Colorful History of Danao Bohol
The colorful history of the town of Danao hails back to Spanish colonial times. It was not known as Danao then. It was just a little barangay situated at the outskirts of Talibon Town. Because of the mountain ranges which were largely forested and the numerous numbers of caves in that place, it became the hiding place of Dagohoy and his men.
Francisco Dagohoy was a legendary Boholano hero who fought the Spaniards for a span of 85 years – the longest recorded rebellion in Philippine history; outlasting several Spanish Governor-generals and several missions! He was not from that place. He hailed from Inabanga. He became a revolutionary leader together with Ignacio Aranez, Pedro Baguio and Bernardo Sanote.
Dagohoy proclaimed the Republic of Bohol on the mountains of Inabanga and Talibon in year 1744. A cave there by the name of Caylagan became his headquarters. The forested area near the cave was cleared and dwellings were built for his men and their families and the surrounding land planted to food crops.
The once unknown nook in the mountains now became a thriving community of “rebels”. The rebellion was suppressed 85 years later after Dagohoy’s death and his followers were dispersed and distributed in resettlement areas in Batuan, Balilihan, Catigbian and Bilar.
A few of Dagohoy’s men remained in the area and continued to till the land for their subsistence. Through the years, the population grew and a time came when the people clamored to be made into an independent municipality from their host town, Talibon.
By an executive order of then Pres. Carlos P. Garcia, the town became an independent municipality from Talibon on March 16, 1961. It was inaugurated about four months later, on July 9th of the same year.
The area of Dagohoy’s headquarters is now within the bounds of barangay Magtangtang. A historical marker now stands on a plateau overlooking the mountain ranges of Inabanga and Talibon. The Caylagan Cave which lies down the ridge where the marker stands was fittingly renamed as the Francisco Dagohoy Cave.
Through the years, and because of its rugged terrain, the town of Danao became host to insurgents; not fighting against a foreign invader mind but rebels against the Philippine government, a group which call themselves the New People’s Army or NPA. Because of these, the intelligence map of Bohol marked the town of Danao red, meaning "Rebel Infested".
There was a time when fighting between the government forces and the NPA was so intense. Bodies of NPA’s from the mountains of Danao were often brought to Talibon to be embalmed and then shipped out. These rebels turned out to be so very young. They fought for a cause which each of them believed to be right – and which we are not in the position to say otherwise.
Affected very much by the insurgency problem, the economy of the town plummeted. The inhabitants lived very much below the poverty threshold. They subsisted on rice, corn and root crops. Large parts of the land were undeveloped due to the constant fighting in the area.
With the efforts of the government military forces to eradicate insurgency in Bohol, the rebels in Danao dwindled. The Philippine President, with the help of local officials, mandated all towns to tap existing natural resources for tourism purposes and to develop trading of indigenous products in order to alleviate the economic situation in each area.
The town of Danao now seeks to uphold and lift the well-being of its constituents and erase the “rebel” image branded into them. The local government developed the town and promoted it under the E.A.T. Danao program wherein various activities are lined up for adventure seekers to try out – entirely different lines of activities to Chocolate Hills touring , looking at tarsiers and dolphin/whalewatching. Something with loads of thrill and fun!
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