Pan-ay, Capiz: Treasures of the Heritage Capital
Before the seat of power shifted west to the current provincial capital, Roxas City, the historic town of Panay once reigned as the temporary administrative capital of Capiz. Being established by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi after his Cebu conquest makes Panay the second oldest Spanish outpost in the country. Check out the interesting finds in the heritage town of Panay, Capiz.
Panay Presidencia Building
Based on quick observation, I think Panay follows the typical Spanish city planning layouts where the parish church, government structures like the “Panay Presidencia Building”, prime establishments, and the residence of prominent families surround the town plaza. The best thing about this set-up – most attractions are within grid. Let’s begin with the iconic edifice.
Santa Monica Parish Church
After being heavily damaged twice by devastating typhoons, Santa Monica Parish Church, or the Pan-ay Church, was reconstructed to withstand the fiercest wrath of Mother Nature. With 3-meter thick walls made of coral stones, the massive baroque church was built like a fortress to last a lifetime. Since the 1774 reconstruction, Pan-ay Church is one of the country’s oldest churches which has survived wars, typhoons, and earthquakes.
Adjacent to the Pan-ay Church was a museum which houses church’s artifacts, memorabilia, and relics. Displayed outside the building was a fascinating gigantic bell which turned out to be the replica of the one on the church’s five-storey belfry. Panay treasures the heaviest and largest Catholic Church bell in Asia called Dakong Lingganay which locally translates to, “big bell”. At 10.4 tons, the bell weighs about the size of two average elephants. The 5-foot tall bell was made using 70 sacks of coins collected from locals, which makes it even more fascinating.
The Spanish conquistadores have left a huge footprint in the Panay. Within the thick walls of Pan-ay Church dwells a colorful history of the town and its people. Many have heard the thundering roar of the mighty bell. Many soldiers have shed blood and fallen in its soils – both our fellowmen and invaders. Panay has faced both triumph and defeat. For centuries, the heritage capital of Capiz treasures a rich history being among the oldest and one of the first established towns in our country – this is why Panay, Capiz is worth the visit.
1. From Roxas City, ask where you could ride a tricycle that goes to Panay. While some would offer fixed rates for round trips, the regular tricycle is way cheaper.
2. Museum was closed since I arrived around 6:00 AM.
3. This is the eleventh post on my two-week long backpacking journey in Panay Island and Guimaras. Next stop would be in Dumalag, Capiz.
4. More Capiz destinations.
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8. Happy travels and be safe.