TAGBILARAN CITY – All roads lead to this historical town, about 18 kilometers east from capital Tagbilaran city, in celebrating the actual site of the Blood Compact or in Visayan “Sandugo” (One Blood) treaty forged by and between then native chieftain Sikatuna and Spanish general Miguel Lopez de Legaspi on March 25, 1565. Loay officials, this time, will try to make their sentiment heard, as they will celebrate the said actual blood compact in this town.
Mayor Rosemarie Lim-Imboy bared in an exclusive interview that an array of activities have been prepared for the 450th year Blood Compact celebration. The celebration will be in the form of a festival dubbed as “Higalaay,” Lim-Imboy said.
The celebration will officially start by way of a fun run and biking at six in the morning on March 25, 2015. The fun run to be participated in by the different sectors will start in barangay Tocdog Elemntary school, a few kilometers east of the town. After which, an Agro Fair and various contests in agri-related activities, such as cooking, will be unveiled.
There’ll be mass slated at one in the afternoon. After that, Imboy said, a street dance competition will be launched from the Blood Compact site in barangay Hinawanan to the town proper.
By four in the afternoon, the street dancers of the different contingents will slug it out in a showdown, then the Sandugo re-enactment will follow, the mayor said.
It will be recalled that the National Historical Institute (NHI), the agency authorized under PD 260 to take care of the historical, scientific or archaeological sites in the country, had actually come out a resolution resolving the contriversy whether the blood compact took place in Bool, Tagilaran city or in Loay.
In its approved Resolution No. 04 of 2005, entitled “A Resolution Adopting The Recommendation of the Panel Resolving the Site of the Blood Compact between Sikatuna and Legaspi,, the NHI said that Loay town is the place where the blood compact took place on March 25, 1565. NHI pointed out that after a thorough investigations and interviews of divers fisherfolks and residents of both thic city and Loay, cinluding documents presented by both sides, the “panel concluded that the blood compact between Sikatuna and Legaspi took place in flagship San Pedro which was anchored off Hinawanan Bay or off the waters of Loa tom March 25, 1565.”
With this, the controversy over which site was the blood compact was held has been hounding Boholanos for years and even kept them in the dark, has finally been resolved.
The Resolution provides, “ Whereas, ocular inspection and inetrviews with divers and fisherfolks in Tabilaran and Loay were conducted on Feb. 9011, 2005 with the help of experts of National mapping and Resources information Authority (NAMRIA) and National Institute of Geological Sciences of the University of the Philippines.” The Resolution was signed by NHI’s Ambeth Ocampo, chairman; and its members: Jose M. Cruz, benito L. Legarda, Jr.; Corazon S. Alvina; Heidi K. Gloria; Serafin D. Quiason; Prudenciana C. Cruz; and Ladovico D. Badoy, director.
The panel stressed and studied the documents is composed of Judge Nestor Ballasillo, Office of the Solicitor General, chairman; Atty. Edgardo Sison, office of the SolGen; Fred dela Rosa, Editor, Manila Times, member; and Dr. Ricardo T. Jose, historian’adviser, UP, the NHI Resolution said. Loay residents interviewed by media have said that it’s about time to correct the “error of history” for the benefit of the next generations and rectify the wrong notion of the blood compact site. Some say that it’s also about time to avoid fooling the visitors of believing that it is in barangay Bool, tagbilarna city, where the bood compact took place.
Mayor Imboy said that what they may accomplish from the launching of “Higalaay” festival is just to promote the site.
The Blood compact site is now being refurbished with some amenities and comfort rooms at the marker at the well as an indicator of Legaspi’s anchorage way back then. (rvo)