Provincial Symbols of Bohol

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Bohol has set its own list of provincial symbols taken from among the countless natural resources native to its lands. Some symbols signifies the inherent trait of the Boholanos; hardworking, hospitable and friendly yet freedom loving and fiercely independent. The later traits have been proven throughout the annals of Bohol’s history in its fierce fight against foreign dominion.

The Official Seal of the Province

The images reflected on the provincial seal of Bohol shows two arms clasped together signifying brotherhood. Blood is seen dripping from incisions on their wrists. From the annals of history it is believed that both parties, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi representing Spain and Datu Sikatuna a native chieftain, drank the mixture of their blood signifying a blood compact or “Sandugo”; sealing the bond of friendship of the two races forever.

Above the arms are illustrated inverted cones in a row reflecting Bohol’s greatest pride: the Chocolate Hills. There are more than 1,268 cone-shaped hills that are spread over an area of 50 square kilometers or more and vary in size from 30 meters to 120 meters in height. The formation of the hills has left the geologists baffled as to its inception. It is a natural geological formation and the entire expanse of the hills can be viewed atop the highest hill in the municipality of Carmen or at Sagbayan Peak.

The Provincial Flag

The blue color stands for nobility, white for purity and the red color for courage. The two bolos at the sides of the other images signify the two famous resistance movement: The Tamblot and the Dagohoy rebellions. Again the illustration at the central part depicts the “Blood Compact” and the famed Chocolate Hills. The lone blue star above the chocolate hills is to give honor to the one and only Boholano who became the 4th President of the Republic of the Philippines, Carlos P. Garcia.

Provincial Bird

The provincial bird is the Antolihaw or Dimodlaw (Oriolus chinensis), a bright yellow bird which is native to Bohol that feeds on berries and insects. The bird inhabits the lowland open forests and plantations, living in pairs or family parties. It usually stays in high large trees but comes down in search for food.

Provincial Tree

The Molave (Vitex parviflora), which is native to Bohol and adapts well on its limestone soils, has been declared the provincial tree. The tree is beautiful to behold when its violet-colored flowers are in full bloom. The fruits of the molave are small and round and its color ranges from dark purple to black. The tree has an average height, not so tall, with plenty of branches and with trifoliate leaves.

Provincial Fruit

The Bohol Mango (Mangifera indica Linnaeus) has been declared as the provincial fruit. It is native to Bohol and is believed to be the sweetest in the Philippines. The island’s limestone soil is responsible for the mango’s sweet and tender fruit. The island is dotted with mango groves, most of which are along the national circumferential and interior roads.

Provincial Plant

The purple Boholano yam (Dioscorea alata Linnaeus) is also lovingly called “Ubi Kinampay” by the Boholanos. They highly revere this root crop to the extent of kissing it lovingly if it accidentally falls. The yam when cooked has an aromatic taste. It is eaten alone after boiling, or mixed with other vegetables. Sautéed or not, if mixed with other vegetables and especially with coconut milk, it is very delicious! It is often made into a paste and then used to flavour ice cream, candies, cakes and other pastries. To honor it, the Boholanos celebrate the UBI Festival every January.

Provincial Flower

The white gumamela (Hibiscus rosa-senensis Linnaeus) is considered the provincial flower for it is endemic to Bohol. Other varieties of the gumamela family thrive in Bohol yet the white ones symbolize the innocence and naturalness of the Boholano. Gumamelas are characterized with long styles with pollens at the tip causing it to move with the wind in a bowing motion; thus it characterizes the Boholanos inherent trait of bowing down to its guests in a language of welcome. Its close-knit petals represent loyalty and constancy towards family members; and the whole flower in itself shows simplicity in tastes and modest needs.

Provincial Hero

Francisco Dagohoy, otherwise known as Francisco Sendrijas, is declared by Bohol as its Provincial Hero. He led the longest revolt in the annals of Philippine History (1744-1829), a period of 85 years against the Spanish oppressors. Greatly obeyed and respected, he governed his people as chief executive and supreme judge with the help of old men in peace affairs and military captains in war matters.

Provincial Dance

The Kuratsa Boholano has been declared the provincial dance.


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