The tourism program mapped out as early as 2007 by the Capiz provincial government under Gov. Victor A. Tanco has borne fruit with the inclusion of Capiz in the list of 20 places as “top destinations of domestic travelers irrespective of purpose of travel and travelers whose main purpose of trip was for pleasure or vacation.” (READ MORE)


Posted by: Ruel Doce | February 24, 2010

Capiz Historical Institute: Its Inception

Sarreal D. SoquiñoCHI Incorporator

 Qualitative Research Seminar Workshop with Professor Leothiny Clavel Qualitative Research Seminar Workshop with Professor Leothiny Clavel

                   The need to promote the study of the Capisnon history and culture has now become an urgent task. The continued research and interpretation of our local history will lead us to understand fully well our past in a proper perspective, the Capisnon view. Thus, the founders and pioneering members of the Capiz Historical Institute or CHI have envisioned the organization as the “the center of research, education, training and publication, and prime advocate of Capisnon History and Culture.”  This is the amended vision statement formulated and unanimously approved by the 1st General Assembly of the participants on June 5 & 6, 2009 at the Audio-Visual Conference Center (AVCC) in Filamer Christian College or FCC.

…Read more

The Province of Capiz will celebrate its 109th Foundation Anniversary of its Civil Government on April 13 – 15, 2010

Visit: The New York Times

Posted by: Ruel Doce | February 18, 2010

International Dance Xchange in Capiz

The Provincial Government of Capiz will be hosting the DANCE XCHANGE: 2nd Philippine International Dance Workshop and Festival on April 15 – 20 in celebration of the International Dance Day. It will be spearheaded by the National Committee on Dance of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

The festival aims to: 1) provide venue for interaction and facilitate learning among dancers, directors, dance teachers, choreographers, tourism and cultural officers and dance scholars, 2)provide new ideas and inspiration that will stimulate the creativity of the dance educators, directors and choreographers, 3) showcase the unique dances of each country to facilitate cultural understanding, and 4) strengthen network among dance organizations and diplomatic relations among the participating countries. The Dance Xchange will have activities such as artists forum, dance workshops, festival of dances and outreach performances.

The National Committee on Dance of the NCCA recognized the importance of organizing events that will place dance at the center stage. The International Theatre Institute established the International Dance Day in 1982, celebrated every April 29th, to commemorate the birthday of Jean-Georges No¬verre (1727-1810), the founder of contemporary ballet. The celebration is intended to create conditions for dialogue and cooperation within the world dance community, and to promote dance art and reinforce its cultural and political position on the national and international levels.

Solidarity with the international dance community is the spirit that the NCCA-National Committee on Dance brings into the Dance Xchange. Confident that the celebration will gain strong support from the dance community, the local government units, educational institutions and dance enthusiasts, the Dance Xchange organizers has invited dance companies from the different countries to have a venue for dialogue and to present the different forms of dance.

The messages from the International Dance Day celebrations through the years have encouraged the National Committee on Dance to hold a grand event which will place the Philippines in the map of all international dance day celebrations.

The host, Province of Capiz was conferred the “Outstanding Culture Friendly LGU” on March 12, 2009 at Malacañan Palace, Manila by the International Theater Institute (ATI) and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

Posted by: Ruel Doce | February 17, 2010

Capiz to host ONE VISAYAS 2010

ONE VISAYAS is the biggest culture and arts festival to gather Visayan artists, artisan and craftsmen from the seven art disciplines including cuisine and tourism aspect of each region.  Aiming at mainstreaming their creativity towards pro-active participation in development programs of the government, together with their Local Officials, they will come to share their works, experiences and expertise through performances, interactive exhibits, workshops, and fora to supplement development and appreciation of cultural, artistic, innovative and trendsetting endeavors, and towards the promotion of tourism in Visayas.

(Concept )

(Schedule of Events)

Sherma E. Benosa

Agung, Official Newsletter of the NCCA

Vol. XII, No. 5, September-October 2009

Experts from ASEAN member-nations came together on October 5 to 6, 2009, for a meeting on the recognition and protection of ASEAN Communal Intellectual Property Rights.  Coinciding with the Dungog: Indigenous Peoples Festival held in Roxas City, Capiz, the meeting focused on the protection of the vast wealth of heritage and traditions of the indigenous peoples.    (read more)

Posted by: Ruel Doce | February 17, 2010


Ma. Soledad Sol Corong,

Agung, Official Newsletter of the NCCA

Vol. XII, No. 5, September-October 2009

 Every October, we celebrate the Indigneous Peoples’ Month.  This year, the NCCA, together with the provincial government of Capiz led by Governor Victor A. Tanco, mounted Dungog: Indigenous Peoples’ Festival at the Villareal Stadium in the capital city of Roxas from October 2 to 6, 2009.  read more)

Posted by: Ruel Doce | February 17, 2010

“Captivating Capiz” is truly Capisnon

by Ruel G. Doce

A lot of development planners and managers I know were amazed of the Province’s vision statement. They argued on how “Captivating Capiz” would be a complete state of what the province would be in the next five years. Visioning Capiz to be captivating is an endless effort and thus cannot be confined within the time-frame of the development agenda.

They, maybe, are correct, but true-blooded Capisnons who know themselves and their province are happy with this perfect vision. Capiz is in an on-going and on-growing process of becoming and thus can never be limited and even goes beyond the concept of time and space.

I have not come across yet with any vision statement of a local government unit as unique as ours. Aside from not following usual standard, ours fully recognizes culture, with all the possibilities it opened, as a tool for development. We understand culture as a system of vital ideas that largely governs and determines the way we related to our inner selves, each other, nature, time and space, the spirit world, work and activity; or life and the world.

Local Government Units in Capiz today recognize the important role of culture in politics or the science of public governance. Culture interprets development, shapes its expression and gives it direction. This principle is clearly explained by Jesus in the Bible: “What father among you will give his son a snake if he asks for a fish, or hand him a scorpion if he asks for an egg? (Luke 11,11-12).

 From our vision statement, we can conceive four among our collective traits that underlie our inherent inclination for the preservation of society: Capisnons are highly participative, highly artistic and creative, deeply transcendental, and celebrative of own culture.

Being highly participative, we always demand for collective participation in the creative process and decision-making. We always look for ways to share in any effort for the interest of our community through cooperative actions or social organizations. Our vision statement does not only encourage participatory governance but it positioned everybody into the facilitating arena of self-exploration and self-perfection. LGU-NGO Partnerships in Sigma and some parts of the Province had won national awards and are now attracting domestic and foreign tourists.

Being artistic and creative, Capisnons possess high standard of productivity, not only in arts but in all worthwhile undertakings. Capizeñas Jovita Fuentes, National Artist for Music and Daisy Hontiveros-Avellana, National Artist for Theater have significant contributions for the development of culture of the whole world. Our vision statement once again proves our artistic ingenuity for its simplicity, beauty and profoundness.

Being highly transcendental, the vision statement focuses not on what human senses can perceive but of the warmth experience that Capiz can offer. We are highly spiritual yet with a vigorous “joie de vivre.”

Being celebrative of our culture, our vision statement draws out our attribute into their highest potential. Self-actualization reaches its pinnacle only through a celebrative expression of our being. It’s not surprising that our festivals are named from what we identified to be the most visible expressions of our culture. Sinadya sa Halaran of the City and Province, Hil-o hil-o of Maayon, of Mambusao, Caguyuman of Pontevedra and other local festivals bear witness to it.

How Captivating Capiz is is not measured by extent or degree but by the pride we have for being her sons and daughters and by our contributions for her development brought about by our deep appreciation of her. It cannot also be measured by time for everyday Capiz is casting her magic through us who live her ideals.

Posted by: Ruel Doce | February 17, 2010

Tourism, the means; culture, the end: A Capiz Experience

by Ruel G. Doce

Mary was prepared for the mission not primarily hers through the power of the Divine. The Jewish people who are guided by the Torah earnestly awaited for a political liberator, yet, Jesus, her son, came to be more that what they expected – He rescued all humankind from the slavery of sin. Mary was then immaculately conceived by St. Ann for her son would be the Son of God.

The Province of Capiz entrusted itself to the intercession and care of the Immaculate Conception, its patroness. Today, a lot of miracles, usually attributes of a mother or a mother and child relationship, are accredited to her.

The belief of power-above-human-among-men is embedded in Filipino psyche. During the Philippine Revolution, illuminati’s were regarded as prophets or seers. Rizal is a dreamer of dreams foretelling the future and his skill in the sciences indicated his possession of magical powers, and this view of Rizal as a magus survived in the cult in a strange sect in Laguna which worships him as a kind of supernatural being: a god of Mt. Makiling; General Aguinaldo tamed the cafre that haunted Kawit seashore and put it into guarding the bridge beside his house.

Capiz is widely described as a place “where myth and legend merged” because we, Capisnons, are highly transcendental; and, we, consciously or not, believe that there’s a power of someone “unseen” that can manipulate our lives. Our tourist destinations, such as caves, islets and old structures, as well as our rituals during festivals are shrouded with this kind of belief: that they are owned or “protected” either by giant, cafre, or kamâ-kamâ.

Our Sinadya sa Halaran Festival was tactically merged. Whatever the grounds are, the festivity is now doing its magic because the “Virgin of the Province” is with us. With some innovations introduced this year which are all based on our concrete life experiences (which means, more cultural!), it is now worthy to be called “our” celebration. Capisnons are truly masinadyahon because we halad or share them with others; our genuine trait.

In 2008, Capiz Provincial Tourism Office had initiated programs, projects and activities that while promoting the Capiz as the “Eco-Cultural Tourism Hub in Central Philippines,” would also test the temperature of the tourism and cultural climate of the Province as gauge for future programs.

On the same year, some Capisnon optimistic “movers” pooled themselves together and formed the Capiz Visitors and Convention Bureau (CVCB) and the Organization of Tourism Officers of Capiz (OTOC). Together with other non-government sectors, they are amongst Provincial Government’s potent partners.

During the November 17 – 19, 2008 Global Peace Festival-Visayas, the transcendental nature of Capiz surfaced significantly, and it clarified and reinforced Tourism Office’s development formula – tourism is the means, culture is the end. Culture manifested to be both a liberating and limiting force as it contains our principal assumptions about life. Any development plans and effort should therefore be hinged upon Capisnon’s common unwritten norms, skills, knowledge, attitudes and values as they order and give meaning to our behavior, thought and feeling.

However, the hosted festival had also dramatically led us to reexamine our spiritual and social maturity. In this inevitable trend of globalization and modern means of getting information, we cannot shun ourselves away from the world but rather have skill to digest these gathered informations and turn them into facts; a guiding dictum “wrong information, wrong decision.”

The same insight was presented by the first ati cultural festival in Capiz which was held at Mt. Tag-ao, Tamulalod, Dumarao on October 29, 2008. “Hirinugyaw Ke Meme Atae/Ati” had made a very clear illustration of the influential gravitation toward cultural convergence. The pressing question “what do ‘preservation of culture” means in this context?” has bombarded the Tourism Office, being afraid that maybe, soon, this beautiful culture would just be as memories in stories and books.

During the festival, it’s a pity to hear from a tribal leader commenting that to speak their own dialect is just for a “show” and to wear their ethnic dress is to put on a “costume.” Their diets have also become catholic and they are now living in types of architecture that are distinct to their culture. Many of them are even married to somebody outside their tribe. It is now not easy to distinguish ethnicity for almost everything has evolved.

Having in mind of these intrusions by other cultures, the Provincial Tourism Office had conducted its three-month long SAOT CAPIZ, the First Dance Season in Western Visayas from September 27 to December 30, 2008. It’s amazing that it makes us proud to know that we have the largest number of folk dances in Western Visayas and such we can claim to be the region’s Folk Dance Capital. However, the influence of western culture to our dance forms is every inevitable. With the twelve participating dance troupes from the municipalities and schools, we realized that salvaging this beautiful and rich artistic tradition asks for innovative and more serious programs.

In partnership with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), on April 30 to May 4, Batang Sining, an artistic workshop for children was held in the Province. While in their inquisitive age, participants were exposed to intuitive, healing, social and moral components and truly characteristics of Philippine arts. Furthermore, their creative imaginations were mainstreamed to wholesome and more productive ends.

Knowing our culture, we may not be amazed on how we chose names for our festivals. They’re all communal celebrations of the locality’s key virtue; sinadya sa halaran, patabang, hil-o-hanay, caguyuman, linga-anay, tagbuan, and others. To enhance more the celebrations, the Festival Management Workshop was conducted with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) on July 30 to August 1.

Upon such condition of the province, the tourism office employed more rigorous balanced resource management. Tourism and cultural inventory are continuously undertaken in the city and municipalities. Capability building program is ongoing among tourism officers, tourism frontliners and tourism office’s staff. The Provincial Government strengthened the core-base of the tourism programs with its Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution No. 143-s-2008 declaring Last Week of September of every year as Provincial Tourism Week and Resolution No. 014-s-2008 declaring the month of February of every year as National Arts Month.

The pinnacle of our human, cultural, historical and ecological assets was celebrated through April 15’s CAPIZtahan which is a commemoration of the foundation day of the civil government of Capiz. In the spirit of the legacy of our forefathers who guided and chartered the Province, no true-bloodied Capiznon can find excuse of not celebrating or participating in this revered event.

The Provincial Tourism Office desires that tourism development indicators would not just rest on how many taxis or tourism facilities are in operation in our Province. What is more important is our deep experience of culture; on how proud are we to be called Capisnons, on this sense of place that we imbibe with tourists, and on how this pride be translated into concrete actions towards sustainable development.

Anyway, in the Bible, only when an angel appeared to Mary announcing that she will conceive the Son of God that she heard her role in salvation history. In her lifetime, she didn’t witnessed how the life and words of her son influenced and touched peoples’ lives.

Cultural work will always be a process and only history will judge our worth.