Diverse, resilient, colorful

Araw ng Dabaw parade features 300 contingents
STORMTROOPERS, dog lovers, twerking baton twirlers, and the mascot of the Philippine National Police named Bato were just some of the attractions in Thursday morning’s Parada Dabawenyo.

The socio-civic military parade of the 80th Araw ng Dabaw featured over 300 contingents, representing various groups and sectors that have long established Davao City as a community that is diverse, resilient, and colorful.

“Our strength lies in our diversity,” said City administrator Zuleika Lopez in an interview with reporters.

Apart from the marching bands that filled the streets with merry tunes, fighter jets circling the city in the air also became spectacles of some sort to locals and tourists alike.

This year’s theme “Stand Tall. United. Resilient.” reflected the proud and happy faces of the contingents coming from diverse backgrounds, which also included foreign organizations based in Davao.

The celebration continued throughout the day as Duyog Dabaw: A Celebration of Strength was held in the Rizal Park, featuring powerful performances of homegrown artists like Bayang Barrios, Joey Ayala and Mebuyan.

The City Tourism Office expected over 100,000 tourists.

Activities during this day include an 80s street party, a culinary festival, and a corporate concert.

Peaceful

Authorities described yesterday’s celebration of the 80th Araw ng Dabaw as “peaceful.”

Police and military said no untoward incident happened during the day-long activity.

Davao City Police Office (DCPO) director Sr. Supt. Michael John Dubria thanked the public for their cooperation in maintaining the peace and order situation.

Dubria said authorities intensified the security efforts, including the conduct of checkpoint and police visibility

In coordination with the Task Force Davao and other law enforcement sectors, community volunteers were also deployed to beef up the crowd control.

Dubria said they didn’t receive any intelligence report on threats in the city.

During the celebration, there were flybys of the FA-50PH fighter jets of the Philippine Airforce over the city. This was to showcase their air assets to the Davaoeños and to the guests and visitors in the city.

Brig. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, the commander of Joint Task Force Haribon (JTF), said there were also troopers conducting patrols in the city’s hinterlands.

There were also disaster response unit and medical teams during the civic-military parade.

About 6,000 security forces and volunteers were deployed yesterday to provide security in the city.

President Rodrigo Duterte also declared March 17 as a holiday, extending the weekend of the city’s residents.

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