|Manuel Roxas Shrine – birthplace of Capiz’ greatest son
When Capiz town became a city in 1951, it was renamed Roxas after its greatest son, President Manuel Acuña Roxas. The city sits at the base of mangrove forests and aquaculture ponds that fan out to the sea, supplying an abundance of marine life that make it the self-proclaimed “Seafood Capital of the Philippines”. It’s also called the “Venice of the Visayas” after the Panay River that cuts through the town center surrounded by some colonial structures.
|Beautifully-maintained interior of the Roxas Ancestral House
• The old quarter is centered on the city plaza. Start off at the farthest spot, the Manuel Roxas Shrine at the corner of Rizal and Zamora Streets is the ancestral house where Roxas, the last president of the Commonwealth and first President of the Republic of the Philippines was born on Janury 1, 1892. Today, the shrine is a private residence owned by the Acuña family. Ask the proprietors or caretakers for a tour of its airy, beautifully-preserved interiors filled with hardwood furniture and memorabilia. Donations for the shrine’s upkeep are encouraged.
|Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral
• The Roxas City Bridge (Old Capiz Bridge) over the Panay River was built in 1910. The bridge provides the best vantage point overlooking the other attractions of the plaza such as the Roxas City Fountain, which was renovated in 2008. It features four sculpted golden horsemen carrying a heavy arch, symbolizing unity and cooperation, especially in times of crisis.
|Panublion Museum used to be water tank built in 1910
• Passing along quaint cutflower stands, a new industry in Capiz province, head to the white-painted Ang Panublion (Roxas City Museum), a water tank built 1910 converted into a small museum showcasing President Roxas memorabilia and artifacts of the Panay Bukidnon, an indigenous tribe that lives in the highlands of Capiz. Donations for the museum’s upkeep are encouraged.
|Diwal clams – a Roxas specialty
• No trip to Roxas is complete without feasting on delicious sea critters. After all, it’s not dubbed the “Seafood Capital of the Philippines” for nothing. After the walking tour, one may hop on a tricycle (PHP 20) to the seaside boulevard along Baybay Beach, where there are native restaurants selling affordable seafood. A generous dinner for two of blue marlin, squid, crabs and clams was only PHP 420! Sample the province’s specialty are diwal (angel wing clams)…