THE flowers are in full bloom, the fruits are at their ripest and different souvenir items showcased at different agri-trade fairs during the Kadayawan Festival this year.
The longest-running among the Kadayawan activities is the annual Agri-Industrial Trade Fair which started last August 1 at the SM City Davao Future Development Site.
"Even after the Kadayawan festivities, nandito pa kami until the end of the month. We wish the agri fair will be highlighted more," Vicky Himenez, secretary of this years agri-trade fair and past president of the Floriculture Industry Council of Southern Mindanao (Ficsm), the island's premier floriculture institution.
Himenez says this year's agri-trade fair is the biggest, with a total of 350 stalls and exhibitors from Davao, Kidapawan, General Santos and Cotabato cities.
The activity is managed by Ficsm, together with the City Veterinarian, City Agriculture and City Cooperative offices.
"We are proud of the size of the horticulture industry in Davao City. Malaki talaga compared to others. It is the biggest compared to Manila or Cebu," she said.
Himenez proudly says the agri-trade fair is looked forward to each year by local and foreign guests.
"Considering that August is a rainy month, pero okay pa din ang sales. Maraming locals and guests who arrive and spend big money. The exhibitors are satisfied," she said.
The agri-trade this year, which occupies the entire grounds at the back part of SM City Davao, showcases flowers, fruits plants, vegetables, Mindanao crafts and souvenir items and other locally produced products.
Another trade fair is also on display at the parking lot of NCCC Mall, a satellite exhibit of the Kadayawan Tabo: MagNegosyo 'ta, Day Fair Trade.
The exhibit, which opened last August 16 and will end on Sunday, showcases crafts and crops by women's groups and grassroots small entrepreneurs utilizing principles of fair trade, the program beneficiaries of City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte.
The exhibit has 18 stalls from the mall and 22 from different exhibitors in Davao City, bring to a total 38 booths, according to Tjader Regis, marketing director of NCCC.
Aside from Davao-made products, the stalls also showcase processed food, ornament, souvenir items, fruits and flowers. However, one unique feature of the exhibit is the booth of the Philippine Eagle Foundation, which displays a a mummified eagle.
"We want to complete the Kadayawan experience so we are bringing in something different this year," Regis said.
This is also the first year that the mall did not feature a a celebrity from Manila.
"Pag celebrities kasi, pagkatapos ng performance nila, wala na. This year iniba namin ang concept, it is not the usual during the Kadayawan Festival," he said.
Adding to the unique experience are live ethnic dance performances from two different indigenous tribes every 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
At the core of the festivities each year is the celebration of a bountiful harvest for Davao City and its neighboring towns. The different trade fairs showcase what is uniquely Davao.