photo by ral_m

Baclayon is a coastal town situated in the southeastern part of the island of Bohol, Philippines; about six (6) kilometers from the city of Tagbilaran, a mere 10 minutes ride away. It is considered a 5th class municipality with a population of 18,015 people according to the 2007 census.

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The town of Baclayon covers an area of 3,442.1807 hectares or 34 square kilometers which is politically divided into 17 barangays, namely: Cambanac, Dasitam, Buenaventura, Guiwanon, Landican, Laya, Libertad, Montana, Pamilacan, Payahan, Poblacion, San Isidro, San Roque, San Vicente, Santa Cruz, Taguihon and Tanday.

photo by bong

Baclayon played a prominent role in the history of Bohol since it was the first municipality ever to be established in the island by the Spaniards. Baclayon then encompasses its present territory as well as those belonging now to the towns Alburquerque and Corella, Sikatuna, Alburquerque and Balilihan.

This municipality was originally called Bacayon because travelers used to detour (bacay) around a rocky cliff along the shore about half kilometer from the municipal building in order to avoid going over the top of the cliff.

photo by Mj_dzey

The town was founded in 1595 by two Jesuit priests, Fr. Juan de Torres and Fr. Gabriel Sanchez, the first recorded missionaries in Bohol. They were also responsible for building Bohol’s oldest church and adjoining 21 meters high bell tower through prison labor. It is even one of the oldest, if not the oldest church, in the whole archipelago.

The church and tower are made of stone blocks and looks dark and massive nowadays. The altars are intricately carved and the church boasts of an organ that was installed in 1824. The people of Baclayon are mostly Roman Catholics and are deeply religious. Their faith and any manifestations thereof revolve around their church which is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception whose feast day is celebrated every 8th of December.

photo by bong

The church lies along the National Road and faces the sea. Part of it was made into a museum were antiques and other artifacts, which can be traced back to the early 16th century, are displayed. Being the oldest church in Bohol, and plus the added attraction of the Museum, it is often the destination of tourists.

Beside the church is the Immaculate Conception Academy, which offers a complete secondary course. The small space between the road and the seashore was developed into a park and a bay walk. A tennis court lies next to the park and to the Municipal Hall.

photo by bong

Far off, towards the sea, you will see the docking area of outrigger boats coming from Pamilacan Island where one can enjoy dolphin and whale watching. Across the wharf is the public market where one can avail of the simplest fares yet tasteful ones prepared from the freshest ingredients available.

The people of Baclayon are hardworking and industrious. Work revolves around salakot weaving and making of winnowing baskets. Their most important occupations are farming, planting and fishing. Coconuts and copra are some of the major products.

Read More:

  • Bohol Town of Baclayon - The town of Baclayon covers an area of 3442.1807 hectares or 34 square kilometers which is politically divided into 17 barangays.
  • History of Baclayon - Baclayon played a prominent role in the history of Bohol since it was the first municipality ever to be established in the island by the Spaniards.
  • Baclayon Tourist Attraction - The Municipality of Baclayon has several attractions, mostly heritage edifices such as the Baclayon Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the Baclayon Museum, and the Heritage or Ancestral Houses.
  • Baclayon Church - The Church of Immaculada Concepcion in Baclayon is considered to be one of the oldest in the Philippines. Construction began in 1717 where some 200 native laborers (obras pias) cut and dragged coral blocks from the sea, using only bamboos in moving and lifting the stones in position.
  • Visita Iglesia to the Baclayon Church - Ever since I was small and at every visit to Bohol, I pass by the Baclayon Church on the way to my Dad’s place in Guindulman or to my Mom’s at Mahayag ...
  • Baclayon Museum - A visit to the church is not complete without a stopover at the museum; carries a handful of religious artifacts that interestingly showcase the legacy that the Spaniards left on our beloved island. Looking at these artifacts, especially the vestments which are embroidered with gold, we relive the moment when these was worn, oh so elegantly!
  • Baclayon Pastries - Baclayon is known locally as the pastry capital of Bohol. This pastry making activity dates back to the Spanish times. It is said that because of the volume of egg whites that were used for the construction of the church, the Spaniards taught the locals how to make cookies and other pastries while utilizing the egg yolks.
  • Bohol Ancestral Houses are numerous in the province. Some are dilapidated and have been abandoned yet others were lovingly preserved by the descendants of the prominent homeowners.
  • Malon House, Baclayon Bohol Old Houses - The Malon House dates back to the late 19th century - the largest heritage house in Baclayon home to six (6) generations of the prominent Malon family.
  • The Villamor House was built in late 19th century in the geometric style by Ciriaco Villamor and wife Agrifina Buhion. They were traders by profession whose daughter later married the founder of the renowned Baclayon Trading Company. It is still owned by the Villamor family and offers Bed & Breakfast accommodations.
  • The Bahandi is a neighborhood organization known as the Baclayon Ancestral Homes Association. The association is composed of home-owners of Spanish colonial houses in Baclayon who banded together to spare their homes from demolition in a province-wide road-widening project sometime in 2002.
  • Picnic at Baclayon Park - Stop and enjoy a picnic at the bayside of Baclayon. With the church in the background contemplate the blue green sea while finishing off your adobo chicken!