Travel Guide: Romblon Island
A cluster of 20 islands and islets, of 17 municipalities and 17 dialects is the province of Romblon, the marble capital of the country. Its capital town, also named Romblon in the island of the same name is the heart of the province, geographically and politically.
This island capital is situated in between the bigger islands of Sibuyan and Tablas. Sibuyan Island is known for its white sand beaches and for Mt. Guiting-Guiting, a favorite trek for mountaineers, while Tablas Island also harbors great beaches apart from being the gateway to the province by air.
But Romblon Island beckons everyone with its own beauty – numerous unspoiled dive sites, white sand island beaches and caves, lovely people and its inland treasures of historical and religious significance. Go island and beach hopping to best experience the sand, sea and sun of one of the most overlooked destinations in the country.
Getting There and Away
Tablas Airport is the gateway to the province by plane. AirphilExpress and Sea Air regularly fly to and from Tablas, Romblon everyday. From the airport, catch a ride to Odiongan Port and hop on to ferries going to Romblon Island or travel by land to San Agustin where there’s a regular twice daily boat trips (10AM and 3PM) to Romblon, Romblon. Meanwhile, the Romblon, Romblon to San Agustin boats departs at 8AM and 1PM everyday.
With the rough waters especially during the “ber” months, Romblon is an adventure.
From Batangas: Several shipping lines serve Batangas – Romblon (Odiongan, Romblon, San Agustin and Sibuyan) everyday.
Montenegro Ferry – (043) 723-6980 / (043) 723-8294
Departs Batangas to Odiongan, Rombon and Sibuyan every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 5PM. Economy fare is P584.00 for Odiongan, P634.00 for Romblon and P834 for Sibuyan, inclusive of travel insurance. Return trip is every next day after departure Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
CSGA Ferry Corporation (M/V Princess Annavell)
Departs Batangas to Odiongan every Tuesday at 4PM and San Agustin, Rombon and Sibuyan (Azagra and San Fernando) every Thursday and Saturday at 4PM. Economy fare is P550.00 for Odiongan and San Agustin, P575.00 for Romblon and P680.00 for Sibuyan. De Luxe fare is P675.00 for Odiongan and San Agustin, P700.00 for Romblon and P800.00 for Sibuyan. Return trip is every next day after departure Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Romblon Tablas Sibuyan Lines Inc. (M/V Miss Romblon)
Departs Batangas to Odiongan, Rombon and Sibuyan. Economy fare is P550.00 for Odiongan and Romblon and P600.00 for Sibuyan. Tourist fare is P600.00 for Odiongan and Romblon and P900.00 for Sibuyan. De luxe fare is P700.00 for Odiongan and Romblon and P1000.00 for Sibuyan.
Rapal Inter Island Shipping (M/V Ma. Angelica Grace)
Departs Batangas to Odiongan, Romblon and Sibuyan (Magdiwang) every Wednesday at 430PM and to San Agustin, Rombon and Sibuyan (Magdiwang) every Sunday at 430PM.
Super Shuttle Ferry
Departs Batangas to Odiongan every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 3PM.
Prices and schedules are subject to change; please contact the shipping lines for inquiries.
From Roxas, Oriental Mindoro: A motorboat departs daily at 10AM to Odiongan and returns on the same day at 1PM. Travel time is two hours. Ferries from Batangas stop at Odiongan, you may catch these ferries to take you to Romblon, Romblon or travel by land (approximately one hour) from Odiongan Port to San Agustin Port also in Tablas Island, that connects to Romblon, Romblon via twice daily boat trips that depart 10AM and 3PM. Romblon, Romblon to San Agustin boats depart at 8AM and 1PM everyday.
Where to Stay
In my short stint in Romblon, Romblon, I stayed in Parc Bay Mansion (Contact No: +639215757760). A big fan room with queen sized bed and colored television costs P800 per night. Facilities are basic but the location is great, conveniently located near the port with a good view of the bay.
Another good option is the San Pedro Beach Resort (Talipasak Beach Resort) in Barangay Talipasak that offers a quiet and relaxing exclusive beach accommodation for as low as P600 per night on a fan room. The resort, owned by Ate Mina Mingowa (Contact No: +639282730515), has eight room cottages, a restaurant and offers a secluded and private beach. It is approximately an hour away from the town center.
Other accommodations in the island are Romblon Plaza Hotel (Contact No: +639193977924/(63-042)5072269), Blue Ridge Hotel (Contact No: +639193819393), Buena Suerte Resort, Diwata Resort (Contact No: +639207843522), D’Maestro Inn, Muravian Hotel, Falmar Pension House, Marbel Hotel, Feast Inn, Cabanbanan Dive and Beach Resort (+639102837612), Palm Beach Garden Resort, Punta Corazon Beach Resort (Contact No: 63-042-5072269), S & L Beach Resort (Contact No: +639194477862), The Three P Holiday & Dive Resort (Contact No: +639194470713), Tiamban Aqua Club Beach Resort (Contact No: +639208094881) and Blue Hole Diver’s Beach Resort.
- Explore the unspoiled and virgin beaches of Romblon. The beaches of Bonbon, Margie’s, Tiamban and Talipasak among others.
- Visit St. Joseph Cathedral, the oldest church in the province originally built in 15th century but is now reconstructed with its facade made of marbles. The collection of antique icons and religious paintings still remain inside.
- Check out the old fortresses of San Andres and Santiago on the two adjacent hills fronting the bay. The twin forts made of coral blocks and bricks were erected during the Spanish era to guard the town against the Moro raiders and Dutch pirates. The Fort of San Andress now houses PAGASA Romblon Observatory while only the ruins of Santiago Fort is existing. The two are on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Hop from island to island and enjoy their fine white sand beaches. Go to Alad, Logbon and Cobrador all under the municipality of Romblon, Romblon.
- Check out also other beaches, waterfalls, caves and other attractions in the neighboring islands of Odiongan, Concepcion (Maestro de Campo Island), Banton, Corcuera (Sumara Island), Sibuyan and San Jose or Carabao Island, regarded as twin beach of Boracay.
- Scuba diving in more than 20 known dive spots across the province: Agnay Sanctuary, Agpanabat Caves & Canyons and Sanctuary, Alad Island, Bangug Island, Bonbon Beach, Cobrador Island, Tinang Island, Coral Garden, Giant Clam Sanctuary, Logbon Island, Naguso’s Wall, Phil’s Fan Coral Collection, Salvar Beach, San Pedro Cliff and Sanctuary, Sasaigang Point, Sunken Island, Telsie’s Garden and Turtles’ Feeding Place in Romblon Island; Blue Hole, Bonbon Sea Grass Valley, Carmen’s Cliff, Guindauahan Island, Origon Rocks, Peter’s Pinnacles and Times Square in Tablas Island; and Cresta de Gallo in Sibuyan. Expect to see wrecks, sharks, rays, tuna, barracuda, and other pelagics and tropical marine species, corals and crinoids. Dive shops in Romblon Island include: Cabanbanan Dive and Beach Resort, The Three P Holiday & Dive Resort / Ducks Diving Romblon and Blue Hole Diver’s Beach Resort
- Snorkeling and other water sports
- Trek Mt. Guiting-Guiting in Sibuyan Island
- Buy marble products
- Learn or hear the province’s 17 dialects