Poro and Tudela in Camotes

From the sea, the rock looks like a ship moored near one of the cliffs in the municipality of Poro in the Camotes group of islands.

Legend has it that the crew of a Spanish battleship fired at the rock in the mist believing it was aiming at an enemy vessel. They missed the rock and hit instead the cliff near it, creating a gaping hole. Thus the name Boho (which means hole in the Porohanon dialect).

For decades, Boho has become one of the popular swimming sites, especially during the feasts of St. Paul and Sts. Peter and John. There, people would bring food and frolic in the crystal waters around the rock. In the ’90s, town officials even set up a resort there (see photo).Boho Resort in Poro, Camotes, Cebu

Some 10 kilometers away, in the adjacent town of Tudela, is an equally interesting site: an underground cave with clear water flowing in it. Called the Bukilat Cavern, its name was taken from a village leader who sought refuge there when he was pursued by enemies.

A missionary from Holland, the late Fr. Joseph Weirtz (Father Jose to Tudelanhons) served Tudela for 28 years and helped develop the town into what it is now. He transformed Bukilat Cavern into a popular picnic site for locals. In the ’70s and ’80s, he sometimes held masses there to ensure that the cave would be well maintained.

The Central Visayas Regional Development Plan formulated by the Regional Development Council in the ’90s included Camotes as among the areas to be developed as major tourist destinations. But judging from the situation in the islands, local government units seem to be implementing the plan on their own with only a little help from national government agencies.

Poro and Tudela are part of the island of Poro in Camotes. The other islands are Pacijan, where the town of San Francisco, famous for its white beaches, is located and Ponson, where the municipality of Pilar is. Much of the attention of the Cebu Provincial Government, however, is in San Francisco mainly because of its vast tourism potential.

Poro, a fifth class municipality, has a population of more than 20,000 people spread in 17 barangays. Basically agricultural with rice, corn, cassava and coconut as farm produce, Poro is peopled by marginal fishermen.

Tudela, which is a sixth-class municipality, has a population of more than 10,000 people spread in seven barangays. Like in Poro, the townspeople in tudela engage in agriculture and fishing.

Known as Tag-anito before the coming of the Spaniards, Tudela was originally a barangay under Poro until its residents succeeded in creating a separate town.

A fast craft plies daily the Cebu City-Poro route. Pumpboats, meanwhile, ply the Danao City (in mainland Cebu) to Poro route. Problems crop up within the islands, though, because the common mode of transportation are motorcycles-for-hire (habal-habal) with sky high fare rates.

–Excerpts from my article published by The Freeman Magazine in its January 1994 issue

18 Responses to Poro and Tudela in Camotes

  1. jac velasco says:

    Hi Sir Wenceslao.. I’m just wondering of the correct spelling of Poro… Is it Poro or Puro? But I am using the first thought… Thanks…

  2. cebuano says:

    Hi Jac,

    The correct spelling is Poro. I just do not know its origin although I will try to check it out from our friends there.

    Thanks for visiting the blog.

    Bong

  3. Ruth(lot-lot) Ortega Masapequena-Guzman says:

    Hello kuya Do-do, si balot kini! I was just showing my husband and daughter pictures of camotes island. I very much miss it there and was just wanting my family to see the beauty of Tudela Camotes. I happen to stumble across your picture and name listed on this site. I quickly called my mom to show your website and we are all very excited and happy to see your picture. I thought your name looked very familiar =). We just wanted to stop by and say “Hello!” to you and the rest of the families back home especially to Nanay Insi, Nanay Cita, and Tatay Elizar. I am very proud to see that I have a cousin who is a respected journalist. Hope all is well and I wish you much success! God Bless, your cousin Ruth(lot-lot)

  4. Ramer "Dodon" Labajo says:

    Hello guys,

    Nindot gyud kaayo makabati sa ngalan sa Tudela…
    pwerte kamingaw…
    Si Ruth man diay ni ang one of the posters,
    which is one of my childhood friend, but when we they were in Tudela..
    Ambot kanus-a pa kaha ni sila mobalik ngadto.

    It’s really nice to hear from you guys, talking about our lovely town,..

    Hope you keep this blog up, sir…
    Just to remind us.
    That wherever we are,
    Tudela is where we really belong to.

  5. directory says:

    This site is interesting as well as informative. Enjoyed browsing through the site. Keep up the good work. Greetings..

  6. HI! camotes as I said, is very beautiful place. Mostly all the beaches.

  7. madel says:

    hi im madel,im from bagacawa poro cebu!

  8. madel says:

    yah nice jud kaayo ang camotes especially sa among lungsod sa poro,ug labi na jud sa among sitio sa bagacawa

  9. tata liston fabroa says:

    maganda pala ang bayan tinubuan ng mother ko(catalina mabulay fabroa). Sayang nga lang hindi ko na kilala ang mga kamag anak ko jan. Sana po kung may nakakilalala man . c nanay ay still alive and kicking po sa gensan fatima. tnx po

  10. melanie cabato says:

    pinanganak ako sa pasig pero lumaki ako sa camotes, bumalik ako sa pasig 14 years old ako, until now d pa ako nakauwi, 33 years old na ako, kaya pangarap kung bumalik sa camotes..proud na proud ako na taga camotes ang lahi ko.,mabuhay camotes

  11. orge says:

    maayo unta dili na mag brownout sa ato kay dako kaayo ug epekto sa atong tourism. dako jud ug natabang sa atong isla ang tourism. hoping the good governor will help our island mayors.

  12. roger reyes says:

    am looking for a classmate in High School, Amphil Belacho, who comes from Tudela and I think one of its councilors. Would anyone in this forum know his contact numbers or even just the Municipality of Tudela. Thanks.

  13. Rhyza says:

    hi. yeah its true,Mr Belacho is one of the councilor in Tudela town,but even though kasama kami dati sa work cuz im working at the Municipality of ^Tudela before as a clerk but really sorry wala akong contact number nya, hindi ko naman sya nakikitang gumagamit ng phone,

    Rhyza

  14. eleanor m. planas says:

    hi c eleanor planas ni. please help me find my relatives in tudela my lolos name is agapito planas and my lolas name is porferia polangcos orillo. any relatives can txt me at my mobile no.09496209927. thanx i miss them so much

  15. one says:

    hi!!

    i jst want to know wat are d common problems dat municipality of poro encounters????

    tanx…

  16. Cebu City NightClubs…

    [...]Poro and Tudela in Camotes « Rebelmind[...]…

  17. [...] In the 1990s, the municipal government turned the spot into a resort which it runs until today.  Rebelmind, a blog by Cebuano journalist Bong O. Wenceslao, says that one the many legends of the Boho rock is [...]

  18. Liz Carpenter says:

    Hello, Mr.Ramer “Dodon” Labajo,
    Out of the blues i decided to research my grandmother’s origin..who happens to be the same last name as yours. I never have a chance to meet my grandmother.She’s been long gone when i was born and i just been hearing good stories about her. Her name is Perpetua Labajo.I now reside in Las Vegas, Nv.,USA.The sad thing is i never know any relative of grandmother except my four uncles who was very young then when my grandmother passed away.Am hoping someday if i get the chance to visit Tudela,i would like to meet any
    relatives of mine if there’s still anyone still residing inTudela..Thank you very much i hope you can responds back..

    Liz Carpenter

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