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Roxas City is the self proclaimed title of “Seafood Capital of the Philippines”. Whether this is true or not, I don’t know, but it certainly could be!! It lived up to its rep during our 2 night stopover here.
The bus journey from Caticlan to Iloilo City is about six hours long, so we thought it might be a good idea to break up our journey. Once we read about Roxas City, the second largest city on Panay (after Iloilo), we decided a stopover was manadatory! We are big fans of fresh, cheap seafood. We did wonder if we had made the right decision when we had to transfer from our nice bus in Kalibo (that was going all the way to Iloilo) to a van and all the mucking around that comes with it, but we were happy with the decision as soon as we cooled off in the pool and had our first seafood feast.
Roxas is a bit off the main tourist trail in Panay, and we only saw a couple of other non-Asian people during our stay, and I would guess that everyone else was Filippino as the area is justly popular with locals. It is interesting to experience a more normal beach resort Filipino style after the very touristy Boracay.
We booked the only hotel we could find online at the beach/seafood restaurant area called Baybay. Thankfully, it also got good reviews and was right across the road from the beach and seafood stalls. It was a great day and a half of lounging in the awesome pool and eating lots of yummy seafood.
It looked pretty and is meant to be great for swimming. However, there was a fair bit of rubbish, and given we had a perfect pool in our resort, we didn’t go for a swim here. It is lined by the seafood “shacks” and many drink and snack stands.
So good, fresh and yummy!!
Seafood “shacks” line the shore – wooden dwellings with lots of fresh seafood laid out, a big bbq and many tables and chairs. They are awesome and it’s great sitting right by the beach.
The seafood is all displayed at the front and you pick what you want. It is then bbq’d. They marinade a lot of it or add very yummy sauces as well. It is truly delicious.
It was cheap and awesome value. For just over $10, we got a big crab in yummy chili sauce, a big bowl of mussels, a big plate of prawns, a big plate of the best scallops ever and also a whole heap of very yummy pork skewers. It was unbelievable. They charged about a $1 for a cold beer too. What’s not to love?!
Our dinner place was called Bebing Seafood Plaza and I highly recommend it. They were so lovely to us, especially when we returned the following night. They gave us (well the kids really) a big chunk of delicious cake and were so lovely when we left with goodbyes and well wishes.
We stayed at the San Antonio Resort, located at Baybay beach.
The room was fairly basic, but a good size. The advertised doubles were more like king singles though. Plenty of room for an adult and a kid, as long as you can put up with them crashing into you all night! What we didn’t like was that there were ants around as well as a friendly lizard in the evening.
The facilities at the resort are great. The pool is just awesome. It’s an infinity pool with a lake in the background. It’s large and 2/3 of it was a great depth for S, so we spent a lot of time in here.There is also a great kids’ playground, a lake with boats and even a bowling alley!! They also hold lots of functions here. It was a bit annoying when we arrived, and they had three functions (including a wedding) going on. This took up all of their own eating areas, and it feels a bit weird to be swimming in a pool while there is a wedding going on next to you!! Mind you, such a beautiful place to get married, they set it up stunningly.
It is superbly located if you want to enjoy the beach and the many seafood shacks that Roxas has to offer. No cots unfortunately though.
We paid only $38 a night for our standard room. There’s lots of other categories of rooms too. It included a poor breakfast. Check out the latest prices here.
We were directly across the road from the beach and the seafood shacks, so we walked. There are tricycles around for longer journeys. You can read more about travelling around the Philippines.
All up, Roxas was a great place to spend a couple of days, like we did, gorging on seafood and relaxing in the pool. We are very glad we made the effort to come here!!
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