Roxas City: The Seafood Capital of the Philippines
The capital of the Province of Capiz was named after the last president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, the first president of the Third Philippine Republic, and the fifth president of the Philippines pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 603.On April 11, 1951, the city charter was signed by President Elpidio Quirino, who succeeded President Manuel Acuña Roxas upon his untimely death in Clark Air Field in Pampanga.
The province’s proudest son, President Roxas was born to Gerardo Roxas, Sr. and Rosario Acuña in a house in the former town of Capiz, Capiz on January 1, 1892. His presidency was cut short when he succumbed to a heart attack while delivering an impassioned speech in defense of democracy on April 15, 1948.
Along the coast of Roxas City is the La Playa De Roxas or more popularly known as Baybay Beach. This is where the Capiznons stroll around, enjoying the finer things in life amidst the beautiful and endless backdrop of Sibuyan Sea. This is also where the best spot in the city to witness sunset.
Because it is bounded on the north by the expansive Sibuyan Sea and Jintotolo Channel, Roxas City is naturally abundant in marine resources. It is thus called the Seafood Capital of the Philippines. It is for this reason that I excitedly indulged myself into a seafood feast in Baybay Beach. Fresh. Abundant. Outright affordable.
There other important landmarks in the city; one of of which the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. The Cathedral was thrice built and like the other churches in Panay Island, it was also destroyed by the powerful earthquake in 1787.
Another interesting destination within the city center is Panubli-on Museum which houses important memorabilia and artifacts, including those of President Manuel A. Roxas. Panubli-on used to be the city’s water reservoir.
Beside the Panay River is the American Colonial-period City Bandstand which has been a mute witness to different social events, political rallies, and battles of the Second World War. Near the bandstand is one of the oldest existing bridged still in use. It was built in 1910.
Near the Capiz State University is the Capiz Provincial Park with the Capiz World War II Veterans Memorial as its centerpiece. The Memorial is solemnly and eternally dedicated by the Capiznons to honor and pay fitting tribute to the freedom fighters of the province.
There are other interesting places and destinations that can be found outside of the city center like the magnificent islands of Olotayan and Mantalinga. These offer exciting island adventures for the tourists visiting the Seafood Capital of the Philippines.
Like other cities and towns in the Philippines, Roxas City holds an annual festival. For practical and economic reasons, the Sinadya sa Halaran Festival is a collaboration of the provincial and the city governments and it is usually held during the first week of December.
There may be more popular destinations in Panay Island but Roxas City has some things to offer that can draw tourists and travelers. And the two instances that I have visited Roxas City, I still felt that I should go back there time and time again.
Note: This part of LegendHarry‘s July 30-August 8, 2013 Panay Island Backpacking Trip.