Baclayon Church of the Immaculate Conception

The historic town of Baclayon lies just six kilometres along the seashore from Tagbilaran city on the Visayan island of Bohol in the Philippines. It was the first town established in Bohol by the Spaniards.


The town was founded in 1595 by two Jesuit priests, Father Juan de Torres and Father Gabriel Sanchez, the first to enter Bohol for missionary work. In 1596 the priests built the Baclayon Church of the Immaculate Conception, a heavy-set stone church considered one of the oldest churches in the Philippines.

The church, in combination with the pier and harbor it overlooks, and the elegant and well-preserved heritage houses lining the roads, makes the township a charming and idyllic destination.

The town of Baclayon got its name from their tribal chieftain Baclayon. He was a warrior of a conquering tribe from the "Malays." He guarded the invasion of pirates and pillagers from Cebu, Iloilo and Mindanao. When the two Jesuit priests came, he submitted his tribe and warriors and embraced Christianity. He was given a Christian name "Zacarias" by the Spanish priest Sanchez. Considering the popularity of Zacarias' leadership in the territory, the priest used the name Baclayon as the name of the territory.

The original territorial jurisdiction of Baclayon was so vast that it covered the present areas of the municipalities of Balilihan, Alburquerque, Catigbian, Corella, Sikatuna and San Isidro combined together.

Tourism information

Municipal Tourism Activity Center - +63-38-540-9474 - Located in the Baluarte Grounds, Poblacion, the newly constructed building can provide tourists the information they need on accommodation, transport and tours to Pamilacan Island. The center also offers extremely clean, free-of-use toilets and showers, a welcome sight in Bohol.

Get in

By plane

The closest airport to Baclayon is in Tagbilaran, the capital of Bohol. Tagbilaran Airport is very small, and as such, gets highly congested. The airline flight times and direct destinations are quite limited – currently the airport only caters to flights in the morning and afternoon, as it currently does not have any runway lights for evening flights. There are development plans in place to extend and upgrade the airport, but these will not be completed until 2012.

The airport does not receive international flights, but can be accessed direct from Manila only through the following airlines. Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, ZestAir, AirPhil Express.

By ferry

Accessing Tagbilaran (and Baclayon) by ferry from Cebu, Dumagete, Siquijor, Dapitan or Manila is a great option as the routes pass by countless beautiful islands while providing the chance of seeing dolphins at play. Ferries also present more route options than flying and can often be faster than an indirect flight. Many ferries travel the most popular route of Cebu - Tagbilaran, with high-speed ferries taking 1.5hrs, or 5hrs on the regular, slower vessels. As regular ferries are the cheapest way to travel from island to island, they tend to get very crowded during the high season (Holy Week or Christmas).

Fast Ferries

Ocean Jet – +63-32-255-7560 – Cebu to Tagbilaran (1hr 40min); 06:00, 09:30, 13:50, 15:35,18:00 daily (Php800). Dumagete to Tagbilaran (1hr 40min); 07:30, 14:20 daily (Php650). Dapitan to Tagbilaran (3hrs 40 min); 12:20 daily (Php900). Siquijor to Tagbilaran (2hr 40min); 06:00 daily (Php700).

Supercat - +63-32-233-7000 – Cebu to Tagbilaran (1hr 45min); 08:30, 12:30, 16:30 daily (Php510).

Wessam Express - +63-62-992-3756 – Cebu to Tagbilaran (2hrs); 09:00, 14:00, 18:30 daily (Php400). Dumagete to Tagbilaran (2hrs 20min); 14:00 daily (Php350).

Regular Ferries

Cokaliong Shipping Lines - +63-32-232-7211 – Cebu to Tagbilaran (5hrs); 18:30 Mondays only (Php165-480).

Lite Shipping Corporation - +63-32-255-1721 – Cebu to Tagbilaran (5hrs); 12:30, 22:00 daily (Php225-395).

Negros Navigation - +63-2-554-8777 – Manila to Tagbilaran (31.5hrs); 18:00 Wednesdays only.

Sulpicio Lines - +63-32-232-5361 – Manila to Tagbilaran (28hrs); 12:00 Wednesdays only (Php1808.80-3264.80).

Get around

By jeepney

The cheapest form of transport from Tagbilaran to Baclayon is by Jeepney (Php8). The terminal for the Jeepneys passing through Baclayon is outside of the Bohol Provincial Hospital (J. Torralba Street), and they will be advertised on the outside as traveling to Albur, Loay or Loboc. Jeepneys are always filled to capacity before they leave the terminal so don’t expect a particularly comfortable, spacious ride. Those with claustrophobia should be cautious.

By habal-habal

Motorbike transportation (habal-habal) is usually the quickest and easiest form of public transportation. The fare can be bargainable with the driver, so you need an understanding of how much you should pay so that you don’t get taken advantage of being a tourist. Fares from Tagbilaran to Baclayon are usually Php50-60. Be wary that this sort of transportation can be quite unsafe as the motorbikes do not come with helmets and there is no regulation on driving capabilities.

By tricycle

Tricycles are slightly more expensive than the habal-habal, with a trip from Tagbilaran to Baclayon expected to cost around Php70-90. Tricycles however offer a safer option than habal-habals, and are a slightly more comfortable ride than Jeepneys.

By taxi

Taxis are not prolific in Bohol and subsequently the prices charged are incredibly expensive for the same distance traveled in cities such as Manila (in excess of Php150). However, for travelers requiring comfort and safety assurance, this is the best option.


Baclayon Church




A recent development for the (once limited) range of eating options and night atmosphere in Baclayon is the introduction of wharf-side barbeque vendors (Habhabans) offering a delicious range of grilled fish, pork, chicken, squid and chorizo in a style unique to Baclayon. Meals are inexpensive between Php30-100.

A variety of low-cost Filipino food outlets are available at the back of the historic marketplace. Meals range from around Php20-50. Plans are in place to develop and upgrade these restaurants by the end of 2011.

6 to 7 - A small restaurant located along the main highway in Poblacion underneath an ancestral house. Filipino food is offered at cheap prices (Php30-60).


All Habhaban restaurants have tables outside where you can sit back and enjoy a beer or two looking towards the Baclayon Church and the harbor. After their development, these have become a particular favorite with the local community and is a great way for tourists to immerse themselves into the social setting of Baclayon.

Boo Boo's Pride - A large floating restaurant positioned beside the wharf, which has been converted into a Karaoke Bar. This is a favorite amongst the locals of Baclayon who can be found singing 7 nights a week until the small hours of the morning. Meals are also available on board.


Baclayon has a good range of accommodation providers, from home-stays in the historic ancestral houses, to high-class luxury resorts and spas.




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