DIY Walking Tour – Roxas City

Location: Roxas City, Capiz
Starting Point: Manuel Roxas Shrine
End Point: Roxas City Museum (Panublion Museum)
Distance: 1.5 km
Duration: 2 hours

Though much father from famed Boracay Island – four hours, to be exact – the city of Roxas in Capiz province makes for a much more pleasant, laid-back gateway to Western Visayas, compared to neighboring Kalibo in Aklan or even industrialized Iloilo City. Roxas City (formerly Capiz town) was established when Captain Diego de Artieda, who was sent by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi from Cebu, moved the Spanish capital from Pan-ay town in 1569, since Capiz was right next to the coast and made for a strategic location for the purposes of trade and naval defense. 
Roxas Shrine
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. 

Roxas Shrine
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. 


• Walk up Rizal Street to the city plaza. At the Halaran Plaza is a beautiful bandstand built in the 1920s. A popular venue for political rallies and program launches, its an earthquake-proof structure built by Jose Roldan, the first Filipino principal of the Capiz trade school. Next to the bandstand is a gazebo that houses tourist information center and a police outpost.

Roxas Cathedral
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. 


• Another impressive structure in the plaza is the Capiz Provincial Capitol built in 1915. It was designed by American architect William Parsons, blending 19th century Spanish-Filipino architecture with neoclassical American styles.

• The centerpiece of the plaza is the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral Parish (Roxas Cathedral). The stone church was finished in 1876, after a primitive original structure was destroyed by typhoon in 1698. The church was severely damaged during Second World War, and was rebuilt in 1954. Don’t forget to peek into the woodsy, air-conditioned adoration chapel on the right side of the cathedral.

Roxas City Museum
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.


Baked Diwal (Angel Wing Clams)
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)…



HOW TO GET THERE: There are direct flights between Manila and Roxas. The city center is 10 minutes from the airport. Ride a tricycle (PHP 10/pax). From Kalibo, Roxas is 1.5 hours by van (A/C: PHP 120, non-A/C: PHP 100). From Iloilo City, Roxas is 2.5 hours by van (PHP 140). Van terminals are located at KM 1, Roxas Avenue.

WHERE TO STAY: Halaran Plaza Hotel, a house built in 1910, sits along the Panay River, near the Bandstand. This rustic place offers spacious rooms starting at PHP 500 for a double fan room. Address: P. Gomez cor. Washington Sts, Roxas City. Tel: (+6336) 621-0649

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4 Responses

  1. This is a great read as i’m planning my itinerary for my trip to Roxas City next month…

    I like it when they convert old structures into something… The CDO museum is also like this…an old water tank converted into a museum…

    thanks for sharing EAZY! 🙂

  2. @Pinoy: Thanks man! Haven’t heard of the CDO Museum… Now that you’ve mentioned it, I’m intrigued. I love Roxas – it’s laid-back and not as congested as Kalibo. Getting cheap flights to here is easier, too =) Enjoy your trip. I’ll be posting more Capiz entries soon.

  3. Tabitha says:

    Hi, I’m looking for photos to be used for the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) cultural website and I’d really love to include the photo of The Roxas Museum 🙂

    Your photo will be credited on the website for sure 🙂

    Hoping for your positive feedback! You may contact me at tabitha.fernan@yahoo.com 🙂

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi,

    Is there any hotels that has a low room rates/night?

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