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CULTURAL POTPOURRI | Dusit Davao’s Kadayawan Opening Salvo

LADIES and gentlemen dressed in their distinct tribal wear-inspired outfits made their way to the Grand Ballroom of dusitD2 Davao last July 28, 2022, as the hotel and the Dusit Thani Residence Davao launched its very first Kadayawan event.

Kalumon Performing Ensemble.

The special opening salvo of the colorful festival of Davao City was highlighted with the art and fashion of popular fashion designer, Ninofranco Limon, and the well-loved fashion accessories designer, Kathryn Fanlo; the world-class Malagos Chocolates of the Puentespina family; and the conservation mission partnership with the Philippine Eagle Foundation. “Festive and flavorful – this is where the entire Kadayawan set of offers and activities will revolve for Dusit Davao’s special celebration of the Kadayawan Festival.

Our partners in the government, tourism, media, and the different sectors of the Davao community will be treated to special, performances by the Kalumon Performing Ensemble which will showcase a kaleidoscope of the various tribes’ song and dance performances,” enticed Faith Dimaano, the ever charming Marketing and Communications Manager of the hotel, when she invited me.

So who would refuse such an invitation? In his welcome message, the polo barong-clad GM Christoph Kuch, surprisingly revealed, “It might surprise you to know that since Dusit opened in 2019, we did not have the opportunity to celebrate Kadayawan the way Dabawenyos do. So, this year, we went all the way and made sure that we have the right partners to pull off this celebration.”

With the goal to compliment the set of offerings to the vibrant festival schedule of the city government, Dusit Davao partners with Ninofranco by Wilson Limon, Kathryn Fanlo, Malagos Chocolates, and the Philippine Eagle Foundation.” Kadayawan Executive Committee Member Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre, who is back from Manila, delivered an insightful message during the event, “As we appreciate the Kadayawan Festival, may we all be reminded about its importance. It is not a mere celebration to have fun. It is a celebration to thank God for all the abundant blessings that we have received.”

GM Christoph Kuch and Cluster DOSM Lanni A. Merilo with the VIP guests

During the night of the special event, the affair officially started with the ceremonial banging of the gong led by GM Kuch, and witnessed by Councilors Al Ryan Alejandre, Bernie Al-ag, and Myrna Ortiz; DOT RD Tanya Rabat-Tan; TLDC COO Cathy Ko who flew in from Manila; and the vivacious Cluster DOSM Lannie Alkuino-Merilo. Dusit Davao Executive Sous Chef Christopher Lugtu and his team prepared an array of dishes with a glimpse of what to expect during the festival week.

Tribal dishes like Piassak from the Tausugs, Landang from the Maguindanaons, Linotlot nga Manok from the Jangans, and Wadjet Makadurian from the Sama group are included on the list of the menu, along with Dusit’s signature dishes like the yummy cochinillo which people line up for.

Malagos Chocolates were featured at the dessert station with the pastry team’s Grissini, Mango Chocolate Malagos Mousse, Malagos Chocolate cake and macarons, cheesecake, and truffles.

These dishes are set to be featured during the Kadayawan weekend’s Madayaw Cafe dinner buffet. A rather brief fashion show which featured the creative tribal-inspired couture of Wilson Limon and fashion accessories of Kay Fanlo was presented after dinner. It is also a perfect match with the current partnership between Dusit Davao and PAL, with airfares and hotel accommodation packages to make one’s travel experience more convenient. By the way, Ninofranco Limon and Kay Fanlo’s works are presently on display at the Dusit Gourmet area this August.

“We came up with this big idea because we wanted to bring in a sense of local touch to show off what Davao hospitality is all about. This is also the reason why we invited Ninofranco Limon and Kay Fanlo, as we want to emphasize that Davao fashion has evolved into styles that are ideal for travel, while elevating the reach of local artistry and craftsmanship,” Cluster DOSM Lannie A. Merilo pointed out as she stood out in her Ninofranco ensemble accessorized with Kay Fanlo’s award-winning neck piece. Guests also applauded the commitment of Dusit Davao to eventually adopt a Philippine Eagle through a campaign that will start this August.

GM Kuch shared, “We are allotting a part of our revenue for the benefit of the Philippine Eagle Foundation. We will remain transparent and educational on this initiative in order for our guests to believe in the same advocacy; and be catalysts to raise awareness on the conservation of our national bird and other species.”

PEF Development Manager Andi Baldonado was present and sincerely expressed her gratitude to GM Kuch. Fotos: GM Christoph Kuch and Cluster DOSM Lanni A. Merilo with the VIP guests Kalumon Performing Ensemble Comm. & Marketing Manager Faith Dimaano, Michael E. Dakudao The collection of Ninofranco and Kay Fanlo GM Kuch with the Philippine Eagl

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