Tagbilaran

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Tagbilaran is the capital city of the island province of Bohol in the Philippines. With close to 100,000 residents living within city limits, it is the main point of entry to Bohol, and serves as the province's political, social and economic center.

The city, known as the "City of Friendship" (similar to Cagayan de Oro), is one of the most liveable cities in the Philippines, having been recognized as such by the Asian Institute of Management in 2005 and 2007.

Understand[edit]

Tagbilaran Bay

Despite being the capital of Bohol, and despite its relative size, Tagbilaran does not feel like a big city. In some respects, the city feels more like a provincial town more than the bustling capital city of one of the Philippines' best-known provinces, and rightfully so. Few establishments are open 24 hours, many stores are closed on Sunday, traffic is almost non-existent, and Tagbilaranons (as local residents are called) seem to be more relaxed than their counterparts in larger cities.

Bohol Capitol

However, this atmosphere does yield several positives: locals are very friendly, the city is very safe, and as the introduction of most tourists to Bohol, Tagbilaran gives a good picture of what one can expect from the rest of the province.

History[edit]

Little is known about the pre-history of Tagbilaran, although it is believed to have been a trading outpost where, according to Spanish accounts, the natives conducted trade with China, the Malay states and present-day Indonesia. It is said that around the year 1200, the Lutaos of northern Mindanao established settlements on stilts along the Tagbilaran Strait, separating mainland Bohol from Panglao Island (which today separates Tagbilaran from Dauis), which later became the Kingdom of Dapitan, a prosperous local center of power. It is believed that these settlements were abandoned by 1563 due to attacks by the Portuguese and their allies from Ternate. Another kingdom, the Bool Kingdom, may have also existed within city limits in the 15th century.

Sandugo Reenactment

The first recorded event in what is now believed to be Tagbilaran was the Sandugo. Known as the first treaty of friendship between Filipinos and Spaniards, this blood compact was effected between local chieftain Rajah Sikatuna and explorer (and later Governor-General of the Philippines) Miguel López de Legazpi, which reportedly took place in what is now the eastern outskirts of the city. (This fact has now disputed by recent historical findings claiming that the event may have actually taken place in Loay, 17 kilometers away.)

Tagbilaran was originally part of neighboring Baclayon, and its parish church was one of the six churches of Bohol established by the Jesuits when they came to the island in 1595 to evangelize and convert the natives to Christianity. The town was later split from Baclayon in 1742, when Father Cesar Felipe Doria, Rector of the Jesuits in Bohol, petitioned for the creation of a new town as he believed Baclayon became too large to be administered by a single priest, and the town was dedicated to Saint Joseph the Worker, hence the town was originally called San José de Tagbilaran. It later became the capital of Bohol in 1854, after the island was made a separate province from neighboring Cebu.

The town grew throughout both the Spanish and American regimes, and on 1 July 1966, Tagbilaran was elevated to a city by virtue of Republic Act No. 4660.

Orientation[edit]

Ph locator bohol tagbilaran.png

Tagbilaran is divided into fifteen barangays, which are commonly referred to as "districts". Most economic activity is concentrated in the city center, which consists of Poblacion I, II and III, as well as Cogon, immediately north of Poblacion II. The city's remaining 11 barangays meanwhile are more rural, and more closely resemble neighboring towns, although they become more urbanized approaching the city center.

Talk[edit]

The main language of Tagbilaran, like the rest of Bohol, is Boholano, a dialect of Cebuano which differs from standard Cebuano largely in terms of pronunciation. These differences sometimes have linguists describe Boholano as a separate language altogether. Despite this, standard Cebuano is understood by Boholano speakers, as it is the language used in Cebuano-language mass media, and Boholano as spoken in Tagbilaran is closer to standard Cebuano than the Boholano spoken further inland. English is also well-understood by most city residents, although Tagbilaranons speak it to varying levels of fluency.

Unlike in neighboring Cebu, Tagbilaranons (and Boholanos in general) are less hesitant to speak Filipino, especially owing to the influx of local tourists from non-Cebuano speaking regions of the Philippines. Many Boholanos will know how to speak Filipino as Filipino language instruction is required in school, and they will normally respond in Filipino when spoken to in Filipino, though some will respond instead in English (as in Cebu). However, it is not uncommon for a Tagbilaranon to ask a Filipino speaker if one is new to the city, as speaking in Filipino is often (though not always) an indicator of not being resident in Tagbilaran.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Tagbilaran Airport is busy with scheduled jet passenger services

Tagbilaran is served by the Tagbilaran Airport (IATA: TAG), located in the northern part of the city, but close to the city center. As the only airport in Bohol with commercial service, it is very busy as it serves the entire province, and it doesn't help that the airport's size is relatively small compared to the amount of traffic it receives. Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Air Asia, are the only airlines flying to Tagbilaran, serving the city several times daily from Manila.

Tricycles and taxis are immediately available outside the airport. It is also practical to walk along the airport access road to the intersection with Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, where it is possible to board a jeepney going toward the city center. In addition, many hotels located both in the city and on Panglao Island offer airport shuttle services. Avoid the touts offering shuttle, taxi or tricycle service to the city or to Panglao Island, as they overcharge for the service.

Passenger service charges

When leaving Tagbilaran, departing passengers have to pay a passenger service charge, more commonly known as the "terminal fee". The fee is ₱75 when departing by plane, and ₱20 when departing by boat. Some boat tickets however already include the fee into the cost of the ticket, so check first and ask before paying.

An alternative to flying into Tagbilaran directly, especially from outside the Philippines, is to fly to Cebu City, then go to Tagbilaran by boat.

By boat[edit]

Boats serving Tagbilaran dock at the Tagbilaran City Tourist Pier, which handles more than 4,000 travelers on a daily basis, and is currently under expansion. With connections to neighboring islands in the Visayas, as well as to Luzon and Mindanao, two types of ships transport passengers to Tagbilaran: fast ferries (catamarans) and regular ferries.

Fast ferries[edit]

Three companies currently provide fast ferry service to the city.

  • 2GO Travel, formerly SuperCat, has three daily services between Tagbilaran and Cebu. Ferries leave from Pier 4 at the Cebu International Port for Tagbilaran at 09:15, 13:35 and 18:05 and return to Cebu from Tagbilaran at 07:00, 11:25 and 15:55.
The Ocean Jet fast ferry boat in Tagbilaran ready for departure to Cebu City, Philippines
  • OceanJet has the most number of services to Tagbilaran, with six daily trips to Cebu, and two to Dumaguete which then travel on to Siquijor.
    • From Cebu, ferries leave from Pier 1 at the Cebu International Port for Tagbilaran at 06:00, 09:20, 11:30, 14:00, 15:35 and 18:35 and return to Cebu from Tagbilaran at 07:05, 09:20, 11:40, 13:30, 16:20 and 18:00.
    • From Siquijor, ferries leave for Tagbilaran at 06:00 and 14:30, returning to Siquijor from Tagbilaran (via Dumaguete) at 08:30 and 17:45. This ferry leaves Dumaguete for Tagbilaran at 07:00 and 15:30.
  • Weesam Express has three daily services between Tagbilaran and Cebu. Ferries leave from Pier 4 at the Cebu International Port for Tagbilaran at 09:00, 14:00 and 18:30, returning to Cebu from Tagbilaran at 07:00, 11:20 and 16:30.

Fares are normally around ₱400-500 one-way, with all three companies offering promotions for buying tickets early. For example, a round-trip ticket between Cebu and Tagbilaran bought at least two days in advance on OceanJet is ₱600, inclusive of passenger service charges.

Sunday ferries from Tagbilaran to Cebu are often fully booked, so book ahead or use the port in Tubigon if leaving on a Sunday.

Regular ferries[edit]

In addition to the three companies providing fast ferry service to the city, two companies provide ordinary ferry services to Tagbilaran from Cebu.

  • Cokaliong Shipping Lines has a weekly service, leaving Cebu every Monday at 18:30 and returning to Cebu from Tagbilaran at 07:30 the next day.
  • Lite Shipping Corporation has two daily services, leaving Cebu at 12:30 and 22:30, returning to Cebu from Tagbilaran at 12:00 and 22:30.

Fares on regular ferries are cheaper than with fast ferries, although the travel times are longer (five hours versus two hours with a fast ferry). Fares normally average around ₱200-250 for regular seats (open-air), and around ₱300 for a bed. Cokaliong Shipping Lines is also the only shipping line which has suite rooms on board: the price per room is ₱920.

2GO Travel also has a weekly service to Tagbilaran from the South Harbor in Manila. The same ferry also continues to Ozamis and iligan, which departs Tagbilaran every Monday at 23.00, returning at 18:30 every Wednesday. It then departs Tagbilaran for Manila at 20:00, arriving at the South Harbor at 23:30 the next day.

Trans Asia ferries have a ferry 3 times a week from Tagbilaran to Cagayan de oro fares from p670 per way.

By bus[edit]

Most buses serving Tagbilaran from other towns in Bohol, as well as all buses from other cities in the Philippines, terminate at the Tagbilaran City Integrated Bus Terminal (IBT), located in the northern outskirts of the city, beside the Island City Mall. The relatively spartan structure also houses the terminal for vans serving the rest of Bohol: vans are located to the left of the entrance, while buses are located to the right.

By car[edit]

The main roads into Tagbilaran are the two halves of the circumferential road circling the island of Bohol which emanate from the city center: the Tagbilaran North Road and the Tagbilaran East Road. In the city center, both roads are known as Carlos P. Garcia Avenue (popularly shortened to "CPG Avenue") and Venancio P. Inting Avenue, respectively. Another major road into Tagbilaran is the Tagbilaran-Corella-Sikatuna-Loboc Road, connecting the city to Loboc and the interior towns of Bohol via Corella.

Get around[edit]

By tricycle[edit]

Tricycles in Tagbilaran

With over 3,000 of them throughout the city, tricycles are the main form of public transportation in Tagbilaran, and can be hailed from any part of the city. They can normally seat up to two people (three if the "seat" behind the driver is counted), with a small luggage space provided on the back. Fares vary according to distance (regular fare: ₱8/person), with drivers charging more to reach Island City Mall and Tagbilaran City Integrated Bus Terminal, the airport, the seaport, or destinations beyond city limits. Tricycles may also be chartered as well for day tours of the city and surrounding towns.

By jeepney or bus[edit]

Aside from tricycles, jeepneys are the other main form of transport in Tagbilaran, with many routes converging at the Island City Mall and the Tagbilaran City Integrated Bus Terminal. Some routes, particularly to the northwestern part of the city and to Panglao Island, also converge at points within the city center, such as Tagbilaran City Square. Jeepneys may either ply routes within the city, or may go to surrounding towns. The fare is ₱8 for the first 4 km (which covers most of the city area), plus ₱1 for every additional km beyond that.

Jeepney routes in Tagbilaran are not numbered. However, it is easy to determine what kind of route a jeepney plies: city jeepneys will normally identify specific points and roads within the city (eg: Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, the Island City Mall, etc.) while provincial jeepneys will only mention the town served from Tagbilaran (i.e. Baclayon, Panglao, etc.).

Buses which serve the rest of Bohol also stop at points within Tagbilaran, although they do not go through the city center. Buses are useful mostly for heading towards the Tagbilaran City Integrated Bus Terminal, where it is possible to transfer to tricycles and jeepneys serving the rest of the city.

By taxi[edit]

There are white taxis in the city, though they are not plentiful and they are mostly found at the airport, seaport and major malls. Taxi rates are the same as in major urban centers such as Manila and Cebu: taxis in Tagbilaran charge a ₱40 flagdown rate, plus ₱3.50 for every additional 300 m. It is not uncommon however to negotiate rates when going outside the city, especially to Panglao, as the taxi driver has to drive back to Tagbilaran without passengers.

On foot[edit]

Tagbilaran is small enough that the city center can be covered adequately on foot. However, as is the case with the rest of the Philippines, sidewalks are few and far between, except along major roads such as Carlos P. Garcia Avenue.

See[edit]

Tagbilaran cathedral, Bohol

Tagbilaran is often perceived as a city with nothing to see, and tourists often skip the city in favor of better-known sites in other parts of Bohol. However, contrary to popular belief, the city does have a number of unique sites.

  •    Carlos P. Garcia HouseA. Hontanosas cor. F. Rocha Sts., Poblacion II. The residence of the former Philippine President and his family in Tagbilaran, it has been converted into a museum featuring presidential memorabilia. Much of the house's original furniture has also been preserved, including the former President's bed and work desk. While admission is free, a donation box is set up by the entrance. Free.
  • Casa Rocha-Suarez Heritage Center3 A. Torralba Street, Poblacion II +63 920 950 3799. Built sometime between 1800 and 1830, it is one of the oldest standing structures in Tagbilaran, and one of the few remaining trading villas in Bohol. Owned by the Rocha-Suarez family, it was converted into a museum in 2005, with several of the family's furniture, heirlooms, personal effects and mementos, accumulated over five generations, on display.
  •    National Museum of the Philippines, Bohol Branch (Bohol Museum), Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, Poblacion II (beside the Provincial Capitol of Bohol). Tu-Su 09:00-17:00. Formerly the Escuela La Niña, and then later the Provincial Library of Bohol, it was opened in July 2008 after moving from the Carlos P. Garcia House. The museum has exhibits on the wildlife, traditions and culture of Bohol, the island's geological history, as well as a room featuring paintings from students throughout the province. ₱10.
  •    Plaza RizalCarlos P. Garcia Avenue, Poblacion II (in front of the National Museum and the Provincial Capitol of Bohol). Formerly the Plaza del Principe, it is the traditional center of the city. A monument to José Rizal stands in the center, while a monument to Carlos P. Garcia stands to the east. A replica of the Chocolate Hills is located to the west beside the Rizal monument.
  • President Carlos P. Garcia Memorial ParkTagbilaran North Road, Booy (across from the Bohol Wisdom School). The largest park in the city, it fronts the site of the future new Provincial Capitol of Bohol. A large monument to Carlos P. Garcia is located in the park's center.
The Site of the Blood Compact in Bool
  • Site of the Blood CompactTagbilaran East Road, Bool (across from Bool Elementary School). Arguably the city's most famous tourist attraction. This is a sculpture commemorating the Sandugo (blood compact) made between Datu Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565, with a wonderful view of the Bohol Sea and coastal mangroves. 100 m to the east is a marker erected by the now-National Historical Commission of the Philippines in 1941 for the same event.
  •    St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral (Tagbilaran Church), Sarmiento Street, Poblacion II (opposite Plaza Rizal). The seat of the Diocese of Tagbilaran, it is one of the six original churches of Bohol established by the Jesuits in 1595. The current church structure however dates back to the mid-1800s, after the original church burned down.

Do[edit]

Festivals[edit]

Tagbilaran celebrates three major festivals.

  • The Ubi Festival is celebrated every January in honor of Bohol's most famous agricultural export, ubi (purple yam). With most celebrations taking place in Plaza Rizal, there are exhibits featuring sustainable agriculture and the plant's uses, a contest for the best ubi specimen and upcoming products, as well as a motorcade through the city.
  • The Tagbilaran City Fiesta is the city's official fiesta, celebrated every May in honor of the city's patron saint, Saint Joseph the Worker, whose feast day is on 1 May. This fiesta also opens Bohol's "Month of Fiestas", as every town in Bohol has a May fiesta. Nightly activities are held in the nine days leading to the fiesta itself, such as the Mutya ng Tagbilaran beauty pageant, stage productions and concerts. On the day itself, motorcades and a street dancing festival take place in the city center.
Sandugo Streetdancing
  • The Sandugo Festival is Tagbilaran's major festival, and it is celebrated every July to commemorate the blood compact made between Rajah Sikatuna and Miguel López de Legazpi, often coinciding with the charter anniversary of the city. Highlights include a re-enactment of the Sandugo, a street dancing festival through the city center, and the Miss Bohol Sandugo beauty pageant.

Buy[edit]

There are four malls in Tagbilaran, of which two are in the city center.

  •    BQ Mall (Bohol Quality Mall), Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, Poblacion II. 08:30-20:00 daily. This four-storey building has a movie theater, a supermarket and several stores, as well as its own small department store with a large souvenir section.
  • Island City MallRajah Sikatuna Avenue, Dampas (beside the Tagbilaran Public Market and the Tagbilaran City Integrated Bus Terminal). 08:00-21:00 daily. The largest mall in the city, it has several shops, a movie theater, a department store and a large supermarket. The mall is also the terminus for a number of jeepney routes within the city and to neighboring towns.
  • Plaza MarcelaPamaong cor. Belderol Sts., Cogon. Opened in 1997, this mall is the closest shopping center to the airport and seaport.
  •    Tagbilaran City SquareCarlos P. Garcia Avenue, Poblacion II (across from BQ Mall). 09:00-20:00 daily. The smallest of the city's malls, it promotes itself as Tagbilaran's version of the Greenhills Shopping Center in Manila. It is built on the site of the old Tagbilaran Public Market, which has since moved to the city's northern outskirts beside the Island City Mall. The two-storey mall has several computer and mobile phone stores, as well as wholesale products on the second floor.

Eat[edit]

Aside from the standard chain restaurants found in major cities in the Philippines, Tagbilaran also has a number of restaurants and other eateries unique to the city.

  • Chicken Ati-AtihanMa. Clara Wharf Road, Cogon (up the street from the Tagbilaran City Tourist Pier),  +63 38 507-9963. The main competitor to Jo's Chicken Inatô, this open-air restaurant serves Filipino dishes alongside its special grilled chicken. ₱80-250 on average.
  • Garden CaféJuan S. Torralba Avenue, Poblacion II (beside the St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral),  +63 38 411-3701. This restaurant is owned and operated by the Philippine chapter of the International Deaf Education Association (IDEA), and true to its ownership, most of the employees are members of the local deaf community.
  • Indian Curry GardenBelderol Street, Cogon (across from Plaza Marcela),  +63 38 416-0794. Tagbilaran's only Indian restaurant, and guaranteed authentic as it is owned by an ethnic Indian. The restaurant also has a karaoke bar, where rooms can be rented for ₱99/hour.
  • JERAC's PizzaG/F Gallares Court, Graham Ave. cor. Ma. Clara Wharf Rd., Cogon (beside the entrance to the Tagbilaran City Tourist Pier),  +63 38 501-8383. Daily 10:00-23:00. This pizzeria is home to Tagbilaran's largest pizza, measuring 22 inches (around ₱600).
  • JJ's Seafood Village (JJ's Seaside Restaurant), Knights of Columbus Drive, Poblacion II (beside the Knights of Columbus Wharf),  +63 38 412-3756. Located along the shores of Tagbilaran Bay, this restaurant specializes in several cuisines, though true to its name, it serves many seafood dishes. The "village" also has conference facilities, a pool and a small hotel inside (₱850 for a double room).
Cock Fight in a Tagbilaran barangay
  • Jo's Chicken Inatô (Payag Restaurant), Carlos P. Garcia East Ave. cor. S. Matig-a St., Poblacion I +63 38 501-7582. This restaurant specializes in chicken inatô, the Cebuano version of the more-well known chicken inasal found on Negros. They also serve Boholano versions of Cebuano delicacies, such as binakhaw (local kinilaw, or vinegared fish), as well as standard Filipino fare. ₱100-300.
  • Shiang MaNou (香滿樓; Xiāngmǎnlóu), J. Borja cor. C. Gallares Sts., Poblacion II +63 38 411-4373. Serving mostly traditional Cantonese dishes, this is one of two upscale Chinese restaurants in the city. It however also has a selection of budget meals for ₱75. ₱150-500.
  • Sweet Home CaféJ. Borja cor. Remolador Sts., Poblacion II (across from the Holy Spirit School),  +63 932 327-3154. Daily 07:00-00:00. Newly-opened, this quiet café is tucked away from the main downtown area. They serve coffee shop staples (i.e. cakes and pastries), as well as mains. ₱150-300 on average.

Drink[edit]

There are a number of nightlife spots in Tagbilaran, although they're not as plentiful as in neighboring Panglao. For example, while there is only one nightclub, there are music and karaoke bars scattered throughout the city.

  • Club SphereCarlos P. Garcia Avenue, Poblacion II (on the ground floor of the Metrocentre Hotel and Convention Center). 21:00-05:00 daily. Run by the Metrocentre Hotel and Convention Centre, it is the only nightclub in Tagbilaran, specializing in dance hits. Visiting DJs play here when they visit the city. The club is small though, with only a maximum capacity of 100 persons.

Sleep[edit]

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under ₱700
Mid-range ₱700 to ₱1,500
Splurge Over ₱1,500


Budget[edit]

  • El Portal Inn56 Belderol Street, Cogon (Beside Plaza Marcela),  +63 38 411-2124fax: +63 38 411-3579. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Located just outside the city center, but still very accessible. ₱750/950 (single/double).
  • Marbella Leisure HostelC. Gallares Street, Poblacion II (Across from Holy Name University),  +63 38 412-2966. Located very close to Plaza Rizal, this hostel is run by the Metrocentre Hotel and Convention Center. ₱650 (single).
  • Marcelina's Guest House53 Lamdagan Street, Booy (near the intersection with Benigno Aquino, Jr. Avenue and Airport Road),  +63 38 412-4169. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. The closest hotel to the airport, this guest house has air-conditioned rooms with communal bathrooms. There is also a common mini-kitchen with a refrigerator and cooking/dining facilities. ₱600 (single).
  • Nisa Traveller's Inn14 Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, Poblacion II +63 38 411-3731, +63 932 518-2755. Although located close to Plaza Rizal, some of its rooms are windowless, and others may have a hospital-like feel. However, breakfast is included in the room price, and there is free Wi-Fi in the lounge area. Most of the rooms have a common bath. ₱600/700 single/double.
  • Taver's Pension HouseRemolador Street Extension, Poblacion II +63 38 411-4896fax: +63 38 412-4790. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Clean, private rooms in the city center, with very friendly staff. All rooms have en suite bathrooms, and Wi-Fi is available in common areas. ₱750/920 (single/double).
  • Uptown Lodge.M H Del Pilat Street. (Behide Alturas Mall.),  +63 38-2353166. A/C single rooms with common bath. A/C double rooms with own bath. Probably the cheapest A/C rooms in town. php400/500.
  • Villa Camilla Pension HouseMa Clara Street. (same street as the Port.),  4114966. Fan Single and double rooms with outside bathrooms. Also has A/C rooms. p350.
  • LTS Lodge.Carlos P garcia Avenue. 4113310. Single fan rooms with common bathrooms. A/C double rooms with common bathrooms. A/C double room with own bathroom and cable TV. p350/600/800.
  • Ellens Bed and BathCPG avenue 501-9341. Single fan shared bath. A/C single shared bath cable TV. A/C double shared bath cable TV. A/C double with own bath, cable TV. All bathrooms have hot water. Free Wi-Fi. 350/500/600/850.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Dao Diamond Hotel and RestaurantKm. 3, Jose A. Clarin Street, Dao +63 38 411-5568. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. This hotel is owned and operated by the Philippine chapter of the International Deaf Education Association (IDEA), and profits generated by the hotel pay for the education of 400 deaf children in Bohol and Leyte. The hotel offers sign language classes and runs a night shuttle (₱15) to the city center. ₱1,400.
  • Darunday Manor22 Jose A. Clarin Street, Poblacion III +63 38 411-2512. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Located very close to Plaza Rizal, it has nine air-conditioned rooms, each with solar-heated showers and baths. ₱1,300.
  • Le Pensione de San Jose and RestaurantSan Jose Street, Cogon (Beside Cogon Elementary School),  +63 38 411-2572. Close to Plaza Marcela, this hotel has a jazz bar on the ground floor. ₱700/1,000 (single/double).
  • Panda Tea Garden SuitesJose A. Clarin Street, Dao (Across from the National Irrigation Administration building),  +63 38 501-6773. The closest hotel to the Island City Mall, it has its own restaurant, a keyboard for public use in the lobby, and telephones in all rooms. ₱850/1,250 (single/double).

Splurge[edit]

  • Bohol Tropics ResortGraham Avenue, Cogon (North of the Tagbilaran City Tourist Pier),  +63 38 411-3510 to 14fax: +63 38 411-3019. Located along the shores of Tagbilaran Bay, it has several amenities which are normally found only in the resorts of Panglao Island. A popular local nightclub called Laser Party Club is also located here. ₱2,350.
  • Metrocentre Hotel and Convention CenterCarlos P. Garcia Avenue, Poblacion II +63 38 411-5878. Check-in: 14:30, check-out: 12:00. The only full-service hotel in the city center, it has a total of 72 rooms, including a presidential suite. It has a swimming pool, two restaurants and one of the city's two nightclubs, Club Atmosphere, as well as convention facilities. ₱1,940.

Connect[edit]

See also: Philippines#Connect

Telephones[edit]

The area code of Tagbilaran, like the rest of Bohol, is 38. Area codes are not required for calls made within the entire province of Bohol.

The three main mobile service providers in the Philippines: Smart Communications, Globe Telecom and Sun Cellular, have good (though sometimes spotty) coverage throughout Tagbilaran, and all three providers operate both 2G and 3G networks throughout the city. SIM cards are sold at convenience stores throughout the city, at mobile phone stores located in the city center (especially within Tagbilaran City Square), and by touts located along Carlos P. Garcia Avenue. All three providers also have offices in the city: Globe Telecom and Sun Cellular have their local offices at the Island City Mall, while Smart Communications has its office at the Ambassador Arcade on B. Inting Street, in the city center.

Unlike mobile phones, however, payphones are hard to find in Tagbilaran, though there are a few in the city center. Some convenience stores though offer use of their telephones for a small fee, often ₱5 for a three-minute local call.

Internet[edit]

There are Internet cafés scattered throughout Tagbilaran, serving both casual Internet surfers and online gamers. Use of a computer at an Internet café typically costs around ₱15-20 per hour. The cafés often offer additional services as well, such as printing documents, but most cafés close at night.

  • Megabyte Café at Bohol Quality Mall. Open 09:00-21:00 ₱5/10min. They also have LAN cable plugin (for direct internet to laptops) and printing, scanning, copying, etc. services

Wi-Fi[edit]

While there are Wi-Fi hotspots in the city, significant coverage is mostly limited to the city center. Many places that do offer Wi-Fi lock their networks and only provide access to paying customers. Most of the hotels and inns throughout the city normally offer free Wi-Fi to their guests, though sometimes coverage is limited to common areas.

  • McDonald's in Bohol Quality Mall (access daily 07:00-11:00 and 13:00-17:00 ). Password available upon request and no purchase required.
  • Gelataria at Bohol Quality Mall (access: mall hours). Password available upon request with purchase.
  • Dunkin' Donuts near Rizal Park, CPG (access: store hours). Password typed on device upon request with purchase.
  • Dunkin' Donuts in Island City Mall (access: mall hours). Password typed on device upon request with purchase.
  • Bo's Coffee Club near Rizal Park, CPG (access: store hours). Daily altered password stub available upon request with purchase.
  • Bo's Coffee Club in Island City Mall (access: mall hours). Password typed on device upon request with purchase.
  • Brewpoint Coffee Club at Soledad Suites (access: store hours). Daily altered password stub available upon request with purchase.

Go next[edit]

The tarsier (Tarsius syrichta) is one of the world's smallest primates, and it is endemic to Bohol. It may be seen at the Philippine Tarsier Foundation's Tarsier Visitors Center in neighboring Corella.

The rest of Bohol awaits visitors to Tagbilaran, with many parts of the province reasonably accessible from the city.

  • Panglao Island, home of the famous white sands of Alona Beach, the underground springs of Hinagdanan Cave, and stately old churches and buildings dotting the island, is immediately south of the city. Both the older Butalid Causeway, located in the city center, and the newer Borja Bridge to the east in Booy, connect Tagbilaran to Panglao.
  • The neighboring town of Baclayon is known for both its stately old church and its many old Spanish houses. The world's largest python in captivity, Prony, is kept in a sanctuary in Barangay Laya, close to the border with Alburquerque, and Pamilacan Island, with its white sand beaches and old Spanish-era watchtower, is a short boat ride away.
  • To see tarsiers, head to the Philippine Tarsier Foundation's Tarsier Visitors Center in Corella, northeast of the city.
  • Loboc, 24 km east of Tagbilaran, has long been considered the center of Boholano Christianity, and the town church (and the adjoining Museo de Loboc) are its major landmarks. The world-famous Loboc Children's Choir is based here, performing every Sunday during Mass. Lunchtime river cruises along the Loboc River are also a favorite activity among visitors.

There are good connections to other islands:[1]

  • Cebu
  • Dumaguete - the University city of Gentle People with its popular Rizal Boulevard for evening promenades and opportunities for Whale and Dolphin watching, just a fast boat ride away!
  • Siquijor[2]
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