Aside from Bonbon Beach, the main island of Romblon has some island hopping activities too with its fare share of equally stunning islands and beaches. Since we’re covering the Biniray Festival and Tonton ng Sto Niño that day, we only have the morning to visit one of the three islands at the northwestern side of Romblon island, the Cobrador Island. The island is the farthest of the three and a 45 minute boat ride away from the poblacion.
Found at the southern tip of Sibuyan Island is one of Romblon’s raw gems worth daring the often tempestuous waters of Sibuyan seas for. Cresta de Gallo, named after its shape resembling a rooster’s comb, is an island with fine white sand beach and stunning sandbar. No commercial establishments or structures. Just pure tropical island paradise.
There is no shortage of spectacular beaches in Romblon. While “good beaches” vary to taste on a personal level, for me the qualifications comes down to the sand quality, the surrounding environment, the waters and awe factor. Strip off any establishments or fancy gimmicks, it always comes down to the bare nature of it all. That’s why I’m loving Bonbon Beach (sometimes spelled as Bon Bon) in Romblon. About 5km from Romblon Island, Poblacion. Privately owned, but open to the public. Stretches of gorgeous coastal white sand beaches leading up to a panoramic sandbar. Oh boy I envy Romblon for having this.
Setting off to a distant island across rough seas and under intermittent weather in the wee hours of the morning aboard a large fishing vessel may sound like a romanticized adventure. But that’s exactly how our journey to Seco Island began. Well not exactly, it’s actually a clumsy ride on a flat boat that held everyone’s breath as we grope for balance to transfer from the shore to the big boat. I’ve only seen flat boats used here heavily in Antique, but these outrigger-less, flat surfaced geometrical boat is a challenge to balance on water especially with a number of people inside. But it did wake us up under the starry night sky and kept us alert as we boarded the shipping vessel for a 2-3 hour ride.
It took me three visits to Tawi-tawi before I finally set foot on the famed Panampangan Island. It’s not an easy island to reach like most of the islands in the region. Hiring boats have a hefty cost especially for independent travelers. An invitation to cover the Kamahardikaan 2017 festivity includes a visit to the island. It was an opportunity that’s hard to pass. Panampangan Island is considered the longest sandbar in the country.