The Rise & Fall & the Revitalization of Circulo Boholano

The Circulo Boholano de Cebu is one of the oldest social, civic, and fraternal associations organized in Cebu.  It started in 1910 with a small group of dedicated Boholanos whose names later became the pillars and leaders of Bohol and the Philippines.  Among these men were Oligario B. Clarin, who was then a student in Cebu High School, who then became Senator of the Republic of the Philippines in 1946–1949.

The History & Former Presidents of CBCI

Past Presidents were Felipe Penales (1910), Jose Concepcion (January 1911), Segundo Añana (January 1912), and followed by Oligario B. Clarin (June 1912). He was succeeded by Victor S. Patos (Aug. 1913), and again, Hon. Oligario B. Clarin was elected and re-elected five times as President, followed later by Julio Pongan (July 1914), who also got re-elected. Since 1914 up until 1960, the Circulo Boholano has lived through the years. The year 1960 marked the temporary slackening of the organization under the stewardship of the late Atty. Gaudencio Rotomo of Talibon, Bohol, who was busy in politics. Since then, the Circulo Boholano has been out of the limelight for a number of years.
After the liberation came, the organization died a natural death. It became dormant for years, then a group of dedicated Boholanos composed of Mr. Rogaciano Dajo, Atty. Silvino M. Segundino Torrefranca, Mr. B. Seroijos, and many others revived the spirit of the association but changed its name to Dagohoy Circle of Cebu. It lasted for a few years before dying again.
One summer Sunday afternoon (May 1967), three young people, Mrs. Luisa Villegas, Babie Balza, the first woman president of the defunct Bohol Students Association, with her husband Chito Villegas, and Ely V. Mendez, conceived the idea of reorganizing a Boholano group living in Cebu City: transients, professionals, and students. The first caucus for the reorganization of the Bohol Resident Association was held at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Chito Villegas on Jones Avenue. This formed the nucleus of the present Circulo Boholano de Cebu and was attended by the young Boholanos, former officers of the Bohol Student Association, together with Dr. Rosalio Mandin, Mrs. Aurea Tojong, Atty. Silvino Maceren, Mr. Rogacio Dajao, and Capt. Gregorio Bunado, representing the Boholano old guard.
The first election of the revived Circulo Boholano was held in a restaurant in Fuente Drive, owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Wong of Loboc, Bohol. Atty. Silvino Maceren Jr. was elected CBCI President in 1967. This was the beginning of the third chapter of the Circulo Boholano organization. The organizers of the third stage of the CBCI thought of the idea to distinguish the old name but added new words, as it is now presently known as “Circulo Bohclano de Cebu, Inc.” and the rest is now the history of the organization.
The organization was then led by Atty. Jacinto V. Mendez (1968–69); Eugene Amores (1969–70); Engr. Samuel Lim (1970–1971); Constancio Bernaldez (1971–72); reelectedDionisio Loquellano (1972–74); Bernardo Balalayo, Jr. (1974–75); Atty. Teofilo Buslon Jr. (1975–76); Mrs. Teresa Aparece (1976–77) was the first woman CBCI president; Eliodoro V. Mendez (1977–78); Romeo Wycoco (1978-79); Mauricio Karaan (1979 – 80); Judge Bernardo Salas (1980-82); Antonio Mira (1982-85); Collector Doroteo Toledo Jr. (1985–87); Collector Doroteo Toledo Jr. (1988-89) was re-elected; Atty. Tereso Balangkig was president in 1992 to 1995.  Mr. Joel A. Cervantes was elected president in September 1995.
Sometime in 1978, the Circulo Boholano was split into two factions: the Circulo Boholano de Cebu and the United Boholanos Residents Association of Cebu (UBRAC) because of some differences among its leaders. The UBRAC was composed of fifty (50) young Boholano professionals, led by Boy Quezon, Loloy Cuarto, and E.V. Mendez. 
UBRAC lasted for seven years under its presidents: 
1978–1979: Pres. Pong Quinga with Engr. Vic Avanzado as Exec. Vice President 
1979–1980: Pres. Engr. Vic Avanzado, with Felipe Bernido as Exec. Vice President.
Engr. Avanzado’s most memorable activity was the beauty pageant called “Bulak sa Bohol,” with ten candidates participating in the beauty contest. Miss Shirley Padilla of Corella, Bohol, was crowned the Bulak sa Bohol in 1979, which was held in Town House Restaurant.
1980-81: President Zosimo Quezon with Boogie Lim, Exec.Vice President 
1981–1985: President Boogie Lim; Ely V. Mendez as Exec. Vice President
1978–1979: Pres. Romeo Wycoco; Nick Sarmiento as Exec. VicePresident 
1979-1980: Pres. Mauricio Kara-an; Atty. Anita de Castro as Exec. Vice President 
1981-1983: Justin Bernardo Salas was elected President and Atty. Terso Balankig as Exec. Vice President 
1983-1985:  The President elected was Tony Mira, with 
Capt. Greg Bunado as his Executive Vice President. The traditional reception and ball were held for the first time in Cebu Plaza Hotel, with Deputy BIR Commissioner Tomas Toledo as the guest speaker.
In the year 1985, Elly Mendez and Doroteo Toledo Jr. planned to reunite the two warring Boholano organizations. They had three separate group meetings, and finally the CBCI and the UBRAC were reunited after a lapse of seven years. In the unified election in 1985, Collector Doroteo Toledo Jr. was elected president of the Circulo Boholano, and Ely Mendez was chosen again as Executive Vice President. On that same year, Circulo Boholano celebrated its 75th (Diamond Jubilee) anniversary since it was founded in 1910.
In the year 1992, Atty. Tereso Balankig was elected president in the reorganization meeting of the Circulo Boholano held in Harrison Plaza. Ely Méndez was once again elected Executive Vice President. The awarding of the Outstanding Boholanos in Cebu was given during the Induction and Proclamation Ball, where Justice Bernardo Salas of the Court of Appeals was honored.
On September 24, 1995, Mr. Jobel A. Cervantes of Jagna was elected president in an election called by Circulo Boholano with the coordination of the different town organizations of Bohol in Cebu that include the UBRAC, BOHOLING, PGAC, Talibon Association of Cebu, Jagnaanon of Cebu, and Cebu Inabangon Association of Cebu.
Then Engr. Vicente A. Avanzado of Bienunido, Bohol was elected President of CBCI in 1998–2000. He was re-elected as president for a second term in 2001–2003. Miss Gina V. Palen was crowned Bulak sa Bohol in 1999. 
In the CBCI election of 2003, Mr. Celso Dabatos again from Bienunido was elected president. During his term of office, Secretary Raul Roco, who was also a candidate for Philippine presidency in the 2004 Election was the Guest Speaker.
In 2005, Engr. Alfredo Amores of Sagbayan, Bohol was chosen president in an election held in Harrison Park, Jones Ave., Cebu City. Engr. Amores was very active in conducting outreach programs in Bohol, including a dental mission and the construction of a waiting shed during his term.
Andy Manatad of Getafe and the CEO of Air Marine Insurance became president of Circulo Boholano in 2007-2009 and was succeeded by Atty. Leopoldo Blanco, Jr. in 2009-2011.
Former Philippine Nurses Association – Cebu Chapter president Mrs. Edith Rose Santos became the president if Circulo Boholano in 2011 but she did not finish her term because of family concerns.  She was succeeded by Mr. Teodoro Barbanida until 2018.  
During the election that was held in Cebu Northwinds Hotel on December 8, 2018, Mr. Christopher R. Sapong, whose mother was from Maribojoc and father from Manga District, Tagbilaran City, was elected president, and radio broadcaster, the late Elias Baquero, was elected vice president.
 Under Sapong and Baquero’s leadership and with the help of the Board of Trustees, the membership of Circulo Boholano has increased.

In the news…

Circulo Boholano de Cebu facilitated the distribution of relief goods for stranded Boholanos during the pandemic.

Distribution of relief goods to stranded Boholanos during pandemic.

Sending of drinking water to the Diocese of Talibon for the Typhoon Odette victims. Partnered with the Philippine Navy, Armscor Shooting Range, and Surface Freight Forwarding for this initiative.