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Tagbilaran City is a 2nd class city in the province of Boholmarker, Philippinesmarker. It is a component city of the province and serves as its capital. Tagbilaran lies on the southwestern part of the province, and has a total land area of 32.7 km², with about 13 km of coastline. The city is situated on the south of Cortesmarker, southwest of Corellamarker west of the town of Baclayonmarker and is about 630 km southeast of Manilamarker and 72 km south of Cebu Citymarker.

It is the principal gateway to the island province of Bohol and is known as the "City of Friendship". Tagbilaran is awarded by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia as one of the eight (8) Philippine Dream Cities, along with the Island Garden City of Samalmarker, San Fernando, La Unionmarker, Cebu Citymarker, Iloilo Citymarker, Marikinamarker, Nagamarker, Calbayog Citymarker and Surigao Citymarker. It is also one of the 20 Most Competitive Cities in the Philippines in 2005 and 2007, and First in the Quality of Life Category for the same 2 years, awarded by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Policy Center.


A hundred years before Spaniardsmarker arrived in the Philippines, the settlement of which eventually became Tagbilaran City was already involved in trading with both Chinamarker and Malaysiamarker. 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 February 9, 1742, when it was separated from the town of Baclayonmarker. The town was dedicated to St. Joseph the Worker. Since then it was part of the province of Boholmarker until it became a chartered city on July 1, 1966 by virtue of Republic Act No. 4660.

The city was occupied by the United Statesmarker during the Philippine-American War, and by Imperial Japanmarker during World War II.

Historical events

One of the most important historical events in Philippine History and immortalized in canvass by the famous Filipino painter Juan Luna is 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 March 16, 1565, a day after Legazpi and his crew of conquistadores on four ships chanced upon the shores of Bool during the course of their trip to the province of Butuanmarker from Camiguin Island because of strong southwest monsoon winds and low tide. On that day, March 16, 1565, Captain General Miguel López de 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 away from the beach and after a few pleasantries, the Basque seafarer and the native chieftain of Bool 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 and mixed with wine. To honor this treaty of friendship, the late President Elpidio Quirino established the "Order of Sikatuna", a presidential award and decoration conferred upon visiting dignitaries. A historical marker now stands on the very spot where Sikatuna and Legaspi perpetrated that famous Blood Compact.

Another significant event that took place during the Japanese Occupation was the Battle of Ubujan wherein a guerilla unit under the command of Captain Francisco Salazar,a.k.a. Vicente Cubello, engaged Japanese troops against overwhelming odds. It was a display of Boholano bravery against the well-equipped, well-trained Japanese soldiers.

Political Subdivision

There are 15 barangays comprising Tagbilaran, with an population of 92,297 for the year 2007 census, with an annual growth rate of 3.6%. However, 41% of the entire population reside in the 4 urban districts where trade and commerce are concentrated.
Barangay Population Barangay Population
Bool 4,929 Poblacion 1 (1st District) 3,323
Booy 7,896 Poblacion 2 (2nd District) 5,856
Cabawan 1,150 Poblacion 3 (3rd District) 6,511
Cogon 17,266 San Isidro 4,500
Dao 6,772 Taloto 6,176
Dampas 7,210 Tiptip 3,956
Manga 6,081 Ubujan 4,875
Mansasamarker 5,396

Symbols of the City of Tagbilaran
Flag Tagbilaran City Flag
Hymn Tagbilaran Hymn
Dance Kuradang
Bird Tailor bird (tamsi)
Flower Bougainvillea
Tree Acacia(Acacia)
Plant Golden Duranta
Fish Danggit


The city of Tagbilaran has that relative advantage as Bohol's main business capital and center of governance, education and transportation. It is on this climate that commerce and trade is very promising in the city, nonetheless, business activities also thrives in port towns (e.g. Tubigonmarker, Talibonmarker, Jagnamarker) known to be growth centers of the province.

Many residents of Tagbilaran are considerably moneyed, but when it comes to business development, they become investment-shy. It is observable that dollar earners and entrepreneurs would rather save and bank their money rather than invest them for business endeavor. In the light of this situation, the inflow of investments from foreign investors are steadily pouring in to finance business ventures especially in the area of tourism.

The two local food delicacies, Peanut Kisses and Edelweiss torta, were started and promoted by the Alvarez family.

Tagbilaran, considering its size as a small city of 32.7 km2., has 23 banking institutions with several branches each. This is due to the "thriftiness" attitude of Bol-anons and remittances from Overseas Foreign Workers who hail from Tagbilaran City and other towns in Boholmarker. The average household income is P 141,028.00/annum in 12,876 households.
Island City Mall
St.Joseph the Worker Cathedral

Banking Institutions

Major Shopping Centers

  • Island City Mall
  • BQ (Bohol Quality) Mall
  • Alturas Supermarket
  • Plaza Marcela
  • Shoppers' Mart


Bohol Tropics Resort Club
The city is a start-off point to Bohol province's attractions: the Chocolate Hills, 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.

Notable hotel accommodations in the city:


The Sandugo Festival is celebrated annually in Tagbilaran and the rest of Bohol in July. It commemorates the Blood Compact between Miguel López de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna.


CPG Avenue, Tagbilaran City
The city is about an hour's flight from Manilamarker. The Tagbilaran Airportmarker serves three airlines: Cebu Pacific which operates three daily flights, Philippine Airlines, with three flights daily and the new Zest Airways operating one flight daily to Manila.

The Tagbilaran port serves boats plying the busy Cebu-Bohol sea traffic and southwards to port cities in Mindanao. A fastcraft ferry ride from Cebumarker would take about 1.5 hours.

Transportation within the city consists of tricycles, multicabs, jeepneys, buses and taxis. Multicabs and jeepneys ply the longer routes while taxis are usually used for out-of-town travel.

Schools and Universities

Colleges and universities

Holy Name University, Tagbilaran City

Secondary schools

Elementary Schools

  • Bohol International Learning Center (BILC)
  • Grace Christian Military School
  • Royal Christian School
  • St. Therese Elementary School, Mansasa
  • Victoriano D. Tirol Advanced Learning Center (VDT)
  • Bool Elementary School
  • Booy Elementary School
  • Cabawan Elementary School
  • City Central Elementary School
  • City East Elementary School
  • Cogon Elementary School
  • Dampas Elementary School
  • Dao Elementary School
  • Holy Trinity School
  • Manga Elementary School
  • Mansasa Elementary School
  • San Isidro Elementary School
  • Taloto Elementary School
  • Tiptip Elementary School
  • Ubujan Elementary School

Pre-elementary schools

  • Bohol International Learning Center (BILC)
  • Prodigy Discovery Playschool
  • D M L Montessori School
  • Grace Christian School
  • Holy Trinity Foundation School
  • Merne Graham Montessori School
  • Royal Christian School
  • St. Therese Kindergarten School
  • Victoriano D. Tirol Advanced Learning Center


External links

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