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The island has an area of 80.5 sq. kilometers. Politically, it is within Bohol Province, and is divided into two municipalities: Dauis and Panglao. Panglao is located southwest of the island of Bohol and east of Cebu.
Panglao has a terrain that range from plain, hilly to mountainous. Panglao is made of Maribojoc Limestone, the youngest of the limestone units found in the western area of Bohol. The limestone composition halted the development of an airport as coralline limestone is soluble which causes formation of caves and sinkholes. One interesting geological feature found in the island is the Hinagdanan Cave which has an underground water source. The cave is an important water source as the island has no rivers or lakes.
It is a popular tourist destination in the Philippines, and includes several small islands, such as Gak-ang, Pontod, and Balicasag.
In 2010 Panglao Island counted a total population of 68,051 people.
Panglao was known to Chinese, Malay, Siamese and Indonesian traders. In 1803, Spanish explorers came to the shores of Panglao in search of fresh water. At the time a couple of natives on the seashore were making fishing devices called "panggaw". One of the Spaniards asked what the name of the island was. The natives—who thought the visitors were asking what they were making—then replied "panggaw". Hence, from that term, was derived the name Panglao.
About 250 new species of crustaceans and 2500 new species of mollusks were found around the island. The discovery was the work of the Panglao Marine Biodiversity Project. The project found that Panglao alone has more marine biodiversity than Japan and the Mediterranean sea.
|This section is written like a travel guide rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (April 2013)|
Panglao Island is one of the main tourist destinations on the Philippines. The Alona Beach is the most popular tourist spot on the island, noted for its white sand and clear water. Like Boracay, this place has become crowded due to opening of more and more restaurants and bars. Still the diving around the island is one of the best of the Philippines. Especially Balicasag Island is really worth diving at. If you can avoid to go there in the very high season Alona Beach is still a beautiful place.
Panglao Island International Airport is a controversial airport project waiting to start construction on Panglao Island in the province of Bohol, Philippines. It is intended to become Bohol's international airport to support its tourism industry, especially on Panglao Island which is being promoted as an alternative destination for Boracay Island.
The airport is very close to Tagbilaran Airport in Tagbilaran City which currently serves as the gateway to Panglao Island and the rest of mainland Bohol for domestic air travelers. It also is less than 2 hours travel time from Mactan-Cebu International airport, which is a gateway to the Central Philippines for international tourists.