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Bonawon: Some Little History

Bonawon: Some Little History

Early residents of the barangay mostly believed that Barangay Bonawon comes from the Visayan word Bugnawon which means bugnaw nga panahon or cold yet comforting weather. On the other hand, the Parish Priest of Siaton, Rev. Father Joaquin Gonzales, states that Bugnawon means peaceful minds of the residents or locally, bugnaw ang huna-huna sa mga lumulupyo. But whatever historical beginnings they believe, there is only one thing that we are sure about, that whoever take a stay in the barangay will truly find comfort.

bonawon mangrove area

Bonawon mangrove area

The barangay’s early populace were primarily composed of refugees from Mindanao who tried to escape from the conflicts in the region during the 60’s and 70’s. Finding the place’s waters to be abundant with marine resources, they eventually settle to its shores. Aside from the rich bay, the 7200-hectare fertile territory is used to grow the residents’ primary staples. Small areas were allotted for vegetable and fruit farms while other land owners utilized it for reforestation. The two seasons help to balance the livelihood of the residents, to which habagat (rainy season) helps farmers for a good harvest while amihan (sunny season) is ideal for an ample catch. Though, fishermen can still go fishing during habagat while farmers can still plant during amihan. Through the years, the harmonious relationship of the “Farmers” and the “Fishers” remain strong.

Young and intelligent professionals are now increasing in the village since education is readily available. Pio Macahig Memorial High School, Bautista Tayko Adventist School, Maria Macahig Memorial High School (Maria Macahig National High School) and satellite schools that are instilled to its remote highlands and puroks are few institutions that continuously provide quality education for the residents and neighbouring villages. One concrete proof was when Mr. Everjohn Laingo won the National Science Quiz Bowl in 2003 which made Maria Macahig Memorial High School and the barangay truly proud. Everjohn Laingo is now a registered nurse and is currently teaching in a known private university in Dumaguete. College education can easily be accessed by its deserving sons and daughters. Negros Oriental State University – Siaton is just 15 minutes ride from the village. Silliman University, Foundation University, and Saint Paul University-Dumaguete, on the other hand, cost an hour and a half.

The barangay is also a home for many faithful. Different religious institutions had found their place in the village. The Catholic Church, the Iglesia ni Cristo, the Protestant Church, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and homes or halls that hosts Born Again Christian’s have places on worship in the village. This is the only barangay I know that houses most of the country’s major churches and religious institutions.

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fishing pumpboat

Typical pumpboat used by Bonawon’s fishermen

Brgy. Bonawon has long been celebrating its annual festivity in the Honour of the Patron Saint, St. Vincent Ferrer during the fifth of April. Regular events to be anticipated in the Fiesta are the fluvial parade, usually organized by the Parochial Church and held during or a day before the Feast day, the Street parade, beauty pageant, sport competitions and other games that are organized by the Village officials with the assistance of Sanguniang Kabataan of Brgy. Bonawon. Just recently, Brgy. Bonawon instil its official festival, the Palaran Festival. Palaran Festival, according to its proponent and main organizer, Mr. Totoya Macias Esconde, is a festival of all kinds of Fishing and Farming. It is celebrated for the folks to gratify the blessings from nature, their major source of living.

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Typical fishing boat in Bonawon

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Fluvial parade participants

It is really true that there is no other better place than your hometown. It is where you truly found peace, rest assured; the real bliss is coming home.

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