This weekend is the culmination of the Kadayawan Festival, although organizers have ensured that the festivities run through the end of the month.
The festival, the 34th year for the city, has been organized to commemorate the contributions and the cultures of the city’s 11 indigenous groups as well as make them feel important to its economic growth.
Although there are critics who might question the motive in holding the festival, as events like this has become an attempt to commercialize a serious undertaking, one cannot question that it has also become a major part in unifying the people of the city, be they members of the indigenous communities or part of the settlers who have also called the city their home.
One must remember that the city is considered a growing melting pot in this part of the country as not only those living in other provinces have decided to settle here, but even those who have come from other countries.
It is in this context that makes the festival a key element in ensuring that the people break the barriers among them in terms of communicating and understanding one another. It has become the venue for cultural understanding, although there is so much work that has yet to be done to ensure its effectiveness as a tool for unity.
For one, organizers should continue to reach out not only to leaders of these 11 communities, but also the grassroots, and listen to their sentiments. In this way, the festival will truly become the unifying force in ensuring that the city is catapulted to greater heights.