Welcome to Bohol!
Bohol is the tenth largest island in the Philippines and is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country. It is located in the Central Visayas region and is most famous for its well- known unusually shaped Chocolate Hills and the cute bug eyed Philippine Tarsier, one of the smallest known primates. While both are the main highlights in a usual visit to the province, Bohol also offers more than that. Travellers would surely enjoy a wide array of other options like the pristine white beaches and the snorkelling/diving in Panglao Island or visit the island’s majestic Spanish-era churches which were devastated by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in 2013.
I have so many interesting things to share during this trip so I decided to make a blog series where I will be featuring two Bohol tourist destinations we visited in each blog.
[Note: I availed a 3D/2N Tour Package from Bohol Cheap Package Tour which includes the tour + accommodation + entrance fees. This made our trip hassle free]
How did we get there?
From Cebu, we took the 6 AM Ferry Ride to Bohol. It was around 2 hour ride via Ocean Jet. We were met by Kuya Jun, our driver, and from then our journey began! We were so lucky having Kuya Jun with us as he entertained us during the trip, telling us stories and jokes which made the whole trip more fun. He was so nice to volunteer to be our photographer as well.
The Blood Compact Site
Our first stop was at the Blood Compact Site (Sandugo Shrine). It was so hot that time, around 9 in the morning. Isn’t it obvious that we really had a hard time looking at the camera?
Located along the National Highway, in Barangay Bool, Tagbilaran City, this shrine monument relives one of the most important events in the Philippine History – the blood compact between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi of Spain and Datu Sikatuna, chieftain of Bohol on March 1565. The blood compact is or Sandugo is just a shorter version of Isang Dugo (or one blood). This is the First Treaty of Friendship between Spaniards and Filipinos. The Blood Compact was marked by the drinking of wine mixed with blood from the cut on the arms of Sikatuna and Legaspi.
The sculpture which was made by National Artist, Napoleon Abueva, also from Bohol is placed in a raised platform, perfect for photo ops. Plus, behind the monument is a panoramic view of Panglao Island. The historic site is located Barangay Bool, Tagbilaran City fronting a public school. There are also vendors offering souvenir and gift items outside the site.
Did you know? The National Historical Institute in 2005 found out that the “site” isn’t the exact location of the Blood Compact. Maybe you can ask the locals about it.
The Baclayon Church
Bohol is also known for its old churches some of which are built during the Spanish colonial era and considered national treasures. One of them is Baclayon Church, formerly known as La Purisima Concepcion de la Virgen Maria Parish Church.
Baclayon Church is the second oldest stone church in the Philippines. Considered as a National Treasure, Baclayon church was constructed in the 15th century was home to the Spanish Jesuit missionaries. The church building had a dungeon where violators of Roman Catholic Law were punished. It was completed in 1727 and a large bell was added in 1835.
A 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Bohol destroyed the Baclayon Church and many other old churches in Bohol. Today, the church is undergoing rehabilitation.
We didn’t get inside the church or the museum. We just took some pictures and went to the next itinerary that day.
Did you know? The Baclayon Church was built by the people of Baclayon using coral stones and cemented using a million egg whites.