Kadayawan Festival is a celebration of good harvest that is being celebrated every 3rd week of August in the city of Davao. It is derived from the mandaya word “kadayawan” which means anything that brings fortune, a celebration of life, thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, wealth of culture, bounties of harvest and serenity of living
It was said that long time ago, Davao’s ethnic tribes residing at the foot of Mt. Apo would converge during a bountiful harvest. This ritual serves as their thanksgiving to the gods especially to Bathala.
|the icons of Davao: Philippine Eagle, Mt. Apo, Durian and Waling-Waling|
Although times have changed, this practice of thanksgiving is still very much alive in modern day Davaoenos. This tradition flourished and evolved into an annual festival of thanksgiving. The festival began from a government-initiated program called “Unlad Proyekto Davao” in 1986 planned to unite Davaoenos after the chaotic martial law years and to showcase the city as a peaceful and colorful place to visit and to do business in. At that time it was called “Apo Duwaling” a name created from the icons Davao was famous for: Mt. Apo; the country’s highest peak, Durian; the king of fruits and Waling-Waling; the queen of orchids. In 1988, the festival was renamed “Kadayawan sa Dabaw” by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to celebrate the city’s unique wealth in flowers, fruits and ethnic culture.
|Street Dance Competition adds vibrant and color to the festival|
The festivities are highlighted with floral floats, street dancing competitions and exhibits that showcase the island’s tourism products and services. Other activities include boat races, horse fight, a tribal show and the Bya’Neng Kadayawan or Miss Kadayawan beauty contest.
Kadayawan is not only a yearly festival but an annual expression of the people of Davao of their heartfelt thanksgiving for another year of bounty, peace and blessing.