Province of Bohol - Land of History and Natural Beauty
Tagbilaran Travel Blog› entry 4 of 11 › view all entries
After a merely 2-hour ferry ride from Cebu, we finally reached Tagbilaran City. Our friendly tour guide Mang Jun greeted us at the ferry port. First off, we dropped by the department store to buy goodies we'll be needing for our 3-day stay at the beach. I'm pretty sure those goodies are overpriced at the resort, haha! Then we started the countryside tour. We passed by St. Joseph's Cathedral, built in the 1800's. He's the patron saint of the city. This old church is right across the Capitol. Driving East, we then saw this group of old drinking buddies having a toast to their blood compact! Yes, it's true but that could have been hundreds of years ago, hihi. Around the 1500's. What we actually saw were just statues of Datu Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.
Driving to the next town of Baclayon, we visited the oldest coral stone church in the region, Baclayon Church. It's one of the oldest in Asia and foremost among the best-preserved Jesuit-built churches in the country. They say that around 1500's the church was made of light materials, but then later rebuilt in 1727 with limestone. Btw, Bohol mainland is super rich in limestone and so lots of churches in the province are made of that material. The church had a museum of cultural artifacts, but we decided to no longer view them. We still have lots of places to visit! The streets of Baclayon are lined with lots of ancestral houses, reminding us of the early Spanish settlement. Lots of protected mangroves lined up the coast as we passed by them on our way to the next town of Alburquerque. Driving east we saw Sta. Monica church, built in 1869 and made of coral stone. There was this Bolo Knives Factory (itak makers) , a small shop by the road side, where bolo knives are made using traditional methods.
Observing Tagbilaran and the nearby towns made me feel the strong sense of pride that these Boholanos have for their homeland. They do work together to preserve their culture, remember their history, protect its natural beauty and promote tourism for Bohol.