Brief history of Moalboal


MUAL BUAL: The Name and The Land

     Two versions, both based on phonetic distortions, are ascribed as the origin of the place named “Moalboal,” The first version is an onomatopeic derivation from the bubbling sound, or bocalbocal (or bukalbukal) in Cebuano, emitted by the watersof a spring located within the town proper. The second, and less popular, version attributes to the belief that most of the town’s first settlers are Boholanos or Bol-anons. In either version, it is believed by many residents that bocalbocal or Bol-anon eventually was transformed to “Moalboal”.

Perhaps, the real clue to the etymology of “Moalboal” is its old orthography. Redondo’s  Breve Reseña de la Diocesis de Cebu en las Islas Filipinas spells the name of the town as “Moalbual.” The same spelling is reflected on a page from Sale’s Ang Sugbo sa Karaang Panahon showing a map of the Cebu Province.

Furthermore, Buzeta and Bravo’s Diccionario Geografico Estadistico Historio de las Islas Filipinas spells Moalboal as “Mualbual.” It is also noted in Microfilm 1214683, which contains Moalboal’s Basutismos from the year 1926 to 1949, of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints Family History Library that Moalboal is formerly spelled as “Mualbual.”