Part 2 of my September trip with Kevin! You can read Part 1 here, which is our stay in Gigantes Island. We decided to stay one night in Roxas City to break the travel time to Boracay. And of course, to do a little tour of the city. I really just wanted to visit the Ruins of Alcatraz, after seeing it on one blog.
Picking up from the Roxas City Integrated Transport Terminal, our first stop was Cafe Terraza because we arrived around lunch. It is also very convenient because it’s just 1km from the terminal. Cafe Terraza is a restaurant located at the top of the hill, so you best believe that the view from here is amazing. The food is also actually good, not very expensive and I was also satisfied with the service from the staff. I ordered an iced coffee because it was freaking hot and I was really sleepy. I was so surprised when Kevin ordered kare-kare, but didn’t want to eat it with the alamang. The baked scallops were very tasty. It was a really delicious lunch.
I’m still laughing at how our bathroom traumatized Kevin. This was a last-minute booking. I literally booked when I finally got a signal while on the boat going to Bancal Port. When I was booking at Agoda, I thought the reviews were pretty good. The photos of the rooms looked nice, so I thought it was a steal for its price. (PHP530). We got a fan room because we don’t really need AC. (We were wrong.)
See, I was not even expecting so much, but now that I’m looking at my Agoda booking, our room was not like the one in the photo. The room was small – no problem with that, with a double bed – it was actually quite spacious (maybe that’s why it made the room even smaller.) There was a fan, and a kitchen sink with cupboards above – there was no closet like in the photo because it just won’t fit. There was a table and chair near the door.
The bathroom was really dirty, which totally traumatized Kevin, that he decided we splurge a little on our Boracay accommodation. LOL. It’s very basic – a toilet bowl, and you are provided a bucket and a tabo. The door doesn’t lock properly, but my biggest problem was how dirty it was. Who knows when they last scrubbed those walls. It was just filthy. It is understandable that the room is cheap, but come on, at least clean the bathroom from time to time.
I had a bone to pick with how the window is right next to the door. I get that there is no other place for the window since the room is very small but that’s just dangerous. There’s no way we can leave the windows open because it’s so easy to open the door by sticking your arm from outside. The distance is literally very short. It’s just too dangerous to risk it. We really should have gotten an AC room instead.
The location is really great though, it’s right in the middle of the city and you can just walk to the tourist spots in the city proper. You are right next to the Panay River, too, so can’t really complain about that. Maybe there are other good rooms in the inn, and we just got the bad one. LOL. They do provide hot water for coffee, and you can order breakfast from them.
ROXAS CITY PROPER
I wrote down a lot of places to visit, but I don’t know why I didn’t check my list when we were walking around. But I think what we saw were:
- Immaculate Concepcion Metropolitan Cathedral
- Roxas City Fountain
- Capiz Bridge
- Panay River
- President Manuel A. Roxas Monument
- The Roxas City Bandstand
- Capiz Provincial Capitol
- Jose Rizal Monument
We passed by the Panublion Museum, but it was closed. I didn’t realize that the President Manuel A. Roxas Ancestral Home was so close to our accommodation, we should’ve gone there first before going to the city center.
RUINS OF ALCATRAZ
This was so hilarious because we would’ve totally gotten lost if it weren’t for the three children who took us to the ruins. The tricycle driver took us to a place where there are restaurants and the ruins were actually on the other side of the street. If you are coming from Baybay Beach, the street going to Ruins of Alcatraz is on the right side, you will pass by a residential area, and then there is a gate going to the ruins. I suggest just asking around where the way is. It was quite a long walk to get here, but worth it! When we finally got here, we were surprised to see a lot of people, so apparently, it is quite a famous hangout place in Roxas City. There was even a debutante taking her debut photos here.
The ruins are apparently remnants of a resort that was unfinished and abandoned. Not sure when it was built, but it is weather and gives off an ancient look. It is also by the beach so you have a really good view once you go to the top of the ruins. There are other spots to see in the area, but I feel like it’s more complicated to get to these places than what Google Maps is making it out to be so I decided against dragging Kevin to go these places.
Baybay Beach is a few kilometers from the Ruins of Alcatraz, we decided to enjoy the sunset from the People’s Park first, before looking for a place where we can eat. Kevin saw a place he liked on Tripadvisor but we weren’t able to find it so we assumed it has closed. There are a lot of restaurants along Baybay Beach though, so there’s many to choose from. In the end, we decided to buy street food from the stalls around the park and eat on the ground. I truly enjoyed that and the fried food was delicious!
THE TRICYCLE SITUATION IN ROXAS CITY
Ok, I hate to do this, but I really need to talk about this. I touched on this briefly in the previous blog as well. So, from the Roxas City Integrated Transport Terminal, we decided to go to Cafe Terraza, which is roughly 1km from the terminal. There is a tricycle terminal there and when we asked how much it is to go to Cafe Terraza, they said it was PHP100. I was shocked. PHP100 for 1km? Really? They explained that the tricycle usually sits 4 people and it’s PHP25 per person to go back to the city center. I understand this because of the tariff rates posted at the airport, the tricycle fare from the terminal to the city fountain is PHP25.
See, I get that. However, we are not going to the city proper and it’s 1km vs 4km. They definitely should not be charging PHP100 for a 1km tricycle ride, it’s a total ripoff. To be honest, the fare should’ve been just PHP40 if we are following the tariff rates. Now, taking the tricycle from Cafe Terraza to our accommodation in the city proper, and charging us PHP100 – that I understand. Based on the tariff rates, it’s PHP25 per person and since it’s a private trip to Pete’s Inn, PHP100 makes sense.
Because of this, we got very hesitant to take tricycles and walked a lot in Roxas City. Until I figured out the specific tricycles that you can take depending on what part of the city you are in and that you should only pay PHP10 for a 1km tricycle ride, then an additional PHP5 for each km. We aren’t looking for a private ride, the driver can take other passengers if they want to. So, after walking for I don’t know how long, we took a tricycle to Ruins of Alcatraz, then another tricycle to Baybay Beach, and then another one to Halaran Plaza. I also started checking the distance from place to place so I know how much exactly I will pay.
I really hope that tricycle drivers stop overcharging people. It borders on scamming. The tariff rates are literally posted at the airport, so the tourists know it. If they are being charged extra for waiting at the terminal, then they should take that into consideration and change the fares. It is not the passengers’ fault.
Next stop: Boracay.