About Banton, Romblon
If you think the province of Romblon is all about marbles and beaches, you should definitely check out Banton Island! This island is not your typical summer destination, as it has much more to offer with its rich history, culture, and magnificent natural wonders.
So if you’re a historian and adventurer, read on as we share about Banton, Romblon. We will also share the best things to do in Banton that will pique your interest!
Best Things To Do in Banton, Romblon
Visit Cultural and Heritage Sites
Considering the island is the first established town in Romblon, one of the best things to do in Banton is to visit cultural and heritage sites dating back to the Spanish and American eras. You can explore the Fuerza de San Jose Church, San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish Church, and Asi Studies Center for Culture and the Arts, housing cultural and archaeological deposits of Banton.
Banton Island is in the northern portion of the province of Romblon in the Sibuyan Sea and close to Marinduque’s southern tip. It’s composed of Banton, the main island, and three uninhabited islands, including Bantoncillo, Carlota, and Isabel. The 2 farthest islands Carlota and Isabel, are referred to as the Dos Hermanas Islands (Two Sisters).
On the northwest portion of the main island also lies an islet close to Tabunan Beach. Banton is divided into 17 barangays, including Balogo, Banice, Hambi-an, Lagang, Libtong, Mainit, Nabalay, Nasunogan, Poblacon, Sibay, Tan-Ag, Toctoc, Togbongan, Togong, Tungonan, Tumalum, and Yabawon.
The island was previously known as Jones during the American colonial era to commemorate the author of the Philippine Autonomy Act of 1966, William Jones. Today, the island was named after the Asi word batoon, which means rocky. It refers to the island’s rocky and hilly topography.
According to petrology, Banton Island is a dormant volcano, hence its mountainous topography. It has a 32.38 km2 land area, and Mt Ampongo is the highest peak, measuring 596 meters. In addition, human remains and archeological artifacts proved that Filipinos first inhabited Banton in the pre-colonial era. It was established by the Spaniards in 1622 and is considered the province of Romblon’s oldest settlement.
Swimming and Diving
If you’re looking for the perfect destination this summer, Banton Island got your back. The island offers plenty of beaches, from white sands at Macat-ang, Tabunan, and Tambak to rocky and pebbled spots at Togbongan. And if you’re a water sports enthusiast, don’t forget to bring your gear since Banton offers diving sites where you can catch sight of stingrays, sharks, snappers, and groupers.
Hike and Explore Natural Formations
One of the best things to do in Banton for adrenaline junkies is hiking and exploring natural formations, such as the Guyangan Cave System. This is the perfect spot to visit for spelunkers, featuring 7 caves inhabited by Filipinos since the pre-colonial era. For hikers, you can go to Mt Ampongo, Mt. Guinsiba, Manamyaw Viewpoint, Punta Matagar, and the rock arch anchorage of Lolo Amang (Flying Dutchman).
Lastly, the best way to enjoy your stay in Banton is to experience its festivals. Banton host the Sanrokan festival, a local tradition of sharing food in the villages and town proper, especially viand. So if you’re a foodie, visit Banton during Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. The festival also consists of traditional games such as palosebo and chasing pigs. On September 10, Banton also hosts the Biniray festival, the feast for San Nicolas de Tolentino, the town’s patron saint.