16 March 2011

"Araw ng Dabaw": Blast from the Past

The idea of celebrating Araw ng Dabaw was conceived by my grandfather, the former Davao City Mayor, Atty. Elias B. Lopez, a native Dabawenyo. The observance, which started in 1968, has continued to the present. Since its inception, it has been celebrated with weeklong festivities from March 10 to 16, except on 1987’s golden anniversary celebration that lasted for almost two weeks. 

Today, the "Araw ng Dabaw" has evolved into a celebration of the DavaoeƱos’ oneness. It is a vibrant feast held every March 16 and ranks as Davao's biggest annual event.

Annual highlights of the celebration include:

"Parada Dabawenyo "
A socio-civic parade along the major streets of Davao.

"Datu Bago Awards"
This award is named after Datu Bago, a local chieftain who tried to repulse Spanish encroachment in Davao. 

"Banda Hudyaka"
A band parade along the major streets of Davao.

"Piging sa Dan"
The annual food street festival.

Another spectacle along the major city streets.

"Mutya ng Dabaw"
Search for the city's Ambassador of Goodwill.

Other events, such as "Huni" (pop music song writing competition), concerts, arts and culture presentations, various sports competitions are also during the festival.

The celebration of Araw ng Dabaw makes Dabawenyos, natives or by choice, aware of their role in the society they move in that make it a tradition worth cherishing.

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