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HARO SA YAGTING 2000

It is year 2000. In the midst of conflicting views whether the new millennium has really begun at the tick of midnight of December 31, 1999, or not (that it will begin in Year 2001), the whole world greeted the new year, with festive and grand celebrations. Even China, the world’s most populous nation, with its own calendar distinct from the Western calendar, from the streets of Beijing to the beaches of Hainan Island, turned out a great number of Chinese cheering the arrival of Year 2000.

Times Square in New York was filled with a rowdy crowd of two million. The Pyramids of Egypt shone as they were turned to giant video screens for a spectacular multi-media light show and electronic opera for the world to watch. Hindu women trooped the banks of the Ganges River where they performed their traditional peace offering. A multitude witnessed how the Parthenon in Greece relived its ancient glory.

The Philippines was not left behind. In Metro Manila, Filipinos gathered in major celebration areas – the Ayala, Fort Bonifactio, Luneta Grandstand and Quezon City Circle – which showcased the best of Filipino entertainment and spectacular fireworks. In the households, despite of the Iwas-Paputok campaign, Filipinos welcomed the new year with a louder bang. In Banton, townsfolk gathered in the tablados or wigwams for the traditional costume ball with some improvements to highlight the "turn of the millennium".

Most didn’t care even if others think that the new millennium will still dawn in the Year 2001.

The change in the thousands digit of the year count was it to many. For the trendsetters, the people in the business sector, Year 2000 billed as the start of the new millennium has more commercial value. Probably, others just joined the fray. Others may have thought that the final year of the first millennium is also a time of celebration – the finale in a musical.

To devoted Roman Catholics, the beginning of the new millennium or not, this year really deserves a rousing welcome as this is the Great Jubilee Year. This is a year of grace, a year of salvation. This is the year of our reunion with God – the very reason why we live. From the looks of it, the faithfuls are right - how people of different cultures and different beliefs welcomed the year, how the non-events buried the prophets of doomsday to their dark predictions and how the Y2K bug vanished in our memories.

What a time for us Bantoanons to go back to our hometown! What a time to be with kasimanwas beaming with the grace of the Lord to renew our ties! What a time to reassure motherland that she will be in our hearts in the new millennium and beyond! What a time to romance the stones that longed to hug us! What a time for a Haro sa Yagting!

Mga kasimanwa, we haven’t really celebrated this momentous year as a group of people known as Bantoanons. The world had theirs. This is our time! Rungan kitang magharo sa ato pinalanggang Bantoon. Be there for the Haro sa Yagting 2000!

Volume III No 1