The Bohol Blood Compact Site is 15-20 minutes away from the port of Tagbilaran City, Bohol in the Philippines. It is in the modern area of Loay. The site is located near the beach where the Spaniards landed on 1565. It is a replica of what happened during the “Sandugo”. Sandugo is a combination of the Filipino words “Isang Dugo” or One Blood.
When the Spanish arrived in Bohol, the people were hostile in welcoming them as they thought they were Portugese. But Legazpi convinced them that they were Spaniards and they come in good will. The Blood Compact was performed on March 16, 1565 between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi a Spanish Explorer and Datu Sikatuna the chieftain of Bohol to seal their comradeship. Blood Compact is considered as a tribal tradition and is the first treaty of friendship between the Filipinos and the Spaniards.
The Blood Compact was performed in the presence of the followers of both leaders. They place a few drops of blood drawn from a small incision on both Legazpi and Sikatuna’s hands, then put it in separate cups containing wine. Each leader drank the potion containing the blood of the other, thus claiming oneness and friendship.
Blood Compact is celebrated in Bohol every July. Traditionally the festival is every March but the Bohol Government decided to move it in July in time for vacation in other countries. Boholanos who work abroad are enticed to go back to Bohol through the TBTK “Tigum Bol-anon Tibouk Kalibutan” program which literally translates to “gather Boholanos from all over the world”. TBTK program gives Boholanos big discounts on airline fare, hotel accommodation among many others. This encourages those who work outside Bohol to go back to the island.
Blood Compact is a memorable event as it encourages friendship not only with Spaniards and Filipinos but with other nationalities as well. Bohol is now aggressive in developing their tourism. One thing Boholanos have in common is the way they treat foreign and locals. Boholanos hospitality is never ceasing maybe because of the Blood Compact which happened thousands of years ago.