Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio led the launching of the 2018 Kadayawan Festival at the Marco Polo Hotel on Monday, urging Dabawenyos to join in celebrating unity and for visitors to experience the best of the city.
Mayor Sara said Kadayawan serves as a reminder for Dabawenyos to go back to their roots and history in Davao’s journey, to where it is today as a city founded on virtues of respect, tolerance, acceptance and solidarity.
“Kadayawan is a celebration of everything that madayaw (good) about Davao City – the food, the sights, the people, the history,” she said.
The mayor is also giving the private sector wider latitude in hosting the Kadayawan event this year.
Duterte-Carpio said this will allow better ideas and a more festive and colorful festival that will reach more people locally and internationally.
This year is the 33rd Kadayawan festival promising to be the biggest in terms of events and budget at PHP44 million.
Happening from Aug. 10 to 19, Kadayawan will showcase regular attractions like the street dancing, floral and fruit parade, Hiyas ng Kadayawan and agro-trade fair.
Organizers are also reinventing the Lumad Games, this time visitors can join the games, and the Kadayawan Village. Other highlights are the Drum Beating Contest, Kadayawan Fashion Accessories Design and Competition, Dragonboat Festival, Songwriting, Kadayawan Ball, Kosplay featuring the Philippine Eagle and the Tribal Village Walking Tour.
Gatchi Gatchalian, the Festival Director vowed a bigger festival as there will be more events and attractions.
The opening, Gatchalian said, will be a re-enactment of the convergence of the Lumads at the Magsaysay Park.
The city government is targeting about 200,000 local and foreign visitors to flock to this city for the festival.
Already, Gatchalian said he has already booked 35 visitors from Hong Kong. City Tourism Office Generose Tecson said the target is higher by nine percent from last year’s 185,660. In 2016, the city recorded about 171,851 visitors.
Tecson said Kadayawan this year would attract more visitors given the city’s popularity. And, she said, August is the period when tourist arrivals would pick up. (PNA)