A SPECTACULAR street dancing, a colorful parade of florally-dressed floats of various shapes and sizes, a food and musical extravaganza -- these are just few of highlights of this year's celebration of Kadayawan sa Dabaw.
Thousands of local and foreign tourists flock Davao City to celebrate with Dabawenyos a fun-filled festival, which depicts Davao's rich cultural heritage.
Its remarkable success in the past made it at par with all other festivals in the country, such as Sinulog in Cebu, Ati-Atihan in Aklan and and Dinagyang in Iloilo. Kadayawan has been touted as Mindanao's Festival of Festivals.
In fact, it is one among the Philippine festivals being promoted to the world by the Department of Tourism.
Kadayawan, indeed, is an attraction.
What used to be a cultural rite, where ethnic tribes around Mt. Apo usually gathered during harvest-time to give thanks to their gods especially the all powerful Bathala (Supreme God) for a bountiful harvest, has metamorphosed into the biggest festivbal on the island.
It has transformed into a festival, not only of thanksgiving, but to honor Davao's rich heritage, its past personified by lumads and its people and to promote Davao City as an investment haven where lumads, Christians and Muslims co-exist in harmony.
All these can be witnessed through various activities and events, depicting the city's rich and colorful culture.
The thanksgiving festival was institutionalized in 1986 to unite Dabawenyos after the turbulent Martial Law years. It was then called “Apo Duwaling,” a contraction of the famous icons of the city, namely Mt. Apo, durian and waling-waling. Two years later, it was renamed “Kadayawan sa Dabaw” to better reflect the merry spirit and indigenous theme of the celebration. Dayao, the root word of kadayawan, is a Dabawnon meaning good. Its derivative Madayaw is an all-positive lumad word that connotes happiness, beauty, bounty festivity, and good fortune.
Each year, the festival has grown bigger and more spectacular, marked by street dancing, floral float parade, agro-industrial trade fair, cultural shows and food festival.
A milestone in Kadayawan celebrations is the live coverage of the festivities and beamed live all over the world, giving Davao City a positive exposure and big media mileage.
To be featured live before an international audience is Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan on Saturday and the Floral Float Parade on Sunday. These two highlight events serve as the main attraction of the festival.
The Floral Float Parade, a colorful parade of florally-dressed floats of various shapes and sizes and adorned with thousands of flowers, fruit and fresh produce in wild abundance, will also be beamed live to world TV audience.
Viewers will surely be amazed by a deluge of flora and fauna in the region, thriving amidst forests and marshes protected by mountains and fertile land.
The Indak-Indak, on the other hand, features various delegation from all over Mindanao competing in the street dancing competition.