By MARILOU AGUIRRE-TUBURAN
Davao City — “Bililhon sa amoa ang Kadayawan kay nagpakita kini sa among kultura (Kadayawan is important to us because it showcases our rich culture),” said Datu Roel Arthur Ali, Deputy Mayor of the Ata tribe during Thursday’s I-Speak in City Hall.
Ali’s Ata tribe is one of the ten tribes in Davao — the K’lata, Ata, Maranao, Tagbawa, Sama, Obo Manuvu, Maguindanao, Kagan, Tausug and Matigsalog tribes — which participates annually in the city’s Kadayawan Festival.
But with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s plan of calling off the festival due to security threats, the deputy mayors would have to make do with less festivities this year.
“Masubo gyud mi kung i-cancel ang Kadayawan tungod aning mga hulga. Apan, kung unsa ang mando sa Mayor, respetohon namo (We will be sad if Kadayawan would be cancelled because of the threats. But whatever the mayor’s decision is, we have to respect it),” said Carlito Guinto of the Matigsalog tribe.
Randy Usman of the Maranao tribe said his group had spent long hours of practice and even going home at dawn for the festival’s main event.
“As the father of the city, his decision would only be to protect us, the people of Davao,” Usman said.
Ismael Nakan of the Maguindanao tribe agreed with him. “Dahil sa pagmamahal ng ating mayor sa katawhan, na walang masaktan,
magpasalamat tayo (Because of our mayor’s concern for the people that no one will get hurt, we should be grateful),” he said.
“We just pray that no deadly attacks will happen in Davao and against our people,” Ali said.
Duterte said he will announce on August 13 his decision on the fate of the Festival.
Bert Barriga, executive vice-president for the Information and Communications Technology-Davao, remained hopeful that the Kadayawan festival would push through.
“With the rate things are going, everything seems to be full blast, normal. I think there’s no need to cancel the celebration,” he said.
The opening of the Kadayawan festival is set this Friday at the city’s People’s Park in Palma Gil-Legaspi streets. Candidates of the Hiyas
ng Kadayawan will perform their cultural dances in Abreeza Mall on Saturday.
Duterte raised security concern following three bomb attacks in Mindanao cities the past two weeks.
Davao City experienced two bomb attacks in 2003; including the old Davao International Airport bombing on March 4 that killed 20 and injured 146 others and the Sasa Wharf bomb attack on April 2 that claimed ten lives including children and wounded 56 others. Mosques were also bombed after the airport bombings.(Marilou Aguirre-Tuburan/davaotoday.com