Philippines Journals

Tablas: Seriously Underrated by Guidebooks

A January 2006 trip to Philippines by HiramAbif

Kamilla Lodge Photo, Philippines, Asia More Photos
Quote: Tablas is the largest of the three biggest islands of the Romblon region, the other two being Romblon and Sibuyan. It is definitely a very much underrated island by the guidebooks, which is a pity. It is worth at least a few days of a traveller's time.

Tablas: Seriously Underrated by Guidebooks

Overview

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Tablas is not Boracay. In fact barely any tourists visit Tablas and the very few that do so, they do as they travel towards Romblon or Sibuyan islands. Yet there is so much to see and do. Whether you visit the two marine sanctuaries in Looc (the largest one is the Looc Marine Refuge and Sanctuary and the smaller further north is the Buenavista Marine Sanctuary)or the aptly named Enchanted Hidden Sea in the town of Calatrava or the beautiful towns of Odiongan or San Agustin ,Tablas is not a boring destination. It is worth visiting and it definitely deserves more tourist dollars. Our team appreciated more than anything the natural charm and friendliness of the local people.Quick Tips: Do spend ...Read More

Kamilla Lodge

Hotel | "Kamilla Lodge in San Agustin"

Kamilla Lodge Photo, Philippines, Asia
Quote:
Kamilla Lodge is one of the two places to stay (the other being Augustin Inn) on the main plaza of this quiet remote village. There are more or less next to each other. We stayed in the very friendly and comfy Kamilla, because the smaller Augustin Inn ,which we visited first was full. The staff go out of their way to be helpful, and rooms are priced at an incredible 250 Pesos for a double (that was February 2006) , with own WC and air-conditioning (that is $5 or just over €4) or 150 Pesos for a single with shared WC. Two items, however, you need for a guaranteed good night in Kamilla lodge are a decent torch for the possible Philippines Brown Out (sudden Power outage), and a very good pair...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 29, 2006

Kamilla Lodge
San Agustin
Tablas Island
0920 610 7104

Food Stalls at San Agustin Photo, Philippines, Asia
Quote:
As we arrived late at night there was no option to search for a restaurant. Yet on the opposite side of the plaza, exactly opposite the Kamilla Lodge, there were two food stalls. They were serving basic Filipino meals, such as chicken or pork adobo, with steamed rice and soup and a boiled egg. If you are hungry, this was better than nothing. The fact was that the meals were safe to eat (nobody suffered any tummy upset), they looked safe and hygienically prepared, and the price was around 10 pesos per portion. With just about a half dollar you could more or less try everything and fill up for the night. Not bad at all. While we had this extraordinary meal there was one of these power outages ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 29, 2006

Food Stalls at San Agustin
San Agustin
Tablas Island

San Agustin Town

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Sitting in the northeastern corner of Tablas, San Agustin is a small, sleepy, and beautiful little town, and the stepping stone to Romblon island. As the boat to Romblon departs in the morning, you have a night to spend in San Agustin, and depending where you come from, there may be an afternoon and an evening, too.This is by no means wasted time. San Agustin has a unique tranquillity, and if you arm yourself with a camera and adventurous spirit, not only you are going to capture some great snaps, but also you will have the benefit to see and absorb the pace of life in this peaceful corner of Tablas.There is spectacular scenery on the mountains behind San Agustin and some nice beaches nearby...Read More
Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
This is not a boat trip for the faint hearted, especially if the sea is rough. First you have to leave early from Boracay to reach Caticlan on time, as the pump boats to Tablas depart (in theory) at least by 9am. The two tablas ports, linked with Caticlan in Panay, are Santa Fe in the southwest of Tablas and Looc on the west. The trip to Santa Fe lasts 2 hours, and in our case it was an unforgettable experience as the photos below hopefully demonstrate. First, we boarded like sardines onto a tiny dingy (photo 1) to get on the main pump boat. Then the pump boat was loaded to the limit with humans and such extraordinary items as a motorbike (photo 2). Then we had to wait an hour...Read More
Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
This was the first opportunity we had to get a glimpse at the natural beauty of Tablas and come to terms with the realisation of how underrated the island is.Our journey was on a rainy day and rather uncomfortable, hopping up and down and hitting mercilessly my bald head on the metal roof of our ancient jeepney every time we fell on the bumps and potholes of the dilapidated road. Our jeepney was in desperate need of new suspensions and several repairs, and my poor balding head was in desperate need of an anti-inflammatory gel to deal with a big bump on my top (see photos 1 and 2). Another unique feature of that incredible, so called vehicle, was that instead of wipe washers, the front windscreen was ...Read More
Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
The time was almost 3pm, and we had waken up at 6am in Boracay in order to cross the half-mile channel from Boracay to Caticlan and then catch the boat from Caticlan to Santa Fe. After that we would then drive from Santa Fe to Looc, where we would hire a jeepney to take us to San Agustin on the far eastern corner of Tablas in order to catch the boat to Romblon island the next day. The last 2 hours were on another dilapidated jeepney , with a driver definitely madder than the previous one . The scenes remained as authentic and original as in the previous leg of our journey and without a sight of another Westerner, except us, for the whole day. Magnifico! As we approach our final destination–S...Read More