Sunday, March 15, 2015

Capiz Province, Philippines

Tourist Attrations
Ang Panubli-on
Ang Panubli-On (Roxas City Museum)  originally built in 1910 as a water tank; it now stands as a museum. It has memorabilia of illustrious sons and daughters of Roxas City; collections of religious icons, artifacts and artworks.

Calajao Mangrove Eco-Park
Culajao Mangrove Eco-Park. Experience a breath-taking view of the 4.69 hectare mangrove reservation zone; a reforestation project of the Roxas City Government in partnership with Katunggan Sa Culajao Salbaron Association (KACUSA), Inc. and PEW Fellows Program in Marine Conservation to address the dwindling mangrove forest in the City of Roxas.

Pangilatan Falls
Pangilatan Falls. Located in Brgy. Artuz, Tapaz, Capiz is composed of a main waterfalls which has a water drop off of about 81 ft., countless mini falls whose water drop offs are between less than a foot to as high as 7 ft., the total length of which is at least 3.5 kms and could go as far as 8 kms; and a viewing area on the highest point of Brgy. Artuz where one could see the rolling hills and mountains of Tapaz and neighboring towns as far as Calinog, Iloilo in the south and Libacao, Aklan in the north, which could rival the famous chocolate hills of Bohol.

Balisong Cave
Balisong Cave. Approximately one and a half km from the poblacion by jeepneys, tricycles and cars over rough roads: About two years ago,At the Balisong Cave where the Capiz Revolucionarios routed the Spanish soldiers, townspeople discovered earthen pots carved with intricate designs. The cave must have been burial sites of pre-Spanish Filipinos.  This is where the greatest Capiznon hero, Juan Arce of Sigma, Capiz died. At the side of the cave is a spectacular sight of a mountain. A grayish black rock rising up to 200 ft. to the sky: Plants, orchids among them hang from the cliffs, blooming in the summer and filling the air with exotic fragrance.

Hinulugan Falls
Hinulugan Falls.  One of Capiz's highest waterfalls plunges over the brink into a shaded pool.  The waters cascade through three waterfalls among beautiful woodland settings along the way is another gigantic falls, where water magnificently flow from the top of the mountain along gorges and stands of unspoiled timbers.  Its rustling sound can be clearly heard along the road which is more than 200 meters away.  It is located in Brgy. Tabun-acan, Pilar.

Capiz is one of the component provinces in the Western Visayas Region. The province is located in the northeastern portion of Panay Island, bordering Aklan and Antique to the west, and Iloilo to the south. It faces the Sibuyan Sea to the north. Capiz is dubbed as the “Seafood Capital of the Philippines.” It boasts its 80-kilometer coastline and wide expanse of swampy lands which are easily converted into fishponds. Capiz is subdivided into 16 municipalities and 1 city. Roxas City is the provincial capital.

Capiz, which was part of Aklan in pre-Spanish times, was one of the early settlements of the Malays, centuries before the coming of the Spaniards to the Philippines. When the Spaniards led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi came to Panay from Cebu in 1569, they found people with tattoos, and so they called it Isla de los Pintados. Capiz became the second Spanish settlement after Cebu. Aklan and Capiz were united under one province until April 25, 1956, when President Ramon Magsaysay signed into law Republic Act 1414 separating the two entities.

Capiz is known for its mother-of-pearl shells called the Capiz shell which is used in making windows, lanterns, decorations, vases, etc. Farming and fishing are the primary sources of income of the people. Primary agricultural products of the province are rice, corn, coconut, sugarcane, banana and cut flower. Capiz holds one of the richest fishing grounds and a major contributor in the aquamarine industry of the Philippines. It is a major supplier of prawn and milk fish of the country. Other agro-industrial harvests include blue marlin, squid, oysters, shrimp, seaweed and angel wings. 

The early inhabitants of the province believed in many gods and spirits. Among these are the Bulalakaw, a bird which looked like a peacock and could cause illness and Manunubo was the good spirit of the sea. Others are kama-kama or dwarfs living in earth mounds; tamawu/taglugar are spirits that can be either friendly or evil; agta which is a very dark and hairy person living in the forest and amaranhig is a dead person who has returned to life. Hiwit or barang is a ritual that gives power to inflict pain on an enemy. 

On October 29 to 30, 2004, Capiz inaugurated the Aswang Festival, organized by a non-governmental group. It was a Halloween-like fiesta celebrated as a prelude to All Souls Day and All Saints Day festivals. It was, however, condemned by the Catholic hierarchy and some local officials, as an act of adoring the devil. 

Life in Capiz is simple and peaceful. It is an ideal refuge for those who wish to escape the fast-paced life in modern cities. Explore the rolling hills, mountain peaks and ranges. Enjoy daytime excursions at the province’s wide beaches and isolated coves. Visit local gardens, historical sites, old Spanish churches and Southeast Asia’s largest bell at Pan-ay Church.

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