DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 August) — Amid the threat of terrorism in Mindanao, Mayor Sara Duterte said martial law had “no negative effects” on the celebration of the 32nd Kadayawan sa Dabaw here as several Dabawenyos and tourists flocked to the different major festival events.
Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the Pamulak sa Kadayawan (floral float parade) and Pitik Kadayawan (drum beating competition) along San Pedro Street Sunday, the mayor said this was one of the best Kadayawan celebrations that the City Government and its private sector partner ever pulled off so far.
“Wala’y negative effects sa celebration nato sa Kadayawan. In fact, daghan mga tao nga nagsulti sa ilang experience mao ni ilang isa sa pinakanindot nga celebration sa Kadayawan sa Dabaw (There were no negative effects on the celebration of Kadayawan. In fact, some people said this this was one of the best Kadayawan celebration they have experienced so far),” Duterte said.
A huge tent was set up along San Pedro Street just across City Hall to provide contingents shelter from a scorching afternoon sun or rain.
She said the celebration was peaceful and thanked the private sector for the support in putting a “grand show for everybody, for all Dabawenyos and visitors of Kadayawan 2017.”
Col. Erwin Bernard Neri, outgoing commander of Task Force (TF) Davao, said it was “very challenging” securing the festival highlights Kadayawan week between August 14 and 20, with a deluge of tourists in different festival activities.
Neri said they noted more tourist arrivals since Friday but no untoward incidents were reported so far.
“It’s very peaceful,” he said of the festival this year.
But security forces accosted violators of festival rules like bringing of prohibited stuff like backpacks and non-transparent water bottles inside festival areas, and not bringing valid IDs.
However, Neri said violators were treated in a “courteous manner.”
Among the activities during the Kadayaween week were Kadayawan Village and Bantawan – Cultural Show on August 14 to 20; Hiyas sa Kadayawan Talent Competition on August 15 and coronation on August 18; Habi Kadayawan on August 15; Kaondayawan (Food and Music) on August 17 to 20; Subang Sinugdanan and Panagtagbo (River Float Parade), Dula Kadayawan (tribal games) and Mugna Kadayawan (Doodle Competition) on August 18; Indak-Indak sa Kadayawan, SayawKadayawan and Tunog Kadayawan on August 19; Pamulak sa Kadayawan and Pitik Kadayawan on August 20. The Kadayawan will run until end of this month.
Some 1,300 troops and almost 10,000 officers from the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) were deployed to secure the Kadayawan festival.
“With or without martial law, we know that a lot of people would come to Kadayawan,” he said.
He appealed to the public to immediately report to authorities any suspicious individuals.
Neri was chief of staff at the Eastern Mindanao Command before he replaced TF Davao Commander Col. Henry Robinson on September 7, 2016 at the height of the aftermath of the September 2 Roxas night market bombing that left 15 persons dead and 69 others injured.
Neri said he will vacate his post as TF Davao Commander by end of this month, as he will be reassigned to another area. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)