Jagna - Sierra Bullones Road

Orientation & Geography

Asia, Philippines, Bohol

Jagna is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Bohol, Philippines. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 32,034 people. Jagna is located on the southern coast of Bohol. It is one of the commercial trading centers of the province with daily market and port operations. Of interest to travelers is the town church built during the Spanish era and with its ceiling frescoes and Baroque architecture. A waterfall and a spring reservoir can be found on the highlands, accessible by road travel north. A marine sanctuary zone has been set up by the local government just off the shore. A double reef is protected inside the sanctuary zone and marked off by buoys so as to restrict access from fishers. Jagna appears in documents as early as March 15, 1565 when Miguel Lopez de Legaspi was driven by unfavorable winds towards this coast and because his flagship San Pedro underwent repairs along Jagna bay. The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) started their work in what was known as San Miguel de Hagna as early as 1596. The Recollect historian Licinio Ruiz wrote that the Jesuit priest P. Jose Sanchez founded the parish and town simultaneously on September 29, 1631 with St. Michael Archangel as its patron saint. The name Jagna was, according to historical records, derived from legendary vernacular exclamation 'ni hagna na'. The tale started from the usual occurrence at the mouth of a small river which is already dried up now but whose actual traces of real existence are still visible beyond doubt. At the mouth of the river was a hole or cave-in of considerable depth and size. Such condition of the river led the early inhabitants to call it as 'Boho' river. The river used to abound with so much fish called 'tigue' in the local dialect. When the school of that particular fish played on the surface of the water, such part seemed to appear like coconut oil boiling in a frying pan. And whenever the people saw the sizzling surface of the water caused by the movement of the fish, they used to remark 'ni hagna na', meaning the oil being cooked is almost done. Therefore, from this common expression of the villagers evolved the present name of the town 'Jagna'. The first settlers of Jagna descended from the natives of Loboc and Talibon. These settlers wanted to migrate to Mindanao riding on their sailboats called 'bilos'. Because of the inclement weather, they were forced to seek shelter in Jagna. However this brief refuge turned into a permanent stay as they found Jagna attractive and an ideal place for establishing a village. On January 24, 1744 an Italian Jesuit curate in-charge of the town parish was killed by a native insurgent named Francisco Dagohoy. This event signaled the beginning of the Dagohoy Rebellion - the longest uprising in Philippine history. The Lonoy Massacre in 1901 was a bloody American surprise attack launched on Filipino insurgents - the latter being led by Captain Gregorio CaseƱas - that killed over 400 in the Philippine-American War. It was fought in the mountain village of Lonoy, north from the town proper. A major earthquake devastated the town in 1992. The local residents were evacuated to the nearby hills for a few days, as local authorities warned of a possible tsunami that might hit the coastal area. Fortunately, no such event happened. One major damage brought by the earthquake was that on the church's bell tower. Since then, the damage has been completely repaired. Jagna has a new market; the last one burned down in 1998 and a temporary market was set up in the grass field across the church. The new market is in operation - built on the site of the previous one that burned down. A recreational plaza is recently in construction on the grass field that was once the temporary market area. Like Tagbilaran, Jagna is a port town. Ferries travel daily to and from other islands. Routes to Mindanao available are via Cagayan de Oro and Butuan. The island of Camiguin is visible from Jagna and a daily ferry operates from Jagna to the port of Baligoan. The town celebrates St. Michael's festival on Septemb