August 2016 musings: Kadayawan & everything Mindanao

The Kadayawan highlighted everything Mindanao & for some, made the Philippine Eagle the recipient of their fund raising promotions

The colors of the Kadayawan seemed to be more vibrant this year and the mood was more high-spirited. Is it because the new president hails from this city? Or is it because this year’s prime movers organized it well?

Undeniably, it’s both.

With everyone’s eyes in Davao, the festival regulars were back expecting more excitement than the most recent visit, and perhaps along with them the curious first-timers who want a peek of the Davao life—or the big man himself in his home turf.

Road traffic was a killer (if that shows you how revelers will travel the distance to take part in the different activities) but what was impressive was how organized the program of the 31st Kadayawan festival was.

From start to finish, the spotlight was on the 11 Davao tribes with presentations that ranged from the traditional to its contemporary take. If you missed any of them, the social media posts will be a good reference. That was where I kept track of the events throughout the festival.


Kadayawan Festival 2016 Indak Indak sa Kadalanan grand champion- contingent of James L. Chiongbian National Trade School from Kiamba Sarangani Province


What I did not miss though was the other facets of the Kadayawan, events that were geared towards the infusion of the culture of Mindanao and Davao’s 11 tribes of into mainstream fashion and the local bountiful harvest into nouvelle cuisine.

Mindanao has bred world-class talents. We have successful fashion designers across the globe hailing from the region.

Searches like 90’s-instituted Moda Mindanao and newborn Stellar are (still) on the lookout for that Mindanao mark to be injected into mainstream fashion. A style that will interpret the region’s rich culture without making it appear too costume-y.

I saw the sign in the brilliant collection of two young designers, Limon and Jimlani. I hope they, along with their mentor, designer Englis, take their recent triumphs to the next level.


Stellar’s new finds. Limon genderless collection inspired by the T’boli’s artistry & Jimlani resort wear channels the Badjao’s seafaring culture


The Mindanao touch for the home is always in the global design loop, thanks to Davao designer Maricris Brias. She brought the t’nalak to new heights, and with the textile’s constant design reinvention it always captures attention wherever it’s presented.


The t’nalak from Mindanao to the world. Designer Maricirs Brias continues to wow local & foreign buyers with the products made from the textile

Her recent exhibition at Abreeza (also the address to the concept store T’nalak Home) presented an exciting new look for the textile. It pays tribute to the original tribe’s pattern but set against vivid colors.

Finally, on the dining table, I was impressed with Chef Alex Destriza’s “Oh! Pomelo, a pomelo-infused menu served at a recent gathering hosted by Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotels for the media. Still lingering in my mouth is the taste is the rich, creamy soup with seafood.


This soup. Rich tasting made even more flavorful with pomelo tempura


Chef Pauline Malilin’s new dish, the Rekado lechon, that takes more than 12 hours to prep and cook, was best enjoyed with a unique sauce made from Mangosteen. The sweet and tangy flavor of the fruit-based sauce made a heavenly match to the well-seasoned, slow baked pork belly.


A match made in heaven. A sauce made from mangosteen paired with slow-baked lechon

Soaring higher this season was the Philippine Eagle. With everything Mindanao on everyone’s agenda, the National Bird was the recipient of several institutions who either contributed to the Philippine Eagle Foundation’s conservation cause or highlighted the raptor in its promotion. Both will give our feathered friend a longer life in this planet—and us, since we co-exist with this being.


The Kadayawan highlighted everything Mindanao & for some, made the Philippine Eagle the recipient of their fund raising promotions


It was an impressive celebration for Davao and I have to thank and congratulate everyone who made it so.

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Also published in SunStar Davao newspaper on September 4, 2016.