In the early part of the 19th century the town of Alicia, formerly known as Batuanan, was one of the three (3) biggest and oldest towns of Bohol along with Catigbian and Balilihan. It was a thriving trading center shortly after the Dagohoy Rebellion (1744 – 1829). The town of Batuanan, however, was formally established in June 1860 by virtue of a decree signed by the Spanish Governor General Livarez.
There are two versions as to how the place came to be called Batuanan. One version stated that the place was a “ Batuganan” meaning perch or lookout of the warriors of Dagohoy guarding against invading Spanish and pirates. From then on, the place was called Batuanan derived the word “ Batuganan”. The second version is that Batuan trees bearing tomato-shaped fruits were abundant in the locality. This prompted the Spanish soldiers who were then conducting mopping-out operations against Dagohoy’s men to call the place Batuanan.
Close to the end of Spanish regime in the country, two (2) high ranking officers were ambushed in the outskirts of the town. This incident prompted the Spanish officers to burn the whole Poblacion in retaliation. Again, in the early American regime, an American soldier was killed in another ambuscade, which brought about another scourge upon the town. This time the American soldiers burned all the structures to the ground, thus, resulting to the transfer of the seat of government to barrio Libas which is now the Poblacion of the Municipality of Mabini. This continued until 1903 when the Philippines Commission passed Commonwealth Act. No. 968 formally creating the Municipality of Mabini, wherein Batuanan became only a barrio thereof.
However, after the span of few years, the people of Batuanan started agitating for the restoration of its status into a municipality. Towards that end, they succeeded in having elected two (2) Mayors, namely: Dulcisimo Ayuban and Cipriano G. Aton. Also elected were two (2) Vice-Mayors, namely: Buenaventura Asas and Segunda Duetes and several councilors, among them were Victor Doydora, Dionisio Muring, Anastacio Curit, Pedro Huiso and Gaudencio Gumop-as. These officials paved the way for a concerted effort to secede from the town of mabini.
It was not until 1949 when the real break came. Pedro Huiso and Cipriano Aton, together with some prominent leaders of Batuanan, through the help Governor Jacinto Borja sought an audience with President Elpidio Quirino, then seeking reelection, lobbying to create Batuanan into a municipality with a pledge that the people thereat will deliver a solid vote for the liberal Party candidates in the 1949 national elections. Thus, President Elpidio Quirino, during his stopover in Dumaguete from Tagbilaran, Bohol on September 16, 1949 issued Executive Order No. 265 creating Batuanan into an independent municipality to be known as Alicia, in honor of his wife, Doña Alicia Syquia Quirino.
On January 18, 1950 the municipality of Alicia, Bohol was formally inaugurated with its first appointed officials, namely: Mayor Pedro Huiso, Vice – Mayor Anastacio Curit, and Councilors Perpetua Talili, Gaudencio Gumop-as, Eladio Iyoy, Buenaventura Asas, Benito Licayan and Arsenio Ayuban.
From then on, the town elected 9 mayors who succeded Pedro Huiso (1950-55), namely: Exequiel Madriñan Sr., Leoncio Garcia (1956- 59), Jesus Madriñan (1960-80), Dominador Molina (1980 – 1987), Exequiel Madriñan Jr.( 1988 – 1995), Basilio H. Balahay Jr. (1995 – 2001), Bienvenido C. Molina Jr., MD ( 2001 – 2007), Pedro B. Miasco ( 2007 – 2010), Marnilou S. Ayuban (2010 – present).