THE successful participation of Davao City in the simultaneous Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) landmark lantern lighting ceremony was tagged as the preview of peaceful and united “global” Kadayawan Celebration.
Davao City Administrator Zuleika Lopez, in a media interview, said that more than the reaffirmation of the commitment of the Asean’s objectives the landmark lighting acted as a pre-event for Kadayawan.
“It is more also of a pre-Kadayawan event, nakita niyo kanina (you saw earlier) when we celebrated different dances from the different tribes. It is not just Davao City it is actually from all over the country kanina. So it is also a preview of what to expect on Kadayawan as you can see we also work with the academe and the private sector in this Asean landmark lighting,” she said.
Lopez said that the lighting ceremony “buttresses” the fact that Davao City is ready for business as usual and that the city has a very strong peace and order.
“It is the preview of the commitment of the private sector and all the partners of Davao City to make sure that the Kadayawan Celebration will be in bigger scale, in grander scale and a more global Kadayawan,” she said.
Davao City Tourism Operations Office Office-in-charge Generose Tecson said that she is happy that the city is among the selected landmark areas.
“We are happy na tayo ang isa sa mga (that we are one of the) five cities na finocus (that was focused) and of course that we showed them what can do. Its impact is for people to see that here in Davao we do wonders with things that we have. It was also very peaceful, we saw everybody mingling together the soldiers the students,” she said.
During the event Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said that it is serendipitous that the Asean was founded 50 years ago in the same month as the Kadayawan.
”The parallelism between both do not escape us the Asean is a symbol of the unity of ten equally diverse, colorful, multi-faceted multicultural nations just like Kadayawan festival it’s a symbol of unity among all peoples of Davao City a microcosm of a greater Asean community which we all belong,” Duterte-Carpio said.
She also likewise reaffirmed the city’s commitment to Asean principles.
”With the lighting of this lantern we join our fellow members of the Asean in celebrating 50 years of economic cultural social cooperation and we reaffirm our committment to the association’s objectives and to the fundamental Asean principles of mutual respect, independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity and national identity of all nations,” she said.
During the ceremony Duterte-Carpio led the landmark lighting of the Asean 50th Anniversary lantern, together with Indonesian Consul General Berlian Napitupulu, and Malaysian Charge D’affairs Consul General Saiful Nizam Wahib.
Other consuls from other countries also joined the event.
Meanwhile, an Asean landmark lantern was also lighted at the Mount Hamiguitan World Heritage Park in San Isidro Davao Oriental.
“With the theme “Under One Light, We Are One Asean”, key cities of Baguio and Cebu also lighted their landmark lanterns done simultaneously with main lantern lighting event held at CPP grounds in Pasay City.
The main purpose of the event is to raise the level of awareness of the public on the importance and benefits of Asean community.