Physical Setting


Topography and Terrain

The City forms an elongated strip varying in width from 500 meters at its narrowest to 2 kilometers at its widest following the configuration of the shoreline. Ridges with an average altitude of 30 meters running almost parallel to the shoreline forms a natural spine that seems to have served in the past as the settlement’s limit. Two peaks rise on both ends of the ridge, Elley Hill (100m) in the north and Banat-I Hills (145m) in the south. Except for these two protrusions, Tagbilaran is generally even with moderately rolling lands.

The terrain ranges from moderately rolling with prevailing slopes from 3 to 6 percent along the coastlines to generally flat and level land. Sunken areas or sinkholes are occasionally found in the interior.


The climate of Tagbilaran City is typically tropical with no distinct wet and dry seasons. Although rainfall is fairly distributed throughout the year, precipitation tends to be heavier during the second half. A generally warm temperature prevails, averaging 27.6 degrees centigrade. Relative humidity is also fairly uniform varying from 81 percent to 88 percent. The prevailing winds for the months of November to May are of the northeast direction, while winds from June to October are of variable directions. Prevailing wind direction is northeasterly with velocities ranging from 1 to 2 miles per second.

Typhoons and earthquakes are rare. The city is protected from the southeast monsoon by the island of Panglao and from the cold stream of the north wind by the Maribojoc mountain range.


The City of Tagbilaran sits on a generally flat limestone formation with a relatively very thin soil cover. The shallow superficial and unconsolidated soils are derived from the insitu (residual) weathering of underlying corralling limestone. Due to the thin soil cover, bedrocks are cropping out even in low-lying portions including shore areas. Over the hills (Mt. Banat-I and Elley) and the ridges are practically without soil cover due to the fairly rapid surface run-off water which erode the soil to the low-lying areas.

Tagbilaran practically sits on a cave network. The occurrence of the numerous underground caverns could be attributed to the absence of rivers and natural water channel ways in the area. The action of the surface water infiltrating the normal fissures and joints of the substrate produced the enlargement and widening of cavities which ultimately formed the caverns.

Soil Types and Characteristics

There are two main types of soil found in the City of Tagbilaran, namely the Faraon and the Bolinao clay. Faraon clay is the more dominant soil type with about 2, 139 hectares or 63% of the total land area, mostly found in the coastal barangays, while the Bolinao clay abounds in the hinterland barangays which accounts for 1, 131.74 hectares or 34.7% of the total land area.


The dominant vegetation cover is generally of open grassland with patches of woody shrubs and bushes. Agricultural cash crops are very marginal. Permanent crops or fruit trees are occasionally grown with few strands of timber trees. Patches of mangroves are likewise grown in the shore areas.