Sunday, June 24, 2018

Will Bohol teenager win ‘Catwalk Philippines’ model search?

When “Catwalk Philippines Modelling Competition 2018” unveiled the finalists, you might notice that one of the contestants is a Boholana — and, indeed, she is! She’s none other than Danica Joy Galon Mahumot, 17, daughter of Juliano Mahumot and Claudia Galon, who was discovered accidentally while swimming in a beach.

Danica is now in Manila where other contestants are undergoing training programs focused on the physical, mental and emotional strength needed to create a successful brand as a model. The girls are facing tough competition which is, according to her manager, “more rigid and vigorous.”

And what are her preparations for the contest which will culminate in July?

 At 17, Danica Joy Mahumot is the first and only Boholana who will compete in the “Catwalk Philippines Modelling Competition 2018.”  Contributed Photo

At 17, Danica Joy Mahumot is the first and only Boholana who will compete in the “Catwalk Philippines Modelling Competition 2018.”  Contributed Photo

“Actually, I'm not the type of a girl that is always conscious about appearance. But since I am now one of the candidates in this large competition, I am starting to observe my food intake and doing some workouts to have a fit body,” shared Danica who hails from Barangay Booy in Tagbilaran City.

“I am also starting to watch modeling related videos to increase my knowledge about it and get some tips about posture and walking as well,” she added.

Does Danica make other girls jealous or insecure because she happens to be the first and only (Top 15 out of 100 aspirants) Boholana in the contest?
 Danica Joy Galon Mahumot (2nd from right)
 is one of the finalists of the “Catwalk Philippines
Modelling Competition 2018.” 
Contributed Photo/Catwalk Philippines
"Why," asked Danica, "They have no reason to be."

Discovered by Khim Roger Ryan Magtagad Amora last year while swimming in Caingget Beach (the home of koja and other fresh seafoods) in Tagbilaran City, Danica is proving her mettle as a model in the local events.

 “At first look, she has a towering height. She is a Supermodel waiting to happen," said Khim who invited Danica to become part of her growing The Art Nouveau (Tan) Models.

Khim said Danica is “disciplined and determined.”

An Aquarian (January 30, 2001), Danica stands 5’9”; weighs 119 lbs.; measures 34-25-34, and wears small-sized T-shirts, and size-10 shoes.

Have you always wanted to join modeling since you were small?   Back then, I really don't know what modeling is and I didn't even expect that I will be a model because I don't have any interest with it. It just happened when Ate Khim approached and told me if I am willing and interest to be a member of The Art Nouveau or TAN Models. At first, I am hesitant and doubtful  yet I tried myself and here I am.

Would you rather be smart but not too beautiful, or beautiful but not too smart? I would rather be smart but not too beautiful because I believe in the popular saying "What is beauty if the brain is empty." For me, it would be a shame if you are that pretty but you don't have any knowledge about something because nowadays, people will make fun of you if you are in that situation. Nothing can compare to a girl of not having that perfect appearance but has the intelligence, talents, and skills.

What do you think is the smartest thing that you’ve done so far?  Joining  the “Catwalk Philippines Modelling Competition 2018”. I believe if one doors closes another door will open. I was shock when I got eliminated in the Modelling I had joined. I know the fact that I gave all my best that I can do. But I guess that wasn’t meant for me. So when Ate Khim informed me that there’s a screening for modeling competition in Manila I asked the Permission of my family and convinced them that I want to explore and prove My Worth. I went to Manila without any assurance if I'll be chosen. But everything is God’s planned. I was chosen as one of the finalists. An answered prayer and this is a big break for me and another opportunity for my modeling career.

What are your winning traits?  I have confidence, I don't give up easily. My family is my source of my strength, and most of all, I put God  first above all.

What winning tips you get from your trainor/handler considering your Ate Khim is a “kontesera” in gay beauty pageants? I am  so much proud and thankful having Ate Khim as my manager and being part of The Art Nouveau Model. He/She is so strict when it comes to serious matter. He/She told us to always in ourselves and always put our feet in the ground.

 Danica Joy Mahumot with her manager
Khim Roger Ryan Magtagad Amora who
discovered her last year while swimming
 in Caingget Beach in Tagbilaran City.
Contributed Photo
Do you have secrets sustaining your poise, your grace under pressure, especially during the crucial points in any contest?  I always ignore the presence of the audience as if I'm the only person on the place.

Who’s your role model?  Ever since my sister (Dolly Jean) has been my role model. She always keep saying to chase my dreams and never give up.

Young people today are liberated and adventurous, willing to try everything. What's your stand on pre-marital sex?  Honestly, I'm against on pre-marital sex because they still don't have blessings from God. But I respect every individual’s decisions. They have their own story too and nobody is perfect.

What is your stand on divorce in the Philippines?   I'm against about it. Marriage is a symbol of love and unity , then why do you even dare to marry the person if in just a simple misunderstanding leads to divorce. Do you think being married is just a game? What's the use of the vows if you can't even stand for it.

How about the war on drugs? Sadly, the effects of drug addiction are felt on many levels as it destroys the lives and future of our countrymen. Drugs should be eradicated. We should punish those pushers and save the users.  I strongly support the move of our President Rodrigo Duterte to reduce and possibly eliminate drug addiction in their country.

What’s your take on the transgender issue (should transgender be allowed to compete in beauty contests for women)?  I think transgender shouldn't be allowed to compete in any beauty contest for women because they are not born as women. They are all giving the right spot to exist and shine. And I believe transgenders are gifted and special. We have to respect and accept them in our society for equality and diversity.

If you were to change something in yourself, what would it be?  It would be my sleeping habit because I sleep late and wake up late.

What is your favorite quote?  Everything happens for a reason.

Describe yourself in three (3) words:  Happy go lucky.

How's your love life?  I don't have a lovelife!  (She told VRS later that her studies, a senior high at Holy Name University and modelling career are her priorities.)

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

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Boholana beauty queen Karen Gallman gets engaged to Aussie bf

Scene: Tessie Jaya-Pagdato, proprietor of Tessie’s Sweets & Pastries passed away, her daughter Ines announced on Tuesday, June 14. Tessie’s Sweets and Pastries began in 1999 in Baclayon town, known as the pastry capital of Bohol. Tessie’s Sweets and Pastries offers tourists the experience of making their bestseller, broas (lady fingers). In 2008, Tessie 
Tessie Jaya-Pagdato
was interviewed on GMA’s “100 % Pinoy” hosted by Miss Universe 1999 first runner-up Miriam Quimbao for her ubi (purple yam) jam which remains one of Bohol’s favorite delicacies. She shared her secret that boiling the ubi is not the most nutritious option because some of the vitamins are lost into the cooking water.  “Just steam the ubi without losing its nutritional content,” she said.

Scene: This (surprise) announcement from Rammel Cagulada, chief of staff provincial board member Dionisio Victor Balite: “After having been silent for quite a time, I am now disclosing without fear of contradiction, that Hon. Board Member Dionisio Victor Ancog Balite, Ph.D. has accepted with profound humility the Boholano people's persistent clamor for him to run as the next VICE - GOVERNOR of the Province of Bohol!”

Scene: Boholano film producer/writer Achinette Joy Villamor during the Gawad Urian 2018  (her film, “Balangiga: Howling Wilderness,” won the Best Picture): “They call us a third world country. That is wrong. What they should call us is Previously Colonized Country. We are not behind Europe and the U.S because we’re poor, lacking in resources, or just slow in development. We are behind them because every decade we devoted our labor, resources, and land to developing their country is a decade we could not use developing our own. Colonialism is evil, and in the present time, there is no bigger symbol of colonialism than those three bells that the U.S took from Balangiga. Those bells belong to us. We have the right to ask that they be returned because they belong to us. Let’s bring those bells home.”

 PO2 Arlene Manatad, the first and only
 woman member of the elite police
Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team in
 Bohol meets PNP Chief Director General Oscar
 Albayalde during his command visit to Bohol
Provincial Police Office on Friday, June 15.  Leo Udtohan
Scene: The command visit of PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde at the Bohol Provincial Police Office on Friday, June 16.  Albayalde conferred the coveted PNP Medalya ng Kagalingan (Medal of Merit) to some Bohol police for their heroism. For  service of warrant of arrest against the Most Wanted Person of Central Visayas  Emigdio  Aparece Jr.: PSupt Gaylord Tamayo, SPO1 Justeofino Hinlayagan, PO3 Enrico Tayactac, PO2 Jose Felicisimo Rebosura, PO2 Arlene  Manatad, PO2 Jonald  Jungco, PO1 Martin J Asucan, PO1James D Montalban and PO1 Gil E Mesiona (SWAT PMFC);  PO3 Junre Calvo, PO2 Jessie Cepedoza and PO2 Enrique Cepedoza (PIB Bohol), PO3 Julius Buyan (Danao Police Station), Technical Sgt. Sandy Uy (PAF Personnel); and Major Dennis  (17ISU, ISG, AFP) ; for buy-bust operation conducted against Rey Jacquese AraÑa in Panglao, Bohol:   PSINSP Romas Labasbas, PO3 Reynante Buntag Fucolan,PO2 Nelson Bacarisas Macaraya, PO2 Nerio Loretero Guioguio, PO2 Gimmel Fernando Olegario, PO1 Jerson Sotomayor Entice, PO1 Junzin Roy Quijada Albano, PO1 Rommel Roy Lamdagan Villareal, PNP Drug Enforcement Group (DEG) SOU 5 personnel, PIB personnel and Maritime Police Unit personnel; and for buy-bust Operation against John Gerald Anson, of Magsija, Balilihan, Bohol who was listed in the PNP’s drugs watch list as newly identified “drug pusher”: PSupt Patricio Degay, Jr., P03 Jonathan Argao,PO3 Clyd Lagumbay, PO3 Benjamin Ceniza Jr., PO2 John Butch Epile, PO2 Ray Neil Bibat,  PO2 Delfin Goloso, and PO3 Ignacio Inojales, PO3 Ruel Robles, PO2 Raffy Jotojot and PO2 Wanie Dotillos of the SWAT Team.

Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental 2018 Karen Gallman will surely remember June 2018.

The beauty queen who hails from Ubay town got the surprise of her life as her Australian boyfriend Ian Garton, chose the month of June to propose to her.

Beauty queen Karen Gallman revealed her engagement to Australian boyfriend. Courtesy of Karen Gallman’s  Instagram account

Karen  posted on Instagram a photo of herself and Ian, wearing her sparkling engagement ring.

She wrote, “WE ARE ENGAGED!  Two weeks today, the love of my life asked me to marry him..I said YES of course!  Thank you for making me the happiest girl on the planet, I am so blessed to have you in my life. I love you with all  my heart,” adding the hashtags #engaged #forever

Karen’s Instagram feed showed that two love to travel. Just recently, they were in Santorini, Greece.

Karen was born in Barangay Fatima in Ubay town to Gavin William Gallman, a retired Australian soldier, and Ubay native Editha Bayonas.

She spent her childhood days at Barangay Bood before she migrated to Australia at age 8.

She first joined Binibining Pilipinas in 2012 at the age of 19 and made it to the top 12 of the national beauty pageant and was also named Miss Photogenic of the batch.

Before trying her luck again in Bb Pilipinas 2018, she worked as an operations analyst in a company in London for two years.

Last April, VRS covered Karen’s homecoming. She was lovelier in person when she spoke to us in her thick Bisaya accent.

She said her mother Editha trained them to speak Bisaya and embrace the Boholano way even if they were living in Brisbane, Australia.

Parishioners wear black ‘to express deep sorrow and indignation’

Bishop Alberto Uy of the Diocese of Tagbilaran, recalling the deaths of three Catholic priests in the country in six months, remarked that “it is costly to follow Jesus.”

 A Holy Mass dedicated to the slain three priests was held
on Friday, June 15, at the St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral
 in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, officiated by Tagbilaran Bishop Alberto Uy.
  Leo Udtohan
Uy mentioned this during the Mass held at the St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral on Friday for the slain priests.

The bishop said priests are not enemies but are gifts God has given to guide people.

“Ang mga pari gasa sa Diyos para sa iyang katawhan. Dili sila atong kaaway, sila ang nagmatuto ug nagpalambo sa pagtuo sa Diyos,” he said.

Some 3,000 people, wearing black shirts “to express deep sorrow and indignation,” participated in the Mass.

On June 10, Fr. Richmond Nilo was shot dead inside a chapel while preparing to celebrate the Sunday mass in Zaragosa, Nueva Ecija. He was the third Catholic priest to be killed in the Philippines in the past six months.

Prof. Marianito Luspo who attended the Mass noted that violence and crime happen in many Catholic countries.

“It happened in many so-called Catholic countries because if people do not stand up and say enough then we shall have enabled evil to prevail over us,” said Luspo.

“That’s why I am here because the church calls for my presence here. I can always lend my little voice for the voice of grief, the voice of sadness and above all, the voice of protest that this is happening at all,” added Luspo.

Meanwhile, in a resolution passed during its session last Thursday, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Bohol also condemned the murder of the priests.

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

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Meet the candidates of Miss Bohol 2018

Scene: Happy June 12 Philippine Independence Day birthday to Engr. Jerome John J. Gabin, Siquijodnon by birth, but now Bol-anon by heart, who is counting his blessings and is thankful to God for his 48th year of existence, including the accolade he received as DTI Region 7’s (Central Visayas) Best SSF Provincial Coordinator from Department of Trade and Industry  Secretary Ramon M. Lopez,  for demonstrating the “Serbisyong Higit pa sa Inaasahan” in sustaining the implementation of the DTI-Regional Operations Group’s Shared Service Facilities (SSF) Project and his daughter Cielo’s placing 6th  in the entire country in the March 18, 2018 Civil Service Exam PPT – sub-professional level, the only top performing examinee from Visayas. He will have a simple “pahinungod” with wife Fiel, children Cielo and Renji, Mommy Lou, and Mama Wincie and other close family members in Siquijor.

Scene:  At least 200 students from  Barangay Booy in  Tagbilaran City   availed the “Libre Tupi”  and school supplies a day before the opening  of classes last Monday, June 4, for them to look “fresh and good.”  It was the 8th year, according to re-elected Barangay Kagawad Clement Paulinel Ingking who organized the event.

 The Miss Bohol 2018 candidates with Bohol
 Gov. Edgar Chatto, Vice Governor Dioning Balite,
provincial administrator Ae Damalerio
and provincial information officer Totsie Escobia.
Photo courtesy: Rey Tutas
The 21 candidates who will be vying for the title of Miss Bohol 2018 were introduced last Friday, June 8, during the Kita ug Ang Gobernador with Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto and some members of the media at the Governor’s Mansion.

The contestants will compete for the crown in July during a coronation ceremony to be held at the Bohol Cultural Center, with the winner succeeding Pauline Amelinckx of Tubigon.

The early favorites were Miss Sikatuna Iris May Libres who is becoming a pilot, Miss Bilar Jesseth Nez Pasagad who is a petroleum engineer, Miss Jagna Roselle May Cuarto Acebes who is a magna cum laude graduate and Miss Dimiao Trixie Cahanap, the youngest of the batch.

Beauty pageant enthusiasts said this could have the most number of smart minds.

Other candidates are Hanjhen Julio (Balilihan), Wenna Mae Alo (Baclayon), Liahona Lane  Lorzano (Clarin), Kristine Charrisse Enriquez  ( Corella),  Hannah Mae Cimeni (Dauis) ,  Erika Limbago (Loboc), Charysse Jane Roferos (Loon), Ma. Mediatrix Escabarte  (Maribojoc), Johanne Benedict Labor (Sagbayan),  Hazel Abrau (San Miguel), Faith Lucille Lumosbog (Sevilla),  Raclaire Stephan Trigo (Tagbilaran City),  Mae Paracuelles ( Talibon), Ma. Bethel Rose  Rosco (Tubigon), Anasela Zarisa Gaviola (Ubay),and  Chime Marie Pajo (Valencia).

Tagbilaran Port features modern seaport facilities

Last Friday, Allen Doydora (of dyRD) and Dave Responte (of dyTR) tagged me along to visit the office of Port Manager James Galantao.

 Tagbilaran Port Manager  James Galantao
 says the Tagbilaran Port, which is one of
 the busiest ports in the country, features modern
Leo Udtohan
We’re there to inquire about MV Lite Ferry 12 which slipped from its dock and slammed into a concrete diviver at the Tagbilaran port last Thursday.

Tagbilaran Port, one of the busiest ports in the country, features modern facilities. The predeparture area is fully air-conditioned and fully covered, unlike before. It has met the world-class standards.

Crimes and accidents at Tagbilaran port can now be monitored and documented with the installation of 32 high definition closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras placed in strategic areas.

These cameras have a zooming capability of approximately 350 degree.

Galantao said that with the installation of the CCTV cameras, entry and exit of criminals can be monitored.

If a wanted person is spotted on the CCTV camera entering the port gate to take a vessel, he can be arrested at the passenger terminal.

Vehicular accidents, especially hit-and-run cases, can also be traced using the CCTV cameras.

The construction of the covered walk is almost done which will connect from the entrance to the new building terminal.

Initially, there will be a space, a “Behold Bohol” stop over where tourists can have a glimpse of Bohol.

“The port is just the beginning for more Bohol adventures,” said Galantao.  

The renovation and rehabilitation works is Tagbilaran Port’s answer to the public's clamor for better port facilities and public service, and in recognition of the importance of the tourism industry.

‘Sufficient teachers, but no enough classrooms’ in Bohol school

Students at Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School (DCPNHS) were greeted with noise from an on-going construction of adjacent two classroom buildings during the first day of classes last Monday, June 4.

The backhoe drilling could be heard from the school’s gymnasium while some 1,200 Grade 7 students were waiting for their classroom assignments.

At least 1, 200 incoming Grade 7 students at Dr. Cecilio Putong
 National High School in Tagbilaran City, which has the biggest
population in Bohol province, were waiting for their room
assignments last Monday, June 4.  Assistant school principal
Melchor Daniel, Jr. said they have sufficient teachers
 but no enough classrooms . Some
  teachers  were using
lapel mic while teaching to preserve their voice.
  Leo Udtohan

Overcrowded classrooms and a lack of school desks were the common problems reported on the first day of classes, according to assistant school principal Melchor Daniel, Jr.

“We have sufficient teachers, but no enough classrooms,” said Daniel.

He said the 4-story two classroom buildings will soon have 40 classrooms to answer their needs.

“The new buildings are still being constructed and I don’t think they can be completed anytime soon. Hopefully, this can answer our classroom needs,” Daniel said.

DCPNHS has the biggest student population in Bohol province. As of Monday, they have 6,000 students – and counting.

Daniel said they had to adopt the double shifting scheme to accommodate all enrollees. The first shift is from 7 a.m. to 12 noon, and the second shift is from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Engr. Jerome John Gabin receives the
DTI Region 7’s (Central Visayas) Best SSF Provincial
Coordinator from Department of Trade and Industry
Secretary Ramon M. Lopez. Contributed Photo
Daniel said some classes have to be relocated to their makeshift classrooms or temporary shelters “because we simply can’t accommodate all our students.”

The school was likewise forced to refuse transferees, Daniel noted, and only accommodate old students who still have to enroll.

“Unfortunately, we are now refusing enrolment because of the classroom problem and we simply cannot accommodate everybody. Everybody wants to come to our school but we can (only) take in so much,” he said.

Meantime, teachers have to deal with 50-60 students per class, and even take on several classes.
There were at least 220 teachers at DCPNHS. Some teachers opted to use lapel mic during classes to preserve their voice and prevent fatigue.

At the faculty room, Grade 7 teacher Brigida Badlon was checking her lapel mic before proceeding to class.

Badlon, 39, has been using lapel mic in her classes for the past six years.

According to her, using lapel mic has prove practical and effective since it enabled her to overcome usual classroom noises and distractions like the clatter of students hustling through the hallway and sound from an on-going construction of classroom buildings.

“It helps me not to raise my voice and it relaxes me,” said Badlon, who bought her own lapel mic.

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

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Rich Asuncion ties the knot

Scene:  Tarsier 117, Bohol's response team, bagged the Quality Award on Gold Category during the Business Initiative Directions  (BID) International Quality Convention in New York. The award was personally received  by provincial administrator Ae Damalerio and Mark Sydney Galia, team leader of Tarsier 117.

Mr and Mrs. Mudie 
Scene:  Speaking of brewing battles…Members of the LGBT community have openly declared war against an event organizer of a mall in Tagbilaran City. Talent managers, handlers and make-up artists criticized the event organizer  for his “modus operandi”-- negotiating the models without their knowledge. 
Scene:  Erika Limbago was crowned in the revived Miss Loboc 2018.  Erika’s mother, Cynthia, was crowned Miss Loboc many years ago.

Rich Asuncion, Benj Mudie marry in Hong Kong

Actress Rich Asuncion and her longtime boyfriend, Filipino-Australian rugby player Benjamin Mudie, tied the knot in Hong Kong last Monday, May 28.

Her family and a few close friends -- Gerry Lugod, former beauty queen and reporter Mayumi Lugod-Ortiz, actress Cathy Remperas, April Recio, Vanessa Ramirez-McLaughlin and Kikoi Busalla –have flown to Hong Kong to witness the union, which took place at the Hong Kong Marriage Registry.  Hong Kong- based Shirmie Cuadra Biloy and Timmy Pacaldo Lorete also witnessed the union.

Kapuso actress Rich Asuncion ties
the knot with Filipino-Aussie rugby
 player Benjamin Mudie, in Hong Kong, May 28.  Contributed Photo
Making the occasion more special was the presence of her few celebrity friends, including Sheena Halili, Glaiza de Castro, Renz Fernandez and Sunshine Dizon, also attended the special moment.

“It was an intimate, beautiful wedding and Rich looked absolutely stunning in her wedding dress,” said Gerry.

After getting married, the couple had a celebration on a yacht.

Rich got engaged during GMA’s “Ika-6 Na Utos” 7 taping last April 2017. Benj popped the question at the set of the show.

Buenavista, Bohol residents in fear
after Mayor Sample Tirol’s killing

Buenavista residents are in fear after the killing of Buenavista Mayor Ronald Lowell “Sample” Tirol last Sunday.
Police are considering politics, business, and personal conflict as possible motives behind the killing of Tirol, 38, a bachelor, and a scion of a political family in Bohol.

Gerry Lugod with Mr and Mrs. Mudie in Hong Kong.
Contributed Photo
“I feel I am no longer safe here,” said Gina, a resident who asked to withhold her family name.

Another resident, Victoria, said she plans to transfer to another residence due to the killings in Buenavista, a fourth class town with a population of 27,261.

“I hope there will be no more killing here. It is still scary,” she said.

Tirol was the third high-profile shooting victim in Buenavista. The two others were a policeman and a militiaman.
Chief Insp. Rully Lauron, Buenavista police chief, Station, admitted that there was a sense of unease among the residents following the killing of the mayor.

“I notice that the people were scared since their mayor himself was killed. They found that alarming,” he said.

“I hope that the residents would not be cowered by fear. We have disseminated our contact information for people who may have known the whereabouts of the gunmen who killed the mayor,” he added.

However, it was still business as usual at the municipal hall, said Vice Mayor Dave Duallo who assumed the post of acting mayor following the death of Tirol.

The newlyweds with their family friends (l-r) Vanessa Ramirez,
 Mayumi Lugod-Ortiz, Cathy Remperas, April Recio,
Shirmie Cuadra Biloy, Gerry Lugod, Kikoi Busalla
and Cathy’s fiancé.  Contributed Photo
Number one Councilor Ma. Christine Cabarrubias-Torregosa also took over as acting vice mayor based on the law of succession.

Duallo said it was understandable that the people were shocked by the mayor’s killing. “But life goes on. Our service to the people will not stop,” he said.

The police have filed murder complaints against two men who were suspected to be behind the killing of Tirol.

Elmer Melencion was identified by witnesses as the one who allegedly shot Tirol while playing a card game inside the cockpit arena that he owned in Buenavista past 3 p.m. on Sunday.

At that time, the mayor’s bodyguards were running an errand for Tirol.

Melencion, an alleged gun-for-hire, had a separate murder charge but was able to post bail. Also charged was Emedio Aparece Jr. who allegedly served as look-out.

 Loboc Councilor Tessie Labunog-Sumampong
with the candidates and winners of Miss Loboc 2018.
\Leo Udtohan
Senior Supt. Angeles Geñorga, police Bohol director, said the suspected gunman likely carried out the attack on orders of a still unidentified “mastermind.”

“Although we have identified the gunman, the work is not complete since we still don’t have the mastermind,” said Geñorga.

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

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Loboc Wildlife & Nature Park is Bohol’s newest attraction

Scene: AJ Wincielou Johanna “Cielo” Araoarao Gabin was one of the TOP 9 passers of the Civil Service -SubProfessional Examination (National Level). She placed 6th as the only top performer in Central Visayas and Bohol. Cielo is the daughter of Engr. Jerome Gabin and Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin.

SPO3 Melinda Mendez- Basalo, duty team
leader of the PNP Personnel of Tagbilaran Aviation,
assisted and facilitated the arrival of the cast
 of “Home Sweetie Home” like Piolo Pascual, Toni
Gonzaga and Ogie Alcasid.  Contributed Photos
SceneKapamilya actor Piolo Pascual joined the rest of ABS-CBN’s “Home Sweetie Home” cast on their Bohol trip last week (May 21).  Home Sweetie Home is a situational comedy topbilled by John Lloyd Cruz and Toni Gonzaga. Later on, Piolo Pascual was officially added late last year due to John Lloyd’s absence. Fans shared photos of Papa Piolo, Toni G at the airport and at Flushing Meadows where they had a shoot. According to fans, Piolo’s smiles melt the hearts and washed all the stress away.

* **
A little over a hundred species of animals— and counting, many are endemic to the Philippines, roaming on one-hectare of natural environment in an interior mountain village of Loboc town.

The opening of the Loboc Wildlife and Nature Park
in an interior mountain village is also an opportunity
to put Loboc on the tourism map.  Photo shows (l-r)
Businesswoman Uca Trotin, Loboc Councilor Boboy Baguio,
Loboc Mayor Helen Calipusan-Alaba, provincial disaster
 risk reduction and management officer Anthony Damalerio,
former Loboc Mayor Leon Calipusan and Loboc Councilor
Margel Hilot during the grand opening of the wildlife and nature
park last Saturday, May 26. 
Photo courtesy: Anthony Damalerio
The Loboc Wildlife and Nature Park in Barangay Bonbon Upper is part of a 1-hectare property, some 30 kilometers from Tagbilaran City.

The huge property boasts of hundred species of animals including  the Mariana deer, ostrich and a lion can also be seen from a distance grazing on the park.

The park also has reptiles such as crocodiles and snakes, the most prominent of which is the albino Burmese python.

Many bird species such as the crowned pigeons, parrots, peacocks, lories, wild ducks, can be seen. The birds freely fly or perch on trees inside the structure.

The animals are kept in huge cages but prowl in open spaces to simulate their natural habitat.

Elevated steel walkways serve as viewing deck for Philippine crocodiles.  Bearcat lives nearby.

The favorite selfie spot remains the bearcat cage and the “serpentarium” where visitors can feed the bearcat and hold the snakes.

Guests who had been there were all in awe with what they saw.

“The snakes and deer are my favorites,” said 5-year-old Mario, who went to the park last Saturday with his parents and friends.

Visitors can interact and feed some animals inside the Loboc Wildlife and Nature Park
which is now home to hundreds of animals- and counting.  Leo Udtohan
Visitors can take a cool walk down the canopy trail under the shelter of trees.

The park is not all about animals as guests will also be treated to the breathtaking sight of over hundreds of trees and other plants.  The trees are marked with their local and scientific names.

And, all this is just phase 1 of the park.

Former Loboc Mayor Leon Calipusan, one of the owners, said they intend to bring in more animals by the end of this year.

He said the opening of Loboc Wildlife and Nature Park is more than just lifting and boosting Loboc’s image as a tourism destination, but is also about improving the quality of livelihood in the town.

Loboc is known as the music capital of Bohol with the floating restaurants as one of the added attractions.

About 50 workers are employed in the park are from Loboc.  Calipusan said part of the proceeds from the entrance fee helps fund school children in Loboc town.

Topnotcher AJ Wincielou Johanna “Cielo” Gabin
in a rare moment with Bishop Alberto Uy
of the Diocese of Tagbilaran after she and her
 parents- Engr. Jerome and Fiel Angeli Gabin
and younger brother Renji, participated
 in the Flores de Mayo  at the Saint
 Joseph the Worker
  Cathedral.  Contributed Photo
“We’ve initially hired 50 employees for the Loboc Wildlife and Nature Park, and we will increase the employment as soon as we will introduce more activities here,” Calipusan said.

Provincial disaster risk reduction and management officer Anthony Damalerio, who represented Gov. Edgar Chatto, said that the Loboc Wildlife and Nature Park was a welcome development in Bohol’s tourism industry.

“This is an added attraction of Bohol where locals and foreign guests will love this place,” he said during the grand opening of the park last Saturday, May 26.

Other guests during the opening were Loboc Mayor Helen Calipusan-Alaba, Lourdes Sultan of Travel Village, Bohol Tourism Officer Josephine Remolador-Cabarrus, Loboc Councilors Margel Hilot and Boboy Baguio, businesswoman Uca Trotin and barangay officials.

Calipusan said they will be developing another five hectares for an adventure park where tourists can camp and trek.

Though these structures are still on the drawing board, the nature park alone has certainly placed Loboc on the tourism map.

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

After a long hiatus, Miss Loboc is back

After a long hiatus, Miss Loboc is back
● ‘Sun halo’ hovered over Ubay town

Scene:  The talent of movie producer-writer Achinette Joy Villamor of Tagbilaran City shines as she was recognized in one of the most prestigious award-giving bodies in the country. Achinette was nominated in the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Awards in the Best Screenplay category for the film Balangiga: Howling Wilderness. Two of her films she produced, Balangiga: Howling Wilderness  and Alipato, got 11 and two nominations, respectively.

Scene: Former beauty queen Anna Maris Igpit-Taylor and Tommy Taylor have welcomed their first son together in Sydney, Australia. Maris made the announcement through her favorite medium, Facebook. "Today at 7:49 a.m. (May 15), Tommy Taylor and I became proud parents to a healthy, 7.7 lbs baby boy. We are totally  over the moon after an intense 5 hour labour. Please help us welcome our beautiful  bundle of joy, Luca Taylor," she announced while cuddling the baby.  Maris had previously revealed that she and Tommy were expecting a boy.  Maris has been openly documenting her pregnancy on social media. She's also proudly shared plenty of baby bump pics on Facebook and 'gram. Maris’ mom, Maricor, is in Sydney to support her.

6 mediamen win barangay polls

Voting for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections went on smoothly in Bohol last May 14 even in 33 hotspot areas.
Johnny Orioque, publisher of Bohol Balita Daily News (BBDN),
  was proclaimed as village chief of Barangay Poblacion
in Trinidad town, after Monday’s Barangay and SK elections.
 Leo Udtohan

In Trinidad town, Johnny Orioque, publisher of Bohol Balita Daily News (BBDN) won the village chief post in Poblacion with ease.

Johnny got more than 1,136 votes while Vidal Cajes garnered more than 809 votes.

Johnny said the residents of Trinidad encouraged him to run for the barangay captain position.

Since it is in his heart to serve the public, he immediately accepted the challenge without hesitation.

He shared that being in the media industry has helped him to be devoted in serving the public. That is why he did not hesitate to enter the political arena.

He is thankful to the residents of Poblacion for trusting him.

 “Johnny is the leader,” said resident Soriana Tabada. “He’s exciting and he’s not one of the usual politicians. People really like engaging with him."

As the newly elected barangay captain, he has many plans for Poblacion.

“We will cross that bridge when we come to it. Naa tay daghang mga plano,” he said.

But even with the new task, Johnny said he will not leave the media.

When asked by reporters if he is ready for 2019, Johnny just gave an enigmatic smile.

Other media personalities who won were Manolito ”Willy” Maestrado of dyRD, reelected councilor, Barangay Bool in Tagbilaran City;  Carlito “Lito” Responte of dyTR , reelected councilor, Barangay Totolan in Dauis; Ubaldo “Bob Goodman” Berro of Kiss FM – Councilor, Barangay Guinsularan in Duero;  Ern Pahayahay of dyTR – Councilor, Barangay Bingag in Dauis town; and  incumbent barangay captain Edgar Tumanda of dyTR was elected councilor, Barangay Minol in Mabini town.

There were other media personalities who also ran but did not make it. They were Melvin Jabajab of The Bohol Chronicle and Engr. Gerardo Cajes of dyRD who was one rank away from winning a place in Barangay Dao in Tagbilaran.

In Maribojoc town, by luck of the draws, incumbent barangay captain Doroteo Garsuta of Cabawan in Maribojoc town, wins during a draw lot after he tied with Marcial Quiwag during the race for barangay captain.  

The comeback: 18 candidates vie for Miss Loboc 2018

Dormant for many years, Miss Loboc is making a much-awaited comeback. The pageant happens to be one of the province’s most prestigious before it folded up.  

Miss Loboc 2018 candidates at the famous Loboc River. 
Photo Courtesy: Miss Loboc 2018 Facebook Page
In the early ’70s , the town of Loboc conducted an annual search for a Miss Loboc.  The local organizers would comb the entire town for beautiful women of good moral character and entice them to join the search. The fairest and brightest would be crown Miss Loboc until it folded in 1990s.

But not many people these days can recall just how prestigious being Miss Loboc was back then — some would even argue it was absolutely more distinguished and esteemed than the still-running pageants.

There was Cynthia Limbago, a Miss Loboc winner, who represented the town in Miss Bohol Sandugo. Incidentally, her daughter Erika Limbago has joined the revived Miss Loboc this year.

Miss Loboc was changed to different names like Miss Agri and Miss Loboc Tourism until it folded up.

 The good news now is that the local government of Loboc through Mayor Helen Calipusan-Alaba has revived Miss Loboc— although jazzed up to keep up with the times.

Elmer Varquez, the town’s tourism officer, is this year’s chairman.

The relaunch is calculated to restore the past glory it enjoyed. Like in previous years, the pageant focuses on  promoting the town as a premier tourism destination in the province and further complement the LGU’s program to enhance tourism.

But Loboc is not only Bohol’s musical town, it is also the home of some beauty queens.  

Perla Salig (now Mrs. Teves) became first runner-up of the 1979 Bb. Pilipinas. Perla became Miss Loboc Academy and Miss Commerce at the then Divine Word College in Tagbilaran now Holy Name University. She won the Mutya ng Bohol pageant held in Cebu City sponsored by the Circulo de Boholano and represented the Central Visayas. 

Dormant for many years, Miss Loboc
 is making a much-awaited comeback with
18 lovely ladies vying for the crown.
Photo Courtesy: Miss Loboc 2018 Facebook Page
Another beauty queen, the most successful beauty queen of Loboc, however, will forever be Loboc Councilor Tessie Labunog-Sumampong. Tessie represented Loboc town at the 1983 Miss Young Bohol and she was declared 4th runner-up. 

Tessie, of course, is the proprietor of Loboc Riverwatch Floating Resto and Cuisina Ni Tisay, a favorite destination of stars and celebrities.  Just recently, she was featured on ABS-CBN’s Magandang Buhay where she taught Melai and Karla Estrada how to cook balbacua.

Tessie said Miss Loboc  is not just another beauty pageant.

“This is a program that hopes to create ambassadors who will showcase Loboc’s tourism, culture and heritage that will ignite positive change in the community,” she said.

Loboc Councilor Tessie Labunog-Sumampong
is another beauty queen from Loboc town
 who joined the Miss Young Bohol 1983.   Contributed Photo
For its comeback year, 18 lovely ladies vie for the crown.  They are Mylene Morales, Michaela Soriano, Ginalyn Vargas, Fel Angelie Curpos, Dexie Campos, Anabel Acuna, Erika Limbago, Yholmarie Camarote, Kristine Clare Dango, Cherry Mae Vale, Joanna Simacio, Precious Ara Theresa De Costo, Jea Rose Lagrimas, Mary Purifel Ajoc, Angelie Tabuada, Mikaella An Melisimo, Jocelyn Toledo and Anna Leizel Libardo.

The coronation night is on May 21, 8 p.m. at JAD Complex with celebrity guest Neil Coleta.

The pageant is co-presented by Camp Sabros thru Edwin Sacdalan and One Dreamer Commissary. Others sponsors are LABB Construction,  Rural Bank of Loboc, Sta. Clara Power Corporation,  GLEH Financial Solutions, Loboc River Resort, M Lhuillier, Globe Telecom and Nelson  Yu of N.N. Yu Construction Inc as Gold Sponsors;  Nuts Huts,  Cebuana Lhuillier and The Bellevue Resort as Silver Sponsors;  Loboc  River Floating Resto, Loboc River Cruise Floating Resto, Travel Village, Loboc Riverwatch Floating Resto,  Cocina de Loboc, Bohol Turistas,  Jojie’s Bakeshop, Estrella Bakery,  Hilltop Cottages and  Cuisina ni Tisay Catering Services as Bronze Sponsors.  The Major Sponsors are Aproniana Gift Shop,  Bohol Waterbike,  Mithi Resort and Spa, Island Souvenirs,  Ford Philippines,  Informatics , Ochoco Accounting, Auditing and Taxation Services, TJ Medrana Photography and Kim Villamor.

Text voting is now open for Texters Choice Award. To vote, type: MISSLOBOC<space>LAST NAME and send to 2948. Voting ends on May 21 at 7 p.m.

Sun halo phenomenon hovered over Ubay, Bohol

Residents in Ubay town in Bohol province were treated to a rare phenomenon last week when the sun appeared surrounded by a halo of light.

Scientists said a sun halo is a natural optical phenomenon where light reflects tiny ice circles in the lowest level clouds.

A sun halo occurs on days where humidity in the air is especially high.

Ubay experienced hot weather on weekdays, while some parts of Bohol were having a light rain shower and cloudy skies.

Rey Tubo, who saw the rare phenomenon, said that he was mesmerized of the sun and decided to take some photos and posted these on his Facebook account.

Engineer Riche Cutamora Ibale also uploaded a photo he took on the sun halo and captioned it: “Called as 22 degree halo or a sun halo, the ring is caused by sunlight passing through ice crystals in cirrus clouds within the earth’s atmosphere.” He even used the hashtag #SunHaloDay #22DegreeHalo.

If other residents were amazed by the appearance of the
sun, some feared the appearance of a halo around the sun might be a bad omen.

A large ring or circle of light around the sun a
mazed residents in Ubay town, Bohol province since last week.
This rare sun halo is called a 22-degree halo by scientists.
 Photo Courtesy: Rey Tubo
“We should pray to God because the sun halo is a sign of bad things to come,” said Norfa Veseres, 70.

But the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the rare solar halo circling the sun has a natural explanation: It is formed due to high clouds.

Scientists call it the halo because it has an approximate radius of 22 degrees from the sun.

The halos occur when sunlight refracts through a high band of cirrus clouds more than 20,000 feet above the ground.

According to, the sunlight bounces off these crystals making the waves change direction, this is refraction, and this gives the appearance that the sun has an extra halo of light surrounding it.

“Halos around the sun or moon happen when high, thin cirrus clouds are drifting high above your head. Tiny ice crystals in Earth’s atmosphere cause the halos. They do this by refracting and reflecting the light,” it said.

On the other hand, lunar halos are signs that storms are nearby, it added.

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