Author: Benjamin PehleCountry: Germany
Experience: Fun Diver
Favorite Critter: Mantis Shrimp
Social Media: Facebook
Margie’s Beach in Lonos
In Lonos, between the two better known beaches of Bonbon and Tiamban, lies this absolute beach paradise. An absolute insider tip if one would like to have times of peace and simply only needs to relax or meditate under undisturbed circumstances. On both sides surrounded by rocks, you can only reach the beach at high tide by climbing over the rocks or wading through the water. But it is worth it, because once you are there, you can be almost sure that you are the only one on the beach.
The water here is breathtakingly crystal clear and turquoise blue. It is also very suitable for swimming because the access to the water is perfect because it is relatively steep. There are fewer rocks where bad sea-urchin surprises can hide. Also a great place to watch the sun set next to the small island of Bang-og and behind the silhouette of Tablas.
The best access is over the Tiamban beach by going further and further to the right. For an entrance fee of only 50 pesos you have access to all the facilities of Tiamban beach, which is also wonderful. A small beach bar for drinks, showers and toilets are also available here.
If you still feel like a walk at the end of your stay on the beach, you should simply walk and climb over the rocks to the right from Margie’s Beach. The famous Bonbon Beach is waiting for you there. With a long sandbank the beach rises into the sea. It is rightly a very popular and extraordinary beach with the locals and tourists – also an absolute Romblon highlight. At low tide you can walk over a small and narrow sandbank to the wonderful island of Bang-og. Just be careful to walk back in time before the tide comes in as it can be quite strong.
You are spoilt for choice but no matter which beach you choose: there will be something for everyone.
Buntoc-Mountain in Sawang
If you feel like a spiritual journey to the highest mountain on the island, you should definitely stop by here to climb the mountain. The way to the top of the mountain alone is a great adventure. If you are coming from the west side, make a stop at the Yums-Cafe to strengthen yourself with delicious food for the ascent. The owners are very friendly, helpful and talkative.
Just go on and leave the main road to the left at the blue church in Barangay Sawang. Just follow the road uphill. When the asphalt stops, you can decide whether you want to walk or ride your motorcycle up the hill. Both are highly recommended but the motorcycle should be suitable for off road use. Because the path here is sometimes impassable by motorcycle due to typhoons and landslides, you often have no other choice but to continue with hiking. Just follow the path uphill until you see a breathtaking view of Sibuyan Island on the right side. Once you reach the highest point of the street, you will see the mountain top and a narrow path on the left side, that can only be climbed on foot through the scrubs.
Once you have reached the top, you will soon realize that the exertions were worth it. Here you have a 360 degree view over the whole island and all its surrounding islands: Perfect for a spectacular sunrise or sunset. The brave ones can stay overnight with a small camping equipment and enjoy both. Just leave your mental baggage behind for an easier and carefree descent. Highly suggested!
San Pedro Beach in Ginablan
If you are looking for a shady spot and hammocks when visiting the beach, you should definitely go to San Pedro Beach for a relaxed time. If you are coming from the north, just leave the main road to the right after the Barangay Ginablan sign and follow the small and enchanted path to the end.
When you arrive at the beach, you can relax in the shade of the trees and palms in hammocks while you enjoy a drink from the beach resort or enjoy delicious food at the marble tables on the beach.
Also very suitable for excellent snorkeling or watching the sun go down behind Tablas and never get tired of being amazed. If you drive back at dusk, you can see the spectacular flying foxes that start to get active at this time. A really cosy and idyllic spot that you definitely have to see.
Kipot Canyon-River in Sablayan
In the southeast of the island is this wonderful river located, which runs through a mini-canyon. The best place to enter this mini-canyon is at the hidden canyon “lake”. This isolated and idyllic location is not so easy to find but an absolute must-see. Again, the approach to this place is an exciting adventure in itself. The lake is located in a canyon and invites with its clear and cold river water to a splash cooling down. From its surrounding rocks you can make wonderful test of courage jumps into the fresh river water. But be careful, because the water is not very deep in all places. On the banks of the river and the lake you can also have a nice picnic with BBQ and campfire. If you are very lucky, you can also see the monkeys that live on the island romping through the jungle. If you want to explore the area, you should definitely swim further up the river and wade over the river rapids or continue walking over the cliffs and rocks.
If you approach via the main road on the west side of the island, just follow it further south. Here it is already worth to make a short break in Agpanabat to have a smooth stop at the Reggae Vibes: a very reggae-inspired beach bar with a good-vibes atmosphere. The way to the Kipot hidden lake is not so easy to find, so it is best to ask the very helpful staff for directions. Continue east towards Sablayan where the road bends left at the end of the village, goes uphill and crosses the island. (If you feel like taking the big island tour, you should turn right at this point where the road crosses the river at its mouth). As always just ask the friendly people for directions or hire a guide for a few pesos.
Once you have reached the access point, which is only indicated by a tiny sign: don’t be surprised, the path literally goes through the front garden of a house. But the inhabitants are happy about the visit and will help you. The path is steep and slippery. So be careful not to spoil this adventure already at the beginning. It will be an unforgettable trip and should be done by everyone who visits Romblon or lives there.
Hiking tracks to the Windmills
If you want to experience unforgettable hiking sensations, this is the right destination for you. The three windmills on the hills in the center of the island are also an attraction that you should definitely take with you. At the 3 different locations they offer very diverse perspectives of the island and its surroundings with the neighboring islands. Actually they were built to supply the electric motorcycles on the island with electricity. They are now also popular viewpoints and meeting points to enjoy for example the unforgettable sunrises or sunsets.
The hiking trails to these places are quite demanding and you should put your sandals aside and wear sturdy shoes. On the way up you can get a complete new insight into the flora and fauna of the islands or the life of the locals in the mountains and hills.
As always, just ask around, the locals will help you. But it is best to take a “guide” with you, who knows the trails and has already walked the hiking routes before, because you will meet less people on the way.
The best accesses to the hiking trails are:
– in Romblon town if you go left around the grounds of the Romblon National High School, follow the trail and turn off into the jungle.
– behind the rice fields of Lonos-Centro. go straight through the Barangay hall and take the path that goes through the rice fields to leave the dwellings behind
– At the end of Barangay Agnay at St. John Chapel, turn onto the side road and keep right at the next junction.
For those who do not want to take the hike or are in a hurry to reach the windmills, there is also a drivable path. The access for this is Sitio Lusod, Lonos when you leave the main road across from the Marlin Bar and take the Barangay road up the hill.
The road is steep uphill and depending on the weather the path can be very muddy and slippery. An off-road suitable motorbike is highly recommended here.
Cobrador Island hopping tour
As there are many fishermen living on Romblon, it is possible to rent small boats including crew for a fair price. For example to go on an island hopping tour to: Alad, Cobrador or Logbon.
All of the smaller and charming islands north of Romblon Island are definitely worth a visit. Just ask for it. The helpful folks will already direct you to the right people.
Especially worth mentioning is the Marakay Marakay Cliff Jump Rock. On a small but adorable rock in the sea not far from Cobrador Island, on which there is only a small house, there is a springboard.
Here you should definitely make a stop to take a daring cliff jump into the waters. Because there are concrete steps on the side of the rock, you can repeat the fun as often as you like.
Fiesta Time in Romblon Town
The best time to be on Romblon is between mid-December and mid-January. Not only to celebrate Christmas under different cultural conditions or to have a romblomanic crackling on New Year’s Eve. But especially because of the fiesta week on Romblon. Because on the second Saturday of the year the Biniray festival starts in Romblon town with the big fiesta. It is a week-long parade that takes place mainly in the streets.
Here you can experience a colorful mixture of impressive drumming, fantastic dance performances in colorful costumes and creative decorations made of local and mostly natural materials. The whole island is in turmoil and it is wonderful to participate in the traditional habits of the Romblomanum. In addition, you will be able to experience the island’s historical past with its Spanish touch. The Fort San Andres is also a good place to do this. An old Spanish fortress, which offers a fantastic view over the bay of Romblon town high above the roofs of the town.
On the fiesta Saturday, all the villages of the island (Barangay’s) send their tribes to the town to have a good time. The tribes consist of drummers, dancers, banner and flag wavers. They march loud, colorful and happy through the streets and then compete against each other on the extensive grounds of Romblon National High School. The choreographies, decorations, dances and drumming of the respective tribes are lovingly, creatively and enthusiastically prepared for months in the Barangay Hall’s. You should also not miss the magnificent and colorful Biniray boat parade in the port of Romblon.
During the fiesta week there are also many amazing concerts and competitions. In general, the island is even livelier and more colorful and there is generally more action. People go crazy during this time and are going nuts. They infect you with their magical good mood. It is great fun to be on Romblon at this fiesta time.