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A blood seal between a native king of Bohol (Si Katuna) and Spanish explorer, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi was made according to custom where two or three drops of blood from arm or breast mixed with water and wine in the same cup, was divided by two cups. Neither parties may depart until both cups are alike drained.

The blood seal is considered as the first treaty of friendship between the Spaniards and Filipinos. It is also known as the Sandugo, a Visayan word which means “one blood”.

Even though Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was the first person from Europe to reach Asia by sailing west in search of the westward route to the Spice Islands, he did not live long enough to discover Asia. When he landed on the island of Cebu befriending Rajah Humabon and his ally Datu Zula, Magellan was convinced to kill their enemy, Datu Lapu-lapu. However, he was short-lived as a result of the battle against Lapu-lapu’s troops.

After numerous failures of Spanish subsequent expeditions following Magellan’s route, it was Miguel Lopez de Legazpi who led the successful expedition reaching the Philippines. The troop received a hostile welcome due to Portuguese raiders who enslaved about one thousand of Bohol’s inhabitants.

With the help of a Malay pilot, Legazpi explained that they were not Portuguese and had come in peace. This convinced the Kings to end their hostility and enter pact of friendship. Thus the performance of the now famous blood compact which is still being celebrated in Bohol every year in June with the Sandugo festival.

The Sea View next to Blood Compact monument