History Blood Compact

Before the Spaniards arrived and further colonized the Philippines, there were enough evidences suggesting that the local inhabitants of the Philippines have already been in contact with outsiders such as the Chinese, Malays, Japanese and other Southeast and East Asian countries through trade. Artifacts found from several archeological sites all over the country were recovered like jars, pots, ancient tools, and utensils bearing some brand that it came from another place. In fact, some of the relics were found in deep soil on the eastern part of Bohol.

Shortly after Ferdinand Magellan and his men were defeated by Lapu-lapu (a tribe leader in Cebu), another dispatch was sent off from Spain. It was Captain General Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, a Spanish Conquistador, who drifted to the shores of Bohol. He befriended the natives by means of a blood compact with Datu Sikatuna in 1565. This act of brotherhood was the first international treaty of friendship between the Filipinos and Spaniards. Later on, the blood compact would then become an annual event called the Sandugo Festival where thousands of tourists would come and witness this vivacious affair in Tagbilaran City.

From then on, the Spaniards slowly won the hearts of the natives and began their colonization agenda to wisely utilize the rich and untouched resources in Bohol that were of much use to the Europeans. Later on, several uprising would emerge in protest of the Spaniards’ harsh treatment of the natives and religious conflicts.

Among these rebellions, there were two major revolts that remain imprinted on Bohol history: a short revolt led by Tamblot in 1621-1622, and the famous Dagohoy rebellion which lasted 85 years from 1744-1829. The latter, as a matter of fact, was considered as the longest uprising in Philippine History.

Furthermore, grueling attempts were made by the Spaniards to stop the rebellion, but failed miserably; even a troop of 2,200 soldiers sent by General Ricafort was not successful.

Two years before the revolt ended in 1829, Francisco Dagohoy died. In the end, the captured followers were granted pardon and began a new life in other towns surrounding their hometown of Danao. This revolt, in turn, led to the establishment of a free Boholano government shortly thereafter.