Roxas - Wallabies - River Setting

Roxas – Philippines – Information


 

APRIL 2016:

 

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OVERVIEW:

Roxas City is on Panay Island in the Western Visayas.

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Roxas City is known as the Seafood Capital of The Philippines. That is why I stopped there.


GETTING THERE:

Boracay - To Roxas - Boracay Ferry Boracay - To Roxas - Minivan to KaliboI made my own way from Boracay to Roxas.

I caught a ferry from Boracay to Caticlan, a minivan from there to Kalibo, and a connecting minivan from there to Roxas City.

The door-to-door journey took 5.5 hours and cost me (as a solo traveller) PHP445.


COMMUNICATIONS:

I still had my Globe SIM card that I purchased at Manila Airport when I flew in from Hanoi to Puerto Princesa. This was topped up in Coron and, again, in Boracay.

My Globe SIM connectivity was not the best in Roxas City; I had trouble getting a good signal in many places around town and could not get any connection at all from my hotel room (see Wallabies Hotel, below).


TRANSPORT:

Bus Terminal to/from City Centre:

The Bus Terminal, as usual in The Philippines, is several kms out from the centre of town.

The Tribike fare from there to town centre is PHP50 (including your suitcase).

Tribike Around Town:

The normal rule of thumb applies: pay no more than PHP10 per km for your own Tribike. Less if shared with other people.

In a shared Tribike, PHP10 should get you anywhere around town centre.

Tribike to Baybay Beach:

I asked my central hotel how much I should pay to Baybay Beach: they said PHP25-30.

I found it easy to negotiate a private Tribike to Baybay for PHP30. I paid as low as PHP20.


WHERE TO STAY:

I found accommodation costs in Roxas City to be lower than normal. You, usually, have to pay PHP900 plus to get a decent double room with private bathroom.

I wanted to stay near the centre of the city so that I could look around.


ACCOMMODATION:

WALLABIES HOTEL:

Roxas - Wallabies - Outside I did my usual ‘thing’ and pre-booked the Wallabies Hotel on Washington Street.

Wallabies is about 200 metres from the central cathedral.

Roxas - Wallabies - Room EntryRoxas - Wallabies - EnsuiteI was only staying in Roxas for 3 nights, so I booked all 3 nights in advance at a cost of PHP678 / night (excluding breakfast).

  It was a Double Aircon room with ensuite,  cable TV, and cold water shower.

There was no in-room wifi (the free wifi was only at reception).

The room was to GRANDPAcking Standard.

The staff are friendly and the hotel is clean and tidy.

My room was a reasonable size. The bed was a small Double and was firm but comfortable.

The Cable TV was clear and had many Sports and Movie channels to choose from.

It came with a wall mirror, a small wardrobe, and desk with chairs.

Roxas - Wallabies - Bed Roxas - Wallabies - RoomThe ensuite was clean and a reasonable size.

It would have been better if it had a shelf to put things on and a mirror over the sink.

Due to the thick concrete walls, I could not get a wifi signal in my room: neither from the hotel’s wifi nor my own mobile phone.

It was good value for money.

The Wallabies has a pleasant riverfront setting.Roxas - Wallabies - River Setting


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EAT:

WALLABIES HOTEL:

The Wallabies does a very reasonably priced menu. They have a selection of (simple) set breakfasts for PHP60 – each comes with an orange juice, rice, fried egg, and a different meat. The meat can be hotdogs, corned beef, meatloaf, etc.Roxas - Wallabies - Set Menu Breakfast PHP60

They do other ‘short order meals’ for lunch and dinner for PHP55-75.

BAYBAY SEAFOOD COURT:

I was in Roxas to try the famous seafood.

Roxas - BayBay - Free Live Band Roxas - BayBay - Sea Food CourtThe best place to go to get the best price is the Seafood Court on Baybay Beach.

It should cost no more than PHP30 to get a private Tribike from your hotel to Baybay.

I was lucky with my timing, I arrived in Roxas on the weekend of their annual Reggae Festival (mid April). They had a live band playing on both Saturday and Sunday night.

The Seafood Court has several stalls to choose from and a common eating area.

Walk around the stalls, check out the prices, and choose your fare.

Roxas - Steamed Oysters - PHP40 Roxas - BayBay - Spicy Crab PHP150I chose a bucket of Steamed Oysters for PHP40. They came with limes and fresh chilis.

At the same stall, they did Spicy Crab for PHP100.

I finished up eating those and another bucket of Steamed Oysters.

Total price? PHP180. Hard to beat.Roxas - BayBay - Seafood Dinner PHP180

THE STREETS:

You find the usual ‘tin-pot buffets’ on the streets. These are the cheapest places to eat. Expect to pay PHP30-40 for a sample dish and PHP10 for Rice.

Something like a small Grilled Fish with Rice should be PHP40. Something like a Chicken Adobo with Rice PHP50.

OTHER:

You can find small cafes and diners advertising meals like Spaghetti Carbonara, Bolognaise, Lasagna, etc for as low as PHP65.

How about 10 small sweet bread rolls hot from a bakery for PHP2 each.


DRINK:

BAYBAY:

Expect to pay PHP45 for a San Miguel Pilsen.

 SHOPS:

Why not try a local rum (Tanduay): a 750ml Tanduay Dark (80 proof) costs PHP85 and a 1.75L bottle of coke PHP60.

The local Brandy’s not bad either but costs about PHP100-120.


YOUR SAFETY:

CRIME:

There is no reason to feel unsafe in Roxas City (IMHO).

But, as with all poor places, be sensible. Don’t flash your wealth or leave things unattended.


MONEY / PRICES / SHOPPING:

ATMs:

There are banks and ATMs everywhere. But, unlike Boracay, they are not max’d out out PHP10,000. I took PHP15,000 from the PhilTrust Bank.

OTHER:

  • Man’s Haircut: PHP30
  • Molar Tooth removed at a Dentist: PHP2,500

GETTING AWAY:

I need to get from Roxas To Iloilo City on the south coast.

To get there, I need to take a Tribike to the out-of-town bus terminal and a minivan from there.


CONCLUSION:

Roxas - BayBay - Live Band Roxas - BayBay - Sweet & Sour Fish PHP270I was in Roxas City purely for the famous seafood.

Roxas City itself has no ‘endearing’ qualities – it is just another Philippines city with nothing ‘special’ about it (other than its famous seafood).

This is a GRANDPAcker ‘in-transit’ destination whilst en-route elsewhere.


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