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2024 Romblon Island DIY Travel Guide

After basking in the sun on the stunning island of Cresta de Gallo in Sibuyan Island, we boarded the ferry the following morning bound for our next stop — Romblon Island. It was around this leg of the trip when we learned about Bon Bon beach, a sought-after destination in the island, landing on the 45th spot in the best beaches in the world in 2024. As we explored the island further, we realized that it offers much more than just its renowned beach. This considered as an off-the-beaten path destination in the Philippines is truly underrated. To walk you through the gems this province holds, here’s a detailed Romblon Island DIY Travel Guide for you.

A sandbar stretching out in the ocean towards an islet
Bon bon beach at sunset

About Romblon, Romblon

One of the 20 islands of Romblon province is also called as Romblon. It is among the main islands of the province with Tablas and Sibuyan being the others. Though relatively small compared to the other two, Romblon harbors historical and natural marvels waiting to be discovered.

Romblon is known as the Marble Capital of the Philippines. It has earned the title due to its abundant reservoirs of high-quality marble, comparable in excellence to the renowned Italian varieties. The island’s geological composition boasts significant marble deposits, establishing it as a key hub for marble production. This has led to the development of a thriving industry on the island, where skilled craftsmen create marble products highly sought after both not just within the country but also abroad.

The island’s main town boasts a rich history dating back to the Spanish colonial era, evident in its well-preserved architecture and cultural heritage sites. You can wander around the narrow streets downtown flanked with old houses, visit centuries-old churches, and explore quaint plazas brimming with Spanish and local charm.

The best time to visit Romblon falls within the dry season in the Philippines, typically from November to May. Despite being the peak season in the country, Romblon’s islands and beaches remain relatively uncrowded, particularly on weekdays, unlike other tourist hotspots.

Residents of Romblon, known as Romblomanons, primarily speak Bisaya, particularly Hiligaynon. However, communication shouldn’t pose an issue as they are fluent in both Tagalog and English.

Places to Visit in Romblon Island

Talipasak Beach

Romblon is generally an ideal destination for vacationers especially divers and beach goers. It has its fair share of stunning, creamy white to fine bone white sand beaches around and its nearby islands. It also boasts a teeming marine life that is not much explored unlike its nearby provinces in the region. If you wish to get to know the island more, you may go on a trip around the town, visit its heritage sites and connect with the locals. Among the best places to visit in Romblon Island are the following:

Inland beaches

  1. Bonbon Beach
  2. Nonok Beach (Formerly known as Dolphin beach)
  3. Tiamban Beach
  4. Talipasak Beach

Heritage/Town Tour

  1. Romblon Freedom Park
  2. Marble Crafts
  3. St. Joseph Cathedral
  4. Fuerza San Andres
  5. Romblon Windmill

Island Hopping Tour

  1. Cobrador Island
  2. Logbon Island
  3. Alad Island
  4. Tinagong Dagat

How to Get There

Manila to Romblon, By Air (via Alcantara, Tablas Island)

There are no airports in Romblon, Romblon but there’s one in Tablas Island, the Tugdan Airport or Romblon Airport in Alcantara.

  1. From Manila, take a flight via AirSwift to Tugdan Airport (TBH). Flights, however, are limited to once to twice a week only.
  2. From Tugdan Airport, charter a van or jeep to the port of San Agustin.
  3. From San Agustin, take the pump boat to Romblon Island. Make sure you’ll check first the ferry schedule in Romblon prior to heading out so you can make the most out of your trip in the island.

Batangas to Romblon, By Sea

  1. From Batangas Pier, take the 4:00 PM trip of Starlite Ferries to Sibuyan Island (Magdiwang Port).
  2. The trip usually arrives at around 1:00 AM the next day.

Lucena City, Quezon to Romblon, By Sea (via San Agustin)

From the port of Lucena City in Dalahican, take the 4:00 PM trip of StarHorse Shipping Line to San Agustin. This ferry arrives at San Agustin in Tablas Island port at 3:00 AM the next day. The same ferry sails to Romblon, Romblon after an hour.

Roxas City, Capiz to Romblon, by Sea

Take the 1:00 PM trip of Starlite Ferries at Roxas City, Capiz. This sails straight to Romblon port.

The Takot Reef and cliff jumping in an islet near Cobrador Island captured by Jo Serrano

Getting Around Romblon Island

  • Tricycle. Among the main means of transportation in the island is tricycle. The basic fare is at Php 15.00 per person for short distance trips. You may also rent one for the whole day for your inland tour. Rate for such starts at Php 800.00.
  • Self-drive motorbike. You may also rent a motorbike that you may drive yourself if you wish to go on a Romblon Island DIY trip by yourself. Rental rate starts at Php 500.00 depending on the model of the motorbike you’ll rent. This, however, does not include the gas yet. Make sure that you’ll bring your driver’s license with you, too.
  • Boat. For island hopping tours, you may rent outrigger tourist boats. Rate starts at Php 2,500.00 for a boat good for 2 to 4 persons for a whole day including the usual island-hopping destinations.
Bon bon beach at sunset
Sunset at Bonbon beach
Photo by Jo Serrano

Romblon Island DIY Itinerary

Day 0: Manila to Romblon (by sea)
1:00 PM – Depart from Manila
3:30 PM – ETA Batangas Pier
4:00 PM – ETD For Romblon (Starlite Ferries)
1:00 AM – ETA in Romblon
1:30 AM – Earliest check in, rest

Day 1: Romblon Beaches and Heritage Tour
6:00 AM – Breakfast around Shopping Center
7:00 AM – Charter tricycle for in land tour
7:30 AM – Start Romblon tour
Places to visit:
Fuerza San Andres
St. Joseph Cathedral
Romblon Freedom Park
Marble Stores and Factory
12:00 NN – Lunch around the Shopping Center/ check in
1:00 PM onwards – Chill by the beach
Tiamban Beach
Nonok Beach
Talipasak Beach
Bonbon Beach
6:00 PM – Back to town for dinner
7:30 PM – Back to hotel

Day 2: Island hopping
6:30 AM – Rise and shine/ breakfast
7:30 AM – Prepare for island hopping
8:00 AM – Start of island hopping tour
Places to visit:
Lugbon Island
Cobrador Island
Tinagong Dagat
Alad Island
Bonbon beach (sunset watching)
6:00 PM – back to port/ hotel
7:00 PM – Dinner
8:30 PM – pack up
9:30 PM – Head to Romblon port
10:00 PM – ETD for Batangas Pier (Starlite Ferries)

Romblon Island DIY Sample Budget

Bus from Manila to BatangasPhp 250.00
Batangas Pier Terminal Fee Php 30.00
Ferry fare (Batangas to Romblon)Php 1,800.00
Tricycle Rental for tourPhp 1,000.00/ 3 = Php 333.33
Tiamban/ Talipasak/ Nonok Beach Entrance FeePhp 50.00 each
Food Php 1000.00
AccommodationPhp 500.00 x2 days = Php 1,000.00
Boat rentalPhp 2,500.00/ 3 = Php 833.33
Cobrador Island Environmental Fee Php 30.00
Alad Island Entrance FeePhp 50.00
Bonbon Beach Environmental FeePhp 20.00
Ferry fare back to BatangasPhp 1,800.00
TOTALPhp 7,156.66
The sample itinerary and budget this Romblon island DIY travel guide suggests assumes that you are traveling in a group of 3 and you’ll be back to Manila after. If you have the luxury of time, you may also visit the other islands of Romblon province.

Where to Stay in Romblon

  1. Padayon Bed and Breakfast
  2. Romblon Beach and Dive Resort (in Lugbon Island)
  3. Lonos Circle Private Garden
  4. Romblon Beach and Dive Resort (in Lugbon Island)
  5. Horizon Hotel Romblon
  6. El Krimphoff Resort

Budget-friendly accommodations

  1. Romblon Transient House
  2. Capaclan Private Rooms
  3. DRA Guesthouse
  4. Dorm-type in Romblon
  5. Catmel Lodging House

Useful Contact Details

For Romblon Island DIY travelers, you may contact Kuya Tulin at +63 963 336 1808 for boat rental for your island hopping tour. His rate starts at Php 2,500.00 to Php 3,000.00. For hassle-free organized or exclusive tours, you may contact Ms. Jezzie Eslasor of Pamasyar Travel and Tour Services, a DOT-accredited tour operator in the province. They may arrange tours for your where meals can be included, too.

Useful tips from this Romblon Island DIY Travel Guide

  1. Bring enough cash in Philippine peso. There’s not much of banks and money changer around but in the town proper only.
  2. Bring dry bag. The outrigger boats used for island hopping for small groups are small enough that your stuff may get splashed on or soaked in saltwater.
  3. DON’T BRING LUGGAGES. Take this seriously. You’ll have a hard time carrying it around as you will be taking a lot of ferry and boat trips.
  4. There are no restaurants in the islands. Hence, make sure you’ll bring enough food in your island hopping tour. What we did was we brought food containers and bought food from the eateries at the Shopping Center before leaving.
  5. Bring your mask and snorkel or diving gear. Romblon’s underwater life will surprise you ten folds.
  6. Network signal is sporadic to non-existent in most parts of southern Romblon island.
  7. There are no fast-food restaurants nor shopping malls in Romblon Island. There are pharmacies, though, but make sure you’ll bring your own medicines and necessities for your own convenience.
  8. Choose an accommodation that is nearby the port. It is where most of the eateries and restaurants are located. Other major establishments can be reached by foot from this area, too.
  9. Always have a Plan B. Ferries traveling to and from Romblon cancel trips even without prior notice.
  10. You can always haggle with tricycle drivers but do not lowball. They usually give the Heritage tour at Php 800.00 and ask for additional fees just in case you want to travel to the beaches, too.
  11. Always take note of the Romblon ferry schedule during your planning phase. This will save you a lot from hassle.

Anne Elizabeth Gumiran, also known as Queenie, is a 20-something, full-time public school teacher, a part-time travel blogger and a freediver. She started putting her stories of adventures and misadventures into words and pictures in 2017 and continues to do so as she shares her advocacy, Sustainable Traveling.

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