Grandest Araw ng Dabaw next month

Among the main attractions are the state of the city address that will be delivered by various sectors in the city, a flea market and live band performances at the Rizal Park and at the newly built People’s Park, parades around the city, and the putting up of giant TV screens in public places so Dabawenyos could watch the Manny Pacquiao- Juan Miguel Marquez fight.

It will be the first time that the mayor is heading the executive committee.

Duterte named himself chair in an executive order issued for the event. But before his order came, his daughter Sara Duterte, the city’s vice mayor who served as acting mayor when her father went on leave, also issued two other executive orders for the event.

The three EOs were almost the same, except for the composition of the executive committee.

Ms Duterte, in one of her orders, named the city tourism operations office, headed by Marie Gerardinn Angeles-Duran, as the overall coordinator. But the elder Duterte’s order only directed the tourism office “to provide staff support to the different working committees.”

The secretariat is headed by Patricia Melizza Ruivivar, one of the mayor’s aides.

In a press conference, Ruivivar explained that the mayor wanted somebody physically near his office to help him, the reason why he relegated the tourism office to a smaller role because its office is far from the mayor’s.

This year’s theme is “Kasaysayan Balikan, Ihanda Kinabukasan.”

For the celebration’s opening salvo on March 14, Ruivivar said the mayor wanted the state of the city address to be different, for it to come from the people so it will not appear to be self serving. Thus, it will be delivered by various sectors, among them representatives from the Christians, Muslims, indigenous peoples, women, business, tourism sector, children and the youth.

Also on the first day is the opening of the Museo Dabawenyo and the usual Mutya ng Dabaw coronation night.

The next day, there will be a flea market, live band performances at the Rizal Park, and a program at the People’s Park.

On March 16 is the Parada Dabawenyo socio-civic parade. This day (evening of March 15 in Las Vegas) is also the scheduled fight of Pacquiao against Marquez. So that Dabawenyos would not miss their adopted son’s bout, the mayor will be setting up a big screen at the Rizal Park so people can see the fight live on TV after the parade.

There will also be a competition for street bands on the 16th, and the annual Pahalipay ni Mayor concert that will feature a popular national artist. (MindaNews)