Romblon Island Travel Guide: The Marble Capital of the Philippines

DIY 2020 Travel Guide to Romblon

Amazing Bon Bon beach on Romblon island, Philippines
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The Ultimate Travel Guide to Romblon Island with DIY Itinerary, Things to do, Places to Stay and Eat, and More

The dreamy archipelagic province of Romblon is known for its natural attractions, heritage sites, and festivals. It consists of three main islands: Sibuyan, Tablas, and another one with the same name as the province. Romblon Island is the seat of the provincial government and is a charming, quaint town that is small enough to explore but large enough to surely make a difference in your travels. Rustic, peaceful, and cool, are not enough to describe the beauty of Romblon Island.

Sunset in Bon Bon Beach
Sunset in Bon Bon Beach

In this Romblon Island Travel Guide Blog, we listed some tips on how you can do your own DIY trip to the Island of Romblon. We also included Romblon Itinerary, Things to do and see, how to get there and more.

Best Time to Visit

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Biniray Festival in Romblon Island
Biniray Festival in Romblon Island

The best time to visit Romblon Island is during the dry season. If you love island hopping activities, visit the island from December to May but if your purpose is to enjoy diving in any of the 17 marine sanctuaries surrounding Romblon Island, the best time to visit is during Amihan Season from March to October. If you want to discover the local culture, visit the island during the Biniray Festival (every second week of January). This festival is Romblon’s version of Sto. Nino Festival where the locals commemorate the return of the image of the Sto. Nino to Cathedral de San Jose.

How to get here

From Manila

By Air

The fastest way to get to Romblon province is by booking a flight to Tugdan Domestic Airport in Alcantara, Tablas Island. From the airport, take a jeepney or van ride to the port of San Agustin then take a boat ride to Romblon Island (about 1.5 hours Php 250 per person). There are daily trips to the town of Romblon (8:00am and 1:00pm Php 200 per person). If you miss the boat in San Agustin, you can hire a private boat that will take you to the town of Romblon (about Php 1,500).

By Boat

Presently, Romblon Island is only reachable via sea, as no major airlines pass by the island directly. There are 3 major RORO ship lines in Batangas Port that regularly travel to the archipelagic province.

  • To get to Batangas Port from Manila, ride a bus bound to Batangas Port. The Jac Liner and Jam Liner in Cubao and Buendia Pasay are two examples of bus lines that directly stop at the port.
  • From the port, you can book a ship ride with any of the three shipping vessels, Montenegro Lines (Monday, Thursdays, and Saturdays), MV Navios (Sundays and Wednesdays), or 2Go Travel every Mondays and Fridays. Travel time is 8 to 12 hours.
2Go Travel Ferry Schedule from Batangas to Romblon (Vice Versa)

Batangas to Romblon

  • ETD Tuesday 9pm –> ETA Wednesday 6am
  • ETD Thursday 9pm –> ETA Friday 6am
  • ETD Saturday 9pm –> ETA Sunday 6am

Romblon to Batangas Port

  • ETD Wednesday 8pm –> ETA Thursday 5am
  • ETD Friday 8pm –> ETA Saturday 5am
  • ETD Sunday 8pm –> ETA Monday 6am
  • You can book your tickets online at 2Go Travel Website. Schedule may change, please check their website for schedule updates.
Montenegro Lines Ferry Schedule from Batangas Port to Romblon Island

Batangas Port to Romblon

  • ETD Monday 5pm –> ETA Tuesday 7am
  • ETD Thursday 5pm –> ETA Friday 7am
  • ETD Saturday 5pm –> ETA Sunday 7am

Romblon Island to Batangas Port

  • ETD Tuesday 1pm –> ETA Wednesday 3pm
  • ETD Friday 1pm –> ETA Saturday 3pm
  • ETD Sunday 1pm –> ETA Monday 3pm
  • Tickets can be booked at Batangas Pier and Romblon Pier, no online booking option yet.
Navios Lines Ferry Schedule from Batangas to Romblon Island

Batangas to Romblon

  • ETD Sunday 3pm –> ETA Monday 2am
  • ETD Wednesday 3pm –> ETA Thursday 2am
  • ETD Friday 3pm –> ETA Saturday 2am

Romblon to Batangas Port

  • ETD Monday 3pm –> ETA Tuesday 2am
  • ETD Thursday 3pm –> ETA Friday 2am
  • ETD Saturday 3pm –> ETA Sunday 2am
  • Tickets can be booked at Batangas Pier and Romblon Pier, no online booking option yet.

From Marinduque

  • RORO ships offer thrice a week trip to Romblon, Romblon from Boac, Marinduque (Vice Versa)

From Roxas City, Capiz

  • RORO ships offer twice a week trip to Romblon, Romblon from Roxas, Capiz (Vice Versa)

From Lucena City

  • Starhorse Shipping Lines offer 5x a week trip to Romblon, Romblon from Lucena City (Vice Versa)

How to Get Around

Modes of transportation available throughout the island include jeepneys, tricycles, cycle rickshaws locally known as pedicabs, and motorcycle taxis locally known as habal-habal.

Tricycle in Romblon
Tricycle in Romblon
  • Tricycle is the most common mode of transportation on the Island.
  • Motorcycles for rent is also available Php 400 to Php 500 per day. If you need to charter a motorcycle with a driver, it costs Php 800 to Php 900 per day.
  • Boat Rental for Island Hopping costs Php 1,500 for 2-5 passengers, and Php 2,500 for 6-10 pax.

Where to Stay

Dream Paradise Mountain Resort

Dream Paradise Mountain Resort Review
Dream Paradise Mountain Resort Review

Address: Romblon-Sawang-Sablayan Road, Barangay Mapula, Romblon, 5500

Check Rates and Availability

Lies in an overlooking view of the ricefields close to nature ambiance, the resort is located in a slope facing the sunset of Panay islands. More than just a typical resort, Dream Paradise Mountain Resort has a Marble Zoo, an in-house restaurant, and two swimming pools. To know more about this resort, read our Dream Paradise Mountain Resort Review.

Where to Eat in Romblon Island

Unlike in previous years, The number of food establishments in Romblon is growing and we are loving it. Here are some of our recommended places to eat and chill in Romblon Island:

Seaport Bar and Grill

Chicharon Bulaklak at Seaport Bar and Grill
Chicharon Bulaklak at Seaport Bar and Grill

Located near the town plaza and the seaport, this restaurant is one of our highly recommended places to eat in Romblon. They offer Pasta dishes, Rice Toppings, Smoothies, Chicken Wings, Grilled Seafood and various Pinoy Favorites. PS. Their Chicharon Bulaklak is to die for!

Jd & G. Italian Food

Jd & G. Italian Food
Jd & G. Italian Food

The first restaurant in the Island that serves Pizza, Pasta, and other Italian food. The restaurant also serves Filipino, Asian and Vegetarian-friendly meals. They also serve ice cream, coffee, cocktails, beer, and other beverages.

Monaco Ice Cream 

Monaco Ice Cream in Romblon
Monaco Ice Cream in Romblon

One of the newest addition to the growing number of foodie spots in Romblon is this Ice Cream Parlor. They offer a variety of flavors and they make their own Ice cream using imported ingredients. We tried their Ice Cream and our favorite flavor is their version of Tiramisu. Price: Php50 per scoop.

Where to go and What to See

Cathedral of San Jose

Cathedral of San Jose by Jan Levent and Romblon Islands FB
Cathedral of San Jose by Jan Levent and Romblon Islands FB

The oldest Roman Catholic church in the province is the Cathedral of San Jose. It is one of the top 26 selected churches in the country that were declared a National Cultural Treasure in 2001. Originally built in the 15th century, the Cathedral of San Jose has had a long history.

Experience Biniray Festival

Biniray Fluvial Parade
Biniray Fluvial Parade
Biniray Festival Street Dance Performers
Biniray Festival Street Dance Performers

The Biniray Festival is celebrated every second Sunday of January, a day later after the “TonTon”. Tonton is a religious celebration in which the image of Sto Nino is being paraded in nearby streets after the holy mass. The traslacion was followed by a “pahalik” where devotees and petitioners are allowed to kiss the image.

TonTon in Romblon
TonTon in Romblon

The Biniray is a fluvial procession of the boats gaily decorated with colorful buntings with the lead boat carrying the image of the Sto. Nino. It goes around the Romblon Bay seven times, a reenactment of the seven attempts of the expedition of Loarca to sail out of the Poblacion. After the fluvial procession, the crowd celebrates as they join in returning the image of Sto Nino to the Cathedral.

Fuerza de San Andres 

Fuerza de San Andres 
Fuerza de San Andres

As part of the Philippines, Romblon was no exemption to the influence of Spanish colonizers. The local culture, heritage houses, Spanish forts, and churches are some of the remaining proofs of Spanish colonialization. Fuerza de San Andres (Fort San Andres) is a structure on top of a hill that provides a magnificent view of the entire town and the ocean. This fort was constructed specifically for Spanish officers to watch over the sea, and although the time for pirates has long passed, the forts continue to stand intact.

Bon Bon sandbar

Bon Bon Beach in Romblon
Bon Bon Beach in Romblon

The Philippines is known for all of its beautiful, white sandbars, but what makes Bon Bon Sandbar in Romblon different is that it is a paradise without the crowds. This beach is just 15 minutes away from the town proper. The sandbar is most visible during the early morning. The water level rises by 11 AM onwards, making the sandbar less visible, despite the water being clearer than a day.

Bon Bon beach is open to the public only until 7pm. There are no resorts or commercial establishments in the area, making it only ideal for a day trip.

Amazing Bon Bon beach on Romblon island, Philippines
Amazing Bon Bon beach on Romblon island, Philippines

Bird and Mangrove Sanctuary

Silently admire birds in flight or watch the locals demonstrate how mangrove seedlings are transplanted and raised. In the Bird and Mangrove Sanctuary, you will see how locals treasure the nature that the island has been endowed with.

Dive in Romblon

The humble Romblon Island boasts of beauty not just above the ground, but also underwater. There are presently five diving and snorkeling spots on the island: Cabanbanan Divers, Sonofareef Scuba Diving, Three P Holiday & Dive Resort, Dumagat Freedive, and Romblon Pirates Dive Shop. The Naguso Cave in Lonos, Romblon Town, has an amazing display of corals and sponges and is one of the least known diving spots.

Visit Cobrador Island

Cobrador Island in Romblon
Cobrador Island in Romblon

Famous of its beautiful white sand beaches, Cobrador Island is just 45 minutes away by boat from the town of Romblon. The island has a giant green sea turtle sanctuary, Caves, and an area for cliff jumping. To know more about the island, read our Cobrador Island Travel Guide.

Trek the Tinuhog Cave and Tinuhog Underground River

Romblon has its very own underground river, and although it is not as long or as known as Palawan’s famed, the Tinuhog Cave and Underground River is a must-see tourist attraction on its own. Tinuhog Cave is historically significant, too, as this is where the last batch of Romblon-stationed Japanese soldiers hid before being captured by the returning American troops.

Marble Quarries and Factories

Romblon Marble Factory
Romblon Marble Factory

A visit to Romblon is not complete without a visit to one of the town’s marble quarries and factories. Comparable to Italy’s Cararra, Romblon’s world-famous marble comes in a spectrum of shades ranging from white to black with in-between tints of mottled white.

Visit the Agpanabat Fish and Turtle Sanctuary

Romblon Island takes good care of its surrounding waters and wonderful marine life with the Agpanabat Fish and Turtle Sanctuary in Sitio Agpanabat, a town located in the southernmost edge of the island.

Also read: Things to do and see in Romblon

What to bring home for Pasalubong

Marble products and native handicrafts

Marble Shopping Center
Marble Shopping Center

Romblon is dubbed the “Marble Capital of the Philippines”, with products comparable to world-class Italian marble. You will “marvel” at how the locals craft so many intricate figurines out of marble, like horses, dolphins, nameplates, and even certain parts of the body! Locals are also very skilled in making other handicrafts, which are found abundantly on the island. The best crochet, lace, decorative plates, and bedspreads are found in the markets of Romblon.

Atis (Sugar-apple)

Atis - Sugar-Apple
Atis – Sugar-Apple

You will be amazed at how many atis trees there are in Romblon Island. The fruit itself is a bit tricky to eat as it contains lots of seeds, but once you get the hang of it, you will want to buy an entire kilo of this sweet and healthy fruit.

Boknoys Siopao

Boknoys Siopao in Romblon
Boknoys Siopao in Romblon

This is Romblon’s famous version of Siopao. What makes this Siopao unique is its delicious saucy asado filling. Just like Lechon Cebu, you don’t need a sauce to enjoy this local delicacy.

Other Romblon Island Travel Tips

  • Romblon Shopping Center has the cheapest prices of souvenirs. Make sure to not miss that opportunity, but…
  • Remember that marble products are heavy. Make sure not to buy too much that will make your luggage overweight!
  • Bring water and food if you plan to go to Bon Bon sandbar. There are very few nearby stores where you can buy meals.

Disclaimer: Our Romblon Island and Sibuyan Island Familiarization Trip was organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) MIMAROPA Region in partnership with the Provincial Government of Romblon, the municipalities of Romblon, Magdiwang, San Fernando, Cajidiocan and Dream Favor Travel and Tours.

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