More cops than watchers at the start of the parade along San Pedro Street ( photo by Jandy Lizondra)

More cops than watchers at the start of the parade along San Pedro Street ( photo by Jandy Ken C. Lizondra)

DAVAO CITY – The city celebrated Kadayawan’s major parade, the Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan, with tight security and a noticeably thin crowd.

Sta. Ana Police Senior Supt. Caezar Cabuhat estimated the crowd was 33% less than last year’s attendance and attributed the dip to security concerns.

Despite this, revelry was still up in the air. Onlookers posed with street dance performers. “For our Facebook,” said Bernadette Sousa, who actually brought her four kids all the way from Zamboanga City to witness this year’s Kadayawan.

“Nanawag gani akong mama nga dili lang lagi daw mi manuroy. Pati akong bana, pero giingnan nako sa kilid-kilid lang gud mi (My mom called that I shouldn’t go out. My husband told me that too, but I said I would just stay at the sidelines),” Sousa said.

She added, “Wala man guy ingon-ani sa Zamboanga. Naa ray mga street dance during Araw celebrations, pero dili gyud ingon ani ka nindot (There’s nothing like this in Zamboanga. We only had street dance in our founding day celebration, but not as colorful as this).

Another visitor, Marvin from Pampanga, experienced his first Kadayawan today. “Ok lang naman kasi makikita ko naman na medyo dinagdagan naman nila ang security. Palagay ko dito sa Davao, given na si Mayor Duterte, strict way, palagay ko safe dito. (It looks okay since I can see additional security forces were added. I guess here in Davao, with Mayor Duterte’s strict way, we are safe).”

There were 23 contingents from the city and from neighboring provinces that took part in the competition for the Davao City and Open categories.

Participants were already in formation as early as 5 am, occupying the streets in CM Recto, Roxas Boulevard, Bangoy (Ponciano) and San Pedro. The parade started thirty minutes late from its appointed schedule of 8:30.

Most contingents came in bright colorful garbs and used props symbolizing Mindanao’s bounty such as bananas, durians, and coconuts and indigenous designs. They also mounted huge backrdops. Some though had to make do with small props due to limited budget.

Davao Category champion Holy Cross of Calinan College ( photo by Ace R. Morandante)

Davao Category champion Holy Cross of Calinan College ( photo by Ace R. Morandante)

The open category champion was Panay National High School from Sto. Niño, South Cotabato, followed by Tribo Sulalan from Polomolok, South Cotabato for first runner-up and Tribo Talaingod, Davao del Norte came in second runner-up.

Winning the Davao category was Holy Cross College of Calinan, 1st runner-up was Magallanes Elementary School, 2nd runner-up was Sta. Ana National High School.

Security was tight as police, soldiers and intelligence were already patrolling all over the city since 12:00 midnight. Cars were blocked from entering the parade routes. Barangay tanods in uniforms were spread out along with police and soldiers.

Police enforced the no-backpack and no-camera bag rules. Few people carried the usually ubiquitous backpacks.

But one photographer, Jonathan Reyes from Pangasinan, complained that the police was not consistent in enforcing the rule.

Sinita kami dahil may mga dala kaming (camera bag) pero pagdating dito, may nakalusot, inconsistent. (We were frisked because we carried (camera bag), but when I got here some still carried bags. They were inconsistent),” he told Davao Today.

Even vendors such as Jordan, a buko juice vendor, were frisked for items that they used for their business.

Layo ra kaayo karon. Kay pati amo tinda check-upon, di makasulod kung di ma chek-up. Sa seguridad, higpit, lisod pud ug dili higpitan kay simba ko ba og naay kanang bomba. Maayo nang gibuhat karon kumpara sa una. (It was different now because even our items were all checked. We can’t go in the streets without going through a check-up. Security was strict, but it would be difficult if the authorities were not strict; God forbid a bomb might go off. So what they’re doing now was better than last year),” Jordan said.

But the sparse crowd affected sales of vendors. Jay Neil Olanolan, who sells bottled water by the road, observes the goods in his ice box were hardly sold at around ten am. “Sa una, ingon arong orasa, hurot-hurot na, (Last time, my items are sold around this time),” Jay Neil said. One ice box contains about 70 bottles of mineral water.

Dili gyud pareha ka daghan sa una, kay gani, mapansin nimo sa una, nagbutang pa man gani to og cordon para dili molapas ang mga tawo, pero karun luag gyud ang sidewalk (It’s not like before where the police would place a cordon so that people can’t cross the streets. But now the sidewalks are bare),” Jay Neil shared.

Around five Boy Scouts from Davao Christian High School were seen distributing free ice water to participants along CM Recto. Scout head Joel Lamatan observed that only few parents allowed their children to join given the security concerns.

The parade lasted until 3 pm. Present at the VIP near the showdown area in San Pedro were city councilors Al Ryan Alejandre, Tomas Monteverde IV, Danilo Dayanghirang, Joanne Bonguyan, Melchor Quitain, Small Abella and Indigenous Peoples representative Berino Mamboo.

Also present were deputy mayors representing the city’s ten tribes, Davao historian Macario Tiu and Hiyas ng Kadayawan 2013 winner Noemi Mongcal Abregana of the Matigsalog Tribe joined by her entourage.

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte took a helicopter to view the parade from the sky. Later he appeared at the Roxas Boulevard area and said he was thankful the parade went along peacefully.

The Kadayawan festivity was initiated in 1970 by the late Mayor Elias B. Lopez, a Bagobo leader, to demonstrate the thanksgiving and rituals of indigenous peoples and Moro tribes in Mindanao. It later evolved in 1986 to “Apo Duwaling” to signify the Davawenyos’ unity after Martial Law.

The festivity changed its name back to Kadayawan in 1988 by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and has evolved into a festival of parades, exhibits and competition showcasing indigenous peoples and Moro tribes’ culture boosting local trade and tourism.   (Earl O. Condeza, Cheryll D. Fiel, John Rizle L. Saligumba And Tyrone A. Velez/

, , , , , ,
comments powered by Disqus