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Province of Bohol
Ph seal bohol.png
Ph locator map bohol.png
Region Central Visayas (Region VII)
Governor Erico B. Aumentado
Barangays 1,109
Physical characteristics
Area 4,117.3 km²
(29th largest (10th largest island))
Total (2000) 1,137,268
(18th largest)
Density 276/km²
(25th highest)

Bohol is the 10th largest island of the Philippines. It is an oval-shaped island province where one of Earth's oldest mammal inhabitants can be seen, the Tarsier, known as the "the world's smallest monkey." The world-renowned Chocolate Hills can also be found in the province. Bohol has 72 smaller offshore islands and islets. Aside front the tarsier and Chocolate Hills, Bohol's tourism assets also include centuries-old churches and towers, scuba diving havens, majestic falls and caves and historical landmarks as well as primitive and exotic fauna and flora.



Blood Compact between Datu Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi

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 Ferdinand Magellan was killed by Lapu-Lapu in Mactan.

Before the Spaniards came in 1521, Boholanos already had a culture of their own. Excavations at Tagbilaran City and throughout the region have revealed evidence of a distinct prehistoric civilization, and this group of people were characterized by the heavy use of tattoos for both cosmetic and ritualistic purposes. These inhabitants are called "pintados" which means the tatooed ones.

The island came under the Spanish rule in 1565 when a Spanish expedition led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi sailed westward from Mexico with four ships and almost four hundred men. They reached the Philippines and established a Spanish settlement. Legazpi met hostile native warriors uninterested in foreign invasion. Legazpi's fleet met contrary winds that forced them northward to the island of Bohol. This fateful shift in the winds would lead to an alliance with native kings that finally gave the Spaniards their opportunity for colonization. Legazpi with the aid of the Malay pilot, explained to the two local chieftains, Katuna (Si Katuna) and Gala (Si Gala) that the Spaniards were not Portuguese and that they had come on a mission of peace not to destroy, kill or plunder. On learning this, the Bohol kings and their people became friendly and welcomed the Spaniards. On March 16, 1565, Legazpi and Katuna performed a blood compact to seal their friendship. A few days later Legazpi had a similar pact with Gala. This treaty of friendship between Datu Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi is known today as the Sandugo. In honor of this occasion, the late Pres. Elpidio Quirino established the Order of Sikatuna, a presidential decoration conferred upon diplomats.

Two major rebellions against the Spaniards happened in this province: the Tamblot Revolt led by a local priest in 1621 and the Dagohoy Revolt led by Francisco Dagohoy, which happened from 1744 to 1829, and is considered as the longest revolt in Philippine history.

Bohol is the home province of the fourth President of the Republic of the Philippines, Carlos P. Garcia (1957-1960) who was born in the municipality of Talibon.


Map of Bohol

Bohol is located in Central Visayas (Region VII). It is bounded by Cebu in the east; Bohol Strait in the west; Camotes Sea in the north; and Mindanao Sea in the south. It is approximately 803 km. south of Manila and 79 km. southeast of Cebu. Mainland Bohol is oval-shaped surrounded by 72 smaller islands, the largest of which is the Panglao Island facing Tagbilaran City in the southwest

Covering an area of 4,117 square kilometers, it is essentially an agricultural province, with rice, coconut and corn as main produce. Fishing is a major industry.


Bohol has a total land area of 4,117.26 square kilometers and has gently rolling terrain, ideal for commercial and industrial site development. The terrain of Bohol is basically rolling and hilly and about half of the island is covered in limestone. Near the outer areas of the island are low mountain range. The interior uplands are potential for commercial forestry, fruit production, livestock-raising and to a certain extent, high value crop production. The central and northern lowlands also have fertile grounds and abundant water supply. Some of these mountainous areas, particularly those preserved from degradation, can serve as habitat for interesting flora and fauna as well as natural land forms that travelers look for, such as the landform for which Bohol has been noted, the Chocolate Hills. The southern part is basically mountainous, with deep gullies and gorges that slope abruptly to the sea.The northern section has alluvial valleys and low-lying hills. The coastline, except in the north is characterized by woodlands, grass and dense swamplands. Five major rivers and their tributaries serve as good sites for aquaculture and irrigation. These water sources are also tapped for hydro-electric generation and as source of potable water for the people.


Bohol's climate is generally fair with the highest rainfall recording at 1,923.7 mm in 1961 and lowest recording at 711.9 mm. in 1964. It varies in different areas-warm and dry along the coast; cold and humid in the interior. The rainy season is longer from June to December. Maximum precipitation occurs in June to October. Average annual temperature is 29 degrees Centigrade. The "chocolate" color of Chocolate Hills is seen during the summer months, March to May.

Attractions and Activities

Scenic Spots

  • Chocolate Hills - is located in the town of Carmen, 55 kilometers from Tagbilaran City, the Chocolate Hills are undoubtedly the most famous tourist attraction in Bohol. Among the 1,268 perfectly cone-shaped hills, which abound in Central Bohol, two have been developed into a resort. On top of these hills is a complex that offers accommodation, conference rooms, restaurants, and a view deck.
World-Famous Chocolate Hills
  • Baclayon Church - One of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines is Baclayon Church, located in the town of Baclayon, six kilometers from Tagbilaran City. This ancient massive edifice still retains its century-old architectural design. Both in the external and internal portions of the church are various interesting relics and artifacts dating back to the early 16th century, which have now been placed at the Baclayon Museum. Baclayon is the oldest town in Bohol and the mother town of Alburquerque, Balilihan, and Sikatuna.
  • Blood Compact Site - this is located at Barangay Bool in Tagbilaran City. A marker that identifies the spot where Datu Sikatuna, a native Boholano chieftain, 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 countries.
Philippine Tarsier, world's smallest monkey
  • The Tarsier Trail - is a pathway from where one may become acquainted with a wide variety of local flora and fauna, including the natural habitat of the Philippine tarsier, the tiniest primate on Earth.
  • Surreal Caves - With its limestone foundation, the province of Bohol is also known as "Cave Country." An average of 30 caves are found in 47 towns, many of them still unexplored
  • Loboc River - A cruise along the emerald green Loboc River starts either from the Loay Bridge or at the town’s Poblacion. The motorized bancas and the floating restaurants take cruisers upstream passing by nipa trees, coconuts and other tropical flora.
  • Busay Falls - These falls in Albay are well-known for their serene surroundings. The water falls 300 feet in a series of cascades, the last of which plunges more than 130 feet into an idyllic pool where locals come to cool off during the hot season.


Panglao Beach
  • Scuba Diving - Several diving sites in Bohol are located in Panglao Island like Kalipayan, Duljo Point, Arco Point, Pungtud Wall, Napaling, etc.
  • Sailing - Sailing along the white and pristine beaches of Bohol especially along Alona Beach.
  • Whale and Dolphin Watching Tour - One of the attractions of Bohol is the ability to go dolphin and whale watching on the Bohol Sea. The waters around the Island of Pamilacan, Baclayon, Bohol is a haven for at least 11 species of dolphins and whales – from the playful spinner dolphins to the gigantic sperm whale.
  • Bird Spotting - Bohol is a favorite bird-watcher's destination in the Philippines especially along the 90 square kilometers Rajah Sikatuna National Park in the inlands where you can see many species of birds.
  • Shopping - Bohol has three major malls, all located in Tagbilaran City: Bohol Quality Mall, Plaza Marcela and Island City Mall
  • Eco-Adventure in Danao - experience eco-adventure tourism in the interior town of Danao where thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike can go caving, rapelling, trekking, biking, swimming and kayaking.


The following are just some of the festivals that Boholanos celebrate throughout the year:

  • Sandugo Festival - every year, the compact between the Muslim chief and the Spanish conqueror is celebrated through the Sandugo Festival in June.
Bohol Festival
  • Tagbilaran City Fiesta - for nine days leading up to this event, Tagbilaran City begins to celebrate with nightly events such as concerts, dramas, historical re-enactments, and a beauty pageant. The festival comes to a head on the first day of May when an exciting night of revelry ensues.
  • Bolibong Kingking Festival - celebrated from May 23 to 24, it is a music and dance festivity depicting the history, folklore, and traditions of the Lobocanons. Bolibong Kingking is a term applied to the drums and gongs, and their rhythm, used to accompany the supplication dance ritual performed before the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the second patron of Loboc.
  • Ubi Festival - Boholanos pays tribute to their favorite plant and major agricultural product--the ube. Seminars, exhibits and contests are the activities during the 3-day festival.

Provincial Symbols

  • Hero - Francisco Sendrijas, also popularly known as Francisco Dagohoy led the longest revolt in the Philippine history.
  • Dance - Kuratcha Boholana
  • Plant - Ubi Kinampay (ube) is a root crop with white or light to dark purple meat. The best kind of Ubi is believed to be found only in Bohol. An Ubi Feast is celebrated every January in Bohol.
  • Tree - Tugas is also known as the sturdy molave (vitex parviflora).
  • Flower - White Gumamela which symbolizes the characteristics of simplicity and naturalness of the Boholano. Its extra-length and bowing stamen evokes a language of welcome, its tender structure with pollens characterize the people's simple tastes and simple needs. The greenish, close-knit petals depict the loyalty and constancy of the Boholano family towards each of its members, conspicuous of the bond and the blood that join them together - in adversity or in joy.
  • Bird - Antolihaw or Dimodlaw (Oriole : Oriolus Chinenses) is a colorful bird which is found all over the province.
  • Fruit - Mangga (Mangifera Indica Linnaeus)


Baclayon Church

Boholanos are known to be good traders and often referred to as the "Ilocanos of the South". This is because of their frugality and being industrious.


Bohol has 93% literacy rate. There are four universities in Tagbilaran City: Bohol Institute of Technology, Holy Name University, Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary and University of Bohol


The majority speak the native dialect which is distinctively Boholano. Cebuano, Filipino and English are also spoken and understood.

See Also


External Link



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