Gaginaway Festival is a cultural festival and founding anniversary of the town of Malita every November 17. It is the most popular festival in the province of Davao Occidental, Philippines. Its name comes from gaginaway, which means gathering among Tagacaolo people and love in B’laan language. Its schedule is in the full moon in November, said to be the month of the year where the moon shines the brightest, and the time when indigenous people converge for a fest of thanksgiving and merry-making.
Considering this blog entry, the Gaginaway Festival may have been first launched in 2007. It is an opportunity to celebrate the unity of its people and display the vibrant cultures of B’laan, Manobo, and Tagacaolo who co-exist with Muslim population that reside along the coastline. Activities that are participated by the town’s 33 barangays showcase their tribal customs, traditions, dances, and tribal wares.
Its calendar of activities coincides with the founding anniversary of the town called Araw ng Malita (Malita Day) that falls on November 17. According to apocryphal sources, its name comes from the Spanish maleta which refers to a suitcase supposedly carried by a Spaniard swept away by swollen river. However, the town has been known by its name as evinced by an 1887 letter of Jesuit Pablo Pastellas.
Malita was established as a municipality alongside with the town of Pantukan through Executive Order No. 64 on November 17, 1936. It is the capital of Davao Occidental when it was carved out from Davao del Sur by virtue of Republic Act No. 10360 otherwise known as An Act Creating the Province of Davao Occidental. The law was approved by Benigno S. Aquino III on January 14, 2013.
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- De Villa, Kathleen. THIS WEEK’S FESTIVALS: Nov. 18-24, 2018. Philippine Daily Inquirer. November 18, 2018. Retrieved October 14, 2022
- Evangelista, Joey Ganio. PASSION FOR MISSION: Malita: Chismis and History. MindaNews. July 7, 2022. Retrieved October 15, 2022
- Republic Act No. 10360. Official Gazette. Retrieved October 15, 2022
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- Executive Summary. Commission on Audit. Retrieved October 15, 2022
- Executive Order No. 64, s. 1936. Official Gazette. Retrieved October 15, 2022
- History. Provincial Government of Davao Occidental. Retrieved October 15, 2022