The day following the Tonton ng Sto Niño de Romblon, the Biniray Festival continues with a street dance parade. The festival re-enacts how the Señor Sto Niño was attempted to be taken away from Romblon Island en route to Madrid but was averted by storms. Only the image to be returned back to its place. A colorful parade of atis, similar to Ati-atihan adds color to the revelry. This time each baranggay trying to best each other in costume and performance.
The idyll coastal poblacion in Romblon Island, Romblon becomes festive beginning the 2nd Friday of January as revelers flock at the 400-year old St Joseph Cathedral. Devotees gather in front of the church to observe the spiritual practice of the Tonton ng Sto Niño de Romblon. The Tonton, a Romblomanon word meaning to lower the image of the Sto Niño down the pedestal. This practice usher’s the official opening of Biniray Festival which last for a week.
It was mid-afternoon already and I was contemplating whether to visit another falls. One thing is for sure, my motorbike driver Alex is not familiar with all these places we’ve been visiting. For him, it was also an adventure but for me, it takes a bit more time stopping by, asking for directions and at times getting lost. I decided to gamble on the last fall on my way back. Tuburan Falls is already within the municipality of Odiongan so we left the main road again to find this falls on our way back from San Andres.
I asked the locals what their favorite waterfalls is on the island of Tablas, Romblon. Mablaran Falls in San Andres always seem to pop up so it got me curious. The group of teen boys I met at Garing Falls in Odiongan told me it’s much easier to go there from the main road. The way is paved like a highway and people can swim at night because there are now lights. Not that I’ll go there for a night swim, but I’m interested how it looks and why is it a local favorite. From Odiongan town proper, we rode our motorbike 23km to the northern region of the island for San Andres.
While I was searching for places to go in Tablas, Romblon, I noticed there were plenty of waterfalls for such a small island. I knew I had to allot time to visit a few of these waterfalls during my stay. My travels have fortunately been kind to me most of the time and this one is no exemption as I was able to easily find a motorbike hire to take me around the island. Mang Alex, who I hired from the Tugdin Airport to Aglicay Beach Resort would be my wheel for chasing waterfalls in Tablas, Romblon. Our first on the list is Garing Falls in Odiongan which would be the nearest from where we are. I have to blame Jean of Aglicay Beach Resort for showing me wonderful photos of the falls though warned me it may not look like that at this time. I still decided to go anyway. Jean talked to Mang Alex and made sure we get to where we were supposed to go for the day. Mang Alex may know the main thoroughfares but not all the inner roads of the island. Our engines roared and off we go for a day of searching for waterfalls.
My motorbike ride roared through the narrow ascending road hugging the side of the hills. It’s always exciting to step on a new island. In this case, my feet, finally grounded on Tablas Island, the largest of the three mjor islands in Romblon province. I flew into the island via PAL and landed in Tugdon airport. My motorbike is taking me to Aglicay Beach Resort in the neighboring town of Alcantara. My eyes were constantly peeled as I absorb the idyllic landscape of this island countryside. We got off the main road and saw a sign “4km to Aglicay Resort”. I’m glad where I’m staying is only less than half an hour from the airport. As the motorbike took its twist and turns entering the distant baranggay of Comod-on, my senses were captivated by the road side view. The ocean vista opening up its glorious view and the cove just ahead. Stunning white sand beach before us hugged by verdant hills. This is going to be an exciting escape, I thought. Aglicay Beach Resort, my home for a couple of nights in Tablas, Romblon.