San Francisco, Cebu

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San Francisco
Municipality of San Francisco
Mangodlong Rock Beach Resort
Mangodlong Rock Beach Resort
Map of Cebu with San Francisco highlighted
Map of Cebu with San Francisco highlighted
San Francisco is located in Philippines
San Francisco
San Francisco
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 10°39′N 124°21′E / 10.65°N 124.35°E / 10.65; 124.35Coordinates: 10°39′N 124°21′E / 10.65°N 124.35°E / 10.65; 124.35
Country  Philippines
Region Central Visayas (Region VII)
Province Cebu
District 5th district of Cebu
Barangays 15 (see Barangays)
 • Type Sangguniang Bayan
 • Mayor Aly Arquillano
 • Vice Mayor Allan Arquillano
 • Congressman Red Durano
 • Electorate 27,484 voters (2016)
 • Total 106.93 km2 (41.29 sq mi)
Population (2015 census)[3]
 • Total 55,180
 • Density 520/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code 6050
PSGC 072242000
IDD:area code +63 (0)32
Climate type Tropical climate
Income class 3rd municipal income class
Revenue (₱) 116,862,176.33 (2016)
Native languages Porohanon

San Francisco, officially the Municipality of San Francisco, (Cebuano: Lungsod sa San Francisco; Tagalog: Bayan ng San Francisco), is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Cebu, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 55,180 people.[3]

It is one of the municipalities that comprise the Camotes Islands.

San Francisco is bordered to the north by the Province of Leyte in the Camotes Sea, to the west is the Camotes Sea Facing Catmon, to the east is the island of Poro with town of Poro and to the south is the Camotes Sea


San Francisco consists primarily of Pacijan Island (also known as Pajican Island[4]), as well as the tiny Tulang islet just north of Pacijan. Both islands are part of the Camotes Islands group in the Camotes Sea (that also includes Poro Island and Ponson Island). They are located east of the main island of Cebu, south and west of Leyte and north of Bohol.

Pacijan Island is about 14.75 kilometres (9.17 mi) long and 8.5 kilometres (5.3 mi) wide. A 1,400-metre (1,500 yd) causeway crosses the mangrove swamp to connect Pacijan and Poro Island. It was constructed during the Spanish era, to bridge the islands for easier trading and attending services in Poro church.


San Francisco comprises 15 barangays:

PSGC Barangay Population ±% p.a.
2015[3] 2010[5]
072242002 Cabunga‑an 4.0% 2,226 1,764 4.53%
072242003 Campo 5.7% 3,123 2,517 4.19%
072242004 Consuelo 10.4% 5,750 4,827 3.39%
072242006 Esperanza 11.5% 6,370 5,629 2.38%
072242007 Himensulan 4.2% 2,331 2,169 1.38%
072242001 Montealegre 3.1% 1,735 1,288 5.84%
072242008 Northern Poblacion 8.7% 4,786 3,779 4.60%
072242009 San Isidro 7.9% 4,346 3,668 3.28%
072242010 Santa Cruz 9.9% 5,465 4,717 2.84%
072242011 Santiago 4.4% 2,412 2,132 2.38%
072242012 Sonog 6.9% 3,799 3,366 2.33%
072242013 Southern Poblacion 7.5% 4,143 3,453 3.53%
072242014 Unidos 1.8% 992 1,035 −0.80%
072242015 Union 9.1% 5,023 4,721 1.19%
072242016 Western Poblacion 4.9% 2,679 2,292 3.02%
Total 55,180 47,357 2.95%

Tulang islet[edit]

Tulang island (known locally as Tulang Diot) is a five-minute boat ride from Tulang Dako on the main island of Pacijan. Both Tulang Diot and Tulang Dako are part of Esperanza barangay. The islet is almost entirely covered with coconut palms and measures about 1.6 by 0.6 kilometres (1.0 by 0.4 mi): the residential area is confined to a small triangle at the southern end. Total area about 40 ha (100 acres), of which only 3.5 ha (8.6 acres) (8.8%) is inhabited.


Population of San Francisco
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 8,110—    
1918 10,772+1.91%
1939 16,980+2.19%
1948 19,286+1.42%
1960 20,894+0.67%
1970 23,028+0.98%
1975 27,766+3.82%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1980 28,806+0.74%
1990 36,521+2.40%
1995 39,115+1.29%
2000 41,327+1.19%
2007 44,588+1.05%
2010 47,357+2.22%
2015 55,180+2.95%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][5][6]

The town is home to the Porohanon language, one of the most endangered languages in the Visayas. The language is only used in the Poro islands. The language is classified as distinct from Sebwano (Bisaya) by the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino and is vital to the culture and arts of the Porohanon people.



Carl Guthe, director of the University of Michigan Anthropological Museum, during his 1923-25 collecting trip and explorations of archaeological sites in the Philippines,[7] conducted an archeological dig in a cave site on Tulang. Located on the southeastern coast of the island, the cave measures about 3.7 by 2.7 metres (12 by 9 feet). Guthe reported it to contain bone fragments and teeth of about 60 individuals. Associated grave goods included earthenware pottery, shell bracelets, bronze and iron artefacts (iron tang, bronze chisel, iron blade), glass and stone beads, hammerstone and pestle. Filed teeth were also recovered from this site.[a]

21st century[edit]

Just before Typhoon Yolanda struck in November 2013, the mayor of San Francisco ordered the evacuation of all the residents (approximately 1,000) to the main island. This was credited with saving their lives as all houses on the island (about 500) were completely destroyed.[8]


San Francisco, Cebu is located in Camotes Islands
San Francisco
San Francisco
1 green.svg
2 green.svg
3 green.svg
4 green.svg
5 green.svg
6 green.svg
Location of San Francisco downtown, and tourist attractions on Pacijan
1 green.svg Lake Danao
2 green.svg Tumibo Cave
3 green.svg Arqui's Viewing Deck
4 green.svg Bakhaw Beach
5 green.svg Mangodlong Beach
6 green.svg Santiago Bay

Lake Danao[edit]

1 green.svg Lake Danao is a freshwater lake located in the northern part of Pacijan Island, about 4.9 kilometres (3.0 mi) long and 1.8 kilometres (1.1 mi) wide, with an elevation of 5 metres (16 ft) above sea level. Its area of 680 ha (1,700 acres) makes it the largest lake not only in the province but also in the Visayas regions. It has two interior islands which can be reached by paddleboat or as part of the scenic lake cruise. An 18-kilometre (11 mi) hiking and cycling trail encircles the entire perimeter of the lake. Although classifies as "freshwater", that doesn't necessarily make it suitable for irrigation. A 2015 study determined which crops could be sustained.[9]

Corn and coconut grow all over the island, including the areas surrounding the lake. Several rare orchids and a variety of herbs of medicinal value grow along the lake shore.
Most of the original vegetation has disappeared, and even the small islets in the lake have been planted with coconut palms. The only remaining area of aquatic vegetation is on the east side of the lake, where the water is shallow and there is a dense growth of submerged vegetation, including water cabbage, hydrilla and water hyacinth.
Soli-soli is a type of grass that grows abundantly along the banks of the lake and is one source of livelihood on the island. These grasses are harvested, dried and woven into different kinds of handicrafts such as bags, mats, hats and other decorative items, and then sold to local and mainland market outlets. An annual festival is held nominally celebrating the plant. This takes place every third Sunday of March, coinciding with the fiesta honoring Saint Joseph. Extending throughout the island, the event is an occupational festival injected with religious sentiments shown through flamboyant colors, abundant food and fervent dancing.
The lake supports a very rich fishery, and many local residents depend on this resource for their subsistence.
The rich ichthyofauna includes
A wide variety of avifauna occur including
The estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) formerly inhabited the lake: according to the Groombridge report (1982),[10] the population was still healthy in 1978, but according to other reports, the last individual was killed in 1971. Monitor lizards (Varanus) can still be seen occasionally on its shore.[11]

Other sights[edit]

2 green.svg Tumibo Cave is a grotto in the Tumibo plateau in Sonog, which offers swimming in a crystal-clear underground pool.

3 green.svg Arqui's Viewing Deck in the summit area of Monte Alegre offers outstanding picturesque views across Pacijan including Lake Danao and Tulang, as well as the islands of Cebu and Leyte beyond.


4 green.svg Bakhaw Beach is located in Esperanza. Its sugary sand and clear waters make it safe for children.

5 green.svg Mangodlong Beach is one of the most visited beaches in the Camotes. It offers white sand and is located in the fishing village of Mangodlong in Himensulan. Across the beach is a coral islet.

6 green.svg Santiago Bay is located in the southwestern part of the island. The wide and deep white sand beach is situated directly in front of the town of Santiago. This beach is owned by the local government and is a favorite rendezvous for locals and visitors.


  1. ^ Carl Guthe explored 485 sites comprising 120 caves, 134 burial grounds and 231 graves all over the Philippines that are contained in an inventory report now deposited at the University of Michigan.


  1. ^ "Municipality". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Province: Cebu". 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. ^ Famous Destinations - Camotes group of islands, Cebu Province Official Website. Retrieved on 2010-06-23.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Guthe 1927
  8. ^ McElroy 2013
  9. ^ Alkuino 2015
  10. ^ Groombridge & Wright 1982.
  11. ^ Magsalay 2010