Culture / philippines

38th Kadayawan Festival Returns to Davao City

This year’s 38th Kadayawan Festival returns to the face-to-face celebration after two years of being held digitally due to pandemic restrictions.

Float parade Kadayawan Fest 2023. Music Press Asia

Every third week of August, Davao City holds the much-awaited “Kadayawan” Festival, dubbed as the festival of festivals.

Kadayawan Festival in the Philippines — known for its grand street dancing, floral float parade, cultural festivities, street parties, and concerts — it celebrates life and thanksgiving for nature’s bounty, the wealth of culture, bountiful harvest and live’s serenity.

The festival’s name is taken from the Mandaya word “Madayaw” which means “valuable”, “good” and “beautiful.”

The Kadayawan Village was spruced up also for the time of the festival. Built in 2017, the Kadayawan Village presents the 11 traditional houses of the City’s 11 ethnolinguistic groups.

Live Music & Concert

The Konsierto Kadayawan 2023 features Brownman Revival, Franco, Point Blnk, Dukes, Duchess in Throne among many others. Zack Tabudlo, Jonn Walter, Carla Lim from Coke Studio also made an appearance at the festival.

Tribal Council Awards Tourism Secretary

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco was bestowed the name ‘Bae Mahumanoy’, by the Obu-Manuvu Unified Ancestral Domain Tribal Council of Elders/Leaders in investiture rites on 18 August at the Kadayawan Tribal Village during the 38th Kadayawan Festival in Davao City.

To the Obu-Manuvu, Bae Mahumanoy means an “invisible spirit tasked by Magbabaya to protect Culture and Environment and promote Development and Cultural Preservation to the ICCs/IPs.”

Davao City to host Kadayawan Fest Philippines. Music Press Asia
[Secretary Frasco was given a head gear, which represents her leadership, a garment which is a symbol of the Obu Manuvu group’s respect, bracelets for her happiness as she carries out her duties as Secretary, beaded belt for strength, and beaded necklace to symbolize the pure intentions of the Obu-Manuvu group that come from the heart. Image by Tourism of Philippines.]

According to the resolution filed by the Obu-Manuvu Unified Ancestral Domain Tribal Council of Elders/Leaders, Secretary Frasco was accorded the title of Bae Mahumahoy “in recognition of her efforts to advance the rights of the indigenous peoples of the Obu Manuvu tribe.

The title means protector of the culture, environment, and someone who promotes the development and cultural preservation of the ancestral domain of the Manuvu IPs”.

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[Advertise Promote Music w Music Press Asia]

Also in attendance at the presentation of Resolution of Investiture as Bae Mahumanoy to Secretary Frasco were leaders of the Mindanao Indigenous Peoples Council of Elders and Leaders (MIPCEL), IPs of Obu Manuvu tribe of Davao City, Tribal Deputy Mayors of Davao City, and National Comission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) represented by Regional Director Mumar Mamukid.

Trade Expo

The trade expo, running from Aug 13 to 19, is part of the 38th Kadayawan Festival. It carries the theme “Buy Local, Support MSMEs”, or the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

Held at Abreeza Mall, Davao City, it is said that over 150 exhibitors from various regions in Mindanao displayed their products at the ongoing Mindanao Trade Expo (MTE) Kadayawan.

Kadayawan Fest 11 ethnolinguistic tribes fight Hiyas crown. Music Press Asia
[Who will be this year’s Kadayawan Festival Gem? One of the Hiyas ladies from the 11 ethnolinguistic tribes of Davao City pose in their cultural attires for their official headshot. Every year, they vye for the much-coveted crown of Hiyas sa Kadayawan 2023 during the Coronation Night in RMC Petro Gazz Arena.]

Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte welcomed the MTE exhibitors and pledged that the local government will continue supporting MSMEs not only in Davao City but also from other parts of Mindanao.

“This event serves as an avenue for us to showcase the rich cultural heritage and the economic potential of not just the city of Davao but also the entire region of Mindanao. The city government supports the advocacy of this event and the promotion of what we can contribute to the growth of our economic stability,” said Mayor Sebastian Duterte.

Music conference 2023. Music Press Asia

LIVE at Kadayawan Festival 2023

  • Pag-Abli sa Kadayawan – This is the opening ceremony of the festival and is a showcase of what people will expect during the festive week. It will be held on August 10 at the Magsaysay Park where the Kadayawan Village is situated.
  • Dula Kadayawan – This is an annual olympics of indigenous games participated by the 11 ethnic communities and is held at the People’s Park.
  • Habi Kadayawan – Returning this 2023 after a four-year absence. It will be a Mindanao-wide competition of indigenous-inspired apparel and fashion accessories which will feature up-and-coming designers alongside indigenous artisans. The finals will be held on August 12 at Abreeza Mall.
Carmen National High School Marching Band won 1ST RUNNER UP in the HUDYAKA SA Kadayawan. Music Press Asia
[Carmen National High School marching band won first runner up in the Hudyaka SA Kadayawan Festival 2023. Image by Carmen National High School.]
  • Hiyas ng Kadayawan – An annual search for that distinctive indigenous young lady who is knowledgeable of her native culture and wisdom through a pageantry of Mindanaoan myths and legends. The finals and coronation night will be on August 17.
  • Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan – A street dancing competition with entries making their way along the city’s main thoroughfares. For one day the streets are closed to vehicular traffic as the dancers take on to the streets until they reach the showdown area at San Pedro Square in front of the City Hall. This year’s Indak-Indak will take place on August 19.
  • Pamulak sa Kadalanan – The floral float parade is where floats adorned with flowers, fruits and indigenous accessories take center stage using the same route as Indak-Indak. It will be held on August 20.
  • Bantawan Cultural Celebration – Held on August 14-16 at the Dinehey Ampitheater inside Magsaysay Park will feature songs and dances of the 11 ethnolinguistic groups.
Pamulak ug Hudyaka sa Kadayawan 2023 floral floats. Music Press Asia
[Pamulak ug Hudyaka sa Kadayawan 2023 finale floral floats. Image by Kadayawan Festival]

All official events and activities of the Kadayawan Festival are open to the public and admission is free.

According to the Philippines Information Agency, the 2023 Kadayawan Festival has a budget of P65 million, a noticeable increase from the P40 million budget in 2022.

The City Tourism Operations Office of Philippines recorded 250,000 visitors to Kadayawan in 2019. Davao City Tourism Officer Jennifer Ricardo Romero said they are targeting 250,000 visitors for 2023 gauging the 2019 staging of the festival as a target to be met.

Visit Kadayawan Festival official Facebook page, here.

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Brief History of the Kadayawan Festival

It was said that during the olden times, the tribes living in the foothills of Mount Apo would hold a thanksgiving feast to thank the creator for their bountiful harvests.

The festival in its current form was first celebrated in 1986 as Apo Duwaling Festival, the name represents the city’s three icons: Mt Apo, Durian and the Waling-Waling orchid. In 1988 during the term of then-newly elected City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, it was renamed as Kadayawan.

Visit Philippines Tourism official website here for more information.

Kadayawan 2022 Davao City. Music Press Asia
[Image by Kadayawan Festival 2022.]

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