#193 Blood Compact Memorial

The Blood Compact Memorial in Bohol

 

The Blood Compact site in Bohol marks the place where the Spanish colonist Miguel de Legazpi and the Bohol chieftain Sikatuna made a pact.

More than 40 years after Magellan’s death, Spain sent in 1564 four expeditions to establish colonies in the Far East, and to pick up a share of the lucrative spice trade which is under the control of the Portuguese. Legazpi attempted to sail to Cebu but was thwarted. He then decided to head to Mindanao but inclement weather forced his fleet to the direction of Bohol. 

In Bohol Legazpi was also given a hostile welcome since Portuguese raiders a few years back have raided the Visayan seas, plundered Bohol and killed or enslaved about one thousand of its inhabitants. But with the help of a Malay translator, Legazpi persuaded two chiefs of Bohol, Datu Sikatuna of Bohol and Datu Sigala of Loboc that they were not Portuguese, and had come in peace, and not to plunder or kill. This convinced the tribal kings (big mistake!) to end their hostility and enter a pact of friendship.

On 16 March 1565 (or March 25, records are vague due to the Georgian calendar reform in 1584), Legazpi and Sikatuna performed the now famous blood compact, probably not far from the modern town of Loay. This event is still celebrated in Bohol every year in June with the Sandugo (One Blood) festival every July where balls, dances, beauty pageants, fairs, sports events, and the re-enactment of the blood compact to signify the friendship formed between the Boholanos and the Spaniards.

Mabuhay ang Bohol!

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