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Cleaner air possible in urban areas

As more people go about their business every day, whether staying at home or going to the office, they still need to breathe clean air. The problem is that outdoor air quality in the metropolis remains to be on the unhealthy side with the presence of smoke, smog and other toxic airborne gases that contribute to respiratory and even cardiovascular problems. And while others would think they’re safe because they are indoors, better think again. People still need protection from other harmful air pollutants such as dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and molds that can cause allergies and other health concerns.

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Blueair Air Purifier promises cleaner air to create a positive impact on everyone’s health wherever they are—in the home, office, restaurant, classroom, gym, kitchen, or the bedroom and other enclosed spaces.

Combining cutting-edge technology, sleek design and environment-friendly qualities, Blueair captures all airborne particles at 99.97% efficiency and down to 0.1 micron in size using a unique combination of electrostatic and mechanical filtration systems which use less dense filter media. This means less effort required to push the air through the filter, resulting in peak performance and whisper-silent delivery of clean air, according to Norman Reynoso, Marketing and Institutional Sales Manager of CYA Industries, distributor of Blueair in the Philippines.

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Blueair also uses its proprietary HEPASilent™ technology to quietly and quickly clean air in the room in the most efficient and energy-saving way, an improvement to the traditional HEPA or High Efficiency Particulate Air technology that other brands use that makes them noisy that people would tend to turn the machine off.

Compared to other air purifier brands in the market today, all Blueair models promise 5 air changes per hour and score high on its Clean Air Delivery Rate or CADR rating, as verified by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) in the United States. The CADR is the rating given to air purifiers that determines their effectiveness incombating three most common indoor air pollutants: tobacco smoke, pollen and dust. “Our customers will definitely feel the health effects of Blueair so much that they would really come back and buy more to place in their homes’ other rooms or even in their offices,” adds Reynoso.

Aside from its quiet air-cleaning efficiency, Reynoso said Blueair is also energy efficient. “Just like our Blueair products like the Blueair Classic 205, it cleans the air yet uses little energy comparable to that used by any common or everyday light bulb. Blueair is also one of the first air purifiers to earn an Energy Star® certification, where it not only meets but exceeds the minimum standards for energy efficiency.”

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Joining him at the Blueair 2017 Product Launch at the BGC in Taguig were Mr. Alexander Blomqvist, Southeast Asia and Australia Regional Manager, and Mr. Franklin Chan, Managing Director of Blueair’s Philippine distributor CYA Industries Inc.

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Thanks to the magic of the Internet, you can control your Blueair from practically anywhere. Blueair is the first and only Wi-Fi-enabled air purification system in the world, which is available on the Blueair Sense + model.Through Wi-Fi connectivity, you can turn on or off, increase fan speed or activate the Child Lock feature of Blueair wherever you are through the Internet. Simply use the Blueair Friend (Bluefriend)application, a reliable wellness tool that informs you in real time the air quality and recommends measures to take to stay healthy with clean air. Bluefriend is compatible with iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Android smartphones.

Aesthetically, you’d be proud to put a Blueair as a good aesthetic addition to your house or office room, work or play area as it perfectly complements your room’s interior design. Blueair already won several international design awards such as Red Dot, Plus X (including Best Product for 2016 and 2017) design award, the German Design award and the Excellent Swedish Design award and many more.

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“We’re proud to have been called the ‘Apple of air cleaners’ simply because we’ve exceeded all standards not just in air cleaning capabilities but also in terms of look. Blueair is simply the best to put in your home or office to improve overall health for your family, or even help increase employee productivity in the office because they now have clean air to breathe,” Reynoso said.

Blueair products include the Blueair Pro, Blueair Sense+ and the Blueair Classic. Prices start at P21,000.00.

CYA Industries is the exclusive distributor of Blueair products in the Philippines. Its other brands include GE Appliances from the US and other leading global brands such as Ariston/Indesit from Italy, Häcker German-made kitchen cabinets, GE LED, GE Water, Pentair Water, Omega kitchen appliances, Kärcher home and garden products and of course Blueair, that cater to a wide socioeconomic class in the country.  You can visit the Blueair showrooms located at Level 4, Shangri-La Mall, (+632)631-8282 or (+632)910-4924, or at the GE Monogram Experience Center, Level 2, Serendra Bonifacio High Street, Taguig City, (+632)900-1040. For more details, you can also call (+632)643-3456 or visit their main office located at 103 Mercedes Avenue, Brgy. San Miguel, Pasig City, or go to www.cyaindustries.com.

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Celebrate World Day Against Trafficking (WDAT)

Countries around the world take a united stand against human trafficking on July 30, 2017.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 define a human trafficking victim as a person induced to perform labor or a commercial sex act through force, fraud, or coercion.

According to Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in a June 4, 2017 report, a proposed law will be introduced this July in Australia wherein convicted pedophiles in Australia on the National Child Offenders Register, as many as 20,000 who have been convicted and have been released from jail and are on the register, will be forbidden to travel abroad. Their passports will be cancelled. This means that thousands of children will be saved from sexual abuse by this promised legislation. This is a breakthrough commitment by the Australian government and a great example for other legislators around the world to follow.

A “world first,” it is a wake up call and challenge to other governments to introduce similar laws to stop child sex tourism that is rampant especially in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines.

The latest Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report of the US State Department released in June 2017 shows the Philippines with a Tier 1 ranking for the second time in a row. The TIP Report is a diplomatic tool of the US Government to engage foreign governments on human trafficking.

Tier 1 is the highest ranking which indicates that a government has acknowledged the existence of human trafficking, made efforts to address the problem, and complies with the TVPA’s minimum standards.

According to the report, “The Philippine government demonstrated serious and sustained efforts by convicting and punishing more traffickers, identifying more victims through proactive screening procedures, and expanding its efforts to prevent trafficking of Filipino migrant workers.”

However, it was noted that the Philippine government failed to improve access to and quality of protection for trafficking victims, particularly the mental health care and services for male victims. The government also failed to “vigorously investigate and prosecute officials allegedly involved in trafficking crimes or expand its pilot program to address the backlog of trafficking cases in the courts.”

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You can take a stand now and show your support against human trafficking by purchasing a piece of unique jewelry at https://www.facebook.com/sheworksmadeinhope/ and wear it when you’re out and about.

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These bracelets and unique jewelry were made by women survivors of sex trafficking and prostitution who have found a safe haven at She W.O.R.K.S. (Women Of Reliability, Knowledge and Skills).

The women at She W.O.R.K.S. have undergone previous training from organizations/ ministries, but they would like to be better equipped to become instruments of change to other women/children/youth in difficult circumstances and their respective communities, and to grow deeper in their relationship with God.

The pilot training program at She W.O.R.K.S. which accommodates at least 5 survivors per batch runs for a year. Topics are modular and are conducted once a week. The training employs various teaching methods and approaches such as: participatory facilitation, individual and group mentoring and counseling (including business mentoring, savings group formation and group enterprise). Career assessment tools are being used to enable the survivors to map out their career paths. Practicum will be conducted in specific communities and on various occasions.

When your co-workers, neighbors, churchmates, or gym partners notice your unique jewelry, tell them about the women who made it and how you helped to secure their future. The simplest act of purchasing a piece and wearing it can make a world of difference for them.

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CONTACT INFO

She WORKS – Made in Hope

Tel. No. (632) 431 6122

https://www.facebook.com/sheworksmadeinhope

http://www.madeinhope.org/SHEWORKS

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Changing of the Seasons

It drizzles in Metro Manila most afternoons for the past three weeks. Lately, the drizzle has turned into a downpour with accompanying thunderclaps and lightning bolts providing an eerie contrast in the dark skies above.

A couple of hours, and then its over. A couple of hours more and it’s as if the rains never came except for the wet vehicles plying the now dry streets, and a few tiny puddles congregating in the potholes of a few side streets.

Rainy season is still tourist season in the Philippines because it coincides with vacation time for most Chinese and Korean visitors, and is also homecoming time for most Filipinos living overseas, particularly for those based in the USA.

And so you find amidst dark clouds a silver lining, and a rainbow after the storm. As it is with the changing of the seasons, life goes on and Filipinos, with bravura and sturdy hearts, pick up where life paused for a moment. Clarity!

It is still more fun in the Philippines!

Top photo: a beach in Oslob, Cebu during low tide

Bottom photo: photo shoot at Tumaguiti (raindrops) Waterfalls in the Caramoan Region of Camarines Sur

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Sumilon Island, Bluewater Resort’s success story

Sumilon Island is a 24-hectare (59-acre) coral island located at the southeastern tip of Cebu. It is the first marine protected area in the Philippines, created as a marine sanctuary in 1974 under the guidance of the Silliman University Marine Reserve of Dumaguete City in the nearby province of Negros Oriental.

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The island is famous throughout the country and internationally for the exceptional beauty of its four dive sites: Garden Eel Plaza, Nikki’s Wall, Coral Landscape and Julie’s Rock. A shifting white sandbar on the western docking area of the island is very popular with the locals.

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Sumilon Island takes its name as a safe harbor for fishermen during strong typhoons – sumilong. It belongs to the Municipality of Oslob, Cebu with whom the Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort, a triple-A resort owned by Filipinos, entered into a long term lease agreement to develop the island into an eco-friendly haven.

Stories were told that the original Japanese investors who first developed cottages on the island were actually treasure hunters who abandoned the project, presumably as soon as they were able to retrieve something valuable from their excavations on the island.

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DAY USE

A foreshore lease agreement prevents squatters from living on the beach, and for environmental protection in compliance with the DENR since the area surrounding the island is a marine reserve.

Because all shorelines belong to the government, day use of the island is allowed but limited to the white sandbar area and the dive sites for day tour guests who rent their own boats. Guests with children who are expecting to enjoy the white sandbar may be in for a disappointment if their visit falls on the time of day when it is high tide. During high tide, the sandbar is underwater and there is no dry beach to picnic on.

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It normally costs Php 1,500 to rent a boat for the day to bring you to Sumilon Island and then back again to mainland Cebu. Each trip takes approximately 15 minutes.

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For Php 1,500 nett per person on weekdays and Php 2,000 nett per person on weekends and holidays, Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort provides you with the following:

  • Roundtrip boat transfers from Bancogon (Oslob) to Sumilon Island
  • Buffet lunch per person at the lagoon area
  • Island activities (snorkeling, paddle boating, kayaking) and use of picnic tables in the lagoon area
  • Use of the swimming pool. A new pool and restaurant is currently being constructed, also in the lagoon area, to service day tours with a target launch on July of 2017

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Buffet lunch is an appetizing array that includes a soup of the day, vegetable salads and hor d’ oeuvres as appetizers, red meat, white meat, seafood and a choice of white steamed rice or fried rice in several variations (garlic rice, adobo rice) as the main course, Italian pasta or Chinese noodles, fresh fruits and pastries for desert. Drinks are included.

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F & B Manager Ms. Desiry Olicia was quick to point out that the demand for day tours starting summer of 2016 was quite high they had to schedule two shifts for the buffet lunch, a 12:00-1:00 PM and a 1:00-2:00 PM shift, to accommodate group tours which sometimes reached as many as 250 pax a day. These are mostly Chinese tourists booked by travel agents. The once forlorn lagoon area is now a bustling center of activity not only on the weekends but even during weekdays.

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OVERNIGHT STAY

The most recent additions to the accommodations are a Family Villa with a private dipping pool which can accommodate a family of six, and two Honeymoon Villas also with their own private dipping pool and a cliffside view of the lagoon and ocean.

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Ten Premiere Deluxe and fourteen Deluxe Rooms are still in high demand with their well-appointed amenities, now sporting newly landscaped lawns and a private veranda installed with a swing set.

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Glamorous camping (glamping) in tents have currently been set aside pending the completion of the new restaurant and pool in the lagoon area. Glamping will be relocated towards the end part of the lagoon where a sandy cove may be reached by a 10-minute hike on the beach for privacy.

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The resort’s Pavilion is the main dining facility where succulent seafood and gourmet food may be ordered a la carte for breakfast, lunch, dinner and for in-between fixers.

ISLAND ACTIVITIES

Aside from the shifting white sandbar, the infinity pool and the three jacuzzi pools which are favorite hang-outs of guests, other places of interest on the island include the natural lagoon with high mangroves for kayaking and fishing, and the newly installed bamboo raft where one can snorkel around or paddle to using the fiber-glass bottomed kayaks.

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You may hike around the island for an hour or two. You start off your hike by passing through an organic garden containing herbs grown in neat rows, and a chicken coop housing a dozen or more native poultry.

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According to the Resident Manager Mr. EJ Barretto who has been living on the premises these past three years, the chef peruses the herbs and native poultry for the resort’s menu.

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On the south portion of the island, a lighthouse rests on a protected tree park, and beside it is a “baluarte”, a historical watchtower built as part of a warning system to thwart slavers and marauders in the 19th century. There are also a couple of small shallow caves named after the infamous World War II Imperial Japanese Army General Tomoyuki Yamashita.

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Indulge in any of the resort’s Amuma Spa signature massages at any one of the native huts (payag payag) near the pool area or in the comfort of your room. Filipino traditional “hilot” is on the spa menu, as well as the best in Asian and Western massages therapies. In photo is the Hot Stone Massage.

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Whale shark (butanding) watching has become a popular tourist attraction in Oslob only within the last decade. Local fishermen feed the whale sharks by hand which tourists find entertaining. A whale shark tour, usually early morning between 6:00-9:00 AM, may be arranged at the resort’s front office.

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What would otherwise be trivial for a resort located on the mainland takes on gargantuan scope. For an island resort 15 minutes away by boat from the mainland, 24 hour electricity, water and food supply, sanitation, as well as the safety and security of its guests become a major concern. Thanks to the able leadership of its resident manager, with the support of management and in cooperation with the local government of Oslob, Cebu, Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort is able to live up to its name – that of a triple-A resort showcasing the best of the Philippines.

Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort

Address: Sumilon Island, Bancogon, Oslob, Cebu, Philippines 6025

Phone: 032-318-3129 / 318-9098

Mobile: 0917-631-7512 / 0999-885-8337

Email: sumilon@bluewater.com.ph

Website: www.bluewater.com.ph

Sincere gratitude to Bluewater Resorts’ VP of Sales & Marketing Ms. Margie Munsayac, Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort Resident Manager Mr. EJ Barretto, F & B Manager Ms. Desiry Olicia, Mr. Ethan Bernales of Marketing Communications Dept., and Mr. Bryyan Keym Cardeno for taking time out from such busy schedules. Cheers to the success of Bluewater Resorts Group!

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science nurtures nature in UBAY

When I was young, breakfast during summer vacation at my mother’s side of the family in Nueva Ecija would not be complete without gatas ng kalabaw (fresh carabao’s milk). First heated on a stove, we would have it poured over a bowl of warm rice and eaten with a dash of salt.

I only got to see the entire process of milking a carabao quite recently.

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The Philippine Carabao Center – Ubay Stock Farm (PCC-USF) located at Lomangog, Ubay, Bohol breeds carabaos (water buffaloes), not primarily for meat consumption but for milk production. They advocate a shift in the common perspective. Instead of breeding for the slaughterhouse, they expound that carabaos are more valuable alive in the farms as work companions and as a source of milk. This is a considerable feat as a majority of Visayans are not milk drinkers.

According to Dr. Gundolino Bajenting, a veterinarian who has worked with PCC-USF for a number of years now as Supervising Agriculturist, the Department of Agriculture chose Ubay as a location for PCC-USF because it had 4,500 hectares (11,120 acres) of land there, the largest and oldest government livestock facility in the Philippines established in 1921. It is also one of the accredited livestock technology training facilities for Visayas and Mindanao.

34 At the facility, carabaos are artificially inseminated as it takes quite some time if they wait for the livestock to mate. Artificial Insemination (AI) allows the agency to cross-breed in order to produce the best stock that would give high-yield and high quality milk.

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Young calves are weaned from breast feeding to drinking milk on their own a couple of weeks after birth. The calves are fed milk by hand. The fingers are used to simulate the teats as the calves suck milk from pails and buckets. In a few days, they are able to feed on their own. This is quite safe as only the lower jaw of carabaos have teeth. The sucking of the finger produces a ticklish sensation at most.

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This allows the milk to be harvested manually or by a machine. Average yield per carabao is 4.5 liters of milk per day. This can meet household requirements and also provide extra volume for sale in dairy enterprises. A carabao’s pregnancy is usually 9 months long. During the first 7 months, with proper nutrition and monitoring, carabaos may already be milked. In the last 2 months of their pregnancy, they are not milked in preparation for birthing. A native carabao may then be milked daily for 240 days after giving birth.

8 Information Officer Leinefe B. Libres of the PCC – USF says that at the Bohol Dairy Outlet Store

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(https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009385008574), carabao’s milk may be bought raw, pasteurized, or in flavored varieties of chocolate, mango or ube. It is  made into milk pastillas, yoghurt, ice cream, and other delectable pastries and breads.

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Carabao’s milk is curdled to make white cheese (kesong puti).

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Meet CB (Cross Breed), official mascot of Bohol Dairy.

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In preparation for a bid to become known as the Science City of Bohol, Ubay has lined up other viable projects and government agencies to showcase the best of its municipality. These include

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photo credit: Edgar Alan Zeta-Yap

  • Ubay Green Park and Techno Center. Formerly an open dumpsite, it was converted into an ecological facility that promotes recycling, organic gardening and beautification. The park was launched in 2013 and managed by Riche Cutamora Ibale, Eco Solid Waste Management (ESWM) manager.
  • Bohol Experimental Station. The Integrated Agricultural Research Center of the Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas, it is the national lead agency for the planning, coordination, implementation, and monitoring of all rice research and development activities in the Philippines.
  • Capayas/Kapayas or Banana Dam. One of the largest dams in the province and located alongside the main Ubay-Alicia-Guindulman Highway. Completed in December 1991, it irrigates 750 hectares (1,900 acres) and serves 688 farm households. In 2011, the Department of Agriculture seeded the dam with 30,000 Tilapia fingerlings as part of their sustainable food security program.
  • Sinandigan Multi-Species Hatchery. A fishery infrastructure and mariculture park established to enable the fish farmers to become totally independent from wild stocks and to promote a more stable food security for the province. The facility is producing fingerlings of various fisheries products such as, but not limited to, milkfish (bangus), groupers (lapu-lapu), and siganids (kitong, danggit). It also houses a seaweed tissue culture laboratory which aims to rehabilitate quality seagrass planting materials using tissue branch culture, spore shredding and callus cell culture. It is supervised by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and inaugurated in April 2011.

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  • Cambugsay Healing Hills. Located in Brgy. San Pascaul, you come into a large body of water which forms the Malingin Dam. The place is an open invitation to paddling (bugsay) and kayaking. The surrounding hills have a calming effect on the senses. There is a coffee plantation in the vicinity that produces “robusta” beans.

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On most evenings, the downtown parking area is converted into an al fresco barbecue food park called Sky’s the Limit complete with acoustic performances by some of the town’s local musicians.

In olden times, the term ‘ubay-ubay’ or ‘alongside’ became the byword of inhabitants and traders who used to travel along the shorelines of Ubay to avoid the strong current of the famous Cunigao Channel.

In the hinterlands, native folks followed a single trail to the town center to trade. This trail was located alongside (ubay) the sandy beach. The term ubay became the name of the municipality.

19 Sincere gratitude to the Bohol Tourism Office, Ubay Municipal Mayor Constantino Reyes, Municipal Tourism Officer Ma. Antonietta Acedo, Municipal Information Officer Larry Evangelista, and the accommodating staff of the Philippine Carabao Center – Ubay Stock Farm who facilitated our media coverage of Ubay.

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DANAO, playground of Olympians

banner photo credit: Reil Cenabre

You savor the cool soft breeze slowly caressing your cheek. The world is still dark and everyone is fast asleep. Your mind ticks off the million and one things you need to do but you swiftly brush them aside as you silently wait for the light on the horizon.

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Breaking dawn. Below you a sea of clouds over hills and abodes, slowly dissipating as the warm rays of the rising sun shines through.

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This must be how the gods of Olympus watched the sun god Apollo race across the horizon to herald the dawn of each new day. And so it goes most mornings in the Municipality of Danao, Bohol.

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Located 72 kms. northeast of Tagbilaran City, the town which used to be a barangay of Talibon was inaugurated on July 9, 1961 as a separate municipality.

The Diccionario Español-Bisaya (1866) defines danao as freshet, large reservoir, arable land, and field. A freshet is either a sudden rise or overflow of a stream or river, or freshwater stream emptying into the sea. In reality, the Isumod River flowing near the town center of Danao may suddenly overflow and inundate a large portion of the town. The river joins the Wahig River and empties into the sea. This could be one scientific explanation for the phenomenon of the sea of clouds. Contrary to the normal occurrence of a sea of clouds needing high altitudes such as that of Mt. Pulag in Luzon, Danao’s sea of clouds may be viewed from a viewing deck on top of Laguna Hill in Barangay Concepcion, just approximately 20 minutes away from the town center.

Danao has the Danao Adventure Park (DAP), an ecotourism concept that is LGU initiated and now run with the support and for the benefit of several People’s Organizations. First opened to the public sometime in 2006, it abides by the acronym E.A.T. – Eco-cultural, Educational, Extreme Adventure Tour.

8 The town’s Municipal Mayor Natividad Gonzaga was on hand to join the media group of bloggers for breakfast right after we enjoyed watching Danao’s sea of clouds.

She recalled that it was her son Luis Thomas Gonzaga who pushed for the creation of DAP. As an extreme sports enthusiast, he had a vision of turning Danao’s hills, caves, rivers and mountains into a theme park. Armed with the desire to make tourism a viable livelihood for the people of Danao, he applied for a loan from a bank to raise the needed capital to build the facilities. He was able to realize his dream because he was the municipal mayor for three terms.

So as not to abandon ongoing programs which were already bearing good results for Danao’s tourism sector, Mrs. Gonzaga, his mother agreed to run for mayor to replace Luis and she won. She made organic farming and raising native chickens one of her priority programs during her term. DAP served organically grown vegetables and native chicken in their menu.

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photo credit: Marco Sumargo of @whatsupmarky

She was all set to step down and hand back the mayoralty to her son in 2016 when fate intervened. Luis died a few days before election and only a person with the same family name could take his place according to COMELEC ruling.

To honor her son, Mrs. Gonzaga again ran for mayor and won. This then is her family’s legacy to the people of Danao.

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photo credit: Reil Cenabre/EAT Danao Tourism

Sky ride (cable car). The “safest” among the high altitude activities, it takes 10 to 15 minutes for the cable car to cross the gorge and back.

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photo credit: Reil Cenabre/EAT Danao Tourism

Sui-slide (zipline). The Philippines’ longest and tallest zip line, it traverses around half a kilometer from one mountain to another, taking you to a one-minute exhilirating ride. Sui-slide because it is the closest you can get to a suicide experience.

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photo credit: Reil Cenabre/EAT Danao Tourism

Plunge. Get ready to be suspended by the waist from 200 meters above the canyon floor for a free-for-all swing like Spiderman. If you survive this, you can pretty much go through the other challenges.

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Balijo Cave. Highly recommended for the physically fit who have no fear of enclosed spaces, get ready to climb, crawl and rappel your way through mud, guano (bat poop) and water for approximately four hours. Only for medium and small body types as some of the wormholes you have to crawl through are challenging.

17c181921 Root Climb with 15 meter rappel. Be Jack-and-the-beanstalk and climb up the side of a huge boulder using intertwining roots of a Balete Tree as footholds to hoist yourself up. Once you reach the top, rappel down the other side to get back to the trail.

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photo credit: EAT Danao Tourism

River Kayaking. Located upstream from the Root Climb site, get ready for a leisurely cruise down the river and then back up again to the starting point. Current is placid.

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As the Municipality of Danao celebrates its Foundation Day on July 9, it honors Francisco Dagohoy who staged the longest revolution against the Spaniards lasting 85 years, with Brgy. Magtangtang, the site of the DAP as his revolutionary headquarters. He started the revolt at the age of 20 and was believed to have died in 1800 when he was 76 years old.

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Little is known of Francisco Dagohoy’s lifestyle before the rebellion, or even his early life. The only information known is that his real name was Francisco Sendrijas and he was born in 1724, and that he was a native of Brgy. Cambitoon, Inabanga, Bohol. He was also cabeza de barangay, or one of the barangay captains of the town.

His name derives from an amulet (“dagon” in Cebuano) he wore, which people believed gave him the charm of a gentle wind or “hoyohoy” (or huyuhoy) and the power to jump from hill to hill or across rivers. He was believed to have clear vision inside dark caves and be invisible whenever and wherever he wanted. The name Dagohoy is a concatenation of the Visayan phrase dagon sa huyuhoy or “talisman of the breeze” in English.

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The Dagohoy Marker located in Barangay Magtangtang was installed by the Philippine Historical Commission to honor the heroic deeds of Dagohoy. Hundreds of Dagohoy’s followers preferred death inside the cave rather than surrender to the Spaniards. Their skeletons still remain onsite.

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Sincere gratitude to the Bohol Tourism Office, Danao Municipal Mayor Natividad Gonzaga, Municipal Tourism Officer Mitzi Pena Galvez , Mrs. Hermosila Logrono and the accommodating staff of Danao Adventure Park who facilitated our media coverage of Danao.

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ALICIA unfolds highland adventure

Unless one is health conscious, the best form of exercise an urbanite gets is when he goes walking in malls or rides up and down the escalators and elevators in offices and buildings in the metropolis. Two to four hours sitting in rush hour traffic along EDSA every day does not help anyone’s health either.

It is therefore not a surprise that the average urbanite’s counterpart who lives in the province and is used to walking and hiking rugged terrains far outlives him by a number of years.

The Municipality of Alicia in Bohol is described as an interior town whose topography is mostly elevated. Located 103 kilometers from the capital of Tagbilaran City, it has an abundance of rolling hills and mountains.

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The Alicia Panoramic Park, better known as Binabaje Hills among the locals, located in Brgy. Cambaol recently hosted the 2nd Mountain Bike Fest in February 11-12, 2017.

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According to Ms. Godelia Lumugdang, Alicia’s Municipal Tourism and Information Officer, the uphill and downhill trails of Binabaje Hills in Alicia pose a rather masculine test of fire for the mountain bikers such that they (organizers) have put up a liability waiver and race agreement that indicate the participants’ full understanding that the race is hazardous and that being physically and mentally fit as well as being adequately trained are required before a registrant can join the race.

The mountain bike race had several categories: beginners, open, elite category and for age group 45 and above.

After going through the challenging trails, successful bikers were able to enjoy the panoramic hilltop view of Alicia and the surrounding towns.

Mahayag Hill, an undeveloped eco-tourism site in Alicia, has the potential for outdoor adventure activities.

4 From the barangay hall, you can hike up a rugged mountain trail for an hour until you reach the threshold of Batong Puti Cliff which offers a view of the 150-foot sheer drop. Rock climbing on the cliff wall is still being explored as tests have yet to be conducted if the wall is sturdy enough to hold the weight of rock climbers.

618492725_736546673183481_1569421131_nphoto credit: Marco Sumargo @whatsupmarky

An area on the hilltop has been designated for camping. There are plans to purchase several All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) as there is an access road from the town center to the campsite.

7aBoho or Inahagan Cave & Spring in Brgy. La Hacienda, 15 minutes away from the town center, is already a popular destination for locals especially during the hot summer months. Inahagan Cave is a wet cave and the source of the spring that flows into the pool.

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According to Ms. Lumugdang, a team of four that included a cave expert and herself had once tried to go into the cave to trace the source of the spring. They donned wet suits as some of the inner chambers were partially submerged and spent a couple of hours inside until they reached a dead end where you have to fully submerge in the water to look for an opening. As they were not equipped for that, they came back out.

9e10 Climbing up the slopes to the right of Inahagan Cave around 10 minutes away is a large dry cave chamber. It is home to a number of bats.

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As the entry point requires a bit of hiking where you have to pass through vegetation and foliage, the cave is relatively unspoiled and in pristine condition.

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To the left of Inahagan Cave after a shorter amount of hiking is the Twin Window Cave. You have to do a bit of wall climbing though as the cave entrance is on the wall of a hillside. Huge roots of a tree serve as footholds. Once inside the cave, the chambers become smaller as you crawl your way towards another opening that shows a view of the vegetation below.

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Sincere gratitude to the Bohol Tourism Office, Alicia Municipal Mayor Marnilou S. Ayuban, Municipal Tourism Officer Godelia Lumugdang, and the barangay captains who facilitated our media coverage of Alicia.

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1Cadapdapan rice terraces Candijay

discover CANDIJAY, from ridges to reef

Before he was mayor of the municipality of Candijay in Bohol, Christopher B. Tutor was first an engineer and a family man who dreamt of building his own beach resort. That dream came to fruition in January 2012 when East Coast White Sand Resort (www.eastcoastwhitesand.com) opened its doors to the public in Anda, an adjacent town which is about 30 minutes away from Candijay.

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The resort has modern family cottages, a restaurant, three swimming pools, a freshwater cave pool, and its own private beach that boasts of pristine white sand. For a minimum of 25 guests, it is also possible to book the entire resort for your private function.

Now that he is a municipal mayor on his second term, Mayor Tutor has made an arrangement with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Anda to promote Anda’s accommodation establishments in Candijay. In exchange, the LGU of Anda has agreed to promote Candijay’s day tour packages in Anda, an arrangement that benefits the tourism sector of both municipalities.

For tourists and guests who prefer to spend the night in Candijay, they can check in at BISU (Bohol Island State University) Hometel, Cogtong, Candijay, Tel. No. 526-0118 (http://www.bisu.edu.ph/bisu-telephone-directory/), a campus-based accommodation where tourism or HRM  students earn their training hours on the job.

The Municipality of Candijay is approximately 2 hours away from Tagbilaran City, the capital of Bohol. It boasts of sustainable agriculture and prime eco-cultural tourism destinations as sources of livelihood for the local community.

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Luzon holds no monopoly on rice terraces. Start your tour at the Cadapdapan Rice Terraces located in the uplands approximately 30 minutes away from the poblacion or town center. Cadapdapan has several farm owners who have converted the mountainsides and hillsides into rice farms, bursting with verdant green color during planting season and turning into gold every fourth month or so during the harvest season.

One of the most photographed locations is the farm belonging to the Eleuterios who registered their property as Eleuterio’s Can-umantad Falls & Rice Terraces Resort Inc. in 2015. For a minimal entrance fee, you get to saunter around the fields for some souvenir shots.

According to the owner, they are able to harvest an average of 300 sacks of rice every cycle. It is common to see locals hard at work during harvest.

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Since no modern farm machinery can plow the sloping terrain, it is also common to see farm animals such as carabaos (water buffaloes) wallowing in the mud after a hard day’s work, with a few endemic birds as audience.

4Can-umantad waterfalls Candijay

Can-umantad Falls is the highest waterfalls in Bohol at 60 feet (hence its name can-uman or 60). If you are up to hiking, you can follow a trail from the rice terraces down to the falls, or you may opt to ride a car or motorcycle through an access road down to the site.

The clean, cool waters are ideal for bathing during the hot summer months. You can go directly to where the water falls and let the pressure of the water cascading down massage your back.

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Do not miss the Canawa Cold Spring which is also 30 minutes away from the town center. The spring got its name from the shape of its core (cawa or vat-shaped), and no one has ever fathomed its depths. During summer months, it is a clear blue-green color which turns muddy brown during the rainy season because of siltation. Ropes have been strung across the spring to enable non-swimmers to enjoy bathing in it. Run-offs from the spring are channeled into a pool which is also used to irrigate the farms downhill.

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photo credit: mustachioventures.blogspot.com

From the mountains, you can go to the coastal barangays for some fresh seafood.

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The Municipal Tourism Port in Pangpang Panas, Candijay can take orders in advance so that the seafood is ready when guests arrive. Take your pick from the fresh catch of the day, from fish to shrimps, crabs or clams and shells.

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At the Cogtong Bay, you will be able to see some fish pens (mostly milk fish or bangus) and seaweed farms which are part of the community’s livelihood.

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Marine seaweeds are a good source of colloidal materials which are used as gelling agents, emulsifiers, and stabilizers in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food products.

7Seaweed Farm Candijay

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The seaweeds are dark in color when freshly harvested and turn to light brown when sun-dried. They have buyers from Cebu who buy in batches.

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Further out in Cogtong Bay is the Kawasihan Sandbar which is surrounded by a marine reserve on its fringes. Snorkeling is highly recommended to enjoy the underwater view. Boats may be rented from the fishermen for a 15-minute ride to the site.

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Several cottages are currently being constructed onsite for the ease and convenience of picnickers. Sunset at the bay is a sight to behold.

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Cap off your day with dinner at the Candijay del Rio Floating Restaurant (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Candijay-Del-Rio-Floating-Restaurant/306207569730120) in Lungsodaan, Candijay. The ambiance is built around organic lightweight materials. They serve an assortment of grilled food, sizzlers, and a la carte entrees in their menu, as well as group meals.

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The location of the floating restaurant is also the jump-off point for Candijay’s Firefly Watching tour which is the latest addition to their tour packages. First organized in August 2016, the tour traverses the nooks and crannies of the Lungsodaan River for about an hour for a spectacular view of fireflies lighting up various trees along the waterway.  The river is part of the Carood Watershed. It is where waters from the basin of six municipalities congregate to finally exit at the Cogtong Bay where a mangrove forest protects the coast.

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photo credit: Marco Sumargo of @whatsupmarky

Do not wonder if you happen to pass by the newly built Candijay public market at dusk. They have a huge LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screen which takes the place of billboards for important community announcements and tourism promotional videos highlighting Candijay’s tourism assets.

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Sincere gratitude to the Bohol Tourism Office, Candijay Municipal Mayor Christopher Tutor, Municipal Tourism Officer TJ Tutor Janiola, the barangay captains and Bantay Dagat staff who facilitated our media coverage of Candijay.

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1a

Jagna’s delicious calamay levels up

For the past two years during the month of April, residents of Jagna take time off from their daily routine to pay homage to the calamaderas who have, since the mid-1800s, been making the famous delicacy calamay from glutinous rice, finely ground and mixed with coconut milk and brown sugar.

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The sticky dessert is a labor of love stirred by hand using large wooden spoons in giant woks over a low fire for about three to four hours until the mixture becomes sticky in consistency. It is then placed inside coconut shells, cooled off and sealed with a red ribbon in honor of Rev. Fr. Mariano Gutierrez de los Dolores, Parish priest of Jagna from 1825 until his death in 1855, who gifted the Jagnaanons with this cottage industry.

67 Although several families have been credited with continuing the legacy of making calamay in Jagna, Ching’s Calamay located in Can-upao is currently at the forefront of producing calamay the traditional way: by hand. Ching’s Calamay has so far created a new variant. Ube flavored and mixed with peanuts, it is distinguished by the purple ribbon around the coconut shell casing instead of the red.

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Under the progressive leadership of the incumbent Municipal Mayor Atty. Fortunato “Bic-bic” R. Abrenilla who is now on his last term, the Jagna Calamay Producers Cooperative, also located in Can-upao, was established with the support of several government agencies to upgrade calamay production in Jagna. Their facility makes use of mechanical mixers cutting production time in half, producing an even consistency in the flavor of calamay.

4Gian Carl Jubela

photo credit: Gian Carlo Jubela

For the 3rd Calamay Festival, the Festival Committee set up an area in the festival grounds where traditional Calamay production may be observed by tourists and visitors.

9 Booths showcasing Jagna’s other home-based food processing ventures include golden cookies, tableja from cacao, ubi powder, ginger  tea, corn coffee, banana chips, noodles, peanut-based delicacies, nata de coco and virgin coconut oil.

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On April 28, a motorcade of motorelas (autorickshaws) and three floats were held simultaneous with the food fair at the town plaza culminating in the awarding of prizes for best eco-friendly design.

10a A beauty pageant on the night of April 29 facilitated by Hon. Maricris V. Jamora, Vice Chairperson of the Jagna Municipal Tourism Development Council, yielded this year’s Miss Jagna Festival, Reyna Jane Amparado. She will represent Jagna in this year’s Miss Bohol pageant.

11 During a tete-a-tete with Mayor Abrenilla at the Municipal Hall during the festival, he disclosed that although Jagna’s major livelihood comes from agriculture, fishing, commerce and trade, he was pushing for tourism to take a larger segment of the market. He is proud that Jagna has ten unspoiled dive sites which could be an alternative to those found in Panglao.

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Drift Divers (https://www.facebook.com/DriftDivers/),  the only dive shop in town located at Paseo del Mar Resort (www.paseodelmarbohol.com), has been offering dive tours and dive lessons to tourists and divers in Jagna these past three years.

14Marky Sumargo

photo credit: Marco Sumargo @whatsupmarky 

15Edgar Allan Zeta Yap

photo credit: Edgar Alan Zeta-Yap

One of Jagna’s dive sites, the Cantagay Fish Sanctuary, has rare black corals at 30 meters (100 feet) deep. Poached as semi-precious gems, black corals are endangered tree-like corals with dark skeletons that thrive in deep waters.

16aA pioneer resort in Jagna, Delailah Rock Resort was renamed Jagna Rock Resort (https://www.facebook.com/Jagna-Rock-Resort-306216906405007/) by its new owners, Marjun & Melanie Precones. Marjun, a native of Jagna, is related to the original owner of the resort who sold it to relocate to the town proper for convenience. Melanie, who is German on her father’s side, met Marjun in one of her college classes in Tagbilaran City. They are recently married and are expecting their first baby.

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The resort is located on a promontory along the national highway and has a native-themed restaurant and some cottages for picknickers. A couple of rooms in the main house are made available to backpackers and divers.

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Instead of a beachfront, the bottom of the hill bordering the resort property has huge rocks and boulders which are naturally landscaped. Stone steps lead right into the sea which is six feet at its shallowest entry point. A small infinity pool around one corner is filled with saltwater during high tide.

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photo credit: Jagna Rock Resort

The resort has a couple of kayaks and plans are underway to offer dive tours and dive lessons in cooperation with Drift Divers.

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Jagna also has some important Heritage Houses such as the Villacastin Ancestral House. Villacastin was a former mayor of the municipality in 1968, then again in 1981 and 1988.

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St. Michael the Archangel Parish Church, one of the oldest churches in Bohol, was built in 1800 until 1821 by Rev. Fr. Blas Munos de la Merced, a pious Augustinian recollect missionary. It remains the center of all religious activities in Jagna until the present.

Food establishments in Jagna which accommodated the media guests during the 3rd Calamay Festival include:

11230655_1737611763132870_6675157845103555381_n El Mar Bar and Restaurant (https://www.facebook.com/El-Mar-Bar-and-Restaurant-1624205607806820/),

12088331_1105758232768504_8598013969709357213_n Green Hut (https://www.facebook.com/greenhutpensionandrestobar/), and

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Alejawan Grill ‘n Chill (https://www.facebook.com/Alejawan-Grill-n-Chill-1284409098319030/).

22 Sincere gratitude to the Bohol Tourism Office, Jagna Municipal Mayor Atty. Fortunato Abrenilla, Kag. Maricris Jamora, Dean Onesimo Oclarit and staff who facilitated the media coverage of the 3rd Jagna Calamay Festival, the calamaderas and the Jagnaanons for sharing their legacy. Jagna calamay kalami!

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11 10.31's Rackstar

The 10:31 palate by Chef M

Located in a quiet section of M. Parras Extension in Tagbilaran City, Bohol right across the St. Anthony de Padua Church is a cozy, intimate bistro with white interiors and minimalist shabby chic accent pieces highlighting inspirational quotes.

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Parishioners will feel right at home here after attending mass. 10:31 is actually a Bible verse taken from 1 Corinthians which says “Whether therefore we EAT or DRINK or whatsoever we do, do all for the Glory of God.” A reflection of the general attitude Boholanos have toward faith and God, and the breaking of bread shared between families and friends.

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The diner which made its debut in July 2016 as a bakery café serving coffee and pastries, and as a meeting place for clients in need of catering services, has reinvented itself into a fine dining establishment this 2017.

The menu is the brainchild of Chef Mary Wyvren Veloso (Chef M) and her business partner Ian Orillos. Artisan breads, specialty cakes, decadent pastries, and freshly brewed coffee are now joined by gourmet meals and organic blends of fruits and veggies.

A group of bloggers and journalists from Manila and Cebu were recently feted with the house specialties, to-share portions served on immaculate white porcelain to better highlight the food.

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According to Ian, Boholanos who were picky with their caterers often had to go to Cebu to hire a perfect fit for their needs. “We saw this as an opportunity to pursue our passion (food) and at the same time establish a standard for the catering services industry here in Bohol.”

A distance away from the hustle and bustle of commercial areas, the diner tends to encourage an intimate dining experience for those who want to enjoy their meals with the company they keep.

“We really do not offer wi-fi services as we want our guests to engage in conversation, rather than be pre-occupied with texting and messaging all throughout the meal. For emergencies or business, we can lend them the password to our office internet if so required,” says Ian.

Now on its tenth month, 10:31 is proof that with prayers and hard work, success is not far behind. All the more reason to pray, eat and love.

APPETIZERS

4Nachos

Nachos. Premium tortilla chips with chili con carne and cheese sauce dips

5Tomatoes & Basil BitesTomatoes & Basil Bites. Classic bruschetta topped with tomatoes and basil, drizzled with a trifling amount of olive oil

9 10.31 Salad10:31 Salad. Pan-grilled prawns and ripened balls of mango and papaya nestled  on top of mixed lettuce tossed with vinaigrette, pomelo bits and roasted cashew

8California Salad WrapsCalifornia Salad Wraps. Six refreshing rolls of cucumber filled with mango, crabstick, carrot, and lettuce served with its distinct sesame dressing

7Buffalo WingsBuffalo Wings. Six pieces of chicken wigs coated with our home-made spicy sauce, served with crisp cucumber sticks and mayo for dipping

6 Cucumber Cooler, Carafes

Organic Blends in carafes. Cucumber coolers, Carrot Blend and Celery Blend

CHICKEN

13Chef M's Roasted Chicken

Chef M’s Roasted Chicken. Half chicken marinated in Chef M’s signature spices, slow roasted and topped with thick gravy, served with marbled potatoes and cherry tomatoes

17Chicken Pesto Pasta

Chicken Pesto Pasta. Grilled chicken breast served over linguine pasta  covered with thick, creamy pesto sauce

RED MEAT

20Lengua en SetaLengua en Seta. Tender slices of ox tongue flooded with our velvety mushroom sauce

11 10.31's Rackstar10:31’s Rackstar. Tender pork ribs expertly baked to perfection double glazed with special tangy sauce served with a slab of grilled corn

10 Herb Crusted Grilled Pork ChopHerb crusted Grilled Pork Chop. Thick, moist and tender grilled pork chop stuffed with robust pesto flavor.

12Pork Loin in Strawberry SaucePork Loin in Strawberry Sauce. Hefty portion of pork loin seasoned with secret spices and special strawberry sauce, slow roasted to ideal tenderness.

SEAFOOD

16 Crab RellenoCrab Relleno. Whole crab stuffed with its meat and spices, served with parsley rice and thin slices of green mango

21 Baked SalmonBaked Salmon. Thick salmon fillet baked with herbs and spices, layered cheese and garlic sauce

DESSERT

22 Molten Chocolate Surprise

Molten Chocolate Surprise. Chef M’s fudgy brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, nuts, and marshmallows sitting inside a chocolate dome which slowly melts with a pour of hot cream

For more information, please visit their facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/1031bychefm/

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Sincere gratitude to Ms. Josephine Remolador-Cabarrus, Ms. Gina Peluchi Kapirig and Mr. Neil Gerard P. Reyes of Bohol Tourism Office, Chef M and Ian Orillos for their hospitality and for sharing with us their passion for cuisine.

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