The Philippines ‘Seafood Capital’ is mystic. There are many mountain peaks, rolling hills, and ranges to be explored. Any traveler could find joy and excitement at daytime excursions at the province’s isolated coves and wide beaches. The palate would be always pleasured all year round by a variety of seafoods available anytime. Visiting local gardens, old Spanish churches, historical sites, and the biggest bell in Southeast Asia at Pan-ay Church would truly be memorable.
The province is noted for its mother-of-pearl shells with the same name. Those shells are widely used as decors, trays, window doors, and lampshades. Above all, Capiz is most popular among Filipinos for the local myth of ‘aswang,’ a generic term referring to monsters, witches, and ghouls. Many believe that the province is home to the country’s scary creatures, but this myth has never affected the fascination and interest of tourists.
Capiz is situated at the northeastern side of the Panay Island. It borders Antique and Aklan in the west and Iloilo in the south. The coastal area faces the vast Sibuyan Sea in the north. The province is comprised of 16 towns with total land area of just about 2,600 square kilometers. Population is low at about 700,0000. Roxas City is its provincial capital.
Spelunking or cave exploration is a popular recreational activity facilitated in the province. Capiz has numerous caves that delight spelunkers and explorers. Travelers attain a grand feeling of fulfillment when they get to the nature-built dungeons, see century-hidden wonders, and view grandeur of chambers as huge as current-day cathedrals.
For beach lovers, Baybay and Buntod Beaches must be visited. Baybay Beach has clean, black sand that reaches beach houses. It is also ideal for water skiing. Buntod Beach has fine black sand and is noted as being free from any jellyfish all throughout the year. It has the clearest waters in all of the Panay Island. Meanwhile, Mantalinga Island, which is a kilometer away from Baybay Beach, is perfect for scuba divers as well as for sailboaters and kayakers.
Two festivals are identified with Capiz.
Sinadya sa Halaran – among the most significant yearly celebrations in Roxas City. It is a fusion of two different festivals, Sinadya and Halaran (city and province, respectively). The festivities commemorate joy in thanksgiving and sharing. Sinadya sa Halaran is celebrated every December 4 to 8.
- Balintawakan Festival – a gathering of senior citizens in the town of Pontevedra. The aim of the activity is to bind elder people in an unwritten commitment to preserve simple traditions that began long ago, but interrupted by World War II. The event is held every December 31 at the town’s public market. Balintawak is a traditional Filipino costume for womenfolk.
How to get there
Two flights daily are offered from Metro Manila to Roxas City. Travel time is 45 minutes. Boat services take about 16 hours from Manila, while buses going via Ro-Ro (Roll-On-Roll-Off) take 14 hours. Some travelers opt to drop by Iloilo City or Caticlan, Aklan first before going to Capiz via bus.