This structure was built in the mid-1920s as dormitory for girls studying at the nearby Bohol Provincial High School.
It was turned into the unofficial residence of then governor-elect Carlos P. Garcia upon his assumption to office in 1933.
During World War II, this building was used as billeting quarters of high-ranking officials of the Japanese Imperial Army.
For the next two decades after the war, the former governor’s residence alternated between prominence and neglect, depending on whether the incumbent governor was a resident of Tagbilaran or owned a house in the capital.
With the assumption of Lino I. Chatto as governor in 1967, the place underwent a major facelift with a complete makeover of its vast lawns, a development that coincided with the resurgence of “Bohol pride” taking place late in the decade.
Architect Venerando Dumadag was tasked to transform the erstwhile rustic governor’s house into a “mini-Malacañang Palace” with manicured lawns and fountains lighted up at night. The place was also renamed the Governor’s Mansion.
In the years following the EDSA revolution, the former Governor’s Mansion was renamed People’s Mansion, both in keeping with the renewed political climate of the time. It was also in keeping with the reduced, more egalitarian usage during the administration of a series of provincial governors who were Tagbilaran residents.
In the current administration of Bohol Governor Edgar M. Chatto, the People’s Mansion stature is looking up once again. With eco-cultural tourism being one of the centerpiece programs of the Chatto administration, plans are afoot to refurbish this historic facility to reflect the cultural heritage of the province of Bohol. In fact, the People’s Mansion—the elegant Governor’s Mansion of decades ago is slated to become the central attraction what will soon be declared the Bohol Tourism Complex.
(Information based on article provided by the Bohol Provincial Government and written by Professor Marianito M. Luspo of the Center for Culture and Arts Development)