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Tagbilaran, Bohol - Then and Now

by Peter Garant

Tagbilaran City is the logical entry point to the Visayan province of Bohol, as probably the famed 17th century Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and other explorers found. There may be other possible entries-the island province of Bohol is surrounded by seas-but Tagbilaran offers the safest and most strategic. Tagbilaran, Bohol rightly holds the title of being capital city of the province.

Naturally protected by Panglao to the south and to the north the protrusions of Maribojoc, Punta Cruz, and Loon-which are actually mountain ranges extending a bit more to the Bohol Sea-Tagbilaran, Bohol is a safe docking area. In fact, "Tagbilaran" was derived from "Tinabilan" meaning "screened," geographically by Panglao and Maribojoc, and also "Tagubilaan" which is a compounded name.

Long ago there used to be Muslim marauders called "Bilaan" (probably akin to "villain") who attacked coasts in the Visayas. That is, except Tagbilaran. It was "tagu" or hidden from view from the vast Seas by Panglao. Thus, Tagubilaan, which later became Tagbilaran. Settlement started here and soon a "Bool" Kingdom was established. And thus, the name Bohol for the province. Today, we have Tagbilaran, Bohol.

In early times the dock areas were first established among which is now the Tagbilaran City Port Area on Maria Clara Road. Then, as buses and planes became available, the Tagbilaran Bus Terminal and Airport. With these transport developments Tagbilaran, Bohol grew and progressed. Tagbilaran was first a town of Baclayon. In July, 1966 it became a chartered city and soon more investments poured in.

Directly accessible from the Causeway Bridge linking Panglao to Tagbilaran, Bohol is the Provincial Capitol Center. The Provincial Capitol building is bounded by C.P. Garcia East Avenue at its front and J.A. Clarin and J.S. Torralba Streets at its lateral sides. Going further on J.A. Clarin we find the Tagbilaran City Hall, which is accessible to the airport. From the pier or dock area on Maria Clara, the Capitol Hall of Tagbilaran, Bohol is an easy 15-minute drive.

Aside from its farming initiatives and fishing and tourism industries, Tagbilaran, Bohol is also trying its hands on the electronic and communications industries. There are signs that the call center industry, presently booming in other parts of the country, is also likely to take off in Tagbilaran City. These being so, Tagbilaran, Bohol is largely service-oriented with its livelihood efforts.

In tourism, Tagbilaran, Bohol serves as the base from which tourists organize, equip, and prepare themselves for a launch out to the different scenic spots of the province. For this purpose Tagbilaran City is located strategically, providing access to the northeastern towns of Bohol as well as the southwestern parts of Panglao Island, even to the far-flung areas of Balicasag and Pamilacan Islands.

Being the capital, Tagbilaran, Bohol has the major convenience and entertainment facilities. It has some of the best hotels, malls, department stores, pharmacies, banks, theaters, restaurants, and the like, in the province. Among popular Tagbilaran malls are BG and Island City malls. It has hotels like Bohol Tropics Resort and Metro Center Hotel, and restaurants like Garden Café and Cion Verge Café.

Peter Garant is writing Tagbilaran articles for his site about Bohol Island.

Comments for Tagbilaran, Bohol - Then and Now

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Jul 13, 2017
Reply to a frustrated customer
by: Anonymous

That is because Garden Cafe employs deaf and mute crews. You have to write your orders on that slip of paper, otherwise they wouldn't understand you.

Sep 16, 2015
by: Clark Jefferson

Many of my friends who travel to Bohol say's that Tagbilaran is such a nice place, that's why I'm looking forward to go there with my family next year.

Mar 04, 2015
by: Alastair

If you are planning to live a peaceful life with fishing farming and all those normal jobs, then with no confusion this is the best place. I had been in Tagbilaran for about three years for my studies in relation with the climate.

Apr 16, 2012
garden cafe help the hearing impared
by: Anonymous

hello anonymus,

just to help you understand what happend. many deaf ( hearing impaired ) work in that restaurant. so their system is to have the customers write down the order. that way these handicapped can earn their living. the price we as hearing pay is not too much - just write down your own order...

and when you actually know a sign from sign language or two and sign to them you will see the most beautiful smile ever appreciating your effort...

take care

May 04, 2011
Poor service at Garden Cafe
by: Anonymous

Garden Cafe is famous in Tagbilaran yet I was disappointed by the poor customer service I experienced there while having lunch last April 24, 2011. The ambiance is that of a very classy restaurant yet the crew there (the lady at the cashier) was so ungracious - asking us what we want when we entered as if she was irritated by us, handing us the menu book before we were seated at the table and worst of all giving us a piece of order slip and a pencil where we will write our orders ourselves. In my whole life of 33 years, it was my very first time to dine in a restaurant where I have to write the orders myself in a slip of paper! And by the way, she did not only do that to our group but also to the other customers who came after us.

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