» Tagbilaran City

TAGBILARAN CITY is the 1st class city, capital and component city of Bohol, Philippines. The city is situated 630 kilometers southeast of Manila and 72 kilometers south of Cebu City. The city is one of the Eight Philippine Dream Cities.

HISTORY
Tagbilaran used to be a native settlement who gives homage to their pagan god or “Anito” in the 15th century and known as the Bool Kingdom. The name was derived from the word “Tagubilaan”, meaning “Tagu” to hide and “bilaan” a Moros Tribe who were feared by the early settlers. Thus, Tagbilaran means “to hide from the Moros”.

One of the most important historical events happened here in Tagbilaran which is the The Blood Compact between Datu Sikatuna (local chieftain) and Miguel López de Legazpi (Spanish explorer) on March 16, 1565, as a symbol of friendship between two people in a different religion, nationality, culture, and civilization. This is the first international treaty of friendship and comity between the Filipinos and Spaniards. In the said blood compact, Sikatuna and Legazpi each made a cut on the left arm and collected the dripping blood into a single vessel and mixed with wine. The two leaders drank the wine with the mixture of their blood.

During the Spanish years, the settlement became a more advanced and civilized community. Trade and mercantile emerged. On February 9, 1742, a decree was signed establishing the separate town of San Jose de Tagbilaran from the town of Baclayon. Since then, the town has been under the mantle of the Province of Bohol. The city was also occupied by the United States during the Philippine-American War and during the Japanese occupation in World War II.

On July 1, 1966 by virtue of Republic Act No. 4660, Tagbilaran became a Chartered City.

PROFILE

THE LAND
Tagbilaran City has a total land area of 3,270.19 hectares which includes thirteen kilometers of coastline. The city has ridges and rolling hills such as Elley Hill on the north and Banat-i on the south side. The terrain runs from moderately rolling with prevailing slopes along the coastlines. The city sits on a cave network. Thus, the widening of cavities which ultimately formed into caverns.

Settlements and built-up areas comprises 1,040 hectares or 32% of the city’s total land area, followed by agriculture, residential, commercial lands, institutional, industrial, among others.

THE PEOPLE
The current population of Tagbilaran is approximately 89,000 in 12,876 households with an annual growth rate of 3.6%. And the most prominent language used is Visayan (Cebuano), Filipino and English.

COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
Tagbilaran City is the main business capital, center of governance of the province of Bohol, education and transportation. Many of the residents are considerably moneyed with an average household income is P 141,028.00/annum for the 12,876 households. However most residents are thrifty and would not want to spend and invest on putting up a business. On the lighter side, foreign investors are starting to invest in the city particularly in the area of tourism.

Currently, the city has banking institutions, shopping centers, hotels, restaurants, fastfood centers and banks.

CLIMATE
The city has a tropical climate with no distinct dry or rainy seasons. Rainfall is fairly distributed all throughout the year, and average temperature ranges up to 27.6 °C.

ARTS & CULTURE
Tagbilaran pays tribute to the city culture and arts through various yearly festivals and museums ideal for tourist destination:

FESTIVALS

  • Bohol Fiesta – A grandeur fiesta celebrated every month of May.
  • Bolibong Kingking – A music and dance festivity depicting the history, folklore and traditions of Lobocanons by the use of drums and gongs, a dance ritual in front of Our Lady of Guadalupe image.
  • Pana-ad Sa Loboc – This is celebrated during the Holy Week with reading the “Pasyon”, and a penitential procession.
  • Sambat Mascaray Regatta Festival – he festival is celebrated every 1st Saturday of December in honor of St. Francis Xavier, showcasing group masked street dancing, boat racing and many more.
  • Sandugo Festival – This is celebrated every July 1-31, dance re-enactment of the blood compact between Datu Sikatuna and Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.
  • Suroy Sa Musikero – A party of Loboc town musicians serenading the town as they partake with the feast.
  • Tagbilaran City – The fiesta is on May 1, a week long celebration filled with various entertainment activities.
  • Ubi Festival – The festival is celebrated on January featuring exhibits and ubi contest.

MUSEUMS

  • Baclayon Museum – This is situated 7 kilometers away from the city proper inside the convent of Baclayon Church, the museum contains Latin librettos of church music, relics and artifacts from the 16th century.
  • Bohol Museum – This is the former house of Philippine President Carlos P. Garcia and displays the family memorabilia, and old relics.
  • Clarin Ancestral House – The house is situated 18 kilometers away from the city. Antique jars, lamps, kitchenware and furniture can be seen here.

LOCAL PRODUCTS
Agri-based products, ubi making.

FAMOUS FOODS
Peanut Kisses and Edelweiss Torta are the two most famous local food delicacies.

LIST OF “BARANGAYS” (or communities)
Tagbilaran City is composed of 15 barangays:

  • Bool
  • Booy
  • Cabawan
  • Cogon
  • Dao
  • Dampas
  • Manga
  • Mansasa
  • 1st District
  • 2nd District
  • 3rd District
  • San Isidro
  • Taloto
  • Tiptip
  • Ubujan

MAJOR TOURIST SPOTS

Tagbilaran City boasts of too many majestic scenic spots and tourist attractions. Currently it has several first-class hotels, resorts and restaurants. Bohol is also famous for the Chocolate Hills and smallest primate, Tarsier. It also has many beaches, heritage sites and old stone churches. Truly the place has now become the top tourist destination in the Philippines:

OLD STONE CHURCHES:

  • Alburquerque Church – This is situated in Dimiao and was built in 1869. It has sturdy arches supporting the Church pathway.
  • Baclayon Church – This is situated 6 kilometers away from the city and is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines.
  • Calape Church – The church has unique medieval designs.
  • Dauis Church – The church is just 3 kilometers away from the city proper and is considered to be one of the beautiful churches in Bohol because of its Spanish architectural design, with life-like murals painted on the ceiling of the Church.
  • Dimiao Church – The century old church has relics dating back during the friar days.
  • Loboc Church – The church with a convent was built in 1608, and a coat of arms can be found in the entrance stonewall.
  • Loon Church – This is situated 25 kilometers away from the city, and it is famous for its 174 stone steps.
  • Maribojoc Church – This was built in 1798 and it has a pipe organ at the choir loft.
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church – The church ceilings are painted with replicas of famous ancient artworks.
  • Panglao Church – The church has a twin antique confessional carved with grape and dove patterns, and the ceilings have a mural of the seven sacraments.

HILLS:
  • Banat-i Hill – The Hill is 145 meters above sea level and it has a scenic view overlooking the Strait of Panglao Island.
  • Chocolate Hills – This is situated in the town of Carmen, just 55 kilometers from the city. It has 1,268 perfectly cone-shaped hills. Currently, the most famous tourist attraction.
  • Elly Hill – The formation of the hill is similar to the Chocolate Hills and is situated just 5 kilometers away from the city.
  • Himontagon Hill – This place is very scenic and it overlooks the Mindanao Sea.
  • Ilihan Hill – he Hill is located 4 kilometers from Jagna town passing through a winding road uphill. On top of the hill is the image of the Barangay sang Birhin, where a chapel has been built.
  • Lord of Pardon Hill – The hill has cemented structures of the 14 Stations of the Cross and is a mass site during the Holy Week.
  • Maribojoc Church – This was built in 1798 and it has a pipe organ at the choir loft.
  • Mt. Carmel Hill – This hill has the old Spanish belfry. The tower was constructed in 1835-1844.
  • Sampoangan Hill – The hill has a breathtaking view which overlooks Cebu.
  • The Fatima Rosary Hill – This is a pilgrim site for the devotees of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima.
OTHER SPECIAL DESTINATIONS:
  • Anibogan Massacre Site – This is the site where many Filipinos died during the Japanese regime.
  • Badiang Peak – This peak is ideal for trekkers, located in Dimiao town.
  • Behind the Clouds – This is situated 38 kilometers away from the city in commemoration of the Filipino guerillas who took part during the Japanese occupation.
  • Camp Verde – A historical spot in honor of the Boholano insurgents during WWII.
  • Cruz Daku – This place is also a famous pilgrimage site during Holy Week. A huge white cross about 80 feet can be seen on top of the hill.
  • Dagohoy Revolt – A marker stands at the town of Danao to honor the heroic deeds of Dagohoy and his followers during the Philippine Revolution.
  • Lila Rice Terraces – Bohol has its own rice terraces, although modest in size.
  • Lunar Rice Terraces – This terrace covers a total area of 50 hectares.
  • McArthur’s Cap – This is a rock formation resembling an officer’s cap.
  • Pres. Carlos P. Garcia Memorial Park – One can see the marble base monument and life-size bronze statue of President Garcia.
  • Punta Cruz – This is where an ancient watchtower stands.
  • Tarsier – One of the rare faunas found in the Philippine archipelago that is usually the favorite subject of scientific research. A nocturnal primate measuring from four to five inches, it has a tail which is longer than its body.
  • The Historic Ermita Ruins – The structure was allegedly used as a military fortress, chapel, and final resting place of the members of the Spanish clergy at the early times.
  • Ubujan Marker – A marker stands in memory of guerilla Salazar and his men during the battle on 1942 with the Japanese forces.
  • Virgen sa Calo-oy – The image of the Virgin Mary can be found here which most of the residents believed it grew from an empty giant shell.

BEACH ESCAPADES:

  • Alona Beach (Panglao)
  • Alejawan Beach (Jagna)
  • Balbalan Beach (Dimiao)
  • Bay Watch
  • Bikini Beach (Dauis)
  • Canuba Beach (Jagna)
  • Clarin Beach (Loay)
  • Darak Beach
  • Doljo Beach (Panglao)
  • Duero Beach
  • Imelda Beach
  • Kainggit Beach
  • Laya Beach (Baclayon)
  • Lintuan Beach (Loon)
  • Sta. Fe Beach
  • Omhon Resort

SPRINGS AND RIVERS:

  • Badiang Spring
  • Cabasi Spring (Carmen)
  • Loboc River
  • Logarita Spring
  • Roxas Park and Spring

ISLANDS:

  • Balicasag Island
  • Bungan and Mahaba Islets (Talibon)
  • Mantatao Island
  • Pamilacan Island
  • Pantudlan-Cabilao Island

FALLS:

  • Busay Falls (Loboc and Sevilla)
  • Camugao Falls
  • Dimiao Twin Falls
  • Mag-aso Falls
  • Kawasan Falls
  • Kinahugan Falls - Three waterfalls that are trigonomial in nature.
  • Inambacan Falls
  • Niluksoan Falls
  • Pahangog Twin Falls & Caverns
  • Tontonan Falls 

MAN-MADE PARKS AND CAMPS:

  • Jaycee Promenade
  • Rizal Park
  • Children’s Playground and Mini Park
  • Magsiha Swimming Pool
  • Magsaysay Camp
  • Bilarma Camp
  • Malinao Dam
  • Wahig-Pamacsalan Dam
  • The Home – This is a home for the orphaned, abandoned, neglected, and maltreated children of broken homes. It is located in Barangay Katipunan, 1 ½ km. from the town proper.
  • Roxas Park
  • Tigbao Hanging Bridge
  • Corpus Antique Spanish House
  • Jagna
  • Lasang-Lasang Park

HOW TO GET TO TAGBILARAN CITY

BY AIR
From Manila, fly to Cebu then catch a connecting flight to Tagbilaran City, the capital of Bohol. If you prefer to go straight to the province, Aerolift has direct flights to Tagbilaran City daily.

BY SEA
The island province is about 556 nautical miles southeast of Manila and about 40 nautical miles south of Mactan Island of Cebu Province. Tagbilaran City is accessible from Manila by sea, direct or via Cebu City.