Christmas in Roxas and Panay City

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 0 Comments A+ a-

Hurray for my first travel-travel post! Haha :*

Out of the blue, and without so much of a preparation, I bought a plane ticket to my dad's province in Capiz, Roxas City to spend my 1-month long holiday vacation there (credits again, to the academic calendar shift). I felt that I badly needed this, to be away from the hullabaloos of the city life, and because hey, I haven't been to this part of the country for about 5 years! 

I got my plane ticket from Cebu Pacific. My ticket fare to Roxas City was on promo while the trip back to Manila was the regular one (but still, it's way cheaper than what the other planes offer). My round trip ticket costed around Php 5,000 (plus additional 100 terminal fee in Roxas City airport). The baggage fee wasn't included, so I paid an additional Php 550 for a 15-kg baggage in NAIA. Although, if you won't bring an excess baggage, you won't have to pay for anything since I think everyone is entitle to a free 7-kg hand carry baggage.

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View from my seat. So lucky to have the window seat!

High up in the clouds!
About to land in the Seafood Capital of the Philipines: Roxas City

I guess my dad was a lucky kid because their house was situated in a jungle-like paradise. Everywhere you look, you'll see greens - something I don't have the privilege to do in the metro. Their house is below road level, so you'll have to climb down stairs to get inside the house. When looking at the house's front, you'll see a small bukid on the left and a small sapa on the right. On your back (since you're facing the house) is a .... cemetery. Yep. But this doesn't give me the creeps, surprisingly so because I'm a big scaredy-cat. It's possibly because of the fact that most of those lying in the cemetery is a relative, or a friend of a relative, or a relative of some friend - you get the point. I guess this is how things are in the province, everyone's related with each other in a barangay. 

The Jungle House where I spent my holiday vacation
And, being the jungle house that it is, I would always hear the tuko (large lizard) every night, as well as a bunch of other insect sounds at night. I do hope they're insect sounds though, because I'm a big scaredy-cat most especially at night ... in a house surrounded by lotsa trees and shrubs ... in a town infamously known for its kababalaghan stories ... in a semi-ancient house whose closest living neighbors are not a shout away ... and in a house where our closest neighbors are already dead (read: cemetery). 

I even got to see this humongous mariposa (butterfly) up close. There were two of them, the other one was near ceiling, but this one was on the furniture where the TV was. It was so large that its wingspan is bigger than my two palms joined together. It was on that furniture until the morning after, probably because it was raining hard the whole night. (The photo was taken at night).

Anyhow, one of the major tourist attractions on the island (aside from its pristine beaches) are the ancient churches. And by ancient, I mean centuries old churches. The first church that we visited was the Church of Pan-ay. To get to the church from Capiz, we had to ride a van (similar to the UV Express in the metro) for a 30-45 minute travel time. Like most of the ancient churches that I've studied in class or have watched / read, this church was situated at the plaza, the center of a barangay where most activities and announcements were held.

I kind of felt like a professional photographer with this shot that I got. Haha.
I was trying to take a photo of the beautiful church with no people nor car on the facade. Obviously, this photo was among the first attempts.

The light rain had just stopped when we arrived at the church. Notice the looming black clouds at the background.
This old Spanish well was at the back of the church. Aside from the markers, I was actually sad that the well was not well-maintained, considering that it was a historic artifact.

The Old Spanish Well. There were no guards or any usher of some sort that you'll usually see when inside a museum or any historic place.

A replica at the church grounds of the largest bell in Asia and the third largest in the world. (Wow!) The original bell is at the church tower.

To get to the top of the church tower, we had to climb a looooooong way of very steep stairs. It is impossible to climb without holding on the railings because the stairs are impossibly steep. It didn't help that it was made out of metal steps only (like the one you'll see in spiral staircases) so you'll have to be really careful because your feet could slip in between the stairs' steps. You should also keep in mind not to hold anything while climbing because once it slips from your fingers, they might fall smack right on the ground.
The obligatory photo at the top of the bell tower 

The second church that we visited was the Jaro Cathedral in Jaro, Iloilo. At first look, it didn't look ancient at all. When I researched about it, I found from Wikipedia that the original cathedral was destroyed by an earthquake, hence, the modern-looking bell tower. On the facade of the church is a shrine where the statue of the Our Lady of the Candles (Jaro's patroness) is encased for public view. According to the residents, the statue grows like a living human. 

Don't forget to buy your pasalubong ☺I bought mine from the Deocampo pasalubong store near the Jaro Cathedral (one pedicab ride away but it's not that far if you'll opt to walk). They sell biscocho, barquillos, barquiron, and a lot more to satisfy your sweet tooth! I especially love their butterscotch! ♥

Now, on my way to the airport for my flight back home, I checked-in my baggage and paid the terminal fee and left (I arrived at the airport about 1.5 hrs before my actual flight) for a quick trip to the beach before I leave Roxas! Haha!

Flight back home with Cebu Pacific