Twenty contingents coming from different schools and communities in Davao City and nearby provinces assembled in the city’s downtown district to compete and be hailed prestigious winner of this year’s Indak Indak sa Kadalanan, the much awaited, most watched highlight of Kadayawan sa Dabaw 2012.

Dali Kamo, Mag Indak Indak Kita!

Dubbed as the King of Festivals, Kadayawan Sa Dabaw features not only the merriment of blessings for the City’s bounties of nature and the gifts of bountiful harvest but also highlights the rich heritage and diverse culture that define Davaoeños’ affluent history and colorful past.

Shagit ug Kusog, MADAYAW DABAW!

Shagit ug Kusog, MADAYAW DABAW!

Ten Tribes, One Vibe. This has been the city’s Festival theme honoring the early ten settlers of the City that despite differences of cultures, traditions and beliefs, these indigenous tribes are connected by a common origin binding them together as ONE and the SAME – an origin that traces the core of history of the City of Davao.

Ang Pagpaabot.

In the much awaited Indak Indak sa Kadalaan, a Mardi Gras of Music and Dances, the vibrant colors of captivating Red and Yellow dominated the streets while the heart pounding drum beats reverberated all over the city’s downtown district. These were the colors and rhythms brought by 20 contingents as they performed rituals and dances of their respective places while dressed in multihued costumes and flanked by colorful props. The resounding ethnic chants and the deafening beat of the smashing drums ecstatically set the whole district in a jovial groovy mood.

Hugway! Hugway!

The awe inspiring performances of different contingents vying for the most coveted title showcased the rich and diverse cultures of Davao and Mindanao as beautifully reflected on their well rehearsed dances and choreography.


Kay Kinsa Isabwag Ang Mga Lukay?

Pag-ampo ug Pagpangaliya!

Dali kamo, magsaulog kita!

Dawata, Oh Diwata! Dawata Among Gasa!

Pasalamat Para Sa Gasa!

Ang Pagpas-an Sa Dakung Bukag!

Manyaget Kita, KADAYAWAN NA!

Ang Kaanyag sa Kadayawan

Si Inday ug ang Iyang Matam-is nga Pahiyum!

Hiyaaaaaaaaaaa! Hiyaaaaaaaaa! Hiyaaaaaaa!

Kadayawan Indakers!

We called them Kadayawan Indakers!

Sweet Kadayawan Smile!

Unya Siya Miusbaw!

Enter the Indaker!

Kadayawan! Kadayawan! Hey! Hey! Hey!

SILIP! Pasilip!

Into the Multitude of Hues


Hugpong sa mga Pula ug Dalag!

Sa Akong Mga Ngabil!

Madayaw Kasulaw!

Hala, Mag-Indak Indak Kita!

Ang Babayeng Maninikop

Diwata, Oh Diwata!

Ang Dagway sa Mindanao

Girl Air Bender

Batang Indaker


Kadayawan Chanter!


Ang Kaanyag ug Katahum sa Kadayawan


As a proud Davaoeño and a Mindanaoan, seeing all these made me grateful that I was born and raised in this Island blessed with multi-cultural influences and heritage truly unique and Filipino. 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. Just as we all say, DAVAO: Life is Here!

The Travel Teller with the 2012 Kadayawan Indakers


In a country where fiestas and festivals are celebrated all year round, witnessing an authentic Ethnic Festival is a rare experience. Seeing and experiencing it up close and personal for the very first time totally blew me away. The beat, the costumes, the dances, the rituals – everything becomes more significant. I’m talking about the Kaamulan Festival of the green Province of Bukidnon.

After many years of attempting to come to Bukidnon for this festival, finally, I made it this year.  Thanks to my travel buddy Christopher Diaz and fellow Pinoy travel blogger Bonzenti Panganiban, both from the Province of Bukidnon, for persuading me to witness such a spectacular event. Had I turned down their invitation, I would have missed witnessing Kaamulan Festival for the nth time. I would have missed seeing the only authentic Ethnic Festival in the Philippines.

Kaamulan Festival is a cultural festival that showcases the rich customs and traditions of the 7 ethnic hill tribes of whole Province of Bukidnon. They are the Talaandig, Higaonon, Umayamnon, Manobo, Tiwahanon, Matigsalug, and Bukidnon, the early settlers of the Province. “Kaamulan” is from the Binukid word “amul” which means “to gather” and “Kaamulan” is a gathering for a purpose. Hence, the festival is an annual gathering of the 7 tribes of Bukidnon in celebration of their rich customs and traditions along with local dwellers of Bukidnon.

Held annually in Malaybalay City, the capital town of the province, Kaamulan Festival is considered as one of the biggest annual events in Northern Mindanao. It has drawn tourists all over the island and has slowly captivated the hearts of festival fanatics from different parts of the country. It displays the colorful artistry, innate talents, and diverse culture and heritage in the whole province. It adds more colors to the Province’s verdant hills, cool climate, lush forest, magnificent waterfalls, cold springs and vast lakes.

Kaamulan Festival is celebrated for a month boasting various activities and nightly affairs in the Province’s Capital from February to March. Kaamulan Street Dancing is the highlight of the event. It is the convergence of what the festival really is – an ethnic gathering of the seven Hill Tribes of Bukidnon.

Attending Kaamulan Festival was a new festival experience for me. The Ethnic Street Dancing was superbly unparalleled. Most of the festivals that I have witnessed in other places are those participated mostly by students and community-based groups who were portraying ethnic traditions of one town. Kaamulan Festival on the other hand is different. Based on my firsthand experience, 75% of the participants are real members of the ethnic group of the Province making it the most authentic Ethnic Festival in the Philippines. The main dancers, chanters, drumbeaters, ritual performers – most of them come from the seven hill tribes of Bukidnon. It was an event to behold as elders of each tribe perform rituals and dances truly one of its kinds. Their colorful woven costumes, headdresses, amulets, anklets, earrings and necklaces beautifully depict their rich colorful tradition.

As festival fanatic having witnessed Kaamulan Festival for the first time, I have to agree with the former Tourism Secretary Ace Durano when he said, “Kaamulan Festival is undoubtedly the only authentic ethnic festival in the Philippines”. It actually is – diversely authentic. This gives me a very good reason to travel to Bukidnon every March. After all, it is four hours away from Davao City.

So, if you like to witness an authentic ethnic festival in the country, remember the word KAAMULAN which means a gathering! Let’s gather next year in the very heart of Bukdinon and commune with the 7 Hill Tribes of the Province for another colorful celebration of Kaamulan Festival.


1. Experiencing Bukidnon’s Kaamulan Festival
2. Impasug-ong’s Center for Ecological Development And Recreation
Malaybalay’s Monastery of the Transfiguration
4. Climbing Musuan Volcano


The 7,107 Islands of the Philippines is home to the different colorful festivals and jovial fiestas depicting authentic culture and tradition of each town. Every year, different cities and localities in various provinces in the country showcase different festivities that represent the richness of their artistic, cultural and historical heritage.
My hometown of Cateel in the province of Davao Oriental, home of the proud Mandaya Tribe, was one with the nation in showcasing the rich tradition and vibrant culture of our town on the annual celebration of Kutoo Festival.
Kutoo (pronounced Kutöö) Festival is an annual event celebrated every 29th day of October. It is considered as one of the town’s major events spearheaded by the Local Government Unit of Cateel with the participation of the private sectors, public and private schools of all levels and the entire citizenry of Cateel.
KUTOO FESTIVAL is a festival of prayer and thanksgiving derived from a local term called “Kutoo”. Kutoo is a form of ritual or prayer done during a pre-harvesting process of agricultural crops, particularly palay (rice plants) which is considered the main agriculture produce of Cateel.
In the olden days, Kutoo is said to be typically performed by an old woman by way of harvesting a few stalks of palay while saying a prayer during the ritual. The pre-harvesting process involves showing respect and submission to the gods or anitos, specifically Tagamaling and Dagaw, the stewards of crops. This is intended so that the landowner/farmer will be blessed with a bountiful harvest. In the recent days, Kutoo is still practiced by some farmers but the offerings and prayers for the anitos and gods of the crops are no longer performed.
Kutoo has played an important part to the town’s history for its cultural influence among the natives. Because of its historical value to the entire community, Kutoo is considered as one of the most significant events celebrated every year. This has led the Municipal Government of Cateel to set celebration of Kutoo Festival in time for the annual Foundation Day also known as Araw Ng Cateel observed every 29th day of October.
In line with the festival, various festivities are lined up to showcase the artistic colors, moves and sounds of the Festival. The Street Dancing Competition highlights the event. Participating groups are dressed up wearing Mandaya costumes made of a cloth known as dagmay dancing on the streets to the beat of Mandayan Tribe. The choreographed performances of the street-dancing are patterned after the rituals of Kutoo. Adding to the colors of the festival, agricultural products such as coconut, corn, and other agricultural produce famous in Cateel are used as props.
Being a Cateeleño witnessing our very own Kutoo Festival 2011, it was overwhelming to realize that I can take pride learning the cultural heritage and value of my hometown. I have been born and raised in this coastal town yet there are so many things I still have to learn and know about its history and heritage. Kutoo Festival is an eye opener for me to know that there more to discover and more to be proud of.
Kutoo Festival showcases not only our customary harvest ritual but it displays Cateel’s artistic, cultural and historical heritage. Together with my fellow Cateeleños, I pray that this festival will flourish and this culture will be preserved. For it is a true heritage worthy to be proud of!

This Blogger with his fellow beautiful Cateelenos.

Complimentary Hat Given to Festival Judges Like Yours Truly


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


Despite the heavy rain on evening of August 9, 2011, the opening of the 4th Kadayawan Fiesta at the Apo View Hotel was a huge success. Attended by different people from the media, bloggers, photographers, select VIPs, invited guests and hotel patrons, the Apo View Hotel showcased various spectacular activities that served as a preview to the two-week celebration of Kadayawan Fiesta at the Apo View 2011.
Renowned being the only hotel in Davao with such festive event during Kadayawan Festival, the Apo View Hotel is bringing all the colorful sights and lively sounds of the festival inside the premises of the hotel. Hotel guests staying at the Apo View during the two-week affair need not to go out to feel the vibe and spirit of the festival because everything can be experienced inside the premises of the hotel.
The music and dances of the Kaagan Dance Theatre Collective Inc., a Mindanao finalist to the Pilipinas Got Talent, will showcase the ritual dances of the Davao Tribe – a must-witness performances. They are performing live at main premises of the Apo View Hotel.
Apo View Hotel also invited members of Indigenous Tribe of Mandaya from Davao Oriental to showcase the weaving of the indigenous fabric called “Dagmay”. Some of the awesome Ethnic inspired fashion creations of Ms. Juliet Pamintuan, one of Davao’s Top Designers are on display at the Entree hallway. Adding beauty to the hallway are beautiful masterpieces of Ms. Ann Pamintuan, also renowned Mindanaon artist. Both are members of the Pamintuan family who owned and manage the Apo View Hotel.
Ronald Tamfalan who hails from Kiamba, Sarangani Province is this year’s featured Visual Artist for the Kadayawan Fiesta Art Exhibit at the main lobby of the hotel. Ronald is a proud member of T’boli Tribe and his roots reflects on every pieces of his art works. Oil on Tinalak Fabric has become his signature work of art. It was so impressive that I was convinced to have him paint one for myself.
Another spectacular thing that put the crowd at awe on that evening was an amazing fire dancing gracefully performed by the Apo Duwaling Fire Dancers. They are also set to perform nightly at the Apo View Hotel’s Garden Patio. Another great thing to watch during the two-week affair.
Apo View Hotel also treated their friends in the media at the Entree where Davao’s indigenous cuisine and delicacies are prepared. During the two-week celebration, Entrée and Café Josefina will be serving native cuisines to savor the taste of the Kadayawan gastronomic vibe.
At the main lobby, the fruits of bountiful harvest and flowers in full bloom are beautifully arranged at the Lobby’s Floral Exhibit and Fruit Display. It become a perfect spot for a Kadayawan Fiesta souvenir photo. There are also indigenous products, fresh fruits and delectable delicacies sold at the Sales and Banquet Foyer as part of the Kadayawan Fiesta Bazaar.
These are colors, the spirit and the sounds of the Kadayawan Festival proudly showcased at the Kadayawan Fiesta 2011 at the Apo View. Experience all these from August 8 to 21, 2011 only at the Apo View Hotel.THE APO VIEW HOTEL is the premier hotel in Davao City located at J. Camus Street. For more information, please call (082) 221-6430 to 40.