Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015



Olotayan Island is the only island barangay of Capiz, the Philippines’ known seafood capital. Under the wing of Roxas City, the rural village managed to surpass the 2013 Typhoon Yolanda (a.k.a. Haiyan) tragedy that ravaged the central part of the country. Not many people know this but most residents of the city, including Olotayan Island, also suffered as much as those in other areas of the Visayan Region. Unfortunately, the media and the press did not have the time to highlight this story because it was thankfully short-lived through the aid of the Canadian Forces and a few more supporters from the private sector. This is to mean that all was well at the island even only a few months after the typhoon.

“I Love Capiz!” Blog Series Tour

Via an ocular of the then in-the-works Las Islas Travels and Tours, I was able to reach the roughly 100-hectare island village after more than 30 minutes of boat ride from Roxas City’s Banica Wharf. During my visit in late 2014 for my “I Love Capiz!” Blog Series Tour, I was able to see how the disaster affected the natural beauty of the island. The only clear remnants of the ordeal could be seen at Olotayan’s shorelines were it appeared to be pebbled where it used to be powdery white sands. Naturally, though, the serene surrounding was bound to return on its own.

Where we took a dip at Olotayan Island
The tranquil side of the island
Early morning catch being peddled at the beachfront
Approaching the tranquil side of the island

How The Island Got Its Name

The island is once again intact, perhaps, living up to its name. “Olo” in Tagalog sounds like ulo which means head in English while tiyan is the Tagalog word for stomach. If anything, rising from the tragedy seemed natural as well. According to some residents, getting back on their feet became easy thanks to the foreign aid that was delivered directly to the city. New homes were soon set up again like a disaster did not happen at all. Near the beachfront, new seedlings were visibly planted.

Diverse Aquamarine Resources

Most of all, the waters surrounding the place continue to provide the residents their main source of living. Proof of this was the bow-fishing local I spotted en route to the island who managed to haul an easy morning catch a good distance from the beachfront. As a result of its diverse aquamarine resources, the island continues to be a source of tasty seafood for tourists as majority of the catch by locals are said to be sold mostly to Boracay resort owners and nearby towns.

The village scenery inland
Beachfront Time

I was able to take a quick dip at one side of the island where the waves reminded me of the strong ones that I enjoyed at Puka Beach in Boracay. I was even able to spot a few cottages that seemed perfect for overnight getaways from Roxas City. A relative who’s based in the city did advise me to be careful about the strong waves that could get unpredictable in the morning. Since I was only there for a few hours, I made sure I spent more time at the beachfront more than lingering inland with the locals.

Before returning to Roxas City, while it was still low tide, we even made a quick stopover at a vanishing sandbar. Read more about it on this blog post.

Photography by Josua Chan and Karl Ace

Las Islas Travel and Tours

Address: Pueblo De Panay, Roxas City, Philippines
Phone: 0939-534-0828
Email: lasislastravelandtours@gmail.com

More Photos Below:

Watching a local haul an early morning catch out of the water
The team of Las Islas Travel and Tours


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