Thursday, December 18, 2014

The most Christmassy places on Bohol

Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest and most exciting festival of the year when presents are wrapped, foods are prepared and decorations are hung.
But where would you find the most Christmas spirit in Bohol? It's hard to say for certain, here are my top picks for the most Christmassy places around Bohol.
CHRISTMAS VILLAGE – Hermila “Mila” Lim loves Christmas time so much she starts decorating as early as October to enjoy her own personal village that is set up inside her house.
Each holiday season the village fills Mila Lim’s home.
From the middle of October until the middle of January
 the room is covered with glistening lights,
small buildings, snow and tiny people. 
Mila began her Christmas Village project in 2008 for her own family at her house on M. Torralba Street. Her collection of miniature Christmas houses and objects has grown since.
Mila greets visitors to her home, the start of the fun. Upon entering, a visitor immediately hears the song, “Deck the Halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la, la la la la... ‘Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la, la la la la...” and sees a garden decorated with small snowman figures.
Once inside, however, visitors are magically transported to an elegant festival filled with all the symbols of Christmas.
The Christmas village at the main entrance is filled with trees of green and gold, colorful mini-shops, miniature skiers up and down the slopes, carnival rides, dancers twirling to a waltz inside a gazebo, skaters in the park, Santa Claus dancing and flying on sleighs, and a Christmas train running in circles.
As you continue through the house and see Santa's kitchen and dining room where the table is festively decorated for a Christmas mealDrinking glasses and place mats bear the Christmas motif, acquired during Mila’s travels with her husband to Israel, Australia, Hong Kong and China.
If meeting Santa is on your Christmas to-do-list
 then a trip to Sierra-Bullones is a must.
The town has the tallest
and biggest Santa Claus in the country. 
Fascinated by St. Nicolas since childhood, Mila’s home has an array of Santa likenesses, in a variety of shapes and sizes collected for the past 14 years—at the doorsteps and all over inside the place. These include a drunk Santa, a photographer Santa, a Santa Claus band, Santa in a parachute, singing and dancing Santas with reindeer and even a Tarzan Santa. Another hallmark of the home is an animated fireplace.
“It's fixed up like a little city. It gives me joy," she said with a laugh.
Mila and her husband, Teofilo, own one of the biggest liquified petroleum gas (LPG) dealership firms in Tagbilaran City.
Note: A must-see. Christmas lights adorn the houses of Allan Lumanao in Tomas Cloma Avenue cor Graham Avenue, Booy District, Tagbilaran City and Rosalinda Paredes in Dauis.
Thousands of twinkle lights bring holiday cheer
 to people at the Tagbilaran City Hall Compound. – 
The Tagbilaran City Hall turns into one of the country's most magical capitals this year’s Christmas, thanks to the thousands of festive lights and decorations. The silver and white motif provided a wonderful ambience in the midst of the on-going city hall rebuilding.
The Christmas tree at Plaza Rizal. -LPU
Sparkling Christmas lights have been placed in the trees inside the FCB Main Building Compound in Taloto District, this city. They have the biggest belen, too.
The light displays at the Plaza Rizal regularly dazzle residents.  This year, a giant Christmas tree adorned with Christmas gifts attracts visitors.
Christmas would obviously not be Christmas without Santa Claus, Pere Noel or Father Christmas. Whatever the name, his popularity among children (and many adults) is perennial.
That’s why the municipality of Sierra-Bullones has the 25-feet Santa Claus, probably the tallest in the country and in the world. It took one month to finish the foundation of the Santa Claus; and two weeks to dress the Santa Claus. According to Mayor’s Office, it should be ready before the town's fiesta on Dec. 8. Their Santa Claus is a white-bearded man wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots. It has eyeglasses, too. His other hand is carrying a bag and the other hand is making a high-five sign.
The giant Santa Claus inside
 the Island City Mall. 
An animated moving Santa is sure to attract attention inside the Island City Mall. Santa has no elves but he has reindeers to help him.
Why do we love Christmas trees? To help spread the holiday cheer, the Alturas Mall has the oh-so-bright evergreens for your viewing pleasure.  The Christmas tree of the Metro Centre Hotel has the lanky conifers with long, graceful branches seem particularly enchanting to all.
Above all, the home is the most Christmassy place because it is engulfed with love, peace and unity as the season of Christmas should be.
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Why Bohol is in Kirby Asunto’s heart

Rising Broadway star Kirby Asunto, who was handpicked by Manny Pacquiao to sing the Philippine National Anthem in the Pacman-Bradley fight in Las Vegas in 2012, is back again in the country, and she considers this latest visit as extra special.
 “This is special because I will be helping my fellow Boholanos,” said the 16-year-old Kirby during the presscon of her ‘Gift of Joy’ concert.
Kirby Asunto on Bohol: ‘It’s more fun here.
The best octopus is in Bohol!’ 
Courtesy: Shirley Asunto
Kirby feels it is important she should go back to her Visayan roots and help her kababayans who are victims of the killer quake.
It’s not really only for Loon, but it’s for whole Bohol. I did it because I want to help out to my fellow Bol-anons since my mom is from Garcia-Hernandez,” said Kirby.
“There are lot of guests that are coming. Pop songs, Whitney Houston songs, more Broadway songs..a lot!” exclaimed Kirby.
Guests are Arnel Pineda, Jacob Benedicto, Marlo Mortel, Fr. Jonas Mejares, OSA, and the Loboc Children’s Choir.
Kirby should feel right at home in Bohol because this is her second visit.  In her first visit late last year, Kirby had admitted to knowing the Filipino culture, having been born in Manila and migrated to the US at age 6.
You see, her mother Shirley is from Garcia-Hernandez from the Madelo clan.
Her mom said she raised her four kids (Kirby is the youngest) very Filipino.
Kirby said she loves Bohol “because the best octopus (kugita) is here.”
“I also love dinuguan,” shared Kirby.
Like a true-blue Filipina, Kirby is warm and friendly and very “connecting.”  Her sing-song voice as musical as ever, answering every question with infectious verve, straight from the heart. She easily breaks into laughter that makes her so charming. I’ve seen it for myself during our interview with her.
Career-wise, she plans on recording her debut album next year.
Asked if she has a boyfriend, Kirby laughed.
 “No, I don’t have a boyfriend.”
Kirby Asunto (with concert producer Dr. Rosendo Lopez III)
at dyRD to promote her concert on Dec. 13. 
Courtesy: Shirley Asunto
“Wala talaga, way uyab,” said Mommy Shirley.
To prove that she is a Boholana by heart (and still looking for someone ‘special’), Kirby sang Ang Bol-anon (she will be expected to sing Visayan medley songs during the concert):
Kung ikaw Inday mangita'g pamanhonon  
Siguro-a baja Inday ang Bol-anon,    
Kung matuman mo suwerte ka,  
Ang Bol-anon buotan gayud
magmahal kanimo hangtud sa kahangturan. 
Apan ayaw baja Inday hikalimti
Bisan dako’g gusto magpadili-dili
Ilabina na gayud sa palikerong ulitawo
Kay gusto siya mohangyo kanimo ay..
Magmahal kanimo hangtud sa kahangturan!
After the presscon, I made my way to ask her some questions.
Her eyes lit up and she cooed, “I really like your hair!”
Oh well, I know she was telling the truth. And when she flashed her million-dollar smile at me, I was transfixed.
Kirby Asunto made my day.
(Note: Rebuilding Loon “Gift of Joy” happens on Dec. 13, 7 p.m. at the Bohol Wisdom Gymnasium. It is produced by Dr. Rosendo Lopez III in collaboration with K&N Productions of LJ Lumayag and sponsored by  City of Tagbilaran, Bohol Quality, Island City Mall (Alturas Group of Companies), J&N Caltex, Lite Shipping, Dr. Oliver Yu, YS Construction, Madelicious, Du Ek Sam, Goldilocks, Vita Derma, Apple One, Hydrotech Water Refilling Station and Best Diagnostic. Ticket prices: P1,000 (VIP), P700 (Platinum Seats), P400 (Gold Seats) and P250 (General Admission).. Call 09173041183/09157572551/09275649047.)
Fil-American singer Kirby Asunto with the Bohol media. Courtesy:  Shirley Asunto
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Pat Ruiz: ‘Where’s the scandal?’

SceneHumfrey Nicasio, 24, from Tagbilaran City, has successfully passed the blind auditions of “The Voice Philippines Season 2" with his rendition of Pharell William's "Happy," making broadway diva Lea Salonga and Popstar Princess Sarah Geronimo press their buttons. "Sa pagkanta mo lang, wala, ngiti lang ako nang ngiti, sobrang happy listening to you. Kung meron lang akong aanuhin sa 'yo, diction lang, pero madali lang 'yun eh, madali lang ayusin 'yun eh. And if you're ready to work hard, and to fix that, I'm you're man for that," said Lea. According to Sarah, "Nagustuhan ko 'yung song choice mo, naramdaman ko din 'yung happiness mo habang kumakanta although may konting kaba, normal lang naman 'yun." Nicasio chose to be part of Salonga's team, adding that he believes the Broadway star can help him improve his diction. Another young singer Mercedita Quiachon was also chosen by Apl de Ap.

Humfrey Nicasio makes it through 
"The Voice PH” blind auditions. Courtesy: ABS-CBN
Scene: A businessman and his wife of fifteen years have called it quits (oh, so sad!). “They’ve been living apart for years now,” said VRS. “I don’t know if there’s any third party but what I know is that they just drifted apart.” The good news? They have remained friends.

Scene: The tribute for Mason widows was held last Nov. 22 at Metro Center Hotel.

Scene: Pag-asa-Bohol officer-in-charge Narci Cantor explained the unexpected movement of tropical depression Queenie during the PDRRMC meeting last Friday. “Such natural phenomenon can't be predicted,” said Cantor. What happened was a “wind wave” caused by the wrath of tropical depression Queenie that destroyed several houses and bancas in Jagna, Guindulman, Duero and other coastal towns leaving four dead, three missing and six hurt. Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto said that there was no lapse on the side of the LGUs since Gov. Edgar Chatto. “Ang atong LGUs sa Bohol have undergone training naabot nami sa Bicol para sa  mga training sa disasters labi na pagkahuman sa earthquake. Giseryoso og handle nato sa probinsya ug sa mga lungsod ang mga disaster management,” said Gov. Chatto. “Karun dugangan nato na kay ang ”new normal” kay nausob kay maskin sila wala sila mutuo muabot ang tubig sa ibabaw.”

I Love New York. Virginia Is for Lovers. What Happens Here, Stays Here!

These are the three most successful tourism slogans of all time and they are made in America.

To pump up tourism and attraction conventions, many countries in the world regularly roll out new logos, slogans, and marketing campaigns.

Our province has also come up with some doozies: Heart of Asia, Truly Philippines and Behold...Bohol! (which was guided by CNN) which was introduced last months and will be the focus of next year’s Visit Bohol marketing campaign.

Incidentally, the local government units, tourism establishments and stakeholders are collaborating to showcase the best of Bohol on Dec. 8 -10, 2014 at the Glorietta Activity Center, Palm Drive, Ayala Center, Makati City.

For the very first time, Tagbilaran headed by City Mayor John Geesnell "Baba" Yap II will make its presence felt in the major tourism exposition dubbed "Visit Bohol 2015" ("Behold Bohol"), together with the provincial government of Bohol and municipalities of Panglao and  Anda. Opening preliminaries will be at 10 a.m., while the opening ceremonies will be at 4 p.m. of December 8.

“Be there when it happens,” says Miss Tagbilaran 1987 Fiel Angeli Gabin.
“One more week to go: Visit Bohol 2015 fair in Glorietta Palm Drive Wing. Dec. 8-10. Avail of low fares, 50% off on rooms and super discounts on all your travel essentials,” says Andrea Trinidad-Echavez of the USAid Compete who helps the tourism recovery program of Bohol.

Slogans come and go. Some will resonate and be successful, while the vast majority will be forgettable or worse, loathed.

We are keeping our fingers crossed.  


The most “controversial” woman last week was Pat Ruiz, an environmental activist and anti-graft and corruption crusader.

(l-r) Pat Ruiz, yours truly and Atty. Alma Aparece
 at Chocoreich Cafe.
  Photo by Glendon Villagonzalo
A text message was circulated (in verbatim): Txt from a disturbed school administrator - Will u be able to advise Mons Medroso how d prayer rally n Tagb last Fri Nov 21 was made as an alibi to solicit signatures for d Peoples Initiative agenda. In all letters of Msgr Malanog there was no mention of a signature campaign that will take place at d rally. Pat Ruiz, a former NPA & now working as a legal front, sought d assistance of d church, who responded by inviting schools & organizations. It now appears that d Tagb Diocese n Bohol s deceiving students & civic organizations of d true agenda of d mass action. D signature campaign should have been against drugs & crimes as mentioned in d letter of Msgr Malanog. Had we known that d motive of d march-rally was political, we shouldn't hav allowed students to leave, cancel classes &join d march-rally. But schools & organizations were deceived... & it appeared to be done by d church.

The other night, I chanced to see Maam Pat (who was with my good friend Atty. Alma Aparece) at Chocoreich Cafe.

I asked her, why there’s a scandal?

Here is Pat Ruiz:

A Walk of Life, Pray for Peace was held last Friday at 3:30 p.m., November 21, 2014 that started from three starting points: Our Lady of Lourdes Church of Poblacion 2; City Hall Grounds of Cogon and St. Jude Thaddeus Church of Mansasa converging in the ground of the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Worker.

Tropical depression Queenie aftermath. 
Photos by Leo Udtohan/GMANews
It was an overwhelming success.  The participants came in droves, hundreds and thousands. Students accompanied by their teachers of the various schools in Tagbilaran, government representatives and also representatives of the interfaith groups and socio civic organizations. The conduct of the prayer march, prayer rally and the celebration of the mass; from start to finish participated and witnessed by those who marched and prayed  in the cathedral grounds was one of collective prayer solely to draw out strength and inspire unity towards a peaceful, safe, happy and environmentally livable Tagbilaran amidst the growing threat of drug affectation.

Thanks to Bishop Leonardo Medroso who assigned the leadership of Mons. Jeff Malanog in this undertaking, the Cathedral clergy, parish priests of the satellite parishes, representatives of the interfaith groups, the city government for the following: the permit , traffic management group, stage and the tents and the hard work of the conveners of Tindogi Tagbilaran who initiated this undertaking.

Two signature stations for the people’s initiative against the pork barrel were present in the cathedral grounds approved by the leadership of the Cathedral for those who would want to sign the petition. This is part of the call of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to provide signature stations to where it is possible nationwide.

Where is the scandal?

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sexy facial hair styles

November is also known as “Movember.” It is the month when both men and women donate their faces to raise funds and awareness for men's health issues by bringing back the mustache in all its prickly glory.

Tagbilaran ABC president 
Edgar Bompat’s full beard
 makes him versatile and 
outstanding in real life.
Whether it’s Movember or not, men everywhere have taken time to experiment with their facial hair, trying out new styles and using the opportunity to express their personality through their facial hair.

If things maybe getting little hairy nowadays it is because Science has spoken, and it turns out, facial hair scientifically proven sexy, according to the Evolution and Human Behavior.

Tagbilaran City councilor
Joseph “Jojo” Bompat
has the perfect facial hair.
“Results indicated consistently more positive perceptions of social/physical attractiveness, personality, competency, and composure for men with facial hair,” says the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality on the topic "The Influence of Facial Hair on Impression Formation.”

Women see men with facial hair as more attractive, more charismatic, smarter and more capable and
calmer and more in control.  

When it comes to facial hair styles, there are lots of great choices (moustache, soul patch, balbo, Jesus beard, five o’ clock shadow, scruff, trimmed beard, goatee, scraggly, chin strap, mutton chops popularized by Elvis Presley and neckbeard), and some Boholanos choose one that fits their own personal style well.

It is all about the three 'M's: Maturity, masculinity and mysteriousness for lawyer Lord Marapao I and former Tagbilaran City councilor and ABC President Edgar Bompat.

One of the most high profile lawyers in the province, Atty. Lord Marapao has a scraggly beard that some people think he is the living Saint Padre Pio. In real life, Atty. Marapao is a devotee of Saint Padre Pio, the Capuchin priest with his stigmata. His beard gives him age, power, and credibility. According to studies, it is an easy ticket to garnering more respect from his peers, and having women be softer and more deferential around him.

Rapper Ram Alturas has a goatee.  Courtesy: Side Room Studios
Can one face hairstyle be all things to all people? Edgar Bompat proves it can. He’s a family provider but also a savvy businessman. A lawmaker and a barangay leader. And yet his trimmed or full beard suits each of these roles, one after the other, while still looking outstanding. There’s no more versatile beard in Bohol than Edgar’s.

Edgar’s son, Tagbilaran City councilor Joseph “Jojo” Bompat, has also the perfect facial hair. Manly, but not too imposing; friendly, but not Santa Claus-like. Not too long, not too short. That makes him confident.

Is there any doubt that Tagbilaran City Science High School teacher Meljun Daniel would be the best at facial hair? It is very masculine, established and mature. Meljun has a special hair affair in his quest to look his best.  Known as the “living Dracula,” Meljun can have scruff (the new look of Hollywood), trimmed beard, chin strap and mutton chops.
“It feels sexy but it has its setbacks,” says Meljun. “People call you names like terrorist, rapist, maniac, et. But the most difficult part is having to shave often which takes time. Having facial hair is not ideal in this humid country. But I’m still glad that I’m one of the few bearded people in this country.”

Meljun Daniel on his hairy journey:
eavy stubble is sexier.’
Courtesy: Meljun Daniel
Meljun’s beard and mustache plays a big role in the indie film, “Caretaker,” a psychological drama directed by Sherwin Tutor and Ryan Macalandag.

“It enhances the role. It helps highlight the enigmatic qualities of the character,” shares Meljun.

Businessman Van Delima has a small
patch of hair just below his lower lip. 
Courtesy: Van Delima
Former Tagbilaran City SK chair and rapper Ram Alturas has a goatee. It is mesmerizing, so full of sinister charisma.  The Imperial Barber Products says, “the goatee is a man who understands limits. He is happy to take part in something, but know that all things must come in moderation. By keeping the sides of his face clean, the man’s hair says he is capable of playing by the rules and staying within boundaries.”

Businessman Van Delima is clean shaven but sometimes he has facial stubble just below his lower lip. Van doesn’t need to shave off his soul patch, and that’s because he makes them look good. According to Imperial Barber Products, “the soul patch represents the mature sophistication that separates the juvenile from grown-up. It represents all the class found in a man completely clean-shaven, but with just a touch of experience rolled in.”

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