History of Corella
The municipality of Corella was once known as “Nug-as”. It was formerly a Sitio under the municipality of Baclayon. Baclayon, being the first municipality ever to be established in the island by the Spaniards, encompasses not only Corella but also Tagbilaran, Alburquerque, and Sikatuna.
Through the years, the population of each of these barangays grew and sought independence. Eventually, the municipality of Corella was established in the year 1884 and was named after a town in the province of Navarre, in Northern Spain.
Under the Recollects, the town of Corella was established as a separate parish and a stone church, convent and two stone school buildings were constructed under the direction of successive priests. The church was dedicated to the Nuestra Señora Del Villar whose feast day falls on the 27th of April.
Through the years the church became dilapidated and a new church was constructed in the year 1924 with the help of all parishioners. Much of the religious activity of the town’s folks revolved around their church.
In 1935, a group of people led by Catalino Cajes Sayon left Corella in search of greener pastures. The group finally settled in a plain of Davao del Norte. Many of the Corellanons followed suit and settled there. After a year the barrio of New Corella was established and became the fourth barrio created within the eastern part of the vast Saug district territory.
Henceforth, many Corellanons travel back and forth between their hometown and New Corella in Davao. Trading between the two areas flourished. Fiestas in Corella were made livelier with visits from their far-flung relatives each year. Although they have established themselves in their new territory, these nomads continue to pine for their homeland.
During World War II, Corella became the headquarters of a guerrilla unit until the Japanese took over. The first batch of Japanese soldiers entered Tagbilaran and occupied Bohol in the middle part of May 1942. The Japanese used the school buildings in the Poblacion as their garrison and barracks.
When one thousand one hundred seventy two officers and men of the 3rd Battalion of the 164th Infantry Regiment of the American Division landed at Tagbilaran Wharf on April 11, 1945, the Japanese fled to the hinterlands of Bohol. By April 17, the Japanese forces were destroyed. On May 25, 1945, Bohol was officially declared liberated by Major General William H. Arnold, Commander of the American Division.
Slowly, the people of Corella recovered from the atrocities that the Japanese soldiers inflicted on them. For a period of four years, there was massive and wanton destruction of properties and human lives, not only in Corella but in the whole province of Bohol. The scars left by the Japanese were deep.
April of 1996 saw the growth and further development of Corella and its being recognized as the “tarsier town” of Bohol. With the formation of the Philippine Tarsier Foundation and the establishment of the tarsier sanctuary, the town became internationally renowned and is now visited both by local and foreign tourists.