Two River Tours, Thousands of Trees, Tons of Seafood, One Captivating Capiz
JP Anthony D. Cuñada | Jun 09, 2015
Roxas City, the capital of Capiz, is known as the seafood capital of the Philippines. These two river tour experiences prove why.
Palina Greenbelt Ecopark River Tour
After about a thirty-minute ride towards the edge of another side of Roxas City, we were treated to a sumptuous lunch of grilled pusit, steamed shrimp and oyster in a gazebo made of bamboo with a nipa roof. What's so different about this hut is that it’s perched on a bamboo raft floating on a river.
For an hour or so, this hut was pulled by a motor boat through the lines of mangrove trees. Some of the mangroves are a century old, as our tour guide claimed. It’s not all mangroves, though. You’ll pass by islands and come across fishermen in their boats on their way to and from the sea. Some of the boats are filled with crab traps, which yould mistake for Christmas trees because of their green nets.
Look ahead and you’ll see the expanse of the open sea where vessels ply their goods and passengers. Look just by the edge of the raft and be amazed as to how the raft keeps afloat despite its load, and observe how it gently glides on the water. Or simply sit still, be aware of the green surroundings, the cool breeze that lets you forget the hot day, and let the hum of the motor boat lull you to sleep.
This could be the best place for lovers. Except for the guides and the motor boat operators, you’re alone in the middle of the mangrove forest, floating on the river whose mouth opens to the sea.
This place is run by the Palina River Development Association composed of men and women who used to own or operate illegal fishing structures that caused siltation on the riverbed, and disrupted the river’s current and polluted the environment. Needless to say, this part of the river was almost dead. But now, it's alive and well.
Cadimahan River Tour
As in Palina, you sit in a gazebo made of bamboo and nipa on a raft. But this raft is stationary unlike in Palina, where it’s pulled by a motorized banca.
Because it's stationary, the people can grow oyster and green shells by tying the rope with the seeds under the raft. This is the same sea produce they serve to their visitors.
Just like in Palina, this part of the river used to be crowded with illegal fishing structures that caused siltation and pollution. Now, the structures are gone, now replaced by the restaurant on gazebos run by the former owners and operators of the those illegal structures.
Roxas City offers other river tours, and we listed just these two to whet your appetite for the buffets-on-rafts and relaxing sceneries!