Moro and Lumad youth relive indigenous games in Dula Kadayawan

Aug. 18, 2023
Photo by Ervince Apatan/

By Ervince Apatan

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Today’s young generation may be engrossed with mobile and video games, but in this year’s Dula Kadayawan (Kadayawan Games), part of Davao City’s Kadayawan festivity, young indigenous and Moro people got to participate and showcase their traditional games to the public, untouched by modernization.

Dula Kadayawan was one of the highlights of the festival, held last August 17 at People’s Park, with the eleven Moro and Lumad tribes representing the city’s original settlers fielding more than 500 delegates.

Amidst the lively cheers from the crowd, the participants took part in the various tribal games, hoping to win one for their tribe.

Mao ni ang usa ka panahon nga makadula ang mga IP sa Dabaw (This is an occasion for the indigenous youth in Dava to showcase their games),” says one Matigsalug female delegate.

Photo by Ervince Apatan/

The Moro games are variations of traditional games, such as sipa sa lama and sipa sa manggis (ball and box kicking), kambaebae is a traditional “Maria went to town” game, kanggarotaya (tug of war), kagkingking is a one-legged relay race and kakorkora is race involving extraction of coconut juice.

The Lumad games showcase traditional weapons and farming such as the pana (archery), siklot (tossing and catching cassava stalks), bininayo (rice pounding to separate the hull), karang (a race on wooden stilts), sisibow (a game of hitting targets from a distance), solopot (blowgun), kakasing (spinning tops), usuroy (tug of war), bubuntug (spear throwing), sosakoro (watcher fecthing through bamboo) and totaringki (fire making using wood and natural materials).

Dula Kadayawan is an event that shows the importance of preserving traditional cultures amidst the modernization of the city. One of the participants, Jonathan from the Obo Manobo tribe, says their tribal elders pass their knowledge of these games to their generations to teach them their traditions.

In a world where entertainment and sports have evolved in many forms, celebrating this occasion every year is a reminder to every Davaoeños of their rich cultural heritage that must be protected at any cost. (

Ervince Apatan is a contributor of Davao Today, currently studying BS Anthropology at the University of the Philippines Mindanao.

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