Local airlines PAL and Cebu Pacific have daily flights from Manila to Roxas City, the capital of Capiz. Air travel is approximately 65 minutes.
Sea travel is also another option. If you’re coming from Batangas, 2GO Travel has two trips every week to Roxas City via Culasi Port. Travel time is about 14 to 16 hours.
If you’re in Iloilo, you can ride a bus or van to Roxas City at the Tagbak Terminal in Jaro. Travel is two to three hours.
How to Get Around
The main mode of public transportation in Capiz is the tricycle. If you’re moving from one town to the other, you can ride a jeep.
What to See
Capiz is a remarkable destination with an assortment of important landmarks, natural wonders, and cultural attractions that make it a gem in the country.
At the corner of Rizal and Zamora streets in downtown Roxas City is the ancestral home of former Philippine President Manuel Acuña Roxas. The house, which is made of hardwood and stone, was declared a National Historical Shrine by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. Presently, it serves as the private residence of the descendants of the former president, but tourists are welcome to take photos of its impressive façade and architecture.
The Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral, also known as the Roxas Cathedral, is right in the heart of Roxas City. Completed in 1876, the cathedral is considered one of the oldest churches in the entire island of Panay. Just a stone’s throw away is Roxas City Fountain, which was built in 1925. The fountain has undergone many renovations in the past that met heavy criticism from the general public. It continues to serve as the kilometer zero marker of the city.
Not far away is a monument dedicated to the country’s national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. The landmark is said to be one of the oldest Rizal monuments in the country. It was built in 1911, just 15 years after his death.
Also not to be missed is the Capiz Provincial Capitol Complex, which has been around since 1915. The capitol was built by American architect William Parsons following Neoclassical architecture.
Connecting the city center from the southern area is the historic Roxas City Bridge, which traverses Panay River. The bridge was constructed in 1910.
Another Neoclassical masterpiece is Roxas Bandstand. Built in the 1920s, the bandstand has withstood the test of time due to its innovative architecture that can endure earthquakes.
Recently, a giant statue of Jesus Christ was put up inside Pueblo de Panay in Roxas City. The statue towers at 132 feet, the tallest monument of its kind in the country.
About 15 minutes away from Roxas City is the town of Panay, where you’ll find the biggest Christian bell in Asia—the Dakong Linganay. The bell was made in 1878 from the 70 sacks of melted coins donated by the locals. It was installed in the bell tower of the Baroque Santa Monica Church, another National Historical Landmark in Capiz. The church was built from coral stone and has retained its old-world charm. Another interesting feature of Santa Monic Church is an old Spanish well named Fuente de Vida.
Perched on top of a hill in Barangay Dulangan in Pilar is the Agtalin Shrine that houses an 80-foot image of the Virgin Mary. It is the tallest Marian statue in Asia and draws in thousands of pilgrims every year.
Barangay Casanayan, also in Pilar, is home to the mummified remains of Maria de Juan Basañes, or more commonly known as “Lola Ibe.” Her cadaver has been preserved inside a glass case. The locals strongly believe that she grants the wishes of anyone who comes to town to visit her.
In addition to historic destinations, Capiz has remarkable natural attractions as well. Like most places in the country, it has also been blessed with vast bodies of water. For watersports enthusiasts, Baybay Beach in Roxas City spans three kilometers and lined with black sand shores. Its waters are clean and refreshing, and perfect for skim boarding, water skiing, or even for some good ol’ swimming.
Olotayan Island is another natural attraction in Roxas City, located 30 minutes away by pump boat from Banica Wharf. The island is known for its crystal clear waters. It is also blessed with abundant marine life that divers and snorkelers will surely enjoy.
Cruising through the Cadimahan-Lobtong River gives you the perfect opportunity to observe different fishing methods, explore lush mangroves, and see its distinct wildlife. Meanwhile, the Culajao Mangrove Eco-Park is also a great place where you can spend time with Mother Nature. The park covers almost five hectares of mangroves, which is being protected by the local government and their partner environmental groups.
Liktinon Falls is found in Barangay Bayuyan in the town of President Roxas, about an hour away from Roxas City. The trek up to the falls isn’t exactly a walk in the park: it’s rocky and will require a lot of effort and strength. But once you get there, you will be welcomed with a dazzling view of the majestic falls. Another remarkable natural wonder to see is Hinulugan Falls in the town of Pilar, which is recognized as one of the highest waterfalls in Capiz.
The province also has numerous caves to see: Lahab Cave in the town of Dumalag features fascinating stalactites and stalagmites, while Suhot Cave features an arched entrance, a pool of ice cold spring water, and interconnected caverns of varying sizes.
Learn more about the history, heritage, arts, and culture of the people of Capiz by visiting the Panublion Museum. The museum used to be a circular water tank until the government renovated it in 1993. It is open to the public from Mondays to Saturdays, and entrance is free of charge.
La Playa de Roxas, also known as the People’s Park, is found at the end of Arnaldo Boulevard, just a stone’s throw away from Roxas City Airport. The park serves as a leisure and recreational center where people can go for picnics, do fitness activities, or take long walks as the cool breeze from the expansive Sibuyan Sea blows by.
Events and Festivals
Capiz celebrates a lot of festivals every year, but the most anticipated is the celebration of Sinadya sa Halaran. This fiesta is the fusion of Roxas City’s Sinadya Festival and the province’s Halaran Festival. It is held every December to honor the Immaculate Conception, the patroness of Capiz. People can look forward to trade fairs, grand parades, fluvial processions, street dancing, and fireworks as part of the festivities.
Where to Eat
Seafood is highly recommended when you visit Capiz, especially Roxas City. It is, after all, the “Seafood Capital of the Phillipines.”
The San Antonio Resort in Baybay Beach is home to restaurants where you’ll have a vast selection of food offerings. You can order Italian food at Port Lago Restaurant and even Thai food at The Wok. Of course, don’t miss the seafood selection at Kainan Village.
The People’s Park in the provincial capital is also a dining hotspot, aside from being a recreation center. Many eateries are found along the park where you can have affordable seafood dishes. This dining place by the bay is very similar to the popular dampa-style in Metro Manila.
Coco Veranda is another recommended dining spot in Roxas City where their seafood dishes take center stage. Enjoy a hot bowl of their kagaycay soup, more commonly known as clam soup, while dining al fresco and looking out into the wide Baybay Beach.
Café Terraza is a far cry from the usual seaside restaurants and eateries. The restaurant was built on top of a hill so you can enjoy its election of Asian and Western dishes with scenic views of the city.
Meanwhile, RML Manokan is the place to visit if you’re craving for grilled delicacies like chicken inasal. While dining, you can also watch live acoustic performances.
Where to Shop
For shopping, there is the two-level Robinsons Place Roxas inside Pueblo de Panay (a mixed-use township development right in the heart of the city) that offers about 200 shopping and dining places.
Punta Dulog, also found within Pueblo de Panay, has a variety of shopping options too. You can shop ‘til you drop since it’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week!
Fare: PHP 2,500.00++
Round trip air fares between Manila and Roxas City cost about PHP 2,500.00 to as much as PHP 4,000.00.
When going around the province, a tricycle ride starts at PHP 10.00 per person. The jeep fare is PHP 7.00 for the first four kilometers.
Food: PHP 200 to PHP 300.00
There are eateries where you can enjoy a full meal for only PHP 100.00. There are also classy restaurants where meals can go as high as PHP 500.00. The recommended budget for dining is around PHP 200.00 to PHP 300.00 per person.
Shopping: PHP 20.00 to PHP 2,000.00
Key chains and ref magnets are usually priced from PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00 each, while souvenir shirts are around PHP 200.00. Bags made out of Capiz shells range from PHP 800.00 to PHP 1,500.00. Christmas lanterns or parol are also popular souvenir items. They are priced at PHP 2,000.00 minimum.
Accommodation: PHP 800.00 to PHP 3,000.00
There are hostel rooms in the province that are available for only PHP 800.00 a night, while rooms in some hotels cost as much as PHP 3,000.00 for an overnight stay.
Activities: PHP 100.00 to PHP 1,000.00
Most attractions in the province don’t charge entrance fees, so you can explore many attractions in Capiz without worrying about your budget. For some activities, spelunking or island hopping will cost you roughly around PHP 100.00 to PHP 200.00 for land transportation and around PHP 500.00 for tour guide fees.
Other Fees and Taxes: PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00
When dining, a service charge is already included in the bill in most restaurants. Tipping is no longer necessary in these cases, but if you insist, you can leave a small amount of PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00.
||ETA In Roxas City
||Have breakfast at Spanggo Café.
||Ride a tricycle to Pan-ay and visit the Sta. Monica Parish Church to see the biggest Christian bell in all of Asia.
||Go on the Cadimahan Libotong River Tour. You can also have lunch on the raft as you cruise along the river.
||Go on a heritage tour of the city and visit the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral.
||Visit the Capiz Provincial Capitol Complex and take pictures of the Roxas Bandstand and the Roxas City Fountain.
||Catch the sunset at the La Playa de Roxas.
||Have dinner at the seafood park at La Playa de Roxas and head back to your hotel afterwards to rest.
||Jog along the People’s Park.
||Have breakfast at the hotel.
||Go beach bumming at the Baybay Beach. You can also ride a pump boat to Olotayan Island, which is only 30 minutes away.
||Have lunch at the San Antonio Resort.
||Check out of the hotel and head straight to the airport.
||Depart Roxas City for Manila.
||ETA in Manila
The weather from Capiz is dry from December to May and wet from June to November. The temperature can drop to as low as 19 degrees Celsius but can also shoot up to as high as 33 degrees Celsius. On your visit to the city, remember to pack light clothes especially for the day tour and a light jacket or scarf when it gets cold at night.
There are a number of hospitals available throughout the province should you need medical assistance. The leading hospitals in the province are the government-owned Roxas Memorial Provincial Hospital and the private tertiary hospital, St. Anthony College Hospital. Both are located in Roxas City.
Pharmacies are available in Capiz, especially in Roxas City. But if you have certain medical conditions, it’s still best to bring your own set of medicine.
Capiz is a tourist-friendly place that sees its share of visitors every year. There is absolutely no basis for the rumors about mythological creatures inhabiting the province. Like most destinations in the Philippines, it has friendly locals, a vibrant culture, and interesting attractions. But there is no harm in practicing vigilance in order to avoid petty crimes. Always be mindful of your surroundings, and keep an eye on your valuables, especially when visiting crowded and public places.