Discover Panglao Island Bohol

Panglao Island is now the favorite destination of tourists, local and foreign alike. They are lured to Panglao because of the white sand, the cool crystal blue waters, the world-famous surrounding dive sites, and to top it all, the tranquil ambiance of the place.

The island is the best jump-off point to Pamilacan Island where you will enjoy the sight of frolicking dolphins and for whale watching; also to Balicasag Island for other world-famous diving sites; and to mainland Bohol for the Chocolate Hills, the tarsier, Prony the python, the countless falls, springs, and caves.

Panglao Island and the whole province of Bohol have so much to offer. Beautiful natural resources are so diverse and plentiful. A day or two is not enough to fully immerse yourself in its grandeur. It is God’s little paradise; a peaceful hideaway!

Many foreigners chose to stay in the island and married local maidens. They put up their residences by the beach. But in due time, their properties were developed into resorts to accommodate the steady trickle of friends and acquaintances who come for a visit.


View Panglao Bohol in a larger map

By word of mouth and through the world of the Internet, the attributes of Panglao Island is now known the world over. Visitors come by droves. Many stay for good; others go home yet come back and bring more friends over. From a sleepy island, it has now grown.

But mind you, the Boholanos are set to retain the tranquility and beauty of their island. Infrastructures are not allowed if they are proven detrimental to the natural tropical look of the terrain where it is planned to be put up. The local governments of each town are now in the look-out for the development of their respective resources for tourism purposes retaining as much as possible their natural beauty.

In Panglao Island, resorts dot the beaches offering fairly good accommodations and sumptuous meals if needed. There are also dive shops offering dive gears to the experienced visiting divers and instructions and training to the inexperienced yet highly interested guests.

The island is a real refuge. It offers the much needed respite from the city life: peace and quiet. Foreign tourists are everywhere enjoying the white sand, cool blue waters as much as the locals do. There is no blazing bar-to bar music and crowds to contend with. Even with a few people around, one will feel safe and secure.

You can never feel safer than to be with a Boholano. The inhabitants of the island are friendly and will go out of their way to accommodate your every request just to make you feel at home. The people have a knack for entertainment and good service and so they are in demand. All resorts in the island hire them. With their ready smiles, plus fast and efficient services, your stay in the island is assured to be a pleasant and memorable one.

Panglao Island has several beaches and the most visited are Alona Beach andDoljo Beach. Alona Beach boasts of fine coralline sand. It may not be as fine as that of Boracay Island yet a neighboring island, Puntod Island offers the finest white sand, much finer even than that of Boracay.

For island tours and island hopping, boats for rent are available from Alona Beach. Sans leaving the island, one can enjoy snorkeling, swimming, and scuba diving in the island itself plus the added bonus of caving and freshwater swimming at the Hinagdanan Cave.

Snorkeling sites are at the northwest and southeast shores. The island’s magnificent underwater world reveals reefs, several kinds of corals, walls, multi-colored fishes of various shapes and sizes, starfishes, sea snakes and so much more. The beaches are a beachcomber’s haven. Seashells abound and the island has become the center of the seashell trade.

In fact, the DENR (Department of Energy and Natural Resources) reported that 250 new species of crustaceans and 2500 new species of mollusks were found around the island. Inventoried were about 1,200 decapods and 6,000 species of mollusks were identified in a study area of only about 15, 000 hectares. In comparison, the Mediterranean Sea has yielded only 2,024 species in a 300 million hectare area.

The discovery was the work of the Panglao Marine Biodiversity Project. It is claimed that Panglao alone has more marine biodiversity than Japan and the Mediterranean Sea. In the light of these findings, Panglao was proclaimed under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) by virtue of Pres. Proc. No. 426 on July 22, 2003.

See a good diving video

Panglao Island Philippines Location

Panglao Island is estimated to be only 20 kilometers away from Tagbilaran City and highly accessible. It takes only 20 minutes to reach it and a few minutes more to reach the beaches of your choice.

Located off the southwestern tip of Bohol and east of Cebu in the Central Visayas, the island is divided into two municipalities: Dauis in the northeast and Panglao in the southwest. It is part of the Bohol province and is connected to the Bohol mainland by two bridges.

Its terrain ranges from plain, hilly to mountainous. Highly made up of Maribojoc limestone which is the youngest of the limestone units found in the western area of Bohol, this coralline limestone type is soluble and causes formation of caves and sinkholes.

The island has no river or lakes yet the inhabitants have, as its water source, the freshwater spring inside the Hinagdanan Cave and also the “miraculous” spring found inside the church at Dauis.


Panglao Island Philippines History

Panglao was known to the traders from China and other Asian countries; even way back before the Spaniards set foot on its shores. Archaeological sites have yielded Tang, Sung and Ming dynasty porcelain and trade ware.

Some years before the arrival of conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, there was a strong kingdom in an area in Bohol. The inhabitants were excellent oarsmen, fishermen and traders. According Loarca, the town had been plundered by men from Malucco, and most of its inhabitants fled to various places. Some settled in Panay, many others in Dapitan, in Northern Mindanao.

By all indications, the Dapitan Kingdom was well located in the strait formed by the island of Bohol and that of Panglao. At the time of Combes, many brazas in the sea stood certain columns of upright wood, as honorable witnesses of the location so gloriously occupied by this nation. The Dapitanons inhabited both shores and the entire island of Panglao, exercising dominion in Bohol: from the shore of the strait to the coast of Baclayon.

They had trade and diplomatic relations with the Ternatans, who eventually came and raided them because they had cut off the noses and ears of the envoy from Ternate and many men in his entourage for having made advances to the royal concubine.

To accomplish his revenge and conquer the Dapitan Kingdom, the Ternatan King employed a dark and infamous device. He sent his joangas in, one by one, on the pretext of trading. The Dapitanons, seeing the innocence of their enterprise, dropped their guard. When their fleet had been brought together, the Ternatans attacked with muskets and arquebuses furnished to them by the Portuguese.

Prince Dailisan was killed and his brother. Prince Pagbuaya was left the reigning prince. The entire Dapitan nation decided to disperse, with the majority settling in Mindanao.

When the Spaniards came, they still noticed the remnants of the old Kingdom which could become a bulwark of a flourishing civilization or perhaps a citadel of native genius counterpart to that of several European mercantile capitals.

It is recorded in the history of the island that the Spaniards came to Panglao in search of fresh water in the year 1803. The Spaniards showed signs of friendship so they were welcomed by the natives. Few natives making their fishing device called "panggaw" were at the shore. A Spaniard pointing down asked what the name of the place was. The natives, who believed that the visitor was asking what they were making, answered "Panggaw." Thru the years, the name evolved from “panggaw” to Panglaw and finally to Panglao.

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