Cruising Romblon Island
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Almost 3 months ago, I found myself heading towards the acclaimed “Marble Capital of the Philippines” thanks to PHILTOA’s Cruising Romblon leg. Here are seven activities you shouldn’t miss when in Romblon:
1. Visit marble factories
Before granite even became a thing, marble was king and Romblon is blessed with it. You might be surprised as to how massive the marble excavations are and the equipment used in processing raw marbles. Note that even their road’s side-barriers are made out of marble. So cool!
Romblon’s marble craft is second to none in the Philippines. Products like ashtrays, mortars, etc. are surprisingly cheap. You can have custom marble works done too. Just inquire at the souvenir shops in the Romblon Shopping Center near Freedom park. It’s just a stone’s throw away from the port.
You may think it’s a hassle to carry loads of marble souvenirs but thanks to 2Go, each passenger has 75 kilos of baggage allowance at 20 x 30 inches in dimensions max. So yeah, hoard away!
3. Food Trip!
We tried JD&G Italian Food (contact: 09178760072) in Brgy. 1 which is also near the town plaza / Freedom Park. Food is authentic Italian, a unique and superb experience indeed!
4. Historical Walk
After the food trip, it’s good to burn the calories up. We made our way to the historical Fuerza de San Andres which is just a brief walk from the Freedom Park. There are 199 steps to the top of the fortress so the heavy meal prior is justified. Reaching the top is well worth the cardio workout!
5. Church Visit
The picturesque Saint Joseph Cathedral is the oldest Catholic church in the Province of Romblon. It’s where you can find the Nuestra Señor Sto. Niño de Romblon. It was believed that during the Spanish occupation, the conquistadores had misfortunes trying to leave the island with the Sto Nino. On the seventh attempt, they left the image in the chapel altar and they were able to finally set sail. That’s the origin of the Biniray festival where water vessels turn back 7 times in honor of that fateful day.
6. Soak in the beach vibe
This long stretch of crystal clear waters at Barangay Lonos houses several beaches. Jump-off from Tiamban beach as it’s the nearest from the town proper, we then trekked to Margie’s beach and finally to Bonbon beach. Please note these beaches are raw – no establishments put up yet save for Tiamban. Entrance is only at P60 / head.
7. Rest up
We rested our weary souls from all that walking at the Dream Paradise Mountain Resort in Brgy. Mapula. We were treated like royalty from check-in to check out. We had the chance to meet with Mayor Mariano M. Mateo and the former mayor Gerard S. Montojo before dinner. This place is just relaxing, the amenities are top notch and the food is great. Hats off to Ms. Joy Jacobo for accommodating us.
From marbles, foreign cuisine, historical places, beach fronts and world class resorts – Romblon has surely proven it has more to offer. This is one place to add or bump up on your bucket list. I sure am excited to go back!