Tuesday, April 29, 2014

German Mestiza Is Mutya sa Tagbilaran 2014

A 17 year old German mestiza who believes that pageants should transcend race, culture, religion and that they should instead should be a celebration of our uniqueness and individuality was crowned the 2014 Mutya sa Tagbilaran in glittering ceremonies held last night at the Bohol Wisdom Gymnasium. 

L-R: 1st RU Rose S. Razo, Pob. 2, Mutya 2014 Geraldine Topsnik, Dampas, 2nd RU Karen Llorente, Cabawan
 Candidate # 5 Geraldine Topsnik, who represented Dampas in the city- wide pageant bested a field of 15 winsome ladies who came from all parts of the city. She is a freshman Business Administration student

Geraldine in her EJ Relampagos gown

She won a cash prize, trophy and other gifts plus the right to represent the capital city in the forthcoming Miss Bohol Sandugo Pageant slated this July

Mutya sa Tagbilaran 2014 Geraldine Topsnik in an EJ Relampagos gown
with Fiel Angeli Gabin


Here's my http://gobohol.info/ interview with the newly- crowned Mutya sa Tagbilaran 2014 and I must say that I'm impressed with the way she thinks on her feet

video interview credits: http://gobohol.info/ 

 Your Blogger from http://gobohol.info/  interviews Mutya 2014 Geraldine Topsnik

Named 1st RU was # 10 Rizalee Rose S. Razo of Poblacion 2. Earlier, she was selected as Miss Talent, Miss Ever Bilena and Best in Evening Wear

2nd RU was # 11 Karen Rossana J. Llorente of Cabawan who also won the Best in Production Number & Best in Swimsuit

Rounding out the Top Five were #8 Faith A. Geolagon of Cogon and # 12 Ma. Jaira P. Redulla of Manga

Karen Rossana Llorente of Cabawan clearly stood out and sizzled in the Swimsuit Competition

She was Best in Swimsuit

Pageant emcee Anna Maris Igpit resplendent in her white Hanz Coquilla creation
The 15 candidates competed in swimsuits designed by Hanz Coquilla, top Cebu City designer from Antequera, Bohol, evening gowns sponsored by the Bohol Designers' Circle and interviews before the Final Five were named

Mutya candidates in their Hanz Coquilla Luxury Swimwear
Final Five – L-R: Ms. Cogon Faith Geolagon, Ms. Dampas Geraldine Topsnik, 
Ms. Poblacion 2 Rizalee Rose Razo, Ms. Manga Jaira Redulla and Ms. Cabawan Karen Llorente
Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto & First Lady Pureza Chatto with Mutya 2014
Tagbilaran City Mayor Baba Yap & First Lady Jane Yap with Mutya 2014


This year's pageant which drew a record number of Tagbilaranons has proven to be the most spectacular edition ever with stunning light and sounds, stage set up and fast pacing.

our http://gobohol.info/  interview with Mayor Baba Yap

Kudos to the city government led by Mayor John Geesnell "Baba" Yap for the all- out support

Tagbilaran’s First Lady Jane Censoria Cajes-Yap, chairs the beauty pageant committee, assisted by Joseph Alexis A. Cadelina, choreographer. 

Please click to view related topics:

Mayor Baba Yap with the Mutya Winners

A star- studded panel of judges chaired by Bohol First Lady Pureza V. Chatto included 2014 Miss Tourism International Angeli Dione Gomez; GMA-7 Network talent center head Ida Henares; ABS-CBN TV host, model and actress Phoemela Baranda; GMA-7 actress, model and music video director Bianca King; Mister International 2013 4th RU Gil Wagas; fashion designers Cary Santiago and Charina Sarte & pageant designer Mark Tenchavez

GMA 7's Daniel Matsunaga with a lucky fan 
Anna Maris in her Hanz Coquilla original 

I would like to give my profuse compliments and praises to my friend Anna Maris Igpit, GMA 7 host/ talent & 2006 Binibining Pilipinas-World who kept the proceedings lively and exciting. 

She was a sight to behold in her Hanz Coquilla gowns. TV host and eventologist Tim Yap from Manila appeared later to join her in co- hosting the pageant

Photo Credits: Fiel Angeli Gabin &  http://gobohol.info/ Hanz Coquilla/ Rey Culpa 
Video Credits:  http://gobohol.info/

Monday, April 28, 2014

Flashback: Miss Tagbilaran 1993 Sophia Lorraine M. Alvarez

Tonight’s big event here in Tagbilaran is looked upon with anticipation as we await the crowning of Mutya sa Tagbilaran 2014. You have to understand the excitement for after all, it has been three years since the pageant went into hibernation. Thanks to the present city administration led by Mayor John Geesnell Yap, this year’s fiesta celebration has been one exciting affair especially with the rebirth of the annual search for the city’s fairest who will represent us in the forthcoming Miss Bohol Sandugo Pageant

As we await the crowning of the next Miss Tagbilaran in the next few hours, allow me to take you on a walk down memory lane with a reminiscence on the1993 edition of Miss Tagbilaran

The 1993 Miss Tagbilaran Pageant would always be memorable for me not only for crowning a most deserving winner but also for it was the first Miss Tagbilaran pageant that I co- hosted with hosting legend Gerarda “Ardie” Batoy. You can just imagine how scared I was to be standing side by side  with Bohol’s emceeing icon. You see,she was the ultimate when it came to emceeing so just think how intimidating it was to be co- hosting with Ma'am Ardie  

Sophia Lorraine Alvarez in the Evening Gown Competition 
Aside from the aforementioned, the 1993 Miss Tagbilaran Pageant is unique for two other reasons: First, unlike the other Miss Tagbilaran pageants that were staged as part of the city’s fiesta celebration highlights, it is the only edition that was mounted as a highlight of the city’s charter day celebration which falls on July 1, 1966;  Secondly, it is the only Miss Tagbilaran Pageant that initially declared five ladies as Tagbilaran’s Five Prettiest before declaring one of them as Miss Tagbilaran


The City Mayor that time was Hon. Jose Maria Rocha, Hon. Gloria Neri Lim was Vice- Mayor while Atty. Dan N. Lim was City Administrator

The pageant was held at the DWCT Gymnasium, then the biggest indoor venue that could accommodate around 5,000 spectators.

Fifteen winsome ladies from all parts of the city competed in swimwear, evening gowns and interviews. After Bert Nievera, a classy balladeer and also known as Martin Nievera, serenaded the ladies and entertained the crowd with a repertoire of standards, the names that were part of  Tagbilaran’s Five Prettiest were revealed.


Named Tagbilaran’s Five Prettiest were (called in random order) were May Castanares, Sophia Lorraine Maniwang Alvarez, Mia Nunag, Wilma Lim and another lady whose name escapes me at this particular moment.  

After Tagbilaran’s Five Prettiest had been sashed and had received their floral bouquets, it was announced that one of them will be named Miss Tagbilaran 1993


Before an overflow crowd of pageant spectators and supporters, Sophia Alvarez, a  BS Nursing student at Divine Word College, was proclaimed the 1993 Miss Tagbilaran. She was crowned by Scarlett Pizarras, 1992 Miss Tagbilaran runner up. 

It was a most deserved victory for aside from beauty & charm, Sophia was one of the most consistent in the Q & A which came as no surprise for she had always been a consistent achiever both in academics and in her extra- curricular activities since grade school

Graduated elementary 1986, Holy Spirit School, Second Honorable Mention. Graduated 1990 Divine Word College High School as Class Salutatorian. Graduated with Bachelor of Science in Nursing, DWCT, 1994, Magna Cum Laude

Mutya 92 Runner up Scarlett Pizarras crowns the new queen 

Sophia Lorraine Alvarez takes her Victory Walk

Sophia then worked at ARIVAC (Division of Research Institute of Tropical Medicine) for two years and was a part- time clinical instructor for a short time before leaving for the US in 2000  

Years after, Sophia tied the marital knot with Joel Gentallan of Antequera, Bohol whom she met in college. Both have been based in Milford, Connecticut, USA since 2004. They were in Norwalk, Connecticut before that. ICU Nurse both in Norwalk Hospital and Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut. They are blessed with two sons; Justin Christian, 8 and Jovani Andrew, 5.

Joel & Sophia Gentallan with Justin & Jovani
Christmas 2013

Sophia shares "Life is like a beauty pageant. You have to give it your all to be able to express and portray your inner beauty as well as self confidence because these traits will greatly matter and come in handy in the years ahead. People judge us every single day but knowing yourself more than anyone in this world is enough to face a hundred battles

Very well said Sophia and here's to a more beautiful life ahead of you


Friday, April 25, 2014

The Rocker in Me

When I was a little bit younger, I've always had this fantasy of being a famous rock star. 

Anyway, it was only a few days ago that my fantasy became a reality that is, for a couple of hours when Giboi, a friend of mine obliged my request for an on- the- spot photo shoot at Ryan Macalandag's soon-to-open Ignitia Studio

Now, who says one can't be a rock star if you can't belt it out?

Welcome to Saulog sa Tagbilaran 2014

This year’s Tagbilaran City Fiesta celebration is definitely the most exciting and most fun in recent years. 

Here are the video interviews with those who were involved in the different events:

Event Coverage:http://gobohol.info/

Dubbed “Saulog sa Tagbilaran,” the activity  brings to the fore the virtues of Saint Joseph as a loving father and devoted worker and intends to showcase the city's cultural heritage and tourism potentials as well, in cognizance with the Provincial Government of Bohol‘s thrust of promoting the tourism industry.

Year 1900: St. Joseph's Cathedral a century ago
Religion is an integral part of the culture of the Boholanos in general, and the Tagbilaranons in particular. 

Considering its impact on the people, paying homage to Saint Joseph the Worker, the patron saint of Tagbilaran, every May 1, coinciding with the Labor Day observance, has become a great inspiration in the creation of “Saulog sa Tagbilaran.”

Present Day: St. Joseph's Cathedral glimmers in the evening
Present Day: St. Joseph's Cathedral is a landmark icon in Tagbilaran

To add fanfare, the City Government of Tagbilaran, at the helm of the preparations of the significant celebration slated April 22 to May 1, has lined up the following activities:

Here's  Tabo sa Tagbilaran's Formal Launching:

Event Coverage: http://gobohol.info/
·         Mutya sa Tagbilaran Pageant
·         Kumbira sa Tagbilaran
·         The Voice of Tagbilaran 2014
·         Tabo sa Tagbilaran
·         Fiesta Carnival 2014
·         Fluvial Parade & Street Dancing Competition
·         Nightly Entertainment

Thanks to Fiel Angeli E. Araoarao-Gabin, Tagb City Information Officer, for providing this blogger with details

PHOTO CREDIT: Roger Gatal, Judd Gesite

Miss Tagbilaran Is Back After Three Year Absence!

On April 28, 2014, the most beautiful day ever will unfold in Bohol’s capital city with the highly- anticipated return of Mutya sa Tagbilaran after a three- year hiatus.

Six of the 15 Mutya girls with Bohol First Lady Pureza Chatto,
Tagbilaran City First Lady Jane Yap & 1987 Miss Tagbilaran Fiel Gabin 
The 2014 Muya candidates during Tabo sa Tagbilaran opening 
The premier beauty competition is one of the highlights of Tagbilaran City’s 2014 fiesta celebration which, by the way, is fast shaping up as one of the most festive ever with various activities, fairs and even the presence of a carnival complete with exciting rides.

Tagbilaran City Mayor Baba Yap & First Lady Jane Censoria C. Yap with their only child
Tagbilaran City’s First Lady Mrs. Jane Censoria Cajes is the Pageant Chair. A certified beauty herself, Mrs. Yap is not a stranger to beauty pageants for she had successfully launched and organized the province- wide search for Mr & Miss Teen Bohol for two consecutive years during her term as Bohol SK Provincial Federated Chair


This is the first- time ever that the beauty search is truly city- wide in scope and participation. The beauty competition kicked off last February with a series of weekly barangay level searches being staged all over the city.  The barangay level preliminary competition is very similar to the format adopted by the  2010 Miss Panglao Pageant that was organized by the mother- daughter tandem of Nanay Nila Paredes Montero now Panglao’s first lady municipal mayor and Ms. Aya Montero, active student leader & astute entrepreneur in Panglao.

I like the format for the following reasons:

First, it has given equal opportunities to deserving ladies for a chance to represent their barangays in the pageant.

Secondly, it has become a legitimate affair where the barangay officials & the city government to work hand in hand to ensure the successful staging of a wholesome community endeavor.

Finally, it has given the local city officials led by the city mayor to grace the weekly affairs and thus become more visible and therefore, more accessible to city residents

With almost all barangays in the city fielding the winners of their respective preliminary searches, I can already visualize the pageant being transformed into an arena for one exciting beauty showdown amidst the cheers and applause not only from the girls’ supporters but also from the barangay and city government officials led by City Mayor Baba Yap.
Mutya sa Tagbilaran 1997: One of the best batches ever
The Top Three produced a doctor, a lawyer & a nurse
On the other hand, I am quite disappointed that pageant websites and blogs have not been informed of the pageant’s various pre- pageant activities, event schedules and venues. As much as we want to help drumbeat support for the pageant and to promote it extensively, we can’t for we don’t even know where to get hold of publicity photos, press releases & the candidates’ profile sheets since requests for such have not been acted on

I am confident though that with the all- out support from the public & private sectors and the mounting of a reformatted pageant, the pageant will be able to regain its luster and bring back the huge crowds that patronized the pageant. 

For Your Blogger & for others who have been keenly following & observing the Miss Tagbilaran Pageant for years, we agree that the 90’s decade was the Golden Age of Pageantry of the said beauty search.  

 Miss Tagbilaran Winners' Reunion Photo
From L-R: Your Blogger, 91 Chewee, 92 Suzy, 94 Bambi, 96 Fragelle, 97 Talie 
The Miss Tagbilaran Pageant was at the peak of its popularity then with the pageant attracting hordes of spectators every year that it was even telecast over BCCTV Channel 6

I still remember when the pageant was held at the Bohol Cultural Center from 2008 to 2010.  It was heart- breaking to see so many empty seats during that three- year period. Perhaps, it was the loss of interest for the pageant that led to its sudden cancellation from 2011 to 2013.  The challenge now is to restore its former glory and prestige.


Finally, I wish that the pageant will adopt an advocacy project that concerns women, children, health & the environment. If Miss World can launch its Beauty with a Purpose, Miss Earth with its Beauties for a Cause & Miss Universe with its AIDs/ HIV Awareness & Prevention advocacy projects, then why can’t Miss Tagbilaran?  By becoming spokespersons & becoming fundraisers for a chosen advocacy project, future Miss Tagbilaran winners can be assured of meaningful & relevant year- long reigns where they would use their crown to promote & support an advocacy that they believe in.

With the organizing committee's favorite team handling the production aspects of the pageant, everyone can look forward to a fast- paced and glamorous three- hour show that would hopefully showcase the best that Tagbilaran City has to offer.

See you all at the Bohol Wisdom School on Monday, April 28, 2014. Show starts at 8 pm

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dealing With a Painful Loss

Something terrible befell me yesterday.

I was all set to print copies of a quiz for my public speaking & journalism summer workshop enrollees when it happened. My USB suddenly stopped functioning. All I could see on the screen was an empty space. I thought it was nothing and so I simply removed it from the pc where I was working on and moved to another pc and there it was! The screen simply confirmed what I saw from the other unit.

not the actual USB

My USB had ceased to function. It had gone ballistic and with it, all my files especially my upcoming blog feature files were all gone. All the output from weeks of staying late, all the research files, photos, all data have been erased.

Creative writing is not an activity where I simply sit down and start writing. I have to be inspired and have to wait for my creative juices (that is, if I have any, haha!) to start flowing before I can come up with something

Until now, my mind is still reeling from my carelessness. Every computer dependent’s dreaded nightmare has become a painful and heartbreaking reality for me. 

From the summer workshop modules, a commissioned course module for a certain school in Manila to my files for a consultancy project and pending training modules, all are gone into oblivion. 

If only I listened to my brother’s warning about back up files. My, oh my, the ifs and the buts.. What can I do? I can’t undo what has happened. I don’t even know to react. Should I just shrug it off and charge it to experience? Right now, I’m in a state of catatonia.

not the actual USB device
My techy friends came to the rescue and tried to salvage whatever files could be retrieved or saved. The attempt has been half a success. I mean, yes. They were able to recover bits and pieces. Even though the recovered files are just mere specks of the voluminous files that are now gone for good, I am still grateful

I hope you will have learned a lesson from my procrastination, recklessness and carelessness.

When you’re encoding a document and saving some files like photos, videos & mp3, make sure you always save them in a back up file before you keep them in your USB or other devices.

After all, you wouldn’t know if your dear reliable USB friend would go berserk and turn its back on you just when you need it the most

Now, enough of my ramblings and let’s get back to work.

Photo credits: Copyright infringement not intended

Monday, April 21, 2014

Miss Universe Sizzles in Explosive Yamamay Swimwear

It’s finally summer! And what better way to show off those curves achieved through discipline, hard work and self- restraint than strutting in a skimpy swimwear or worshipping the sun in a teeny- weeny bikini
2013 Miss Universe Molly Isler sizzles in her Yamamay Swimwear, Cancun, Mexico 
Oh by the way, speaking of bikini, it was named after Bikini Atoll somewhere in the Pacific where the atom bomb was first tested in 1946. After all, both the atom bomb and the bikini have the same explosive effects!

The swimsuit would always be synonymous with the Miss Universe crown. After all, it was the refusal of the first Miss America to wear a swimsuit that prompted furious pageant sponsor Catalina Swimwear to look for another pageant where it can promote the brand.

And so was born Miss America’s rival pageant, Miss U.S.A. and eventually, the Miss Universe Pageant. From being a mere excuse to highlight and flaunt a woman’s pulchritude, the Miss Universe Pageant has evolved into a strong global brand and has become the most prestigious international beauty competition

From Catalina Swimwear to Oscar de la Renta and to other swimsuit labels, Miss Universe has become the perfect marketing opportunity to promote swimsuits

During the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant, Yamamay Swimwear from Italy was announced as the pageant’s latest swimsuit brand partner. Right after the pageant, Miss Universe 2013, Venezuela’s Gabriela Isler models the “Yamamay Million Dollar Swimsuit For Miss Universe” during an unveiling ceremony in Moscow November 10, 2013.

Jeweller Flavio Dinacci with Miss U 2013, Yamamay Million Dollar Swimsuit unveiling presscon, 
Moscow, Russia

The swimsuit, which is handcrafted by jewelry manufacturer Dinacci, consists of nearly 200 carats of gemstones such as diamonds, emeralds and rubies, according to Yamamay.

Yamamay Million Dollar Swimsuit for Miss Universe is already available online and in select stores since December 2014 and around the world beginning January this year.

Photo Credits: Copyright infringement not intended

Extra Special Blog Feature

Part 1: The Tragic Story of Amparo Munoz

  no fairy tale ending SPAIN CONQUERED THE PHILIPPINES AGAIN. Whenever discussions and debates center on who is considered as the ...