Coat of Bahol Philippines

Panglao Island

Dive Reference

Panglao Island is a small coralline and limestone island, located off the southwestern tip of Bohol. It is connected to Bohol by two bridges. It has an area of square kilometers, divided between two municpalities, Panglao in the southwest, and Dauis in the northeast.

Most divers, will probably select the white-sand Alona beach as their base and starting point for diving tours.


Difficulty: easy
Where Just off Alona Beach.
How to get there 6 minutes by banca from Alona Beach.
Average depth 10m
Maximum depth 20m

Kalipayan is the house reef of Alona beach, also known as the "Happy Wall". You can go there by banca, but it is just as easy to swim there from the beach. The conditions are normally calm, without currents, and a visibility of upto 25m. The wall starts at about 3m, and drops down to about 20m, and has soft and colorful coral heads, sea fans, small groupers and juvenile barracudas.

Arco Point

Difficulty: easy
Where At the center of the southeast side of Panglao Island.
How to get there 12 minutes by banca from Alona Beach.
Average depth 10m
Maximum depth 25m

Located near the exclusive Bohol Beach Club, Arco Point is also known as the "Hole in the Wall" because there is a vertical funnel which you can enter at 9m and exit at 18m. Along the short wall, you can come across small groupers, trigger fish, wrasse, butterfly fish, sea snakes and moray eels. The conditions are normally calm, with little or no current, and a visibility of upto 30m.

Pungtud Wall

Difficulty: normal
Where The south west side of Pungtud Island, 3 km south west of Panglao Island
How to get there 35 minutes by banca from Alona Beach.
Average depth 10m
Maximum depth 20m

Pungtud wall is a beautiful coral garden, which starts at 2 meters, and slopes down to about 20 meters. You'll need a banca to bring you here, but it is great for snorkelling as well as for diving. Although currents can be strong, you will normally only go there when conditions are calm. There are good soft, leathery and stony corals with lots of small fish, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and sea stars, angelfish, pufferfish, butterflyfish, wrasse, and anemones with anemone fish.

Duljo Point

Difficulty: normal
Where The southwest point of Panglao Island.
How to get there 35 to 50 minutes by banca from Alona Beach. The trip will go along the southwest end of Panglao Island. At low tide, the banca will have to pass outside the reef, which will add 15 minutes to the trip.
Average depth 20m
Maximum depth 35m

Duljo Point is the southwestern point of Panglao Island. Although normally calm, this site can be rough with strong currents. Normally, divers will make drift dive here along the edge of a sandy slope at about 10 meters to a drop off down to 40 meters. The wall is covered with sponges, colorful corals, soft corals, and large sea fans. Because of the strong current, large pelagic fishes such as surgeon fish, jacks, bat fish, and trigger fish can be seen, while you also might come across squid and the occasional reef shark.


Difficulty: normal
Where At the center of the northwestern side of Panglao Island.
How to get there 45 minutes to 1 hour by banca from Alona Beach. The trip will go along the southwest end of Panglao Island, rounding Duljo Point before going northeast to Napaling. At low tide, the banca will have to pass outside the reef, which will add 15 minutes to the trip.
Average depth 15m
Maximum depth 30m

Napaling can boast a wonderful coral garden, that is ideal for underwater photographers and snorkellers. A dive here normally starts at about 5 to 7 meters, and then drops to about 20 to 30 meters, drifting along the wall. The overhangs are spectacular and you will come across some small caves with soldierfish and squirrelfish. Occasionally whitetip reef sharks are spotted here, and there are a number of moray eels and scorpionfish. The wall has some very large table corals and plenty of anemones those funny anemone fishes. The conditions are normally calm with some current, although they can be strong during spring tides; the visibility is up to 30 meters.

Cervera Shoal

Difficulty: normal
Where Some 9 kilometers southeast of Alona Beach, roughly between Panglao and Pamilacan.
How to get there 50 minutes by banca from Alona Beach.
Average depth 15m
Maximum depth over 60m

Cervera Shoal, is also known as "Snake Island" or "Spagetti Shoal". The shoal gets its name from the large number of balck-and-white-banded sea snakes that can be seen here. Don't expect to see corals here, but it does makes a nice dive, with a good change to see a sea snakes and large pelagic fish.
Balicasag Island

Some six kilometres to the southwest of Duljo Point, Panglao, lies Balicasag Island. With its area of about 25 hectares, you can walk all the way around it in about 45 minutes. The island itself is pretty much as you would imagine a deserted tropical island: a flat, circular island covered with palm trees and flowering bouganvillea, and surrounded by a white beach, however, you can get there by banca in about 45 minutes from Panglao. It isn't deserted also. The local community consists of about 100 families. Most are fishermen, but many nowadays also earn a living by collecting shells to sell to tourists. On the middle of the island, you'll find a small lighthouse tower. There is a single resort on the island, aptly named Balicasag Island Dive Resort. It covers about 1.5 hectares on the south side and has 20 traditional-style bungalows lining the beach.

Around Balicasag Island, you'll find some of the best diving locations in the Philippines. Just in front of the resort, on the south side of the island is also some 400 meters of successfully protected marine sanctuary.

Southwest Wall or Rico's Wall

Difficulty: normal
Where Southwest of Balicasag Island, about 6 kilometers southwest of Alona Beach.
How to get there 45 minutes by banca from Alona Beach.
Average depth 15m
Maximum depth 50m

Rico's Wall has a wonderful coral garden on a shelf from 7 meters to 11 meters. At the edge of the coral garden is a wall that drops down to about 35 meters. In the coral garden you can find a bounty of nudibranches, sea stars, crinoids, hydroids, all types of smaller reef fish, anemones with clownfish, and of course a rich variety of soft, leathery and stony corals. On the reef edge, you can come across shoals of fusiliers, jacks, snappers, bannerfish, pennantfish, moorish idols, anthias, and chromis.

Diving down the wall, which includes a number of small caves and overhangs, you can see lionfish and moray eels, among other. Huge gorgonian sea fons, barrel sponges, basket sponges crinoids, and elephant ear sponges decorate the wall in abundance, while, if you are lucky, a grey or whitetip reef shark, barracuda can suddenly appear out of the blue.

When you reach the eastern end of Rico's wall, you can continue your dive on Rudy's rock.

Southeast Wall or Rudy's Rock

Difficulty: normal
Where Southwest of Balicasag Island, about 6 kilometers southwest of Alona Beach.
How to get there 45 minutes by banca from Alona Beach.
Average depth 15m
Maximum depth 50m

Rudy's rock is much the same as Rico's Wall. Both sites are actually connected. Here you also have a chance of coming across large green turtles, who frequent this location, and also run into a huge shoal of big eye trevally. They will circle around you for some time.

Northeast Slope or Black Forest

Difficulty: advanced; novices should stay close to their divemaster.
Where Northeast of Balicasag Island, about 6 kilometers southwest of Alona Beach.
How to get there 45 minutes by banca from Alona Beach.
Average depth 20m
Maximum depth 40m

The black forest is a steep sandy slope that reaches to a depth of over 40 meters. Starting in deeper waters, you'll find forests of black corals, and can find large groupers, Napoleon Wrasse, barracuda, tuna, snappers, and batfish. Going up, the black corals will end at about 30 meters, and in the shallower waters you will see a large variety of fish, and plenty of sea stars, sea cucumbers, and colourful crinoids.

The site is normally calm, but with a strong current, which makes this a fast drift dive. When the current is fierce, it can get rough.
Recompression Chamber

The nearest recompression chamber (24 hour emergency service) is:

VIZCOM Station Hotel, Lapulapu, Lahug, Cebu City
Tel. No: (6332) 232-2464 to 68 loc.3652 / 233-9942
Contact Persons: Macario Mercado; Mamerto Ortega.
Further Reading

A very valuable book, that should be in the baggage of every diver visiting the Philippines is Jack Jackson's The Dive Sites of the Philippines, published by Passport Books, Lincolnwood, Il., USA, 1997. This extensive guide gives detailed information of a lot of dive sites in the country.

Web References:


Bohol is an island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region, consisting of Bohol Island and 75 minor surrounding islands. Its capital is Tagbilaran City. With a land area of 4,117.3 square kilometers (1,589.7 sq mi) and a coastline 261 kilometers (162 mi) long, Bohol is the tenth largest island of the Philippines. To the west of Bohol is Cebu, to the northeast is the island of Leyte and to the south, across the Bohol Sea is Mindanao.

The province is a popular tourist destination with its beaches and resorts. The Chocolate Hills, numerous mounds of limestone formation, is the most popular attraction. The island of Panglao, located just southwest of Tagbilaran City, is famous for its diving locations and routinely listed as one of the top ten diving locations in the world. Numerous tourist resorts dot the southern beaches and cater to divers from around the world. The Philippine Tarsier, considered the second-smallest primate in the world, is indigenous to the island.

Boholanos refer to their island homeland as the "Republic of Bohol" with both conviction and pride. A narrow strait separates the island of Cebu and Bohol and both share a common language, but the Boholanos retain a conscious distinction from the Cebuanos. Bohol's climate is generally dry, with maximum rainfall between the months of June and October. The interior is cooler than the coast.

It is the home province of Carlos P. Garcia, the fourth president of the Republic of the Philippines (1957-1961) who was born in Talibon, Bohol.


According to the 2000 census:

* There are a total of 1,137,268 Boholanos or Bol-anon, as the residents of Bohol call themselves.
* Bohol has 209,588 households with an average household size of 5.41 persons, significantly higher than the national average of 4.99.
* The annual growth rate is 2.92%, higher than the national growth rate of 2.36%. With this growth rate, Bohol's population will double in 24 years.
* Life expectancy at birth is estimated at 68.19 for the males and 72.93 for the females for the period 2000–2005. This is lower than that of Cebu but higher than that of Negros Oriental and Siquijor.

Native languages

The main language spoken in Bohol is Boholano which is a dialect of Cebuano. Tagalog, Chinese, and English are also spoken by many of the residents. The minority Eskayan language is also taught in community schools in Biabas (Guindulman), Taytay (Duero) and Lundag (Pilar) but has no mother-tongue speakers.

Boholanos are predominantly Roman Catholic. Adherents of other Christian denominations like the Protestants and Iglesia ni Cristo account for a significant part of the remainder.


Bohol is an island province in the Visayas. It lies southeast from Cebu across Bohol Strait and southwest from Leyte, separated by the Camotes Sea and Canigao Channel. Bohol is also located north of Mindanao with Bohol Sea between them. The main island is surrounded by about 73 smaller islands, the largest of which are Panglao Island facing Tagbilaran City in the southwest and Lapinig Island in the northeast.

Near Carmen can be found the major tourist draw of the province, the Chocolate Hills. The more than 1,200 uniformly cone-shaped limestone hills were named that way because in the summer, the grass growing on the hills turn brown, making the landscape look like it had chocolate mounds all over. The Chocolate Hills are found on the provincial seal of Bohol.


Mainland Bohol is oval-shaped, having a gentle rolling terrain, ideal for commercial and industrial site development. Bohol's mountainous interior is home to rare and endangered flora and fauna. At certain points, hills drop steeply to the coast from a maximum elevation of 870 meters (2,850 ft) above sea level. The interior uplands are fit for agro-forestry and high value agricultural production. The central and northern lowlands have also fertile grounds and abundant water supply. Over a hundred caves have been identified, the biggest of which is found in the eastern part which makes Bohol ideal for spelunking adventures.

Hills dominate the island of Bohol. Two ranges run roughly parallel on the northwest and the southeast. An interior plateau is dominated by limestone hills. In Carmen, Batuan and Sagbayan, these hills form near perfect cones in great numbers and are collectively referred to as the Chocolate Hills. The Chocolate Hills in Carmen, Bohol are considered one of Philippine's natural wonders and Bohol is often referred to as the Jewel of the Philippines. They are hills made of limestone left over from coral reefs during the ice age when the island was submerged. They turn brown during the summer, hence their name.

White sandy beaches dot the coast of the island. The sand is often of such high quality that it is exported to other beaches in the world. The most well known of these beaches are in Panglao Island, and there, numerous islets have similar, yet untouched and pristine beaches.

There are four main rivers that run through Bohol with Loboc River being the most famous for its river cruises, running from the center of the island to the southeastern coast. The largest, Inabanga River, runs in the northwestern part of the province. The Abatan River in the southwest, and Ipil river in the north.

Numerous waterfalls and caves are scattered across the island, including the beautiful Mag-Aso falls in Antequera. Mag-Aso means smoke in the native tongue. The water is cool and often creates a mist in humid mornings which can hide the falls.

Part of Bohol Province and surrounding Bohol Island are 75 smaller islands:

* Alicia
* Bagatusan
* Bagong Banwa
* Balicasag
* Banacon
* Banbanan
* Bansaan
* Batasan
* Bay Sa Owak
* Bilangbilangan
* Bonbon
* Bosaan
* Buabuahan
* Bugatusan
* Busalian
* Cabilao
* Cabul-an
* Cabantulan
* Cabgan
* Calangaman
* Cancoslino
* Calituban
* Cataban
* Catang
* Cati-il
* Cuaming
* Danajon
* Gak-ang
* Gaus
* Guindacpan
* Hambongan
* Hingutanan
* Inanoran
* Jaguliao
* Jandayan
* Jau
* Juagdan
* Lapinin
* Lapinin Chico
* Limasoc
* Lumislis
* Ma-agpit
* Mahanay
* Makaina
* Makalingao
* Malingin
* Mantatao Daku
* Mantatao Gamay
* Maomauan
* Maubay
* Mocaboc
* Nasingin
* Nocnocan
* Pamasaun
* Pamilacan
* Pandanon
* Pandao
* Pangangan
* Pangapasan
* Panglao
* Pinango
* Potohan
* Pungtud
* Saag
* Sagasa
* Sandingan
* Sentingnenay
* Silo
* Sinandigan
* Tabangdio
* Talabon
* Talimobo
* Tambo
* Tangtaang
* Tintinan
* Tumok


From November to April, the northeast monsoon (amihan) prevails. Except for a rare shower, this is the mildest time of the year. Daytime temperatures average 28°C, cooling down at night to around 25°C. The summer season from May to July brings higher temperatures and very humid days. From August to October is the southwest monsoon (habagat). The weather during this season is not very predictable, with weeks of calm weather alternating with rainy days. It can rain any day of the year, but a higher chance of heavy showers occurs from November to January.


Early history

The people of Bohol are said to be the descendants of the last group of inhabitants who settled in the Philippines called pintados or “tattooed ones.” Boholanos already had a culture of their own as evidenced by the artifacts dug at Mansasa, Tagbilaran, and in Dauis and Panglao.

Bohol is derived from the word Bo-ho or Bo-ol. The island was the seat of the first international treaty of peace and unity between the native king Datu Sikatuna, and Spanish conquistador, Miguel López de Legazpi, on March 16, 1565 through a blood compact alliance known today by many Filipinos as the Sandugo.

The earliest significant contact of the island with Spain occurred in 1565. In that year on March 25 (March 16 in the Julian Calendar), a Spanish explorer named Miguel López de Legazpi arrived in Bohol to look for spices and gold. After convincing the native chieftains that they were not Portuguese (who raided the islands of Mactan in 1521), he made a peace pact with Datu Sikatuna. This pact was signified with a blood compact between the two men.  This event, called the Sandugo ("one blood"), is celebrated in Bohol every year during the Sandugo Festival. The Sandugo or blood compact is also depicted on Bohol's provincial flag and the Bohol provincial seal.

Two significant revolts occurred in Bohol during the Spanish Era. One was the Tamblot Uprising in 1621, which was led by Tamblot, a babaylan or native priest. The other was the famous Dagohoy Rebellion, considered the longest in Philippine history. This rebellion was led by Francisco Dagohoy, also known as Francisco Sendrijas, from 1744 to 1829.

Politically, Bohol was administered as a residencia of Cebu. It became a separate politico-military province on July 22, 1854 together with Siquijor. A census in 1879 found Bohol with a population of 253,103 distributed among 34 municipalities.

Because of the Spanish colonial period, several municipalities in Bohol have names of towns in Spain like Getafe. This municipality is sister city with the Spanish city of the same name. In Getafe, a street is named Isla de Bohol (Island of Bohol), a unique name for a street in Spain.

After the United States defeated Spain in the Spanish-American War, the U.S. bought the entire Philippine islands. However, under the newly proclaimed independent government established by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, which was not recognized by the US, Bohol was governed as a Gobierno de Canton.

During the resulting Philippine-American War, American troops under Major Henry Hale landed in Tagbilaran and took over the island. He hired and outfitted Pedro Samson to build a police force for the island. Instead Samson took his troops and equipment into the interior of Bohol and began an insurgency.

After being massacred in their first battle, Samson turned to guerrilla tactics and influenced the interior of the island while Hale's forces controlled the outer edge and Tagbilaran City. In January, 1901, the fighting had reached a lull. In May, 1901 an American soldier was murdered by the fiancé' of a woman he had assaulted. In retaliation, Capt. Andrew S. Rowan, the soldier's commander, ordered the burning of the town of Jagna. This infuriated the population of Bohol and reignited the insurrection.

At first Rowan was suspended from duty for this decision. But eventually support for burning villages increased in the military command. The burnings continued, usually as a reaction to collaboration. In addition, livestock was raped and prominent civilians tortured. Water cure was a commonly used torture technique. By the end of the fighting, American troops had burned 16-20 villages. Major Edwin F. Glenn, who had personally approved the tortures, was later courts-martialed for the crime.

Samson and his men surrendered on December 23, 1901 after being granted amnesty and taking a loyalty oath. The war largely ended at this time. However, a month later Samson had rearmed and ordered the killing of J. R. Hegg, the provincial supervisor. This inflamed passions and almost restarted the war. But war did not resume and the last American troops left in February, 1902.

On March 10, 1917, the Americans made Bohol a separate province under Act 2711 (which also established most of the other Philippine provinces).
Japanese occupation and liberation

The Japanese Imperial Army landed in Tagbilaran on May 17, 1942. Boholanos struggled unsuccessfully to provide resistance against the Japanese forces. Bohol was later re-conquered by the Boholano Guerrillas and the Filipino and American troops on April 11, 1945.

One thousand one hundred seventy two officers and men of the 3rd Battalion of the 164th Infantry Regiment of the Americal Division under the command of Lt. Col. William H. Considine landed at the Tagbilaran Insular Wharf at 7:00 o'clock in the morning of April 11, 1945.

The convoy taking the Filipino and American liberation forces to Bohol consisted of a flotilla of six landing ships (medium), six landing crafts (infantry), two landing crafts (support), and one landing craft (medium-rocket). Upon arrival, the reinforced battalion combat team advanced rapidly to the east and northeast with the mission of destroying all hostile forces in Bohol. Motor patrols were immediately dispatched by Col. Considine, Task Force Commander, and combed the area to the north and east, approximately halfway across the island, but no enemies were found during the reconnaissance. Finally on April, an enemy group of undetermined strength was located to the north of Ginopolan in Valencia, near the Sierra-Bullones boundary.

By April 17, the Task Force was poised to strike in Ginopolan until the 25th, when it was confirmed that the bulk of the Japanese force had been destroyed and beaten in the ten days of action. Bohol was officially declared liberated on May 25, 1945 by Major General William H. Arnold, Commander of the Americal Division. About this time, most officers and men of the Bohol Area Command had been processed by units of the United States Eighth Army. On May 31, 1945, the Bohol Area Command was officially deactivated upon orders of Lt. General Robert Eichelberger, Commanding General of the Eighth United States Army together with the Philippine Scouts, the former Philippine Commonwealth Army Forces and the Boholano guerrillas.
Photos of Bohol



Development programs at the Tagbilaran Airport involve the extension of the runway length to 2,500 meters, to handle the A320's that will serve the direct route to Manila. The small Fokker 50 planes that used to fly the Manila-Tagbilaran route have been phased out and are now replaced by Philippine Airlines' as well as Cebu Pacific's Airbus A319s . Improvement of the ramp area will soon accommodate bigger aircraft and a modern airport building will also be constructed.

Though a number of national flag carriers are already servicing the Tagbilaran City Airport, a proposed international airport (see Panglao Island International Airport) has been planned on the nearby Panglao Island to accommodate bigger aircraft and handle larger volumes of passengers and tourists to the province. The said International Airport in Panglao is built-up with controversy. Accordingly, lands located in the right-of-way (ROW) owned by the private sectors that were bought cheap are being sold expensively and are giving the project a slight glitch. Thus, creating further issues and delays.

The Tagbilaran City Wharf, now called the Tagbilaran City Tourist Pier, has port facilities such as:
* 265.8 meters — berth length and 2 dedicated berths for fast boats
* 2 roro ramps, 1,820 m² storage area
* average cargo handling capacity of 49,000 tons accommodating 10 to 20 footer vans
* container traffic of 5,142 TEUs

There are 9 daily ship calls to Cebu, 5 being fastcraft ferry trips. Daily passenger traffic is approximately 4,000. Other regular destinations are Manila (four times a week), Cagayan de Oro City, Dumaguete, Dipolog, Iligan, Larena, Plaridel and Ozamiz City. There are other smaller ports that cater to Cebu and northern Mindanao routes. The Port of Tubigon, the busiest among the smaller ports offers more than ten daily round trips plying the Cebu-Bohol route. The Catagbacan Port in Loon serves the roll-on roll-off services between Cebu and Bohol for those who have vehicles plying this route. The Port of Jagna offers services that ply between Bohol to Cagayan and Camiguin (with roll-on, roll-off) route. The other ports are Ubay, Talibon, Getafe, Buenavista, and Clarin.

Bohol is wired with telephone facilities that provide domestic and international linkages, supplied by three service providers: PLDT, Cruztelco and Globelines. Mobile phone firms, Globe, Smart, and Sun Cellular have also established entry in the province.

Access to telecommunications can also be made easily in the towns through the 138 public calling stations. Forty-three (43) payphone stations are conveniently located in strategic places and major commercial centers in the capital city.

A project with Globelines involved the installation of a province-wide landline connection increasing the number of lines from 2,000 to 13,000.
Road system

The road network is well-developed facilitating access to all barangays. The P1.2 billion Bohol Circumferential Road Project, covering a total of 262 kilometers (163 mi) along the national highway, will improve the road network. Phase I of the project, which will link about half of the province from Calape to Candijay, is ongoing.

The province is fully energized with the National Power Corporation being the sole supplier. Actual generation capability of 93.5 megawatts is supported by the following facilities:

* Diesel Power: 18 MW
* Loboc Hydroelectric: 1.2
* Janopol Hydroelectric: 1.8
* Power Barge 105: 10.5
* Power Barge 207: 30
* Power Barge 101: 32

A mini power plant of the Bohol Electric Cooperative serves the five barangays of Cabilao Island in Loon town. The 21 billion Leyte-Bohol interconnection now brings geothermal power of higher capacity base 80-100 megawatts.


Water supply is made available in Tagbilaran City and in the nearby municipalities on a 24 hour-basis with completion of the Tagbilaran Water Supply Project. Thirty-two (32) deep wells with submersible pumps operate at a daily capacity of 19,000 cubic meters.

Several water projects are in the pipeline to respond to water requirements for both domestic and industrial use. The Central Visayas Water and Sanitation Project and the construction of Level III water systems have made water available in 16 other municipalities. Likewise, the development of Ujan Spring in Cortes with a daily capacity of 3,500 cubic meters and Loboc River which will generate at least 100,000 cubic meters daily capacity are currently being pushed.
Socio-economic profile

Tourism plays an increasing role in the island's economy. An international airport is currently planned for Panglao which houses the most-visited and accessible beaches in the province. Proponents of the scheme hope that the new airport will increase Bohol's reputation as an international tourist destination although the plan has been dogged by ongoing criticism.

Labor force

The results of the Labor Force Survey conducted in 1999 by NSO in Bohol show that the province's potential labor force increased to 691 thousand of which 66.4% are in the labor force. Employment rate, at the end of 1999, increased to 90.5% from 85.35% in 1998. However, an increase in underemployment was noted by 6.7 percentage points, from 5% in 1998 to 11.7% in 1999.

Employment was predominantly agriculture-led. Bohol's inflation rate in 1999 increased to 11.3%, 2.5 percentage points higher than the rate in 1998. The purchasing power of the peso at 1988 prices was pegged at P0.71 in 1999, among the lowest in the region. A slight difference in the minimum daily wage rates between Tagbilaran City and Bohol's municipalities was also noted at P121.00 for the city and P108.00 in the municipalities.

Based on the 1997 survey, Bohol's average annual family income , pegged at P56,940.00, was among the lowest in the region. The average annual expenditure in 1997 for a Boholano family amounted to P50,754.00, the highest in the region. Fifty (50) percent of Bohol's families have their main source of income from entrepreneurial activities while 27% from wages and salaries. In 1994, Bohol's poverty incidence rate of 42.3% was the highest in Region 7, higher than the national average rate of 37.5%. However, this has been decreasing over the years from a high 60.5% in 1985 and 54.7% in 1991. Monthly poverty threshold in Bohol in 1994 was at P5,978.00, higher by 24% from that in 1991. The incidence of poor families was placed at 44%, a decrease by 16% from 1991.

As to the flow of commodities in and out of the province from Bohol's ports, limestone top the list of exported commodities of the province in 1998 toppling G.I. sheets which became the number 2 exported product of Bohol. Other outgoing top commodities include rice, banana, cattle, mangoes, native products, hog, carabao, nipa shingles copra, raffia, salted fish, salt and cooked fish with a total volume of 426 thousand metric tons. Plywood tops the list of incoming commodities followed by manufactured goods, appliances, hardware/construction materials and feeds, among others with a total recorded volume of 264 thousand metric tons for the top 15 commodities.

From this same report, it is noted that, among the incoming goods in Bohol, the province had been importing rice over the years. In 1999, Bohol was estimated to have imported 290,008 bags of rice per report gathered from NFA. Noteworthy, also, is the significant increase of foreign ship calls in Bohol which the PPA is attributing to shipments of limestone by foreign vessels. As of 1999, a total of 34 foreign ship calls were recorded by PPA at the PSC Private Port. Also, there was an increase in the number of domestic ship calls as well as in passenger and outbound/export cargo in the province as reported by the agency. In 1999, a total of 6,997 ship calls were recorded for the 7 major seaports in Bohol. For the Tagbilaran Port, the average monthly number of ship calls for 1999 was 300 for fastcrafts and 778 for conventional vessels. A cargo increase was also recorded with more inbound cargo than outbound cargo.

As of September 1999, the Board of Investments (BOI) Portfolio of Investments registered one new project in Bohol costing P7.501 million in the area of alcohol production. The combined paid-up capital of corporations and partnerships registered with the SEC for Bohol rose to P500 million from P200 million in 1998 levels.

The number of DTI-registered single proprietorships increased in 1999 relative to 1998 levels, but value of corresponding planned investments dropped. Average value of intended investment per single proprietor was P132.0 million, down from P253.117 million in 1998. Although predominantly an agricultural province, micro and cottage industries also play a vital role in Bohol's economy.

In the light of Bohol being identified as a tourist hub, inflows in the area of tourism and manufacturing can serve as possible venues for Bohol's future investments. Letter of Instruction No. 75 issued on May 22, 1973 serves as a major guideline in indicating areas for tourism related investments and infrastructure development while Proclamation No. 1801 proclaims certain areas in Bohol as tourist zones which includes the Islands of Panglao, Cabilao and Balicasag.

Aside from its pristine white-sand beaches and the Chocolate Hills, Bohol's tourism assets also include centuries-old churches and towers, scuba diving haven, majestic falls and caves and historical landmarks as well as primitive and exotic fauna and flora. Different tourist destination sites have been developed by the Government to boost this industry.


The literacy rate of the province of Bohol is high at 93%.
Colleges, Seminaries and Universities
* University of Bohol
* Central Visayas State College of Agriculture, Forestry and Technology: Main Campus at Bilar, Bohol and other campuses at Tagbilaran City, Calape, Clarin, Candijay, Balilihan, and Buenavista.
* Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary at Taloto District, Tagbilaran City
* Mater Dei College at Cabulihan, Tubigon
* Holy Name University
* Bohol Institute of Technology International College
* Ama Computer Learning Center college Of Tagbilaran
* STI-Colleges - Tagbilaran City Campus
* Bohol Northeastern Colleges - Ubay, Bohol


Provincial Capitol Complex of Bohol in Tagbilaran

The province of Bohol is a first-class A province subdivided into 3 congressional districts, 47 municipalities and 1 city. It has 1,109 barangays (1,114 barangays per NEDA) with a total population of 1,137,268 (2000) and an average household size of 5.41.
Congressional districts
1st district

* City: Tagbilaran City
* Municipality: Alburquerque, Antequera, Baclayon, Balilihan, Calape, Catigbian, Corella, Cortes, Dauis, Loon, Maribojoc, Panglao, Sikatuna, Tubigon
* Population (2000): 356,878

2nd district

* City: none
* Municipality: Bien Unido, Buenavista, Clarin, Dagohoy, Danao, Inabanga, Jetafe, Pres. Carlos P. Garcia, Sagbayan, San Isidro, San Miguel, Talibon, Trinidad, Ubay
* Population (2000): 376,507

3rd district

* City: none
* Municipality: Alicia, Anda, Batuan, Bilar, Candijay, Carmen, Dimiao, Duero, Garcia Hernandez, Guindulman, Jagna, Lila, Loay, Loboc, Mabini, Pilar, Sevilla, Sierra Bullones, Valencia

* Population (2000): 403,883


* Sandugo Festival (July 1-31)
* Tagbilaran City Fiesta (May 1)
* Bolibong Kingking Festival (May 23-24) - Loboc, Bohol
* Pana-ad sa Loboc (Holy Thursday & Good Friday) - Loboc, Bohol
* SidlaKasilak or Festival of Lights -Loon (Fiesta Week: August 30 to September 8)
* Sambat Mascara y Regatta Festival (1st Saturday of December) - Loay, Bohol
* Suroy sa Musikero (December 25 - February 2) - Loboc, Bohol
* Bohol Fiestas (month of May)
* Ubi Festival (January)
* Tigum Bol-anon Tibuok Kalibutan or TBTK - "A gathering of Boholanos from different parts of the world and the name for such a grand event"
* Hudyaka sa Panglao (August 27-28) Panglao, Bohol

Web References:

Central Visayas

Central Visayas, designated as Region VII, is a region of the Philippines located in the central part of the Visayas island group. It consists of four provinces—Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor— and the highly urbanized cities of Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue City. The region is dominated by the native speakers of Cebuano. Cebu City is its regional center.

The land area of the region is 15,875 km². As of the 2007 census, it has a population of 6,398,628, making it the 5th most populous of the country's 17 regions.

Provinces and independent cities
The Central Visayas region is composed of 4 provinces and 3 independent cities:
Political map of Central Visayas
Province/City Capital Population
(2000) Area
(km²) Pop. density
(per km²)
Bohol Tagbilaran City 1,137,268 4,117.3 276.2
Cebu Cebu City 2,160,569 4,800.11 450.1
Negros Oriental Dumaguete City 1,126,061 5,402.3 208.4
Siquijor Siquijor 81,598 343.5 237.5

Cebu City¹ — 718,821 280.2 2,565.4
Lapu-Lapu City¹ — 217,019 64.22 3,379.3
Mandaue City¹ — 259,728 34.87 7,448

Although Cebu City, Mandaue City and Lapu-Lapu City are often grouped under the province of Cebu for statistical purposes by the National Statistics Office, as highly urbanized cities they are administratively independent from the province.
Component cities

* Bais City, Negros Oriental
* Bayawan City, Negros Oriental
* Canlaon City, Negros Oriental
* Danao City, Cebu
* Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental
* Tagbilaran City, Bohol
* Talisay City, Cebu
* Tanjay City, Negros Oriental
* Toledo City, Cebu


As of the 2007 census, Central Visayas had a population of 6,398,628, making it the 5th most populous of the country's 17 regions. The population density was 403.1 people per square kilometer (6,129.4/mi²). The census showed an average annual population growth rate of 1.59% from 2000 to 2007, significantly less than the national average of 2.04%.

Cebuano is the dominant language of the region. In Bohol, Cebuano is referred to as Boholano. In the Camotes Islands, which is part of Cebu, Cebuano language is spoken in the towns of Tudela, Pilar and San Francisco. Except the town of Poro, in which, Porohanon is spoken (a variation or mixture of Cebuano, Hiligaynon (Ilonggo) and Masbateño language).

By sea

Fastcraft terminal for ferrying passengers from Cebu to Negros.

The Port of Cebu is the region's main gateway. There are also ports in Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental, Tagbilaran in Bohol and Larena in Siquijor. Inter-island shipping is served by numerous shipping lines, two of them fastcraft companies which serve all the provinces in the region.

By air

Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport, located in Lapu-Lapu City, is the country's second busiest airport (after Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila) and the only airport in the Visayas serving international flights. It is an airline hub of Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, PAL Express, and Air Philippines, with flights to key cities throughout the country. It also serves international flights to other Asian destinations.

Other airports in the region are Sibulan Airport, serving Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental with flights to Manila and Cebu, and Tagbilaran Airport, serving Tagbilaran City and Bohol with flights to Manila.

Web References:

This webpage was updated 1st May 2020