ࡱ> uwtq` MbjbjqPqP 2h::E%<<<P8,HLP'H," GGGGGGG$SIhKbG<Q7  Q7Q7GG=@=@=@Q7<G=@Q7G=@=@VF@6<~G "#=rF GG0'HGxLE?L~GL<~G( k(=@-to2 GG?^ 'HQ7Q7Q7Q7PPPPPPPPP FIELD REPORT BANTON ISLAND June 6-12, 2007 ABSTRACT This report provided, among others, the activities conducted on June 6 to June 12, 2007, in line with the agreement made by and between the National Museum and The Asi Studies Center for Culture and the Arts (ASCCA) represented by its President, Mr. Abner F. Famiano. ASCCA is a local organization committed to preserve and protect the heritage of Banton Island. The agreement was to conduct a seminar workshop regarding cultural awareness and heritage preservation of Banton Island. The workshop was scheduled on June 9 and 10, 2007. The objective was to build the professional capacity of agencies and sectors of the local community so that they could readily identify natural and cultural resources and likewise protect the tangible and intangible heritage of Banton Island, and at the same time take advantage of opportunities provided by responsible tourism. INTRODUCTION The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) thru its Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) submitted a project proposal on the Development of Guyangan Cave System located in Barangay Toctoc and Tagbongan situated on the Island of Banton, Romblon, as an eco-tourism destination of the province. The proposal was then submitted to the National Museum for evaluation and suggestions. In this proposal, the cave identified by the PAWB is actually the archaeological site that yielded significant archaeological materials that will provide insights to the pre-historic part of Romblon. Considering that the major heritage resources of Banton are archaeological sites and objects found therein, the National Museum believes that any plan for eco-tourism purposes should be evaluated intensively by all stakeholders. Thus, the National Museum, thru a series of meeting with PAWB, agreed to workout a plan to properly implement a responsible cultural tourism program for Banton Island. The initial step was to conduct a seminar workshop. The National Museum agreed to draft a seminar workshop proposal for Banton to be signed by PAWB which will be submitted to National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) for financial assistance. However, PAWB did not submit any counterpart financial proposal which is vital to its approval. Thus financial assistance was course thru the Speakers Bureau wherein only expenses of the speakers or lecturer shall be shouldered by NCCA. Instead of focusing their coordination with other government agencies, the National Museum focused its attention with the Local Non-Government organization and the local communities including any form of assistance coming from NCCA. Thru the concerted effort of the above-mentioned stakeholders, the seminar workshop was successfully and effectively implemented. BACKGROUND INFORMATION Location and Features: Nineteen kilometers (19 kms.) North of Tablas Island, Banton is the small island of Ramblon. Bounded by Marinduque Island on the North, Simara Island on the South, Sibuyan Island on the East and Sibali Island on the West. Banton the official name of the island municipality, was derived from the term batoon for the place is the most rugged, stony, and rocky in the whole archipelago according to the late Prof. Gabriel F. Fabella. The Spaniards modified it to Banton and such name continued when Romblon was made sub-province of Capiz. The name was change to Jones in honor of Senator William Atkinson Jones after Romblons status as a province was restored. Since that time, the Banto-anons wanted the restoration of the original name of the island-municipality and through the joint efforts of then Mayor Dionisio Fetalvero and then Congressman Jose D. Moreno, the restoration of its original name Banton was realized on 1959. Banton is accessible to public transport. From Manila, one can proceed to Banton by taking the bus transport via Lucena. From Dalahican, Lucena, one can take the Kalayaan Shipping Line or Asuncion Shipping Line, two common carriers which transport passenger from Lucena to Banton. The schedule is daily except Saturday, leaving Dalahican at 7:00 P.M. and arriving Banton at 4:00 A.M. which is rougly a nine (9) hour travel. The Municipality is composed of seventeen (17) barangays: Balogo, Banice, Habian, Lagang, Libtong, Nabalay, Sibay, Maenet, Nasunogan, Poblacion, Tan-ag, Toctoc, Togbonggan, Togong, Tumalum, Tungonan, and Yaburon. The municipalitys population is 6,769 as of the year 2000. Banton is one of the municipalities of the province with lowest growth rate. The people are peace loving, God fearing and highly respectable. Banton is primarily agricultural with copra as its main product. The people also engage in fishing, livestock products, handicrafts and the indigenous raffian industry. Napocor provides the islands electricity which is distributed by the Municipal government. Power supply runs for about five hours a day. The towns potable water supply comes from various sources such as Level III water system, artesian wells, open wells and shallow wells. The climate in Banton Island is characterized by seasons that are not very pronounced. From the late part of January to July is relatively dry and the rest of the year is wet. Typhoons and heavy rain is expected from September to December in this island. Strong winds, causing difficulties to seafarers is also expected. Therefore, all plans, documentations and exploration activities in Banton Island must be conducted during the months of February to August. Cultural Importance: The presence of cultural heritage resources in the Island of Banton, specifically in the Guyangan Cave, was first reported by former Director III of the National Museum, Professor Alfredo E. Evangelista. In this report, he describes the cave of Banton as the perfect gem of archaeologists had it not been modified by its discoveries. According to Prof. Evangelista, a diligent study will bring valuable knowledge on the pre-Spanish burial practices in the region. Two of the significant finds on the island of Banton are the Banton cloth, the earliest known cloth in the Philippines, and skulls with artificial cranial reformation. The practice of deforming the skull when the individual was still an infant was a part of the cultural tradition in Romblon, Cebu, Bohol, Agusan, and Misamis in pre-historic time. Other Cultural and Natural Heritage Found in Banton Island The island of Banton, is rich in culture and tradition. For one, they have their own distinct language, the Asi language, which according to the Summer Institute of Linguistics, is a distinct / unique family of Visayan language. An intangible cultural property from poem, dance, song, practice of herbal medicine, and other traditions which was passed on from one generation to another is still being practice. Structures during the Spanish period still exist. Fort Nicolas or Fuerza de San Jose, is a tangible example of the structure. The church of Banton, located at Poblacion, constructed in 17th century, despite its renovation, has still traces of its original aesthetics. We can also mention the artesian wells which were constructed during the Spanish and American period. Not to mention the archaeological materials found practically all over the island. It is worth noting that Banton Island is not only rich in cultural heritage but also in natural heritage. Because of its natural bounties, mountainous terrain and blue waters, it is obvious that the ecological aspect should not be discounted. This is the only island in the Philippines wherein monkeys although being considered as a part of its heritage, are likewise considered as pest by local residence for they eat and rummage future harvests of plants. Significant Activities Conducted by the Cultural Properties Division of the National Museum May 2006 - Site verifications were conducted by CPD personnel verifying reports submitted by Mr. Fabicon regarding cultural material found in Barangay Sibay. Upon further exploration, cave sites were found and verified as potential archaeological sites due to archaeological material found in the area. Proper coordinations were conducted with the local government units, non-government organization and local residence including landowners. Proper coordination was also conducted with the local police regarding the protections of burial cave sites and other cultural properties. June 2006 - The staff of the Cultural Properties Division conducted an information campaign thru lecture seminars and distribution of pamphlets (P.D. 374) regarding the protection and preservation of the countrys cultural heritage in several barangay in Banton. The National Museum staff thru the Cultural Properties Division upon recommendation, the local government unit passed an ordinance in support of the national law to ensure the preservation of the heritage resources in Banton Island. May 2007 - The DENR PAWB coordinated with the Mayor regarding the proposed workshop seminar spearheaded by PAWB and the National Museum. Unfortunately, the proposed workshop seminar did not materialized due to election related problems. WORKSHOP PROPER The seminar workshop is a two (2) day work activities scheduled on June 9 and 10, 2007 at the Banton Stadium. The seminar entitled Cultural Awareness Program and Heritage Preservation was organized by ASCCA and concerned local personalities, particularly Mr. Ismael Fabicon, Founding Director RDL-CLEAR USA. From a projected 30 to 50 participants estimated by the organizer, around 150 participants attended consisting of local officials, teachers, concern citizen, senior citizen and the youth. The workshop has two (2) parts, the lecture series and the group activities. The first part is composed of lectures and case study presentation that concentrated on identification, protection, and preservation of cultural resources. It also focused on heritage mapping and planning. There were five (5) speakers, Mr. Ismael F. Fabicon, the first speaker an icon in Banton community, presented the cultural heritage of the island discussing the rich history and significant event about Banton. The second speaker was Ms. Nota F. Magno, one of the Founding Director and Officer of ASCCA who presented the cultural resources of Banton and its significance to its people. Mr. Joseph Garcia, Researcher I from the Archaeology Division, National Museum, the 3rd speaker, lectured about Basic Archaeology and Museology. The importance of these two aspects to cultural resource development. Mr. Edwin J. Dela Rosa, Senior Museum Researcher of the Cultural Properties Division, National Museum, presented the importance of laws, rules and regulations to the preservation and protection of the Cultural Heritage of Banton. P.D. 374, a special law which deals with the protection and preservation of cultural properties was extensively discussed. Mr. Dela Rosa also discussed legal provision on the declaration of significant cultural properties in the Philippines as National Cultural Treasure or Important Cultural Properties. Mr. Angel P. Bautista, Head of the National committee on Museum (NCOM) - National Commission for Culture and the Arts, discussed and emphasized the role of the community in cultural and strategic planning in the development of a site. He emphasized that members of the local community should participate in the identification of their cultural and natural heritage both tangible and intangible and movable and immovable cultural properties. Mr. Bautista also presented numerous case studies in the Philippines and abroad on the development of sites with active participation of several sectors of the community. After the lectures and discussions, the participants were divided into four (4) groups, assigning particular topics and specific work activities to each group. The first group was assigned to discussed about laws, rules and regulations for the protection and preservation of burial cave sites, providing strategies to effectively implement said laws rules and regulations. Group IIs assignment was to provide a master plan for the establishment of Banton Museum. History of Banton was assigned to Group III. They discussed the authenticity of facts and events published in numerous books and other publications Group IV emphasized their activities on cultural mapping. In this group they were assigned to provide a cultural plan for the development of Bantons heritage, identifying the stakeholders, the heritage resources, including traditional skill of local people and marketing strategies The output of the activities was presented the next day, June 10, 2007 The organizer also included in the program numerous presentations, such as the Banton song which was presented by teachers and the youth, traditional dance presented by the Senior Citizen and native games presented again by the youth. These presentations were very traditional and culturally rooted to Bantons heritage. Based on the results of the workshop, as manifested in the assigned activities presented by the participants, a concrete master plan for Heritage Tourism of Banton Island was formulated by the principal stakeholder consisting of local officials, teachers, non-government organization, senior citizen and the youth, all residents of Banton island. OTHER HIGHLIGHTS: Prior to the workshop proper, Team Banton explored a burial cave site located at Bgy. Tubongan. The site is locally known as Silak Cave. The cave is situated 300 ft. above sea level. The terrain is rocky with minimal vegitation, mostly grass and shrubs. The entrance of the cave is approximately 1 meter by .75 meter. Inside the cave, numerous archaeological materials, consisting of skull cranial reformation, remnant of wooden coffins, broken potteries, and other articulated skeletal remains were found. The cave has a larger opening at the cliff face fronting the sea which allows sunlight to illuminate the cave, thus deriving its name from (silak means shine). Prof Angel P. Bautista, leading authority in the field of zoo archaeology and Curator I of the Cultural Properties Division, after conducting an initial assessment of the said cave site, was convinced of its cultural and scientific potentials. During this exploration, additional information was imparted regarding the existence of numerous burial cave site known to the natives that contain the same cultural materials. The team also attended the soft opening of a mini museum. The Museum was established by ASCA, housing numerous cultural materials found in the island. The team also inspected Fort Nicolas, the old Church and the artesian well, all constructed during the Spanish period. Despite the renovation undertaken on their immovable cultural heritage, the same can still be restored to its original structure. The team also visited the weaving center at Brgy Libtong. The present weaving industry still uses the same materials that were utilized during the pre-Spanish period which might be associated to the Banton Cloth. RECOMMENDATION The National Museum thru its Cultural Properties Division personnel has established three (3) significant achievements in accordance with the divisions mandate; Verification of reported sites, initial action to protect said sites by proper coordination with Local Government Unit (LGU), Local enforcement authority, Non- Government Organization, concerned citizens, and land owners. Extensive information dissemination campaign thru lecture series and relevant pamphlet distribution (P.D. 374) that resulted in the increase of cultural awareness of the principal stakeholder. Conducted a seminar/workshop, which resulted in the formulation and establishment of a master plan for cultural heritage, tourism and development program conceived by the principal stakeholder consisting of LGU, NGO, teachers senior citizen, the youth- all local residence of Banton. Despite this initial success, numerous programs and plans are still needed. Documentation and inventory are strongly recommended to be the next work activities of the Banton team; specifically on the following: Documentation and inventory of cultural properties which include among others, collection holding of ASCCA and inventory and documentation of caves and its content. Survey and documentation of the flora and fauna in the immediate vicinity of the burial cave complex for future rehabilitation in case the site is disturbed. (In accordance with Sec. 2 of P.D. 374 and with Sections 6.2 & 7.4 of Republic Act 8492). Documentation of Fort Nicolas and Other Old Structure located at the Poblacion; Documentation of intangible cultural heritage; e.g. dance, song, weaving practice, traditional medicine etc. Survey and documentation of geological structures of Banton; Constant coordination with NCCA, LGU, NGO including coordination with the House of Representatives for support; Furthermore, it is also highly recommended that the Banton cloth, the oldest cloth in the Philippines, be prioritized for its declaration as National Cultural Treasure. The team also recommended that the Guyangan Cave Complex be declared as Important Cultural Heritage Site. Done this 15th day of June 2007. TEAM BANTON ANGEL BAUTISTA Curator I, Cultural Properties Division, National Museum Head, National Committee On Museums (NCOM), NCCA EDWIN J. DELA ROSA Sr. Museum Researcher, Cultural Properties Division Concurrent Legal Officer EMMANUEL Q. 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