Province of Capiz

The Province of Capiz, also known as Kapis, is a province situated in the central part of the Western Visayas region in the Philippines.

The capital of Capiz is the city of Roxas and is it located on the northeastern side of Panay Island, surrounded by Aklan to the north, Antique to the west, and Iloilo to the south. The Sibuyan Sea lies to the north of the province.

Capiz is renowned for its Placuna placenta oyster shells which are locally known by the same name and used for decoration and creating various items such as lampshades, trays, windows, and doors.

The province is also known as the “Seafood Capital of the Philippines” and is one of the top 15 most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines.

Capiz is home to the famous coral-stone Santa Monica Church in the town of Panay, which features the largest Catholic Church bell in Asia. The bell was crafted from 70 sacks of gold and silver coins donated by the local residents measures seven feet in diameter, five feet in height, and weighs 10,400 kilograms or over 10 metric tons.

This bell is a popular tourist attraction in Capiz.

Capiz province during the Spanish Colonization

The early Spanish explorers’ accounts of Capiz and its inhabitants date back to 1566, when the Spaniards first landed at the mouth of the Banica River.

The town of Pan-ay, originally known as Bamban, was one of the earliest settlements, and the location of a fortress built by Juan de la Isla in 1570. The town plaza contains the Paseo de Evangelization 1566, which was built through the efforts of Rev. Msgr. Benjamin F. Advincula.

When the Spaniards, led by Miguel López de Legazpi, arrived in Panay from Cebu in 1569, they found people with tattoos and named the island “Isla de los Pintados.”

The origin of the name “Panay” is uncertain, but legend has it that López de Legazpi and his men, in search of food, exclaimed “Pan hay en esta isla!”, meaning “There is bread in this island,” and the island’s shape resembles a heart.

The Spanish established their first settlement at the mouth of the Banica River and called it Pan-ay, which became the second Spanish settlement in the Philippines after San Miguel in Cebu.

Calle Revolución in Panay is the second oldest street in the Philippines after Calle Colón in Cebu City.

In 1569, Captain Diego de Artieda, sent by Legazpi, declared Panay as the capital of the province. Later, the capital was moved to its present site, the town of Capiz (now Roxas City), which was closer to the sea and had better docking facilities.

The province was later organized into a politico-military unit in 1716, and a civil government was established in Capiz in 1901 following the American takeover of the Philippines.

The people of Panay have a noble character and royal blood, as evidenced by Iloilo City being given the Royal Title of “Most Loyal and Noble City” by the Queen of Spain for being the most faithful city in the Spanish Empire.

Although Capiz joined the Tagalog-led Philippine revolution, the Spaniards surrendered to the people of Iloilo, and eventually, Iloilo and Capiz became part of the Federal Republic of the Visayas, a substate within the First Philippine Republic.

The United States of America, however, betrayed the Philippine Revolution by occupying Manila.

Capiz during World War II

On April 16, 1942, the Imperial Japanese army arrived in Capiz City and took control of the rest of the province. However, on December 20, 1944, Capizanon resistance fighters, who had already gained control over most of the area, successfully freed the capital from Japanese rule, leading to the complete liberation of the province.

In the post-war years, Capiz and Aklan were part of a single province until April 25, 1956, when President Ramon Magsaysay signed Republic Act 1414, officially dividing the two entities into separate entities.

Post-war years

The current provinces of Capiz and Aklan used to be one large province until 25th April 1956, when President Ramon Magsaysay signed Republic Act 1414, separating the two areas.

Located in the northeastern part of the Panay Island, Capiz has a total area of 2,594.64 square kilometers and is one of the five provinces that make up the Western Visayas region.

The highest mountain in Capiz is Mount Nangtud, which has an elevation of 6,804 feet and is located on the Capiz-Antique border. Other notable peaks include Mount Tigas at 4,760 feet and Mount Agudo at 2,736 feet.

The province consists of 473 barangays, 16 municipalities, and a city. Roxas City, the provincial capital, is just 45 minutes away from Manila by plane and is accessible via major shipping lines.

The Panay River, which used to be home to a large number of crocodiles, bounds the province to the Sibuyan Sea and the Loctugan, Ivisan, and Panay rivers.

Administrative divisions of Capiz province

Capiz is composed of 1 city which is Roxas City, and 16 municipalities, which are further divided into 473 barangays, and divided into 2 congressional districts.

The 16 municipalities of Capiz are the following:

  • Panay
  • Pontevedra
  • Maayon
  • Panitan
  • President Roxas (Lutod Lutod)
  • Pilar
  • Ivisan
  • Sapian
  • Mambusao
  • Jamindan
  • Tapaz
  • Dumalag
  • Dumarao
  • Cuartero
  • Dao
  • Sigma
Coordinates: 11°23′N 122°38′ECoordinates11°23′N 122°38′E
RegionWestern Visayas
Spanish Settlement1566
Politico-Military Province1716
FoundedApril 15, 1901
and largest city
 • GovernorFredenil H. Castro (Lakas-CMD)
 • Vice GovernorJames O. Magbanua (Lakas-CMD)
 • LegislatureCapiz Provincial Board
 • Total2,594.64 km2 (1,001.80 sq mi)
 • Rank52nd out of 81
Highest elevation (Mount Nangtud)2,074 m (6,804 ft)
Population (2020 census) [2]
 • Total804,952
 • Rank38th out of 81
 • Density310/km2 (800/sq mi)
  • Rank25th out of 81
 • Independent cities0
 • Component cities
 • Municipalities
 • Barangays473
 • DistrictsLegislative districts of Capiz ( First and Second Dstricts)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP Code5800–5816
IDD : area code +63 (0)36
ISO 3166 codePH-CAP
HDIIncrease 0.650 (Medium)
HDI rank32nd in Philippines (2019)
Spoken languagesCapiznon, Hiligaynon, Aklanon, Kinaray-aIgbok, Tagalog, English
Province of Capiz logo seal

Demographics of the Province of Capiz

As per the 2020 census, the population of Capiz was recorded to be 804,952 individuals, with a population density of 310 individuals per square kilometer or 800 per square mile.


Historians and ethnologists have identified three distinct groups of people who have lived in Capiz: the Atis/Aetas, also commonly referred to as Negritos; descendants of the Mundo tribe in central Panay who have Indonesian roots; and the Malays.

The Sulod tribe

The Suludnon, also referred to as the Tumandok, Panay-Bukidnon, or Panayanon Sulud, are an indigenous Visayan group who reside in the mountainous regions of Capiz-Lambunao and Antique-Iloilo on the island of Panay in the Philippines.

They are based in the town of Tapaz. The Suludnon speak the Igbok language, which is also known as Ligbok or Sulod language and is part of the West Bisayan subdivision of the Bisayan languages within the Austronesian language family.


In Capiz, Roman Catholicism continues to play a significant role in the daily lives of most people, especially in areas such as politics, education, and personal decision-making.

While Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion, there is also a strong minority following from the Iglesia Filipina Independiente and minority religious groups including Born Again Christians, Iglesia ni Cristo, Methodists, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Baptists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Seventh-day Adventists, among others.

Languages in Capiz Province

In the area, there are two predominant local languages: Capiznon and Hiligaynon. Filipino and English are also commonly used and serve as the primary languages for administration and business.

The Aklanon language is spoken in towns located near Aklan, such as Sapian, Jamindan, and Mambusao.

Capiznon is primarily used in the province of Capiz in the northeast region of Panay. It is part of the Visayan language family and is used by people belonging to the larger Visayan ethnolinguistic group, which is the largest Filipino ethnolinguistic group.

Although it is closely related to Hiligaynon/Ilonggo, it has its own distinct vocabulary, accent, and a small number of words that are unique to the language.

Economy of Capiz

Capiz is known as the “Seafood Capital of the Philippines” due to its 80-kilometer coastline and vast swampy lands that can easily be converted into fishponds.

It boasts some of the most abundant fishing grounds and plays a significant role in the Philippine aquamarine industry. Fishing and farming are the primary sources of income for the local population.

The combination of its land and sea resources supports a thriving food industry, with primary agricultural products including rice, corn, coconut, sugarcane, banana, and cut flowers.

In addition to its surplus of agricultural products, Capiz is also a major producer of prawns and milkfish (bangus).

Other agro-industrial products include blue marlin, squid, oysters, shrimp, seaweed, and angel wings.

The rich fish ponds have attracted investors to invest in the prawn culture, prawn feed manufacturing, seaweed farming, and distribution and processing of other marine products.

The area has a robust workforce of 445,246 people with a literacy rate of 92.04%. Its relatively undiscovered caves are rumored to contain high deposits of minerals such as limestone, gold, and metal.


Sinadya sa Halaran is a celebration that brings together the Roxas City Fiesta (Sinadya) and the Province celebration (Halaran).

The festival is a commemoration of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the patroness of Roxas City, and is a time for giving thanks. The festivities include fireworks, parades, boat processions, fairs, food festivals, street dancing, and exhibits.

The festival was later renamed Sinadya sa Inmaculada Concepcion, with the dissolution of the Halaran Festival and the focus on the patron, the Immaculate Conception. The City of Roxas also celebrates the Sugilanon Festival in May to mark the organization of its government.

The Pangahaw Festival is a thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest by the Indigenous Peoples of Jamindan. T

he Guyum-Guyuman Festival is a celebration of life and thanksgiving for the people of Caguyuman, which was once a part of the municipality of Pan-ay. It was named after the anthill, and people from nearby municipalities would come to trade in the marketplace.

The Talahong Festival is a celebration of the rich seafood production in the area, and is organized by the Local Government Unit every 2nd Friday and 2nd Saturday of May to promote local products.

The Tagbuan Festival was created during the Pre-Spanish period, and was conceptualized by the Aetas in the upland barangay.