I was excited because it’s been a while since I last traveled solo to an uncharted destination. My friend will not be joining me until three days later in Boracay so I planned a little ‘me’ time and planned a trip to Roxas City. I constantly hear that this is the place for the ultimate seafood lover. After spending three days at an organic farm the prior weekend, I thought I would not want seeing so many food again. But those mouth-watering, fresh seafood changed my mind instantly.On a clear Sunday morning, I explored the city and was accompanied by Angie of of Las Islas Travel & Tours. Thank God that the weather was perfect for a walking tour as it had been raining in the northern part of the country. In anticipation, I already did a quick tour of the city proper the day before but it was nicer to have a companion who knows more about the place.
Angie appeared nervous upon our first meeting. Sensing her anxiety, I immediately welcomed her presence with a smile, a handshake and engaged her in a talk like we have been friends for some time now. We started our tour immediately and she guided me towards the statue of former Pres. Manuel Roxas and stated her piece with much enthusiasm. We took turns taking photos despite being under the blazing morning sun.
Roxas City Heritage Walk
Manuel Roxas Monument
Provincial Capitol & Jose Rizal Monument
Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral
In no time, we found ourselves laughing in between shared stories of Roxas City’s historical past. We rounded up the city’s important landmarks and went back to my hotel for a short rest. We had to wait for 9 AM since the Manuel Roxas ancestral home won’t be open until this time.
Santa Monica Church and Asia’s Biggest Church Big Bell
We proceeded then to the next town where the largest church bell tower in Asia is housed. Santa Monica Pan-ay Church is now one of my most favorite churches in the Philippines. It reminded me of the great Catholic churches of Bohol.
Climbing up and down the church was truly worth it. There were a total of eight bells in the belfry which are rung at different times of the year for different purposes. Randy, our tour guide, told us quite a lot on how the bell was made and how it was assembled in the early days.
The view from the belfry was picturesque. The church was a towering adornment in the middle of a lovely town.After our church tour, Angie led me to a small cafe across the church. She ordered Puso and Inday-Inday for our mid-day snacks. These are sweet native delicacies enough to fuel our tired bodies.
After a few must-have photo ops, Angie and I went to Baybay to have our lunch. We decided to have lunch at Almax Grill & Restaurant as recommended by my other new friend Aph. We spent about an hour talking and laughing and making memories over mouth-watering dishes. I even think we spent more time laughing than eating! How time flies when you are indeed having fun. When Angie and I parted, Aph told me to meet her at Cafe Terraza located on a hill uptown. It was drizzling when I arrived but I bet the view down below would be spectacular. Too bad I was unable to see it.
My mobile phone kept me company while I was waiting for my friend. She came when dusk finally settled. She made me ate all those yummy food and would accept no for an answer. We capped off our night with lovely conversations about love and travels.
The following morning was spent just dozing around in my hotel. But lovely Aph would not let me go home without seeing more of Roxas City. Before going back to Kalibo, we visited the Sacred Heart of Jesus monument. It was built in a hilltop in the new township called Pueblo de Panay. At 132 feet, this statue is the tallest in Western Visayas and one of the tallest in Asia.From the people, to the places, to the food, my stay in Roxas City was more pleasant than I expected. I instantly felt at home and now wished I stayed longer. It has this feel-at-home vibe that I rarely find in my other sojourns. Maybe next year I will come back and finally step foot in the famous Gigantes Islands of Iloilo.
** I was accompanied by Angie and Aph of Las Islas Travel & Tours. You may book your Roxas City tours through the following channels.
FB: Las Islas Travel & Tours