More than a festival for Dabawenyos, the Kadayawan is a celebration of bountiful harvest and the cultural diversity of the Indigenous Peoples (IP), who continue to face challenges in their struggle for rights, ancestral domain and access to education and other opportunities.
This is what Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio underscored about the festival that opens on 20 August at 5 p.m. in virtual ceremonies.
“We want to make sure that we are aware of these issues concerning our IPs not only here in Davao City but also in other places. A celebration of IP culture here is a celebration of culture elsewhere,” the mayor said.
The coronavirus pandemic and the period of mourning may have silenced the city streets from the thumping of feet, the drums and roars, but the spirit of the Kadayawan Festival is kept alive on digital platforms.
Dabawenyos and visitors can journey down memory lane for the best of the Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan (street dancing) and the Pamulak (floral float parade).
Last year, the city government opened the Kadayawan Digital Week with a two-part Kadayawan in Retrospect aired on 18 and 20 August, culminating with a Pasasalamat: Honoring the Frontliner at 1 p.m. via Zoom and streamed on Kadayawan sa Davao Facebook Page on 24 August.
A two-part Paglaum (hope) concert was also streamed on 21 and 22 August.
Department of Tourism (BoT) Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat lauded the resilient spirit of the Dabawenyos, saying, “Kadayawan not only keeps traditions alive, it keeps hope alive.
“No pandemic can dampen the vibrant spirit of the Dabawenyos. Congratulations, Mayor Sara Duterte and the people of Davao!” she added. The DoT secretary said that although the country is going through very challenging times, there is still so much for which to be thankful.
“Celebrating the festival online is to also acknowledge that despite the many setbacks, life is here in Davao,” she said, adding that nature blesses the city with its gifts and the city always has its bountiful harvest this season.
With government prohibition of face-to-face activities on account of the surge of Covid-19 cases in Davao City, the 36th celebration of the Kadayawan Festival will go online this year.
The opening ceremonies will be held on 20 August at 5 p.m., which will be followed by Tunog Kadayawan at 8 p.m.
An online show featuring the 11 ethnolinguistic tribes of Davao will have its Day 1 on 21 August, 3 p.m. followed by Sayaw Kadayawan at 8 p.m. on the same date.
An online Pahalipay concert will follow after Sayaw Kadayawan.
Day 2 of Tribu Kadayawan will be on 22 August at 10 a.m. and will be followed by Indak-Indak sa Kadayawan at 5 p.m.; and Habi Kadayawan (fashion) 8 p.m. The online Pahalipay will cap the second day of the Kadayawan virtual celebration.
The online celebrations will be streamed live on the Kadayawan sa Davao Facebook page.
Also, 20 August has been declared as a special non-working holiday in Davao City in celebration of the Indigenous Peoples Day during the Kadayawan Festival.