Capiz is a province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Its capital is Roxas City and is located at the northeastern portion of Panay Island, bordering Aklan and Antique to the west, and Iloilo to the south. Capiz faces the Sibuyan Sea to the north. Capiz is known for its mother-of-pearl shells that have the same name and are used for decoration, making lampshades, trays, window doors, etc..
|Region||Western Visayas (Region VI)|
|Governor||Vicente B. Bermejo|
|Area|| 2,633.2 km²|
|Total (2000)|| 654,156|
Historians and ethnologists narrowed down to three, the types of people known to have inhabited Capiz. Pygmies popularly known as Aetas; Indonesian people|Indonesians descendants of the Mundo tribe in central Panay; and the Malays.
There are main version on how Capiz got its name:1) 'Akean' and 'Kapid'(meaning) which Balingangan, Datu Bangkaya's eldest son, names his territories in honor of his twin daughters.(2) When the Spaniards established a settlement, they found an abundance of a mollusk called 'pios' or 'kapid', the old native name which has also come to known as Capiz.
Capiz became the second Spanish settlement after Cebu when Captain Diego de Artienda, sent by Legaspi landed in the town of Panay and proclaimed it the capital of the province. The capital was then moved to the present location of Roxas City.
Capiz is known for two things. 1)The brilliant Capiz shell produced here is used in making windows, lanterns, decorations, vases, etc. The Capiz shell has a luster similar to mother of pearl shells. 2) It is said that Aswang, a Philippine version of vampire exist here. Aswang stories a favorite theme in tabloids and vampire/zombie genre of stories, movies and entertainment.
Myths, Folklore, Superstitious Beliefs and Practices
The early Panayanon believed in many gods. Bulalakaw, a bird which looked like a peacock and could cause illness, was said to live in the island's sacred mountain called Madya-as. A chief goddess was believed to reside in the mountain of the nearby island of Negros Occidental. She was called Laon, after whom Mt. Kanlaon is named. Mediators to the gods, also said to be the first priests, were: Bangutbanwa, who prayed for good harvests and an orderly universe; Mangindalon, who interceded for sick persons and prayed for the punishment of enemies; and Soliran and Solian, who performed marriage ceremonies. Manunubo was the good spirit of the sea.
The kama-kama are dwarf|dwarves living in earth mounds, and are lazy and fun loving. The tamawu/taglugar are spirits that can be either friendly or evil. They live in resplendent palaces that look like mere boulders to the human eye. When they find a human being attractive, they entice the person to join them; this peculiar act of courtship is called yanggaw. The dwindi is a dwarf residing in a mount of earth. The lulid sa bungsud has a big head, but a small torso and limbs. One who disturbs the mound where it resides falls ill. The agta is a very dark, hairy person living in the forest. Although a trickster, it is helpful to people. The amamanhig is a dead person who has returned to life and simply echoes everything that mortals say; it has lost the power to think. Hiwit or barang is a ritual that gives one of the power to inflict pain on an enemy.
Dubbed as the “Seafood Capital of the Philippines”, Capiz boasts of its 80-kilometer coastline and wide expanse of swampy lands easily converted into fishponds. It holds one of the richest fishing grounds and a major contributor in the aquamarine industry of the Philippines.
Four big telecommunication companies offer telegraph, telex and telephone services. There are 33 banking institutions and 116 intermediaries operating in the province.
Farming and fishing are the primary sources of income of the people. The combined natural bounty of land and sea are enough to sustain a vibrant food industry. Its primary agricultural raw products are rice, corn, coconut, sugarcane, banana and cut flower. Apart from a surplus of agricultural products it generates every year, Capiz is also one of the country’s major suppliers of prawn and milk fish. Other agro-industrial harvests include blue marlin, squid, oysters, shrimp, seaweed, squid and angel wings. The rich fishing grounds attract investors to venture into prawn culture, prawn feed manufacture, seaweed farming and the distribution and processing of other marine products. It has a strong workforce of 445,246 with a literacy rate of 90.5% The agricultural sector makes the province one of the wealthiest in the Western Visayas Region although corruption has a high tendency to halt progress.
Its relatively unexplored caves are said to have high deposits of mineral resources such as limestone, gold and metal.
- Capiz Commercial School
- Capiz National Science High School
- Roxas City School for Philippine Craftsmen (RCSPC)
- Capiz State University (formerly Capiz Institute of Technology)
- Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion
- St. Mary's Academy of Capiz
- Filamer Christian College
- University of St. La Salle - Affiliate College
- Panay State Polytechnic College (Now Capiz State University)
- Our Lady of Fatima Academy
- Capiz National High School
- St. Martin Academy
- Hercor College
- AMA Computer Learning Center
- St. Pius x Seminary
- Roxas Memorial General Hospital
- Emmanuel Hospital
- Saint Anthony's Hospital
- Capiz Doctors Hospital
Capiz is located on a small island formed by the Panay and Banica rivers. The Panay river used to be famous for the great number of alligators thriving there. The soil is poor in the northern part of the island and is most productive only in the southern part. Capiz is bounded by the Mindoro sea, the Panay, Loctugan and Ibisan rivers.
Folk history recorded in the Maragtas by Pedro Monteclaro says ten Bornean datus landed at a site now known as San Joaquin town in Iloilo province. They purchased Panay Island from the Aeta, cultivated the land, and renamed the island Madya-as. They divided it into three communities: Irong-irong, Akean (which includes the Capiz area), and Hamtik.
It is said that in Capiz in 1570, the Datu Bankaya’s wife of the Aklan district gave birth to twin daughters. Twin is "Kapid" in the local dialect, so the Spaniards adopted the name Capiz (Kapid) as inadvertently miscommunicated to them by the natives.
Capiz, which was part of Aklan in pre-Spanish times, was one of the early settlements of the Malayas, centuries before the coming of the Spaniards to the Philippines. It was part of the Confederation of Madjaas, formed after the purchase of Panay by the Bornean datus from the Negrito king named Marikudo.
When the Spaniards led by Miguel López de Legazpi came to Panay from Cebu in 1569, they found people with tattoos, and so they called it Isla de los Pintados. How the island itself came to be called Panay is uncertain. The Aeta called it Aninipay, after a plant that abounded in the island. Legend has it that López de Legazpi and his men, in search of food, exclaimed upon the island, pan hay en esta isla!. So they established their first settlement in the island at the mouth of the Banica River in Capiz and called it Pan-ay. This was the second Spanish settlement in the Philippines, the first being San Miguel, Cebu.
In the same year of 1569 Captain ('Capitan') Diego de Artieda who was sent by Legaspi landed in the Town of Panay and proclaimed it as the capital of the province. Later, they moved the Capital to its present site upon discovering the town of Capiz (not the province, and now Roxas City) which was near the sea and provided docking facilities.
Capiz and Aklan were united under one province until April 25, 1956, when President Ramon Magsaysay signed into law Republic Act 1414 separating the two entities.