Capiz Province is next! It’s on my list of “every traveler’s must-visit soon.” If you are into food and eating and pigging out then you are missing a lot if you haven’t experienced Capiz. But more than “The Seafoods Capital of the Philippines” (Roxas City, Capital of Capiz), this province in the Western Visayas offers wide range of activities for families, barkadas and solo traveler alike.
I partnered with Claire of I Am Traveling Light to give you a heads up of what Capiz can offer. Here’s what we think can whet your appetite for Capiz.
1. Describe Capiz.
Claire: Capiz is a province of unspoiled beaches, clear rivers, secluded waterfalls,
crystal caves, impressive historical architecture, and of course – fresh, delicious seafood!
James: Think of smorgasbord of seafood every single meal. If you are allergic to alige (crab’s fat/egg) then start praying to God that just for a moment your body won’t react. And not only that, the well-preserved Roman Catholic Churches, unexplored caves, waterfalls, rivers are waiting for you. After some jaunting, you see yourself again ordering fresh seafood- being grilled in your face. Yumm Yumm!
2. What do you like most about the place?
Claire: There is a raw, untouched beauty in Capiz not present in the usual tourist destinations. This is where you can relax and simply take in your surroundings, far from the madding crowds. And, what also makes or breaks a place for me is the people. Capiznons are warm, friendly, and easy to talk to, and they pass with flying colors.
James: Cheapo Fresh Seafoods. Period.
3. Is there anything the local government can do (or stop doing) in order to make the place more tourist friendly?
Claire: Encourage and educate public transport operators to jump in on the tourism scene. In places like Bohol and Guimaras, it is easy to go around as the drivers are familiar with the travel destinations, and even suggest a tour itinerary for the traveler. While public transport operators-slash-tour guides are uncommon in Capiz at the moment, they can be the norm, with proper education
James: I definitely agree with Claire. Transportation is important for a place to be tourist-friendly. I think the local and provincial government is really doing their job of promoting the province. I have seen how the Tourism Department work 2009 while I was backpacking Western Visayas on a Php250/day budget and last 2012 when they invited me to give a talk to the toursim students on the topic of “Social Media in Marketing Hospitality and Tourism.” They just keep getting better. Kudos to Sir Al and co. You have always exceeded my expectations.
4. Don’t go home without experiencing these:
Claire: Cruising at Panay River and/or one of its tributaries, island hopping (especially to Olotayan Island), and hugging the biggest bell in Southeast Asia.
When my travel companions and I cruised through Palina River (one of Panay River’s tributaries) on a cabana (bamboo raft with hut), we had the river to ourselves, save for the fisherfolk who occasionally row by. Mangroves, fish ponds, fish cages, and a fishing village are some of the sights in this idyllic cruise. For those who really want a quiet and relaxing river cruise, this one is for you.
And again, for the people who want the beach to themselves, go to Olotayan Island. A white deserted beach, emerald waters, and colorful marine life are the highlights. But talking and being warmly received by the locals in this 53-hectare island with less than 1,000 people was what really made my stay here.
Sta. Monica Church in Pan-ay is an old, charming Spanish church, but what makes it special is its bell tower of nine bells cast from 70 sacks of coins, particularly the largest bell at seven feet in diameter and five feet in height. Don’t miss hugging – or at least seeing – that giant bell!
For the traveler short on time, these destinations are ideal too – Panay River and Olotayan Island are part of Roxas City, while Sta. Monica Church is just 30 minutes away from Roxas City proper.
James: Claire said it all. For me, 1. Hug the 2nd largest bell in Asia in Pan-ay Church. 2. Visit the “Tuyuan” of Fish Drying Market just near baybay. 3. Cap your night off in their new gimik place – Pueblo de Panay. I just love the chill ambiance of that place.
5. Don’t go home without trying/eating _____________.
Claire: SEAFOODS. Capiz is the seafood capital of the Philippines, so eat to your heart’s content. And, seafood is fresh and cheap too – the cheapest shellfish I’ve encountered so far. Capiz is particularly famous for diwal (angel wings), but harvest is limited, so you might want to check ahead of time if it’s available. Generally, though, diwal season is from July to October. But with oysters so fresh and tasty even with no salt or seasoning, plus more delicious seafood, you can have an enjoyable Capiz seafood experience any time of the year.
James: Diwal or Angel Wings Clam only available in Capiz and was once became extinct. Take a tricycle and head to Baybay where you can see a collection of grilling stalls and restaurants offering budget-friendly fresh seafoods. I always order spicy adobong pusit and a bucket full of talaba (oyster). I also love Marc’s BBQ and RML Manukan.
6. Traveler’s tip:
Claire: For a more colorful and exciting visit, time it during one of Capiz’s festivals. The Sinadya sa Halaran Festival, held every December 8 and the days leading up to it, showcases the festival dances of each municipality. The Diwal Festival, meanwhile, is usually held every second week of July.
James: If you are more adventurous, go and visit Suhot and Lahab Caves in Dumalag, Capiz.
7. Recommended hotel or inn:
Claire: Grand Gazebo in Baybay, Roxas City. Across it is Baybay beach, with its powdery dark sand and blue waters. And, the seafood restaurants are there too, for your convenience. Grand Gazebo has a relaxed garden setting and rooms ideal for groups. What also seals the deal for me here is the friendliness of both the owner and staff. I am particularly inspired by the owner’s passion and
success story – she started off with a small-scale catering business, and a customer was so impressed with her services that he decided to be an angel investor.
James: I stayed in Roxas President’s Inn and MVW Restaurant and Tourist Inn when I was in Roxas City. You can also check Official Capiz Website on where to sleep.
8. Other Important Tour Infos:
PALINA RIVER TOUR
- From city proper get a special trip tricycle to Brgy. Cagay Sitio Cablatan, Roxas City
- Estimated time of travel from city proper to Palina River ECO Park 12 minutes
- Tricycle rate 40 pesos from the Roxas City Proper – good for 2 people? If only one person, 30 pesos is ok.
- River tour P 750.00 to P 1,200.00 good for 10 to 50 pax
- The food is pre-arrange, reservation and arrangement of food prior to the tour is recommended, you can arranged seafoods like oyster, fish and crabs. Seafood experience usually starts at 100 pesos.
LIKTINON FALLS PRESIDENT ROXAS, CAPIZ
- From Roxas City proper get a van rental going to the Municipality of President Roxas
- Travel time from Roxas City is 45 minutes. From Pres. Roxas Proper to Bayuyan is 15minutes and then trekking for about 20minutes before you reach Liktinon Falls.
- Van rental P 2, 500.00 to P2, 700.00 good for 10 people but the regular fare is only 45pesos per pax.
- Guides fee is P 200.00 or even lesser.
STA. MONICA CHURCH / PANAY BELL
- From city proper get a tricycle for P 15.00 per pax or by jeepney for only 12pesos.
- Tricycle terminal is located at Legaspi street, Roxas City, few meters away from the Provincial
- Capitol while van and jeepney terminal is located at Banica, Roxas City.
- Travel time 10 – 15 minutes from city proper
- Token for the guide / donation for the church is voluntary
SUHOT CAVE & SPRING RESORT / LAHAB CAVE
- From city proper proceed to Albar Terminal , the central terminal in Roxas City and get a PUV/jeepney Dumalag route at P 60.00 per pax
- Travel Time from Roxas City is only 45 minutes -1 hour
- From Poblacion Dumalag get a tricycle to Suhot Cave & Spring Resort P5.00 per pax. P10.00 for 2pax , etc..
- Guides fee: Suhot Cave – 200.00/group; Langub cave – 300.00/group; Lahab Cave – 500.00/group -for guiding services, kindly inquire at the Tourist Information Center just within the resort.
- Entrance fee P 10.00 for adult, 5pesos for children
CADIMAHAN LIBOTONG RIVER TOUR
- From city proper get a tricycle for P 25.00 per pax going directly to CADIMAHAN LIBOTONG RIVER TOUR, Brgy. Baybay, Roxas City
- If only two passengers, 40pesos is ok. If only one passenger 25pesos is acceptable.
- River Tour P 750.00 to P 1, 800.00 good for 10-40 pax (2 hours tour)
- Foot spa P 150.00
- Traditional Filipino Massage P 300.00 (whole body)
- Travel time from city proper to Cadimahan 10 minutes
- Contact Person : Mrs. Josephine Monjuan, Cel No.: 09102033229
Contact Capiz Provincial Tourism for questions.
Website: Capiz Tourism
Landline: (036) 621-0042 local 133
Cell phone: +63921-3860210
I have written about Capiz in the past too:
- Exploring Lahab Cave in Dumalag, Capiz
- Bell, Seafood and Kayak
- Roxas City (Dried Fish) to Boracay Island (Sunset)
- Social Media in Marketing Hospitality and Tourism Talk at Roxas City, Capiz
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Thanks again Claire for taking time to collab with me regarding Capiz. Hope we can visit Capiz again this year.
Claire Madarang is a writer, traveler and seeker. She has backpacked around Visayas for 7 weeks and continues to travel and explore both outer and inner landscapes. Follow her adventures, tips, and epiphanies at her blog Traveling Light. You can also find brief updates not in the blog at Traveling Light’s FB page and personal updates on Twitter.