Bohol already had contact with other civilizations even before the discovery of the Philippines. This was evident in the remains of people found in Anda Peninsula indicating the use of gold, jewelry and death masks, buried their dead in wood coffins and “enhanced” their women’s appearance by flattening and shaping their skulls.
Trade between Chinese began in as early as 5th Century, bringing wares and porcelain goods for their return to their mainland. Boholanos served as distributors, taking the Chinese goods as far as the Mollucas to barter with honey, spices and other items. This practice made Boholanos reasonably stable than other islands.
Panglao Island is said to be connected with the mainland through stilts in the shallow harbor of the strait. According to legend, Portuguese sailors demolished the town and abducted one of the queens, pushing Sultan Sikatuna to move his people to Bool, an area just outside Tagbilaran City. Other sultans moved its people to Mindanao.
When Legazpi arrived in the island, he signed a peace treaty with Sultan Sikatuna, contrary to how he took other places. Sikatuna’s friendly acceptance resulted to a peaceful agreement. Legazpi was impressed of the native’s lenient character and but his attention focused more on Bohol’s established economy.
The treaty between the two leaders was recognized for 45 years. Sikatuna’s baptismal just before his death caused a serious conflict with other Muslims. Despite their conversion to Catholicism, however, Boholanos never really submit to friar’s abuses. That’s enough reason for Dagohoy’s successful revolt in 1744. For 85 years Bohol stayed an independent region under the Spaniards but diminished its importance as a trading center.
In contrary to the island’s open acceptance with the Spanish, Bohol was not easily suppressed by the occupation of the Americans. They succeeded on keeping their independence even with the strong forces of the Japanese. They printed their own money and have supplied their own people with abundant produce of livelihood without the help of other islands.
Since 1945 Bohol remained a peaceful island with inhabitants used to independent living and equality between each other. Even when the Spanish left the Philippines, people who acquired possessions on lands never took power over low class farmers. Having equal relationship among each other kept their island one of the safest places in the Philippines.