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‘Kadayawan’ copes with the digital era

The spirit of Kadayawan, which is to unite amid diversity, remains alive and intertwines with the day to day living of the residents in the city.



With the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic still reeling its ugly head, festivities in the nation have almost come to a complete halt as lockdown restrictions hindered the participation of the public normally seen in fiesta celebrations.

But true to the Filipino spirit of celebrating against all odds, the pandemic has not stopped Pinoys in honoring decades-old traditions, such as the Kadayawan Festival in Davao City, where it has shifted to the utilization of cyberspace to continue the festivities.

The Kadayawan Festival — one of the biggest festivals in Davao City — was founded in 1986 to honor the city’s 11 tribes and natural wonders.

It’s festival name was derived from the Mandaya word “madayaw,” meaning treasured or valuable, as the locals use this time to give thanks for the season’s bountiful harvest. Back in the day, the ethnic tribes of Davao would come together to celebrate abundant crops, performing rituals that paid tribute to the nature gods.

The festivities include street dancing competitions which showcases colorful costumes and breathtaking stunts and moves.

However, with the emergence of the deadly respiratory disease, the colorful vibe of the festivities was shelved.

But that did not stop Davaoeños in celebrating as they have found a new platform to showcase talent and their thanks for another bountiful harvest.