The Inabanga River, in the town of Inabanga, is the largest river in the island of Bohol. it is 25 kilometers long and is seven to ten meters deep. It is similar to the Loboc River in its beauty however it is wider and even deeper.
The wide and winding Inabanga River is of a deep turquoise-green shade maybe due to river grasses on the soil bed or moss. Lush tropical vegetation, mostly of tall coconut palm trees, nipa palms, bananas, ferns and thick shrubs line the banks of the river.
The pristine waters of Inabanga River is mesmerizing and often beckons children and adults alike to take a dip especially during the hot summer months. Daring fellows are often seen jumping from overhanging trees to dive towards the water below. Others are contented sitting on roots of trees at the bank of the river with fishing lines stretched towards the deep in the hope that they will get their day's catch for a hearty fish meal.
The Inabanga River also serves as a river highway wherein people travel there on canoes or small bancas to bring their produce to the town market and likewise bring any purchases that they would make back to their home barangays.
More often than not,the river plays host to "Ilig Riders"; these are boys, ranging from 10 to 12 years old, who ride improvised rafts made out of long bamboo poles which they eventually sold at the town market. They then go home to their barangay at Datag, about 12 kms away from the town center, via terrestrial road.
The boys' trip is not easy mind. From Datag, they have to travel overnight thru the circuitous Inabanga River, which spans a distance of some 20 kilometers. With the river's current and in darkness, they have to maneuver skillfully along the way which requires stamina, strength, quick thinking and lots of determination.
With the boom of tourism in Bohol, Inabanga has its share of tourists who go for the river cruise and then visits the Inabanga Nature Park and Fishing Village where they are treated to fish meals; fishes which they themselves will catch in a fishpond. If you don't feel like fishing, other fresh seafood and native dishes are available to choose from.
Another must-see area along the river is the Macaban Cave and underwater cave. The cave’s entrance can be seen just above the water level. The place is also called Macaban City by the local residents of the town. The area was believed to be the abode of supernatural beings or engkantos.
Before population grew in Inabanga, the river was infested with crocodiles. Yet with this hazard, the people still go to bathe in its waters. Every year though, a life is always lost whether through drowning or crocodile attack. The people of Inabanga, being so superstitious, believed that this yearly loss of life is the people’s rental, or "abang" in the local dialect, for the use of the river.
And so the river was eventually called by the local folks as "Inabangan River" meaning "Rented River". However, at the arrival of the Spaniards, they found it difficult to pronounce the name of "Inabangan". "Inabanga" was easily uttered and often used and so the name remained to this day.
To get to the Inabanga River and the Nature Park and Fishing Village, one takes a bus ride or rents a vehicle for hire from Tagbilaran City. Those coming from the Tubigon port may also get the services of vehicles for hire from the pier or take a bus ride from Tubigon to Inabanga.
In Inabanga town proper,take a tricycle ride from the bus terminal to the entrance of the fishing village at the back of the St. Paul the Apostle Church. For those who hired vans or have their own rides go straight to the entrance. Motorized bancas are available there for the river cruise.
Top of Inabanga River