DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 March) – Several Dabawenyo festival-goers braved the intense midday heat on Friday as they swarmed the distribution of the free lunch along C.M. Recto Ave. immediately after the Parada Dabawenyo, a socio-civic parade and one of the highlights of the 81st Araw ng Davao.
At least 10,000 food packs – consisting of “lechon baka” (roasted beef), roasted chicken, and rice in banana leaves – and drinks were distributed to the revelers starting at 11 a.m.
The street on the left side of San Pedro Cathedral was temporarily closed to vehicles. Revelers started gathering outside the fence, with some of the city’s police force and personnel from Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) assisting in controlling the crowd.
The distribution of free lunch was as a show of appreciation of the city government to Dabawenyos who joined the festival, said lawyer Raul Nadela Jr., chief of staff of Mayor Sara Duterte.
The 50 roasted cows were donated by Pilipinong may Puso Foundation and Petron Foundation, who previously helped the city by sending relief goods to the residents affected by calamities.
Santa Tamboli, a resident of Barangay Mintal, stood by the sidewalk on Rizal Street as she and two other companions partook of the free lunch. She went downtown to join the festivity for the first time.
They lined up as early as 8:30 a.m., and got their share of the free lunch around 11 a.m.
A total of 362 contingents joined the parade. The city’s police force, members of the PSSCC and City Transportation and Traffic Management Office, and other force multipliers were positioned around the festival venue to control the traffic and secure the safety of revelers.
The late President Manuel L. Quezon signed Commonwealth Act No. 51 creating the City of Davao on October 16, 1936, but the city was inaugurated on March 1, 1937 with then Interior Secretary Elpidio Quirino.
Duterte told reporters that she was thankful to the Dabawenyos who participated in the parade and for supporting other activities of the month-long festival.
She called on the Dabawenyos to stay “united, strong and resilient,” saying these traits are their contribution to nation-building.
Other festival activities include, among others, coronation night of Mutya ng Davao, Sayaw Pinoy (traditional dance competition) on March 15, Duyog Davao (concert of Dabawenyo artists), Araw ng Dabaw Street Party on March 17, Davao Unplugged 2018 (battle of the bands) on March 18, Agribiz Expo on March 19, Davao City Agri Awards on March 21, and Mindanao-wide Women’s Forum on March 22. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)