The Forgotten Forts of Romblon

During the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, the Spaniards built the twin fortresses of San Andres and Santiago on the two adjacent hills in the town of Romblon. For centuries, the twin forts made of coral blocks and bricks guarded the town against the Moro raiders and Dutch pirates.

The wall of San Andres Fort

Almost four centuries past, what were left are remnants of the twin forts – neglected and forgotten. Not even a historical commemorative marker or marble epitaph are there to remind Romblomanon of its existence and the role it played in history.

Inside the San Andres Fort are equipments of PAGASA

The San Andres Fort now houses Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAGASA) Romblon observatory. The trail from ground zero to the fort is still evident, with stone steps that are still in good condition up to midway. The steps on the upper half of the trail are already broken. The walls of the fort are still standing but its grandeur is already lost and overpowered by the structures and equipments of PAGASA.

The steps leading to the PAGASA office at San Andres Fort

If the Fort San Andres suffered a sad fate, the Fort Santiago was worst. The trail to the fort is completely covered by soil, grass and bushes. We took sometime to find it just to see it almost empty. A barely noticeable wall covered by trees and grass is what’s left. Rumor has it, that there used to be a tunnel from this fort to the ground zero.

Hidden in the greens is the Fort Santiago
This is what’s left in Fort Santiago

Sad to say, the twin forts of Romblon will just live in the history books, online chronicles, memories and word of mouths, unless the local or national government do something to restore and revive their lost grandeur. But until then, a part of Romblon’s past will remain buried on its own soil.

Lucky you if you find Fort Santiago.


  1. […] 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 […]

  2. Jonaldie

    i’m glad that you had been to romblon..I’m also romblomanon and i can say that romblon is a hidden sanctuary. Besides, romblon is composed of several islands. I also recommend to visit banton island. Indeed a wonderful island with full of historical heritage and crystal clear water.

  3. OMG. para syang secret garden except may maze and may history. super cool.

  4. toni protacio

    so what else did you do in romblon aside from visiting San Andres Fort??? i heard they have beautiful white sand beaches.. the last time i went to romblon was 2002, i guess. we weren’t able to went around coz we were too exhausted after a 3day hike to Mt. Guiting-Guiting.. so, tell me.. what is to look forward to in Romblon???

    1. Wow Toni. So you’ve been to Mt. Guiting-Guiting in Sibuyan maraming magagandang beaches dun sa island na yun, like Cresta de Gallo. I only stayed 9 hours in Romblon island for this trip. hahaha, adik lang. mas matagal pa ang byahe 34 hours by boat and bus and napakaalon ng dagat that i got afraid and almost throw up. But I got to see some of the unspoiled and unexploited beaches (Bonbon, Tiamban, Margie and Talipasak) and other significant spots in Romblon, Romblon. I originally planned to go to Cobrador Island pero di kaya ng schedule. I will be back there next year 🙂

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