It was originally called Tawala Seaside because it was located in Barangay Tawala. Then in the early 1980’s a Filipino actress named Alona Allegre, the younger sister of actor Philip Salvador, shot a movie on the beach in which she starred as a mermaid who falls in love with a mortal. During the filming, local guys would flock to the beach to ogle the scantily-clad beauty.
“Let’s go and see Alona!” was the cry around Tawala, and the name stuck.
Alona Beach is a beautiful 1.5 kilometer stretch of white sand bordered on both ends by limestone rock walls. A leisurely 20-30 minute walk from end to end will bring you across several resorts, dining establishments, souvenir shops and hawkers offering henna tattoos and massages on the beach. When the sun sets, some of these establishments offer acoustic music from local bands, and fire dancing on special occasions.
Back in the 80s, a prominent landmark on Alona Beach’s north-eastern end was the thatched nipa roof of Alona Tropical Beach Resort’s Baybayon Restaurant. Tourists would hang out here for a sampling of Bohol cuisine and Filipino food.
Established in 1988 by Mr. & Mrs. Montero, the thatched roof and native cottages have been given a facelift. Native inspired accommodations in a tropical setting, plus a free form swimming pool and a two-storey unit which serves as a showcase for some of Bohol’s antique collectibles give a bit of island history. Mrs. Leonila Montero is the incumbent Mayor of Panglao.
Alona Beach belongs to one of two municipalities that share the island of Panglao in Bohol.
Panglao was known to traders from China and other Asian countries even way before the Spaniards set foot on its shores. Archaeological sites have yielded Tang, Sung and Ming dynasty porcelain and trade ware. It is recorded in the history of the island that the Spaniards came to Panglao in search of fresh water in the year 1803. The Spaniards showed signs of friendship so they were welcomed by the natives. Few natives making their fishing device called “panggaw” were at the shore. A Spaniard pointing down asked what the name of the place was. The natives, who believed that the visitor was asking what they were making, answered “Panggaw.” Through the years, the name evolved from “panggaw” to Panglaw and finally to Panglao.
For a bit of Bohol’s history and a taste of the finest white sand in the area, book at Alona Tropical Beach Resort. You just might get the chance to personally meet the town’s mayor for a guided tour of the beloved estate she calls home.
For more information, please check out