Located high up on a plateau, the Municipality of Cortes in the province of Bohol lies northeast of the City of Tagbilaran about 10 kilometers away; more or less about 15 minutes travel time. Its nearest neighbor along the national highway to the north is the town of Maribojoc.
The town fiesta is held every 16th of January in honor of the holy child Jesus, the Santo Niño.
The history of Cortes dates back to pre-Hispanic times – there already was a form of government way before the coming of the Spaniards. The town was known as “Malabago” after its chief, who was a contemporary of King Lomod, otherwise known as Tamblot – the first Boholano to raise arms against the Spanish conquistadors. The town was probably established in 1862 during the construction of the Catholic church with the settlements of Malabago, Pamingwitan and Dayhangan jointed into one and called “Pueblo de Cortes”.
The town of Cortes is named after Cortes the town in Navarre of northern Spain. It is also suggested that it is named after the Spanish conquistador, Hernan Cortes (who himself came from the town of Cortes in Navarre, Spain). Cortes is also a derivation from the Spanish word “cortesimo” meaning “most courteous”.
Cortes belongs to the 1st Congressional District of Bohol. Cortes is divided into 14 barangays: De la Paz, Fatima, Loreto, Lourdes, Malayo Norte, Malayo Sur, Monserrat, New Lourdes, Patrocinio, Poblacion, Rosario, Salvador, San Roque and Upper de la Paz.
Cortes is the site of the southern Industrial Projects and its subsidiary, Rolling Mills, which produces colored and non-colored galvanized iron for roofing.
The town of Cortes has several tourism sites.
The Bacong River Heritage Conservation Tour for paddling and river trekking enthusiasts has been set up.
The Abatan River is one of its natural assets. The river traverses through the town of Antequera and from the town of Balilihan for an estimated length of 20 kilometres. It opens at the Cortes nipa swamp, the most extensive nipa swamp in Bohol.
Bilibili Spring is another site envisioned for development by the local government in Malayo Norte.
The Santo Niño parish church was badly affected by the 2013 earthquake. The newly-restored church of the Santissimo Nombre de Jesus, or the Santo Niño Church in Cortes now presents itself as a potential tourist stop. Cortes church also boasts of its frescoes, one of the best preserved ceiling paintings in Bohol done by Ray Francia as commissioned by the Diocese in the early 1920.
In the coming years, it is believed that the town of Cortes will make a lot of progress because of the big government projects.