PANAY ISLAND: Roxas City, Capiz to Aklan

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THINGS TO KNOW:

  • Roxas City is known as “The Seafood Capital of The Philippines”. It exports to neighboring countries as well.
  • Roxas City was honored by (DOH)Department of Health with the Red Orchid Award for being 100% tobacco free. The local government has managed tobacco control by enforcing bans, investing on public Education and promotion of pulmonary health.
  • It is the birthplace of the 5th President of The Philippines: Manuel Acuña Roxas.

A. La Playa de Roxas People’s Park: Located at Brgy. Baybay, Roxas City faces the Sibuyan Sea. It is one of the best place to watch sunset and sunrise while enjoying the best seafood. It is 3 kilometers away from the circle so I prefer to take a tricycle and stay at nearby accommodations for a couple of days.

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What I love the most is their open seafood foodcourt. Their Managat fish is the best. You may have it grilled or in soup in traditional “sinigang” way. Their scallops are fresh from Carles; no wonder they are huge. When I went to Islas de Gigantes, I ordered scallops (surprisingly 1 peso each) cooked in every way.

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B. Sta. Monica Church: It is popularly known as Panay Church. This stands in Capiz, which is just near Roxas City. This baroque style church is made from coral blocks and declared as a National Historic Landmark. Aside from that, the largest bell in the country is found here which weighs more than 10 tonnes!

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IMPORTANT LANDMARKS:

  • The Roxas City Hall
  • Capiz Provincial Capitol
  • Roxas City Bandstand
  • Manuel Roxas ancestral home (Rizal and Zamora Streets)
  • The monuments of Manuel Roxas and Jose Rizal across the Roxas City Museum
  • The Panubli-on Roxas City Museum
  • The Roxas City Fountain (dancing lights)
  • Immaculate Conception Cathedral located at Rizal Street
  • Roxas City Bridge (century old)/Spanish City Bridge

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HOW TO GET THERE?

  • From Iloilo City, take the Capiz bus at Ceres Bus terminal. Travel time is 3-4 hours though it is just 2 hours via van, the leg room is uncomfortable.
  • From Caticlan wharf (Boracay), get on a bus/van bound to Kalibo. From Kalibo transfer to another bus heading Roxas City. Total travel time is appromixately 4 hours.
  • From Kalibo to Roxas City vans and buses available. Travel time is 1-2 hours.
  • From Roxas City to Carles/ Islas de Gigantes is just 1.5 hours. See my other posts about the itinerary.

IMG_9676Capiz is known for Placuna Shells (Kapiz) that sounds like Capiz. These shells are edible but have been historically used as decoration for making lampshades, ornaments, windowpane, doors and substitute for glass due to its durable, shiny and elegant characterictics. The reason why I keep on coming back to this city is their OYSTER LANE. If you have been to several parts of Panay Island then you will definitely agree that they have the largest and fattest oysters in the Philippines. What’s more? They sell one bucket between 20 to 35 pesos at the most!

C. Barangay Tambak has an entire street of oyster-selling-stalls fronting the sea. Just take a jeep from Kalibo Rotonda heading New Washington. However, the easiest way is to ride a tricyle and stay overnight in one of the accommodations adjacent the seawall.

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Jackstones on Low Tide

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Jackstones on High Tide

These giant jackstones are placed by the shore to break the strong waves before they reach the sea wall. This is my view for two days across a humble abode & seafood haven. Glad to witness its low & high tide, sunrise & sunset of calm & raging water.đź’™

Check: PANAY ISLAND: Antique

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“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”

-Mark Twain

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PANAY ISLAND: Antique

HOW TO GET TO ANTIQUE?

*From Iloilo City: Ride a cab going to the Ceres Terminal (Notable yellow terminal). Take the bus going to San Jose, Antique. Remind the conductor to drop you off at Brgy Importante, Tibiao or “the crossing”. Travel time is 2-3 hours on non airconditioned bus (130Php). Ride a habal-habal/motorcyle around 15 minutes (70 Php) to various kawa bath resorts.

*From Caticlan Airport walk to the bus terminal across Jetty Port. Ride a bus bound to San Jose, Antique. Travel time is 2 hours at 100Php then motorcycle (70Php).

*From Kalibo Airport, take a trike for 100Php to Ceres Bus Terminal. Make sure to ride a bus bound to San Jose, Antique. Travel time is a little more than 2 hours then take the motorcycle (70Php).

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I personally prefer the Kayak Inn for the Kawa Hot Bath because of the picturesque view. Aside from its popularity among travellers, it was also featured in some TV programs. Give them time to prepare every kawa because they need preheating. During peak season, kawa sharing is advised at 250 Php per head for 30 minutes. On weekdays given that there are minimal or no next customers, you can have an entire kawa for yourself at an extended period of time. Overnight accommodation ranges between 250-1,500 depending on the resort.

REMINDERS:

  1. Signal is limited in Tibiao.
  2. Bring insect repellants, a hammock or sleeping bag, drinking water and snacks.
  3. It is best to hire habal-habal if you are planning to engage in two or more activities.
  4. Avoid crowded days and always consider the weather if you are opting to do sidetrips on neighboring islands.

IMG_9682.JPGOther activities and places to visit:

  • Tibiao Eco Adventure Park (TEA): Entrance fee (50Php), Zipline fee (300Php)
  • Bugtong Bato Falls: Tour guide fee (100)
  • Tibiao Fish Spa: Entrance fee (20Php), Habal-habal ride (30Php)
  • River kayaking in Tibiao River (P3000)
  • Soak in hot kawa (other resorts have flavored baths like milk, coffee and flowers)
  • Seco Island; rent a boat: Kite surfing, snorkeling or Camping
  • Malalison Island: Van from Tibiao to Culasi Town (20Php); rent a boat : Trek the Rolling Hills, check out pitcher plants
  • Malumpati cold spring and Bugang River
  • Visit Boracay, Roxas or Iloilo City

 

KAWA is a huge fryer turned into a tub for bathing. It is traditionally used in “fiestas” or large gatherings in the Philippines to cook dishes. The practice of cooking in a kawa is still widely done especially in the provinces. KAWA HOT BATH has recently been popularized as a traditional jacuzzi wherein dried coconut leaves and some twigs are set on fire for a few minutes to warm up the tub. It is said to be therapeutic in so many ways. It relaxes tense muscles while the aromatic add ons like flowers or bath flavors relieve stress. It is said that it even cures some skin diseases and promotes sleep. I couldn’t help it, I brought my own loofah!

Check: PANAY ISLAND: Roxas City, Capiz to Aklan

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“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”

-Dale Carnegie