Kadayawan Festival, A Celebration of Diversity

Kadayawan came from the word “madayaw” which means “good, valuable, or beautiful”. Unlike other religious festivals, this one is a celebration of life, a way for the people to give thanks to nature, for the wealth of culture and the bountiful harvest. It usually happens within the third week of August.


Kadayawan Festival highlights the culture and history of the 11 ethnic tribes in Davao. The festival comes in a series of parades, pageants, and parties happening simultaneously in different parts of the city.

Kadayawan Events and Activities

Davao River Festival – introduces the ethnic tribes of Davao. It’s amazing to see the different tribes showcase their skils/ traditional dances. This was the first time I saw some of the tribes that I read in my history books. It’s very different to see them in person.







Hiyas ng Kadayawan – unlike other beauty pageants, this one celebrates the woman who has a good grasp of her own culture and history. The contestants undergo a series of questions and challenges from different judges to check on how well they know their tribe.


Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan – Students from different schools compete via a street dance performance with colorful props and costumes.




Pamulak sa Kadayawan – a parade of fruits and flowers to celebrate the harvest!




And of course, there will always be something to do at night – aside from doing food trips!

There are different pocket events happening around the city like:

  1. EDM Parties and Pub crawls on Friday and Saturday
  2. or if you’re more into bands and food fairs, you can also attend outdoor concerts like this one.


Other notes:

  1. Davao is a non-smoking city. There are designated areas where you can smoke.
  2. Liquor Ban is at 1am (i think). Last order is usually at 12mn so yes, everyone starts drinking early.
  3. There are a lot of police/army, especially in the big events. It’s normal. That’s just how secure and safe they want the area to be.
  4. If you think this place is unsafe, they have CCTV cameras all over the city and a 911 emergency rescue team who will respond to you in less than 30 minutes (or else they will let you know if they can’t make it on time).

Kadayawan Festival definitely has its own charm. See for yourself!

P.S my excuse? It’s my work. AirAsia flies from Manila to Davao 🙂 haha!

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