ALTHOUGH travel is at the bottom of the priority list of many Filipinos today, here’s my recommendation for those wanting to grab at the opportunity to embark on a journey.
Marble County! Yes, my beautiful island dear, an island literally sitting on exquisite marble that would last a lifetime. I was there lately albeit I was unable to go around three provinces because of sore feet.
You’ve been probably to Camiguin, Boracay, Dakak, Sagada or Mindoro and some other tourist spots in the country. Good. Unfortunately, you still don’t own all that bragging rights if you have not visited Romblon. It’s the way to go in Region 4A. You may visit and tour Romblon enjoying just the same the beauty and amenities those classic destinations. In fact, many visitors and tourists relishing Boracay would proceed to nearby San Jose or Carabao Island just across Boracay.
An hour ride by pumpboat away, you would already have privacy of this paradise more than the highly regarded although contaminated Boracay beach.
How about a taste of Camiguin? Then you can go around Tablas enjoying what this province provides best for its visitors – tourist spots, unspoiled white sugary fine beaches, peace and tranquility, souvenir items, delicious foods, fresh sea food and affordable hotel accommodations. This, on top of concrete pavement making your travel from Odiongan to San Andres, Calatrava all the way to San Agustin, Sta. Maria, Alcantara, Looc and back simply a breeze.
Bringing home some marble items straight from its main source at Romblon proper, an hour pumpboat ride from San Agustin, would actually make your travel complete. There, your eyes would be sated with all sorts of marble items from colorful furnitures to other equally attractive and creative figurines from dancing swans, giant lanzones-sized chandeliers to familiar mortar and pestles, galloping horses on display at makeshift shanties at very affordable prices.
You might be intrigued on the abundance of marble and ask what would happen given the continuous extraction of marble. Would the province not sink and taken out from Philippine map because of these extractions? Well, actually that’s everybody’s concern.
My first visit to the province decades ago when I was a seminarian at a coffee shop tells it all. The coffee table and the chair where I sat were carved out straight from marble! But as any Romblomanon would say: “Not that big deal, really. We take marble eggs as breakfast, marble sandwich for snacks, and lapida for supper!”
The Romblon port is the haven of boats docking safely during stormy weather.
Are you an avid underwater explorer? Then brace yourself for a true blue sink hole exploration found only in the Romblon sea where a Japanese warship was sunk by an American fleet during World War II. It is being commemorated annually at Alcantara.
For mountain climbers, Mt. Guiting-guiting in Sibuyan Island could be added in your list. This Galapagos of Asia has scenic and majestic mountain ridges. You could even take selfies on top of boat that capsized many decades there past.
It’s good to know that the provincial and municipal governments have been moving heaven and earth to put their tourism industry in the map of tourist destinations.
Offhand, I learned about the partnership of local governments and an ecumenical group there against the operation of Small Town Lottery. “No need to operate this here. This is a duplication of lotto which is already legally operating in the area,” said IFI Bishop Ronel Fabriquer.