, Philippine time) at the Miejski Ośrodek Sportu i Rekreacji (Hall of Sports).

AR, 23, hopes to become the country's first Mister Supranational titleholder.

AR has arrived in the city of Krynica-Zdrój in Poland last Wednesday night (Nov. 23, Thursday morning, Philippine time) for the pageant's preliminary events and activities, such as top model runway, photo and video challenges.

Mister Supranational-Philippines 2016 AR dela Serna, 
our bet in the Mister Supranational pageant, 
is now in Poland deadest on bringing home the country’s f
irst Mister Supranational title. Courtesy: AR dela Serna  
"It is very cold here," AR told VRS on Facebook chat.

And it gets even busier. In the coming days, AR will participate in a number of much-anticipated events such as the talent show, preview and contestant interviews.  Preliminary competitions will be held also in Slovakia on Nov. 27-29.

AR said he is ready for the pageant. In the weeks after he won Mister of Filipinas’ Mister Supranational, AR underwent courses on personality development and public speaking, attended Polish language classes, did rigid gym workouts, fielded incisive questions during interviews, took up good-grooming lessons  and took (pieces of) advice from colleagues and mentors on how to keep that “winning/fighting” spirit up.

“I've been training for quite some time. I'm only gonna be showcasing who I am. As I represent the country. I assure everyone that I am prepared to represent the country,” AR said.

AR, the first Mister Supranational Philippines, is among pageant enthusiasts' favorites to enter the Mister Supranational.

“I've set my life towards the goal.  I've kept a very healthy lifestyle,” he said.

The live televised event will be held at the Miejski Ośrodek Sportu i Rekreacji (MOSIR), Krynica’s main events venue with capacity for 3,000 people.  The production promises to be a total success.

(Note: To help AR to win the premier edition of Mister Supranational, you need to download the MobStar app. If he gets the MobStar People’s Choice Award, he would easily advance in the semifinal round during the finals night!)

‘Pinoy Aquaman’ swims Bohol to Leyte

Harold Bernales didn’t miss the chance to witness the historic swim of environmental- triathlete lawyer Ingemar Macarine, also known as the “Pinoy Aquaman,” on Sunday morning (Nov. 20), on his attempt to cross the Canigao Channel.

Bernales, 14, said he heard about Macarine’s feat on open sea swimming here and abroad.

“It was my chance to see him,” he said.

Lawyer Ingemar Macarine has attempted the first ever crossing of the Canigao Channel on Sunday. His non-stop and unassisted swim started from Pres. Carlos P. Garcia Island to Maasin City, Southern Leyte. The Canigao Channel swim has a total of 17 kilometer distance.  -Leo Udtohan

He accompanied his father, Paquito, who was the boatman of the escort boat.

Macarine’s attempt to cross the Canigao Channel was organized by Ubay Mayor Constantino Reyes.

He aimed at raising awareness of the need to promote clean seas and Ubay tourism.

“I am promoting tourism in Ubay Bohol, and for clean seas and beaches,” Macarine said.

After applying sunblock lotion, he took time to pray Psalm 23.

Pinoy Aquaman with  Leyte residents at Guadalupe Port. /Leo Udtohan
At 6:06 a.m. on Sunday, Macarine started his swim from Barangay Tugas in the island municipality of Pres. Carlos P. Garcia (CPG) to Maasin City, Southern Leyte, which is part of the Canigao Channel. The swim would cover a total of 17 kilometer distance.

He said strong waves and currents kept pulling him off course so he had to change direction.

“The first 10 kilometer was a very rough swim while the last seven kilometer was swim against strong current,” said Macarine.

At 12:30 p.m., Macarine reached the Guadalupe Port in Maasin City, a total of six hours and 37 minutes swim of the 17 kilometer distance between CPG and Maasin City.

“I hope this swim will inspire our kababayan from Maasin City and from Bohol, and of course, all over the Philippines to take care more of our marine environment,” Macarine said.

At Guadalupe Port, he was met by residents to have photo ops with him.

Resident Elizabeth Ibale, 66, said it was his first time to know that someone could actually swim from Bohol to Leyte.
Lawyer Ingemar Macarine is the first person to swim from Bohol to Leyte. /Leo Udtohan

“Bilib ko sa iyang abilidad nga first ko nakakita og tawo  nga grabe ang langoy  tiaw bang harang layua..grabeh oi,” she said.

Macarine said he plans to return to the United Kingdom to swim the English Channel which was aborted last August due to bad weather.

“I will be back to do the English Channel this coming September 2017. Last August 2016, this year, I was in UK for two months but I was not able to swim the English Channel because of the bad weather.  I hope next year, to try again. So, this is actually part of my training,” he said.

He said he will swim Camiguin to Balingoan, Misamis Oriental on January 17.

Macarine has conquered seas in the United States of America and Philippines. He was selected as one of the three Heroes of the Environment for 2015 by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF).

Macarine, 40, who hails from Surigao, is currently the election officer of Tubigon, in Bohol province.


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

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Vivoree’s grand homecoming

Scene: The open-forum and actual ocular inspection of the unfinished and abandoned school building by the provincial lawmakers in Hingotanan Island in Bien Unido. Bohol Vice-Gov. Dionisio Dajalos Balite, Ph.D. led the fact-finding delegation with board members Niño Rey Boniel, Dionisio Victor Balite, Tommy Abapo Jr., Agapito Cañas Avenido and Benjie Arcamo. 

The first Mister Supranational 
Philippines 2016 AR dela Serna
 is off to Poland this week deadset 
on bringing home the first Mister 
Supranational title.  
Courtesy: Eric Esperal/Misters of Filipinas 
Scene:  The first Mister Supranational Philippines 2016 AR dela Serna is ready to capture the first Mister Supranational title.  This week, AR will leave for Poland.  His physical transformation vividly shows his sheer discipline and strong-willed determination in achieving his ultimate goal in the highly anticipated male beauty-battle in the world. “I've been training for quite some time. I'm only gonna be showcasing who I am. As I represent the country. I assure everyone that I am prepared to represent the country,” AR told VRS.

Scene: Pinoy Aquaman lawyer Ingemar Macarine will cross the 17 km. Canigao Channel today by swimming solo and unassisted from Brgy. Tugas, in Pres. Carlos P. Garcia Island to Maasin City, Southern Leyte. The swim is organized by the Municipality of Ubay courtesy of Mayor Constantino Reyes to promote tourism in Ubay and for cleaner seas.

The "Go Getter Girl ng Bohol" Maria Niña Vivoree Matutes Esclito was finally home in Bohol last Friday.

It's been two months since Vivoree was a housemate of the Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) Lucky Season 7 on ABS-CBN, and her busy schedule has kept her from leaving Manila.

Vivoree, who was wearing “I love Bohol” shirt, was all smiles as fans gave her a very warm welcome. She was excited to see Bohol once again and thank all of her kababayans who supported her all the way.

At the airport, fans were plenty and support was overwhelming.

Greater happiness, however, exuded from her face when she got home in Loon town.  Reuniting with her family, whom she has not seen for two months, was the highlight of Vivoree’s trip to her hometown.

Former PBB Lucky Seven housemate Vivoree Esclito
with her high school teacher Butch Bernas, Ph.D. 
at the Tagbilaran City Science High School during 
her homecoming to Bohol. Contributed Photo
Another teen housemate, Fenech Veloso, also comes from Loon.

Bohol cultural icon Reigh Monreal posted on Facebook that  Vivoree is a cousin of FEU Tamaraws' Francis Matutes Tamsi, son of Bohol's Kundiman Diva Ammie Matutes Tamsi.

In Loon town, she visited Loon South Sentral Elem. School where she met by her former teachers, classmates and fans.  Special Education students of Loon Central Elementary School were eagerly waiting in front of their dormitory for Vivoree.

In Tagbilaran City, she also met her classmates and teachers at Tagbilaran City Science High School.

Vivoree’s high school teacher Butch Bernas, Ph.D., said he was surprised of Vivoree’s transformation-- from being shy to confident.

“Yet she remains very humble,” said Butch. “She was one of my talented students,” he added.

An aspiring singer, Vivoree said last August that she joined the reality show to help overcome her insecurities about her looks.  She said she was often teased as "balbon" by her peers. She said that by being more confident in herself, she can freely pursue her dream to perform in front of an audience.

Lawyer Ingemar “Pinoy Aquaman” Macarine 
with Ubay Mayor Constantino Reyes. Macarine 
will swim solo the Canigao Channel from Pres. Carlos P. Garcia
 Island to Southern Leyte today.  Contributed Photo
During her stint at the reality show, she was romantically linked with Filipino-Italian Marco Gallo. 

Vivoree was evicted from the PBB during the live 6th elimination night on Oct. 22. She got the lowest votes among those who were nominated for eviction.

However, she continues her TV guestings on ABS-CBN with Marco.

Continue to be brave and beautiful, said Big Brother.


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

Sunday, February 7, 2016

‘Pinoy Aquaman’ completes historic swim in Pamilacan

Seen: Spotted in Bohol last Friday was former Ilocos Norte Governor Chavit Singson. According to VRS, Singson visited Anda town for a possible business venture.

Scene:  Feng shui experts encourage everyone to throw away all the old stuff in our house to make room for new blessings for the Chinese New Year (Feb. 8). They also recommend wearing red to attract luck and fortune.

* * *
'Pinoy Aquaman’ Ingemar Patiño Macarine has a goal: To swim the English Channel, Catalina Channel and Marathon Island to promote clean seas, environmental tourism and climate change awareness.

Macarine has been swimming his whole life. Born in a small coastal town of Placer in Surigao del Norte in Mindanao, he spent nearly every day of his childhood swimming.

“I love the seas. Never did I fear swimming in the open water. And I think my life is very connected with water,” Macarine, who is an election officer of Tubigon town in Bohol province, said.

He was eight years old when he first dreamed about the possibility of swimming across the Surigao Strait. 

 ‘I want our children to enjoy the same clean seas and beaches. 
That is my environmental advocacy.’ Contributed Photo
"I learned to swim when I was in Grade 2. My friends and I just enjoyed swimming near the seashores. I told my friends, 'I wonder if anybody could swim over there," Macarine recalled. 

In his college days, he was a varsity swimmer at the Silliman University in Dumaguete City. 

Macarine said he especially wants to connect with and educate young people, the importance of clean seas. He also wants to raise awareness about climate change.  

Open-ocean swimming is among the toughest sporting disciplines in the world, said Macarine.  

His first open water swim was on Dec. 30, 2013. He was the first person to swim successfully from Basul Island to Lipata, Surigao City. 

“My first open water swim was unforgettable because that was my first time to swim against a strong current.  Three of my companions gave up. I was the only one who successfully crossed it,” he said. 

But for Macarine his latest challenge in Pamilacan Island in Bohol province last Jan. 31, was "the hardest and toughest yet".  He completed the gruelling 14-kilometer journey for 5 hours and 59 minutes.

He said strong currents kept pulling him off course so he had to change direction at least 14 times.

“It’s very challenging. This is my toughest swim because of strong current and waves. I had no choice but to use backstroke. The current changed several times and I had really a very hard time swimming against the current,” said Macarine.

The Pamilacan swim was his second in Bohol since he swam the 13.4-km stretch from Balicasag Island to mainland Panglao Island in 2014 during the first anniversary of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake. He did it to immortalize the Boholanos who had perished during the earthquake.

LAWYER  Ingemar Macarine says that his Pamilacan swim was the “hardest and toughest yet.’ 
Contributed Photo
Swimming in the open water is very safe so long as you have an escort boat, he said. 

Macarine said he follows the Marathon Swimming Federation Rules and performs his solo swimming without floating aid or help from any human or sea vessel.

The swim isn't easy.

"You need to be brave," he said. "And focus on what you’re doing."

At one point, he had been stung by jellyfishes. Sometimes, strong currents and big waves would somehow hinder his target.  Through it all, he held his mantra close: "Psalm 23...The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul: he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me...” His family-wife Raquel, and children- Lance, 6; and Colyn, 4, are his inspiration.

He said prior to his swim, he took time to read the Bible and pray.

"I read the Bible when I am in doubt, and of course, for the Lord's guidance. And my favorite is Psalm 23,” he said. 

He has since conquered seas in United States and Philippines.

Macarine had done similar feats in the past. He was acknowledged as the first Filipino to swim the 2.7-kilometer from Alcatraz Island Penitentiary to San Francisco City in April 2014.

He was also the first man to conquer the Babuyan Channel by swimming from Palaui Island to Mainland Sta. Ana, Province of Cagayan with a distance of 7.2 km in 2 hours on June 15,  2014.

He was also the first man to swim from Santa Fe in Bantayan Island to San Remigio in mainland Cebu, covering the distance of 19.99 km. He spent seven hours and 45 minutes to reach mainland Cebu.

He was also the first man who attempted to swim from Visayas to  Mindanao by swimming from San Ricardo, Southern Leyte to Surigao City, Northern Mindanao. Although the swim was unsuccessful, he made a personal record of swimming 23 kilometers in five and half hours in May 2014. 

Macarine was selected as one of the three Heroes of the Environment for 2015 by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF). 

“I am so happy that I can inspire more people to care more for the marine environment,'" he said.

At 39, Macarine said he is in good health, and just wants to do his part in bringing about peace and friendship, as well as clean seas.

“I want our children to enjoy the same clean seas and beaches. That is my environmental advocacy,” he said, “Clean seas are very important today for the future generations.”

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

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sinulog Festival in Bilar, Bohol; Pinoy Aquaman conquers Surigao Strait

• Bilar celebrates Sinulog Festival, too
• Pinoy Aquaman conquers Surigao Strait

Members of Batch ’77 of Cogon Elem. School
 in Tagbilaran City repaired and rehabilitated
 the corridor and canal lining of their alma mater
 last Friday to improve sanitation at the school 
and make sure that the environment is
 conducive for teaching and learning. 
Contributed Photo/Lorna B. Suello
Scene: Former students (Batch ’77) of Cogon Elem. School in Tagbilaran City repaired and rehabilitated the corridor and canal lining of their alma mater last Friday.  According to Lorna Bagotchay-Suello, the event aimed to improve sanitation at the school and make sure that the environment is conducive for teaching and learning. “We want to help the school in improving the pathway. We feel that the school did a lot to us and that it is our turn to do something for the school,” said Suello. She also added that the school has produced many students who are successful in life. “And we feel we need to mobilise ourselves to make sure that the school continues to deliver its core function,” she added. Eleonor Balatero is the Batch ‘77 president.

Scene: A talent handler-manager (THM) is surely among the richie-rich in town these days. THM has been deluged with all sorts of projects of late, said a socialite VRS. In spite of newfound affluence, THM can be quite stingy, added VRS. “THM is not the type who would shower friends with gifts or treat friends,” said VRS. “Now you know why THM is wealthy!”

Scene:  Delegates have arrived in Cebu City for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) on January 24 to 31, 2016. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI chose Cebu as the venue of the, announcing his pick during the Mass at the closing of the 50th IEC in Dublin, Ireland, in 2012. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines had expressed intent to host the 51st IEC in the Philippines, which would be a fitting prelude to preparations for the celebration in 2021 of 500 years of Christianity in the country.

*   *   *
Aileen Sendrijas Pasagad, 44, was ready for Sunday’s street dancing in her hometown, as the city of Cebu held its Sinulog festival on the same day.

Pasagad, the led dancer of barangay (village) Zamora, one of the 24 contingents which joined the 34th Sinulog Festival in Bilar town, had checked her costume since Saturday.

Aileen Sendrijas Pasagad (with Butch Bernas) 
holds the image of the Sto. Niño during the 
Sinulog Festival in Bilar, Bohol province, 
an evident that the devotion for Sto. Niño is
 not just evident in Cebu but in other 
provinces as well. Leo Udtohan/Chronicle
“I just want to make it sure everything’s okay for our performance,” said Pasagad, a barangay kagawad of Zamora.

She also said she was a devotee of the Sto. Niño since 2008. 

“Even if we were not in Cebu where the original Sinulog Festival, here in Bilar, we celebrated the Sinulog Festival every third Sunday of January as paying homage to the Holy Child, our second patron saint,” she said.

It’s Pasagad’s second year to offer her dance.

“While I was dancing, I also had my wishes to the Señor Sto. Niño,” she said.

She prayed for blessings and good health for her family.

This year, however, church officials of the Saint Isidore the Farmer Parish Church decided to cancel the contest and make the event simple. It was to give priority to the on-going church restoration. The church was damaged by the strong earthquake in 2013. The Sto. Niño should be the main focus of the celebration and should not the contest, church officials said.

But for Pasagad and other dancers, it didn’t matter.

“It’s not a problem to us if we have a simple celebration as long we could dance as our way of thanksgiving,” she said.

Teofila Sarabia, 90, from barangay Villa Suerte, at least 18 kms from the town, was among the crowd who witnessed the festival. She said she was happy that her town had the festivity since she had no time anymore to visit Cebu’s Sinulog as she used to when she was young.

“I am already old and weak for that. And the fare is expensive, she said.  She said she was contented to witness the Sinulog in Bilar though not as grand like in Cebu. 

“I just hope this tradition would continue," said Sarabia who was asking for the Sto. Niño to grant her good health and guidance.

Twenty four contingents from different barangays joined this year’s festivity.

“The performance was impressive. Nice dance steps and colorful props,” said Butch Bernas, 33, a choreographer based in Tagbilaran City. 

Three towns in Bohol celebrated last Saturday its annual fiesta honoring its patron saint, Sto. Niño. These were Cortes, President Carlos P. Garcia (CPG) and Valencia. A street-dancing competition was  held in Anda town last  Monday.

The Sinulog in Bilar was a proof that the devotion for Sto. Niño is not just evident in Cebu but in other provinces as well.

*   *   *
Pinoy Aquaman conquers Surigao Street

Ingemar Macarine aka Pinoy Aquaman, swam across the Surigao Strait non-stop last Sunday.

Macarine, an environmental lawyer by profession, spent 10 hours and 37 minutes to swim the 10.99-kilometer distance between Sumilom Island to Punta Bilar, Surigao City.

He aimed at raising awareness of the need to promote clean seas and Surigao tourism.

He said strong currents kept pulling him off course so he had to change direction at  five times.

“It was not that difficult because the weather was fine,” he said. “Though the current was strong and it changed direction five times. And also thousands of nasty jellyfishes.”

"Pinoy Aquaman" lawyer Ingemar Macarine 
swims across the Surigao Strait nonstop 
last Sunday to promote clean seas
 and Surigao tourism. Contributed Photo
He said prior to his swim, he  took time to read the Bible and pray.

"I read the Bible for guidance. And my favorite is Psalm 23,” he said.

Macarine, the founding president of Surigao Runners Club, was escorted by two boats -- a small one carrying his navigator and a bigger boat loaded with rescue team and friends. 

He said he constantly used freestyle and had no difficulty with his swimming techniques.

“I’m so happy when I reached Punta Pilar because I was able to reach my target,” he said.

He also said that he exerted effort against the strong currents as the same in real life.

“In real life, we need to fight strong currents-problems, challenges and situations- to make us stronger,” he said.

Macarine had done similar feats in the past. He was acknowledged as the first Filipino to swim the 2.7-kilometer from Alcatraz Island Penitentiary to San Francisco City in April 2014.

He was also the first man to swim  the 4.2-kilometer stretch in two hours from Basul Island to Surigao City in Dec. 2013,  the first man  to conquer the Babuyan Channel by swimming from Palaui Island to Mainland Sta. Ana, Province of Cagayan with a distance of 7.2km in 2hours on June 15,  2014.

He was also the first man to swim from Santa Fe in Bantayan Island to San Remigio in mainland Cebu, covering the distance of 19.99 km. He spent seven hours and 45 minutes to reach mainland Cebu.

He was also the first man who attempted to swim from Visayas to  Mindanao by swimming from San Ricardo, Southern Leyte to Surigao City, Northern Mindanao. Although the swim was unsuccessful,  he made a personal record of swimming 23 kilometers in five and half hours in may 2014.

In November 2015, he was named by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) as one of its Filipino environmental heroes for pioneering solo channel swimming in the Philippines to promote marine conservation.

He is planning to swim Pamilacan Island,in Baclayon, Bohol on Jan. 31, and in Europe, this year.

Macarine, who hails from Surigao, is currently the election officer of Tubigon town.

*   *   *

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