Bohol is an island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region, consisting of the island itself and 75 minor surrounding islands. Its capital is Tagbilaran. With a land area of 4,821 km2 (1,861 sq mi) and a coastline 261 km (162 mi) long, Bohol is the tenth largest island of the Philippines.
The province of Bohol is a first-class province divided into 3 congressional districts, comprising 1 component city and 47 municipalities. It has 1,109 barangays.
The province is a popular tourist destination with its beaches and resorts. The Chocolate Hills, numerous mounds of brown-coloured limestone formations, are the most popular attraction. The formations can be seen by land (climbing the highest point) or by air via ultralight air tours. Panglao Island, located just southwest of Tagbilaran, is famous for its diving locations and is routinely listed as one of the top ten diving locations in the world. Numerous tourist resorts and dive centers dot the southern beaches. The Philippine tarsier, amongst the world's smallest primates, is indigenous to the island.
It was the home province of Carlos P. Garcia, the eighth president of the Republic of the Philippines (1957–1961) who was born in Talibon, Bohol.
On 15 October 2013, Bohol was devastated by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake whose epicenter was 6 km (3.7 mi) south of Sagbayan town. The earthquake, which also hit southern Cebu, claimed 156 lives altogether and injured 374 people. It also destroyed or damaged a number of Bohol's heritage churches.
In 2017, the provincial government began initiating the nomination of the entire province to the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network.
Bohol is ultimately derived from bo-ol, a kind of tree that flourished on the island. Similar to Nahuatl, the h in the middle was used to transcribe a glottal stop which is a common phoneme in the languages of the Philippines. The original name is survived through Bool, a town in Tagbilaran where Miguel Lopez de Legazpi supposedly landed
The people of Bohol are said to be the descendants of a group of inhabitants who settled in the Philippines called pintados or "tattooed ones." Boholanos already had a culture of their own as evidenced by artifacts unearthed at Mansasa, Tagbilaran, and in Dauis and Panglao.
In 1667, Father Francisco Combes, in his Historia de Mindanao, mentioned that at one time in their history, the people of the island of Panglao invaded mainland Bohol and subsequently imposing their economic and political dominance in the area. They considered the previous inhabitants of the islands as their slaves by reason of war, as witnessed for example by how Datu Pagbuaya, one of the rulers of Panglao, considered Datu Sikatuna as his vassal and relative. The invasion of mainland Bohol by the people of Panglao ushered the birth of the so-called Bohol "kingdom", also known as the "Dapitan Kingdom of Bohol". The Bohol "kingdom" prospered under the reign of the two brother rulers of Panglao - Datu Dailisan and Datu Pagbuaya, with trade links established with neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, particularly with the Sultanate of Ternate. The flourishing of trade in the Bohol "kingdom" is owed to its strategic location along the busy trading channels of Cebu and Butuan. For other countries such as Ternate to gain access to the busy trade ports of the Visayas, they need to first forge diplomatic ties with the Bohol "kingdom".
Relations between the Sultanate of Ternate and the Bohol soured when the Ternatan sultan learned the sad fate of his emissary and his men who were executed by the two ruling chieftains of Bohol as punishment for abusing one of the concubines. Thus, in 1563, the Ternatans attacked Bohol. Twenty joangas deceitfully posing as traders were sent by the sultan of Ternate to attack Bohol. Caught unaware, the inhabitants of Bohol could not defend themselves against the Ternatan raiders who were also equipped with sophisticated firearms like muskets and arquebuses, which the Boholanos saw for the first time. Such new weaponry were the result of the aid of the Portuguese to the Ternatan raid of Bohol. Many Boholanos lost their lives in this conflict, including that of Pagbuaya's brother Datu Dailisan. After the retaliatory Ternatan raid against Bohol, Datu Pagbuaya, who was left as the sole reigning chief of the island, decided to abandon mainland Bohol together with the rest of the freemen as they considered Bohol island unfortunate and accursed. They settled in the northern coast of the island of Mindanao, where they established the Dapitan settlement.
Bohol is derived from the word Bo-ho or Bo-ol. The island was the seat of the first international treaty of peace and unity between the native king Datu Sikatuna and Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi on 16 March 1565 through a blood compact alliance known today by many Filipinos as the Sandugo.
Spanish colonial period
The earliest significant contact of the island with Spain occurred in 1565. On 25 March (16 March in the Julian calendar), a Spanish explorer named Miguel López de Legazpi arrived in Bohol seeking spices and gold. After convincing the native chieftains that they were not Portuguese (who raided the islands of Mactan in 1521), Legazpi made a peace pact with Datu Sikatuna. This pact was signified with a blood compact between the two men. This event, called the Sandugo ("one blood"), is celebrated in Bohol every year during the Sandugo Festival. The Sandugo or blood compact is also depicted on Bohol's provincial flag and the Bohol provincial seal.
Two significant revolts occurred in Bohol during the Spanish Era. One was the Tamblot Uprising in 1621, led by Tamblot, a babaylan or native priest. The other was the famous Dagohoy Rebellion, considered the longest in Philippine history. This rebellion was led by Francisco Dagohoy, also known as Francisco Sendrijas, from 1744 to 1829.
Politically, Bohol was administered as a residencia of Cebu. It became a separate politico-military province on 22 July 1854 together with Siquijor. A census in 1879 found Bohol with a population of 253,103 distributed among 34 municipalities.
The culture of the Boholanos was influenced by Spain and Mexico during colonization. Many traditional dances, music, dishes and other aspects of the culture have considerable Hispanic influence.
U.S. intervention and occupation
After the United States defeated Spain in the Spanish–American War, the U.S. bought the entire Philippine islands. However, under the newly proclaimed independent government established by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, which was not recognized by the U.S., Bohol was governed as a Gobierno de Canton.
During the resulting Philippine–American War, American troops peacefully took over the island in March 1899. However, in January 1901, Pedro Sanson led 2,000 in rebellion, due to the harsh treatment imparted by these troops and the destruction they caused. General Hughes led a campaign of repression in October 1901, destroying a number of towns, and threatening in December 1901 to burn Tagbilaran if the rebels did not surrender. Pantaleon E. del Rosario then negotiated the rebel surrender.
On 10 March 1917, the Americans made Bohol a separate province under Act 2711 (which also established most of the other Philippine provinces).
Japanese occupation and liberation
landed in Tagbilaran on 17 May 1942. Boholanos struggled in a guerilla resistance against the Japanese forces. Bohol was later liberated by the local guerrillas and the Filipino and American troops who landed on 11 April 1945.
A plaque placed on the port of Tagbilaran commemorating the liberation reads:
One thousand one hundred seventy two officers and men of the 3rd Battalion of the 164th Infantry Regiment of the American Division under the command of Lt. Col. William H. Considine landed at the Tagbilaran Insular Wharf at 7:00 o'clock in the morning of April 11, 1945.
The convoy taking the Filipino and American liberation forces to Bohol consisted of a flotilla of six landing ships (medium), six landing crafts (infantry), two landing crafts (support), and one landing craft (medium-rocket). Upon arrival, the reinforced battalion combat team advanced rapidly to the east and northeast with the mission of destroying all hostile forces in Bohol. Motor patrols were immediately dispatched by Col. Considine, Task Force Commander, and combed the area to the north and east, approximately halfway across the island, but no enemies were found during the reconnaissance. Finally, an enemy group of undetermined strength was located to the north of Ginopolan in Valencia, near the Sierra-Bullones boundary.
By 17 April the Task Force was poised to strike in Ginopolan. The bulk of the Japanese force was destroyed and beaten in the ten days of action. Bohol was officially declared liberated on 25 May 1945 by Major General William H. Arnold, Commander of the Americal Division. About this time, most officers and men of the Bohol Area Command had been processed by units of the Eighth United States Army.
On 31 May 1945, the Bohol Area Command was officially deactivated upon orders of Lt. General Robert L. Eichelberger, Commanding General of the Eighth United States Army, together with the regular and constable troops of the Philippine Commonwealth Army, Philippine Constabulary, and the Boholano guerrillas.
During the Second Battle of Bohol from March to August 1945, Filipino troops of the 3rd, 8th, 83rd, 85th and 86th Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and 8th Constabulary Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary captured and liberated the island province of Bohol and helped the Boholano guerrilla fighters and U.S. liberation forces defeat the Japanese Imperial forces under General Sōsaku Suzuki.
At 8:12 a.m. (PST) on 15 October 2013, the island province suffered a severe earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale. Its epicenter was at 9°52′N 124°04′E (6 km (3.7 mi) S 24° W of Sagbayan and 629 km (391 mi) from Manila), and its depth of focus was 12 km (7.5 mi). The quake was felt as far as Davao City, Mindanao. According to official reports by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), 57 people died in Bohol, and 104 were injured, The Great Wall of Bohol or "North Bohol Fault" is a reverse fault was discovered on 15, October 2013 during the "2013 Bohol earthquake", It became one of the tourist attraction in Bohol province 
It was the deadliest earthquake in the Philippines since the 7.8 magnitude 1990 Luzon earthquake. Earlier that same year Bohol was struck by an earthquake (on 8 February 1990) with an epicentre almost exactly the same as in 2013, causing six fatalities and 200 injured. Several buildings were damaged and it caused a tsunami.
On 12 April 2017, 11 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists staged an attack on Bohol. Three soldiers, a police officer and at least 4 of the armed men, including their leader Abu Rami, were killed in the clashes that started at 5 am. Also killed were two Inabanga villagers, though it was not clear whether they were killed in the crossfire or executed by the cornered militants. Security officials relentlessly hunted down the remainder of the ASG who landed in Bohol from the hinterlands to a neighboring island in the province which ultimately led to the neutralization of Abu Asis, the last of the remaining bandits, in May. He was gunned down by police Special Weapons and Tactics operatives in Barangay Lawis, Calape while fighting it out to the end along with Ubayda. Despite their nefarious intents, all 11 ASG members killed in the intrusion were given proper burials under Muslim tradition.
The tourism industry in Bohol was negatively affected by the ASG militants' incursion on the island, though tour operators believe the industry can recover.
To the west of Bohol is Cebu, to the northeast is the island of Leyte and to the south, across the Bohol Sea, is Mindanao. The Cebu Strait separates Bohol from Cebu, and both island provinces share a common language, but Boholano retain a conscious distinction from Cebuano. Bohol's climate is generally dry, with maximum rainfall between the months of June and October. The interior is cooler than the coast.
With a land area of 4,821 km2 (1,861 sq mi) and a coastline 261 km (162 mi) long, Bohol is the tenth largest island of the Philippines. The main island is surrounded by about 70 smaller islands, the largest of which are Panglao Island, facing Tagbilaran, in the southwest and Lapinig Island in the northeast.
The terrain of Bohol is basically rolling and hilly, and about half the island is covered in limestone. Near the outer areas of the island are low mountain ranges. The interior is a large plateau with irregular landforms.
Near Carmen, the Chocolate Hills are more than 1,200 uniformly cone-shaped hills named for the grass growing on the hills that turns brown in the summer, making the landscape look like chocolate mounds. They are hills made of limestone left over from coral reefs during the Ice Age when the island was submerged. The Chocolate Hills are considered one of Philippine's natural wonders and Bohol is often referred to as the Jewel of the Philippines. They appear on the provincial seal of Bohol.
Bohol has 114 springs, 172 creeks, and four main rivers that run through Bohol with a radial drainage pattern. The largest river, the Inabanga River, runs in the northwestern part of the province; the Loboc River drains the center of the island to the mid-southern coast; the Abatan River runs in the southwest, and Ipil River in the north. The only natural lake in the province is Cabilao Island Lake, also called Lake Danao or Lanao, on Cabilao Island.
Numerous waterfalls and caves are scattered across the island, including Mag‑Aso Falls in Antequera. Mag‑Aso means smoke in the native tongue. The water is cool and often creates a mist in humid mornings which can hide the falls.
The Rajah Sikatuna Protected Landscape protects Bohol's largest remaining lowland forest and can be found in the island's southern portion near Bilar.
In 1996 the Philippine Tarsier Foundation was established in Corella, Bohol in efforts to help conserve and protect tarsiers and their habitat. Forest and habitat sanctuaries have been created to ensure the safety of tarsiers while allowing visitors to roam and discover these miniature primates in their natural habitats.
The tarsier is the smallest living primate that exists in several South East Asian countries today. The Philippine tarsier, Tarsius syrichta, locally known as "mamag" in Boholano is near to threatened according to the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Adaptation to their large bulging eyes allows them to catch prey clearly at night, and with elongated limbs and fingers, leaping from tree to tree gives no limitation to the tarsier. Their brain is about the same size as their eyes. The connection between its eyes and brain serves a unique function to these animals which is important for their stability and balance. Tarsiers have incredible hearing abilities. They can hear a frequency of up to 91 kHz (kilohertz) and send sounds of 70 kHz.
From November to April, the northeast monsoon (amihan) prevails. Except for a rare shower, this is the mildest time of the year. Daytime temperatures average 28 °C (82 °F), cooling at night to around 25 °C (77 °F). The summer season from May to July brings higher temperatures and very humid days. From August to October is the southwest monsoon (habagat). The weather during this season is not very predictable, with weeks of calm weather alternating with rainy days. It can rain any day of the year, but a higher chance of heavy showers occurs from November to January.
Tourism plays an increasing role in the island's economy. The Panglao Island International Airport is currently planned for Panglao, which houses the most-visited and accessible beaches in the province. Proponents of the scheme hope that the new airport will increase Bohol's reputation as an international tourist destination although the plan has been dogged by ongoing criticism.
The province's main airport is the Bohol–Panglao International Airport on Panglao Island. It replaced Tagbilaran Airport in November 2018 and serves as the gateway to Panglao Island and the rest of mainland Bohol for domestic air travelers. The airport is officially classified as an international airport by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, but currently only serves domestic flights.
Port of Tubigon, the busiest among the smaller ports, offers more than ten daily round trips plying the Cebu-Bohol route, including fast-craft and roll-on/roll-off. Catagbacan Port in Loon serves the roll-on roll-off services between Argao, Cebu, and Bohol. Port of Jagna offers service between Bohol to Cagayan and Camiguin (with roll-on/roll-off) route. The other ports are Ubay, Talibon, Getafe, Buenavista, and Clarin.
Bohol has 2 major AM radio stations, DYRD and DYTR, both based in Tagbilaran City. Another AM radio station, DYZD, based in Ubay, is being operated by DYRD. Both DYRD and DYTR also operate FM stations with the same names. There are multiple weekly or twice weekly newspapers like Sunday Post, Bohol Times, Bohol Standard and Bohol Bantay Balita. These days, Bohol Chronicle is now a daily paper. An online news website called Bohol News Dailyaggregates news from various sources.
- Sandugo Festival (1–31 July)
- Tagbilaran City Fiesta (1 May)
- Raffia Festival (29-30 June) Inabanga, Bohol
- Saulog Tagbilaran Festival in honor to Saint Joseph the Worker
- Bolibong Kingking Festival (23–24 May) – Loboc, Bohol
- Pana-ad sa Loboc (Holy Thursday & Good Friday) – Loboc
- SidlaKasilak or Festival of Lights – Loon (Fiesta Week: 30 August – 8 September)
- Sambat Mascara y Regatta Festival (1st Saturday of December) – Loay, Bohol
- Suroy sa Musikero (25 December 25 – 2 February) – Loboc
- Bohol Fiestas (month of May)
- Ubi Festival (January)
- Tigum Bol-anon Tibuok Kalibutan or TBTK – "A gathering of Boholanos from different parts of the world and the name for such a grand event"
- Hudyaka sa Panglao (27–28 August) Panglao, Bohol
- Sinulog (3rd Saturday of January) – Valencia, Bohol
- Dujan Festival (3rd to last week of January) – Anda
- Sinuog–Estokada Festival (28–29 September) – Jagna
- Chocolate Hills Festival – Carmen
- Alimango Festival – Mabini
- Humay Festival – Candijay
- Guimbawan Festival – Batuan
- Espadahan Festival – San Miguel