August is truly Davao City’s favorite month. Every 3rd week of the month, Davao turns into a city of colors, celebrating the internationally renowned Kadayawan Festival. Nicknamed as the “Mother of all Mindanao festivals”, it’s a fascinating gala showcasing the intricate culture of Davao’s indigenous people. Not only is it a whimsical display of the native culture’s richness, but it’s also a celebration of bountiful harvests. From street dancing and a floral parade to trade fairs, the festival is a whirlwind of activity and colors, honoring the city’s historical, cultural and artistic heritage.
Need a good reason to see and experience the Kadayawan Festival in Davao City? Believe us, the Kadayawan Festival will leave you exhilarated in so many different ways. That’s why we’re urging you (and begging you for your own good) to join the biggest and most vibrant party in Davao. Hopefully, these reasons will convince you to experience the Kadayawan Festival in Davao City at least once in your life.
1. Indak Indak Sa Kadayawan
Like most Philippine festivals, street dancing is a staple and major highlight on the Kadayawan Festival. And during the Kadayawan Festival, you’ll see a one-of-a-kind street dancing competition that beautifully displays the diverse tribes and Lumad heritage in Mindanao. Held usually on the 3rd Saturday of August, Indak Indak sa Kadalanan transforms the city’s streets into one gigantic party.
In this competition, Davao’s streets dance to the heart-pounding drum beats and rhythms of pounding feet from hundreds of performers from different parts of Mindanao. More than just a lively street party, Indak Indak sa Kadalanan is also a cultural event depicting stories of Mindanao’s different tribes through dancing.
And, with bright and elaborate costumes, the street dancing competition will also unleash your inner photographer.
2. Pamulak Sa Kadayawan
There’s no better way to cap off your Kadayawan Festival adventure than to witness its grand and dazzling floral float parade. With millions of flowers, fruits and vegetables adorning Davao’s streets, it’s undoubtably a sight that inspires awe. As an added bonus, there are some floats with big-time celebrities and movie stars, adding more allure and appeal to the floral parade. And, did we mention that it’s one of the most anticipated activities and features of the Kadayawan Festival?
By the way, Pamulak Sa Kadayawan takes place a day after Indak Indak Sa Kadayawan. So, make sure to conserve a little energy as you dance to the beats and revel during Indak Indak Sa Kadayawan.
3. A galore of delicious fruits
Since the festival is a thanksgiving for bountiful harvest, you’re going to see a wide array of fruits displayed everywhere in Davao during this festive week-long event. And, best part is, these fruits are sold quite cheaply. As a matter of fact, some can go as low as PHP 15 per kilogram.
And, make no mistake about it – there’s more to Davao than its famous, pungent-smelling and thorn-covered Durian. Keep in mind that the city is cornucopia of fresh produce. As you stroll along the Magsaysay Fruit Market, you’ll find a seemingly infinite number of stalls selling marang, lanzones, rambutan and mangosteen.
Speaking of the “king of fruits”, there are also markets and fairs that offer unlimited durian during the Kadayawan Festival. If you don’t mind the strange smell, you might want to include it to your Davao City travel itinerary.
4. Kadayawan Festival is growing, improving and evolving
The festival started in 1986 and was organized to unite the city’s citizens in the aftermath of the chaotic years of martial law. Furthermore, it was created to lure tourists and businesses as well as show that Davao is a beautiful and safe place to visit for everybody. Originally, it was labeled as “Apo Duwaling”, named after the king of fruits, Durian, and the country’s highest peak, Mount Apo. In 1988, it was renamed as “Kadayawan Sa Dabaw”, organized to celebrate Davao’s ethnic culture and unique wealth in fruits and flowers.
Since then, the Kadayawan Festival has evolved continuously, adding more festivities every year. Today, the Kadayawan Festival offers a host of fun-filled experiences and events, like the Agri Trade Fair, Tunog Dabaw, and Davao River Festival.
5. The Kadayawan Village
Want to get a deeper insight into the indigenous culture of Davao? Then, make sure to check out the Kadayawan Village at Magsaysay Park during the jovial week-long festival. Intriguing and extraordinary, the village gives you a preview of how Davao’s 11 tribes live harmoniously and peacefully. What’s more, the village lets you witness cultural performances and savor tasteful dishes from the 11 indigenous tribes.
6. Kadayawan Festival is one of the country’s top festivals
They don’t call the Kadayawan Festival one of the best and most popular Philippine festivals for nothing. For years, it has been sharing the spotlight with the likes of Cebu’s Sinulog Festival and Bacolod’s Masskara Festival. And, in recent years, the festival has drawn hundreds of thousands of fun-loving visitors from all over the world. With its splashy festivities, intricate costumes and cultural attractions, it’s indeed an outstanding non-religious festival that should be on every Pinoy traveler’s bucket list.
7. Great bargains everywhere in Davao
Are you a bona fide shopaholic? Why not go on a shopping spree in Davao during the Kadayawan Festival? With every Juan in a positive mood, expect to see stores, malls and street vendors offering bargained deals for a range of items. Just don’t forget to buy pasalubongs and local delicacies for your barkada back home.
8. There are plenty of cool attractions in Davao
There’s no shortage of fun and exciting things to do in Davao, Philippines. Whether you’re a foodie, history buff or adrenaline seeker, you’ll definitely find your bliss in Davao. Some of the must-visit attractions in Davao include the Philippine Eagle Center, Davao Chocolate Museum, Roxas Night Market and Eden Nature Park and Resort. Plus, the city of Davao serves as a great base to exploring the cities, provinces and towns near Davao.
Dreaming of climbing the tallest mountain in the Philippine archipelago? Yep, you can do that right after your Kadayawan Festival experience!
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