After visiting the beaches of Carabao Island in Romblon, as part of our Mt Guiting-Guiting post-climb recovery, we decided to visit one final beach in Romblon before heading home to Manila – Aglicay. After catching an early morning banca from Carabao Island back to Santa Fe, Tablas, we rode a Looc-bound jeep as far as the intersection where the road to Alcantara branches off. We alighted here and prepared to wait for the next jeep going to Alcantara.
While looking for a sari-sari store to buy some noodles for breakfast, I met one of the locals, Arthur “Art” Serazpi, who invited us back to his place for breakfast. Art and his mother were incredibly friendly and hospitable, and overwhelmed us with their generosity. For breakfast they cooked for us the pancit canton that we bought and served us bananas, rice cakes, sineguelas, buko juice, fresh crabs, and shrimps and when we couldn’t eat any more they packed some into bags for us to take away. True Filipino hospitality at its best – many thanks to Serazpi family!
Pathway to the viewpoint.
Art also has family living near Aglicay Resort and offered to take us there on his motorcycle. That turned out to have been very fortunate, as the resort is quite a long way off the main road where the jeepney stops. Art proudly showed us the colorful mural he had designed and painted on a shelter along the way in Barangay Comod-om – he is truly “Art” by name as well as by nature.
Aglicay Beach Resort is located just south of the town of Alcantara on the east coast of Tablas Island, which is part of the Romblon group of islands in the Philippines. It has its own private beach which is lovely although it has obviously been “engineered” somewhat to extend the sand back further inland from the water. There are many facilities available at the resort including volleyball, snorkel hire, pool table, badminton, videoke, conference facilities, restaurant and bar. Day visits to the resort are also allowed for a fee.
The beach at Aglicay is beautiful, boasting fine white sand and palm lined shores, and is very nice for swimming at high tide, although at low tide the sea grass that lies just off shore is exposed and a little too close to the water line for swimming. Charles was not able to find much coral and marine life to see just off the beach while snorkelling, despite the claims of the resort’s website – perhaps he wasn’t looking in the right place? He thought he had seen a seasnake, however, although he didn’t hang around long enough to find out for sure!
There is also a short walk that you can do starting from the end of the beach to the top of the headland which affords great views over the beach and along the coastline. It’s a little steep, but definitely worth the effort.
The rooms are fairly spacious, clean and comfortable and, at P1000 per night (negotiated off peak rate) are good value for money. There is a restaurant that serves good (but fairly expensive) food. We enjoyed a set dinner and some drinks before indulging in some karaoke with Art when he dropped by later that night.
Aglicay is a great resort to relax for a few days and is probably the best resort on Tablas Island. However, it’s hard to recommend it as a “destination” in it’s own right. But if you’re touring around Romblon and you’re looking for a nice resort to chill at for a while, it should definitely be on your itinerary even if it’s just for a day trip.
How to Get There
You first need to get to Tablas Island, Romblon. There are numerous ways to get there, depending on where you’re coming from:
From Manila: Fly (SEAIR) to Tugdan or catch a SuperFerry or MBRS ferry to Odiongan
From Romblon: Catch a Montenegro ferry to San Augustin
From Boracay (Caticlan): Catch a ferry to Odiongan, Looc or Santa Fe
Once in Tablas, you need to catch a jeep to Alcantara. From there hire a tricycle or habal-habal to take you direct to the resort. Note that the resort is quite a long distance from the main road, so it’s not advisable to simply alight from the jeepney at the turnoff unless you have made prior arrangements to be picked up from there – best go all the way in to Alacantara and negotiate transport from there.
For more information and up to date prices please refer to the official Aglicay website [http://www.aglicaybeachresort.com] or call them directly on one of the following numbers:
0915 425 6898 / 0919 634 6708
0906 481 3470 / (02) 937 5064