The island province of Bohol has much to offer in terms of history and natural attractions. One of the loveliest islands in the Visayas, Bohol's coastline is skimmed by gentle coves and white sand beaches Many highways snake along pristine beaches and rustic rivers where the tourist can stop at any point and jump in. The province’s dive spots, of which there are about a dozen, are said to be among the world's best.
Bohol is like a jade brooch set on a velvet-blue sea. Its fertile land has hills that roll gently around lush forests and grassy meadows. Marine life - from schools of tiny reef fish to bigger pods of dolphins and whales - teem in the surrounding waters. The province is the perfect arena for scuba diving, kayaking, trekking and cave exploration. For the less adventurous, it offers leisurely pursuits like cruising, swimming, snorkeling or, simply, collecting seashells by the seashore.
Typhoons and earthquakes are very rare.
Bohol has an abundance of pristine white sand beaches and azure blue waters. Coral reefs teem with a variety of picturesque marine life. Most notable of these dive sites and increasing in world renown are those found in Pamilacan, Balicasag, and Cabilao Islands, becoming a haven for tourists and scuba divers.
Inland, serving as magnets to local and foreign tourists, are sights that are equally remarkable. These are Bohol's natural wonders such as waterfalls, underground caves, bubbly springs and verdant forests.
Some of these sights earned worldwide interest such as: the 1,268 perfectly coned haycock hills more popularly known as the Chocolate Hills, hunched together with elevations of 40-120 meters high; the Baclayon Church, the best preserved Jesuit-built church in the region; the reclusive Philippine Tarsier, the world's smallest primate endemic only to Bohol and a protected species.
GEOGRAPHY: Mainland Bohol is oval-shaped surrounded by 72 smaller islands. It is about 626 kilometers south of Manila and about 72 kilometers southeast of Mactan Island. Its boundaries are Cebu to the northwest, Leyte to the northeast and the Mindanao Sea in the south.
TOPOGRAPHY: The island province has gently rolling terrain, ideal for commercial and industrial site development. Its mountainous interior is home to rare and endangered flora and fauna. At certain points, hills drop steeply to the coast from a maximum elevation of 870 meters above sea level. The interior uplands are fit for agro-forestry and high value agricultural production. The central and northern lowlands also have fertile grounds and abundant water supply. Over a hundred caves have been identified, the biggest of which is found in the eastern part.
POPULATION: As of the year 2000 Census, Bohol has a population of 1,137,268. It has 209,588 households with an average household size of 5.41. From 1995 to 2000, the annual growth rate in the province is 2.92 percent.
LANGUAGE: Majority speaks the native dialect which is distinctively Boholano. Cebuano, Tagalog and English are widely spoken and understood. Fookien is spoken within a fairly large Chinese community while Mandarin is taught in a widely-attended Chinese school.
RELIGION: Predominantly Roman Catholic.
Others: Protestant, Muslim and other sects.
CLIMATE: Climate in Bohol falls under the fourth type characterized by a not very pronounced maximum rain period and no dry season. It is usually warm and dry along the coasts while cold and humid in the interior areas. Typhoons and earthquakes are rare. Maximum precipitation occurs in June to October. Average annual temperature is 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
TIME: Philippine Standard Time is eight ( 8 ) hours ahead of Greenwich Meantime.
MONEY: The Philippine currency is peso, divided into 100 centavos. Next to the peso, the US Dollar enjoys wide acceptance. Most foreign currencies can easily be changed at banks, hotels, and authorized dealers. Foreign currency is not readily taken by the establishments in Bohol. Major foreign credit cards may be accepted only at major hotels, resorts, shops and restaurants. Visitors are advised to bring sufficient amount of change in small bills or coins.
DRESS / WHAT TO WEAR: It is advisable to wear natural-fibre, lightweight clothing when one is in Bohol. Shorts, hats, sunglasses, bathing suit, insect repellant, flashlight, sun block, comfortable shoes for walking and rubber slippers for the beach are a must when visiting tourist attractions. The Barong Tagalog is the acceptable formal wear for men. Shorts or sleeveless shirts should never be worn when visiting churches, mosques or temples.
Banks: 9am to 3pm (Monday to Friday)
*Bank of the Philippine Islands open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday
**some banks open on Saturdays 8-12N.
Government Offices: 8am to 5pm (Monday to Friday)
Private Firms: 8am to 5pm (Monday to Friday), 9am to 12nn (Saturday)
Shops: 9am to 7pm (Monday to Saturday)
Malls: 7:30am to 9pm (Daily)
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Getting around Bohol, one may take a colorful jeepney or a bus at a minimal fare. Tricycles (motorcycles with sidecars) and multicabs are popular in outlaying areas and in the suburbs, quite notably withing Tagbilaran City. Metered taxicabs are widely available. Other means of transport: Vehicles for Hire — vans, cars, coasters.