Travels and Festivals

Sandugo Festival: The Whole Guide

Sandugo Festival

The Sandugo Festival is an annual historical celebration in the island of Bohol.The Sandugo is also known as the Blood Compact Commemoration or the Bohol Sandugo Celebration. The celebration honors the friendship pact between Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and Datu Sikatuna, two individuals of various racial and religious backgrounds.

Sandugo Festival was known all over the Philippines. The Sandugo was a blood compact performed on the Island of Bohol. It is an annual celebration, a yearly historical event that takes place every month of July. The Blood Compact Site, located at Bool District Tagbilaran City, Bohol, was well-known as a memorial to the historical sign of friendship between the Spaniards and the Filipinos.

Each year, the Sandugo Festival commence in July and continue the entire month. It is when the Boholanos (residents of Bohol) spread around the world come together to celebrate and rejoice. In addition, Tagbilaran City also celebrates its Charter Day in July, so it calls for a double celebration. Locals in colorful attires and headgear are flooding the streets and joining the parades. Numerous visitors come to the Philippines during this time of the year to witness the spellbinding dancers, fireworks, and tournaments.

Sandugo Festival its history

In the 1980s, the Sandugo Festival is an annual event to commemorate Bohol’s historical and rich cultural heritage. Since then, the festival has gained popularity and drawn domestic and foreign visitors. It typically takes place over several days and includes various activities, such as cultural shows, street parades, and religious ceremonies, that pay tribute to the province’s rich history and traditions. 

The most remarkable bit about this festival is that its history was characterized by cutting the leaders’ arms and drinking the blood in a covenant agreement. In the tradition then, it was a way of formalizing relationships and friendships.

The treaty between the two leaders starts the friendship between the Spaniards and Filipinos. The fiesta kicks off on the first day of July and lasts the whole month, giving you plenty of time to visit and enjoy the celebrations.

A story about a colony and its colonizer is in the history of the Philippines and the Spanish Crown. Nevertheless, despite the tragic past of the colonial era, tales of friendship and loyalty between individuals with different cultures and worldviews are prevalent.

Discover the Best of the Sandugo Festival

Reenactment of the blood compact ceremony of Sandugo Festival

reenacment of sandugo festival

The reenactment of the blood compact ceremony is one of the main highlights of the Sandugo Festival in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines. In this ceremony, actors in traditional costumes play the roles of Datu Sikatuna and Miguel López de Legazpi. Additionally, they then recreate the act of mixing their blood as a symbol of friendship and alliance. The event is a cultural and historical showcase and attracts a large crowd yearly.

Street parades and dances in Sandugo Festival

street dancing in sandugo festival

The Sandugo festival features a grand parade in the streets of Tagbilaran, showcasing the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the city. The procession includes colorful floats and street dancers. In addition, it has traditional musicians who perform lively and upbeat music, such as the indigenous bamboo dances and the tinikling (Traditional Filipino folk dance). 

The attendees were thousands of people, both residents and tourists, who came to witness the spectacle of music, color, and energy that the festival has to offer. The Sandugo Festival also has street dances and parades, which add to the festival’s overall celebratory mood.

The Celebration of Sandugo Festival

The grand feast and cultural night celebration are two of the most eagerly anticipated events of the Sandugo Festival. The excellent dinner is a traditional celebration with delicious local cuisine and cultural performances.

Hassle-free Travel: How to Reach Sandugo Festival

Here are some options for hassle-free travel to the sandugo festival:

By Air: The nearest airport to Tagbilaran City is the Tagbilaran Airport, which is just a few kilometers from the city center. From Manila or other major cities, regular flights are available to Tagbilaran. However, the airfare to Bohol, Philippines, depends on several factors, including the airline, the time of year, and the departure city. 

By Sea: Tagbilaran City is also accessible by ferry from Cebu City, a significant hub for inter-island transportation. The trip from Cebu to Tagbilaran takes approximately 2 hours. Additionally, the cost of the sea ticket from Cebu to Bohol can also change depending on several variables.

However, here’s a rough estimate of the sea fare for this route:

  • Fast ferry: Fast ferries typically offer a more expensive but faster and more comfortable journey between Cebu and Bohol. The sea fare for a short ferry from Cebu to Tagbilaran, the capital city of Bohol, can range from PHP 1,500 to PHP 2,500 ($30 to $50) one-way.
  • Ro-Ro ferry: Roll-on, roll-off (Ro-Ro) ferries offer a more affordable option for travel between Cebu and Bohol. The sea fare for a Ro-Ro ferry from Cebu to Tagbilaran can range from PHP 700 to PHP 1,200 ($14 to $24) one-way.

It is crucial to remember that these prices are subject to modification and may vary depending on some factors. Therefore, checking directly with ferry companies or online travel agencies is advisable to acquire the most recent information on sea prices from Cebu to Bohol.

By Land: Buses and jeepneys run regularly from nearby cities and towns to Tagbilaran City. Visitors can also rent a car or take a taxi for a more comfortable journey.

Regardless of your mode of transportation, the festival venue is easily accessible from the city center. In addition, local transport, such as jeepneys and tricycles, can take you to the festival grounds.

Planning and checking the local transportation schedules can ensure hassle-free travel to the Sandugo Festival.

The Best Time to Visit Bohol for Sandugo Festival

Bohol, Philippines, is a popular tourist destination with a warm tropical climate, making it a great place to visit all year round. However, the best time to visit Bohol depends on personal preferences and travel goals. 

December to May is the high season in Bohol, with the peak tourist season happening during the Christmas and New Year holidays. 

Additionally, this time of year is ideal for warm weather. But expect higher prices and larger crowds.

The low season falls from June to November in Bohol, with the rainy season starting in June. During this time, the weather is wetter, the crowds are smaller, and prices are lower. But, if you want to experience local festivals, the Sandugo Festival in July is a popular event to check out. 

Moreover, during festival times, the city of Tagbilaran comes to life with street parades, dances, and cultural shows. Ultimately, the best time to visit Bohol will depend on your travel goals and personal preferences. Consider weather, prices, crowds, and events to determine the best time for your trip.

Find your Perfect Place to stay in Bohol during Sandugo Festival.

Bohol, Philippines, offers visitors a wide range of accommodation options during the Sandugo Festival. You can select your accommodations by considering the location. It is advisable to look for a hotel or resort near the festival venues in Tagbilaran or Panglao. In addition, if you prefer a more relaxing atmosphere, consider staying in a quieter area of the island.

South Palms Resort Panglao

South Palms Resort Panglao for andugo festival

One of the best place to stay for Sandugo Festival is South Palms Resort in Bohol’s Panglao Island region. The location puts you close to exciting dining options and attractions. Never miss the adjacent Alona Beach and Chocolate Hills Natural Monument.

Sunrise Huts, Panglao

Sunrise Huts, Panglao for sandugo festival

also one of best place to stay for Sandugo Festival Sunrise Huts offers lodging with a garden, free WiFi, and free private parking for those traveling by car. The location is in Panglao, 2.7 miles from Libaong White Beach and 700 meters from Dumaluan Beach.

Molly Resort, Bohol

Molly Resort, Bohol for sandugo festival

You can see Molly Resort Bohol in Bolod, a short distance Offering lodging with an outdoor pool, free private parking, a terrace, and a restaurant. Alona Beach, Hinagdanan Cave, and Baclayon Church are all less than 1 kilometer from the location. The hotel offers its visitors room service and a front desk that is open round-the-clock also the best place to stay for Sandugo Festival.

Zula Bohol

Zula Bohol, Sandugo Festival

Zula Bohol has an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, and a garden. They have a free shuttle service. Along with a concierge service, they also have free WiFi throughout the property. Their rooms feature a balcony with garden views.

A world of Adventure, Beauty, and Fun: Best Tourists Spots in Bohol

Bohol, Philippines, offers visitors a wealth of adventure, beauty, and fun. You won’t want to miss these top tourist attractions in Bohol:

Chocolate Hills

Chocolate Hills, Sandugo Festival

The Chocolate Hills are a well-liked vacation spot that draws tourists worldwide. For a panoramic perspective of the area, visitors can trek to the top of one of the hills or take in the scenery from the viewing point.

Tarsier Sanctuary 

Bohol is home to the world’s smallest tarsier primate. Visitors can visit the Tarsier Sanctuary to see these tiny creatures in their natural habitat. Tarsiers are nocturnal primates known for their large eyes, which help them hunt at night. 

Panglao Island 

Panglao Island, Sandugo Festival

This stunning island is a popular destination for visitors to Bohol. It offers beautiful beaches, clear waters for snorkeling and diving, and a lively atmosphere. Visitors to Panglao Island can enjoy various activities, from sunbathing and swimming.

Loboc River Cruise

Take a scenic cruise down the Loboc River. And enjoy the natural beauty of the region. You will see lush vegetation and towering cliffs and enjoy a delicious buffet. The boat also stops at several points along the river. It is a chance to explore the surrounding area and take in the sights and sounds of the tropical wilderness.

Baclayon Church

Baclayon church is a historic church with a beautiful example of Spanish colonial architecture. It is one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines. In addition to the church itself, the Baclayon Church and Museum complex also includes a museum showcasing the island’s history and cultural heritage. 

How To Attend The Sandugo Festival

If you wish to see the Philippines at its most gorgeous self, visit the country during this festival. Flying directly via the recently opened Bohol International Airport is the easiest way to get there. Or take a domestic flight to Tagbilaran. Due to the high volume of tourists, the city will get during this time, be sure to reserve your flight and lodging in advance.

Scroll to Top