Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the City Government of Davao will embrace the new normal in celebrating the 84th Araw ng Dabaw in March this year.

Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte on Monday, February 22, during her regular program on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR), announced that the City Tourism Office has already prepared various activities in commemoration of Davao City’s founding anniversary month, which will be celebrated online.

“Ang atoang Araw ng Dabaw celebration karong tuiga will be online. Ang atong City Tourism Office nangandam na sila para sa mga online activities (Our celebration of the Araw ng Dabaw this year will be online. Our City Tourism Office is already preparing for our online activities),” Mayor Duterte said.

The local chief executive clarified that unlike previous celebrations, the Araw ng Dabaw will now be celebrated every March 1 of the year instead of March 16. The pronouncement was based on the recommendation of the National Historical Commission.

Mayor Inday Sara has also requested the national government to reinstate Araw ng Dabaw as a special non-working holiday. The previous declaration was for a special working holiday in the city.

“Ang Araw ng Dabaw is not March 16, it’s March 1. Since March 1 is ang Araw ng Dabaw, mao na atong ginaapplyan nga holiday. Ang atong girequest kay is a special non-working holiday (The Araw ng Dabaw is not March 16, it’s March 1. Since March 1 is the Araw ng Dabaw, we applied for it as a holiday. Our request is a special non-working holiday),” she clarified.

Due to movement restrictions brought about by the pandemic, majority of the events will be conducted virtually.

“[The] only face-to-face nato nga activities for Araw ng Dabaw is the flag-raising ceremony with the limited number of government officials and also Misa Pasasalamat, which will also be limited to government officials,” Duterte said.

Mayor Inday Sara will also grace the event via a DCDR special broadcast on the same day.

Meanwhile, the City Tourism Office has prepared various online activities, including ‘Tilaw Dabaw’, featuring Davao City’s homegrown delicacies and restaurants. ‘Hugyaw Dabaw’ will headline talented and award-winning Dabawenyos in the field of dance and music. ‘Obra Dabaw’ will highlight the community artists in their respective fields, and ‘Istilo Dabaw’ will showcase local fashion designers, as well as their impact on the local traditions and cultural heritage of Davao.

All activities will be premiered online through the Araw ng Dabaw 2021 Facebook Page starting March 1 to 3. CIO