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About Bohol and its History



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the island province of Bohol is the tenth largest island in the country. This oval-shaped province is located in the central portion of the Visayas lying between Cebu to the northwest and Leyte to the northeast. To its south is the big island of Mindanao, which is separated from Bohol by the wide Mindanao Sea. Aside from the mainland, Bohol has 61 smaller offshore islands and islets. Bohol is about 700 kilometers directly south of Manila and is about 70 kilometers southeast of Mactan Island.

Scenic Bohol casts an enigmatic charm drawn from the many archaic mementos spread throughout the oval-shaped island: from the Chocolate Hills and the tarsier to 16th century watchtowers and Jesuit Baroque mission churches. The Chocolate Hills, all of 1,268 perfectly cone-shaped hills, are undoubtedly the most famous tourist attraction in the province. Among these hills that abound in Central Bohol, two have been developed into top-class resorts.

One of the rare faunas found in the Philippine archipelago, the Tarsier is the smallest primate in the world. It is a nocturnal primate measuring from four to five inches, with a tail that is longer than its body. Those interested in tarsier watching are always welcomed by the Boholanos to see the famous primate in its natural abode up the hills in the town of Corella.

A tropical haven of natural beauty, the coastline of the province is skimmed by gentle coves and white sand beaches. You can find some of the country's great dive sights here. Balicasag in Bohol is one of the very best and most popular dives in the Visayas. A black coral forest is among its main attractions but virtually anywhere you drop in is sure to be rewarding. Another major attraction, Cabilao is renowned for the hammerhead sharks that shoal around the clear waters. Large pelagics are very common here, and if you are really lucky, you can find yourself swimming with a passing school of dolphins.


Brief History

Bohol's historical significance extends back to the blood compact between Boholano Chieftain Sikatuna and the Spanish conquistador, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, in 1565.

The people of Bohol are said to be the descendants of the last group of inhabitants who settled in the Philippines, called Pintados (the tattooed ones). Before the Spaniards came in 1521, Boholanos already had a culture of their own, as evidenced by the artifacts dug at Mansasa, Tagbilaran, and in Dauis and Panglao, using designs associated with the Ming Dynasty (960-1279). They had already a system of writing although most materials used were perishable, like leaves and bamboo barks. They spoke a language similar to that of the nearby provinces.

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 Magellan was killed by Lapu-Lapu in Mactan. In 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi anchored in Jagna, one of the eastern municipalities of Bohol. He made a blood compact with Chiefs Sikatuna and Sigala in a small village near the present capital of the province, Tagbilaran City, signifying that they were blood brothers.

The province became a Jesuit mission in 1595. At this time, Bohol was a part of the province of Cebu and was called a residencia. It became a separate politico-military province on July 22, 1854, together with the island province of Siquijor. In 1879, there were 34 towns belonging to the province, with a total population of 253.103.

Two significant revolts that occured in Bohol were recorded during the Spanish regime: the Tamblot Uprising in 1621 led by a Babaylan (native priest), and the Dagohoy Rebellion from 1744 to 1829 led by Francisco Dagohoy, which is considered as the longest revolt recorded in the annals of Philippine history. American forces seized the province in March 17, 1900.

Bohol History (Wikipedia)

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