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All for the love of Bohol

/ 12:10 AM May 12, 2014

BESTIES forever in Bohol: The author with Cesar Montano (center) and Alvin Anson

Bohol has always been my fave local destination. That’s why when my BFF Cesar “Buboy” Montano  invited me to join him in his hometown for the Habitat for Humanity Philippines  (HHP) Youth Build  (YB) Project, I didn’t think twice.

HHP is a global nonprofit organization committed to address the housing backlog in the country  (www.habitat.org.ph.)

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Also with us were “bestie” Alvin Anson; Brian Llamanzares (son of Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares); Adel Tamano (Coca Cola’s vice president for PR); Simon Tantoco (Habitat Youth Council president); Chris Tiu and his fab wife Clarisse.

We were all eager to help  in our own little way to make Tarsier Country “BOHOLific” again after the massive earthquake that hit the province last October

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Since Buboy, Alvin and I took the 5 a.m flight from Manila, we didn’t know if we were half-asleep or half-awake when we landed in Bohol.

Nevertheless, we went straight to the build site in Loon along with thousands of youth volunteers. Six initial houses were built. We placed bamboo sticks as foundation of the walls. It was tiring, but worthwhile. Coke  ensured that we  were all  hydrated well  in the scorching heat by putting up  hydration stations that dispensed cold water.

The YB project, with the theme  “Tagbo. Tukod. Tana!” (Let’s gather. Let’s build. Let’s do it!), will run for several months.  It targets to rebuild over 8,000 homes in 17 municipalities across the province. YB projects  were also held in Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Camrines Sur (Naga).

After toiling hard, it was time to party harder at the youth convergence at the Holy Name University open field  with fun games, inspirational messages from youth leaders, and  a mini-concert top-billed by  Buboy and his band,  plus  Boholano talents.

Buboy is truly one of Bohol’s  gems.

He shared his thoughts on his home province: “Bohol could be the country’s best tourist destination. It’s so peaceful and has one of the lowest crime rates. Boholanos always flash a friendly smile. There are still so many places in the province that are unexplored. I just wish the graft and corruption would stop. Proper garbage disposal is a must to preserve the beauty of our beaches.”

Before flying to Bohol, Buboy toured the United States with his daughter Angelina. The highlight of their trip was watching Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show live.

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What an ideal dad to Angelina and an Ulirang Anak of Bohol, he truly is!

 

Bride’s brod

 

Alvin Anson is excited for the wedding of his sister, Boots Anson-Roa:  “I’m so happy that she was able to find  a good man,” he said of his future brother-in-law King Rodrigo. “Although I miss my late brother-in-law, Pete Roa, I approve of King. He’s cool, intelligent and funny. They are a perfect match.” Alvin and I are both single, so  he often  jests that since his sister was able to find love anew at her age, there is still hope for us.

Brian in the biz

 

Brian Llamanzares is raring to join show biz. “I know I have big shoes to fill since my lolo (Fernando Poe Jr.) is an icon,” he pointed out. “I will keep in mind what my lola (Susan Roces) told me: To remain humble and take care of the good name that lolo left behind.”

He is more than ready to roll with the show biz punches à la FPJ.

Cool couple

 

Chris and Clarisse Tiu are still on their honeymoon stage even if it’s been eight months since they got hitched.

CHRIS Tiu will agree that his wife is the real MVP, Most Valuable Partner, in their relationship.

“We are in no rush to have a baby,” said Chris. “My friends keep badgering me about it, but my wife and I want to enjoy each other longer.”

For now, their “baby” is Clarisse’s specialty shop, Urban Pantry at Greenhills Promenade where rare condiments, spices and other culinary stuff are sold.

Since Chris is hounded by female fans, doesn’t she get jealous?

“No room for jealousy,”  she quipped. “Chris and I go a long way back since we were high-school sweethearts. So our foundation is solid. I don’t  make bantay during his games. I only watch the important matches live. Sometimes he would tease me: ‘But you’re now my wife. You have to come with me whenever I have a game!’”

PBA heartthrob Chris has an MVP in Clarisse, a Most Valuable Partner.

My Bohol haven

 

What a fun and fruitful weekend we had. And we did it all for the love of Bohol!

I am eternally grateful to the cool Chan brothers, Patrick, Dustin and Ryan for always making me feel so welcome in their fab Bellevue Resort Bohol. It boasts of being the only five-star resort  on the island.

Serenity surrounds me every time  I’m there.  I wish I could freeze time while I’m swimming in the infinity pool fronting the beach.

They have something for everyone with their state-of-the art recreational facilities, idyllic spa and superb restos.

The resort is gearing up for its Triathlon event, “Defy”  on May 25.

Celebs frequent the resort because, unlike most vacation spots elsewhere, you can really have complete R & R  at the Bellevue.

I fondly call it Paraisong Di Masukat and my BohoLOVE! Have a taste of la belle vie  à la-Bellevue (www.thebellevue.com).

Personal

 

Daghang salamat  to  the ever-dependable general manager of Bellevue, Rommel Gonzales, for taking good care of me over and beyond the call of duty; Ninong Dan Lim and  Sharleen Lim, Arlene Karaan, Emma Gomez of Ananyana Resort and Tess Sumampong of Chap Adventure Park Resto for being such gracious hosts.

Thanks a  mil to Gina Virtusio for making me a part of HPP’s YB and Sigourney Tulfo for her kind assistance.

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TAGS: Bohol, Cesar Montano, Habitat for Humanity, Youth Build
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