Sandugo Festival is an historical event that happens every year on the month of March in the island of Bohol. This festival celebrates and honors a local Philippine leader Datu Sikatuna’s blood compact association or treaty of friendship with the Spanish king conquistador, Captain General Miguel López de Legazpi in March 16, 1565.

The festival began with the arrival of the Spanish king conquistador in Tagbilaran, Bohol in 1565. Datu Sikatuna pledge his commitment to the Spansih crown. The two leaders made a cut on their left arm with a dagger and trickle their blood into Sikatuna to the Spanish crown. The treaty signing was held on the southwest coast of Bohol Island in March 1565. The treaty happened 44 years after Ferdinand Magellan was killed in attacking a Philippine village in Mactan.

The Sandugo treaty protects the ties between the two leaders. It is the first international treaty of friendship between the Filipinos and the Spaniards

The annual celebration of Sandugo Festival begins in March. People around the Philippines gather for this special event, it involves street dancing competition which was moved to July since it is concurrent with Tigum Bol-anan Tibuok Kalibutan, colorful costumes, loud drum beats, street parades, church services, fireworks, beauty pageants, cockfighting tournaments (Sabong) and lastly sport tournaments.

One of the highlights in Sandugo Festival is the street dancing competition that is held in Tagbilaran City. The local high schools are the participants in the event. They will make their own special costumes and choreography. The marching band is the one who provides the music for the dancers, they will follow each group as they dance to the beat.

Every member of the band has a different instrument to play, their are xylophones, drums and trumpets. The parade also consist of local officials, police department, local businesses and associations. The local beauty queens, Miss Bohol and Miss Tagbilaran is included in the entourage.

The citizens should look for the big surprise at the end of the parade. There is a large truck carrying attractive transvestites. The truck was full of white balloons.

Photo credit: Isadora Photgraphy