Romblon Challenge 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012Ryan Mach

Of all the travel plans-cum-projects I have in the works right now, Romblon Challenge 2012 has to be the most exciting. I've been thinking about it for a few weeks now after reading Sole Sisters's very interesting blog post entitled 21 Day Pilipinas Challenge : Promote Your Hometown. They're looking for beautiful places in the country. 

Beautiful? My hometown is beautiful, it deserves to be promoted. So I immediately left a note in the comment section urging them to try what Romblon has to offer. Of course, it doesn't just end there. To be really considered, I should create an itinerary that features the best of the best. Now, that's the challenging part, primarily because I don't want to screw my hometown's chance to be part of the challenge. It's as if the future of my province depends on it!

Maybe it does. You see, Romblon doesn't really register on everyone's maps. Ask a random Filipino you meet in the street if they knew Romblon, the chance of getting a yes for an answer is almost close to nill. That unpopular huh? Who's to blame for this sad, depressing truth about my hometown? Your guess is as good as mine.

Aww, you guys (I'm talking to you, my dear Romblon provincial leaders) are ruining the mood of this post. This has to be fun and devoid of any negativity. 

Going back to the project... The Romblon Challenge 2012. So I spent several nights thinking about the best itinerary that I could present to Sole Sisters which must include great places around the island. Easy. I've been traveling back and forth to this town since college so creating an itinerary should be a cinch. Problem is, I'm quite naive to my own island's treasures. By treasures, I mean beaches and hidden spots. My idea of treasure can be limited that way. 
Oh where to take these girls? Think. Use Google.

Born and raised in Romblon and yet a complete stranger to my own land? Well, not completely, maybe a little. You see, Romblon is composed of several islands so it's just hard to navigate the whole province. Add to the fact that I'm not a politician's son. Apart from Tablas where I grew up, I've  been to the capital, which is Romblon and a small island up the Northern part - Sibale during a writing workshop two years ago. Tablas, the largest island, consists of 9 municipalities (thank you, Wikipedia), one of which is Looc, my beloved hometown.

You may feel like I don't know much about Romblon but the fact of the matter is I do. In college, I did a research paper about the history and culture of Looc. Learnt a lot of things about the province which wasn't taught in elementary or high school. For instance, Romblon was once part of Capiz and the name 'Romblon' was believed to have come from the local dialect 'Lomlom' which literally means 'hen hatching eggs.' Jose Rizal passed by the island on his trip down South and described the place 'hermosa' or beautiful. 

But I admit that I still don't know a lot about my hometown. Sometimes, I'm surprised to see my fellow Romblonons pictures on Facebook of places I didn't know existed. The surprise is always followed by an insuppresible desire to go to those places and experience them myself. For the risk of sounding melodramatic, I'm saving my 'feeling' for another blog post.

For now, let me share a few destinations in Tablas that will be part of my big travel project this year - Romblon Challenge 2012. I haven't finished writing the complete itinerary yet but I've sketched out the trail and destinations for this exciting project. And I'm looking for fellow wanderlust who might be interested to join in this journey. 

Keep posted. Itinerary coming soon. 

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