The Weekend at Romblon

Sunday, June 12, 2016

My officemates and I went to Romblon two weeks ago. Romblon, the capital of high quality marble in the Philippines, consists of three main islands of Tablas, Romblon and Sibuyan. DJ, my friend from the office, is from Odiongan in Tablas Island. She’s been raving about her province for some time now, but we never really made plans to go there. It was only a week before our trip when we finally decided to explore Romblon. I was actually hesitant at first because the thought of travelling by sea for 8 hours frightens me! It was my first time to board a massive passenger ship and it was not so bad. :)

I was expecting the weather to be terrible because of Accuweather’s forecast. As we kept sailing to Romblon, I could barely feel the waves. I slept comfortably and woke up at 5 in the morning to catch the sunrise. We watched the sun of the new day to reveal itself, and it did not disappoint! Watching the sunrise as we sail along Romblon Pass is probably one of the most thrilling experiences I had in this trip. 

Anyhow, I hope you guys will enjoy my photo diary from this short trip!  

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Our first destination on our first day was Bonbon Beach, located in Barangay Lonos. It is situated in the island of Romblon, the capital of Romblon Province. It is one of the most pristine beaches in the province and is gradually gaining popularity among local and foreign visitors. There are currently no commercial amenities and establishments in this beach, so if you want a rustic beach experience, then Bonbon Beach is perfect for you!

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During low tide, you can walk in the sandbar that connects to the uninhabited island of Bangug. If you want to snorkel, you might not like Bonbon Beach because the corals in this area are dead. According to DJ, Romblon was seriously affected by Typhoon Haiyan, so that’s probably the reason why the coral system is damaged. So, Bonbon Beach is not great for snorkelling, but for everything else, it’s great!

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Getting to Bonbon Beach from Romblon town proper is very easy. You will be dropped off by the tricycle driver to the access path, which do not have any sign whatsoever. Just go straight until you see the beach with a few rock formations on the right side. From there, you will see the 2-kilometer Bonbon Beach connecting to Bangug Island.

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Still at Romblon Island, we went back to the town proper to grab some lunch and buy a few marble souvenirs. For those who are not familiar, Romblon is known as the Marble Capital of the Philippines. Here, marble is quarried out of its ground by hand and later on processed by hand as well. We visited several marble stores in the town proper and learned that there are many varieties of marble in the province. We have seen many different sizes, shapes and shades of colour. It was like an educational trip. Haha. My officemates bought some mortar and pestle (or almires), ashtrays and key chains made from marble. 


Aside from marble, Romblon town fascinates me because of its laid-back vibe. There are no large shopping centres but a plaza/people’s park with enough space to just relax and walk around. Despite being the capital of the province, the water in the port area remains crystal-clear. I love it!

After lunch, we boarded the public ferry going to Calatrava in the island of Tablas. Travel time is approximately 1 hour. From there, we took a public jeepney going to the jump off point. From Calatrava fish harbour, we rented a boat to get to Paksi Cove Beach Resort. I think it was about 30 minutes until we reached the resort. It was a trek, seriously.

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It was a long journey coming to Paksi Cove, but none of that matters because we were welcomed by this stunning view. I could still hear how we said ‘Wow’ collectively. ^_^

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Paksi Cove is surrounded by dramatic rock formations, limestone cliffs and secret beaches. At the resort, you can either rent a fan room (1,500 pesos good for 4 pax) or pitch a tent. The entrance fee is 100 pesos per person, which will give you access to the entire resort. They aren’t as well as equipped as the other island resorts in the Visayas region, but I was still impressed because it is secluded. Although there were 2 other groups in the resort, we felt that we had the place to ourselves. I personally liked the location of our room because it is close to the other secret beach of Paksi Cove.

A photo posted by Milet Miranda (@projectgora) on

I dropped my bags immediately and grabbed a snorkelling set because the clear, turquoise-colored waters were so inviting! I was so excited to check out the marine life in the area but unfortunately, it was close to dead or non-existent T_T It was quite depressing to see so much dead corals. I am not particularly sure if this was caused by Typhoon Haiyan or by illegal fishing practices. Anyhow, I still enjoyed swimming because our group played some silly games. Haha. 
 
A photo posted by Milet Miranda (@projectgora) on

By twilight, we had dinner at the canteen, which was quite good, especially the Tinalong Manok! Then, we went back to the cottage, near the secret beach, for our inuman session :) My officemate, Janice, brought Jose Cuervo, which we never thought we would fully consumed! We played Spot It! and truth or dare. It was crazy! By midnight, we were all so drunk we decided to go back to our rooms and sleep. 

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The next day, we woke up to a delicious breakfast. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy it as much as I want because of my terrible hang over! Damn that Jose Cuervo! This is reason why I do not drink hard liquor! Anyhow, we went island hopping after we checked out from Paksi Cove Beach Resort. We went to Lapus Lapus Beach and Hidden Beach.

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Then, we boarded the boat again to Calatrava. We made a quick visit to Mablaran Falls, which I do not have any photos because it was raining. Our final destination for that day was Looc Fish Sanctuary, where I definitely enjoyed snorkeling and non-stop swimming. In the afternoon, we travelled to Odiongan and spent the rest of our vacation time there. We had dinner at DJ’s place then we went to Harbour Chateau Resort for some chillout time. To our surprise, there were gay stand-up comedians from The Library in Malate, Manila. They were great but the audience in Odiongan seemed uninterested. Lol! I wish I could tell them how funny they were!
from upper left to upper right: Dan, Bok DJ and Ken
from lower left to lower right: Me, Ken, Bok and me again!
So, that's how our short vacation to Romblon went! This trip will not be a complete success without my friend DJ and the rest of my team mates (Yani, Dan, Ken, Bok, Noemi, Janice, Ate My and Mich) from Manulife! I am happy that I have friends who are always willing to travel with me. Looking forward to more travels and adventures together! Thanks again guys! ^_^ 


 ***Our next group trip in October will be in Apo Reef on the western waters of Occidental Mindoro. Sooo excited!***

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