Colors of Kadayawan 2012-A A +A
Friday, August 24, 2012
I AM lucky to have spanned a decade of covering Mindanao’s most colorful and biggest festival in the islands. Through my work in the media as a TV anchor, columnist and photographer, I have been able to document more than a bird's eye view of the dazzling pomp and spectacle that is Davao’s Kadayawan Festival, which earned its prestige as one of the most beautiful ethnic celebrations in the country.
Likewise, as far as I can remember, in my years of coverage for SkyCable television, the heavens have been shining down the streets of San Pedro with beautiful skies and sunny weather consistently.
I can only remember one or two overcast weather or drizzles from my photo files, but the rest of my yearly anchoring had always been with an assistant who carried an umbrella to shield me from the sun.
As years went by, the festival has grown bigger, better and bolder in colors, participation and prizes. With contingents coming from as far as neighboring provinces and islands, competitions reached higher stakes this year as both Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan Street dancing and the Pamulak Floral Float Parade gave away half a million pesos each for the grand prize winners (it went to Isulan, Sultan Kudarat’s amazing young performers and the awe-inspiring, magical float and giant puppeteers of Kisan Lu company, respectively).
In such a week-long celebration, however, there were more activities and events to witness, from the ethnic beauty pageant called Hiyas ng Kadayawan, fashion showcase of indigenous materials brought to life by local designers in Moda Mindanaw, a Miss Gay Universe pageant, musical concerts, tribal performances, trade fairs, and mall visits by celebrities which created parking problems and drew jam packed crowds.
With this year’s theme of “Ten Tribes, One Vibe”, the city has fully embraced the legacy of our ethnicity and diversity, while paying respects to the traditional rituals of our ancestors in thanksgiving to spirits who watch over our domain and the bounty of harvest that we are blessed to be receiving.
While honoring our cultural heritage, we share this privilege through modern technology, and that’s by launching the live streaming festival coverage in Sun.Star website powered by its partner Smart Communications through the Long Term Evolution (or LTE), a billions worth technology program renovation of the PLDT Group. LTE is a mobile technology capable of very fast data connectivity, which enabled us to reach out from Davao to the world, a global hug to Dabawenyos living and working abroad who miss their hometown and its celebrations.
On the same note, Davao went WiFi in key locations and parade routes as PLDT provided spectators free WiFi service during the festival duration. This enabled people to share photos and videos to families and friends here and abroad while watching the parade and other activities. Festival guests and media are given internet access from registration booths to chronicle the events and easily post updates on popular networking sites.
Kadayawan, from the dialect madayaw meaning well and good, is a celebration of the goodness and harmony in life. I share with you my photos from a lucky proximity and vantage perspective.
(Jojie Alcantara is a travel writer and photographer who also anchors the live coverage of Kadayawan Festival parade every year on SkyCable. This year she opened the livestreaming coverage of Sun.Star Davao and Sunnex with Smart Communications LTE advanced technology, bringing Kadayawan to the world. Visit her blog www.dabawenya.me or find her on Facebook).
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 24, 2012.