Romblon Foundation Day

Romblon Foundation Day is observed in the province of Romblon, Philippines every 16th of March. It celebrates the establishment of Romblon as an independent province in 1901. The date is a special non-working holiday by virtue of Republic Act No. 9642 signed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on June 11, 2009.

Romblon is also known for the Biniray Festival and Romblon Marble Festival every January.

History of Romblon

Several stories are available that try to ascertain the origin of the name Romblon. It may have evolved from lomlom (local word for a hen sitting on the eggs in a nest), from roblon (a Spanish word for screw that describes the screw-like feature of the mainland) or from doubloon (a Spanish coin).

The province of Romblon belongs to the Southwestern Tagalog or Mimaropa that consisted of Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan. It is made of several islands: the mainland Romblon, Tablas, Sibuyan, Corcuera, Banton, Concepcion, and San Jose.

These islands were inhabited long before colonization of the Philippine archipelago. The early natives were the Negritoes and Mangyans who travelled from Panay and Mindoro, respectively. Artifacts that were unearthed by experts revealed a rich, pre-colonial culture. Their population lessened as time went by, and their descendants live in remote interiors of Tablas and Sibuyan.

The Spaniard named Martin de Goiti reached the islands as early as 1569. According to the instruction given to him by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, he explored the seas north of Western Visayas and arrived in the islands of Romblon and Mindoro. At the outset of the colonization, Romblon was designated as an encomienda managed by the authorities in Arevalo (Iloilo).

In the next century, missionaries arrived that marked the beginning of the Christianization of the natives. The diocesan clergy oversaw the erection of the church in Banton in 1622 followed by the church in Romblon in 1631. However, these islands were exposed to the attacks coming from the sea particularly the destruction left by the Dutch invaders in 1646 and the frequent raids by the Moro pirates from the Philippine south.

The mission was given over to the Augustinian Recollects. The Recollect friars fortified the coastal areas by building fortresses, towers, and stone churches, and launching a military-like training program that prepared the townsfolk to defend themselves and their property from armed conflicts and seaborne assaults.

When Capiz was organized in 1716, Romblon seceded from Iloilo and was annexed to Capiz as a sub-province, a status under which it remained until the end of the Spanish period.

During the American colonial era, Romblon was made into an independent province by virtue of Act No. 105, otherwise known as “AN ACT EXTENDING THE PROVISIONS OF THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT ACT TO THE PROVINCE OF ROMBLON, AS THEREIN DEFINED.” The law was enacted on March 16, 1901; this is the date upon which the yearly Romblon Foundation Day is based.

However, its economy was insufficient to sustain a provincial government and it was re-absorbed to Capiz through the passage of Act No. 1665 on July 2, 1907. It was re-established as a separate province pursuant to Act No. 2724 that was passed on December 7, 1917.

The entire province was reorganized by abolishing existing towns and establishing four municipalities, namely Tablas, Romblon, Maghali, and Sibuyan, through Commonwealth Act No. 581 which was enacted without executive approval on June 8, 1940. This was overturned in post-war years when Republic Act No. 38 was passed on October 1, 1946 that restored the earlier municipalities.

Romblon Foundation Day Activities

Activities of the one-day event includes a agri-trade bazaar, night market, job fair, and other

How to reach Romblon

The most convenient way is to take a flight from Manila Airport to Tugdan Airport, the only airport in the province. Alternatively, take a bus from Metro Manila (Cubao or Buendia) to Batangas and from its RORO port take a ferry to the island-province of Romblon.


Romblon Foundation Day Summary

NameRomblon Foundation Day
CelebrationFounding anniversary
Contact0948 576 3992
DateMarch 16
OrganizerProvincial Government of Romblon