Kadayawan Festival in Davao, Philippines

Celebrated in the city of Davao annually is the festival that celebrates life and also shows its appreciation towards Mother Nature for the gifts that she gives abundantly. The Davao festival also celebrates the tranquility of life, the opulence of culture and the bountiful harvest. It can be compared to the thanksgiving celebration that takes place in Europe and America, however, the Davao festival is much more flamboyant in nature. 

The festival used to be celebrated during the third week of August every year which highlighted the existence of the eleven tribes present in the city of Davao. However, as of late the celebration is held from the first week of August (2nd) to the very last week (31st). Although in 2020, the festival took place from the 10th of August up until the 17th. 

History Of  Kadayawan Festival

During the year 1970, it was Mayor Elias B. Lopez who had motivated the tribes of Davao to display their ritual of thanksgiving or “pahinungod”. The Mayor, a Bagobo commenced the tribal festival that featured the Muslim tribes along with the lumad. The showcasing of dance is a part of the entire thanksgiving ritual. In the year 1986, the government initiated “Unlad Proyekto Davao” in order to unite the people during the tempestuous era of Martial law. The festival was called “Apo Duwaling” during that time and the name was created as a tribute to the three wonders; Waling-waling, Durian and Mt. Apo. It was in the year 1988 when Mayor Rodrigo Duterte officially changed the festival’s name to “Kadayawan Festival”.

The Kadayawan festival celebrates the everso magnanimous harvest of Davao’s fruits, flowers and all the other produce that it has along with embracing the beautiful culture of the city. Every year the city never fails to honor the diversity and richness that it has to offer when it comes to art and culture. It is the chronicled inheritance of the city that is celebrated in the magnificent festival of thanksgiving known as the “Kadayawan sa Dabaw”. 

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The Celebration Of Kadayawan Festival

The celebration of the Kadyawan festival has three main aspects to it;

  • Tribal
  • Industrial
  • Arts 

These are the highlights of the festival that makes it a really fun event if you are considering visiting it. 

  1. Opening Ceremony: This thanksgiving, an all-embracing ceremony is held to celebrate the blessings and bountiful harvest that happens all year round. The start of all the Kadayawan activities is marked by this exuberant opening ceremony.
  2. Hudyakaan Sa Kadayawan: This refers to the three-week-long celebration that happens in Rizal Park. It has scrumptious food and a refreshing beverage market that offers all of the delicious local cuisines. The place is packed with tourists every night.
  3. Lumadnong Gama: The showcase of all Davao tribe’s cuisines, products, wares and artifacts.
  4. Environmental projects: This is a tribute to Mother Nature wherein the people show their gratefulness towards her.
  5. Dayaw market: This exhibit takes place for a couple of weeks and has all the products from the indigenous people. They are grown locally and all of them are environmentally friendly.
  6. Tunog Mindanaw: The Mindanaoan composers and musicians come together for a friendly music competition.
  7. Lumadnong Bantawan: The downtown part of the city is jubilant and mirthful because of this celebration alone. It consists of music and lots of dancing by all the tribes of the city and it is also open for tourists to view.
  8. Hiyas Sa Kadayawan: The ten tribes of Davao participate in this contest where they have to find the “Festival Gem of Davao”.
  9. Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan: This street dancing contest is one of the many fun events that happen during the Kadayawan festival. The magnificent showdown happens in Rizal Park.
  10. IP Grand Performance: The eleven tribes of Davao showcase their beautiful tradition and culture through this performative art form.
  11. Pamulak Sa Kadayawan: The glorious floral cavalcade comes from both non-competing and competing entries which get staged at the city fair. It showcases the sanguine mood of the harvest festival. 
  12. Pahalipay concert: This concert features a variety of national and local artists in the various neighborhoods of the city.   
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Shop A Little At the Kadayawan Agri-Trade Fair

One of the most beautiful and exciting parts of the Kadayawan Festival is to experience the orchids, ornamentals along with the fruit trees. Each year the bountiful harvest gets celebrated by the eleven tribes of the city and tourists from all over the world come and be a part of this mirthful celebration. The fair is open to the public and it is a different experience altogether to be able to see the beautiful flora that remains on display. If you are a lover of nature you are sure to fall in love with this exhibition. The stalls are set up for tourists to purchase anything they like.

Traditional clothing or colorful “malong” along with intricate accessories and handicrafts are some of the examples of what gets sold in the stalls. It is also a great showcase of the creativity that Davaoeños’ people have.

Take A Dip In The Ethnicity Of The Kadayawan village!

At Magsaysay Park, the Kadayawan village shows the vibrant and colorful tradition of all the eleven tribes of Davao. They are the root of the resonant and strong tradition that runs through the veins of the city and its indigenous people. Being able to visit this place is an experience you would not want to miss out on. 

Experience The Captivating Dula and Sayaw Kadayawan

The local people of Davos really know how to enjoy their festivity and Dula and Sayaw Kadayawan are great examples of how they do it. This festivity has all the unique games that are created by the local tribes. After it is over, you will get to experience the folklore and traditions of all the eleven tribes of Davos through their inventive dance forms. 

If you are planning on attending the Kadayawan festival you need to make sure you have an itinerary for it because you need a proper plan since you do not want to miss out on the major events. Also if you want to experience it in the best manner possible it is recommended to wear comfortable clothes and also wear comfy shoes (ditch out the heels and go for sneakers). If you are planning to visit the festival you could avail the Riyadh to Manila flight for easier accessibility.

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