Dabaonons fete history, creativity, resiliency

Nelson C. Bagaforo

THE grand celebration of the Davao del Norte's (DavNor) golden anniversary on Saturday, July 1, that kicked off Friday, June 23, with the opening of Kadagayaan Festival 2017, showcased the province's rich culture and natural resources.

The week-long festival features a series of activities aimed at promoting the province's potentials to become the country's top agri-tourism and food-producing site with its rich agricultural resources.

These are evident in various products and services exhibited by Davao del Norte's three cities and eight municipalities from province's two congressional districts, during the week-long Kadagayaan Agri-Aqua Trade Fair, One DavNor Tourism Fair and DavNor Singkwenta Exhibit.

“We shall continue to capitalize on our proud heritage, nurture our enduring multicultural identity and strengthen our resiliency and creativity in achieving our common aspirations,” Governor Anthony del Rosario said in his speech before hundreds of local government officials, sectoral leaders and guests at the opening ceremony at the Activity Area of the sprawling and state-of-the-art Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex.

“We shall succeed. We shall soar higher. We shall continue to lead,” the governor assured his constituents.

“By building a deep sense of pride and identity among our people, we are fulfilling in its truest sense our enduring slogan, 'Basta DavNor, the Best',” he added.

Dr. Luz Taposok, director of the Agricultural Training Institute of the Department of Agriculture was the ceremony's keynote speaker, representing Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, who had prior commitment.

In her keynote address, Taposok challenged the people of Davao del Norte to renew their commitment for the continued progress of the province as the "Banana Capital" of the country.

"This is essential as you continue pursuing for regional prominence and increasing national relevance in this new era of socio-economic advancement," she said.

Friday's activity was also highlighted by the opening of the DavNor Singkwenta Historical Exhibit at the newly-constructed Provincial Pavilion inside the sports complex.

The exhibit features historical glimpses of Davao from 13th to 20th century as it revisits the roots and recognized culture in drawing the trail of the province's development.

The Kadagayaan Festival, which was institutionalized as Davao del Norte's official festival 17 years ago, depicts the "many successes of the Dabaonon people and their bullishness about the future."

Through the festival, del Rosario said that "we are showing the world that the Dabaonons are a proud and grateful people, who lived and flourished overcoming the challenges of time."

"I am truly overwhelmed to lead our people in commemorating this great milestone," he said.

Derived from the local word "dagaya," Kadagayaan means abundance. It upholds Davao del Norte’s riches in terms of culture, products, destinations and resources.

At the festival's opening, del Rosario and Taposok also turned over farm machineries, including rice thresher, hand tractor and a hauler truck, worth P6.46 million from the Department of Agriculture to 34 farmer cooperatives and associations in the province.

Through the festival, spectators and tourists are treated to exciting motley of food, musical and dance extravaganza, as well as colorful displays and exhibits. Nightly entertainment, featuring performing bands and local and showbiz celebrities, have been prepared until July 1. The most-coveted Mutya ng Davao del Norte search is set on June 28.