Fort San Andres: A National Cultural Treasure
Aside from being the Marble Capital of the Philippines, Romblon is also blessed with historical and heritage sites. In fact, many Spanish structures from the 15th century are still intact in the town of Romblon.
People with interest in history and architecture would find this island a good treat. Among many historical sites, Romblon has is Fort San Andres. One could reach the fort from the Freedom Park by a short walk.
Constructed in 1645, the twin forts of Romblon, Fort San Andres, and Fort Santiago (now in ruins), were built under the supervision of Portuguese friar, Fr. Agustin de San Pedro, popularly known as Padre Capitan. The twin forts played a significant role in the history of the province of Romblon as part of the colonial military defense system. It was constructed from coral stone and served as a fortress against Moro pirates and Dutch invaders in the 17th century. (source: mimaropa.neda.gov.ph)
Since the fort is within the Romblon town, it is easy to climb the stairs to it, and there are no visiting fees.
Fort San Andres was built to guard the Romblon town against pirates and reinforce Spaniards’ dominance on the common folk during those days. It overlooks the town and the sea, making it perfect to notice any intruders coming towards Romblon, either by sea or through the land.
One could see this fort looming over the hilltop. After the restoration, the steps have depicted sea life and the on-goings in the locality. Though there are no vaults inside anymore, the feeling that one would get once inside the fort is very similar to being in a vault. The numerous massive columns in square structures are made to withstand any attack or siege, perhaps even local revolt.
The tower that this fort has gives a complete and spectacular view of the entire harbor. This was meant to watch over the crucial junctions of logistics and any susceptible movement around the harbor.
Since 2012, when a massive restoration project took over, it is more accessible and beautiful than the pre-restoration ruins. The fort attracts many archaeological experts, architects, historians, and students interested in 15th century Spaniard history and architecture. Photographers gather here very often because they can get a panoramic view of the entire town and the Romblon port. This part is exponentially in favor of the trigger happy photographers.
Well, a lot of travelers and locals find it to be the perfect spot to be with their romantic companion. The ocean on one side, greenery on the other, and a colorful town around; gives three options to choose and settle at one side.
The wind is pretty charming and feels good, but the entire romanticism may get badly sunburnt under the afternoon sun. Hence, couples mostly visit in the evenings; after a long day of work or excursions.
Overall, Fort San Andres in Romblon is something that can’t be missed, and every visitor to this beautiful island should include this place in their list of places to visit while in Romblon.