Things to do in Capiz (TripTipping.com)

(This feature was published in Triptipping.com last May 1, 2013)

Touted as the “Seafood Capital of the Philippines,” the province of Capiz has an 80-kilometer coastline and quite a number of fishponds that are abundant with marine life. It is located in the Western Visayas region of the country, particularly in the Panay Island, which is composed of four provinces.

Breakfast

Enjoy an overnight stay in San Antonio Resort where guests have complimentary buffet breakfast. Familiarize your taste buds with local dishes like dried fish and other seafood specialties.

Baybay Beach, Roxas City, Capiz

Morning activity

Go swimming in the pools at the San Antonio Resort or go boating in their fishpond. If you prefer the beach, walk across the street and stroll along the shore of Baybay Beach. Let your feet wander in its fine gray sands or take a dip into the water. Or you may rent a boat and go to the nearby Olotayan Island where you can go snorkeling.

Lunch

The Baybay Beach is lined with various open-air restaurants where you can enjoy both the fresh seafood and cool breeze at the same time. The meals are affordable and delicious. Try RML Manokan Haus and order some buttered shrimps, squid adobo, kinilaw (ceviche) and other native dishes.

Bay-bay, Roxas City; (036) 621-0322

Afternoon activity

Explore the Talon Adventure Park where you can lounge at Ayagao Beach and have a picnic in one of the cottages for rent. Or feel the excitement of riding the park’s zipline and other outdoor activities.

For those who want to know more about the history and culture of the place, ride a jeep to the town of Pan-ay where you can see the Sta. Monica Church, a national historical landmark that houses the biggest church bell in Asia, which weighs 10,400 kilograms.

Barangay Talon, Capiz

Dinner

Ted’s La Paz Batchoy

Gaisano Mall offers a variety of restaurants including fast-food favorites like Jollibee, Chowking, Goldilocks and more. A must-try while there is Ted’s La Paz Batchoy where you can chow down on some hot noodle soup with pork innards, crunchy pork rinds, egg and spring onions. It makes for a very hearty meal.

Gaisano Mall, Roxas Boulevard, Roxas City, Capiz

Evening activity

Enjoy the cool atmosphere in one of the restaurants/bars along the Baybay Beach and grab a beer or two to cap off your stay in this peaceful province.

 

Top Three Reasons to Visit the Philippines (OfficiallyPhilippines.com)

(This feature was published in OfficiallyPhilippines.com last October 31, 2011)

Why should you visit the Philippines?

Compared to its other Asian neighbors, the Philippines is hardly ever top of mind when it comes to the must-visit travel spots in the region. China has its Great Wall, Singapore has its Formula One, Thailand is famous for its fantastic food, and Malaysia is, well, supposedly Truly Asia.

What, then, is the Philippines known for?

Despite its lack of popularity, there are several good reasons why you should pack your bags and book a flight to the so-called Pearl of the Pacific—the Philippines.

Spectacular sights

Although the country does not have any great wall, it is home to the world’s longest underground river—the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is also nominated in the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Visitors may take a tour of the underground river and get a glimpse of this natural wonder with their own eyes.

Another must-see place is the Banaue Rice Terraces, which is a 2000-year-old man-made rice field terrace in Northern Luzon. The Ifugao people who were native to the region made this magnificent landscape, which was also included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Throughout the country, there are first-rate beaches worth visiting, one of which is Boracay, which is popular for its powdery white sand beaches and clear blue waters. Those who are into water sports would also enjoy wakeboarding in the world-class wakeboard park in Camarines Sur, or diving in the depths of the Sulu Sea. According to foreign studies, the Philippines is the world’s center of marine biodiversity. It is believed that there are more coral species here compared to the entire Caribbean Sea and the Great Barrier Reef. Imagine the view underwater—it must definitely be worth checking out as well.

Hospitable people

Even if the Philippines is considered a third world country, you will find a lot of people with smiles on their faces here. Filipinos are just plain, happy people. We warmly welcome guests to our home and offer them food—that’s our signature style of greeting. “Kain tayo,” which translates to “Let’s eat,” is a regular phrase that you will most likely hear anytime of day.

Also, even if you are just a friend of a friend, Filipinos will still welcome you in their household if you need a place to stay. It is just innate for the people to be this warm and welcoming.

Shoppers’ paradise

Some people travel to shop, and if that’s the case, then the Philippines should be on the top of your list. Three of the world’s top ten largest malls are in Metro Manila alone. In this capital city, you will find seasonal bazaars, and malls of every kind—from boutique shops to high-end stores. In some shopping places, it is even customary to haggle for the best price. Shoppers of all kinds would surely be pleased with all the options here in the Philippines.

The Philippines really has a lot to offer aside from its spectacular sights, hospitable people, and superb shopping destinations. You just have to go there and see for yourself.