Davao de Oro

Bulawan Festival

Bulawan Festival is a founding anniversary celebration and a festival of the gold-mining industry of the province of Davao de Oro, Philippines held every March 8th.The date is usually a nonworking special holiday in the province through presidential proclamations for the past few years such as in 2021 and 2022. A week-long celebration, it is also a tribute to diversity of cultures and indigenous people.

In Bulawan Festival 2022, its schedule was moved to October. It was a three-day affair that opened on October 20 and culminating activities were held on October 22. In 2023, the festival was moved back to March.

The founding anniversary date itself is also known as Compostela Valley Day (from Compostela Valley, the old name of Davao de Oro). It is a public working holiday in the province by virtue of Republic Act No. 9426 that was approved by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on April 10, 2007.

History of Bulawan Festival

Bulawan Festival comes from the word bulawan, the local word for gold. The province is known for rich veins of metal and non-metal deposits. Historically, it was known for the gold rush in Mt. Diwalwal in the 1980s. Most of its small-scale mining companies are concentrated in the extraction of gold and other precious metals such as silver. Thus, Davao de Oro is also known as the Gold District of the Davao Region.

The first ever Bulawan Festival was held from March 3 to 8, 2008. The festivity was in time for the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Davao de Oro.

It was previously called Anibina Bulawanun Festival or simply Anibina Festival which was conducted since the province’s founding. The name comes from the words ani, meaning harvest, and bina, meaning gold veins.

Founding anniversary

Bulawan Festival is also a founding anniversary. It commemorates the creation of the province, a historic milestone that occurred during the administration of then President Fidel V. Ramos. Davao de Oro used to be called Compostela Valley and was part of Davao del Norte.

Its separation was necessitated by the size of Davao del Norte, and breaking it up was seen as the solution to address the prompt delivery of social and public services and to unlock untapped economic potential of the area. Davao del Norte itself was in the past part of the Davao province until it was partitioned in 1967.

Thus, Republic Act No. 8470 was promulgated on January 30, 1998 that declared the establishment of Compostela Valley. A plebiscite soon followed that ratified the law on March 1998. From being called Compostela Valley, it officially became Davao de Oro by virtue of Republic Act No. 11297 on April 17, 2019 and approved by the people through a plebiscite on December 7, 2019.

Bulawan Festival Schedule of Activities

Activities of Bulawan Festival occur in Nabunturan, the capital of the Davao de Oro. They include sporting events, entertainment, variety shows, concerts, job fair, trade fair, tourism expo tree planting, conferences, a day of activities for indigenous people, fireworks display, etc.

Here are some of the highlights.

Jewelry Bazaar

Jewelry Bazaar is a gathering of jewelers from all over the province. It is a showcase of the talent, creativity, and craftsmanship in jewelry-making.

Bulawan Queen

Bulawan Queen translates to Golden Queen or Queen of Gold. It is a prestigious beauty pageant of Davao de Oro and one of the highlights of the festival.

Bulawanong Pasundayag

Bulawanong Pasundayag translates to Golden Presentation. It is the name of the street dancing competition. It is generally scheduled as a culminating activity.

Solidarity Ring

Solidarity Ring, a symbol of unity and peace, is the 1.5-million peso, 18-karat gold-silver ring that weighs 1.488 kilograms. It is touted as the largest ring in the country with dimensions of 5 inches interior diameter and 6 inches outer diameter. It was forged from over a kilogram of gold and three-tenths kilogram of silver, and its precious metals were culled from contributions of different stakeholders such as entrepreneurs, miners, local government units, and individuals. It was first unveiled during the first Bulawan Festival in 2008.

How to reach Davao de Oro

Land-based trips are available from a select originating spots in Mindanao. Moreover, one can purchase a plane ticket and land in Davao International Airport. From there, one can get a ride via buses to Davao de Oro.


Bulawan Festival Summary

NameBulawan Festival
CelebrationFounding, Industry
DateMarch 8
Duration1 week
LocationDavao de Oro
OrganizerProvincial Government of Davao de Oro
Previous NameAbinina Festival, Abinina Bulawanun Festival