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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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.
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.
Agri-based products, ubi making.
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:
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:
HILLS:OTHER SPECIAL DESTINATIONS:
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.
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.