Text by Trisha Mae B. Lopina
Photos by Xyra Mae E. Melendres
This year’s Parada Dabawenyo which began its route at Roxas Avenue, highlighted the different colors and faces of Davaoeños as the city of Davao celebrates its 81st birthday. With 325 contingents, the five-hour parade was well received by locals and foreigners alike.
At 6 o’clock in the morning, the march to Rizal Park, San Pedro Street began with the Armed Forces and Police groups of Davao City. Despite its early start, many, including tourists and visitors, came out onto the streets to witness one of the highlights of the yearly Araw ng Dabaw festivities.
One of these spectators is 61-year old Jocelyn who has been an audience of the parade since her early twenties. According to her, she prefers to watch the spectacle in person rather than on TV, because the enjoyment she feels is much more gratifying. Like her, many Davaoeños have made a tradition of witnessing the Parada every year, with their families and friends.
Representing the diverse culture of Mindanao and specifically, the city, the 11 tribes of Davao were among the attendees of the parade.
“This year’s Araw ng Dabaw is well celebrated by different sectors including the IPs, PWDs, the LGBT and even some representatives of the MNLF. Maganda itong simbolo ng pagkakaisa ng mga Dabawenyo, “ City Tourism officer William Banzali exclaimed as he rode along one of the 11 tribes of Davao in the parade.
Amidst the staple sights such as the lineup of various district representatives and Davao sponsors, interesting participants were also present in the event. This includes three-year-old Marcus Milan who rode his bike along Claveria Street accompanied by his father to join the Parada.
Along with the personal appearance of Consul General Berlian Napitupulu, Indonesia graced the street parade enticing the people with some of their traditional dances. Their colorful costumes brightened up the atmosphere as representatives danced along with the beat of their drums.
Various exhibitions entertained not only the adults but also the children who were especially fond on the performances of different school bands as well as intermissions by the Davao Chinatown Development Council, Jollibee Foods Corporation, Davao Horse Club, and other organizations.
With the amount of people in the area, the Davao Task Force mobilized all its officers to ensure the people’s safety and security.
In her speech during the parade’s program at Rizal Park, san Pedro Street, Mayor “Inday” Sara Duterte – Carpio encouraged the people of Davao to remain strong despite adversities saying that Davao’s resiliency is its contribution to our nation’s progress.
“Ang atuang kusog dinhi sasyudad sa Davao, dili ang atong yuta, dili ang atoang mga dalan, mga building kung ‘di ang kusog sa Davao, mao ang mga Dabawenyo, “ she added.
At around 9 o’clock, people were showered with an aerial confetti consisting of flower petals executed by the airforce.
The parade concluded at around 11:30 with the commencement of the much-anticipated feast at Claveria street which featured fifty ‘letchong baka’s sponsored by the Mayor’s office and the Pilipino May Puso Foundation of Marinduque City. (davaotoday.com)
About the contributors: Trisha Mae B. Lopina and Xyra Mae E. Melendres are both editors of Tulay, the official Filipino student publication of the Ateneo de Davao University Senior High School Department.