Monday, December 1, 2014

Monday, December 01, 2014

Sunrise at Barangay Baybay


T H E    C I T Y

A N D    M O R E

Satiating. It's what Roxas City was for me at daytime for four consecutive days of my tour of the Philippines' seafood capital. Summer in the country is from the months of March to May, but the weather during my September visit was pleasant. It allowed me to get around dry. There were instances of localized rainstorms but they breezed past my target locations every time I had to linger. It was like carrying my own sunshine in the province of Capiz.

Colors were all over the place as soon sunrise hit the People's Park in Barangay Baybay where locals would jog, meditate or catch a sniff of sea breeze with a wonderful view of the nearby Mantalinga Island (also known as Good Luck Island by grateful fishermen). It was where I caught a glimpse of my own morning splendor in Roxas City. Having passed by the only Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas regional branch in the province from my booked hotel accommodation at Roxas President's Inn to the public park, I knew that going around the city for quick snacks and essential landmarks would be easy. Locals seem to be intuitive when it comes to saving money as banks were in most essential street corners in the roughly 37 square meter terrain.

Panay Church
Banica River
Roxas City Plaza
Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral

City Plaza and Provincial Capitol

I found it charming that the design used on the sidewalk at the People's Park in Baybay was the same one used at the city center's plaza where one of the oldest  provincial capitols in the county still stands. Designed by American architect, William Parsons, the government structure did not look intimidating from a vantage view at the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral as its capiz window shutters reflect a local ambiance. However, once inside, the central space was airy and temple-like... almost majestic if one stared long enough at the imposing pillars that make way for the natural light that's beamed from the topmost ceiling.

Roxas City Bridge

A good stroll away was the Roxas City Bridge and other landmarks. Old residents of the city once considered the 1910-built structure to be a good spot for viewing long-gone crocodiles. It was said that women doing laundry along the riverbanks were occasionally attacked by the animal. During my morning stroll, the river looked spectacular. Enhanced with colors from the city plaza garden, it looked peaceful.

Balay Capiznon

The area also has Balay Capiznon where tourists can consult with local tourism officers or view any ongoing tourism-related activities.

Sunrise at People's Park in Baybay
Barangay Banica
Capiz Provincial Capitol
The old Spanish well of Panay Church

Side Trip To Panay Church

From the city plaza, I rode a tricycle for a visit of the Sta. Monica Church of Panay. Also known as Panay Church, the 1774-built Catholic structure was declared as a National Landmark in 1997 by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. Evoking grandeur from the various niches that adorn its coral stone wall facade, the church looked even more majestic inside with its floor covered in marble.

Unfortunately, I was not able to climb the 5-level belfry to view the giant church bell which is considered to be the biggest and the heaviest in Asia. I had to contend with touching its replica (located next to the church) as there was an ongoing mass.

A niche at the facade of Panay Church
Vintage Coin For The Church Bell

Fortunately, though, I had the chance to see up close one of the vintage coins that was supposed to be contributed to the casting of the bell. Spared from the 70 sacks of coins in 1878 was a piece that adorned the chest of my tour guide in Olotayan Island a day prior to my visit of Panay Church. Now a piece of jewelry that looks like an amulet, it serves as a reminder of his heritage in the province.

Barangay Banica

Simply called Pepe, my Olotayan Island tour guide gave me the chance to see Barangay Banica to see its dried fish market (selling the same quality of seafood shipped to Boracay hotels and restaurants). I also enjoyed the resulting river cruise of Banica River en route to the island.

The Spanish Well of Panay Church

I didn't pass the chance to roam around the grounds that late afternoon of my Panay Church visit. The Museo De Santa Monica was closed for the day, so I walked further until I reached past the parish priest quarters where I spotted an old Spanish well (Fuente De Vida in Spanish) that used to provide water in the area.

Sunset was looming and I had to catch a glimpse of it back in Barangay Baybay where a dinner of pecho (chicken breast) was waiting for me.

Photography by Josua Chan and Karl Ace

Check out my "I Love Capiz!" Blog Series Tour posts:

Timelessness of Nature In Capiz Bay Resort
Tasty Treats At Mamaita's House of Sweets In Roxas City
Expertly Crafted Blends At ACC Coffee & Crepe
+ My Refreshing Morning At San Antonio Resort
My Ferdinand Marcos Sr. Suite At Roxas President's Inn
Urban Manor: Pueblo De Panay's Emerging Modern Accommodation
Coco Veranda: Roxas City Seafood Dining By The Shore
Roxas City's Charming Islet and Vanishing Sandbar
My Zipline Ride of Talon Adventure Park
Cafe Terraza: Pueblo De Panay's Charming Hilltop Restaurant 

More Photos Below:

People's Park in Barangay Baybay
Panay Church niche
Capiz Provincial Capitol


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