BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Davao city Mayor Inday Sara Z. Duterte led the opening ceremony of the 33rd Kadayawan Festival on Friday, August 10.
Inday Sara officially started at 6PM the annual week-long festival of fruits and flowers and thanksgiving with the traditional banging of a giant gong at the Magsaysay Park.
One of the highlights of the opening rites dubbed “Panag-abli and Panagtagbo”, was the re-enactment of the early Dabawenyos’ pre-Hispanic barter trade in the 1800 era with Asian neighbor countries.
Participating in the colorful show were the 11 tribes of Davao City, whose custom and tradition are at the center of the celebration along with the city’s exotic fruits and flowers.
The public was also given a chance to taste for free Lumad (Indigenous People) and Moro traditional dishes at the Kadayawan Food Hall of the Tribal Village inside Magsaysay Park.
In her speech, Mayor Sara called on Dabawenyos to go out and celebrate Kadayawan that serves as a reminder of their past.
Mayor Sara said the holding of the Kadayawan would not be possible without the participation of the people, particularly the government’s private sector partners in the holding of the annual festival.
Mayor Sara said the private sector has the biggest share in terms of sponsorship and organization of the festival, which runs until Aug. 19 and has a total budget of PHP44 million.
She also made assurances that the police and army troops are working hard to ensure that no untoward incident would take place during the festival.
Festival Director Gatchi Gatchalian said the best way to celebrate Kadayawan is “for families to get together and participate in all activities. “
Kadayawan, he said, primarily showcases the culture and traditions of local tribes and reflects the harmonious convergence of all communities.
Gatchalian said the public can enjoy regular festival mainstays such as the street dancing, the floral and fruit parade, Hiyas ng Kadayawan, trade fair, and the Farmers Market organized by the Moro tribes.
Organizers are also reinventing the Lumad Games, this time allowing visitors to join the games.
Other highlights are the Drum Beating Contest, Kadayawan Fashion Accessories Design and Competition, Dragonboat Festival, Songwriting, Kadayawan Ball, and Cosplay featuring the Philippine Eagle and the Tribal Village Walking Tour. (with PNA report)