Peaceful Kadayawan but lower turn-out noticed

Subscribe Now August 23, 2013 at 08:54am

Despite being peaceful, security fears were among the reasons for the lower than last year's turnout of participants in Kadayawan Festivities held last weekend (August 16-18).

According to Davao City Tourism Office Officer-in-Charge Lisette Marquez, the turn-out particularly in the Floral Float Parade (Pamulak sa Kadayawan) was noticeable. About 64 participants joined the parade as compared to the 91 floats listed last year.

Also noticeable was the smaller turnout of sightseers during the Kadayawan's Street Dancing Showcase (Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan)

"Nigamay siya compared to last year, sa una mapuno ang mga kalsada, pero karon ma-notice nimo nigamay mga tawo." (It is smaller compared to last year, in the past the streets would be filled but now you will notice there were lesser people.) says Rommel Chua, a photography hobbyist who annually goes around the streets during Kadayawan to shoot the revelry.

Crowd estimates during the recent Indak-Indak sa Kadayawan is estimated to be at 20,000 people, officers of the Davao City Police Office said the crowd was about 30% lesser than last year.

A series of bombings in some Mindanao towns and cities contributed to the heightened fears. A week before the festivities, City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte mulled of plans to cancel the event because of the threats.

However during the Kadayawan opening last August 9 he formally announced pushing through the festival but with added security regulations such as the banning of backpacks and parking of vehicles along the parade route.

There were no untoward terrorist incidents which were reported in the city during the Kadayawan weekend. Marques attributed the peaceful celebration to the efforts of the security forces and the vigilance of the citizenry.

The photographer Chua says that many Dabawenyo photographers followed the strict rule of not bringing bags to the festivities. "Nagadala ko sa una ug bag kay didto nako ginabutang akong mga lens pero gibawal man so isa ka lens akong gidala. nagtry ko ug adjust. kay para man ni sa atong safety (I used to bring a bag because I put my lenses in there but because of the ban, I only brought one lens, I tried to adjust because this is for our safety.) Chua said.

Kadayawan is one of the most photographed festival in the country. According to the City Information Office they ran out of the 500 hobbyist stickers printed and issued for the event.

Apart from security threats, the lower turn-out can also be explained from the transition of new city hall officials following the change of city leadership. Mayor Rodrigo Duterte took office from then incumbent Mayor Sara Duterte in July.Marques says this meant lesser time to prepare for K adayawan.


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