The name Bohol is thought to be derived from the name of the barrio Bo-ol, a barangay found in Tagbilaran City which was among the first places visited by the Magellan expedition.
The people of Bohol are said to be descendants of the last group of inhabitants who settled in the Philippines called Pintados (the tattooed ones). Before the Spaniards arrived in 1521, Boholanos already had a culture of their own as evidenced by the artifacts dug at Mansasa, Tagbilaran, and in Dauis and Panglao using designs during the Ming dynasty (960-1279).
They had already a system of writing but most of the materials used were perishable like leaves and bark. They spoke a language similar to that of the nearby provinces. History has it that one of the Spanish ships of Magellan (the Concepcion) was burned in this province after Magellan was killed by Lapulapu in Mactan.
The province became a Jesuit mission in 1595. At this time, Bohol was a part of the province of Cebu and was called a residencia. It then became a separate politico-military province on July 22, 1854, together with the island of province of Siquijor. In 1879, there were 34 towns belonging to the province with a total population of 253,103.
Two significant revolts were recorded during the Spanish regime. The Tamblot Uprising in 1621 led by a native priest or Babaylon, and the Dagohoy Rebellion from 1744 to 1829 led by Francisco Dagohoy which is considered as the longest revolt recorded in the annals of Philippine history. American forces seized the province in March 17, 1900.
Bohol is the home province of the fourth President of the Republic of the Philippines, Carlos Polistico Garcia (1957-1960) who was born in the municipality of Talibon.
Have a Cebu and Bohol aerial tour to fully experience and see the beauty of Bohol and Cebu City.
The Blood Compact
In 1565 Miguel Lopez de Legazpi anchored in Jagna, one of the eastern municipalities of Bohol. He made a blood compact with the Chiefs Sikatuna and Sigala in a small village near the present capital of the province, Tagbilaran City, signifying they were blood brothers. And became the first international treaty of peace and unity between the native king Rajah Sikatuna and Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi on March 16, 1565 through a blood compact alliance or also known as the “Sandugo”.
Legazpi first noticed the hostility of the people. From the Mohammedan Malay pilot, he gathered the information that such hostility was due to the marauding expeditions conducted by the Portuguese from the Moluccas, and, since the Spaniards look like Portuguese, the Bohol inhabitants naturally mistook them to be the white vandals. As late as 1563 the Portuguese raiders prowled the Visayan waters, plundered Bohol, and killed or enslaved about 1,000 inhabitants.
Legazpi, with the aid of the Malay pilot, explained to the two kings of Bohol, Sikatuna and Gala that the Spaniards were not Portuguese and that they had come on a mission of peace not to destroy, kill or plunder. On learning this, the Bohol kings and their people became friendly and welcomed the Spaniards.
On March 16, 1565, Legazpi and Sikatuna performed a blood compact to seal their friendship. A few days later Legazpi had a similar pact with Gala. In his report to Philip II, Legazpi described the ceremony of the blood compact in the following words: “It is observed in the following manner: one from each party draws two or three drops of blood from his own arm or breast and mixes them in the same cup, with water or wine. Then the mixture must be divided equally between two cups, and neither person may depart until both cups are alike drained.”