THE 50th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONOF THE BANTON HIGH SCHOOL NOW BANTON NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL
(originally published in SILAK)
The 50th Founding Anniversary celebration of the Banton High School, now Banton National High School, will most probably go to the books as Banton's most significant event in 1998. Bantoanons came all the way from different parts of the country and the world to join the townfolks in the commemoration of one of the most significant events of the century that greatly changed the lives of Bantoanons, to pay homage to two of the greatest sons of Banton, Prof. Gabriel Fabella, Sr. and Faustino Fabella, Sr. , the BHS founders, and to be with long lost classmates.
The commemoration officially started with the search for beauties to reign throughout the duration of the golden jubilee, although the 1998 Lenten Basketball Tournament sponsored by Class 1988 started much earlier on March 27. This was followed by a cultural program on the 8th of April which showcased the stage talents of the BHS alumni. The civic-military parade, the most festive of all the events, woke the morning of April 11 with drums and cheers. The parade wound up in front of Faustino Fabella Sr.'s residence where the alumni paid tribute to the BHS founders, followed by the unveiling of the marker. The crowd then proceeded to the public and Catholic cemeteries to pay tribute to the deceased builders and servants of the school. In the afternoon, students of Banton National High School made a ground presentation at the Banton Central School after parading in Banton's main thoroughfares.
In the ultimate day of the celebration, April 12, a mass was held followed by the testimonial luncheon at the BNHS. The celebration ended with the Coronation Night.
Banton showed its best dress-up since Banton's Diamond Jubilee celebration in 1993. Arches greeted homecomers and streamers almost covered the main streets of Poblacion. Even with some election posters, the town displayed the cleanliness that made it a consistent winner in the region's Clean and Green competition. And characteristic of Bantoanons' attitude, each household had their abodes either re-painted and repaired in time for the celebration.
Of course, the Banton National High School campus is the best-dressed of all. The flower terrace provided an elegant backdrop for the school. The annex building glowed in the brightness of the day in its new color. The campus also presented a well-shaven eleven-year old kiosk fronting the library and the administration building. Cleanly and beautifully-built movable kiosks, scattered in the upper level of the high school grounds, projected a sumptuous banquet.
The search for beauties to reign throughout the duration of the golden jubilee officially opened the festivities. Adjudged winners in the beauty tilt were Jenalin Fatallo, queen; Rose Layson, first princess; and Leah Catherine Fababeir, second princess. Ms. Patrocinio Ferrera wasthe guest speaker.
A cultural program on the 8th of April followed. Entertaining numbers were presented by different batches of the BHS/BNHS alumni. Mr. Macro Musico was the guest speaker , while Mr. Eutiquio Famatigan delivered the welcome remarks. Mrs. Imelda Fietas, BNHS principal, served as the master of ceremonies.
YBM, Golden Jubilee Champs
YBM once more asserted its supremacy in the local hardcourt when it bagged the Golden Jubilee title, its fifth consecutive title, in the 1998 edition of the Lenten Basketball Tournament. It handily beat the Playboys in the finals after sweeping the semi-final and Group A elimination rounds. The Jazz with a 0 - 3 win - loss card in the semi-finals bounced back to claim third place against the Hunters who was 1 - 2 in the semis. The first, second and third placers received P 10,000.00, P 7,000.00, and P 5,000.00 respectively and a trophy each, courtesy of Aldrin Fabrero.
Brooks Ferrancol was selected MVP of the tournament.
The Playboys entered the finals with a 2 - 1 card in the semis and a sweep of the Group B eliminations which included the Mariners, Greenhorns, L.A. Gang, El Bros., and the Jazz. Meanwhile, the Hunters hardly made it to the second round, thanks to the loss of Hot Spring to the Sky Hawks, when it carded 2-2 in the Group A elimination. The other teams in Group A were YBM, St. Catherine and Topside.
The tournament, sponsored by Class '88, was held on March 27 to April 8. Incidentally, the other sports activities in line were canceled.
The civic-military parade held in the morning of April 11 proved to be the most colorful and most well-attended activity of the celebration and one which the participants and the public would remember most. With almost all of the classes participating with great enthusiasm, the parade was most probably the longest and the most lively parade Bantoanons have ever seen.
The parade was a showcase of cooperation amongst the alumni of the school and brotherhood of classmates. It also displayed the different characters, images and attitudes of each class.
The parade, led by a motorcade of alumni policemen of the municipality directed by SPO4 Benjamin Famatigan, and the much improved BNHS Drum and Lyre Corps, kicked off at the Banton Central School grounds. It wound up in front of the Faustino Fabella Sr. building which served as the first high school edifice.
Right after the parade, Lyndon F. Fadri and Engr. Ronelo F. Fababeir of the self-proclaimed worst-dressed class of the golden jubilee celebration, Class '87, announced the winners of a surprise contest it sponsored. Class 90 had the most striking slogan, "I love this Class.", outclassing Class 51's "Kami ang Una", Class 72's "Ibang klase kami", and Class 89's "It's nice to be an 89er". Class '94 was adjudged the most cheerful and jolly group. Class 78, in their light brown shirts and ethnic hats, bagged the prize for the most unique uniform. Class 76's shirts coupled with caps, both in gold and blue, the colors of the celebration and the school, respectively, stood out to be chosen as the best uniform, upstaging the uniforms sported by Classes 68, 78, 70, 66, 95 and 91. Finally, the prize for the most cooperative class went to Class 58 which was represented by seven of its fourteen members namely Joseph Fadri, Tagumpay Ferranco, Norbal Festin, Nilo Feticio, Maria Paz Fetizanan, Clarissa Fabellon and Rizaldy Festin. A special citation was given Class 52 for smarting the Philippines' centennial dress. Participants of the winning classes will receive a free copy of Silak in its next two issues.
Unveiling of the Marker
The parade was followed with the unveiling of the marker attached to the Fabella building after the ceremonial cutting of a tree and ribbon by the members of the founders' families. In the unveiling program, the family of the late Prof. Gabriel F. Fabella, Sr. was represented by Mr. Jose Burgos Fabella, while the late Ex-mayor Faustino Fabella, Sr. was personally represented by all the surviving children and grandchildren. The unveiling was officiated by the representatives of the two founders of the school in the persons of Mr. Jose Burgos Fabella and Mr. Daniel Fabella, who both talked on the rich and glorious history of the institution. Representing the school were Imelda Fietas, presently the school's principal and Romulo A. Faz, Sr. and Eutiquio Famatigan, presidents of the BHS Alumni Association, Banton Chapter and Manila Chapter respectively. Engr. Valentin Faigao, president of the first graduating class of the BHS, gave the response, while Mr. Famatigan delivered a speech as a tribute to the founders for the establishment of the institution. Mr. Romulo A. Faz, Sr. gave the closing remarks.
The Visit to the Cemeteries
The cheers that greeted the morning finally faded with the solemn rites at the public and Catholic cemeteries. Heirs of the late builders of the school - Ex-Mayor Faustino Fabella, Sr., Ex-Vice Mayor Isabelo Ferrera, Mr. Luis Fabicon, Ms. Felipa Fabicon, Ex-Mayor Dionisio Fetalvero, Ex-Mayor Macario Festin, and Ex-Municipal Secretary Gavino; and ex-employees of the school - Mr. Eutiquio Fabellon, Mr. Prospero Arcasitas, and Mr, Reynaldo Fetalvero offered flowers on the tombs of the aforenamed builders and former employees of the institution.
The BNHS Demonstration
Not long after the cheers of the civic parade have faded, the sound of the drums once more reverberated in the town, as students of the Banton National High School, paraded the main thoroughfares in colorful attires. It ended at the Banton Central School grounds where they made their presentations - Ati-Atihan, military drill, and calisthenics, among others. A good number of spectators braved the noontime heat to witness the biggest presentation the school had made in years.
The Thanksgiving Mass and Testimonial Luncheon
On 12 April 1998, a thanksgiving mass, attended by a great number of alumni, was said. The mass was concelebrated by Rev Fr. Pershing Faeldog and Rev. Fr. Miller of Banton and Concepcion parishes, respectively. Before noon of the same date, some alumni registered themselves for the formation of a general association for all alumni of the school under the management of Col., Necito F. Festin.
At noon, the testimonial luncheon was served wherein the participants therein were entertained by the speech of Ex-Mayor Jory F. Faderanga. Thereafter, the election committee was created and appointed thereto were Gen. Ismael Musico, chairman; and Dr. Sotero Fabella and Mr. Juanito Fetizanan as members.
Elected members of the Association's Board of Directors were Decoroso Fadri, Nicolas Fonte, Romulo A. Faz, Sr., Imelda F. Fietas, Lyndon F. Fadri, Eutiquio Famatigan, Rocely F. Fonte, Patrocinio F. Ferrera, Necito F. Festin, Joseph F. Fadri, Vicente Ferriol, Faustino Fabella, Jr., Arcelio B. Fetizanan, Chritiente Fiecas, and Darwin Musico.
Jenalin, Miss Golden Jubilee
In the evening of the 12th of April, the coronation program and ball took centerstage at GLF Memorial Theater under the able management of Ms. Shirley Morada, Ms. Glorita Fano, and Mr. Romulo A. Faz, Sr., respectively. Ms. Jenalin Fatallo was pinned sash by Mr. Jose Burgos Fabella, assisted by Ms. Tagumpay Ferranco and Ms. Virginita Fatallo, as Miss Golden Jubilee. Ms. Rose Layson was pinned sash by Mr. Nicolas Fonte, CPA, assisted by Ms. Rocely F. Fonte and Mr. Leodegario Fajiculay, as Miss Banton National High School; and Leah Catherine Fababeir was pinned sash by Atty. Julieto Fabrero, CPA, assisted by Ms. Patria Fabella, as Miss Banton High School.
Finally, the Miss Golden Jubilee was crowned by Schools Division Superintendent Joseph F. Fadri, who extolled the exemplary character and personal behavior of Bantoanon women in the preservation of their pristine beauty and sterling virtues and of honesty humility, industry, purity, and blessedness. Ms. Luzviminda Festin and Ms. Virginita Fatallo assisted in the crowning.
Ms Milagros Faderanga, the school's Ms. Silver Jubilee, transferred the cape to Queen Jenalin I, which symbolized the transfer of the honor, title, and authority as a beauty queen.
In between the dance pieces, the school faculty, Alumni Association, and the Sangguniang Bayan of Banton, Romblon awarded certificate of recognition to each of the illustrious founders of the school - the late Prof. Gabriel F. Fabella, Sr. and late Ex-Mayor Faustino Fabella, Sr. - through their respective representatives.
The event also provided homecomers with a venue and a time to be with long lost classmates and friends. Their participation in the activities displayed once again their closeness and their belongingness to their respective classes.
Actually, each class had their own set of activities apart from the golden jubilee set of activities which for some began much earlier as they cooperatively prepared for the event and which for others extended beyond as they tried to make the most of being together once more. Most of the classes, though, held their own activities during times not occupied by the main event.
The event was extra special for Class 73 and Class 88. They hit it two birds in one stone as the former also celebrated their 25th anniversary and the latter held the traditional 10th-year anniversary reunion. Class 73, one of the more cohesive classes with Fr. Vino Faminialagao at the helm, held a spiritual exercise, a banquet and an excursion. Class 88 on the other hand, under the able leadership of Engr. Lawrence Fadri, successfully sponsored the traditional Lenten Basketball Tournament and held the activities so typical a reuniting class - excursion and parties. Both published respectable souvenir programs.
A Successful Event
To make a fair assessment of the success of the affair, Silak sought the assessment of the batches present during the Coronation night. They made their comments are as follows: Majority of the batches are not represented in the coronation ball. - Batch '78; No comment. - Batch '81; It's successful, one which we can treasure. However, we hope for better communication next time - in the Diamond Jubilee celebration, which we are looking forward to. - Batch '76; Excellent. - Batch '52; Magnificent. The purpose of the celebration itself is very significant and timely not just for every participant but for the institution as well. - Batch '90; Hope we can do much better on the 75th founding anniversary, if there is. - Batch '94; The celebration is a great success, not only for the batch but for all alumni of BHS, BMHS, BNHS. We look forward for the 75th founding anniversary. Mabuhay BHS Class '69. To SILAK, keep up the good work. - Batch 69; It's nothing compared to the extraordinary, but still we should be proud of it. Long live Batch '91. - Batch '91; We're happy even if others are not around. - Batch '87.
As to the general public, the golden jubilee celebration of the Banton High School / Banton National High School was a success and fully expressive of the unflagging loyalty and matchless dedication of the alumni to the high school ideals for which the school proudly stands and lives on and magnificently strives for.