Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Have a Taste of Asia at Persona Mesa

In the heart of the capital city of Tagbilaran, Bohol is the top- rated Persona Mesa Restaurant famed for its Filipino & Asian cuisine.
It is the love for food and the delight for designs that inspired the creation of the place. The place has both air- conditioned and outdoors dining areas.
There’s a mandatory temperature- taking, use of hand sanitizers at the entrance and a No Mask, No Entry policy. The restaurant observes social distancing and there are glass dividers at the tables in the indoor dining area.
Here are some of the restaurant’s bestsellers as captured by the lenses of Boholana photographer Ghen Lumayag-Tabat

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Bohol Bee Farm's Unforgettable Dining Experience

Your visit to Bohol’s most famous agriculture- based resort isn‘t complete without a visit to its al fresco restaurant that offers healthy home-grown meals prepared from its organically- grown vegetables aside from their fresh meat & poultry selections.
The sensory overload of your unique dining experience is heightened with the rustic charm of the place. The view from the restaurant is amazing with its hodgepodge of bright & subdued colours. Splashes of orange and yellow and bursts of green are everywhere. The woven couches and divans tempered by the weather beaten wooden corner tables add to the trendy and homey ambience. Every corner has private nooks for bookworms and couples alike.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The Miss Universe Philippines 2020 journey of Pauline Amelinckx

It was supposed to be the most beautiful day of the year for Boholanos. We were looking forward to the grand coronation of Miss Universe Philippines 2020, the first time in 55 years that the Philippine bet for Miss Universe was staged independently from the annual Bb Pilipinas Pageant.

During the preliminary interview 
It was even more anticipated especially that Pauline was installed as the heavy favourite by pageant experts and fans after winning four of the nine special awards at stake during the preliminaries and after a viewing party was organized by Bellevue Resort for Pauline’s parents, friends and supporters at their Lamian Restaurant for the finals.

As the pageant got underway that Sunday morning, I couldn’t help but feel a palpable sense of resignation and a foreboding of gloom in the room even as glimpses of our Miss Bohol elicited applause and whistles from the room. 

I couldn’t pinpoint it exactly even if Pauline kept advancing to the next round. I had the icky feeling that things would not exactly be to our liking. Was it because of the leakage of results? Or was it because of the slow internet connectivity that made it possible for spoilers to start trickling in.

ILONGGA IS MISS U BET. In the end, the biggest upset in national pageantry happened. A relative unknown who was in her first national pageant snatched the crown from the heavy faves and pageant veterans. Rabiya Mateo from Iloilo City who was earlier awarded Best in Swimsuit was named MUP 2020 and will represent the country at the 69th edition of Miss Universe to be staged at a still undisclosed date and venue.

RUNNERS UP. Miss Paranaque City Ysabella Roxas Ysmael, Best in Gown winner was pipped into second place. Third place went to a disappointed Michelle Gumabao of Quezon City. Our very own Pauline was relegated to fourth place and rounding out the final five was Billie Hackenson of Cavite City. 

Pauline to her credit, did everything right but personally, she had a confusing question that goes like this What factors influence you on what to buy or post online?” When she answered the question, I thought she didn't hit the ballpark with her answer but watching the replay, she did and I could even relate with her answer on what to post online but it was not as strong as what we expected from one of the best speakers of the batch. I believe she could have secured a higher placement had she gotten a better-phrased question

As to the 3rd runner up placement, it wasn’t her destiny and the stars didn't align for a Boholana victory. To put it simply, three other girls outperformed her during the final reckoning. Such is the unpredictability of beauty pageants where judging is subjective and dependent on a lot of factors such as picking the right question or even the composition of the panel of judges.

As to the disappointment felt by Boholanos including this writer, it can be attributed to the momentum that Ms. Amelincx had gained going into the finals.

It can also be attributed to the fact that lately we have been so used to sending outstanding Boholanas who perform well at the nationals like Glyssa Perez Miss Philippines Tourism 2019, Catherine Cadayona Tabaniag Miss Philippines Earth 2017 1st RU and at the Golden Edition of Mutyta ng Pilipinas where Pauline herself got one of the five crowns at stake along with Jade Roberts whose mom id from Desamparados, Calape, Bohol that a runner up placement isn't enough. Perhaps, we should lower our expectations and that we have to be ready to accept that there would be winners and there would be girls who wouldn't make it.

At the MUP 2020 Viewing Party
Bellevue Resort

Back then, it wasn’t the case and a countless number of Boholanas who've gone to the nationals failed to bring home the crown especially with the lack of preparation, training and exposure to the big city life.

The 3rd runner up placement of Delia Canda Dela Serna in Miss Philippines 1962 was a cause for celebration for it was the first time since we sent Ascencion Gaviola to the first nationwide Miss Philippines search in 1926  that a Boholana was finally recognized on the national beauty arena. In 1968, Emma Mumar Campbell was the first Boholana to enter the semis of Bb Pilipinas. It would take another decade when a Boholana  would enter the winners’ circle in Binibini. Perla Salig now Mrs. Perla Teves of Loboc was named 1st RU in Bb Pilipinas 1979.

It was only in 2006 when a Boholana in the person of Anna Maris Arcay Igpit finally got a crown as Bb Pilipinas- World.

And it was only last year that a Boholana who was crowned Bb Pilipinas Intercontinental 2018 was recognized as a world- class beauty when Karen Gallmann was crowned Miss Intercontinental.

From the 46 remaining girls in MUP 2020 , the field was trimmed down to the top 16 with Visayas having the most number of semifinalists with seven, namely the girls from Aklan, Biliran, Bohol, Cebu City, Cebu Province, Mandaue City and Iloilo City.

Going back to Pauline, making it as 3rd runner up in Miss Universe Philippines is not to be sneezed at. The inaugural edition of MUP had a competitive batch that attracted quite a number of past titleholders and top regional queens indeed.

But if there is one thing we Boholanos have to be proud of, it was how Pauline was able to unite all Boholanos regardless of political beliefs to rally behind her and how she was able to get people from around the world to realize that we are more than the Chocolate Hills or the endless stretches of white sandy beaches and that yes, Bohol is home to the Quintessential Boholana who is God- fearing, resilient, beautiful and intelligent.

And for that, Pauline deserves a lavish homecoming fit for a triumphant queen.

Long May You Reign, Queen Pauline!


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Halamanan Residences: The Perfect Getaway

Halamanan Residences in Tawala, Panglao fulfils your dream of privacy and exclusivity in one of seven private garden villas.  Each villa offers a fully equipped kitchen, indoor dining area,   your own al fresco dining area set in a private garden and your choice of a private or semi- private pool.  Perfect for honeymooners! 

Villa rental rate includes taxes, electricity & water fees, fast internet connection, linen, towels and cleaning service.  

Guests undergo mandatory safety protocols before check- in. 

For bookings and inquiries, here's the link: Halamanan Residences

Monday, October 12, 2020

Malinawon Resort in Panglao, Bohol

Malinawon Resort located in Danao, Panglao is named after a Bisaya word that literally means peaceful, serene and quiet. And true enough, if you’re the type who goes for solitude and serenity, this is the perfect place to be.  

The newly- reopened resort has 24 elegant resort suite rooms equipped with modern furnishings and fitted with cable TV, WIFI access and flat screen TVs. Each of the rooms has a scenic balcony that leads directly to the pool fringed with tall, gently swaying coconut palm trees.

Indeed, Malinawon Resort is a practical home away from home with the most basic amenities for a comfortable and worry- free break.

Mandatory safety protocols are in place and the resort has a No Mask No Entry policy in place.


For bookings & inquiries, here’s the link: Malinawon

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Bonding & Biking in Breathtaking Bohol

With lockdown restrictions already easing up, Bohol residents have started looking for fun & leisurely activities to indulge in. Whether an entirely new hobby or picking up where they left off, residents have started going out in droves after staying indoor for almost five months.

With Bohol under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) non- contact sports & fun activities such as swimming, biking, tennis and scuba diving are allowed already.

 Mandatory safety protocols are observed to allow for an exhilarating yet safe activity. 

Cong. Aris Aumentado with wife Vanessa & son Lawrence
Let’s start first with biking, one of Bohol’s most popular leisure activities because of the island’s paved smooth roads. It allows for a healthy cardiovascular workout, bond with family and friends and enjoy the scenic postcard- pretty Bohol landscape.  Even before the COVID 19 pandemic, biking has already been attracting hordes of biking enthusiasts and biking groups have even been formed to regulate and monitor their activities.

Ms. Vanessa Aumentado, wife of Cong. Aris Aumentado, shares some practical tips to fully enjoy the activity.

WHAT TO WEAR Helmet, gloves, bright- coloured cycling jersey & shorts with padding, comfortable rubber shoes and shades.    

BEST TIME FOR ACTIVITY Early in the morning between 5 am and 7 am or late in the afternoon 4 pm to 7 pm. 

MOST POPULAR ROUTES From the capital city of Tagbilaran to Panglao (20 kilometer distance) , Tagbilaran City to Corella and Sikatuna (10 kms. & 17 kms from the city, respectively)  Panglao to the interior towns of Loboc, Bilar & Carmen (20 km, 40 km & 60 km, respectively or Panglao to Jagna (66 km) in eastern Bohol. 

Vanessa advises beginners and first- time visitors to take it easy with an hour- long ride that would take you to the countryside and get glimpses not only of breathtaking natural wonders but also of the island’s daily life.

Iconic Panglao Watchtower
FAB FOUR. Judith, Vanessa, Lirio & Evelyn

For those who traverse from Panglao, bikers may choose to go to eastern coastal Bohol or tour the interior part. It’s both a lesson in history and a pleasant travel experience as you pass by towns with their age- old stone churches, busy markets and modern town halls. In between, there are unobstructed views of the coast that overlooks the Mindanao Sea. You may do quick stop overs for refreshments, some chitchat and selfies at IG- worthy sites.   

Quick stop to enjoy the scenery at eastern Bohol 

Want a feel of Bohol’s interior towns? Then proceed to Loboc (20 km distance) via Corella (home of the Tarsier Sanctuary) and Sikatuna. From Loboc where you get glimpses of its famed floating restaurants, you may proceed to Bilar where you pass through the enchanting Bilar Man- Made Forest and see the iconic Chocolate Hills in Carmen (60 kms) 

At the peak of Mt. Banat-i, Tagbilaran City's highest peak

So how about you guys? Are you ready for the ride of your life?

A pose at the impressive facade of Moadto Strip Mall, Panglao 

Photo credits: Ms. Vanessa Aumentado

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Welcome to Modala Beach Resort in Panglao, Bohol

The September 18 soft opening of Modala Beach Resort in Doljo, Panglao gave Bohol’s tourism industry something to cheer and smile about. The opening of its doors to locals augurs well for a brighter and sunny year-ender in the midst of the uncertain times brought about by the COVID 19 pandemic.

Resort GM Rommel Gonzales welcomed everyone to the activity and introduced the department heads who were responsible for the smooth day- to- day operations of the latest tourism jewel in Panglao.    

TOURISM JEWEL Modala Beach Resort is a posh architectural wonder that boasts of the longest stretch of white sand shoreline in Panglao island.

The modern luxury resort has 126 stylish beach rooms each with a private balcony that overlooks the ocean. Gently swaying palm trees give the resort its tropical vibe.  

SAFETY PROTOCCOLS Mandatory temperature- taking, use of disinfectants & hand sanitizers and social distancing measures are strictly implemented. QR-code enabled scanning ensures quicker check in and also used for contact tracing. Safety kits that include isopropyl alcohol, sanitary spray & mask envelopes are part of the rooms’ essential items.

THINGS TO DO Lounge or take a dip in the infinity pool while enjoying a cocktail or two from the bar. Rejuvenate and recharge at Hayahay Spa and savour the goodness of international and Asian cuisines at Mangaon Ta Restaurant & Bar. The resort has numerous activities to enjoy – take a dip and discover the beauty and wonder of the sea, kayak your way around the waters, try the paddle board, play Frisbee or beach volleyball with your family and friends or just soak in the sun. 

Alongside Modala is Moadto Strip Mall, the first-ever beachfront shopping, retail and dining attraction in Bohol where guests can access a variety of activities that they may take pleasure in during their stay. 

Choose from a variety of F & B establishments such as The Buzz and Imperial Garden Restaurant and try their different cuisines, stroll or shop for souvenirs. 

Congratulations Modala Beach Resort on your soft opening! Cheers!



Extra Special Blog Feature

Part 1: The Tragic Story of Amparo Munoz

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