Captivating Capiz: Roxas City and Panay in a Day

To conclude our summer buzzer beater excursion, we went to Roxas City as our gateway to Islas de Gigantes. Aside from its national acclaim as the Seafood Capital of the Philippines, the city is more strategically located near the jump-off to the Gigantes island group than its Iloilo counterpart. The province is named after former President Manuel Roxas and is the capital city of Capiz.

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After our tiring but fulfilling day tour in the Gigantes Islands, we were back in Roxas for an overnight stay and a day to spare. It was already 7 PM when we arrived at the city and we were then still looking for a place to stay for the night. Luckily, a nice couple we met during the trip were kind enough to give us a ride to the city proper and even suggested possible hotels and places to eat. Thinking of our budget, we settled in a transient house called Bee Hive Inn and went straight to the Baybay area after checking in. It was already late so we just tried the local chicken inasal of RML Manokan Haus for a quick bite.

The following day, we went straight to the nearby town of Panay to visit a local hidden wonder, Asia’s Biggest Catholic Church Bell.

Attractions:

Sta Monica Church

A quick 15-minute tricycle ride from the terminal beside the provincial capitol brought us right in front of the Sta. Monica Parish Church, the home of the Panay Bell.

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The Panay Church was originally constructed sometime in 1774 in the former town of Bamban. In 1875, a typhoon destroyed the church and was reconstructed in 1884 under the direction of Fr. Jose Beloso, who also commissioned Don Juan Reina to cast a bell for the church.

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Using some seventy sacks of coins donated by the townsfolk, he completed the bell that measured seven (7) feet in diameter, five (5) feet in height and weighs 10,400 kilograms, making it the biggest not only in the Philippines but in all of Asia.

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Back in the city, we stopped by the Capiz Provincial Capitol, Roxas City Hall and the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral for some quick snaps before heading to Baybay for lunch. Baybay is the seaside attraction of the city where restaurants and bars all offer fresh and relatively cheap seafood. We ate at the Japinu Seafood Grill and took a quick stroll along the boulevard. After eating, we headed to the local market to buy some pasalubong, where we scored some cheap selection of dried fish.

We went straight to the city terminal and hopped on a van going back to Kalibo for our flight back to Manila.

Getting There:

Plane. Cebu Pacific and Philippines Airlines fly to and from Roxas City daily. From the airport, take a tricycle going to your hotel or onward destination in the city. The city can also be reached via Iloilo City, Kalibo and Caticlan airports. Travel time is one hour.

Boat. 2Go Transport sail to Roxas at least once a week.

Bus. Roll-on/Roll-off buses (Ceres Liner, Philtranco) coming from Cubao & Pasay travel daily to and from Roxas City via the Strong Republic Nautical Highway. Travel time is approx. 15-20 hours.

The main mode of transportation in the city is tricycle. Jeepneys on other hand service the routes to nearby towns, while Ceres Liner plies the inter-provincial routes within Panay.

Where to Stay:

Bee Hive Inn | Plaridel st., Roxas City | Tel. No.: (036) 6215-087 | Contact: Mr. Andy Fuentes | Php 500.00/aircon room

References: Roxas City Tourism

* Special mention to Debbi & Wis, our friendly guides for the trip.

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