History Of Romblon

A Brief History of Romblon

Have you ever wanted to know what your old province was like before encompassing the entire island of Romblon? Are you curious about the origins of Romblon’s name, as well?

Here is a brief history of when Romblon Province existed, its geographical and cultural influences, and how it was transformed into today’s province.


General Information

The Romblon town consists of the entire Romblon island, Tablas Island, and Sibuyan Island. As of the 2020 census, it is inhabited by around 40,554 people. Locals speak in Ini or Romblomanon language.

Who Are The First People In Romblon?

The first natives were known to be the Negritos tribes from Panay and Mangyan tribes from Mindoro. This claim was supported by the artistic materials and hanging coffins found on Banton island, showing the presence of these Negritos on the island a hundred years before the Spanish came.

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Spanish were believed to have arrived in Romblon around late 1569. In fact, it is deemed that they organized the island into encomiendas. It was not until 1582 that Miguel de Loarca, a Spanish navigator called the island “Doblon” or “Lomlon,” which locally refers to a bird warming its nest.

After several years, Romblon became a pueblo through the power of Spanish Governor-General Juan Niño de Tabora. It was in 1635 when Romblon was evangelized. Romblon Cathedral was under the Catholic Church’s jurisdiction in the same year by Spanish Governor-General Juan Niño de Tabora.

Moving forward, the province of Romblon was officially a province with four municipalities, namely Romblon, Tablas, Maghali and Sibuyan, in 1946.


The Romblon Culture

While the province is part of Southern Luzon or MIMAROPA, the way they live their lives is almost the same as Visayans. Hence, the culture of Romblon is a mixture of both Luzon and Visayan cultures. The local people are known to have their own dialect called Romblomanon.

The speakers of the Romblomanon language can be found on Sibuyan Island and Tablas Island. These dialects are mutually intelligible with each other, although they are distinct due to differences in vocabulary and pronunciation.

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The Romblon people are known for their resourcefulness and endurance. In a fishing village, all kinds of fish were caught in the ocean and then dried and packaged.

The mystery behind this beautiful island will always be a staple for all interested in knowing more about Romblon and its history. With its rich culture, beautiful sceneries, and bountiful marine life, Romblon will forever be something worth discovering.


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