Sunday, July 27, 2014

Queenie Fullante: ‘My personality makes me a winner!’

Miss Dauis Queenie Melody Fullante has won the title of Miss Bohol: The Quintessential Boholana 2014, in a glittering ceremony on Saturday night.

Queenie, 21 (Pisces, March 10, 1993), beat out 17 other fellow beauty queens to claim the title. She received P50,000 cash prize, trophy, sash, bouquet of flowers and other special prizes.

Her night started to take a turn for the fabulously possible when she was named one of Top 5 shortly after the show got underway.

Queenie (center) and her court
Other runner-ups, judged on interviews, evening gowns and swimsuits were: Mary Rose Butalid of Panglao as first runner-up; Geraldine Topsnik of Tagbilaran City as second runner-up; Jaya Lozano from Tubigon as third runner-up and Imaculada Cleofe Leopardas of Barbra Pearls Cosmetics as fourth runner-up.

Many people compared Queenie as Venus Raj deadringer. She even had encounters with people who mistake her for Venus but she is not riding on the wave of being Venus Raj’s look-alike during the pageant.

“I think to have Venus Raj’s aura is just a factor for me to be noticed onstage,” said Queenie. “What I consider my edge for winning the crown is my commitment to serve Bohol with all my heart, which was exuded by the sincerity I have shown while performing on stage.”

Before winning the title, Queenie was first runner-up in Miss Dauis 2011, Ms. UB-College of Business and Accountancy 2012 and Ms. UB Personality 2012.

Queenie is a half-Bengali half-Filipina who works as an NGO worker that provides shelter to disaster hit areas.  She grew up under the care of her aunt while her mother is working in Manila. She finished Bachelor of Science in Accountancy at University of Bohol. She hopes to be a merchant to be able to travel and meet people from all walks of life.

She describes herself as just an average person but for the next 365 days, she’ll be anything but as she is now Miss Bohol: The Quintessential Boholana 2014.

Queenie Melody Fullante on winning the crown: ‘It defines the purity of my intention for what is in the crown.’
Let’s go straight to the crucial Q&A.

When did you realize that you are Miss Bohol? During the coronation night or the morning after? It was such a pleasure to be crowned Miss Bohol on July 19, 2014. Such was, if I may say a public recognition of the many beautiful gifts and talents God has given me. Thus, this crown is a symbol of the God-given beauty and talents that I have and at the same time of the responsibilities to take good care, uphold and use all these to inspire all the Boholanos to appreciate what they have received from God and use them well.

What are your winning traits? My personality makes me a winner. Basing from the feedbacks I garnered from Miss Bohol pageant, I exude a strong personality. It sums up my physical, mental, emotional, and social characteristic as an individual. My being comfortable with my skin, with my skills and with everything that I have, is reflected in my personality and that’s what makes me come out and be of service to my community with enough confidence.

Do you have secrets sustaining your poise, your grace under pressure, especially during the crucial points in any contest? I’ll take Miss Anna Maris Igpit’s words that practice makes permanent. Indeed, it’s true enough. In the early part of our Miss Bohol journey, I don’t have that poise. I don’t know how to handle pressure with such grace. But with my team’s help, I was able to achieve that poise and grace under pressure through constant practice until such time that my system got used to it. Aside from practice, is focus. Don’t compare your performance with the other candidates, focus on yourself. Focus on the points that you need to improve and work on it one at a time. Above all, pray, pray, and pray. Praying is my greatest secret and the most effective among others.

What is your best asset and why? My best asset is my winning trait. It’s my personality. I am not the prettiest nor the smartest in our batch but I have a well-honed personality. It defines the purity of my intention for what is in the crown. It reflects the commitment I have to the advocacies of Miss Bohol. And it’s what makes me who I really am.

Would you rather be smart but not too beautiful, or beautiful but not too smart? God has given me everything. We are all equipped by God, it’s just a matter of how we use it. Therefore, life is not a matter of choosing whether one has to be beautiful or smart but instead it is how one appreciates these gifts and use them well to make life even more beautiful.

What do you think is the biggest decision that you’ve made in your life?  College is a crucial stage for students because it is here where we are starting our journey to the real world. And a lot of my big decisions were made during my college years. The biggest is taking up Bachelor of Science in Accountancy when in reality I just want to take up Tourism or Psychology. I took up Accountancy because I was thinking of the job opportunities that await. And because it’s not really my passion, I had a struggle during my college years. Nevertheless, I have no regrets for taking up BSA. I believe it was my fate to take that path, because it is the place where I really developed holistically. I was intellectually challenged, I met my true friends (the Eksangels), and I have unwrapped my skills and unleashed my potentials.

How relevant are beauty contests today? Beauty contests reveal what constitutes true beauty. It is one of the avenues for women to share their thoughts and open up their stand on matters in the society, where they can be heard and their opinions could be considered. It is where we can foray our advocacies for the enrichment of our society.

Do you think that women today are on equal footing with men? Woman was created from a man’s ribs. Not from his head to be above him or from his foot to be stepped upon, but from his side to complement each other. Men and women from the very beginning has always been equal and will always be.

What is your stand on PDAF scam? The people are already annoyed and so stressed of the many enumerable issues on corruption of government officials at all levels, national and local. Very disgusting, discouraging, exhausting and etc. but, there is always hope and a future so bright that awaits us. Recovery of our dying moral values is what we need to focus now. This may be difficult for those who have been in the system for quite a long time but so much hope is given to the younger generations.

Who’s your role model?  Tyra Lynne Banks. I look up to her not just because we have the same skin complexion but because I admire her ideals. Along her way to stardom she met rejection and discrimination. However, she conquered her dreams and became a pioneer in her undertakings. Most of all, she is active in social and charitable causes. She has a foundation aimed at developing teenage girl’s independence and self-esteem. For me, she shows not what a role model is but HOW a role model should be.

Any other woman whom you admire? St. Theresa of Calcutta. I admire how she used her fragile self to alleviate the sufferings of many. She inspires me to use my title in giving my selfless service without reservations to my fellow Boholanoswho are in dire need of care.

Queenie Melody Fullante describes herself as just an average person but for the next 365 days, she’ll be anything but as she is now Miss Bohol: The Quintessential Boholana 2014.   

Do you have a boyfriend? Not applicable. I never had one since birth. (Laughs)

What qualities do you want in a man? These seven (7) qualities that I found in the net capsulizes my ideal man.  (1)The Romantic Guy. He believes in classic romance. He is constantly bringing me flowers and chocolate and lighting candles during dinner. He calls me often to let me know he is thinking about me and looks into my eyes and tells me how he feels; (2) The Confident Guy. He is totally secure and sure of himself. He is assertive in public and gives off an aura of power and control (within reason of course, as the "cocky guy" is not on this list). In a relationship, he doesn't get jealous of other men; he doesn't feel threatened by my male friends or coworkers; (3) The Artistic Guy. The artistic guy is spontaneous and lives for the moment. Often, he will use his creativity to woo me, such as with a song he has written about me or a painting he has made for me; (4) The Foreign Guy. Note that you don't have to actually be foreign to fit into this category. If you are well-traveled or speak many languages, you might be able to pull off the charm as well as any sweet-talking foreigner. He might have a cute accent or a unique way of seeing the world. His social customs and everyday behavior can be a little quirky, but he always manages to come off as uniquely charming; (5) The Free Spirit Guy (aka the Bad Boy). The free spirit guy goes where the wind takes him — and the wind usually takes him on some kind of wacky adventure. He might ride a motorcycle, or he might skip work to take me on a last-minute road trip, but this guy doesn't worry too much about the consequences; he just sees where his own devices take him; (6) The Intelligent/Witty Guy. He instigates conversations that are intellectually stimulating and listens to what I have to say in response. He makes me laugh with his clever sense of humor and has an uncanny ability to make politics interesting. He can shoot the breeze with me for hours and it will never get boring; and (7) The Considerate Guy. He holds open my car door and pulls out my chair. He foots the bill for dinner and makes sure to offer me dessert. He always asks me out with reasonable notice and picks me up at my door. He is generally sensitive to how I am feeling and when I am ready to go home.

What advocacy experience do you have? Maybe you have an important message to share ... and Miss Bohol would be the venue or forum to start your advocacies. One of my advocacies is strengthening the Boholano Christian Values in the context of family. And as a member of the Diocesan Community of Evangelizers, I have been very active in the formation of Christian values in our parish. The identity of a Boholano is always anchored in the family. It is therefore but necessary to strengthen the Boholano culture and family values should we want Bohol to become even more beautiful and livable. 

How would you lure tourists to Bohol after the killer quake? The killer quake had shaken our land and had fallen some of our beautiful structures, but did not in any way destroy our people. Bohol can always attract tourists with the kind of people it has. We never failed to treat our visitors with due hospitality. Despite the different instances that we are in, we are still able to smile and make others feel comfortable in their stay in Bohol. It is here where tourists can find comfort and fun, especially now that we are rising from last year’s devastation and is becoming an even better Bohol.

Young people today are liberated and adventurous, willing to try everything. What's your stand on pre-marital sex? Pleasure is always coupled with responsibility. Sex for the mere experience of it or for pleasure is a big NO. It must always be within the context of marriage. Only in marriage is the fullness of sex experienced.

If you were to change something in yourself, what would it be? I am very much comfortable with myself that I don’t have to think of any qualities that I have that needed to be changed. In fact, I have been crowned Miss Bohol for what I am and what I have. Everything in me is a blessing and my challenge is to use these blessings to inspire others and embrace themselves.

What is your favorite quote? “Do your best and God will do the rest”. This has been my mantra in all my endeavors and it really works. By saying this, I am enlightened and empowered to give out my best no matter what the result maybe because I am confident that God is always there to back me up.

Describe yourself in three (3) words: Quintessential. Magnanimous. Fabulous.

What is the essence of Miss Bohol? Miss Bohol is a prestigious pageant where we, young women are able to express our opinions on matters not just concerning ourselves but the society as a whole. It is an avenue for us to showcase our God-given Boholana beauties and skills. It enables us to influence positively the community through the ideals that we show off. And it molds our personalities helping us to become better individuals.

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Kids learn more than football at BOHFA free clinics

Scene: Eighty exhibitors from Central Visayas and Mindanao are expected to participate in this year’s Sandugo Trade Expo on July 23-27 at the ICM Food Court (for food products) and The Block (for non-food items which are usually home furnishings, fashion accessories, travel and tourism services, etc).  It’s a "tradition" of the Sandugo which started with the showcasing of the best products of Bohol, then has reached out to the neighboring provinces of Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor and then in the recent years has attracted the exhibitors of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao provinces.  Anchoring the theme, “Gearing up for Asean 2015,”this year’s trade expo will serve as a platform for earthquake-affected small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to showcase their products to potential buyers, especially in the tourism industry.

“Never hold your breathe” is the #boholselfie entry of Neiman Flint Gatal. “My girlfriend came back home from Australia and she really misses the beaches here in Bohol so I took her scuba diving in the wonderful reefs of Balicasag island,” says Neiman. “We both love the beach and the sea, I for one have been diving for 13 years and all I can say is that Bohol is one of the most majestic places to dive.” Join the #boholselfie photo contest and win cash prizes!
Scene: Tell us your favorite thing about Bohol thru #BoholSelfie photo contest. July is Bohol Sandugo Festival. Here at #BoholSelfie, we'd like to celebrate by making a list of your favorite things about Bohol. To participate, join the #BoholSelfie photo contest that showcases how creative we are in capturing Bohol's magnificent sceneries by taking selfies of our own.  Tell us your favorite thing about Bohol. Is it a beautiful province? The best beaches? The highest waterfalls? A particularly delectable dish? A relatively unknown custom? Tell us what it is and why it's important to you. The contest is on July 1-26. Winners will receive cash prizes. Visit

Scene: Join the Pitik Tres: Tipik sa Usa ka Dugong Bol-anon streetdancing photo contest. The contest is open for both amateur and professional photographers. Participants shall pre-register at the contest information booth located in front of Fuji Films at BQ Mall on July 23-27. Big cash prizes await the winners. Text or call Pitik Group Coordinator Nilo Sapong at 0926-778-2282/0918 355 5551.

Millions of German football fans reacted with unbridled joy when Mario Goetze struck late in extra-time for Germany to win the World Cup 2014 with a 1-0 victory over Argentina.

Soccer used to be their game -- the South Americans, the Europeans, and the Africans. Today, it is our game, too. It is now woven inextricably into the fabric of Filipino life that we’re glued on TV to watch the action, embrace its athleticism and share the excitement.

Bohol learns to love soccer. Youngsters wait for a kick during training organized by BOHFA.
Like other provinces, we do not have football culture yet. There were a handful of football teams before but it lacked the support from the local government units. Despite of this lack of appreciation of the football game, football teams are now sprouting like mushrooms in towns. It is a manifestation that a changing Bohol has become younger and more diverse, and the kids simply love soccer more than their parents. Thanks to the Azkals! Thanks, thanks to Bohol Football Association (BOHFA) headed by Edmar Thaddeus Simpao.

Although BOHFA has no financial support from the provincial government, it is still conducting free clinics to teach young people about athleticism and discipline. But lately the BOHFA has been going the extra mile. This month, their clinics have been emphasizing responsible citizenship, self-respect, education, and good behavior as valuable assets on and off the field.

The excitement grew bigger when Elmer Lacknet Bedia visited Bohol and personally mentored the 150 participants in the free football clinic recently organized by BOHFA. Bedia gave an extra lesson on football along with the keys to the game.

I brought my nine-year old nephew Kotik during the free clinic. It was important for Kotik to learn how to be with other kids and to learn team spirit, football could teach that. Football has given him a lot of confidence.

"If you can teach these kids at a young age to be active on football, it really does go a long way," said Bedia.

Football is all about sportsmanship and responsible citizenship, according to (l-r) Edmar Thaddeus Simpao, Elmer Lacknet Bedia, Kelvin Dinsay, Karl Paumig and Mr. Racho.

Most of the participants have had no shoes and uniforms. They might be poor, but the smiles on their faces when they took to the field were as wide as the Bohol grandstand. They played every game with great enthusiasm, unbridled joy, knocking the ball around, dribbling, taking pride in the way they showed off their repertoire.

Bedia is Philippines’ Mr. Football.  At 13, he was playing football using coconut drupe which was wrapped with cloth in his hometown in Barotac Nuevo, IloIlo, and the rest is history.

At 24, he was recruited by an Australian professional team, the Brisbane Olympic United Football Club. From 1986 until now he remains in Brisbane with his wife Maria Theresa Salazar Bedia and their six children.
In personal development sessions, Bedia and BOHFA officers gave the participants plenty of advice on technique, tricks, shooting, dribbling and spontaneity.
By reaching the kids who will one day play professionally, BOHFA hopes to produce great players.

“Gusto ko may magiging member ng Azkals from Bohol,” said Bedia.

Bedia also brought and handed football equipments, shoes, socks and balls to the poor football playing kids of Bohol.

He also supports the anti-bullying campaign (also for Mexico’s anti-bullying campaign, El Bullying No Es Un Juego or Bullying is not a game). He and other people in the world within the entertainment and sport communities have raised their voice against school violence.

“Never do bullying,” said Bedia. “I emphasized to be a good player, show respect and not to bully with other player.”

Many students are bullied in schools and in the internet. Not only to students because bullying can happen anywhere and to anyone.

“Hopefully this message gonna be around the world to keep the sport as the number one sports,” shared Bedia.

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

Sunday, July 13, 2014

5 Miss Tourism Int’l beauties get warm welcome in Bohol

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (pardon me, but I don’t mind), I am again putting out the lyrics of my favorite Bohol hymn  that has a humbling effect on me and, I’m sure, on anybody who digests its lyrics:

Yuta kong minahal, /Hatag ni Bathala; / Sa adlaw’g gabi-i,/ Taknang tanan / Dinasig sa kinaiyahan /Sa mga bayaning yutawhan / Imong kalinaw gi-ampingan / Lungsod sa bungtod nga matunhay / Ug matam-is nga kinampay.

Puti ang kabaybayunan / Walog sa suba binisbisan / Bahandi sa dagat ug kapatagan / Gugma ang tuburan / Sa kagawasan sa tanan /Panalanginan ka / Ihalad ko lawas ug kalag / Sa mutya kong Bohol.

And maybe while humming that hymn, you and I can further reflect how beautiful our province is. Truly, God’s little paradise.

In fact, Bohol’s recent visitors, the five beauties of Miss Tourism International 2013 were listening attentively to the Bohol hymn during the welcome program in Panglao. They even asked for a translation of the hymn.

Clean and white-sandy beaches, interesting places, friendly locals and fascinating history.

Miss Tourism International 2013 beauties (l-r) Lisa karls Dottir of Iceland, Phan of Vietnam, Maria Rautio of Finland, Kylie Miller of New Zealand and Lucie Klukava of Czech Republic at Alona Tropical in Panglao Island, Bohol.
That is how the 5 beauties of the Miss Tourism International 2013 want to share Bohol to the world when they visited the island province last Thursday and Friday. They are in the country for a 13-day tour to experience and promote the tourism of the Philippines.
Miss Tourism International 2013 beauties Maria Rautio of Finland, Lucie Klukava of Czech Republic, Lisa Karls Dottir of Iceland, Thu Phan of Vietnam, Kylie Miller of New Zealand were warmly welcomed by the members of the Rotary Club of Panglao at the Tagbilaran Pier.

They visited the Loboc River, one of the tourist spots you don’t want to miss during your Bohol tours. They had a sumptuous lunch while cruising the river. During a stopover, they played the ukeleles and danced “tinikling” with a local dance group housed in a nipa hut along the river which entertains the “cruisers.”

They also visited the tarsier conservation place to see the tarsier, the smallest primate in the world.

The beauties were also amazed when they arrived at Alona Beach in Panglao.  It is a place for gorgeous beaches and a diverse menu of aquatic attractions.

The beauties also visited an orphanage in Albur town and they had a courtesy call to Vice Mayor Pedro Fuertes and department heads at the Panglao Municipal Hall.

 “The tour is to introduce  Bohol’s sights and sounds that everything is back to normal after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last year,” said Deo Guden, guide and staff of Panglao Mayor Nila Montero. 

As a tourist destination, Bohol is loaded with many attractions. Yet for all its advantages, the province has a big problem attracting travelers after the quake.

The event is one way of promoting the tourism industry in Bohol and the country.

“I like the sunset here, it’s a beautiful island,” said Lisa Karls Dottir. “Manila has many buildings, here you still have space. The nature is connected so it’s beautiful here.”

“I am so excited that I can be here in the Philippines. You have a nice country, the people here are nice with good heart. Am really glad I can be here with my friends. Salamat,” said Lucie Klukava.

“I love being in the Philippines. I love the weather, I love the people,” said Kylie Miller. “Everybody is smiling. I love talking to everybody finding more about your culture. It’s really fun. Thank you for having me.

“I come from the ice of Finland. It’s really different for me; here the climate is really warm as you people are really warm. I love you all,” said Maria Rautio.

It was Miss Vietnam Thu Phan’s first visit in the Philippines. “This is my first time in the Philippines, I’m excited.”

They have been to Oslob, Cebu, Intramuros in Manila, as well as experienced Camarines Sur’s wakeboarding, deer farm, and falls. After Bohol, they will have tour in Manila.

Miss Panglao ready to win the crown

Also joining the tour were the Rotarians of Panglao and beauty queens of Panglao: Candy Cumayas (who will compete in Mutya ng Pilipinas 2014 in August), Miss Panglao 2013 Catherine Tabaniag and Mary Rose Butalid.

Mary Rose will compete in Miss Bohol 2014 on July 19.

Deo Guden revealed that Mary Rose and Candy are in “prison” (as in “gilaming”) at Alona Tropical Beach Resort (owned by Mayor Nila Montero) in Tawala, Panglao, for strict training and eating the right foods.

The beauty queens of Panglao (l-r) Candy Cumayas (with trainor and “yayo” Deo Guden), Mary Rose Butalid and Catherine Tabaniag.
Is it true that they have strict diet, mainly egg white and water, coupled with physical activities to stay slim and fit?

“Well, I don’t have any specific diet. I just eat less, I stay away with carbs,” revealed Mary Rose, the youngest candidate of this year’s Miss Bohol 2014.

Deo admired the commitment of Candy and Mary Rose to their eating plans.

“No rice at all. Carbs maybe like root crops and fresh fruits. No sugar, as in no candy, no desserts,” shared Deo. “Last but not the least, eight hours of beauty sleep daily is prescribed.”

At 16, Mary Rose stands 5’8” that even Miss Tourism International beauties were starstrucked when they saw her.

“She’s tall and beautiful,” said Lucie.

Mary Rose Butalid
During break, I had Q and A session with Mary Rose:

How do you feel about competing at the Miss Bohol 2014? I feel privileged given the chance to represent my municipality but at the same time, I feel pressured and challenged because I am the youngest of the batch and I am competing with a set of competitive girls.

How do you stay motivated to eat healthy, exercise, and prepare for your upcoming pageant? Imagining myself wearing the Miss Bohol crown keeps me motivated.

If you were to change something in yourself, what would it be? None for two reasons, I will always be thankful for whatever strengths and weaknesses I may have because it makes me who I am and I am contented of what God has given me.

Other than confidence, what would you say is the most important quality for a pageant contestant hoping to capture her next crown? She should be self-motivated, that drives a candidate in winning the crown.

What is your favorite quote? Money is the universal provider for everything but not for happiness and love, a passport to everywhere you wanted to go but not in the kingdom of God.

What do you find sexy in a man? His expressive eyes!

Anyway, the early favorites of Miss Bohol 2014 (not reflective of the final outcome) who are already catching the attention of pageant fans are: Miss Tagbilaran, Miss Loon, Miss Tubigon, Miss Dauis, Miss Panglao and Miss Anda.  Binibining Pilipinas or Mutya ng Pilipinas potentials are Miss Panglao, Miss Getafe and Miss Barbra Pearls.

At the pageant night, there will be surprises from dark horses. So, watch out!

Who will be Miss Bohol 2014? Find out on July 19, 8 p.m. at the Bohol Wisdom Gymnasium.

(Tickets are now available for Miss Bohol 2014. Tickets are priced at P50, P200, and P500. To buy, contact 09177937435/09173125700/09276190091/09153716337.)

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