Romblon (/rɒmˈbloʊn/ rom-BLOHN) is an archipelagic province of the
Philippines located in the
Mimaropa region. Its main islands include
Tablas, the largest, which covers nine municipalities, Sibuyan with
its three towns, as well as the smaller island municipalities of
Corcuera, Banton, Concepcion, San Jose, and Romblon, the provincial
capital. The province lies south of
Marinduque and Quezon, east of
Oriental Mindoro, north of
Aklan and Capiz, and west of Masbate.
According to the 2015 census, it has a total population of 292,781.
Romblon has been inhabited by aboriginal Filipinos prior to the
arrival of the Spanish in 1569. Archaeological artifacts recovered by
the National Museum in 1936 indicate that the aborigines of Romblon
already have a rich and advanced culture. Under Spanish colonial rule,
Romblon was initially administered under the newly established
province of Arevalo, until 1716, when it was transferred to the
jurisdiction of the newly created province of Capiz. With arrival of
the Americans in 1901,
Romblon was declared a province and placed
under civilian rule. It lost its provincial status for a short while
between 1907 and 1945, but regained it in 1946, just after World War
The inhabitants of
Romblon are divided into three ethnolinguistic
groups: Romblomanon, Onhan and Asi. These groups occupy specific
islands in the province and have their own language and customs.
Romblomanon is mainly spoken in the town of Romblon, in all of three
towns of Sibuyan Island, and the town of San Agustin in Tablas Island.
Onhan is mainly spoken in the municipalities in the southern part of
Tablas Island (Alcantara, Looc, Ferrol, Santa Fe, San Andres, and
Santa Maria) as well as in the island municipality of San Jose. The
northwestern part of
Tablas Island (in
Odiongan and Calatrava, as well
as the islands municipalities of Corcuera, Banton, and Concepcion,
speak the Asi language.
Currently, the province relies on agriculture, particularly rice and
copra farming as well as fishing, for its livelihood. It also has a
lucrative marble industry due to an abundance of Italian-quality
marble, hence, its moniker as the "
Marble Capital of the Philippines."
In recent years, the province has also become an ecotourism
destination, with several white sand beaches, diving spots, mountains
and rainforests that tourists visit annually.
2.1 Early history
2.2 Spanish period
2.3 Revolutionary period
2.4 American period
2.5 Japanese period
2.6 Modern period
3.2 Flora and fauna
3.3 Administrative divisions
5.2 Marine resources
5.3 Mineral resources
6.1 Natural attractions
6.2 Heritage sites
8.3 Water supply
11 Notable people
13 External links
According to legend, the name "Romblon" was derived from the
Romblomanon word Nagalumyom, which pertains to a chicken in the act of
sitting on its eggs on a nest. This eventually evolved to Lomlom,
and later on to Donblon, the name reported by Spanish chronicler
Miguel de Loarca in his book Relacion de las Islas Filipinas in 1582,
before finally evolving to Romblon.
Meanwhile, local historians Roland Madeja and Evelyn Reyes relate the
origin of the name "Romblon" to the shape of
Romblon Island. Madeja
claims that the name was derived from the Spanish word ronblon,
another term for tornillo, meaning "screw." According to him, the
Spanish claimed to have observed the screw-like shape of Romblon
Island. Meanwhile, Reyes claims
Romblon originated from "doubloon",
which refers to the Spanish coin used by Moro pirates in paying
dowries for their brides-to-be. The Spanish might have named the
island after the shape of the coin.
Ipot Cave in Banton, where the earliest known warp ikat textile in
Southeast Asia was found in 1936
Fort San Andres in the town of Romblon, built during the Spanish
colonial period to defend the town against
The town of
Romblon in the early 1900s, showing Fort San Andres in the
The town of
Romblon in 2016, showing Fort San Andres through the trees
in the background
Romblon's aboriginal inhabitants were the Negritos from
Mangyans from Mindoro, who settled in the islands during the
precolonial period. Ancient wooden coffins discovered in the
Guyangan Cave System of Banton Island in 1936 signify a rich ancient
civilization and culture in the province before the arrival of the
Spaniards in 1569. These artifacts are currently on display at the
National Museum in Manila. Remnants of
Negrito and Mangyan
aborigines now live in the mountains of Tablas and Sibuyan after they
were displaced by the influx of Hiligaynon, Aklanon, Bicolano and
Tagalog migrants as early as 1870.
According to historians
Emma Helen Blair
Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander
Robertson, the Spanish arrived in
Romblon in 1569 led by conquistador
Martin de Goiti who was dispatched by
Miguel López de Legazpi
Miguel López de Legazpi to
explore the western and northern portion of the
Romblon and Mindoro. The islands were later organized into
three encomiendas and were administered from Arevalo. De Loarca
Romblon in 1582 and conducted the first census of the
In 1635, Recollect missionaries arrived in
Romblon to establish
Catholic missions and settlements. They helped the Spanish authorities
establish peace and order in the islands. In 1637, they established
seven missionary centers at Romblon, Badajoz (San Agustin),
Cajidiocan, Banton, Looc,
Odiongan and Magallanes (Magdiwang). They
also built massive forts, churches and watchtowers in the province,
such as Fort San Jose in Banton and Fort San Andres in Romblon,
following a Dutch attack in 1646 which destroyed the capital town and
to repulse recurring Moro raids.
Romblon was separated from the jurisdiction of Arevalo and annexed to
Capiz, when the province was created in 1716. More than a century
later in 1850, the inhabitants of the province began using Spanish
family names after governor-general Narciso Clavería decreed on 21
November 1849 the use of surnames from the Catálogo alfabético de
apellidos. Asi-speaking natives were assigned the letter F,
Romblomanon speakers were assigned the letter M, speakers of the
Sibuyanon style of Romblomanon were assigned the letter R, while
Onhan-speaking natives were assigned the letter G.
In 1853, the islands were organized into a politico-military
commandancia ("sub-province" in English) administered from
continued to be so until the end of the Spanish rule in 1898. As a
Romblon was under an army officer with the rank of
captain. The town of
Romblon was its capital and the other
municipalities were Azagra, Badajos (now San Agustin), Banton,
Cajidiocan, Corcuera, Looc, Magallanes (now Magdiwang), Odiongan,
Despujols (now San Andres) and Santa Fe.
In 1898, amid the Philippine Revolution,
Katipunan leader Emilio
Aguinaldo sent his generals to several provinces in the
expand the recognition of his revolutionary government in the central
and southern Philippines. The
Katipunan general Mariano Riego de Dios
and his forces liberated Romblon, while generals Ananias Diocno and
Leandro Fullon proceeded to Panay. On 25 July the same year, Riego de
Dios took the
Romblon capital and captured Spanish officials. Four
days later, the Spanish politico-military governor Don Carlos Mendoza
formally signed the surrender of Romblon’s district government,
ending more than three hundred years of Spanish rule in the
Later, Don Wenceslao Molo, a local from
Romblon town, was appointed
governor and became responsible for the collection of a total amount
of ₱22,765.21, Romblon’s share to the war expenditures of the
Revolutionary Government from 31 May 1898 to 28 February 1899. A local
election was also held in
Romblon town for its ministers of justice
and barrio officials. However, Molo’s term was a brief
transition to another era as the Americans arrived in the province a
few months later.
Japanese battleship Musashi
Japanese battleship Musashi under fire during the Battle of
Sibuyan Sea in 1944
A plaque in Brgy. Sawang, Romblon, Romblon, commemorating the
liberation of the province from the Japanese during World War II
Upon the restoration of peace and order in the province following the
Philippine-American War, the Americans established civilian government
in the islands on 16 March 1901.
Romblon was created as a regular
province in the same year but due to insufficient income, it became a
Capiz again in 1907 until 7 December 1917 when Act No.
2724 reestablished the province. Under Commonwealth Act No. 581,
enacted without executive approval on 8 June 1940, the province was
reorganized with four towns or municipalities, namely: Tablas
(composed of Odiongan, Looc, and Badajoz),
Romblon (including the
islands of Logbon, Cobrador and Alad), Maghali (comprising Banton,
Corcuera, and Concepcion), and Sibuyan (composed of the towns of
Cajidiocan, Magdiwang and San Fernando).
During World War II, the
Japanese Imperial Forces established a
Romblon on 21 March 1942 which they maintained until the
end of the war. The islands became one of the centers of resistance
movement against the Japanese. The movement was led by the Free Panay
Guerilla Forces composed of members from the 6th Military District
under the direction of Col. Macario Peralta, Jr. One of the
major naval engagements during the Battle of
Leyte Gulf, the Battle of
Sibuyan Sea, happened off the waters of
Romblon on 23–24 October
1944 between Japanese Admiral Kurita’s fleet from
Admiral Halsey's carrier planes from the
US Third Fleet
US Third Fleet then stationed
east of the Philippines. Units from Company C of the 19th Infantry
Regiment, 24th Infantry Division landed on Sawang,
Romblon on the
night 11 March 1945. By 18 March, the province was liberated from
On 1 October 1946, Congress passed Republic Act No. 38, sponsored by
Cong. Modesto Formilleza, which abolished the four special
municipalities and restored
Romblon and its municipalities to its
pre-war status. In the decades that followed, the province saw
the creation of new municipalities, such as Alcantara (1961) from
Looc, Calatrava (1969) from San Agustin, Ferrol (1978) from Odiongan,
and Santa Maria (1984) from San Agustin.
Macat-ang Beach in Banton
Romblon is strategically situated at the center of the Philippine
archipelago. It is composed of three major islands (Tablas, Sibuyan
and Romblon) and 17 smaller islands. It is surrounded by deep waters,
and is bounded by
Masbate in the east,
Mindoro in the west, Marinduque
in the north and
Panay in the south. It is approximately 187 nautical
miles (346 km) and 169 miles (272 km) south of Manila. The
islands are dispersed and accessible only via sea transportation
Tablas Island where a domestic airport is located in the
municipality of Alcantara.
The province has a total land area of approximately 1,533.45 square
kilometres (592 sq mi) representing about 5.3 percent of the
total land area of Region IV-B (MIMAROPA). It is generally mountainous
with about 40 percent of its land area having an inclination of more
than 50 percent. Only four percent of the total area has an
inclination of three to eight percent, while a sparse 10 percent has
an inclination of three to zero percent. Narrow strips of coastal
lowlands, low hills and plains typify the topography of some of the
Romblon Island is hilly with a maximum elevation of about 400 metres
(1,300 ft) above sea level.
Tablas Island shows varied relief
characteristics. The western coastal areas are level to undulating
while the eastern coastal areas are rough to rugged. The southern
section covering Santa Fe and the mid-western portion maybe described
as having rolling to rough terrain. Extremely rugged areas can be
found in the central section of the island. The highest elevation is
almost 500 metres (1,600 ft) above sea level.
Sibuyan Island is a
thickly forested mountain mass. The western portion of the island
maybe characterized as extensively rugged, having ascents of 60
percent or more while the eastern section is relatively undulating to
rolling. The highest elevation, the peak of Mt. Guiting-Guiting,
reaches about 2,058 meters (6,750 feet) above sea
The major areas that are highly productive and buildable are basically
in Tablas and Sibuyan. These include Odiongan, San Andres, Looc and
Santa Fe in Tablas Island. All three municipalities in Sibuyan Island,
on the other hand, have substantial level to gently sloping lands.
Overall, good developable lands represent about 13 percent of the
province’s total area.
Flora and fauna
Romblon, particularly Sibuyan Island, is among the few places in the
Philippines with a well-preserved natural environment. Uninterrupted
rainforest covers 75 percent of the island. It is also home to the
country's cleanest inland body of water, the Cantigas River, as well
as 34 waterfalls. Sibuyan is commonly known the country as the
Galapagos of Asia" because of its many endemic plant and animal
species, some of which have just been discovered recently. Among these
endemic species are nine mammals, seven lizards, two amphibians, three
birds and 112 vascular plants, such as the Nepenthes
argentii, Nepenthes sibuyanensis, Nepenthes
armin, Sibuyan striped shrew rat, Sibuyan shrew,
Philippine tube-nosed fruit bat, indigo-banded kingfisher, and
Romblon hawk-owl. In Tablas Island, at least two endemic bird
species can be found: the
Tablas drongo and Tablas fantail.
Romblon comprises 17 municipalities. Of these, nine are located in
Tablas Island (San Agustin, Calatrava, San Andres, Odiongan, Ferrol,
Santa Fe, Looc, Alcantara and Santa Maria), three in Sibuyan Island
Cajidiocan and San Fernando) and five (Romblon, San Jose,
Banton, Concepcion and Corcuera) are island municipalities.
12°15′32″N 122°03′12″E / 12.2589°N 122.0534°E /
12.2589; 122.0534 (Alcantara)
12°56′47″N 122°05′40″E / 12.9464°N 122.0945°E /
12.9464; 122.0945 (Banton)
12°22′09″N 122°41′10″E / 12.3693°N 122.6862°E /
12.3693; 122.6862 (Cajidiocan)
12°37′10″N 122°04′13″E / 12.6194°N 122.0703°E /
12.6194; 122.0703 (Calatrava)
12°54′46″N 121°43′15″E / 12.9127°N 121.7207°E /
12.9127; 121.7207 (Concepcion)
12°47′01″N 122°02′53″E / 12.7835°N 122.0480°E /
12.7835; 122.0480 (Corcuera)
12°20′16″N 121°56′21″E / 12.3379°N 121.9392°E /
12.3379; 121.9392 (Ferrol)
12°15′36″N 121°59′38″E / 12.2601°N 121.9938°E /
12.2601; 121.9938 (Looc)
12°29′31″N 122°30′48″E / 12.4919°N 122.5133°E /
12.4919; 122.5133 (Magdiwang)
12°24′00″N 121°58′57″E / 12.4000°N 121.9825°E /
12.4000; 121.9825 (Odiongan)
12°34′40″N 122°16′10″E / 12.5777°N 122.2695°E /
12.5777; 122.2695 (Romblon)
12°34′06″N 122°08′02″E / 12.5682°N 122.1339°E /
12.5682; 122.1339 (San Agustin)
12°31′13″N 122°00′42″E / 12.5203°N 122.0116°E /
12.5203; 122.0116 (San Andres)
12°18′13″N 122°35′59″E / 12.3037°N 122.5998°E /
12.3037; 122.5998 (San Fernando)
12°03′40″N 121°57′34″E / 12.0610°N 121.9594°E /
12.0610; 121.9594 (San Jose)
12°09′19″N 121°59′39″E / 12.1552°N 121.9943°E /
12.1552; 121.9943 (Santa Fe)
12°23′38″N 122°05′38″E / 12.3938°N 122.0938°E /
12.3938; 122.0938 (Santa Maria)
Santa Maria (Imelda)
† Provincial capital
^ Former names are italicized.
^ The globe icon marks the town center.
Romblon falls under Type III of the Corona climatic classification
system which was devised in 1920. It is characterized by no pronounced
wet and dry seasons. Generally, the wet season is from June to
November and sometimes extends up to December when the southwest
monsoon is predominant. The dry season is from January to May but is
sometimes interrupted by erratic rainfall. The annual mean temperature
is 27 °C (81 °F), with February as the coldest month with
temperatures dropping to 20 °C (68 °F), and May as the
warmest month with temperatures reaching up to 35 °C
(95 °F). Habagat monsoon winds pass through the province from
June to October while northeasterly winds or
Amihan blows through the
islands from December to February.
Climate data for Romblon, Romblon
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average rainfall mm (inches)
Average relative humidity (%)
Population census of
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority
The population of
Romblon in the 2015 census was 292,781 people,
with a density of 190 inhabitants per square kilometre or 490
inhabitants per square mile. It ranks fourth among the five provinces
MIMAROPA Region in terms of population and represents 9.9
percent of the region’s population.
San Jose and
Romblon are the two most-densely populated municipalities
in the province at 490/km2 and 450/km2, respectively.
the least densely populated municipality at 110/km2.
Males outnumber females in the province with a sex ratio of 102:100
according to the 2010 census. Of the province’s 283,482 household
population, males accounted for 144,091 or 50.8 percent while females
made up 139,391 or 49.2 percent. The voting-age population (18 years
old and over) accounted for 56.6 percent of the household population
of the province in 2010, up from 52.7 percent in 2000. There were more
females (50.2 percent) than males (49.8 percent) among the voting age
Main articles: Romblomanon language, Onhan language, and Asi language
The languages of Romblon, as well as all languages native to the
Philippines, belong to the Austronesian language family, the second
largest language family in the world with 1,257 known languages,
second only to the Niger-Congo family's 1,538 languages. All of the
languages of the Philippines, except Samalan, are classified as
Philippine languages under the Western Malayo-Polynesian branch of
Austronesian. The Philippine language group has three main branches:
Northern, Southern and Central, the latter of which is composed of the
Visayan, Bikol and Tagalog languages.
Unlike other islands or provinces in the
Philippines where all local
languages are classifiable under the same subgroup of languages, each
of the three languages of
Romblon — Romblomanon, Onhan and Asi —
actually belongs to a different subgroup of the Visayan language
group. Romblomanon belongs to the Central Visayan subgroup, which
spans from Waray-Waray in
Samar and Leyte, through Masbatenyo and
Bisakol, and as far west as Hiligaynon and
Capiznon on Panay. It is
Romblon and Sibuyan Islands, as well as in San Agustin town
in Tablas Island.
Onhan, on the other hand, belongs to the Western Visayan subgroup,
Kinaray-a and Aklanon as well as several minor
languages spoken on Mindoro, Palawan, and some small islands in
between. Its speakers are mainly from the southern portion of Tablas
Island, in the municipalities of San Andres, Santa Maria, Alcantara,
Ferrol, Looc, and Santa Fe, as well as in the municipality of San Jose
in Carabao Island. Finally, Asi is not classified under any
specific subgroup of Visayan, and instead makes up its own immediate
branch of Visayan. David Paul Zorc, a linguist from the
Australian National University
Australian National University whose expertise is on Philippine
languages, notes that Asi speakers may have been the first Visayan
speakers in the region. He also suggests that Asi may have a Cebuano
substratum and that many of its words may have been influenced by the
later influx of other languages such as Romblomanon. It is spoken
in the island municipalities of Banton, Corcuera and Concepcion, as
well as in
Odiongan and Calatrava in Tablas. Hiligaynon is spoken
in municipalities near
Capiz and Aklan.
The people of the province are predominantly Roman Catholic. In 2012,
UP School of Economics
UP School of Economics reported that in recent years, at least 75
percent were Catholics, around five to nine percent were Muslims, and
around three to five percent belonged to Iglesia ni Cristo. Other
Christian groups such as
Mainline Protestant and Evangelicals form a
significant minority of up to 12% of the population.
Abaca weaving in Banton
Agriculture is the main industry in Romblon.
Coconut is the most
cultivated crop with a total planted area of 58,270.44 hectares
(224.9834 sq mi). San Agustin has the most extensive area
with coconut plants followed by
Romblon and Cajidiocan.
Rice is the
next crop, cultivated particularly in Odiongan, Looc,
Santa Fe. Other crops grown include root crops, vegetables and fruits.
Odiongan, Banton and Magdiwang have the greatest areas planted with
root crops and correspondingly, have the highest volume of production.
Vegetable production is mostly for home consumption and grown in small
Romblon unload the day's catch from their nets.
Livestock development and poultry production is a viable small scale
enterprise for farmers in the province. The provincial government
maintains breeding facilities in strategic locations province-wide to
encourage farmers to engage in livestock and poultry production to
augment their income.
Livestock and poultry management training and
seminars is provided to interested clients.
Due to the geographical condition of the province, crops and livestock
production is generally deficient as compared to the food requirements
Romblon population. To meet the rice requirements,
on imports from the neighboring provinces while vegetables, poultry
meat, vegetables and fruits are supplied mostly by Luzon.
Fishing industry is a major enterprise as
Romblon is surrounded by
water on all sides. The fishing grounds of
Romblon are a migratory
path of fish from
Sulu and Visayan Seas passing Tablas Strait, Sibuyan
Romblon Pass. The waters also abound with demersal fish due to
the coral reefs surrounding the islands.
Because the province has a great potential for aqua-marine
development, the province implemented a coastal and resource
management program. Each municipality established a fish sanctuary and
passed laws on fishery. The use of air compressors in the municipal
waters was regulated and banned altogether in some
Marble wares from Romblon
Marble plant workers working in a quarry.
Marble is the most significant mineral deposit of
Romblon and is the
most renowned product of the province. Based on statistics,
the second biggest provincial marble producer of the country next to
Romblon marble is of very high quality and comes in shades of
white, green, pink, red and black. The Mines and Geosciences Bureau
has estimated that
Romblon is endowed with about 150 million metric
tons of marble. At current rates of extraction, the supply may last
for three more centuries.
Tablas Island is also believed to have vast
reserves of marble.
Marble quarrying and processing are major activities in Romblon. Among
the most common marble products are categorized into the following:
novelty items (gifts, ashtray, table bars), furniture (dining tables,
baptismal fonts) and construction materials (tiles, balusters, marble
chips). Other mineral resources with considerable quantity include
nickel ore and gold mostly to be found in Sibuyan Island.
and small-scale mining is a lucrative undertaking in
Tambak Beach in Banton
The Banton Cloth, the oldest existing example of warp ikat in
Southeast Asia, displayed at the National Museum of the Philippines.
Being an archipelago,
Romblon has several beaches and dive sites.
Among its best white sand beaches are Bonbon, Cobrador and Tiamban
Beach in Romblon, Macat-ang, Tabunan and Tambak Beach in Banton, Lunas
and Bignay Beach in San Jose, and Cresta del Gallo in San
Fernando. The sea surrounding Cresta del Gallo is a famous
diving site teeming with marine life.
Romblon is also home to the
only known blue hole in the
Philippines in the town of San
Agustin. The entrance to the blue hole is a 6-metre
(20 ft) wide volcanic chimney, which drops for 20 metres
(66 ft) before opening up into the massive chamber below with a
total depth of 32 to 40 metres (105–131 ft).
Mount Guiting-Guiting in Sibuyan, the province's tallest mountain, is
considered as one of the most difficult climbs in the Philippines, and
is thus a major destination of local mountain climbers because of its
steep and jagged summit. Another a suitable place for hiking and
trekking is Mount Payaopao is Tablas. Meanwhile, Banton's Guyangan
Cave System, an Important Cultural Treasure, is where the Banton Cloth
— the earliest known warp ikat textile in
Southeast Asia — was
found in 1936.
Mainit Falls in Odiongan
Aside from the precolonial Guyangan Cave System in Banton, the
province also has several heritage sites built during the Spanish
colonial period. In
Romblon town, the forts of San Andres and Santiago
served as fortifications against
Muslim pirates in the 17th century,
while the St. Joseph Cathedral and Belfry houses a centuries-old image
Santo Niño de Cebú
Santo Niño de Cebú or the Holy Child. Both heritage sites
were declared National Cultural Treasures by the National Museum.
The town also has two Spanish-era bridges that were declared Important
Cultural Treasures. A similar fort in Banton, the centuries-old
Fort San Jose and Banton Church, were built in the 1600s and was also
used as defenses against
Every second week of January,
Romblon town celebrates the feast of the
Santo Niño de Cebú, also known as the Biniray Festival. In that
week, a fluvial parade featuring the image of the Santo Niño goes
Romblon Bay in order to bring good luck to the villages. A
mardi gras is also held in the town with various street dancing, food,
drinks and music. A similar Biniray Festival also occurs in Banton
every 10 September in commemoration of the island's patron, San
Nicolas de Tolentino. Other festivals include the Saginyogan
Festival in Alcantara, the Sanrokan Festival in Banton, and
Talabukon Festival in Looc.
Provincial Government of Romblon
Provincial Board Members
Main article: Governor of Romblon
Just like any other province in the Philippines, Romblon’s chief
executive and head is the provincial governor. Elected to a term
of three years and limited to three consecutive terms, he or she
appoints the directors of each provincial department, which include
the office of administration, engineering office, information office,
legal office, and treasury office. As of April 2016, the incumbent
Romblon is Eduardo C. Firmalo, from the Liberal Party. He
first assumed office on 30 June 2010, following his victory in the May
2010 gubernatorial elections. He was reelected in 2013 for a second
term which will expire in 2016.
The provincial vice governor performs duties as acting governor in the
absence of the provincial governor. He or she also automatically
succeeds as governor upon the death of the provincial governor.
The provincial vice governor also convenes the Provincial Board or
Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the provincial legislative body. The
incumbent provincial vice governor of
Romblon is Jose Riano from the
Liberal Party. He first assumed office on 30 June 2013 after defeating
former vice governor Manuel Madrid.
Legislative district of Romblon
Legislative district of Romblon and
The province, which is a lone congressional district, is represented
Philippine House of Representatives
Philippine House of Representatives by longtime congressman
Eleandro Jesus "Budoy" Madrona from the Nacionalista Party. He
first assumed office from 1992 to 2001, serving three terms. Following
two terms wherein Perpetuo Ylagan and Eduardo Firmalo respectively
represented the district in Congress, Madrona ran and won again in
2007. His third and last term will expire in 2016.
Within the province, the Provincial Board or Sangguniang Panlalawigan
crafts all provincial ordinances, performs appropriation of provincial
funds, issues franchises and permits, impose fees on provincial
services, and exercise other duties and powers as stipulated by the
Local Government Code of 1991. Romblon, being a third-class
province in terms of income, is entitled to a Provincial Board
composed of eight members, four each from the province’s two board
districts. As of 2013[update], the incumbent board members from
the province’s two districts are: (First District) Samuel Romero,
Anthony Rugas, Abner Perez, Nelson Lim ; (Second District) Felix
Ylagan, Juliet Fiel, Venizar Maravilla, and Andres Fondevilla.
Poctoy Pier in Odiongan, the largest port in
Romblon province is connected by a network of national and provincial
roads. National roads form much of this network, with a total length
of 311.046 kilometres (193.275 mi). Provincial roads, meanwhile,
total 239.005 kilometres (148.511 mi) in length. Municipal and
barangay roads in far-flung villages and island municipalities are not
part of these figures. The primary modes of land transportation in the
province are jeepneys, passenger motorcycles, minibuses and tricycles
that serve inter-municipal movements and linkages.
Sea transportation is the primary mode of transportation linking
Luzon and islands in the Visayas. Inter-island ferries,
RORO, and cargo ships from Manila, the southern
Luzon ports of
Batangas City, Lucena City in
Quezon province, Roxas, Oriental
Roxas City in
Capiz province are the primary modes of
transportation linking the province to the rest of the country.
Montenegro Lines, 2GO, and
Romblon Shipping Lines all have ferry
Manila to the main ports of entry of
Odiongan and the
capital town of
Romblon and vice versa. From Romblon, Montenegro also
serves Magdiwang in Sibuyan, while
Romblon Shipping Lines also serves
Pump boats and wooden launches also link the
province to the towns of Buenavista,
Marinduque and Pinamalayan,
Oriental Mindoro. These pump boats are also used in going to barangays
where there are no existing road networks or between municipalities in
the province that do not have existing ferry service.
Tugdan Airport in Alcantara is the only airport in the province and is
less than an hour away from Metro Manila. Philippine Airlines, the
country's flag carrier, used to fly thrice a week (Sunday, Wednesday
and Friday) to the airport via its budget carrier, PAL
Express, but has ceased as of 1 September 2016 due to
transfer of some of its flights to
Clark International Airport
Clark International Airport in
Pampanga. Currently, only
Cebu Pacific has flights to the airport,
with four flights weekly from Manila. At
Barangay Azagra, San
Fernando in Sibuyan Island, there is also a small airstrip that caters
to tourism and general aviation.
Power supply in
Romblon is generated by the National Power Corporation
(NPC) and serviced by two electric cooperatives. Tablas Island
Electric Cooperatives (TIELCO) serves the power needs of Tablas Island
including San Jose. It operates a 5.070 MW diesel power plant in
Odiongan and 1.740 MW power barge in San Agustin. The electric
cooperative serves a total of 21,097 house connections.
Romblon Electric Cooperative (ROMELCO) supplies the capital town of
Romblon through a 1.720 MW diesel power plant and a 1.30 MW power
barge. It also serves
Sibuyan Island using a 3.006 MW diesel power
plant in San Fernando. ROMELCO has 5,288 house connections in
Romblon and 5,150 house connections in the three municipalities
Sibuyan Island or a total of 10,438 house connections in
their franchise area. Additionally, ROMELCO installed in 2010 a mini
hydro power plant in Cantigas, San Fernando, producing 900 kW of
power. Meanwhile, Banton, Concepcion and Corcuera are
attended to by the National Power Corporation (NPC) thru their
A Spanish-era well in Banton
Out of 17 municipalities, 14 have Level III water supply systems
serving 18,590 households or about 32.57 percent of the total
provincial households. Level III has a reservoir with house-to-house
connections. 5,252 households were serviced by Level II water systems
and 24,700 households by Level I water system. Level I category is a
common facility where the community members get their water supply
from deep wells and shallow wells, while Level II has a reservoir with
communal faucet. Based on the report from the Provincial Health Office
in 2007, a total of 48,542 households out of the 57,079 or 85.04
percent have access to safe drinking water.
The province has several operating telecommunication exchanges, namely
Odiongan Telephone Corporation (OTELCO), the
Telecommunication Office (TELOF), telegram system, Liberty Telecom,
public calling stations under the DOTC and the Provincial
Communication System (PCS) radio transceivers and receivers. Smart
Sun Cellular and
Globe Telecom already have relay
stations in Romblon,
Odiongan and Cajidiocan, enabling most areas
province-wide connected through cellphones, except on some area where
the signal is weak or non-existent because of mountains that block the
signal. The Triple Peak in Santa Maria has a relay station for PLDT
and Liberty Telecom.
There are three radio stations in the province, two of which are
operated by the
Radyo Natin Network and the other, Charm FM
100.5 MHz, by the Polytechnic Foundation of
Cotabato and Asia.
Radyo Natin Network operates the call sign DWMM at 104.5 MHz on
FM radio from Looc, as well as the call sign DZVG 101.3 MHz on FM
radio from Odiongan. As for print media,
Romblon Text and
Romblon Sun are the two major newspapers circulating in the province,
aside from broadsheet and tabloid newspapers from Manila. Romblon
News, meanwhile, provides provincial and national news and information
via the web and social media.
A relay station for
GMA Network and
Romblon Community TV (affiliate of
People's Television Network) in Santa Maria allows the province to
access television shows broadcast by the network from Manila. There
are also existing cable providers and local cable stations operating
in several municipalities in the province, namely
Corporation (Romblon), Accutronics System Inc. (Odiongan), San Agustin
Cable Antenna Corp. (San Agustin), Countryside Satellite Television
System Inc. (Looc), Gateway Cable TV Network (Calatrava), San Andres
CATV Service Coop. (San Andres), Josefa J. Martinez CATV Services
(Alcantara), Magdiwang Cable Television (Magdiwang), and Sibuyan Cable
TV (San Fernando and Cajidiocan). Aside from these cable stations,
there are also distributors of direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV such
as Cignal Digital TV, Dream Satellite TV, G Sat, and
Sky Direct who
provide television services for its subscribers.
The Division of
Romblon of the
Department of Education (DepEd)
supervises and oversees the delivery of education and operations of
public schools in the province. It is composed of 13 districts, where
there are 228 elementary schools, 216 of which are public and 12 are
private. Of the 216 public elementary schools, 162 offer preschool
education, while 20 of the private schools have the same offering.
There are also 10 private preschools offering pre-elementary. For
secondary level, a total of 44 schools offer secondary education, of
which 37 are public schools and seven are private institutions. The
Virginia Centurione Bracelli School
Virginia Centurione Bracelli School offers both primary and secondary
education. There are 13 vocational schools in the province, while
tertiary education is offered by privately owned
Romblon College and
Romblon State University
Romblon State University (RSU), one of the oldest state
universities in the Philippines. RSU, which was founded in
1915, is the oldest agricultural university in the
Philippines and has
campuses in Romblon, Odiongan, Cajidiocan, Calatrava, San Agustin, San
Andres, San Fernando, Santa Fe, and Santa Maria.
Florante Condes, Filipino professional boxer and a former IBF
Minimumweight World Champion.
Jose Dalisay, Jr., writer, poet, playwright and screenwriter who won
16 Palanca Awards
Gabriel Fabella, co-founder and first president of the Philippine
Historical Association; Father of June 12 Independence Day; and sole
Romblon in the First National Assembly
Ephraim Fajutagana, current Obispo Máximo or Supreme Bishop of the
Philippine Independent Church.
Nicon Fameronag, current undersecretary of the Department of Labor and
Julius Fortuna, student leader and political prisoner in '70s during
the Marcos regime; journalist for the Philippine Daily Globe, The
Manila Chronicle, The Philippine Post,
People's Journal and The Manila
Roilo Golez, member of the Philippine House of Representatives
representing the Second District of Parañaque City.
N. V. M. Gonzalez, writer,
Palanca Award winner, and National Artist
Elma Muros-Posadas, former track and field athlete who specialized in
long jump and won a total of 15 gold medals in several Southeast Asian
Rodne Galicha, environmentalist, recipient of national individual
award called Gawad Bayani Kalikasan given by the Center for
Environmental Concerns and Department of Environment and Natural
Resources, currently Philippine country manager of The Climate Reality
Nene Tamayo, grand winner of ABS-CBN's Pinoy Big Brother (season 1).
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^ Local historian Francis Ray Prado details the legend, saying that
when the Spanish, led by conquistador Martin de Goiti, arrived in
Romblon in 1569, they wandered along the island's beaches searching
for food and water. One of the men encountered a hut with a hen's nest
on top of a post near its window. The man asked the house's occupant,
a young woman, if he could have the hen for free, but the woman,
unable to understand Spanish, answered, "Nagalumyom!" which in the
local language means "the hen was brooding eggs." Prado, Francis Ray
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Romblon Province, 1570–1946: Its History
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Romblon During American Regime,
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Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap · Google Maps
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