Kadayawan Festival

The Kadayawan Festival is an annual festival in the city of Davao in the Philippines. Its name derives from the friendly greeting “Madayaw”, from the Dabawenyo word meaning good, valuable, superior or beautiful. The festival is a celebration of life, a thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, the wealth of culture, the bounties of harvest and serenity of living. Previously, this festival held in the third week of August every year which was highlighting the 11 tribes of Davao City. In the year 2019, the celebration extended and held from 2nd Aug 2019 – 31st Aug 2019. In 2020, Kadayawan Festival is getting celebrated between 10 Aug 2020 – 17 Aug 2020.


The festival’s name is derived from the Mandaya word “madayaw,” meaning treasured or valuable. In old-time people used to display fruits, vegetables, flowers, rice, and corn grains on mates and were showing the sign of respect for the great year they have had. Also, people were dancing and singing in front of their homes, it’s continued today as well.

In the year 1970, Mayor Elias B. Lopez had encouraged all the Davao tribes to showcase their thanksgiving rituals. After that in the year 1986, the Davao City government focused on uniting the people in the turbulent times of the Martial Law. At this time the festival named “Apo Duwaling”. This name was created as a combination of three natural wonders: Mt. Apo, Durian, and Waling-waling.

In the year 1988, this festival officially named as “Kadayawan Festival” by then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. At present, after over 30 years this gets celebrated with the full of enthusiasm and unity in the people.
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