DAVAO: 'KADAYAWAN' HAS BROUGHT US TOGETHER

DAVAO CITY, August 25, 2003 (STAR) By Edith Regalado  - More than a colorful showcase of ethnic cultures, the Kadayawan sa Dabaw festival which culminated yesterday with a parade of floral and fruit floats, was a time for healing ó among Christians, Muslims and lumads.

"The Kadayawan has brought us together ó Christians, lumads and Muslims. Iím personally heartened by the overwhelming response we got from all sectors. Iím happy with the look on the faces of the people who are here today," said Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as he watched the floats pass by the stage at Rizal Park.

"If there was anything the Kadayawan has achieved it is that we have come together, united as a people. And we credit the success of the Kadayawan to the community, to the people," he added.

Ties with the Muslims apparently got strained after Moro separatist groups were linked to the two powerful bomb blasts that rocked this city last March and April, leaving 39 people dead and over 200 others wounded.

Duterte admitted that the healing process has only started and that it would take a long time to determine if Dabawenyos and other people in Mindanao have passed the test.

Muslim groups have given their all-out support to the Kadayawan. Coming all the way from Marawi City, Maguindanao and Cotabato, among other places, they took part in all festivities, including the Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan the other day.

With the Kadayawan over, Duterte said law enforcers and the city folk should remain extra vigilant to thwart any terrorist threats. Local authorities laid out a detailed security plan to ensure no untoward incidents during the celebration.

"The threat still remains. Thatís why we have to continue to be vigilant and alert all the time," Duterte said.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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