It was a rainy morning when we left Iloilo at about 830am for our 3-hour Roxas City trip. Hubby’s seafood yen mounted atop as the “Welcome to Roxas City – Seafood Capital of the Philippines” marker flashed before us…. Ahem! The less-seafood-loving me just watched his glee.
With “seafood craze” the main concern, we chose to stay at Baybay Beach where seafoods are offered all day. Well, we arrived in time for lunch so off we dashed for our seafood hunt. To our surprise however, the price was way beyond our expectation. Hahaha… Hubby originally imagined an overflowing plate of shrimps and crabs but we ended with oyster and squid… Hahaha… can’t believe it priced more than Metro Manila. Well, we should have checked first…
With the seafood experience a downer, we veered for a stroll. It was 1pm when we left the People’s Park for the City. As it was a Sunday, government offices were closed even the Museum.
With all attractions “literally” within stone-throw away consuming less than an hour to wander, we had plenty of time at hand. I knew there’s more that Roxas City could offer and my curiosity of the giant bells of Pan-ay Church booted in. We’ve hailed several trikes but we felt it was pricey… Then there’s Kuya Roel who agreed for P200 two-way trip for the two of us; we hopped at once.
It was a long 25 minute ride but as soon as we entered the church grounds, the quietude brushed me off. Unlike the Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte, Pan-ay Church is beautiful inside and out.
Kuya Roel graciously accompanied us inside the church and its surroundings and he even requested the church cleaners to grant us a tour to the giant bells. It was more than a wow… Feelings of exaltation were beyond words and even as we left, the overwhelming bliss kept me afloat.
We can’t thank enough Kuya Roel for the company he extended. I thought that was more but as we drove back, stories of life from a simple man like him were learnings unexpected. He shared that anyone can help - in any ways, in any magnitude… We noticed that the secondary school of Roxas City is situated far from the town proper. As his way of helping especially those of less fortunate living about 5-6 km from the school, he would let a child hop in his trike and any amount of fare would do… often free, sometimes P1. He said nothing was lost from him as he will still be able to take passengers on the main seat. Instead, he was able to help the child in a small way, often unnoticed, often unrecognized.
There were other stories he shared of how one can help others. Stories we least expected to realize from someone we never knew. He touched us so much that even as we stroll along Baybay beach for the last shade of sunset, his tale kept hovering in our ears.
As we end our day at Alma’s Grill and Resto, we haven’t gotten over Kuya Roel’s humbleness. As hubby sought for more of his stories, we invited him for dinner where he graciously accepted. We shared beliefs and even dreams, dreams for a better world, dreams of bayan muna bago sarili.
Highly recommended trike/guide:Kuya Roel +63-9106036795
Roxas City Map:
o Guimaras | A Day Around Guimaras Island – The Smallest Plaza, Museo Guimaras, Trappist Abbey, Sad-Sad Falls and Guisi Lighthouse
o Iloilo | A Day Around Iloilo City – The Jaro Cathedral, Molo Church, Museo Iloilo and Esplanade