If you want to talk about Romblon, you have to be specific about whether you're referring to the province or the island. See, Romblon province covers a group of islands, including the island known as Romblon.
Essentially, Romblon province is an archipelago within an archipelago. And just like its mother country, Romblon offers numerous and diverse attractions that anyone visiting the Philippines should check out, including:
Within the Maghali group of islands lies Banton, a place that truly deserves the moniker "untouched frontier." Before the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines, Banton was already home to a civilization with its own unique culture, who interred their dead as mummies on coffin boats, among other unusual practices.
Now, the island is a thriving hub for fishermen, copra farmers and others who engage in cottage industries. Some of the places you can visit here include buildings that date back to the Spanish era, beaches like Macat-ang (pictured above) and Mainit, and caves like Silak and Ipot, where artifacts that prove the existence of a pre-Spanish civilization were found.
If you want to go diving, Banton Island has some of the best diving spots in the country. Unfortunately, due to the local administration's commitment to keeping the island untouched, you have to bring your own diving equipment, and be responsible for the use of the same.
There's a reason it's dubbed the "Galapagos of Asia." Like its Ecuadorian counterpart, Sibuyan has been an isolated land mass since its inception, leading to the rise of endemic flora and fauna on the island. At the center is Mount Guiting-Guiting, which is 2,058 meters (6,752 feet) tall and is considered one of the hardest mountains to climb in the world.
Aside from mountains and wildlife, Sibuyan Island has one of the densest forests on Earth, with an incredible 1,551 trees per hectare. It's also home to crystal clear water formations like rivers and lagoons, breathtaking waterfalls and pristine beaches. If you want to enjoy all this within a controlled environment, the Mount Guiting-Guiting Natural Park is a good starting point.
In case you feel like helping Mother Nature, you can join the local mangrove-planting community near the Lambingan Falls jump-off. You can also go on a round trip via jeepney, or have an awesome view of the sunset at the Magdiwang Fish Sanctuary.
Of the islands in Romblon Province, Tablas is the largest. Despite having no less than nine municipalities, Tablas remains relatively untouched by man, and is — like the rest of Romblon province — a lost paradise on Earth.
Luckily, tourists can still find accommodations around the island. You can also head to Tablas via the Romblon Port on Romblon Island, which is about an hour away from the town of San Agustin. Once you're on Tablas, you can explore caves, get drenched by waterfalls, go beach-hopping, and scuba-diving. Unlike the more popular beach destinations around the Philippines, Tablas Island's beaches are less crowded, making it perfect for tourists who want a quiet, relaxing getaway.
To see one of the strangest sights in nature, head over to Tinagong Dagat in Barangay Kabibihan, Calatrava. There, you can see two saltwater lakes located about 10 meters (33 feet) away from the sea, with many cave-like formations underneath. But that's not all: Apparently, when the rest of the island is high tide, Tinagong Dagat is low tide, and vice versa. Talk about strange!
Of course, a visit to Romblon Province won't be complete without a trip to the island of the same name. Even though it's the smallest of Romblon Province's three main islands, Romblon was designated as the capital town, and still remains as such to this day.
Being the capital, Romblon Island brims not only with natural beauty, but also with religious and political history. If you want a glimpse back in time, take a look at St. Joseph's Cathedral and Belfry, the oldest Catholic Church in Romblon, or visit the twin Spanish forts San Andres and Santiago, which served as fortresses against attacks by Moros and Dutch invaders. You can also pass by the Fuenta de Belen fountain near the municipal hall, which has a statue of the Virgin Mary sitting upon it.
For beach lovers, there are the white beaches of Tiamban, Bonbon and Cobrador. Explorer types can also enter Nagoso Cave, which is believed to house the remains of the ancient dead, or take a trip to the marble factories of Romblon. (The province is best known as the "Marble Capital of the Philippines," after all.) And for destinations that don't fall under any of the above, there's the Ramon Magsaysay Park, where you can walk and clear your mind while on vacation.
One more thing: Since Romblon has a Type III climate like Marinduque, expect it to be relatively dry from December to February. In the meantime, thanks for checking this post out, and we hope this piqued your interest enough to explore the wonder that is Romblon Province.