Kadayawan Festival

This weekend celebrates the Kadayawan Festival in Davao City, Philippines.

Though, I was originally from the Philippines, I have not heard of this Kadayawan Festival before now.  I’ve only found out about it when one of my Facebook friends posted some photos, including one of her with the current mayor of Davao City, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, on her timeline.

Volet Lenor-Abad with Mayor Duterte

Volet Lenor-Abad with Mayor Duterte

From Volet’s photos, the festival looks spectacular, with beautiful and colourful costumes and hundreds of participants.  Everyone seems to be having a good time.

1002175_567991866593637_973249696_nWhat is Kadayawan Festival in aid of, I hear you ask!

Well searching the internet gave me the basic information.

The festival apparently is a celebration of harvest, mainly, which began a long time ago along the foot of Mount Apo. It was said that Davao’s ethnic tribe would gather together to give thanks and praise to their gods, Manana in particular being the Supreme Being.  Woven mats would be laden with offerings from their bountiful harvest of fruits, flowers, vegetables, corn and rice.  This must have been quite a sight as the participants ended up dancing and singing with so much joy.  This ritual became a regular get-together amongst the villagers and it grew into the hugest festival in the south of the Philippines.  This year is celebrating the 28th anniversary of the “modern” festival Kadayawan.

Kadayawan was derived from the Mandayan word madayaw, a single word that means so much.  It is about warmth, friendship and also explains that something is valuable, superior, beautiful, good as well as profitable.  What a word eh!!! 🙂

The ritual or today’s festival was not always called Kadayawan.  To start with it was just a form of “pahinungod” – thanksgiving;  in the 70s it joined the lumad people to showcase their various  cultures. And in 1986 it became Apo Duwalin, a configuration from Mt Apo, Durian fruit  and  Waling-waling orchid.  The present name of Kadayawan was a shortened version of Kadayawan sa Dabaw which was coined by Mayor Duterte  himself in 1988.

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