Showing posts with label anda. Show all posts
Showing posts with label anda. Show all posts

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Olalala...Bohol's 'coco bra' for summer keepsake

Scene: The docu-drama of the Regional   Huwarang   Pantawid   Pamilya   Search   2016 by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VII  was aired last Friday and Saturday on Cebu Catholic Media Network (CCTN) channel 47. It featured the Torrentira  Family  of  Barangay  Dagnawan, Sagbayan town, in Bohol.  The Torrentira family won last year’s Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya Regional Search and also placed 2nd  runner up at the national level.

Seen: Spotted in Bohol last week was actress Valerie Concepcion for a vacation. The tour was arranged by Wow Bohol Travel and Tours (09081724641/09176838051)
Scene: At least 2,800 incoming kindergarten and elementary pupils from San Isidro, Carmen, Inabanga and Sagbayan towns have received school supplies from GMA Kapuso Foundation for its annual Unang Hakbang sa Kinabukasan project.

* * *
For many travelers to this Bohol’s anomalous town, which is at least 99 km from the capital city of Tagbilaran, the town fulfils the province's promise of easy breezes, slow days and perfect beaches.

What may come as a surprise are the twists recently added to the town.

New resorts are constructed along the famed beaches of Anda, while some resorts undergo major refurbishments.

The exquisite coconut bra or “coco bra” is an added 
twist to Anda town, in Bohol province, where members 
of Talisay Fishermen Association (Tafias) are crafting the
 unique brassiere for souvenir item.  Leo Udtohan/Chronicle
New cafes. New spas. New pools. 

And the latest?

The coconut bra!

It may sounds Hawaiian, but coconut bra, a woman’s brassiere, is now crafted here by the members of the Talisay Fishermen Association (Tafias).

The coconut bra, “coco bra” for short, is made of real coconut shells with braided raffia or hemp strings to tie around the neck and the back.

It is one size coconut bra which fits most adults who dare to wear it.

“The coco bra is probably better described a coconut bikini top,” said Robin Gurney, founder of AndaKidz, a non-profit, non-sectarian organization which focuses on the hungry kids of Anda town, which is supporting and helping Tafias projects.

“Coco bra just sounds snappier and cooler,” he added.

When coco bra was introduced to the market last March, it caused a stir among foreign men and expats.

“Philippines is a tropical destination for tourists (domestic and international). Many when they are in holiday mode make instinctive, impulsive purchases of tourist souvenir items,” Gurney said.

Coco Bra
Coconut bra sells well in Hawaii, he said.

The coco bra and hula skirt are iconic images of hula dancing and party wear at Hawaiian luaus. The 1961 movie “Blue Hawaii” starring Elvis Presley, featured Hawaiian women wearing coconut bras.

“We had seen that in Hawaii the coconut bra sells well so we tried to do a Filipino version because they are many coconuts in the area which could in theory be up-cycled to higher value products,” he said.

At least 50 Tafias members, mostly fishermen and out of school youth, were trained to produce wide range of coconut and bamboo jewelry, said Gurney.  The materials and tools were donated and provided by AndaKidz as part of project co-funded by Estoninan Development Cooperation.

Through Tafias, its members get paid to make the coco bra and other native jewelry, added Gurney.

They can make at least 50 coconut bras for a day.

“I estimate 100 per day is possible, more if we have supplies and labor. It’s very scalable,” he said.

Gurney hopes Tafias can find resellers and stockist in all tourist beach destinations.

"The coco bra is new but we have had orders from Estonia and Boracay so far,” Gurney said.

In Bohol, coco bra is available at Coco Loco Cafe in Poblacion, Anda town, for P300.

The Coco Loco Cafe also sells other Tafias products ranging from fashion items -earrings, necklaces, bracelets, bangles and even a bow tie made of coconut shell, to homemade organic ice-creams and the tilapia chips.

However, the most selling item is the coco bra.

“Isa sa mabenta dito ay ang coco bra. Maraming mga dayuhan na pumupunta dito para bumili sa amin ng mga souvenirs,” said Rizza Amoguis, staff of Coco Loco Cafe.

In Barangay Talisay in Anda town where the Tafias center can be found, AndaKidz also helped Tafias put up an eco-friendly community center which uses plastic soda bottles and liquor bottles as walls.

The community center also boasts of a children’s library, children’s play dens, musical instruments and study tables and spacious halls where community volunteers also put up trainings and discussions.

Bohol farmers plant melons

The drought affects rice farmers very significantly. It is expected to last until last week of May or early weeks of June this year, said Hermes Hinlayagan, weather forecaster of the local Pagasa.

The current dry spell has pushed water tables deeper underground and is drying up some creeks and springs.   Although rainshowers have experienced in some towns, there is a need for water.

With drought jeopardizing Bohol agriculture, some farmers in some towns are fighting to survive. They have  shifted to  other crops that are drought-resilient, such as watermelons, bitter gourd (ampalaya) and string beans..

Some farmers in Lila and Dimiao towns are planting watermelons and string beans to beat the dry season. Donald Quim grows watermelons for  extra income for the family while the drought is drying up the land in the province.  Watermelons and beans thrive well during dry season.   Leo Udtohan/Chronicle
In Lila town, at least 100 farmers are in the fields in the morning and afternoon in coastal barangays of Taug, Tiguis and Lomanoy.

Donald Quim, 46, of Barangay Taug, started planting watermelons in the 300-quare-meter farm last year after he was convinced  by his wife Luzviminda, 53, that these melons are profitable. Last year, he earned P7,500 from 375 watermelons, which he sold for P16 to P20 a kilo.

This year, Quim said he spent at least P 1, 750 in farm inputs, including watermelon seeds for P750 and fertilizers for P1,000.

He said watermelons could survive  hot weather akthough the still needed to be watered twice a day.

“Maka-survive ang watermelon basta lamang naay source nga makuhaan og tubig. Basta mabubuan sila maka-survive yamu ang melon. Buntag ug hapun  ang bubo. Mao na nakalami namo diri dapita sa Lila kay naa mi tubig. Magamit namo ang basak after harvest sa panahon sa tag-init,” he said.

Quim said his pocket should not dry up this dry season.

“Kakugi rana. Twice a day . kada semana mag-abuno. Check-up the farm tingali naay magbinuang,” he said.

Generally, the fruits are ready for harvest after 65 to 90 days. One vine can produce four to five fruits. Smaller fruits usually weigh 3-4 kilos, but bigger melons weigh 5-7 kilos.  He sells it for P15-20 per kilo which is lower compared to malls and markets in Tagbilaran.

If Quim has to compare planting rice and melon, he would prefer the former since it is profitable.

His last rice harvest was in the middle of March this year in his 1,000 sq meter. He was able to  to harvest 20 sacks of rice. 

“Dili pa na net. Gamay ra og abot ang basakan,” he said.

In the neighboring town of Dimiao, at least 50 farmers in Barangay Balbalan, known as the “watermelon country” in Bohol, were a bit late than Lila farmers. They just started planting watermelons last March.

Ricado Cagas, 50, planted watermelons last first week of April in his 300 square meter farm. He said he is expecting to harvest them this June. His wife Rosita, 34; and three children-RR, 24; Lemuel, 22; and Gladys, 21 are helping him managing the farm.

He said he spent at least P4,000 for farm inputs for seeds, fertilizer and chemical spray.  Last year, he was able to sell melons for P20,000.

Farmers grow a Sweet 16 variety of watermelon, cantaloupe and honey dew.

Cagas said he liked panting watermelons because the waiting time to make a profit was shorter.

“Lami ang watermelon kay makakuwarta dali. Ang humay kay dugay anihun kay 120 days. Ang watermelon mga 1 month and tunga,” he said.

Another farmer, Eduardo Lagrada, took advantage of planting water melons this dry season.

 “Sayang ang panahon kung dili mutanum og melon nga maoy tiempo nga tigtanum. Usik bah. Mentras iyang panahon tamnan para dili masayang. Makatabang sab,” Lagrada said.

He grows watermelons to prepare for the coming classes in June.

“Gipangandaman sab ni ika-pangabri sa klase bah. Dako sab ikabatang sa panahon og tigklase. Makapamalit og kinahanglanun,” he said.
GMA Kapuso Foundation In Bohol. 
Both farmers in Lila and Dimiao have claimed they have the sweetest and delicious watermelons. Farmers are selling watermelons in makeshift sheds along the national highway.

However, not all farmers grow water melons this dry season.  Some grow ampalaya (bitter gourd) and string beans like Eleuterio Patana, 57, of  Barangay Datag, in the same town, who started planting ampalaya last month.  Another farmer Sergio Bakilid, 56, also planted string beans. He said string beans could thrive in the heat.

“Batong ang permanente itanum ingaron basta tag-init kay mulahutay og way tubig,” said Bakilid.

Farmers in Barangay Quinoguitan in Loboc town have also planted watermelons. Those in Carmen and Sierra-Bullones also grow pineapples, aside from watermelons.

Boholano farmers are still watching the skies and staring at their parched lands they have no option to fight drought than wait for rain.

*   *   *

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

Monday, April 6, 2015

Are you ready for your summer getaway?

At the South Palms in Panglao, the highlight here is the fantastic beach.
The rooms are stylish and well-appointed.
 – Contributed Photo.
Summer has started.
This was the official announcement last Wednesday from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pag-asa). The agency reiterates that Philippines does not have a "summer" as we only have two seasons: dry and wet.
And there’s no better way to build memories and beat the heat than an epic summer escapade!
Not decided where to go for a summer getaway?
Take a cue from our Boholano friends.
Benjie Oliva—  Anda, Bohol. To patronize our own and to support our local tourism industry.
Donglee Camacho— In the municipality of Anda because it is complete. They have a church and a beach.
EJ Relampagos—  Japan because it’s the most picturesque country according to a friend who has been travelling the world...and I love to take pictures of details.
Edik Dolotina—  My hometown. To relax with family. A family staycation during holidays is joy like no other.
The glorious, powdered-sugar sand in Anda town in Bohol. –Photo by Leo Udtohan
May Hope “Dice” Arcenal—  It would be Palawan and Batanes. Why Palawan because would like to experience the beauty that it offers being one of the Seven Wonders of the World. About Batanes would love to be part of their unique culture and enjoy the vast greeneries and unharmed environment with the touch and display of true  honesty.
Queenie Melody Fullante—  Wish I was still a student so I could spend wisely my summer vacation. Anyway, I’ll be spending my Holy Week in Davao. Once back in Bohol on Easter pohon, back  to normal routine: work, JVI projects, and Queenie Duties. And I think will start to bustle for  Miss Bohol 2015. Nothing really biggie for me this summer but thank God for my inborn suntan, everyday feels like summer.
Merly Diez Bantugan—  Part will be spent with the family at the white beaches in Panglao, trip to Cebu for a change and part with friends in Palawan this mid-May... for  unwinding and purely leisure, may God bless these  plans!
Ryan Sines— I want to spend my summer at Alexis Cliff Dive Resort in Panglao. I haven’t been there. If I am not busy, I will try to set a sked with my friends after the Saulog and Mutya sa Tagbilaran. I’ve heard Alexis is a hidden paradise fronting the sea. I would like to try cliff diving for a super summer adventure!  
DinDin Calope— Bantayan Island. I wanna experience the best beach and shoreline and the serenity... as what I’ve heard from people.
The cold and clear running water from the
Ughuban Spring in barangay Cambuyo
 in Garcia-Hernandez, Bohol is
perfect for your summer relaxation.
 –Photo by Leo Udtohan
Reigh Monreal—  Have you heard of the three Bohol Surprise tour packages? Each package takes you to a circuit of stopovers beyond the usual nature and heritage tours. The tours have been developed through a project called Ecotourism Bohol which is assisted by the Japan International  Cooperation Agency. For details, please inquire at the Bohol  Tourism Office. It is, therefore, still Bohol for me this summer. Why go to other places when there are a lot more to discover in your own?
Dr. April Lumuthang-Froilan— Summer getaway? Just in our very own Bohol where white, pristine beaches are also found. Why? I will be hitting two birds  with one stone. If I stay, private practice continues-beautifying Boholanos especially the balikbayans...on call all the time! He!He!He!
Karen Batuhinay—  No vacation leave for us this summer. We will be on duty at the airport serving incoming and outgoing tourists/passengers of Bohol.
Tess Labunog-Sumampong—  I love to go to Tagaytay! I’ve never been there. I want to experience Tagaytay’s cool weather, refreshing scenery and great food. My friends said that it is a food haven with its many restaurants, cafes and farms offering a wide array of food options.
Ariel Fullido—  My dream summer escapade is an inter-island mini cruise, counter clockwise just around Bohol, in a yacht from Panglao, to Anda, hopping from Balicasag and  Pamilacan isles. Then off to Pitogo and the underwater grotto in Danajon reef in Bien Unido, before speeding around the islets of Taibon. In tubigon, try to anchor at Dumog and sample the white sand dunes, before taking  a dive in Cabilao, and berth at the end of the day at the harbor view of Bohol Tropics. Now is the time to view from a distance the coastlines around the paradise island of Bohol!
The golden leaves become more transparent
during the summer in Loboc-Bilar forests.
 - Photo by Leo Udtohan
Atty. Julius Gregory Delgado—  I will be in Sagada. It is both cultural and personal. Cultural because it will be my first time to visit the place, interact with locals, see the hanging coffins.  Personal because being in  a pristine mountain range will give me that much needed breather for  me to reflect and think things over. #WhereDoBrokenHeartsGo
Mayette Gasatan —  My summer getaway will be here at South Palms Resort in Panglao. As an officer of this resort, I have to see to it that we will give our best Boholano services and products to our tourists. I am doing this not because this is my job but I’m also happy and proud offering our tourists assets (our beaches and our being hospitable- a unique trait of a Boholano) to the tourists.
JP Maslog—  Exploring my home province of Bohol would be my best option this year specifically the least known yet equally awe-inspiring as the world renowned  sites like the chocolates of Carmen or the surrealistic beaches  of Panglao.
PSSupt Dennis Agustin—  Bohol. Because we have to comply with the security requirements in our Oplan to keep the Lenten season safe and protect vacationers and tourists.
Van Delima— There are a couple of my favorite spots for lounging around Bohol or just so to on any beach to kick back and relax, perfect for the hazy days of summer 2015. Well, most families or rather individuals might spend their vacay on a cozy resort with infinity pools; or a trip to Venice beaches in Italy for the lucrative high tax payers. Me? I am the opposite of both worlds, a summer getaway could mean an aura and an atmosphere of totally spontaneous relaxing and partying, good food and art. While I plan to stay in Anda de Boracay for a night or two, then paddle on a boat rental to Lamanok Island where I wish to spend hours on shore semi-NUDE. I can set up camp for the night bonfire , beer etc then back en route head amongst the greenery of the island where I would probably meet backpacking locals or tourists. Being thrown into something where I don't really know what to expect is exciting, I want to blissfully spend the summer holidays with relatively affordable and fun experience!
Pat Ruiz— I am going to the towns of Placer and Corpus in Masbate. Natural and pristine beaches; simple organic food and simple people.  Most of all, no congestion. I was there last year for two days. Now, a week. Will share  you some photos.
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

OMG’s Tsinelas and Apple campaign in full swing

SceneKristian Nikko Chatto Geangan and Liezel May Lodonia Turtoga from the College of Teacher Education (CTE) were crowned Mr. and Ms. Bohol Island State University- Main Campus (BISU-MC) 2014, reported Christian Ariel Fementira. “Nikko was also adjudged Best in Interview, Best in Shorts, Best in Production Number, and Fans Choice Award, while Liezel was Best in Shorts and Best in Production Number.” Christian also added that “Nikko and Liezel will represent the Main Campus in the provincial SCUAA Meet in October.” The pageant was the highlight of the one-week celebration of BISU-MC Intramurals 2014.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV (3rd from left) with (l-r) Loon 
Councilor Rex Masamayor, Bohol 1st district Rep. Rene Relampagos, 
Tagbilaran Councilor Jerry Pabe, Magdalo-Bohol VP 
Jun “Alerto” Gutierrez and Engr.  
Roland Calipusan of Magdalo-Ubay chapter.
Seen: Spotted in Bohol was Sen. Antonio Trillanes lV in a quick visit to Tagbilaran on Aug. 31 to meet the members of Samahang Magdalo-Bohol chapter.  The meeting also served as the venue to discuss local concerns in membership and some needs in medical and financial assistance to their members. The Samahang Magdalo is a non-government organization registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission advocating good governance and social justice.

Seen:  Five survivors of the Bohol earthquake will meet and eat with Pope Francis when he visits the country in 2015, according to Bishop Leonardo Medroso in a radio interview on Radyo Veritas.

Do you smell Christmas in the air? Welcome the “ber” months! 

The start of September also means that Christmas is just around the corner as the world’s longest Christmas season unfolds in the Philippines. 

Now that the “Ber” month is finally upon us, US-based Boholano socialite Mikey Gatal gives early Christmas presents to schoolkids while enjoying his “makabuluhang bakasyun” in Bohol after visiting Thailand and HongKong.

Mikey Gatal continues his advocacy to change the lives of schoolkids 
through his tsinelas and apple campaign.-LPU
“Giving warmth, love and hope. That’s what Christmas should be all about,” said Mikey.

The moment he set foot on Bohol soil, Mikey went to the Holy Trinity Orphanage in Albur town. He spent time at the orphanage and gave Crocs slippers to kids through the One Heart for Hope headed by Mikey’s friend Merlita Helms. 

Last Friday, Mikey and his angels (Wardiflex Vallespin, Mayen Gatal, Allysa Inting, Joemar Gatal and Pham Marzon) donated slippers and apples to 309 pupils of Tamboan Elem. School in Carmen town. Mikey and the team were warmly welcomed by master head teacher of Tamboan Julieta Valentos and her colleagues.

Tamboan Elem. School is also the home of the talented Tamboan Elem. School Ukelele Ensemble. The 48 members of the group play and learn the tricks of the ukelele musical instrument. These young kids were also the recipients of the OMG charity event.

The 11--year-old Grade 5 student Novem Vallentos walks to school with her worn-out slippers, beamed with joy as she received her new pair of slippers and apple from Mikey.

Novem, like many other poor children from the province, did makeshift repairs on her rubber slippers so she can still use them. She used wire she picked up from the streets to make her slippers wearable.

“Thank you Kuya Mikey! I have a new slipper,” said Novem.

After the sumptuous lunch served by the teachers and performance of the Tamboan Elem. School Ukelele Ensemble, Mikey and his angels proceeded to Anda town.

In Anda, Mikey and his OMG Team were welcomed by Virgen barangay captain Flor Flores of the Flower Beach Resort (, Phone: +63918 579 6166; Email:

Mr and Ms. BISU-MC 2014 Kristian Nikko
 Geangan and Liezel May Turtoga
310 pupils of Virgen Elem. School received their slippers and apples. “Nindot among tsinelas nadawat, tam-is among apple nadawat,” echoed the pupils. . 

“I applaud Mikey and friends in America for this great work for the community. Thank you for making these kids happy,” said school principal Valeriano Balo.

Inspired by popular broadcast journalist Korina Sanchez’ tsinelas campaign and RJ Garcia’s apple drive campaign, Mikey’s Tsinelas and Apple Drive Campaign originally started as a public service segment on his popular website when Bohol was hit by a killer quake. Mikey learned that most of the schoolchildren of Bohol had to either walk barefoot or wear tattered slippers to school. Some of them get to eat apples for the first time. He also launched the OMG alkansyang bagols (coconut shell coin banks) to teach kids about saving money.

“Through this project, we can restore their dignity and revive hope. It is our dream that none of them will never attend school barefooted,” said Mikey.

Today, Mikey’s Tsinelas and Apple Drive campaign is in full swing as he is partnering with several friends in America, Merlita Helms and Atty. Sandy Roxas, who share his vision of ensuring that schoolkids in Bohol have a decent slippers (and apples to eat) which they can use every day.

Next week, Mikey will be back to the US, but the children hope he will be back soon....with some goodies!


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

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Daniel Padilla to heat up Anyag 2013

Scene: Summer Gimik in Bohol: Anda, the beautiful.  When it comes to beautiful, breath-taking beaches, the town of Anda offers some of the most beautiful shores on earth. The Anda beaches boast miles upon miles of pristine, white, sandy shores and the gentle waters lap at your feet in a veritable kaleidoscope of electric blues and sparkling jades. Anda has also cave pools like Cabugnaw and Tibao. A trivia: Anda has appeared on ABS-CBN’s Panday in 2006.
A beach on paradise island in Anda, Bohol, Philippines
Scene: Months before the height of election campaign, this lady councilor's (who is seeking higher position) poll numbers routinely hovered in the stratosphere. Last week, with LC basking in the glow of victory in a short, her rating suddenly appeared very low. "Imagine Kuya Leo, wala jud siya ming-attend sa ilang pangampanya pila ka days. She was frustrated jud," says VRS. "She was thinking that head of the group junked her unya naay lain gidala. Pero giam-aman intawon siya." LC had to withdraw her candidacy but was advised not to make such “desperate” move.
Seen: Dr. Mary Grace Ochavillo-Uy (of J&N Dental Clinic, 2nd floor, City Pharmacy- CPG Avenue, Tagbilaran City, Tel. No: (038) 411-5317) and her family in South Korea for a holiday. They visited Nami Island, Chungju Lake, Everland, Korea Folk Village and other famous landmarks of South Korea.
Dra. Mary Grace Ochavillo-Uy and her family at the Land of the Morning Calm.
Scene: The 12 candidates who will compete in Bohol Queen International 2013 (back to back with a summer disco) on April 27 at Clarin Cultural and Sports Complex. The pageant is presented by LGBT Clarin. For ticket reservation, call 09103396686.
Daniel Padilla will be the guest of honor in the 6th edition of Anyag sa Tubigon on May 10.
This was confirmed by lawyer Julius Gregory Delgado who facilitated and arranged the contract signing in Manila. 
Considered as the hottest male teen star today on ABS-CBN, 17-year-old Daniel Padilla will serenade the 12 candidates of Anyag 2013.
Kapamilya star Daniel Padilla

Touted the “Justin Bieber of the Philippines,” Daniel will celebrate his 18th birthday (which actually falls on April 26) with an upcoming concert on April 30 at the Big Dome.
Daniel started out in the industry roughly four years only, but 2012 proved to be his breakthrough year. He had a hit teleserye Princess & I which gave birth to his love team with Kathryn Bernardo, a multi-platinum debut album, and just recently, the movie Must Be...Love with Kathryn and a chart-topping single Nasa ‘Yo Na Ang Lahat which he interpreted for the Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs 2013 competition.
(Note: For tickets to Anyag sa Tubigon, call Tubigon Tourism Office at Tel. No. 508-8496.)
Here’s an interesting contribution from my Cebuano doctor-friend about the newly Pope Francis which she found on Facebook:
Recently, when he left his apartment at Domus Marta and went out into the hall, the Pope found a Swiss Guard standing at attention outside his door.

He asked him, “And what are you doing here? Were you awake all night?

“Yes,” the guard answered respectfully.


“One of my colleagues gave me a break.”

“And you’re not tired?”

“It’s my duty Your Holiness, for Your safety.”

The Pope looked at him with kindness. He went back into his apartment and, after a few minutes, returned with a chair in his hand: “At least sit down and rest.”

Shocked, the Swiss Guard replied, “Forgive me, but I can’t! The rules don’t allow it.”

“The rules?”

“My captain, Your Holiness.”

“Oh, is that so? Well, I’m the Pope and I am asking you to sit down.”

So, between the rules and the Pope, the Swiss Guard, complete with his halberd, chose the chair. And then the Pope brought him some bread and jam for a snack, saying, “Buon appetito, brother.”
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.