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From Urban Manor Hotel in Pueblo de Panay we proceed to Libotong River for our lunch in Cadimahan-Libotong River Tour. A nice bamboo bridge leads us to the big bamboo raft called cabana which serves as the dining area. The atmosphere was like a fiesta because people were all smiling while other are laughing and just having a good time with their family and friends over lunch.
I cannot contain my excitement when we were ushered to our designated cabana. There was a trio dressed in purple welcoming us with their acoustic guitar and ear-catching voice. They sang Folksong in Hiligaynon in which we did not understand. Forget about the language barrier, we enjoyed watching and listening to them in rhythm and melody. Later on we were informed that they were part of the choir that welcomed us in the airport that morning.
Not all cabana in Cadimahan River Tour can sail the Libotong River. Only two are mobile and the others are stationary cabana. All cabana regardless if stationary or mobile can accommodate 35 people. One reason why you have to coordinate prior to your arrival in Cadimahan-Libotong River Tour is because there are limited cabana that can tour you in Libotong River. Tours can last up to 2 hours.
The trio was still singing when we docked off the banks of the river. We were asked to start our lunch which was composed of none other than - seafood!!! I was actually looking forward to eat like a king. I expected to eat a lot of seafood especially prawns and crabs. We were earlier informed that there were no supply of Diwal which is abundant only in waters of Panay, scallops and oysters. It was a disaster at first but thank God Tiger Prawns, Crabs and various fresh fish unknown to me saved our tummy.
For a while the trio stopped singing to eat with us. This time I got the chance to talk to the fisher folks of Cadimahan-Libotong River Tour who was with us on board. Mr. Bienvenido Dela Cruz, Jr. the vice chairman of LABSPAR or Lawis-Baybay-Small Fisher Folks of Roxas City shared to us what activities we can do in Cadimahan-Libotong River Tour. He also shared their struggles and how they stood up after Yolanda.
According to Mr. Bienvenido Dela Cruz, Jr. Cadimahan came from the word Ca from the first syllable of Capiz and Dima which means breadfruit in English. The Han was added to denote the place. He added that at the end of the river there is a breadfruit or Dima.
Typhoon Yolanda had a great impact not only in their livelihood which is fishing but as well as in the tourism industry. In their part, the cabanas was crushed by the typhoon leaving them with nothing but a hopeful spirit.
Through the support of the government and private organization the fisher folks of Roxas City and the Cadimahan-Libotong River Tour resurrected months after the typhoon. Because Filipinos are resilient, it so wonder the Cadimahan-Libotong River Tour stood up and is now serving the tourist with seafood fresh from their catch.
Cadimahan River Tour not only gives livelihood to the town folks, it also promotes environmental protection awareness through its eco-friendly tours. Aside from the floating cabana, River Tour and paddle boat experience you can also participate in their Mangrove Planting and River Clean up activities. Mangroves are important to the fisher folks to cultivate fish and shellfish. We need mangroves to sustain the supply of our sea crops.
While the trio resumes singing, you can have a foot massage and spa after eating. Yes, there will be a license massage therapist with you on board! Foot massage cost Php150.00.
Stationary Massage Cabana
Although I cannot understand the language I still enjoyed the trio singing in Hiligaynon. I requested them to sing in Tagalog song which they quickly granted. They sang Rey Valera’s “Kahit Maputi na ang Buhok Ko” and later on sang it in Hiligaynon. It was a cute rendition of the Filipino classic song. Michael, the lead singer, of the Trio sang “Pusong Bato” in both Tagalog and Hiligaynon. I was impressed by the quality of his voice. He can hit high notes flawlessly. They got our attention again when they sang the Hiligaynon version of the infamous “Careless Wisher” Here’s the video of the trio singing on board:
Do coordinate with Cadimahan River Tour before you fly to Roxas City or do it at least 2 hours before your scheduled tour/lunch. This is necessary for you to be properly entertained and guided by the fisher folks.
Sitio Lawis, Baybay, Roxas City, Capiz, Philippines
Tel: +63 910 203-3229, +63 907 286-5835
- Resource Interpretation Lecture
- Floating Cabana/Restaurant for Gathering and Meetings (Each Cabana cost Php1800 not including the food, each can accommodate up to 35 people)
- River Tour/ Paddle Boat Experience
- Massage/Foot Spa (Php150.00)
- Wellness Food and Beverage (By Order)
- Fresh Fish and shellfish for sale
- Recreational fishing and demo of gears used by fisher folks
- Sand worming (Sasing) and Other species samples in live form
- Community Participation: Mangroves Planting and River Clean up.
For more information about Capiz sights and attraction you may contact:
Capiz Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office
2nd Floor, Provincial Capitol, Roxas City, Capiz, Philippines
Tel: +63(36) 621-0042 loc. 133
This tour was sponsored by the Capiz Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office of the office of the governor. Cadimahan-Libotong River Tour was part of Familiarization Tour conducted by the said office on September 27 – 30, 2015. The Familiarization tour was done as part of Capiz Tourism Month.