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KADAYAWAN SA DABAW is an annual thanksgiving harvest festival in Davao.  It is held every 3rd Weekend of August to celebrate the harvest of Davao’s fruits, flowers, and farm produce.

Its name comes from the Mandaya word “madayaw“, a warm and friendly greeting used to describe something good, beautiful, valuable, superior, or profitable.

If you are planning to go, you must see the street dancing festival showcasing the colorful costumes, traditions, and stories of the different tribes in Davao. This is known as the “Indak Indak sa Kadalanan” and is held on the Saturday of that weekend and lasts from the morning until the afternoon

Here is a photo essay of my first Kadayawan experience:

The BEST of DAVAO Series:

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      The street dancing parade usually starts in front of Marco Polo Davao and Ateneo de Davao at around 8am.

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      The best and most secure view of the street dancing is from the stage reserved for Marco Polo in-house guests, beside the center stage where the judges are sitting.

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      The tribal music from drums and other musical instruments are performed live.

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      It’s a spectator festival, meaning you watch the performances from the sidelines and are restricted from participating with the groups.

      (TIP: If you are an avid photographer, make sure you secure a photographer’s pass to get access to the street-level view of the parade itself.)

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      It’s amazing to watch the traditional tribal dances and see the colorful tribal costumes. 🙂

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      In Kadayawan 2013, there were 23 participants in the street dancing competition, composed of elementary and high school students from Davao.

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      There were also mascots like this carabao carrying a bountiful harvest.

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      I loved our elevated view from the stage above the photographers. It gave us a good view of the entire parade.  

      (Tip: Stay at the Marco Polo Hotel to get a pampered view of the Kadayawan)

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      Backpacks are strictly not allowed as part of the security measures to ensure safety and prevent any untoward incidents.

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      This tribal costume with a colorful headdress was the best for me.

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      The street dances showcase legendary hero stories of the tribe…

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      …and are usually against an evil force like a snake terrorizing their village.

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      In the end, the tribe wins and celebrates its triumph over the evil one.

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      There’s almost always a diwata or a godly being that helps the tribe overcome their difficulties.

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      It’s fun to see the little ones perform with their jolly faces. 🙂

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      Most of the street dances were amateurish and I do hope that adult professional groups join in the future to elevate the level of performance in the festival.

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      Kadayawan is also a festival showcase of other festivals like the Padang Padang in Maguindanao, and it’s a treat to see other cultures in one street dancing competition.

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      I also gained a better appreciation of the tribal traditions of our Muslim brothers and sisters.

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      It’s always a pleasure to watch a flawless Singkil dance on the streets of Davao. 🙂

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      It’s not unusual to see Mayor Roddy Duterte at the Judges’ and Marco Polo stages, which is a good indication of how secure those areas are. 

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      Overall, I liked the Kadayawan festival because of the different tribal costumes, stories, and dances showcased during the parade. In the future though, I think it would be great to have the actual tribes or adult groups join the festival to elevate the competition to a whole new level of visual entertainment. It would also be nice to see a write-up or exhibit of all the participating tribes for an even better appreciation of their performances. 

      Don’t miss the next Indak Indak sa Kadalanan in Kadayawan sa Dabaw! 🙂

      The BEST of DAVAO Series:

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        ABOUT KADAYAWAN: (Source: Kadayawan Official Website)

        The term “Kadayawan” is derived from the Mandaya word “madayaw”, a warm and friendly greeting used to explain a thing that is valuable, superior, beautiful, good, or profitable.

        Long time ago, Davao’s ethnic tribes residing at the foot of Mount Apo would converge during a bountiful harvest. This ritual serves as their thanksgiving to the gods particularly to the “Manama” (the Supreme Being).

        Various farming implements, fruits, flowers, vegetables, rice and corn grains were displayed on mats as villagers give their respect and thanks for the year’s abundance. Singing, dancing and offerings to their divine protectors are the highlights of this ritual.

        Although times have changed, this practice of thanksgiving or “pahinungod” is still very much practiced by modern day Dabawenyos. This tradition flourished and evolved into an annual festival of thanksgiving.

        In the 1970’s, Mayor Elias B. Lopez, a Bagobo, initiated tribal festivals featuring the lumad and the Muslim tribes of Davao City where they showcase their dances and rituals of thanksgiving.

        Later in 1986, a program called “Unlad Proyekto Davao” was initiated by the government which was aimed to unite the Dabawenyos after the turbulent Martial Law era. At that time, the festival was called “Apo Duwaling,” a name created from the famous icons of Davao:  Mt. Apo, the country’s highest peak; Durian, the king of fruits; and Waling-waling, the queen of orchids.

        Apo Duwaling” was meant to showcase the city as a peaceful destination to visit and to do business after 1986 EDSA Revolution.

        Finally in 1988, City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte renamed the festival as “Kadayawan sa Dabaw” to celebrate the bountiful harvest of Davao’s flowers, fruits and other produce as well as the wealth of the city’s cultures. To this day, the festival continues to honor the city’s richness and diverse artistic, cultural and historical heritage in a grand celebration of thanksgiving for all of Davao City’s blessings.

        Kadayawan Secretariat City Tourism Operations Office
        Office Address:  Doors 7 & 8, Magsaysay Park Complex, Magsaysay Avenue, Davao City, 8000 
        Contact No: +63 82 222-1956  | +63 82 222-1957 
        Email:  info@kadayawan.com
        Website:  www.kadayawan.com 

        Live an Awesome Life,

        Anton
        Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

        P.S.  (Press Release) Marco Polo Davao supports Philippine Eagle Week

        Fwd: Philippine Eagle Foundation

        From August 15-30, 2013, Marco Polo Davao supports the Philippine Eagle Foundation through a display of Philippine Eagle portraits and items at the lobby. Marco Polo Davao and the Philippine Eagle Foundation hope to raise public responsiveness in emphasizing the Philippine Eagle’s importance in our culture and ecosystem.

        Fwd: Philippine Eagle Foundation

        “We thank the growing number of donors and contributors who engage and selflessly contribute to this cause, as this helps fuel us in our advocacy. By saving the Philippine Eagle, we save all life forms that share and draw life from its habitat “, said Mr. Carlos G. Dominguez, Philippine Eagle Foundation’s Chairman. 

        Fwd: Philippine Eagle Foundation

        Reneé Salud, the Ambassador of Philippine Fashion, extended help to Philippine Eagle Foundation by giving a special donation. “I’m inspired to design the outfits as an expression of love to a Philippine icon. It is a marriage between the Philippine indigenous fabric and heritage fashion with the Phillippines’ pride, the Philippine Eagle! It’s worth getting involved with a cause like this!”

        Marco Polo Davao is a corporate partner of the Philippine Eagle Foundation, whose mission it is to protect the bird and its rainforest and to increase eagle population in the world through natural and artificial breeding programs. 

        For more info, visit their official website: http://www.PhilippineEagle.org/