Pound the Kulintang! Kadayawan Festival’s Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan

Face of Bountiful Harvest in Kadayawan

Nikki Minaj said, “Pound the alarm!” Dabawenyos say, “Pound the gong and kulintang!” Kadayawan Saturdays mean one thing—revelry at the streets of downtown Davao City. Different contingents from all over Eastern, Southern, and Central Mindanao bask in the sun and strut their dance moves to the beat of the drums, kulintang, and agung as Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan begins mid-morning. The heart of Davao City throbs vibrantly in colors and the beat of street party.

Bend over!

It was the first time I witnessed Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan, or simply translated as “Street Dancing.” Instead of just listening to the throbbing drums just like in Ati-Atihan and Dinagyang, or the high-pitched bugle of Sinulog, or the Latin beats of MassKara, Kadayawan’s Indak-Indak possesses Mindanao musicality—the kulintang, the agung, the kudyapi, laced with drums and sometimes trumpets, give it a distinct Mindanao flavor.

Celebrations at the streets of downtown Davao City
Reach for the skies!

The street dancing contingents focus on the ten Lumad and Moro  peoples that made up Davao City’s cultural tapestry, with emphasis on spirituality, folklore, bounty of the land, and everyday living. Their colorful costumes that echo the vibrant Mindanaoan culture has made this festival a unique showcase to the world. It shows that in Mindanao, living in unity amidst diversity is possible.
Celebration of colours

Bending once more. Bambad National High School of Sultan Kudarat, the open category champion for 2012 Kadayawan Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan competition
 In Kadayawan Indak-Indak, it is divided into two categories—one is open category, another term for “out-of-town” contingents; and the other is Davao City-based category.

Golden touch. Jesus Soriano National High School bagged the championship for Davao-based category in Kadayawan 2012

The fiery emotion of red

In 2012, the route started at Ateneo de Davao-Marco Polo-Aldevinco area. Then they proceed to Claveria for the second judging area at Apo View Hotel in Legazpi Street, then finally, the showdown at San Pedro Street in front of Rizal Park. The first two judging stations gave two minutes, while the main performance was at San Pedro Street.

The sea of people. The Surigao contingent
The street dance area near Ateneo-Aldevinco
Aside from artistas and concerts, the Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan is one of the largest crowd-drawers in Kadayawan Festival. Tourists, both local and foreign, flock the durian-scented downtown streets of Davao and witness this revelry.

Brothers and sisters in peace

Two different worlds. One city. This is the San Pedro Stage, the main performance area.

Yellow and bright. Notre Dame of Santo Nino of South Cotabato contingent

The Indak-Indak didn’t disappoint me, even if I got sunburned. It was really fun! The kind of stress that you would want. It was really nice seeing the vibrant costumes, the fun, and the revelry that reflected the unique diversity of Davao City and the rest of Mindanao. In Mindanao, it is indeed possible that different peoples can jive in one vibe—for peace, progress, and respect.


Madayaw! Welcome to Davao! Welcome to Mindanao!
(This was originally posted at www.habagatcentral.com on 27th of August 2012. In the meantime, Kadayawan Festival 2016's highlights will be held this coming weekend, from 19-21 of August. The festival's Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan will be held on Saturday, 20th of August 2016.

Enjoy the fiesta! Madayaw!)