Sandugo renactment in Bohol (Wikipedia Photo)
The Sandugo Festival is an annual historical celebration that takes place every year in Tagbilaran City on Bohol, Visayas, central Philippines.
This festival commemorates the Treaty of Friendship between Datu Sikatuna, a chieftain in Bohol, and Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi. This 16th Century peace treaty occurred on March 16, 1565 through a blood compact or “sandugo”.
The Sandugo Festival is held every July. The Tagbilaran City Charter Day on July 1 kicks-off the month-long festival with a holy mass, a motorcade and program sponsored by the city government. Among the major activities during the month is the Miss Bohol Sandugo Beauty Pageant, and the Sandugo Street Dancing Competition which is usually held on the 3rd or 4th Sunday of July, and organized by the Bohol Sandugo Foundation (Source Wikipedia).
Long live Philippine festivals!
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!