The actual blood Compact may have happened centuries ago, on March 16, 1565 to be exact, but it was only in 1988 that Boholanos decided to commemorate the First Treaty of Friendship between the Spaniards and the Filipinos, aptly calling it Sandugo.
‘Sandugo’ is a Visayan word which means “one blood;” or in Tagalog, “isang dugo.”
The Sandugo was a blood compact which happened here in Bohol between the Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Boholano chieftain Datu Sikatuna.
Come July, Boholanos will be commemorating the historic treaty with grander festivities as this year’s Sandugo coincides with the Tigum Bol-anon sa Tibuok Kalibutan (TBTK) homecoming.
TBTK is a gathering of Boholanos from all over the world which is held in the province every three years.
TBTK incumbent President David Fabiosa is currently coordinating with the Provincial and City governments, the Sandugo Foundation and all its partners to make this year’s celebration grander, more colorful and even more reminiscent of everything Boholano.
Carmen Gatal, in an interview over the Provincial Government’s weekly radio program, “Kita ug ang Gobernador” on Friday introduced the roster of activities for the entire month of July.
Gatal has been considered as the “Grand Dame” of almost all annual Sandugo celebrations since it first started in 1988.
With Bohol being predominantly Catholic, Boholanos will be opening the Grand Sandugo Festival this year with a Holy Mass and a commemorative program on July 1 at the St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Gatal said.
Said mass will be sponsored by the City Government of Tagbilaran, it being incidentally the City’s Charter Day.
Highlights for this year’s month-long celebration, according to Ms. Gatal, will be the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Trade Fair on July 10 at the Island City Mall.
Another is the Agri-Fair by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, which will run from July 17-20, complete with a Product Showcase and a Flower and Garden Show.
Other activities will be The Sharon Cuneta Show on July 14 at the Bohol Wisdom School; the annual Songfest and Retro Party, both on July 20; Sandugo Bubble Run 2018; and of course, the much-awaited International Fusion Nights, the Miss Bohol 2018 Talent and Pageant Nights, the Bohol Day Awarding of the Ten Outstanding Boholanos Around the World (TOBAW), and the Grand Kuradang Street Dancing and Sandugo Re-enactment which will be having thirteen (13) local LGU participants.
Ms. Gatal added that the criteria for the street dancing has specified that each town’s presentation must include its particular cultural heritage; with each participant using indigenous materials, specifically from Bohol.
She also said that they have doubled the amount of financial subsidy this year, which they have increased from P100,000.00 to P200,000.00.
In fact, she said that prizes this year have also increased, in that the Third Prize Winner will get P200,000.00; Second Prize will have P250,000.00; and the Grand Prize Winner will take home a total of P300,000.00, signifying the 30th year of the Sandugo Festival.
As anniversaries go, a Pearl symbolizes a 30th anniversary; meaning, each celebration has grown grander each year, making each year more beautiful, more colorful, more historic.
For the TBTK this year, “homing” Boholanos will have a chance to get together from July 25-28 and enjoy several and different kinds of activities like a welcome night, a motorcade, a traditional Boholano breakfast at Café Caloy and another one right after an environmental activity in Panglao, and a chance to view the New Bohol Museum with the TOBAW awardees, revisit their youth and participate in traditional Boholano games, and the chance to view the Miss Bohol International Pageant.
Participants will have their general assembly on July 27 with a Gala Night and Induction of its new set of officers to be sponsored by the Provincial Government led by Gov. Edgar M. Chatto.
Carmen Gatal clarified that there will be more activities coming up for the Sandugo@30 this year, which will be announced at a later date. (PGBh/JANETV/EDCom)