With barely one month to prepare, the City Government of Tagum through the City of Tagum Tourism Council seemed like crossed the rubic on upon accepting the newest challenge it hadfaced so far: the hosting of this year’s National Dayaw Festival. Like a good soldier who is always ready to go to battle, this city famous for its palms and music had indeed catapulted itself as the rising convention hub in the Philippines.
Fresh from its successful hosting of the 3rd International Rondalla Festival: Cuerdas sa Pagkakaysa, Tagum City is in the spotlight once again as it brings to its soil 440 leaders and cultural masters of the different indigenous groups in the Philippines. Some believe that it’s impossible for this city to host it because of time constraint but the commitment and dedication of its people proved them wrong. With the dynamic leadership of Mayor Rey T. Uy along with his wife Alma, who sits as the president of the City of Tagum Tourism Council, the painstaking work of organizing this national event took place.
Pressured in a way, The Tagum team along with the help of the National Commission for the Culture andthe Arts’ Subcommission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts and Mindanawon Foundation had gained a significant headway to stage this event which will kick-off today at its sprawling site in Energy Park. But more than its readiness to accept the challenge, its cultural roots make it as the perfect host for this year’s indigenous peoples month celebration.
Tagum is considered home to many indigenous peoples like the Mansaka, Mandaya, Dibabawon and Ka’gan. Each year, the city came to a livelier pace as it hosts the Kaimunan Festival and the Pakaradjan Festival which celebrates the culture, tradition and the ingenuity of both the IPs and the Muslims, respectively. This dates back to Tagum’s colorful history. There is no official record as to the origin and meaning of the name Tagum, but a legend explains how the name Magugpo, Tagum City's former name, came about. At the beginning, Magugpo was nothing but a vast wilderness, inhabited by the Mansakas, Manguangans, Mandayas and the Kalagans in the coastal barangays. The name Magugpo was derived from the native word mago, a name of certain tree, and the ugpo means very high. According to legend, the natives were occupying ariver basin inside the thickly covered forest where they could not even see thesun.
Tagum is generally peaceful, making it as one of the top reasons for the city to host the event. Last September 8, 2011 in New Delhi, India, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) conferred to the city its first international award: Honorable Mention of the King Sejong International Prize for Literacy for its Peace Management Literacy and Continuing Education Program. This, among many awards, is the result of the corporate governance the Uy administration espoused which greatly contributed to the realization of apeaceful society.
The coming days is a challenge for Tagum. But organizers here believe that with the cooperation of everyone, everything will be in place. For this, Tagum City is a force to reckon with.
|The Early Planning Stage of the Dayaw Festival's Core Group Team at Grand Regal Hotel in Davao City.|
|Mr. Nestor Horfilla leads the team in conceptualizing this year's Dayaw Festival|