FROM NORTH TO WEST: EXPLORING ILOILO AND CAPIZ VIA CIRCULO TRAVEL
Living here in the North specifically Baguio City where it is known for its mountainous feature makes me curious about what Iloilo and Capiz look like since it’s my first time to visit these places. Visiting a place outside of your town, much more outside Luzon can give you mixed feelings of excitement and curiosity. Since I only checked the photos of the places on the internet, I’m more excited to see it in person and I was sure this is going to be a great trip.
The travel begins!
Our team rode a bus for our travel from Baguio going to NIA 3. It was almost a five-hour trip and one thing to keep in mind to make your travel convenient is to wear comfortable clothes and pack some snacks.
On the way to Roxas City
One thing that makes this travel exciting to me is that it’s my first time to travel via airplane. Well, there’s always a first time for everyone. We arrived hours early before our scheduled flight but hey, it’s better to be earlier than the scheduled time to make sure that you have ample time for unforeseen circumstances especially when you are caught up in traffic. The airplane travel going from Manila to Roxas took forty minutes. All I could say that the flight was good and smooth.
Touchdown at the Roxas Airport!
We arrived at Roxas Airport after 40 minutes. After we have settled, we went straight to Solina Beach and Nature Resort, our accommodation for the whole Iloilo trip. It was where we spent our three nights stay. The resort is located at Barangay Guinticgan, Carles, Ilo-ilo. The resort is 1 hour and 15 minutes away from the famous island of Iloilo which is the Gigantes Group of Islands.
First day of the tour with Circulo Travel
Capiz is one of the provinces of Panay Island and its capital is Roxas City. Our first-day tour with Circulo Travel highlighted what Capiz has to offer. Here, we visited some of the well-known places that people must check when they visit Capiz.
Breakfast at Cafe Terraza
For our first stop, we had our breakfast at Cafe Terraza. I was mesmerized with the location of the cafe for it was at the top of the hill where you can see the view of Roxas City. The cafe does not only offer good food but also an amazing view that you will surely enjoy while feasting on your meal. It was truly a memorable dining experience at Cafe Terraza.
Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
A few minutes away from Cafe Terraza is the Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. You can see here a giant statue of Jesus Christ. The road going up there was rough, making it a challenging trip but the view at the top was so worth it. Visitors can pray, attend mass and light candles at the church located at the foot of the statue.
Capiz Provincial Park and Government Center
This park is one of the places in Capiz where you can hang out and chill. Benches are available and you will surely be amazed by the fountain in the center of the Park. This is not only a park but it serves as a government center where you can buy pasalubong or souvenirs.
The Panubli-on Museum was a former water tank converted into a museum in Roxas City. You can see here displays of historical and cultural artifacts. Also, here you will have the chance to see the belongings of the late former President Manuel A. Roxas.
Just beside the Panublion Museum is the monument of the late President Manuel A. Roxas. The statue was built to honor and remember the former Philippine President Manuel A. Roxas
Cafe Pueblo at the Plant Farm
After a long morning of exploring places in Capiz as the first part of our tour for the day, we had our lunch at Cafe Pueblo. The dishes served were mostly seafood and it’s a perfect place to dine when you are craving for some seafood.
Palina Greenbelt EcoPark River Cruise
After a hearty meal at Cafe Pueblo, our next destination was Palina Greenbelt EcoPark River Cruise. It’s one of the must-try activities when you are in Roxas. Living in Baguio, we only have Burnham Park to experience boating. But here at Palina Greenbelt EcoPark, our team enjoyed river cruising. Here, you can rent a bamboo raft for cruising that is equipped with tables and benches plus a toilet is provided. While cruising you can enjoy their services which are massage, manicure, and pedicure.
Sta. Monica Church and Bell
This church located in Pan-ay houses the biggest Christian bell in Asia. It has a replica which is located at the side of the church. For you to be able to check the actual bell you have to go to the top of the church. While you are there, don’t miss the chance to capture the church’s unique architectural design.
Roxas Ancestral House
We were also able to have a stopover at the Roxas Ancestral House, the birthplace of the late former President Manuel A. Roxas. Though we did not see what was inside, the exterior design of the house was enough to tell that the house has been there for many years and was a witness to the rich history of Roxas City.
Banica Dried Fish
One thing you should not miss when you visit Capiz is to buy dried fish from the Seafood Capital of the Philippines. Before going back to the resort, we had a stopover in one of the places with a lot of stalls selling dried fish. If you are looking for something to buy for a gift or pasalubong, this is the perfect one to buy so they could have a taste of Iloilo’s delicacy.
Second Day Tour with Circulo Travel
Our last day before going back to Baguio and our second-day tour with Circulo Travel. I’m looking forward to the activities for that day and I did surely enjoy it.
Our first destination was the Capiz Eco-Park and we were warmly welcomed by the people there. We were offered snacks and what I liked the most was the banana and corn that was good to pair with the lemongrass and pandan drink. Here in Capiz Eco-Park, we were given a tour of the whole place. There were indigenous houses that were built here. It’s an educational tour that each house they have the actual materials used by people who once lived in the indigenous houses. The tour gave us lots of ideas on how our ancestors lived in the past. Also, while we were in the Hiligaynon House we were able to experience how to be serenaded, known as “harana”, just like how they did it many years ago. And, that’s a great and unforgettable experience. One activity that made my tour here in Capiz Eco-Park worth treasuring was when I tried to weave a bamboo basket with the help of Tatay Rudy, one of the cultural masters at the park. Making a basket was hard and painful if you were not wearing gloves but overall, it was a good experience. One of the activities we enjoyed was we cooked three native delicacies of Capisnon which were the linupak na saging, langkuga and inday-inday, it’s served as our dessert during lunch.
Checking out what’s in Iloilo?
Iloilo is one of the provinces of Panay Island and its capital is iloilo City. After checking what’s in there at Capiz we are now to visit the must check places in Iloilo.
Iloilo River Esplanade
It’s an open, wide and long area near the Ilo-ilo River where people can do activities such as jogging, walking and strolling. It’s one of the best spots in Ilo-ilo City when you are planning to chill and have a view of the Iloilo River.
One of the old homes in Iloilo City that has a captivating architectural design and also known as Yusay-Consing Mansion. Now, it serves as a souvenir shop where you can buy while you are at the mansion. There is no entrance fee that you can freely explore and check what’s inside the mansion.
Across the Molo Mansion is the Molo Church which is known for its other name as St. Anne’s Parish. The Molo Church is also referred to as the “female church”. Just in front of the church is Molo District Plaza, a wide space where locals and tourists can have a break and hang out.
This is not your ordinary bingka, it’s flat and soft. Just few meters away from the Molo Church are stalls that sell bingka. Here you can see the actual process on how to cook the bingka. It tastes good that all from our team bought a pack of bingka for pasalubong
La Paz Batchoy
The trip would not be complete without tasting the best-known signature dish of Ilo-ilo which is the La Paz Batchoy. We had our stopover in the restaurant that was recommended by our guide. Even though the weather is hot, we really did enjoy the La Paz Batchoy paired with puto.
Tinukib Cafe and Souvenirs
The Tinukib Cafe and souvenirs was our last stop before going to the airport. We definitely didn’t want to leave Iloilo without buying some pasalubong, so we bought pasalubong at Tinukib. They have everything you can look for – from food, key chains, bags, wallets and many more. All the products are locally made that you can see it in the materials used and the design.
Going back to the City of Pines
I hope we have more time to check more of the places in Iloilo and Capiz. We’ll just reserve it for the next visit (hopefully). Right after buying pasalubongs and souvenirs we straight away went to Iloilo International Airport. As of this writing, me and my team are now back in Baguio City.
Looking forward to visiting Iloilo and Capiz?
There’s a lot to see in Iloilo and Capiz. You can add it to your bucket list of must-visit places. Free your schedule and plan it together with your travel buddies. For any solo or barkada trip in Iloilo or Capiz make it happen, fun and hassle-free through Circulo Travel. Check their tour packages and other services HERE. Also, to accommodate your stay contact Solina Beach and Nature Resort.