National Historical Institute declaration: Loay town actual site of Sandugo
Ric V. Obedencio (The Freeman) - July 27, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Now, the truth must prevail. The National Historical Institute finally approved Resolution 04 series of 2005 declaring Loay town as the actual place where the blood compact (locally known as Sandugo) took place on March 25, 1565.

The NHI, a government agency authorized under the law (Presidential Decree No. 260) to take care of the historical, or scientific or archaeological sites in the country, had resolved the long-drawn controversy about the actual Sandugo site: at Barangay Bool in Tagbilaran City or in Loay town.

Spanish fleet General Miguel Lopez de Legazpi entered into a blood compact with Datu Sikatuna, chieftain of Bohol Island, to forge friendly relations between the Spaniards and the Filipinos. The actual site where this blood compact took place, however became a controversial matter.

The NHI resolution stated that–after thorough investigations and interviews of divers, fisher folks and residents of both Tagbilaran City and Loay, including documents presented by both sides–the "panel concluded that the blood compact between Sikatuna and Legaspi took place in flagship San Pedro that was anchored off Hinawanan Bay in Loay on March 25, 1565."

The resolution also stated that sites inspection and interviews of people in both Tagbilaran and Loay were conducted on February 9 to 11 in 2005, with the help of experts from the National Mapping and Resources Information Authority and the National Institute of Geological Sciences of the University of the Philippines.

The signatories of the resolution were NHI chairman Ambeth R. Ocampo and board directors Jose Cruz,  Benito Legarda Jr, Corazon Alvina, Heidi Gloria, Serafin Quiason, Prudenciana Cruz and Ladovico Badoy.

The panel that assessed and studied the documents consisted of its chairman, Judge Nestor Ballasillo of the Office of the Solicitor General, and its members: lawyer Edgardo Sison, of the OSG, Fred dela Rosa, editor of the Manila Times, and Dr. Ricardo Jose, histrorian and adviser of the UP.

Some residents of Loay, about 18 kilometers east from Tagbilaran, told The Freeman that it is about time to correct the history for the benefit of the next generations and rectify the wrong notion of the blood compact site, especially to tourists who were made to believe all along that it took place in Bool of Tagbilaran.

From the time Loay officials received the NHI resolution recently, they and the present administration opted to keep mum about it to avoid the so-called head-on collision with Tagbilaran or to antagonize provincial and city officials.

Officials of Loay have actually tried but failed to promote the site in their town where they put up a marker, provided earlier by the NHI, placing a billboard there and even clearing the water well that marked Legaspi's pathway after he moored his ship offshore.

The Loay site has been part of the Bohol tourism circuit on the way to the Chocolate Hills in Carmen town. Some well-meaning tour guides, who were already knowledgeable of the historical fact, tried to explain to the visitors the real score of the Sandugo site but still included the Blood Compact monument at Bool in Tagbilaran as part of the stopovers of the tour itinerary. (FREEMAN)


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