Kadayawan is taken from the Mandaya word “madayaw” which means something valuable, beautiful, or good. Kadayawan festival is one of the biggest festivals in the Philippines. It is also dubbed as the King of Festivals. We celebrate Kadayawan every August.
During the whole month of August, Davaoeños (people in Davao) celebrate with pride and thank God for a wonderful harvest. The main activities usually happen during the third week of the month. On the 3rd Saturday of the month, we usually have the “Indak Indak sa Dalan” contest. This is a street dancing competition. Usually elementary students from different schools around Davao join this contest. This is not the typical street dancing competition like the ones you see in step up, street dance movies. The participants dance in a traditional way. They wear different and colorful costumes. Usually to represent a tribe. Davao has ten tribes, and during Kadayawan, these tribes are being honored and we acknowledge their contribution to the society.
We also have the “Hiyas ng Kadayawan” beauty contest. Again this is not your typical beauty contest. The contestants must come from the different tribes that originally inhabited Davao City. The winners will then join the parade during the “Pamulak sa Dalan” activity on the 3rd Sunday of August. Pamulak sa Dalan is a parade of different floral floats.
The biggest companies, different groups/clubs, barangays, etc join this parade. I think this is the highlight of the festival. Different celebrities from Manila also join this activity. This is the day when Davao streets are the busiest. This year the parade started in Roxas Avenue, near Ateneo de Davao University and ended in San Pedro street near the city hall. Davao’s floral floats are considered to be the Philippines’ best floats. The floats are decorated with different flowers, vegetables and/or fruits. This is also a competition, that’s why most participants would spend much money to decorate their respective floats.
If you want to experience a different kind of festival, try KADAYAWAN!!! It’s a must to those who want to experience Davao’s culture. I am very sure you’ll be amazed n0t only in the different activities that the local government prepares but also the people in Davao. You will be welcomed with open arms, and smiles from ear to ear. Davao is a “must watch out for” city in the world. Davao is one of the largest cities in the world (in terms of land area) and it’s still in its early stage of progress and modernization. While other cities have already reached their peak and limit, Davao is just starting. Just imagine what this city would be ten years from now.
Thank you for reading and I leave you with a wonderful and inocent smile of a young Davaoeña. This girl below represents Davao today. There are still a lot of things that await Davao and this girl. 😀