Sunday, March 05, 2017

Yehey! Summer is just a few days away

The signs are starting to show. 

Last week, Divulge Bohol 2017 Congress was organized by Bohol Island State University- Main Campus Bachelor of Science in Tourism, Convention, Exhibition, and Events Management Class of 2017.

The participants here said it was very informative, very interesting and, like travelling, very broadening.

Keynote speaker consul general of the Republic of Latvia 
to the Philippines Robert Lim Joseph Jr , (right) 
Juliet C. Saraum and Francis Delusa  during the 
Divulge Bohol Congress. Contributed Photo
“It is to promote the hidden jewels of the island and to introduce to the public the attractions that are partly discovered and has the potential to become one of the top destinations that our province has,” said Francis Delusa, the event class adviser.

Hon. Robert Lim Joseph Jr., Consul General of the Republic of Latvia to the Philippines, was the keynote speaker. He talked about meetings, incentives, conventions, events and exhibition (M.I.C.E) in Bohol perspective.

The other speaker, Jaypee Orcullo of the Department of Tourism (DOT) Bohol Satellite Office Operator, introduced the Ecotourism sites and surprise tours that Bohol offers.

As soon as you see the beauty spots of the province,  you get the urge to pack up and take off.
The congress was very intuitive to the attendees from the other institutions of Bohol that offers Hospitality and Tourism courses, Holy Name University, University of Bohol, STI College, and BISU-Main Campus.

The highlight of the event showcased a short film festival in a prenuptial concept and promotional video contest that was held at the Bohol Cultural Center. The attendees wore their best outfits and flaunt their walks in the red carpet. There was also a bridal fashion and special appearance Marielle Montellano, a grand finalist of Showtime’s Tawag ng Tanghalan from Cebu City serenaded the evening with her ever soothing and golden voice. Indeed the event embodied the glamour of the island.

The said event was headed Juliet  Saraum acting as the Chief Executive Officer with the supervision of Delusa.

VRS asked Francis what his 10 “Must” Destinations in Bohol are. Here they are:

1.Chocolate Hills- Bohol’s tourism signature.  It is made up of no less than 1,268 hills, uniform in shape and approximately 30 – 50 meters high. They are called as such because the green grass turn chocolate brown at the end of summer. However, there are times when the hills show a mixture of green and brown.
The Chocolate Hills is among the tourist spots listed in the Philippine Tourism Authority and has been declared as the third largest National Geological Monument and was recommended for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The participants of Divulge Bohol Congress
 in Tagbilaran City, Bohol province. Contributed Photo
2. Philippine Tarsier.  The Philippine Tarsier (Tarsius syrichta or Carlito syrichta) goes by the local name Maumag in Cebuano or Visayan and Mamag in Luzon. It is a protected species and although the practice of catching and selling them has already stopped, they remain threatened because their natural habitat is being destroyed. It is called as such because of its elongated “tarsus” or ankle bone just like the other members of the 45 million year old family Tarsiidae.

3.Beaches- Bohol beaches in Panglao Island have been the province’s deepest secrets.  Alona Beach lies on a one and a half kilometer stretch of soft white sand and is considered as the best Panglao beach resort. There is no problem satisfying your hunger with the various cuisines served in the different restaurants. For those who want to learn diving, there are some establishments that offer lessons as well as offer scuba/snorkeling equipment for rent.

4.Loboc River Cruise and Abatan Life Adventure.  The Loboc River boasts of its wide array of cruisers on board small bancas or floating restaurants. Tourists will be treated to a view of tropical vegetation such as nipa palms, coconut trees, banana groves, and bushes. Tourists will also appreciate nature and community oneness in Abatan Community Life Adventure.

5. Blood Compact.  The Blood Compact Site stands as a memorial to that historic sign of friendship between the Spaniards and the natives. On March 16, 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi of Spain and Rajah Sikatuna of Bohol performed the Blood Compact (Spanish: Pacto de Sangre Filipino: Sandugo).

6. Loay Local Industry- Bolo or hatchet making have also given Loay residents a means of livelihood. They are used as implements in farming and wood cutting. Today, many Loayans have mastered the art of being blacksmiths (“panday”) using manual as well as improvised equipments. The town has emerged as a popular venue for finding fine crafted bolos in the island.

7.Balicasag Island-   Balicasag Island Resort is considered as among the world’s best diving destinations. Guests to enjoy the captivating view of the sun, sea, and surf.

8. EAT Danao-  Unique and exhilarating activities in a wide range of categories located in verdant valleys set in the picturesque mountain ranges. The program is divided into three to give visitors an opportunity to pick their activity of choice. E may involve activities falling under the Extreme, Economic, and Educational. A stands for Adventure and T for Tour.


9-10. Anda. Another town to explore. Old churches,  waterfalls and  man- made mahogany forest at Bilar,  hanging Bridge at Sevilla, and the Butterfly Garden at Bilar.

More, more!!!

“It’s all in Bohol,” added Francis.


***

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

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Pedy & Glee tackle showbiz that is light and free-wheeling; Ray hunting threatens ocean's 'gentle giants'

Veteran broadcaster Pedy Bolanio and Glee Orcullo indubitably make a perfect pair. I am referring to the kind of partnership they have onboard their dyRD program, Rampa Showbiz.

Veteran anchorman Pedy Bolanio (in photo) 
and Glee Orcullo tackle issues in a manner
 that is light and free-wheeling on dyRD’s Rampa Showbiz
Courtesy: Jeanette Laila Busano
Try tuning in every Monday to Friday (except Wednesday) at 3 to 3:30 p.m., 1161 on your AM radio dial, and there you will find how Pedy and Glee tackle showbiz and boxing news and other issues in a manner that is light and free-wheeling. They make sure the community gets to hear  the latest showbiz and sports news as its finest.  Unlike other programs, when they laugh, they are free to laugh and their voices remain normally calm.

When Cindy Ella, Inday Tikling and Sister Rose left the program, Glee came in.  It’s been four years now since Pedy and Glee became partners on the airwaves. It was management’s decision to take Glee in as Pedy’s partner.

Pedy knows Glee’s strength as a journalist. She does write news and report news on radio with another veteran broadcaster Fred Araneta on dyRD’s Breakfast News (Monday to Saturday at 7 a.m.) for eight years. 

Pedy and Glee agreed listeners enjoy the lighter side of the world.

***
Ray hunting threatens ocean's 'gentle giants'

They are known as the ocean's gentle giants, but an alarming rise in manta ray hunting could threaten the very existence of the species.

Manta fishing has become big business for fisheries who are selling their gills to be used in soups and traditional Chinese medicine.

Last week, a couple was arrested after the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel saw the slabs of sliced manta ray, locally known as “sanga,” on the couple’s motorbanca in the port of Baclayon town.

The manta ray is known as the 'gentle giant' of the ocean, 
but hunting has become so common that experts
 believe the species could be close to extinction. 
Courtesy: Ralph Barajan/PCG-Panglao
They bought two tons of manta ray meat for P40,000 which they intended to dry and later sell for at least P300 per kilo.

But instead of reeking in profit, Gomer Valeroso, 49, and his wife Milagrosa Valeroso, 47, ended up in jail.

The two would face charges for violating the Philippine Fisheries Code (Republic Act 8550) that prohibits the hunting, killing or selling rare, threatened or endangered species listed in the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Manta ray, known as “gentle giant” is on the list of endangered species.

Violators face a fine of P120,000 or prison term of 12 to 20 years.

Erick Salcedo, deputy commander of Philippine Coast Guard -Tagbilaran City, said their personnel in PCG substation in Panglao and Pamilacan islands conducted a mobile patrol on Thursday afternoon near Baluarte in Baclayon town.

They spotted a motorbanca (MBCA The Original Double D) which was loaded with cut-up manta ray meat while still docked at the pier.

The manta ray is known as the 'gentle giant' of the ocean, 
but hunting has become so common that experts
 believe the species could be close to extinction. 
Courtesy: Ralph Barajan/PCG-Panglao
A Coast Guard personnel also later found slices of manta ray meat inside a yellow jeepney (with plate number 074807).

It turned out that couple transported the manta ray meat from Jagna town to Baclayon on board the jeep and then loaded these to the motorbanca so they could take these home on Pamilacan Island.

Salcedo said they contacted the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to check if the pieces of meat belonged to the endangered species of manta rays.

Pedro Milana, Jr. in-charge of BFAR-Bohol, confirmed that the cut-up marine animal belonged to manta alfredi and manta birostris both protected under Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 193 and Republic Act 9147, also known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

The couple, however, claimed they didn’t know that what they bought were endangered species.

They said they bought the 2,000 kilos of meat from Tita Oclarit, a resident of Jagna town, for P40,000.

The fishes measured at least two meters each.

“We didn’t know that what we were doing was illegal. We bought the meat because this is our livelihood,” said Valeroso.

The manta ray is known as the 'gentle giant' of the ocean, 
but hunting has become so common that experts 
believe the species could be close to extinction. 
Courtesy: Ralph Barajan/PCG-Panglao
Valeroso, who sells dried fish, said they intended to dry the meat and sell it P300-400 per kilo.

The confiscated manta ray was buried by BFAR in Calape town.

Manta ray can grow up to 25 feet across and weigh around 5,100 lb.

It is considered a “vulnerable” species in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of threatened species.

The BFAR also prohibits taking, selling, purchasing, possessing, transporting and exporting manta rays and whale sharks.

A fine of P500 to P5,000 and imprisonment for six months to four years or both will be imposed on the violator.

Still, hunting has become so common that experts believe the species could be close to extinction.

Salcedo said the manta ray may have been caught in the seas off Bohol where manta ray hunting has long been recorded in Bohol waters especially in Pamilacan Island, which used to be the lair of former hunters of dolphin, Bryde’s whales, whale sharks and manta rays in the area.

Fishermen catch manta rays, locally called “sanga,” to cook them as “kinilaw”(ceviche) or “linabog” (a stew-based dish cooked in tomatoes and chilis).

But some customers preferred the dried stuff.

Dried gills and meat from manta rays and stingrays are allegedly sold to Chinese pharmacies, as Chinese traditional medicine believes the meat can cure chicken pox, infertility and cancer.

***

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


IN THE NEWS 

PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER



2,000 kgof manta ray meat seized from Bohol couple
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/875131/2000-kg-of-manta-ray-meat-seized-from-bohol-couple


GMA NEWS




Sunday, February 19, 2017

Death of female lawyer leaves Bohol residents in shock, grief

As news about the unexpected death of lawyer Mia Manuelita Mascariñas-Green spread, numerous residents began expressing shock and sadness.

Green, 49, was shot dead at about 4:27 p.m. Feb. 15 inside her car in front of three children- aged 10 and two-year old twins and nanny.

She was about to go home with her kids that when her Toyota Innova (plate number ABM 9572) she was driving reached the corner of H. Zamora and J.A. Clarin Streets in Dao District, two motorcycles blocked the road and fired at her.
Residents of Bohol province were plunged into shock
 and disbelief when news came that environmental 
and human rights lawyer Mia Manuelita Mascarinas-Green 
was ambushed.  Courtesy: Green Family

Although her children were seated at the passenger seat in the back, the perpetrators aimed their guns at Green.

She succumbed to three bullet wounds to her head and four to the body from .45 and 9mm caliber pistols during the attack.

The victim’s children were unharmed. However, the suspects harassed and taunted the kids and the nanny.

Tagbilaran City Police Chief Nicomedes Olaivar Jr. said Green was caught in the conflict between her client and the resort owner. Green's client and the resort owner had dragged their dispute to court. Olaivar said Green and her client were reportedly on the verge of winning the case.

No arrests have been made in the case since the suspects - Lloyd Lancer Gonzaga as the mastermind in Green’s murder and Romarico Benigian as one of the shooters -were able to escape on Friday morning during the police operation.

Unacceptable
Stuart James  “Estong” Green, a Briton marine biologist,  left his wife on Sunday  for a seminar in Bangkok, Thailand. When he learned the news, he took the first flight to Bohol.

The phone lines have been busy all day, he said, with numerous clients and friends calling to express their condolences, most of them expressing shock upon hearing the news.

Stuart expressed grief that killing her wife in front of her children is “unacceptable.”

“She is far too young to have died, and the manner she died in front of her children is really unacceptable in any country, society,” he said.

Stuart and Mia got married on June 26, 2004. They had three children.

“She’s an amazing woman who not enough to spend for 20 years of my life with. But should be able to spend 60 years with her so it is a “bitin” (hanging) experience,” he said.

At the crime scene/Leo Udtohan
Her ten-year-old daughter, Zoe, is also mourning her loss.

“She was a hands-on Mom.... loving and caring and she did care for us,” the little girl told Inquirer.

Stuart said she was a full-time mom and part-timer lawyer.

“She was minimizing her legal works because of our kids,” he said.

His kids saw two men gunned down his wife and after the shooting were laughing while fleeing away with two motorcycles and a van.

He was thankful the kids were unharmed.

“We are blessed the three children survived,” he said.

Stuart said he’s facing a challenge to be his kids mother and father rolled into one.

“I am set with the big challenge how do I convince my children as their mother and father now  that the values that my wife believed in so deeply are true in the Philippines. We need to show, otherwise I have no face to my children, that justice can prevail in a situation like this,” he said.

He said that his wife believed in fair legal processes and everyone deserves such treatment.

“My wife believed in legal process in looking after the client and every Filipino had the right to justice. Even the poor people, and people who are who fall aside the government system have the right to fair legal process,” he said.

He said he’s grateful to those who come forward to support or to be witness of the case since they know the perpetrators. Hoping for justice for his wife, he encouraged others to pitch support for the early resolve of the case.

Members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Bohol,
 friends and family members gathered on  Saturday morning
 at the crime scene for “Pagyukbo" paying homage, honor 
and respect in memory of Green. Leo Udtohan

“We ask more people to come forward. If you worry about your security or safety, just come and talk to us to see what we can do to help you.  The PNP guaranteed their security and safety as well,” he said. 

Green's family offered a P500,000 reward for the capture of the suspects.

“We really need to find the people so that I can stand in front of my children and bring them  on the values she laid out as a person in her life. And I can say to them, ‘look your mother’s values really mean something and really was’,” he said.

Green, an environmental and human rights lawyer in the province, was well-known in handling pro bono cases and defended “oppressed” clients.

Profound loss
Her death hit the province hard.

“Bohol is mourning the loss of a topnotch lawyer. This is an utterly profound loss,” said Fatima Mapesos, 39, who was a long-time neighbor of Green in Dampas District where she held office.  She fondly called her “Maam Min-Min.”

“Mam Min-Min is so friendly, very talkative when we see each other especially when I passed by her house because our houses were just near, adjacent of the street. She is so kind, so good natured person and they are prominent family in the community, yet has seclusion and privacy in their personal life,” said Mapesos.

Mapesos said that her family is the most respected in the village.

“Whenever any Dampasanon who asked her legal advice or services, she always doesn’t ask for a fee and if you give her she will never accept it,” she said.

As news of her death spread, so did the tributes. Her colleagues, friends turned to social media to express their sentiments.

Paying homage to Atty. Green/ Leo Udtohan
Prof. Marianito Luspo said that she would always remember her for her great love for others.

“If there was one thing I would have wanted to see at the blood-stained hospital, it was not her wounds. I would have wanted to see her heart, and be assured that the assassin's bullets had not touched her organ that once pulsated with so much love for her fellowmen, not just for Estong, nor for her beautiful kids and her immediate family,” Luspo posted on Facebook.

Former city councilor Mariquit Anne Oppus said, “I grieve, especially for the women whose only hope was Mia! She was a true believer and passionate defender! A great loss! You will be missed Mi! RIP.”

Environmentalist Pat Ruiz said, “I really feel so very sad. I cannot believe this is happening. My heart bleeds for Mia, and Stuart and their kids. Rest in peace, Mia.”

Members of IBP-Bohol chapter/Leo Udtohan
Amor Vistal said, “That feeling when you see Mia and the only thing you could do at that moment is to be silent and offer a prayer. No words, no words will ever describe the tragic loss we all are feeling right now. No words came out from my mouth when Estong asked me - Why her?”

Both her admirers and her detractors agreed that Green was one of the sharpest intellects to ever serve on the bench.

Green was unstoppable, even from a young age. She was six years old when her mother Glorife died. It was her father Jose  Mascariñas, Jr  who took care of her and her four siblings.

She went to the elite private school Holy Spirit School in Tagbilaran and graduated with honors.

She was a salutatorian in high school at Divine Word College- Tagbilaran (DWC-T, now Holy Name University) in 1984. Her mentors and schoolmates remembered her as beauty and brains.

Passionate
As a student leader, Mascarinas-Green wanted to change student politics.

“She has excellent leadership skills and articulate,” said Rosalinda Paredes, who was then director of student affairs office.

In college, she enrolled at DWCT and took up Bachelor of Science in Commerce, major in accounting. She graduated summa cum laude in college and became a certified public account (CPA).

She packed her bags and went to Manila and landed a job at Cunanan Accounting Office. She missed home and returned to Bohol. She studied law at DWC-T. She completed and perfected the dream of her parents who met in law school in the 1960's.

She was also teaching accountancy and law at DWC-T.

As a teacher, she tried to influence her students to excel and be passionate with their studies and their works, Paredes said.

Green became a successful criminal defense attorney who was never defeated. She was a crusader for the poor. A hard core environmentalist.

Her colleagues said that the bubbly CPA-Lawyer was devoted and dedicated.

Lawyer Ted Lagang, president of Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Bohol Chapter, said that her integrity as a lawyer was beyond unquestionable. 

“She leaves an enormous hole in our hearts, lives and community,” he said.

Judge Raul Barbarona who worked with Green at the Environmental Legal Assistance Center (Elac) said that she was fearless and principled woman.

He also said that Green had an impact on so many people, especially the poor, that’s it hard to quantify the loss.

Green had to pay the ultimate price of standing up for what she believed was right. She was not defeated at all; her life was cut short.

***

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


IN THE NEWS


PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

Environmental lawyer shot dead in front of kids in Bohol
(http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/871932/environmental-lawyer-shot-dead-in-front-of-kids-in-bohol)



Raid onresort in Panglao owned by alleged mastermind
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/872687/raid-on-resort-in-panglao-owned-by-alleged-mastermind


Tagbilaran,Panglao policemen accused of protecting alleged mastermind in lawyer’s slay
http://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/123619/tagbilaran-panglao-policemen-accused-protecting-alleged-mastermind-lawyers-slay




Groups press cops to solve environmental lawyer’s killing
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/877696/groups-press-cops-to-solve-environmental-lawyers-killing


EXPRESSEN (The Express) in Sweden

 http://www.expressen.se/nyheter/jag-ar-sa-radd-att-han-ska-morda-mig-ocksa/


GMA NEWS


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Bolitas: Pinoy’s secret ‘weapon’

Mature readers only. Reader discretion is advised.

Who said the “secret weapon” called bolitas (penile implant) among Filipino men is a thing of the past?

Three weeks before Valentine’s Day, Marvin (family name not revealed) from Tagbilaran City decided to see Marlon (family name not revealed) to undergo an “operation.”

Penile implant like bolitas is still popular with Filipino 
men who want to increase sexual confidence 
and reinforce masculinity.  Leo Udtohan
At home, Marlon, 34, had already prepared syringe, alcohol, Lidocaine (a local anesthesia), cotton, povidone-iodine (Betadine), bandage and a sharpened used toothbrush he would use for the “operation.” He doused the round object called “bolitas” in alcohol.

Bolitas are round objects inserted under the skin of the penis to add texture to the penis.

Marvin, 23, an office clerk, brought rum and some pulutan (appetizers).  He said the rum would help him relax before the “operation.” He said decided to undergo an “operation” to “surprise” his girlfriend of two years this Valentine's Day. 

After the drinking spree, Marvin was ready for the “operation.” Marlon took the syringe and draw out the local anesthesia, and injected it into Marvin’s ding-a-ling!

After Marvin experienced numbness in his tool, Marlon made an incision under the skin of the penis through the sharpened toothbrush, and inserted the bolitas.

Marlon, also known to friends as “Dr. Bolitas,” is a habal-habal (motorcycle) driver. He has been performing penile insert for 20 years. He said his clients range from students, army, seamen, policemen and some professionals.

“Tanan kung kinsa lang ganahan magpataud og bolitas (Anyone can have bolitas),” said Marlon. He also said that bolitas is a “secret weapon” to increase sexual confidence and reinforce masculinity.

Marvin heard about bolitas from his friends. He said he was “satisfied” with his size. However, he consented to the procedure “out of curiosity” as he wanted more as a man.

“Gusto lang ko malipay pag-ayo akong uyab (I want to make my girlfriend happy),” he said.

For Marlon, he said that his procedure was safe since he had soaked all the materials in antiseptic.  He advised “customers” to take antibiotic after insertion to prevent infection.

So, how’s the tool doing?

“Very well, thank you,” said the proud owner.

But how many bolitas?

"Maayo kung usa, duha or tulo fight nana kaayo (One is good, two or three is better)," he said. Other can have six bolitas.

But how long bolitas can stay in the penis is not known yet. 

Marvin is among the Filipino men who believe that penile implant enhance the sexual pleasure and make them unforgettable to women.

The penile insert or “enhancement” for pleasure has been in Visayan culture for centuries, said Bohol-based psychologist Jerome Magallen, Ph.D.

Bolitas is either made of plastic formed out of melted spoons, ballpens, toothbrushes, chopsticks, deodorant rollers, rosary and necklace beads; metal pellets or steel ball bearing; or mineral-type stones such as titanium, ivory, jade, porcelain or fiberglass and silicone implant. 

Other forms of genital modification are piercing, Prince Albert, humps, split and sub-incision. Some men injected silicone liquid or collagen to their members to increase girth.

Marvin said he got his own bolitas from the small glass stopper of Emperador and The Bar.

“Basta kadtong gusto malipay ilang partner, muguwa ilang pagka-resourceful, maggama ilang kaugalingon bolitas o mangayo libre sa ilang higala (Those who have the desire to make their partners happy, they become resourceful, they make their own bolitas or got them for free from their friends),” said Marlon.

On why men want penile insert, according to Magallen, penis size has been a source of anxiety for men in different cultures throughout history.

“Men want to improve self-esteem and impress their partners,” said Magallen.

He also said that men try penile insert or genital modification because of sexual insecurities, peer pressure and curiosity. 

“Maybe it’s their coping mechanism or maybe they have a bad sexual experience and they feel they were not able to satisfy their partners,” he said. “They feel inadequate and often feel a need to enlarge their penises.”

Magallen also cited some cases that men have bolitas before marriage, but remove them when they settle down with one woman.

“Why remove the bolitas if the purpose is to please a woman? Since they were thinking that their partners become sex addicts because of their bolitas, they worry that they will seek other men for pleasure,” he explained.

The group “Samahang May Bolitas at Humps” (SMBH), a page on Facebook, said that the origin of penile insert or genital beading is unclear.

“Men in some areas of South East Asia, including Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia have a long history of inserting or implanting various objects in their penises. The origin of these practices is unclear, but some researchers say that they were copied from Chinese or Arab traders who visited Southeast Asia, while others argue that it is an indigenous innovation,” it said.

SMBH also cited that ancient Filipinos were known to wear embedded ornaments on their penis. He said that Ferdinand Magellan’s chronicler Antonio Pigafetta noted that “both young and old males pierce their penises with a gold or tin rod the size of a goose quill, its ends shaped like the head of a nail.”

Before bolitas became popular among Filipino sailors in 1980s, men in late 50’s and early 60’s used “goat’s eye” (pilok sa kanding or pilik mata) from the part of the eyelash of a goat as tool to enhance sexual pleasure of a woman which makes her crave for the sexual act.

“The bolitas is a much improved invention of Filipino’s resourcefulness and ingenuity,” it said.

Now, humps (with the use of silicone rod or string) is becoming popular, the group added. 

Dr. April “Doc April” Lumuthang-Froilan, who runs the Touch of April General and Cosmetic SurgiCenter (4th Floor, Lim Hong Medical Arts and Wellness Center beside Ramiro Hospital, Contact No: 09283687041/09424911018),  in Tagbilaran City, said that in many cultures men think “The bigger the better” and being “too small” is still regarded very humiliating in many cultures.

“Is bigger really better?” asked Doc April.  She said the answer varies from person to person.

“Is penile insert (bolitas) safe?” she asked. “It is safe as long as it is sterile and done with a medical practitioner.”

Doc April, who finished her cosmetic surgery at Pan Pacific Aesthetic Institute, said there are  bolitas operations being performed by a friend or neighbor using a sharpened toothbrush or ballpen cap to make an incision for the bolitas which could not be safe. 

Doc April said that penile inserts have medical complications including throbbing pain, inflammation and infections.

She also said that not all sexual partners enjoy the feeling of genital beads.  She said that there are reports of women who have complained of pain during intercourse and implants have been known to cause bleeding and damage to their vagina.

Some reports said that there are some women feel no difference between a normal penis and a penis studded with bolitas, she added.

She also said that those men who are not “gifted” can have penile enlargement by a cosmetic surgeon.  

“One procedure adds thickness, the other adds length,” she said.

“It is still the performance that counts,” said Doc April, "There are many ways on how to enjoy sex in safest ways."

With many sex products in the market today to enhance sexual pleasure, the small thing called bolitas is still popular among Filipino men.  

Days of slight pain and inconvenience, and then, enjoy.

(Note:  Jerome Magallen, Ph.D. offers counselling or life coaching services. Visit him at University of Bohol- Guidance Center. Dr. April Lumuthang-Froilan’s Touch of April offers noselift (rhinoplasty), nosetrim (alarplasty), eyebag removal (lower blepharoplasty),  slit eye ( upper blepharoplasty), cleft chin creation, dimple creation, buttocks augmentation, vaginal repair (vaginoplasty), virginity restoration (hymenoplasty), penile enlargement/lengthening, ear reconstruction (otoplasty), breast augmentation, liposuction, tummy tuck,  lip reduction, chin augmentation, warts/mole, keloid removal, botox injection and glutathione injection.)

 ***

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

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Miss Universe 2016 is Miss France

Miss Universe 2016 is Miss France
(Steve Harvey got it right)

Manila, Philippines –– The Philippines is no stranger to hosting the prestigious Miss Universe pageant, but the recently concluded 65th Miss Universe has proven that beauty pageants are very much embedded in our society.

Fans, armed with crowns, flags and banners, all over the country (and the world) had descended here to cheer for their bets competing at the “most prestigious” beauty pageant in the world or universe.

Beauty pageant watcher Oliver Acebes with Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres 
and Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen.
Courtesy: Oliver Supsup Acebes
Oliver Acebes and his five companions had to take a leave from work in Cebu on Saturday just to watch the pageant on Monday (Philippine time). Another fan Helen Castaño came all the way from Tagbilaran City to watch the pageant.

As soon as the plane touched down Manila on Sunday, Castaño went straight to the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena to see the venue.  She had photos taken at the replica of the Miss Universe crown.

Both admitted being Miss Universe fans, particularly due to its advocacies.

“I am crazy when it come to beauty pageants because it’s my childhood dream to join beauty pageants,” said Acebes. He said it becomes his passion watching the contestants showcasing their beauty and intelligence.

“From the start, I have been a fan since I love beauty pageants,” Castaño told VRS at MOA.“It’s rarely held in the country so I grabbed the chance.”

Acebes, a PIAnatics (fans named after Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach) who hails from Jagna town, wore his Miss Universe sash during the coronation.

Acebes and Castaño were among the 40,000 people inside the MOA Arena who watched the pageant won by France’s Iris Mittenaere.

Miss France Iris Mittenaere is the new Miss Universe at the conclusion of the 65th Miss Universe on Monday, January 30, held at the Mall of Asia Arena.  Photo by Leo Udtohan
Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere Photo: Leo Udtohan
And the Miss Universe fever has not completely died down yet, and with the much-talked rumors about Mittenaere being gay is circulating on social media.

France’s Mittenaere was crowned the new Miss Universe on Monday (Philippine time) in a glittering ceremony at SM Mall of Asia Arena, bringing her country its first win in the annual pageant in 64 years. 

Mittenaere, 23, was born north of France in a town called Lille. Mittenaere has kept herself busy the last 5 years by pursuing her degree in Dental Surgery. Besides dental school, Mittenaere has always been fond of extreme sports, travelling the world and cooking new French dishes. She enjoys making others happy, especially when 
Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere Photo: Leo Udtohan
volunteering at Bienvenue-Tongasoa and Les Bonnes Fées.

"When you fail, you have to be elevated, you have to try again and keep going. If tonight, I'm not one of the winners, I will still have the great of honor of being one of the three finalists," she told the judges minutes before she was crowned by Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.

Haiti's Raquel Pelissier, a model from Port-au-Prince who survived the 2010 earthquake in the Caribbean country, was first runner up, while Colombia's Andrea Tovar was second runner-up.  Kenya’s Mary Were, Philippines’ Maxine Medina and Thailand’s Chalita Suansane, representing Kenya, the Philippines and Thailand, respectively, rounded out the top six.

Comedian Steve Harvey was able to laugh at himself when he hit the stage once again to host the Miss Universe pageant.

At last year's pageant, Harvey made a major blunder when he accidentally announced that Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, was Miss Universe when the crown was really supposed to go to Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach.

Fans come to the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena
 to support the 86 candidates of the Miss Universe 2016. 
Photos by Leo Udtohan/Solar/MOU/LCS
"Every time I read off a card, I pucker up just a little bit," he admitted during pageant.

Wurtzbach addressed the host's epic flub when she joined him onstage. "Steve, I never got to thank you, but thank you for making me the most popular Miss Universe," she quipped.

"That’s okay,” Harvey responded. “I want to thank you for making me the most famous host of Miss Universe."

Continuing to make jokes throughout the night about his gaffe, Harvey also spoke with Gutierrez about what the people of Colombia thought of him. “A lot of people hate you,” she said lightheartedly. “But you know I love you.”

The jokes carried on until the end of the evening when an Ernst & Young accountant came onstage to give Harvey a stern warning. "Listen to me Sir, this has got to be right, okay?" he quipped. "Can’t let this happen again — you will not leave the Philippines."

As Harvey went to open the envelope to announce the winner, Wurtzbach tapped him lightly on the shoulder and handed him his reading glasses.

“Thank you. Thank you so much, Pia,” he said with exaggerated gratitude. “A year late, but thank you. Thank you, God.”

Luckily, Harvey did end up correctly announcing that Iris Mittenaere of France was the new Miss Universe.

No make-up
At the Miss Universe Media Center, Mittenaere told reporters that she’ll focus on helping children — especially girls — attend school. The Miss Universe website also said the dental-surgery student hopes to advocate for dental and oral hygiene.

Your VRS with Miss U judge Cynthia Bailey
"I think France and Europe really need a Miss Universe,” she told reporters. The Continent hadn’t seen a hometown winner since Amparo Muñoz of Spain was crowned in 1974.

“I was very surprised. I’m always touching the crown. Oh my God, I don’t believe it. It was a big surprise. Every step was a surprise. I wanted to cry in every step. I feel blessed,” Mittenaere said during the press conference.

She believes that her triumph will raise awareness on the pageant owned by the US-based talent agency WME/IMG.

“I think France really needs a new Miss Universe. As you know French people really love beauty pageants, but they don’t really know Miss
Your VRS has a ‘selfie’ with one 
of his favorite candidates Miss Bolivia 
Antonella Moscatelli 
during the Miss Universe Red
 Carpet event on Sunday night, 
January 29, 2017.  
Universe because never do our country win. So, this way, a lot of people will know and will watch Miss Universe. I’m very proud to win this crown,” she said.


She said she enjoys “no makeup.”  “When you join Miss Universe, you have to be confident. I’m confident with no makeup. We don’t need make-up. We don’t need surgery. I just need confidence. I don’t need makeup to love myself.”

Perks
Aside from taking home the most coveted Miss Universe crown, Mittenaere would also enjoy several perks from becoming the title holder.

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach passed on her crown to Mittenaere. She is the third to wear the crown worth $300,000.

The Miss Universe crown made by jeweler Diamonds International Corporation was first worn by Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega of Colombia and was turned over to Wurtzbach. Miss Universe Organization (MUO) President Paula Shugart explained that Mittenaere’s predecessor cannot take home the crown by tradition.

According to Miss Universe press,  the Miss Universe prize package includes: a year-long salary as Miss Universe; luxury accommodations in a New York City apartment for the duration of her reign, including living expenses; a one-year supply of haircare products and tools from Farouk Systems, the makers of CHI Haircare; a shoe wardrobe from Chinese Laundry Shoes & Accessories; a personalized face chart and products from MAC Cosmetics; personal services including membership to Gravity Fitness at Le Parker Meridien Hotel and hair services from John Barrett Salon; a modeling portfolio by leading fashion photographers; dermatology and skincare services; a professional health and nutrition consultation; dental services; professional representation by The Miss Universe Organization; extensive travel representing sponsors and charitable partners; access to various events including casting opportunities, movie premiers, screenings, Broadway shows and launch parties; and personal appearance wardrobe and styling by the official Miss Universe Organization fashion stylist.


New format
Courtesy: Solar/MUO/LCS
The 65th edition of Miss Universe followed a brisk format that trimmed the number of semifinalists to 13 instead of 15.

The 13 competed in swimsuits then the group was whittled down to 9 for the evening gown round. Six advanced to the first interview round. Mittenaere, Pelissier and Tovar were the finalists.

US rapper Flo Rida opened the show with a medley of his hits, including his debut, "Low," and most recent radio staple "Zillionaire."

A surprise soundtrack to the evening gown parade was indie act Kiiara's "Gold."

Boyz II Men lent '90s R&B flair when they serenaded the finalists with "I'll Make Love To You," "On Bended Knee," and "End of the Road."

An estimated 100 million votes were tabulated from fans around the world to determine which lucky contestant would advance into the Top 13 at the start of the live broadcast, with millions more voting throughout the competition. Eighty-six women represented their countries in this year’s pageant.


Miss U Red Carpet
Miss Universe 2016 in Manila
Photos: Leo Udtohan
Amid tight security, the strictly by-invitation event had given the members of the media (including your VRS) a chance to interview the candidates, former beauty queens, judges and performers of the 65th Miss Universe a few hours before the grand coronation event.

There were Steve Harvey and backstage host Ashley Graham.

The event was also a reunion between Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres and Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen.

Beauty queens Gloria Diaz, Miss Universe 1969, and Margie Moran, Miss Universe 1973 also showed up for the glamorous occasion.

Also present were Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes, Miss Universe 2015 2nd runner-up Olivia Jordan, and Miss Universe 2014 1st runner-up Nia Sanchez.

Performers Boyz II Men and Flo Rida showed up in their trendy tuxedos.

Your VRS asked the former beauty queens and judges what they were looking for the next Miss Universe.

Miss Universe 1973 Margie Moran said that there is no magic formula in winning the Miss Universe crown.

“I believe winning the pageant is for me a destiny,” said Moran.

“There is no formula to winning..it is being right time and the right place and the right judges,” she added.

For TV star and former model Cynthia Bailey who was one of the judges, she was looking for a Miss Universe who can make an impact in the society.

“I am looking for the whole package,” she said. “Someone who is confident, someone who is beautiful inside and out, someone who got class, grace and style. Someone who can make an impact.”

“Miss Universe is a woman who is capable of inspiring other women and young girls,” said Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopez.

Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen said she was hoping the best girl would win.

““Honestly, I’d rather be a contestant than a judge. Because as a judge, especially if you have been a contestant, I cannot do that to someone who has worked so hard. I cannot just give her no marks for this. But this is a competition and the best girl must win and the best country must put its best foot forward tomorrow,” said Sen.

Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz said all the candidates had an equal chance in winning the Miss Universe crown.

Filipino hospitality
No other province in the Philippines had given prime spot during the Miss Universe pageant other than Bohol.  Sadly, the ladies were not able to visit the province.

When your VRS asked them if they had visited Bohol, I got a blunt reply: “Where’s that?” Most of them were unaware and they shared that their unforgettable places were Cebu, Davao, Boracay and Baguio. I tried to convince them to visit the province which they said they would love to visit if they have the chance.

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, Flo Rida and
Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen attend the
Miss Universe Red Carpet event on Sunday night, January 29, 2017.
  Photo by Leo Udtohan
Most of the candidates have expressed their desire to visit and stay in the Philippines after the pageant.

 The candidates also have nothing but good things to say about this year’s host country.

Their most favorite part? The Filipino people!

Miss Finland Shirley Karvine said one of the most amazing parts of her Miss Universe experience is getting to know the Filipino hospitality.

“I love the Philippines. Everyone is nice and kind. Everyone is full of love.  I can’t find that treatment anywhere. I can’t pick the three places because I love the whole Philippines,” she said.

Miss Malaysia Kiran Jassal had visited Vigan.

“I love the Filipino people....  Everywhere you go the people are warmth. They would ask you, “Are you okay? Do you need anything?” They really touched my heart,” she said.

Miss Bolivia Antonella Moscatelli said Philippines is a beautiful country. “It’s my first time and it is wonderful for me to be here. I will keep you in my heart.”

“It’s been wonderful. Philippines is an amazing place. It reminds me home because the weather is tropical. But the people here is warmth and welcoming,” said Miss Panama Keiy Drennan.

Miss Argentina  Estefania Bernal said the support from her Filipino fans has been humbling and overwhelming.

When I asked her if she would be back, she replied: “Claro de si. Kisses to all my fans. I love you much. I love you Filipino people. “

“I love to be here because everybody is very kind and sweet,” said Miss Hungary Veronika Bodizs.

More trivia:
* Countries with the most number of Miss U wins: USA, eight; Venezuela, seven; Puerto Rico, five; and Philippines, three.
* Number of years countries have to wait between wins: Colombia, 58 (the late Luz Marina Zuluaga in 1958 and Paulina Vega in 2014); Japan, 48 (Akiko Kojima in 1959 and Riyo Mori in 2007); Philippines, 42 (Margie Moran in 1973 and Pia Wurtzbach in 2015); Australia, 32 (Kerry Anne Wells in 1972 and Jennifer Hawkins in 2004); Finland, 23 (Armi Kuusela in 1952 and Anne Photamo in 1974); and Canada, 23 (Karen Dianne Baldwin in 1982 and Natalie Glebova in 2005).


Final Results:  

Miss Universe: Miss Universe France Iris Mittenaere

First Runner-Up:  Miss Universe Haiti Raquel Pelissier

Second Runner-Up:  Miss Universe Colombia Andrea Tovar

Top Three:  Miss Universe Colombia Andrea Tovar; Miss Universe France Iris Mittenaere; Miss Universe Haiti Raquel Pelissier.

Top Six:  Miss Universe France Iris Mittenaere; Miss Universe Kenya Mary Esther Were; Miss Universe Colombia Andrea Tovar; Miss Universe Philippines Maxine Medina; Miss Universe Thailand Chalita Suansane; Miss Universe Haiti Raquel Pelissier.

Top Nine:  Miss Universe USA Deshauna Barber; Miss Universe Thailand Chalita Suansane; Miss Universe France Iris Mittenaere; Miss Universe Mexico Kristal Silva; Miss Universe Kenya Mary Esther Were; Miss Universe Colombia Andrea Tovar; Miss Universe Canada Siera Bearchell; Miss Universe Haiti Raquel Pelissier; Miss Universe Philippines Maxine Medina.

Top Thirteen:  Miss Universe Kenya Mary Esther Were; Miss Universe Indonesia Kezia Warouw; Miss Universe USA Deshauna Barber; Miss Universe Mexico Kristal Silva; Miss Universe Peru Valeria Piazza; Miss Universe Panama Keity Drennan; Miss Universe Colombia Andrea Tovar; Miss Universe Philippines Maxine Medina; Miss Universe Canada Siera Bearchell; Miss Universe Brazil Raissa Santana; Miss Universe France Iris Mittenaere; Miss Universe Haiti Raquel Pelissier; Miss Universe Thailand Chalita Suansane.


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