Five Days in Romblon, Romblon Island

Bonbon

Romblon, Romblon is the hometown of my brother-in-law.  Since my elder sister got married 10 years ago, they’ve been going there annually right after Holyweek or after Labor Day.  Every time they arrive back home, the regular pasalubong are marble items and fruits. They don’t take beautiful photos so the visual me was hard to convince (peace, Ate Aron, haha!).

Romblon sounded like an island too remote for a workaholic, energetic woman like me.  And since I usually work in Boracay during La Boracay, my summer was regularly occupied.  And yeah, ‘I am already in the famous white sand beach of Boracay. Why would I bother taking a three-hour motorboat ride to Romblon?’

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 10.48.49 PM

This year, I want to explore new destinations, try different transportation vehicles, and truly enjoy summer.

Before I go further, I would like to thank Mortos Family, especially Nanay Vacion for making our stay the most wonderful one. From preparing all the food she can from early morning to dinner up to making sure we will have a sound sleep by buying mosquito nets. Happy Mothers Day, Nanay Vacion!

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 5.10.08 PM
The one person who can make us feel spoiled kids again is our grandma! Thank you Nanay Vacion!

Hello, hello, Romblon! 

Transportation

There is still no air transportation to Romblon. Bus (approx. 3hrs) and ship (approx. 8hrs) are the way to go.

From Manila, we took Jam Bus from Cubao to Batangas Pier for about three hours, fare is Php175.

The most convenient, clean, and reliable way for sea travel for me is 2Go.  You may book your ticket online at 2Go Travel. I have tried it more than five times before and I would recommend it to those who prefer economy travel, if you are not in a hurry, or you just find long rides relaxing.

The Tourist Class beds were sold out and we were left with Super Value Class beds from Batangas to Romblon but we got Tourist Class for Romblon to Batangas.

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 4.13.52 PM
2Go Travel Super Value Class at Php940 one way

At first, I thought it would be inconvenient in the Super Value Class since it is non-aircon. It turned out to be comfortable having fresh air overnight and scenic especially at sunrise.

NOTE: When you think of convenience and comfortability, do consider also the fee you paid. 🙂

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 4.10.15 PM
2Go Travel Tourist Class at P1,029 one way

After experiencing the Super Value Class, I felt I wanted to sleep there again instead of the Tourist Class. The latter is located in the second floor with low ceiling and walled. Here, you’d hear every noise and the aircon was too cold for the thin linens.

In the island, the most convenient way is by tricycle, habal habal, and frequently though, are jeepneys.

Tricycles can accommodate 7 – 10 passengers.  Better to rent one for a whole day tour.   Drivers would say “Kayo na po ang bahala.” (“Whatever you think is right.”) especially the shy ones. The reasonable rate is P350 – P500.

Habal habal is good if you are a group of 2-3 persons. I am not sure about the rates though because my bro-in-law has motorcyles, almost every family has at least one.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Beaches

Romblon Island is surrounded by beaches. You may visit one to two beaches a day. We went one beach per day because the kids…ok, us 🙂 enjoyed each too much, we preferred to stay, then go home and rest.

Beach at the Backyard

Aside from the kitchen, this is the best spot within the compound.

A hot cup of coffee in the morning, a home cooked lunch because it is Nono’s birthday, going for fish catch, or for me, to check on my emails (mobile phones and data plans are challenging in this island).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Talipasak Beach

The shore is shaded with trees, has more pebbles and shells, and light brown sand.  Depth of water is about one to five feet deep within 15meters from shore.  This is a fish sanctuary where you can find school of fish and the beautiful blue star fish.

Entrance fee is P30 per person.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bonbon Beach

This is the beautiful sand bar that will welcome you while the ship is docking to the island. The owners of the resort tried to close this area but good move from the local government to counter saying only the land is theirs, not the water. Safe to say, Bonbon Beach is free and open to the public.

This beach looks like an isolated stretch of paradise with white sand, crystal clear water, and huge  starfish are just usual.  I think the beach is really clean if you can find these creatures around.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tiamban Beach

I am a Boracay baby but I must say, this is the better version!  We owned the beach, white sand, crystal clear water, depth is about four feet within 20-25meters from the shore (I did not go farther because the kids will follow), starfish, and for the first time, I’ve seen sand dollar shells. No other words to describe but this is the beach I would want to be kept virgin.

Entrance fee is Php70.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 5.59.15 PM
I cannot believe this is natural. And it is called Sand Dollar. Haha 🙂

Other Things To Do in Romblon

Other than beaches, there are only few other things to do in Romblon.  If you come for relaxation, peace, and quiet, you would love to be here.

Eat. Sleep (very early). Sing videoke. Repeat.

Yes, there is nothing else.

Romblon Family Culture

The busiest part of home is the kitchen. Since everything you need to eat is in the back yard owned by the naturally hospitable and caring people, there is literally nonstop cooking and eating.  The old charcoal cooker is always hot, the pots and pans are XL (as if they are always prepared to feed the whole barangay).

What’s the next thing you feel after eating? Sleepy. Unless you are up for drinking session with the male neighbors, the bed is all yours, limitless.

Island Souvenir

Romblon, being the Marble Capital of the Philippines, is where you can find the smallest to biggest, and heaviest marble souvenirs.  We went around the market and found shops that export marble furniture. If only these are light enough, I’d go buy myself lifetime items. 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Brown rice bananas, jackfruits, and other crops are also available and can be shipped if you are not ready to take home heavy products.

Estimate Expenses:

Jam Bus (Manila – Batangas, VV) – P175 x 2 way = P350

2Go Super Value – P940.00

2Go Tourist Class – P1,029

Jeepney to Nanay Vacion’s House – P30

Tricycle average one day rental (for a group of 7pax) – P400

Entrance fees:

– Talipasak Beach – P30

– Tiamban Beach – P70

Food:

– We were lucky to be hosted but P300 – P500 per person per day is more than enough. P110 can get you fresh fruit smoothie and heavy, hot lomi in one of our favorite restaurants in the town proper. You can also order meals that are for sharing.

Accommodation:

There are inns and hostels near the town proper. Talipasak Beach also has accommodation at Php700/night, good for 2 – 4 persons.

My Wish

Wishing Romblon will remain unexplored by many people is selfish because locals  also benefit from tourism. I wish, if you decide to go there, that you TAKE NOTHING BUT PICTURES. LEAVE NOTHING BUT FOOTPRINTS. 🙂

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s