The best Kadayawan Festival ever was the one that just happened last week, August 17-23.
This was the assessment volunteered by people from all walks of life – taxi drivers, photo journalists, reporters and ordinary citizens, who were obviously impressed by the teeming humanity who patronized the seemingly endless ubiquitous activities.
But the impression is not unanimous, as other Dabawenyos who were polled by Edge Davao for their views, had different opinions.
We asked media persons and some of the organizers themselves who were right in the vortex of the festivities and, therefore, in a position to make comparisons.
Here are the messages of those pooled on which they thought was the best Kadayawan, and why:
“This year’s!!! North or south of Davao, may activity talaga. Really worth calling it Kadayawan, the festival of festivals.!
–Janice Langcamon, support staff of Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.
“Last year mas lingaw sir, kay holiday man sa Monday after Kadayawan.”
–Rudolph Alama, public information writer and entertainment columnist.
“Kung kasayahan it’s getting better every year. All ages and all walks of life are already expecting Kadayawan as a fun and bonding moment, not just for the family, but also for friends, relatives and all sectors of society.”
–Ms Evelyn G. Lavina, landscape designer and DCCCI trustee
“Each Kadayawan has its stamp of fun. This year’s was one because while events were on, we had a safe and secure celebration. Thanks to our brave men and women in uniform.”
–Aileen Gajo, public relations administrator, NCCC Group of Companies
“I liked it this year, because we could feel the atmosphere of being Dabawenyos and the ambiance of the celebration really gave more enthusiasm to the people of Davao, especially the lumad.”
–Rudy Uy, businessman
“Mas masaya and bongacious this year. Mas madami events that were happening all over the city everyday for one whole week. Truly, Kadayawan is the festival of all festivals.”
–Oca Casaysay, one of the organizers.
“This year was better than last year because the prizes for the different categories in the float and other competitions were much bigger. The number of activities all happening at the same time, in the various malls, and every conceivable space in the city proper, seemed endless. Performances of different artists, local and from Manila, our entertainment capital, came to the city to wow the Kadayawan revelers.”
–businessman Felipe Q. Tan
“Ang Kadayawan ngayon. Wider participation. Bigger prizes.”
–Naty Amorillo, information officer, Philippine Ports Authority
“Mas masaya ang Kadayawan this year. Reasons: dahil ang celebration was everywhere. Lahat involved. Walang gulo sa medya.”
–Flor Colina, Kadayawan media coordinator.
“This year’s. More activities. New faces. Mas pinaganda at pinasaya ng iba’t ibang concerts, kaya mas maraming artista. Pinakamarami ding politiko na nakisawsaw. Kaya enjoy!”
–Junnex Chua, Edge Davao photographer.
“I believe that the success of Kadayawan this year and last year was partly because of the ideas of Id Acaylar (one of the foremost architects of the festival). We are now reaping the fruits of his labor.”
–Councilor Susabel Reta, chairman of the City Council Tourism Committee.
“Di ko pa masabi ngayon because we still don’t have the figures and all the assessment report. Still my personal benchmark would be the 2005 Kadayawan when Id Acaylar was still the city tourism officer.”
–a ranking official of the Kadawayan executive committee who requested anonymity in the meantime.
“My best bet is still the Kadayawan last year. I miss the tribal village beside the City Council building.’
–Bing Gonzales, chief photographer of the Mindanao Daily Mirror
“I think this year’s was more festive because the city had more Kadayawan-related activities. I noticed, too, that there were more tourists. Most of all, I love the indak-indak competition which was really beautiful to watch.”
–Cheree “Boogs” Pajarillaga, Edge Davao circulation manager.
City Tourism Officer Bong Aportadera said all the city’s big and small hotels were fully booked during the days prior, during and immediately after the festival.
During the Kadayawan Day itself, the Davao International Airport ran out of taxi units to take the passengers to the downtown area.
There was also a need to provide the thousands of spectators some portable bleachers where they could position themselves to have a better view of the indak-indak participants and the float parade the following day.
At the City Council last Tuesday, Councilor Edgar Ibuyan delivered a privilege speech thanking everyone who participated in the spectacular festivities. This was followed by Majority Leader Danny Dayanghirang with a resolution of thanks to the Kadawayan executive committee headed by Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, as chair of the government sector, and engineer Lorenzo A. Te Jr., co-chair for the private sector. AMA