‘Access fee’ for photographers in Kadayawan Festival not compulsory – Sara

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 August) – Mayor Sara Duterte clarified on Monday that the P500 “access fee” for photographers is not compulsory to those who wish to shoot the highlights of the 26th Kadayawan Festival.

Duterte made the clarification after his father, Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, criticized the organizers for charging P500 to those who want to shoot during the festival.

The mayor said that fee will only be imposed to those who want to shoot the showdown portion of the “Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan” (the street dancing competition) where a platform will be installed for the paying photographers.

“If you don’t want to pay, we can’t force you. You can still take pictures outside the restricted area,” she told reporters after the launching ceremonies of the Kadayawan Festival at the People’s Park on late Monday afternoon.

The street dancing is slated on Saturday, August 20.

Journalists, however, are free to shoot without the need to pay the access fee, said city information officer Bong Aportadera. “Media outfits will just have to submit the names of their staff who will cover the events and we will give them access pass,” he added.

Last Sunday, the elder Duterte reminded the organizers that even if it will be imposed on hobbyist photographers, the hobby is still for the rich and the poor.

“The problem with collecting money is class imposition. Who can get the access, your friends?” he said over his weekly TV program.

Last week, Maria Felisa Marques, Kadayawan festival director, told reporters at the I-Speak forum at city hall that they will issue access pass to photojournalists, hobbyists and visitors to regulate those who want to cover and witness the final showdown of the Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan and the Pamulak, a floral float parade.

Hobbyist Jesus Tinapay of the Camera Club of Davao said that he is in favor of imposing the fees to regulate the photographers inside the restricted area.

“The fee is okay as long as it will be on a first-come-first-served basis, and maybe they will limit the number to 100. It would also be a wise security measure because the security personnel would already know who would be inside the restricted area,” Tinapay said.

The Kadayawan Festival was formally opened Monday at the People’s Park with the performance of 350 dancers who represented different tribes of the city. A mass was held at the park despite the light rain.

Various events were also opened Monday as part of the annual week-long festival.

Among the events is the Los Hijos de Davao at the event center of SM City, which features different designs of wedding gowns designed by known fashion designers in the country.

Also opened at SM’s even center was the dish garden competition, which showcases the assorted arrangements and variety of plants planted in a dishware.

Both events will run until Sunday.

After the opening ceremonies at the People’s Park, Hudyakaan was also opened along Roxas Avenue. It is a week-long street food event with nightly performance by local bands. (Keith Bacongco / MindaNews)