INDAK INDAK SA KADALANAN 2014: My Struggle to Capture the Kadayawan Vibe

At eight o’clock in the morning, the sun was up scorching at 32 degrees already. Despite the agonizing heat, people started occupying the sidewalk of the city’s main thoroughfare where performers of the Street Dancing Competition will pass by. The mood was extra festive. Colorful buntings were all over dominating the major streets. Everyone was in high spirit. The reverberating drumbeats were getting even louder. Beautiful smiles were everywhere and the whole sight was getting so picture perfect. And there I was along with hundreds of men and women geared with heavy cameras and long lenses – the media and the hobbyists – waiting for the perfect timing and perfect frame to freeze and capture candid moments that will silently speak how colorful and vivid the celebration of Kadayawan sa Dabaw is through Indak-indak sa Kadalanan, the most watched event of the festival.

Kadayawan Indak Indak Sa Kadalanan 2014 (563)Indak-indak sa Kadalanan has been my personal favorite even before I wasn’t travel blogging. It is this Mardi Gras of Indigenous Music and Dances that can prove Kadayawan sa Dabaw is indeed the Festival of Festivals as it gathers different festival winners from different towns and provinces in Mindanao to compete and be hailed the grand champion among other festival winners. Thus, the moniker Mother of Festivals in Mindanao.

Kadayawan Indak Indak Sa Kadalanan 2014 (2)For many years now, I’ve been covering Indak-indak sa Kadalanan as main feature of my blog for the month the August. In fact, I would not plan any trip or accept any out-of-town projects during this season just to be here in my city and cover this event that has become very significant to me as a Dabawenyo. For me, Kadayawan Festival is not just a merriment of bountiful harvest but also a cheerful celebration of the rich heritage and diverse culture not only of this city but Mindanao as a whole. All of these can be witnessed and experienced at Indak-indak sa Kadalanan. Thus, even the burning heat of the mighty sun can’t stop me from going out into the streets to capture the joyous and candid moments of the celebration. And I guess, every travel writer, blogger, photographer and hobbyist share the same feeling of passion and love covering this colorful experience.

Kadayawan Indak Indak Sa Kadalanan 2014 (588)Like the previous years, this year’s Kadayawan Festival gathered foreign and local spectators, local and national media, professional photographers and hobbyists for another vibrant and rhythmic staging of Indak indak Sa Kadalanan with 17 contingents coming from and outside of Davao City.

Kadayawan Indak Indak Sa Kadalanan 2014 (448)But talking about covering this year’s Indak-indak Sa Kadalanan, it was a different story. It is way too different compared from the previous years that I was on the streets covering this event with fellow festival fanatics. Just like the old days, tourist police and marshals were spread everywhere just as the media and photographers were scattered hoping to capture photographs we can publish on mainstream and social media. But this year’s festival marshals seemed too hard, too strict restricting photographers, professionals and hobbyists alike, from going closer to the performing contingents to get good photos and best angles of their choice. Even the media and photographers sticker passes were of no use as these tourist police and festival marshals would yell out shooing us away from areas where we could capture good shots. In fact, even at San Pedro Street where the main performances were done, we were limited to one specific area. Move away from there, you’ll be shouted at and reprimanded.

Kadayawan Indak Indak Sa Kadalanan 2014 (178)Stories from fellow photographers, bloggers and friends in the media circulated on the net narrating their horrendous experience with these marshals while covering the event. I had my share of unpleasant experience. In fact, I thought my camera was broken after one tourist police grabbed the rope that served as the cordon hitting our cameras badly. I felt so dismayed I wanted to leave the place right away but then I realized I owed it to these tireless performers to capture their performances rehearsed for so many days not only for us to see and experience but for the world to appreciate through our humble efforts of showing it to social media. And I embraced that promise to my readers and followers to bring the highlights of Kadayawan Festival to where they are in the planet. And so, despite that very disappointing incident, I went on struggling to capture and freeze expressions and special moments of Indak-indak sa Kadalanan.

Kadayawan Indak Indak Sa Kadalanan 2014 (595)The vibrant colors, heart pounding drum beats and awe inspiring dances of the different contingents from Davao and other provinces of Mindanao enthused me to continue shooting despite being contained in a limited space. There were instances that my view was blocked but I had to find ways to take good shots. The groovy rhythm of the smashing drums somehow helped lessened the dismay I felt. And I reminded myself, “this is a festival, I must be on a festive mood.”

Kadayawan Indak Indak Sa Kadalanan 2014 (279)At the end, Indak-indak Sa Kadalanan was still a great showcase of different culture reflected on the well-rehearsed performances of the 17 contingents vying for the grand prize. The choreographed dances showcasing tribal rituals and the way of life of the different tribes truly showed the rich and diverse culture each contingent portrayed enthusiastically during the performances.

ONE HUNDRED CAPTURED MOMENTS. ONE VIBE

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Nevertheless, I hope and pray that what we, photographers and media, horribly experience this year’s coverage of Indak-indak Sa Kadalanan won’t happen again next year.

I am OLAN EMBOSCADO, your Travel Teller and this is KADAYAWAN FESTIVAL 2014.

I am OLAN EMBOSCADO, your Travel Teller and this is KADAYAWAN FESTIVAL 2014.

MADAYAW DABAW!

T’NALAK FESTIVAL 2014: From the Land of the Dreamweavers to the World!

Living in a country where colorful fiestas and grandiose festivals are reveled all year round, witnessing a convergence of indigenous colors depicting rich culture and living tradition is such a rare experience. Seeing it right at the very heart of the province where the value for culture and the arts is highly regarded, this kind of festival is a feast for the eyes. This is the T’nalak Festival of South Cotabato, the most celebrated festivity in South Central Mindanao.

Tnalak Fest Cover PhotoT’nalak Festival is the province’s annual celebration showcasing the significance of T’nalak cloth as the cultural icon of South Cotabato. An intricately woven tapestry of intense and striking colors, T’nalak is dreamt to life by the T’boli weavers who translate their dreams into intricate geometric patterns of tie-dyed abaca fibers.

Tnalak Festival 2014 (103)T’nalak’s significance to the South Cotabato’s culture has earned its place as the cultural emblem of the province. This unique tradition of woven dreams has put South Cotabato in the world map of traditional tapestry making and has earned them the title “Land of the Dream Weavers”.  Thus, the annual celebration of T’nalak Festival displays the importance of the T’nalak cloth as part of the cultural image of South Cotabato amidst the dual presence of tradition and progress.

Tnalak Festival 2014 (295)Tnalak Festival 2014 (292)T’nalak being the province’s cultural emblem symbolizes the blending of culture, strength and unity not only of T’boli people but of various ethnic groups living in the province. It is during this festive celebration of T’nalak Festival that people of South Cotabato showcase their vibrant cultures and venerable traditions through dazzling cultural performances and pulsating street dancing.

Tnalak Festival 2014 (290) Tnalak Festival 2014 (198)Hailed as the biggest, brightest and the most colorful festival in South Central Mindanao, T’nalak Festival is not just a cheerful celebration of the province’s cultural identity but a great way to showcase the all the best that South Cotabato has to offer including its gentle people.

Tnalak Festival 2014 (305) Tnalak Festival 2014 (326)This becomes evident as the main thoroughfares of Koranadal City, the capital of the province was filled with sprightly music, outstanding performance and vibrant colors as nine contingents coming from different schools, communities and towns converged in the much awaited Street Dancing Competition, the most watched festivity of T’nalak Festival that pays tribute to South Cotabato’s artistic, cultural and historical heritage.

Tnalak Festival 2014 (102) Tnalak Festival 2014 (103)In this highly anticipated Mardi Gras of Indigenous Colors and Dances, the heart pounding ethnic music reverberated all over the city’s downtown district while the vibrant colors of captivating black, red and white – the colors of t’nalak – dominated the streets. These were the pulsating beats and glowing hues brought by the 9 contingents as they showcased rituals and dances of their respective tribes dressed and accessorized by multihued costumes as they performed with great intensity, passion and enthusiasm.

Tnalak Festival 2014 (87) Tnalak Festival 2014 (94) Tnalak Festival 2014 (111) Tnalak Festival 2014 (115) Tnalak Festival 2014 (124) Tnalak Festival 2014 (131) Tnalak Festival 2014 (137) Tnalak Festival 2014 (141) Tnalak Festival 2014 (142) Tnalak Festival 2014 (146) Tnalak Festival 2014 (147) Tnalak Festival 2014 (148) Tnalak Festival 2014 (150) Tnalak Festival 2014 (254) Tnalak Festival 2014 (294) Tnalak Festival 2014 (297) Tnalak Festival 2014 (301) Tnalak Festival 2014 (302) Tnalak Festival 2014 (308) Tnalak Festival 2014 (311) Tnalak Festival 2014 (317) Tnalak Festival 2014 (319) Tnalak Festival 2014 (323) Tnalak Festival 2014 (325) Tnalak Festival 2014 (329) Tnalak Festival 2014 (338) Tnalak Festival 2014 (344) Tnalak Festival 2014 (351) Tnalak Festival 2014 (353) Tnalak Festival 2014 (358)I have always been proud of my roots and heritage as Mindanaoan and witnessing all these made me even prouder and grateful to have been born and raised in this beautiful Island blessed with multi-cultural influences – a privilege I will always be proud of for as long as I live. And just like these multicultural differences showcased during this spectacular street dancing festivity, there is unity in diversity – just as I embraced living and enjoying this huge island of great multicultural diversity.

Tnalak Festival 2014 (1) DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPRO Tnalak Festival 2014 (377) From Koronadal City, South Cotabato, I am OLAN EMBOSCADO and this is THE TRAVEL TELLER.

TINABANGAY FESTIVAL 2014: A Celebration of Socorro’s Greatest Living Tradition

The country’s widely-practiced tradition of bayanihan is probably the most celebrated tradition among the many notable customs and traits we have as a nation. This practice has spread out all over the archipelago and the world regarded it as one great trademark of the Filipino race. But in the islands of Siargao in the northern part of Mindanao, bayanihan is not just a common tradition. It is a communal way of life deeply rooted from a glorious past. This extraordinary tradition is called tinabangay. Home to this is the island town of Socorro in the province of Surigao Del Norte. And the celebration of this remarkable tradition is called the Tinabangay Festival.

Socorro Tinabangay Festival 155More popularly known as the Bucas Grande Islands, Socorro is an island municipality in the island group of Siargao. The island town is home to CARAGA’s pristine beaches, unspoiled coves and enchanted lagoons that is fast becoming a major tourist destination in the region. Two of these most prized attractions are the Sohoton National Park and the Jellyfish Kingdom. But not known to all, Socorro is not just about eco-tourism destinations. Its people, culture and way of life are among those that made up one beautiful reason why must travel and experience Socorro in different way. Tinabangay Festival sums up all that is good about Socorro and the Socorrohons.

Socorro Tinabangay Festival 48Like bayanihan which refer to a spirit of communal unity and cooperation, the term tinabangay is derived from word “tabang” which mean help and tinabangay in the real sense means “helping one another” – as group or as a community. In Socorro, tinabangay has been practiced since the very early days and their amazing stories of collective heroism were told from generations to generations.

Socorro Tinabangay Festival 159This started in 1920 when the people of then Sitio Bunga responded and saved Spanish missionaries from drowning while on mission sailing bound to island. The sailboat was battered and ravaged by the gigantic waves of the Pacific and was on the verge of capsizing but the people of Sitio Bunbga came to the rescue. Everyone was spared including the Spanish priest who was overwhelmed by the goodness of the people. He then called them Socorrohon and the place Socorro. Socorro in Spanish means help and so Socorronhon means helpful people. It was the start of how Socorronhons came to fame as helpful individuals among its neighboring island towns.

Socorro Tinabangay Festival 20

In 1924 during American occupation in the Philippines, Socorronhons fought as one community against the US Constabulary Forces when they were attacked and suspected as members of “Colorum” or unregistered society founded to rebel against the government. Many Socorronhons perished. Their lives and livelihood were greatly affected. Many lost hope. But despite all these, Socorronhons stood up, helped one another and braved to start all over. That was the start of tinabangay – one community, one goal, one Socorro.

Socorro Tinabangay Festival 73Today tinabangay has remained the most important tradition in Socorro and being matinabangon (helpful) is the greatest trait of every citizen of this island town. Widely practiced, tinabangay is often done during the month of July and August through collective house building, farming and other communal activities. Socorronhons would leave the comforts of their homes to offer their labor services for free in the construction of houses and collective farming activities with the house or farm owners shouldering the food and material costs. This usually lasts for 30 days. The first day of the volunteer work is called intrada and the last day is called “last trip”.

Socorro Tinabangay Festival 167When the work is done after the long tiring days of tinabangay, the house/farm owners will then call for a modest celebration locally called “paglipay-lipay” as a way of gratitude to all those who help him build his house or toil his farm. This is also a great way to celebrate the burning spirit of unity and volunteerism in them that lead the way to achieve their goals. It is then a celebration of joys, efforts, pains and feat of tinabangay. In the early days, paglipay-lipay comes with merry-making and dancing. This where a local dance called “collegiate” or “sayaw Socorro” was born. Today, this traditional dance is still performed by the locals even the young generations.

Socorro Tinabangay Festival 141Because of such invaluable significance of this tradition that defines the truest meaning of Filipino’s Bayanihan culture, it paved way to the birth of the annual celebration of Tinabangay Festival celebrated during the Foundation Day of Socorro which falls every 22nd of February.

Socorro Tinabangay Festival 171The creation of Tinabangay Festival is aimed to make this bayanihan tradition known outside Socorro. It is also meant to inspire the rest of the country and the world with its living legacy widely practiced even to this date.

Socorro Tinabangay Festival 191As a colorful festival filled with lively music and spectacular dances, Tinabangay Festival promises to attract tourists to come to Socorro and take part of this rich living legacy that depicts the goodness of the Filipino people.

Socorro Tinabangay Festival 180And just like the previous staging of this event, this year’s Tinabangay Festival was a grand showcase of Socorro’s rich heritage portrayed in the much awaited performances of the six contingents from the different clustered barangays of this island town.

Socorro Tinabangay Festival 203The dances and choreography performed by each contingent project the concept and practices of tinabangay. Each storyline behind choreographed presentation portrays the pains, joys and triumphs exerted and made during tinabangay.

Socorro Tinabangay Festival 236Like the famous scene of bayanihan where neighbors work together to carry a house to its new place, the performances showcased during the stationary presentation centered on the communal practices of tinabangay – neighbors helping neighbors build their houses, communal fishing using bobo, a fishing tool made of bamboo, and farmers planting and harvesting rice together. These are actually pictures of our great culture as Filipinos practiced not only on the country but even those Filipino communities scattered around the globe.

Socorro Tinabangay Festival 185There are ample of festivals in the Philippines that reflect the rich and colorful culture of our country but Tinabangay Festival of Socorro is simply distinctive. It is something that every Filipino wherever he may be in the world can relate. Tinabangay or bayanihan is a universal culture practiced and shared among us.

Socorro Tinabangay Festival 261In the times of great calamity, of great catastrophic disaster, Filipino spirit of bayanihan is felt – tinabangay is made to alleviate the burdens of our fellowmen even if we are not there. This is one of our traits that made us a strong nation. In fact we are admired by many nations for being such compassionate and caring citizens of the world. Socorro’s Tinabangay Festival mirrors that compassionate and matinabangon in us.

GLAD TO BE PART OF THIS YEAR’S TINABANGAY FEST. It means so much to me. I am deeply honored.

TINABANGAY FESTIVAL 2014

Socorro Tinabangay Festival 17 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 30 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 35 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 50 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 77 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 83 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 91 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 98 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 103 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 114 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 123 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 134 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 150 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 166 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 194 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 202 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 207 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 217 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 226 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 234 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 238 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 246 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 247 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 249 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 255 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 258 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 259 Socorro Tinabangay Festival 260

*****My heartfelt gratitude to the LGU of Socorro headed by their beautiful Mayor Denia Florano and Vice Mayor Dominador Taruc for inviting this blogger along with other friends in the media to witness this very spectacular event. 🙂 To Mr. Edelito Sangco who initiated this Media Tour, my depest gratitude. I am looking forward to come to your beautiful islands! CONGRATULATIONS Socorronhons!*****

The Travel Teller with media friends from Davao City

The Travel Teller with media friends from Davao City

 

SAMBUOKAN FESTIVAL 2013: “Know the Tribes, Experience the Vibe”

From Dahican Beach, the colors and sounds of Sambuokan Festival came to life as eight contingents from different schools in Mati City converged at the city’s main street for the Indak Sayaw Sa Sambuokan street dancing competition. Despite the ravenous heat of the mid-afternoon sun, people from all walks of life came out to witness this most vibrant festival of the city. As it was my first Sambuokan experience, I was overwhelmed with so much excitement.

Indak Sayaw Sa SambuokanWith the theme “Know the Tribes, Experience the Vibe”, this year’s Sambuokan Festival pays tribute to the different indigenous tribes in the city that contributed to the diversity of the city’s rich culture and colorful past.

_DSC0467Being Davao Oriental’s capital town, the City of Mati is a melting pot of different indigenous tribes. Some of these tribes are among the first settlers of the city. Although Mandaya Tribe is the most dominant indigenous tribe dwelling in the city, Muslim tribes like Kaagan, Maranao, Tausog and Maguindanao are also part of these indigenous groups.

_DSC0502But despite the city’s diverse culture, ethnic traditions, economic status and lifestyle, these natives along with immigrants from other provinces who chose to settle in Mati embrace to live in unity and peace – in ONENESS. Thus, Sambuokan Festival which is derived from a Mandaya word “sambuok” which means “one” is a celebration for oneness and unity of all Matinians to build a united and progressive society.

_DSC0464 _DSC0477 _DSC0484 _DSC0487 _DSC0515Sambuokan Festival before it becomes what it is today used to be an affair participated by the people in the government. But through the years, the festivity morphed into a festival of people, of culture, and of Mati’s own evolution – it becomes a festival that binds the people of Mati from all walks of life, regardless of economic status, educational attainment and religious preferences.

_DSC0539_DSC0533 _DSC0534 _DSC0540 While this year’s festival theme focused on honoring the importance of these tribes in Mati, Indak Sayaw sa Sambuokan showcased an amazing display of distinctive colors, cultures, and traditional dances of these said tribes. Performances of different contingents showcased the rich culture and tradition of the natives. The choreographed dances displayed stories that often centered on the lives of their tribe, their people and their beliefs.

_DSC0803Dressed in their ethnic attires, the performers filled the street with vibrant colors and danced in harmony with the bouncy indigenous rhythm that put the crowd and the entire area in a festive and jovial spirit.

INDAK SAYAW SA SAMBUOKAN SHOWDOWN COMPETITION
Baywalk, Poblacion, Mati City

_DSC0629 _DSC0641 _DSC0651 _DSC0657 _DSC0678 _DSC0680 _DSC0684 _DSC0688 _DSC0692 _DSC0696 _DSC0709 _DSC0718 _DSC0723 _DSC0726 _DSC0730 _DSC0739 _DSC0748 _DSC0757 _DSC0764 _DSC0769 _DSC0772 _DSC0778 _DSC0853This year’s Sambuokan Festival was said to be bigger and grander compared from the previous years. The newly installed mayor of the city, Mayor Carlo Rabat, regarded this celebration as the city’s trademark of oneness. Thus, along with the people of Mati, this year’s Sambuokan Festival was made more colorful and vibrant reflecting the real essence of Sambuokan – Matianian’s unity.

covering Sambuokan Festival with my Ate Idol - the JOJIE ALCANTARA

Covering Sambuokan Festival with my Ate Idol – the JOJIE ALCANTARA

Blending with the COLORS of Sambuokan

Blending with the COLORS of Sambuokan

The Travel Teller ♥ Sambuopkan Festival

The Travel Teller ♥ Sambuokan Festival

*** thanks for these photos, Eden Jhan Licayan ***

Experiencing Sambuokan Festival for the first time was a great privilege for me to see and appreciate more the other side of Mati. Before, everytime I think of Mati, the very first thing that comes to mind is Dahican Beach. Now I got all the reasons to say there’s more to Mati than Dahican Beach – there is Sambuokan Festival that one must look forward to every year. Honestly, I’m becoming a fan and I look forward to come back and be part of the celebration again.

with cool DAVAO ORIENTAL PHOTOGRAPHERS

with cool DAVAO ORIENTAL PHOTOGRAPHERS

Congratulations to the people of Mati for the success of the Sambuokan Festival 2013. My heartfelt gratitude to Mayor Carlo Rabat for inviting me to witness this very colorful event. See you next year.

KADAYAWAN FESTIVAL 2013: Indak Indak Sa Kadalanan

A celebration of life,
A thanksgiving for the gifts of nature,
The wealth of culture,
The bounties of harvest and serenity of living,
These among others are the reasons of celebrating Kadayawan Festival!

And so, despite the disheartening threats on peace and security in the metro, Dabawenyos went out courageously to the city’s major thoroughfares to celebrate this annual festival of life, abundance of harvest and tranquility of living. Along with the thousands of Dabawenyos who flock the city streets, I was among those who witnessed yet another successful and festive celebration of Kadayawan sa Dabaw 2013.

_DSC0666 copyHailed as the Mother of Festivals in Mindanao, Kadayawan Festival is not just a merriment of bountiful harvest but also a cheerful celebration of the rich heritage and diverse culture not only of the Davaoeños but even Mindanao as a whole.

_DSC0870This becomes evident as the main thoroughfares of Davao City was filled once again with lively music, remarkable dances and vibrant colors as twenty three contingents coming from different schools and communities in Davao City and nearby provinces converged in the much awaited Indak Indak sa Kadalanan, the most watched festivity of Kadayawan Festival that pays tribute to Davao and Mindanao’s artistic, cultural and historical heritage.

_DSC0276In this very much anticipated Indak Indak sa Kadalanan, a Mardi Gras of Indigenous Music and Dances, the heart pounding drum beats reverberated all over the city’s downtown district while the vibrant colors of captivating Red and Yellow dominated the streets. These were the rhythmic beats and vivid hues brought by the 23 contingents as they showcased rituals and dances of their respective tribes dressed and accessorized by multihued costumes while flanked by fabulous props.

_DSC0675The performers’ energetic moves, amusing choreography and the resounding ethnic chants joyously set the whole thoroughfare in a festive groovy mood. While performers are up dancing on the street, people were cheering mesmerized by such spectacular event. The rhythm of the drumbeat put the whole crowd in carefree spirit – dancing and jumping along with the performers.

Kadayawan Festival 2013While the awe inspiring performances of different contingents showcased the rich and diverse cultures of Davao and Mindanao, their dances and choreography portray beautiful stories that often centered on the lives of their tribe, their people, their belief and their connection to mother earth.

ONE HUNDRED PHOTOS. ONE VIBE.

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Indak Sa Kadalanan 2013 (102) Kadayawan Festival Indak Indak Sa Kadalanan 2013 (101) Kadayawan Festival Indak Indak Sa Kadalanan 2013 (100) Kadayawan Festival Indak Indak Sa Kadalanan 2013 (109) Kadayawan Festival Indak Indak Sa Kadalanan 2013 (108) Kadayawan Festival Indak Indak Sa Kadalanan 2013 (107) Kadayawan Festival Indak Indak Sa Kadalanan 2013 (106) Kadayawan Festival Indak Indak Sa Kadalanan 2013 (105)I have always been proud of my roots and heritage as Davaoeño and Mindanaoan but seeing all these made me even prouder and grateful to have been born and raised in this Island blessed with multi-cultural influences – a privilege I will always be proud of for as long as I live. And just like these multicultural differences showcased during this spectacular street dancing festivity, there is unity in diversity – just as I embraced living and enjoying this city of great multicultural diversity. After all, LIFE IS HERE in DAVAO CITY!

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THE TRAVEL TELLER with Kadawayan 2013 Indakers