The Kalagans of Davao City
August 13, 2007 § 15 Comments
I took an aimless walk in downtown Davao City last Sunday. It was something born out of being a surrogate son of Dabaw. I just wanted to explore what’s in store in the city’s streets. I know the Kadayawan Festival has rolled off so I was hoping I could see new things and sights this time.
I didn’t expect I could catch up with the daily cultural performances slated at the city’s Rizal Park. It was almost 4p.m. so I was surprised when I heard sounds of Moro indigenous percussion “kulintang” and “agong.”
It was the day of the Kalagan Tribe’s cultural celebration. It was an interesting time to know the men and women among the tribe’s contingent there.
I tried to ask their leaders about their views about taking part in the Kadayawan festivities. Do they feel awkward being viewed just like exhibits? What should the government do to really help them improve and preserve their culture?
My acquaintance with this native tribe of Dabaw offered a simple reflection for me about identity and how to keep the balance in a multiculturalistic society. Somehow, a tribe is like a person who continuously seeks to assert his/her identity, recognition and own space.