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Kadayawan Festival: Guide to Davao’s Thanksgiving Feast

Davao City’s Kadayawan Festival, held every third week of August, is a thanksgiving celebration for a bountiful harvest. Its name is derived from the word “madayaw” which translates to treasured or valuable. The city has been observing this festival since 1988.

Discover what’s waiting for you in this festivity. Check out this quick guide to the Kadayawan Festival:

How to Go to Kadayawan Festival

The fastest and most convenient way to attend the Kadayawan Festival is by air travel. Book a direct flight to Davao with airlines such as AirAsia, Philippine Airlines, and more. You will arrive at Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao International Airport).

Meanwhile, you also have an option to do land travel from Manila to Davao City, passing through the Bicol region in Southern Luzon and Samar and Leyte in the Visayas. However, this will take around 30 hours or more.

What to Expect

Kadayawan Fluvial parade
Instagram photo @davaotoday

Kadayawan Festivities
Editorial credit: RaksyBH / and Ulysses Nemeno /

Davaoeños are mighty proud of their heritage, and the week-long Kadayawan Festival is a testament to this. Here are some activities to look forward to:

  • Subang Sinugdanan ug Panagtagbo (Fluvial Parade). A restaging of the city’s first settlement along Davao River. Colorful floats highlight local produce, arts, and culture.
  • Kadayawan Village and Bantawan Cultural Show. A series of performances showcase the rituals, costumes, and way of life of Davao’s 11 tribes.
  • Dula Kadayawan. Watch participants compete in tribal games such as bubuntog (spear throwing), sosakoro (water fetching), totaringki (fire making), solokot (target shooting), and karang (bamboo stilts race), among others.
  • Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan. A street dancing competition made even more exciting by the colorful, intricately designed costumes.
  • Pamulak sa Kadayawan. Gorgeous floral floats take the center stage in this majestic parade.
  • Pitik Kadayawan. A drum beating competition featuring indigenous beats.

Tips While Attending Kadayawan Festival

  • Major roads are closed to give way to performances and parades; be prepared to travel on foot.
  • Dress comfortably.
  • Go on a food trip. Davao’s restaurants have special offers during Kadayawan season, so don’t miss out on the city’s mouthwatering specialties.
  • This is the time when Davao’s iconic fruits – durian, mangosteen, rambutan, and lanzones – are in season. Take advantage of the low prices.
  • Davao has a city-wide curfew, an anti-smoking law, and a liquor ban after 12 midnight. Know local rules and be a law-abiding guest.

Nearby Points of Interest

Davao Attractions

You’ll never run out of things to do when in Davao. Make sure to try these activities or include these Davao attractions in your itinerary.

1. People’s Park. The 4 hectare park has a visitor’s center inspired by the durian, landscaped gardens, sculptures by artist Kublai Millan, a dancing fountain, and a promenade.
2. D’Bone Collector Museum. The museum has over 700 bone specimens from both land-dwelling and aquatic animals.
3. The Peak. Located at the topmost level of Gaisano Mall, guests can enjoy breathtaking views of the city.
4. Davao Crocodile Park. Adventurous foodies can sample crocodile dishes.
5. Philippine Eagle Center. A conservation and breeding facility for the critically endangered Philippine Eagle.
6. Mount Apo. If you have a few days to spare, plan a side trip to the breathtaking Mount Apo.
7. Roxas Avenue Night Market.Mingle with the locals at the Roxas Avenue Night Market.

And lastly, go beyond Davao’s city limits. There are any sites you can explore that will make your vacation worthwhile.

  • Samal Island. Stop by the Giant Clam Sanctuary, Vanishing Island, and Hagimit Falls.
  • Tagum. The city’s attractions include the largest rosary in the world.
  • Mati. Dahican Beach is a turtle sanctuary and a surfing hotspot.

Plan your trip to the Kadayawan festival. Make sure to book your flights and hotels with Traveloka to get the best rates!

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