The famous Alona Beach, on the south-west tip of Panglao Island, is a one and a half kilometer long stretch of coral white sandy beach where resorts and dive centers, restaurants and souvenir shops alternate. It is the most developing beach in Bohol and now one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines.
Panglao Island is directly connected with the main island Bohol with its famous majestic Chocolate Hills and the cute bug-eyed tarsiers. But to round up the picture of Bohol we have to add the jungle interior, an adventure sport paradise, rice terraces and the different beaches.
This combination of Panglao Island with its fantastic diving and Bohols land attractions makes the area to a great location for your vacation.
Panglao was known to the traders from China and other Asian countries even way back before the Spaniards set foot on its shores. Archaeological sites have yielded Tang, Sung and Ming dynasty porcelain and trade ware. When the Spaniards came, they still noticed the remnants of the old Kingdom which could become a bulwark of a flourishing civilization or perhaps a citadel of native genius counterpart to that of several European mercantile capitals. It is recorded in the history of the island that the Spaniards came to Panglao in search of fresh water in the year 1803. The Spaniards showed signs of friendship so they were welcomed by the natives. Few natives making their fishing device called “panggaw” were at the shore. A Spaniard pointing down asked what the name of the place was. The natives, who believed that the visitor was asking what they were making, answered “Panggaw.” Through the years, the name evolved from “panggaw” to Panglaw and finally to Panglao.
Starting in the 1980’s, Panglao gets more and more famous as well for divers. Directly from the beach into the clear water to the beautiful colorful coral reef and gazing at the huge biodiversity, makes it a divers paradise. Just an estimated 1,500-2,500 different mollusks are believed to be found in the waters of Panglao and Balicasag.