Romblon StateU SSC partakes bloodletting activity

RSUThe Supreme Student Council (SSC) of the Romblon State University organized a bloodletting project at the campus’s quadrangle and at the Community Outreach Center, Dec. 11.

The activity was initiated by Alice Fetalvero, chairperson of the Romblon Provincial Blood Council, with the cooperation of the local government of Romblon, particularly from Governor Eduardo C. Firmalo and also from Dr. Arnulfo de Luna, RSU president.

The bloodletting aims to open the minds of the students to help save the lives of other people by donating blood. It also aims to encourage fellow students to share the same advocacy of helping those in needs, and to participate in every activity conducted.

The activity started at 8 o’clock in the morning and ended at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.



A Malaria-free Romblon for 2013


The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that the province of Romblon is now malaria-free as of the month of December from its further investigation and experiment August of the current year.

According to the research of the department, there have been no cases of malari in the province because of the strong advocacy of the present administration in preventing the spread of this deathly disease. Furthermore, the local government of Romblon has its newest program entitled, “Traveling Net Campaign” that would control the malaria promulgation.

The national advocacy against malaria had for its theme, “Saving Lives, Preventing Deaths, and Sustaining Against Malaria.” It was based on the Long-Lasting Insecticide-Treated Net or LLIN which symbolizes the malaria control program in the local and international areas.

According to Governor Eduardo C. Firmalo, the campaign against the disease was prioritized by the local government that resulted to a higher level of awareness to the residents to ensure their safety from the mosquitoes carrying malaria fever.

The program aims to: 1. acquire support from other local provinces to strengthen the campaign; 2. massive awareness for the residents about the infectious disease and how to treat it immediately as well as to prevent it in the first place, and; 3. help one another destroy the mosquitoes’ habitat to control their reproduction.

Meanwhile, according to the LLIN organizer, the campaign was similar to Tony Blair Foundation for the information dissemination strategy that reached mainland Africa to fully stop, or control, the malaria infection.


DOST aid to local biz in Romblon reach P6.414M

DOSTODIONGAN, Romblon, Dec 26 (PIA) — The Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (Setup) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has funds worth P6.414 million to 21 Romblon micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in 2012. The funds are aimed to provide innovation system support to the MSMEs.

Among the beneficiaries were Libertad Women’s MPC (P75,000), Marquez Marble Craft (P250,000), S&Y Herbal Products (P235,000), Gabute’s Musical Instruments (P215,000), Popoy’s Miki Manufacturing (P180,000), Sammy Woodpecker Furniture Shop (P300,000), Rose Delicacy (P250,000), and Y2JB Haberdashery (P400,000). These amounts came from part of the 2011 Setup budget for Romblon.

In 2012, the program underwent several changes. The program director, Usec Carol M. Yorobe, authorized the regional directors to approve Setup projects amounting to P2 million. With this development, Director Ma. Josefina P. Abilay of DOST Mimaropa fast-tracked the review and approval of regional proposals, thus project proposals from Romblon and other provinces were acted upon promptly. In July, the checks for the following were released: MD Homeworks (P488,000), St. Cletus Casketry (P300,000), Sibuyan Ferro Woodcraft (P482,000), Lilec Native Delicacies (P160,000), and Kaven Shoes (P400,000).

The next batch of releases came in October for the following: Bread and Baker’s Haven (P600,000), Aquel Iron Works (P255,000), Lanibee Food Haus (P300,000), and JM Romblon Siopao (P100,000). Finally the last batch of releases came in December with the handover of checks to Sta. Maria Arts and Crafts (P359,000), Gacu’s Rewinding and Injection Pump Calibration (P95,000), Steve and Jade Junkshop (P370,000), and Mama’s Yami Deli Foods (P600,000).

The Setup innovation system support was provided for productivity improvement through process mechanization for the different firms mentioned. Equipment needed by the different firms for speeding up work or improving the quality of output were purchased under the program. Product quality enhancement through the provision of packages and labels were also included under the program. Moreover, institutional support like the provision of training and consultancies were also provided to firms that needed them. The program proponents hope that with increased productivity of the MSMEs, more folks in Romblon would be employed by the assisted firms. On a national scale, this would translate to more Filipinos getting jobs.

Romblon now has 47 Setup-assisted firms, second in number only to Occidental Mindoro in the Mimaropa region. The Mimaropa Region is one of the leading regions in terms of number of Setup projects. For 2013, the Romblon Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC) targets another 11 Setup beneficiaries with an allotted fund of P5.2 million. To avail of the program, firms must be operating for at least three years and are duly registered as legitimate business enterprises. The PSTC hopes to have at least two Setup-assisted projects per municipality by 2015. The assistance is payable in three years without interest. The Romblon PSTC records the highest repayment rate in the region, which proved what Secretary Mario G. Montejo of DOST says “Investment in technology pays”. (Contributed by Dr. Bilshan F. Servañez/DM/LBR/PIA-IVB/Romblon)

Tara na! Let’s cook dishes Romblon Style

Romblon has many famous dishes that only Romblomanon can cook. Tourists, local and international, visit the province just to experience such delight in eating these foods.

Here are two of the well-known dishes in Romblon, together with their simple ways of cooking:




1 pound of frozen orange roughy filet
1 red onion
1 cucumber
2 tomatoes
1 cup palm vinegar
2 jalapeno peppers
2 tbps of mayonnaise
2-3 pcs. lemons.

Slice the orange roughy filet into I inch cubes; mix fish with a cup of palm vinegar and squeeze carefully. Discard the juice; mix in a bowl sliced/diced onion, cucumber, tomatoes, pepper, mayonaise; salt to taste. Be liberal/generous with the ginger. Add lemon juice – kalamansi is recommended. Chill before serving. Served ala sushi style, it is good as an appetizer, pulutan or sumsuman.

Contributed by: Lino Galdo
Maasin City, Southern Leyte.
Note: Lino’s recipe has been going its rounds in the absence of fresh tuna (tanguige) and angel fish (budos) among a circle of his Romblomanon friends in Elmhurst, Illinois.

(Dely Ferrera’s “quickie” Inaslom, an Asi version of bulang-lang)

Boil a cup of fresh anchovies (lambiyong); add malunggay leaves about 2 1/2 cups;add onions, small garlic, kalamansi juice and salt to taste. Add labuyo if you wish and serve hot.

Or, mix any number of vegetables – squash, camotemanunggay, green onions into a boiling pot of water with a choice of bagoong, dried fish, dried shrimp or fresh fish.


Experience the famous Sarsa a la Romblon

One of my favorite food which is I think only can be found in Romblon because I’ve ask Filipinos from other provinces and they have never heard of this dish.. Sarsa is made from coconut with chilis and very tiny shrimps caught in the river/streams. It is wrap in a coconut leaf and then boiled. When I go to Romblon, I always eat this. I ask my relatives and friends to watch out for people who sell this. They usually just go around town and yells, “Sarsa, sarsa, sarsa.” Hmmm, can’t wait to go back and eat this again, with rice of course. 🙂

Romblon Sets Celebration of National Heritage Month

National Heritage Month in Marble Stone

This year’s celebration of May as National Heritage Month opened in Romblon, setting the annual NCCA-led festivities in, so to speak, in marble stone.

Leading the themed celebration – “Taoid: Crossing, Caring, Carrying on…” – is NCCA’s Subcommission on Cultural Heritage (SCH), headed by Regalado Trota Jose. This year, the theme is aimed at giving us “a glimpse of the legacies of the past and how it remains to shape the present and the future.” It is also “a recognition and celebration of the different aspects of our national cultural heritage – our traditional art forms and practices, important cultural structures both movable and immovable, and other objects of national importance whether tangible or intangible.”

Primarily known as the country’s leading producer of quality marble, Romblon is also home to many heritage sites. Located at the southern part of the Luzon island-cluster, the province is composed of 20 islands strewn on the Sibuyan Sea, with the islands of Romblon, Tablas and Sibuyan as the major ones. It is composed of 17 municipalities, namely, Alcantara, Banton, Cajidiocan, Calatrava, Concepcion, Corcuera, Ferrol, Looc, Magdiwang, Odiongan, Romblon, San Agustin, San Andres, San Fernando, San Jose, Santa Fe and Santa Maria.

With Romblon’s abundant natural and cultural heritage, the NCCA together with local government officials saw fit to create from here a broad based awareness campaign for the heritage to be valued, owned and used by the people.

Among the heritage sites here are the 18th-century Cathedral of San Jose in the capital town of Romblon in Romblon Island, one of the 37 colonial churches declared as National Cultural Treasures; Fort San Andres; the old municipal hall; 18th-century Spanish bridges; and heritage houses.

The launch happened last May 1 and 2, opening with an archaeological exhibit at the Romblon Capitol Building, accompanied by a culinary festival, a weaving demonstration and a marble sculpture demonstration.

The formal ceremonies began at sunset, graced by NCCA chairman Felipe M. De Leon, SCH Commissioner Regalado Trota Jose, SCH committee heads and members, SSCTA Commissioner Joycie Dorado-Alegre, Romblon governor Eduardo C. Firmalo, vice governor Manuel Madrid, Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Samuel Romero (representing congressman Eleandro Jesus Madrona) and other local officials.

A serenata at the courtyward of St. Joseph’s Cathedral was later held, featuring homegrown band 1622: Unang Usbor, which sang “Kabataang Subatey,” “Pailig” and “Oho;” tenor Marc Dexter F. Famini, who sang “Litrato nga Luma;” Ella Marie B. Muros, who gave a reading of the poems “Ikaw Lang Handum Ko” and “Mamay;” and Salvacion Malayo, who sang “Ang Imo Guintog-an nga Gugma,” “Maghirupay Kita” and “Lumabay nga daw Aso.”

The following day, there was a walking-tour of heritage sites in the town of Romblon, including St. Joseph’s Cathedral, the old Spanish cuartel, the old municipal building, Fuente de Belen, 18th-century Spanish bridges and selected old houses. The tour continued, visiting a mable quarry site, Fort San Andres, Fort Santiago and a secret tunnel.

The day ended with a lecture on the experience of the Tam-awan Artists’ Village in Baguio by Chit Asignacion.

The National Committee on Museums with representatives from the National Museum and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines proceeded to Banton Island the next day to assess its cultural properties.

Aside from the grand launch, there were also other National Heritage Month activities. The Cultural Mapping and Planning Workshop, facilitated by heritage management expert Eric B. Zerrudo, was held in March and April. Participated in by cultural workers, tourism officers and teachers of Romblon, the workshop aimed to “document the significance heritages of the province, not just as a cold reference of future generations but to adapt them in contemporary contexts towards the creation of a meaningful and enriching life of every Romblomanon.”

Conducted in Romblon and Odiongan, topics included heritage and development and natural heritage (March 22 to 23, 2012), built heritage (March 29 to 30), documentation of intangible heritage (March 30 and April 20), local history and movable heritage (April 20 to 21), and heritage and cultural tourism (April 27 to 28).

Incidentally, the SCH has decided to extend the celebration up to the end of the year with activities being lined up throughout the year. The closing of the celebration is set for December.

The NHMC steering committee is composed of Regalado Trota Jose, head of SCH and the National Committee on Archives; Imelda Loste, head of the National Committee on Art Galleries; Dr. Maria Nela Florendo, head of the National Committee on Historical Research; Antonio M. Santos, head of the National Committee on Libraries and Information Service; Dr. Jaime C. Laya, head of the National Committee on Monuments and Sites; and Dr. Antonio Julian Montalvan, head of the National Committee on Museums.

The NCCA Plan/Policy Formulation and Programming Division is headed by Marichu Tellano. The Heritage Section is headed by Urbana Cadiz, while the project director of the National Heritage Month celebration is Bely R. Ygot.

The National Heritage Month was also celebrated by the Filipino Heritage Festival, Inc. (FHFI), headed by Armita Rufino and Araceli Salas, with a lineup of activities that included exhibits, performances, heritage tours and traditional santacruzans.

Do you believe in genies? Join the Talabukon Festival in Looc, Romblon!

Talabukon Festival in Looc Romblon

During the 3rd week of April, the people of Romblon celebrates one of their festivals called the Talabukon Festival, particularly done in the town of Looc. Same as the other festivals in the province, it is done to honor the patron saint, Saint Joseph.

Another reason why the Romblomanon celebrate the said festival is to celebrate a genie who, according to town folks, saved their place, where the name of their town Looc was acquired (Looc means choke).

The fiesta features street dancing where different dancing prowess were shown by the town folks of almost all of the barangays in Looc. What make the festival even merrier are the colorful costumes and props used by the participants of the street dancing. The criteria for the said competition are the following: displaying dancing skills, artistic choreography, colorful costumes and props, replica of Talabukon and field demonstration/re-enactment of the myth.

Three excellent barangays win the contest.


Be part of the Amazing Sanrokan Festival!

is the age-old tradition of sharing food, particularly viand, to one’s neighbor practice by Bantoanons. In recent years, the word sanrokan has been romanticized to mean sharing, in general. This is then a festival of sharing.

The festival is a two-day celebration – it starts during Black Saturday and ends on Easter Sunday.

The festival started in 2003 as an initiative of the Municipal Government and the Executive Committee of the Banton 2003 Project.

The three major activities of the Sanrokan are the Sanrokan sa Barangay, the Hanrumanan (Street Dancing and Cultural Presentation), and the Sanrokan Night. Depending on the sponsoring groups and organizations, other activities are also held.

Sanrokan Sa Barangay

Barangay folks and visitors gather and share lunch at the Sanrokan venue bringing with them food and delicacies they have prepared. This is scheduled on Black Saturday. Sanrokan at Poblacion (town proper) takes place on Easter Sunday.

Sanrokan sa Barangay also showcases native food and delicacies.


Hanrumanan (Street Dancing and Cultural Presentation)

During Easter Sunday, tribal groups parade and dance around the town’s main streets, clad in ethnic and locally-made costumes. After the parade, its tribe presents a local or ethnic practice and tradition.

Hanrumanan (local term for souvenir / legacy), differs from other similar activities such as the ati-atihan because it portrays purely local traditions and practices. Banton is actually known for its rich cultural heritage.


Sanrokan Night

During the Sanrokan night, cultural program and contests are usually staged. It is followed by a public dance ball.

Saging + Niyog? Join the Saginyogan Festival of Alcantara, Romblon

Saginyogan FestivalThe Saginyogan Festival

                Alcantara, a place full of beautiful and wonderful creations of nature  which people should be proud of and thank God for. The plants in the garden, the trees along the roads and the clean surroundings. Everywhere natures invites one’s attention and admiration.                     Giving thanks to the Lord for all these creations comes in different ways. It maybe through songs, dances and festivals during a very important event of the year, the Fiesta.                 The Fiesta Executive Committee of 2010 thought of having a festival to praise and thank the Lord for some of the agricultural  sources of livelihood of the people in the municipality. The Banana and Coconut plants which are considered versatile in most Barangays were chosen to be the focus of  the festival for these plants have many uses. The organizers also took into account some of the positive factors that could help people give importance to these plants. The people must be motivated towards an awareness that saging and niyog could be a big contribution to enhance their living conditions especially, the farmers. Through a festival we could also awaken the people to use their skills in making use of the different parts of these plants.                     The Coco-Banana Festival was initially organized and presented in 2010 town fiesta. The presentation was participated in by the pupils from the different schools in the district of Alcantara. The presentation was in a form of a contest. However, the 2011 Fiesta Management thought of changing its title to Saginyogan Festival to make it common and striking to the community people; making the title different from other municipalities in the province having the same festival.                     Saginyogan Festival is an appropriate Festival for Alcantara because the classification made by the Department of Trade and Industry in OTOP (One Town One Product), the town is classified as one of the municipalities in the province of Romblon with coconut as its major farm product. It covers about 29% or 2069 hectares of the total land area and according to the DTI the production is estimated at 5 million nuts each year.                     Banana is another common farm product of the people which could easily grown in the type of soil the place has and it could be seen in the backyards in most of the residential lots of the people in the 12 barangayss.                     Making Saginyogan Festival as one of the important events or highlights during the fiesta and if promoted properly could bolster tourism in Alcantara in the days to come because of its significance and artistic attraction.
(Writen by: Ms. Nancy C. Lota)

Biniray Festival Features Romblomanon’s Faith to Patron Santo Nino

Biniray Festival
Biniray Festival

Biniray Festival is Romblon’s prestigious festival participated by Rombloanon every second week of January in honor of  Señor Santo Niño. It is just the same as the Sinulog Festival of Cebu which also depicts the strong faith of the residents to Roman Catholicism.


The festival features dancing and activities that makes every people’s faith to their patron saint stronger every minute. It is adorned with colorful designs and costumes which attract local and international tourist.

The flotilla of vessels which commemorate the Spanish galleons’ attempts to take away the Santo Niño highlights the festival even more. The fluvial procession circles Romblon Bay seven times in a reenactment of the Spaniards attempts.

The procession is then proceeded by another parade of the Santo Niño images. It is carried aroundtown in a carriage filled with beautiful flowers. People join the parade with their costumes and paint all over their face and body.

The Biniray Festival is one way of giving thanks to the residents’ bountiful life and prosperous economy.