Kadayawan Festival: A Celebration of Life and Culture in Davao City
The Kadayawan Festival is an annual cultural celebration held in Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines. The festival takes place every third week of August and is a time for the locals to give thanks for the bountiful harvest and the gifts of nature. The festival is a showcase of the rich culture and heritage of the 11 tribes that inhabit the Davao region.
One of the highlights of the Kadayawan Festival is the Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan or the street dancing competition. This event features dancers from different tribes dressed in colorful and elaborate costumes, showcasing their unique dances and traditions. Tourists flock to Davao City to witness this lively and vibrant event.
Aside from the street dancing competition, the festival also features other cultural activities such as art exhibits, concerts, and a floral float parade. Visitors can also indulge in the region’s famous durian fruit and other local delicacies. The festival is a celebration of the diversity and richness of the Davao region, and a time for locals and tourists alike to come together and revel in the festive atmosphere.
The festival’s roots can be traced back to the 1970s when the Mindanao Highlanders Association, Inc. (Mindahila) initiated a festival called “Kalibongan.” The festival celebrated the indigenous peoples’ culture and traditions in the region. In 1986, during the turbulent times of martial law, the Davao City government focused on uniting the people. Mayor Elias B. Lopez encouraged all the tribes of Davao to showcase their thanksgiving rituals. At this time, the festival was called “Apo Duwaling.”
In 1988, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte officially renamed the festival as Kadayawan. The word “Kadayawan” comes from the Mandaya word “madayaw,” which means valuable or treasured. The festival’s name reflects the city’s gratitude for its people’s bountiful harvest and diverse cultural heritage.
Since then, the Kadayawan Festival has become one of the most popular festivals in the Philippines. It is celebrated every third week of August, with the third day of the week declared as a holiday. In 1995, Mayor Duterte issued Executive Order No. 10 institutionalizing the celebration of Kadayawan every year.
Today, the Kadayawan Festival…