Thursday, April 18, 2013

Good news on Easter Sunday

The days were dark and solemn last week. It was dark at Christ's arrest on Maundy Thursday. It was darker at His crucifixion and burial on Good Friday.

But the mood changed rapidly on Easter morning, the day Lord Jesus Christ is risen!
Let us sing together Alive Alive:

Alive, alive, alive forevermore.
My Jesus is alive, alive forevermore.
Alive, alive, alive forevermore.
My Jesus is alive.
Sing alleluia, sing alleluia,
My Jesus is alive forevermore.
Sing alleluia, sing alleluia
My Jesus is alive.
And everybody now:
Because he lives
I can face tomorrow
Because he lives
All fear is gone
Because I know
He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because he lives

Thank the Lord that life is being shared with us and with all humanity.

Boholana tops Beat100 Music Charts

Isabel Iris is, of course, Isabel Iris Tirol Garsuta, who is now the singing sensation on music video network Covers Music Chart.

According to, Isabel Iris topped the BEAT100 Music Video Chart last month with her original track, Glad You Came. Her entry received a Bronze Video Award.

"13-year-old, Isabel Iris, has become a massive hit on the music video network, coming in third in the overall Covers Charts with her rendition of the song Glad You Came," said." The teenager, who lives in the Philippines with her family, has had BEAT100 users from around the world voting in their thousands after showcasing her vocal talent and displaying great composure on the acoustic guitar whilst performing the 2011 summer hit on webcam and was clearly beaming when told of her $100 prize."

"I am very thankful to Beat100, and most especially to my family, friends and supporter,” Isabel told "This is my biggest achievement in music so far. I found joining BEAT100 a fun, exciting and challenging experience. It gave me an opportunity to share my talent and promote my videos. I enjoyed it very much. I started singing at the age of four and I have joined local contests like Little/Big Star in the Philippines. I wish to continue my dream of writing my own music and producing quality videos.”

Isabel Iris, the daughter of Lino and Marissa Garsuta, has been performing music since she was a kid.

The gap is close and you can check out Isabel's video and vote again at

Mikey meets Wonder Woman

US-based Boholano socialite Mikey Gatal was rubbing elbows with Lynda Carter, the singing actress best known for her work on the TV series "Wonder Woman." 

Mikey had watched Carter's performance at The Catalina Jazz Club on March 15, at Sunset Boulevard, California.
Mikey and his Wonder Woman

"It maybe considered as her successful comeback to the concert stage where people were lining up just to watch her perform," said Mikey.

"She maintains her looks that brought her to fame and can definitely sing," gushed Mikey.

The former 1971 Miss World - USA was very nice to entertain people after the show, signing some autographs and photo opportunities with their idol.

As a gesture to the American icon and TV's legendary superhero, all of her fans who waited down the hall, made their Wonder Woman spins as soon as Lynda Carter stepped outside and she was so delighted to see that.

What an OMG experience!

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

Holy Week reflections

I love Holy Week. It’s quite possibly my favorite week of the whole year.

The art depicting the death of Jesus Christ attracts people inside the gallery archive at the Getty Center.
Since we are observing the most sacred week of the year,  I’m sharing to all Bared readers, I am Thine, O Lord, one of my favorite hymns, written by blind poet and hymnist Fanny Crosby. You can read alongside the passion accounts in the Gospels. (On this page and next are pictures taken in USA and in Philippines " to feel" the spirit of the Holy Week.)

I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee.

Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died.
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.
Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the power of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.

O the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend!

There are depths of love that I cannot know
Till I cross the narrow sea;
There are heights of joy that I may not reach
Till I rest in peace with Thee.

The Getty Center in Los Angeles, California houses the largest archive of Christian arts in the world. People visit the center to appreciate the arts and its meaning.

According to, Fanny Crosby was visiting Mr. W. H. Doane, in his home in Cin­cin­nati, Ohio. They were talk­ing to­ge­ther about the near­ness of God, as the sun was set­ting and even­ing sha­dows were ga­ther­ing around them. The subject so imp­ressed the well-known hymn-writer, that be­fore re­tir­ing she had writ­ten the words to this hymn, which has become one of the most use­ful she has ever writ­ten. The mu­sic by Mr. Doane so well fit­ted the words that the hymn has become a spe­cial fa­vo­rite wher­ev­er the Gos­pel Hymns are known.
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.
Last Wednesday, yours truly with fellow Boholanos (l-r) JunJun Karaan, Cindy Gonzaga and Liezel Gonzaga-Bingas visited  the famous Divine Mercy Shrine in El Salvador, Misamis Oriental.  The Divine Mercy stands 50 feet tall on top  of hill surrounded by flower garden with a total land area  of 11.8 hectares. "It's a solemn place to pray and meditate," said JunJun. This is a project of archdiocese of Cagayan De Oro City (CDO) which cost around 65 million pesos. Half of its amount is donated by Adaza family and half is from befecators  in Poland and archdiocese of CDO.  Courtesy: Rammel Sumatra

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A good year for movies

Feb. 24 marked the 85th Academy Awards, when the best and the brightest in Hollywood gathered to celebrate the best and the brightest filmmaking of the year.
Leo with 'Manong Oscar'
Sunday was Hollywood’s biggest spectacle final stretch. Mega-rich industry attendees descended from their hillside mega-mansions to sit inside the Dolby Theater  in one-of-a-kind gowns and Prada tuxedos. It was true, the glare from their diamonds could blind you.
We’re hearing more and more about what kind of show to expect while covering the Oscar Week. Observers had been predicting who would bring home the Oscars even accredited media men from all over the world, your columnist included (US-based Boholano socialite Mikey Gatal who accompanied me spotted  rising Thai actor Chaiyapol Julian Pupart who is Mario Maurer's co-star in movie Jan Dara and Spanish actress Sonia Monroy) had placed their own markers.
Everybody got a little piece of something.  Argo, Les Miserables, Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln were all touted as front-runners at one point or another.

Former Miss USA 2007 and Miss Universe 2007 4th runner-up and E! reporter Rachel Smith who's covering the Oscars for four years said that it was fantastic.
When she learned we're from Philippines, Rachel was all smiling. "I would love to visit the Philippines soon. I heard wonderful things about it. I met the kindness people from there and a  little r and r. "
Mikey Gatal with Spanish diva Sonia Monroy
ABC7's George Pennacchio told us earlier that the 85th Oscars was different from the past.
"It's gonna be surprises. I think it's a good show.  I think America and the whole world would fall in love. it's the most prestigious red carpet of the year."
The Oscars have historically been the place to find the biggest dresses and even bigger fashion statements. We would ask, “who are you wearing?"
A number of designers and stylists offered their predictions for what we might see. On the red carpet was Filipino designer Alexis Monsanto who was KTLA Morning News' in-house Oscar fashion critic. He said that "every year is fantastic." Monsanto said his father came from Batuan, Bohol.  
"They are classic timeless designs. Beautiful colors of turquoise of blue, I expect to see that," said Monsanto, who made the gown for Hollywood actress Kimberly Roberts.
Rachel Smith
Another Filipino designer Oliver Tolentino dressed up actress Gloria Reuben for this year's Oscars. 
Also reporting on the red carpet were Fil-Ams Yong Chavez of ABS-CBN North Bureau, film expert David Magdael  and Inquirer's Ruben Nepales.
Oscars host Seth MacFarlane mocked Hollywood and embraced it. MacFarlane has the musician's edge too. He could do singing and dancing that the producers didn't have to force him to do. He delivered the kind of opening that gets a host invited back.
Sunday was the biggest night of Anne Hathaway' life. The actress made sure everyone knew of her enthusiasm for Les Mis , and she didn't let us forget it.
“It came true!” was Anne Hathaway’s opening speech. 
We agreed Hathaway totally deserved that award. Even watching that tiny little clip of her Les Miserables song made us teary-eyed. Isn't it?
Alexis Monsanto
But there's a woman who earned a place in our hearts forever. The talented and accident-prone Silver Linings Playbook actress Jennifer Lawrence who fell flat on her face.
Dressed in an off-white strapless Dior Haute Couture gown, a stunned Lawrence tripped over all that fabric. Thankfully, Lawrence recovered quickly, and managed to turn her awkward moment into a totally adorable one. "You guys are only standing up because you feel bad that I fell, and that's really embarrassing, but thank you," she told the audience as they gave her a standing ovation. It was pretty much perfect.
It was Lawrence's second major wardrobe malfunction. She accidentally hike up her blue Dior gown, revealing a sheer panel over her legs and making it look like her dress had ripped in half while climbing the stairs to accept her Golden Globe.
Jennifer Lawrence Courtesy: AMPAS
Ang Lee, a humble and beloved figure in Hollywood, emphasized that the achievement of his film was not just about effects.
“I hope this award season thing help people recognize that it’s not just technology’s triumph, it served the purpose of our artistic expression,” he told reporters on the red carpet. “It’s actually the artistic approach that I think make it believable and amazing. It’s not just technology itself, it’s the handcrafts, it’s the heart of doing it.”
The Oscars were all about music this year. It featured  Jennifer Hudson belting And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going, Anne Hathaway singing One Day More passionately, and Catherine Zeta-Jones performing All That Jazz"  bringing Chicago back to life. Some raised questions as to whether Zeta-Jones was lip-syncing.
Hudson inspired the entire Dolby Theater to deliver a standing ovation. Then the cast of Les Mis including Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, and Eddie Redmayne, took the stage with a medley that they wisely opened with the only original song from the score, Suddenly. Of course, they also decided to let Russell Crowe sing with them too.
Barbra Streisand sang The Way We Were as this year’s In Memoriam segment paying tribute to performers and artists like Ernest Borgnine, Nora Ephron, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jack Klugman, Tony Scott, Frank Pierson, Marvin Hamlisch, Hal David, the critic Andrew Sarris and Adam Yauch.
Lawrence and Hathaway Courtesy: AMPAS
Film critics said that the win by Argo demonstrates the difference — when it comes to predicting Oscar winners — between earning critical acclaim and earning an Academy Award. Zero Dark Thirty may have won more plaudits from critics, but critics didn’t vote in the Oscar balloting.
In the Academy Awards, as in political elections, who votes, matters.
We can fall on every stage and still be graceful.  Maybe we can take lessons from Jennifer Lawrence.
The Winners of Oscars 2013:


Actor in a Leading Role-Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Actress in a Leading Role-Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Director-Ang Lee, Life of Pi 

Original Screenplay- Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino

Adapted Screenplay-Argo, Chris Terrio

Original Song- Skyfall, Skyfall

Original Score- Life of Pi, Mychael Danna

Production Design- Lincoln, Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Film Editing- Argo, William Goldenberg

Actress in a Supporting Role- Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables

Sound Editing- Zero Dark Thirty, Paul N.J. Ottosson

Sound Mixing- Les Misérables, Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes

Foreign Language Film- Amour, Austria

Documentary Feature- Searching for Sugar Man, Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn

Documentary Short Subject- Inocente, Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine

Short Film, Live Action- Curfew, Shawn Christensen

Makeup- Les Misérables, Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell

Costume Design- Anna Karenina, Jacqueline Durran

Visual Effects- Life of Pi, Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott

Cinematography- Life of Pi, Claudio Miranda

Animated Feature- Brave, Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman

Short Film, Animated- Paperman, John Kahrs

Actor in a Supporting Role-Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

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

And the Oscar goes to....

LOS ANGELES, CA- I grew up loving the Oscars.  I like the evening's glamorous fashions, the little snippets of the screenplays, famous kisses to seat-climbing winners and the wildest acceptance speeches.
Like you, the Oscars brings out the child in all of us.  We all dream of walking the Red Carpet on the arm of a movie stars we like while hundreds of bulbs flash simultaneously.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences aka Oscar is the world's preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema.

Last Wednesday, I arrived in Los Angeles, California to cover the 85th Academy Awards.  
US-based Boholano socialite Mikey Gatal, who lives in the downtown Los Angeles County, accompanied me during the Oscars activities. 
It was like an epic to watch the red carpet being physically rolled out last Wednesday for the ceremony. The golden statues were being readied. Statuettes of Oscars are ready for visitors and tourists at a local souvenir shop in Hollywood. 
Mikey and I gushed when we witnessed how the Oscars organizers and crew were all organized.  
"They are very organized and they have a very tight security," observed Mikey.
Before starlets hit the Red Carpet, Hollywood Boulevard was being dressed for the occasion. It was closed between Orange Drive and Highland Avenue. There was re-routing bus traffic. However, people could still visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Forecourt of the Stars at Grauman's Chinese Theater and Madame Tussauds Hollywood and Hollywood Museum and the Max Factor Building. (I was thinking to visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame after the Oscar activities for the day yet Mikey rushed me to Hollywood's famous spots.)
At the Dolby Theater (formerly known as Kodak Theater), the statues were lined the length of the red carpet which is approximately 500 feet. A little bit of Oscar trivia – the size of most common set-dressing Oscar is 34 in. diameter (base), 7½ feet tall and 65 pounds. The statuette was designed by Cedric Gibbons, art director for MGM studios, and was sculpted by George Stanley.

Mikey Gatal

In the week leading up to the Oscars, Mikey and I attended the events celebrating this year's nominees. The Oscar Week featured screenings, film clips, and discussions with filmmakers and artists whose work has garnered nominations in the animated feature film, documentary, foreign language film, make-up and hairstyling and short film categories.
We’re hearing more and more about what kind of show to expect this Sunday.
The films Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Argo and Les Miserables earned multiple Oscar nominations.
Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron told reporters that Academy Award winner Jane Fonda will join Jennifer Garner, Kristen Stewart and Kerry Washington to present on the Oscar telecast. They are working on a tribute to the genre of movie musicals. With Dame Shirley Bassey, Adele and Barbra Streisand performing, as well as the Les Miserables cast members Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, it promises to be an all-singing, all-dancing kind of affair.
Fonda earned seven nominations and won Academy Awards for her roles in "Klute" and "Coming Home." Garner was seen in this year's "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" and will be seen next in "Dallas Buyers Club." Stewart is best known for her role as Bella Swan in the "Twilight" saga and also starred in 2012's "On the Road" and "Snow White and the Huntsman." Washington starred in the Best Picture Nominee "Django Unchained" and was seen in "A Thousand Words." Washington is also the star of ABC's hit drama "Scandal."
Fonda, Garner, Stewart and Washington join a stellar list of previously announced Oscar presenters including Jennifer Aniston, Michael Douglas, Jamie Foxx, Paul Rudd, Salma Hayek Pinault, Melissa McCarthy, Liam Neeson, John Travolta, Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Mark Wahlberg, Ted and "Marvel's The Avengers" cast members Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo; returning 2011 Oscar winners Jean Dujardin, Christopher Plummer, Octavia Spencer and Meryl Streep; "Chicago" cast members Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones; special guests Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Radcliffe, Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron; and performers including Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Hudson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks, Aaron Tveit and Helena Bonham,Adele, Dame Shirley Bassey, Norah Jones and Barbra Streisand.
Oscars for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Feb. 24, the Oscar Sunday, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and will be hosted by Seth MacFarlane live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.
Meanwhile, excuse me as I attend the Oscar Party tonight.
Here is the complete nominations lists:
Best Motion Picture

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Django UnchainedLes MisérablesLife of PiLincolnSilver Linings PlaybookZero Dark Thirty 
Achievement in Directing
Ang Lee, Life of PiBenh ZeitlinBeasts of the Southern Wild
David O. Russell, Silver Linings PlaybookMichael HanekeAmour
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings PlaybookDaniel Day-Lewis, LincolnDenzel Washington, FlightHugh Jackman, Les MisérablesJoaquin Phoenix, The Master
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings PlaybookJessica Chastain, Zero Dark ThirtyNaomi WattsThe ImpossibleQuvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Alan Arkin, Argo
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams, The Master
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
Sally Field, Lincoln
Best Animated Feature Film
BraveFrankenweenieParaNormanThe Pirates! Band of MisfitsWreck-It Ralph
Original Screenplay
Amour, Michael Haneke
Django Unchained, 
Quentin Tarantino
, John Gatins
Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal
Adapted Screenplay
Argo, Chris Terrio
Beasts of the Southern Wild
, Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin
Life of Pi, David Magee
Lincoln, Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell
Best Foreign-Language Film
A Royal Affair (Denmark)
No (Chile)
War Witch (Canada)
Kontiki (Norway)
Original Score
Anna Karenina, Dario Marianelli
Argo, Alexandre Desplat
Life of Pi, Mychael Danna
Lincoln, John Williams
Skyfall, Thomas Newman
Original Song
"Before My Time," J. Ralph; Chasing Ice"Everybody Needs a Best Friend," Walter Murphy and Seth McFarlane; Ted
"Pi's Lullaby," Mychael Danna and Bombay Jayashri; Life of Pi
"Skyfall," Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth; Skyfall"Suddenly," Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boulil; Les Misérables 
Achievement in Production Direction
Anna Karenina
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Misérables
Life of Pi
Achievement in Cinematography
Anna Karenina, Seamus McGarvey
Django Unchained, Robert Richardson
Life of Pi, Claudio Miranda
Lincoln, Janusz Kaminski
Skyfall, Roger Deakins
Achievement in Costume Design
Anna Karenina, Jacqueline Durran
Les Misérables, Paco Delgado
Lincoln, Joanna Johnston
Mirror Mirror, Eiko Ishioka
Snow White and the Huntsman, Colleen Atwood
Best Documentary Feature
5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for a Sugar Man
Best Documentary Short Subject
Kings Point
Mondays at Racine
Open Heart
Achievement in Film Editing
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
Achievement in Makeup & Hairstyling
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Misérables
Best Animated Short Film
Adam and Dog
Fresh Guacamole
Head Over Heels
Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare"
Best Live-Action Short Film
Buzkashi Boys
Death of a Shadow
Achievement in Sound Editing
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty
Achievement in Sound Mixing
Les Misérables
Life of Pi
Achievement in Visual Effects
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
Marvel's The Avengers
Snow White and the Huntsman

1st Mr. & Ms. HNU 2013 held

Scene: The people of Bohol wish Gov. Edgar Chatto a (belated) happy birthday (Feb. 20). Feliz compleaños to former Mayor Jose Torralba, Dr. Cyrilda Tallo and fashion icon Maximiel Tallo (Feb. 9), Councilor Kit Oppus (Feb. 10), Tagbilaran Mayor Dan Lim (Feb. 11), Bohol's seasoned host Raul Gatal (Feb.  12), Atty. Handel Lagunay and Fr. Val Pinlac (Feb. 14), Meljun Daniel (Feb. 15), Engr. Jes Tirol, Elvie Macalandag, Louella Husain and Tagbilaran City Councilor Lucille Lagunay (Feb. 17), Fr. Joesum Sumampong (Feb. 21); and Dr. Jojo Maniwan and Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin (Feb. 24).
Scene:  Talented fashion experts and couturiers Henry Baron, Maximiel Tallo, Jong Magallano, Omie Auza, Rhigel Dulfo and EJ Relampagos will “Reveal” their collection in a gala fashion show on March 2, 8 p.m. at the Bohol Cultural Center. Initiated by the Rotary Club of Tagbilaran, “Reveal” is re-building and re-shaping the Boholano design aesthetic. One of Bohol’s respected designers who will showcase his collection is Maximiel Tallo, the master of elegance, who specializes in formal wear and wedding gowns. His clientele usually is international. Maxi was a semi-finalist of the Mega Young Designers Competition, finalist in the Paris Concours International de Jeunes Creatures de Modean International Young Designer Competition held at Bonifacio Tent and Top 20 in the Project Runway Philippines in 2010.
Scene: This barangay chief “RFJ,” who is seeking higher office in this May 2013 election in the water town of Bohol, was misbehaving. When two media personalities were covering the event in his barangay while a big rally was held on the same day, he got mad and forcibly picked and removed the mediamen from the place. “He should ask us politely besides that’s a public event,” said one mediaman.  
It’s never too late.
Beauty watchers were hopeful that the Holy Name University (HNU) would have time to include male candidates in the school pageant. It took many years to realize, thanks to Stephen Bryan Yu Bongcaras, Central Student Organization (CSO) president and secretary-general of the 9th National Youth Parliament.
Bongcaras, who also won in several personality pageants in the province, has a penchant for pageants.
Known as Miss Holy Name College (HNC), Miss DWC-T Personality (which was held at the time when Martial Law was at its peak after Marcos' declaration)  and Miss HNU, it produced many beauty queens like the late Mrs. Pastora Mendoza Visarra and Miss DWCT 1976 Ms. Lety Tinampay- Te, who according to Bohol’s seasoned host and “beauty expert”,  one of the most elegant Miss DWCT winners who reigned during the golden years of pageantry in Divine Word College of Tagbilaran City.”
Capitalizing on promoting social relevance and a sense of responsibility and volunteerism among the youth, the CSO of HNU headed by Bongcaras, produced the first-ever Mr. and Ms. Holy Name University (HNU) Personality.
In the afternoon of February 8, the 16 candidates representing the different departments and campus organizations shared a piece of their minds to the panel of interrogators led by Rev. Fr. Dudz Lero, during the one-on-one interview and pre-pageant judging which constituted 30 percent of the total score.
In the evening at the HNU Gymnasium, the pageant highlighted the CSO “BIG” Night which showcased the “BIG” advocacy projects, namely Bohol Red Cross' participation to the Million Volunteer Run 2, I Transform Hambabauran Initiative and the Gawad Kalinga Bayani Challenge in March 2013 in the municipalities of Antequera and Talibon, aside from the candidates sashaying on stage in their best behavior and bearing wearing production number outfits, professional and formal attire. In the grueling question and answer portion, each male and female candidates were made to share their insights on individual and common questions.
Cool but witty Collin Chio Joshua Jubac and statuesque Candy Cumayas romped to victory over their contenders and were crowned Mr. and Miss HNU Personality 2013, respectively. Noriefumi Palban and Crizelle Jade Requierme were proclaimed first runners-up, while Ralph Melchor Lacang and Melanie Quimson were adjudged second runners-up.
Other male candidates were Arjo Carajay, Kenneth Salabsab, Kevin Cantoneros, Vincent Descallar and Jason John Japon, with their female counterparts April Joy Baliong, Ezra May Corona, Suzanne Mae Campos, Tanya Bianca Schreurs and Ann Lorraine Ladera.
EJ Relampagos, Bohol’s fashion guru, Fiel Angeli E. Araoarao-Gabin, City Information Officer and Miss Tagbilaran 1987, and HNU’s Fr. Ruel S. Gado, high school and grade school chaplain composed the board of judges.
“I am overwhelmed with how good all the candidates look and speak their minds... to think it was all impromptu... wow!!! :) Kudos to all Holynamians! And of course to the organizing committee headed by Stephen Bryan Yu Bongcaras, congratulations for staging a decent and relevant personality search.  You guys did not only make history for the school, you also made a big difference in promoting social responsibility. You just proved that the quality of a beauty pageant does not rely on how much is spent for it, but it is the dedication of every person involved that makes it simply amazing,” EJ posted on Facebook, after the pageant.
Gracing the affair were Fr. Francisco T. Estepa, SVD, university president, Fr. Ruel F. Lero, SVD, vice-president for Academic Affairs and Fr. Vicente L. Uy, SVD, vice-president for administration,  and Nanelyn D. Wate, Student Affair's Office director. Pageant hosts were Stephen Bongcaras, Mr. Olive-C Bohol first runner-up and Lara Lumayag, Miss Teen Bohol 2012 second runner-up and Miss Friendship awardee.
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Send some love this Feb and Aris Aumentado files COC

Courtesy: Smart
Scene: February 10, 2013 marks the Chinese New Year and a day of celebrations to herald the beginning of the Year of the Snake. To enjoy prosperity, longevity, and happiness, my Chinese friends told me to wear black, blue (light-blue), and green to charm the snake. Have these foods during the Chinese New Year to ensure a prosperous and happy year to come : tikoy (it represents the togetherness of the family and stronger bonds), prawn (symbolizes liveliness), dumplings (when boiled in water, represent a family’s being able to recover a long lost wish), pomelo (for abundance and prosperity), tangerines, oranges and kiat-kiat (for wealth and luck, these fruits are believed to bring abundance and happiness), peanuts (for longevity), long noodles (if noodles are served, then “keep them as long as possible long for long life), nian gao (for achieving new heights in the coming year) and jai (a vegetarian dish for longevity). Add sea moss for prosperity, lotus seeds for children/birth of sons, lily buds to “send 100 years of harmonious union”, Chinese black mushrooms to “fulfill wishes from east to west”, long leafy greens and long beans to wish a long life for parents, whole fish for abundance and to ensure a good start and finish and to avoid bad luck throughout the year, and sweets and desserts to bring a sweet life in the new year.

Scene: Smart's Fiber Power is featuring Ely Buendia at the Chocolate Hills in Carmen town. Also in the video are Rico Blanco, Raimund Marasigan and Barbie Almalbis. Smart's Fiber optics is what powers a modern network. Optic fibers use light as a medium for telecommunication & broadband data. Theoretically, it is able to reach speeds of more than 1 Terabits per second (Tbps).

Scene:  Actor Mikael Daez shared his Bohol experience in the Feb. 4, 2013 issue of the Philippine Star: Bohol was such a peaceful experience. It allowed me to recharge and completely get my mind off things.  I think it’s a place where people can really “get away from it all.... It feels completely untouched in Bohol and I get jealous over their way of life because there doesn’t seem to be any stress in their lives. I admit I may not be able to live there for long periods of time but I will definitely go back if I need a place to recharge.

It's final: Erico Aristotle “Aris” Aumentado has replaced his father, the late Bohol 2nd district Rep. Erico Aumentado, in the congressional race this May 2013 elections.

"I can make it, kaya nako ang mualagad sa katawhan sa segundo distrito," said Aris, debunking rumors that he could not serve the people like his father,’ “ang akong kandidatura walay kausaban sa akong amahan diin nag-una ang tinuoray nga serbisyo."

Erico Aris Aumentado (center) files his COC for congressman of the second district of Bohol last Monday at the provincial Comelec Office. With Aris are (l-r) Dra. Sharleen Lim, Carmen Mayor Che Toribio- delos Reyes and Mayor Thomas Gonzaga and supporters.
Aris was talking to reporters last Monday after he filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) at the provincial Comelec Office. He was accompanied by gubernatorial bet Carmen Mayor Che Toribio-delos Reyes, vice-gubernatorial bet Dra. Sharleen Lim, big personalities like Ma. Fe Camacho-Lejos, Tommy Abapo, lawyer Handel Lagunay, Azon Galbreath, Danao Mayor Thomas Gonzaga, Bie Unido Mayor Rey Niño Boniel and other mayors and barangay captains, family members and supporters, who according to Fr. Joseum Sumampong in his homily, “mga nagmahal nimo mao naa sila karun aron musuporta kanimo.” (I like the homily of Fr. Sumampong who challenged Aris and those supporters “Don't give up. Adunay purpose ang Ginoo sa matag-usa kanato.")

In 2004, Aris wanted to run as vice mayor in Ubay town but his father disapproved his plan. Again, he wanted to run for board member in 2010 but his father didn’t like the idea of having two Aumentados in public service.

"I've thought hard about it," Aris added. "Wala pa ko sa akong hunahuna adto dawaton nako iyang hangyo to continue serve the people."

They say that Aris inherited much more than looks, political savvy and business acumen from his father.

Teased about it, Aris smiled and conceded that he might never equal, much more surpass his father’s record.

Valentine’s Day is four days to go, but you still have time to send your favorite people a little love. You can turn your room to the most romantic room to set your hear aflutter, send flowers, chocolates and a sweet note!

For something sweet this Valentine’s Day, Ramirez Cakes and Pastries (RCP) caters all your cake needs in every occasion. They are crafted to design themed cakes that suits your special day may it be weddings, birthdays, christening, and shower parties.

They also provide various pasalubong and delicacies. Try the famous Ramirez Torta.  It started with a plain recipe for every family gathering.  It was their very loving Lola Lita and Mama Gemma who first introduced the product to the market at mid 1990s. The family recipe was then loved by many and now became one of the best pasalubong items in town.

RCP has three outlets. The main center is located along Junction Road, Mansasa District, Luisa Galleria Mall at Gallares Street and at the Gallares Court just near the crossing of the city streets, Ma. Clara Street and Gallares Street.

(Note: Contact Ramirez Cakes and Pastries at (038) 412-2818; 412- 0711, 510-1855, or 09176324047. You can also visit them on Facebook – ramirezellainecakesand pastries.)

Reveal – The Grand Fashion Gala

The Rotary Club of Tagbilaran is set to stage one of their most significant projects for 2013.  The fashion show is living up to its title as a lot of revelations will happen on Saturday, March 2, 8 p.m. at the Bohol Cultural Center. For the first time ever, Bohol Fashion Designers’ Circle is created and organized with six Bohol-based fashion designers initiating the group.  Talented fashion experts and couturiers Henry Baron, Maximiel Tallo, Jong Magallano, Omie Auza, Rhigel Dulfo and EJ Relampagos will showcase their design prowess on more than 90 collections to grace the ramp.
Fashion designers, models, beauty queens, celebrities, socialites and dignitaries are expected to bring more glitz and glamour.
Power of 6

“Rrrreveaaaallll!!!” says Bohol’s premier designer Henry.

“This is a very good come back for me because it’s not gonna be only me but six of us!” shares Bohol’s mega designer Maximiel.

Bohol’s emerging designer Jong Magallano is also excited at the same time tensed since according to him, this will be his launching fashion show and it’s this big.  He never expected to make a debut as grand as “Reveal”.

Omie who is based in Talibon is also very excited to make a grand splash in the city of Tagbilaran.  He is expecting friends from other parts of the province to come and support the show.

Rhigel feels so happy to be a part of “Reveal”.  “This will surely be very significant since all the designers will be helping and supporting each other.”

Fashion icon EJ is also very supportive of this project.  “This is what I have been wanting to do and waiting for quite a time already. I am very happy that with the help of Rotary, we are now one organization.  Expect Bohol Fashion Designers’ Circle to make a difference and we want to make that difference obvious.”

The show will be directed by LJ Lumayag and lights and sounds will be provided by Disco Record Center.

Rotary Club of Tagbilaran President Joy Suarez is very optimistic about this project.  Meanwhile the chairwoman for the project “Reveal”, PAG Loella Bantol is also very supportive of the designers’ circle. This project is a fund raising activity of the Rotary to help support different humanitarian services of the chapter.

Tickets are available at Php 1,000, Php500 and Php 200.  For inquiries, please contact Alex at 09088910937.

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

Flashback: Yearbook photos of the who’s who

Scene:  If you Love To Dance, join the Valentine event at FoodMix Plaza Marcela on February 14. For more info, please call or text 09075436669.
Scene: A socialite VRS shared the rumors circulating in the river town. The “King of the Jungle” sent a messenger to ask “Yes, Yes” to reimburse all that he had spent in advancing himself as the challenger for a higher position.  However, “Yes, Yes” camp reportedly junked it with the response, 'If you think you can win it, go ahead'.  “Yes, Yes” also allegedly said. 'Why should I do it? I'm a candidate. That is not honorable. Maybe after the elections, let's see how we can be partners for development. But paying off a political opponent? That's untoward.”
“Take note,” added VRS, “it's the King of the Jungle’s camp that made the offer. True or not, one thing is certain. It is “Yes, Yes” who has the edge, because he anchors his campaign on hard work and performance.”
VRS also said that “Yes, Yes” has been instructed by his mother-in-law to stay quiet, because that is what his constituents like in him--silently working without bragging every inch of an accomplishment. "So, don't change," as he was advised. Maybe, he can report from time to time to update the people how he is doing just for transparency, not for other reasons--worst, undue media mileage.
VRS shared this lesson: Campaign is not like a commercial of a paint product that says you can suddenly become as white as the wall behind you when the paint roller runs on you.
Recognize any of those faces?
Let us hunt down famous faces before they were famous.
Case No. 1: Luke Mejares was known as the Gary Valenciano of Bohol, singing and moving like the famous singer, although he still maintains Michael Jackson is his most influential artist.
When he was in high school, Luke sang as front act for Joey Albert at a concert in Bohol.
His musical journey brought him to Manila in 1997 and he became a session singer for several bands until he finally joined the South Border which he later left and decided to go solo. Luke is married to Inger with whom he has a child.
Luke’s favorite motto: Don't trouble troubles, till trouble troubles you.
Case No. 2: (Councilor to-be) Joseph “Jojo” Bompat was a high school varsity player. The Heights Highlights ’03 says: His height as well as his skills granted him the privilege to be a Captain Barbell of the school’s Basketball Varsity Team. A big, naughty guy may seem but responsibility is something he could handle very well.
Bompat was the president of the Columbian Squires and member of the Baby Falcons.
Although now happily, if quietly, settled with his high school classmate Joanne Rochelle Aumentado Villamor, Jojo is taking the challenge to serve the people of Tagbilaran, following in his father’s footsteps.
Case No. 3:  Rotarian Alex Bongawan was a popular campus leader. He was known as “siga” (very brave) that all the students were very scared of his thundering voice. Pillars ’98, the University of Bohol High School yearbook says: Alex has a good sense of leadership. His strictness scares many but if you look at the good effect- it saves you from doing spooky stuffs. He’s a leader who brings his followers to a brighter end. He is a symbol of leadership and humility. He might be serious at times but behind the façade of this serious looking man hides a man with a very big smile and a truckload of jokes.
Alex, who runs a travel agency, is presently the secretary of the Rotary Club of Tagbilaran.
Case No. 4: Janice Aurora Tirol, Ph.D. was a popular campus figure. Pillars ‘97 says: She’s not just a girl- she’s a nice girl with an attitude. When she wants something- she usually gets it.
Dr. Nicey was one of the Philippines finest youth leaders who participated in the 34th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) in 2007.
An active member of the Rainbow for Girls, she is the head of the Student Personnel Services of the University of Bohol.
Case No. 5:  As I am typing this story, my sis Arlene, told me that her batch had famous personalities. True enough, her 1992 high school yearbook of Bohol National High School (BNHS) had prominent faces like Kit Bagaipo and Dr. Janice Michelle Evardone-Sarigumba.
Janice Michelle Evardone-- called Wowie by those close to her-- aimed high literally. She graduated salutatorian at Manga Elementary School and BNHS and was also awarded as “Mathematician of the Year.”
She wanted to be a nightingale but fate took her to study physical therapy as an academic scholar at Southwestern University (SWU) and passed the 1997 licensure exams for Physical Therapists.
She ranked #3 in the Civil Service Professional Exams for the entire Region VII. She was a university scholar in the College of Medicine at SWU, where she graduated in 2003 as Top 1 in her class, a recipient of the Matias H. Aznar Academic Excellence Award (with highest GPA) and Southwestern University Scholarship Award.
Wowie was Mutya sa Tagbilaran 2nd Runner-up in 1997 and Ms. Negros Navigation-Sea Angel.
Cielo, Sweet 16
Born on January 14, 1997, a day before the feast of Senor Santo Nino de Cebu of whom her father is a pious devotee, AJ Wincielou Johanna “Cielo” Araoarao Gabin was to be the “apple of the eyes” of her parents, Jerome John (of Siquijor) and Fiel Angeli, being the first child of the couple, the first grandchild of the Araoarao family and the first granddaughter of the Gabin family.
I have had the opportunity of “babysitting” her at home for some hours with her great grandmother, “Lola Pining,” 10 years ago, when her mother had to attend to some office-related activities and beauty pageants.
As the years have nurtured her, she is still very simple and easily contented, after her experiences as a little girl who was at the top of her class (DML Montessori School), as a pupil who has been consistently awarded as “Outstanding in Mathematics” since elementary (Holy Spirit School) up to now as a senior student (Tagbilaran City Science High School).
Her strong inclination in Mathematics - thanks to her father’s genes - has taken her to other parts of country and as far as Beijing and Tianjin, China for the China Primary Mathematics Olympiad in August 2009 and to Nevada, Arizona, California, Texas and New York as part of her stint in the International Regions Mathematics League competition as member of the winning Philippine MTG Teams.
On the other hand, she must’ve inherited her grandmother’s (Wincesa Espejo Araoarao, Bukang Liwayway Dance Troupe founder) terpsichorean prowess as, in recent years, she was member of the Tagbilaran City Science High School group which won in the Tagbilaran City Schools Division “Kuratsa Boholana” competition in March 2011 and in the University of the Philippines-Kadugong Bol-anon – Iloilo Chapter LITMUS modern jazz competition in October 2012 (both dances choreographed by her mother, Fiel Angeli) and  performed in the CVIRAA 2011 welcome program for the Cebu Province delegation and the Alay Lakad 2012 program.
The birth of her little brother, JF Regelbert Johnson “Renji,” after 14 years, became her long-time wish granted. She strongly believes in family values as manifested in having family meals, praying the Angelus and the Rosary and attending Sunday mass together and considers faith in God and the love, care and support of her family – Papa Jerome, Mama Fiel, Grandma Wincie, Mommy Lou, Uncle Ondoy and Aunties Claire, Coeli, Diane, Nhenen and Bebe – her greatest motivating factors in life.
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook