DAVAO and the Dabawenyos all deserve a big pat on the back with the successful holding of Kadayawan sa Dabaw festival, despite very limited resources and a lot of cutbacks in the government-initiated activities.
With Kadayawan already having established itself as a festival that has to be seen, the private sector brought in their own festivities, with the mob of visitors as the biggest enticement (and incentive, too).
Twenty-five years of subsidized festivities have already been invested; it's indeed about time the private sector takes up the slack. The fully-booked hotels and jam-packed entertainment centers and restaurants are the visual testimonies on who benefits the most from this grand festival.
Anyway, the main contests did have very exciting cash prizes and the city was teeming with security forces that kept imminent disorder at bay, the indigenous tribes were given due recognition intended to nurture as a city what the individual tribes have been nurturing among themselves. What more can the people ask?
Pondering on the past few days of revelry, we see a city that has come full circle; a festival that has profited the businesses but not at the expense of any one sector; a festival that gives recognition and pride to its indigenous culture without exploiting its indigenous peoples; a festival that draws in the tourists and ensures that everyone, tourists and residents alike, are secure; a festival that tells everyone, this is Davao.
It took some twists and turns for Kadayawan to become like this. It even had some shaky times when the executive department put its food down on how commercial it has become sometime ago. Now it's back on its feet, fulfilling what it was originally conceived to fulfill: a thanksgiving and recognition of the city's bountiful harvest and culture for everyone to learn to nurture.
For that, a toast to all Dabawenyos. Cheers!