In line with the celebration of the 31st Kadayawan Festival, the Department of Tourism (DOT) Region XI and the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) hosted a forum entitled “Kadayawan: Kasaysayan, Kinaadman, Padulngan (Understanding the Roots of the Kadayawan Festival)” held at the Finster Auditorium, last Aug. 16.
Co-chairman of the 31st Kadayawan sa Dabaw Arturo Boncato Jr. said the purpose of the forum is to shed light on why the Kadayawan Festival is celebrated in Davao.
“[We’re here] to provide a forum where we can explain to many about the roots of the kadayawan Festival. This is just one forum where we can talk about the history of the Kadayawan Festival,” he said.
Three discussants tackled three aspects of the Kadayawan Festival: its history, importance and its purpose.
Macario Tiu, Director of the AdDU Publication Office, talked about Davao’s history in a session entitled “Davao: Garden of the Gods.”
Tiu emphasized the how rich the land of Davao is and how it is crucial in shaping the rationale of the Kadayawan.
“Diba sabi nung Amerikano, ‘you throw anything, they will grow.’ Everything grows in Davao,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a session entitled “Importance of Understanding Indigenous Cultures and Implications for Davao’s Cultural Resurgence”, St. Alphonsus Theological and Mission Institute (SATMI) Dean of Academic Studies Bro. Karl Gaspar, CSsR discussed the importance of the tribes and culture of Davao.
“It is so important to preserve languages. If you are born to a mother tongue, you should do everything you can to continue speaking that mother tongue and to pass it on to your children, who will then pass it on to your grandchildren.
“Anugon kaayo kung mawala ang mga linggwahe na mao’y naglangkub sa katahum sa atong mga kultura sa Pilipinas,” he said.
Finally, Richard Belar, KALIWAT Artistic Director and Museo Dabawenyo cting Curator/Head of Cultural Promotions and External Relations, headed a session entitled “Kadayawan: Kaniadto, Karon ug sa Umaabot.”
Stakeholders, students from different universities, and members of the academe participated in the said event.
“I learned a lot about Davao’s history. Even though dili ko taga-Davao, na-enlighten jud ko kung ngano gina-selebrar ang Kadayawan,” Chemical Engineering student John William Abogado said.
In the end of the program, the KALIWAT Performing Artists Collective headed a community dancing and a cultural performance about Lumads.