Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Romblon, Romblon is a heritage town

All I knew about Romblon was that it was literally sitting on marble and that its cathedral is a National Cultural Treasure. But little did I know that the town's historical fabric was very much intact and if you compared the center of town to postcards from the prewar years, nothing much has changed. Walking around the streets of Romblon, Romblon was indeed a blast from the past! You could already see Fort San Andres as you enter Romblon Port.

From the port, I walked towards the Romblon Shopping Center in from of Freedom Park where all the marble souvenir stores are clustered. There are a lot of really nice souvenirs but they should improve the ones with engravings which usually say "ROMBLON SOUVENIR." The way they engrave and paint the words in most of the souvenirs, in my opinion, cheapens the marble. Anyway, I decided to purchase souvenirs after I dropped off my stuff at the hotel.

I was looking forward to seeing the Romblon Cathedral which is a National Cultural Treasure. But I did not expect the entire town to be a heritage treasure! Around the plaza are most of the elements of our old towns, including the church and convento, the municipio, a Gabaldon schoolhouse, old houses, several colonial bridges and a charming Rizal monument in the center of the plaza.

The Cathedral of St. Joseph was one the 26 colonial churches declared as National Cultural Treasures in 2001. The church, dating back to the 15th Century, was constructed by the Augustinian Recollects, and its interior features several Baroque-style retablos. Behind the church is Fort Santiago, one of the two forts in Romblon, Romblon. But I didn't climb up since the locals said there's nothing much left.

But Fort San Andres on the opposite hill is a lot more intact. Built at about the same time the church was constructed, its main purpose was to alert the town about the arrival of Moro pirates. A 210-step stone stairway will bring you up to the fort where a PAG-ASA station is located.

Where to stay
There are a lot of standard accommodations in Romblon which offer both electric fan and air-conditioned rooms.

Blue Ridge Hotel
Gov. Fetalvero Street
We stayed in this inn and got a really good deal. Non-aircon rooms have TVs and start at PHP700. While air-conditioned rooms with TV start at PHP800.
+63 919 3819393
+63 921 3748717
+63 920 8712643

Romblon Plaza Hotel
Pres. Roxas corner Fetalvero Street
This seems to be the best hotel in town. Ordinary fan rooms start at PHP550; while air-conditioned rooms start at PHP1000.
+63 42 5072269
+63 42 5072277

Parc Bay Mansion
This inn seems relatively new and is conveniently located in front of the ferry terminal and offers air-conditioned rooms for as low as PHP650.
+63 9215757760

Part 1: Romblon is more than marble
Part 3: Romblon's food surprises
Part 4: Aglicay Beach and Trangkalan Falls in Tablas

21 comments:

  1. Nice old structures here that seem reasonably well maintained and preserved.

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  2. Yes, I was surprised myself. I was told there was another island in Romblon Province with an intact historical fabric. But no confirmations yet.

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  3. wow cheapo accomo.... wanna go there

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  4. How do you go to Romblon? Is there an airport there?

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  5. There is an airport in neighboring Tablas Island. Otherwise, it would be by ferry from Manila, Batangas or Lucena. I placed some detailed information here: Romblon is more than marble

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  6. Hitik pala sa heritage ang Romblon. I have a cousin in Odiongan, she must be proud. Thanks for bringing out those photos.

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  7. Oo nga eh. The historical fabric of Romblon town is intact. There are reports of another heritage town in a different island of Romblon. But no one I know has seen it personally.

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  8. Anonymous23.9.08

    wooh, u know i am really amazed to see and read all those things about romblon..
    hmm. well, im from that province, unfortunately ive nver set foot to our capital, of course i hav reasons for it, i just passed by it when i went to sibuyan island. I recommend u also go there, sibuyan is reach in natural wonders. cantingas river is one of the cleanest rivers here in the philippines. also, u can explore my hometown, odiongan..
    i really appreciate ur blog abt romblon!
    hope ul come back and visit more of its places..
    looc and ferrol have white sand beaches also.. more to see! hehe
    phabol.. evry first week of april, odiongan celebrates it's kanidugan festival, hope u can see it!

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  9. Anonymous29.9.08

    gud day, sir ivan. i'm Joanne Ramos, a BA Philippine Arts student from UP Manila and currently helping Heritage Conservation Society in reestablishing their newsletter. i've opened their site and ur story about Romblon is one of their featured articles. would you mind if i include it in the newsletter? this paper will reach their Board of Trustees that have no access in the net.

    i hope for your immediate response, my email address is reverlndi_23@yahoo.com

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  10. Hi Joanne, I'm a member of the HCS Board of Trustees. What newsletter is this?

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  11. Anonymous2.10.08

    actually sir, it is the Heritage, the official newsletter of HCS. we knew that the production has been stopped due to lack of writers. for now, i am about to compile the events and happenings for the past 6 months or less. we hope that this would be a great help for the updates in and out of the organization.

    thank you, sir. :)

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  12. FYI, the old newsletter was called Stone. HCS does not publish a newsletter not because we do not have writers. We have a lot of them in fact. We've decided that an e-newsletter or the YahooGroup is more cost productive.

    We don't plan to publish any newsletter in print due to costs. Where are you getting this information?

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  13. Anonymous5.10.08

    sir, im sorry for not conveying what i really meant.. it's not the lack of writers.. it's the 'busy' sched of people who are writing the paper. (that's what i/we understood)

    i have a copy of the 2000 issue (i'll check if it is the 2000. but as far as i remember..) of the 'heritage' and mam Dorie (our contact person in HCS) gave the last piece, i think. for reference to regaining the paper.

    actually, sir, our purpose is for BOT and OTHER concerned people without net connection to still have updates regarding the ins within and outside the organization.

    i'm so sorry for by passing a major project of HCS. we juz want to help in PROMOTIONS and this is one of our ways. my partner did upgrade the HCS brochure, and this is in the approval stage.

    i think ma'am Gemma is very busy so, she haven't relayed our workings in the organization. and our proposals are still subject for your approval.. :)

    thank you so much and Godbless

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  14. Anonymous5.10.08

    also sir, the cost would be less this time because we propose that we print it in A4 and just fax it out to the members or scan it then send via mail...

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  15. Anonymous28.10.08

    May i ask how to get to Romblon Romblon, the last time i went there was when i was 5 years old when we went to my grandmothers Funeral, so i have no idea how to get there.. tnx

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  16. You could take a ship from Manila if I'm not mistaken, or a SEAIR flight to Tablas then from there, proceed to Romblon, Romblon.

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  17. hello how nice your coment about romblon hope you can come back here and visit more beautiful places like rowenas beach resort and many more resorts ty gd bls on your journey

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  18. Nice post Ivan.

    My parents grew up in Romblon and I usually visit the town once in a while. Romblon has a rich heritage indeed but only a few are aware of it.

    Keep it up!

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  19. Anonymous28.11.09

    thanks for posting something about romblon. My grandparents used to own the Wong's Bakery in Romblon - probably known in the 60's and 70's but i have never been there and there is no one left in the family to tell me which building it is. I know its near the Plaza and the church. Would love to know about it and a photo of the place....thanks..

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  20. I know this is a long shot since I responding to a 2 year old comment about a 66 year old bakery that may not exist with a picture of three sailors on 'Taff' (?) Ave.?? but here goes: please visit this site http://littrellluttrell.blogspot.com/2011/11/military-role-call-new-pictures.html
    and view the picture and information. Thankyou
    www.littrellfamily.net

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  21. Romblon Cathedral was built in the 18th century. The Augustinian Recollects only arrived in the 17th century.

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