Attractions at Cortes, Bohol
The Cortes Town of Bohol has several sites worthy of a visit yet needs further development in order to attract foreign tourists. The Local Government Unit of the town is now geared towards the improvement and promotion of these attractions in line with the province-wide tourism pursuits.
The Abatan River is one of its natural assets. The winding river snakes thru the town of Antequera and up to the town of Balilihan for an estimated length of 20 kilometers. It opens at the Cortes nipa swamps.
Approaching the river either from Maribojoc or from Tagbilaran, one will see a wide greenish-colored river winding in and out of thick clumps of nipa palms that is so picture perfect! This is the most extensive nipa swamp in Bohol.
In the days of old when roads were scarce, the river serves as a waterway for the people to and from the interior towns. Now, the government has seen its potential for tourism after the success of the Loboc River tours and it is now being developed.
Kayak exploration is now available and can be arranged. Just inquire at BDMarine, a boat building enterprise near Cortes nipa swamp and along the highway, also at Ilaw Convention Center in Bool, Tagbilaran City Tel.: (038) 524-2423; FAX: (038) 411-4853.
The Church of Cortes is dedicated to the Sto. Niño and thus known as the Sto. Niño Parish Church. It is situated high up on a hill and like all Bohol churches is shaped like a cruciform. The church dates back to the middle of the 18th century although the bell tower’s upper register was not completed until the 20th century.
The church is made up of cut coral stone blocks. A portico is in front of an older façade and floral carving frames the doorway. It has frescoes on its ceilings. The main retablo has twisted Solomonic columns and profusely carved flanges in the Baroque idiom. The Cortes Church is a must-see especially for the religious pilgrims.Bilibili Spring
The Bilibili Spring is another site envisioned for development by the local government for it will be the first stop of the proposed river cruise. It is a much-loved nook of the local inhabitants; a place to while away the time while communing with nature and being refreshed by the cool spring waters. The spring is located in barangay Malayo Norte.
Cortes town is rife with natural attractions which need to be enhanced further to make it worthy for promotion. The Bacong River Heritage Conservation Tour for paddling and river trekking enthusiasts has been set up. Other sites such as the Larga Vista, an old stone building and the municipal hall are must-see.