Manila Fastfoods vs. Capiz FRESH Sea Foods

When I made the bold decision to uproot myself from Manila and set up my surgical practice in Roxas City, Capiz – little did I know that I would also make the decision to change my eating habits as well.  While in PGH, my daily food intake consists of the fastfood take-out around Taft Avenue and Robinson’s.  When I got to Roxas City in 1992, there was no Jollibee, Chowking nor Greenwich or any other commercial fastfood chain yet.  What I ate on a daily basis were good home-cooked meals, specially sea foods, from my landlady Tita Hilda Sygengco (1992-1998) and from my wife (1998-present).




So part of my decision to stay in Roxas City is the abundance of the freshest sea foods available all-year round. Think crabs, lobsters, prawns, deep-sea fishes, oysters and DIWAL… Oftentimes I need not buy them from the wet market. Grateful patients gift me with these. :)



Photo taken by Dr. Leila Santiago-Flores when she visted us here in Capiz

Thank God I am not like my good friend, Alvin C. who has allergies to sea foods! If I had allergies to sea foods,  I may not have lasted this long in Capiz!




Diwal, or angel wings, is a shellfish endemic to Western Visayas, particularly Capiz and Negros Occidental.  Some say it taste “heavenly” – more succulent and satisfying than oysters.  It is best eaten “sugba” or grilled – with it’s own juices providing the only flavors to the dish.  But our guests prefer them baked – smothered with cheese and white wine with fresh dill …


Ready to go into the oven!

Ready to go into the oven!

My favorite deep-sea fish is “pampano” – and they come in different sizes. Baked with fresh herbs like dill and lemon-grass – delicious in it’s simplicity.
Fresh pampano, with clear glistening eyes ...

Fresh pampano, with clear glistening eyes ...


Shrimps and prawns used to be a major export product of Capiz in the 1980′s until the late 1990′s.  But production has since declined because of pollution and climate change as well.  My mother, when she was alive, used to ask me to bring home prawns whenever I had the chance to go home to Manila.  In December 1992, I actually brought home 20 kilos of prawns for her – which she gladly gave away as christmas gifts to our neighbors! Good thing, it was just P80/kilo then.


Deep-sea prawns, NOT fishpond bred (see the HUGE heads?)

Deep-sea prawns, NOT fishpond bred (see the HUGE heads?)

For our class meeting this Saturday, I ordered these prawns from my “suki” for P250/kilo.  I don’t know if they are cheap by Manila standards, but I am assured of good quality. I hope it will make our balikbayan classmate, Aity, happy! :)


Fishpond bred prawns (7 inches BIG!)

Fishpond bred prawns (7 inches BIG!)


Although I promised my classmates that I will bring some diwal for the meeting, there were (unusually) none available this morning.  So I just bought some half-shelled scallops, just in case I won’t find any diwal by Saturday morning!




BTW, did I mention that majority of Manila’s supply of FRESH oysters come from Capiz?  A small “palanggana” or basin of grilled and schucked oysters costs P35.00 only in the seaside sea food stalls in Baybay. Now, if that is not reason enough for one to visit Roxas City …


Fresh, succulent oysters ...

Fresh, succulent oysters ...


Then maybe, lobsters at P300/kilo will convince you to visit us?


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5 responses to Manila Fastfoods vs. Capiz FRESH Sea Foods

  1. GJ Baylon

    Wow… keep it coming. If i can’t eat it, at least I can look at it.

  2. ruby minosa

    ricky d.
    saraaaap! kami kaya na sa december pa uuwi, may maaabutan?
    i’ll make sure to bring lots of crestor.

  3. erlindo a villamor

    Hay, ginutom kami ng Mom, viewing the food collections. Enjoy talaga. DADDY

  4. marybeth

    your blog and pictures of the abundance of seafood in Roxas city just made my decision final for this summer vacation!! Maybe you can advise me of a great place to stay too!!Thank you…

  5. Administrator

    Thanks for visiting my blog Marybeth. If you want to stay within the city, then you can try Roxas President’s Inn. If you prefer to stay near the beach, there’s San Antonio Beach Resort. Have an enjoyable summer vacation in Capiz!

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