Book Review: "Tubod: The Heart of Bohol"

IJsselstein, Wednesday, 11 December 2013 05:29:19

Not often, books dedicated to Bohol appear. Tubod: The Heart of Bohol, Edited by Ramon N. Villegas and published by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), is a coffee-table book that touches many aspects of Boholano life.
Cover of "Tubod: The Heart of Bohol"
Tubod: The Heart of Bohol.

Unlike many coffee-table books, this books offers more than just nice pictures. Starting with a description of Bohol's natural gifts, such as its rivers and peculiar karst landscape that gives us the chocolate hills and countless caves, the book takes us on a tour through Bohol's history, culture, arts and contemporary life. Its various contributors touch on subjects as diverse as the Dagohoy rebellion and traditional furniture and basketry in a number of well-researched articles, often with extensive bibliographies to guide you for further reading.

The book is certainly a valuable addition to the material available on Bohol, and should not be missed on the bookshelves of those who are interested in the island.

The book not always has a happy story to tell. It is sad to learn that more of Bohol's treasures have ended up in the houses of collectors and museums outside the province than have remained in the province itself -- with pilferage and thefts leaving churches empty, and even idols beheaded, and lack of care damaging or destroying that remained, even though, on the other hand, the lack of development in Bohol has also meant that much of its culture could escape the ruthlessness of progress. Hopefully, this book will help to re-instill a pride, and a sense of urgency to care for the valuable things shown.

Where to buy

The NCCA now has made this book available as a free download from their download page.

Sadly, I wasn't able to see this book at any of the bookstores in Bohol. Not even the National Book Store in the Island City Mall has copies available. So your only option is to contact the NCCA in Manila for a copy.

National Commission for Culture and the Arts
633 General Luna Street, Intramuros, 1002 Manila
Tel. 527-2192 to 98; Fax 527-2191 and 94
E-mail:; Website:

Go to their publications page and scroll down for this book. The price is PHP 1000. Please read the order information at the bottom of their page.

Thanks to Gardy Labad for presenting us this wonderful book.

Jeroen Hellingman