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Kalilang in a hotel under renovation, and identity in Mindanao

It was a bit awkward for me and Omar, a reserved Maguindanaoan who tried to be informative, as we took a peek at the wedding of a couple from two big Maguindanaoan families in Cotabato City.

We were looking through the window from our side of the conference hall— we looked like kids wanting to gate crash or something. Everybody in the training was doing just that as we waited for our morning session to start.

We were holding grassroots documentation and reporting training next door and the arrival of wedding guests drew our attention —especially when traditional wedding songs and hymns began to play. Read More…

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The Kalagans of Davao City

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.” Read More…

Festivities can’t hide sorry state of Mindanao Lumads

DAVAO CITY (Mindanews/9 Aug) – The real face of Mindanao’s indigenous peoples is  not joyous as featured in festivals like the Kadayawan, an official of a group supporting indigenous peoples in Mindanao said.

The Solidarity Action Group for Indigenous Peoples (SAGIP), which is doing technical and organizational support to Lumad (indigenous peoples) communities in Southern Mindanao, said land has remained their biggest problem.

The group sounded off the concern announcing the holding of protest actions in time for the Kadayawan Festival 2007 to “strike a difference” in showing the Lumads’ real situation.

Read the rest of the report on MindaNews.com.

KADAYAWAN 2007: Calendar of Activities

All roads lead to Davao City for this year’s Kadayawan Festival. The whole month of August is festival fever in the city. Visitors from other places in Mindanao, the country and the world are expected to troop to Dabaw.

Organizers speak of this year’s focus on returning to the city’s indigenous ancestry. Will it bring in new energy for the booming city? Or it will hurt the tourism sector as some people feared?

Take Davao by yourself. Experience the festival to find out the excitement with this guide: Read More…

(Updated) Duty-free shop back in Davao City

Three years after it pulled out of Davao City, the local duty-free shop will be reopened tomorrow together with other shops at the Davao International Airport.

In March, the news was disclosed by the Department of Tourism signaling the city is receiving more tourist arrivals.

There are other shops that will also open in the airport’s arrival area. I can post more details later as they have organized a press conference after tomorrow’s opening ceremonies.

If I am not mistaken, the duty free shop at the Grand Regal Hotel was closed after the March 2003 bombing and for other reasons.

Now that it will be reopened it should signal better environment for tourists to come, and hopefully for more better things to come to the city and the rest of Mindanao.

DOH trying to keep the doctors in the country

Health Sec. Francisco Duque III admitted to reporters today that the biggest problem facing the Department of Health as of now  is out-migration of the country’s health human resources.

He told MindaNews they have engaged in a battle to keep the doctors from going out by offering them packages to work extra with private hospitals, higher renumeration from Philhealth reimbursements, and a long-term program of scholarships for aspiring doctors nation-wide.

Duque said, however, that the next second biggest problem is budget as the DOH continues to work with a budget cut. Read More…

Davao dumps ‘too commercialized’ Kadayawan

DAVAO CITY – Commercialized revelries would have to give way to
cultural education.

The city government here announced this today and disclosed that it
would discontinue holding high prized street competitions and street
parties that had drawn participants from many provinces in Mindanao.

Wendel Avisado, city administrator and co-chair of the Kadayawan
Festival 2007 steering committee, told reporters today that the
Kadayawan, renowned as the “festival of festivals in Mindanao” would
push through in August.

“But revelers would have to brace for fewer commercialized activities
as the city government prefers a highly educational appeal, with focus
on the uniqueness of the city’s blend of tribal communities,” he said. Read More…