Kadayawan will feature abundance amidst high prices of rice

Jul. 22, 2008

DAVAO CITY– This year’s harvest festival of Kadayawan will project the city’s abundance amidst the soaring prices of rice in Mindanao and the long lines of people buying the cheaper government-subsidized rice.

Rizal Giovanni “Bong” Aportadera, the acting city tourism chief, said that the Kadayawan committee is coming up with a 30-second commercial that projects Davao as the home of indigenous peoples, where harvests–like rice–are always plenty.

The Kadayawan commercial will be distributed to major domestic and international airlines in the country and in Filipino-owned travel agencies in Europe, Aportadera said.

Among other tribes, it features Haji Massil, the deputy mayor for the Tausug tribe in Davao, saying in Tausug that rice is plentiful in the city.

“Just to tell you frankly, there is no rice shortage in Davao,” said Aportadera, who showed the 30-seconder to reporters here. “Although prices are high, rice never runs out here.”

Of the half a million tourists visiting Davao city each year, European tourists from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Germany represent a “sizeable” number, which the Kadayawan commercial wants to capture, said Aportadera.

The Kadayawan celebration in August this year will focus mainly on Davao’s “tribal diversity,” to give due recognition to the 10 tribal groups in the city. The commercial features the Davao tribes and projects reasons why tourists should visit Davao.

“We don’t want our culture to die down, we should hand it down to the next generation. Otherwise, there will be nothing left of us. We will become a city cloned after another city,” said Aportadera.

But he admitted that the executive committee is also thinking of doing away with some aspects of the celebration that are considered an “excess,” considering the economic hardship experienced by a lot of people.

“We are (looking at some events) and trying to decide whether to drop some of them from the list. We are asking ourselves if we really need to spend for them.”

He did not elaborate which events will have to go this year but added that Kadayawan’s main attractions, such as the Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan (street dancing) and the floral float parade, will stay.

Except for the P700,000 that the city government allots for the festival each year, the festivities will depend a lot on private sector contributions.

Aportadera said the private sector is still enthusiastic in supporting Kadayawan, though, some of them have signified slashing their budget by about 50 per cent because of the economic crunch. He also said a lot of new sponsors are also coming in.

“To tell you how many people are coming to Davao this year, the Indak-Indak dance parade will be divided into two parts,” he said.

SM and Jollibee have shouldered the cost of the commercial; which also include another teaser showcasing the city’s prominent civic and tribal leaders.

Aportadera said that the city is coming up with a tourism program that will have sustainable benefits for the indigenous peoples in Davao.

Aside from IndakIndak, the Kadayawan will also feature the Hiyas beauty pageant, Pamulak (floral) float parade, the World Music Festival and the food festivals featuring streetfood (Kaan Dawit) and IP-based food flavors (Kaan Mindanao). (Germelina Lacorte/davaotoday.com)

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