Now that we’ve written a whole article on Sibuyan Island, the “Galapagos of Asia,” we need to tell you a little more about its next-door neighbors in the province of Romblon. This small archipelago, comprised of seven islands, is a hot spot of biodiversity. From marine life to terrestrial wonders, it seems this province has it all. So in case you need even more reason to visit Romblon, here are some highlights from its two largest islands of Romblon and Tablas to fire up those itchy feet.
Blue Hole, Tablas
The Blue Hole in the north-easternmost tip of Tablas Island is said to be the only known blue hole in the country. It is 6 meters in diameter and 30 meters deep. Inside is the perfect place for macro underwater photography enthusiasts, with a stunning diversity of marine life despite its small size and isolation. A common challenge for divers in the Blue Hole is the current that usually pushes people upward, so patience in descending is a must!
Bonbon Beach is only 5 kilometers from downtown Romblon, making it very accessible. It’s still largely undeveloped, making it a great break from the town’s hustle and bustle. For the best experience, come at low-tide so you can enjoy the sandbar that connects Bonbon Beach from the nearby islet of Bangug. Just beside Bonbon Beach, on the other side of the rocks, is Margie’s Beach. Just like Bonbon, this beach is undeveloped and bare. It’s also quite a short length, so it has a more private feel. And finally, next to Margie’s Beach is Tiamban Beach. It is a private property and home to a beach resort where you’ll find basic comforts, while the long stretch of sand and clear, turquoise waters beckon.
Forts San Andres and Santiago, Romblon
Constructed between 1573 and 1644, Fort San Andres and Fort Santiago sit side by side at about 156 feet above sea level. They were built during the Spanish era to protect the town from raiders and pirates. The forts, built from coral blocks and bricks, were in pretty bad shape. But since their restoration, their old charm and magnificence have also been returned. The forts are also a sight to behold from the water, where they tower over the town.
Visit the lighthouses
Being composed of islands, it makes sense that Romblon has a number of lighthouses throughout the province. The Apunan Point Lighthouse in Romblon Island is one of the most popular, being open to explore the interior. Meanwhile, the Barangay Calabago Lighthouse, also in Romblon Island, can’t be climbed inside, but its spot at the edge of the cliff is enough to give visitors a breathtaking view. Tablas also has its share of lighthouses with the Punta Gorda Lighthouse being a perfect side trip after diving in the Blue Hole.
Marble Shopping, Romblon
Romblon’s biggest export is their marble, in both its raw and artfully mastered forms. As such, no trip to the province is complete without seeing the expert marble craftsmen at work and bringing home these exquisite, locally-made souvenirs. From small trinkets to useful kitchen accessories to life-sized sacred sculptures, it’s all here. Check out Romblon Shopping Center for the widest variety of marble souvenirs or head to Kilometro Dos and see the maestros at work.
Looc Fish Sanctuary, Tablas
In the middle of Looc Bay in Tablas is the Looc Fish Sanctuary. Here you can find hundreds of species of marine animals including reef fishes, giant clams, sea turtles, and even octopuses! From the Looc town center, it’s just a short walk and a 5-minute boat ride to the permanent floating facility where you can feed fish, observe the marine life, and even have lunch in the middle of it all. Of course, the best way to explore is still to dive in and snorkel with the fish.
Binucot Beach, Tablas
Unlike its nearby neighbors, Binucot Beach is not white. Instead, it’s a saturated shade of yellow that almost makes it look gold in the sunlight. That, plus its relative isolation, lack of development and rich marine life make it a great place for tourists looking to get away from it all and just commune with nature. Binucot Beach is also home to the Bunsoran Pawikan Sanctuary. Come to Binucot Beach to snorkel and dive, and if you’re lucky, witness the pawikan younglings go back home to the ocean.