WITH the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic in the picture, the usual loud, extravagant outdoor and street celebration of the Kadayawan Festival has to take the backseat for this year.
But the Davao community has managed to keep the spirit and essence of the King of Festivals alive through digital celebrations – the Kadayawan Digital Week 2020.
Spearheaded by the Davao Tourism Association (Data) in partnership with the City Government of Davao and sponsors, the week-long digital celebrations ran from August 17 to 24.
The Kadayawan Digital Week 2020 officially kicked off on August 17 with a Facebook Live streaming of Pag-abli sa Kadayawan Online, where the launching of Hulagway Kadayawan, Kadayawan Museonline, Kadayawan Music Video Competition, and Challenge Accepted Kadayawan were launched.
Gatchi Gatchalian, the festival’s digital director, said that despite limitations in movement because of the pandemic, the 35th Kadayawan Festival was still joyous and well-participated as the competitions go online.
“We could consider it a success because we Dabawenyos were able to come up with something with limited time and resources yet produce maximum outputs reaching a lot of people with almost 3 million in engagement In Facebook alone,” he said in an online interview.
The decision to go full online to celebrate Kadayawan Festival follows after the pronouncement of Duterte-Carpio declaring mourning and vigilance from April 17 to December 31, 2020, due to the impact of Covid-19 in the city.
One of the Dabawenyos who joined the festivities online was Prince Barsa, a fresh graduate student. She said the Kadayawan Digital Week 2020 helped her learn more about the festival and Davao City’s rich culture.
“Nalingaw pud ko tan-aw balik sa mga kalingawan last previous years,” she said adding she stayed only at home for months now.
Gatchalian said the online webcasts, digital events, online concerts, and online competitions were well-received and well-participated by the Dabawenyos.
He also acknowledged the creativity and resourcefulness of Dabawenyos.
“Judging on the quality of the entries submitted and with short notice, we, Dabawenyos can really produce outstanding creations because of pure talent, creativity, and resourcefulness. These same values will help us go through this pandemic,” Gatchalian said.
He emphasized that the recently concluded digital festival allowed Dabawenyos to learn more about Kadayawan and live the very reason for the celebration – thanksgiving of bountiful harvest and honoring the 11 tribes.
To see the results of the digital festival’s competitions, check facebook/kadayawanfest.