TEN TRIBES, ONE VIBE. This is the theme of Davao City’s Kadayawan Festival 2011. The tribes of Ata, Matigsalug, Ovu-Manuvo, Klata-Djangan, Tagabawa, Tausog, Maguindanao, Maranao, Kagan, and Sama are the ethnic groups that comprised the 10 different tribes of Davao.

Though diverse in cultures, traditions and beliefs, these tribes are very much connected by a common origin that binds them together as ONE and the SAME. An origin that traces the core of history of DAVAO CITY.  Ten Tribes, One Vibe.

Many years ago, it was believed these Davao’s ethnic tribes especially those residing at the foot of Mount Apo, THE Philippine’s highest peak, would converge during a bountiful harvest. This ritual serves as their thanksgiving to the gods. During the thanksgiving, various farming harvests like fruits, flowers, vegetables, rice and corn grains were displayed on mats. It was the tribe’s way of paying respect and thanks to the gods of the harvest for the year’s abundance. The offering of thanksgiving dances and songs highlighted the ritual. This was a ritual that was passed from generations to generations.

Today, times have changed yet this tradition of thanksgiving is still practiced. Descendants of the Ten Tribes, the modern day Dabawenyos and the neighboring tribes of Southern Mindanao would converge every third week of August for the celebration of KADAYAWAN FESTIVAL – a merriment of blessings for the bounties of nature, the richness of culture, the gifts of bountiful harvest and the tranquility of living.

In the much anticipated Street Dancing locally called “Indak Indak sa Kadalaan”, the vibrant colors, heart pounding drum beats and awe inspiring dances of the different tribes of Davao and other tribes of Southern Mindanao dominated the main streets of Davao City. The melody of every song, the rhythm of the smashing drums and the groovy vibes of the surroundings joyfully set the whole city in a jovial mood.

It was a great showcase of different cultures reflected on the well rehearsed dances of the 23 contingents vying for the grand prize. The choreographed dances showcasing tribal rituals and ways of lives of the different tribes truly showed the richness of culture and prosperity of living of each tribe portrayed during the performances.

Being a Dabawenyo, seeing these performances made me proud of the heritage of my home city. This made me realized despite differences of culture coming from different ways of lives; we all got to embrace the multicultural diversity of the city.


Truly, KADAYAWAN FESTIVAL is a celebration of Davao’s richness and diverse artistic, cultural and historical heritage. A celebration that, I, as a Dabawenyo should never miss.

This Blogger and the Kadayawan Indakers


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Cliché, life is a journey. A voyage. So does mine. I believe there is a “traveler” in all of us waiting to be ignited. Waiting to be pushed. But once it fired up, it is incredibly unstoppable. The travel continues. The travel goes on and on. And on. Believe me, I’ve experienced all these. [Read more…]