THE City Government of Davao officially opened Friday, August 2, this year's Kadayawan Festival. The celebration kicked off with Misa Pasasalamat, Subang Sinugdanan -- a re-enactment of convergences of the city's 11 tribes, and Pag-abli sa Kadayawan -- official opening ceremony of Kadayawan.
Everyone is sure excited to be part of the merry making, but before we feast on the bountiful harvest of the city, let's first take a moment and remember the roots of the festival.
Kadayawan's origins can be traced back to the 1970's when Elias B. Lopez, a Bagobo decent and city mayor at that time, founded few tribal festivals that highlighted thanksgiving rituals and ceremonies of the indigenous and Muslim group in Mindanao.
These festivals were rolled into one program called Unlad Proyecto Davao in 1986. Then, the newly democratic local government gave the tribal thanksgiving festivals the name Apo Duwaling -- the name was in honor of Mount Apo, Durian, and the mother of vandas, the Waling-Waling.
The Apo Duwaling Festival was then replaced by its current name, "Kadayawan sa Dabaw," after then mayor, now President Rodrigo Duterte, assumed his office as city mayor in 1988. The festival now focuses on both the harmonious coexistence of the 11 recognized tribes and the rich harvests of the city.
Today, Kadayawan remains to be one of the biggest non-religious festivals in the country. This year, the festival's executive committee is also preparing for a month-long celebration, unlike previous years when highlights of the festival were only held for one week. To fully enjoy and ensure a smooth participation of the Kadayawan Festival, Dabawenyos and tourists were advised to check 14 reminders to remember.
The reminders list might be long but is never inconvenient. May all take it seriously for a peaceful conduct of the festivity. After all, it is just one small effort asked from the public.
Here's to another peaceful, fun, and memorable Kadayawan Festival! May this year's festival live up to its famous tagline: Life is here.