Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Take a DIY Heritage Walk Tour when in Roxas City #CaptivatingCapiz

I love doing walking tours, as it gives me a chance to grasp and recognize all the noteworthy sites at a steady pace, just like the Heritage Walk in Roxas City (formerly called Capiz). It may have been a short trip. But I definitely enjoyed the nearby attractions, as each one was remarkable and travel worthy. 


SITE 1: President Manuel A. Roxas Birthplace 
(Ancestral House)

The two-storey stone and wood ancestral house at the corner of Rizal and Zamora Streets is where the 5th President of the Philippines was born (January 1, 1892). The well preserved house, which contains most of its original furnishings, especially the Kapis windows, can still be seen in Roxas City. 

FACTS ABOUT MANUEL A. ROXAS:
  • He was the fifth President of the Philippines (served from 1946 until his untimely death in 1948).
  • He was also the third and last President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines (served from May 28, 1946 to July 4, 1946). 
  • He was also the first President of the independent Third Philippine Republic after the United States surrendered its rule over the country. 
  • He also raised the Philippine flag back on its post in Luneta in July 4, 1946, after the Americans left.


NOTE: For a proper tour of the house, schedule and coordinate your visit with the Capiz Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office. You can call them at +63(36) 621-0042 loc. 133, or email them at capiz.tourism@gmail.com.

SITE 2: Ang Panubli-on 
(The Roxas City Museum)

Ang Panubli-on, which means 'heritage' in Hiligaynon, is the much renowned Roxas City Museum. What used to be a circular water tank that supplied water for the city during the dry months, was eventually turned into a 'guardian of precious things'. The gallery continues to curate numerous pieces of Capiz's history (particularly President Roxas' memorabilia), arts and culture. You will certainly enjoy reading about the province's noteworthy stories, particularly their folktales. 

FACTS:
  • The 105-year old water chamber was constructed under the orders of President Pastor Alcaraz, who was the town mayor of Capiz back then. 
  • Congressman Gerardo A. Roxas Jr. had the water tank converted into a gallery sometime in the 90's.


NOTE: Ang Panublion Museum, which is located at Hughes Street, Roxas City, Capiz (just across the City Hall), is open from Mondays to Saturdays, 9 AM to 6 PM. Preferred viewing schedules outside regular museum hours can be arranged via phone (036-522-8857), Facebook (Ang Panublion Museum) or email (panublionmuseum@yahoo.com / panublionmuseum@gmail.com).

SITE 3: The monument of 
President Manuel A. Roxas 

A very special monument stands just across the museum, which was erected to honor the fifth President of the Philippines, Manuel Acuña Roxas. The statue was dedicated to Roxas City's most illustrious son for being a patriot, statesman and soldier. 

The municipality of Capiz also honored him by renaming the town "Roxas City" (May 12, 1951), which was done 3 years after his untimely passing in Clark, Pampanga.


SITE 4: Immaculate Concepcion Metropolitan Cathedral

I was immediately drawn by the design and layout of the Immaculate Concepcion Metropolitan Cathedral upon seeing its enticing exteriors. The color combinations may not be that inviting. But its grandiose structure and furnishings certainly caught my attention. The church that stood witness to several of the city’s progress and developments exuded a peaceful vibe despite the noise that surrounded it.

FACTS:
  • The church was built before 1698. 
  • It's also considered as one of the oldest of its kind in Panay Island. 
  • It was destroyed by a strong typhoon, but was rebuilt in 1728 under the supervision of Capiz Minister, Father Domingo Herbegozo. 
  • Before the basilica was finished in 1877, an earthquake damaged the edifice in 1787.


SITE 5: The Capiz Provincial Capitol

The Capiz Provincial Capitol, which is a short walk from the cathedral, has a beautiful facade. Make sure to look up, so you can see the Eagle of Capiz. The Eagle that was inscribed on the concrete wall represents the United States’ past influence and presence in the province.

FACTS:
  • A bill was passed in April 15, 1901 instituting the provincial government of Capiz, while naming Sulpicio Jugo Vidal as the provincial governor. He also had the Capiz Provincial Capitol built. 
  • With the efforts of Governor Jose Cortez Altavas, the two-storey edifice, which was initially made of wood, became a concrete building in 1911. An extra floor was added later on (between 1945-1949). 



SITE 6: The monument of Jose Rizal 

There are plenty of monuments in the Philippines that honor Dr. Jose Rizal, especially in Roxas City. The monument, which is also recognized as one of the oldest statues of Rizal in the country, was made as a reminder for the Capiznons --- for them to always remember the importance of justice, homeland and freedom. 

FACTS:
  • Dr. Jose Rizal's statue was put up with the help of Governor Jose Cortez Altavas. It was erected 15 years after Rizal’s death in 1896. 


SITE 7: Roxas City Fountain

The Roxas City Fountain, which is located in the rotunda (city center), has stood the test of time despite its countless renovations. Yet it continues to exude its glorious side, no matter what state it is currently in. The fountain actually looks pretty magical at night, when its colorful lights start to dance, which has been its ritual since the 1900s.



SITE 8: Roxas City Bridge 

The Roxas City Bridge, which was previously recognized as the Old Capiz Bridge, commands a nice view of the Panay River. The concrete passage, which was built in 1910, also stood witness to the city's changes and developments.


SITE 9: Panay River

Based on historical research, the banks of Panay River were described as being covered with “masses of trees, abodes of birds, and all kinds of monkeys, some white and others of different colors.” Pretty mystical, right?

SITE 10: The Roxas City Bandstand

The Roxas City Bandstand, which is located beside the Panay River, was built as a gazebo in 1920's under the supervision of Jose S. Roldan. The American Colonial structure also stood witness to several of the city's significant events (i.e. WWII, social gatherings). Furthermore, the open-air stage is now permanently fixed in its present location, after being moved from place-to-place. The Roxas City Bandstand was also a place where ‘big bands and big voices’ were heard. It was an important place where the truth could be heard, where freedom could be secured, and where victory could be remembered. 

Explore & Be Free!
Mai

NOTE: The Familiarization Tour was sponsored and organized by the Capiz Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office, in partnership with Las Islas Travel and Tours. The 3-day trip was also conducted from September 27 – 30, 2015, as part of Capiz Tourism Month. 

Capiz Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office 
2nd Floor, Provincial Capitol, Roxas City, Capiz, Philippines
Tel: +63(36) 621-0042 loc. 133
Email: capiz.tourism@gmail.com
Facebook: facebook.com/CapizTourismAndCulturalAffairs

Las Islas Travel and Tours
Punta Dulog, Pueblo de Panay, Roxas City, Capiz Province
(63) 918-6118569
Email: lasislastravelandtours@gmail.com
Facebook: facebook.com/lasislastravelandtours
Instagram: instagram.com/lasislastravelandtours

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