In Davao, looks like everything is “king sized.” It is one of the largest cities in terms of land area, has wide roads, has the “King of all Philippine Mountains” which is Mount Apo, has “King of Mindanao Festivals” which is Kadayawan, has the “king of the fruits, which is durian, and the “King of the Philippine Skies” which is the Philippine Eagle. While it is a fact that the Haribons (haring ibon) roam the skies of Apo and Mindanao’s mountains, they are however critically endangered of being wiped out from the surface of the earth. Good thing though, the Philippine Eagle Center has been established, as a sanctuary for the kings.
It is a widely known fact that Mount Apo is Philippines’ highest mountain, home of the rare but mighty Philippine Eagle, and located in Mindanao. However, a lot of people don’t know that the “King of Philippine Mountains” is also a volcano! And evidence that would prove that this mountain is alive is the boiling Lake Agco in its foothills.
It was my first sunrise after my birthday. I was in Mati City, Davao Oriental Province to accompany my dad for his project in the mountains of the province. That morning, I went to the beach that has been popular to backpackers and surfers alike—Dahican Beach. For surfers, it’s an alternative to Siargao Island. For travelers, it’s a paradise so close to this laidback city. …continue reading
Mindanao—the second largest island in, down south of the republic…very far yet so close to my heart. For most of the urbanites, it is a place that most should avoid because of adjectives associated with it: war-torn, poverty-stricken and home of the “terrorists.” Indeed, the notion of the island has evaded so many people to visit this great island in the south. However, in my own perspective, we have to take a second look onto this island. Mindanao has so much to offer, so much to see, so much to experience yet so neglected and feared by many.
Mindanao was (and for some, still is) “The Wild West” of the Philippines, as what they said–a tapestry of stories of three seemingly opposite cultures, vastly still unexplored and full of potential.
While a lot of sun worshipers who head to Davao would think of neighboring Samal Island, most people haven’t seen the virginal beauty of Talicud Island—a pearl and emerald floating on Davao Gulf. Virginal in the sense that despite its powdery-white sand beaches that stretched for miles and being so close to Mindanao’s urban hub, it is almost relatively untouched by the capitalist party and pa-sosyal business resorts.
While the colorful and festive street dance competition is one of the highlights of Kadayawan Festival in Davao, another parade is a “must-see” by locals and tourists alike. The Pamulak sa Kadalanan or “Blooming in the Streets” Floral Parade, celebrates thanksgiving to the bountiful harvests that the peoples of Davao region receive from Mother Nature herself. The grandeur rivals that of floral parades of Panagbenga in Baguio, with emphasis on endemic fruits and flowers such as durian, marang, mangosteen, and waling-waling orchid.
Nikki Minaj said, “Pound the alarm!” Dabawenyos say, “Pound the gong and kulintang!” Kadayawan Saturdays mean one thing—revelry at the streets of downtown Davao City. Different contingents from all over Eastern, Southern, and Central Mindanao bask in the sun and strut their dance moves to the beat of the drums, kulintang, and agung as Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan begins mid-morning. The heart of Davao City throbs vibrantly in colors and the beat of street party. …continue reading
It wasn’t my first time seeing our indigenous peoples head to the city to earn for a living. Just like a probinsyano attracted to the prospects of greener pastures of the big city, some IPs “go down” and seek better opportunities, to either prosper or to survive. The three photos I’d be showing is just one example of such. Captured during Kadayawan Festival in Davao City last weekend, I couldn’t help but notice this group of lumad girls wearing their bright indigenous clothing and posed for a souvenir shot together with a foreigner and several local tourists. My guess is that the group earns a living by posing for tourists or entertain using their indigenous music or probably selling their bracelets that they made. I still yet to know what particular indigenous group is it.
Since 2004, I have promised myself to witness Kadayawan Festival in Davao City, but it didn’t come. However, when I resettled in Mindanao and Davao was just a three hour ride by bus, and the long weekend came, then I didn’t hesitate to enjoy Mindanao’s King of Festivals! It was my first Kadayawan, and I wasn’t disappointed at all! Madayaw! …continue reading