HIYAS sa Kadayawan participants have preferred not to wear heels during the competition.
The Hiyas candidates bared this in Thursday's I-Speak Forum at the City Hall conference room, saying that they prefer not to wear heels to show their different culture.
"I really want for us to show who we really are. As a Ovu-Manobo, we use slippers or go barefoot. It's awkward to force someone to wear heels. It's like you are teaching the fish to climb a tree, murag that's not us, why push through with it that's not us anymore," AJ Ruth Sumandayag said in vernacular.
Michelle Ansal of the Bagobo- Klata tribe also shared the same sentiment.
“For us lumads, we always go barefoot in our culture. Going barefoot means humility, there is pride and poise in a tribe in that. You go barefoot because you have the humility in your heart, and in that way a tribe shows its true identity,” Ansal said in vernacular.
Al Ryan Alejandre, chairperson of the Hiyas sa Kadayawan, said that wearing of heels was optional since last year.
"During my term to handle this activity last year, wearing heels it's a voluntary thing. Because others want to wear heels and others don't. It's up to them. As I started to be one of the chair in last year's Hiyas, we gave them the freedom in what they want, as to what they are comfortable with," Alejandre said.
Deputy Mayor of the Maranao Tribe-Randy Usman said they always try to show the authentic culture of different tribes in the events, as it was also mandated by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
"For how many years, we present and show the culture of our 11 tribes and we showcase our natural and genuine culture because that's what the mayor wants. He said that you must show your culture so that people will not forget your tribe," Usman said in vernacular.
He also said that there used to be a time when Kadayawan looked so modernized yet it was changed.
"Kay kadtong sauna nakita pud nato ang uban na lumad gitanggal jud ang iyang sandal na taas unya mas maayo pa iyang pagsayaw," Usman said.
He added that they always wanted to show genuine and original culture in the Kadayawan. He also said that the tribes have the freedom to be attuned with modern technology for as long as they won't forget their identity.
"They can use technology for as long as they won't forget to show where we came from. We can also get involved with technology to present that we are educated tribes unlike before that only a few were. No one can speak English yet because not all went to school. Now the eleven tribes are educated. Wherever we go we can present ourselves and we are not ashamed," Usman said. (KVC)