Cultural performance at Matina Town Square

A dazzling display of Davao's heritage
Cultural performance at Matina Town Square
Contributed photo

Every Tuesday evening, the heart of Davao City comes alive with the vibrant echoes of traditional music and the graceful movements of local dancers. Nestled along McArthur Highway, Matina Town Square (MTS) hosts a cultural performance that is not just a mere spectacle, but a profound representation of the city's rich heritage.

On January 23, the evening's highlight was the performance by Kalumon Performing Ensemble, a group known for their dedication to preserving and showcasing the region's cultural dances. Led by a choreographer and manager originally from Davao Oriental, the ensemble took the audience on a journey through the diverse tapestry of Mindanao's dance traditions.

From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., the audience was captivated by the enchanting Singkil, a dance that originated from the Maranao people. This dance, characterized by its elegant dancers maneuvering on and around bamboo poles, was a visual treat. The ensemble also presented a fusion of other regional dances, showcasing the variety and richness of Mindanao's cultural landscape.

A unique addition to the night was their performance to Joel Ayala's "Karaniwang Tao," a song that resonates deeply with the Filipino spirit. The fusion of contemporary music with traditional dance was a testament to the ensemble's creativity and versatility.

For the finale, the Kalumon Performing Ensemble presented an original song, leaving the audience with a lingering sense of pride and connection to their roots. It was a poignant reminder of the importance of preserving cultural traditions in a rapidly modernizing world.

On February 20, my friends and I returned to MTS to see more cultural performances. The same group, albeit more dancers and singers, came back to perform. The Kalumon Performing Ensemble did not disappoint. With more extravagant costumes, more songs and more dancers on stage, it was truly a sight to behold.

These performances possess a deeper significance that transcends mere entertainment. Being a Dabawenya, I was profoundly moved by the performances. It serves as both an exhibition space for visitors and an essential link between the local community and our cultural legacy. The profound emotion felt by my cousin upon his return from years spent overseas demonstrates the magnitude of the influence that cultural events of this nature can have on both the local populace and the diaspora.

The weekly cultural night at Matina Town Square is not merely a performance; it serves as a symbol of the cultural identity of Davao. It is crucial in a world that is swiftly adopting modernity to preserve and promote such cultural treasures. These performances function as a poignant reminder of our cultural heritage and the diverse array of customs that shape our identity. They serve as a commemoration of our shared identity, an opportunity to educate the younger generation, and a reminder to maintain the fervor of our cultural heritage. 

They provide an insight into the collective consciousness of our community, mirroring its past, present, and future ambitions. It is vital that, as Davao continues to develop in a fast-paced way, we preserve these cultural treasures to ensure that our heritage flourishes in the face of modernity. Maita Rue/ Contributor


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