I've been Bantoanon by virtue of birth. Both my parents are Bantoanons, especially my mom who hails from a prominent Bantoanon family. Though I wasn't raised in the island and not much proficient with my oral and written Asi, I did take up studies there, during my first grade in elementary and third year high school. I made a handful of friends and got to know my roots well. People do know me and I get a pat in the back or wave of the hand everytime I see these people when I go home to Banton during the summer.
I've gotten to know Banton as an island rich not just in physical beauty but as well as culture. The plethora of literature that Bantoanons produce are a bounty, which I have read in the Biniray souvenirs and books published by the Asi Studies Center. I can same the say the same in the music and traditions. This culture, in my view, should always be preserved for the benefit of generations to come and to cement the status of Asi as one of the prominent ethnolinguistic groups in Region IV-B and the Philippines.
What better way to cement it than through writing. Filipinos have started the trend through websites and blogs such as Definitely Filipino and Filipino Voices. Why not a blog that features the Bantoanon perspective on just about anything under the sun for all Bantoanons to read? I guess by doing so, it will help Bantoanons, especially the younger once like me, to trace their roots and appreciate the heritage that they've been gifted with. Literature for me is the key to understanding and identifying ourselves as Bantoanon.
Join me my fellow Bantoanons in this saga. Contribute your essays, stories and articles by emailing it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let's do this for the island!