Saturday, December 8, 2012

Miss Bohol Sandugo Without Raul Gatal

As emcee for some of Bohol's most prestigious beauty competitions and high- profile events, I cannot avoid being the subject of intense scrutiny and sometimes, malicious talks that undermine my capability to host and question my professionalism and alleged "unholy alliance" with some candidates

I am reprinting here an interview with lifestyle columnist Leo Udtohan that got published in one of our community newspapers in Bohol  


by Leo Udtohan

Is he or isn’t he? Talks are swirling that perennial pageant host Raul Phillip Gatal is not hosting this year’s edition of Miss Bohol Sandugo after allegations of favoritism and bias towards certain candidates surfaced after the Miss Tagbilaran 2010 pageant had been concluded.

Twenty years after he emceed in 1990 his first Miss Bohol Sandugo pageant won by Tiffany Yap of Jagna who incidentally was the winner also of the first major pageant he emceed, the 1989 Campus Girl Quest, Raul is still at it and on top of the game as pageant emcee but with the recent turn of events, he just might bid goodbye to a colorful and illustrious hosting career within the tumultuous yet glamorous world of pageantry. 

Photo above shows your blogger during his second hosting gig for Miss Earth when the international pageant went to Bohol for its pre- pageant in 2005. The first was in 2002

He has been Bohol’s top male emcee for 20 years and that bespeaks of his durability, longevity and endurance.

with Miss Philippines- Fire 2005 Shiela Alonso during the
2005 Miss Earth Preliminary Talent Contest held at the MetroCentre Hotel
Tagbilaran City, Bohol, October 13, 2005
Let us wait with bated breath if indeed Raul will still be hosting this year’s Miss Bohol Sandugo or not.


I would rather not say anything. Let’s just adopt the wait and see attitude. Let’s find out on July 23 if I would still be the emcee or not. Let the organizers and the viewing public decide if I should still be up there with the girls or make a graceful exit already.

during the 2009 Miss Tagbilaran Pageant


I have one word to say about my detractors: Sourgrapes. I believe that they would be singing a different tune had their bets won. 

By the way, these things, meaning these intrigues, always surface year in and year out because we take our pageants in Bohol seriously. 

With regards to their allegations, do they have proof? What is their basis? They can actually be sued because they have besmirched my reputation already. 

In fact, I am hurting form all their innuendos. The sad thing is I don’t even know who I’m dealing with. I would like to address their hallucinations point by point:

1. I confirmed my hosting stint for the 2010 Miss Tqgbilaran pageant just two days before the pageant because I was supposed to go to Hong Kong on the pageant date for the Channel 21 Star World Hollywood VIP Access Co- Host Search Final Audition where I was one of the 50 Finalists. So how can I possibly have access with the candidates?

2. With regards to the allegation of bias and favoritism and leakage of questions, I admit that we (Carleen Yap, my co- host and I) briefed the girls on the possible questions that might be asked during the Casual Interview but to say that we spoonfed the girls with the answers is too much because we’re very spontaneous with what we ask. It would also be an insult to the girls because most of them were amazing, candid, and articulate

3. During the Final Interviews, it was my co- host who asked the final questions. I just announced the names of the finalists. 

4. I have nothing to gain but everything to lose if I do anything stupid. Why would I risk the reputation and credibility that I have built up and protected for the past 20 years?

5. So even if I favor a certain candidate, I just keep it to myself to maintain neutrality and professionalism. Let me remind everyone that the emcee cannot influence the judges with regards to whoever would be crowned as the queen. 

Who am I? Am I that powerful? I’m just the emcee who tries to liven up the pageant. 

To be honest , being a pageant host is a thankless job because we can’t please everyone and because recognition and appreciation for our efforts in coming up with a great show has always been elusive.

the controversial Q & A with Fer Mary Baliquig
during the 2010 Miss Tagbilaran Beauty Pageant

I’ve always believed that no one is indispensable and that includes me…I am always on the look out for younger, fresher and newer talents so that they can be given the same opportunities that I have been given..


We actually have a lot of new talents who only need a little push and guidance. 

I always base my choices on potential and not on performances…

To mention a few, we have Mike Montanez, Ferome Jusgorge Almine and Kristofer Ferniz…


The 1989 Miss College of Arts & Sciences of the then- DWCT now Holy Name University (where I now teach English & Mass Communication subjects) for two reasons; One, it was my very FIRST pageant hosting job and two, because it was with one of my favorite co- hosts, Fiel Angeli Araoarao Gabin, Miss Tagbilaran 1987

The 2002 Miss Earth Pre- Pageant is also memorable because more than 60 international beauty delegates from around the world participated thus earning for me the distinction of being the first and only Boholano to have hosted an international beauty pageant. 

This was followed by the 2005 Miss Earth Talent Competition held again here in Bohol.

hosting the 2009 Miss Bohol Sandugo Pageant with PBB Housemate Cathy Remperas

I have lost count already but I was able to host Miss Tagbilaran for ten times , the Miss Bohol Sandugo for eight times and the Miss Bohol International twice

during the 2010 Miss Tagbilaran Pageant with
Carlene Angelica P. Yap, 2009 Miss Bohol International

Who could ever forget Talie Tallo- Inting? The beauty queen- turned- lawyer would always be remembered for her charm, candor and confidence during the 1997 Miss Tagbilaran Q & A. 

When asked why she wanted to be a lawyer, she wittily replied” 

I want to be a lawyer because I love to argue with people especially if I know that I’ve already won the argument. Want to argue with me, Raul?” 

Talie was eventually crowned Miss Tagbilaran and Miss Bohol Sandugo that same year

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