- Why is Capiz or its capital Roxas City referred to as the Seafood Capital of the Philippines?
- How was the term “Capiz” coined? “Roxas City”?
- Was Aklan part of Capiz in the past or vice versa*?
- Is it true that witches ("aswangs") abound in Capiz*?
1. Why is Capiz or its capital Roxas City referred to as the Seafood Capital of the Philippines?
Capiz is blessed with a very rich fishing grounds that made it popular as the “Seafood Capital of the Philippines”. (Source: www.capiz.gov.ph)
2. How was the term “Capiz” coined? “Roxas City”?
According to the province's official web site: “several legends and beliefs claim stories to which the name 'Capiz' originated. More popular of these is that it comes from the word 'kapid' (which means
twin). When Spaniards settled in the place they found difficulty in pronouncing the name 'kapid', thus giving birth to the word “Capiz”. Still, some old folks claimed that Capiz got its name from 'kapis',
a shell of the mollusk family that is very much abundant in the place.”
Capiz' capital, Roxas City (formerly known as the Municipality of Capiz), coined its name from its most illustrious son, Pres. Manual Acuña Roxas, the 1st President of the independent Republic of the Philippines . It became a city on May 12, 1951 with the issuance of the city charter, Republic Act No. 603. Lorenzo Arnaldo was its first mayor.
3. Was Aklan part of Capiz in the past or vice versa*?
a) Pre-Spanish Era
Capiz was part of Aklan. During the pre-Spanish era, Capiz was one of the early settlements of the Malays. It was part of the Confederation of Madya-as that was formed after the purchase of Panay Island by the Bornean Datus from the Negrito King Marikudo.
Panay Island was then divided into 3 major districts. One of them, Aklan District (that included Capiz) was formally formed in 1223. In 1443, Panay Island Chieftain Datu Kalantiao, who headed the Madya-as Confederation, promulgated the famous code of Kalantiao.
b) Spanish – 1956 Era
Aklan was part of Capiz. During the Spanish era, Capiz became the 2nd Spanish settlement in the Philippines. This happened when Spaniards, under the Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, entered Pan-ay, a town of Capiz, in 1569. May 8, 1570 marked the conquest of Panay and, consequently, the district of Aklan under the leadership of Martin de Gotti. Capiz was created into a separate 'encomienda'. Later, it was organized into a politico-military province in 1716, embracing the neighboring islands of Romblon, Nuestra de Campo, Tablas and Sibuyan.
It was on 25 April 1956 when Capiz was partitioned into two provinces, thus, legally creating Aklan as a province. This partitioning occurred when Republic Act No. 1414 was signed into law by Pres. Ramon Magsaysay. (Sources: www.capiz.gov.ph and interview with UP History Department Professor Vicente Villan from Sigma, Capiz)
4. Is it true that witches ("aswangs") abound in Capiz*?
No, it is not true, by factual reasoning, that witches abound in Capiz. The term "aswang" and its reference to Capiz can be attributed to a confusion of historical fact and radio fiction that started way back in the Spanish and American times until the radio became popularized in the 1970's.
a. historical fact
"Aswang" was a term used by foreign colonizers in the 1600s (Spanish) or 1900's (American) to refer to native freedom fighters because these fighters usually attacked at night. This was a strategy resorted to in the absence of sophisticated modern armaments since what was existing during that time were only native weapons like "bolos".
b. radio fiction
In the 1970s, popular to elderly and children alike was a radio soap opera ("drama") that was played as a fiction series (not factual) to amuse, entertain and perhaps scare children from staying out late at night. It was a series of radio episodes on a local village chieftain named "Tenyente Guimo". It was supposedly a fiction on how his family scared the wits out of his daughter's visitor from Manila; as the visitor was fearfully running away from the village, she boarded a train that brought her safely to Roxas City in Capiz (a reason that must have associated the peaceful province with the said "creatures of the night"). (Source: Interview with UP History Department Professor Vicente Villan from Sigma, Capiz)