I am back with my #letsgoto series, where I feature places that will make you want to drop everything and book a ticket right away. Or at least add a new place to your bucket list destinations!
This post will also serve as my first attempt to enter @portraitcontest's weekly portrait photography contest. The theme this week is "Vibrant Colors" and will be judged by @davekavanagh. I think there will be no problem finding colorful portraits on this post :)
I had been thinking a lot about the place I wanted to make my next post about when it hit me that this series can not only be about a place but also about an event. I'm making the rules up as I go along, so bear with me on this and I promise to still make it interesting.
This time of year back home in the Philippines is very festive, especially in Davao City. Davao is a city in the southern part of the country, on the biggest island of the Philippines - Mindanao. My hometown is in South Cotabato but after I left for college, I lived in Davao City for 15 years. Every 3rd week of August, Davao holds a big celebration called the Kadayawan Festival - and it has gotten better and better over the years.
The Kadayawan Festival is held annually in Davao City. The word Kadayawan is derived from the Davaoeno greeting "madayaw" which contains the root word "dayaw" meaning "good." It is a celebration of having a beautiful life and a bountiful harvest.
Today, Davao City celebrates not only its bountiful harvest but also its cultural heritage personified by its ancestral Lumad tribes. Davaoenos celebrate Kadayawan by having a lot of interesting activities and events throughout the city.
The most anticipated highlight of the week is the Floral Parade which showcases the beautiful flowers of Davao and the street dancing parade known as the "Indak Indak sa Kadalanan." "Indak" means "to dance" and "kadalanan" means "road."
This is definitely a must see event. During the street parade, all major city roads are blocked. The colorful parade is full of kids and adults dressed in tribal costumes dancing to the beat of ethnic music. If you are a bystander the music will make your hips sway and you'll want to join the dancers on the street!
I remembered how early I'd go to the streets just to secure a nice spot to photograph the street dancers. As a photographer or even an aspiring one, these events will provide you with a lot of opportunity to take great photos. Ever since I started my love affair with photography, this has been one of the most awaited times of the year. I love taking photos and dancing to the beat with the crowd at the same time. I invite you to join the celebration through the photos below!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed sharing it. The Philippines has a lot of festivals all year round, but if you are planning to visit Davao City, a great time to go is in August during Kadayawan Festival. I guarantee you that you will not only enjoy the festival but also end up eating a lot of great food! Especially fruit because they are all so cheap at this time of the year, especially if you have developed a love for durian (@eoj still isn't there yet, but I'm working on him!). Despite Mindanao's reputation, Davao is one of the safest cities in the world and the people are warm and welcoming, like the girl in the photo below.
Please feel free to check out my other recent posts:
- #letsgoto: Lombok, Indonesia
- How I Saw America (Part 2)
- #letsgoto: Jaipur, India
- #letsgoto: CORON, Philippines
- My Favorite Cooking Class in Bangkok
- A Two Week Adventure Camping in Western Australia with a Toddler