The Kagayawan sa Davao or the Kadayawan Festival in Davao is not a traditional celebration but a kind of get-together of the several cultures co-existing in the city of Davao. A week-long celebration in Davao in the southern Philippines region, this festival represents different harvest festivals from across the world. It has been celebrated since the 80s with an array of parades and events that the Dabawenyos (the citizens of Davao) still celebrate with same enthusiasm. Here’s a complete guide to the Kagayawan Festival of Davao, if you are planning a visit the city in the month of August this year.

Highlights to Kagayawan Festival 2019

Date: August 13, 2019 to August 19, 2019

Derived from the word used for greeting in the Mandaya tribe, “Mandayaw” which gives a description of an object of profitability or goodness, the Kagayawan Festival is celebrated in the third of August every year. This is the time when the Dabawenyos celebrate with their goods’ stocks – tribal dances, parades, trade fairs, etc.

The lumad or the ten tribes of the city are showcased in the festive celebrations appearing in different parts of the city performing cultural events using their art and craft as fodder. To watch them perform live, you can go to the Panatagbo event held in different venues all around the city. The event represents the art and culture of all the ten tribes of Davao City – Ata Manobo, Maguindanao, Uno Manabo, Tausug, K’Lata, Maranao, Tagabawa, Matigsalog, Kalagan and Sama. They find expression in their traditional dance, revelry and costumes.

The most popular venues for the Panagtagbo event are the NCCC Mall and People’s Park. You can check the Kagayawan Festival Schedule for 2019 on the official website of Davao City.

You can also attend the ruthless horse fights called Paaway Kuda in the local language. In this event, the stallions get into a battle for the favors of a mare. It is an old tradition of the lumads that can be as murderous as it may be. SI, if you are against animal cruelty, better do not go for it.

Two high profile parades are carried out during the festival – Pamulak Floral Float and Indak Indak sa Kadalanan. Pamulak Floral Float is flower laden floats that displays the varieties of blooms in the area on the last day of celebration. Coming to the Indak Indak sa Kadalanam, it is a street dancing parade that represents teams of children who marched in synched steps dancing across the main streets of the city. The march comes to an end at City Hall of San Pedro Street. Both the parades are evaluated by a panel of judges who then award the best representing team.

What should you do during Kadayawan Festival?

It’s not just the festival but Davao City has much more to offer the tourists alongside Kadayawan. Read on to know some exciting things you can do around the city:

Eat fresh juicy fruits on the spot: If you are an adventurer at heart, you are going to love the experience of having fresh malodorous durian fruit plucked right from the spiny husk. You can try out the fruits at the stalls of various fruit vendors who line up along the Magsaysay Park. You can even record your reactions to show friends and family back home. Don’t you forget to try Kinilaw at Davao, a dish very similar to Ceviche. It consists of fresh fish cooked in only vinegar. You can have it with the delicious grilled tuna jaw.

Go on an adventure and nature travel: Being located between, Mount Apo and Davao Gulf, the city serves perfect for adventure lovers and nature admirers. The city has several enchanting biking trails, the clear sea of the Talicud and Samal islands for the scuba divers. You can also enjoy whitewater rafting in the serene Davao River.

If you like mountain climbing, you can get on a bus to Kidpawan and climb the highest peak of Philippines, Mount Apo. Alternatively, you can go to Kapalong in the north and explore the network of caves.

How to Get to Davao City?

You can book cheap flights to Davao served by DVO Airport (Davao International Airport). You can get flights from all across the world connecting through Manila. The main airlines flying to Davao are Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. Foreign travellers must make sure to book at least a month before the travel date to ensure the cheapest flight rates.

When in Davao, you can get around easily in jeepneys, cabs and taxis. 

Where should you stay in Davao?

If you want to have a luxurious stay in the city, choose from Marco Polo Hotel or Waterfront Insular Hotel. You can also book a room in Casa Leticia, a business hotel centrally located in the city. The city also has some budget friendly hotels for the beach crowd and budget travelers. You can check online for the best option.

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