The Bohol Sandugo Celebration or Sandugo Festival, also known as the Blood Compact Commemoration, is an annual historical event that takes place every year in the island province of Bohol, Philippines.
Each had his own reason for acceding to the pact not realizing its impact and significance on their respective countries' history.
It was essentially a pact that would establish goodwill and cordial ties between the two countries.
For Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, it was the pivotal point in a chain of events that would result in a decisive conquest of neighboring Cebu in order to convert the natives to Catholicism and to request them to recognize the king of Spain as sovereign in exchange for protection from invaders and the establishment of trade between the Spaniards and Filipinos
For Rajah Sikatuna, he unwittingly became the first Filipino ambassador of goodwill when he accepted the pact of friendship from Legaspi.
Perhaps, he was aware already of the consequences if he rejected the peace offering.
Of course, with the event taking place hundreds of years ago, we can only speculate and infer on what might have been or could have been
|Phil National Artist for Sculpture Napoleon V. Abueva |
immortalized the Blood Compact with this bronze marker
Bool, Tagbilaran City
In honor of this occasion, the late Philippine President Elpidio Quirino established the Order of Sikatuna, a presidential decoration conferred upon diplomats.
| The Order of Sikatuna: Rank of Raja, the highest recognition |
awarded by the Philippine govt for diplomatic &
foreign relations and named after
Boholano chieftain Raja Sikatuna
|US President Ike Eisenhower & Phil Pres. Carlos P. Garcia|
"seeds of the United Nations" were planted here in Bohol a long long time ago through the skillful diplomatic maneuvers of a Boholano named Rajah Sikatuna who knew the power of peace over violence"SANDUGO 2013
The bands consist only of xylophones, drums, and trumpets.
|Miss Bohol Sandugo 2012 winners|
DWINDLING NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS
Lately, the number of participating contingents has been dwindling mainly because of the sheer logistical requirements needed to gather and train a competitive team.
Behind those charming faces, beaming smiles and dazzling costumes and choreography are a host of perennial problems that have beset the organizing committee.
Aside from recruiting and training the team for nearly a month, the towns have to scramble to secure the services of the best choreographers and trainors.
Have I mentioned how difficult it is to acquire the costumes? How about the meals, the travel and training allowances of the team members?
ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT VERSUS APATHETIC INDIFFERENCE
But then, it would always boil down to the mindset, attitude and priorities of the elected and appointed officials of the local government units and this is exactly the reason why I take my hats off to those local govt. officials who respond to the invitation of the Bohol Sandugo Foundation, Inc to participate in at least one Sandugo official activity like the Miss Bohol Sandugo, the street- dancing competition, the agro- fair trade & exhibits despite budgetary constraints and lack of preparation time
But isn't the Sandugo Festival one perfect avenue to showcase our much- vaunted warmth, hospitality and friendly nature?
| iconic Blood Compact reenactment , Sandugo 2001|
The late Bohol Gov. Erico Aumentado as Rajah Sikatuna and former Tagbilaran City Mayor Jose V. Torralba as Legaspi. Lending her star presence as Sikatuna's wife was the lovely Elizabeth Oropesa
|MEET MAYOR BABA YAP: Taking his oath of office before Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto, Mayor Yap is shown with wife Jane Cajes (in green) and his parents Mr. John Yap (partly hidden) and Mrs. Geesnell Yap|
In fact, there will be a Sandugo Street Party scheduled on July 26 at the City Square replete with musical showdowns and performances and nonstop revelry
The past few years, Boholanons have shied away from the celebrations and only show up for the Street Dancing culmination.
Perhaps, we have become so used to the annual event that we have become blase and indifferent to it.
It is a challenge therefore not only for the public and private sector officials but also for all of us ordinary Boholanos who have to join hands together and become living and breathing symbols for enduring friendship and comradeship
Most importantly, if we can actually inject the fun element into the celebration, the Sandugo Festival would truly be one festive occasion where every guest, visitor and tourist would be exclaiming
" I had so much fun with the Sandugo Festival! I want to come back and hopefully, bring along some friends and family with me so they can also enjoy the marvelous experience that I had with the festival!"
So before you leave, check out the full schedule of the 2013 Sandugo Festival Schedule of Activities shown below and attend at least one event as a show of support