Bohol Island State University (BISU) Bilar campusÂ had just been adjudged champion in this yearâ€™s Sandugo Festival streetdancing and showdown, receiving P300,000 and trophy.
BISU-Bilar bested seven other contingents during the Sandugo Streetdancing and showdown competition last Sunday.
Tagbilaran City was first runner-up with the prize of P250,000 and trophy, while the Municipality of Baclayon finished at second runner-up with prize of P200,000 and trophy.
Minor awards with cash prize of P10,000 each were given to contingents from Mabini as most disciplined group, Anda as most colorful, Catigbian as most symbolic performance, Ubay as most unique, and Camayaan National High School of Loboc as most authentic.
Camayaan National High School of Loboc was also awarded P30,000 as best in streetdancing.
Certificates of recognition were given to Catigbian for successive participation in the past 10 years, and Bohol Island State University for successive participation for three years since 2012.
BISU-Calape was also champion in 2014, BISU-Clarin in 2013 and BISU-Candijay in 2012.
The panel of judges for the Sandugo Streetdancing 2015 was composed of Max Luna Ill, Nila Hansol, Director Maryo delos Reyes, Bonifacio Bargamento, and Dr. Ramon Santos.
Governor Edgar Chatto said the contingent choreographers had to undergo a workshop prior to the rehearsals to reorient them on original Bohol dances that would depict the message of Sandugo or the historical blood compact between Rajah Sikatuna and Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.
It was also made sure that the contingents would do away with the steps used in other festivals such as the Sinulog and perform Boholano steps, according to Marianito Luspo, chairperson of Sandugo Festival 2015.
During the opening program, provincial and local officials, together with known Bohol personalities reenacted the blood compact wherein Chatto portrayed Rajah Sikatuna and Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell Yap portrayed Legazpi.
Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) Chief Operating Officer Mark Lapid, the guest speaker during the Samdugo Streetdancing Competition last Sunday,Â announced priority development projects that authorities will undertake to further boost Bohol’s tourism industry.
Before the year ends, the Department of Tourism (DOT) through TIEZA will be at the helm of developing the Friendship Park in Tagbilaran City, as well as the Sandugo Shrine, amounting to a rough total of P60 million.
“Kami po ay nakikisandugo rin…sa pagdedevelop at pagdadala po ng tulong (pang-) imprastruktura sa pagpopromote sa ating lalawigan at sa siyudad ng Tagbilaran,” Lapid said.
Thousands of Boholanos in attendance cheered on the bleachers upon hearing the good news.
“Iyan pong sigawan ninyo ang patunay kung bakit it’s more fun in the Philippines, and it’s more fun in Bohol,” Lapid added.
The Sandugo Festival is one of the province’s most prominent festivities and tourist attractions, featuring a streetdance competition and a live re-enactment ofÂ the legendary pre-Hispanic blood compact between Datu Sikatuna, a native of Bohol and Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the famed Spanish conquistador.
Although the actual Friendship Treaty was signedÂ on March 16,Â 1565, the month-long festivities are held every July and are sponsored by the Tagbilaran City Government.
Lapid, who previously served in the provincial government of Pampanga as governor, believes that tourism activities such as these are beneficial not onlyÂ in termsÂ of generating income for local government units (LGU), butÂ more importantlyÂ in bringing together people from all walks of life.
He himself worked for the integration of tourism in the development plans of LGUs, encompassing security, economic,Â infrastructure, and environmental aspects of improving the Filipinos’ way of life.
He also oversaw other tourism development projects in Bohol, including the repairs and reconstruction of churches damaged by the 2013 earthquake.
But Lapid still looks forward to working with the people of Bohol in the future as more exciting tourism developments come their way.