Kadayawan: Davao City’s thanksgiving festival is back

Kadayawan is back.

Davao City’s annual festival, which had taken a break since the pandemic struck in 2020, returns with the vibrant colors, rhythmic dancing and joyous celebration on the streets of the country’s largest metropolis.

It had its roots in 1970, when then Mayor Elias Lopez encouraged Davao’s ethnic groups to publicly demonstrate their thanksgiving rituals.

This year’s Hiyas sa Kadayawan title holders. (From left) Hiyas sa Panaghiusa 2022 Alneza Bangasin — Kagan, Hiyas sa Kadayawan 2022 Beauty Rose Gandarosa — Maranao, and Hiyas sa Kalambuan Krezyl Joy Ungab — Bagobo-Klata. | PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF FB.COM/KADAYAWAN SA DAVAO

In 1986, the Davao City government used the occasion to unite constituents amid tumultuous times — calling the feast Apo Duwaling, a portmanteau of Mount Apo, the fruit durian and the flower waling-waling, all found in Davao.

ETHNIC groups showcased their crafts, food and cultural performances at the Bantawan.

It was officially launched in 1988 by then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as a thanksgiving rite for a bountiful harvest — “dayaw” means “to present with pride,” “to show one’s best with pride and dignity with excitement,” and “to honor” in various Filipino languages.

This year, the Kadayawan Festival’s 37th edition kicked off on 15 August and culminates on the 21st.

KADAYAWAN Festival unites a diverse culture and traditions of indigenous Filipino people.

“After two years, we are excited to finally enjoy the Kadayawan festivities in person,” said Mayor Baste Duterte at the event’s opening ceremonies at Magsaysay Park.

He called on the public to support the festival activities which highlights the cultural traditions of Davao’s indigenous people.

There were street dances, pageants, competitions and food bazaars, among other public events:

Bantawan, in which Davao’s 11 ethnic groups showcased their crafts, food and cultural performances, was held 16 to 20 August at Magsaysay Park.

Among the pageant winners, Beauty Rose Gandarosa of the Maranao tribe won as Hiyas sa Kadayawan. Alneza Bangasin of the Kagan was named Hiyas sa Panaghiusa (solidarity). Krezyl Joy Ungab, a Bagobo, was chosen Hiyas sa Kalambuan (growth).

Sayaw Kadayawan, a traditional dance competition, has an open category which the Madayaw

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