DAVAO,  August 29
, 2004 (STAR) By Leah C. Salterio - For the first time in the 19-year history of Davao’s Kadayawan, the festival was given international prominence and was viewed by a global audience through ABS-CBN’s The Filipino Channel (TFC), which aired the festivities live in all parts of the world, thus reaffirming the network’s leadership in the broadcast industry and its commitment to serve the Filipinos worldwide.

Through the station’s technical superiority and unparalleled reach, Mindanao’s biggest and most celebrated festival was also heard and seen throughout the country via ABS-CBN’s Regional Network Group (RNG) and Studio 23.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte acknowledged ABS-CBN’s effort in providing an extensive and multi-platform coverage for this year’s Kadayawan Festival, which gave the viewers a different experience of exploring the sights and sounds, the wealth of culture, and the bounties of harvest of the Davaoeños. Duterte even announced his plans of bringing Kadayawan to Asian countries like Japan and Singapore, and all the way to the United States next year.

Through TFC, Davaoeños throughout the world got to celebrate Kadayawan with their kababayans. When Cito Beltran and Cheryl Cosim hosted their ANC talk show, Kumusta Ka, Bayan, which had a remote airing from the Rizal Park in Davao, the program received calls from homesick Davaoeños in the US, Middle East and Europe.

Kadayawan was derived from the Visayan word madayaw, a warm and friendly greeting that means "good, valuable or superior." Started in 1986 in Davao, Kadayawan is a celebration of life, a thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, the wealth of culture, the bounties of harvest and serenity of living.

Today, Kadayawan has become a showcase for Davao’s heritage, history, arts and culture, through the various activities initiated by the city government, as well as the private corporations which support the festival. Kadayawan has also become a much-awaited celebration compared to other popular regional festivals like Cebu’s Sinulog and Bacolod’s Masskara.

The day-long street-dancing, Indak Indak sa Kadalanan was a visual spectacle, as groups garbed in colorful costumes, trooped to the streets of Davao while echoing this year’s theme, Usbaw Labaw, Davao (Grow Beyond Davao). The floral parade of 47 stunning floats was likewise a much-anticipated event along the main avenues in the city.

The excitement of the Davaoeños was further boosted when they saw some of the ABS-CBN stars in the flesh. The popular loveteam of John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo was greeted by shrieks and screams when they did a medley of It Might Be You, the theme of their top-rating teleserye, and Now That I Have You, the title song of their current box-office hit under Star Cinema.

Vhong Navarro and Danilo Barrios hosted the Studio 23 event, Duaw Davao, aired live from a makeshift stage in front of the Marco Polo Hotel in downtown Davao. From there, some of the ABS-CBN stars also performed–Aiza Marquez, Jill Yulo, Angelene Aguilar, Tuesday Vargas, Juddha Paolo, comedian Chokoleit, Animé and Star in a Million finalist Sheryn – with Davao-based artist Joey Ayala.

Meanwhile, Angel Aquino was a striking presence at Davao’s Rizal Park, where she hosted Indak Indak sa Kadalanan, with ABS-CBN news reporters Alex Santos and Aladdin Bacolodan, which was aired live on TV 4 Davao. Davao-based beauty queen Margie Moran, who also hosted the street-dancing activity from a different remote area, even taped TV segments about Davao’s history and tourism, with another Davao-based celebrity, actress Dawn Zulueta.

RNG’s FM station, My Only Radio (MOR), staged the well-received and highly successful MOR Tsinelas Party at the PTA Grounds, which featured Rivermaya, MOR Buddy Mike Oca Rosales and other local artists.

Weeks before the actual festival, ABS-CBN even produced a music video for Kadayawan, with an original song composed by Lito Camo, as well as conceptualized promos and contests that generated excitement for the activity.

However, Kadayawan was not the first time that ABS-CBN has showcased the country’s tourist destinations and popular regional celebrations. Through the years, ABS-CBN, through its RNG signals, has covered various festivals like Bicol’s Peñafrancia, Bacolod’s Masskara, Cebu’s Sinulog and Aklan’s Ati-Atihan.

The popularity of ABS-CBN stars in Davao was simply reinforced through their live presence in the Kadayawan festival. For a long time now, outdoor advertising has been apparently dominated by several ABS-CBN stars who have billboards for their product endorsements in every major thoroughfare in the province – Sharon Cuneta for Globe, PH Care and Fuji Film, Robin Padilla for Smart Padala, Kris Aquino for Kissa Soap and Leonardo Bags, Piolo Pascual for Hammerhead, Edu Manzano for Kremil-S and McJim Leather Products, Heart Evangelista for Smart Buddy, Geoff Eigenmann for Globe Auto-Load Max, John Lloyd Cruz for Silka Soap and Blue Soda, Camille Prats for RDL Beauty Products, Jericho Rosales for Pepsi, Judy Ann Santos for Angel Evaporada and 555 Sardines, Kaye Abad for Pink Soda.

ABS-CBN executives also flew to Davao to grace the festivities and visit the regional station, TV-4 Davao. The big bosses were led by chairman and CEO Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III, with president and COO Luis "Cito" Alejandro, SVP for sales and marketing Nicanor Ganunada Jr., SVP for engineering Ruben "Bonbon" Jimenez, VP for the Regional Network Group Rolando Valdueza, AVP for Mindanao Cluster George Padolina, AVP for sales and marketing Lawrence Tan, VP for comedy Joanna Gomez-Santos.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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