This leg of my Philippine Tour was probably the most special. On my 5th day, I started traveling alone.
My friends flew back to Manila from Bacolod as they needed to go back to their regular work. As the only person left in the city, I was not sure where to go. All I knew was I wanted to go somewhere I had not visited yet. The perfect answer was Roxas! When people go to Panay Island, Capiz (where Roxas is situated in) usually takes the bottom of the list of places to visit. On the five times that I visted Panay, Capiz never became part of the itinerary. As I was really looking for a memorable experience alone, I decided to go to Roxas.
I woke up early the next day, and reached the port going to Iloilo by 8AM. I got a ticket that will sail around 9AM. If things go according to plan, I should arrive Roxas by 4PM. After a few minutes of waiting in the Boarding Area, the electricity went out. A few minutes later, a man announced that our boat will not sail by 9AM since the Coast Guard advised that it was unsafe to sail given the strong rain and winds.
That time, I felt like the world was trying to stop me to go to Roxas. If I stay in Bacolod, my initial plan to never take a plane back to Manila will be crushed. Around 11AM, crossing the sea was cleared, and I energetically boarded the boat.
Upon reaching Iloilo, I rode a jeepney headed to the Ceres Bus Terminal bound for Roxas. I reached Roxas City at 7PM. Since it was practically a whole day of traveling, I rewarded myself with SEAFOOD of course!
I dropped my bag in the hostel, and swiftly went straight to People’s Park, Baybay. Honestly, it was a bit scary traveling at night alone as the road from City Proper to Baybay was dark.
I ordered Grilled Scallops and Kinilaw na Hipon!
Heading back to the hostel was even scarier because there were fewer tricycles that time. Nonetheless, I was able to get a tricycle and got back to my hostel safe.
What did I do?
- Roxas Rotunda
- Roxas Cathedral
- Capiz Capitol
- Roxas City Fountain
- Roxas City Bridge
- Roxas City Bandstand
- Sta. Monica Church (Big Bells)
Lunch in Baybay
Afternoon (I DID NOT PUSH THROUGH)
- Manuel Roxas Shrine
- Capiz Pilgrimage Sites
The Roxas City rotunda was just a 10-min walk from the hostel I stayed in. I sat in front of the Capitol and fascinated myself with the vibrant view of the city. Around the fountain are fascinating structures that are inevitable to snap: the Capitol, the Cathedral, Bandstand and the Bridge.
The next big part of the trip was the Museum. Though small, the museum electrified me with its parallel story-telling — one was its history told through epic, and one was through factual approach. I stayed longer in the museum than what I expected.
I did not leave Capiz without catching the biggest bell in Asia. From Roxas City, I rode a tricycle bound for Pan-ay. It was a 20-min tricycle ride. Ask the driver to drop you in Sta. Monica Church.
When I arrived, the church was close. Good thing, a family of five arrived and had an arranged visit on the Church. I hitched on their tour of the Church. The Sta Monica Church of Pan-ay, Capiz, is a hidden treasure of Capiz.
The guide told us that after “surveying” Cebu, the Spaniards looked for other island to explore and found the Panay Island. The town of Pan-ay is where they set foot in the island. It is located at the Northwest of Panay Island.
They named the area Pan-ay, which literally translates to “there’s food” because of the vast plains of the area signifying life/food. The original name of the town is Bamban (mouth).
The church used to be a non-concrete type, built in the 1500s. It was only in the 1700s when the structure in the picture was built. Trivia: This church is actually built earlier than Miag-ao Church!
At the top of the bell tower, I had the chance to see multiple sizes of bells that still work. Randy, a church server, played the bells for us. The church boasts having the biggest bell in Asia which sound can reach up to 8km!
NHCP, accdg to the Church Admin, is already planning to do restoration activities. (The items are above purely my takeaway from Randy’s story/spiel. Feel free to correct.)
After overstaying in Pan-ay, I rushed back to Roxas.
Let me re-share what I shared before on a separate occasion. What happened was beyond memorable:
Naalala ko ang idiom na “Wala nang space; doon ka sa gulong kung gusto mo!”
Pagkatapos ko maglakad sa Pan-ay, hinanap ko ang terminal pabalik ng Roxas.
Me: Ito po ba ang papuntang Roxas?
Driver: Dito Roxas! Dito Roxas!
*tingin sa loob, puno*
*tingin sa likod ng driver, puno*
*sabit sa likod, naging territorial si kuya sa likod*
Saan po ako uupo?
Kuya: *Tinuro ang GULONG!*
ANG GULONG! PINASAKAY AKO SA TAAS NG GULONG. At tatawid pakabilang bayan.
I was like WHATTT??!!
Tawang-tawa lang ako. Umaambon-ambon pa.
Philippines still surprises me. One of my best rides!
PS Sa lakas ng hangin, nalaglag/hinangin sheyds ko na mej may kamahalan. Sa lakas, naisama na rin ang mga negatibong salik ng aking damdamin.
Sabi nga sa isang pelikula, in that moment, I felt infinite.
There, ladies and gentlemen, I dropped my glasses worth ~10K. But it was all worth it. And that was still my most memorable ride as it seemed to have really taken away the sorrow and heavy items in my heart. Clearing up the heart and mind is beyond any cost.
I felt the wind crush my face and body. I screamed loud and the people inside the tricycle were laughing at my very touristy fascination. But that time, I released all the angst I had.
Upon arriving in Roxas City, I took another tricycle to go to Baybay and have my second round of Seafood. Luckily, the sky cleared up and gave me an amazing view while having my lunch.
How much did I spend?
Where did I stay?
How much did I spend?
To be continued…
Where did I stay?
To be continued…