South Tablas, Romblon
After my fun filled day in Carabao Island i went up north to this another unspoiled place. Tablas Island, in the Province on Romblon.
Tablas is the largest of the islands that compromise the province of Romblon. This is subdivided with the Municipalities of Alcantara, Calatrava, Ferrol,Looc,Odiongan, San Agustin , San Andres, Santa Fe and Sta. Maria.
How to get there
From Manila you can take an hour or so flight from Manila to Tablas Island which is a bit pricey but it will save time if you in a limited time off.
By Boat / Ferry
From Manila take a bus bound to Batangas Pier and take the ferry going to Odiongan Port, Romblon Port, or even Caticlan Port. All ports are possible point of entry but depends on where you are heading to and what is your itinerary. There are various shipping lines that sails on a different days and time just check out on their respective schedule for your reference. Some Shipping Lines are 2GO, Montenegro and Navios Shipping Lines.
2GO Travel – https://travel.2go.com.ph/
Montenegro Shipping Lines – https://www.facebook.com/montenegroinc/
Navios Shipping Lines – https://www.facebook.com/Navios-Shipping-Lines-Inc-516216755087938/
Please take note that each shipping company have designated dates and time sailing to Romblon its not daily so better check first what your schedule fits to travel.
Since my Itinerary is to visit Carabao Island first, i opted to take the Batangas – Caticlan Trip. It was Saturday 9:00 pm to 6:00 am arrival to Caticlan and from Caticlan Port i hired a trike going to Baybay port which is the place i took the pumpboat to Carabao Island or well known as Hambil.Fare is 100 Php.
After Spending a day in Carabao Island, i woke up early to catch the 6:00 am pumpboat from Hambil Port to Sta Fe Port, South of Tablas which took around 50 mins of sailing with the big waves. Fare is 100php
Prior to my arrival in Sta Fe Port, i already contacted a guy to do a half day tour for me in South Tablas which includes . Pick up from the Sta Fe Port, Aglicay Beach Resort, Looc Fish Sanctuary, Grotto De Banloc, Gisselle Beach,Pier 68(Loveland), Binucot Beach, and drop off to Buenavista Paradise Resort. Its a package worth 1500.00 pesos as i understand the commuting process in Romblon is kinda unpredictable. My guide is Kuya Fernan.
7:00am I arrived at the Sta. Fe Port, Tablas Island, Kuya Fernan is already waiting for me and ready to start the day tour. We started travelling to Aglicay Beach.
Aglicay Beach Resort
It is nestled in Barangay Comod- om in Alcantara.It is perfect beach getaway for families and friends. Kids friendly beach as the water is shallow.Enjoy the adventure in exploring the hillside and enjoy the magnificent view this resort has to offer.Entrance free for Daytour is 75 php and 150 for overnight. Room accomodation is around 2000 php. I stayed from 7:00 am to 9:00 am
You can check them out in their site: http://www.aglicaybeachresort.com/resort.html / https://www.facebook.com/Aglicay-Beach-Resort-126302957253/
Looc Fish Sanctuary
One of the highlights of this tour is visiting Looc Fish Sanctuary. A 30 minutes motorcycle ride from Aglicay Beach Resort. It is located in Looc Town and its one of the must see when you visit South Tablas. This Fish Sanctuary is a Marine Protected area and no wonder as the fishes here are amazing with different colors, variety and sizes. This place is good for snorkelling and guest who knows how to swim or not are welcome but with the proper use of life vest, or just stay in the floating cottage and do fish feeding. Don’t forget to buy a lot of bread to be used for fish feeding. I enjoyed i when i dipped my feet in the water then i throw a bit of a bread and ohh ohh it was sooo ticklish as the fish comes to near my feet while trying to get the bread. It was awesome watching and feeding them. They allow guest to bring foods and drinks and do picnic in the floating cottage. I stayed from 9:30 am to 11.30 am. The entire trip is 2 hrs. Such an amazing experience.
Entrance fee is 100 good for 2 hrs with back and fourth boat ride , and life vest. Snorkel gear is 60 pesos for rent. Good time to visit is 8 am as no crowd yet. They are open from 7am to 4pm and the cut off is 2 pm.
Lunch in Looc
Not far from Looc Sanctuary we had a quick early lunch as i didnt had breakfast we went to this small Inasal Eatery to grab some food and ordered Chicken Inasal with unli rice for 99 php and Soda for 235 php for meal of 2. ( i treat kuya Fernan).
I’m not really sure if this place is called Giselle Beach but as Kuya Fernan Told me it was Giselle’s Beach. No entrance fee, saw some house or maybe a hostel on the side but since it was noontime no one is around the beach. Nice bit of mangroves , nice shoreline, majestic blue skies and awesome view. So nice to chill after our lunch . Stayed here for like 20 minutes and continued the tour.
Grotto De Banloc
One of the sights to see in South Tablas is Grotto de Banloc. It is located in Looc where you can see this 6 hectares beautifully landscaped garden and a water fountain where you can peacefully relax, pray, give thanks and commune with the nature. They also have a Honesty Store which you can get what you need and pay for it with out anyone assisting you in the store.As the store name said’ Honesty Store”. God is watching you from above.They also have a Honesty Coffee Shop where you can get a cup of coffee while enjoying the view and relaxing the place. There’s no entrance fee.
Pier 68 – Loveland
Located in the town of Ferrol, i did a side trip in this place called Pier 68 but most people call it Loveland as it was just located outside the loveland Resort. It was a nice long bridgewalk made of bamboo. It was surrounded with a mangroves which is great scenery to walk around and gives a bit of shade as it was very hot that time when i was there. If you walk further there no more mangroves but you will see a nice view with magnificent blue green water plus the amazing blue skies and great cloud formation. Such a nice side trip to do. No entrance fee here.
Buenavista Paradise Resort
Kuya Fernan drove me to the resort am going to check in for a night. Buenavista Paradise Resort, a few minutes motorcycle ride from Ferrol.This place is owned by Italian guy named Geri. I fell in love with the place as soon as i entered the resort, a small resort with 4 rooms, non luxurious but a homey native type of accommodation equipped with private bathroom that you will not need any aircon at all. I got the room number 3 which i love as i’m very athome and relaxed in this place. Beautiful landscaped garden fronting the sea, lovely double bed with a mosquito net ready if you want. Great veranda to chill when you wanted to relax and enjoy the view. There’s a small gate which will lead you to the beach if you wanted to take a dip in the water but i suggest you to take your swimming shoes as there’s lots of sea urchin around the area.The water is clear though , i enjoyed it when i woke up in the morning and had a quick walk around it and its low tide. Rate starts at 1600 pesos but i booked thru traveloka and i got some discounts.
Binucot Beach Resort
The day after my stay in Buenavista Resort i transferred to Binucot Beach Resort which i believed owned by German guys, i got connected with one of them when i booked a room for a night. Whats good in this place is that they have a nice small pool to chill, nice beach front, and in house restaurant. Compared to Buenavista Resort , Binucot Beach Resort got a modern room and very spacious. I got the room number 2 at the 2nd floor. What i love to this place is the excellent sunset. Room rate starts at 1800 php i booked directly to the owner but you can book thru Agoda, Booking.com and Traveloka. I hitched on a motorbike from Buenavista to Ferrol so i saved fare in this trip.
Facebook link https://www.facebook.com/Binucot.Beach/
Eco Escape Resort
I didn’t check in to their room but i had the chance to dine and enjoy the sunset. The food is nothing especial but got one of the best sunset i’ve even seen. Magical and idyllic.Such an amazing place to grab your beer, sit back and relax. Got my dinner here and San Mig Apple for free. Thanks for my friend Mario. Chill.
you can check them out at : https://www.facebook.com/escapetotablas/
Going back to Batangas, this time i travelled to Odiongan Port and took the 11:30am trip – 7:30pm Batangas Port. Same shipping lines 2GO. Thanks to a new found friend that drove me from Ferrol to Odiongan Port that took around 30 mins via motorbike. I saved and less hassle finding a habal habal on my way back.
Such an amazing trip ! Romblon is Awesome! Would go back to visit north Romblon such as Calatrava, San Agustin, Romblon an Sibuyan. One day!!
This South Tablas Trip would be much cheaper if you travelled by group. And share expenses such as transportation and Room Accommodations.
Summary of Expenses
100 Pumpboat from Hambil to Sta. Fe Port
10 Terminal fee of Hambil
1500 Half Day Trip with habal with pick up and drop off to hotel
75 Aglicay Beach Resort day tour entrance fee
72 Chips and bread for me and fish feeding
100 Looc Fish Sanctuary Entrance Fee
235 Lunch (inasal pecho and paa w unli rice and soda) good for 2
220 Dinner in Buenavista Resort ( rice and grilled blue marlin)
370 Lunch in Binucot Resort ( fish and chips and san mig apple)
15 Port Fee in Odiongan Port
1350 Buenavista Resort Room Accomodation thru Traveloka
1800 Binucot Beach Resort Room Accomodation
1016 2GO Ferry Odiongan to Batangas
30 Terminal fee in Batangas Port
162 Dela Rosa Bus Alabang to Batangas Port
7055 Total Expenses for 3 days 2 nights
***** Expenses would be much cheaper if travelled w group. Pasalubong not included.
Check out my 2Days and 1 Night in Carabao Island Blog—— https://ronnavicedo.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/carabao-island-hidden-gem/
Thanks for reading!!!