Come and Visit Bohol
Bohol -- The Island Province
Brief HistoryCreated by virtue of Act 2711 of March 10, 1917, this island province of Bohol is the tenth largest island in the Philippines. This oval-shaped island has an area of 4,117 sq. km. and is located in the central portion of the Visayas lying between Cebu to the northwest and Leyte to the northeast. To its south is the big island of Mindanao which is separated from Bohol by the wide Mindanao Sea. Aside from the mainland, Bohol has 61 smaller offshore islands and islets. Bohol is about 700 kilometers directly south of Manila and is about 70 kilometers southeast of Cebu City.
The people of Bohol are said to be descendants of the last group of inhabitants who settled in the Philippines called Pintados (the tattooed ones). Before the Spaniards arrived in 1521, Boholanos already had a culture of their own as evidenced by the artifacts dug at Mansasa, Tagbilaran, and in Dauis and Panglao using designs during the Ming dynasty (960-1279). They had already a system of writing but most of the materials used were perishable like leaves and bark. They spoke a language similar to that of the nearby provinces.
The name Bohol is thought to be derived from the name of the barrio of Bo-ol, a barangay found in Tagbilaran City which was among the first places toured by the Magellan expedition. History has it that one of the Spanish ships of Magellan (the Concepcion) was burned in this province after Magellan was killed by Lapulapu in Mactan. In 1565 Miguel Lopez de Legazpi anchored in Jagna, one of the eastern municipalities of Bohol. He made a blood compact with the Chiefs Sikatuna and Sigala in a small village near the present capital of the province, Tagbilaran City, signifying they were blood brothers. The province became a Jesuit mission in 1595. At this time, Bohol was a part of the province of Cebu and was called a residencia. It became a separate politico-military province on July 22, 1854, together with the island of province of Siquijor. In 1879, there were 34 towns belonging to the province with a total population of 253,103.
Two significant revolts were recorded during the Spanish regime. The Tamblot Uprising in 1621 led by a native priest or Babaylon, and the Dagohoy Rebellion from 1744 to 1829 led by Francisco Dagohoy which is considered as the longest revolt recorded in the annals of Philippine history. American forces seized the province in March 17, 1900.
Bohol is the home province of the fourth President of the Republic of the Philippines, Carlos Polistico Garcia (1957-1960) who was born in the municipality of Talibon.
GeographyGeneral Geographic and Geologic Features
Bohol must have been developed from the magmatic tectonic mechanism which resulted from the underthrusting of the southwest Philippine Plate east of Samar and Surigao. The Alicia Schist, the oldest known rock formation in the island, is inferred to be part of the Bohol crustal rocks before plate interactions. All the succeeding igneous extrusive and intrusive events in Bohol are the results of these resurging interactions. Ongoing erosion, transport and sedimentation continue to accumulate marine and terrestrial deposits in the Bohol basin. Topography and Drainage
Bohol's mainland exhibits the following salient physiographic units:
1. The east and west coast display northeast trending ranging up to 870 meters in elevation (Mt. Mayana) that drop steeply to the coast. These ranges reflect the major structural units of the island.
2. The central (Carmen area) and northern part of the island (Trinidad) are a vast expanse of relatively rolling plains and flatlands.
3. The development of beautifully-arranged, symmetrically formed "haycock hills" in Carmen-Batuan-Bilar-Balilihan area in the east central part of the island is suggestion of a well-defined system of shears and joints.
4. An elongated cluster of hills of moderate height lies in the northeastern part of the island (Ubay area).
5. An east-west ridge connects Alicia with Carmen.
6. The Anda Peninsula and Loon Peninsula strongly suggest elevated plateaus.
7. At least five different Plio-pleistocene terrace levels ranging in height from 10 to 300 meters have been etched both in Carmen sandstone and shales and Maribojoc limestone.
8. The drainage pattern is generally radial. The west is drained by the Abatan River (350 sq. km.) and Wahig-Inabanga Rivers (570 sq. km.); the north by Alog, Ipil (250 sq. km) and Soon Rivers; the east by the Mabini and Guindulman Rivers; and the south by the Loboc-Loay (160 sq. km.), Jagna and Garcia-Hernandez Rivers. These rivers are not important for navigation purpose.
9. The "Ilihan Plug" south of Tubigon with an elevation of 240 meters above sea level, presents a unique geomorphologic element. At a distance, this plug is suggestive of a limestone hill with white cliffy margins.
There are two sets of mountain ranges located between the municipalities of Alicia and Ubay on the northeastern side of the mainland which generally trend to the north and south directions. The first range attains a maximum elevation of 404 meters above sea level while the second range of elongated clusters of hills has a maximum elevation of about 120 meters above sea level. The northern end of the mountain range is drained by the Lomangog River while the southern end by the east-flowing San Pascual River which empties into Cogtong Bay.
About two kilometers south-southwest from Tubigon is Mt. Ilihan which is 240 meters high with steep, almost bufflike sides. Farther east are two mountain ranges, Mt. Tanawan and Mt. Candungao with 460 and 500 meters elevation, respectively. Both are prminent landmarks rising as they do several meters above the several meters above the surrounding countryside. From Mt. Tanawan going southwestward, the range presents a monotonous karst topography, declining gradually in height until finally it joins the foothills about 4.5 kilometers southwest of Calape. The main range of hills extending from Calape southwestward joins the southwestward trending mountain range from the interior, runs south and out to Loon Peninsula and terminating in Punta Cruz (Maribojoc).
The Sierra Bullones Range follows roughly the trend of the south coast. It commences from the vicinity of Loboc, extends eastward and finally northeastward terminating at about Biabas, Candijay. The highest point of this range and in the entire province is Mt. Mayana (870 meters). Other prominent peaks found in this range are Mt. Gordo, Mt. Amicay and Mt. Binalao.
Soil and Vegetation Cover
There is relatively thin soil cover over Bohol, bedrocks cropping out even at the valley and shore areas. Over most of the hills and ridges are meager to no soil cover. This is due to the fairly rapid surface drainage over types of Bohol's land area. The soil derived from from all the rock types are generally clay and silty with sandy soil limited to some parts of the coastal area.
Bohol's climate is characterized by having no pronounced maximum rain period and no dry season. It is typically warm and dry along the coasts and cold and humid in the interior. Typhoons are not a frequent occurrence and maximum precipitation occurs in June to October. Average annual temperature is eighty-two degrees Fahrenheit.
Political SubdivisionThe province of Bohol is a first-class A province composed of 47 municipalities and one city, Tagbilaran, which serves as its capital. There are 1,109 barangays with a total population of 948,315 (1992) with an average household size of 5.4. Population
Bohol's population is relatively young with 39% of its household population below 15 years old. Since 1960 until the census in 1980, there were more females than males. In the census in 1990, the number of males was higher than females. Likewise, there were more single males than females. Every 10 adults (of working/productive age) in supporting seven children and one elderly person. Almost 95% of the household population (5 years old and over) in Bohol have resided in the same municipality for at least five years.
The majority of the people in Bohol live in the rural area. The province's density is two people to a hectare. Only 25% live in urban areas. Bohol's population has almost doubled since the census in 1948 due largely to natural increase. It will take another 42 years to double Bohol's population at the present growth rate of 1.6% or 15,544 annually. Most Boholano women marry at the age of 21. On average, most couples have four children.
The majority speak the native dialect which is distinctively Boholano. Cebuano, Tagalog and English are also spoken and understood.
Although Bohol is predominately an agricultural province, home-based industries which are mostly in the micro and cottage-size levels, play an important role in the economy.
Five firms are considered to belong to the large-scale category with a combined capitalization of P251.3 million and have employed 600 persons. These firms include the Philippine Sinter Corporation, Philippine Starch Industrial Corporation, Southern Industrial Projects, Inc., Tagbilaran Coca-Cola Bottlers, inc. and Frontier Resources, Inc.
Micro and cottage-size manufacturing industries, with asset sizes ranging between P1 to P10 million, dominate the industry in terms of number. In 1992, this industry sector has more than 500 firms with a combined caitalization of more than P50 million.
The handicraft sector is one of the most dominant manufacturing industries, yet one of the earliest to have been established since the 1920's. Basically home-based and labor intensive, this sector employed the most number of workers: 24,000 in 1992, in 8,232 families, found in almost all municipalities. In terms of capitalization, the industry accounted for a total of P15.55 million. Sales figures reached P489.64 million from 1989 to 1992.
The subsectors of the 400 handicraft industry firms include mats and baskets which have 3,080 and 3,278 families, respectively, as direct beneficiaries. Sales volume for mats and baskets alone amounted to P426 million. Loom weaving, on the other hand, has 1,874 families with sales volume of P63.64 million.
Other industry sectors include fashion accessories, shellcraft, woodcraft, food processing, ceramics and handmade paper and novelty items.
Total value of incoming commodities in 1992 totalled P1.61 billion. Grocery items topped the list of imports followed by wine, liquor, hardware, cement, corngrits, animal feeds, rice, refined sugar, medicine, flour, appliances, fertilizer, cooking oil, dry goods and veterinary products.
Outgoing products reached P845.6 million in 1992. Galvanized iron sheets led the top fifteen outgoing pproducts followed by cattle, carabao, cooked fish, native products, grocery goods, fruits, cassava chips, fresh fish, mangoes, silica sand. salted fish, rice and banana. Trading Establishments
There are 6,382 business establishments in the province which include trading and service firms. The central business district is located in Tagbilaran City although business thrives in the growth center of Ubay, Tubigon, Carmen and Jagna. Big establishments in Tagbilaran do peddling in the municipalities. All the municipalities have their own market centers where trading activities are conducted during market days.
In 1989, two products in the province directly found their way to the export market. These are the starch produced by the Philippine Starch Industrial Corporation (PSIC) in Carmen town and the limestone from the Philippine Sinter Corporation (PSC) in Garcia-Hernandez. Both products are exported to Taiwan.
Handicrafts, seaweeds and prawn are also exported indirectly and are sold to Cebu and Manila-based exporters and buyers who in turn sell to foreign markets.
Total export sales amounted to $30 million broken down as $18.2 million for handicrafts and $11.8 million for aquaculture from 1989 to 1992.
Investment Priority Areas
- Gifts, Toys & Housewares
There is more in Bohol than just the Chocolate Hills. A large part of Bohol's exotic appeal lies in its natural wonders. Pristine white-sand beaches with clear blue water and colorful coral reefs dot the coastline, offering one of the world's best diving havens. Its cascading waterfalls, unexplored caves and bubbly springs are added advantage to the island's paradise prestige.
Other tourist attractions include the Hinagdanan Cave, Mag-aso Falls, Badiang Spring, Balicasag Island, Pamilacan Island, Blood Compact Site, Punta Cruz, and river boat rides to Busay Falls, among others.
The cornerstone of tourism investment in Bohol is the Panglao Island Tourism Estate (PITE). Home to prestigiuos Bohol Beach Club, Panglao is the largest island municipality in the province. Existing recreational facilities in Panglao are oriented towards snorkeling, diving and sailing. Distinctly missing are restaurants and shopping outlets.
PITE requires an investment of about P300 million. The government will provide basic infrastructure, while the private sector is expected to invest in beach resorts, retirement home villages, golf courses and restaurants.
To be located in the southern coastline of Panglao is the proposed Sikatuna Tourisn Development Complex. It will sit on 437 hectares of land and beach area. The complex will accomodate a 60-hectare hotel zone, beach resorts, and a marina. The plan includes the construction of a handicraft village complete with a landscaped mini-urban park, a five-hectare sports center, a 50-hectare botanical garden, a second-home village and an airport.
HistoricalBLOOD CAMPACT SITE
Barangay Bool, Tagbilaran City
An historical marker marks the location where Datu Sikatuna, a native chieftan, forged a blood compact with Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi representing the King of Spain, for the purpose of fostering friendly relations between the two nations. The Blood Compact on March 16, 1565 is considered as the first "Treaty of Friendship" between Europe and Asia. PRESIDENT CARLOS P. GARCIA MEMORIAL PARK
A joint undertaking of Boholanos from all over the country and abroad have erected a park in loving memory of the greatest Bohoano -- Carlos Polistico Garcia, the fourth President of the Republic of the Philippines. It sits on a rolling site with an area of 11 hectares chosen by Garcia himself in 1939 when he was governor of Bohol. Here, one can see the exquisite monument of marble base and a life-size bronze statue by Bohol's famous scuptor, National Artist Napolean Abueva. In the background is the provincial capitol.
MT. CARMEL HILL
Balilihan -- 24-km from Tagbilaran City
Atop the Mt. Carmel Hill right in the heart of Balilihan town, is an historical tower of adobe and limestone. These materials were hauled from the town of Baclayon. It was built to serve as a belfry of a church which was burned down during the Philippine revolution. Like a sentinel, the tower stands as guard over the town. Concrete stairways were built to make the tower more accessible.
BEHIND THE CLOUDS
Catigbian -- 38 km from Tagbilaran City
This is the cradle of the resistence movement in Bohol during the Japanese occupation when a group of courageous men composed of disbanded soldiers and ordiary citizens started guerilla operations to liberate the island. The encampment nestles in a deep ravine hidden from the enemy. When opposition headquarters were transferred to Carmen, the encampment was used to hold enemy prisoners.
Danao -- 92 km from Tagbilaran City
The Dagohoy historical marker in Magtangtang, Danao town was installed by the Philippine Historical Comission tko honor the heroic deeds of Francisco Dagohoy who led the longest revolt in the country against the Spaniards which lasted for 84 years. Magtangtang was Dagohoy's headquarters or hideout during the revolt. Hundreds of Dagohoy's followers preferred death inside the cave than surrender. Their skeletons still remain.
Maribijoc -- 14 km from Tagbilaran City
The is an ancient stone watchtower built by the townspeople as a lookout for incoming pirates. On a rock lip that juts out into the sea fronting the tower stands a wooden cross. Legend has it that by extending a mysterious spell over the sea, the cross has saved many people from the ravages of pirates and marauders. The tower holds a commanding view of the sea facing Cebu, Siquijor and Mindanao and has been officially designated as a historical tourist spot. The area surrounding the tower has been developed into a park.
Hontanosa Street, Tagbilaran City
Once the home of former President Carlos P. Garcia and his family, the museum gives the visitor a feel of what Bohol was, is and will be. Also on display are memorabilia, relics and samples of island flora and fauna.
A popular beach resort in Tagbilaran which is crowded with bathers during weekends. It is situated in a cove which provides for calm water even during stormy weather. It is located at the end of a side street from Graham Avenue. It is being developed and maintained by the city government. SANTA FE BEACH
Albuquerque -- 13 km from Tagbilaran City
A favorite white-sand beach fronting the open sea of Mindanao. It is located about 1.5 km from the poblacion of Albuquerque.
Anda -- 101 km from Tagbilaran City
A white-sand beach along the poblacion noted for its cleanliness and unpolluted sea.
Baclayon -- 9 km fromTagbilaran City
A wide area shaded by tall coconut trees, Laya Beach is ideal for picnicking. A rest house is available at minimum cost.
Dauis -- 8 km from Tagbilaran City
An ideal beach for all bathers with calm waters and shading palm trees. Huts and benches are available for picnickers. Coral fishes abound here. (Bring your own bikini!)
Dimiao -- 40 km from Tagbilaran City
Once chosen as the campsite for Boys and Girl Scouts of Bohol, it is located along the national highway before reaching the Dimiao town proper.
Duero -- 77 km from Tagbilaran City
A beautiful beach located in the eastern part of Bohol noted for its stretch of white sand shaded by palm and coconut trees.
Jagna -- 58 km from Tagbilaran City
An ideal place for bathing with clean water and white sand. The beach is shaded by palm trees and a cliff in the eastern part of the beach.
Loay -- 28 km from Tagbilaran City
A long stretch of white sand, the beach was developed during the time of Senator Jose Claring. It is complete with recreational facilities and a bath house. It is located 1 km from Loay.
Loon -- 25 km from Tagbilaran City
It is the favorite beach resort in this part of the province. It has white sand extending out for some distance and is ideal for children.
Panglao -- 20 km from Tagbilaran City
A long stretch of white sand facing the Mindanao Sea, Alona has many full-service beach and dive resorts. Excellent scuba diving is nearby and trips to Balicasag and Pamilacan Islands can be arranged.
Panglao -- 19 km from Tagbilaran City
Ideal for scuba diving, the long stretch of white sand fronts undisturbed coral reefs harboring numerous fish and beautiful sea shells. The waters are clear and calm.
Panglao -- 19 km from Tagbilaran City
Another white-sand beach found at the northern part of Panglao Island.
This hill commands a scenic view overlooking the vast Sea of Mindanao, Negros and Siquijor provinces, and the strait of Panglao Island. Elevation is 145 meters. ELLY HILL
Its formation is similar to that of the famous Chocolate Hills. Elevation is 100 meters and it is situated in the northern part of the city about 5 km away.
Carmen -- 55 km from Tagbilaran City
This is the most famous tourist attraction in Bohol. Among the thousands of perfectly cone-shaped hills which abound in Central Bohol, two of the hills have been developed into a resort. On top of the hill are two youth hostels with a conference room, cozy cottages with private rooms and accomodation.
On top of the second hill is an observation deck with 213 concrete steps. Once on top, one can view the exquisite panorama of God's wondrous creation spread as far as the eyes can see.
Food is served at the restaurant The site is connected by a cemented winding road to the main highway.
Loay -- 20km from Tagbilaran City
Located in Sitio Candoon in Barangay Botoc Occidental, the Himontagon Hill is a very scenic place overlooking the Mindanao Sea. Visible from atop the hill are the sparkling evening sceneries which portray a beautiful glittering city mid-sea, the lights being provided by lamps of fishermen. During clear weather, Hibok-Hibok Volcano on the island of Camiguin is visible in the distance. The hill also provides fascinating scenes during sunrise an susnset.
Dimiao -- 40 km from Tagbilaran City
Omhon is located in one of the highest elevated parts of the province and the climate is cool. It is planned to be the summer capital of the province.
Loboc --21 km from Tagbilaran City
The Tontonan Hydroelectric Plant is generated by these falls which is the first of its kind in the Visayas. It is capable of supplying electric power to six municpalities. The plant machinery is located in a deep tunnel a few meters from the Loboc River.
Loboc -- 21 km from Tagbilaran City
A fascinating boat ride along the Loboc River has recently been discovered. Starting from Loay Bridge which is the outlet of Loboc River, motorized pump boats start the exciting boat ride along palm-fringed banks inland. The water is serene. The boat ride ends near the Busay Falls where the cascading water provides a pleasant bathing spot.
Sevilla -- 34 km from Tagbilaran City
Busay Falls are located inland of the Loboc River past Sevilla town. These beautiful falls provide an exciting scenery for bathers who flock here during weekends. Two little islets in the middle of the river make the place an ideal site for picnickers.
Valencia -- 44 km from Tagbilaran City
An underground freshwater spring gushes from twin pipes near the sea. The large volume of water normally flows over a waterfall but can be diverted to fill an adjacent swimming pool. Swimmers can chose between the large pool, a small children's pool, or the sea. Sheltered picnic tables are on a veranda overlooking a smooth-stone beach.
Antiquera --19 km from Tagbilaran City
A beautiful cascading waterfall in a forest setting, it has potential as a water supply source. It is located about one kilometer from the poblacion.
Dauis -- 6 km from Tagbilaran City
An eerie underworld cavern of stalactites and stalagmites its underground pool catches fresh, cool water gushing from its rock walls. Shafts of sunlight pierce through two natural openings almost directly above the pool. It is located about 2 1/2 km from the poblacion.
RELIGIOUS SITESBACLAYON CHURCH
Baclayon -- 6 km from Tagbilaran City
The oldest stone-church in the Philippines was built by the Jesuits in 1595. Its ancient massive edifice still retains its centuries-old architectural design. Church relics and artifacts from this early period can be viewed at the adjacent museum.
Dauis -- 3 km from Tagbilaran City
One of Bohol's most beautiful churches, its semi-modern facade still retains the original Spanish architecture. The interior has lifelike murals painted on the ceiling.
The patron saint, the Virgin of the Assumption, is believed to possess miraculous powers and is the object of veneration particlularly during its annual festivities.
Legend has it that when the town was invaded by pirates, the townfolk locked themselves inside the church until they ran out of provisions and water. Suddenly a well appeared at the foot of the altar where people started drawing water. It is still the main source of water for people living in the church vicinity. The water is, surprisingly, absolutely fresh even though the well is located a short distance from the sea.
Carmen -- 55 km from Tagbilaran City
The venerated image of Our Lady of Fatima stands on a hill with concrete stairs. A pilgrimage to the hill is celebrated every 13th of May by the faithfull.
Jagna --54 km from Tagbilaran City
Ilihan Hill has become a religious site for pilgrimages by the faithful. It is located about 4 km from Jagna town by winding road. It overlooks the Sea of Mindanao and the evening vista is beautiful. On top of the hill is the image of the Barangay Sang Birhin where a chapel has been in her honor.
Loon -- 25 km from Tagbilaran City
This ancient church is connected to Napo, the former seat of the town, by 154 stone steps believed to be the longest stairway in the country and a reminder of Spanish forced labor.
A joint project of the Bohol Jaycees and the city government, the prominade juts into Tagbilaran Bay near the K of C reclamation area. It is a favorite spot for lovers who stroll in the late afternoon to watch the sunset across the bay. RIZAL PARK
Previously known as Plaza Principe, it was renamed after Jose Rizal and contains a life-sized statue of the national hero. It is located in front of the Capitol Building and St. Joseph's Cathedral. Flag poles for the Flags of Nations were installed by the Tagbilaran Lion's Club where flags of different countries are raised particularly during their national day.
CHILDREN'S PLAYGROUND AND MINI PARK
Near the St. Joseph Cathedral is the Lion’s Children’s Playground where the little kids enjoy with playground facilities. Across is the Lionnette’s Mini Park. A beautiful fountain with dancing waters has been installed. The park is being landscaped and improved by the provincial government.
MAGSIHA SWIMMING POOL
Balilihan -- 24 km from Tagbilaran City
This is a swimming pool supplied by water from a spring nearby. Barrio folks take time out to enjoy bathing in this artificial pool.
Bilar -- 45 km from Tagbilaran City
This Boy Scout camp is cool and tranquil. The entire area is surrounded by tall trees that make it a pleasant place to stay. It is located in the mountains a few kilometers from the poblacion of Bilar town. The campgrounds is one of the best in the area.
Bilar -- 45 km from Tagbilaran City
This is the provincial girl scout encampment. A beautiful site for camping where the youth communes with nature. There is a swimming pool where abundant fresh water cascades from a source which seems inexhaustable even durng summer. Bathers from Tagbilaran take the long ride just to enjoy the beauty of the site.
Carmen -- 55 km from Tagbilaran City
This is a project of the Catholic Women’s League diocesan chapter. It is both a tourist attraction as well as a community project. It is a home for orphaned, abandoned, and malnourished children from broken homes. It is located in Barangay Katipunan, 1.5 km from the town proper and consists of 11 hectares.
Garcia-Hernandez -- 55 km from Tagbilaran City
A beautiful park with two adjacent swimming pools supplied with water coming from the rocks. The park is situated 3 km from the poblacion. There is a statue of the late President Manuel Roxas.
CASTILLO SWIMMING POOL
Loon -- 25 km from Tagbilaran City
From the Loon municipal building. bathers descend to the sea through the Castillo swimming pools, consisting of a pool for adults and a wading pool for children.