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


  1. hi olan, you have a very nice blog site…very very informative. those who wished to travel better visit this site…keep it up Olan and congratulations!

  2. Wow! Wonderful! Maganahay gayud Olan! Yangindog yang balahibo ko ha ha ha! Hala sige mang Kutoo da isab kita next year…tapos byahe da isab, mag-iban iban sa ako kanmo, ha ha ha!!! I salute you Olan! Congrats!!! Keep it up…

    1. Hello Ate Tess, you’re very much welcome. 🙂 I AM HAPPY THAT SOMEHOW I AM HELPING CATEEL in my own humble ways. 🙂 But i pray, this does not end thru my writings. I want to see it coming and fruitfully sustaining. 🙂 THANK YOU ALWAYS FOR BEING MY CONSTANT FRIEND, SISTER AND INSPIRATION. 🙂 you will always be my Ate. 🙂

  3. Congrats Lan and thanks a lot for featuring Kutoo festival in your blog site.
    Wish ko lang sana tanan batan-on na Cateelanon like you “proud na proud” and do something in their own little ways para ng “madayaw na kaugmadan” ng Cateel…… KUDOS!

    1. Ate Lulu, it has been my dream to hear and see that name of CATEEL in the world map of TOURISM… and this is my own little way of promoting our very own home. And i hope our fellow Cateelenos will help us in preserving and conserving the natural beauties and wonders of hometown so that we can be able to showcase its beauty and splendor in the many years to come. 🙂

  4. hai sir! i really want to contribute in your blog, the travel teller. because i want top showcase cateel’s beauty by means of creative writing… i really wish i can contribute an article in this site…

    1. Hi Marky,

      I find your suggestion very exciting. I welcome that idea. okay. Here’s the deal, think of a place/destination in our hometown Cateel you think worthy to be featured. Make an article about it. Email it to me for editing and will let you know. Will be very glad if you have photos. 🙂 Here’s my email address: [email protected]


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