DAYAW,” in the old Tigaonon dialect of Surigao del Sur, means “to show off, parade or display” or “to present with pride what is distinctly and essentially inherent in oneself.”

In the old Catandunganon, its means “to show one’s best with pride and dignity coupled with excitement. In Hiligaynon, it means “to praise” and in Ilocano, “to honor.”

“Kadayawan” for Dabawenos means “a celebration of life, a thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, the wealth of culture and the bounties of harvest and the serenity of living.”

Inspired by this word, the subcommission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), in partnership with the Negros Cultural Foundation, Inc. and the Province of Negros Occidental, will hold “Dayaw: The Indigenous Peoples’ Festival in Bacolod City” on November 10 and 11 with the theme, “Katutubong Filipino Para sa Kalikasan at Kapayapaan.”

Activities for the two-day festival include parade, opening and closing programs, arts and crafts exhibition, forum, traditional cuisine demonstration, traditional games and sports, outreach performances and recognition of cultural masters.

Expected to attend the festival are Felipe de Leon Jr., head of the Subcommission on the Arts and Chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA); MarichuTellano, head of the NCCA Planning and Policy Division, and Alphonsus Tesoro, cluster head of the Ilonggo/Hiligaynon/Karay-a/Aklanon Cluster, who is also the tourism officer of the Province of Capiz and the current president of the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP).

The festival director for the Dayaw Festival-Central in Negros Occidental is Tanya Lopez, executive director of the Negros Museum and a former secretary of the Committee on Dramatic Arts of the NCCA.

Local performing groups, organic farming and environment advocates, school and local government units will part of the celebration of the creativity of the indigenous cultures.

The festival is in consonance with Presidential Proclamation 1906 declaring October as National Indigenous People’s Festival.

The NCCA has been celebrating annually the National Indigenous People’s (I.P.) Festival in the different regions of the country since 2007. The first was held in Davao City with the title “Kalimudan: Panaghi-usa sa Mindanao (Mindanao Indigenous People’s Gathering).”

The following year, “Timpuyog: I.P. Month” was held in Santiago City, Isabela, in Luzon.

In 2009, the I. P. Month was held in the Visayas, particularly in Roxas City, Capiz called “Dungog.”

In 2010, it was held in the National Capital Region and the name title “Dayaw” was officially adopted. In 2011, it was held in Tagum City, Davao del Norte. The province of Bulacan hosted Dayaw in 2012. It was supposed to be held in Tacloban City, Leyte, in November last year, but the great tragedy that was super typhoon Yolanda put all this in the back seat— at least for a while.

It was only after three months, after the people of Leyte have begun to rebuild their lives that the “Dayaw” pushed through. It was held in the University of the Philippines in Tacloban on February 7 to 8, 2014, as part of the National Arts Month celebration.

It was called “Dayaw-Taboan,” because a literary component was added and local writers were invited.