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Sandugo Grand Ballroom

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Bohol Tropics Resort, Graham Ave, Tagbilaran City, 6300 Bohol, Philippines

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Nick
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit Tagbilaran City during the Sandugo Festival in July and join the street dancing; the best performances are often away from the main stage, where local groups perform with more spontaneity. Also, it's a great opportunity to savor local dishes at the food stalls—ask for 'kalamay' or 'peanut kisses,' which are less likely to be found outside of the festival season."

What is Sandugo Festival?

Sandugo Festival is a vibrant and historic celebration that takes place in the beautiful island province of Bohol, in the Philippines. This annual cultural event commemorates a significant moment in the region's history—the blood compact, or "Sandugo," between the Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna, a native chieftain, in 1565. This pact was a symbol of friendship and peace between the two parties and is considered one of the earliest recorded forms of international diplomacy in the Philippines.

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The Sandugo Festival highlights the rich cultural heritage of the Boholanos with a plethora of activities including street dancing, cultural performances, and beauty pageants. It's a time when colorful costumes and the rhythmic beat of drums fill the streets, as participants from various parts of Bohol, and even from across the Philippines, showcase traditional dances and rituals that reflect the island's history and traditions.

History of Sandugo Festival

The Sandugo Festival's roots can be traced to the historic blood compact between Legazpi and Sikatuna. The ritual involved the two leaders cutting their arms and mixing their blood in a cup of wine, which they then drank, signifying a bond that transcended cultural boundaries. The exact date when the Sandugo Festival was first celebrated isn't clear, however, the event has been an official holiday in Bohol since 1963 when President Diosdado Macapagal issued a proclamation declaring July 1 as a special non-working public holiday in the province in commemoration of the Sandugo.

Over the years, the Sandugo Festival has grown in size and grandeur, evolving from a simple historical remembrance to a month-long festival filled with a series of events. The festivity usually peaks in the month of July, coinciding with the anniversary of the blood compact. The attractions have broadened to include not just historical reenactments, but also modern entertainment, sports events, and economic endeavors such as trade fairs showcasing Bohol's local products and crafts.

Why is Sandugo Festival Important?

The Sandugo Festival is a vital expression of the Boholano spirit and an embodiment of the island's identity. By remembering the legendary blood compact, Boholanos honor their ancestors' hospitable and open nature, qualities that are still very much a part of their contemporary culture. It serves as a constant reminder of the importance of solidarity and unity among people of different backgrounds and cultures.

More than a historical commemoration, the Sandugo Festival has become a platform for showcasing Bohol's unique cultural heritage and natural beauty, which contributes to local pride and fosters tourism. It's a period when local artists, artisans, and performers can exhibit their talents, and when the community is enlivened by the influx of visitors eager to partake in the festivities. The festival's significance extends beyond its local impact, contributing to the national narrative and offering a glimpse into the vibrant diversity that defines the Philippine archipelago.

Things to Do & See at Sandugo Festival

When you're at the Sandugo Festival, immerse yourself in the colorful street dancing competition known as the Sandugo Street Dancing & Mardi Gras. It's the festival's highlight where contingents from different municipalities don elaborate costumes and perform lively dance routines, telling stories of Bohol's history and culture. Revelers, both local and international, crowd the streets to witness this spectacle of history come alive through music and movement.

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Don't miss the reenactment of the blood compact ceremony, which is a dramatic representation of the historic event, complete with period costumes and traditional rituals. It's a powerful portrayal that deeply resonates with the attendees. Additionally, explore the Sandugo Trade Expo where you can find local products like the famous Boholano handicrafts, organic food products, and exquisite pieces of jewelry. These make for perfect souvenirs or gifts and serve as a tangible memory of the festive experience.

You can also join in other activities such as the Sandugo Song Festival, a competition featuring original compositions that usually revolve around the themes of friendship, peace, and Boholano culture. If you're into sports, the Sandugo Festival also hosts events like the Sandugo Off-Road Triathlon or the various basketball and volleyball tournaments. It's a festival that caters to a wide range of interests, ensuring that there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Sandugo Festival?

The Sandugo Festival is an annual cultural event in Bohol, Philippines that commemorates the historical blood compact (Sandugo) between the Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna, the chieftain of Bohol in 1565.

When is the Sandugo Festival celebrated?

The Sandugo Festival is celebrated every year throughout the month of July, with the main events typically happening in the last week of the month.

What are the main activities during the Sandugo Festival?

The festival includes a variety of events such as cultural shows, street dancing parades, agricultural fairs, beauty contests, and re-enactments of the blood compact ceremony.

Is the Sandugo Festival a public holiday in Bohol?

No, the Sandugo Festival is not a public holiday in Bohol, but it is a major local festival attracting tourists and participants from all over the Philippines.

How can tourists participate in the Sandugo Festival?

Tourists can participate in the Sandugo Festival by attending the various events and activities, joining the street dancing, and immersing themselves in the cultural and historical significance of the festival.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Bohol Tropics Resort, Graham Ave, Tagbilaran City, 6300 Bohol, Philippines

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps