Showing posts with label benjie oliva. Show all posts
Showing posts with label benjie oliva. Show all posts

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Their #2018Goals

A new year, a new you.

As we start another year, it’s always good to strive for certain goals for better, healthier and more fulfilled lives—physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Here are some notable (my favorite!) Boholanos who shared their #2018goals:

Idy Caseñas Cagas — PERSONAL: Learn something new. Move more! Create a workout routine, find time to exercise. Eat healthy and increase water intake. Be more grateful. RELATIONSHIP: Visit my parents more often and call them more often. Be in better touch with my closest friends. Have regular date nights with the fiance. WORK: Learn the difference between important and urgent. Keep on learning. Drive my own development. Celebrate successess, big or small, reward myself and stay motivated. Stress less. Understand others better.

Leah Tirol-Magno — To continue innovating, be a blessing to someone each day and also to be a doctor.

Some Boholanos think that it’s important 
to start 2018 the right way—by having a New Year’s goals!
Doris Dinorog-Obena — To visit one or two countries like Brunei and Bali  (Indonesia) and visit Coron (Palawan) then study and explore an online business. I would also want to develop more grounded participatory planning processes inclined towards gender equality...anything that will make use of my previous governance experience.

Benjie Oliva — My 2018 goals are: 1) To lose weight through regular exercise and proper diet; 2) a short-term  scholarship  abroad; and 3) with God’s blessings  another baby in the family.

Jeryl Lacang-Fuentes — This year I intend to be bolder and better. Also, I intend to unapologetically spend more time putting myself first, say NO to others and spend time on myself and my girls.

Imaculada Cleofe Leopardas — My 2018 goals seem like my most genuine decisions. I want to be really mindful, be more passionate wherever I go and I want to change for the better. I will no longer dwell on negativities and insecurities but rather, I will practice positive thinking and be more focused. I want to be closer to God, I want to still make time to some people who matters to me. I will have a healthy lifestyle and take care of myself. Lastly, I want to be a woman who's selfless and she knows her purpose and lives with it. And I will live a meaningful life.

Tessie Labunog-Sumampong —I want to  travel more around the world with my family, to be physically fit because I am not getting any younger and to expand my catering business and to have a home my own na jud

Charina Aumentado-Jones:  To lose weight.  Ha!Ha!Ha!

AR De La Serna— Achieve more. Continue working hard. Travel to places I've never been before.

Mikey Gatal — I need a break before I get crazy in America! My plan is to apply for a dual citizenship to be able to stay longer in the Philippines especially in Bohol for a well deserve vacation and not rushing to go back and work. I am considering a job over there at The Panglao International Airport if there is an opportunity and be closer to my family again, I will also consider a work in Congress for that’s where I started and hopefully I will have a happier and peaceful mind this 2018!

Lourdes Brunidor Cempron — Maintain a healthy lifestyle, success for my loved ones and most of all to be more prayerful.

Gisela Mae Apalisok-Leggington—My goals in 2018: track my calories intake and diet, exercise regularly, be a minimalist at home and whichever, spend on things necessary and finish food n the fridge or pantry before buying, not a hoarder, to travel anywhere, time management.  Another goal: go to the gym regularly, go to bed early to get a real good eight hours of sleep

Ingemar Macarine— To conquer the English Channel!

Today is the best time to relate to VRS readers some inspiring stories sent to me by travel specialist Jocelyn Pilayre and beauty queen Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin who must have gotten them from their other friends or other sources.

Anyway, “A Shoe Seller Walks in the Shoes of Kindness” is worth retelling, from which we can all learn a lesson or two.

I am sharing you this to make you smile and inspire you this 2018.

A Shoe Seller Walks in the Shoes of Kindness

Today, I felt terrible. My head was full of problems and confusion.  I decided to take a walk even though I didn't know where I would go. The most extraordinary thing happened when I was out on this walk.

I saw an old man sitting on a chair. He was a seller of second-hand shoes. I thought he looked at least 70 years old. He seemed so tired and nobody was buying his shoes. I wanted to give him something but I had not brought anything with me.

Then, a little girl came toward him. I heard the child say, "Grandfather, may I polish your shoes?" That old man took pity on her, smiled and he gave her a  shoe to polish.

The girl said, "I polish the shoe because I need money to buy my brother a new school uniform."

SubmitI heard this and tears came to my eyes. The old man answered, "Oh, little girl. Just stop doing this. Come with me and I will buy you a uniform." Then they walked to a market (I followed behind) and he bought her a uniform.

The girl was so happy.  She said, "Thank you so much for doing this. May God bless you." Then she left, leaving the old man smiling.

He walked away from the market, but I stopped him. I whispered in his ear, "You are a hero! Thank you for your kindness!"  As I walked away, I glanced back and I could see him still smiling.

I was blown away by the kindness I had just seen.  Someone who had so little themselves, was able to show such incredible generosity! Amazing! My own sadness had completely disappeared, chased way by the light of this kind act.

I began realizing that I have a lot to be thankful for. I hope, some day, I can show my appreciation of what I have by following the example of the old man who only had a little, but shared it so beautifully with someone who had nothing.


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

Sunday, June 18, 2017

RIP John Romulo Caresosa Garcia & 108th Rotary International Convention

Corporal John Romulo Caresosa Garcia had long wanted to go home but new assignments kept cropping up that eventually brought him to Marawi City in Lanao del Sur.

The 28-year-old member of the Philippine Marine Corps was finally home last Tuesday in his native San Miguel town, Bohol.

But it was a sad homecoming for the family who first learned about his death on Facebook.

John Romulo Caresosa Garcia of Bohol was 
among the 13 soldiers killed in Marawi on June 9, 2017. 
Contributed Photo
John had wanted to come home in March but he was ordered to provide security to the president of Vietnam who was attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, said his grandmother, Conrada Relampagos-Caresosa, 76.

He was not also able to come home after the summit meeting because he was told to go to Marawi City to augment the troops fighting against the Maute group.

His family’s worst fears came true.

John was one of the 13 Marines who were killed on June 9 in a 16-hour firefight against an undetermined number of Maute group members in Barangay Lilod Madaya that started around 3:30 a.m. on Friday.

His 19-year-old sister, Princess, said they were browsing Facebook when they noticed that John’s page was filled with condolences from his friends.

They were shocked.

“Many had posted on Facebook that he had died. But we, his family, didn’t know about it. When we learned about it, we were very shocked,” she added.

Princess said they could not believe that he was really gone until John’s commanding officer called their parents to inform them about what happened.

Their parents, Sylvia and Romulo, flew to Metro Manila on Saturday to retrieve their son’s body.

And on Tuesday, June 13, John was finally home.

His remains arrived on board a C-130 cargo plane of the Philippine Air Force at the Tagbilaran airport at 4:20 p.m.

Soldiers carried the casket bearing his remains as John was given full military honors by his comrades from the 47th Infantry Battalion led by 1st Lt. Michael Bumatay.

No local official was in the airport to condole with Sylvia and Romulo.

Bumatay told the family that it was a fitting tribute for a brave Boholano who gave his life for peace in Mindanao.

After the arrival honors, his remains were later brought to his house in Barangay Kagawasan, San Miguel, where his four siblings, relatives and friends waited for him.

John, the eldest among five siblings, had been in the Philippine Marines for four years and had graduated from Central Visayas State College of Agriculture Forestry and Technology, now called the Bohol Island State University.

His family was against his plan to join the Philippine Marines but his love for the country prevailed.
Romulo and Sylvia said they could not accept the death of their eldest child, saying he was too young to die.

Romulo said it hurt to lose a son who was kind and generous.

He said they had received financial assistance from the government but no amount could compensate for the life of his son.

“Until now, I still cannot believe what happened to him. We don’t know how to recover from the pain,” he said.

John was given a posthumous military merit award for his gallantry in action.

The medal with a bronze spearhead was traditionally pinned on the left chest of the awardee.

In the case of John, his medal was placed on the left side of the glass covering of his casket.

Caresosa said it was painful and difficult to accept the death of her eldest grandchild.

“The only thing I could say was my grandson was a good man who was gone too soon,” she said.

Benjie and Joan Oliva attend
Rotary’s confab in Georgia, USA

Boholano couple Benjie and Joan Oliva had attended the 108th Rotary International Convention, organized by Rotary International, was held at Georgia  World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on June 10-14, 2017.

For Benjie, erstwhile National Youth Commission (NYC) Visayas Commissioner and now Cooperative Development Authority Central Visayas administrator, said the confab was “one of the amazing international events” he attended.

Benjie and Joan Oliva attend the 108th 
Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Contributed Photo
Here is Benjie:

 There are at least 40,000 participating Rotarians from 160 countries all over the world who attended the 108th Rotary International Convention.

  In this event, I tagged along with me my wife Joan to experience herself the very purpose of the founders of Rotary Club organization.

I became involved in the Rotary way back in 2010 when I was chosen as one of the members of the Group Study Exchange (GSE) Program sent to North Carolina, USA for two months on a goodwill exchange by Rotary International District 3810 and the Rotary Foundation.

In said convention, the Philippine delegation composed of ten Rotary districts has registered as the 4th largest contingent. It only shows that the Filipinos has been in the forefront of Rotary Club movement in the world. Not to mention being the first to organized a Rotary Club in Asia way back in 1919, the Rotary Club of Manila. At present Rotary Club Manila is under District 3810 composed of Manila, Pasay, Cavite and Occidental Mindoro. 

The Rotary International Convention is an annual gathering of civic and and business community leaders across the globe to exchange ideas on how to improve lives and bring positive, lasting change to communities around the world.

The convention aims to renew friendship, find inspirations, promote camaraderie and goodwill, build linkages among rotary clubs and Rotarians in pursuit of service to humanity and doing good in the world.

The highlight of this year's convention is the centennial anniversary of Rotary Foundation. The Foundation's 100 years of existence has been instrumental in delivering programs and projects in many rural communities worldwide with specific area of focus such as Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution, Disease Prevention and Treatment, Water and Sanitation, Maternal and Child Health, Basic Education and Literacy and Economic and Community Development.

The notable speakers for this year's convention includes billionaire businessman and philanthropist Bill Gates, actor Ashton Kutcher, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, Indian philanthropist Rajashree Birla, golf icon Jack Nicklaus, WWE Superstar, actor, and Rotary polio ambassador John Cena, among others.

This year's convention has reached a total pledges of 1.2 Billion US Dollars in the cause to End Polio in the next three years with Bill Gates as the leading donor with a contribution of 450Million US Dollars under the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Atlanta convention brings good memories and experiences that Joan and I can't forget for the rest of lives. Our dedication to be of service to our fellowmen and communities has been raised to a higher degree of commitment to make a difference even in our own little ways.

In July of this year, Joan and I will join the Rotary Club of Pasay Cyber City as a manifestation of our commitment to continue in doing good in the world. Rotary indeed is true to its motto of 'Service Above Self'.

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

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas, the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. ~Roy L. Smith

Christmas is undoubtedly the most wonderful time of the year. Personally, Christmas season is always my favorite time because of the festive Christmas decorations and songs, the nippy weather and the happy smiles of the people.

I asked some personalities to share their most memorable Christmas and how they intend to celebrate the holidays this year. Some of our Boholano friends asked simply ignored the questions. Here are those who shared their seasonal thoughts:

The Christmassy house of the Paredes
 family in Dauis town in memory 
of Roochie.  Contributed Photo/Rosalinda Paredes
Rosalinda Paredes— Christmas of 1981 was most memorable to me though a bit sad. It was the last Christmas of my three-year old daughter, Roochie, who was then fighting for her life due to cancer of the brain. For the first time, Rene and I pooled meager resources and invested in Christmas lights so we can give Roochie a colorful and starry Christmas every kid desires. Roochie died June the following year. But, we still keep her memory by making sure we enliven our house during Christmas time with multi-colored lights and glittering lanterns so every child and those adults who remain kids-at-heart will enjoy the happy spirit of season. Merry Christmas!

Queenie Melody Fullante— For me, every year is memorable because though our family celebrate it in the same ways every year, the joy that I feel always increases knowing that we get another year to celebrate it together.

Vera Villocido-Gesite— When my two children were in the elementary grades and I was a high school teacher, we had the same Christmas break. I loved that we were able to do things together and go to places together during the holidays. My favorite was taking long drives with them to Southern California and singing along the way or watch cartoons. And then go to the happiest place on earth - Disneyland. It simply was joy to enjoy the rides and see the sights in the eyes of my children. And, especially because at that time, they also enjoyed and loved my company.

ChitoVisarra— As you start to feel the aches of age, holidays are more of reminiscing and the joy of seeing the young ones revel in the things you enjoyed years back.

Idy Caseñas Cagas —Every Christmas spent at home is always memorable for me. This time of the year, I always look forward to being able to celebrate with them. After my first Christmas away from home few years ago, I had a whole new appreciation of being able to spend Christmas with them. It made me cherish every memory. Treasuring every moment with them and spending time with them are the most precious ones. This year, I will have to miss Christmas with my family because of work, but it will still be a memorable one, it will still be a merry Christmas as my partner and I will get to spend our first Christnas together.

For Vera Villocido-Gesite, her most 
memorable Christmas was bringing 
her children to Disneyland. 
Contributed Photo/Pinay Adiong
Anna Maris Igpit-Taylor—My most memorable Christmas would be 2013 after the earthquake and typhoon Yolanda that affected thousands of Filipinos. It was the most humbling event in my life and I saw right before my eyes the true meaning of Christmas. It's not about the presence of gifts and food but it's about being giving joy and love to other people in whatever forms. I believe it will always be my most memorable Christmas, an event I can't wait to share with my kids and grandchildren in the future.

Adelyn  Joy Esclamado—Christmas season is the season of giving, I intend to give  simple gifts to children at our place and spread love and happiness. I want to be an advocate of positivity for the year to come. Christmas will be merrier with the persons I love, and in connection to that, I will spend my Christmas day with my family who are always there with me through the years.  I want to give back to them the happiness they gave me.

Eden Descallar- Ceballos— Nothing beats the feeling of spending it with your loved ones, our family. And sharing our blessings to the people who are with us this year.

Mikey Gatal—Though many sad things happened in my life this year, I will still celebrate Christmas for it's the of the year to be forgiving, sharing, happy and thankful to God for all the blessings He has given me. Nothing special but all I can say is, love is still in the air.

Butch Bernas— I will clean my room; attend 9 novena and misa de gallo. Oops, I will attend parties, reunions with family.

Leah Tirol-Magno—Baking and decorating more cakes!

Benjie Oliva—We will celebrate the holidays this year with the family in prayer and thanksgiving to the Father Almighty for the bountiful blessings that He has given us for 2016. My family and in-laws are all in Bohol for the celebration. We will take this opportunity also to spend the holidays with relatives and friends in Catigbian, Tagbilaran City and Panglao.

Benjie Oliva and his family will spend Christmas in Bohol. 
Contributed Photo/Oliva Family
Fiel Angeli  Araoarao-Gabin—Christmas this year is simpler than the past years, but most  importantly, it will be spent with family, with prayers for thanksgiving.

Clement Ingking—Christmas season is always my favorite time. It’s the time of the year when every one seems to be more giving, happier and more forgiving in remembering and celebrating the birth of our dear saviour, Lord Jesus Christ. Personally, I believe the best Christmas for me is now because I know I am able to breeze through the stormy phase in my life and found the peace and true happiness that I have long been praying for.

Glorivic Yap-de la Serna—I will spend my Christmas with my family. I am thankful for all the blessings and the tests which strengthen our bonds.

Van Delima— I intend to celebrate Christmas with my family. I want to make most of the time as we gather entirely in this joyous occasion

Imaculada Cleofe Leopardas—Well this year, my holiday would be the start of something new, something I cannot live without. I would celebrate this year's holidays by spreading the seeds of love everyday. I'll surely have a time with my family and I'd connect with my loved ones and remind them about how thankful I am to have them in my life. I'll send personal messages to the people I'll treasure forever and I'll be a lot jollier this Christmas. I'd probably make my heart happy by doing good deeds and sharing my blessings to those who are in need. I'd continue to be true to myself and live the real spirit of Christmas.

AR de la Serna- I will spend Christmas with my family. This year, I have received a lot of blessings. Dreams do really come true.


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

Monday, March 23, 2015

'Hot Cop' Neil Perez invades Bohol

Former National Youth Commissioner
for Visayas Benjie Oliva takes his oath
 Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) administrator for Visayas before DOF Secretary Cesar Purisima.
SceneCongratulations to Benjie Oliva as the newly appointed administrator of Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) for Visayas. CDA is to promote the viability and growth of cooperatives as instruments for equity, social justice and economic development. Benjie, a former National Youth Commissioner for Visayas and administrative officer of the Department of Agriculture, took his oath before DOF Secretary Cesar Purisima.  
Scene Japanese engineering giant Chiyoda and Mitsubishi Corp. have signed a contract to build a new airport in Bohol, Nikkei reported. The two companies said construction of the new Bohol airport will begin shortly. The airport is expected to be completed in 2017.
Scene: Alexis Calipusan, the voice-a-like of Justin Bieber, catches the world attention.  The Huffington Post said that “This Girl Sounds So Much Like Justin Bieber, It's Scary.”  Taylor Trudon wrote “Press play on the video above and close your eyes. Think you're hearing a young Justin Bieber? It's actually the voice of 18-year-old Alexis Calipusan. The teen girl from the Philippines is giving the Biebs a serious run for his money with her identical acoustic cover of the radio hit "Baby." According to EllenTube, Alexis combined forces with her friend Cyril Cailing, to create Jam-C. The duo has also covered "U Smile" and even Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud."  Meanwhile, Seventeen said “This girl is Justin Bieber’s voice-twin- she sounds exactly like him when she sings. Seriously, you won't be able to tell the difference.”
Pageant watchers and entertainment lovers got the biggest surprise of their lives when Mister International 2014 Neil Perez (real name: Police Officer 2 Mariano Flormata Jr.) visited the province last week.
The "hunk cop" was in Bohol for Wedding and Beyond Magazine photo shoot in an exclusive resort in Panglao Island. 
Recently proclaimed Mister International 2014
 Neil Perez visits Bohol. More than with his looks,
he has his infectious humility and natural friendliness.
Courtesy: Raymund Isaac/Butch Bernas/Kit Solis/Ryan Sines
An instant crowd favorite, he also attended the birthday party of Rhigel Dulfo, founder-director of Ramp Models Association of Bohol (RMAB).
“He’s nice and very friendly,” said hairstylist Ryan Sines who had a photo opportunity with Neil. “He has a nice smile and very seductive eyes and... humot! We’re like so bagay Ha! Ha! Ha!”
Butch Bernas was also impressed on Neil. “He is handsome. A down to earth kind of person even though we had only a few time together with my friends. He is smart and has a good body physique.”
Neil’s manager and handler told Butch that they love the beauty of Bohol that Neil wanted to come back.
He also visited the Bohol Provincial Police Office to share his experiences as Mister International to his fellow police officers. He also talked about healthy lifestyle.
After winning the crown last month, Neil has been doing the rounds in his capacity as Mister International.
Here’s what you know about Neil Perez courtesy of Missosology:
His real name is Mariano Flormata Jr.

He is a graduate of Criminology at the Manuel L. Quezon University.

He stands 5'11''.

His hobby includes playing the guitar and doing some sketching.

He joined the police force in 2008. In his six years, he has gained 13 medals for showing excellence in responding to disasters and civil disturbance.

He specializes on bombs and explosives.

His father is a retired police sergeant assigned with the so-called Manila’s Finest, the Western Police District which is now called the Manila Police District.

You can spot him at Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as part of the Aviation Security Group. 
It’s graduation season again!
Speaking of graduates, we have our own batch in the family: My nephew Charles Jade Pesquira will finish high school at Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School and my cousin Shiela Mae Aquino will graduate high school at Holy Name University-High School. Celian Janica Pesquira, a grade 5 pupil of Booy South Elem. School, is first honor.
It’s a déjà vu! Was it only yesterday when I myself graduated from elementary (Booy South Elem. School), from high school (University of Bohol-Day High School) and from college (University of Bohol)? That was ages ago, in nineteen-forgotten.
Graduation is a celebration of your achievement and marks the beginning of an amazing journey. I am sure parents and the whole clan are very proud of their graduates. Cases in point:
Youth leader and Booy Kagawad Clement Paulinel Ingking has finished Bachelor in Hotel and Restaurant Service Technology at the Bohol Island State University –Tagbilaran. He shares:
Photo shows Clement Paulinel Ingking in his graduation
 toga visiting the tomb of his mother Linda before the graduation rites
 last Friday at Bohol Island State University in Tagbilaran. 
Amidst all the excitement about Graduating and moving on to new things is an underlying fear. As much as I’ve tried to embrace changes in my life, change still makes me uneasy. Despite all of the changes that have occurred since she died last Oct. 15, 2013 - during the wrath of 7.2 magnitude earthquake, these changes feel harder. It scares me to know that I will no longer be surrounded by my family on a day-to-day basis, nor will I be in an environment I know. I’m worried that it will be easier for my memories of her to fade; I’m terrified I’ll begin to forget. 
As the years since my Mama’s death have grown in number, fewer and fewer of my friends are people who actually knew my Mom, and it scares me to think that moving on after college, and on with my life, will only make this worse. This, in itself, is a thought that has brought me to tears on countless occasions. 
Thus, I know and I believe that God has His own plans for me and that everything happens for a reason. I Love my Mama Linda so much and I owe my life and everything that I am today. 
Thank You so much Mama Linda! I LOVE YOU!
On the other hand, Fatima Mapesos, former staff of the late Rep. Erico Aumentado shares her excitement that Roland Sacristan, a scholar of the Aumentado family, has finished his Bachelor of Science in Psychology major in Industrial Psychology.
“It seems like it was only yesterday this young soul graduated high school. One day, he went to the office for a plea to Sir. He wanted to pursue college but his parents couldn't afford to send him to school,” said Fatima. “Somebody denied him at first but I told Sir about his ambition and his achievements. When you invest knowledge to people, you don't just give them hope but you give them a life, even a life for the lives of whom those that person is striving to lift for not just themselves.”
Roland is proud to say he was able to reap the harvest:  
Time travels fast. It seems like my 14 years in school only happened in a week-time. Monday- when I got to read and write my own name, Tuesday- when I learn to solve simple Math and speak good in English, Wednesday-when I got to meet my high school friends and became competitive in the world of academe, Thursday, I entered college and time flies too fast to finally come to Friday to mark my metamorphosis. Time indeed is magic.
Roland Sacristan has made through
all the storms and hurricanes in his college
life as a working student. 
Although, I will not be graduating with flying colors, I am proud to say that I made through all the storms and hurricanes in my college life by myself. I am proud that I am a working student and I am never ashamed to be such.
Of course there are always those people who came to support me. To name them all is going to lag your computer. I would like to express my warmest appreciation and gratitude to my loved ones, to my family, to the Aumentados, and above all to God.
For all the students out there who may struggle to finish college, keep these words: Dreams come true if you believe they are. Think of your dreams every single moment to keep you standing, to keep you from falling and to make you fly!
I love you God!
To all graduates out there, be the best of who you are, transcend yourself beyond your limits and reach for that star! 
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Scene: Blind hymnist and composer Onecimo “Onie” Oclarit passed away on Oct. 10. His renowned compositions are Balik sa Bohol Balik, CPG songs, and countless liturgical songs, most famous of which is O Senior San Jose. He served at St. Joseph Cathedral as organist/ vocalist and choir director for 35 years. “We thank God for the gift that Onie was to us! He was a "class act!" You will be sorely missed, Nie! REST IN PEACE!!,” said former city councilor Romana Darunday-Bullecer.

Scene: Lunel Ryan Boyboy of BISU-Candijay campus and Liezel Tortoga of BISU-Main Campus were crowned Mr. and Ms. State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association (SCUAA) 2014.

It has been one year since Bohol’s 10/15 tragedy, the Oct. 15 earthquake that set off a cascade of disasters on a scale scarcely imaginable. The 7.2 magnitude quake, the deadliest and most destructive earthquake to hit the country, devastated the province claiming nearly 200 lives, making thousands homeless and leaving five missing.

10/15: We remember!
As what Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso said, “Ours is to see the hand of God out of the calamities that we have experienced.”

Meanwhile, Judith Uy-Sumatra of the Provincial Planning and Development Office has something to say one year after the tragedy:

After the 7.2M earthquake happened a year ago today, I became more disaster conscious.

Now that it's raining steadily in the City of Tagbilaran, I fear for the low-lying areas that might get flooded.

I worry about the soil and rocks loosened by the earthquake and aftershocks last year.

Will the torrent of rainwater cause further downward movement of the soil that may result to landslide?

Lord God almighty, thank you very much for saving our lives and properties from the tremor, but I pray that you keep your people safe from rainfall-induced landslides and flash floods.

Let the rains wash away the dirt on earth - pollution, corruption, and sins of omission and commission.

Let the rumbling sound of the thunder remind us of your goodness and greatness.

Without you, Boholanos would not have recovered from the disaster and stand strong and resilient.

Thank you, Lord God, for always being there for us.

(In this page are pictures which happened during the 10/15 anniversary.)


Benjie and Joan Oliva welcome a girl

Former National Youth Commission (NYC) official and now Department of Agriculture administrative officer Benjie Oliva and lawyer Joan Jagonos-Oliva, welcomed their first child, a daughter, on Friday.

The little girl arrived early; Joan was expected to give birth on Oct. 26.

Edelle Ross was born on Oct 17 at 9:59 a.m., weighing 6.3 lbs.

Baby Edelle Ross Oliva is here! Courtesy: Benjie Oliva
Benjie was by Joan’s side during the delivery via CS at Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center in Manila.

 “We are so excited! Our baby girl brings hope and inspiration in the family,” Benjie told VRS yesterday.

No further details on the baptism of the baby have yet to be released. But a close friend of the couple confirmed that it will be on Jan. 25, 2015 to accommodate the schedule of actor and NYC Commissioner Dingdong Dantes.

“Dingdong said yes as ninong. Since is busy with his wedding preparations and showbiz commitments (Marian and Dingdong will get married on Dec. 30),  the first and second week of January will be their honeymoon, so the baptism of baby Edelle Ross will be in the third week of January,”relayed VRS.

Benjie and Joan were to be wed on the afternoon of Oct. 19, but the 7.2 earthquake rocked Bohol and destroyed the Dauis Church on Oct. 15.  The couple postponed their wedding and donated their honeymoon funds for relief operations in the affected areas of Bohol.

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