Davao Travel Guides
Davao has a busy calendar of events which includes both holidays that are celebrated by the entire nation and a variety of celebrations that are exclusive to the region. Religion plays a big part in local festivities, with the largest events generally revolving around Roman Catholicism. Below are the most popular festivals enjoyed across the Davao region.
New Years Day: Davao’s residents celebrate the arrival of the New Year with a day off work and the chance to relax and enjoy get-togethers with friends and family.
Araw ng mga Natibo: otherwise known as the Day of the Natives, this distinctly regional event sees members of the Tagacaolos, B'laans and Manobo tribes come together to celebrate their respective cultures through performances of ethnic singing and dancing, and the unusual spectacle of horse fighting.
People Power Day: Davao’s residents join the nation in enjoying a public holiday in remembrance of the 1986 People Power Revolt.
Araw ng Dabaw: Davao City celebrates the historic event when the city received an official charter. For a week, the locals enjoy a variety of festivities including horse fighting, ethnic rituals, a beauty contest and grand parade.
Easter: Locals are predominantly Catholic and so attend Holy Week services, culminating in Mass on Easter Sunday followed by celebrations with family and friends.
Bataan Day: Davao locals enjoy this national holiday in remembrance of those who gave their lives in battles against the Japanese for control of the Bataan peninsular at the start of WWII.
Summer Island Festival: the third week of the month sees this popular event based at Samal Island in Davao. Locals and visitors assemble to enjoy cultural performances, banca racing and water sports competitions.
Santacruzan: locals don brightly coloured outfits and re-enact St Helene’s discovery of the cross of Christ. The event takes place in the residential areas of Belisario Heights and Lanang, which can be found a short distance north of Davao City.
Tabanogan Festival: the feast of St Peter is celebrated in Davao with a number of festivities, among the most notable being the kite flying competition in which locals showcase their talents in this age-old activity.
Independence Day: the 12th of June is a national holiday and sees residents of Davao enjoy a day off work to celebrate the country’s anniversary of the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain.
Araw ng Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental: this is the annual celebration of Davao’s division into the three independent provinces of del Sur, del Norte and Oriental. A variety of festivities are enjoyed including horse fighting displays, beauty pageants and tribal dance performances.
Filipino-American Friendship Day: the formal Declaration of Independence from the United States is celebrated across the country on the 4th of July. Davao residents enjoy a day off work.
Araw ng mga Bayani: otherwise known as National Heroes' Day, this is a public holiday enjoyed by all on the 26th of August.
Kadayawan sa Dabaw: in the second week of August, this festival is enjoyed by locals with a variety of events including a beauty pageant, ethnic performances, a fruit and flower show and more.
Osmeña Day: this national holiday commemorates the now deceased fourth President of the Philippines, Sergio Osmeña.
Ramadan: a small percentage of Davao’s residents are Muslim and therefore celebrate the Islamic month of abstinence called Ramadan. Locals eat sparingly and avoid indulgences of any kind for the duration of the period.
Eid ul-Fitr: the Muslim residents of Davao mark the end of the Ramadan period with get-togethers and family feasts.
Bonifacio Day: the birth date of Filipino revolutionary leader Andres Bonifacio is celebrated by residents of the Davao region.
Lopez Jaena Day: the life of Graciano López Jaena, one of the country’s most significant historic figures, is celebrated on the 18th of December.
Christmas: beginning on the 15th of the month and lasting until the 31st, Paskuhan sa Dabaw is the country’s official Christmas season. The period is marked by a variety of festive events.
New Years Eve (Bisperas ng Bagong Taon): is the official end of year celebration and sees a variety of festivities enjoyed across the Davao region. Davao City is particularly lively, holding various parties and putting on fireworks displays in a number of locations.