The Enchanted Island of Romblon
Map of Romblon with Concepcion highlighted
|Region||MIMAROPA (Region IV-B)|
|• Mayor||Lemuel F. Cipriano (Lakas–CMD)|
|• Vice Mayor||Medrito F. Fabreag, Jr. (Independent)|
|• Councilors||Merdonio F. Fabella, Jr.
Bernaldo F. Ferriol
Neil L. Falculan
Samuel F. Famarin
Angelita F. Fabellore
Reinhart F. Famarin
Jeofrey F. Ferranco
|• Total||19.82 km2 (7.65 sq mi)|
|• Density||220/km2 (580/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+8)|
Concepcion started as a small village founded in 1570 by the Spanish colonization forces led by Martin de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo, upon orders from then Spanish Governor-General of the Philippines, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. The village was named after the Immaculate Concepcion. Throughout the Spanish era, the village was administered as part of Banton municipality on nearby Banton Island.
In 2 July 1907, during the American colonization of the Philippines, Concepcion was elevated to municipal status but was incorporated as part of Mindoro province after Romblon was abolished and incorporated as part of Capiz province. However, on 10 March 1917, Romblon was reinstated as a separate province, and thus, Concepcion was incorporated back to the province.
In 8 June 1940, the special municipality of Maghali was established upon passage of Commonwealth Act No. 581 (authored by Congressman Leonardo Festin). This demoted Concepcion and Corcuera from their municipality status and incorporated into the new municipality with its capital in Banton. In 26 May 1946, the special municipality was abolished through the passage of Republic Act No. 38 (authored by Congressman Modesto Formelleza), and by 1 January 1947, Concepcion regained its municipal status which it still holds today.
Among the islands of Romblon, Concepcion is the farthest from the provincial capital. It is also far from the nearest commercial capital, Odiongan. It takes five hours to travel between Concepcion and Romblon thus making it difficult for provincial executives to visit the island municipality. The nearest municipality from Concepcion is Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro, which is only two hours by boat. Hence, most Sibalenhons buy and sell their products in this town instead of Odiongan or Romblon.
In the past, there have been attempts to secede Concepcion from Romblon and re-annex it to Oriental Mindoro. On 16 March 1924, Act No. 3131 was introduced in Congress seeking to re-annex the municipality to Oriental Mindoro but it didn't push through. More recently, in 2014, town mayor Lemuel Cipriano expressed that "90% of Concepcion's 4,500 population are seeking to be re-annexed to Oriental Mindoro". In order to be re-annexed, a resolution calling for a referendum in the island must be filed in Congress by Romblon congressman Eleandro Jesus Madrona. Oriental Mindoro governor Alfonso Umali Jr. and Second District Congressman Reynaldo Umali have expressed support for a possible referendum.
Concepcion is located on Maestro de Campo Island (also known as Sibale to its inhabitants) which is the westernmost island of the province and only 20 kilometres (12 mi) off the coast from Mindoro. The island is mountainous with steep shores. Its settlements are dispersed along the coast with the poblacion on the south shore. The island's interior is jagged and forested, with caves, clear rivers, unique rock formations, and hills that offer breathtaking views. Every village has its own cove and wholesome white sand beaches ideal for swimming and scuba diving.
- San Pedro (Agbatang)
- San Vicente
According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 4,445 people. Majority of its inhabitants speak the local dialect, Bantoanon, which is also spoken in the nearby islands of Banton and Simara. Sibalenhons, as the islanders call themselves, are predominantly Roman Catholic with a small percentage of Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Iglesia ni Cristo.
|Population census of Concepcion|
|Source: National Statistics Office|
Pursuant to Chapter II, Title II, Book III of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, the municipal government is composed of a mayor (alkalde), a vice-mayor (bise alkalde) and members (kagawad) of the legislative branch Sangguniang Bayan alongside a secretary to the said legislature, all of which are elected to a three-year term and are eligible to run for three consecutive terms. The following are the elected officials of Concepcion for the term 2013-2016
The incumbent mayor is Lemuel F. Cipriano from the Lakas–CMD party, while the vice mayor is independent candidate, Medrito F. Fabreag, Jr.
The mountains and the forest offer mountain trekkers new challenge. The lush foliage will take the breath away from first time mountaineers. The beaches offer wonderful dive spots. Tropical coral reef systems surround the island. Old folk believe they share the forest and coves with enchanted beings.
Each of the island's nine barangays has its own cove with a palm-fringed white sand beach front. The entire island is ideal for swimming and scuba diving. The island's coast is a divers delight. Notable are the beaches along Tongo point and Banderahan point. The island's interior hills, stretching five to nine kilometer, offer good trails for hiking and climbing. The island hills are also a favorite of motor-cross biking enthusiasts. Other places of interest in the island include:
- Mount Banderahan: American soldiers in the early 20th century climbed the island's mountain and planted an American flag. The flagpole, hewed in a big stone, is a landmark sought out by mountain climbers.
- Tinigban Falls: The fall site is an exotic rock formation amid lush greenery. An Old Spanish encomendero once built a mansion here, embedding a mirror into a huge rock so he could have a full view of the waterfalls from his bathroom.
- Matudtod Cave: Ancient skeletal remains and artifacts were found in this cave.
- Quebrada Beach: Quebrada beach facing the town of Concepcion, scalloping the cove with its white sand and wonderful rock formation.
- "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
- "Province: Romblon". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
- "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.
- Maestro de Campo History Maestro de Campo Dive Resort. Retrieved on 14 April 2012
- Fallarme, Eufronio (February 2006). "Sibale: A Misannexed Municipality". Sanrokan News Magazine. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- Evora, Robert (12 March 2014). "Sibale seeks town cut-off". Manila Standard Today. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "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.
- "An Act Providing for a Local Government Code of 1991". 8th Congress of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
- Milex, Fabula (2001). "Profile: Concepcion, Romblon". Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- Philippine Standard Geographic Code
- Philippine Census Information
- Local Governance Performance Management System
- Sibale Online Community
|Gloria, Oriental Mindoro / Sibuyan Sea||Sibuyan Sea / Banton|
|Sibuyan Sea||Sibuyan Sea / Corcuera|