Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Capiz | At Home In Roxas City

CAPIZ | At Home In Roxas City
A Province In Focus

Roxas City, The Seafood Capital Of The Philippines. Quite a big tag line for such a quaint and peaceful component city in Region VI Western Visayas. I have to admit that I found it ridiculous as a kid, but of course, I spent all my childhood days encumbered in its embrace, the smell of salty tang in air near the beaches and estuaries is already married to my soul forever, but the tag line is something I didn't understand until I started to appreciate the aesthetics of this city, my home. It's been years then, it's now trying to live up to the name, being a major contributor in the country's Aquamarine Industry and home to a rich fishing grounds.

Aeriel view of Roxas City, over Arnaldo Blvd towards Brgy Bay-bay Roxas City, and overlooking the distant island of Mantalinga.

Looking at the city's topography, you'll see swampy lands easily converted to fish ponds for huge prawns, milkfish and giant crabs, the heart of Roxas City itself is loped by Banica River. I grew up from a water world, as the city itself is married to its coastline, the sea had always been there, encroaching and seemed always ready to take back the jewel. A sinking city perhaps, a place with laid back culture and simple lifestyle. I've said this before and will state it again, a 24 hours spent would feel like 48 hours, surely a location where one can relax. A perfect location for  someone who's looking for a peace of mind while not having to disassociate themselves with people. 

Capizenos as what we proudly call ourselves are the curios type of people, we would easily notice if someone stands out among the crowd and will unabashedly show our curiosity. We love our little city and proud to be known as the Cleanest and Greenest component city in Western Visayas. Its a kind of achievement that is normally gained by having a favorable community who understand their surroundings. When I was still a high school student, I gave my own share of effort for the clean up drives as a CAT officer of then Capiz Institute of Technology (CIT) now Capiz State University (CapSU), of course it can't be helped that this is normally happening when the evaluation is approaching. There's not much to clean really but improve the landscape of every avenues and streets, and every Barangay efforts along the way.

Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral, Roxas City

Coming to Roxas City, one would have to content to the fact that the tallest of buildings here are probably just about 5 or 6 stories high, and the biggest edifices would probably be  the Gaisano Mall or the Provincial Capitol Building, of course there is the iconic Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral, and the Colegio De La Purisima Concepcion beside it. Tourist visits would normally entail a tour to the province original Capital, the municipality of Pan-ay and pay a visit to the Santa Monica Parochial Church and its pride "Dakong Linganay" Big Bell dubbed as the biggest church bell in Asia. The whole province is comprise of 16 Municipalities and 1 city. Each Municipalities have there own traditions and even tourist  spots that are mostly off beaten. Among the 16 Municipalities, I've been to 14 of them, missing only Municipality Tapaz as it is situated in Central Panay island and is also a mountainous area, and the Municipality of Sapian as it is bordering on the Province of Aklan. My family roots were from Municipality of Mambusao were my Mom was once a barrio lass, and the Municipality of Pan-ay where most of my familial clan came from.

Night shot, Bay-bay Beach, Brgy Bay-bay Roxas City. Beach Side Seafood Restaurants.

I came from a working class family, though fairly sheltered, I could say I've enjoyed the best of the provincial life. My summer vacation's where spent on helping my cousins in the harvest of rice's, fishing in swampy fish ponds along the neighborhood, tried living as one would in mountainous areas. As a city boy enjoying a break, I've almost for quite a number of times drowned while trying to overcome the freshwater river of Panay. 
Surely, the province had long been associated with mysticism and legends. I've seen my very own great grandmother in action, she'd been famous locally as a Witch Doctor and Paltera (Midwife), yet I've known her to be a compassionate woman who helped birth a lot of people. What with every rational Capizeno you'd meet, the idea doesn't sell that much aside from the erroneous movie "Sa Piling Ng Aswang," trashy movie acted by lead actress Maricel Soriano. Personally I'm tired of answering the same question most of the time, Aswang exist only in fabricated stories. You can't believe how a person who knows nothing much about the place would rant about the Aswang like their sanity depends on it. I've been to most of these charming municipalities, and I've never seen an Aswang my whole life.

City and Municipalities
Roxas City, Cuartero, Dao, Dumalag, Ivisan, Jamindan, Ma-ayon, Mambusao, Pan-ay, Panitan, Pilar, Pontevedra, President Roxas, Sapian, Sigma, Tapaz

Capiz is a province laden with many potential locations that are largely unpublished and unknown to majority of the public or its visitors.
Bay-bay Beach at Sunset

Some Of The Places I've Been
A visit to the secluded spring waters of Tombocon, and the white sands of Virgin beach all hailing from Ivisan, the Sohot Cave of Dumalag, Agtalin Shrine in Pilar where the 85 foot statue of the Our Lady of Miraculous Medal stands on top of the Agtalin Hill and known to be the highest Marian Statue in Asia, still in Pilar is the Pilar Bay where Tukad Reef can be explored, also unforgettable to most boys who had been a boy scout in the Province is the Camp Escutin in Matagnop Dao where every boyscout may have enjoyed camping on its muddy hills, the military Camp Macario Peralta in Jamindan, Santa Monica Parochial Church in Pan-ay and its huge Bell, of course from Roxas city itself, a visit to the historical shrine of the birthplace of President Manuel Roxas in the city proper itself, enjoy the black sand Bay-bay beach overlooking the Mantalinga island.

The province is largely catholic, and with it, each municipalities have they're own town fiesta's and festivals. Check this link for the Festivals: Capiz Festivals

Santa Monica Parochial Church, home of the biggest Church Bell in Asia.

Museo De Santa Monica, Museum of the Municipality of Pan-ay, Capiz.

How To Get There
Roxas city has its own airport which takes approximate of 45 to an hour of travel time from NAIA in Pasay City, Manila. Tricycle is the major transport used by the locals along the city and all its municipalities. Jeepney's are king of the highways here as they rule the transport from one point of in Capiz to another, inter provincial transport either from Iloilo or from Aklan both uses buses and vans. The city itself is a major point of entry to travel from any point in Panay island, I once traveled from here to Barbaza Antique which is literally on the western side of the island, if you are most adventurous, you can try to gain entry in the province via going up the highlands of Central Panay from Iloilo province in Calinog to the provincial mountain borders of Tapaz Capiz. Well, of course these are far flung forested areas, and known as a home of Capiz's own indigenous tribes.

The links below is from Captivating Capiz
Check this link for more info: Travel And Transportation
Where to stay: Hotels And Inns
Being known as the Seafood Capital Of The Philippines 
you check this link on where to eat: Where To Dine

Seafood Haven, CHECK this link: ROXAS CITY | Baybay Beach At Night

Yukis Restaurant, Bay-bay Beach

The Biggest Church Bell in Asia, CHECK THIS LINK: CAPIZ | Santa Monica Church Of Pan-ay

Either coming home or visiting for the first time, remember that this little point in the Panay Island is a part and parcel of the Visayas. Found in the heart of the Philippines, and home of peace loving Capizeno's, let them give you a tricycle ride. It's a tricycle and seafood country anyway.

This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers
22nd Blog Carnival for September 2012 with the theme 
"The Visayas Roundup".
Hosted by Ding Fuellos of The Pinoy Explorer hosts this edition of the blog carnival. 
Visit Estan Cabigas' Langyaw to see the archive of Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival!

Francis Balgos is a Call Center Agent, Weekend Travel Warrior, Amateur Spelunker, Sometime Surfer, Newbie Mountain Climber, Photography Enthusiast, Certified Beach Bum, A first born son, Faithful lover, True Explorer...

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  1. well... what can i say... I miss the warm of the people of Capiz... except for the tricycle drivers in the airport... hehehe!!! honestly, i didn't feel anything about the said mysticism and legends on Capiz... I agree, "a person who knows nothing much about the place would rant about the Aswang".. i personally experience it... as too many people would ask me, "di ka ba natakot nung pumunta ka ng Capiz?" I just tell them, "wag naman ganun, pumunta muna kayo before kayo magsalita ng ganyan"... I would love to go back to Capiz... Hopefully soon, makapunta ulit ako as I had a great time visiting Roxas City and Panay! :)

  2. Nice!!! I grew up coming back and forth in the province of Capiz - Roxas, Mambusao, Sapian, etc. because my father has his roots there and its near where we live (Balasan, Iloilo). This post made me want to go home! :)

  3. Thanks Mervs! I really appreciate your comments.;)

    @Mimi - Wow! Kasimanwa! puli nah. hehehe! ;) thanks for visitng!

  4. Lapit na lang! sa December! ahaha. Will definitely go back to Iloilo city, Miagao, Capiz and our hometown, Balasan! :)

  5. Ang ganda pala ng Capiz... taga guimaras ako pero I never been to this place.... Hope I can visit someday...!

  6. Nakakamiss, ROXAS CITY - I love it

  7. Grabe! I am awestruck! Super ganda ng photos mo franz! And How I wish I can visit capiz soon <3

  8. Your post really gave a great overview (pati na rin topview) of Capiz and you do have a good City in Roxas which is rich historical and religious site as well as fine beaches.

  9. I had been to Boracay twice and I am sure the Bus from Ilo-ilo passed by Capiz before reaching Caticlan. Have I known Roxas City is that beautiful I caould have dropped by and spend a night there =)

  10. Very detailed travel blog about Capiz which gives me information about the progressive city of Roxas and the province of Capiz...

  11. Nice place to roam around as illustrated with your photos, also showing the rich culture of Capiz...

  12. Great photos! Too bad I didn't have time to explore this place when I went there last May

  13. Nice presentation about Capiz! So hindi tlaga totoo ang aswang? hehehe

  14. What are those white and orange stuff on the paper plates? Mukhang masarap!

  15. Aerial shot panalo!!!!!! It is only jut now that I learned that Capiz is the seafood capital of the Philippines :)

  16. Yey! Kudos to an awesome Visayas RoundUp, Francis! What better way to highlight Visayas than to write about your own city, right? :) I must admit, I too have been dragged to this notion of Capiz being a city pestered by Aswangs. I am a scaredy cat so I never really wrote Capiz on my places to visit.. But it is through you and our other fellow travel bloggers that makes these misconceptions all disappear. So good job on promoting your beloved city, Pala-lagaw! :)

  17. Sarap talagang kumain ng seafoods. Grrrrr. Bawal lang sa akin.

  18. that's a big moon you had there... you really captured the beauty of capiz... the seafood really looks yummy, one of my fav. Yahweh bless.

  19. Tani makalagaw man ko dra.. hopefully by next year.. :)

  20. I've never been to Roxas, but this post makes me want to go there. Yuki's Restaurant looks really lovely! :)

  21. WOW!! Just awesome views!
    I would love to have my photos look like these.
    You have excellent captures especially the first
    one... the aerial view of Roxas City. Magnificent!

  22. Capiz in a nutshell. I must say, this is such a kickass post! Ganda ng aerial views. Google Maps ang peg :)

  23. The first and last photo for me looks very clean (pang-magazine).

  24. Wow! I seriously enjoyed your photos. Gusto ko un sky shots hihihi... di ko kaya un sa iphone eh..hihih

  25. Sarap pumunta dyan at mag food trip... daming scallops!!!

  26. Uy I think I finally would be able to visit Capiz this December if things go according to plan :)

  27. enticing and appetizing! thanks for the post Francis!

  28. From Mambusao wd LoveSeptember 14, 2019 at 4:40 PM

    Very good Travel blog kasimanwa. Na miss ko tuloy yng beloved province natin na Capiz!Mga magagandang tanawin at masasarap na pagkain. Good job and goodluck to you kapatid.


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