Capiz is a 1st class 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 Iloiloto the south. Capiz faces the Sibuyan Sea to the north. Capiz is known for the Placuna placenta oyster shell that has the same name locally and is used for decoration and making lampshades, trays, window doors. Likewise, the province is known as the Seafood Capital of the Philippines. and was among the top 15 most frequently visited places in the Philippines.
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 Ivisan rivers.
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 the island Isla de los Pintados. How the island itself came to be called Panay is uncertain. The Aeta called itAninipay, 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!. They established their first settlement on the island at the mouth of the Banica River and called it Pan-ay. This was the second Spanish settlement in the Philippines, following San Miguel, Cebu.
Later in 1569, Captain Diego de Artieda, who was sent by Legazpi, landed in the Town of Panay and proclaimed it as the capital of the province. Later, the Spainards 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.
On April 15, 1901, the civic government of Capiz was created by virtue of Act 115.
In 1942, the region was occupied by Japanese troops. In 1945, the region was liberated by the joint Filipino and American troops with Capiznon guerrillas.
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.
With its 80-kilometer coastline and wide expanse of swampy lands easily converted into fishponds, Capiz is dubbed as the “Seafood Capital of the Philippines”. It holds one of the richest fishing grounds and is a major contributor in the aquamarine industry of the Philippines.
Four big telecommunication companies offer telegraph, telex and telephone services. There are more than 60 banking institutions and 116 intermediaries operating in the province.
Farming and fishing are the primary sources of income for the people. The combined natural bounty of land and sea sustain a vibrant food industry. Primary agricultural raw products are rice, corn, coconut, sugarcane, banana and cut flower. Apart from a surplus of agricultural products, Capiz is also a major supplier of prawn and milk fish. Other agro-industrial harvests include blue marlin, squid, oysters, shrimp, seaweed, and angel wings. Rich fish ponds attract investors to venture into prawn culture, prawn feed manufacture, seaweed farming and the distribution and processing of other marine products. A robust workforce of 445,246 operates with a literacy rate of 90.5%. The agricultural sector ensures the province as one of the wealthiest in the Western Visayas Region although progress is impeded by corruption.
Its relatively unexplored caves are said to have high deposits of mineral resources such as limestone, gold and metal.
A New Capiz is rising has been envisioned by Pueblo de Panay Inc. as a center for economic and social progress. Pueblo de Panay is owned and developed by Pueblo de Panay, Inc. and master-planned by Blue Chip Builders, Inc. The 400-hectare Pueblo de Panay was started to develop since 2011 and one of the biggest townships in the Philippines. As of 2014, it is the site of various residential, commercial, educational, and government establishments. The proponents envision Pueblo de Panay as an eco-tourism business district which would have various investors as locators while promoting ecotourism activities in Roxas City and the rest of the province of Capiz.
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