Romblon and its Place in Philippine History


Romblon Map


In Romblon, the remote Mount Guiting-Guiting Natural Park is a living testament to the ice age. Its geology and geography stand as evidence of the big freeze, with ancient teak trees and unique species of birds and monkeys. It is biodiversity at its best here.

Romblon’s strategic position made it an important way station on the sailing lanes between Manila and the Visayas. The Spaniards visited Romblon as early as 1582. Recollect missionaries came in 1635. The ruins of Spanish watchtowers and forts testify to the islands’ former vulnerability to the raids of slave-seeking Moro pirates. Dutch warships also attacked the islands during the early Spanish era. In 1853, Romblon was made a politico-military comandancia. It was linked to Capiz prior to becoming a separate province.

The mountainous province is fragmented into about 20 islands, with Romblon, Tablas and Sibuyan as the main islands. Romblon, the provincial capital has one of the safest natural harbor in the Philippines. When typhoon pass, it serves as a haven for ships crossing the busy Sibuyan Sea.

The Sibuyan Sea is a small sea located south of Luzon, east of Mindoro and north of Panay. It separates the Visayas from the northern Philippines island of Luzon. The Romblon Islands lie within the Sibuyan Sea. It was the location of a major naval engagement on October 24, 1944, part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, where the Japanese battleship Musashi was sunk and other ships were damaged.

Sources: Philippines Handbook by Carl Parkes, The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia


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