Romblon is an archipelago of 20 islands that together make up Romblon Province. The area is rich in natural resources like granite and nickel and has lush vegetation that helps to make the locals self sufficient.
The three main islands consist of Romblon, Sibuyan and Tablas. The provincial capital is also called Romblon. The whole region is brimming with deep water fishing areas, which bring fishermen in from miles around.
The archipelago is centrally located in the Philippines and makes up part of the larger Visayan Island Groups, with Romblon being the furthest group north. One of the main exports that differ from other locations in the Philippines is marble, which is said to be as good as you can get in Italy.
Migrant fish regularly make trips through the area, which makes this a rich fishing ground. Coves and well-sheltered bays serve to protect the boats that enter the area, with minimal boats lost in the area compared to the northern islands of the Philippines.
Much of the area consists of mountainous ranges and steep heavy coastal sides that characterize the islands; beaches flow out to grassy hills which in turn fade away to rugged rocks and un-passable obstacles. Tablas Island is the largest of all and like the area is mountainous and looks bare to the eye.
Students make up most of the islands outsiders so tourists are a welcome change. Mainit waterfalls are on Tablas Island and are a popular attraction for tourists, and although they are set on private land the owners welcome visitors.
The isle of Sibuyan is the second largest; shaped like a mango it is home to the famous Mountain Guiting-Guiting, which takes up much of the island and was first climbed in 1982. The island emerged from the sea due to movements in the earth’s plates and has never been connected to other land in the Philippines.
The national park on Romblon is now protected as most of the low lying forest was previously logged. Handicrafts in the province are exported, with the area being well known for traditional weaving and basket making, which many women do from home. Also fine bedspreads and beautiful laces are made in the region.
The islands’ name is said to have come from the word lomom meaning a hen. When a Spanish invader asked locals the name of the islands he pointed down to where a hen was sitting and asked the name and it slowly evolved into Romblon.
Getting There & Away
Tablas Island has an airport that has connecting flights from Manila, which take about one hour to complete, and from here you can take boats and buses to anywhere in the province, which will take no longer than six or seven hours. You can catch a ferry from Manila to the three main islands, taking around 12 hours to complete the journey, and Manila has the nearest international airport.
Things to Do
- Guyangan Caves
Where explorers found coffins made hundreds of years ago from hollowed out tree trunks.
- Cotta Tower
Remains of a spanish building once used to keep look out for pirates coming into romblon town.
- Mt Guiting-Guiting
A huge mountain that takes up most of sibuyan island.
- Mainit Waterfalls
On private land these falls are popular with tourist and locals alike.
- Catingas River
Wildlife is in abundance here and the river boasts the cleanest water in the region.
Side trips from Romblon
- Tablas Island
The largest of the three islands and home to many waterfalls.