Banton, Romblon

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(From top, left to right) Banton Island, Punta Matagar, Banton town as viewed from the pier, the pristine waters of Macat-ang Beach
(From top, left to right) Banton Island, Punta Matagar, Banton town as viewed from the pier, the pristine waters of Macat-ang Beach
Map of Romblon with Banton highlighted
Map of Romblon with Banton highlighted
Banton is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 12°57′N 122°05′E / 12.950°N 122.083°E / 12.950; 122.083Coordinates: 12°57′N 122°05′E / 12.950°N 122.083°E / 12.950; 122.083
Country Philippines
Region MIMAROPA (Region IV-B)
Province Romblon
District Lone district
Founded 1622
Barangays 17
 • Mayor Jory F. Faderanga (NP)
 • Vice Mayor Romulo F. Faz Sr. (NPC)
 • Total 32.48 km2 (12.54 sq mi)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 5,963
 • Density 180/km2 (480/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
Zip Code 5515
Dialing code 42

Banton (formerly Jones) is a fifth class municipality in the province of Romblon, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 5,963 people.[3]


Banton is composed of the main island of Banton and the uninhabited islands of Bantoncillo, and the Dos Hermanas Islands (Two Sisters), composed of Carlota and Isabel. Its total land area is 3,248 hectares.[4] The main island has a mountainous and rocky topography due to its volcanic origin, hence the name Banton which is from the Asi word Batoon, meaning "rocky".[5]


Banton is politically subdivided into 17 barangays.[4] In 1954, the sitios of Mahaba, Angomon, Solocan, Kapanranan, and Yabawon were consolidated into the barrio known as Yabawon.[6]

  • Balogo
  • Banice
  • Hambi-an
  • Lagang
  • Libtong
  • Mainit
  • Nabalay
  • Nasunogan
  • Poblacion
  • Sibay
  • Tan-Ag
  • Toctoc
  • Togbongan
  • Togong
  • Tungonan
  • Tumalum
  • Yabawon


The island is already inhabited during pre-colonial times as proven by ancient artifacts found in caves in the island in 1936 by a team of researchers from the National Museum. The artifacts include wooden coffins which date back to the 13th up to the 14th century AD. These coffins feature skeletal remains wrapped in a traditional burial cloth or ikat, which is the oldest burial cloth found in Southeast Asia. These artifacts are now preserved at the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila.[7][8]

The municipality of Banton was established by Spanish colonial authorities in 1622, within the confines of a limestone fort erected under the leadership of Fr. Agustin de San Pedro, also known as El Padre Capitan, in 1621. The fort has since been named Fuerza de San Jose and protected the town from Muslim raids during that time.

In 1644, a limestone Catholic church was completed, and in 1648, San Nicolas de Tolentino was installed as the town's patron saint.[5]

In 1918, the municipality was renamed Jones in honor of Congressman William Jones, who authored the Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916, which provided for greater autonomy for the Philippines under American colonial rule.[9] In 1959, the island was restored to its former name. [10]


Population census of Banton
Year Pop.   ±% p.a.  
1980 7,362 —    
1990 7,077 −0.39%
1995 6,069 −3.03%
2000 6,769 +2.21%
2007 6,799 +0.06%
2010 5,963 −4.28%
Source: National Statistics Office[11]

Local government[edit]

The following are the elected officials of Banton, Romblon for the term 2013 - 2016:[12]

  • Mayor: Jory F. Faderanga (NP)
  • Vice-Mayor: Romulo F. Faz Sr. (LP)
  • Councilors:
    • Pershing F. Fabellon (Independent)
    • Perfing F. Fabonan (Independent)
    • Jeff F. Famadico (NP)
    • Boron F. Familara (Independent)
    • Loi F. Fegalan (NP)
    • Landoy F. Fetalvero (NP)
    • Patricio F. Flores (LP)
    • Boy F. Fonte (NP)


Fuerza San Jose

Banton has a primarily agricultural economy, with copra farming and fishing as the main sources of livelihood. There is also an indigenous raffia palm handicraft industry. Other crops grown in the island are root crops (such as cassava, sweet potatoes), fruits and vegetables. The locals also engage in livestock raising for local consumption, and small-scale shipbuilding of wooden boats and launches. Due to the island's rocky topography and lack of a stable supply of freshwater, rice production is difficult in the island. Rice from Mindoro, Marinduque or Quezon is supplied to the island by local traders. In recent years, the island has also become a small tourist hub for Asi expatriates and foreign tourists from the United States and other countries.[13]

Transportation and communication[edit]

Banton is accessible via wooden launches and motorized boats that regularly travel from Lucena City, Quezon. Tourists and visitors can also take RORO vessels that ply the Manila-Odiongan or Batangas City-Odiongan route. From Odiongan, Banton can be reached by jeepney and motorized boat via Calatrava, Romblon. Another RORO route is from Lucena City to Boac or Mogpog in Marinduque. From these towns, travelers can take jeepneys to Buenavista, which is only three hours away from Banton. Another alternative route is through Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro by motorized boats.[13]

Via air, the closest airport with active airline service is Tugdan Airport in Alcantara, Romblon. From Alcantara, Banton can be reached in 5–6 hours by jeepney and motorized boats from Calatrava.[13]

Within the island, the main forms of transportation are passenger motorcycles (known elsewhere as habal-habal) and motorized boats. A circumferential road connects the 17 barangays of Banton to each other.[13]

The island has access to cellular phone signal from Smart and Globe. Terrestrial and cable television service is also available. Electricity in the island is supplied by the Banton Electric Cooperative. However, electricity service is only available at night, from 5:00 to 11:00 p.m., and early morning, from 4:00 to 6:00 a.m. due to limited supply of fuel for the town's power generator.[13]


Tabunan Beach

Banton has a well-preserved natural environment and high potential for eco-tourism. Some places of interest in the island include:

  • Fuerza de San Jose: A 15th century limestone fort in Brgy. Poblacion erected by the Spanish to protect Banton from Muslim raids.
  • Church of San Nicolas de Tolentino: A limestone church in Brgy. Poblacion erected in 1644 and is considered one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in the Philippines. It serves as the island's primary Catholic church.
  • Asi Studies Center for Culture and the Arts: Located in Brgy. Poblacion, it serves as an information center for the Asi language, Banton history, and preservation of Banton's cultural heritage and natural environment.
  • Punta Matagar: A pointed rock formation at the edge of Brgy. Poblacion in the main town.
  • Guyangan Hill: This rocky hill in Brgy. Toctoc is home to some caves such as Ipot Cave where remains of early Banton settlers were found in 1936.
  • Macat-ang Beach: A cute beach of fine, golden sand in Brgy. Mainit, not far from a local fish sanctuary. The public can rent huts and picnic umbrellas in the beach from the barangay government.
  • Tabonan Beach: This beach in Brgy. Yabawon is Banton’s Best Tourist Site in the 2003 Site Development Contest sponsored by Banton 2003. It has a long stretch of fine, golden sands. There is an uninhabited islet a few meters from the shore.
  • Tambak Beach: Located in Brgy. Banice, it is a beach of fine, white sand (finer than Boracay) with shallows extending far into the sea.
  • Recodo Beach: This beach of fine white sand in Brgy. Balogo lies in the middle of a cove with a near-perfect arc.
  • West Side, Northwest Wall, and Times Square: World-class reefs in the island, perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving.


  1. ^ "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Province: Romblon". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010". 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Municipality: Banton". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Banton: Brief History". Banton Official Website. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "R.A. No. 1014". An Act Creating the Barrio of Yabawon in the Municipality of Jones, Province of Romblon. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Ocampo, Ambeth (19 October 2011). "Looking Back: History and design in Death Blankets". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Collections: Banton Cloth". National Museum of the Philippines. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  9. ^ Buencamino, Felipe & Villamor, Ignacio (1920). Census of the Philippine Islands Taken Under the Direction of the Philippine Legislature in the Year 1918, Volume 1. Bureau of Printing. 
  10. ^ "R. A. No. 2158". An Act Changing the Name of the Municipality of Jones, province of Romblon, to municipality of Banton. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  11. ^ "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities". 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "Partial Unofficial Results: Banton, Romblon". 2013 Philippine Polls Results. Rappler. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d e Fabonan III, Epi (29 May 2009). "Banton Island". Tourism Philippines. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 

External links[edit]