Guest Blogger: Mae C. Repedro
New Washington is best known in the province of Aklan for the Blood Compact Celebration or for its Spanish term Pacto de Sangre every 3rd of March. This tradition has been a significant part in the history of New Washington.
The annual celebration of the Blood Compact is a commemoration for the Aklanon heroes who have sacrificed their own lives just to liberate their fellow Filipinos from the colonization of the Spanish forces. The Pacto de Sangre or the Blood Compact happened in Sitio Kuntang, Ochando, New Washington, Aklan on March 23, 1897. The Aklanon Katipuneros who fought the Spanish regime were Romualdo Dalida, Isidro Jimenez, Cornelio Delfin, Valeriano Dalida, Benito Motus, Albino Rabaria, Teodorico Motus, and Juan Dalida.
These heroes risked their lives to uphold the freedom and independence the Filipino people were fighting for. The Katipuneros wounded their wrists and used their blood to sign a document. This act is a sign of their grievances against the Spanish regime. The document being signed expressed their revolts against the Spanish authorities. Moreover, this blood compact has also been a considered as a representation of eternal friendship and brotherhood. The pact was then remembered as one of the most important events in the Philippines history and paved way to the annual celebration of commemorating the Blood Compact in the small town of New Washington.
The municipality of New Washington takes pride in celebrating this event every year. During this celebration, the entire poblacion offers a festive spirit through the lively music and decors. The local folks prepare lots of exciting activities. These activities include the main highlight which is the Search for Ms. Pacto de Sangre, wherein, different beautiful ladies representing the different Barangays comprising the town of New Washington, will vie over the crown. The search culminates a fireworks display after the winner is announced. There is a Food Festival in the plaza of the Poblacion, where you can find the different cuisines prepared by the people of New Washington. There are also some provincial bands performing during the Food Fest to let the visitors enjoy their time while eating. Lots of activities are lined up that will surely make the visitors crave for more. In addition to this, the people residing in poblacion prepared foods for the visitors who will come to their place.
The Blood Compact celebration is one great proof of how great the Katipuneros were. How brave they were to fought for the freedom of our country and how rich our culture is.