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The Balilihan 180th Foundation Day coined “Sumad 2008” fell on September 29, 2008. The special day was opened with a Thanksgiving Mass held at the municipal gym. The Mass was concelebrated by Rev. Fr. Reuben Neron L. Angcla; Rev. Fr. Alex Nalitan and Rev. Fr. Crisolito R. Geangan.
The Program and Awarding Ceremonies followed immediately after the Mass. Awards for the Best Puroks, the Best Booths, Pinaka Products, winners of the Street Dancing and Filipiniana Costume were awarded by Congressman Edgar M. Chatto, assisted by the municipal officials of Balilihan.
The highlight of the day was the “Pista sa Sumad” at the gym where 31 barangays and 5 schools of the municipality laid their prepared food on their respective tables and feasted on them with their invited guests. The communal gathering and sharing was a true manifestation of a Boholano trait – the inherent desire to celebrate with gusto and to share with others. The day was in a way a dual celebration since it was also the 7th death anniversary of the town’s longest serving Mayor, Hon. Eladio Ibarra Chatto.
Prior to the September 29, 2008 celebration, the town witnessed various activities starting last September 23, a Tuesday, with the raising of the national, provincial, and municipal flags. For the first time, 31 barangay flags were raised simultaneously with the municipal flag. The memorable event was then followed by the presentation of the eight (8) candidates for Miss Balilihan SUMAD 2008.
On the same day, “Tree Planting” was done in the Municipal Tree Park lying adjacent to CVSCAFT-Balilihan Campus. This was initiated by the LGU Officials and employees and joined by the CVSCAFT students. The Special Forces of the 4th SF 2nd BN, SOCOM PA based in Baucan, on the other hand, did a “Coastal Clean-up” along the Balilihan portion of the Abatan River.
September 24 witnessed a Sports Fest which was participated in by teams from the LGU, ABC, Dep-ED and other National agencies based in Balilihan. A Municipal CIVAC was set on September 25 in Haguilanan Grande and the neighboring barangays. Aside from the medical and dental services offered with free medicines from PCSO, supplementary feeding, deworming of ruminants, haircut and massage were simultaneously done.
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September 26 dawned a busy day for the participating 31 barangays who put up their agricultural and cottage industries’ exhibits in the booths provided beside the Municipal Hall premises. In the evening, the municipal gym was jam-packed with people who came to witness the Talent’s Night for the Miss Balilihan SUMAD 2008.
On September 27, the Agri Fair was formally opened at 2:00 P.M. with the ribbon cutting rites led by Congressman Edgar M. Chatto and assisted by the Vice Governor and the three Sangguniang Panlalawigan Board Members plus other visitors. The 37 booths were blessed by Fr. Reuben Neron L. Angcla of Mt. Carmel Parish. After a short program inside the Agri Fair, the LGU Bagsakan Center was launched followed by the groundbreaking of the TESDA Training Center in Cabad. Groundbreaking was again led by Cong. Chatto and party.
A visit to the ARCDP Farm and to the Market Road Project (Boyog Sur to San Roque) was done in the morning of September 28, 2008 with DAR Secretary Nasser C. Pangandaman leading the party. Likewise visits were made to the vegetable gardens and farms, starting from the LGU Demo Farm and Green House. Regional Executive Director Ricardo Oblena of the Department of Agriculture guided the guests during the visit.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Congressional Library was done towards noontime and this special event was led by National Library Director Prudenciana Cruz. Likewise, a ribbon-cutting ceremony of the two-storey CVSCAFT building in Magsija was also done led by SUC Pres. Elpidio Magante. The affair was graced by the presence of Cong. Chatto, Gov. Aumentado, and other government officials.
Lunch followed at the Municipal Residencia and at 2:00 P.M., three (3) more activities were witnessed. First, were the launching of the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Program (ARISP III), the LGU Green House and Demo Farm, then the program, “A Tree for Life”. The launching was immediately followed by the turn-over ceremonies of the Congressional Library and the two-storey CVSCAFT building. The much awaited Street Dancing Competition capped the afternoon activities after the Costume Parade.
In the evening of Sept. 28, the people of Balilihan, even those from the far-away barangays, thronged to the municipal gym to witness the Search and Coronation of Miss Balilihan SUMAD 2008. The gym overflowed with people where each district cheered and rooted for their candidates.
Over-all, the 180th Foundation Day of Balilihan was celebrated with a bang! Government officials and other dignitaries graced the week-long affair. Activities were geared towards the development of the town, programs were implemented and projects launched. It just shows that with cohesiveness of the townsfolk’s towards development, much can be achieved. The town of Balilihan sets a good example which hopefully would be followed by the other towns of Bohol.
The Municipality of Balilihan is an interior town lying northeast of Tagbilaran City, about 22 kilometers away. Estimated travel time from Tagbilaran is 30 minutes via Cortes (thru CPG North Avenue) or Corella (thru JA Clarin St.). The town is blessed with a vista of rugged hills, mountains and verdant fields.
The Municipality of Balilihan has set its foundation day on September 29, 1828; supposedly the day when the town was separated from its mother town, Baclayon. The date is questionable though, for per historical records, its founding date was officially recorded on another date. How and why this is so is yet to be clarified.
The town and parish of Balilihan were from Baclayon in 1829, to make room for Dagohoy?s followers after the revolt, which lasted eight decades, were put to an end by a massive assault by Spanish troops from Cebu. The Recollects administered the parish until 1898. The present church was probably completed in the early 20th century.
For Balilihan, its name was derived from a grass called balili which grew in abundance in the locality. ?Balilihan? means a place where plenty of "balili" grows.