ROMBLON | Stranded at the Port of Banton

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Green Waters of Banton Port

This was supposedly my last day in Banton. I’m bound for Bicol to catch up with my cousins for another round of beach hopping. The problem was, transportation from Banton to Marinduque is not a regular thing. It depends if there are passengers leaving Banton or if a boat from Marinduque drops commuters into the island (then you can hitch a ride back to Marinduque).

Still uncertain if there was a boat heading to Marinduque, I nevertheless packed my things and headed off to Poblacion for the ride back to Lucena via Marinduque. D accompanied me and we again plied the mountainous roads of Banton. We originally planned on riding a habal-habal (motorcycle) but every roaring bike that passed us was already full. No choice but to walk. Again.

Banton Roadway

The first part of the trek was the hardest since it was a steep uphill climb and I’m now carrying everything with me (unlike on the way to Malabiga where it was delivered to us via habal-habal). A heavy tripod, snorkeling gear and a backpack full of cameras and clothes is serious business if you’re gonna hike for two doggone hours on steep roads. Good thing D’s around, I let him have the snorkels.

Two hours on winding roads later and we’re back at Poblacion. We immediately asked around if there was a boat heading to Buenavista in Marinduque.

Banton's Black Birds

And you guessed it, there was no boat leaving that afternoon for Marinduque or any other place for that matter. I was stuck at Romblon and have to wait ‘til the next day to get my ride.

D’s gone to play some hoops with his cousin for a while, and I don’t play basketball. So with nothing to do, I just dropped my bag at D’s aunt and went out to shoot at the port. I checked a marble souvenir shop and bought some really cool marble souvenirs (very cheap too at only PHP15.00) and had them customized with etched names before heading to the port.

Port of BantonI’m always amazed whenever I see clean ports. Piers in my mind are always busy, messy, noisy and totally dirty. Banton’s quay is the total opposite of those things.

It’s very quiet and serene, a place where local kids hang out to play and where mothers bring their babies for fresh air. The water is sparklingly clean and almost perfect for swimming if not for the profusion of black sea urchins on its rocky bed.

Kids Hanging Out at Barton Port  

I also noticed that a lot of folks, including kids seem to be harvesting something off the shore. I asked a lady and she said that they’re getting sarinlab, a type of shellfish similar to tahong (saltwater mussels) but with only a single shell.

Looking for Sarinlab at BartonI was thinking of getting a close up shot of this sarinlab when a boat full of passengers suddenly appeared from the distant horizon. I hurriedly went off to the pier and waited ‘til they docked. I asked the boat crew where they’d be heading to after, to Buenavista, he says.

Yay! I asked them if they can wait for me while I fetch my things and I’d be coming back with them.

Passenger Boat at Port Banton

A few minutes later and I was thanking and saying my goodbye to D’s aunt and went out looking for D with gear in tow.

We arrived at the port again with a few other passengers heading for Marinduque. Fare was at PHP300.00, PHP500.00 cheaper than the small boat we rented on the way here.

Banton Into the HorizonBanton has been a surprise. I never expected it to be as good as it was. It was an excellently satisfying trip and I would never hesitate to go back. But for now, Bicol’s beaches are beckoning me. We undocked at around six in the evening and pushed into the twilight. Until next time Romblon.

Banton to Marinduque


Click to view location on Google Maps

Address: Barangay Poblacion, Banton Island, Romblon
Romblon Provincial Tourism Office: (042) 567-5145 | (0920) 629-5838

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  1. Lovely post as ever. Good thing you are not on a scheduled trip or what, being delayed is a big NO-NO for me! :D Ganda talaga ng photos :D

  2. snorkel lang pinadala mo ke D! aba'y!

    second to the last pic-- wow!

  3. nareceive ko din to Lestat. hehe. iba na talaga talent nito ni Christian. Pag may time ako lagi ako sasama sa mga adventures mo.

  4. ganda ng panahon! kainggit! nung andun ako, grabe ang alon.

  5. Tina
    "Medyo" scheduled yung trips ko nun, good thing may dumating na boat nung hapon =]

    Sunburned si mokong eh haha kaya yun na lang pinadala ko =P

    Sige ba, no problem brad

    Oo nga daw matindi daw alon sa Romblon, pero pag holy week daw kalmado =]

  6. ang ganda ng last pic. melancholic and so reflective...

  7. these are moments that we remember more during our trips. unexpected things that happen - getting stranded or lost, a bad weather, etc.. -- sometimes they're not so happy experiences but when we see it in a different light, they make the travel more exciting, we even capture better moments along the way. :D

  8. Ganito yung nakaka addict sa Traveling eh.. yung mga unexpected na mga pangyayari... :)
    Ganda po lahat ng shots nyo.. :)

  9. Fetus
    Thanks po, pinost ko pa rin kahit blurred and grainy sya.
    Parang it reflects the boat ride back to Marinduque kasi =]

    I could never have said it better sir Ed!

    Haha tama, unexpected things make for great travel stories =]

  10. I grow up in the said place.... good thing you like it there... I always love to come back there to escape from the noisy city, also to appreciate the beauty of nature and simplicity of life.

  11. I'm from Banton and I really miss this paradise,,thank you for posting because it makes me happy to see and cherish the moment way back then.

  12. suggestion,next time you drop by one of the treasures of our town you missed is the oldest church in Romblon.

    next time we will bring you to our different caves.

  13. we have different beaches in Banton.. namiss ko tuloy ang banton...

  14. nice place for SURVIVOR

  15. i'm from siang sang malabiga banton.banton is really an awesome place to may not be touristy but the beaches,dive spots,people,culture and historical significant are amazing. hope our local officials will promote its local tourism.its been seven years i havent visited my hometown.

  16. Anonymous, Glowie
    I envy you guys, ang ganda ng Banton :)

    Unfortunately, di natuloy balik namin sa Romblon this year. Dapat tomorrow ang alis namin, kaso nagka aberya, so cancelled :(

    Survivor? haha I guess pwede rin :)

    Balik ka na sa Banton! :)

  17. Sarinlab in english is Abalone a shellfish regarded as food for the kings in koreanovelas.