After my enchanting three-day island hopping at Gigantes Group of Islands in Iloilo, my bosom buddy and I decided to spend our last night in Roxas City. We arrived around 2 pm from a squiggly hour-long pump boat ride from Cabugao Gamay Island and a two-hour bus ride from the port of Carles in Iloilo.
It was a wonderful feeling gazing at the view from the top of Terraza Café where we took our late, light lunch after a long bus ride. Somehow, it made me realize that there are places you would wish to keep just like that--no construction, no changes. The view was simply flawless.
After lunch, we went straight to San Antonio Resort to check in to our hotel room and to have a quick shower so we can still roam around Roxas City. It was a pleasant surprise to see a hotel with such a huge space of almost seven hectares of tree-lined and perfectly groomed tropical gardens and beautifully designed rooms with a taste of modern amenities yet, maintain the charms of nature. But what caught my eyes the most was the calm water and scenic view of San Antonio’s man-made lake.
The walkway to our room was so rural and province-like that I really sensed the vibe of diversion from a hustling city to a more laid back abode.
Since dusk beckons in a few hours, we had to rush to visit some of the other tourist spots in Roxas City. We were glad that the hotel staff gave us the contact details of a tricycle driver to help us with our quick city tour. We started at exactly 5:00PM and we were in a hurry to finally see the biggest bell in Asia located at Sta. Monica Parish Church, not to mention our desire to aim for perfect photos, plus we also have to consider the time. One thing that caused the delay in this rush tour was the awakening of the frustrated photographer in me. I asked the driver to stop for I just couldn’t miss taking a nice photo of the Old Roxas City Bridge. It turned out that the tour interruption was quite worth it!
This old yet vibrant Spanish-style city bridge remains an enduring witness to the history and progress of Roxas City since 1910. Panay River’s serene ambiance is, without a doubt, astoundingly beautiful, especially during night-time, which earned for Roxas City the moniker “Venice of the Visayas.”
Next stop was Panubli-on, the Roxas City Museum. Built also during 1910, this museum served as the water tank for local residents for more than three decades. This circular structure offers a thorough view of Roxas City’s history, culture, what it was before, what it is now and its vision for the future. There is no entrance fee, but please don’t forget to share a couple of bucks for the museum’s maintenance expenses.
Finally it’s almost 6:30 pm and I was not sure if we can still take a good photo of Pan-ay Bell. It took us 30 minutes from the city proper to Sta. Monica Parish Church where Pan-ay Bell is located. When we finally arrived, the church was already closed. There were only a few street lights in the area and the huge Pan-ay bell was hanging just outside the church.
Although we had a hard time taking pictures because it was already dark, it’s amazing to have captured the beauty of Sta. Monica Church and Pan-ay bell during twilight. It was a magnificent and exhilarating experience we will never forget.
Lastly, we ended up eating our dinner at Baybay Seafood Grills at Alma’s just across San Antonio Resort where we enjoyed the seaside air breeze and the fresh catch of sumptuous seafood. It’s just lovely to note that chicken and pork were out of our gastronomic food adventure during the entire trip. After all, Roxas City is the Seafood Capital of the Philippines!