7 Awesome Things To Do in Capiz, Philippines

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor November 8th, 2015 Posted in Asia Travel Blog, Destination, Philippines Travel Blog, Travel Blog, Travel Guides 94 Comments

“Bring some blessed oil, garlic or whatever you can use to protect you from ‘aswang’ (vampires).” “Do not sleep in someone’s house even it’s for free.” “Do not eat what people offer you.”

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Those are some of the reminders or better say warnings before I traveled to Capiz which I failed to do so. Why should I follow those ‘warnings’ anyway? The time I visited the Province of Capiz was two weeks after the strongest typhoon in the country called Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) wrecked down the province.

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In Baybay, an island community of Panay town, Capiz. Over 20 houses are here before Typhoon Haiyan hit the area, killing seven people.

Despite the shattered houses, tumbled trees, unending patience for food relief and lost loved ones, there was still the ‘glow of hope’. No one warned me how beautiful the smiles of Capizeños (people living in Capiz) are. No one reminded me that they offer the warmest accommodation. No one told me that they have the every scrumptious seafood you may think. THAT IS THE REAL CAPIZ!

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A Natural Filipino ‘Recovering Smile’.

Capiz, along with Iloilo, Antique, and Aklan are part of the Panay Island in Visayas, Philippines. Roxas City, among the 24 municipalities, serves as the capital of Capiz, where the airport is located. Flights from Manila are still limited from two to three every day. Better buy your ticket now and experience the things you will read on this article, as you visit a first-class province, Capiz.

Here’s the list for 7 Awesome Things To Do in Capiz

1. Do an Ultimate Seafood Trip

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Seafood Overload.

Roxas City is dubbed as the ‘Seafood Capital of the Philippines’. As you arrived in the city’s humble airport, tricycles are in line to bring you in a popular place called ‘Baybay’. Taxis are also waiting for passengers but they are very limited due to high competition with the tricycle. Literally translated as seaside, Baybay gives you several choices of restaurants, offering sea foods. Each food stall presents fresh marine stuff where you can pick them and ask to cook the dish you prefer. Grilled is the top method of cooking, but soup like Shrimp Sinigang is also in the options!

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In Baybay, Roxas City. Can be associated with Metro Manila’s Bay in Roxas Boulevard, where people mostly gather to eat and watch the sunset.

Tip: All over Capiz, seafoods are available, especially the oysters, which are commonly sold just like street food. For about 20PHP (0.50USD), you can have a serving (around 10 pieces, depending on the size) of oysters. Do not miss as well the Capiz shell that is known to its notable meat inside the thin white shell.

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Oyters as you want. Drink a soda too to avoid indigestion.

2. Trek in Sweetseerland (Switzerland)

Yes, you read it right, as in the country in Europe, but locals spell and pronounce it as Sweet-seer-land.

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A glimpse of Switzerland in Barangay Dulangan, Pilar, Capiz.

Inspired by the Alps in Switzerland, Barangay (like a Village but bigger) Dulangan in Pilar town of Capiz associated one of its areas as Switzerland due to its inviting mountainous location. Dulangan is the biggest barangay in Pilar, inhabiting more than 5,000 residents. The Barangay Hall can easily be traced along the road. By taking a bus from the Roxas Terminal, you can directly ask the Barangay head for the permission to hike in the Switzerland. This is basically a residential place where houses are kilometers apart from each other. Before the super typhoon landed, fruits such as rambutan and lanzones are abundantly growing in the area and were the main source of the whole town.

7 Awesome Things To Do in Capiz, Philippines 7
Pass by the laundry daily life of women in the Barangay.

Tip: You can also go in Dulangan from Iloilo City that can take you for about 3 hours of Bus Ride.  It is better to contact the local officials first before you arrive so they can look for someone who can guide you.

Related Article: Looking for affordable accommodation? Check out deals on Agoda.

3. Reach the Agtalin Shrine in 200 steps with a side trip to Puting Bato (White Stone/Cave)

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The Miraculous Medal Statue of Mary for Catholics, standing in Shrine. A snake is lying underneath Mary’s feet to embody the defeat of evil and sin.

Can’t get enough of hiking? Then add some hundreds of steps more to your day by climbing a hill where the Agtalin Shrine is located. Erecting at 85 feet and considered as the tallest Marian Statue in Asia, it remained undamaged despite the land fall of Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. It was in 1991 when volunteer workers began to form the statue, tackling uneasy site; and successfully blessed by Bishop Onesimo Geordoncillo of Capiz after two years.

The shrine is situated in the same barangay as the Switzerland. Masses are held only every first Saturday of the month and many devotees grace with the Mary’s blessed effigy for healing purposes.

Tip: This can be a best activity to end the day in the town. Go up around 5 in the afternoon when the sun is not on its brightest and witness the sunset in the Shrine. Whether you go there for religious reason or not, it will not matter as you will surely enjoy the relaxing view from the top and realize how rich the province is in natural wonders.

Just after going down from the shrine, head to Puting Bato. Visible from the highway passing the barangays of Pilar town, this is also perfect for a stop during a long land trip and get some creative shots of this huge cave.  No worries for a tourist-competition in getting the best shot of Puting Bato/Cave as you can get a wide-range of angle due to its size. Additionally, there is still no ‘touristic’ offer on how to get in the cave as it is said to be privately owned. This naturally-crafted cave offers countless of rock formations inside.

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A snap from the road of Puting Bato in Pilar.

4. Divulge the Hidden Paradise in Dayhagan

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The Innocent Dayhagan Beach in the Morning.

Before you click that ‘book’ button for your flight going to Aklan, the province where Boracay belongs, why not try the less-tourists and definitely a cheaper destination in its neighbouring province, Capiz?

No crowd to face to; only residents to deal with.

No expensive food to buy; only cheap and delectable local food to eat.

No white sand to step in; only whiter.

No blue water to swim to; only bluer sea to view and play with.

Those are what the Dayhagan Beach can offer.

Tagged as the Hidden Paradise by the locals, Dayhagan Beach welcomes people for free. NO ENTRANCE FEE!

Cottages are not available in the area so it’s a good way to be more friendly with the sand and let your back rest while watching the bluer sky. Having an overnight can be negotiated with the community leaders and residents; whether staying in a house or just bring some tents. No worries for the mosquitoes at night, there is none. Wind in the area is also perfect as a replacement for an electric fan or an air conditioner. When it comes to food, bringing your own is highly recommendable though people there also catch seafood and they sell them. It is not every day that they can get something to eat from the sea so better pack some fruits and fish to grill. Above all, never leave any waste on this virgin beach.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Boracay.

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Dayhagan Beach calmly awaits your visit.

Tip: If coming from Manila, just book a flight to Roxas City or Iloilo City. Either from these cities, you can ride a bus or van which stops in the Balasan terminal. From the terminal, just take a tricycle and say, Barangay Dayhagan’s Hall. Since entering on that village to experience the beach is free, be sure to contact the Barangay Captain beforehand as permission for a visit.

Transportation Tip: If you’re looking for the cheapest way to book the Trains, Buses, Ferries, Transfers on this route, we use 12Go.Asia to compare the prices!

Powered by 12Go Asia system

5. Boat ride along the Mangrove areas

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Locally called as baroto (boat), roving in river walled by Mangroves.

To better appreciate the 7,107 islands (still changing, depends if it’s low or high tide) of the Philippines, try a boat trip while viewing the Mangroves habitat. This can also be an alternative to an Island hopping where wide ocean surrounds you. Mangroves grow along rivers and shores in tropical areas and mostly live on muddy soil which make them valuable in bearing ocean-related calamities like storms and hurricanes.

Tip: There is no proper company or group that organizes a boat trip in Island communities in Capiz. However, boats are used for the people in the island to go in the center market to purchase their needs. One of the main spots is in Marita in President Roxas (residentially known as Lutod-lutod) where boats are park. You can ask some people there to bring you in some island barangays, which can take about an hour each. This would then be a special trip for 500PHP (10USD) round trip. Remember, be friendly! Even if you do not speak the local dialect, be confident enough. Be adventurous but always bring the word ‘safety’!

6. Enjoy the unlimited Balut and contribute in community’s livelihood

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One of the world’s most challenging food trip and somehow serves as one of Philippine’s identity, the BALUT.

Barely 95% of Capiz are affected by the super typhoon, which caused vast damage to agriculture, infrastructure and livelihood. Damage to infrastructure was pegged at PHP4.272 billion, agriculture at PHP3.83 billion, and fisheries at PHP759 million. Leaving these denting digits, recovery is a priority after a disaster. How will the typhoon survivors recoup after losing almost everything? Source of income is the key! And good news, by travelling, you can actually contribute on this.

In Barangay Manhoy, Dao, Capiz, Balut (fertilized duck egg) production was one of the main ventures. Almost every household has ducks, providing reasonable number of eggs for Balut. Selling at 15PHP for the ready-to-eat balut and 10PHP for the eggs, better grab some dozens and enjoy them with your fellow travellers at night (with beer)!

Tip: Order bulk number of chicken egg and serve them as Balut back to your home. I know this can be bought everywhere in the Philippines but this kind of Balut is specially originated from one of the best sources.

7. Treasure the locals’ talents

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A Senior Capizeño unwearyingly weaves a mat, hoping for a decent income after selling it.

Travelers or tourists or whatever you may call to yourself, we are all strangers once we step in to a new place. Aside from food, the locals’ talents are the best way to discern a place. This is, of course, an appreciation to the people you are visiting. Capiz might not be as popular as Marikina for their shoes, it has veiled products which are surely done with full passion. A living example is a widow in Barangay Binaobawan, Pilar, Capiz, who has been making Banig (bed mat) since she lived alone. At 80, Magdalena Crispolon, stitches materials (dried leaves) manually by hands and will be done by two weeks. The eight-decade old Manugbanig (a person making banig or mat) is not crafting this product in an order basis but in pure luck and hope that somebody will order from her. You might be interested to get one? This is a good souvenir though.

Tip: This is just a sample on how your stay in Capiz can be more unique. There are numerous products made by distinctive talents in every community of the Province; it is for you to discover one. Instead of targeting souvenir shops in malls, just grab real locally-produced items. I mean, first hand-products will be better and less costly.

Keeping the Awesome Things in Capiz after a Disaster

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All things will be bright and beautiful again after a sudden gloom.

The Capiz Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDDRMC) recorded at least 156,074 families, or 703,566 individuals affected after strong wind, destroying 83,718 houses and damaging76,835 others. Leave those numbers in history and just make new record of ceaseless things to do in Capiz. I already enumerated seven.

Monkey DividersAbout the Writer:

To Nuremberg: A Letter to the City I fell in love and will forever be

Jessica Ayun is a Freelance Writer who writes if 5-10 cups of coffee  a day will be served. She used to work as a TV Researcher but her feet are always curious to  step into new places so she decided to work in the communities of Visayas and Mindanao as  a  Documenter for almost two years, through a non-government organization (NGO). She tries to see the “real  happiness” in  every person she meets and every place she goes to. She will always choose mountains than beaches.

 

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94 thoughts on “7 Awesome Things To Do in Capiz, Philippines

  1. heading there tomorrow to finish off backpacking visayas! yes! i hope typhoon “urduja” wont be a killjoy
    thanks for this very informative blog!

  2. Wow this looks like an amazing place. I’d love to travel more and take my children to see the world, especially genuine experiences such as this

  3. This place sounds really interesting and it looks like there’s so much to do. I love the look of the hidden paradise.

  4. Gosh just look at the seafood spread!!! I’m thinking about heading to SE Asia this summer so will bear these tips in mind 🙂

  5. I can only dream about visiting such a fantastic place! One day…. maybe! I’ll mind the tips for vampires though. 😉

  6. Amazing! I love the photos and all the tips on this guide. I have always wanted to try balut and Philippines is on my bucket list – hopefully one day soon. In the meantime, thankful for your reading about your experience

  7. wow what an amazing experience not a place I have ever thought of visiting although it really does amazingly interesting great pictures too

  8. You always have the best guides! I would love to visit the Philippines some day and have a few friends from there.

  9. I bet the food is amazing! The Philippines is somewhere that I really want to visit one day.

  10. Hey, this is so cool! I’m from Pilar, Capiz also 🙂 . Glad you made out of there alive…nah..just kidding. I have yet to see the aswangs, too.. Anyways, thank you for featuring our place.
    Good luck to your adventures!

  11. This is a very nice article Jessica. I never knew that Capiz is as wonderful as to how you described it. And the seafood, mouthwatering! Hope I can visit the place soon, so I can experience all of these myself too. Thanks for sharing! 🙂 Will definitely wait for your next blog post.

  12. Interesting. That seafood platter looks ridiculously yum. Can also vouch that the river-side laundry routine is quite common in many parts of Asia. I’ve seen it quite often here, in rural India too! LOL

  13. Sweetseerland – no way! Thanks for the tips, I would love to go. What tragedy they’ve suffered yet so hospitable!

  14. Thanks for featuring Capiz Jessica. I will visit Switseerland this time as I was born in Roxas City but now living in Canada.and Dulangan will be one of the places to see/visit. There are no “aswangs” in Capiz. It’s just a myth. I wish people would stop thinking about that. Well-schooled or not please – it’s NOT true. Enjoy the ever cheap seafood, beaches and sceneries.

  15. Great write-up and awesome photos. Capiz was an afterthought during the Yolanda season. Hopefully by now, the province is back to its beautiful self.

    BTW… that local Switzerland in Pilar looks spectacular.

    1. Thanks, Ron! Capiz is slowly recovering just like how filipinos usually do. Hehe. Mountains in Pilar look more than decent for a hike. 😉

  16. Hahaha. There are lots of churches in the Province though. Feel safe, Eva and you can fully enjoy those seafood 😀

  17. You had me at seafood trip.

    Seriously, I love food so pretty much all my travels revolve around food. Capiz looks aammazzzzinnnng x

  18. I’ll be honest, i am afraid to go to Capiz but ohhhh. Number 1 and number 4. How i love seafood and the beach. Wow!

  19. Jessica… you again did it with this off beat place. Introduction lines were so intriguing that i had to keep reading the post.

    1. Thank you, Himanshu! 🙂 There’s still a long list of those off-the-beaten-places and what I explored is only a tiny part of it. Hope you can go to Capiz soon. 🙂

  20. I never thought one would have tons of fun in Capiz. I’d love to check out those wonderful places myself. Can’t wait to meet the people of Capiz.

  21. I like wide spaces. Makes me want to visit Baybay. And the Oyster is incredibly cheap. If it reaches Manila, the price will triple.

    I also like your photo of Puting Bato but those electric lines are a distraction. Local government should do something about those like installing them in the ground instead.

    1. Hello Otakore, that’s why I love staying there for a while so I can grab the chance in tasting oyster and other seafood at their lowest price and fresh quality. HAHAHA

      I tried to enter on that Cave but failed. Next time, I will try as well to capture that without the disturbing wires. Hehe. Thanks, Otakore! 🙂

  22. What an intriguing start to this piece. Really sad to hear about the destruction, ever year so many typhoons really hit the country and cause havoc. It is great to see that you still traveled and showed it to the world, the smiles on the people faces say it all

    1. That’s a common wrong brand for the Province. Luckily, I was able to see its real assets. 🙂 Pay a visit in Capiz and you will surely love it.

  23. Thanks for sharing valuable information about Capiz, Jessica!!! I read this entire article and I am happy to have learned stuff about this part of the Philippines! Xx

    1. Thanks for taking time in reading the whole article, Trisha! 🙂 You will not regret visiting this province. 🙂 Welcome back to PH! 🙂

  24. “Bring some blessed oil, garlic or whatever you can use to protect you from ‘aswang’ (vampires).” “Do not sleep in someone’s house even it’s for free.” “Do not eat what people offer you.” <<< the old saying.

    well Aswang is not just a vampire, it can also be a witch or a ghoul. In fact, many people are suffering from XDP in Capiz and still being branded aswangs. Unfortunately.

    Anyway back to your topic. HOLY ULTIMATE FOODPORN! How was your blood pressure?

    1. Haha. Yes, Ten, Vampire is just a sample. Hehe. Sooner or later that brand of Capiz will be changed. 🙂

      For the food, I am low blood so there’s no problem and luckily no allergy in seafoods. Haha. But of course, control yourself as well so you will have more time to experience an ultimate seafood trip. Haha.

  25. Love your positive tone – reminds me of that quote about how travelling teaches you that everyone is wrong about other countries. I’ve been wanting to go to the Philippines for ages, and every time I see a blog post about the country, this is reinforced. I’ll put Capiz on my itinerary!

    1. Thank you, Danielle. 🙂 I am trying to lift the province after the typhoon. This is not highlighted as one of the most affected areas unlike Tacloban. Same with Philippines’ top destinations, you will not normally see Capiz on the list. Glad you found it interesting to include in your IT. 🙂

  26. Capiz is definitely in my bucket list of places to visit in 2016! It’s just sad what the typhoon did the to the the towns there.

    Angelo

    1. Tick off Capiz in your bucket list next year! 🙂 Let me know which places you want to go, I might help you. 🙂

  27. It was very interesting reading about Capiz. I had not heard of this part of the Philippines. So sorry to hear about the destruction caused by the typhoon, but it sounds like the people are very resilient.

    1. They are, Doreen, all filipinos actually 🙂 After two years, this Province is fortunately slightly recovered so better visit it now. 😉

  28. Thank you for enlighten us haha, that Capiz is , just not about “aswang” or some creepy creatures but it was a place we may call Treasure 😉 by this we can say “It’s more fun in the Philippines looking forward to visit that wonderful place SOON 🙂 thanks again

    1. Thank you also, Jhen! Philippines is a gem itself and that’s because of its varieties of awesome towns and provinces, like Capiz. No need to bring anti-aswang when you go to Capiz, it’s safe. 😀

  29. Thank you for featuring Dulangan. Please email me the next time you plan to visit Pilar.
    By the way, Sweetseerland is how you would spell it. Sweet seer land, because of the Shrine.

    Grace

    1. Noted that, Grace. 🙂 I remember one of the locals, a barangay health worker, once pronounced it like that and immediately joked about going to Switzerland without any visa. 😀

  30. I have’nt been in Dulangan since the late 90’s but I dare say you have only seen the tip of this barangay and the municipality of Pilar as well. Cross the winding Agtalin creek (or river?) three times and find yourself under the shades of hundred years old PILI trees, cracking its nuts; go deeper towards the hills of Bughaan and bath in a crystal clear ‘swimming pool’ on the side of a perfect camping/excursion site. I am always longing to be back in this place.
    By the way, I think the WHITE CAVE you mentioned was known before as BALISONG CAVE, if my memory serves me right.
    And next you visit Dulangan, find an elderly native and ask about HIDDEN TREASURES . . .

    1. Hi Ricarido,
      Thank you for your well-thought comment. Love those details! 🙂
      Yes, there are lots to discover in Capiz, particularly in Dulangan, Pilar. Too bad I can just listed seven out many things to do in the Province which includes the Pilar town. I will be glad to be back there and experience those you have mentioned. Yes, Puting Bato/Balisong Cave and I guess there are still others. Whenever we pass that cave, residents always tell us the White Stone/Cave for easy recognition due to its physical appearance. I wish you can be back again in Dulangan and tour me around in your place! I was only in Sitio Cantil and Guise (island areas), most of the time and I believed the mountainous parts are amazing. 🙂

    1. Oh my! You’re from Pilar, Anna! My favorite town. Hahaha. From which barangay are you? We should have met when I was there. 😀

    1. Hello Hernanie,

      Thanks for your comment. I should be thankful for Capiz for accepting and treating me so well. I will definitely come back there again and eat lots of seafoods. Hehe

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