Bohol - General Information

Bohol Resorts and Hotels
Tourist Attractions
The City of Tagbilaran
Bohol Map
How to Get to Bohol


Welcome to Bohol!

Welcome to Bohol, God's Little Paradise, as it is sometimes called by the Boholanos themselves. This is not fully unjustified, as the island is one of the most diverse and attractive destinations in the Philippines. Within its area of about 4200 square kilometers, it houses countless white sandy beaches, numerous historic churches and watchtowers, enchanting waterfalls and caves, and, unique in the world, its amazing and stunning Chocolate Hills.

Scenic Bohol casts an enigmatic charm drawn from the many archaic mementos spread throughout the oval-shaped island - from unique rock formations to a 45-million-year-old mammal species, from massive stone watchtowers built by the Spaniards in the 18th century. Surrounding the mainland are 73 other smaller offshore islands and islets whose palm-fringed coastlines are rimmed by white sand and sheltering coves. Serpentine coastal highways wind along unsullied beaches and rustic rivers where the tourist can stop at any point and jump in for a dip.

Bohol is famous for whale watching, river cruising, smallest primate-Tarsier, Sandugo Festival, beaches, scuba diving, mountain climbing, caving, cambuhat oyster farm (ecotourism activity), Bird watching

Town visits promise exciting cultural treats that include scheduled performances by the Teatro Bolanon, Dimiao Rondalla, Diwanag Dance Theater and the award-winning Loboc Children's Choir.

Bohol is an anchor tourist destination and one of the 7,000 times more islands that make up the Philippine archipelago.

Bohol Hotels and Resorts

Panglao Island
Alona Palm Resort
Alona Kew Resort
Philippine Island Divers
Bohol Beach Club
Panglao Island Nature Resort
Alona Tropical
Flushing Meadows Resort New!
Amorita Resort
 
Tagbilaran City
Bohol Tropics
Soledad Suites Hotel
 

Tourist Attractions

Chocolate Hills

More than 1000 hills in number - consisting of thousands of cone-shaped mounds scattered over 50 sq kiliometers around the towns of Sagbayan, Carmen and Sierra Bullones in central Bohol. Each hill rises 30 to 120 metes above the surrounding plateau. The hills look like chocolate drops when the grass turns brown, hence the name. Two of the hills have been developed into a resort with youth hostels, cottages, a swimming pool, and tennis court.

Also on top of one is an observation deck 213 concrete steps. In the dry season when the grass is dry, the grass become chocolate coloured, because of that, the name "Chocolate Hills". The most lovely time to see the Chocolate Hills is early in the morning, so you can see it in the sunrise!

Origin of the Chocolate Hills

The first legend tells of a fight between two giants who threw stones and sand at each other for days, until they were so tired and exhausted they made friends and left the island. They didn´t however, tidy up the battlefield, leaving the Chocolate Hills.

The second legend is a lot more romantic. Arogo, a young and unusually strong giant, fell in love with an ordinary mortal, Aloya. After Aloya´s death, Arogo cried bitterly. The Chocolate Hills are proof of his grief, for his tears turned into hills.

Some geologist, means Bohol lay under water in prehistoric times. Volcanic eruptions caused unevenness in the bottom of the sea which was gradually smoothed and rounded by the movement of the water.

Most serious geologist means the explanation as nonsense. Even though the geological origin of the hills has not yet been explained beyond doubt, the consensus is that they are weathered formations of a kind of marine limestone laying on the top of impermeable clay soil. Comparisons have been made with hundred Islands of North Luzon.

The city of Tagbilaran

Settlement known to have dated back as early as 15th century as the "Bool Kingdom". Early settlers have established trade relations with China and Malaysia. Spanish Captain Miguel Lopez de Legazpi landed on March 16, 1565 and included a treaty of friendship with local chieftain Datu Sikatuna in the famous blood compact which became the forerunner of the City's traditional celebration of Sandugo.
Among the popular theories for the origin of the word "Tagbilaran" are: "Tinabilan" (covered by curtain, referring to Panglao Island as the covering or 'Tabil'); "Tagbilaran" ('Tago' meaning hide, 'Bilaan' meaning Muslim tribe or hidden from marauding Muslim; "Bilad" ( meaning let dry from the sun Tagbilaran being a place for sun drying; "Bila" ( meaning friendship made while drinking, eating and partaking of "buyo" or area nut).

Tagbilaran City, the capital of Bohol is hidden from the open sea by the island of Panglao.

Tagbilaran is bounded on its western and southwestern sides by 12.2 km. of coastline, on its north by the town of Cortes, on its northeast side by the town of Corella and to its eastern side by the town of Baclayon.

Tagbilaran City sits on generally flat Pliocene-Pleistocene limestone formation with thin soil cover. The thin superficial unconsolidated soils are derived from the residual weathering of the underlying coralline limestone. The lack of rivers and other surface water channel ways around the city could be explained by the existence of a normal fault which obviously serves as the underground channel ways for the infiltrating surface waters. As a consequence of a normal faulting, fissures and joints were produced that ultimately widened enlarge (due to the action of ground water) and finally formed into large underground caverns and other subsurface cavities.
There are two main types of soil found in Tagbilaran City; Faraon Clay and Bolinao Clay. Majority of the barangays are covered by the Faraon Clay while the Bolinao Clay is dominant in Barangays Tiptip, Cabawan and San Isidro. Both soil types are not suitable for rice and corn, Consequently, the city imports all its requirements for these staple foods.

  • St. Joseph´s Cathedral was built in 1595, destroyed by an earthquake in 1798,
    and rebuilt in the 19th century.
  • Adjacent to to the Cathedral, in front of the capitol, is Rizal Park which is a popular local meeting place.
  • The Carlos P. Garcia Memorial Park, two kilometers from downtown, is in honor of the Philippines president from Bohol.
  • Sikatuna-Legaspi blood: Three kilometers from the city is a marker on the site of the Sikatuna-Legaspi blood compact.
  • On Panglao Island, who is ca. 4 kilometer out of the city proper of Tagbilaran connected with a bridge is the place where most dive sites and resorts are located with a scenic view of the Mindanao Sea, Negros and Siquijor provinces.
  • The Rice terrace in Lila: In the place of Lila you will find a small rice terraces - it is much smaller than the famous on in North Luzon. The location of the place Lila is abouth 25 km east of Tagbilaran.
  • Hinagdanan Cave, aslo in Dauis has two natural holes that light the steps down to its underground swimming pool.
  • Dauis Church is one of Bohols beautiful Churches, its unusual feature is a natural well at the foot of the altar that is the main supply of water in the area.
  • Baclayon Church, 7 kilometer southeast of Tagbilaran, is said to be the oldest stone church in the Philippines, built by the Jesuits in 1595. It has a 21 meters high bell tower, intricately carved altars, and an organ which was installed in 1824.
  • Loon Church, A few km north-west of Maribojoc, and 25 km from Tagbilaran is the old Loon Church, who is a beautiful old church dating back to 1753. The church has a flight of 154 stone steps believed to be the longest such stairway in the Philippines.
  • Fatima Hill in Carmen is a pilgrimage site every may 13th.
  • Ilihan Hill in Jagna is another pilgrimage site.
  • Mt. Carmel Hill in Balilihan has a historical adobe and limestone tower.
  • Corella: Of special interest in the province is the Tarsier, who is the smallest monkey in the world and is found only in Bohol. It is in the the woods around Corella you find the tarsier monkey, which is an endangered species. This tiny primates have extraordinary, immobile eyes and jump from branch to branch with an almost frog-like motion. They are nocturnal hunters and are seldom seen during he day. In the Barrio Cancatac, about four km east of Cereal, a few "tarsier" are being held in a generously proportioned cage, for study purposes. Visitors are welcome at this project who is run by the Dep. of Enviroment and Natural Resources (DENR)
  • Antequera: Various kinds of basket ware are for sale on Sundays in the market at Antequera, about 10 km north-east of Maribojoc. Little more than a km out of the town and situated in a forest you find the beautiful "Mag-Aso Falls" with a deep natural pool to swim in.
  • Bool: Abouth 3 km east of Tagbilaran is there a memorial at Bool, it is a reminder of the blood compact between Legaspi and Sikatuna who sealed their bond of friendship on March 16, 1565.
  • Baclayon: 4 km east of Bool is Baclayon, the oldest town in Bohol, it is the location of the oldest churches in the Philippines also, the "Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception", built in 1595.
  • Loay: At Loay, where the Loboc river flows into the Mindanao Sea, there is an old church worth seeing. You can also take a exciting river trip in a charted outrigger here.
  • Loboc: In Loboc you can see the old and large"San Pedro Church" built in 1602. The church have a remarkable paintings on the ceiling.
  • JAGNA: is a busy and clean little town abouth 60 km east of Tagbilaran. Cirka 3 ships a week sail from here to various destinations in North Mindanao. They also have an old church here also, with a ceiling frescoes. Place to stay: They also have a lodge here in the port area
  • ANDA: is a sleepy, but clean little community in the south-east of Bohol. There is long and wide beach with white sand. The picturesque scenery begins outside Guindulman, where lonely bays with lonely white beaches and crystal-clear water tempt the visitors to stay. The lonely planet book: A Survival kit to the Philippines say that you should explore the area by boat, instead on the road who is 500 m from the ocean, and few paths offering access to the coast. One of these idyllic bays is "Bugnao Beach" near "Candabong". Place to stay: There are at least 2 places to stay in the area.
  • In Punta Cruz, Maribojoc, 15 km north of Tagbilaran, near Maribojoc stands the old "Punta Cruz Watchtower", built in the time of Spaniards in 1796 to look out for pirates, they say it gives a good view over other islands of the visayas. A wooden cross stands beside the moss-covered pirates.

How To Get There

You will most likely be approaching Bohol from Cebu but there are direct flights to Tagbilaran from Manila that probably depart at least once a day. Check with Philippine Airlines and Asian Spirit for flights rates and schedules.

From Cebu, Bohol is easily visible from any vantage point that provides view across the 20-mile wide Bohol Strait. You can fly the short distance on Asian Spirit. If you do fly, remember to confirm your return trip as soon as you arrive at the Tagbilaran Airport.

If you choose to go by sea, there are many ferries that ply the Cebu-Bohol route throughout the day. Besides saving a few pesos, there's nothing like an inter-island ferry for catching the beautiful vistas that the archipelago has to offer.

If you'd like to bypass Cebu City altogether and go directly to Bohol saving some pesos along the way, take a taxi from the airport to Lapu-Lapu City which is still on Mactan Island. Ask the driver to drop you off at the pier. Here you can catch a small ferry that goes directly to the Cebu pier about every hour for 10 pesos more or less. This is also a scenic ride. Since you arrive at the ferry pier you can go direct to the next catamaran or ship to Bohol.

 

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