It is a gathering of the cultural festivals of the constituent localities of the province, a celebration of its rich cultural heritage, and a community affair that aims to boost tourism. The province is known as the seafood capital of the country.
History of CAPIZtahan
CAPIZtahan is a combination of Capiz and pista, which is borrowed from the Spanish fiesta that means festival. The festivity is organized to remember the founding of the province. According to Maragtas, a book of oral history and legends printed in the 19th century, Panay was inhabited by the native aborigines called Atis before the coming of the Spaniards.
They moved to the hinterlands upon the arrival of the Malays, led by ten chieftains who left Borneo that was under the cruel reign of Rajah Makatunaw. Capiz (old name Ilaya) was part of Aklan (old name Akean) that was ruled by one of the chieftains, Datu Bangkaya.
During the Spanish conquest, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi created an encomienda in the town of Panay, Capiz in 1569. He then created the province of Panay the next year.
Two years later, the settlement was placed under the jurisdiction of the newly created province of Ogtong (presently part of Iloilo). Over the next few years, Panay became the name given to the whole island and the place that used to be called Panay became Capiz.
Further reorganization took place in 1703 when Panay island was divided into the provinces of Antique, Capiz, and Iloilo. In 1746, a politico-military government was installed.
During the American colonization, the provincial government of Capiz was established by virtue of Act No. 115 on April 15, 1901, the second civil government in its history. And on April 25, 1956, Aklan seceded and became an independent province through Republic Act 1414 which is otherwise known as “An Act to Create the Province of Aklan.”
Death anniversary of Manuel A. Roxas
CAPIZtahan is also a memorial of Manuel A. Roxas, who from 1946 to 1948 was the last president of the Philippine Commonwealth and the first president of the Third Republic of the Philippines.
Roxas was born in the town of Capiz, which was renamed Roxas City in his honor. He graduated with a law degree and from having elected into Capiz municipal council in 1917 and becoming governor of the province until 1921, he rose to national politics as Speaker of the House in Congress and then Secretary of Finance until 1940.
He died in office as a sitting president after he succumbed to heart attack on April 15, 1948. On August 4, 2003, Republic Act No. 9217 was signed into law declaring April 15th as President Manuel A. Roxas Memorial Day and the nearest Friday as a non-working holiday in Capiz.
Seafood capital of the Philippines
Moreover, CAPIZtahan is a celebration of the province as seafood capital of the country. Although Capiz may not be part of the top seafood producers according to a study, it has kilometers-long coastlines, surrounding fishing grounds, and swampy areas that are utilized as fishponds.
Its aquaculture industry produces harvests of crabs, milkfish, mussels, and prawns. On the other hand its capital, Roxas City, is a logistical hub from nearby towns and provinces.
CAPIZtahan Schedule of Activities
CAPIZtahan has a lot of interesting activities including night market, trade and tourism fair, food festivals, sporting events, etc. They take place in the city of Roxas, the capital of the province. Here are some of the highlights.
Death Anniversary of President Manuel A. Roxas
Death Anniversary of President Manuel A. Roxas is one of the integral parts of the festival. It is conducted to remember the contributions of Roxas towards nation-building, his achievements in his political career, and the pride he brought to the province. Activities include laying of wreath at his monument in the Roxas City Public Plaza in the 15th of April.
Food Trip sa Capiz
Food Trip sa Capiz translates to Food Trip in Capiz. One of the most known features of the festival, it is a buffet of seafood prepared by restaurants and localities that is free for revelers to enjoy. It is a showcase of the richness of the bounties of the sea and the abundant seafood harvest.
Mutya Sang Capiz
Mutya Sang Capiz, is a prestigious beauty pageant and one of the highlights of the festival. According to the organizers, it was established in 1979. The beauty tilt is open to female candidates who or whose parents reside in the province.
Pasundayag Capiznon translates to Presentation or Show of Capiz. It used to be called Parade of Lights. Held in the evening, it is characterized by street performances of dancers in lighted attires with colorful, lighted accessories and props.
Sadsad Capiz translates to Capiz Dance. It is a competition that witnesses the cultural festivals that are celebrated by localities of the province. CAPIZtahan is a gathering of all these festivals where contingents compete in a grand showdown.
How to reach Capiz
Flights are available that arrives at Roxas Airport. Bus trips are also open from different points in Panay. Likewise, ferries and shipping vessels embark in one of the seaports of the island.
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