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OUTSTANDING OVERSEAS BANTOANONS


In 2003, the Banton 2003 Project attempted to hold the first Balik-Banton International Edition and along with that attempt was launched the Search for the Ten Outstanding Overseas Bantoanons. Because of the lack of enthusiastic response from our kasimanwas abroad, probably due to the war in Iraq and the SARS outbreak, the planned event fizzled out. The search, however, continued. Gathering of facts and producing the write-ups for the nominees were quite hard. To keep the search going, three out of the five nominees were given the citation, with the hope that the magic ten will be completed once the first Balik-Banton International Edition is finally realized.

THE SEARCH IS STILL ON! E-mail your nomination to rayabrayab@yahoo.com with a write-up on how he/she has made a difference in the life of Bantoanons in the island, in the country, or even abroad while he/she was in a distant land.

Deadline for nomination is on March 31, 2005. The nominees will be featured in this section. The awardees will be chosen by popularity. Bantoanons will be allowed to vote through this website until June 30, 2005.

 

PATRICIO F. FETIZANAN

Pat Fetizanan, in his own words, was part of the brain drain in the early 1970’s after college in Manila. However, love for his hometown made him dream of reversing the process. During the past few years, he has come back more often to his birthplace to help improve the community. He has personally funded, planned and executed several projects in his home barangay, Mainit.

One of his more popular projects is the recovery of potable water from the bottom of the ocean using a technology he developed and pioneered. This alternative source of water has been a great help to his barriomates especially during the dry season, particularly during the Holy Week. Situated in the beautiful beach of Macat-ang, this facility has also been an added come-on to local beachgoers.   Recently, he developed a detailed plan, used in requesting government funding, for a more permanent improvement of the system.

He maintained interest in and closely followed international developments on alternative energy even if his specific training is not electrical engineering, apparently to be able help his hometown’s power problem especially prior to the operation of the Napocor Power Plant in the island. Actually, long before solar energy was popular, he installed a completely functioning system in his parents' house in Banton.

He improved communication in Mainit by installing a Liberty Phone service, one of the first and few barangays in Banton which has a telecommunication facility. He has been a gracious donor to many civic projects and undertakings in his home barangay.

Lately, he spearheaded the development of the Sunset Boulevard, providing an unprecedented access by motorcycle all the way to Macat-ang Beach, which is as of this writing, is almost completed. Given the magnitude of the project, it took almost four (4) years of construction.  The boulevard is the centerpiece of the Mainit Master Plan.  The Plan is a roadmap for the orderly and controlled development of the community.  The boulevard has uncovered the hidden magestic sceneries along the coastline and opened wide areas for housing development.

Fetizanan, one of the most successful Bantoanon expatriates in the United States by profession, works for Fluor, Inc. in Huoston, Texas.


NICANOR G. MUSICO  


Nic Musico, Baloy to his friends, was chosen as the 2001 SILAK Bantoanon of the Year for bringing the Aloha Medical Mission to Romblon in March during that year.  The multi-million-peso mission attended to more than 2,000 patients that included 38 residents from Banton who were provided with free transportation. The mission also donated medical equipment to the provincial hospital. Musico sent a pediatrician, a nurse and an aide to Banton who doled out gifts and provided free medical examination and consultation to 124 Bantoanon children.

Musico has also been a member of the board of directors of RDL-CLEAR (USA), the most active organization of Romblomanons. It may be noted that RDL-CLEAR has sponsored notable projects and activities in Banton such as the Yagting Cyberstation, PETA workshop, tree planting, cultural sports and medical mission.

Musico is also an active adviser and supporter of the Banton 2003 Project. Last year, he sponsored the prize-rich native delicacy contest.

Successful with his courageous journey to Hawaii, he was able to bring his Mom and the rest of the family to the United States, away from the hardships that was brought about by the early demise of his father, the illustrious Ildefonso Musico.

As an article in Silak goes, Musico’s “road to success was not easy by any stretch of the imagination.” For several years, Baloy held two to three jobs at the same time. He confessed that it was very difficult because they had nothing to start with when we arrived at Oahu. They had to settle in a one-bedroom unfurnished apartment and shared a TV with a neighbor.

Actually, Musico has been a community-oriented individual all along.  He was president from 1994 to 1997 and presently an adviser of the Filipino Coalition for Solidarity, Inc. (FCSI), a recipient of the Banaag award bestowed by the Republic of the Philippines. The award is in recognition of the organization’s major contributions and accomplishments in promoting the welfare of Filipinos particularly those based in Hawaii, which include among others: assistance to the Fil-Am Veterans of World War II; defense of the rights of Filipinos, especially against discrimination and abuse; involvement in the fund-raising campaign for the victims of Mt. Pinatubo; support for the construction of the $ 13M Filipino Community Center in Hawaii; conduct of awareness programs on citizenship and voting rights of Hawaii-based Filipinos; and coordination of the respective visits of Presidents Ramos and Estrada to Hawaii.

He is either a member of the board of directors or officer of the following organizations: Filipino Community Center, Inc., Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTEP), KNDI Radio Community Education Fund and the Ambassador Minerva Jean Falcon Scholarship Fund. He also served as president of the Oahu Visayan Council and its umbrella organization, the Congress of Visayan Organizations.

Musico is presently a Branch Chief in the Department of Environmental Services of the City and County of Honolulu. He was the recipient of the William Hatfield Award in 1991.

 

ISMAEL F. FABICON  

Ismael Fabicon is probably the most visible expatriate in Banton during the past five years. As the Executive Founding Director of the Romblon Discussion List – Cultural, Livelihood and Educational Assistance for Romblon (RDL-CLEAR), he has been busy implementing the organization’s projects in Banton and in the whole province.

RDL-CLEAR, under his leadership, is responsible for the establishment of the Yagting Cyberstation, the holding of a medical mission, PETA workshop and writers’ workshop in Banton, the sponsorship of the cultural sports as part of the Banton 2003 initiative and the tree-planting at the Rainbow Park.  The organization also partnered with Biniray in two occasions in the latter’s medical mission in Metro Manila. The Sanrokan Newsmag, RDL-CLEAR’s website, has also provided timely information to Romblomanons – and that includes Bantoanons, especially those abroad.

Fabicon is also a pillar of the renaissance of Bantoanon literature and cultural awakening. As a columnist and writer of Silak, he, together with his colleagues in Silak, espoused cultural preservation and awareness to Bantoanons. He authored Ap-atan, a children’s book of Asi rhymes and is currently working on an anthology of Bantoanon poetry.    

He has been a writer, probably Banton’s best at present, and a consistent contributor to other Bantoanon publications, particularly, the souvenir programs of homecomings and reunions. He also revolutionized Asi poetry writing.

He is the first Bantoanon to introduce Banton to the cyberworld. He launched his website (Song of an Island) in 1989. He has been an active adviser to the Banton 2003 Project especially on culture and a generous donor especially on cultural projects.

Respected by his kins, he has been the moving force behind the several reunions of Gugma-Fabicon and Ugat-Faigao (Rufo-Bonifacia Clan) which sponsored several civic activities.

Fabicon, one of the Bantoanon trailblazers to the United States, is newly-retired, and we expect him to be in Banton more often.

 

 

  SILAK BANTOANON OF THE YEAR

 
 

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