The Romblon Marble Festival!

Natural Resource Bounty in Philippines
Fr. Agustin De San Pedro (Orsa), 1599-1660 was from Portugal and arrived in Manila in 1623. While in the Islam dominated area of Mindanao he had a war with the Sultan of Kudarat and was victorious. He was transferred to Romblon, Romblon where he built San Jose Cathedral and the two bulwarks to protect the Island from marauders among an array of structures.

Romblon, Republic of Philippines January 13, 2023–In the heart of the Philippine Archipelago is an island group with pristine white sand beaches and a major deposit of marble, for which the people celebrate each year with a festival! I was privileged to participate in this Filipino celebration and interviewed one of the largest marble factory owners in the country, Napoleon Makino, Jr.

Having already spent some time at nearby San Agustin Island, it cost P72 (About $2.00 USD) for senior fare on the ferry. She was very crowded ship and we traveled a few hours to reach Romblon Island–which is the seat of government for this region. Roosters in cardboard carriers were already bragging aloud on their way to upcoming legal cockfights.

The initial trip to San Agustin from mainland Luzon was at night.

A few days later we took a cross-channel ferry from San Agustine to Romblon Island, which is the seat of government. There we walked and rode tricycle to explore this ancient city, including a fort. We rode a tricycle to the Marble factory belonging to Makino and he graciously agreed to interview with me through an interpreter since he only speaks the Filipino Tagalog language.

We walked off the ferry and were greeted in the night by this structure. Shortly we also came to the Santo Nino Cathedral.

We rode a tricycle to the Marble factory belonging to Makino and he graciously agreed to interview with me through an interpreter since he only speaks the Filipino Tagalog language.

We use heavy equipment to mine the marble at a query I own, explained Makino. We bring the big rocks here to be turned into products mostly for building contractors.
Marble boulders in preparation for processing.

Marble forms when a pre-existing limestone rock is heated to such extreme temperatures that the minerals grow larger and fuse together. The dark, foliated bands cutting through the marble are a different kind of metamorphic rock, such as slate. 

[1]How Marble Forms

Marble balusters turned on a lathe await purchase.

Square columns are of various lengths and piles of rocks await a creative hand to turn them into works of art.
We have many marble production businesses here in Romblon, continued Makino. I began in this business as a laborer and worked my way up to owning the company. I bought this Romblon Marble Factory in1997.

Makino started with five employees and has 40 now.

Flooring and wall tiles are stacked after being cut.
Specialized equipment including lathes, cutters, and shapers are used to produce the products for market. Workers are trained onsite.
A variety of specialized tools are used to turn raw material into finished products.

We can ship anyplace, including Alaska. We have shipped to Japan, Australia and Germany in the past.

Do you have kids who work in the business?

I have four children but they don’t work in the company. They are all professionals on their own.

Do you supply artists who carve things like statutes out of marble?

As you see we sell the marble for any uses, he said.

Some marble artwork is surrounded by random blocks in one part of the yard.

See thr Romblon Marble Industry Facebook page Here:

Shops in downtown Romblon, Romblon are filled with all manner of beautiful marble products.

After our interview I traveled with my hosts to town and enjoyed a meal at an outdoor cafe before returning to San A .

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[1]How Marble Forms,metamorphic%20rock%2C%20such%20as%20slate.

[2]Romblon Marble Industry Facebook Page

[3]Romblomanon People of Romblon: History, Culture and Arts, Customs and Traditions [MIMAROPA Philippines]

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