As we closed the day on our first day in Bohol (yes, all those previous posts and it was just our first day! whew!) our last stop was another textbook site. The Sandugo Monument commemorates the blood compact between Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and sealed a friendship between the two countries. Or so we thought. But that is a controversy needing discussion so I’ll veer away from it for now.
The visit to this place was one of the quiet moments of our trip. Maybe because we were just tired from all the other visited sites or maybe it was too late in the afternoon. My problem is, perhaps, that it didn’t seem to command awe from the visitor… that on this place, on this spot (even if it weren’t confirmed), in this small island of the country, a major pact occurred and this monument is a testament to the greatness and historic significance of the agreement. (with trumpets playing heraldic music in the background. hehe)
I had none of those feelings. I had this “meh” attitude and even more “tsk, tsk, tsk” seeing how ‘desecrated’ it was. Nonetheless, it was a great point of reflection for me as I moved towards the rear of the monument, staring out into the waters, imagining a great ship docked far out into the deeper portions and Legaspi being rowed into the island and Sikatuna meeting him on the shore. That’s when it gave me goosebumps. Too bad when I looked back at the monument, the feeling of wonder just disappeared.
I wrote the draft of this post way back and now worry how this place is now. I hope that after the earthquake of October 15, all is well in and around Bohol. Seeing the ruins of the churches we visited breaks my heart not only for their significance to me as a Catholic but more for the people who rely on the historic places as tourist spots which generate money for the locals. I just might want to visit Bohol again to visit the ruins, say a little prayer, and hope that we can rebuild what was lost.