So, as I may have mentioned here, I now work at Bonifacio Global City, more popularly known as The Fort. And, right across our office is The Fort Strip. It’s basically a complex, perhaps one of the earliest built (I remember coming here for the first time way back in 2008 or 2009 while still working for the magazine) in the now fast-changing BGC landscape.
Anyway, so, there aren’t a lot of food options here at The Fort in the economical side. But, if on certain days you feel like pampering yourself for a job well done, well, there are some really good restaurants at The Fort Strip. And the good thing is (well, at least for me and my colleagues!) it’s just a mere five minutes away now that the road widening has been completed and the barricade (almost) removed. So, truth be told, we’ve visited The Fort Strip quite a number of times now. The most recent one being yesterday, in what was called “Appreciation Lunch” for the hard work of the staff in recent events. Before that, it was a a stress buster, for the same recent events. ;p
I love eating and it’s my favorite part of work-related travel. You get to savor sumptuous and delicious dishes like fresh vegetables and oh-so-fresh-it’s-still-moving seafood! So, whenever we go on the field, we make sure to always sample the local specialties of the place and when we were in Capiz, it’s always seafood that we craved for!
You can find almost any seafood in Capiz. For how else can Capiz own the bragging rights of being the seafood capital of the Philippines?! From fish to oysters, squids to clams, shrimps to seaweeds, crabs to lobsters.
You name it, and you’d probably get the seafood of your choice. Unless of course it is of the “illegally for sale” kind. That’s another story.
Located in Western Visayas at the northeastern section of Panay Island (where you can also find Ilolo and Aklan), Capiz faces the Sibuyan Sea in the north and has numerous fish ponds in the locality.
A lot of seafood being enjoyed in Manila comes from Capiz, with the extra hundreds of pesos added per kilograms of course. Here are some of the great seafood dishes I’ve tasted in Capiz. I hope you enjoy the visual chow time! (Disclaimer: I like eating but I am not that good in describing. I’ll try my best but please use your imagination or previous foodie experiences!)
This is perhaps the most famous and the “fanciest but still looks like casual dining” seafood restaurant in the Capiz bay seafood restaurant area. It’s a bit more pricey than the “dampa” choices down the coast. I can’t tell you how much exactly coz I didn’t really pay for the food. Another perk of field work travel! Anyway, Coco Grove is also the place where celebrities and personalities visiting Capiz usually go to for their quick seafood fix. Photos below are what they offer (or at least what we tried).
There were probably other dishes we enjoyed that I forgot to take photos of coz I was already hungry. I think we also had nylon clam soup which is quite tasty! And perhaps some scallops too. Plus, you can order beer or coconut, which you’d drink from the shell itself!
Aling Bebing’s Seafood Plaza (Dampa style)
Since we were doing a series of farmers’ training at that time, we also had the chance to go for another round of seafood dinner by the Capiz bay area. This time, we went for the Dampa style at Bebing’s seafood plaza.
If you are unfamiliar with Dampa style of eating, it’s where you choose the seafood that you want to be cooked, haggle for the price, and tell the kitchen how you want them to cook it. It’s quite fun. I didn’t do the haggling per se but it’s fun to watch, and request for the food you want!
Eating at Aling Bebing’s seafood plaza is more casual than at Coco Grove. Both places have a great view of the beach/shore and you can feel the wind gushing. Aling Bebing’s Plaza’s style of bamboo flooring a little above the sands and closer to the shore was more breezy though. Making the seafood dinner more authentic and enjoyable.
So, what are you waiting for?! Book your flights to Roxas, Capiz or fly to Iloilo and Aklan and take a road trip from there. Or, if you really have a lot of time but not much budget, maybe try the 2GO ship option (I should try this too) or take the Roll-on, Roll-off (RORO) buses. I know it seems like great effort but hey, if you really want the freshest and finest seafood, there’s no other place to be than Capiz, the Philippines’ seafood capital!
My Boracay family vacation video post on Facebook back in 2010 has been “resurrected”, thanks to my relatives who liked and commented in the past days. With it is a possibility of another family vacay, God-willing, maybe in Boracay again but also, maybe in El Nido!
On the way back from Sapi Island, Zuldee has already called me to say that his meeting is finished and that he’ll wait for me by the entrance of Jesselton Point. He has generously offered to take me around Kota Kinabalu City to see the sights that I wanted to see.
The flight was at 4pm so I took my sweet time preparing back at my place in Novaliches. Perhaps too sweet. It was already 10:40 when I flagged a passing FX and by 11:30, I boarded a bus from Trinoma going to Dau Bus Terminal. I planned to take a jeepney ride to SM Clark and then take another jeep passing through the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) but, as I arrived at almost 1pm already, I feared I might make the wrong jeepney (little is still known about this route) and not have enough time if ever the horror stories about power-tripping immigration officers are true. I’ve already lost one day due to the storm and I certainly don’t want to miss my flight and delay my trip any longer.
It was, I believe, a good thing then when I saw a sign, written on what seemed like a torn carton, that read: “Shuttle: Dau to Clark Airport AIRCON” (or so I remembered). I walked to the sign and asked the drivers around. They called for a man, probably in his 50s or 60s, who’s like the conductor/dispatcher. He told me there are already two passengers and we need to wait just for two more. Fare is P100. I think it’s quite steep but acceptable. When I agreed, he ushered me into the left side of the terminal wherein an airconditioned shuttle is waiting. Of course, the AC was not yet on.
There, I met Zuldee, a Sabahan guy on a weekend vacation here in the Philippines, visiting his Filipina girlfriend Ning (if my memory is correct). I smiled at him and asked, in English, if he’s going to Kota Kinabalu. He just smiled and nodded. After some time, Ning stood from where she was smoking and climbed back to the shuttle. She asked me what I’ll do in KK and translated it to Zuldee after. She explained to me who they were and we just chatted some more. Continue reading Backpacking South East Asia: Selamat datang, Kota Kinabalu!→
Life is short so take a leap of faith. Let’s wander, explore and discover. Come and journey with me.