ONE of the best things about the showcase of culture during Kadayawan Festival is that it is not only limited to dances, food, and tradition. The garments and the accessories made by and with the indigenous peoples in Davao City are also highlighted. Every year, the Habi Kadayawan showcases fashion accessories and apparel designs inspired by the 11 tribes of Davao City.
Habi Kadayawan is known to be open to professionals, students, and hobbyists with designated categories for each. For this year, there’s another category, the Luxe Apparel intended for professional designers.
From June 24 to July 12, participants from different parts of Mindanao submitted their entries. Two days after the deadline, the finalists were announced. Despite the first time being opened to other designers in Mindanao, there was a good number outside Davao City who joined. For the Luxe Apparel Design, there were finalists from Pagadian City, Cagayan de Oro City, South Cotabato, Butuan City, Digos City, General Santos City, and Isulan. On the other hand, the fashion accessories were joined by designers from Cagayan de Oro, Compostela Valley, South Cotabato, Marawi City, Surigao del Sur, Mlang, and Kidapawan City.
Everyone was stunned in admiration last Friday, August 9, when the accessory and fashion designers showed their masterpieces. As for the Luxe Apparel category, all of the designers showed how beautiful it is to put forward their own creativity marrying it with the authentic artistry of the 11 tribes of Davao City. In the end, it was Mark Suralta Pabon of South Cotabato who has hailed the winner. His aesthetic and design skills really surfaced as he tried to blend tradition and innovation in his works. With the title of the collection being “Living the dream”, Pabon was able to incorporate the inspiration he got from the South Cotabato weavers to the inspiration he also got from the 11 tribes of Davao City.
As for the fashion accessories student category, Stephen Azarcon from the Philippine Women’s College was hailed the champion. His round-shaped bag that resembles a shield was his winning piece. Azarcon enjoys working around traditional concepts but from time to time also explores new things he incorporates with his design.
For the hobbyist category, Dennis Almoroto of Davao City won. He is a wire sculpture artist and environmentalist in the city. His necklace creation with the 11 little figures symbolizing 11 tribe representatives is made of recycled materials.
Patrick Uyguangco Gabutina of Cagayan de Oro City was hailed the winner of the professional category. He is known to be a designer, photographer, writer, painter, educator, and craftsman. His totebag was inspired by the headdresses of the IP tribes in Davao Region & Bukidnon.
This year’s Habi Kadayawan celebrates inclusion – not only of the 11 tribes in the city but as well as the tribes residing in the neighboring regions and provinces. It lives up to the name and purpose of celebrating Kadayawan – diversity and unity.