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CAPIZ TRAVEL INFORMATION

Where to Stay in Capiz | Brief History | Capiz Descriptions
Historical & Cultural Attractions | Natural Attractions
Religious & Man-Made Attractions | Festivals and Special Interest Tours

BRIEF HISTORY

Capiz Beach ViewCapiz, a province where myth and reality merge. One enduring legend about how Capiz got its name goes like this: Balingangan, Datu Bankaya’s eldest son, named his two territories “Kapid” and“Akean” (meaning twin) in honor of his twin daughters “Bulan” and “Adlaw” (moon and sun). Spaniards who later settled in the area adopted the names of Capiz and Aklan.

The arrival of Spaniards in 1569 brought about major changes in the lives of the Capizeños. May 8, 1570, marked the conquest of Panay and consequently the district of Aklan by the Spaniards under the leadership of Martin de Goiti. Capiz was created into a separate ‘encomienda’ and later was organized into a politico-military province in 1716, embracing the neighboring island of Romblon, Tablas, and Sibuyan. The American takeover of the Philippines resulted in the establishment of a civil government in Capiz on April 15, 1901.

The City of Roxas is the provincial capital of Capiz, a part of Panay Island where Miguel Lopez de Legaspi settled when he arrived from Cebu. In 1746, Capiz was made the seat of the politico-military government although it was still ecclesiastically controlled by the Bishopric of Cebu. On May 31, 1847, a Royal Decree turned the province into an alcadia. Roxas City was once known as the Municipality of Capiz and it became a chartered city on May 12, 1951 by virtue of Republic Act No. 603 otherwise known as the City Charter. The late Hon. Lorenzo Arnaldo was its first City Mayor. This city was named “Roxas City” in honor of its most illustrious son, the first president of the Republic of the Philippines, President Manuel Acuña Roxas.

CAPIZ DESCRIPTIONS

The Province of Capiz is known as the Seafood Capital of the Philippines.

Geography
The Province of Capiz occupies a land area of 2,633 square kilometers, representing 21% of the total land area of Panay. It is composed of 16 municipalities and a city with a total of 472 barangays.

Political Subdivisions
The province is composed of 16 municipalities comprising 473 barangays. It is divided into two political districts: 1st District covers the municipalities of Maayon, Panay, Panitan, Pilar, Pontevedra, Pres. Roxas, and Roxas City; while the 2nd District covers the municipalities of Cuartero, Dao, Dumalag, Dumarao, Ivisan, Jamindan, Sapi-an, Mambusao, Sigma, and Tapaz.

Population
As of the year 2000 survey, Capiz has a population of 654,156.
spacer spacerLanguage
Hiligaynon is the dominant dialect spoken in the province.

Climate
The province has a 3rd type of climate, seasonal changes are not pronounced. Relatively dry from November to April and wet from May to October.

Economic

Cutflowers

Aside from its rich fishing grounds, cutflower cultivation is now gaining popularity among the residents in Roxas City as an agri-based income-generating industry.
Cottage Industry
Numerous home and cottage industries amply augment household incomes, among which are poultry and liverstock raising, handicraft, shellcraft, ceramics, lime processing, garments, farm tools fabrication, furniture and boat making.

Major IndustriesCapiz Seafood
The even distribution of rainfall throughout the year and the infrequent occurrence of typhoons make the province highly suitable for agriculture, aquaculture, and other related activities – which explains why these are major industries of the province.

Farms for orchids, various ornamental plants, and different varieties of heliconia supply a thriving cut-flower business that is carving a market niche in Southern Philippine provinces. The land has also proven to be good grazing ground for cattle and for raising swine, goats, and poultry. Its long coastal areas abound with “kapis” shells, which are used in the manufacture of exportable novelty items. Numerous home and cottage industries amply augment household incomes, among which are poultry, livestock raising, handicraft, shell-craft, ceramics, lime processing, garments, farm-tool fabrication, furniture and boat making.

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HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL TOURISTS ATTRACTIONS

Historical Attractions
Birthplace of Manuel Roxas (Roxas City)
Located in the city proper; a two-storey hardwood and stone house of First Philippine President Manuel Roxas, now a historical shrine.

Moro Towers (Sitio Nipa, Roxas City)
Half-torn stone structures built in 1814 in order to repel the invading Moros and Portuguese colonizers.

Capiz National High School
One of the pioneering educational institutions in the province, Capiz National High School (formerly Capiz High School) was established and completely organized in 1914. Its imposing structure and location (top of a hill) is always a welcome sight. Its 48-step stairway is a popular spot for picture-taking.

Roxas City Bridge (Old Capiz Bridge)
The old and imposing Roxas City Bridge (formerly Capiz Bridge) remained strong and firm after it was built in 1910. Overlooking the Panay River, the bridge is a silent witness to various changes that ushered in progress and development in the city. Like the old bridge, equally alluring is the huge stretch of Panay River that transverses the very heart of the city. Passing the major edifice of the city, the river of Roxas City has been dubbed as the “Venice of the Visayas”.

Cultural Attractions
Ang Panublion (Roxas City Museum)
Built in 1910 as a water tank; has memorabilia of illustrious sons and daughters of Roxas City; collections of religious icons, artifacts, and artworks.

Mundo Dance (Tapaz)
The dance of the mountain tribe known as Mundo is a vanishing remnant of pre-Malayan Indonesian immigrants to Panay. The dance retains to this day the original choreography arranged around ancient Indonesian fertility rites.

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NATURAL TOURISTS ATTRACTIONS

Baybay Beach (Roxas City)
Three kilometers from the city proper, this clean black sand beach has beach houses, motorboats for boating and fishing. Also a good place for water skiing.

Olutayan Island
30 minute pumpboat ride from Banica Terminal, Roxas City. The waters are crystal clear. Thirty feet below, multi-colored fishes cavort in flashes of blue, yellow, and red colors sliding through colorful seaweeds. The island’s beach is carpeted with tiny crushed shells called cascaho.

Quipot Cave (Bgy. Burias Mambusao)Capiz Forest
30 minute ride over rough roads, it is about 3 km. from the Mambusao Agricultural and Technical College or around 9 km. from the town proper. Wild birds, deer, and wild ducks abound in the place. Near the cave is a stream. The cave consists of many chambers, each at a level different from other chambers. In certain sections, one has to crawl because the space between the roof and cave floor is just two or three feet. There are also sections that seem like a dead end, except for small openings through which only one person can crawl. These holes lead to a chamber as big as a hotel ballroom, which is why it is dubbed as the “Quipot Hilton”. There are plenty of stalactites and stalagmites. The cave is cool inside.

Napti Island (Pan-ay)
About three to four hectares big, located near Olutayan Island; has white sand, small cave, and abundant shells for necklaces. The beach is inviting. The water is cool and clear and free of troublesome jellyfish the whole year round. A small cave, about 100 meters long, winds several feet below the surface across the island. It commands a breathtaking view of Roxas City and Pan-ay. Fishing enthusiasts and gourmets have a wonderful time here because of the plentiful fish and lobster.

Buntod Beach (Pan-ay)
About a kilometer long and is located far from the inhabited section of Pan-ay; one of the cleanest beaches in Capiz; has fine black sand with a beach free of jellyfish all year round; and its water is cool and clear. It is approximately 10 minutes by jeepney, car, and tricycle from the town. It is also accessible by speedboat or pumpboat from any point of Capiz.

Pilar Cave (Pilar)
One and a half km. from the poblacion by jeepney, tricyle, and car over rough roads. About two years ago, townspeople discovered earthen pots with intricately incised designs. The caves must have been burial sites of pre-Spanish Filipinos. The Balisong Cave where the Capiz revolucionarios routed Spanish soldiers is also found hereabouts. The side of the mountain where the caves are is a spectacular sight. It is grayish-black rock rising 200 ft. to the sky. Plants, orchids among them, hang from the cliffs, blooming in the summer and filling the air with exotic frangrances.

Casanayan (Pilar)
A fishing village wherein patis and ginamos are made; vast fields of sugar cane, rice, and corn on the 3 km. road from the highway to this place. It has a beautiful 3 km. stretch of fine gray sand beach fringed with palm trees that neatly line the village as a haven for those who seek refuge from the city hassles. Casanayan is a barrio gifted with a bizarre phenomenon - a woman’s dead body that refuses to decay. Maria Basanes died at the age of 47 from a heart attack way back in 1829. When her body was exhumed ten years after her death, it was found intact and well-preserved, which was surprising because her embalming was supposedly good for only 3 days. Now, the dead body, brownish-black and light and hard as wood, stands inside a small hand-me-down. Her forehead has a portion where its skin was peeled off surreptitiously by men who believed it could be a lucky charm in fishing.

Tucad Reef (Pilar)
It is 10 km. from the Pilar shoreline; this is a submarine islet of seashells and corals topped with thin layers of sand. When the tide is low the whole island emerges, and with it, shells and corals of different colors - green, red, blue, pink, clear water. From this marine garden, the mountains of Masbate can be seen. Tucad Reef is accessible by a pumpboat or on foot during low tides.

Suhot Cave (Dumalag)
Situated in Dumalag, Capiz and only 300 meters away from the provincial road. It is actually a series of interconnected caverns of different sizes. At the cave’s arched entrance is a pool of clear, ice-cold water fed by a rock spring from within the cave. Further on, however, is a crack in the rocks where sulfurous water comes out. Suhot is believed to have a connecting tunnel to the Badiang Cave in Dumarao since both caves are found in the same mountain only 6 km. apart from each other, although Badiang is on a higher elevation. On the other hand, entrance to Badiang is hidden by dense jungle. In pre-war days, phosphate was said to have been extracted from the cave but it was a short-lived effort.

Igang Cave (Maayon)
A limestone cave found in Tapulang, Maayon, around 7 km. away from the poblacion or a 15 minute ride by car or jeepney. It has several entrances at different levels which lead to a central chamber and fan out again to different passages. Big star-like structures connect upper portions to the central chamber, which is well lighted and well ventilated. A gradually sloping passage, 7 feet wide and a foot high, takes one to the lower chamber, which unlike the upper and central chambers is dark. The floor here is covered with guano which townspeople use as fertilizer. The cave has stalactities and stalagmites.

The Coves of Ivisan (Brgy. Basiao & Brgy. Balaring)
10 km. or 30 minutes by jeepney, car or tricycle over rough roads from the town proper. These two barangays have cornered the white sand beach coves in the whole Capiz. In Basiao are the following coves: Marangcalan, Dinogmaan, Patyo, and Basiao.

Suhoton Caves
Located in Jamindan, it has several multi-layered chambers in its vast interior. Inside one chamber is an altar-like formation surrounded by stalagmites that seem like giant images in silent repose. Some chambers are as big as hotel ballrooms or cathedrals.

Mantalinga Island
Nearby Mantalinga Island, which is a kilometer away from the shoreline of Baybay beach, has been identified by the Department of Tourism as an ideal spot for scuba divers and a perfect rotunda for sailboat (dilayag) and kayaking contests. Recently named “Good Luck Island” by DOT consultants, the place is believed by the local fisherfolk as source of luck when names of their fishboats are written on the side of the island before it goes fishing for the first time.

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RELIGIOUS AND MAN-MADE TOURISTS ATTRACTIONS

Religious Attractions

Pan-ay Church
This awe-inspiring church is a monument to past Spanish grandeur in Pan-ay town. Almost a small fortress, it is about 250 ft. long and 80 ft. wide with 9-ft. thick walls of coral blocks. The floor is colored marble that shines in subdued tone in misty light. The central altar is an elaborately sculptured retablo of silver and hardwood in florid Baroque style. The lateral altars have intricately carved tiers of niches for images of saints. Sta. Monica is the patron saint. The church’s five story belfry shelters a huge antique bell surrounded by 8 smaller bells. Shrouded with many enchanting tales, the huge bell holds more fascinating truth. It was cast from 76 sacks of coins believed to have been contributed by the citizens of the town. Its mammoth size holds a staggering record. It is seven feet in diameter and weighs 10.4 tons. In fact, it is estimated to be the largest in Southeast Asia.

Dumalag Church
It is 200 feet long and 50 feet wide. The walls are 3 feet thick and made of yellow sandstone. It has two doors at its side and one main doorway in front. There are six arched windows at each side with columns between them reaching to the roof. There are also small buttresses at the sides. The facade is decorated with small columns. At the front left side of the church is the 5-story belfry housing 5 bells of different sizes, all made in 1881. The church’s interior is shaped like a cross. The church was finished in 1872 when Fr. Andel Abasolo was parish priest of the town.

Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Cathedral
One of the oldest in Panay Island, the church is a silent witness to events that have unfolded in the city over the past centuries. Its imposing view is being complimented by its location which is beside the city plaza fronting the Panay River and the old Capiz (now Roxas City bridge). Fiesta lights add glitter to the church.

Man-Made Attractions
Mussel Farm (Sapian)
Ten kilometers north of the town’s commercial hub, out in the sea, this mussel farm patiently lies like a silent picture of a thousand bamboo stilts arrayed 6 feet apart into the briny water. However, each bamboo pole stuck through the sea floor 6 to 7 feet deep yields hundreds of fat dark green mussels neatly arranged like dark distended leaves sprouting heavily on top of each other. One gets to this sea farm by means of pump boats, dugouts or rafts from Sitio Angkin.

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FESTIVALS AND SPECIAL INTEREST TOURS

Festivals

Sinadya sa HalaranCapiz Festival
One of Roxas City’s most important annual events is the Sinadya sa Halaran festival. A fusion of two festivals – “Sinadya” (City) and “Halaran” (Province) which literally means joy in sharing and thanksgiving. It is celebrated on December 4-8 to commemorate the religious activities that embody the true Capiceño spirit. The highlights of the celebration are the Dancing Parade, ”Higantes”, Fluvial Parade, Fireworks display, Mutya sa Halaran beauty pageant, Coronation of the Fiesta Queen, and Agri-Aqua Trade Fair.

Balintawakan Festival
Pontevedra. Balintawakan is a simple gathering, mostly of senior citizens of Pontevedra, Capiz who are sentimentally bound together to an unwritten commitment to preserve a simple tradition which began long ago and was only interrupted by WWII. Every December 31 people hold a Binayle at the town’s public market. Its highlight is the search for Miss Balintawakan as the Festival Queen. The event is capped by a Rigodon de Honor. The Filipino costume called Balintawak is the official attire of the womenfolk participating in the affair.

Special Interest

Spelunking
Go spelunking. The caves of Pilar, Suhot, Igang and Suhoton.

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Where to Stay in Capiz | Brief History | Capiz Descriptions
Historical & Cultural Attractions | Natural Attractions
Religious & Man-Made Attractions | Festivals and Special Interest Tours

   

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