Saturday, November 3, 2012

1983 Miss Young Bohol: Marcelina Marcel O. Gatal

Proclaimed as 1983 Miss Young Bohol was Tagbilaran’s candidate, Miss Marcelina Marcel Orimaco Gatal, then a 20 year old BS Commerce coed of DWCT.

We share the same family name for we are siblings.

Ate Marcel, the eldest in our family, is the acknowledged brains in the family who excels not only in numbers but also in spoken & written English.

Her English fluency helped a lot when when she was handpicked by Bohol's iconic emcee, Ardie Araneta Batoy, her college English mentor, as radio DJ & newscaster in auditions conducted at DYRD.

A self- proclaimed ugly duckling during her younger years, she practically turned into a beautiful swan whose confidence and social skills were further honed with her radio broadcasting stint.

Overnight, she became a campus head turner, always graced the stage for her thespic and terpsichorean talents and was always invited to be a DWCT ROTC Corps Sponsor.

By the way, I just found out from the former Jocelyn Pamis now Mrs. Oppus that Ate Marcel was also an accomplished campus athlete.

According to Jocelyn Oppus  
“Marcel Gatal was my classmate and teammate in the BS Commerce Volleyball Team.
We were unbeatable champions from 1981 to 1983 during DWCT College Intramurals.
We were very close teammates and we classified ourselves by our skin complexion.
Those who had morena complexion and that includes me were called the Milo Babies and
the fair- complexioned including Marcel were called the Carnation Babies Some of our teammates were Irma Sarmiento, Evelyn Clarin, Mali Alagon, Lilia Sumobay.
I cannot remember the names of the rest. Our team coach was Ma’am Belen Alingasa

Her steady rise to beauty pageant triumph wasn’t easy and in fact, her first two campus pageant attempts were quite disappointing but she learned a lot from those experiences which helped her clinch the 1982 Hiyas ng Silangan- Bohol, her very first pageant crown


A year before the 1983 Miss Young Bohol, Ate Marcel was chosen Hiyas ng Silangan- Bohol and represented the province in the National Finals of the 1982 Hiyas ng Silangan- Philippines held at the Ramada Hotel in Manila.

She was adjudged Miss Talent and later chosen as one of the Top Ten Finalists from a field of more than 30 ladies from all over the country

However, when the opportunity came to represent Tagbilaran City in Miss Young Bohol 1983 came, she dilly- dallied but eventually, she yielded to filial pressure.


That unforgettable summer in 1983, the Kabataang Barangay- Bohol Provincial Federation led by its charismatic Prov'l Federation President Edgar Chatto launched a province- wide search for its ambassadress of goodwill and official spokesperson.

The pageant was aptly named 1983 Miss Young Bohol Pageant because it was organized by visionary youth leaders

The pageant was truly province- wide in scope and participation for 36 of the 47 KB Municipal Federations in the province and the capital city of Tagbilaran sent their official candidates who were mostly from socially- prominent families in their respective places

With a united and dynamic group of young budding leaders led by the brilliant Edgar Chatto and fueled by the idealism of youth, the pageant became the most anticipated event that summer in 1983.

Despite the El Nino phenomenon that ravaged the province and some parts of the country, there was a surprising heavy turnout of candidates which prompted the youthful organizers to house the girls at the Ilaw International Convention Center in Bool, Tagbilaran to ensure an orderly system as far as rehearsals and official functions were concerned.

The coronation night which was set on Tagbilaran's fiesta date, May 1, was choreographed and directed by Nanay Nila Itac .

Two days earlier, the Talent Competition & Preliminary Interviews were held at the Holy Spirit School Auditorium.

Miss Jagna had a little mishap during her talent performance that included a fire- throwing stunt. It resulted to a minor burn near the heel of her foot

Popular radio disc jockey Nelson Jabonite known in airlanes as Sunny Jay co- hosted the Coronation Night with the witty & inimitable Ardie Araneta Batoy.

On hindsight, the successful staging of the pageant would be a crucial acid test for Edgar Chatto's leadership and people skills that launched a remarkable & brilliant political career


It was a jampacked SRO pageant which attracted not only fiestagoers but also the candidates' supporters from all parts of Bohol.

The pageant which was broadcast live over DYRD AM & DYTR AM opened with the entrance of the 37 ladies dressed in casual wear followed by their individual introduction.

The very bubbly and charming Miss Loboc, Tessie Labunog now Mrs Sumampong and the woman behind Loboc Riverwatch floating restaurant was proclaimed Best in Casual Wear with Miss Tubigon, a heavy crowd favorite, winning Miss Friendship

Another crowd favorite was the youthful and very pretty Miss Jetafe Helen Pogoy. She was a sure bet to the semifinal round along with the willowy Miss Clarin Arlene Barba


After the Board of Judges that included Hon. Chito Patalinghug, Lapulapu City Assemblyman and Mrs. Nila Bongcac- Ramasola, the wife of legendary Boholano lensman & visual artist Ric Ramasola was introduced, the Shorts Competition (consisting of white strapless tube and white short shorts) followed.

Swimsuits were frowned upon back then in very conservative and staid Bohol and it would take five more years before the swimsuit would debut on the Miss Bohol stage in 1988.

The very tall & voluptuous Miss Jagna, Elizabeth Gales was declared Best in Shorts with Miss Tubigon winning Miss Photogenic.

At this point, the frontrunners were already emerging with Miss Jagna and Miss Tubigon, along with Miss Loboc and Miss Dimiao, the former Josephine Tago now Dr. Joy Yap, one of Bohol's most prominent dentists as heavy crowd favorites.

The Evening Gown Competition followed. The standouts were Miss Dimiao in an immaculate white evening gown and of course Miss Jagna in a lavender serpentina gown. 

Miss Tagbilaran then came out in a figure- hugging crimson red evening gown with white tulle trimmings and matching scarf. 

She was elegance personified and was the unanimous choice of the judges as Best in Gown. 

Winning the very important Best in Gown special award propelled her to the list of frontrunners along with the very eloquent Miss Carmen who was declared Miss Talent


After their preliminary interview & talent scores were added to the pageant night scores, the 12 finalists were then called. 

Topping the preliminaries was Miss Dimiao followed by Miss Jagna and Miss Tagbilaran. 

The rest of the semi- finalists were Miss Antequera Arlene Ucat, Miss Clarin Arlene Barba, Miss Carmen, Miss Loboc Tess Labunog, Miss Tubigon, Miss Dauis Arlene Ramirez and Miss Jetafe Helen Pogoy


Ardie Batoy then proceeded to have a chitchat with the finalists. 

The irrepressible Ardie did away with the usual questions on world peace and politics because they would only elicit rehearsed answers that are often embellished with cliches, quotations and motherhood statements. 

The casual interview gave the judges and the audience the opportunity not only to get to know the candidates better but also to evaluate and rate their personality, spontaneity, charm, communication skills and grace under pressure

I remember that right before Ate Marcel wrapped up her interview with Ma'am Ardie Batoy, she was asked to give the audiences a sampling of her on- air spiel. Ate Marcel then shifted into her sexiest modulated radio voice and uttered the following

” This is Lady Love keeping you company for the next three hours and here’s
Ric Segreto with “Give Me A Chance” right here on DYRD, Bohol’s premiere radio”

Wow, thunderous applause erupted in the venue!


After the lengthy final huddle and deliberations among the five judges which added tension to the exciting & nerve- wracking final moments, the final announcement came; 

4th RU was Miss Loboc, 3rd RU was Miss Jagna, 2nd RU was Miss Dimiao, 1st RU was Miss Carmen and finally, Miss Tagbilaran, my sister of course, was declared as Miss Young Bohol  

L-R: 4th RU Tessie Labunog, 3rd RU Elizabeth Gales, Miss Young Bohol 1983
Marcel Gatal, 2nd RU Joy Tago, 1st RU Ms. Binangbang

The then B.I.R. Deputy Commissioner Atty. Tommy Toledo of Loboc, Bohol & his wife Ellen Gatal- Toledo crowned the new queen. 

Presenting the cape was Bohol Prov'l Governor Hon. Rolando Gatal Butalid & First Lady Enriquieta Borja- Butalid

The pageant attracted mostly candidates coming from socially- prominent families . 

From L- R: Miss Bilar Esther Lily Decasa, 3rd RU Miss Jagna Elizabeth Gales, 1st RU Miss Carmen, Miss Young Bohol is Miss Tagbilaran City Marcel Gatal

2nd RU Miss Dimiao Josephine Tago now Dr. Joy Yap, a very successful dentist here and in Cebu, 4th RU Miss Loboc Tessie Labunog now Mrs. Sumampong and is behind the success of Loboc Riverwatch floating restaurant, and Miss Antequera Arlene Magallano Ucat  

Our Ate Marcel obviously inherited her looks from our parents, Rogelio "Roger" Gatal and Feliciana "Fely" Orimaco, shown here during their wedding reception September 8, 1962 exactlty fifty golden years ago   
From L- R: Ate Marcel, Eric, that's me, 
Gary, Michael & Roger 
BLAST FROM THE PAST: My Christmas in 1987 was spent with my brothers Eric and Mikey as well as with Ate Marcel and her family


Ate Marcel with Kuya Tony and their kids, Katrina Angelica and Kenneth Adrienne

Ate Marcel & Kuya Tony with their grown- up kids. Kenneth Adrienne is a budding writer and doing online mentoring while Katrina Angelica is a registered nurse

With my Ate Marcel and her hubby, Kuya Tony Diego when I surprised them with an overnight visit after I emceed a national conference at the Manila Hotel last December 22, 2011

Ate Marcel with Ate Marisel Bumaat now Mrs. Bomediano, DWCT Summer Queen 1980 during their DWCT 30th High School Reunion

From L-R: Hareth Inting- Sepe, Belen Karaan- Domingo, Erma Sarmiento- Laga, Ate Marcel, Bohol First Lady & Balilihan Mayor Pureza Veloso- Chatto  & the honoree Sisinia "Tinny" Patalinghug- Anderson, a close friend of the family and who is now based in Sweden
For the complete list of Miss Bohol titleholders, please click on the following link:  

Pageant Photos:
Photo credit: Ramasola Original Studio

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