THE PROVINCE OF CAPIZ is located in the Western Visayas region and its capital is Roxas City which is located at the northeastern portion of Panay Island. The province is bordered to the west by Aklan and Antique, to the south side is Iloilo, to the north side is Sibuyan Sea. Capiz is famous for its mother-of-pearl shells..
The early inhabitants of the province were Pygmies or Aetas, Indonesian descendants of Mundo tribe in central Panay and the Malays. Capiz was said to be derived from the territories “Akean” and “Kapid” named after the twin daughters of Datu Bangkaya, a Bornean Datu who arrived in the area in the 15th century. However, another version points out that during the arrival of the Spaniards they saw the abundance of mollusk known as “Pios” or “Kapid”, eventually changing the name of the settlement to Capiz.
In 1569, Miguel López de Legazpi arrived in Panay from Cebu and saw people with tattoos, thus, the Island was then named as Isla de los Pintados. The Spaniards established their settlement in the island at the mouth of the Banica River in Capiz and called it Pan-ay. In the same year, the town of Panay was proclaimed as the capital of the province. On April 25, 1956, by virtue of Republic Act 1414 as signed by President Ramon Magsaysay, Capiz and Aklan were united under one province until separating the two entities.
Capiz covers a total land area of 2,633.17 square kilometers, representing 21% of the total land area of Panay. In terms of population, the province has 654,156 people with an average annual population growth rate of 0.95%. Predominant language used is Hiligaynon.
The climate in Capiz does not have pronounced seasonal changes. Dry season usually occurs from the months of November to April and wet season from May to October..
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY IN CAPIZ
The main economy of Capiz comes from agriculture and fishing. Major agri-based crops are palay, corn, sugar cane and coconut. The province also has farms that are into growing orchids, various ornamental plants and flowers. The coastal areas abound with "kapis" shells are used in manufacturing novelty items for export. Other manufacturing industries are also into garments, furniture-making, bakery and processed foods, handicrafts and shellcrafts, and processing activities such as food, oysters, mussels, fish and prawn processing. The province has total exports of 1,671,637 being delivered to Europe, USA, Japan, Singapore, Canada and South Africa.
Capiz is also equally known as the “Seafood Capital of the Philippines”, due to its rich fishing grounds in the Western Visayas. Fishponds covers 20,000 hectares in the province, thus, it is the major producer and supplier of milkfish, crabs, shrimps and prawns in the whole country. Other agro-industrial harvests include blue marlin, squid, oysters, shrimp, seaweed, squid and angel wings. Investors venture into prawn culture, prawn feed manufacture, seaweed farming and the distribution and processing of other marine products. Currently the province has numerous establishments, telecommunication companies and banking institutions.
ART AND CULTURAL HERITAGE IN CAPIZ
The province is well-known for Capiz shells and “Aswang” or “Manananggal”, a Philippine version of vampire that said to exist here. Various stories have been concocted out of this belief.
Early descendants of the province believe in many gods such as “Bulalakaw” which looked like a peacock and could cause illness, living in the island's sacred mountain; “Laon” residing in Mt. Kanlaon in Negros Occidental, “Bangutbanwa” who prayed for good harvests and an orderly universe, among many other gods. The people also believe in dwarves living in earth mounds and spirits that can be either friendly or evil, and other supernatural beliefs or “pamahiin”.
YEARLY SPECIAL EVENTS
Sinadya Sa Halaran This is a combination of two festivals: “Sinadya” (City) and “Halaran” (Province) meaning joy in sharing and thanksgiving. It is celebrated on December 4 to 8 highlighting Dancing Parade, ”Higantes”, Fluvial Parade, Fireworks display, beauty pageant, Coronation of the Fiesta Queen, and Agri-Aqua Trade Fair.
Balintawakan Festival This is a gathering of senior citizens of Pontevedra, holding a Binayle at the town’s public market every December 31. Other activities are search for Miss Balintawakan as the Festival Queen and Rigodon de Honor.
Capiz shells are much sought after by international exporters. The shells are turned into flowers and souvenir items. Other best buys are handicrafts, ceramics, lime processing, garments, farm tools fabrication, furniture and boat making.
The province is also famous for its seafood cuisines and delectable dishes.
MUNICIPALITIES OF CAPIZ
The province is composed of 16 municipalities, 1 city and 472 barangays:
CITIES AND MUNICIPALITIES
Roxas City Cuartero
Sapi-an or Sapian
This Island is known by the Department of Tourism as an ideal spot for scuba divers and a perfect rotunda for sailboat and kayaking contests.
Mussel Farm (Sapian)
The farm has a thousand bamboo stilts arrayed 6 feet apart and each bamboo pole stuck through the sea floor 6 to 7 feet deep. One gets to this sea farm by means of pump boats, dugouts or rafts from Sitio Angkin.
The central altar was built in Baroque style with carved tiers of niches for images of saints. The church’s five story belfry shelters a huge antique bell surrounded by 8 smaller bells.
Quipot Cave (Bgy. Burias Mambusao)
This is 9 kilometers away from the town proper. Wild birds, deer, and wild ducks can be seen here, and it has a stream. The cave consists of many chambers, each at a level different from other chambers. There are plenty of stalactites and stalagmites.
Tucad Reef (Pilar)
This is an islet of seashells and corals topped with thin layers of sand. When the tide is low the whole island emerges, and with it, shells and corals of different colors.
Other places to visit:
BEACH OR RESORTS
ANCESTRAL HOUSES /MUSEUMS / LIBRARIES AND HISTORICAL LANDMARKS
Baybay Beach (Roxas City)
Buntod Beach (Pan-ay)
The Coves of Ivisan (Brgy. Basiao & Brgy. Balaring)
Ang Panublion (Roxas City Museum)
Birthplace of Manuel Roxas (Roxas City)
Capiz National High School
Moro Towers (Sitio Nipa, Roxas City)
Roxas City Bridge (Old Capiz Bridge)
HILLS AND ISLANDS
FALLS AND SPRINGS
Napti Island (Pan-ay)
Igang Cave (Maayon)
Pilar Cave (Pilar)
Suhot Cave (Dumalag)
Travel time to Roxas City, the main gateway to the Province of Capiz, is 45 minutes by plane (2 flights daily). From Iloilo City, it is approximately 2 hours by bus or private car.
The province can also be reached via boat from Manila with 16 hours travel time.