Alburquerque, Bohol

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Roman Catholic church and convent, Alburquerque, Bohol, Philippines - 20040822.jpg
Map of Bohol showing the location of Alburquerque
Map of Bohol showing the location of Alburquerque
Alburquerque is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 09°36′N 123°57′E / 9.600°N 123.950°E / 9.600; 123.950Coordinates: 09°36′N 123°57′E / 9.600°N 123.950°E / 9.600; 123.950
Country Philippines
Region Central Visayas (Region VII)
Province Bohol
District 1st district of Bohol
Founded June 9, 1868
Barangays 11
 • Mayor Efren D. Tungol
 • Total 28.65 km2 (11.06 sq mi)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 9,921
 • Density 350/km2 (900/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 6302
Dialing code 38
Income class 5th class

Alburquerque is a fifth class municipality in the province of Bohol, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 9,921 people.[2]

The town's short name is "Albur". Alburquerque is reputed to have one of the longest (23 feet or 7 meters as of 2005) and heaviest (300 kg or 660 lbs) python in captivity.


The town was formerly called "Sagunto", but according to the research of Engr. Jess Tirol of Bohol, it was called "Segunto". Local folklore holds that Alburquerque was named in honour of Afonso de Albuquerque, the famous Portuguese seafarer and conqueror of Malaca, Sumatra. The name Alburquerque, which comes from either albus querqus ("white evergreen" in Latin) or Abu-al-Qurq ("country of cork oaks" in Arabic), is very widespread in all of the Americas and the Philippines.

Alburquerque is also a name of a town in the province of Badajoz, region of Extremadura, Spain. There is also a place called Albuquerque in Mexico, not to be confused with Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Since then, Segunto was changed to Alburquerque and its inhabitants are called Alburanons (Alburquerqueños in Spanish).[3]


During the Spanish era, the way to travel around Bohol was by sea. Many coastal areas with a sheltered cove or harbor became progressive settlements. Among them was a place called "Lo-oc", Baclayon, Bohol. As the name implies, it was a sheltered cove good for berthing seacrafts. It was also the breeding place of the "Bulinaw" or anchovie. Since Lo-oc was relatively far from the Poblacion, the people had difficulty in attending Holy Mass during Sundays. To solve the problem, the people thought of the idea of constructing their own chapel and let a priest from Baclayon come to serve the people. Lady Mariona Irag, a prominent lady in the community took the mantle of leadership. In 1842, she requested the parish priest of Baclayon, Fr. Pedro de la Encarnacion, to supervise the construction of the chapel to be built by the people.

The first kapitan of the place was Pedro Jala who lived in the sitio of Carnago and the leader of Segunto. Carnago, a barrio separated from the town. Its name was changed to Sikatuna, in honor of the chieftain Datu Sikatuna, who made a blood compact with Spanish Conquistador, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi.

On June 9, 1868, Gov. General Jose de la Gandara, issued the decree establishing the new town of Alburquerque in its civil jurisdiction. On November 14, 1868, the Fr. Provincial of the Recollects approved the creation of the town as to its religious jurisdiction. On June 18, 1869, the Bishop of Cebu in which Bohol was a part of the Diocese, made Alburquerque a separate Diocesan parish. It was advocated to Sta. Monica.

On June 26, 1869 Fr. Tomas Hernandez assumed his post as the first Curé of Alburquerque.


Municipal Hall, Alburquerque

Alburquerque is located in the eastern part of Bohol, 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) from Tagbilaran City. The town has a total land area of 2,865 hectares (7,080 acres). with relatively mild rolling to rolling and hilly. The total land used as built-up area is 216.52 ha, agricultural purposes is 2,511 ha, timberland is 15 ha, mining/quarrying is 44.30 ha, roads is 72.79 ha, and landfill site is 5 ha. The town's soil cover includes 438.92 ha of Bolinao Clay, 1,330.22 ha of Lugo Clay, 1,050.02 ha of Faraon Clay, and 45.84 ha of Hydrosol.


The central part of municipality, from the east extending toward northwest is characterized by rolling to moderately steep terrain (18-30% slope), with ground elevation ranging from 80 to 131 m amsl. The area in northeastern and southwestern part is characterized by steep terrain (30–50% slope), with ground elevation up to 153 m amsl. The southeastern part is characterized with undulating to rolling terrain (8–18% slope) with ground elevation up to 60 m amsl. The area along the coast is characterized by level to nearly level terrain (0-3% slope), with ground elevation ranging from zero near the coast to 10 m amsl inland.

Alburquerque municipality is covered by Hydrosol and three (3) sorts of clay namely, Faraon, Bolinao and Lugo clay. The northern portion of municipality is covered mostly by Lugo clay, the southern half portion is mostly covered by Faraon and Bolinao clay, while Hydrosol has a very limited extent along the coast. The municipal area is covered by grassland, coconut, shrubs and built-up area. The northern portion is mostly covered with grass, with exception of small area in the northeast, which is covered with shrubs. The southern portion along the coast is covered with coconut, with a small built-up area in the west.

The whole Bohol is in the Corona's climate type IV, characterized by evenly distributed rainfall over the year. The average annual rainfall is estimated to 1,627 millimetres (64.1 in) per year. The average annual rainfall is the sum of the average annual rainfall from respective river basin, multiplied with percentage of respective municipal area within respective river basin.

Rivers and river basins[edit]

Several small rivers and creeks, which have their headwaters in the elevated terrain in the northern part, traverse the Alburquerque municipality. These rivers and creeks flow in generally north to south direction and drain the major part of municipality into Bohol Sea. The only major river basin is the Tagbuane River Basin situated on the eastern part of Alburquerque (19.94 km² or 94.64% of municipal area). The municipality of Albuquerque has a poorly developed drainage system, due to presence of permeable limestone, which covers most of municipal area and enables infiltration of large portion of effective rainfall into underground. This is characteristic for karstified limestone terrain. Surface water runoff (estimated to 304 mm/yr. per km²), is estimated to 24,100 m³/d on the average. The surface runoff is sufficient to satisfy the water demand of 65 m³/d for irrigation purposes.


Map of Alburquerque, Bohol

Alburquerque is politically subdivided into 11 barangays, 6 of which are characterized as coastal (Bahi, San Agustin, Western Poblacion, Eastern Poblacion, Sta. Felomina, and Tagbuane) and 5 as upland (Ponong, Toril, Basacdacu, Cantiguib and Dangay).

Name of Barangay Population
Bahi 608 787
Basacdacu 707 759
Cantiguib 541 555
Dangay 786 798
East Poblacion 1,539 1,829
Ponong 874 1,121
San Agustin 449 526
Santa Filomena 758 911
Tagbuane 833 888
Toril 703 706
West Poblacion 917 1,041


Population census of Alburquerque
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 6,881 —    
1995 7,709 +2.15%
2000 8,715 +2.66%
2007 9,644 +1.41%
2010 9,921 +1.04%
Source: National Statistics Office[2][5]

Based on the 2000 census, Albur had a total of 8,715 inhabitants, with a population density of 3.01 inhabitants per hectare of land and an average population growth rate of 2.31%. In 1997, its birth rate was 13.4% and death rate of 6.5% with infant mortality rate of 9.3%. The population has increased to 9,921 in the 2010 census. Alburanons speak in Cebuano/Visayas dialect.

The urban population is located in three barangays namely, East and West Poblacion and Ponong.

The potable water demand, including domestic, industrial, institutional and commercial water demands of urban and rural population, was estimated in 1998 to 926 m³/d, which is projected to increase to 1,529 m³/d by 2030. Majority of this water demand (67.4%) in 2030 is for urban population. The water demand estimated to 65 m³/d, is required to irrigate 0.015 km² of land, located in 1 irrigation system in barangay Ponong.


Roadside sari-sari stores in Alburquerque

Alburquerque has an average annual income of Php 8,116,682.49. The town has a labor force of 37% with an employment rate of 90%. The average family income is Php 4,500.00/month with an average family expenditures of Php 4,000.00/month.

The town's major agricultural project is the "Gintong Ani" project in all barangays. One industry is situated in Eastern Poblacion - the Santisima Trinidad Ice Plant. There are 66 micro type and 2 cottage size of registered business establishments with a total combined Investments of Php 1.5 million. The existing tourists destinations are Sta. Monica Stone Church and Convent, Sta. Fe Beach Resort, Calamay making, Ceramics making, salt making, Loom weaving, basket and broom-making. The potential attractions are Tarsiers Park, Lourdes Spring, Aquarium Fish, Butterfly Sanctuary.

Cottage industries[edit]

Household weaving takes place in Barangay Basacdacu. Buri cloth is made from local young buri leaves for export to Cebu. The weaver gets P14 per place mat (P56 per roll of 4). Midribs of the buri palm leaf are sold for basket making at P12 for 100, and bundles of bure stems (pawa) to Tagbuane barangay for broom making for P23 a bundle.

Several households use strips of older buri leaves to make spear-head-shaped fans 30 inches (760 mm) by 30 inches (760 mm) that they sell for P3.50 to Toril barangay captain for export to Cebu. Smaller fans of 18 by 18 inches (460 mm) sell for P2 or P3.

There are 50 households in the area making brooms from buri stems and bamboo poles, sold individually for P5, larger ones for P12 and the biggest for P18.

Salt-making is one of the source of income of some Alburanons. Production begins when the upland farmers plow their fields for rice production. This is because the "asinderos" salt-makers trade their salt for rice in a barter system, and salt production takes about as long as the growth of the rice it will be exchanged for.

The pottery-making enterprise is located beside the main road in East Poblacion. Clay is dug from a pit near the sea, and mixed with silicate soil before being ground through the large rollers of an electric mill, in a pit beside the pottery works. This is mixed with water and molded into pots of various sizes and shapes on a potters wheel, rotated by the potter pushing round a car wheel below the turntable with his feet.


Santa Fe Beach

The municipality of Alburquerque has natural wonders and micro local industries like the making of calamay, traditional method of manufacturing pottery, and the weaving of raffia using locally made loom. There are ongoing tourism activities like the restoration of Sta. Monica Stone Church and Convent, beautification of Church Plaza, town twinning, development of Sta. Fe Beach, Mang Pandoy's Scheme, retirement homes for Balikbayan.

Municipal Marine Sanctuary[edit]

The Municipal Marine Sanctuary, established on October 8, 2000, at barangay Sta. Felomina where the beach and the Mangrove Protected Area are located, is set up in the area selected to be fit for the purpose due to its coral cover. The sanctuary contributed to rising fish stocks and corals that had been destroyed by illegal fishers. Bamboo rafts have been put in place to observe the marine ecology. It has been considered as a dive site of the municipality for local and foreign tourist visiting the place. Other activities include trekking up to Tagbuane River passing through a Forestal Reserve Zone.

Python sanctum[edit]

'Prony' the Python

Until March 2012, Alburquerque was the home to a female Python sanctum which is (as of 2013) 17 years old in existence with a length of approximately 28 feet (8.5 m) and an estimated weight of about 270 kilograms (600 lb). It is the biggest python in captivity ever known. The python named Prony was Albur's star and has known to the people as "Live Anaconda of Bohol." Prony, a female python is owned by Mr. Sofronio Salibay.

The Animal Kingdom Federation, Inc. (AKFI), an SEC registered, non-profit and non-stock animal welfare organization registered with the Animal Welfare Division of the Bureau of Animal Industry recently vowed to build an animal sanctuary in Albuquerque. The AKFI made this commitment after hearing reports on the then 23-foot (7.0 m) long python locally called baksan, owned by Sofronio Salibay in Barangay Sta. Filomena, has been fed with stray dogs.

The python has caught the attention of many local and foreign tourists, not only for its size but particularly on how it has been fed. It even caught the attention of GMA 7 who sent a crew to document the procedure. Feeding is done during full moon. Alarmed by the reports, AKFI requested Mayor Efren Tungol to stop Salibay from feeding the python with dogs since it is a clear violation of Republic Act No. 8485, otherwise known as the Animal Welfare Act. The Mayor agreed. However, in order to preserve the python, which has become a tourist attraction, AKFI, represented by its Director Charles Wartenberg, sealed a memorandum of support and cooperation with the municipality creating the site as an animal sanctuary. The memorandum, aside from manifesting full implementation of RA 8485, also reiterates the improvement of the cage based on animal welfare standards and introduction of alternative feeding. Creating an animal sanctuary would make Albur the only Animal Welfare Friendly Municipality in the country. AKFI is also associated with the International Wildlife Coalition Trust (IWCT), an internationally recognized organization founded in the United States dedicated to the protection of global wildlife and natural habitat protection.

In March 2012, Prony was finally relocated to a larger sanctuary in Brgy Laya Baclayon, Bohol, after years of misunderstanding between Albur Mayor Efren Tungol and the python's caretaker Eugene Salibay.

Church and convent[edit]

Parish Convent

Creation of the parish[edit]

Some sources say the parish had its beginning as a visita in 1842 when a chapel was built under the direction of the parish priest of Baclayon. The parish advocated to Santa Monica was canonically established on June 18, 1869, following royal approval given on November 1868. During the Spanish colonial era, the Augustinian Recollect friars administered the parish.

Creation of the church[edit]

Up to the 1880s, the parish church was more like a huge shed. Although it boasted of three aisles, its walls were only of tabique. The present church of coral stone was commenced shortly afterwards, utilizing the same three-aisled plan. However, the upper portions, especially the tower over the facade, were completed during the first half of this century. Upon closer examination, it becomes clear that the link between the church and the casa parroquial was planned along a grander scale, but never finished. The grotto at the back of the courtyard between the two structures hides a ruin which may be of another unfinished arcade.

Ray Francia signed the church's interior ceiling painting on one side of the choir loft. Another section, now vanished, showed that the painting was carried out from April 12 to August 3, 1932. As regards the church bells, amongst them in the quadrangular tower are three bells, inscribed with the patron saints of the parish (Santa Monica, San Agustin, and "Calipay" or Joy). Dated 1866, two years before the ecclesiastical recognition of the parish, the bells are mute testimonies to the anxiety of the community in becoming an independent parish.

As to the casa parroquial, the year 1876 is etched over the porta maior. However, in the center of the entrance arches to the steps, the year 1884 could be read until recently.


Ensuring quality education to the people is also one of the top concerns of the local officials. The LGU assisted in determining and developing appropriate actions that would address the educational needs of the Alburanons in terms of budgetary allocations, maintenance of facilities and policies concerning education.

Albur has 1 public secondary school, the San Roque High School. It has also 4 elementary schools for intermediate level and 3 primary schools. It has also a total of 11 day care centers, one center in each barangay and 1 private pre-school. Enrollment data shows that day care has a total of 191 pupils, primary level has 166 pupils, 892 in elementary and 795 students in secondary. The actual number of teachers in the municipality is only 63 and the teacher student ratio in elementary is 1:24 and 1:43 in secondary level.


In infrastructure, Albur's road network is classified into: national, which is 4.323 kilometres (2.686 mi); provincial 7.274 kilometres (4.520 mi); municipal 3.779 kilometres (2.348 mi); and barangay which covers 60.206 kilometres (37.410 mi). It has 1 bridge to barangay Tagbuane which is the 39 L.M. Bridge. The power supply is currently distributed by the Bohol Electric Cooperative I (BOHECO I) which served a total of 1,281 households in the 11 barangays. The main source of potable water supply is groundwater. The total potable water demand of 1,068.42 m³/day. There are two public calling offices; the Philippine Long Distance Telecommunication and ISLACOM and a SMART land line PCO. It also has the Philippine Postal Corporation as a means of communication.

The municipality has one local port situated in barangay Western Poblacion. The said port serve local fishermen as well as other fishing vessels and cargo vessels in transporting equipment & raw materials from other neighboring provinces. It is equipped with proper lighting and gadgets. The municipal LGU as well as the barangay officials ensure the safety, peace and order situation and proper maintenance of the port.

Health and nutrition[edit]

"Health is Wealth" as a saying goes. Thus, the Local Government Unit of Alburquerque is giving the top priority on health and nutrition as their prime basic service to its populace.


One of the biggest project of the present administration is to provide its constituents with sufficient potable water supply. Almost 80% of the barangay in the municipality currently has water connections.

Sports development[edit]

To motivate the youth against drugs and other illegal activities, the LGU conducts several youth development programs to therefore further enhance their physical, mental, social and moral values, through the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) headed by Ephraim Tungol, SK Federated Chairman. Some of the activities includes: Inter-Barangay Basketball League, Inter-barangay League, Youth Fora, Trainings and Seminars, Disco Socials and other related activities.

Sister cities[edit]


External links[edit]