Tagbilaran, Bohol - Then and Now
by Peter Garant
Tagbilaran City is the logical entry point to the Visayan province of Bohol, as probably the famed 17th century Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and other explorers found. There may be other possible entries-the island province of Bohol is surrounded by seas-but Tagbilaran offers the safest and most strategic. Tagbilaran, Bohol rightly holds the title of being capital city of the province.
Naturally protected by Panglao to the south and to the north the protrusions of Maribojoc, Punta Cruz, and Loon-which are actually mountain ranges extending a bit more to the Bohol Sea-Tagbilaran, Bohol is a safe docking area. In fact, "Tagbilaran" was derived from "Tinabilan" meaning "screened," geographically by Panglao and Maribojoc, and also "Tagubilaan" which is a compounded name.
Long ago there used to be Muslim marauders called "Bilaan" (probably akin to "villain") who attacked coasts in the Visayas. That is, except Tagbilaran. It was "tagu" or hidden from view from the vast Seas by Panglao. Thus, Tagubilaan, which later became Tagbilaran. Settlement started here and soon a "Bool" Kingdom was established. And thus, the name Bohol for the province. Today, we have Tagbilaran, Bohol.
In early times the dock areas were first established among which is now the Tagbilaran City Port Area on Maria Clara Road. Then, as buses and planes became available, the Tagbilaran Bus Terminal and Airport. With these transport developments Tagbilaran, Bohol grew and progressed. Tagbilaran was first a town of Baclayon. In July, 1966 it became a chartered city and soon more investments poured in.
Directly accessible from the Causeway Bridge linking Panglao to Tagbilaran, Bohol
is the Provincial Capitol Center. The Provincial Capitol building is bounded by C.P. Garcia East Avenue at its front and J.A. Clarin and J.S. Torralba Streets at its lateral sides. Going further on J.A. Clarin we find the Tagbilaran City Hall, which is accessible to the airport. From the pier or dock area on Maria Clara, the Capitol Hall of Tagbilaran, Bohol is an easy 15-minute drive.
Aside from its farming initiatives and fishing and tourism industries, Tagbilaran, Bohol is also trying its hands on the electronic and communications industries. There are signs that the call center industry, presently booming in other parts of the country, is also likely to take off in Tagbilaran City. These being so, Tagbilaran, Bohol is largely service-oriented with its livelihood efforts.
In tourism, Tagbilaran, Bohol serves as the base from which tourists organize, equip, and prepare themselves for a launch out to the different scenic spots of the province. For this purpose Tagbilaran City is located strategically, providing access to the northeastern towns of Bohol as well as the southwestern parts of Panglao Island, even to the far-flung areas of Balicasag and Pamilacan Islands.
Being the capital, Tagbilaran, Bohol has the major convenience and entertainment facilities. It has some of the best hotels, malls, department stores, pharmacies, banks, theaters, restaurants, and the like, in the province. Among popular Tagbilaran malls are BG and Island City malls. It has hotels like Bohol Tropics Resort and Metro Center Hotel, and restaurants like Garden Café and Cion Verge Café.
Peter Garant is writing Tagbilaran articles for his site about Bohol Island.