Rodil F. Fadri
kids no more. The Greenhorns beat the Playboys 73-71 in the
BBT 2004 finals at the St. John Academy Gym on Sunday
(Sept.12, 2004). It’s the Greenhorns' first championship in
14 years. Down by seven with less than four minutes to go, the
Greenhorns’ solid team defense enabled them to overtake the
Playboys with 51 seconds left. The Playboys had a chance to
win or send the game to overtime in the last 14 seconds but
their three point try missed and their follow-up shot was
blocked. In the game for third place, Candelaria repeated over
Gudalupe to bag the 2nd runner up trophy.
first met Mang Minyong sometime in 1999. It was after hearing
the 7 o’clock mass at San Beda church when I spotted him
right there, standing on his frail small frame at the front of
the church’s gate clad with yellow Ninoy T-shirt and faded
in the island where the waves rock the beaches of sand and
stone, my father was born. There, in his childhood, he skin
dived to learn the wisdom of the stonefish and the sea horse.
Palma and Halar
BANTON 2003 UPDATE
Lyndon F. Fadri, Chairman
For the past few months, everyone must have not heard anything about the Banton 2003 Project. The Yagting Group, the primary Banton 2003 work group in the Internet has been silent for quite a while except for some noises created by the recent elections. The truth is, the Banton 2003 leadership, could do nothing but hold back, assess and re-think the whole project.
The project was launched with a big bang in 2003. While the project encountered organizational difficulties and a decline in the financial support thereafter, the leadership managed to put up a full schedule during the Holy Week / the Sanrokan Festival - thanks to the Greenhorns who sponsored most of the activities and the few warm bodies whose support for the project was unrelenting. Yet, the turnout was disheartening. No thanks to our “ningas-cogon” attitude. No thanks to the elections – everybody seemed so busy campaigning and with the color-coding phenomenon proving to be insurmountable!
The Hanrumanan, the banner activity of the Sanrokan Festival, was a disappointment. From five participants last year, it was down to one – the Binuot Tribe of TOBAGO, the defending champion in the competition. Not that the performance of the lone presentor was bad, there simply was no mass to create a festive atmosphere.
Only a few barangays held their Sanrokan. It was a far cry from the Sanrokan by Barangay held during the previous year.
Even the richly funded cultural games courtesy of RDL-CLEAR (with a budget of P 41,000.00) had to be cut short. Only few barangays were represented, so much less than the participation last year. Participants seemed to be ill-prepared. Some were even just “bunlots”.
The Rayagan para sa Kalibutan seemed nothing more than a jogging exercise of a crowd of youngsters.
The Sanrokan Night and the Easter Egg Hunt, both sponsored by Greenhorns fared well but not quite because it was not able to gather enough people to change the atmosphere.
Only a few barangays exerted effort to improve the sites they developed a year ago. Some were not even maintained. Good thing, the Mainit folks just finished their Sunset Boulevard and that provided a new site for the Bantoanons to visit and enjoy their Holy Week.
Barangay Mainit will receive the first prize of P 7,000.00 in the 2004 Site Development Contest. No second and third prizes will be awarded as the development efforts failed to impress the judges. Consolation prizes will, however be awarded to Barangay Togong, Barangay Tumalum and Barangay Nabalay.
There were also few cave visitors and without the sustained effort, the caves may have just been opened to further desecration.
LOOKING AT THE BRIGHTER SIDE
There are, however, some bright spots that keep our hopes alive. The Banton port and the Yagting court were fully completed before the Holy Week and they provided additional new sites for the Bantoanon Balikbayans. The Banton port provides very relaxing stroll by the sea and a big playground for kids.
The tourism consciousness has somehow sunk into the hearts of some individuals or groups. A step towards the restoration of the muralla was made with the reconstruction of its southern entrance along Poblacion’s main road. A beautiful landmark was also constructed beside the church.
The municipal government has also put up landmarks fronting the Municipal Hall. Construction of the road in Banice that would make it easier for beachgoers going to Tambak Beach is going on.
A new place to where visitors could stay, an addition to the municipal guest house, has been opened.
While the Holy Week activities were somewhat disheartening, at least it continued during this trying election year. Flores de Mayo also continued. The idea of taking in a Bantoanon residing outside of Banton as chairman of the Banton Town Fiesta has been put to life this year.
SIGULANON SA YAGTING PART II
The Banton 2003 Project managed to hold the Sigulanon sa Yagting Part II with several barangay captains, some transport operators, representatives from the municipal tourism council, members of the Banton 2003 working committees and some youth / student volunteers on April 8 (Holy Thursday) at the Banton National High School campus.
Presentations were made by Engr. Patricio Fetizanan (Master Planning at the Barangay Level) and Mr. Abe Fabicon (Insights on the Banton Caves).
The motions carried were:
1. Movement of the Sanrokan Festival from Holy Week to the first week of May. This was because it was anticipated that the turnout of the Sanrokan Festival would not be good. One of the reasons brought forward were that everybody is busy with reunions, weddings, baptisms and even graduations. It was also reasoned out that whether or not there is a festival, Bantoanons will still troop to Banton during the Holy Week.
2. On the caves and artifacts
a. The caves, their location and description will have to be documented. This effort will be spearheaded by BARK under Mr. Abraham Fabicon. This should help also in the marketing of the tours.
b. The tour guides would have to be registered and accredited. They will also be professionalized. This was in response to some negative feedback on the quality of the service that the tour guides render.
c. Prevention of further taking of artifacts from the caves even for individuals who spearheaded the development of the caves.
d. Recovery of artifacts from private persons or groups.
e. Registration of authorized keepers and exhibitors of these artifacts.
f. Documentation of visitors and income generated. While there hundreds who went caving last year, the Barangay Captain of Toctoc reported only a gross income of P 1,000.00 for the Barangay
3. On site development
There will be a shift from 'contests' to development of sites with great potentials, probably one at a time. The potential sites were identified as follows: Macat-ang Beach, Tabonan Beach, Tambak Beach and Balogo Beach.
MESSAGE TO KASIMANWAS
Do we proceed or do we stop? Mga kasimanwa, a small group could not do this by themselves. There is a need for a continuous concerted effort.
If you think you we should proceed, join us in the Yagting Group in the Internet. To join, send an empty e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or send me an e-mail at email@example.com. Or you can just contact me at 800-7863, 892-0681 or 09209112027. Masadyang Biniray sa tanan!