Aside from being a vacation spot that lures in visitors, Bohol also boasts of a rich history that is set on a backdrop of incredible attraction, the Blood Compact Site.
The Site of the Blood Compact is the same spot that cemented the friendship between Bohol’s Rajah Sikatuna and Spain’s Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. Rajah Sikatuna inflicted a flesh wound upon himself and let the fresh blood flow into the same self-inflicted flesh wound on the arm of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. The ultimate goal of the ritual was to end hostility between the two groups and enter into an act of friendship and alliance.
It has since come to be of historical significance to the culture of Bohol. A festival in honor of the ritual is even celebrated every year during the months of June and July called the Sandugo Festival. During this time, beauty pageants, sporting events and even a re-enactment of the blood compact ritual between the two opposing forces take place in Tagbilaran City as they commemorate the event. Such activities are geared towards remembering the very concept of the event, to keep not only the Boholano culture intact but that of every Filipino as well. During this time, thousands of Boholanos come home to celebrate the festival, which is also well-visited by local and foreign tourists alike.
Nowadays, the Blood Compact site is a popular tourist attraction that shows how the original ritual took place. Life-size statues of Sikatuna, Legazpi and those who stood witness to the event stand at the very venue where it happened. It then continues to be a reminder of the noble occasion that took place to celebrate friendship and equality between two conflicting forces.
The entire sculpture is situated on an open space near the Sea of Bohol. It is located in Baranggay Bool along its national road on the side of the highway. To get there, take a tricycle from Tagbilaran City as it is only a few minutes’ ride away from the town proper. Many Bohol travel packages include the site in their itinerary which adds to the historical significance of the place to the Philippines. Even better, the site not only offers a must-see venue due to its historical value but is also presents a great view of the island province of Bohol. The very site where the event between Sikatuna and Legazpi took place overlooks the Sea of Bohol. The site is free for anyone who wishes to wander and gaze upon reliving the Blood Compact event. Souvenir shops even surround the site and offer tangible pieces of memories for tourists to take home with them.
Critics argue that the actual site of the Sandugo is found several kilometers from the one in Loay. Another site of the Blood Compact is actually seen near the shore of the Bohol Sea. But whether these controversial claims are true or not, there is certainly no reason to miss the representation of the Blood Compact site that took place centuries ago. The site is yet of relevance to those in search of the echoes of history.