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Kadayawan Festival

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History & Cultural Relevance

Every third week of August, when festivals are almost off-peak all around the Philippines, Davao City flaunts its vibrant colors in numerous street festive activities.

Kadayawan Festival or Kadayawan sa Dabaw is originally known as the “Apo Duwaling” Festival which signifies three of Davao’s symbols; the bold Mt. Apo, the exquisite Durian, and the delicate Waling-waling. Kadayawan came from the Dabawenyo word madayaw which is an expression of “joviality.”

More than just the sheer celebration of bountiful harvest for the year, the festival signifies the convergence of Mindanao’s inhabitants: the Christians, Muslims, and Lumads.

Kadayawan is a celebration of unity among Filipino people, in culture, religion, and heritage.


The weeklong celebration partakers are not merely Davao’s locals, but are also from neighboring towns in Mindanao, and some are from Luzon and Visayas.

Main festival activities include: Indak Indak sa Kadalanan, a street dance performance to the beat of the drums and pounding of feet by various tribes from all over Mindanao; Sayaw Mindanao, a theatrical dance performance that represent different Mindanaoan culture; Hiyas Kadayawan, a showcase of tribal beauties from communities of Davao; and Pamulak Kadayawan, the grand floral parade.

Roxas Avenue and other streets will be offering affordable barbecue and other street food. Restaurants and other food establishments will also have special Kadayawan menu and discounts.

Photo by Ida Damo


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