Western Visayas has always been a dream for me to discover. I’ve heard A LOT of positive reviews from my colleagues, traveler and blogger friends, who’ve already made their adventures in Panay Island, suggesting a pile of activities to try, food to eat, and places to visit.
When I was given the opportunity to explore Panay, I didn’t hesitate and said yes, yes, YES! And it’s always best to share all good things in life right? that’s why I invited a friend of mine, who’s also a travel blogger based in Bacolod City – Mario Ban (www.happyfeetchapters.com), to journey with me and help promote the beauty of Western Visayas. So let’s start?
I arrived in Roxas City just in time to witness this beautiful sunrise at the Capiz Provincial Capitol Grounds. Good thing our guide – Mr. Jeff Agrasada from Capiz Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office was kind enough to give me time to appreciate the sun painting the sky yellow while strolling along the streets of Roxas City for the first time.
Like most town plazas and provinces in the Philippines, there is a Rizal Monument here in Capiz, right in front of the Provincial Capitol. A few meters in front of the monument is the fountain you saw just a few minutes ago.
And since I arrived quite early (actually very early – lol) I was first brought to our home in Capiz – Residencia de Capiz to get some shut-eye – which was actually favorable for me because I wasn’t able to get any sleep before the trip (well aren’t we all before a major trip right? right? haha)
– Residencia de Capiz –
Wow? Yeah, I had the same exact reaction upon seeing the room for the first time. I already knew about the name of the accommodation, but I didn’t really look up how their rooms look like, because I want that to be an “on the spot” thing. And Residencia de Capiz‘s Baybay Room didn’t disappoint.
I even called up Mario Ban to tell him how nice the room is (there goes the spoiler for him, well sorry Mario haha) just look at that blue and white aesthetic. Something I don’t see or even expect at most 2-3 star accommodations really.
I had my breakfast on their terrace/resto before completely falling asleep (not at the resto) and taking a well-deserved nap before our tour started just before lunchtime.
– Reese’s Grill and Seafood Restaurant –
First Stop: Reese’s for lunch. This restaurant is located in Baybay, Roxas City, and Mario was just in time! (He actually traveled from Bacolod just to take part in this adventure in Panay) And when I said lunch, I mean my VERY FIRST SEAFOOD MEAL in the SEAFOOD CAPITAL OF THE PHILIPPINES. Sorry, got carried away haha.
I instantly felt the difference between seafood served in Manila (not those ones served at upper-class restaurants) and the ones served in front of us. They have a complete difference when it comes to the actual taste of fish/shrimp meat that’s very umami (for me) and I couldn’t help but indulge in the goodness.
– Capiz Provincial Capitol –
After lunch, we went straight to the Capitol to meet Mr. Alphonsus Tesoro (gentleman in white polo to my left) – Provincial Tourism Officer of Capiz to make our formal introductions, and to our surprise, most (if not all) of Panay Island’s tourism officers are present in the same room! – now what to do? a selfie of course! haha, but kidding aside, we also introduced ourselves to everyone, our purpose why we are in their Province, our main goal for promotion, and our seafood cravings – lol. And we’re off!
– Marugo Lake, Tapaz, Capiz –
Marugo Lake in Tapaz, Capiz is an enchanting mountain resort is just a quick 3-kilometer drive from the town of Tapaz where your whole family can relax in its swimming pools or floating cottages for an exciting lunch or siesta at the lake.
Entrance Fee is only ₱10 for a stroll around the lake and photo ops, but if you wish to rent a floating cottage, the fee is ₱700/day. If you don’t have your own vehicle, you can rent a motorcycle from town at ₱30/way.
– Capiz Ecology Park –
The Capiz Ecology Park in Brgy. Nagba, Cuartero, Capiz serves many purposes to interested parties – such as team buildings, corporate events, field trips, and many more. Upon touring the place, we came across this huge treehouse, where people can actually go in and have their photos taken.
Aside from being a recreation hotspot, visitors can also go here for wellness fix (re-connection with nature sort of stuff). I would like to thank the people managing the Ecology park for treating us to some really delicious rice cakes and fresh coconut juice for a quick refreshment before we headed out to our next destination.
– Cabugao Verdant Farm –
Cabugao Verdant Farm is located in Brgy. Cabugao, Ivisan, Capiz. It is a one-stop-shop for all visitors looking for organic blessings of nature (food, farm products, plants, etc). Your whole family will surely enjoy strolling (but be careful) along the man-made paths for viewing the rice fields, kids can also use the swings (like what I did haha) and if you’re feeling tired for the day, they have a room you can rent that will fit the whole family.
We also enjoyed the fresh calamansi and turmeric juice served to us with banana chips! – oh, they were good! Thank you Ate Bing! I personally had an instant connection when I saw how the farm was built, because my family has almost the same set-up in the province. I felt at home.
– Basiao Beach –
Basiao Beach is a public beach located in Ivisan, Capiz that (for me) has a sand texture almost close to that in Boracay. Everyone can swim in its inviting waters, or just lie down or walk on the shore with your family/friends. Basiao Beach is best visited during sunset.
We were lucky to have witnessed a beautiful sunset at a beautiful beach, not far from the town of Ivisan – around 20-25 drive will bring you to this underrated beach in Capiz. If I only live in Capiz, I would love to visit this beach every weekend just to relax, play music by the waters, and enjoy the beautiful sundown with people (or dogs) haha. Annnd, did you know that Basiao Beach is also called “little Boracay”? now it’s your turn to visit!
– Anot’s Galley Grill and Restaurant –
For dinner, we were joined by Mr. Alphonsus Dalisay-Tesoro and had some small talk about the whole day we were on tour while having one of the best (or probably the best) seafood dinner I’ve had in the Philippines provided by one of the go-to seafood restaurants in the town: Anot’s Galley Grill and Restaurant:
All dishes were superbly delicious and perfectly cooked! My favorite would probably be the Spicy Baby Squids. It was heavenly. I felt full after a good 20 minutes of non-stop eating, but my mind says “You can do better!” – something like that haha. During dinner, I and Mario exchanged ideas with Mr. Tesoro and Mr. Agrasada about the beauty of Capiz, how they became the land where the BEST seafood is located, and what else Capiz has to offer visitors from all parts the world.