Now that it’s summertime once again, most of us surely would be on the lookout for new places to visit that’s not as populated as the more famous tourist destinations in the country. And if you’re one of those who enjoys good food, a view of the sea and the countryside, as well as a bit of history, Capiz surely is something that you should check out.
Part of the Panay Island in Western Visayas, Capiz (capital: Roxas City) is also known to be the Seafood Capital of the Philippines, with it being the source of most of the seafood that’s shipped to Manila. It's also home to sites that reflect the history and culture of the province.
Here are some of the places that you should check out when in Capiz:
Panublion Museum Address: Hughes Street, Roxas City, Capiz
A Hiligaynon term which translates to "heritage", the Panublion Museum used to be a water tank which served its people for more than 5 decades. It later became the Roxas City Museum which now houses various items that show the history, culture, and the arts of Capiz - from bolos and spades to ethnic weavings and capiz shells.
One of the most valuable items you'd find inside is the grandiose 1940 Fleetwood Cadillac 75 Limousine parked in the middle of one of the two rooms. It's none other than the car that President Manuel Roxas used from the day of his inauguration in 1946 to his death in 1948.
Birthplace of Manuel Roxas Address: Corner Rizal and Zamora Streets, Roxas City, Capiz
This ancestral house in one of the the towns in Roxas City is said to be the birthplace of the late president. Entrance to the place needs to be arranged beforehand, and you may get the contact information of the caretaker through the store that's next to it.
The interiors of the two-storey structure has furniture that are modeled after those during the era it was made - from the dining table and living room set to the chandeliers and other displays in it. If you're one who loves looking at antiques and old trinkets, then here's a place you'd enjoy!
For the seafood lovers out there, Palina Greenbelt Ecopark is the best place to go to when in Capiz. Here, diners get to rent a floating cabana and enjoy a river cruise along the Palina River while enjoying a sumptuous seafood meal.
Everything they serve here - from oysters and crabs to fish and squids - are also harvested in the area, so you are assured that you'll get nothing but the freshest catches of the day! While there, make sure to also try their fried sasing which is basically a sandworm which locals get from the shorelines during lowtide.
Rates for the cabanas are at P1500/hour for a group of 25pax, but if you want to it to be for an hour of river tour and 2 hours of a stationary stay inside, you can rent these cabanas for P2000.
Santa Monica Church Address: Roxas City-Panay Road, Panay, Capiz
An hour-drive from Palina Greenbelt Ecopark, Santa Monica Church or Panay Church in Panay, Capiz is a historical church built in 1771 and is declared to be a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. The church serves as home to 9 bells of different sizes, one of them being the biggest Catholic Church bell in Asia. It weighs over 10 metric tons and was made with 70 sacks of coins.
Those who would want to see the said bell could do so, but they would have to take the steep 64-step climb to the top of the belfry. It surely is a rewarding experience, because not only will you be greeted by the refreshing breeze from the top, but you also get to enjoy an amazing view of Capiz. That is, of course, aside from having 9 antique bells surround you!
After visiting the belfry of Sta. Monica, you might also want to check out a small coffee shop on the other side of the street for a quick but feeling merienda. Called Holy Grounds (because it's a coffee shop across the church, get it?), they serve a mean cup of native hot chocolate, and a kakanin called Puso - cooked with nipa syrup and wrapped in coconut leaves like a heart-shaped suman.
If Palina Greenbelt Ecopark is all about having a seafood meal aboard a raft, Pasiguin lets you experience how to harvest the milkfish and crabs that they have in the pond, and have it cooked afterwards! That includes going into the pond for the milkfish, and riding a small raft to get the cage where the crabs are caught.
It could get messy, yes, but if your dinner depends on it, you might as well give it a go! Just don't forget to bring extra clothes, because you will get wet.
Frequented by locals who wants a quick break from their busy schedules, Capiz' Baybay Beach is known for its 7-kilometer shoreline with fine, ebony sand. Tourists will also never go hungry here as there's a long strip of seafood restaurants to choose from when in the area!
There are daily flights from Manila to Roxas City via Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and AirAsia, and the travel time is around 45 minutes. Tourists may also travel by Roll-On, Roll Off (RORO) which may take about 14 hours.
Have you already been to Capiz? Let us know about your trip below!
This trip was made possible by the Philippine Tour Operators Association Inc. (PHILTOA).