The Sandugo Festival is an annual historical celebration that takes place every year on the month of July, in the island of Bohol. This festival honors the treaty of friendship or blood compact between Boholano Chieftain Datu Sikatuna and Spanish Explorer Miguel López de Legazpi which took place on March 16, 1565.
Formalized and sealed through the blood compact, the Sandugo celebrates the kinship between two people of different nationalities, different religious beliefs, and different cultures. The Sandugo treaty is called a blood compact because the participants each drink a small amount of the other’s blood. (“Dugo” means blood in the Visayan language.) This was a traditional way to formalize treaties of friendship in the Philippines. Formalized and sealed through the blood compact, the Sandugo celebrates the kinship between two people of different in religion, nationality, culture and civilization.
The Bohol Sandugo Festival 2015 celebrates this same spirit of partnership, in the midst of recovery from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the province on October 15, 2013. This year’s Sandugo Chairperson says the month-long festival also celebrates Boholano resilience and unity. 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, Inc. (BSFI).
The Street Dancing Competition is usually participated in by schools, the city and municipal governments, boholano organizations abroad, and even contingents from other provinces. Aside from the activities organized by the city and provincial governments, are other activities sponsored by various private sectors like nightly shows and trade or food fair, product showcase, concerts, fireworks display, medical and surgical missions, and others.
Hundreds of people arround the Philippines they come in this time to attend the biggest event in Bohol and month long celebration from July 1-31. This is also a featured event for tourists. True enough, besides being the Sandugo month, July has become a time when most school and family reunions are being held.