Davao is beautifully mixed with tribes from all over the archipelago. Its people can converse and understand English and it most likely fluent in Tagalog and Bisaya or Cebuano. With the mix of different tribes in the region, solemn rituals along with their rhythmic dance steps and chanting music have interwoven to the rich customs and traditions of the city. Religion plays a big part in the local culture and festivals in Davao as the largest celebrations revolve around Roman Catholicism. The city celebrates each festival to highlight the unique cultural identify and history of the city. Here are some of the most celebrated festivals and key events in Davao City throughout the year:
- Kadayawan sa Dabaw – Celebrated during the second week of August, this festival is enjoyed most by locals with a variety of events such as pageant shows, ethnic performances, and a flower and fruit showcase. The Kadayawan Festival is a weeklong celebration and thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest given by nature every year.
- Tabanogan Festival – This festival is regarded as the Feast of St. Peter which is only celebrated in Davao. The most notable activity is the kite flying competition that showcases their talents in this age-old activity of the city.
- Santacruzan – Donning brightly colored outfits to reenact St. Helen’s discovery of the cross of Christ, the Santacruzan takes place in the residential areas of Lanang and Belisario heights which is a located at the northern part of Davao City. Almost every baranggay and locality celebrates this festivity as beautiful women and handsome men of the locality are searched out. These royalties join in and parade on the streets at night wear they don native Filipino clothes such as the barong Tagalog for males and the sayas for the females. They then walk under arched canopies made up of light bamboos.
- Araw ng Dabaw – The city celebrates this historical event when it received an official charter. For a whole week, the locals enjoy varieties of activities such as ethnic rituals, horse fighting, a beauty contest and a grand parade.
- Summer Island Festival – This popular event is based on the Samal Island of Davao that features colorful banca races and water sports competitions. Visitors will also enjoy an assemble of cultural performances on the island.
- Kabasan Festival – The Kabasan Festival has evolved into one of the Samal Island’s biggest festivals that celebrate the spectacles and splendors of the island city. This six-day long celebration is packed with activities that make the celebration festive and wonderfully colorful.
- Araw ng Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte and Davao Oriental – Davao’s annual celebration of its three independent provinces enjoys horse fighting displays, tribal dance performances and lots of beauty pageants.
- Caracoles Festival – The Caracoles de Samal celebrates the bounties of the sea and the richness of the cultural and social heritage of the island of Samal. It is celebrated on the 18th and 29th of April.
When it comes to alluring festivities in the country, the culture and festivals in Davao are not far behind. Schedule your vacations to Davao during these times and get to experience the wonderful festivities of the region.