Loboc, Bohol

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Loboc
Municipality
Loboc Bohol 2.jpg
Nickname(s): Music Capital of Bohol
Map of Bohol with Loboc highlighted
Map of Bohol with Loboc highlighted
Loboc is located in Philippines
Loboc
Loboc
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 9°38′N 124°02′E / 9.633°N 124.033°E / 9.633; 124.033Coordinates: 9°38′N 124°02′E / 9.633°N 124.033°E / 9.633; 124.033
Country Philippines
Region Central Visayas (Region VII)
Province Bohol
District 3rd district of Bohol
Established 1602
Barangay 28 (see § Barangays)
Government[1]
 • Mayor Helen C. Alaba
Area[1]
 • Total 85.41 km2 (32.98 sq mi)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 16,312
 • Density 190/km2 (490/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 6316
Dialing code +63 0(38)
Income class 4th class[1]
Website www.lobocbohol.gov.ph

Loboc is a fourth class municipality in the province of Bohol, Philippines. It is 24 kilometres (15 mi) east of Tagbilaran, the provincial capital of Bohol. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 16,312 people.[2]

Loboc is known for its floating restaurants along the scenic and winding Loboc River. Tourists also come to see the tarsier, a small nocturnal animal with large eyes. It is one of the world's smallest primates.

Portions of the Loboc Church complex (specifically parts of what is now the convent or priests' residence) are amongst the oldest standing ecclesiastical structures in Bohol Province. The Loboc Children's Choir has won numerous competitions both local and international, most notably a festival competition in Barcelona, Spain, entitled "Europe and its Songs", on September 17 – 21, 2003.

Barangays[edit]

Loboc is politically subdivided into 28 barangays.

  • Agape
  • Alegria
  • Bagumbayan
  • Bahi-an
  • Bonbon Lower
  • Bonbon Upper
  • Buenavista
  • Bugho
  • Cabadiangan
  • Calunasan Norte
  • Calunasan Sur
  • Camayaan
  • Cambance
  • Candabong
  • Candasag
  • Canlasid
  • Gon-ob
  • Gotozon
  • Jimilian
  • Oy
  • Poblacion Sawang
  • Poblacion Ondol
  • Quinoguitan
  • Taytay
  • Tigbao
  • Ugpong
  • Valladolid
  • Villaflor

History[edit]

Since pre-Hispanic times, Loboc has always been an inland market village where produce from the sea was bartered for the agricultural goods of the upland regions. It is said to be the domain of Sigala, another chief of Bohol, whose contemporary, Sikatuna, made the famous Blood Compact with Miguel López de Legazpi in 1565.

In 1596, the Jesuit Fr Juan de Torres came to Loboc from Baclayon to found the second oldest Christian settlement on the island. After the traumatic Moro raid on Baclayon on October 26, 1600, the Jesuit missionaries decided to move the center of their missionary activities to the inland village of Loboc. By 1602, Loboc became a parish, making it the oldest on the island. To the Jesuits, Loboc was the "Residencia Boholana", where their local superior resided. It remained so until the middle of the 18th century when the exigencies of the times forced to them to move once more to Baclayon.

Around 1604, the Jesuits established a "Seminario-Colegio" or boarding school for native boys. This school laid the foundation of the musical culture of the town. At present, the name Loboc is synonymous with musical acumen.

The Loboc Church is one of the most beautiful in the entire province. The first stone church was built in 1602. It was destroyed by fire in 1638 and its replacement built beside the site of the older one. This is the church presently standing, a fine example of the Jesuit colonial architecture of the 18th century.

After the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1768, the Augustinian Recollects took over and renovated the unfinished structure. They were responsible for the free-standing bell tower, the arcade façade, the mortuary chapel, the heavy stone buttresses and the unique three-storey convent built into the fabric of the Jesuit-built 17th century church.

Two saintly figures lived and were buried in Loboc church: Fr Alonso Humanes SJ whose grave became the object of pilgrimages after his death in 1633, and the remarkable native boy, Miguel Ayatumo, a student of the Seminario Colegio, who died in the odor of sanctity at the age of sixteen in 1609. Contemporary Jesuit records speak glowingly of this "Aloysius Gonzaga" of Bohol.

Loboc Church contains a lot of interesting treasures. Among these are the decorative stone carvings and friezes on the exterior walls; a relief of St. Ignatius in polychrome stucco hidden behind the main altar, seven ancient retablos from both the Jesuit and Recollect periods; ceiling murals executed in the 1920s by Cebuano artists Ray Francia and Canuto Avila, one depicting the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the town’s secondary patron, during the great flood of 1876; carved wooden cornices and decorative corbels shaped as gargoyles or mythical animals; and the unique three-story convent, perhaps the only one of its kind in the country.

Much of the early history of Bohol was made around the town and church of Loboc. It would not be an understatement to say that to know Loboc is to understand the entire drama of Bohol history. At present, Loboc church is deteriorating, ignored by tourists and visitors and continually threatened by the annual flood that has already robbed it of its ancient records and other priceless relics.

In 1942 Japanese troops occupied Loboc. In 1945, Loboc was liberated by the Philippine Commonwealth Army troops of the 81st & 83rd Infantry Division together with the Boholano guerrillas at the end in World War II.

The church was severely damaged by the 2013 Bohol earthquake.

Demographics[edit]

Population census of Loboc
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 13,716 —    
1995 13,335 −0.53%
2000 15,734 +3.61%
2007 16,299 +0.49%
2010 16,312 +0.03%
Source: National Statistics Office[2][3]

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