Let’s admit it, Romblon isn’t usually on the top destinations when you check our travel bucket lists. Sadly, people want to go to different places first because “there is nothing to see in Romblon except if you want to hoard marble stuff”. Well, you’re missing a lot of things, dear.
Before summer ended, I and my gorgeous friends (ok) had a quick 3-day trip, which took us months to plan. Basically because we needed to meet up and finalize the itinerary face-to-face, else we knew it’d be one of our beautiful “drawing” we’re keeping in frames. “Quick” because we tried hopping among the three main islands of Romblon in three days and even if we had only one day in each island, time spent didn’t disappoint at all. In fact, the short trip gave us more than enough reasons to go back there soon.
Located in the MIMAROPA Region, Romblon has three main islands – Romblon Island, the provincial capital; Sibuyan, and Tablas, the largest among the three. The province lies south of Marinduque and Quezon, east of Oriental Mindoro, north of Aklan and Capiz, and west of Masbate. You can view my map here.
It’s been more than a year since I last went for an escapade with the Bullies – my group of friends who are also travel enthusiasts (yes Bullies because we bully ourselves. But don’t worry, it’s just within the group and we all know we’re just making fun of each other and we know that we all love each other like family).
Being a new mom is quite challenging because, well, for me, it was a hard shift from “doing everything I want anytime” to “focusing on what is more important and of course my top priority – changing diapers (lol)”. But hey, moms are allowed to take vacagions, too. Thank you, wowa, wowo, and tatas (that’s aunties and uncle in one word).
So after the looong week(s) of working harder for some monitoring at work, and even though my daughter is still at a veeeery young age, I needed to go away and regain my energy and courage and…my superpowers. So thanks, lolo and lola, for taking over as Mnemo’s 5-day parents.
We had only one day to roam around the island (which I don’t suggest you follow), but it definitely gave us more reasons to go back. Which reminds me – I love being part of the organizing team very much, not because I get to organize things (because I literally did not), but I get to have a “say” on where to go.
In every trip, I usually Google places and tourist spots in advance to at least give me an idea what to expect. I love adventures, but for quick trips like this, I hate wasting too much time waiting for a ride that would never come anyway. So yep, pro tip: not all places in the PH we have jeepneys and tricycles.
Since this was our first time, we visited the most known places first – and along our way we discovered many more spots to actually visit that we reserved for next time. *crossed fingers*
Marble Shopping Center
Romblon Island is suuuuupppeeerrr rich in marbles you can literally see marble quarries almost everywhere around its mountains. Being their livelihood, endless supply of marble provides support to many families in Romblon. From mining to carving to selling creative sculptures that are definitely worth every penny.
If you’re going to Romblon, their marble shopping center is a must-visit. There are cute accessories the sell 10-50 pesos per piece – best for pasalubong and gifts. We didn’t have time to visit the villages near the quarries, but I recommend you make time to listen to their stories which I hear are both very humbling and inspiring.
Just a few steps from the port, you’ll find the Marble Shopping Center, an alley lined with several marble shops. The products here are affordable, carved from high quality marble. They range from keychains and pendants to large tables and scuptures. Some stores are a treat, exhibiting the art of marble carving.
Fuerza de San Andres
Speaking of inspiration, we didn’t come up to visiting Romblon ourselves. We saw wonderful stories from travelers online and I was super inspired by Jackson‘s Romblon photos and blogs, and if only I had the courage to walk along the walls of Fuerza San Andres, I definitely would.
Fort San Andres or Fuearza San Andres is an imposing lookout over the Poblacion (Main town) of Romblon Island in Romblon Province. The 17th century Spanish Fortress is now a crumbling reminder of the rich history of Romblon.
The journey up was not incredibly hard but it was a very steep, long set of stairs. Along the way, the gardens on either side of the stairs are magnificent and well manicured. Statues and hedges create a magnificent entrance to Fort San Andres.
When we reached the top the guard was just about to close the gates. We had just made it up in time to catch the sunset out over the ocean. You are allowed to climb to the roof of the Fort and from the roof, we sat on the walls and watched the sun disappear into the horizon.
Best visited at sunset, this newly restored Spanish fort looks over the town and the harbor, as well as the gorgeous bay and nearby islands. Going up this fort takes around 120 steps, followed by a pathway adorned with various marble artworks and mosaics. Restored to its original state after years of neglect, it is one of the twin forts, each sitting on two opposite hills overlooking the port of Romblon. Fuerza de San Andres initially served as the town’s fort to prevent invasion of the moros and pirates that roam the waters.
— alad island
Our first stop was this beautiful island of Alad, where we really loved taking pictures of. If I’d be honest, I thought Alad Island was just another ordinary island you’d expect in an island hopping tour – white sand, palm trees, humans skinny dipping~ (??)
Apparently, Alad Island is beyond that. I mean, just take a look at Jackson’s blog (basically because his photos are waaaaaaaay mooooooore wonderful).
— MARAKAY MARAKAY CLIFF
Hype up your trip and dive away! This small island here is actually there to give you one good dive of a lifetime. I was honestly a bit hesitant to just go there because I technically didn’t know how to swim, what more dive? Still, I enjoyed the view and I had a few pictures for the ‘gram. My friends enjoyed swimming, too!
— bonbon beach
Bon Bon beach is one of the most-known and visited beaches in Romblon, because of its crystal clear waters and that beautiful, long, white sandbar which connects teh island of Romblon to Bang-og Island. During low-tide, you can actually cross the sandbar by feet. Unfortunately, we hadn’t had the time to go there during the low-tide, but we experienced crossing the sandbar on our boat, which is awesome by the way.
Romblon, among many provinces in the Philippines, has captured our hearts unexpectedly. Three things I loved most? 1) You can actually avoid the crowd even in mis summer; 2) yummy and cheap foods!; 3) undeniably beautiful places (though it’ super tiring roaming around!).
We loved Romblon so much we plan on exploring more of it next vacay. What do you think about Romblon?
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