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Get to Know a Hometown: Series 1
San Agustin: Scenic Getaway Town of Tablas Island

By Mario M. Mancuyas
Public Information Office II
San Agustin, Romblon

Mayor Lourdes Corpin Madrona
recently launched a public information campaign to promote the tourism potentials
of her scenic town of San Agustin in response to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's
call for grassroots approach to the industry.

How do you fall in love with a place? By getting to know it first of course. So folks, get to know San Agustin...


San Agustin was known as Badajoz during Spanish time until the middle of the 20th Century. Don Jose Terran, Spanish Governor of Romblon, named it Badajoz after his native Spanish town. The name was changed to San Agustin in honor of the town's patron saint.

In pre-Spanish time it was named Guintigui-an because there abounded fish called "tigue". Natives built a cotta or fort at Payong-payong Hill, which served as guard post for raiding Moro pirates. The remaining limestone wall of this Cotta is still intact as of these days in Barangay Cagboaya.



San Agustin is in the northeastern part of Tablas Island. It is bounded on the north by the Municipality of Calatrava, on the South by the Municipality of Sta. Maria, on the east by the Romblon Pass facing the Romblon capital town and on the west by the Municipality of San Andres. San Agustin has the second highest mountain peak, the volcano-shaped Mount Payaopao, overlooking the Carmen Bay where the Sunken Galleon was submerged.

San Agustin is a fifth class municipality with total land area of 8,405 hectares. It is composed of 15 rural villages called Barangays. Mountain range shields the town from southeasterly monsoon but is completely and barely exposed to northeasterly typhoons.


Population of San Agustin is 21,160 as of 1999. 3,362 live in the town proper or Barangay Poblacion. Residents are mostly of Tagalog, Bicol, and Visayan ethnic origins.

Economic Profile:

The people of San Agustin engage in the following agricultural and small-scale industrial occupations:

" Coconut farming
" Livestock raising
" Fishing
" Rice farming
" Agriculture
" Forest products
" Mining
" Marble products

San Agustin has mineral resources such as marble, granite, clay, gravel and sand. There are also cottage industries such as ruffia production (bags, baskets, mats, hats, etc.) rattan and nitto basket and plate weaving.

Power Supply:

Almost 45% of the households in San Agustin have electric service provided by NAPOCOR and TIELCO (Tablas Island Electric Cooperative).

Water Supply:

San Agustin has a level 3 water supply. It has 2 community irrigation projects with 50 service areas.


San Agustin has 14 public elementary schools, two private high schools, 1 national high school. It has one college under RSC - San Agustin Campus.


San Agustin has its own hospital (Tablas Island Emergency Hospital) and 4 Barangay Health Stations.


Public utility vehicles such as jeepneys (PUJ), tricycles and pedicabs locally known as "padyak" are the main modes of land transportation in San Agustin.


San Agustin has PLDT, Liberty, RCPI, and Bayantel long distance communication facilities.


The people have three festivals, namely: the Agbayan Festival which is held during the month of May, the Kalipayan Festival (Biniray and street dancing) during the month of August in celebration of the feast of Saint Augustine, and the Sabwagan Festival every month of July at Barangay Carmen.

Scenic Places to See:

Dubduban and Bita Falls - Located at the border of Barangay Dubduban and Bita, in the town of San Agustin. The seven-tiered falls lies amidst dense watershed vegetation and cool surroundings. The first tier is on top of a hill with a 70-foot fall to a deep pool of clear blue-green waters. The bottom tier ends in a shallow pool of water. The year-round water supply of San Agustin comes from upstream Bita watershed.

Mahabang Baybay (Long Beach) - A long, wide sandy beach located at the foot of Mount Payaopao. It is also a rich fishing ground.

Sunken Spanish Galleon - This site located at the Carmen Bay is recommended for sea explorers, treasure hunters and scuba divers.

Kambaye Beach Resort - White long sandy shore with cottages and amenities for comfort of tourists located in Barangay Binongaan. The place provides a full view of Romblon Island and Mt. Guiting-guiting in Sibuyan Island in the background.

Trangkalan Grotto and 14 Stations of the Cross Icons - This sacred place can be found in Barangay Bachawan. The place offers a tranquil atmosphere for the religious tourists.

Cawayan Park - This terrain is hilly and thickly forested, making it a good hunting ground for wildlife birds, wild boars and monkeys.

Punta Gorda Stairways - Concrete steps from the shoreline to the mountaintop were constructed by the national government in 1950. It is one of the most beautiful tourist spots in the area.

Dubduban and Bita Falls

Mahabang Baybay (Long Beach)
                                  Kambaye Beach Resort                                    Trangkalan Grotto
How to Get There:

Plane trip (Manila-Tugdan Airport) - The flight from Manila to Tugdan Airport is less than an hour. The drive to San Agustin from the airport is less than an hour.

Ferry Boat Trip (Manila-Odiongan) - For those who take the leisurely 10-hour boat ride either on Virgin Mary or Mary the Queen of MBRS Lines from Manila's Pier 8 to the Port of Odiongan. The Virgin Mary departs every Monday and Friday at 5:00 pm. The Mary the Queen departs Pier 8 every Wednesday at 5:00 pm. Going to San Agustin is a two-hour jeepney ride through lush and farmland scenery.

Ferry Boat Trip (Batangas-Odiongan) - Take Viva Shipping boats, which depart every Wednesday and Friday at 4:00 pm, the Montenegro Lines which depart every Sunday and Tuesday at 5:00 pm, or the Princess Colleen which departs every Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 5:00 pm. From Manila one may take the shuttle bus, vans for hire or private cars.

Where to Stay in San Agustin:

Accommodation can be availed at the August Inn, Dona Julita Madrigal Lodge, Montesa Lodging House, Felnor Lodge and the Kamella Lodge & Restaurant.

For more information contact the San Agustin Tourism Information and Souvenir Center.