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 bugnaw ang huna-huna sa mga lumulupyo or peaceful minds. But whatever historical beginnings they believed, there is only one thing that is common, anyone who take a stay in the barangay will find their comfort.
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 that the barangay’s waters are abundantly blessed with marine resources they eventually settle to its beautifully “architectured” seashores. The barangay was known for the “GOOD AND PLENTIFUL CATCH”. In lieu of this, the natives of the Bonawon own a large proportion of its 7200-hectare territory and used the land primarily for farming such as planting corn, coconuts and rice. Small areas were allotted for vegetable and fruit farms while other land owners utilized it for reforestation by planting paper trees, also know as diyarmelina. The country’s seasons was been a great 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. But 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 makes 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. At present, Brgy. Bonawon has been a home of different professional such as engineers, nurses and business professional. Others are also grantees of government and private sponsored scholarships.
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 Worship ceremonies are all located in the village. This is the only barangay I know that houses the country’s major churches and religious institutions.
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.
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.