Tagbilaran City in Bohol is a significant site in the annals of Philippine history. It is therefore fitting that it celebrates a fiesta that commemorates what is deemed a historical event that occurred on March 16, 1565. On this day, a blood compact took place between Datu Sikatuna and Captain Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. The former is a brave Filipino chieftain while the latter was a Spanish colonizer. Although you might expect animosity to spring up between the two, given their conflicting positions, what occurred was simply the opposite.
The blood compact signified a solid friendship between the two parties involved. The Filipino Datu and the Spanish Captain agreed to forge a relationship and symbolizing it by drinking their combined blood mixed with wine. This marked the peaceful colonization of the Spanish in the Philippines. This unusual bond is what the Sandugo festival observes during its annual celebrations.
Dubbed as the mother of all fiestas, the Sandugo Festival is a month long celebration every July. The highlight of this momentous occasion is the street dancing participated in by various groups of performers. The competition is quite stiff in this area with the contestants preparing for this challenge a few months before the fiesta. The natives of Bohol, even those who have been living somewhere else are expected to come home and take part in the festivity. Another exciting portion of the Fiesta is the reenactment of the blood compact, which features by many actors, singers, and dancers. The play is presented to in order that the people may recall the origin of the cause of their merriment.
Sandugo is likewise a call for unity for the Filipino people as a country. The citizens are bonded by the same culture and tied with the same blood. Filipinos are encouraged to join the different activities that have been organized to signify their cooperation.