Balilihan, Bohol

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Municipality of Balilihan
Map of Bohol with Balilihan highlighted
Map of Bohol with Balilihan highlighted
Balilihan is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 9°45′N 123°58′E / 9.75°N 123.97°E / 9.75; 123.97Coordinates: 9°45′N 123°58′E / 9.75°N 123.97°E / 9.75; 123.97
Country Philippines
RegionCentral Visayas (Region VII)
District1st District
Founded29 September 1828
Barangays31 (see Barangays)
 • TypeSangguniang Bayan
 • MayorMaria Puresa V. Chatto
 • Vice MayorAdonis Roy I. Olalo
 • CongressmanEdgardo M. Chatto
 • Electorate11,556 voters (2016)
 • Total127.27 km2 (49.14 sq mi)
 (2015 census)[3]
 • Total17,903
 • Density140/km2 (360/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)38
Climate typetropical monsoon climate
Income class4th municipal income class
Revenue (₱)74.4 million  (2016)
Native languagesBoholano dialect

Balilihan, officially the Municipality of Balilihan, (Cebuano: Lungsod sa Balilihan; Tagalog: Bayan ng Balilihan), is a 4th class municipality in the province of Bohol, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 17,903 people.[3]

It is located 22 kilometres (14 mi) northeast of Tagbilaran through Cortes (via CPG North Avenue), or 20 kilometres (12 mi) northeast through Corella (via J.A. Clarin Street). It has the fourth largest land area of the province, with 150 square kilometres (58 sq mi) of land.


Municipal Flag

The place is a panorama of verdant hills, rugged mountains and green fields. It is said to have been so named because of the grass "balili" which grew in abundance.

Before the beginning of the 19th century, Balilihan was a barrio of Baclayon and an old settlement. When the Dagohoy revolt was suppressed by the Spaniards, the authorities established a garrison in Datag (one of its barrios) to discourage and stamp out further uprisings on the part of the natives. When Balilihan was separated from its mother town on 29 September 1828, the Spanish government formally established a settlement or pueblo in the sitio "Bay sa Iring" (named so for the network of caves where cats hide) which was about two kilometres (1.2 mi) from the Spanish garrison.

Spanish Belfry in Poblacion, Balilihan - served as the watch tower during Spanish regime

Later, due to the scarcity of water, the seat of government was transferred to its present site which is amply supplied with water from various springs. The elevated land also made a good viewing point to keep watch over all nearby towns. Thus the construction of a Spanish belfry similar to the watch towers of the shores atop the hill. This tower is made of adobe stones gathered from the rock deposits of Baclayon. It was erected in the year 1835. It was inaugurated in 1846 gobernadorcillo. In 1888, Friar Benito Grayoa, who at that time exercised control over local governments, ordered the transfer of the municipio to Cabad, a barrio four kilometres (2.5 mi) west of the poblacion. The padre's plan met vigorous opposition from the people and through the able leadership of Capitan Bartolome Racho, they filed the protest before the Spanish Military Governor Linares who disapproved the proposal causing Friar Grayoa's ire who then plotted for the consequent punishment of the captain by dragging him with the friar's horse through the streets causing his death in jail. Fearing reprisals from the clergy, some of the people migrated to Surigao, Leyte and Misamis. Not long afterwards, Friar Grayoa was transferred to Siquijor.

The Spanish era flourished with the construction of Spanish church at the foot of the Spanish watchtower where a large patio became the hall for social affairs and the friar's convent a school for the cartilla, with the municipio across. With the guidance of the local appointed leaders under the control of the Spanish friar, the town slowly progressed peacefully until the outbreak of the revolution in 1898.

On 12 November 1900, American soldiers were known to be coming from Antequera. All officials of the town led by Capitan Antonio Racho came out to meet the soldiers with a brass band, but when the Americans arrived, they gathered all the officials in the municipal hall building and placed them under guard, for the Americans had heard that the town officials had been supporting the insurgents. The supplications of spokesman Segundo Racho not to burn the town was of no avail and the sounds of the welcoming brass band turned into volleys of gunshots. The officials were ordered to move towards Sevilla while the civilians ran for safety to the outskirts of the town. The town was razed to the ground. The Americans burned the church, the convent, the municipal building, the school building for boys and girls as well as private houses. The only structure that was spared was the belfry on the top of the hill.

In 1904, there was a move to fuse Balilihan with Antequera in order to meet the requirements of a municipality under the American regime. The people objected to the plan, so the following year the Philippine Commission finally ruled in its Act. No. 350 abolishing the municipality of Catigbi‑an and instead annexing it to Balilihan as one of its barrios.

During World War II, the town residents went into hiding in their mountain hideouts for fear of the Japanese. Balilihan was a haven of refugees from other places who lived a life of privation in the mountains. Many innocent civilians were either tortured or put into death by the enemies on mere suspicions of guerilla activities. Ex-mayor Patricio Ibarra was put up by the people as war time mayor to defend them from their enemies.

The Japanese atrocities gave rise to the organizations of the guerrillas into full combat force under the supreme command of Mayor Ismael Ingeniero. The people helped the guerilla movement by feeding the troops in the front lines as well as those in the headquarters in Behind the Clouds, in Maitum which was the famous concentration camp of the war. Enemy collaborators were tried here and those found guilty of high crimes were liquidated. Those with slight offenses were imprisoned for the duration of the war. Another concentration camp was at Hanopol where prisoners were kept.

In 1948, Balilihan suffered a great loss of territory when the biggest barrio (Catigbi‑an) was given its town charter in spite of the strong representation against the move by town mayor Balbino Chatto and Gerardo Racho who personally went to Malacañang to see President Elpidio Quirino.


Balilihan comprises 31 barangays:

PSGC Barangay Population ±% p.a.
2015[3] 2010[4]
071206001 Baucan Norte 3.7% 666 688 −0.62%
071206002 Baucan Sur 4.5% 799 852 −1.22%
071206003 Boctol 7.4% 1,322 1,094 3.67%
071206004 Boyog Norte 1.3% 227 212 1.31%
071206005 Boyog Proper 1.6% 281 199 6.79%
071206006 Boyog Sur 1.9% 348 329 1.07%
071206007 Cabad 3.8% 677 570 3.33%
071206008 Candasig 3.4% 609 591 0.57%
071206009 Cantalid 2.2% 400 387 0.63%
071206010 Cantomimbo 3.0% 539 537 0.07%
071206011 Cogon 4.3% 774 835 −1.43%
071206012 Datag Norte 3.4% 604 540 2.16%
071206013 Datag Sur 2.8% 498 414 3.58%
071206014 Del Carmen Este (Poblacion) 3.7% 669 672 −0.09%
071206015 Del Carmen Norte (Poblacion) 4.2% 746 720 0.68%
071206017 Del Carmen Sur (Poblacion) 3.4% 615 600 0.47%
071206016 Del Carmen Weste (Poblacion) 4.6% 827 865 −0.85%
071206018 Del Rosario 1.3% 230 260 −2.31%
071206019 Dorol 4.2% 746 751 −0.13%
071206020 Haguilanan Grande 3.8% 686 836 −3.70%
071206021 Hanopol Este 1.9% 345 337 0.45%
071206022 Hanopol Norte 2.1% 384 349 1.84%
071206023 Hanopol Weste 1.4% 245 272 −1.97%
071206024 Magsija 3.4% 611 477 4.83%
071206025 Maslog 2.9% 524 428 3.93%
071206026 Sagasa 3.4% 613 512 3.49%
071206027 Sal‑ing 3.8% 672 697 −0.69%
071206028 San Isidro 2.5% 455 458 −0.13%
071206029 San Roque 3.0% 546 519 0.97%
071206030 Santo Niño 3.0% 532 494 1.42%
071206031 Tagustusan 4.0% 713 652 1.72%
Total 17,903 17,147 0.82%


Population census of Balilihan
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 6,590—    
1918 9,973+2.80%
1939 18,991+3.11%
1948 23,937+2.61%
1960 11,161−6.16%
1970 14,533+2.67%
1975 13,912−0.87%
1980 13,925+0.02%
1990 14,850+0.65%
1995 14,400−0.57%
2000 16,837+3.41%
2007 17,131+0.24%
2010 17,147+0.03%
2015 17,903+0.82%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][4][5][6]
  • Number of households: 3,101[7]
  • Average household size: 5.8


Town festival[edit]

The municipality of Balilihan holds its annual town fiesta every 16 July in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel,[8] however, other barangays (Hanopol - comprising 10 barangays) celebrate their fiesta in honor of their patron Santo Niño de Cebú on the 16 January. Balilihan holds its fiestas every 6 months. Another celebration takes place during the last week of September, this gives way for making 29 September of every year as a non-working holiday in Balilihan.


Panorama of the municipality, from highest point Del Carmen Sur (Poblacion)


  1. ^ "Municipality". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Province: Bohol". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Census of Population (2015). "Region VII (Central Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region VII (Central Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  5. ^ Censuses of Population (1903–2007). "Region VII (Central Visayas)". Table 1. Population Enumerated in Various Censuses by Province/Highly Urbanized City: 1903 to 2007. NSO.
  6. ^ "Province of Bohol". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Municipality of Balilihan". Province of Bohol. Archived from the original on 2013-09-06. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
  8. ^ "Fiesta Time". "". Retrieved February 13, 2019.

External links[edit]