AirJuan braces to serve Bohol ‘in flight’ and ‘in fright’

BOHOLANOS CAN NOW count on having seaplanes readily available in Bohol, whether it be for commercial flights to take them to business or pleasure destinations; or for emergencies or assistance in times of distress.


Early this week, Gov. Edgar M. Chatto met with Peter Dejaresco of Bohol Chronicle/DYRD, Sarah Dejaresco of Angel’s Wings Tours and Travel, AirJuan Director of Operations Christian von Strombeck and AirJuan Legal Counsel Atty. Christer James Ray A. Gaudiano.


The talk was about possible but imminent ties with Bohol not only for commercial flights but also, for possible assistance to our very own TaRSIER 117 for it to have available aircraft for its operations, especially in times of calamities or emergencies.


Aside from this, Gov. Chatto and AirJuan executives are also mulling over the possibility of having airlifts for dam operations, especially during dry spells.


The latter, of course, would still need the nod of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).


If plans push through, a MOA Signing could possibly take place this month, in time for the Korea-Tagbilaran direct maiden flight on June 22.


AirJuan is a charter airline that began in 2012 with a commitment to Philippine progress by making business and leisure destinations easily accessible by air.


With a fresh and vibrant approach to business, its focus is on delivering best-in-class service by providing a pleasant and refreshing travel experience.


In 2014, AirJuan began their scheduled charter flights in Palawan, flying from Puerto Princesa to the quaint island of Cuyo and the paradise island of Coron on their nine-seater Cessna Grand Caravan landplane.


The routes made great strides in re-connecting families, thereby stimulating trade in small towns and providing access to the country’s little known gems of destinations.


That success inspired them to start a Coron to Caticlan route in 2015, thus linking two of the world’s best destinations, Palawan and Boracay.


And you bet, the rest is history.


Aside from being excited due to limitless possibilities, Gov. Chatto is also greatly impressed by AirJuan’s seaplanes which provide fast and efficient hassle-free air service to less-chartered destinations.


In fact, Bohol’s tourism people are now so eager to start AirJuan’s commercial flights after its so-called inaugural flight with Bohol tourism stakeholders on board the Cessna which flew for a scenic Panglao tour last week at an altitude of less than 2,000 feet and skimmed Alona beach.


“Of course, we are already excited just thinking about our tourists being brought directly to our beaches; for I could swear this early, this brave move could greatly improve and expand Bohol’s tourism business,” the governor, co-author of the Tourism Act of 2009, enthused.


On a more serious note, Gov. Chatto said he is most eager for the tie-up for this could mean that “Boholanos have better chances of survival during emergencies for let’s admit it, being on board a plane en route to medical facilities is much, much better and faster than traveling by land.”


With this recent development on air travel and emergency response, Gov. Chatto assures “seamless air travel for Boholanos, whether be it for business or pleasure; and quicker response and faster and more efficient medical care when it comes to disasters and emergencies.” (JANETV/PGBh/EDCom)


The 2017 Sandugo festival kicks off with the opening of the Sandugo Night Market and the Sandugo Food Festival tomorrow, June 19 at the CPG Sports Complex.
 A celebration of Bohol cultural identity and creativity, this year, the festival puts together a distinct roster of activities that highlight the history, tradition, hospitality, culture, and creativity of the Boholanos.
 Festivities offer various events rolled into a grand fete for a diverse audience of Bol-anons and visitors alike.
Night Market at CPG Complex
 The night market and food festival that runs until July 30 feature a food fair and trade fair, a carnival, cultural shows, and nightly entertainment that guarantee fun, flavor, and entertainment.
Among major happenings are the International Fusion Nights that will run from July 21-30 simultaneous with the night market and the DTI Product Showcase that will be held on July 19-23 at the Island City Mall.
 Sports enthusiasts can enjoy the Fun Run on July 2, a Boxing Competition on July 14, a Swimming Competition on July 15, and a Dragon Boat Competition on July 16.
Original Boholano Songs at its best
 The Sandugo Song Festival will display Boholano singing and songwriting talent on July 20 at the Bohol Cultural Center. 12 finalists have been named as follows: Pangandoy Mo Matuman by Analiza Orcullo of Loon, Bohol; Ampingan Ko by Alfie James Anana of Poblacion, Inabanga; Bulan by Sergie Peter Balaba of Malbog, Jagna; Tokhang by Humphrey Mark Nicasio of Cogon, Tagbilaran City; Awit sa Hangin by Joseph Gara of Mayacabac, Dauis; Ms. Maldita by Geed Manfred Suaybaguio of Riverside, Bilar; Ikaw Na Ba by Nandy Maniwan of Poblacion, Loay; Bisan Sa Makausang Higayon by Johnrey Fuertes of Alegria, Loboc; Damgo Ra by Hannah Alex Noel of Bingag, Dauis; Bisan Sakit by Clyde Ebojo of Mayacabac, Dauis; Payag by Fernando Enoc of Poblacion, Dauis; and Sa Una Ug Karon by Charlven Remolador of Mansasa, Tagbilaran City.
A songwriting workshop as well as an Open Mic and Songwriters’ Night will also take place on July 23 and 24 with celebrated Bol-anon songwriters Jimmy Borja and Arnold Zamora as facilitators.
Showcase of Arts and Boholano Culture
 The Sandugo Art Festival will run on July 17-30 with LALIK, photography competition and exhibits, literary, and painting exhibits.
 Renowned Boholano performing arts groups will also do nightly shows at the CPG Sports Complex with the Alicia Bamboo Ensemble on June 23, HNU Chorale and Diwanag Dance Company on June 30, the Loboc Youth Ambassador’s Band on July 7, LUPAE (Lungsuranon Performing Arts Ensemble) of Tubigon on July 21, and the Dimiao Children’s Rondalla on July 28.
Beautiful Boholana
 Meanwhile, twenty beautiful Boholanas are vying for the coveted Miss Bohol 2017 crown namely Maria Andrea Laniba of Jagna; Rizalee Rose Razo of Loay; Chelsea Lyndee Bernaldez of Guindulman; Gazini Christiana Jordi Ganados of Loon; Donna Lee Cabugsan of Bilar; Maria Patsy Mille Plazo of Batuan; Angelika Concha of Calape; Aileen Lancila of Baclayon; Kaorie Villa of Albur; Sheena Marie Francesca Licong of Anda; Clarisse Diangco of Pres. Carlos P. Garcia; Abegail Gamutin of Dimiao; Abegail Ampong of Talibon; Christine Joy Lao of Mabini; Kelley Maribel Manuta of Maribojoc; Airah Venci Tagoon of Sierra Bullones; Bianca Gaviola of Tagbilaran City; Rheya Mae Canda of Trinidad; Pauline Amnilinckx of Tubigon; and Mary Abegail Besas of Ubay.
 A highlight of the festivities, Miss Bohol 2017 will hold its talent night at the Bohol Cultural Center on July 8 and the pageant night on July 22 at the Bohol Wisdom School Gym.
Balik Bohol
 The Boholano homecoming “Balik sa Bohol” and the Sandugo street dancing competition “Bangga sa Kuradang ug Subli sa Sandugo” on July 29 will cap off the month and a half-long celebration.
 Sandugo is the annual celebration of the blood compact between Datu Sikatuna and the Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legaspi which took place in 1565 that is also recognized as the first international Treaty of Friendship. (Leah/Jasmine/ EDCOM)

KITA UG ANG GOBERNADOR – Gov. Edgar Chatto with (right to left) Isang Dugo Foundation Inc. Secretary Carmen Gatal, Acting Provincial Administrator Atty. John Mitchel Boiser, Isang Dugo Foundation Inc. VP and Executive Director Al Uy and EDCOM Head Augustus Escobia during the weekly radio program and interaction with Bohol media. Chatto officially launches the programs and events of this year’s Sandugo Festival to kick off with a Night Market on Monday, June 19 at the CPG Sports Complex. Spearheaded by the Isang Dugo Foundation Inc., Sandugo 2017 along with its major activities, promises to be more fun, more events, and showcases more Boholano culture and identity. Also in the picture are the candidates for Miss Bohol 2017. Pageant night is set on July 22 at the Bohol Wisdom Gym.

Space agency bill goes to plenary



HOUSE Science and Technology Committee Chair Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol 2nd District) will submit to plenary shortly the bill proposing the creation of a space agency.

Aumentado emphasized that it is high time that the Philippines upgrades its technology. One such leap would be by launching satellites into space to better communicate information to the people.

The solon said the agency would be under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

He said on top of information gathering, satellites can also be a peace and order tool. He said they can best be maximized in surveillance activities as they can easily track the movements of people with suspicious activities.

Satellites can locate suspects with surgical accuracy, he said.

Aumentado expressed confidence that the bill will be approved in the plenary because it already has the backing of many of his colleagues.

Applying the satellite to the Marawi City scenario, the solon said it can trace “with pinpoint accuracy” the location of the Maute terrorists agitating a rising rebellion in Muslim Mindanao.

Aris pushes for energy from waste, biomass




REP. Erico Aristotle Aumentado of Bohol’s 2nd District is looking at more sources of energy to meet the increasing demand of industries, and the population.

On top of fossil fuel, geothermal, hydro (water), solar and wind that are currently in use, top on the chair of the House committee on science and technology’s sights are nuclear, waste and biomass power.

To allay people’s fears of a repeat of the Chernobyl, Russia and Fukushima, Japan nuclear plant accidents, however, Aumentado, together with Zamboanga del Norte 1st District Rep. Seth Frederick Jalosjos, filed House Bill 3651 seeking to create a nuclear energy regulatory body.

Meanwhile, Aumentado the other day talked with an investor keen on producing energy from waste  – including plastics – as well as biomass, to meet the power demands of Bohol’s 2nd District.

He said the former will cut government spending for the establishment of sanitary landfills. Funds saved from this, he said, can then go to infrastructure and even social projects instead.

The solon expressed confidence that the mix of sources now and soon to be available will ultimately meet the growing power demands of the entire district – and even the province – without depending too much on the geothermal power plant in Tongonan, Leyte.

An added advantage of biomass power, he explained, is the residuals in the conversion of biomass into power can be utilized as fertilizer – organic at that.

The move, Aumentado said, will put his district one step closer to his aspiration of making it Bohol’s first “green”, that is environmentally sound, district.

The waste and the biomass will separately undergo both aerobic and anaerobic procedures, he said.

The investor, he hinted, will visit Bohol anytime soon to determine the volume of waste and biomass that the district can produce to feed the waste conversion and the biomass power plants to produce from one to two megawatts of energy. He echoed the former as saying that the more waste, the more there will be energy.

He also said for more biomass, the investor is likewise keen on tapping his constituents to plant feed stocks on public lands – to feed the biomass power plant.

Erico book launch set Thursday


WHEN it rains, it pours.
This saying perfectly describes the four-point celebration that Rep. Erico Aristotle “Aris” Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) and family wish to honor their father and grandfather – the solon’s immediate past congressional predecessor, Erico Boyles Aumentado, on his birthday on May 18. He would have turned 77 years old.
When he was still alive, the Aumentado patriarch and his wife Grenie who was born on May 16, used to celebrate their birthdays together. The two-day difference did not matter. They were in love. And their union brought into this world eight children, 20 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
This year’s thanksgiving is made even more special with the passing of the bar of the only grandchild who took up law – lawyer Jiselle Rae Aumentado Villamor – daughter of Razel, Aris’ eldest sister. The Aumentado brood had taken up medical and other courses not related to lawyering.
The elder Aumentado entered politics as senior Board Member, who was then elected at large. He became vice governor, completed three terms as congressman, completed three terms as governor, and was into another term as congressman when death overtook him.
Through those years, he authored many ordinances, resolutions and laws. He also wrote long-running columns in local newspapers and was even a correspondent news writer-reporter and features writer for national dailies while still a student until he became a lawyer.
His love for writing never faded – even during his final days on earth.
But what he never got to finish because of his primary work was his autobiography. He had done several chapters, and had chosen the pictures he would have liked to lend graphics to his book.
Luckily enough though, two authors who had idolized him – Ben Cal and Bingo Dejaresco – pooled talent and resources to complete the senior Aumentado’s unfinished book.
Erico Boyles Aumentado – A Great Boholano Leader is now off the press.
Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. has confirmed his presence at the book launch as guest speaker, to be held at the Fortridge Pavillion. The launching program at 10 a.m. follows the Holy Eucharist an hour earlier.
Also to give testimonials are former Gov. David Tirol and Villamor. Tirol will talk about the elder Aumentado’s life as a student and politician.
Villamor will talk of him as a grandfather and his work ethics.
Grenie will give the closing remarks.
Following Evasco’s message, Aris will give the response on behalf of the family. His mother, the Birthday Girl Grenie, will give the closing remarks.

Balicasag PPA port plan resurrected at AUDIO

TAGBILARAN CITY, May 12, (PIA)–There might be a little hope for Balicasag, Panglao and maybe Cabilao to set up their municipal ports to be supervised by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), but they have to redo the proposals to get the plan back on track.

PPA Engineering services Division chief Engr. Richard Elopre told members of the Association of United Development Information Officers in Bohol (AUDIO) meeting at the PPA Multi-Purpose Hall that there used to be a proposal for the PPA to help build Balicasag and Cabilao Ports.

Although technically beyond the jurisdiction of the PPA, as the proposed ports would be serving small motorized boats and are regulated by the Maritime Industry Authority of the Philippines (MARINA) and fishing boats by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the PPA would have all operated ports under their supervision, PPA chief safety officer and public information officer Archt Epelito Arao-arao bared.

Earlier, information officers who listened to the PPA mandates asked how the PPA determines the establishment of ports.

Concerned about the haphazard manner by which boat operators dock in Panglao’s tourism island Balicasag, Panglao Information Officer and Executive Assistant Danny Reyes asked if the PPA can help put up a port of sorts to streamline Balicasag dive, snorkel and island hopping operations and spare the tourists from the hassle.

Reyes said around 80 to 100 motorized bancas come to Balicasag every day and dock just everywhere.

On this, Archt Arao-arao explained that since the 1970’s creation of the PPA, it has predetermined ports based on revenues, income, size and strategic locations as part of PPA ports system, then which were strategically spaced less than 50 kilometers.

Balicasag happens to be less than 50 kilometers from Tagbilaran.

All [established] ports in the country shall be under the supervision of the PPA, Araoarao, who has almost 20 years of PPA work in his belt, cited the mandate of the office and added that in Bohol, the PPA also exercises supervision over municipal ports like Bien Unido, Loay and Alburquerque.

He said, “we evaluate, as we are mandated by law, to assess the capacity of the operator, private entities, individual private ports.”

For those starting to operate one, he advised, they should have approval and permission from PPA as the agency will have it under its supervision.

In Bohol, PPA operates the ports of Tagbilaran, Loon, Tubigon, Getafe, Talibon, Ubay, Tapal and Jagna.

But, for Panglao, Archt Arao-arao, who presented his presentation by soliciting ideas, insights or suggestions on how to further develop the PPA services, also leaked that the PPA in Tagbilaran may help endorse the project proposed to the Central Office.

Engr Elopre said a common port for Balicasag and Cabilao has been tackled way back but the move died, himself not privy to what had happened.

The PPA engineering chief even added that an ocular inspection has been completed then and resurrecting the plan would also restart the paper process.

For now, the establishment of a PPA supervised port in Balicasag could be a move supportive of the town’s efforts to regulate and streamline motorized banca operations as well as stop the degradation of Balicasag coral cover, the indiscriminate dropping of anchors ruining patches of marine coral gardens. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)