Security threats will not stop Dabawenyos from celebrating the 33rd Kadayawan Festival set on August, an official said.
The city launched on Monday afternoon the 33rd Kadayawan Festival at the Marco Polo Davao.
City Tourism Officer Generose Tecson said that last year’s celebration showed that the city could still function as a strong unit despite the imposition of Martial Law and the increasing security concerns.
This year, Tecson said they are hoping to break a tourist attendance of 200,000 .
Last year, the city was able to accommodate at least 185,000 visitors, with the number only accounting for 70% of the hotel receipts.
The city and its private partners will be spending a combined P44 million for this year, with the city government shouldering P12 million from the budget.
“The private sector will raise P32 million,” Tecson said, “for the love of Davao.”
Gatchi Gatchalian, 2018 Festival Director and Davao Tourism Association representative, said the excitement for this year’s celebration began as early as February.
“The pressure is on us because we got a perfect 10 from the Mayor last year,” Gatchalian said.
Organizers remain confident they could reach the perfect score from Mayor Sara Duterte this year.
Data members will act as festival promoters and bank on their background in dealing with visitors to their advantage.
With the event usually scheduled around the third week of August, this year’s celebration will start one week earlier, with the opening “Pag-abli” event to be held on Aug. 10.
Also among the early events is the Hiyas ng Kadayawan, the annual cultural pageant featuring representatives from the city’s tribes.
The winners of the Hiyas will be highlighted as primary ambassadors during the various events in the celebration.
Food festivals, parties, and other events will also highlight the celebration of harvest.
Winners of events such as the Indak-Indak will also be given more importance, with each member of the winning team to be given a special medal for their achievement, aside from the group’s financial rewards.
The city government is set to release this week the schedule of this year’s events.
Speaking during the launch, Mayor Duterte thanked the private sector for their continued participation in the annual event.
She said that the continued success of the partnership between the government and the private sector led to the city being the site of major sporting events such as the Davao Regional Athletic Association (Davraa) and the Ironman 70.3 last year.