Kadagayaan Festival is a founding anniversary celebration in the province of Davao del Norte, Philippines held every 1st of July. A week-long celebration, it is a gathering of all localities, their proud customs and traditions, into one province-wide festivity. It also showcases the beauteous tourist spots, natural resources, and vibrant cultures of Muslim, Christians, and indigenous people.
History of Kadagayaan Festival
Kadagayaan Festival comes from the word dagaya, which means plenitude or abundance. It began as the annual commemoration of the provincial government of its founding through trade fair. Over the years, it has become a yearly event marked by revelries and various cultural activities. According to the Philippine News Agency, it was the 51st anniversary in 2018 which means that the festival was first held in 1968.
History of Davao del Norte
Davao del Norte used to belong to the historical province of Davao. The Spaniards explored the territory as early as 1528 when Alvaro de Saavedra landed in Saranggani on the way to the Moluccas. Fifteen years later, Ruy López de Villalobos visited Baganga, Manay, and Sarangani. For most of the Spanish colonial era, it was under the sultanate of Mindanao.
Towards the latter half of the 19th century, the Spaniards forced the sultanate to give up the territory in favor of the colonial government. Jose Oyanguren explored the area in 1847 and years later he organized it into a province and called it Nueva Guipozcoa after his hometown in Spain. He became its first governor. In 1858 which was the year he died, it was dissolved and two new comandancias were created in Bislig and Davao. Two years later, they became part of District of Davao.
In the period of American occupation, it was a district in the Moro Province that was formed in 1903. By 1914, the Moro Province was abolished and in turn Davao was a district in the newly created Department of Mindanao and Sulu.
Davao del Norte was established when the historical province of Davao was split on May 8, 1967. Davao was divided into Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, and Davao Oriental through Republic Act No. 4867. The festival coincides with the inauguration of 1967, which took place on July 1st. The date is also a special holiday in the three provinces by virtue of Republic Act 6380 which was approved on August 16, 1971.
Davao del Norte was partitioned further when Davao de Oro seceded in 1998.
Kadagayaan Festival Schedule of Activities
Most of the time, Kadagayaan Festival schedule of activities begin a week before July 1st, which is generally observed on June 24 with the start of kick-off activities. Activities include motorcades, sporting events, booth displays, tourism expo, forums and conferences, entertainment, competitions, job fair, and cultural presentations.
Here are some of the must-see highlights.
Araw ng Davao Del Norte
Araw ng Davao Del Norte translates to Davao del Norte Day. It is the last day of the festival. It is also packed with culminating activities such as the anniversary program and entertainment. It also remembers the establishment of the province.
Binibining DavNor translates to Miss DavNor, DavNor being a short form of the name of the province. It is a beauty pageant that has become one of the most awaited aspects of the festival.
Hudyaka Street Dancing and Grand Showdown
Hudyaka translates to merriment. It is a gathering of festivals from all over the island of Mindanao. Thus, it is a vibrant high point of the festivities as it becomes a vehicle to display the richness of local cultures found in Mindanao.
Float and Mascot Parade, as the name suggests, is a parade of colorful floats and festival mascots. It is one of the highlights of the festival.
Trade Fair is one of the mainstays of Kadagayaan Festival. Through the years, it had hosted tourism expo, a showcase of the province’s agricultural produce, and rich aquatic harvests. On display are crops like Cavendish banana, cacao, corn, mango, rice, and other fruits and vegetables. It is marked with booths of participating local government units that choose to display locally made products and crafts.
How to reach Davao del Norte
Flights are scheduled regularly to Davao International Airport from Manila or Cebu. For those who are in Mindanao, there are land-based trips depending on the originating location.
- Banzon, Digna. Davao Norte gears up for 51st Kadagayaan Festival. Philippine Information Agency. May 26, 2018. Retrieved August 29, 2022
- Ang, Vannah. Davao del Norte marks ‘Kadagayaan’ Festival. Edge Davao. June 26, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2022
- Davao del Norte fetes 2019 Kadagayaan Festival. Sunstar. June 29, 2019. Retrieved August 29, 2022
- Baguio, Noel. Davao del Norte’s Kadagayaan Festival opens. Philippine Information Agency. June 24, 2008. Retrieved August 29, 2022
- Davao del Norte: History Background. National Economic and Development Authority. Retrieved August 29, 2022
- REPUBLIC ACT NO. 4867, May 08, 1967. Supreme Court E-Library. Retrieved August 29, 2022
- Kadagayaan Festival 2017: Dabaonons fete history, creativity, resiliency. Provincial Government of Davao del Norte. July 8, 2017. Retrieved August 29, 2022
- An Act Declaring July First of Each Year as a Public Holiday in the Provinces of Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, and Davao del Norte. Provincial Government of Davao del Norte. June 30, 2020. Retrieved August 29, 2022
- Dabaonons fete history, creativity, resiliency. Sunstar. June 27, 2017. Retrieved August 29, 2022
- Questo, Annika. DavNor celebrates Kadagayaan Festival 2015. Rappler. July 2, 2015. Retrieved August 29, 2022
- Davao del Norte’s grand Golden Jubilee slated on July 1. Sunstar. June 27, 2017. Retrieved August 29, 2022
- Republic Act No. 6380. Provincial Government of Davao del Norte. Retrieved October 14, 2022
- Census of the Philippine Islands taken under the direction of the Philippine Legislature in the year 1918. Archive.org. Retrieved September 17, 2022
- Tracing the history of the city. Mindanao Times. March 16, 2019. Retrieved October 14, 2022