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Bohol is with almost 4200 km² the 10th biggest island of the Philippines and belongs to Central Visayas; it is located between Cebu (in the west) and Leyte (in the northeast ). Bohol has in the Visayas Visayas an unique topography: the so called "Chocolate Hills". Consisting of 1,268 haycock hills with heights ranging from 40 to 120 meters, the Chocolate Hills is a wonder of nature, located in the center of the island, near the town of Carmen. The legendary Chocolate Hills has 1268 cone-shape hills which turn green during rainy season and brown (chocolate) during summer.
Some geologists hold that Bohol was entirely submerged in prehistoric times and the hills were formed on the sea floor by volcanic eruptions and subsequently shaped and rounded by submarine currents. Others say that the hills were formed by weathering of a marine limestone formation over impermeable clay stone.
But there is as well a legend and it is far more romantic. Arogo, a young and unusually strong giant, was in love with Aloya, an ordinary mortal. After she died, Arogo wept bitterly and the proof of his deep grief is the Chocolate Hills. They are his tears turned into hills.
85% of the 1 Mio. people on Bohol are living in rural areas. Bohol is mainly producing coconut products. Bohol doesn't have extreme dry or wet seasons. Two bridges are leading from Tagbilaran to the island of Panglao, located south of Bohol. This small island has probably the most beautiful white beaches of this province. On the south coast of Panglao Island you will find ALONA BEACH. Several resorts, restaurants and dive shops on this 1000 meter beach are specialized on diving tourism. Here you find a broad variety of accommodations (bungalows, rooms) and restaurants (filippino and western cuisine).
Concerns about security
Several years ago, the Philippines had a lot of negative press regarding the safety of foreigners. Reports of tourists being kidnapped by terrorists from Malaysia, and Palawan aren't a comfortable read. However, we don't believe there is any reason for concern, and assure you Bohol is safe.
Most of the trouble with so-called Muslim separatists and the infamous Abu Sayyaf group takes place in Southern Mindanao and on the Southern islands of Basilan and Jolo. Bohol is roughly 700 kilometers away from those areas, and when using boats, potential kidnappers will have to travel at least double that distance.
Alona Beach - an ideal area for divers who want to explore the fascinating underwater world of the Philippines. Scuba Diving is one of the most popular water sport activity in the Philippines.
A great diversity of more than 800 species colorful corals, small to giant fishes, various-sized and textured shells, and other marine life.
Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour
Join a dolphin watching tour in the Bohol Sea. Hop on one of the small outrigger boats early in the morning and watch groups of dolphins playing in the morning sun.
Tours are depending on weather and sea conditions.
Snorkeling in Balicasag
Rent one of the local outrigger boats for a trip to Balicasag and enjoy the beautiful underwater world by snorkeling. Make sure, you don't step on corals!
Bohol and Panglao Land Tours
Apart from strips of white sand beaches, chocolate hills and Tarsier, there are lots of interesting places worth touring around Bohol.
Motor biking is the easiest and the most exciting way to see these classic landmarks. You can as well rent a car or van and get a local guide as driver.
Here are some exciting places to visit:
Hinagdanan Cave (Dauis; 6 km. from Tagbilaran City).
It has clean, fresh water gushing from rocky sides. An eerie underworld of stalactites and stalagmites. Underneath is a bathing pool. This cave is about 2 ½ kilometers away from the poblacion of Dauis.
Barrio Cancatac, Corella
a place considered to be the breeding center of the shy, delicate Tarsier- the tiniest primate still existing. They are naturally nocturnal creatures, so it is best to visit them at night time.
Blood Compact Site (Barangay Bool, 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. The Blood Compact on March 16, 1565 is considered as the first "Treaty of Friendship" between the brown and white races.
Anibogan Massacre Site (Catigbian; 73 km. from Tagbilaran City).
A historical place for valor, glory, and heroism, which symbolizes the lives of the Filipino massacre victims during the Japanese regime.
Behind the Clouds (Catigbian; 38 km. from Tagbilaran City).
The cradle of the resistance movement during the Japanese occupation, when a group of courageous men composed of disbanded and surrendered soldiers and even civilians started the organization of the guerilla to liberate the people from oppression.
Camp Verde (Duero; 73 km. from Tagbilaran City).
A distinct historical spot of the last bastion of Boholano insurgents of the World War II.
Dagohoy Marker (Danao; 92 km. from Tagbilaran City).
The Dagohoy marker in Magtangtang, Danao town was installed by the Philippine Historical Commission to 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 in the site.
Mt. Carmel Hill (Balilihan; 24 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Atop Mt. Carmel Hill right in the heart of Balilihan town is a historical tower of adobe and limestone. These materials were hauled from the town of Baclayon. The tower was built at the foot of a hill to serve as the belfry of the church. The church was, however, burned down during the Philippine revolution. Like a sentinel, the tower stands as guard of the whole town. Concrete stairways lead to the hill.
Pres. Carlos P. Garcia Memorial Park (Tagbilaran City).
Erected as a joint undertaking of Boholanos from all over the country and abroad in loving memory of the greatest Boholano, 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 the late president 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 of Garcia, also the first President of the 1971 Constitutional Convention, by Bohol's famous sculptor, National Artist Napoleon Abueva. In the background is the provincial capitol.
Ubujan Marker (Tagbilaran City).
The marker was erected in memory of another historic event in the district of Ubuja, which was the battle fought by the brave guerilla Captain Francisco Salazar and his men against the superior forces of the Japanese on October 22, 1942.
The Historic Ermita Ruins (Dimiao; 36.7 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Another Spanish structure in the town, located just across the street from the Catholic church. According to accounts of local residents, the structure was allegedly used as a military fortress, chapel, and final resting place of the members of the Spanish clergy at the time. Questions about its mysterious past, however, remained unanswered that even experts from the National Museum have recommended its immediate excavation.
Punta Cruz (Maribojoc; 14 km. from Tagbilaran City).
An ancient watchtower built of stones that served as a lookout point for incoming pirates. In the slightly indented place fronting the tower, a wooden cross was planted. Legend has it that its mysterious spell had saved many people from the ravages of the pirates as the cross extended its mysterious arms straight to the sea thus preventing marauders. Atop the tower are windows overlooking the Cebu, Siquijor, and Mindanao seas.
Baclayon Museum (Baclayon; 7 km. from Tagbilaran City).
The museum is located inside the convent, or Baclayon Church, one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines. It contains a rich collection of religious art, ecclesiastical vestments, librettos of church music printed in Latin on animal skins, and other priceless relics and artifacts dating back to the early 16th century.
Bohol Museum (Tagbilaran City).
Once the home of former President Carlos P. Garcia, the fourth President of the Philippine Republic and the greatest statesman Bohol has ever produced, and his family. The museum gives the visitors a feel of what Bohol was, is, and will be. On display are the late President and family's memorabilia, old relics plus a collection of shells found on Bohol's shores.
Clarin Ancestral House (Loay; 18 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Owned and maintained by descendants of the Clarin family, the ancestral house is located at the poblacion. Guests are in for a nostalgic trip as they enter the house replete with interesting antique jars, lamps, kitchenware, and furniture.
Chocolate Hills (Carmen; 55 km. from Tagbilaran City).
This is 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 the hills is a complex that offers accommodation, conference rooms, restaurants, and a view deck.
Banat-i Hill (Tagbilaran City).
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 above sea level.
Elly Hill (Tagbilaran City).
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 kilometers away. On top of the second hill is an observation deck with 213 concrete steps. Once on top, one can view the exquisite panorama of wondrous creations spread below as far as the eyes can see.
Himontagon Hill (Loay; 20 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Located in Sitio Candaon 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, Mt. Hibok-hibok volcano in Camiguin Island is visible. The place also provides fascinating scenes during sunrise and sunset. The hill was the site of the area jamboree of the Boy Scouts.
Sampoangon Hill (Calape; 41 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Located in Sampoangan, a distance of about 12 km. from the town proper. The hill has a breathtaking scenic view and is overlooking Cebu.
Busay Falls (Loboc; 26 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Busay Falls is 12 meters wide and four meters deep. It caters to swimmers and sightseers who would be enthralled to commune with nature. The Floating Restaurants had been anchored there as venue for meetings and conferences.
Busay Falls (Sevilla; 34 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Busay Falls is located inland of the Loboc River past Sevilla town. This beautiful falls provides an exciting scenery for the bathers. Bathers jam this bathing resort during weekends. Two little islets in the middle of the river make the place an ideal site for picnickers. The rushing waters are the favorite bathing pool of the children.
Camugao Falls (Balilihan; 22 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Located in Barangay San Isidro, the falls is a delight for climbers and campers. The cascading falls, accented by its adjacent lush forestall vegetation, is a come on for bathers as it drops into a pool.
Dimiao Twin Falls (Dimiao; 38 km. from Tagbilaran City).
The beautiful cascading twin falls is found 14 kilometers away from the highway. It is very ideal for picnics and trekking.
Mag-aso Falls (Antequera; 20 km. from Tagbilaran City).
About 25 feet tall with verdant green forest as a fitting background for the placid waters. A very beautiful bathing resort with its cool cascading water and a scenic surroundings.
Kawasan Falls (Balilihan; 22 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Situated 5 km. from the poblacion, the cascading falls amidst the primeval accented mountain sides and greenery is a sight to behold.
Kinahugan Falls (Jagna; 58 km. from Tagbilaran City)
Three waterfalls that are trigonomial in nature. The center fall is flanked by one on the northern side of the cliff and the other on the southern side, and all are covered with moss. Tall coconut groves around the deep basin and the river bed give shade, making the place invigorating. The mild temperature and the cool water lure the visitors to take a cool bath. Trees, ferns, and airplants on rocks are a delight to plant fanciers who appreciate the bounties of nature.
Inambacan Falls (Antequera; 19 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Commands a beautiful view of the cascading waterfalls. This could be a potential source of water supply for drinking and irrigation in Antequera town and even Tagbilaran. The estimated output is about 8,000 gallons per minute all drained to the Abatan River. It is one kilometer from the poblacion of this town.
Niluksoan Falls (Balilihan; 22 km. from Tagbilaran City).
The falls in Barangay Sal-ing is another countryside interest. Its cool and clear water flowing into a semi-spherical cone before dropping to a basin where one can have a refreshing swim in the pool to look back and view the landscape from behind the transparency of the curtain-like cascading water is a sight to behold.
Pahangog Twin Falls & Caverns (Dimiao; 36.7 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Over 30 meters high and with the lush forest as a fitting background for its crystal-clear water, one can readily take a bath in its nature-made lagoon. In its vicinity are two caverns with bizarre interiors. One of them has a pool that catches fresh cool waters gushing from its sides.
Tontonan Falls (Loboc; 27 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 municipalities. The plant machinery is dug deep into the bowels of the earth few meters from the Loboc River.
Badiang Spring (Valencia; 44 km. from Tagbilaran City).
The volume of the water that gushes from twin pipes makes the place fascinating. The waters flowing into the sea adjacent to the spring is a swimming pool that people from the towns enjoy during the weekends. This is a unique bathing place where the bathers choose the swimming pool, the waterfalls, and the place close to each other.
Cabasi Spring (Carmen; 54 km. from Tagbilaran City).
With caves abounding, it is no surprise to see water springs and pools inside these caves. Cabasi is one of them that attract swimmers and divers to explore the depth and mysteries that these cave waters hide from the less courageous and adventurous.
Loboc River (Loboc; 21 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Enjoy a fascinating boat ride in the serene waters of Loboc River, starting from Loay Bridge which is the outlet of the river, and along the palm-fringed banks inland. The ride via motorized pump boat ends near the Tontonan water falls, where several falls with cascading water provides a pleasant bathing session.
Logarita Spring (Bilar; 41 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Springwater-fed swimming pool and a picnic ground at the Rajah Sikatuna National Park.
Roxas Park & Spring (Garcia-Hernandez; 53 km. from Tagbilaran City).
This springwater-fed swimming pool is a good site for picnics and camping.
Alburquerque Church (Dimiao; 12 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Founded in 1869, this imposing structure is famous for its sturdy arches supporting a pathway that connects the church to the convent.
Baclayon Church (Baclayon; 6 km. from Tagbilaran City).
One of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines. 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 been placed at the Baclayon Museum. Baclayon is also the oldest town in Bohol and the mother town of Alburquerque, Balilihan, and Sikatuna.
Calape Church (Calape; 41 km. from Tagbilaran City).
The church is known to be the most artistic in medieval design, making it one of a kind in the province.
Dauis Church (Dauis; 3 km. from Tagbilaran City).
This is one of Bohol's beautiful churches which has retained its Spanish architecture although it has a semi-modern façade. The church interior has life-like murals painted on the ceiling. The patron saint, the Virgin of the Assumption, is believed to possess miraculous powers. It is the object of the faithful, who attend 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 water and provisions. Then suddenly a well appeared at the foot of the altar where people started drawing water. It is still the main source of water for the people living in the church vicinity. Surprisingly, the water is absolutely fresh even as the well is located only a few meters from the sea.
Dimiao Church (Dimiao; 36.7 km. from Tagbilaran City).
This centuries-old Roman Catholic church stands sturdy and in possession of relics of the friar days, being preserved for posterity, reflecting the culture and traditions of its people who are deeply religious.
Lord of Pardon Hill (Duero; 73 km. from Tagbilaran City).
A mass site during the Holy Week, where along the way are cemented structures of the 14 Stations of the Cross with a big black cross at the top of the hill.
Loboc Church (Loboc; 24 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Second oldest church in Bohol built in 1608. With a three storey convent, a coat of arms can be found in the stonewall at the entrance of the convent.
Loon Church (Loon; 25 km. from Tagbilaran City).
A long flight of 174 stone steps believed to be the longest step stairway in the country, reminiscent of Spanish era forced labor. The stairway connects Napo, the former seat of the town, to the church.
Maribojoc Church (Maribojoc; 14 km. from Tagbilaran City).
This parish was founded in 1768, built in 1798, and fully constructed after 18 years. It has pipe organ at the choir loft and a beautiful altar.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church (Balilihan; 22 km. from Tagbilaran City).
The church surely would attract the artistic eye with its ceilings decorated with paintings that are replicas of famous ancient artworks.
Virgen sa Calo-oy (Calape; 41 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Discovered and patronized by Catholics for more than a century. The image of the Virgin is believed to be growing from an empty giant shell. From a mere obscure figure, the image now is very visible, showing the beautiful virgin with the giant shell in the background.
Cruz Daku (Loboc; 26.5 km. from Tagbilaran City).
A famous pilgrimage destination of the faithful during the Holy Week. A huge white cross 80 feet in height is on top of the highest hill, where one can view the neighboring towns, including Tagbilaran City.
Panglao Church (Panglao; 18 km. from Tagbilaran City).
The church which is located on the southwestern shore of Panglao Island is worth a visit for its twin antique confessionals carved with grape and dove patterns. Its ceiling murals depict the Seven Sacraments.
Malinao Dam (Pilar; 72 km. from Tagbilaran City).
This dam is a refreshing accent to the green scenery and good for boating and sports fishing.
Roxas Park (Garcia-Hernandez; 55 km. from Tagbilaran City).
It has a beautiful park and adjacent to it are two swimming pools with water coming from the rocks. This park is situated 3 kilometers away from the poblacion. On the spot is the life-size statue of the late President Manuel Roxas. This park is also an ideal camping site.
Tigbao Hanging Bridge (Loboc; 29 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Backed by the influx of tourists, this link has become a stop. Many are entranced by the bridge itself, and the background - the clean Loboc River and the trees along the banks.
Corpus Antique Spanish House (Calape; 41 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Located at the poblacion, the house which is owned by the Corpus family boasts of various antiques ranging from jars to china wares and lamps.
Lasang-Lasang Park (Carmen; 54 km. from Tagbilaran City).
This is an exotic mini-forest where wild plants and animals seek sanctuary and thrive naturally. Out of the rocks is clear water that unceasingly supplies irrigation water to the ricefields in the low land areas.
Macas Orchids and Farm (Lindaville, Tagbilaran City).
The 6,000 sq. m. lot is stocked with various species of Dendrobium and Vanda orchids in varying sizes. In addition to the flowering orchids, a typical Filipino native house is placed in the center overlooking the Ubujan and Maribojoc Sea and is a favorite spot for picture taking.
Mantatao Island (Calape; 41 km. from Tagbilaran City).
The clean white beaches in the island are in their natural setting.
Tarsier (Corella; 10 km. from Tagbilaran City).
One of the rare faunas found in the Philippine archipelago that is usually the favorite subject of scientific research is the tarsier, considered as the smallest primate in the whole world. A nocturnal primate measuring from four to five inches, it has a tail which is longer than its body. However, if you're really interested to see this famous tarsier, you're always welcomed by the Boholanos to see it in its natural abode the hills in the town of Corella, 10 km. from Tagbilaran City.
Sandugo Festival (July 1-31).
The annual spectacular festival of the province features an agro-industrial fair, cultural and historical showcase, sports events, a beauty pageant, balls and dances, entertainment shows, and streetdancing which culminates with the re-enactment of the blood compact or Sandugo between Datu Sikatuna and Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.
Tagbilaran City Fiesta (May 1).
The Tagbilaran City is one of the most exciting and fun filled occasions of the year. For nine days before the day itself, nightly entertaining activities are held, such as the beauty pageant, literary musical shows, concerts, dramas and stage plays, and many more.
Bolibong Kingking Festival (May 23-24).
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 in front of the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the 2nd Patron of Loboc.
Pana-ad sa Loboc (Holy Thursday & Good Friday).
In observance of the Holy Week, the Lobocanons read the "Pasyon" and do a penitential procession through the way of the cross that culminates at the place called "Cruz Daku," a huge cross 80 feet in height which is on top of the highest hill where one can view the neighboring towns including the city.
Sambat Mascaray Regatta Festival (1st Saturday of December).
The festival is celebrated in honor of Loay town's second patron, St. Francis Xavier. Colorful activities are lined up, like the agro-industrial fair, group masked street dancing, drum and bugle competition, boat racing along the river, and many more. The event is highlighted by a tluvial parade of the image along the river.
Suroy sa Musikero (December 25 - February 2).
This is a revelry where the Loboc town musicians cover daily the assigned areas to partake of the food served by the host and to play music to the tune of Kuradang, Dalagang sa Baybayon, and others. This is also the period where carolers render Christmas songs to the families of the host area.
Bohol Fiestas (month of May).
If you want to experience fiesta in the real sense of the word, come to Bohol on the merry month of May when each day a town or a barrio fiesta is celebrated with so much grandeur and revelry. This is also the time for family reunions. Kinfolk from places far and near gather to keep in touch with loved ones.
Ubi Festival (January).
For almost half a millennium, the ubi tuber has been venerated by the Boholanos. To this day, the respect for the plant is still stronger than ever. The festival will institutionalize the ubi crop as the agro-historical geographical-religious symbol of Bohol and give the ubi the recognition it rightfully deserves in the market. Tthe festival features an exhibit, ubi contest, an agri-business investment opportunities seminar, and a cultural show.
Lila Rice Terraces (Lila; 35 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Bohol's answer to Banaue's rice terraces. Although modest in size, they nevertheless form a wondrous sight as they cascade down from the mountain.
Lunar Rice Terraces (Boctol) (Jagna; 58 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Beautiful panoramic scenery of two high mountains that have carved a ravine wherein nest the rice terraces. It occupies a total area of 50 hectares.
Rice Terraces (Dimiao; 36.7 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Dimiao has its own version of Mt. Banawe's rice terraces. Although modest in size, they nevertheless form a wondrous sight as they cascade down the valley, giving a scenario of a breathtaking countryside setting.
McArthur's Cap (Dimiao; 36.7 km. from Tagbilaran City).
Nature has carved a lonely rock and transformed it into an extraordinary emblem that marks the entry to Dimiao. People call it McArthur's Cap, a rock formation resembling an officer's cap. It is an ideal place to unwind after a busy day. Its serenity can be savored when one watches the sunset where, with the changing of the southeastern skies, he feels the quiet tenor of the soft eastern breeze.
TommoEdited: 09 February 2011, 11:58