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Sandugo Festival: Guide to Bohol’s Famous Fiesta

The month-long Sandugo Festival in Tagbilaran City, Bohol commemorates the Treaty of Friendship between Spain’s Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Bohol’s Rajah Sikatuna which took place in 1565. Held every July, the festival coincides with Tagbilaran’s Charter Day (July 1) and Bohol Day (July 22).

How to Go to Sandugo Festival

Flying to Bohol is the most convenient way to attend the Sandugo Festival. You can book a flight to Tagbilaran via local airlines like Philippine Airlines and AirAsia.

If you plan on traveling by land, you can take a bus going to Matnog, Sorsogon then hop on a Ro-Ro ferry. Travel to Maasin, Leyte then ride a ferry to Ubay, Bohol.

Meanwhile, from Cebu or Dumaguete, you can take a Fast Ferry to Tagbilaran.

What to Expect

Sandugo event

Sandugo Festival performance
(Editorial credit: Neale Cousland / Shutterstock.com)

The Sandugo Festival showcases Boholano hospitality, arts, sports, and, cuisine. The festival kicks off with a mass, motorcade, and program hosted by the City Government of Tagbilaran. Event highlights include:

  • Bangga sa Kuradang and Subli sa Sandugo. A colorful street dance competition where contingents also reenact the historic blood compact.
  • Tigum Bol-anon sa Tibuok Kalibutan. Every two years, Boholanos based all over the world gather as a celebration of unity.
  • Miss Bohol Sandugo. This pageant puts the spotlight on Boholana beauty and talent.

Night markets, chorale and rondalla performances, photography competitions, sporting events, and food exhibits all add to the Mardi Gras vibe of the Sandugo Festival.

Tips While Attending the Sandugo Festival

Street dancing Sandugo

(Editorial credit: Neale Cousland / Shutterstock.com)

  • Book flights and hotels ahead of time since there’s an influx of visitors come festival season.
  • Be prepared to gain a few pounds. If you’re staying with Bohol-based friends or relatives, expect to stop from house to house to taste dishes lovingly prepared by each family.
  • Explore Tagbilaran and beyond by renting a scooter or motorcycle for as low as PHP 400 a day.

Nearby Points of Interest

Blood Compact Site
(Editorial credit: Lester Balajadia / Shutterstock.com)

Get the feel of Bohol’s history and way of life as you visit these sites:

1. Chocolate Hills. Check out Bohol’s most famous tourist attraction. There are approximately 1,776 hills spread over an area of more than 50 square kilometers. The grass turns brown in the summer, thus the name.
2. Blood Compact Monument. Created by National Artist Napoleon Abueva in honor of the 1565 blood compact.
3. Baclayon Church. Founded in 1596, this National Historic Landmark is the oldest Christian settlement in Bohol.
4. Loboc River. Cruise the length of this tranquil river.
5. Corella Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary. See these tiny primates up close. Do avoid flash photography.

And if these are already off your Bohol bucket list, the province has more natural wonders up its sleeve and there still many places to see and things to do in Bohol.

  • Anda. The white sand beaches of Anda rival that of more popular destinations, and these are still under the radar.
  • Candijay. Two hours away from Tagbilaran is the sleepy town of Candijay, home to the Cadapdapan Rice Terraces and Can-Umantad Falls.
  • Danao. Cliff dive, kayak, explore caves, climb ancient Balete trees, rapel, hike, and more at Danao Adventure Park.

Planning to attend the Sandugo festival? Make sure to book your flights and hotels with Traveloka to get the best rates!

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