Pomp and pageantry, fun and fantastic colors harmonize as Davao celebrates Kadayawan, a melding of history, religion and culture into a living tradition. Celebrated every month of August, the month of the harvest, the festival is a soul enriching experience, a renewal of the Davaoeños ties with their ethnic roots. A way of giving recognition to the different indigenous tribes by way of merrymaking, prayer, rituals and revelry.
Sun up to sun down festivities unfold amidst backdrop of diverse cultures with different tribes competing and joining the parade of dance, chants and body language. The “Indak Indak sa Dalan” or dancing in the street is loaded with a deafening roar of drums, surging and ebbing as succeeding tribes file past in practice perfect choreography designed to dazzle street and rooftop spectators and the judges, seducing them to become part of the street dancing fete.
The festival also holds a fluvial parade along the historic course of the Davao River, the site of the community of the early settlers as led by Datu Bago, the Moro chieftain who defended his tribe from the Spanish colonizers. Banca and ferryboats are dressed up with colorful fabrics, flowers and a diorama of events which happened in Davao’s history. The parade of fruits and flowers showcases the agricultural bounty of Davao as Tropical fruits, such as the durian, lanzones, pomelo, mangosteen and rambutan – the fruits in season – are paraded along with floats formed in the likeness of animals, people and other animated creatures, all made up of the freshest and the most colorful orchids, roses and chrysanthemum.
Davao also commemorates every march 16 the charter anniversary of the city, the “Araw ng Dabaw”. The eventful day of jubilation is celebrated with a civic-oriented parade, an agro-industrial trade fair, fashion shows, sports tournaments and the quest for the city’s ambassadress of goodwill, the Mutya ng Dabaw.
Every Christmas season, the private sector led tourism association hosts the “Paskuhan sa Dabaw”. A joyous festival of lanterns and fireworks as participated by different schools in Davao and tourism-related companies by lightening up their establishments.
In Davao, the people do not just promise you of a delightful holiday. They make you a part of it.