Coming from Gov. Edgar Chatto, the city administration deserves the banner of grand celebrations like the 450th Blood Compact anniversary for having significantly improved in the competitiveness ranking.
Chatto cited the â€œunprecedented leap of the Tagbilaran City in the National Competitiveness Council Ranking from 129th in 2013 to 28th in 2014–a year after Mayor John Geesnell Yap II assumed as mayor.
On this, the governor expressed optimism that the city can further take the edge in every endeavor, especially with the latest collaboration with the United StatesÂ Agency for International DevelopmentÂ (USAID) â€œin strengthening its tourism potentialsâ€.
The Blood Compact site in barangay Bool has been part of Bohol day tour, attracting hundreds of tourists daily for several years already, and its renovation undertaken by the city government has been intended to accommodate more and to pave way for additional features.
In his speech during the 450th Blood Compact Anniversary Celebration, Yap cited that the rite, considered as the first international treaty of friendship between Datu Sikatuna and General Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, â€œis one of Boholâ€™s contributions to the colorful history of our glorious countryâ€.
â€œThe unity between two races was forged through a blood compact or Sandugo. With each otherâ€™s blood flowing in their veins they have become members of the same family and bound to observe loyalty to one another. In other words, Sikatuna and Legazpi became blood brothers by virtue of this rite,â€ according to the city mayor.
Celebrating the historic event, Boholanos restore the â€œvalue of the Blood Compactâ€ by being proud of the past and such brave decision of the forefathers of the land.
â€œIt is about time that we give premium to such a significant part of our local history to show that we are a people who are proud of our past as well as the critical decisions of our ancestors. We want every Tagbilaranon to feel a deep connection with this historical event because it shows that friendship and unity can be reached despite differences in status beliefs or principles,â€ according to Yap.
The city mayor noted that it might be hard to achieve peace and understanding in some places of the nation, but the spirit of the Blood Compact between Datu Sikatuna and Legazpi serve as â€œsource of inspiration and insightâ€.
â€œIt offers us hope for a future where uncertainties give way to trust where discrimination is replaced with tolerance and friendship and where conflict yields to peace and cooperation,â€ the mayor emphasized.
In fact, underlining â€œthe light of friendship and unityâ€, makes the celebration of Saulog Tagbilaran 2015â€”the tagline for revelry towards the city fiesta celebrationâ€”more meaningful, he added
â€œThus we found it fitting to launch this yearâ€™s Saulog in time with the Blood Compact Anniversary as our way of connecting the glories of our past with our vibrant present,â€ according to Yap.
He said â€œSaulog Tagbilaran will bring the sights, sounds, vibe and taste of the fiesta celebration beginningâ€ the day of commemoration of the Blood Compact onward to the cityâ€™s feast day on May 1.
â€œWe have carefully selected different activities to reflect the diversity of the people yet retaining the tradition and cultural heritage of the city and its people.
But more than the festivities, Saulog Tagbilaran is our tribute to our patron saint guardian and role model, Senior San Jose. Let us remember that this celebration is our offer of heartfelt thanksgiving to Saint Joseph. It is our way of showing our gratefulness for the gift of life and blessings for the year that was,â€ Yap said.