Tablas Island

Tablas Island
Tablas Island is centrally located in the Philippine archipelago, between Mindoro and Sibuyan Island, and belongs to the region MIMAROPA. It is the largest island of Romblon Province with 64 km (40 mi) from north to south and 17 km (11 mi) at its widest point. Boracay is a three-hour boat trip away in southerly direction. Tablas captivates by its beautiful natural landscape with plenty of options for outdoor activities. The best time to visit Tablas Island is from November to April. In that period the weather should be relatively dry and calm. Additionally, the sea swell is not as strong and the rivers are not flooded.

The Island of Tablas is subdivided into nine municipalities: Odiongan, Alcantara, Calatrava, Ferrol, Looc, San Agustin, San Andres, Santa Fe, and Santa Maria. Each municipality is subdivided into Barangays. Odiongan is the largest municipality in Tablas. The town includes a university along with government and private hospital (Tablas Doctors Hospital and Medical Center). Furthermore, there are many small shops, a commercial center, some restaurants and a large market. Fresh groceries and articles of daily use can be bought here. A local branch of Allied bank with an ATM is located in the center of Odiongan. The maximum cash withdrawal is limited to 10,000 PHP per transaction. Foreign credit cards are accepted. Small hotels and pensions offer a limited selection on accommodation. Internet cafes and WiFi-access are available in Odiongan. But there is no remarkable nightlife on the entire island. Tablas inspires those looking for original nature and simplicity.

Tropical Tablas has retained its original character. Farmers use the side of public roads to dry their rice seeds and coconut husks. The Wildlife and landscape appears untouched as deep-green vegetation is crossed by rivers and streams. Tablas Island provides a wide variety of outdoor activities. Visitors can explore wonderful waterfalls and caves surrounded by tropical nature. Sig-Kop Cave, Mablaran Falls, Garing Falls, Mainit Falls, or turquoise colored Linao D Victo are natural attractions in Tablas. In the middle of the island scenery becomes hilly and mountainous. The highest mountain is Mt. Payaopao with 665 meters (2182 feet) located in the municipal of San Augustin. But it is not necessary to climb mountains to get stunning views. Through partial winding roads arise magnificent outlooks on surrounding nature. Roads are mostly paved with asphalt some are covered with gravel. Tablas is not nearly as frequented by tourists compared to Boracay. Therefore, the beaches are deserted. Beautiful and picturesque beaches in Tablas are: Aglicay Beach in Alcantara, beaches west of Looc, the bay in Barangay Libertad, the coast in Adpudlos north of San Andres. Odiongan beach has a natural character with darker sand and driftwood from the nearby river.

About 153.000 people live on Tablas Island. Most of them are Catholic Christians. The main spoken languages (dialects) are Romblomanon, Tagalog and Bisaya. English is understood and spoken by almost everyone. Tourism as a source of income and employment has no great significance in Tablas. A large part of inhabitants live on agriculture, such as rice cultivation, fruit and vegetable farming. Fishery and small animal breeding are important revenue streams of local Tablas residents.

Tablas Island
Tablas Island, Romblon


Getting to Tablas Island

By air:
Tablas Island will be approached by Fil-Asian Airways. The airline company plans to fly three times a week with a propeller-driven airplane (NAMC YS-11) from Manila to Tugdan and return (Monday, Thursday, Saturday). The flight time takes about 40 minutes. For more info check their website: http://www.filasianair.com
Tugdan Airport (THB) is located in the southwest of Tablas in the municipality of Alcantara. From the airport all municipalities can be reached with public transportation. Jeepneys, tricycles and motorbikes are being offered to continue the journey. SEAIR and ZestAir currently offer no flights to Tablas Island (status as of May 2013).


By sea:
Caticlan (Boracay Island) - Looc (Tablas Island)
Motorized outrigger boats (bangkas) operate daily from "Caticlan Jetty Port" to "Looc Port" in Tablas. Usually, the first ferry crossing starts at 8:30am. Sometimes there will be even two trips per day to Tablas Island. If a second trip taking place, then the boat will leave Caticlan around 9:30am. The passage from Caticlan to Looc takes about three hours depending on weather conditions. Boat tickets can be bought at the port of Caticlan and costs 300 PHP one way. Public transportation is available in Looc (e.g. jeepney, tricycle) so that all municipalities of Tablas Island can be achieved.

Batangas (Manila) - Odiongan (Tablas Island)
Shipping company "Montenegro Lines" runs daily (except on Tuesdays) the route Batangas - Odiongan to Tablas Island. Departure time in Batangas is 5:00pm. The journey takes about nine hours. Arrival time in Odiongan (Poctoy Pier) will be around 2:00am. Time of travel from Poctoy Pier to the town center in Odiongan is appr. ten minutes by tricycle or motorbike. All kinds of ferry tickets can be purchased at the respective port. The full fare for a single ticket to Tablas amounts between 800 and 1200 PHP based on cabin category. Discounted fares apply for pensioners, students and children. For more information about the ferry service to and from Tablas Island as well as schedules and rates, see the website of Montenegro Lines: http://montenegrolines.com.ph

San Jose (Carabao Island) - Santa Fe (Tablas Island)
A motorized outrigger boat operates daily from Port of Said in San Jose/Carabao Island to Santa Fe in Tablas. Carabao Island is also known as Hambil. The ferry crossing takes about 45 minutes and costs 100 PHP per person. The daily departure time from Carabao is at 6:00am. The daily crossing from Santa Fe to San Jose starts at 9:30am.


8 comments:

  1. How long does it take from Looc to Odiongan? Thanks

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  2. It takes about 1hour by jeepney.

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  3. From Caticlan Airport, how do I get to Caticlan Jetty Port? Is it by a 10-minute tricycle ride?

    Would there be a boat from Caticlan Jetty Port to Looc on Holy Wednesday or Holy Thursday?

    I am planning to catch the 8:30am boat trip from Caticlan to Looc, and then ride a jeepney from Looc to Odiongan. Do you think I'll be able to catch that jeep?

    Thanks a lot!!!

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    Replies
    1. Hello Jay,

      from Caticlan Airport to Caticlan Jetty Port you can take a tricycle. It takes less than 3 minutes to the jetty. You even could walk.

      If there is a boat on these particular days i don´t know for sure, but think there will be. Usually twice a day in the morning (around 8.30am and 9.30am).

      In Looc it won´t be a problem at all getting a jeepney to Odiongan. They are leaving all day around every half an hour to one hour.

      Happy trip and nice time!

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  4. Do you have a list of hotels in Odiongan where we can stay? Thanks !

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  5. Hi Anonymous,

    in Odiongan isn´t much accommodation as you might know it from Boracay. Here are some options for Odiongan (hotels and guesthouses):

    - Warf Manor hotel
    - Rencio’s Resort
    - Harbour Chateau Resort in Poctoy

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  6. anu po ang schedule ng byahe from caticlan to looc? at anytime ba may nagbbyahe ng jeep sa looc to odiongan? im planning to get there dis august 3, 2013. pero nmmoblema ako ng masakyan. at paano po pag nag stay lang ako ng 1day lg sa odiongan den balik din ako ng caticlan, paano magpabook nun ng ferry boat ? reply me. ASAP>

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  7. Hi Leeyan
    The schedule of ferry is around 8.30am and 9.30am.Yes,the trip of jeepney is every one hour starting from 5am to 3pm.They are not selling the ferry ticket in advace.

    Happy Trip..

    ReplyDelete