In a first, Davao City to celebrate Kadayawan Festival via online

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 10 August) – In a first since the “Kadayawan sa Dabaw” started 35 years ago, Davao City’s grandest and most colorful festival will be celebrated online from August 17 to 24 due to the threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Mayor Sara Duterte said on Monday.

During her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), Duterte said the local government has lined up a few Kadayawan activities, which Dabawenyos can view at home through social media.

Duterte highlighted the importance of pursuing the festival even online, stressing “it is a celebration of the bountiful harvest and the cultural diversity of the indigenous peoples (IPs), who are being confronted with various challenges to their rights, such as but not limited to their ancestral domain and access to education and other opportunities.”

“We want to make sure that we are aware of these issues concerning our IP groups not only here in Davao City but also in other places. A celebration of IP culture here is a celebration of culture everywhere else,” she added.

In the previous years, around 300,000 visitors, including photographers from different parts of the country, flocked to the city for Kadayawan, celebrated to honor the city’s 11 indigenous tribes, particularly their cultures.

The city’s 11 tribes are composed of six Moro tribes (Tausug, Maguindanaon, Iranun, Kagan, Maranao and Sama) and five Lumad tribes (Klata, Ata, Ubo Manuvo, Matigsalog and Tagabawa).

“The city will have an austere celebration of Kadayawan as the city is in a period of mourning and vigilance due to the public health crisis,” highlighting, among others, events such as Kadayawan Music Video Competition, Kadayawan in Retrospect, Best of Kadayawan Events Viewing Party, according to the City Government of Davao’s social media page.

On August 17, “Pag-abli sa Kadayawan” (opening ceremonies of Kadayawan 2020) will be done via Zoom / Facebook live, and launching of “Hulagway Kadayawan” (photography contest), “Kadayawan Museonline,” “Kadayawan Music Video competition,” and “Challenge Accepted Kadayawan”; “Kadayawan in Retrospect Part 1,” a special webcast series featuring personalities sharing their memorable Kadayawan Experience via FB live on August 18; “Best of Sayaw Kadayawan” (a cultural dance theatre competition), featuring highlights of past competitions and “Best of Hiyas ng Kadayawan,” featuring highlights of past pageants on August 19; “Kadayawan in Restrospect Part 2” and “Best of Habi Kadayawan,” featuring highlights of the past fashion accessories design competition on August 20;  Awarding of Online Events for “Tiktok Indak-Indak Kadayawan,” “Kadayawan Music Video,” and “Most Memorable Kadayawan Experience,” and “Pahalipay sa Kadayawan Online: Paglaum Concert” (Concert of Hope) Part 1 on August 21; “Best of Indak-Indak Kadayawan,” featuring highlights past street dance competitions, and “Pahalipay sa Kadayawan Online: Paglaum Concert” (Concert of Hope) Part 2 on August 22; Best of Pamulak sa Kadayawan (floral float) parade and Best of Pitik sa Kadayawan past, featuring highlights of past floral float parade and drumbeating competitions, on August 23; and, Pasasalamat: Honoring the Frontliners (thanksgiving) on August 24.

Duterte said the local government is pushing through with the online celebration only of Kadayawan due to the pandemic.

The mayor issued Executive Order 25 declaring a period of mourning and vigilance from April 17 to December 31, 2020.

Extravagant celebrations are prohibited within this period.

The order provides that city and national government celebrations, parties, anniversaries and festivities shall be canceled; commemoration of important dates and legal holidays should be kept short and must be in somber tone; all barangays shall refrain from the extravagant celebration of their fiesta while all founding anniversaries/ Araw ng Barangay celebrations will be canceled.

It added that private parties to mark personal or family milestones should be kept low key and modest, meaning a celebration in a public place with no more than 25 guests, while those who want to pursue big celebrations can do so next year.

The private sector is likewise advised to adhere to the requirements, recommending a food distribution, feeding program or financial assistance to their employees in place of grandiose celebrations to mark their important events, it said.

Events lined up for the 83rd “Araw ng Dabaw” last March were also canceled by the local government as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the deadly virus in large crowds.