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free diving

Romblon Nov 11, 2012

Island Tour - Logbon Island and Alad Island

Boat Ride
Heinz, the German guy I met on the boat from San Agustin, hired a small pumpboat to take him to the nearby islands. He wanted to split the cost so he tagged me along. The plan was to reach Cobrador Island, but the water was choppy. We settled for the closer ones - Logbon Island and Alad Island.

Logbon Island
You could already see Logbon Island from Romblon Island - maybe a thirty minute boat ride. The boat ride was a little choppy as expected. On the way, we passed the white sand beaches close to Romblon Town - Tiamban Beach, Margie's Beach and Bonbon Beach. We stopped by a beach with a sizeable sandbar. The beach was not groomed and the few houses there were left abandoned. The locals tell me it's because the sand in the area is shifting but there seems to be less and less sand that remains. In fact, the sand bar now is only half of what it used to be.

Strong Current
I tried to do some snorkelling and go to where I saw a fisherman with his boat. I was a littel afraid though. The current was obviously strong and even with a boat, the thought of being swept away was daunting. Foolishly, I still went ahead. It was still ok in the shallows, but when I was on the chanel, the pull of the current was so strong, I wasn't even sure if I'd reach the boat. Scared, I bailed.

Marine Reserve
We were told that there is a nearby marine reserve where the water is calmer - fee was P50/head. We went there and did a boat dive. The coral was average, mostly scattered rocky sections with small but limited fish. We didn't stay long and proceeded straight to the next island, Alad Island.

Alad Island
An elderly man (Mr. Paquito) talked to us on the beach of Alad Island. He showed us around the village, giving us a tour of the other beaches, the marine reserve (P100/head), and introduced us to some of the locals. I learned that there is a cheaper way to get to the island from Romblon Town. There is a shuttle boat for the locals where you only pay P15/way. The boat leaves Romblon Town 11am and departs Alad Island at 1pm - priceless info!

Beachfront Snorkelling
The snorkelling in front of the beach proved the best so far. The undersea terrain had alleys, and had minor elevation and dips. The visibility was likewise good. However, I didn't see any volume of fish - just small communities in their own balmies. The corals themselves were fascinating - mostly one type that resembles a clustered fan. They ornated adorned the sea floor. We didn't stay long and were back to Romblon Town by 1pm.

Lingering Thoughts
So far, the two islands proved promising - and there are so many more islands to discover. What I find useful was learning the cheap way to go there. At some point, I would like to take the local shuttle and spend the entire day on the island, just exploring it, looking at possibilities, perhaps even do an overnight. That would give the place added dimension instead of being just a blur. Indeed, Romblon and its cluster of islands continue to fascinate. No wonder people who visit this place fondly refers to it as the secret destination they don't really want to tell others about. I agree.

--- TheLoneRider

How to Get to Alad Island from Romblon Island

  1. You can just hire a private boatman and negotiate with him. This trip cost us P600 - not bad
  2. On the cheap, you can go to Romblon pier and take either the Oceanic or Matit (there is also a third boat). It leaves 11am, P15/head one way. On the way back, it leaves Alad Island at 1pm.
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