On my third and last day on Romblon island, I visited the beautiful islands fronting Romblon town, the capital of Romblon province best known for its hilltop fortress and other unique heritage sites. I already visited two white-sand beaches on Romblon island itself – Bonbon and Talipasak – on my self-guided round-the-island scooter tour the day before. But island hopping around Romblon Bay offered even more beaches to visit!
The morning island-hopping tour was arranged by the Romblon Provincial Tourism Office. I checked out of Dream Paradise Mountain Resort at 6:30 am and drove by scooter to Romblon town. At the fish port, I met up with three female staff members from the tourism office. We boarded a bangka and departed the jetty at past 7 am.
We started our tour visiting the farthest of the three islands, Cobrador, and worked our way closer back to the mainland. The ride was calm for the most part until we traversed the waters between Alad and Cobrador. Since Cobrador was farthest out, the unprotected waters are often choppy especially when tides shift. It took around 40 minutes to reach the island from town, passing by Logbon and Alad islands along the way.
Cobrador island is a locally renowned as a source of black marble. It remains unclear how the island got its name, which is Spanish for “debt collector”. According to this news article, the 300-hectare island only got its present name only around 50 years ago. A village chief says it was formerly called Naguso, the Romblomanon word for corals.
A few rocky islets can be found off the southern coast. As we approached Cobrador, we first docked at Cascarro Islet, which has a concrete platform for cliff diving. While the water looked inviting, the precarious platform tilted forward discouraged me from taking a jump. The ladder going back up had also disappeared, which meant that one had to swim all the way around the islet to climb back up. We just enjoyed the views from the cliff edge, overlooking the white-sand shoreline of Cobrador and Cabugaan Islets, smaller rock formations jutting out of the sea.
We returned to the bangka and headed up to the west coast of Cobrador, which was blessed with the broadest white-sand beach. I only had an hour or so to enjoy this spot, so I went for swim in the luminous waters surrounding the sandy point. The coralline sand here was coarse, but the beach was clean and inviting. From here, I could see the other islands of Romblon province – the northern mountains of Tablas, and the islands of Banton and Corcuera (Simara) – as well as Mt. Malindig on the southern end of Marinduque province.
If I wasn’t in a rush, I’d spend an entire day or overnight on Cobrador. Aside from the rocky islets and sandy beaches, there’s a saltwater rock pool called Tinagong Dagat on the eastern side, and reputedly some good dive spots here.
I needed to be back in Romblon town by noontime to board the Lucena-bound ro-ro ferry that will drop by Banton island. So we left Cobrador at 9:30 pm so I had time to visit two more islands on the return trip. The water was much calmer on our way back. The jagged peaks of Mt. Guiting-Guiting, a challenging trekking destination on Sibuyan island (also part of Romblon province), peeked from behind Romblon island.
The next island was Alad, which has a couple of dive resorts, which were still closed during our visit. Alad harbors white-sand coves. Our bangka dropped us at one of the western coves, where Sunset Cove Beach & Dive Resort was located. We only spent half an hour on this beach, where several fishing boats were moored.
The closest island to the mainland, and our last stop, was Logbon. This narrow island is also ringed by long stretches of white sand, however, its highlight is a sandbar that extends from a southern point. While not as impressively long as Bonbon on Romblon island, Logbon Sandbar exuded a charm of its own, especially when photographed from above with a drone.
The hook-shaped strip of sand extended from a coconut-lined shore. This side of the island was largely undeveloped until a contemporary beach resort was built recently close to the sandbar, an all-white concrete structure that stuck out like a sore thumb along the otherwise untouched coastline.
By 11 am, we left the sandbar to return to Romblon town, which was only 15 minutes away from Logbon. I was back at the fish port in no time and, after bidding farewell to the gracious tourism staff, rushed to the Starhorse counter to buy my ticket to Banton for the afternoon trip.
HOW TO GET THERE
Inter-island ro-ro ferries travel to Romblon island from Lucena and Batangas cities, a few hour’s bus ride south of Metro Manila. Starhorse and Montenegro have daily overnight trips from Lucena City to Romblon island. These ferries stop by other islands like Banton and Tablas before reaching Romblon . Montenegro has twice-weekly Batangas-Odiongan-Romblon trips, departing Mondays and Thursdays. Schedules frequently change, so it’s best to contact the shipping companies to confirm.