History of Alicia

The town of Alicia used to be a village called Batuanan. This village’s name is different from the present town of Batuan although both areas took their names from the batuan trees that grew in abundance in their locality. The batuan tree was of much use at that time. The water in which its leaves and fruits are boiled can clean metals while the ripe fruit produces oil equivalent to olive oil.

The town of Batuanan was created by the Military Commander of Bohol Don Manuel Sanz by virtue of an authorization granted by the Governor General on February 5, 1828. The village was created as a resettlement area for the followers of Francisco Dagohoy who surrendered. The town was established in 1829 and became a separate parish with a population of 6,266 people and placed under the temporary administration of the parish priest of Guindulman.

alicia church

Batuanan’s location was very unhealthy being located near a navigable river called Napo. The place was infested with malaria-bearing mosquitoes causing many inhabitants to die. Likewise, the soil was not fertile. For these reasons, no priest wanted to live in the town yet the people were forced to construct a church, a town hall and schools. However, these infrastructures were destroyed by a typhoon on October 15, 1856.

Without a resident priest to guide them, the people become uneducated, ignorant and eventually lawless. By the year 1879, the town became remiss in its payment of taxes. Cattle rustlers abound and even it’s Gobernadorcillo or Mayor was arrested for cattle rustling.

On September 9, 1879, the Politico-Military Governor of Bohol, Adolfo Martin de Baños, dissolved the town and converted in into a barrio of Candijay town. But because of its distance from Candijay, Batuanan continued to have its own town officials. For quite some time it existed thus, as a town within a town, that is why the Spaniards never made it into a separate parish.

American Period

By virtue of Act No. 968 of the Philippine Commission of the Americans, Batuanan was again abolished and made into a barrio of the new Municipality of Mabini in 1903. Through the years, the residents of Batuanan became more knowledgeable in the art of government producing two Mayors, two Vice Mayors, and many councilors for the town of Mabini. The desire for township was again enkindled.

Governor Jacinto Borja, together with the leaders of Batuanan, presented the petition for conversion to a municipality to President Quirino in Dumaguete on April 15, 1948. Pres. Quirino was then campaigning for election as President of the Philippines. Promising him victory in Batuanan, the President then signed Executive Order No. 265 on September 16, 1949 converting Batuanan into the municipality of Alicia, in honor of his wife.

The order was to take effect on November 8, 1949 and would have been revoked if the President had not won the election in Batuanan. All went well, thus in 1949, Batuanan was restored to its former status as a regular municipality.

The municipality of Alicia

The municipality of Alicia is situated in the eastern part of Bohol, about 103 kilometers from the City of Tagbilaran, a two hours and thirty minutes ride away. It is a 4th class municipality and ranks 3rd among the top 20 most deprived municipalities in Bohol. Anda is part of the 3rd Congressional District of Bohol.

Alicia Church - Architecture and History

The inhabitants of Alicia are predominantly Roman Catholics and their faith revolved around the Alicia Parish Church. The Patron Saint of the town is San Joaquin whose feast day falls on August 15. Their main means of livelihood is agriculture and those along the coastal areas are involved in fishing.

Bohol Island Geography

The 31 coastal towns (in alphabetical order) are: Alburquerque, Alicia, Anda, ... The 3rd district comprises the towns of Alicia, Anda, Batuan, Bilar ...