Travel Guide to Romblon, Romblon: Get Rom-Blown Away Edit

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Michelle Tobias  • Contributor
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At a Glance

Sharing its name with the province, Romblon is a picturesque, rustic town that used to be a trading post during the Spanish period. Today, it serves as the largest source of marble in Asia and one of the best-kept beach and diving destinations in central Philippines.

Overview

From one corner of Romblon Island, two white beaches meet and stretch out into a long sandbar. Stunning! The wishbone-shaped Bonbon Beach is one of the unrivaled beach destinations in Romblon province, which shares the gorgeous sandy islands of its neighbors Palawan and Mindoro. This beach is made even more romantic when the water turns pastel blue and the sand golden at sunset.


But more than Bonbon Beach, the charming town of Romblon keeps about 10 more beautiful white beaches in the mainland. Of the 10, its two other best beaches are Tiamban Beach in Brgy. Lonos and Talipasak Beach in Brgy. Ginablan. A more incredible discovery are the long, immaculately white beaches in the three nearby islands Cobrador, Alad, and Logbon.


Romblon has an astonishing 17 marine sanctuaries and a number of dive spots, as the town is located at the end of Verde Island Passage, the most diverse underwater ecosystem in the world. Just these diving and beach destinations alone easily make Romblon one of the best hidden gems in central Philippines.


Its old Filipino-Spanish town proper, meanwhile, is one of the most intact in the country. Discover its marble-designed freedom park, its 40+ traditional houses, Spanish-era stone bridges, coral-bricked cathedral, and, after more than 100 steps up a hill, the Fuerza de San Andres. The last offers stunning views of the sunset, the bay, and the islands nearby.


Above all these attractions, a trip to Romblon wouldn’t be complete without its Marble Tour. Hail a motorbike and explore the vast marble quarry sites, marble workshops, and marble souvenir shops. After this tour, you wouldn’t wonder why Romblon is called the marble capital of the Philippines. This naturally rich town is one of the leading sources of marble in Asia!

Heritage Sites in Romblon, Romblon

Marble Tour

Romblon’s marble tour is a learning excursion to one of the Philippines’ top exports. See workers breaking down marble from the bedrocks of mountains. Watch artisans up close as they carve large slabs of marble into beautiful sculptures. After that, check out the top-quality marble products in shops near the port.

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Romblon's marble quarry. Photo by Wenz Murillo. 

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One of the marble workshops in Romblon. Photo by Richard Webb. 

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A marble shop near the port. Photo by Wenz Murillo. 

Fuerza de San Andres

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 coral-bricked fort takes around 120 steps, followed by a pathway adorned with various marble artworks and mosaics. See map and photos.

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Fuerza de San Andres sits on a hill in the town proper. Photo by John Martin Villas.

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The sunset view from Fuerza de San Andres. Photo by Wenz Murillo.

Apunan Lighthouse

Some 30 minutes away from the town proper stands a beautifully positioned, fully functional lighthouse. The climb up to the top never fails to impress as it offers unobstructed views to the lush surroundings and the fringe coral reefs below. See map and photos.

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The lighthouse sits in a verdant environment south of Romblon Island. Photo by John Martin Villas.

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Visitors are free to climb up the lighthouse and watch the sunset. Photo by John Martin Villas.

Catedral de San Jose

Compared to other Spanish churches in the region, this cathedral is unique for its freestanding bell tower. Declared a National Cultural Treasure, the cruciform cathedral is also made special for its marble retablos, religious paintings, and antique icons. See map and photos.

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Catedral de San Jose. Photo by John Martin Villas.

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The interiors of Catedral de San Jose is made of marble. Photo by Monte Corpuz.

Traditional Filipino Houses

The quaint town proper of Romblon is like the Calle Crisologo of Ilocos Sur but is full of life. The town’s antique houses reveal the social classes of those who have lived here. Powerful families like the Madronas have quaint ancestral homes, while other families have maintained their nipa huts and tree houses. See map and photos.

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Photo by Wenz Murillo.

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Photo by Wenz Murillo.

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Photo by John Martin Villas.

Old Spanish Bridges

Coral-bricked Spanish bridges are still intact in Romblon, and three of these—Puente de Rio Casalogan, Puente de Romblon, and Puente de Belen—are recognized as Important Cultural Properties by the National Museum of the Philippines. See map and photos.

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One of the Spanish-era bridges in Romblon. Photo from the Local Tourism of Romblon. 

Beaches and Islands in Romblon, Romblon

Bonbon Beach

Just 15 minutes away from the town proper, this marble-white beach is Romblon’s top tourist drawer. It’s a unique formation with two long beaches meeting at a corner, which extends to a beautiful long sandbar towards the coral outcrop Bang-og Islet. See map and photos.

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The wishbone-shaped Bonbon Beach. Photo by John Martin Villas.

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The sandbar of Bonbon Beach. Photo by John Martin Villas.

Tiamban Beach

The idyllic coastline, glassy waters, and remote location of Tiamban Beach makes for a laid-back getaway. Easily accessible from Bonbon Beach, watching the sunset is a must when you’re in Tiamban. See map and photos.

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Photo from Shoestring Diary

Talipasak Beach

Thirty minutes from the town proper, this privately-owned beach is also called San Pedro Beach Resort. The beach is clean, quiet, and serene with verdant surroundings. Perfect for those looking for more amenities, rooms range from P800 to P2,500 a night. 

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Photo from Journey Era

Agpanabat Marine Sanctuary

This government-protected area not far off from Apunan Lighthouse is a true snorkeling and diving haven. Various species of corals and anemones cover the seabed and serve as home to colorful schools of fish. The sanctuary is also a nesting site for giant green sea turtles!

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Photo by Karla Ramos.

Cobrador Island

Forty minutes by boat from Romblon Island, Cobrador offers about six uncrowded white beaches, an emerging giant green sea turtle sanctuary, and a cool cliff jumping site. Homestays on the island cost about P150/head, while air-conditioned rooms can be booked for P500 to P800. See map and photos.

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Cobrador Island. Photo by John Martin Villas.

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The cliff-jumping site in Cobrador Island. Photo by John Martin Villas.

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The clear, turquoise waters of Cobrador. Photo by John Martin Villas.

Logbon Island

Just 10 minutes away from Romblon Island, Logbon offers one of the longest white beaches in town, spanning about two kilometers. Two other great features are Nabagbagan Rocks in the southwest and its shifting long white sandbar in the southeast. See map and photos.

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Logbon Island. Photo by John Martin Villas.

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Sunset at Logbon. Photo by Megan Marie Ahlgren

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Logbon's sandbar. Photo from Shoestring Diary

Alad Island

In between Cobrador and Logbon Islands, Alad features excellent white coves and beaches, a seaside cave and snorkeling site, and a fish sanctuary. It’s also home to a small fishing village and the eco-friendly Tinaoog Beach Resort. Accommodations offered range from P800 to P7,000. See map and photos.

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A seaside cave on Alad Island. Photo by Wenz Murillo.

Diving in Romblon, Romblon

Romblon is found at the end of Verde Island Passage, otherwise known as the “Amazon of the Seas” or “the center of the center” of marine biodiversity in the world. It’s the perfect diving area if you want to get away from the crowd and just enjoy simple island living, with lots of fresh seafood, beaches, and sun.

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Photo by Journey Era.

The town has a whopping 17 marine sanctuaries, the most popular being Agpanabat Marine Sanctuary. Located south of Romblon Island, it features a canyon landscape and the nesting sites of different turtle species. One particular species is the Leatherback Turtle, which can grow as large as 7.2 feet long and thrice the size of a regular person. They’re simply massive! Witnessing these magnificent creatures in the wild is an extraordinary experience.

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Photo from Romblon Fun Divers

Scattered around its four islands, Romblon’s known diving spots feature walls, cliffs, soft coral spots, giant gorgonians, manta rays, cuttlefish, eagle rays, clownfish, batfish, and triggerfish. With Romblon’s diverse marine life, these dive sites are perfect for underwater photography, especially macro.

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Photo from Three P

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Wunderpus photogenicus. Photo from Three P

There are several dive shops in town, with The Three P (the-three-p.com, 0929 440 7135) leading the scuba diving services, and Dumagat Freedive (dumagatfreedive.com, 0916 761 4975) offering the only freediving classes. Shore diving with The Three P starts at P700, while freediving lessons with Dumagat start at P3,000.

Other Natural Attractions

Ginablan Wildlife, Mangrove, and Bird Sanctuary

Best visited at dawn and dusk, this five-hectare sanctuary is the habitat of various local and migrating bird species such as the endemic duck called pato del mar. It is also home to 19 species of mangrove and many kinds of fish such as mangagat (snapper fish) and page (stingray). See map and photos.

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Ginablan Santuary. Photo by John Martin Villas.

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Coppersmith Barbet at the sanctuary. Photo from the Local Tourism of Romblon.

Libtong Falls

Off the beaten track, Libtong Falls features an intimate, naturally round pool walled in by bedrocks. While the waterfall is not so high, this site tucked in Brgy. Agpanabat is great for stunts and cliff-jumping. It can be reached by 15 minutes of trekking in the forest. See map and photos.

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Libtong Falls. Photo from the Local Tourism of Romblon.

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Librtong Falls. Photo from the Local Tourism of Romblon.

Quipot River

This unique river features a narrow passage surrounded by bedrocks. The passage is about 25 meters long with clear emerald water rushing in between the bedrocks. Cliff-jumping is the most popular activity in this area. The river can be reached by a 15-minute descent from the main road in Brgy. Agpanabat. See map and photos.

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Quipot River features a narrow canal that goes about 25m long. Photo by John Martin Villas.

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Quipot River is a favorite spot among local kids in Brgy. Sablayan. Photo by Wenz Murillo.

Biniray Festival

Biniray Festival is celebrated every second week of January in honor of Señor Santo Niño. Similar to Cebu’s Sinulog Festival, Biniray Festival expresses Romblomanons’ strong faith as Roman Catholics. The highlight of the festival are the floats portraying the Spanish galleons that attempted to transport the Santo Niño to Madrid. The floats go around Romblon Bay seven times in a reenactment to capture the said statue. Dance parades and contests abound, while every home opens its doors with an array of homemade Filipino food.

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Photo from Gridcrosser

Where To Stay in Romblon, Romblon

Staying in the town of Romblon is incredibly afforable! Book your stay in the Marble Capital of the Philippines for as low as P700, good for two people. View our listings here


At Explora, you can easily discover the best things to do and places to stay wherever you are in the Philippines! Many of our listings are unique and can't be found anywhere else on the web.

Punta Corazon

Punta Corazon invites you to take a breather away from the hustle and bustle of the city, while still offering you the basic amenities you need. Rooms (good for 6 people) start at P3,000. Book here.

Dream Paradise Mountain Resort

Dream Paradise Mountain Resort comes with native-designed rooms, a display of intricate marble sculptures, and a wide swimming pool. Rooms (good for 3) start at P1,300. Book here.

El Krimphoff Resort

Quiet and homey, El Krimphoff offers a stay in charming cottages and nipa huts by the sea. Here, you can wake up to sound of the waves in the morning. Rooms (good for two) start at P900. Book here.

Booking with Explora is easy, fast, and secure with multiple payment options, including credit card, bank deposit, and 7/11.


View all hotels and resorts in Romblon, Romblon.

Best time to visit Romblon, Romblon

The best time to visit Romblon is every second week of January during the Biniray Festival. This is the time when locals commemorate the return of the image of the Sto. Niño to Catedral de San Jose. The best time to go island hopping is during the dry season between December and May, whereas the best time to go diving is during the Amihan Season, between March and October.

How to get to Romblon, Romblon

The fastest way to get to Romblon province is by taking a plane to Tugdan Domestic Airport in Alcantara, Tablas Island. From there, ride a jeepney or van to San Agustin, which is located northeast of Tablas Island. From San Agustin, take a boat to Romblon Island. From Manila, a more affordable route is getting onto a bus to Batangas port via Calabarzon. At the port, you can board any of the three shipping vessels Montenegro (Mon, Thu, and Sat), MV Navios (Sun, Wed), or 2Go Travel (Mon, Fri), to get to Romblon, Romblon. Travel time is 8 to 12 hours.


When in town, the tricycle is the most practical mode of transportation to get around. It costs P10 per person in the town proper, and around P500, good for six people, to get to farther areas on the island. You can also rent a motorcycle for a day (P400 to P500), or charter one with a driver (P800 to P900) to take you around the island. Island hopping, meanwhile, takes a whole day, costing P1,500 for 2 to 5 people, and P2,500 for 6 to 10 people. All travelers are required to pay the one-time ecological fee of P50 per head when getting to Romblon, Romblon.


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