San Isidro: Refreshing Oasis Embracing Nature's Beauty at  Canawa Cold Spring

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Welcome to San Isidro, a hidden gem nestled in the beautiful province of Bohol, Philippines. This tranquil municipality is a perfect destination for travelers seeking a serene and authentic experience away from the crowds. San Isidro offers a unique blend of natural wonders, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality, making it an ideal retreat for those seeking a peaceful getaway.

As you step foot in San Isidro, you'll immediately be captivated by its lush landscapes, rolling hills, and picturesque countryside. The municipality is known for its agricultural heritage, with vast farms and fields that contribute to the region's vibrant livelihood. Here, you can witness the traditional farming practices, engage with friendly locals, and immerse yourself in the rural lifestyle.

Nature enthusiasts will be delighted by the scenic beauty that surrounds San Isidro. The Binabaje Hills, with its verdant slopes and panoramic vistas, beckons adventurers to embark on exhilarating hikes and witness breathtaking sunrises or sunsets. The Tubigon River, meandering through the municipality, offers a tranquil setting for river cruises, where you can revel in the peaceful ambiance and marvel at the abundant flora and fauna along its banks.

San Isidro is also a place of deep religious devotion, with its beautifully constructed San Isidro Parish Church serving as a spiritual center for the community. The Spanish colonial architecture, intricate details, and religious artifacts within the church reflect the rich cultural heritage of the area. You may have the opportunity to witness the fervent celebration of the annual fiesta in honor of San Isidro Labrador, where vibrant street parades and traditional performances showcase the deep-rooted faith and festive spirit of the locals.

To truly appreciate the essence of San Isidro, indulge in its culinary delights. Sample traditional dishes made with fresh local ingredients, and savor the flavors that embody the richness of Boholano cuisine. Don't miss the chance to try local delicacies and specialties that are unique to the region.

Whether you're seeking outdoor adventures, cultural exploration, or a peaceful escape in the embrace of nature, San Isidro offers an authentic and enriching experience. Discover the hidden treasures of this charming municipality, connect with the welcoming community, and create lasting memories as you immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of San Isidro, Bohol.

San Isidro history

San Isidro was once a part of the municipality of Antequera. Macapagao was the place’s name which was said to be because of a person residing there who had a very harsh voice. People living there refer it as “macapagao”. After some time, the place was called Agbunan. The names is originated from a plant called “bugang” that bears white flowers that spreads or scatters into the air when the wind blows.

Agbunan became one of the barrios of Catigbian when the latter was made into a town during the Spanish regime.

Catigbian was destroyed during the Philippine-American war. Its barrios were ceded to the neighboring municipalities and that was when Agbunan was back to Antequera. However, when Catigbian was restored, Agbunan once again became a part of Catigbian. Agbunan or San Isidro was one of the big barangays of Catigbian.

The place was formally made into a separate town on June 21, 1969 when President Ferdinand Marcos signed into Law RA 5662 creating San Isidro as one of the towns of the province of Bohol. The dream of making their barrio into a town was inspired by its rapid growth and development.

San Isidro geography

San Isidro boasts a diverse and captivating geography. The municipality is blessed with beautiful beaches, rolling hills, and lush forests. It is surrounded by towering mountains, offering breathtaking views and opportunities for hiking and trekking adventures. Notable geographical features include the highest peaks in Bohol, which provide panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscapes. The climate in San Isidro is generally tropical, with warm and humid weather throughout the year. The best time to visit is during the dry season from November to April when the weather is pleasant and ideal for outdoor activities.

San Isidro is home to a warm and welcoming community. The municipality has a population of approximately 9,909 people, comprising various ethnicities and cultures. The locals primarily speak the Cebuano language, but Tagalog and English are also widely understood. The town takes pride in its rich cultural heritage, which is reflected in its customs, traditions, and festivals. The annual fiesta of San Isidro, the patron saint of farmers, is celebrated on May 15th with vibrant processions, street parades, traditional dances, and culinary delights. Visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture and witness the genuine hospitality of the San Isidro community.

As the place is ideal for agriculture, together with its favorable climate, the town’s major industry is the production of agricultural products such as rice, coconut, corn, coffee and rootcrops.

Three rivers are found in the municipality. Sampilangon River is in the eastern part which is also the largest among the three. Ugay River is in the central part. It connects Sampilangon River in barangay Caimbang. The last river is the Magdahunog River in the western part. It connects Tabuan River in Antequera.

What to see Attractions & sites

San Isidro, a municipality in Bohol, Philippines, offers several attractions that showcase the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the area. Here are some notable attractions in San Isidro:

1. Binabaje Hills:

One of the main highlights of San Isidro is the Binabaje Hills. These hills offer stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes and are a favorite spot for hikers and nature enthusiasts. The rolling green hills provide a picturesque backdrop for outdoor activities and photography.

2. Tubigon River:

The Tubigon River runs through San Isidro, offering a scenic and tranquil setting. Visitors can take a leisurely boat ride along the river, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere and admiring the lush vegetation along the banks. It's a great opportunity to appreciate the natural beauty of the area and spot local wildlife.

3. San Isidro Church:

The San Isidro Parish Church, dedicated to San Isidro Labrador, is a historic religious site in the municipality. The church features Spanish colonial architecture and is known for its intricate details and beautiful facade. Inside, visitors can admire religious artworks and experience the spiritual ambiance of the place.

4. Local Festivals:

San Isidro celebrates its annual fiesta in honor of its patron saint, San Isidro Labrador. The fiesta features vibrant street parades, cultural performances, traditional music, and dances. It's an excellent opportunity to immerse in the local culture, witness traditional rituals, and savor local delicacies.

5. Farm Visits:

San Isidro is known for its agricultural heritage, with vast rice fields, coconut plantations, and vegetable gardens. Visitors can arrange farm visits to experience the rural lifestyle and learn about traditional farming practices. It's a chance to interact with local farmers, try your hand at farming activities, and gain insights into the importance of agriculture in the community.

6. Local Cuisine:

Indulge in the flavors of San Isidro by exploring the local cuisine. Sample traditional dishes made with fresh ingredients sourced from the surrounding farms. Don't miss trying local specialties like "paksiw na isda" (fish stewed in vinegar), "torta" (local omelet), and "kakanin" (rice cakes). Look for small eateries or ask locals for their recommended food spots.

These attractions in San Isidro provide a blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and immersive experiences that allow visitors to appreciate the charm of this municipality in Bohol. Whether it's exploring the hills, experiencing the local festivities, or immersing in the agricultural lifestyle, San Isidro offers a unique and enriching destination for travelers.

San Isidro fiestas festivals

Leaders who are devoted Roman Catholics decided to build a chapel dedicated to Saint Isidore the farmer, their chosen Patron Saint, which is considered as the patron saint for farmers.

One of its achievements is the institution of the First Agbunan Festival wherein the culture and traditions of the San Isidrohanons are displayed. The Festival is a great means for the promotion of tourism, of ecological and agricultural pursuits, the enhancement of folk beliefs and of the natural environment.

The Festival comprises a street-dancing and a showdown. Showcases of organic farm products from the different barangays of the town are also displayed.

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what to do San Isidro

In San Isidro, Bohol, there are several activities and experiences that visitors can enjoy. Here are some things to do in San Isidro:

1. Explore Binabaje Hills:

Embark on a hike or trek to the beautiful Binabaje Hills, which offer breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Enjoy the fresh air, immerse yourself in nature, and capture stunning photos of the rolling green hills.

2. River Cruising:

Take a leisurely boat ride along the Tubigon River and enjoy the peaceful ambiance as you cruise through the scenic waterway. Admire the lush vegetation along the riverbanks, spot local wildlife, and simply relax in the tranquil surroundings.

3. Visit San Isidro Church:

Pay a visit to the San Isidro Parish Church, dedicated to San Isidro Labrador. Marvel at the Spanish colonial architecture, intricate details, and beautiful facade of the church. Inside, take a moment for reflection and admire the religious artworks on display.

4. Participate in Local Festivals:

If you're lucky to visit during the annual fiesta celebration in honor of San Isidro Labrador, immerse yourself in the vibrant street parades, cultural performances, and traditional music and dances. Experience the lively atmosphere, witness traditional rituals, and savor the festive spirit of the community.

5. Engage in Farm Experiences:

San Isidro is known for its agricultural heritage, so consider arranging a farm visit to get a glimpse into the local farming practices. Interact with farmers, learn about traditional farming techniques, and even try your hand at activities like planting or harvesting. It's a great opportunity to connect with nature and gain insights into the importance of agriculture in the area.

6. Sample Local Cuisine:

Indulge in the flavors of San Isidro by exploring the local cuisine. Visit small eateries or local food stalls to try traditional dishes made with fresh ingredients sourced from the surrounding farms. Don't miss the chance to savor local delicacies and specialties unique to the region.

7. Immerse in the Rural Lifestyle:

Take a leisurely stroll through the countryside, observe the rural way of life, and appreciate the simplicity of the surroundings. Engage in conversations with locals, learn about their customs and traditions, and gain a deeper understanding of the local culture.

8. Enjoy Outdoor Activities:

San Isidro's natural surroundings provide opportunities for outdoor activities like picnicking, bird-watching, or simply enjoying a peaceful walk amidst nature. Take advantage of the serene environment and unwind in the beauty of the outdoors.

These activities offer a glimpse into the natural beauty, cultural heritage, and local lifestyle of San Isidro. Whether you prefer adventurous pursuits or a more relaxed experience, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this charming municipality in Bohol.

food & drink

San Isidro boasts a delectable array of culinary delights that will satisfy any palate.

Indulge in fresh seafood dishes, such as grilled fish, shrimp, and crabs, prepared using traditional cooking methods and local ingredients.

Don't miss the opportunity to taste the town's specialties, including "binakhaw" (a local delicacy made from ground rice), "linarang" (a flavorful fish stew), and "torta" (a savory omelet made with various fillings).

For souvenirs and pasalubong, consider bringing home jars of ube jam, honey, and other local products that reflect the agricultural abundance of San Isidro.

where to stay

Linking Cordova, Olango Island, and Getafe: The proposed Cebu-Bohol bridge aims to connect Cordova or Olango Island in Cebu to Getafe, a municipality in northern Bohol. 

getting there & around 

The municipality of San Isidro is situated on the interior part of Bohol, lying north of the municipality of Antequera, south of the municipality of Tubigon, east of the municipality of Calape, and west of the municipality of Catigbian. The town is 32 kilometers away from the province’s lone city and its capital, Tagbilaran City.

It can be reached by bus or jeepney and even vans-for-hire and taxis that are going northbound from Tagbilaran. It takes approximately 1 hour to reach the town, passing through scenic rice fields, banana and coconut groves along the towns before it.

From the airport, you can hire a taxi or arrange for a private transfer to reach San Isidro.

From Tagbilaran, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus or van to San Isidro.

Car and motorcycle rentals are also available for those who prefer to explore at their own pace.

nearby bohol attractions

Anda

- Known for its pristine beaches, enchanting caves, and vibrant marine life, Anda is a coastal town that offers a tranquil and idyllic retreat. Explore the stunning Anda Beach, visit the enchanting Combento Cave, or dive into the azure waters to discover the rich underwater world.

Carmen

- Home to the famous Chocolate Hills, Carmen is a town that showcases nature's wonders. Marvel at the symmetrical hills and enjoy panoramic views from the viewing decks. Don't miss the chance to explore the adventure park and zipline through the lush landscape.

Loboc

- Nestled along the scenic Loboc River, this town offers a serene and picturesque setting. Take a relaxing river cruise, visit the historic Loboc Church, or immerse yourself in the local music and culture at the Loboc Floating Restaurant.

History

Related Article:


First Agbunan Festival of San Isidro Municipality

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