When planning a beach vacation, it is natural that Palawan, Cebu, Boracay, and other popular tourist spots come to mind first. What seems to escape us is that our country is filled with so many more equally beautiful islands that are just waiting to be discovered. Take for example Romblon’s Carabao Island, a hidden gem not too far from the ever-so-buzzy Boracay—perfect for a vacation from your usual vacation.
Located on the southernmost part of the province and just about an hour away from Caticlan via boat, Carabao Island is a not-so-secret secret paradise that’s very much comparable to its neighbor Boracay—think powdery-white sand beaches, numerous coral reefs, and breathtaking cliff views. While it’s gaining some traction for being a day tour destination from Boracay, staying for a couple of days to take in all of the island’s natural beauty is definitely worth looking into if you’re in the mood for something different.
Escape from the chaos and crowds at the newly-opened Oceans Edge Resort. Sitting atop a private cove 30 meters above the sea, it looks out to a secluded white sand beach and refreshing, turquoise waters set against clear skies. This peaceful sanctuary is the perfect place for you to get away from it all, bask in luxurious comforts, and spend quality time with those that matter the most.
Find your home away from home in their 40-sqm. Kalinaw Studio Villa that gives you relaxing ocean views or lush garden scenery. Or, up the romance with their 60-sqm. Muni-Muni Cliff Villa that comes with front row access to unparalleled ocean views set against vivid sunsets. Both room types are fitted with modern amenities and pockets of spaces for you to get lost in your thoughts and reconnect with yourself.
Find out more about these rooms and buy their deals here.
A restful vacation isn’t complete without wading in their infinity pool, taking a relaxing dip in the Jacuzzi, or soaking up some sun in the sun bathing deck. Enjoy all these as you look out to panoramic views of the Azure Tablas Strait, and feel your worries float away. Before the day is done, make a quick stop at the bar to enjoy a crafted cocktail or two—and maybe some snacks while you’re at it. Make sure to leave room in your tummy for a delicious meal at the restaurant, though; they boast international favorites and farm-to-table food prepared with ingredients harvested from their on-site all-natural farm.
All these and more already make for a perfectly relaxing vacation, but those raring to go out and about still have many reasons to fall in love with Carabao Island. Habal-habal (motorcycle) rides are the best way to get well acquainted with the island’s raw beauty that’s said to be reminiscent of Boracay 30 years ago.
While the island may not be as easily accessible as its more popular counterparts, we guarantee that Carabao Island and the rest of Romblon are worth the trip! Not yet convinced? Here are 6 reasons why:
1. Koding Koding Point satisfies your craving for action and adventure.
An untouched paradise offers tons of exciting possibilities. Plunge into the deep, jump into the ocean, and swim through an underwater tunnel at Koding Koding Point in San Jose. Those looking to chill can just sit back and relax afloat a bamboo raft, while sipping on an ice-cold drink. Of course, simply enjoying the view of crystal clear waters is totally fine as well.
2. The highest point of Carabao Island gives you a whole new view of Boracay.
Named after Tagaytay in Cavite, Romblon’s Tagaytay ViewPoint is where you can relax and refresh your senses amidst the cool air and chill vibe. What makes it extra special is its viewing deck that lets you see neighboring island Boracay from a whole new perspective. Go on a picnic or sip on some coffee as you take in the mesmerizing sunset—it’s the best spot for taking stunning photos.
3. It’s world-famous for being the “Marble Capital of the Country.”
Whether you’re dreaming of changing up the aesthetic at home or looking for one-of-a-kind pasalubong, you’ve come to the right place. Boasting of a profitable marble industry, the province is said to produce very high quality pieces that are comparable to—if not better than—Italian-grade marble.
4. Nature’s unspoiled beauty is pretty much everywhere.
Romblon is made up of 3 major islands and 17 smaller ones—add that to the fact that it’s much lesser known that its neighbor, Boracay, and it’s no surprise that it’s filled with such raw, untouched beauty. Run along Bonbon Beach Sandbar and Crest de Gallo, discover the hidden lagoon, Tinagong Dagat, make friends at Dolphin Beach, dive into the abyss at Blue Hole, and (don’t) go chasing waterfalls all over the province.
5. Their local cuisine puts a unique spin on typical Filipino food.
The great thing about Filipino food is that while specialties differ from province to province, wherever you are and whatever you’re eating will always make you feel like you’re right at home. Sample their version of dinuguan sans the blood called Taghilaw, their chunky and non-spicy laing, Gayabon, their local shellfish Sihi, fresh veggie soup Inaslum, and Sarsa, a small shrimp, young coconut, and chili dish wrapped in coconut leaves. Your taste buds deserve their fair share of exploration, too!
6. The province is teeming with cultural and religious heritage.
Once hailed as the country’s Heritage Province for 2012 by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, this 20-island province gives you a never-ending list of places to see and visit. Their oldest Catholic Church, St. Joseph’s Cathedral, is a National Cultural Treasure, while the still-standing Fort San Andres was built to protect the town from pirates and the Spaniards. What many may not be aware of is that strolling along the streets of Romblon Town is like walking into the past—its old-town charm is truly a pleasant surprise you shouldn’t miss out on.
HOW TO GET THERE:
- Take a direct flight from Manila to Caticlan. Daily flights via Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia, and other airlines.
- Make your way to the holding area for the boat ride to Oceans Edge by taking about a 5-minute walk towards S-E Hotel and Residence or hop on a tricycle for a short ride.
- The resort’s boatmen will pick you up at the holding area. Schedules of departure from Caticlan to the resort are at 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM.
- After approximately 45 minutes to an hour, you will arrive at your destination!
Oceans Edge Resort
Barangay Lanas, Carabao Island
San Jose, Romblon
For Inquiries & Reservations:
(032) 416 4021
(0908) 136 3319
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