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Historical Setting

          On May 10, 1565 a very occasion of an era of the unwritten treaty of friendship of international peace, between the east and the west had been observed on one of the seven thousand and one hundred seven islands in the heart of a sprawling island-nation on the Pacific rim – the island of Bohol. The peace pact was held in the village of Bool three kilometers from what is now Tagbilaran between Captain Miguel Lopez de Legaspi of the Spanish expedition and Datu Sikatuna, Chief of Bohol. Legaspi’s expedition was the fifth the Spanish crown had sent to the archipelago. In the next decades after Magellan, Spain sent expeditions led by Loaisa in 1525, Saavedra in 1527, Villalobos in 1542 and Legaspi in 1565 respectively but none of them had given name to this scattered islands of our forefathers although Villalobos called, "Western Islands" which is now known as the Visayan Islands.

          Legaspi sailed from Natividad, Mexico the surrogate of the crown of Spain on November 21, 1564 with Father Andres Urdaneta and reached Cebu on February 13, 1565. Because of the hostility of the Cebuanos as a retaliation of the abuses done by Magellan’s men, he did not land Cebu. Instead, he sailed to the nearby islands in his desire to reach Mindanao but failed due to unfavorable weather. So he dropped anchor at a village southeastern part of Bohol, now called Jagna. He observed that the natives were unfriendly. He learned some facts about the adverse attitudes of the natives by a Muslim from Borneo who was with him as his interpreter who told that the Portuguese posed to be Spaniards in order to win the friendship of the natives, but when they had become friendly, the Portuguese attacked and robbed them; plundered other villages nearby that caused the outrage of the Boholanos. The natives fought back and drove the Spaniards away. Legaspi’s coming and his plea for mercy that he and his men were not the same people who had wronged them did not soften the anger of the natives. Undaunted they went to other villages where the people were friendly.

          In the village of Bool, three kilometers from Tagbilaran, Legaspi dropped anchor, went ashore and met Chief Datu Sikatuna. Legaspi together with Muslim interpreter and some of his men approached Sikatuna in a pleasing behavior that impressed him. Legaspi told the Bohol chief that he had come to make friends with him and his people. He further told Sikatuna that they came from a great civilized nation of friendly people. Impressed by his tact and diplomacy, Sikatuna was sold to Legaspi’s ideas and purpose and became friends. They sealed their friendship in a native custom of unwritten document, the making of blood compact in a colorful permissive atmosphere. The blood compact was done by drawing from each person two or three drops of blood from their arms and mix them in one cup with wine. The mixture was then divided equally between the cup of Sikatuna and Legaspi and both drank until both cups were empty. The compact was sealed on March 16, 1565 now popularly known as "Sandugo". The Boholanos celebrate the "Sandugo" every year to commemorate the historic event. A historical marker now stands in barangay Bool of Tagbilaran City. Legaspi gained more friendship with the natives when similar compact was later made with Datu Sigala, another chief of Bohol. With his usual display of tact and friendly manner that gained not only the friendship of the two Bohol chiefs but to their followers as well, Legaspi was able to get the much-needed provisions for his men from the islands. Believing that he had already enough food to last for a certain period, he sailed back to the island of Cebu and arrived there on April 27, 1565. Since then Bohol was never visited again until the Jesuits began their mission of converting the Boholanos to Christianity in 1595.

Significant Historical Developments

          Historical Setting                                Muslim Raids On Bohol Coastal Towns
Sikatuna, The Bohol Chieftain              Dagohoy, The Celebrated Hero Of Bohol
How Bohol Got Its Name                     Bohol Participation in the Philippine Revolution
Christianization of the Natives              Lonoy, Jagna Massacre

Bits of World War II History

          April 1942 Bombing of Jetafe                The Moalong and Ubujan Ambushcades
          June 1943 Japanese Kempatai             The Bohol Liberation
          Underground Movement                       How Bohol was Liberated

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