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Travel Guide to Davao's Kadayawan Festival 2017

kadayawan festival

From joining Paoay's Guling Guling Festival to Kalibo's Ati atihan Festival, it seems that the universe is making me attract the Philippines' best local festivals! AirAsia Ph, an airlines that I truly use for booking the most affordable flights in my whole life flew me to experience the colorful Kadayawan Festival in Davao. I was way over the moon when I got that last minute chance because this also means ticking off another province in my bucketlist!

Held every third week of August, Kadayawan Festival is a grand celebration of thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, the wealth of culture and the bounties of harvest in Davao. In my very own eyes, it was the appreciation of the different indigenous communities or local tribes that is part of the province of Davao. Catholics, Muslims and those who belive in other gods i.e. nature call Davao home. I am not religious but I was so touched in one of the opening ceremony where there are 3 kinds of people who offered a prayer: a Muslim, a Catholic priest and one representing a tribe. 

airasia ph kadayawan festival
AirAsia Ph in Kadayawan Festival 

Kadayawan Festival also showed me what are the real Lumads. I only hear this term on TV with a negative connotation of violence but in Davao,  they are one of the nicest persons I have ever chat with. And mind you, I soooo envy their local tribe dresses especially the ones they wore on their heads.

Below is the official itinerary of the Kadayawan sa Dabaw Tour 2017:

Hiyas sa Kadayawan Contest

It's my first time to watch a beauty and talent contest that celebrates being a young girl belonging to a local tribe. What sets this apart from other beauty contests is that there's no swimwear, sports or long gown competition. These young ladies show off their best looking costumes that represent their tribe. Talent, wit and character are the ways to get crowned.

hiyas sa kadayawan contest 2017

Kadayawan Tribal Village
Every Kadayawan Festival, the Magsaysay Park becomes a temporary shelter for the eleven ethnolinguistic groups in Davao: Ata, Iranun, Kagan, Klata-Guiangan, Maguindanaon, Maranao, Matigsalug, Ovu Manuvu, Sama , Tagbawa and Tausug. Here you can get inside these native houses and learn about their day-to-day activities. You can also borrow their costumes for photo - ops. 

Kadayawan Tribal Village davao

Tunog Kadayawan Singing and Song Writing Competition
Top price is Php 100, 000 to be given to the top winner. All song entries must be originally written. From costume to the tune of the music, song should promote the local way of life in Davao. It should  be written in the dialect that people of Davao use.

dula sa kadayawan davao

Dula sa Kadayawan
Showcasing the talents of the indigenous communities and Muslims through games. We had a great time knowing how simple the lives of these tribal communities. We super love how these men were able to race using a pair of kadang - kadang, a tall bamboo stick they use to walk. It's an incredible way of testing once's balance! The lovely women and young girls also had a competition by gathering water from the nearest well by using a huge, tall bamboo tree. It is not easy to run back and forth carrying a bamboo tree with water in it!

panagtagbo kadayawan davao

We only arrived from after lunch of August 18th so we missed some. Here they are:

 Panagtagbo & Subang Sinugdanan River Float Parade
A reenactment of the first ever Davao settlement along Davao river participated by t he 11 tribes. They will traverse and parade in river floats showcasing the bounty of blessings in harvest, arts and culture.

Subang Sinugdanan davao

The most awaited part, Pamulak sa Kadayawan
Street dancing and float parade. This is also a competition so prepare your eyes for a feast of anything about flowers and creativity. It's a long, long line in the streets where the Davaoeno's don't mind the scorching heat of the sun. I took hundreds of photos of Kadayawan Festival in Davao, how I wish I can post these all here! Below is a few of my favorites:
kadayawan festival 2017 schedule davao

kadayawan festival costume davao

We were so privileged to see some of Davao's tourist destinations. I will be doing a separate blog post for that. To view the Kadayawan Festival 2017 list of winners please see below:


The city of Davao is one of the most organized, peaceful and cleanest provinces I have seen in the Philippines. Though it is currently under Martial Law, I felt secured all throughout my stay in Davao. Again, please keep on checking for my Travel Guide to Davao, Where to Eat in Davao and Where to Stay in Davao soon.

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