Sunday, April 17, 2016


After a light breakfast in Talipasak we were off to Villa del Mar to pick up our things. We hired a boat for our crossing to San Agustin in Tablas island.  The boat that we took was just on stand by  near the bishop’s residence. It took 45 minutes to cross to San Agustin.  We visited the church and met Msgr. Fetalino, the parish priest and Vicar General, whom I realized, I already met before in pastoral assemblies of the Visayas. The car of Fr. Nars was already there in the convento. Fr. Nars would be our driver also in this part of the trip.  From San Agustin, the first stop we had was Bachawan, a Chaplaincy where Fr. Nars was assigned before for six years.  The chapel was situated  in the compound of the Madrona family who is the benefactor of the chapel. Met the outgoing congressman and his brother the Mayor of San Agustin who is now running for congress.

Approaching San Agustin port in Tablas island. 

The boat that we rented in order to cross to Tablas island. 

One of the houses that attracted our attention in San Agustin. 

San Agustin, Romblon
Founded: 1871

The St. Augustine Parish Church of San Agustin, Romblon in Tablas island. 

Church interior. Being a Good Friday, the crucifix was still covered. 

Church altar of San Agustin. All the churches that I visited in Romblon had altar tables and candle stands made of marble. 

The side wing of the church. 

The opposite wing of the church. 

This parochial school, Holy Rosary Academy was just beside the church.

Bachawan, San Agustin, Romblon

The Chaplaincy of  Bachawan, San Agustin, Romblon  dedicated to the Nuestra Sra. de Salvacion. 

Church interior of the Bachawan chaplaincy. 

The tabernacle adorned with marble and wood stone. 

The Baptistery. 

Just at the back of the Church is the mouth of the river joining the sea. 

The residence of the Madrona's. 

The Residence of the Madronas just near the Chapel. 

A guest house of the Madronas beside the chapel with a heliport at the back. 

The side of the chapel and the convent at the back. 

A grotto of the Blessed Virgin at the Madrona Beach. 

Madrona Beach near Bachawan, San Agustin. 

The beach has pebble stones. 

Clear waters with pebbles for the beach. 

Sta. Maria, Romblon
Founded: 1982

Immaculate Conception Parish Church  of Sta. Maria, Romblon.

Altar table and candle stands made of marble. 

Church altar with statues of saints still covered for the Holy Week. 

Next stop was the church of Santa Maria. Then we went to Alcantara where we would be staying for the night. We had lunch there and later joined the services in commemoration of the Passion and Death of Our Lord. We did not join anymore the procession as Fr. Nars, with Joemar an active parishioner brought us to see Aglicay Beach. We were able to meet the owners, Dr. & Mrs. Martinez who were good friends of the brother of my former bishop, Msgr. Dean.

Alcantara, Romblon
Founded: 1973

St. Thomas of Villanueva Parish Church, Alcantara, Romblon. 

Church altar. 

Altar table and candle stands also made of marble. 

The parish priest leading the Veneration of the Cross during the Good Friday celebration. 

The parish convent of Alcantara. 

This  old house just in front of the convent belongs to Joemar, an active parishioner of the parish. 


Aglicay is situated on a cove naturally bounded by the hill surrounding the area about seven kilometers south of the town of Alcantara. It has several amenities including a tennis court, beach volley ball area, banquet hall, restaurant by the beach and accommodations for single and dormitory types and places for campers. They had a wide beach area of white sand. At the southern end of the cove, we climbed up to the hill where we saw other coves in the area. Our guide was pointing to the other mountain called Celatong Hill which is part of the mystical triangle of Romblon connecting to Talipasak in Romblon and Catingas in Sibuyan. Many stories of “engkantos” and “golden ships” sailing have reportedly  been seen around this area.  Ms. Mina of Talipasak kept mentioning this also.  In fact some writers from Manila came also to Talipasak to write down stories about this enchanted triangle of Romblon.  Where MV Princess of the Star sunk in San Fernando, Sibuyan is situated within this mystical triangle.  Contact number for Aglicay Beach Resort:  0917 531 4067 / 0915 425 6898. 

Aglicay Beach Resort is seven kilometers away from the town of Alcantara on an inland road away from the highway. 

Beach volley ball. 

Fr. Nars and me posing with the owners of Aglicay Beach Resort, Dr. & Mrs. Martinez. 

The view of the resort from on top of the hill. 

Mt. Celaton  at the farther end of the cove is part of the mystical triangle which stretches to Talipasak in Romblon and Catingas in Sibuyan. They have plenty of stories of engkantos all over the place. It is said that they have been trying to mine Mt. Celaton but there would always be some accidents and casualties, that the mining had to stop for a while. 

Other coves nearby Aglicay Beach Resort. 

Bantigue Resort near the town of Looc featuring an Eiffel Tower replica made of bamboo. 

The statue of the Miraculous Medal at the Grotto de Banloc, a new pilgrimage site just outside the town of Looc. 

The grotto is surrounded by Stations of the Cross. 

From Aglicay Beach, we went to the next town of Looc where our first stop was the Bantigue resort whose main attraction is a well-lighted Eiffel tower  made of bamboo. The place also had displays  of some expensive bonsai trees. From there we were brought by Joemar to Grotto de Banloc, a newly constructed grotto just outside of the town of Looc,  on a hilly side where the statue of the Miraculous Medal is enshrined surrounded by stations of the cross.  The owner, Jonathan Gaytano was saying that for the holy week there were already a good number pilgrims who visited. He was asking some guidelines on how this place could be considered as a pilgrimage site.

After saying goodbye just to Joemar, as the parish priest was still out on his early morning walk, we left for the town of Looc where we paid a visit to the church and the parish priest Fr. Pendon,  a UST graduate.  A barangay captain of the poblacion met Fr. Nars and offered to bring some food to the convento for lunch, sugpo and pusit.  Then we went to the Looc Fish Sanctuary. This sanctuary was a few minutes away from the town pier and being maintained by the LGU. They had a floating cottage which could accommodate up to 75 people.  Hence, going to the sanctuary is being monitored as there could only be enough visitors at a given time. We stayed for about an hour. Went snorkeling to see the giant clams which were being grown there. They were not that big yet.

Looc, Romblon
Founded: 1863

The St. Joseph, Spouse of Mary Parish Church, Looc, Romblon. 

In front of the church they were constructing a structure to be used for the Encuentro / Salubong on Easter morn. 

Inside the church of Looc. 

Looc, Romblon

Fish Sanctuary of Looc. 

The floating cottage in the Fish Sancturary. A lighthouse is seen on the left. 

The giant clams that they were growing. They are not that big yet. 

We then returned to the Looc convent for our lunch. Since it was still hot to travel to our next destination, Fr. Pendon prepared a room at the convento for us to take some  siesta.  We left at three in the afternoon and it was still very hot. We passed by Binucot Sunset Cove which belong to the next town of Ferrol.  This was another white beach area. However, at lowtide the place was not ideal for swimming as it was rocky.   Had some snacks there after looking at their accommodations which range from 1,800 to 3,500.  The resort was owned by a German national. 

Contact No. 0929 787 5486 / 0918 214 0545
Michaela & Willi Baumeister
Brgy. Bunsoran, Ferrol, Tablas-Romblon
FB: binucotsunsetcoveresort

The Binucot Sunset Cove. 

The sand in Binucot was a bit brownish. On lowtides, one has to wade further from the beach to be able to swim. 

The road to Binucot Sunset Cove. 

They had some kiosks by the beach which was already along the road. 

Cottages in the resort. 

Three native cottages with a tent-like  structure. The roof extended to the sides and serve as the walls already. 

Bed already with mosquito net installed in one of the cottages. 

From Binucot we passed by the parish church of Ferrol. Then off to Odiongan we went. We first passed by the church then had a short drive around the town after which we went to the seminary which was situated about three kilometers away from the poblacion. Met three of the formators, Fr. Rolly Fabul, the rector, Fr. RJ Noble,  the dean and Fr. Ruben Manliguez, the pastoral director. I joined  the seminary formators and the college seminarians for the Easter vigil at the Seminary chapel.

Ferrol, Romblon
Founded: 1982

St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Ferrol, Romblon. 

They were putting up the structure for the Encuentro in front of the church. 

Chruch altar of Ferrol. The marker on the door of the church said that the church was  blessed and consecrated on  Nov. 28, 1987. 

Odiongan, Romblon
Founded: 1859

Facade of the Church of Odiongan. 

Church altar. 

Inside the church facing the front door. 

Statue of St. Vincent Ferrer by the altar. 

Diocese of Romblon
Odiongan, Romblon

The chapel of the Seminary is on the second floor. The ground floor serve as classrooms. 

Church altar

Stained glass windows on the altar. 

The other seminary buildings. 
Fr. Rolly helped us to get our tickets for the boat back to Batangas. The reservation tickets that were bought for us in Batangas for this trip were  not honored in Odiongan.  We were given discounted tickets on the Maharlika class issued for senior citizens.  Just had a rest the whole day until three in the afternoon when we left the seminary. We went back first to the parish church of Odiongan to take pictures as it was already evening when we first visited the previous night. Josh in the meantime took the plane back to Manila. So it was Mark and me who were left behind.  Fr. Nars took the 2Go boat that 12 noon for Batangas also as he was to attend the convention for Chancellors in Dumaguete. 

It was an eight days travel throughout the islands of Romblon. We were able to visit ten of the seventeen towns of the province.  We were in the three major islands of Tablas, Romblon and Sibuyan. We also were able to visit the  islands of Cresta de Gallo, Cobrador and  Alad.  Aside from the visit to the old Cathedral, the highlights for me  were the visits to the Bonbon beach, San Pedro Beach Resort  in Talipasak and Cobrador island. With these three beaches, a visit to Romblon would already be  complete and exciting.  The travel to Sibuyan though tiring was also worth it even just to see the old Azagra chapel and the Cresta de Gallo. When the roads around the island of Sibuyan would already be cemented travel will have become lighter. There are also outstanding beach resorts in the Tablas island. But they pale in  comparison to the beaches of Romblon island. One difficulty in Tablas  is that the resorts are not near each other.  One will just have to select one or two in order to fully enjoy the trip.  Overall, this trip to Romblon would have been more difficult if not for Fr. Nars MiƱon, the Chancellor of the diocese and a fellow canon lawyer who not only facilitated  in making our itinerary possible but went out of his way to accompany us in all the sights that we visited.  That we enjoyed our trip is an understatement for indeed, Romblon is a paradise waiting to be discovered. And we experienced that piece of paradise in the eight days that we were there not just in  the sights that we visited but more so in the hospitable and generous people that we met during our journey. 

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