Simple and peaceful. That's how the provincial government describes what life in Capiz is all about on its website. For travelers looking for a place to relax and unwind, this province in the Western Visayas region is a must-go destination.
Covering an area of 2,594.64 square kilometers, Capiz is subdivided into 16 municipalities and a city - Roxas. The province continues to be one of the major travel destinations in southern Philippines, thanks to its natural charm highlighted by a labyrinth of rolling hills, pristine beaches, unspoiled beaches, and isolated coves.
Capiz is also a magnet for seafood lovers. Dubbed as the "Seafood Capital of the Philippines," the province provides guests with a wide selection of dishes made from its rich marine resources. Delectable delicacies are available everywhere from a simple restaurant to posh hotels and resorts.
With all these amazing attractions in the province, it is no wonder, then, that Capiz is among the recommended tourist stops in most Philippine travel guides. The following is a sampling of the scenic spots to visit in the province.
Get amazed by a gigantic statue of the Virgin Mary at the Agtalin Shrine. Located in the municipality of Pilar, the religious icon is considered the tallest in the country at 80 feet tall. The International Marian Research Institute listed the Agtalin Shrine as a premier pilgrimage site. It is believed that some faithful with incurable diseases were healed by praying at the shrine.
Baybay Beach is Capiz's version of elegant Boracay beaches. This gray-sand beach is a favorite weekend getaway of local residents and tourists alike in the province. Aside for being a popular swimming site, Baybay Beach is also a haven for food lovers. Various stalls selling unbelievably cheap grilled fish, squids, prawns, and other marine produce can be found near the beach.
Another must-see attraction in Capiz is Pilar Cave. This natural wonder is believed to be a burial site of local folks before the Spaniards conquered the Philippines in 1521. Ancient pots and other artifacts have been discovered in the cave. Capiz has four more popular caves such as the Suhoton Caves in Jamindan, Quipot Cave in Mambusao, Igang Cave in Maayon, and Suhot Cave in Dumalag.
Tucad Reef is a submarine islet of seashells and corals topped with layers of sand. Located some ten kilometers away from Pilar, this natural marvel can be reached through a pump boat ride or by walking during low tide. From its shallow and clear water, visitors can see a patchwork of shells and corals in various colors such as blue, green, red, and pink.
Capiz is known for the myth of aswang, a Filipino term for ghouls, monsters, and witches. Held days before the Halloween, the controversial but culturally important event seeks to change the public's negative notion towards the province as an aswang haven. Trade exhibits, cultural shows, and symposiums are staged during the festival.
A great way to conclude your Capiz vacation is to shop for various products such as lampshades, candle holders, necklaces, and wind chimes, made from Capiz shells. Already captivated by Capiz? Get your Philippine travel guide ready, call a travel agency to arrange your preferred accommodations and vacation packages, pack your bags, and head to Capiz.
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Allan Leandro Merin has been writing for a living since 2008. After leaving a career at a daily electronic newspaper, he joined a web development outsourcing company and linked up with Local Philippines, the most comprehensive online directory of Philippine destinations, events, and attractions.