Capiz celebrates sea bounty, heritage

COLOR BURST A parade of floats carrying images of animals, sea creatures and flowers lighted by multicolored bulbs is among the highlights of this year's Capiztahan Festival in Capiz province.—NESTOR P. BURGOS JR.

COLOR BURST A parade of floats carrying images of animals, sea creatures and flowers lighted by multicolored bulbs is among the highlights of this year’s Capiztahan Festival in Capiz province.—NESTOR P. BURGOS JR.

ROXAS CITY—Prepare for seafood galore and street dancing, with performers dressed as sea and mythical creatures, as Capiz province holds its annual Capiztahan Festival until Sunday.

Thousands of tourists and guests started flocking to the capital, Roxas City, on Friday for the festival marking the 116th founding anniversary of Capiz, which has been tagged as the country’s “seafood capital” for its abundant supply of seafood.

Gov. Antonio del Rosario said he asked seafood producers, especially in the seven coastal municipalities, to offer price discounts and ensure the availability of oysters, crabs, lobsters and dried fish for visitors.

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The festival, now on its sixth year and organized by the provincial government and private sector, aims to attract tourists and highlight the cultural heritage of Capiz.

Street dancing

This year, organizers are reintroducing “Sadsad Capiz,” a street dancing contest to be participated in by 18 groups representing Roxas, 16 towns and a school. The main competition will be on Sunday at Villareal Stadium.

Provincial tourism officer Alphonsus Tesoro said the event would be distinct from the Ati tribe dances and performances in other parts of
the country.

Only choreographers and musicians from Capiz will be tapped by the groups and their number should be based on local folk tales and lore, Tesoro said. Beats and movements will be based on indigenous dances, he added.

Winners will receive a cash prize of P50,000. The first and second runners-up will receive P30,000 and
P20,000, respectively.

For the first time, the province will also host an international triathlon today, one of the main events of the festival, which will include a 1.5-kilometer swim, 54-km bike course and 12-km run. The routes will be along major attractions and centuries-old historical sites in Roxas and Panay town and end at Villareal Stadium.

The main streets are expected to glitter with colored lights on floats today for the Pasundayag Capisnon, a parade of floats with colorful electric light bulbs designed as flowers, animals and sea creatures.—NESTOR P. BURGOS JR.

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