Romblon

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Romblon: The Marble Capital of the Philippines

One of the many stores that sell ceramics in Romblon

Romblon is an island province in the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA Region. It lies south of Marinduque and Quezon, east of Mindoro, north of Aklan and Capiz, and west of Masbate. Its capital is also named Romblon.

The province of Romblon is composed of three larger islands; Romblon Island at the center where the provincial capital is located, Tablas Island, west of the capital and Sibuyan Island, east of the capital. It also includes the smaller islands of Banton, Maestro de Campo, Simara, Carabao, Carlota and Isabel.

 History

Romblon's early inhabitants were the Negritos from Panay and Mangyan tribes from Mindoro. Ancient wooden coffins discovered in the caves of Banton Island in 1936 signify a rich ancient civilization and culture in the province before the arrival of the Spaniards. These artifacts are currently in display at the National Museum in Manila.

The islands were first colonized in 1570 by an expedition headed by Juan de Salcedo, nephew of conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. In 1853, it was organized into a politico-military district and made a sub-province of Capiz. In 1917, after the American colonial rule was established in the Philippines, it was converted into a separate province by Philippine Act No. 2724. It was returned under the control of Capiz during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. On January 1, 1947, following the liberation of the Philippines, the regular provincial status of Romblon was restored.

Economy

The province of Romblon has a mainly agricultural economy with copra farming, fishing, and rice farming as the chief agricultural activities. The fertile soil nurtures various agricultural crops like coconut, rice, corn, bananas, raffia palm, root crops, fruit trees, and many others. Its abundant fishing grounds supply fish to various distribution centers in Batangas and Quezon province. Mining is also a lucrative industry in the province due to its vast mineral resources. Aside from marble, the islands are rich in granite, nickel, silica, mercury, zinc, copper, silver, limestone, sulfide, ores, kaolin, clay, magnesium, and quartz. Gold panning sites have sprouted in some of the mountain stream areas in Magdiwang, Sibuyan Island. In recent years, tourism is also becoming a viable source of income for the province as its pristine beaches and crystal clear waters attract local and foreign tourists to visit and experience its physical beauty and culture.

 

Natural Attractions

Bonbon Beach

Barangay Lonos, Romblon, Romblon

  • Half a kilometer in length with a width of approximately 18 meters, the shoreline is covered with fine white sand and features a gradually sloping ocean floor free of sea grass and sharp stones. Across the beach is a small islet, which is accessible by foot during low tide. This islet has a secluded swimming area with a short stretch of fine white sand beach.

Tiamban Beach

Barangay Lonos, Romblon, Romblon

  • Shoreline of approximately 50 meters is covered with fine white sand. Its features are much the same as the Bonbon Beach except that it has a narrow beachfront.

Nagoso Cave

Barangay Cobrador, Romblon, Romblon

  • The largest natural Cave in town and is believed to be a burial ground due to the presence of ancient works of art, according to the local lore.

Marble Beach Resort

Barangay Ginablan, Romblon, Romblon

  • Cottages are available for rent.

Cobrador Beach Resort

Barangay Cobrador, Romblon, Romblon

  • Among the treasures of Cobrador are its beaches. One is located the eastern side of the islet. A wide expanse of the shore is covered with fine white sand crushed corals, with a gradually sloping ocean floor. It is free of seaweeds but about 15 meters from the shores, big boulders abound. Cottages are available for rent.

Talipasak Beach Resort

Barangay Ginablan, Romblon, Romblon

  • A beach resort proximate to the Marble Beach Resort.

Kawilihan Falls

Barangay Calabogo, Romblon, Romblon

  • A natural falls amidst lush greenery and tropical vegetation, it is approximately 12 kilometers from the town proper.

Marble Quaries and Factories

Romblon, Romblon

  • One’s stay in Romblon is not complete without a visit to one of its marble quarries and factories. Comparable to Italy’s Cararra, Romblon’s world famous marble comes in a spectrum of shades ranging from white to black with in-between tints of mottled white, tiger white and onyx. A guided tour to one of the marble factories is enlightening on how marble is processed into works of art.

Binay-we Beach

Gui-ob, Alcantara, Romblon

  • The site is about a kilometer from the national road and Poblacion. It is located at the eastern side of Gui-ob with natural rock formations and hills. The beach is a small cove with fine white sand, with waters that remain calm the whole year round. It is partly cut off from the public with the presence of big boulders.

Bonlao Beach

Barangay. Bonlao, Alcantara, Romblon

  • Approximately 5½ kilometers from Poblacion, the beach is along the eastern side of Brgy. Bonlao and very near the national road. The beach is a good swimming spot because the shores are clean and sandy.

Tugdan Beach

Barangay. Tugdan, Alcantara Romblon

  • The beach has a wide shoreline covered with clean gravel of uniform sizes. The waters from this part of the island are calm with a deep ocean floor.

Calagonsao Beach

Barangay Calagonsao, Alcantara, Romblon

  • A beach beside the national highway. It has a pebble-covered shoreline. Its ocean floor is sandy though that dips abruptly about six meters from the shoreline. A cluster of boulders jutting from the shore to about 10 meters into the sea provides a perfect diving spot for swimmers.

Guyangun Caves

Banton, Romblon

  • Believed to be a burial site of Banton’s ancestors, the centuries-old coffins made of hallowed logs were discovered in the caves.

Cawa-cawa Falls

Barangay Lumang Este, Cajidjocan, Romblon

  • The falls is approximately 7 kilometers away from the Poblacion. The cascading water falls into kettle-shaped pools below which were carved from the solid rock formation by the force of the cascading waters over the centuries.

Little Baguio Falls

Cambijang, Cajidiocan, Romblon

  • The falls has crystal clear cool water surrounded by big rocks and forested environs providing shade to its visitors. It is about 4 kilometers from the Poblacion.

Tinagong Dagat

Barangay Talisay, Calatrava, Romblon

  • A circular pool of salt water about 10 meters from the sea. It is about 40 meters in diameter and seven fathoms at its deepest. According the local folks, it defies the law of gravity for it rises when the tide is low and subsides during high tide.

Oregon Rock

Off the coast of Barangay Talisay, Calatrava Romblon

  • It consists of two black boulders standing guard at the entrance to Romblon Pass. The bigger rock towers over 20 meters high and in between the rocks, there is a small patch of white sand where nature lovers can spend the day in solitude.

Aliwanyag Beach

Guinhayaan, Looc, Romblon

  • The beach is a secluded cove along Looc Bay. It has a narrow shore covered with white sands and crushed corals.

Roda Beach

Camandag Looc, Romblon

  • An ideal place for swimming, it is very popular because it can be reached by land and sea. The beach has a bit of local history. A footprint of Talabokon, the legendary hero of the local folks, was left imprinted on a rock.

Looc Bay

Town Proper, Looc, Romblon

  • The sanctuary of marine vessels during typhoons and inclement weather. It has clear blue waters good for swimming, scuba diving and water skiing. Surrounding the bay is a panoramic view of mountain ranges and rolling hills. In the middle of the bay is a submerged coral island where the lighthouse stands. Sunset is a sight to behold at Looc Bay.

Buenavista Beach

Buenavista, Looc Romblon

  • A favorite swimming area. It has fine sand and blue-green waters. A few meters away from the beach is ideal for photographic compositions.

Malapantao Beach

Camandag Looc, Romblon

  • A beach with some uniquely formed rocky portion ideal for diving. It has clean blue-green waters good for swimming.

Pili Falls

Barangay Pili, Looc, Romblon

  • The waters from the falls form a natural deep pool for swimming. The water is always cool even during summer and anyone can leave bottles of drinks under the water to cool. There are also huge vines that can be used for diving.

Looc Reservoir

Barangay Punta, Looc, Romblon

  • It supplies potable water to Looc town. It has a man made swimming pool surrounded with ornamental plants and fruit-bearing trees planted by the local government and other government agencies. The place also serves locals the venue for events, conferences and local events.

Agojo Beach

Barangay Agojo, Looc, Romblon

  • A beach with fine white sands and clear blue water. There is an islet made of rocks where various species of shells abound.

Lambingan Falls

Barangay Silum, Magdiwang, Romblon

  • About 8 kilometers from Poblacion, it lies amidst lush greenery and vegetations. The falls has a natural pool ideal for swimming and picnics.

Mt. Guiting-guiting

Straddles the towns of Magdiwang, San Fernando and Cajidiocan in Sibuyan, Romblon

  • Mt. Guiting-guiting is the highest peak in Romblon. Considered among the more formidable mountains of the country, it rises a little more than 6,000 feet above sea level and has a rugged terrain that presents a series of challenges to mountaineers and climbers

Poctoy Beach

Barangay Poctoy, Odiongan, Romblon

  • It has a wide shoreline stretching for about 3 kilometers with gray sand beaches, which is free of grass. Dotting the shoreline are resorts with cottages and picnics huts.

Mainit Falls

Barangay Patoo, Odiongan, Romblon

  • As its name implies, it pours out warm waters and lies amidst the lush greenery of the highlands of Odiongan. It has a three-tiered falls that pour into deep pools where one can bathe luxuriously.

Garing Falls

Progreso West, Odiongan, Romblon

  • The cool waters from the falls form two lakes- the second pool has depth of three fathoms and a width-span of 15 meters ideal for swimming while the first pool is smaller and more shallow in depth.

Dubduban-Bita Falls Busay Resort

Border of Brgy. Dubduban and Bita, San Agustin Romblon

  • It has seven-tiered falls and lies amidst dense vegetation and cool surroundings. The first tier is on top of a hill with a 70-foot drop into a deep pool of clear blue-green waters.

Kambaya Beach Resort

Barangay Binonga-an, San Agustin, Romblon

  • A long and white sandy shore with cottages and amenities for tourists. This place provides a full view of Romblon island.

Mablaran Falls

Barangay Linawan, San Andres, Romblon

  • The falls lies amidst lush greenery and wild foliage. It pours into a pool of cool, blue-green waters with depth of about 20 ft.

San Andres Beach

Town proper of San Andres, Romblon

  • Fine gray sand line the three-kilometer stretch of San Andres shoreline. Good for swimming during the months of January to May, it has several attractive native cottages where one can relax during the picnics.

Cantingas River Resort

Barangay Taclobo, San Fernando, Romblon

  • It is a natural swimming pool and the water is cold, crystal clear and ever-flowing where one can quench his thirst while swimming. Around 4 kilometers away from Poblacion. It has a cottage with a conference hall.

Busay Falls

Barangay Panangcalan, San Fernando, Romblon

  • A scenic spot with natural pool and is about 2.5 kilometers from the town proper. The upper portion is the water reservoir serving the town with its water requirement.

Cresta de Gallo

Barangay Azagra, San Fernando, Romblon

  • A five-hectare kidney-shaped islet with verdant terrain sloping down to the powdery white sand beach and surrounded by beautiful coral reefs. The islet is rich with different species of marine life and is an ideal place for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving.

San Jose Island

San Jose, Romblon

  • It is a flat landscape of around 28.9 square kilometers and has the most beautiful beaches in the province of Romblon. Its beaches is covered with powdery fine white sands, with clear warm water and a gradually sloping ocean floor. The transportation around the islet is limited to bancas, horse rides and motorbikes.

Canyayo Beach

Barangay Canyayao , Sta. Fe, Romblon

  • The beach is a combination of white sands and crushed corals. Its ocean floor drops abruptly.

Santa Fe Trail

Santa Fe Romblon

  • The mountain-zigzag road leading to Santa Fe is where one can view the beautiful Tablas Strait, Looc Bay, the neighboring islands of Panay , San Jose and Boracay Islands. The place is excellent place for hiking and sight seeing

Japar Islet

Off the coast of Brgy. Guinbirayan, Sta. Fe, Romblon

  • A small islet dotted with golden-hued sandy beaches. The sea around it is generally calm the whole year round and considered the richest fishing ground in the province.

Bayani or Tamaraw Hill

San Vicente, Corcuera Romblon

  • A battleground between the Japanese and Fil-American forces during the World War II.

Suba Bay Lagoon

San Roque & Mabini Corquera Romblon

  • A 28-hectare body of water that lies ensconced between barangay San Roque and Mabini. Provides a magnificent view of serene seascape.

Guiniwagan Cave

Barangay Mahaba, Corcuera, Romblon

  • A domelike structure abounds with stalagmites and stalactites. There is also a pool of cool water ideal for swimming.

Batom Beach

San Roque, Corcuera, Romblon

  • A wide stretch of white beaches.

Manaha Beach

Barangay Manaha, Corcuera, Romblon

  • A wide stretch of white beaches.

Cotta Tower

Poblacion, Corcuera, Romblon

  • The remains of Spanish fort constructed between 1860-1855 by San Agustin de Pedro to ward off pirates. It is situated on a hill over-looking the town.

Panorama Point

Barangay Tacasan, Corcuera Romblon

  • A point along the road where passing inter-island vessels can be viewed. The area serves as shelter during typhoons.

Grotto

Mangansag, Corcuera, Romblon

  • Located at the peak of Mount Andradoon is a grotto of the Immaculate Concepcion where pilgrims and devotees usually go during Lenten season.

Lis-ong Cave

Colong-colong, Corcuera, Romblon

  • A cave where stalactite aand stalagmite formations abound.

Mayo’s Peak

Tampayan, Magdiwang, Romblon

  • A primary forest suited for biological research because of its biodiversity and endemic species of flora and fauna.

Libong Bato

Dulangan, Magdiwang, Romblon

  • A natural spring resort.

Busay

Tuburan, Odiongan, Romblon

  • A natural resort with seven major and minor waterfalls, where three limestone caves, with numerous mineral springs that gush with curative properties.

Romblon Bay

Romblon, Romblon

  • Reputed to be the best harbor in the country. Romblon Bay boasts of a deep landlocked bay. During inclement weather, inter-island ships take shelter here. Facing the sea is the capital town of Romblon with colorful bancas and quaint houses lining the dock.

Alad

Off the coast of Romblon town

  • Tranquil and undisturbed by the modern world, Alad has several stretches of beaches on its southeastern portion. Generally with off-white sand and crushed corals, the shorefronts are wide and the waters are warm. The ocean floor slopes abruptly downwards and at about 15 meters out at sea, at the depth of approximately eight feet, are scattered big boulders. Behind the line of trees along the shore are the houses of the community. Tourists rarely go this far but there are lodging houses available for visitors.

Logbon

Off the coast of Romblon town

  • Logbon is the nearest islet to Romblon. It lies directly along the path of ocean-going vessels calling at this port. The three island barangays of Romblon town is practically surrounded by white sand beaches. On the western side in Barangay Lanas, lies a long stretch of white beach. Spanning about one and a half kilometers and 30 meters wide. It has clear waters and sandy ocean floor that drops abruptly. Approximately 50 meters from the shore, at the depth of about 10 feet, are big, black boulders.

Poctoy Beach

Barangay Poctoy, Odiongan, Romblon

  • Barangay Poctoy has a wide shoreline stretching for about three kilometers. Its white sand beach is free of sea grass but has an abrupt downward slope. Dotting the shoreline are resorts with native cottages with huts for lodging and picnics.

Aliwanyag Beach

Barangay Ginhayan, Looc, Romblon

  • Aliwanyag beach is a little way off the beaten track. The nearest road ends at about half a kilometer from the beach which necessitates a 10- to 15- minute trek across rice fields. The beach is in a secluded cove along Looc Bay. It has a narrow shoreline covered with white sand and crushed corals. This beach is a favorite picnic ground of local folks.

Canyayo Beach

Barangay Canyayo, Sta. Fe, Romblon

  • This beach is a combination of white sand and crushed corals. Its ocean floor with pebbles drops abruptly. Facilities like picnic huts, restaurants and others are still non-existent. Visitors are advised to bring provisions like food and drinking water.

Tinap-an Beach

San Jose, Romblon

  • Described as powder white sand, clear water, with views of cliffs and labyrinth of caves, its crystal clear seawater with vast amount of reef lying beneath.

Hambil Beach

San Jose, Romblon

  • Its crystallized sand is God’s blessing for this lovely island. It is about 500 meters, white sand beach that will surely amaze and give much relaxation.

Angas Cave

Sitio Sugod, Brgy. Pinamihangan, San Jose, Romblon

  • The icicle-like formations either hanging from the ceiling of protruding form the floors. These are regarded as heavenly creatures after comparing them to the actual characters and figures in the Bible.

Bunayag Cave

Sitio Sugod, Brgy. Pinamihangan, San Jose, Romblon

  • A unique formation of cave, the crystal clear water, comfortable for swimming is highly accommodating for picnics, makes Bunayag cave unique and different from the others. This is a seven-minute boat ride away from Poblacion located at Sitio Sugod, Pinamitagan.

West Wall

Carabao Island, San Jose, Romblon

  • A large wall, full of caves, drops down to 130 feet. The top portion showcases nice leather and soft corals, but hard coral growth is also found. Prolific fish life, all the way down on the wall makes this dive a memorable one. Batfish snappers, squirrelfish, hawk fish, cardinal fish, clouds of Chromis, just to name a few. Anemones with clownfish are also found all over, while white tip and gray reef shark sightings are reported frequently. Tuna, barracuda, jacks and other pelagic species are also found here. This area is more suitable for advanced divers.

Cathedral Cave

Carabao Island, San Jose, Romblon

  • Situated at the northern end of Carabao Island, this site is reached by a 1 hour 20-minute boat ride from Boracay. The site features a very big cave with a large entrance, so it is also suitable for divers with little cave experience. The rear portion of the cave has many cracks and fissures, and bigger fish can often be seen sleeping in those cracks. Schools of sweetlips are common here. White tip sharks are also often seen in the cave. Fish life in the area is good, and the possibility to see some large pelagic species is always present, a good area for Nitrox divers.

South Wall

Carabao Island, San Jose, Romblon

  • The dive site is approximately an hour's boat ride from Carabao Island. It is advisable that this site is strictly for advanced and technical divers due to its depth, which measures 210 feet. Once reaching the top of the wall, one realizes a strong resemblance with Yapak. Though the size and amount of pelagic life seems smaller, it is nevertheless rather impressive. Coral growth on the wall is also good, and covers a greater part of the area. Also present are nice, good-sized leather corals. Large schools of rainbow runners and plenty of smaller reef fish can be seen all over the wall. White tip sharks have also been seen in the deeper portions of the dive site.

Village Mountain

Carabao Island, San Jose, Romblon

  • The dive site can be reached by a 1-hour boat ride from Boracay Island. Coral population is fairly good, and fish life is excellent, with plenty of colorful reef fish, fusiliers, snappers, groupers, moorish idols and batfish ever present. Schools of jacks can also be seen, and, with some luck, one may see some larger pelagic species. All certification levels, including Nitrox, can attempt this dive.

Village Reef

Carabao Island, San Jose, Romblon

  • This site is a 1-hour-10-minute boat ride away from Boracay Island. A rich coral garden that starts at about 50 feet and drops down to a sandy bottom at around 80 feet. Coral growth is excellent, with large leather corals everywhere, as well as nice, good-sized table corals. Hard corals also grow all the way down to a sandy area. A good variety of fish can be found, from surgeonfish, scorpion fish, butterfly fish, parrotfish to blue spotted rays on the sandy portion. Since it is a rather shallow dive, it is well suited for all certificatied divers.

Historical Attractions

Fort San Andres and Fort Santiago

Poblacion, Romblon, Romblon

  • Twin Spanish forts constructed from coral blocks and bricks between 1644 and 1573, the fort provided a vantage point view of the town at 156 feet above sea level. These sentinels of a bygone era once served as the protection of the town against raiders and pirates.

Religious

St. Joseph’s Cathedral

Town Proper of Romblon

  • Built by the Recollect Fathers in the 15th century, the church features an altar and houses a veritable collection of antique icons and religious paintings.

Bishop’s Palace

Barangay Lonos, Romblon, Romblon

  • Constructed out of clay bricks by Msgr. Nicolas Mondejar, the first Bishop of Romblon, it is the official residence of the Bishop of Romblon.

 

Accessibility

  • From Manila, MBRS lines operate three passenger vessels from Pier 8 at the Port of Manila ply the 10-hour Manila-Romblon route.
  • From Batangas Port, Montenegro Shipping and Viva Shipping Lines operate the 8-hour sea travel to the ports of Odiongan, San Agustin and Magdiwang in Sibuyan Island.
  • From Caticlan in Aklan, a 15-minute pumpboat ride will take you to San Jose town in Carabao Island.
  • Sibuyan Island can also be reached from Dalahican Port in Lucena thru Monte Carlo Shipping Lines.
  • By Air - Zest Air that flies twice a week from Manila to Tablas.
  • Pump boats/motorized bancas have regular trips connecting various islands in the province.
  • Jeepneys and tricycles are available in all towns for local trips.