Showing posts with label mystic island. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mystic island. Show all posts

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Birthday parties and Siquijor Island

• Memorable birthday parties in California
Exploring the mystic island of Siquijor
Scene: Again, there is no Miss Tagbilaran 2013. “Miss Tagbi will not be staged this year,” reports a Very Reliable Source (VRS). “Then, there will be no Miss Teen Tagbilaran 2013. The City failed to stage the pageant in 1987, 1995, 2011 and 2012, one of the major activities leading to the fiesta celebration. In 2012, the Miss Tagbi was replaced by Miss Teen Tagbilaran. Trivia: Zosita Caliao Clarin was the first Miss Tagbilaran in April 1986. Twenty years after, her daughter Margo Adelaiz Clarin Manigque became Miss Tagbilaran 2006. Miss Tagbilaran beauties who won the Miss Bohol Sandugo title were Vanessa Joyce Matuod Evardone in 1994, Socorro d'Marie Tallo Inting in 1997 and Daisy Jean Quilicot in 2009.
Seen: Spotted in Bohol last Friday was Asia’s Pop Idol Christian Bautista. His last visit to Bohol was in April 2012.Also spotted in Bohol last Holy Week were Kim Chiu and Xian Lim.

Scene: It's goodbye time for Lion and media colleague Priscilla Richards who is finally leaving for US this week. Priscilla will go back to US (for good?) with daughter Cathy. Priscilla will be surely — and sorely — missed by her friends.
Scene: The short film Bells Ring, Mr. King (BRMK) directed by Ted Ramasola is included in the 2013 The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. BRMK is one of the three films representing the Philippines. There are 140 films from all over the Asia Pacific region. “It is an honor to represent not only our country but our province, Bohol. I hope this will inspire our young film makers back home to pursue their dreams,” said Ted.
Scene: A daughter of a high ranking official in town was immediately rushed to the hospital. According to VRS, the daughter, who is the rose of the family, was broken hearted. “Her labidab left her and the strain was too much for her,” revealed VRS. “She attempted suicide by slashing her wrists and was rushed to a nearby hospital where she soon recovered.”  
Come in formal attire.
That was the “strict” reminder from Boholano socialite Mikey Gatal when we would attend birthday parties during my recent trip to California.
It’s the Boholano unity in the foreign land. Even if they live miles away, our paisanos still have time to celebrate or remember important milestones in life.  

In America, they like to celebrate, and rarely more so than on their birthdays. “Expect cake, balloons and presents at any birthday party you attend in America,” said Mikey. “More fun if they have hit a significant milestone in their lives.”
Cases in point:
Dr. Yvonne Tutor-Uy celebrated the golden year of her life with a big bang at the famous Golf Mountain Meadows Golf Course in Pomona, California.
The function room of the Golf Mountain Meadows was decked with more than just the usual American birthday decor; it was literally turned into a floral paradise, with tables nicely set up just outside the social hall deemed too small to accommodate the well-wishers.
“Turning 50 is overwhelming for some people but not for Yvonne Tutor Uy for it was the most glamorous thing I've ever seen on this eventful party and right on a course,” said Mikey Gatal.  “If you were there, you'd swear you were on candid camera.”
Mikey added: Kind of nostalgic by taking a walk down memory lane. Created a quiet dinner party and gathered friends who took pictures of her and at times, more sparks of gladness when the music played at the right time and place where host Poca Rafael entertained the guests and the performance of Divo Mayer capped the birthday bash with high remarks on his performance.  Played music from the teenage years and it brought some memory lane.
“She celebrated her 50th birthday with special gifts and giveaways for family and friends. The food was just right for everyone don't want to be filled up for everyone was expected to line dance all night and we did!” said Mikey.
On the other hand, Dindo Tallo, the eldest son of Dr. Prisco Tallo and the late provincial board member Dra. Socorro Buslon-Tallo celebrated his birthday on March 9 at Dancetime in Carson City, California with family and friends.
When the birthday boy arrived at the venue, what greeted him were blinding flashbulbs and the singing of “Happy Birthday” punctuated by applause.
As the guests (a mix of Filipinos and Americans) shared a hearty buffet dinner, Dindo’s wife, Rose (Miss Tagbilaran 1987 first runner-up) prepared a short film clips of photos showing Dindo from little boy to teenager to a fulfilled husband were flashed on the monitor, eliciting applause and affectionate laughter.
Rose thanked the people who attended the party and she even narrated their love story. What made the night so meaningful when she sang “Through the Years” to Dindo.  That’s when the Cry Baby in Dindo came out, forcing a smile and vainly trying to hold back tears, he watched obviously thrilled, like the whole house, as his wife dedicated the song for him. And what a show it was!
Dindo’s eldest son Dale rendered a song, while Josh showed his dance prowess.
Also spotted in the crowed were Dindo’s sister Dr. Aida Tallo and ex-PBA star Bernard Fabiosa.
Mikey Gatal set the energy that rose until midnight when the show was capped by a line dancing marathon participated in by the guests and Tallo kids.
We had so much fun, the food was overflowing, had a special bartender from Las Vegas who had the best mixes of alcohol, wine and even some non alcoholic beverages and surprise numbers.
As birthday boy Dindo moved around the venue greeting his overflowing well-wishers, I asked him about his birthday wish.
“Good health and long life,” said Dindo.
Then, another memorable birthday party was of Rey "Bodo" Reformina who celebrated his birthday on February 3 in West Hollywood. 
The tummy-filling goodies served for Rey’s guests were prepared by his friends.
Everyone had so much fun and many familiar faces came to attend his special day.
Rey is a registered nurse and a certified make-up artist in New York before moving to LA last year.
His friends took some time for some photo shoot, they have supermodel skills especially the catwalk, cobra walk, fish and tsunami walk.
Well, Rey doesn’t look 50.
Nobody revealed what the secret is behind his youthful look.
Can you guess what?
If turning 50 is as painlessly celebratory as Yvonne, Dindo and Rey did, everybody must welcome their half-century mark with an open heart.
As the invitation said, “Nifty at 50!”
Whether it be for internalizing spirituality by fulfilling Lenten religious practices, observing folk healing activities, and simply communing with nature in one whole package, Holy Week is still the best time to go to Siquijor.
When passengers jampacked the ticketing booths for tickets to other destinations to spend Holy Week, we’re thankful for the help of Edgar Gineta and Ann Cajilog for facilitating us at the Lite Shipping office so that we could cross the island.

Engr. Jerome Gabin, almost 15 years as Saint Peter and apostle since 1983, with Fiel, Cielo and Renji after the Easter Sunday mass...and (left to right) Butch, Edward and myself with two matriarchs – Mommy Lou Gabin and Ma’am Wincie Araoarao.
For almost seven years already, I have gone to Siquijor at this time of the year and stayed at the house of Mrs. Laura Jumawan Gabin (former Department of Education Supervisor), together with daughters Lanih Lei Flores and Monette May Burgon and their families. Her son, Engr. Jerome John Gabin (married to Fiel Angeli Araoarao), now based in Bohol, would go home to dutifully attend to his “tinuig nga tulumanon” as apostle of the Saint Francis of Assisi Parish since he was 13 (as passed on by his father, Engelberto). Now, he has been serving as Saint Peter for almost 15 years.

For my travel to the “Isla del Fuego” or “Mystic Island” this year, Butch Bernas (Tagbilaran City Science High School MAPEH teacher), Edward Guyano aka Inday Charity (my Bohol Tri-Media Association colleague) and Jhelmar Jala (my nephew) joined me. We were together in the boat with Mrs. Wincesa Araoarao (retired Bohol National High School PE teacher and Bukang Liwayway Dance Troupe founder) for her first Holy Week observance in the island, who was with her daughter, Fiel, and grandchildren, Cielo and Renji.
On Maundy Thursday, we went to the church for the traditional washing of the feet of the Apostles re-enacted by Msgr. Candelario “Larry” Catubig, followed by the last supper at the Assisi High School stage, an activity fully supported by parishioners who bring food to be blessed by the priest and shared with the Apostles. The locals keep the bones of the fish, chicken, pig or cow and hide it atop the “abuhan” in the kitchen with the belief that one will never run out of food for guests in any gathering in one’s house.

As early as 4 a.m. of Good Friday, the five (5) - kilometer via crucis started, participated in by a thousand devotees. Before 12 noon, we dipped ourselves in the sea, as we were told that we will be spared from evil spirit if we did that. In the afternoon, we witnessed the veneration of the cross.
While waiting for the procession arrive, we chanced on former Siquijor Mayor Ling Avanzado and his son, Dingdong with his wife, Jessa Zaragosa, at their residence just across the church. After the photo opportunity, we did an interview with Dingdong, a vice-gubernatorial candidate, who bared his plans on how to better promote the island’s tourism industry.
The next day, Black Saturday, our goal was to trek to Camp Bandilaan and the house of Juan Ponce in San Antonio, Siquijor to let Butch, Edward and Mawmaw see for themselves the ritual of mixing exotic herbs and rather “unusual” ingredients to come up with a potent love potion (“lumay”) or “tambal” for illnesses.

Cambugahay Falls in the town of Lazi is one of the famous Siquijor’s tourist attractions.
We then proceeded to Capilay Spring Park (San Juan), Saint Isidore Parish and biggest convent in Asia and Cambugahay Falls (Lazi), then visited a friend’s house in Larena and Salagdoong Beach (Maria). Of the six municipalities of Siquijor, we failed to make a stopover in Enrique Villanueva (Talingting) because we had to go back to Tagbilaran taking the 7 p.m. Sunday trip from Larena.
Anyway, there’s always a next time - next year – and, maybe, with new people.
Though it would still be the same mystic island, but, hopefully, another sight to behold, another Holy Week experience to capture. But, while Bohol’s little neighbor has been maligned with things associated with black magic or “barang,” the fact remains that the people there are friendly, hospitable and above all, have strong faith in God.
I warn you: There are no witches but beautiful beaches!