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City of Tagbilaran
Tagbilaran, Bohol
Tagbilaran, Bohol
Flag of Tagbilaran
Official seal of Tagbilaran
Map of Bohol with Tagbilaran highlighted
Map of Bohol with Tagbilaran highlighted
Tagbilaran is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 9°39′N 123°51′E / 9.65°N 123.85°E / 9.65; 123.85Coordinates: 9°39′N 123°51′E / 9.65°N 123.85°E / 9.65; 123.85
Country Philippines
RegionCentral Visayas (Region VII)
District1st District
• Municipality
• City

9 February 1742
1 July 1966
 • TypeSangguniang Panlungsod
 • MayorJohn Geesnell Yap II
 • Vice MayorJose Antonio S. Veloso
 • CongressmanEdgardo M. Chatto
 • Electorate59,949 voters (2016)
 • Total36.50 km2 (14.09 sq mi)
 (2015 census)[3]
 • Total105,051
 • Density2,900/km2 (7,500/sq mi)
 • Income class3rd city income class
 • Poverty incidence8.69% (2015)[4]
 • Revenue (₱)627,439,067.41 (2016)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)38
Climate typetropical monsoon climate
Native languagesBoholano dialect

Tagbilaran, officially the City of Tagbilaran, (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Tagbilaran), or simply known as Tagbilaran City, is a 3rd class city and capital of the province of Bohol, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 105,051 people.[3]

Encompassing a land area of 32.7 km2 (12.6 sq mi), with a coastline of 13 km (8.1 mi) on the southwestern part of the island, the city shares its boundaries with the towns of Cortes, Corella, and Baclayon.

Tagbilaran is the principal gateway to Bohol, 630 km (390 mi) southeast of the national capital of Manila and 72 km (45 mi) south of the regional capital, Cebu City.[5]


St.Joseph the Worker Cathedral

A hundred years before Spaniards arrived in the Philippines, the settlement which eventually became Tagbilaran was already involved in trading with China and Malaya. Tagbilaran Strait was the location of the Precolonial polity of the Kedatuan of Dapitan. This early settlement had contact with the Spaniards in 1565, when the Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi and the native chieftain Datu Sikatuna pledged peace and cooperation through the famous blood compact.

(San Jose de) Tagbilaran was established as a town on 9 February 1742, by General Don Francisco Antonio Calderón de la Barca, Governor of the Visayas, who separated it from the town of Baclayon. The town was dedicated to St. Joseph the Worker. Since then it was part of the province of Bohol until it became a chartered city on 1 July 1966, by virtue of Republic Act No. 4660.

The city was occupied by the United States during the Philippine-American War and by Imperial Japan during World War II.

Casenas house

Sitio Ubos (Lower Town) is Tagbilaran's former harbor site and is considered to be the city's oldest portion, having been a busy trading center since the seventeenth century until the early twentieth century. As such, the place houses the oldest and largest number of heritage houses in Bohol. Sitio Ubos declined as a major port towards the end of the Spanish era when the causeway to Panglao Island was constructed. Since then, the area lost its former glory and its old houses were either demolished or neglected.[6]

In 2002, in recognition of its cultural and historic significance, Sitio Ubos was declared a "Cultural Heritage Area". Some of the surviving heritage houses to this day include the Rocha–Suarez House, Rocha House, Hontanosas House, Beldia House, and Yap House.[6]

Historic events[edit]

One of the most important events in Philippine history (immortalized on canvas by the famous Filipino painter Juan Luna) was the blood compact between Datu Sikatuna, a local native chieftain, and Captain Miguel López de Legazpi, the Spanish explorer and colonizer. It took place in the coast of Bool, now a district of Tagbilaran, on 16 March 1565, a day after Legazpi and his crew of conquistadores on four ships chanced upon the shores of Bool during their trip to the province of Butuan from Camiguin Island because of strong southwest monsoon winds and low tide.

On that day, 16 March 1565, Legazpi with Fray Andres de Urdaneta and some of his crew set foot on land for an audience with the local chieftain Sikatuna. The two bands of different race and creed met a few hundred meters from the beach and, after a few pleasantries, the Basque seafarer and the chieftain of Bohol sealed and strengthened their treaty of friendship in a historic blood compact. Sikatuna and Legazpi each made a cut on the left arm and collected the drop of blood into a single vessel mixed with wine. A marker now stands on the spot where Sikatuna and Legaspi allegedly sealed that famous compact.[a] To honor this treaty of friendship, president Elpidio Quirino established the "Order of Sikatuna" in 1953, a presidential award and decoration conferred upon visiting dignitaries.

During the Japanese occupation, the municipal government of Tagbilaran, whose mayor at the time was Manuel Espuelas, moved from the Poblacion to Tiptip.[7] Another significant event was the Battle of Ubujan wherein a guerrilla unit under the command of Captain Francisco Salazar (aka Vicente Cubello) engaged Japanese troops against overwhelming odds.[8]

2013 earthquake[edit]

An earthquake with magnitude 7.2, with an epicenter near Sagbayan, Bohol, struck Bohol on 15 October 2013. Tagbilaran received four fatalities and 21 injuries, and damage to buildings, including the seaport, airport, and city hall.



Climate data for Tagbilaran City (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31.1
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.8
Average low °C (°F) 22.6
Average rainfall mm (inches) 101.0
Average rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 14 11 11 9 10 15 15 13 14 18 18 16 164
Average relative humidity (%) 83 81 79 78 79 81 82 80 81 83 85 84 81
Source: PAGASA[9]


Map of Tagbilaran showing barangays and islands

There are 15 barangays comprising Tagbilaran, with a population of 105,051 for the year 2015 census,[3] and an annual growth rate of 1.57%. However, 44% of the city's population reside in the four urban districts where trade and commerce are also concentrated.

PSGC Barangay Population ±% p.a. Area PD2015
2015[3] 2010[10] ha acre /km2 /sq mi
071242001 Bool 5.8% 6,132 5,972 0.50% 349862 1,800 4,600    
071242002 Booy 9.4% 9,838 8,800 2.15% 146361 6,700 17,000    
071242003 Cabawan 1.7% 1,734 1,531 2.40% 267660 650 1,700    
071242004 Cogon 16.9% 17,750 17,114 0.70% 204504 8,700 23,000    
071242006 Dampas 9.4% 9,838 8,440 2.96% 4441,097 2,200 5,700    
071242005 Dao 8.4% 8,858 6,772 5.25% 391966 2,300 5,900    
071242008 Manga 6.9% 7,224 6,460 2.15% 117289 6,200 16,000    
071242009 Mansasa 5.8% 6,069 6,156 −0.27% 83205 7,300 19,000    
071242010 Poblacion I 2.9% 3,057 3,072 −0.09% 2664 12,000 30,000    
071242011 Poblacion II 5.2% 5,431 5,029 1.48% 70173 7,800 20,000    
071242012 Poblacion III 5.6% 5,873 6,051 −0.57% 71175 8,300 21,000    
071242013 San Isidro 5.2% 5,424 4,821 2.27% 4291,060 1,300 3,300    
071242014 Taloto 7.0% 7,367 6,376 2.79% 245605 3,000 7,800    
071242015 Tiptip 4.6% 4,882 4,360 2.18% 282697 1,700 4,500    
071242016 Ubujan 5.3% 5,574 5,134 1.58% 146361 3,800 9,900    
Total 105,051 96,792 1.57% 3,650 9,019 2,900 7,500

Cogon: 17,750 (16.9%)Booy: 9,838 (9.4%)Dampas: 9,838 (9.4%)Dao: 8,858 (8.4%)Manga: 7,224 (6.9%)Taloto: 7,367 (7.0%)Mansasa: 6,069 (5.8%)Poblacion III: 5,873 (5.6%)Bool: 6,132 (5.8%)Ubujan: 5,574 (5.3%)Poblacion II: 5,431 (5.2%)San Isidro: 5,424 (5.2%)Tiptip: 4,882 (4.6%)Poblacion I: 3,057 (2.9%)Cabawan: 1,734 (1.7%)Circle frame.svg


Symbols of Tagbilaran
FlagTagbilaranFlag.jpg Tagbilaran flag
HymnTagbilaran Hymn
BirdTailor bird (Tamsi)
FishRabbitfish (Danggit)
PlantGolden Duranta
Population census of Tagbilaran
YearPop.±% p.a.
1990 56,363—    
1995 66,683+3.20%
2000 77,700+3.33%
YearPop.±% p.a.
2007 92,297+2.40%
2010 96,792+1.75%
2015 105,051+1.57%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][10][11]


Island City Mall (usually known as 'ICM')

The city has the advantage of being the province's main business capital and center of governance, education and transportation. Local and international visitors to Bohol pass through the city via the Port of Tagbilaran.

Alturas Group (operator of Alturas Mall, Island City Mall and Plaza Marcela), Bohol Quality Corporation and Alvarez Group are some of the notable locally owned companies based in the city.

Local government[edit]

City Hall of Tagbilaran before its renovation

Chief Executives since 1742[edit]

The city is governed locally by a mayor, although historically by a gobernadorcillo and presidente municipal afterwards.


Bohol Tropics Resort Club

The city is a start-off point to Bohol province's attractions: the Chocolate Hills, tarsiers, white sandy beaches, dive spots, heritage sites and old stone churches. Home to several hotels, resorts, and restaurants, the city has recently become a venue for national conventions and gatherings.


'Saulog-Tagbilaran Festival is a celebration every 20 April to 2 May. This includes street-dancing, fluvial procession, nightly activities, novena masses and beauty pageant. Tagbilaranon families invite relatives and friends for a lunch or dinner during desperas (visper) and katumanan (grand feast day 1 May).

The Sandugo Festival is an annual celebration in Tagbilaran in commemoration of the blood compact between Miguel López de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna in March 1565. The festival is celebrated every July to coincide with the month-long activities celebrating the city's Charter Day on 1 July and the Province's (Bohol) Day on 22 July.


Tagbilaran sea port
Tagbilaran Airport terminal building

Tagbilaran's land network consists of sealed and unsealed roads. Local transport plying the routes within the city are tricycles, multicabs, taxis, and jeepneys. Buses, taxis and vans are usually hired for out-of-town travel. The Integrated Bus Terminal (IBT) located in the city district of Dao serves as the terminal point for public transport vehicles serving the inter-city routes within the province and also serves as the embarkation point for passengers taking the Pan-Philippine Highway (AH26) bus route from Tagbilaran to Metro Manila. There is also a long-distance bus station within Cogon market.

The city is linked by sea to the major port cities in the Visayas Islands and Mindanao, which of major commercial importance is its link to the regional capital of Cebu City. A fastcraft ferry ride to Cebu City's Pier 1 takes approximately 2 hours depending on weather and sea conditions.[12] The route is served by Ocean Jet, Weesam Express and SuperCat several times daily.

Bohol-Panglao International Airport is situated at the Panglao Island southwest of the city. It replaced Tagbilaran Airport on November 27, 2018.[13] It serves as the principal gateway airport to the rest of the province. Airlines using the airport serve primarily the Tagbilaran-Manila route, Tagbilaran-Clark route, and also Mindanao. The route is served by Cebu Pacific Air, PAL Express, AirAsia Philippines and Tigerair Philippines using Airbus A319, Airbus A320 and ATR 42 planes. Flight time to Manila is approximately 1h:15.


The city is served with a mix of public and private health care institutions that also cater to the health needs of the rest of the province. Complex major cases and services are sent to nearby Cebu City due to lack of facilities.


As the capital of Bohol, Tagbilaran is the main center for education in the province. All of the province's universities are located in the city as well as other well-known institutions of learning.

Notable Tagbilaranons[edit]


  1. ^ In fact there are several claimants: less than 100 metres away is another claimant, and there is a further one in Loay municipality about 17 km (11 mi) along the coast.


  1. ^ "City". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Province: Bohol". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e Census of Population (2015). "Region VII (Central Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  4. ^ "PSA releases the 2015 Municipal and City Level Poverty Estimates". Quezon City, Philippines. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Tagbiliran". Value Alliance. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Akpenodu & Saloma 2011.
  7. ^ "Historical and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Tiptip". National Library of the Philippines Digital Library. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  8. ^ History of Tagbilaran Retrieved 6 December 2009.
  9. ^ "Tagbilaran City, Bohol Climatological Normal Values". Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Cebu to Bohol". GeckoRoutes. Sep 19, 2019. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  13. ^ Rey, Aika (November 27, 2018). "Duterte inaugurates Bohol-Panglao International Airport". Rappler. Retrieved October 4, 2019.


  • Akpenodu, Erik; Saloma, Czarina (2011). Casa Boholana: Vintage Houses of Bohol. Manila: Ateneo de Manila UP. ISBN 978-9715506182.

External links[edit]