Bohol is a first income class island province of the Philippines located in theCentral Visayas region, consisting of the island itself and 75 minor surrounding islands. Its capital is Tagbilaran City. With a land area of 4,117.26 square kilometres (1,589.68 sq mi) and a coastline 261 kilometres (162 mi) long, Bohol is the tenth largest island of the Philippines. To the west of Bohol is Cebu, to the northeast is the island of Leyte and to the south, across the Bohol Sea is Mindanao.
The province is a popular tourist destination with its beaches and resorts. The Chocolate Hills, numerous mounds of limestone formations, is the most popular attraction. The formations can be seen by land (climbing the highest point) or by air via ultralight airplane tours. Panglao Island, located just southwest of Tagbilaran City, is famous for its diving locations and routinely listed as one of the top ten diving locations in the world. Numerous tourist resorts dot the southern beaches and cater to divers from around the world. The Philippine Tarsier, the second-smallest primate in the world, is indigenous to the island.
A narrow strait separates the island of Cebu and Bohol, and both share a common language, but the Boholanos retain a conscious distinction from the Cebuanos. Bohol's climate is generally dry, with maximum rainfall between the months of June and October. The interior is cooler than the coast.
On 15 October 2013, Bohol was devastated by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The epicenter of the earthquake was 6 kilometers south ofSagbayan town. The earthquake, which also devastated neighboring Cebu City, claimed 156 lives and injured 374 people. It also destroyed or damaged a number of Bohol's heritage churches, including the churches of Baclayon, Loboc, Loon, Maribojoc, Loay, Dimiao, and Dauis.
Bohol was first settled by Australoid people, like the rest of the Philippines. They still inhabit the island today and are known as the Eskaya tribe. Their population also was absorbed into the Austronesian or Malayo-Polynesian peoples who later settled the islands and form the majority of the population. The Austronesian people living on Bohol traded with other islands in the Philippines and as far as China and Borneo.
The people of Bohol are said to be the descendants of a group of inhabitants who settled in the Philippines called pintados or “tattooed ones.” Boholanos already had a culture of their own as evidenced by artifacts unearthed at Mansasa, Tagbilaran, and in Dauis and Panglao.]
Bohol is derived from the word Bo-ho or Bo-ol. The island was the seat of the first international treaty of peace and unity between the native king Datu Sikatuna and Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi on March 16, 1565 through a blood compact alliance known today by many Filipinos as the Sandugo.
The Chocolate Hills are considered one of Philippine's natural wonders and Bohol is often referred to as the Jewel of the Philippines. They are hills made of limestone leftover from coral reefs during the Ice age when the island was submerged. They turn brown during the summer, hence their name.
There are four main rivers that run through Bohol, with the Loboc River running from the center of the island to the southeastern coast. The largest river, the Inabanga, runs in the northwestern part of the province; the Abatan River runs in the southwest, and Ipil River in the north.
Numerous waterfalls and caves are scattered across the island, including Mag-Aso Falls in Antequera. Mag-Aso means smoke in the native tongue. The water is cool and often creates a mist in humid mornings which can hide the falls.
The Rajah Sikatuna Protected Landscape protects Bohol's largest remaining lowland forest and can be found in the island's southern portion near Bilar.
With a land area of 3,269 square kilometres (1,262 sq mi) and a coastline 261 kilometres (162 mi) long, Bohol is the tenth largest island of the Philippines. The main island is surrounded by about 70 smaller islands, the largest of which are Panglao Island, facing Tagbilaran City, in the southwest and Lapinig Island in the northeast.
The terrain of Bohol is basically rolling and hilly and about half the island is covered in limestone. Near the outer areas of the island are low mountain ranges. The interior is a large plateau with irregular landforms.
Near Carmen, the Chocolate Hills are more than 1,200 uniformly cone-shaped limestone hills named for the grass growing on the hills that turns brown in the summer, making the landscape look like chocolate mounds. The Chocolate Hills appear on the provincial seal of Bohol.
The outlying islands surrounding mainland Bohol under the jurisdiction of the Bohol Provincial Government are:
Tourism plays an increasing role in the island's economy. An international airport is currently planned for Panglao, which houses the most-visited and accessible beaches in the province. Proponents of the scheme hope that the new airport will increase Bohol's reputation as an international tourist destination although the plan has been dogged by ongoing criticism.
The literacy rate of the province of Bohol is high at 98%.
Institutions of Higher Learning: