This was one of the first beaches I’ve ever visited. It’s in Roxas City, Capiz, about 5 minutes from the airport, and 20 minutes from our hometown, Pan-ay. The name ‘Baybay Beach’ is actually redundant since ‘Baybay’ also means beach in Ilonggo.

Baybay has grayish black sand that is as powdery as Boracay’s but much easier to brush off from the body. The shoreline is littered with seashells and if you’re lucky, you may also find big Capiz shells. Baybay is also not your typical beach destination like Boracay, Cebu, Bohol or Batangas. It is more like a local, neighborhood beach mostly visited by young families. Every now and then, occasional tourists pop up.

The beach is perfect for a quiet, relaxing time. There is really not much to do but swim and walk the length of the shore. You can’t go island hopping or snorkeling since there are no corals anywhere in the vicinity. There is a tiny, uninhabited island nearby, but there’s really nothing to see or do there. When we were there, Tin and I chanced upon kids playing on the shoreline and we enjoyed watching them and taking pictures.

There are not too many resorts and hotels as compared to the mainstream beaches, and most of them are not located on the beachfront, but along the highway, across the beach. Instead, the beachfront is lined with cottages that can be rented for the day since most locals rarely stay overnight. An average-sized cottage can be rented for P150, while the larger ones can go for as much as P500. Cottages are good if you’re not too squeamish about bathrooms. There are clean, pay public bathrooms. What we usually do is just rinse off and maybe shampoo and soap a little then just take a full-scale bath when we get home. If you’re really very particular, then it’s better to get a room at the more upscale resorts on the highway. Room rates range from P700-P2000. Food is also a lot cheaper but just as or even more delicious (in the case of seafood) than mainstream beach destinations. Your P500 can already go a long way. If you’re staying with relatives or locals, it’s even better to just buy fresh seafood from the market, have it cooked, and bring them with you.

For our Black Saturday outing, Tin and myself shelled out just P500 each, which covered everything – cottage and food for 5 people! My cousin bought fresh crabs, shrimp, squid and fish from the market, cooked it in her house, and brought it to the beach.

On some of my previous sunset visits to Baybay Beach, I usually see fishermen hauling in huge nets containing the last catch of the day. It’s a nice, bucolic scene that I enjoy since I rarely get to see such things, being a city-dweller.

Baybay Beach is great for people looking for an authentic ocean experience, and not the glamorous party, sun-sand-and-surf concept most commonly associated with beaches nowadays.

Pictures! (see more photos in ‘Images from Capiz’, three posts below)