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  GENERAL INFORMATION

  Brief History   People   Language  Culture, Literature Music and Arts


Barangays
The municipality is composed of seventeen (17) barangays – Balogo, Banice, Hambian, Lagang, Libtong, Nabalay, Sibay, Mainit, Nasunogan, Poblacion, Sibay, Tan-ag, Toctoc, Togbongan, Togong, Tumalum, Tungonan and Yabawon.

Topography
Banton has a total land area of 3,244,654 hectares including the inhabited islands of La Carlota, Isabela and Bantoncillo. Located in the northern most part of the province, the island is covered by volcanic rocks.



Population
The municipality’s population is 6,769 as of 2000. Banton is one of the municipalities in the province with the lowest growth rate. The people are peace-loving, God-fearing and highly hospitable.

Education

Banton has eight (8) public elementary schools and two (2) public secondary schools.

Health
Medical and health services are provided by the Rural Health Center and the five (5) barangay health stations.

Economic Profile
Banton is primarily agricultural with copra as the main product. The people also engage in fishing, livestock production, handicraft and the indigenous raffia industry.

Power Supply
NAPOCOR provides the island’s electricity which is distributed by the Municipal Government. Power supply runs for about five hours everyday.

Water Supply
The town’s potable water supply comes from various sources such as Level III water systems, artesian wells, open wells and some shallow wells.

 

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Banton Island in Philippine Map

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    BRIEF HISTORY

One of today’s most respected Bantoanon researchers, suggests that Banton island has been inhabited since the Neolithic Period, citing the Bantoanon language and the burial caves as the major evidences (“Tracing Our Roots Through the Bantoanon Language”, Silak, Vol. 1, No. 2, 1998).

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  People The Bantoanons   Bantonanon Languange

The people of Banton are called Bantoanons. Bantoanons are a closely-knit group of people with a deep sense of their roots and their identity. Bantoanons are all over the country, driven by their search for greener pasture, with communities in the nearby municipalities of Odiongan and Romblon, and in Metro Manila and its suburbs – Cavite, Batangas, Lipa, Mindoro, Marinduque, Rizal and Laguna. They are also scattered outside of the country with concentrations in the United States and Canada. The first settlers in the other Asi-speaking municipalities are believed to be Bantoanons.  Wherever there is a considerable number of Bantoanons, there usually is an organization, formal or informal, formed with the objective of fostering mutual welfare as well as the welfare of their hometown. Most Bantoanons residing outside of their beloved island come home regularly.


Bantoanons are known for their religiosity and their spirit of sharing epitomized by sanrokan (the practice of sharing food with neighboring households).They put great value for education, the reason why the tiny and rugged island of Banton has consistently produced professionals in spite of its people’s meager resources.  The Bantoanon story has been an inspiring epic of adventure, struggle, hope and success. 

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  Culture, Literature, Music & Arts 

Poetry

Bantoanon poetry is best described or portrayed by the recently published Mutda, an anthology of Asi/Bantoanon poems. Authored by Ismael Fabicon, Lyndon Fadri and Abner Faminiano and jointly published by Silak and Fabicon. 

The anthology features close to one hundred poems written in Bantoanon/Asi spanning from 1916 – 2004 by close to fifty Bantoanon/Asi poets.

Music

Most of the Bantoanon songs are actually translations of known Filipino or English Songs. Some others have borrowed tunes. There are, however, a few original compositions. In Mutda, the anthology, Bantoanon songs were also included. Take a look at some of them.  

Bantoanons are gifted with a unique language more popularly known as the Asi Language. This language, also spoken in the municipalities of Concepcion (Sibale), Corcuera (Simara), Calatrava and Odiongan, is classified under the same level as Cebuano, one of the major Philippine Languages, in the Austronesian hierarchy of languages.

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