Few days before the Kadayawan highlights (Indak Indak and Floral Float) a very strong Flu hit me. For two days I was hoping my body would be able to flush the virus out.

It was not sunny. The street dancers were gathering at the assembly area as early as 6am. There I was, still battling body pains. But no, I should stand and hit the road to shoot. With all my might, despite of dizziness, I grabbed my camera and took snaps. Amazingly, for 4 hours on the road, my body recovered. I don’t know how exactly being in a tiresome yet enjoyable event healed me.

As the drumbeats reverberated, the people of Davao reunited again to celebrate not just our colorful cultural roots but also to show the world how strong and resilient we are. The pain we got from the September 2016 terrorist attack in the city is still fresh but those scars made us mighty.

Here’s a video I created for Indak Indak 2017. (Scroll down for photos)

Kadayawan 2017 is a very brave celebration as it defies all kinds of threats and tensions while the siege in Marawi is still going on. I never thought the city would pursue mounting such big event this year. I was surprised also that organizations, schools and other neighboring provinces were joining the activities.

While protesters from Luzon calling the government to end Martial Law, Davao City enjoys its benefits. The presence of the soldiers and police on the road made the spectators feel safe. Almost 30,000 forces were deployed by the city to guard the entire celebration. No one got harm during the week-long fun.

Activities were held left and right. Both small and luxurious hotels in the city were fully-booked. Each day the numbers of tourists rose up while enjoying the fruits that Davao is known for.

The 11 tribes, the cultural roots in Davao City, gathered in 1 village set in Magsaysay Park. The millenials were able to take a glimpse on authentic products, attires, and got to interact with the pure members of the 11 tribes.

Watch the video I made during the opening of the Kadayawan Village.

In Photos

Here are my selected photos I took during the Indak Indak and in Kadayawan Village.

There are two things I learned from Kadayawan. First, if you love what you are doing, you can boost your immunity. I am doing well now. Goodbye Flu! Secondly, fear can bring an entire nation down but if a community, like Davao, is governed by a strong leader like Mayor Inday Sara Duterte, everyone can be reunited. Her strong character is contagious and we were all infected with a different virus callesd ‘Resilience Virus’.

We have all stood up taller than our fear.