Bohol bikers celebrate cycling bond in Unity Ride May 25-26

It is the merry month of May again.

And while the fiestas all over Bohol allow the people to shovel into themselves huge cholesterol overloads, local bikers look up to the annual two-day ride that brings them to pedal around the island’s belting road, bond, have good clean fun and detox.

The annual Unity Ride, also known as Bohol 360 this May 25-26 this year is sponsored by TriBohol, the local elite triathlon group, who since the start, wanted to nurture amateur bikers and pedal with them through the 264 kilometer course.

The Unity Ride is a long ride and surviving it is enough of a feat. As to surviving the pain, a perfect fit with the bike helps a lot.

So what is perfect fit? It is your fit and the bike’s adjustments to attain your stance as against the bike geometry.

Considering your height, that means your stand-over-clearance (standing between the frame leaves your groin at least an inch from the frame) and your reach (which is often measured by the tip of your elbows touching the front of the saddle, knuckles reaching the tip of the steering tube). By attaining a good if not a perfect bike fit, it allows one the most comfortable painless ride especially over long distances.

Also, put in the right seat-post height, saddle position, stem length, stem length and right handle bars for long rides.

Having done that, now, gear up.

The month of May happens to be one of the hottest months. A good rash guard or those fitting arm sleeves would be helpful.

Or maybe a generous slap of sunblock on exposed skin. Sun shades.

And bike gloves if you have it. Wearing leggings, cleat shoes and a hydro bottle.

The Unity Ride is a no-helmet, no-ride event, so gear up and more: ready a spare tube and air pump.

Next up, your rig.

Do some bike spot-conditioning. Re-grease, check for chain slack, dampen the creaks, check on the tire pressure.

With over a hundred bikers all together pedaling off from the Rizal Park in Tagbilaran Saturday morning, for newbies and riders who have not gone as far through the highways, learning simple and yet basic group ride etiquette might be of help for a safe, fun and gratifying ride.

We compiled some basic things a biker must do to be in an orderly group ride. Here are some of them.

1. Drafting. Staying very close to the biker ahead of you, riding directly behind on his stream lined airflow reduces your drag, watch out however from half-wheeling. That is, instead of maintaining a healthy and safe distance from the lead, you come so close that your front tire hits the leader’s rear, which could be causing dangerous pile-up crashes.

2. Signals. In group rides, if you are a beginner, it is always advisable to stay at the back of the pack and observe. Even then, chances are, some bikers are on your tail, that allowing them to know what is ahead is more of a safety than courtesy. Extend your right hand when turning left. Extend your right hand when turning right. Raise your left hand, palms flat to signal a stop. Pump your palms below the waits to signal to slow down. Point to a hazard on the road like potholes or stones. Wave your hands on your back to direct the tail to evade an obstacle (follow me). Do not ride more than two abreast, so you can share the road with other drivers. And, maintain constant speed.

3. Do not spit. At the urge of spitting, use the proper hand signal of breaking off to the left or right, check for other bikers behind and spit away from the group riders. Be careful when reentering the group.

4. Be predictable. Grabbing on the brakes unexpectedly, standing up out of the saddle when it isn’t necessary and decreasing speed without alerting others can all lead to a crash when riding in a group.

5. Announce when you are overtaking. In highway group rides, there might be times when you might have to advance to cover a gap in the riding column, use hand signal when breaking off and inform the biker ahead by saying: Biker on the Left, or Biker on the right. Communication is the key here.

6. Leave your aerobars at home. Pack riding is often keeping close distances between bikers so each can ride on the air flow of the leader to reduce drag. Using an aerobar or time trial rigs and putting yourself in that position keeps your hands far from the brakes, lessening your control of the bike immensely.

7. Help other bikers hurdle a climb or navigate a curb. In group rides, the consistent speed often exhilarates newbies that push them to pedal harder and show off. Coaching them on maintaining cadence, using the right gear ratio most often allows them to keep pace and tire less.

8. Give each one responsibility. Long rides can be sustained when everyone helps each other. Take turns in leading the pack, assigning a rider to take the lead for, say three minutes, after which he moves to the left so the one behind him can assume the lead and the last rider on the left can fill in the space vacated by the advancing riders. Rotate and you will find out you can ride faster and wouldn’t even realize you’ve gone that far in so short a time.

9. Wait for others on climbs. Keeping a group together on a climb can be tough. Because of this, avoid racing up long climbs unless it’s been agreed upon that the group plans to regroup at the top. Let the middle of the pack dictate the pace, and everyone adjusting to the pace, so that the slower climbers can be motivated. Help those who have mechanical trouble. For safety reasons, no single rider should be left on the road alone.

10. Maintain good attitude. Sharing with others your love for cycling is part of what makes group rides so much fun. Group rides are a great time to learn from others, make friends and enjoy the camaraderie that can only be shared with other cyclists. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

P14M drugs in 9 months Are we losing the drug war?

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 6 (PIA)—When some authorities did not lack in advice against those who continue with the illegal and destructive drug trade, Bohol police authorities still were able to account over P14 million in illegal drugs, taken off from the streets from January to September 2018.
Over this, questions as to how effective is the campaign on drugs start to resound.
Recent obtained data showed that the deaths of personalities who fought it out with the police, the noise behind the alleged extra judicial killings and the non-committance of several officials on the campaign seem to tilt the balance to failure.
With this, many have betted that the police could lose the steam anytime when the participation they expect from communities would come out less than desired.
“True, the campaign once struck fear, there was abrupt decline in illegal drugs trade, but the over-all effect after self-confessed human rights advocates side with drug personalities than innocent victims is now sowing discontent,” a member of the Bohol Provincial Peace and Order Council said.
“The courts have also been accused as doing less than expected in processing cases,”kin of drug victims have said.
“Over this, criminals see the opportunity,” confesses a police officer who politely refused to be named for lack of authorization.
Camp Dagohoy reports recently showed that in the nine months of police operations, it was in the month of July that they lifted off the streets nearly half a kilo of illegal drugs or methampithamine hydrochloride, its biggest haul of drugs as yet at 485.34 grams.
The haul was worth P5,724, 888.00, based on the Dangerous Dugs Board value which was then pegged at nearly P12,000.00 per gram.
It may be recalled that late last year, just as police intensified its Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded, there was a noted decrease in drug trade as shown by police operations.
“Emboldened by the magnitude of people who are still dependent upon the illegal industry, drug personalities went back to the old trade despite the risks,” another police intelligence operative admitted.
“The problem is again complicated by many local leaders who have shown an apparent wait and see attitude,” a lady officer also put it in.
“Many have also seen who those who surrendered and were placed under rehabilitation backslid without any consequences, and the move to go back to the old trade was just too tempting,” admitted another police source.
“Little did they know that we have placed these persons of interest under surveillance,” he added.
“The problem is compounded and further complicated by self-confessed human rights groups who would rather defend drug personalities than the innocent victimsfalling victims to the illegal drugs trade,” the intelligence officer continued.
The effect was too blatant that in January, from only 11 grams of drugs worth P 129,800 confiscated during 4 police operations and 4 persons arrested, the figure burst into P1.391, 456 in February where there were a total of 19 police operations that nabbed 27 drug personalities.
From then on, figure went up and down never went lesser that than 178,000.
For a total of 195 police operations, from January to September 26, police authorities also accosted 239 persons in violation against illegal drugs ranging from mere possession, possession of illegal paraphernalia or in the becoming more famous buy-bust operations.
And when everybody thought the nearly half a kilo of illegal drugs accounted and denied off the streets is the last of it all, in August, authorities again secured 205 grams with a street value of P2,419,000.
That month, in 65 police operations, 71 personalities at least stayed overnight in slammers or about 110 cases were filed against these suspects.
By September, in just 26 days, and in 20 police and coordinated operations with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, authorities took into custody 161.27 grams of illegal drugs at an estimated street value worth P1,902,986 and nabbed 33 persons now facing a total of 45 cases in court.
As this continued and the Joint Regional authorities have cleared hundreds of barangays, the PDEA has recommended the calling of the attention of those declared drug-cleared barangays and remind them of their duties and responsibilities in maintaining their statuses.(rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

So, who are HOTS in Bohol  TechVoc Week’s Jobs Fair?

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, August 24 (PIA)— She never expected fate to finally be kind to her.

Twenty-one years old Mariel Tocmo of Datag Sur, Balilihan has too many frustrations as a job seeker, she could not stop from thinking today was no different.

A graduate of Corella National High School, Mariel admits her family has only enough to get by, not comfortably.

“My father died, and being the youngest in the family, it is just about time I help,” she timidly shared in a chance casual conversation.

As she was saying this, hundreds of job seekers were also in different processes of proving to the 6 international and 8 local employment agencies present during the Jobs Fair at the Bohol Cultural Center, that they have just the right skills for the job needed.

A job fair offered by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to commemorate the National Technical Vocational (TechVoc) Week, other government agencies pitched in to elevate the TESDA skills bridging into a full scale employment event.

With the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) JobStart and the Provincial Government through the Bohol Employment Placement Office (BEPO), the one day Jobs Fair hoped to reduce unemployment and push for economic productivity for people of the employable age, explained BEPO Officer In Charge Ma. Vilma Yorong during the jobs fair.

“We are expecting over 800 job seekers today,” former TESDA information officer Jaminel Damolo said.

Finding a job has become Mariel’s priority. After years of staying at home and helping her 62-year-old mother weave baskets and cope with her quota, the closest she had to getting hired was a promise of a call after every job interview. None came.

“I am the youngest, my elder brother works as a kitchen staff in a city restaurant, the others have married and taken on families,” she added, detailing about her siblings.

While waiting for the lucky job call, she doubles up as a basket weaver helping her mother Flavia come up with the weekly quota of 60 baskets a month. This they would sell at P6.00 each.

“It is a tough work you could easily get hurt as bamboos are sharp and baskets are meticulously done, getting wounded is always a possibility.”

One time, Mariel availed of a Local Government Unit of Balilihan and Antequera-organized TESDA training for work as contact center agent in Tagbilaran.

For two weeks, she thought she had fattened her chances of a job.

TESDA keeps a policy for their accredited Technical Vocational Institutions (TVI) offering the government scholarships to facilitate the hiring of at least 50% of their enrollees.

Still, Mariel did not make the cut, and her Qualfon chance proved to be tough, the work requirements were hard to come by.

So today, August 24 should be like any of those times she kept the hope.

“I did not tell my mother that I would be here to apply for a job, she might expect too much,” she confessed, trying to mask a smile already forming in her face.

The story of Mariel Fe Tocmo, is almost the same as that of Marchelle Comoylao of Cambu-ac Sur Sikatuna.

A graduate of Sikatuna National High School in 2014, at 20 years old, Marchelle, despite being the youngest, has been on the look-out for a job that offers her a better future.

“I have an elder brother who, while waiting for job call, as a seaman, helps my father as carpenter worker. My mother keeps the house,” she noted.

Now working as a boutique attendant in a Tagbilaran City mall, she has doubled up as a babysitter to her sister’s kids, but that is not what she wanted in her life.

“It is never easy, I have to find a job to help my family,” she stressed.

But like Mariel, job seeking in never really easy. To expand her chances, she sought for other skills.

“I took up cookery through a TESDA scholarship for 2 months, buts still job is elusive,” Marchelle said, modest in a rose pink blouse and striped black and while skirt, coming to chance during the job fair.

But in a sudden twist of luck, both Mariel and Marchelle were among the 17 others who were hired on the spot (HOTS) by noon time during the one day Jobs fair.

Both and 10 more were told to report to Mitsumi Danao, an electro mechanics solutions provider combining advanced technologies from a wide range of fields including ultra-precision mechanical components (such as ball bearings), motors, sensors, semi-conductors, wireless communication—and fuse machines and electronics with control technologies.

Along with Mitsumi were 8 local companies scouting for new workers to prop up their work force including Alturas Group of Companies, Bohol Quality, Henan Resort, Prescon Philippines, Sherwood bay Resort, Taytay sa Kauswagan Incorporated and Reynas Garden and Haven.

The Jobs Fair also attracted 6 international companies: East West placement center, FVJ Overseas Placement, Golden Legacy Jobmovers Inc., IUPP Inc., JobsGlobal Employment Services Inc. and Lead Resources Management Corp, bared BEPO OIC Yorong.

TESDA technical education skills development specialist Rosemarie Banol also assured that the placement companies joining the fair were screened by BEPO and found to be legitimate and are permitted to set up manning services.

Having gone through months upon months of trying to land into jobs, Tocmo and Comoylao also learned something about the jobs fair.

Totally strangers from each other, seeing that if both keep off from others, job seeking would even be more daunting.

Both naturally got into each other’s support and it took them less than five minutes to be friends.

And one thing Comoylao realized that at the Jobs Fair, if it is the companies who look for workers, the tendency is to make everything easy, compared to when one is in need and applies for a job which the company has no need at that time.

“Thanks to TESDA, DTI, DOLE Jobstart and PLGU BEPO, we can now be taken off the list of the province’s unemployed,” both quipped, happiness brimming as the eagerness to break the good news home seems hard to overpower. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

WHO are HOTS and who are not? 17 young Boholano job seekers got Hired On The Spot (HOTS) as the TESDA with DTI, DOLE and BEPO offered a Jobs Fair to commemorate the National TechVoc Week. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)




Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its attached agency, Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) in coordination with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Paris (PTIC-Paris), recently participated at the Maison et Objet, the premier and largest French trade fair for interior design held on 8-12 September 2017 in Paris, France.


“The presence of DESIGN PHILIPPINES at this year’s Maison et Objet is a testament of DTI’s commitment to continuously support and provide global platforms for Filipino exporters and designers,” said DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group Nora K. Terrado.


As the country’s third participation in one of the world’s biggest lifestyle event which attracts over 75,000 visitors worldwide including interior designers, decorators, architects, hotel directors, art directors, stylists and trendsetters, showcased DesignPhilippines which highlighted and represented the country’s creative sensibilities.


Among the world-class Filipino companies showcased at the DesignPhilippines are: Agsam Fashion Fern, Beatriz, Catalina Embroideries, Finali, Kit Silver Jewellery, Megabijoux, Nature’s Legacy, and Weave Manila.

“We strive to open doors for our emerging designers and exporters to access global partners who frequent the world’s most important international trade shows such as the Maison et Objet which is held twice a year in Paris. This is key in enabling them to meet new trade buyers and be exposed to overseas markets,” Terrado added.


Led by DTI’s CITEM, DesignPHILIPPINES is a branding initiative that positions the Philippines as a sourcing destination for finely crafted products for the world market.


“We see the vital role that the government plays when it comes to accessing markets for our local exporters. As we participate in various international trade exhibits, we also seek the support of the private sector and businesses to collaborate with us in  joining international trade fairs where they could potentially meet new buyers as well as promote Philippine design to the rest of the world,” emphasized Terrado.


In photo: Philippine Ambassador to France, HE Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro (eighth from left) join Philippine exporters from the home, lifestyle and fashion industries – Agsam Fashion Fern, Beatriz, Catalina Embroideries, Finali, Kit Silver Jewellery, Megabijoux, Nature’s Legacy, Weave Manila — who were part of the country pavilion at the Maison et Objet held in Paris, France on 8-12 September 2017. Joining them are Froilan Pamintuan, Commercial Attache of the Philippine Trade and Investment (second from right); Rapunzel Acop of the Philippine Embassy in Paris (seventh from left); Art Dimaano of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions or CITEM (ninth from left); Chiqui Veneracion of Maison et Objet (sixth from left) and Eduardo Francisco of PTIC-Paris (leftmos

Sandugo expo caps 5 day sale with P 12 M



TAGBILARAN CITY, July 28, (PIA)–The five day Sandugo regional products showcase better known now as Sandugo Trade Expo closed off Sunday capping a total sales of P12,278,357.00 in five days of selling by some 94 small and medium enterprises from at least six regions.


First started as Bohol Products Trade Fair, the event which has drawn national and international buyers has now gathered the best showcase of the regions which include processed foods, homestyle gifts and toys, furniture, fashion accessories and other crafted products, according to Department of Trade and Industry trade and industry development specialist Blair Panong.


The trade expo coincides with the annual celebration of Boholano brand of friendship celebrated in the July Sandugo Festival which commemorates the historic blood compact between Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Boholano chieftain Sikatuna.


Romping out as topsellers during the trade expo exhibited at the Island City Mall between July 19 to 23, were Cebu’s Maexel Chi-cha bites and Snack Food with P271,530 in cash sales for processed foods, Cebu’s GTH Foundation Inc., OTOP Store and Tindahang Pinoy with P797,000 in cash and under negotiations sales.


For furniture, Region 8’s Naty’s Antique Furniture closed some P829,000.00 in cash and under negotiations sales upon the exhibit’s egress Sunday.


With the Trade expo adopting green economic development themes since three years ago, organizers also handed a special Green Product Award to TAGBTIC.


TAGBITIC is a Tagbilaran City based garbage up-cycling group composed of women groups from Cogon and whose products include recycled plastic and dried leaf materials crafted into home items and accessories


No less than DTI Regional Director Asteria Caberte, Bohol OIC-PD Marisol Balistoy and the newly crowned Miss Bohol 2017, Ms. Pauline Amelinckx handed the awards and citations during the highlights of the expo closing ceremonies.


The DTI, which has been largely involved in the new products diversification and development as well as training workers on production efficiency and greening the value chains said in the expo in Bohol, pushes forward the new products crafted after the DTI handed Shared Service Facilities and cascaded product design development trainings.


Largest groups at the expo are Bohol with 34 exhibitors: Cebu with 32, Negros with 10 and Siquijor with 4 for a total of 80.


Five  other exhibitors come from Region 8, including furniture top seller Naty’s Antiques, another 5 more from region 13 (Agusan and Surigao) which brought in processed food.


From Region 11 is Davao del Norte brining in processed food and non-food items.


Each from region 18 (Negros Island region) and Region 6 had one exhibitor.


Presenting the Trade Expo Products which banner the theme “Partnering and Engaging for Change”, the DTI put up a creatively conceptualized “Exquisitely Visayas” fashion show.


According to Panong, models from Cebu and Bohol featured the creations of respected designers in the region while as the models took to the catwalks, fashion accessories picked from participating exhibitors embellished and accessorized them, Panong explained. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

DTI BOHOL OIC Maria Soledad Balistoy, RD Asteria Caberte and Miss Bohol posed with TAGBTIC who was awarded the Green Product Award, as the 12th Regional Trade expo struggles to carve a path to green economic development. (PIA-7/Bohol/Photo by DTI)

NIA breaks ground for Bonotbonot SRIP





PHYSICAL Works for the Bonotbonot Small Reservoir Irrigation Project (SRIP) in Buenavista town will go full blast now.

This after Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr., Administrator Ricardo Visaya and Region 7 Director Modesto Membreve of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado of Bohol’s 2nd District and Buenavista Mayor Ronald Lowell Tirol led groundbreaking rites at the proposed site on June 26.

As early as November 2015, Aumentado had revealed that the P70-million project to be proposed in NIA’s 2016 fund for insertion into the General Appropriations Act GAA).

The solon’s father, former governor and immediate congressional predecessor Erico Boyles Aumentado and Membreve had proposed the project, along with the Benliw (Ubay) SRIP at P100 million, the Mabini-Cayacay SRIP at P85 million and the Malinao (Pilar) Dam Improvement Project at P200 million.

For Tagbilaran City-based NIA Region 7, only these four projects made it to the cut in the 2016 GAA under its locally funded Rapid, Inclusive, and Sustained Economic Growth projects.

While most regional offices are based in Cebu, the elder Aumentado pushed for the creation of the NIA Region 7 office in Bohol – the region’s rice granary. Bohol used to belong to NIA Region 8 based in Tacloban City.

The Evasco-Visaya-Membreve-Aumentado team also visited Danao town where the Hibale SRIP is also being planned to be constructed.

Aumentado said Evasco and President Duterte are working hard to give more benefits to the farmers. Evasco was Duterte’s campaign manager during the latter’s presidential bid. Both are working towards the realization of their campaign promise of construction more irrigation projects and that farmers will be able to avail of irrigation services, this time, free of charge.

The solon said he and Visaya, retired Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines under President Duterte, will meet in Manila most likely before the Chief Executive gives his State of the Nation Address (SONA), with would-be investors for the Hibale and the Northeast Bohol Catch Basin.

As envisioned by the elder Aumentado, the huge project is expected to irrigate 19,000 more hectares of rice lands in the northern Bohol towns. On top of irrigation, it will also have power, potable water and eco-tourism components.

It will be designed to generate at least 10 megawatts of power. It is also expected to make potable water available to far-flung barangays not yet served by the existing small waterworks projects of the beneficiary towns, the solon added.