By VIANCA GAMBOA
The Kadayawan festival may have commenced with a bang at the beginning of August, but don’t fret if you’ve missed out on the first week of fun as the Philippines hasn’t seen nothing yet. The month-long celebration will be offering more cultural and trade activities to see each day. If you’ve never seen the festival yet and you need some convincing before you book a flight to Mindanao and visit the King City of The South, then here are the top reasons why you should indak sa Kadayawan.
The Theatrical Dances
Filipino festivals weave merriment through street-dancing competitions where contingents showcase their very own culture with dances that mimic our nature’s natural phenomena. Indak Indak sa Kadayawan, however, depict the rich heritage and traditions of Davao’s 11 tribes, so you can expect to see a cascade of diverse movements and costumes on Aug. 17. Dula Kadayawan, on the other hand, interprets each tribe’s Olympic games through classic tableau acts and experiential activities where you can interact and battle it out with the tribes. The parade will be held along Roxas Ave. all the way to Kadayawan Square.
The Floral Floats
The 24th day is a visual feast for the tourists and locals as huge floats highlighting Davao’s floras and faunas will be parading along Roxas Avenue. We’re not just talking about floats mounted with sampaguitas like what you see in a traditional Flores de Mayo parade, but huge, colorful floats adorned with different kinds of flowers and fruits, and even celebrities, representing a Davaoueno staple, like an abundant garden, or the Philippine eagle flapping its wings. The Pamulak sa Kadayawan and tribal drum beats courtesy of Pitik sa Kadayawan give a feeling of a heart-thumping nature trail as they pass.
The Culture Couture
It seems like Filipino festivals level up every year with an influx of new activities and shows but one thing you should look forward to the most is a runway show that displays contemporary clothing pieces that make use of indigenous textiles and prints, without appropriating their culture, of course. In HabisaKadayawan, you get to witness an apparel and accessory design competition happening on Aug. 17. Not only does it showcase the beauty of the tribes’ weaving traditions, but it also unleashes the creativity and resourcefulness of Davaouenos.
What’s a trip to Davao without eating durian? Davao’s most celebrated fruit may smell really pungent but it varies in meat taste, so you can either have it bitter, garlicky, or super sweet. If you’re not a fan of durian, however, then you should know that Davao is always abundant in different kinds of fruits all year round, like marang, lanzones, rambutan, and mangosteen which you can get for as low as P15 per kilogram!
The best way to immerse yourself in indigenous peoples’ culture apart from reading about them in textbooks and Wikipedia is to visit their habitat. At Kadayawan Village, you can develop an interaction with Davao’s original inhabitants—Bagobo-Klata, Ata, Bagobo-Tagabawa, Sama, Maranao, Kagan, Iranun, Maguindanaon, and Taosug, and discover their unique way of living, culture, livelihood, and arts. You can even learn a thing or two about their survival skills, how they produce crafts, how they keep up with the present times like how they incorporate modern and urban lifestyle into their preserved culture, and how they decorate their homes. This hub of culture and peace is very accessible as it is located inside the Magsaysay Park.