People often talk about a "hidden paradise", but it is usually just an expression. In the case of Bonbon Beach, it's literally true. There is a tiny jungle trail to access it, and if you don't know exactly where it is, you could easily drive by the entire beach - without even knowing it's there. For this reason, Bonbon beach is a paradise you might get all to yourself...
Words & Photos By Nathan Allen
A Pristine Beach, Just Minutes From Romblon Town
Romblon Island, the middle of 3 islands in Romblon province, fast became one of my favorites anywhere in the Philippines. It's off the beaten tourist path...I rented a motorbike and circled the entire island, taking photographs along the way. Conveniently, Bonbon Beach is just a 10 minute drive south from Romblon Town proper. You'll follow the scenic coastline (pictured below).
With the help of some top secret info I received from the locals, I was able to locate the trail head and park my motorbike. A brief but beautiful trek through the jungle led me to an opening.
By the way, you can browse hotels in Romblon HERE
I found a few children playing here, on what turned out to be called "Margie's Beach". There are 3 beaches connected to each other: Tiamban Beach (to the left), Margie's Beach (pictured below), and Bonbon Beach, which is to the right.
Below are the small rocks you must climb over to access Bonbon Beach and sandbar. Romblon province is known as "the marble capital of the Philippines", and if you look closely at these rocks, you'll see some patches of white marble embedded there. Anyhow, I was excited to continue to Bonbon, because as you can see, it's quite beautiful.
I climbed up and sat under the shade of a coconut tree. What a view.
I suppose Bonbon Beach was named after this incredible "bonbon" shaped island at the other end of the sandbar. Unfortunately it was high tide, so the sandbar is not so visible in the picture below. I was able to get some natural framing with these palm tree silhouettes, though.
A word of warning: There are very sharp thorns in the brush along the beach. They come from the bush / tree below...the one on the left side of the photo. I wonder if anybody knows the name of this species? Anyhow, these thorns are LONG, and they can pierce bare feet or thin flip flops if you're not careful. Just be mindful.
I swam and snorkeled here (with my own mask). The pool pictured below is perfect for swimming, but there isn't a whole lot to see in terms of corals or fish. The sandbar is located to the right of here, and on the other side of the sandbar is a strong current. Swimming there (especially alone) was not recommended to me.
Anyhow, there is a beautiful view of "bonbon island", and you'll notice a few starfish here and there, which makes for a nice photo. I set my hammock up in the little bit of shade I could find and took a nap. I would return to this beach 3 more times before I left Romblon Island, and I only ran into a total of 4 other people. I had the beach to myself for the vast majority of the time.
I headed back to the trail at Margie's Beach, and found this friendly group of local kids playing in the water. I got back on my motorbike and continued around the island...but made sure to return for sunset.
Sunset on the Sandbar
The sun will go down behind the mountains, but you can still catch a spectacular sunset here. Pictured below are the silhouettes of a couple walking on the sandbar, while a fisherman in a small boat paddles nearby.
(Continued below, but I do hope you'll consider following along with me...)
I was so happy to catch a nice sunset like this on Bonbon beach. The tall coconut trees provided a perfect silhouette of paradise. These photos will keep me dreaming of Romblon for years to come...
How To Get To Bonbon Beach
As mentioned before, the beach is just a few minutes south of Romblon Town proper. I actually walked there, but keep in mind that it is 3 or 4kms, and quite hot. I walked because I love to take photographs along the way.
Apparently the reason it's hard to find is because the land between the beach and the road is privately owned, and they have fenced off the property. It would appear that the beach is private, too...but from what I hear, nobody is allowed to own the actual beaches in the Philippines.
So basically you'll be trespassing if you cross the private land, but if you access Tiamban or Margie's Beach and walk to Bonbon Beach, it is perfectly OK. At least, that's the story I heard:)
If you're in town and you rent a motorbike (I recommend asking JD&G Italian Restaurant), just pay attention to all the no trespassing signs...you'll start seeing them on the right side as the road gets more shady. Just before you go up a small hill, the signs end and you can find the tiny jungle trail on the right. You may see a trike or motorbike parked there.
This short trail will take you to Margie's Beach, where you can easily access Bonbon Beach as well. Please pack out all your trash, and enjoy this incredible place!
Looking for lodging? Stone Creek House is my recommendation for an awesome place to stay in Romblon Town. More general info on Romblon Island can be found in the related links below...
- Nathan Allen
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