Monday, September 15, 2014

Here she is ... Miss America 2015!

Original article from Ann OldenburgUSA TODAY
"Tonight one young lady's life is going to change forever," said Miss America 2014 Nina Avuluri.
And so it went on Sunday night as Miss America 2015 was crowned in Atlantic City.
Here are the highlights of the night as it unfolded:
The Judges:
Kathy Ireland, who was barefoot in the green room before the show
NFL star and Dancing With the Stars alum Donald Driver
Olympic gymnast and DWTS alum Shawn Johnson
Desperate Housewives creator/writer Marc Cherry
Army general Anne Macdonald
Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk
First Miss America to be crowned on live TV Lee Meriwether
The 15 semifinalists:
Miss Idaho Sierra Sanderson won the America's Choice vote to become a finalist. Sanderson made national headlines by winning her state pageant in July wearing her insulin pump with her pink bikini during the swimsuit portion of the competition. She became a champion in the diabetes community.
Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn who is two years away from being a dentist
Miss MississippiJasmine Murray, who made it to the Top 13 on Season 8 of American Idol
Miss TexasMonique Evans, who is focusing on health care
Miss TennesseeHayley Lewis plans to make sure to take in "every single aspect of this experience"
Miss Kentucky Rasmey Carpenter, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2010
Miss AlabamaCaitlin Brunell, whose dad, Mark Brunell, is an NFL pro
Miss Ohio Mackenzie Bart loves that dummy on her lap (she's a ventriloquist)
Miss Virginia Courtney Paige Garrett wants to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities because her brother has cerebral palsy
Miss Florida Victoria Cowen wants girls to be careful about what they post and share on social media
Miss Connecticut Acacia Courtney doesn't "ever want to feel like I've peaked"
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev, who was once in an abusive relationship
Miss Arkansas Ashton Campbell, who crew up in a town of about 75 people
Miss Iowa Aly Olson loves Game of Thrones
Miss Oklahoma Alex Eppler says she's a nerd
No. 16: Miss North Dakota Jacky Arness, voted in by the judges as a wildcard extra
A Weird Kathy Ireland Moment
Co-host Lara Spencer asked Kathy Ireland what she was looking for during the swimsuit portion:
"I'm looking for someone who can captivate, someone who can connect with America and get great results. These women have a servant's heart and she's got a huge responsibility ahead of herself. She's got to communicate in everything she does. I'm looking in the eyes."
Huh?
Oops! Miss Nebraska flashed everyone
Co-host Chris Harrison was yakking about how the judges will be looking at "personal style" during the evening gown portion when he stopped and right behind him, Miss Nebraska Megan Swanson has her legs open and she leaned over to the contestant next to her to say something, flashing the Atlantic City audience and, yes, all of us at home. Twitter caught it. We re-wound our DVR to take a closer look. Yes, it happened.
The Talent
There were singers, dancers and a pianist. But the ventriloquist and the cups-singing were the most memorable of them all.
Miss Ohio Mackenzie Bart did a ventriloquist act. Miss New York sat on the stage and played a cup while singing Happy.
The Questions
Miss Arkansas was asked by Shawn Johnson about whether there should be limits on use of guns by children. "I do think there need to be restrictions."
Miss Florida was asked by Kathy Ireland about Ray Rice's wife's decision to stand by him. "I know that's a very hard decision. But me personally? I don't agree with it. … I don't necessarily believe he deserves a second chance."
Miss New York was by Lee Meriwether about women leaders in the Senate and what they should be taking a lead on. "I really believe that sexual assault in our military is an issue these women have got to fight for …"
Miss Virginia was asked by Anne Macdonald about the ISIS beheadings. "This is an absolute outrage… I feel it's important for the U.N. to come together to decide."
Miss Massachusetts was asked by Marc Cherry about sexual assault on college campuses. "This is something I have personal experience. My best friend's roommate was raped… We need to talk about this in schools."
And finally, the crowning
4th runner up: Miss Massachusetts
3rd runner up: Miss Florida
2nd runner up: Miss Arkansas
Runner up: Miss Virginia
Miss America 2015: Miss New York Kira Kazantsev wins, making it the third row in a year for New York to take the crown.

Glee Orcullo enjoying the best of both worlds

Wake-uppers:
Loon’s Sidlakasilak or festival of lights is one of the most
 important and religious festivals in Bohol calendar.-
LPU
Scene: The 15th Sidlakasilak or Festival of Lights was held on Sept. 6 in Loon town.  Sixteen participants joined the first “indigay sa guriyon” (kite flying contest), while six contingents joined the Sidlakasilak Streetdancing parade in honor of the town’s patron saint the Virgen de la Luz or Birhen sa Kasilak (Our Lady of Light). This year’s celebration is meaningful after the Nuestra Señora De La Luz Church was destroyed by the killer quake last year. According to Reigh Monreal, Sidlakasilak chair, “Sidlak is to rise, Kasilak is to shine...that is to show what Loonanon culture is.” The Sidlakasilak is one of its kind in the Philippines because the street-dancing is done at night with the emphasis on the lights, on how to make it move and dance. “This year’s Sidlak festival of lights is really colorful, very elegant,” said Mary Grace Ramada.
 
Scene: The search for the best design for the Memorial Monument of the 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake is on. Deadline is on Oct. 6.  For more info, visit Padayon Bol-anon Facebook Page or Office of the Governor or call (38) 411-3063.
 
***
There are many forms of mass media but turn the volume up on this fact: Radio continues to fare well.
 
One of those who believe so is broadcast journalist Analiza “Glee” Orcullo.
 
“Pang-masa siya. It can reach out to the far-flung barangays and remote areas. Early risers can bring their transistor radio while in the field...it’s very practical,” said Glee, who is hosting dyRD’s “CBB Breakfast News” with another veteran broadcast journalist, Fred Araneta, 7 to 8 a.m. Monday to Saturday.
.
Glee Orcullo on radio: ‘Radio is very popular among
 the masses. It has become more interactive
because of the Internet.’
Glee once asked herself if AM radio is still relevant what with various forms of media already flourishing.
 
She got her answer with the positive feedback from the listeners on her programs, which are still very popular among the masses,beefed-up as it is by its social media components like live streaming and text.
 
“It has become more interactive thanks to Internet,” shared Glee, who worked as a field reporter, anchor and TV actress on CCTN TV Channel 47 in Cebu City. “Listeners can send their feedback or reaction through text and the Internet. Paspas kaayo angfeedback sa mga listener.”
 
Glee is also hosting Rampa Showbiz from 3 to 4 p.m. on dyRD Monday to Friday with veteran broadcaster Pede Bolanio. It is as casual and light. It has lively discussions and incisive analysis of current issues on showbiz.
 
Does she have time to relax?
 
“Of course! Zumba helps me,” exclaimed Glee.
 
Glee is joining the new dance craze in town that claims to melt fats away--zumba.
 
Zumba classes are everywhere—in hospitals, offices, community recreation centers, and even schools and churches.
 
Many Filipinos are already getting hooked on zumba which allows one to enjoy the exercise while shedding off unwanted pounds.
 
Glee Orcullo (3rd from left) and her zumba buddies
are getting hooked on zumba to shed off unwanted pounds.
Introduced in 2001, zumba is now considered the world's largest  and most successful dance-fitness program.
 
Glee found today’s radio intellectually demanding and zumba helps her to fulfil the task.
 
“Zumba helps me to focus and relax,” said Glee.
 
“Unlike any other fitness program, zumba truly is a dance party. The No. 1 benefit of zumba is burning of calories.  We are moving to the music and we don’t even feel like we’re working out,” said Glee who is doing her solo zumba session last June.
 
"Music is the key ingredient to zumba classes," added Glee. The music sets the tone of the class, and the instructor and students add their own style.
 
From 138 pounds, Glee trimmed down to a fit 113 pounds.
 
“I am very comfortable now with my weight. I feel like I can do everything, healthy and sexy,” she added.
 
City Hall employees doing the zumba after
office hours.  
Courtesy: Fiel Gabin
Zumba borrows from the dance styles of cumbia, flamenco, salsa, mambo and even hiphop. In a one-hour class, one can supposedly lose more than 50 calories while having fun.
 
To be more effective, zumba classes should be attended at least 3 times a week.
 
“If you have time, you can make it as your daily exercise,” said Glee.
 
“I am enjoying the best of both worlds. I love the radio and I love zumba,” exclaimed Glee.
 
There are free zumba classes at the Island City Mall, BQ Atrium and Luisa Galleria. Englewood Hospital has free zumba session to its employees, patients and guests, courtesy of Dr. Disi Alba, hospital owner and administrator.
 
***
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at leoudtohan@yahoo.com, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

OMG’s Tsinelas and Apple campaign in full swing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Anda, Mikey and his OMG Team were welcomed by Virgen barangay captain Flor Flores of the Flower Beach Resort (www.flower-beach.com, Phone: +63918 579 6166; Email: requests@flower-beach.com).

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Hudyaka sa Panglao bursting with colors & cheers



Wake-uppers:
Seen:  Commander Agapito Bibat of the Philippine Navy was chosen as class president of International Maritime Offices Course Class 52 by the International Maritime Officers Course (IMOC) School in the US with 36 participants from 26 participating countries around the world.

Scene: Pat Ruiz was among those who attended the early mass at the St. Joseph Cathedral for the August 25 nationwide against the pork barrel system and term extension of elected officials. Pat Ruiz said, “We had offered the highest form of prayer thru a mass in relation to the existing pork barrel in our country. We have still pork, it is still not pork less. The congressmen had identified projects using the national agencies and it is lump sum. In this regard, we call for active citizenship that people in Tagbilaran will also be taking into account that we are not yet pork less. And pork barrel is the cause of corruption, if there is corruption there is poverty. That is why it is a continuing advocacy that we will say no to any form of pork barrel.”

***
Bursting with colors and cheers, the culminating events 
of the annual Hudyaka sa Panglao, took place last  August 27-28
 in honor of Panglao’s patron, Señor San Agustin. 
The festivities were led by Mayor Nila Montero.- LPU
The last time I was in Panglao Island, the Alona Beach was showing itself in full magnificent glory, breathtakingly beautiful, as it always did every day except when nasty weather or habagat is in the country.

Early last week, I was at Alona Beach, it is beautiful as ever, awesome, breathtaking, spellbinding and totally majestic, still transfixed me in awe, holding me (actually us) in captive seduction as the waves were rushing into the shore as if flirting with us as we were at the Alona Tropical for a presscon with Panglao Mayor Nila Montero and Vice Mayor Pedro Fuertes.

Our group — from the Bohol media— had a sumptuous lunch together with Mayor Montero and some guests. Some media friends had stayed overnight at Alona Tropical where they had experienced the hospitality of  the resort staff including Roldan Cuevas, Rico Guigue and Deo Guden.

...with the members with Bohol media
Mayor Montero and Vice Mayor Pedro Fuertes also shared to the media the latest developments and projects of Montero-Fuertes administration. They also boast of the town’s establishment of Panglao Solid Waste Utilization and Conversion Technology.

During break, I brought Christopher Lumactud (Bohol Chronicle’s layout and graphic artist) to the nearby Amorita Resort for a quick look-see of an (old) friend Cesar Paterno, an executive producer of ABS-CBN, who was with Katherine De Castro. Kat (she was also doing her ice bucket challenge), was doing a story on Bohol for her show on ABS-CBN.  When Kat saw me, she asked in jest if I owned a resort in Panglao for which I vehemently denied. Ha! Ha! Ha! Those Magandang Gabi, Bayan days!

At the Panglao town plaza, we were told that ten contingents were joining this year’s Hudyaka.

“Hudyaka is about merry making and thanksgiving to our patron saint Augustine,” said Mayor Montero.

BC’s layout and graphic artist Christopher Lumactud 
with ABS-CBN reporter and host Katherine De Castro. -LPU
August is probably Panglaoanons’ most colorful month for celebrating the Hudyaka festival honoring the blessed San Agustin. Aside from the usual revelry — pulsating drumbeats, colorful floats, fluvial parade and Hudyaka street dances — the attendance of some celebrities in this extraordinary celebration made it more memorable to all the Panglaoanons.

While taking pictures during the street dance parade, someone surprised me. There was Rebecca “Bikay” Lusterio, the pride of Panglao! Bikay went home to attend the town’s fiesta. She is taking up her Masteral studies in Denmark.

 “It is my home and I missed it. It’s so nice to see it again,” said the former best child actress. “It’s very beautiful, colorful...it’s nice to see the talents of the people of my hometown.”

At the height of the euphoria, there was another power interruption.  And it was raining. Someone told me that the search for the Festival Queen held on the vesper night was stopped because of power interruption. Imagine a celebration with no electricity! But it didn’t dampen the spirit of the Panglaoanons.

The 5 in 1 for the environment Climate Change Advocacy 
Campaign of the PIA-Bohol. Courtesy: Elvie Bongosia
Panglao is soaring to even greater heights, making stellar improvements in economy, education, environment and health. Like the white-sandy beaches of the town is so famous for. Panglao, the jewel of the south, is making waves!

***
Students & volunteers plant trees to fight climate change

Students, teachers and volunteers engaged in tree planting and sensitization discussions on climate change mitigation in Ubay town on Friday.

The event, tagged ‘Climate Change Advocacy Campaign’ centered around engaging students from the third district of Bohol on the importance of tree planting; its social and economic benefit to combat global warming and contributes to the global mitigation efforts with local actions.

One of the practical ways to combat climate change is to plant more trees in order to take more carbon out of the atmosphere. The organizers said that it is important to make sure that climate change information gets to the grass roots to enable the young people to know what it is all about.

Former child actress Rebecca “Bikay” Lusterio
 with her fiancé during the town fiesta. -LPU
 “I join this tree planting because I want to help the environment back to its normal balance,” said Jeselle Bautista. 

Spearheaded by the PIA-Bohol, the students also had a journalism seminar on news writing, feature writing, photojournalism and broadcasting.  

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