Our trip to Davao City for Kadayawan last year had been my first time in Mindanao, and though it was a very short stay, we had a grand time taking photos of the two-day parade, bingeing on humongous crabs, and tasting a banana split that was partly durian-flavored. We also managed to squeeze in a quick sidetrip to Samal Island, which was a five-minute boat ride from the mainland.
The term “Kadayawan” is derived from the Mandaya word “madayaw”, a warm and friendly greeting used to explain a thing that is valuable, superior, beautiful, good, or profitable. ~www.kadayawan.com
Kadayawan is Davao City’s annual thanksgiving festival. The highlight of this fiesta is a two-day parade participated in by the ten indigenous tribes of Mindanao: the Ata, Matigsalug, Ovu-Manuvo, Klata-Djangan, Tagabawa, Tausog, Maguindanao, Maranao, Kagan, and Sama.
Young and old tribesmen will come parading down the streets in their indigenous garb, with some playing the kulintang and larger gongs. Women will come clothed in their tribe’s respective woven patterns and beaded pieces, from headdresses to necklaces and bracelets. On a separate trip to Samal Island earlier this year, we had met a local weaver at a resort who told us that weaving one dagmay cloth measuring about 4 feet by 3 feet would take a whole month.
2012 SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES FROM Davao City Tourism
TIPS FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO SHOOT DURING THE PARADES:
1. Watch out for the Indak Indak sa Kadalanan on August 18 and the Pamulak Kadayawan on August 19. Both parades started at 8 AM last year and lasted two to three hours. You’d need a media pass for this one. Which leads me to>>
2. Get a media pass from the Duaw Davao Foundation.
We applied last year as photographers and paid P300 each for an ordinary pass, although if I remember right, this was ‘upgraded’ to an all-access pass later on. The ordinary pass would give you access to the two-day parade only, while the all-access covers all Kadayawan activities for the whole month.
UPDATE (August 12, 2012): According to Ms. Joyce Mariscal, who was with the festival secretariat last year, those who want to secure media passes will need to contact:
Mr. Jason Magnaye, Head, City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO)
Doors 7 & 8, Magsaysay Park Complex, Magsaysay Ave., DVO
firstname.lastname@example.org | (082) 222-1956 | (022) 222-1957
Kadayawan 2012 Secretariat
Their IDs are HUGE–pwedeng pamaypay. LOL.
2. The area along Marco Polo Davao is a good vantage point since dancers stop at this area to perform, but prepare to be squashed by bigger, burlier photographers. You may also station yourself at the final stage (last year it was in front of the city hall) where all tribes will perform before the judges. BUT you need to be early as there are only limited seats for ID holders.
See: My photos of Kadayawan sa Dabaw 2011
And watch out, you may also meet one of your idols along the streets. >>
We stopped shooting the parade just so we could catch up after Lito Sy and have this photo taken.
3. Davao is a big city. Be prepared to take very long walks and very very very long jeepney and cab rides.
RESTAURANTS WORTH CHECKING OUT:
Sagay Restaurant (Casa Leticia, Camus St., Davao City)
Try their refreshing Halaan Soup, their very creamy Sizzling Sisig, and their Durian Pie. Owen wasn’t very keen on the pie but I liked it. Its subtle flavor grows on you, so the only way to really appreciate it is to eat the whole thing.
Sagay Restaurant’s Durian Pie
Sagay Restaurant’s Halaan Soup and Sizzling Sisig, said to be the best one in Davao City.
Glamour Restaurant (along J. Camus Extension, near Sampaguita Inn 1)
Big, all-you-can-eat crabs. A year after and we’re still not over it. Best crab fest yet! Check out my separate post for more.
ACTIVITIES TO TRY OUT
1. Ride one of their e-trikes! Last year the city government had all the e-trikes give free rides to all the major spots in the city. It was as fast as its gas-powered counterparts but this one’s engine was very quiet. According to our trike driver, an eight-hour charge is enough for an eight-hour field day and costs P50.
We rode one to Aldevinco Shopping Center, a square of pasalubong shops selling everything from woven bags to durian treats. This is across Marco Polo Davao and Ateneo de Davao.
2. Spend at least half a day in Samal Island.
The nearest beach resorts in Samal Island are just five minutes from the mainland, although the boat rides could get really wobbly, as we have experienced in our two last visits. Our first trip was nothing really special, since the weather had not been favorable and we ended up eating ice cream while waiting for the boat back.
We stayed at the Grand Men Seng Hotel because it was near the City Hall. The hotel is a bit old but the rooms were spacious and our stay was fairly comfortable. This is where we tried the banana split with durian-flavored ice cream, which was actually good—surprising, but good.
As it turned out, we also stayed a night at the Royal Mandaya Hotel, courtesy of PAL who canceled our departing flight to Manila and booked another flight a full day after our original schedule. They billeted all passengers in this boutique hotel, which was a consolation because of its tasty danggit. We ended up spending the whole day watching Rowena del Rosario’s storytelling par excellence on ANC.
You can also try checking out Casa Leticia and Sampaguita Inn.
Davao City Tourism | Kadayawan Dot Com | Davao Tourism
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