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The year 1998 will probably be best remembered as a year of change, specifically, a year of change in Banton’s most recognized institutions. After 17 years as municipal mayor, Hon. Jory F. Faderanga stepped down of the office. He was succeeded by then Vice-Mayor Nemesio Fiecas in an acting capacity. Mayor Patrocinio Ferrera then took the reins of the municipal government after a close contest with Acting Mayor Fiecas in the May 11 elections. With her are a new breed of Sangguniang Bayan members led by Hon. Vice-Mayor Rolo Fainsan who may well be best described as representatives of the Bantoanon masses – changing the august body’s personality which used to be dominated by acclaimed "intellectuals". In the provincial level, while Vice Gov. Jose A. Fonte retained his post, another Bantoanon made it to the provincial board - ex-Mayor Jory F. Faderanga.

Early in the year, Joseph F. Fadri received his permanent appointment as Schools Division Superintendent of Romblon, replacing Dr. Dinah F. Mindo who moved to Laguna province. At almost the same time of the year, the education-conscious Bantoanons welcomed District Supervisor Lydia R. Rutor.

Completing the major shakeup in the leadership is Fr. Genis Boada who was warmly welcomed by the God-loving Bantoanons as their new parish priest. He replaced Fr. Pershing Faeldog.

1998 will also be remembered as a year of celebration. During the holy week, alumni of the Banton High School, now Banton National High School, gathered from all over the nation and the world to celebrate the fiftieth founding anniversary of the school. Not to be overshadowed were the Bus-ogan sa Lagang and the latest Balik Mainit. In September, the town fiesta celebration in honor of our beloved patron, St. Nicholas of Tolentino, was staged successfully. Outside of the island, Bantoanons gathered at Kinalaglagan Beach Resort for another memorable celebration of Biniray.

In 1998, there was also a full display of the civic-mindedness of Bantoanons. The Banton High School Alumni Association was founded with Nicolas Fonte elected as the Chairman of the Board. All the way from the United States, Ismael Fabicon started the Romblon Discussion List in the Internet. From their discussions, RDL-CLEAR emerged, a computer-donation project for Romblon municipalities. A computer center in Banton is not far behind. In Metro Manila, SILAK greeted the new year with its first issue and through the year has shown a lot of promise.

Banton’s march to progress carried through the year. The establishment of a telecommunication unit in November was a major development for the town whose march towards progress is often hindered by its isolation.

Study Mission (Cont. from p. 6) The six-member group of the mission is composed of Ilyn Fabonan and Marie Forteza of Brgy. Tugnonan, Princesita Fetalvero and Ester Fabito of Brgy. Sibay and Mercy Flores and Perlinda Rovero of Brgy. Libtong. They were accompanied by Rodolfo M. Martinez, STIDS of DTI-Romblon and Abraham Fabicon, manager of Banton Multi-Purpose Cooperative. The group, assisted by Analyn Billones and Phil Valencia of DTI-Aklan visited the following: (1) Handicraft of Aklan Multi-Purpose Cooperative, supplier of knotted raffia, raffia placemats and dyed raffia fiber, etc. (2) Uswag Development Foundation, makers of handwoven antive products made of raffia and (3) Rentillo Enterprises.

Earlier, the group paid a courtesy call to Diego M. Lucas of Kalibo, Aklan, Nanie A. Roldan, Planning Officer, and Apollo Peralta, chairman of the Provincial Cooperative Federation.

Volume II No I