With some unusual reasons, I visited the municipality of Padada, Davao del Sur last May 24 to witness its unique festival, a one-of-a-kind kite flying competition spearheaded by the Municipal officials through its local tourism office and other cause-oriented associations of the town. The invitation came just at the right time because I have been in quiet mode for the last couple of days. Thank you very much Mr. Czaldy Garrote for inviting me there. Indeed, it was a very nice experience once again.
Among all municipalities in Davao del Sur and even in region XI, Padada is the smallest. It is basically agricultural in its economy, however, it has slowly changed gear towards tourism. While local officials are in search of an identity for people to have easy recall of the town, the Tabanog Festival was for me the fittest individuality that Padada should take heed of. I remember the same festival was also facilitated a decade ago by a milk brand, but somehow it just evaporated instantly. This is perhaps the best way for Padada to be renowned all throughout the country and even in the world.
There were two categories of the competition, the flat category and the 3D category. Upon seeing the different kite masterpieces of the residents of Padada, I assumed there can be no other way for this town to go but up. When the competition proper started, the kites soared just as high, and while all the people there were looking up, I realized that sky is no longer the limit for the Padada populace, but their imagination and creativity. For as long as they can create beautiful kites, they will always have the opportunity to soar high.
The Department of Tourism XI was also there to support the event with no less than the Regional Director Roberto Alabado one of the judges. His staff were also all out to witness the competition. For four years now, Tabanog Festival is a major activity of Padada but this year’s version is a lot more colourful and festive. My congratulations once again to the organizers of this event.
Meanwhile, after the competition I headed to another destination in Padada that has long been boasted to me by Czaldy, the famous Piapi Hill located 4.6 kilometers from the town proper. The hill measures approximately 50 meters above sea level and is the highest point of Padada. At the highest point I saw the 360-degree view of the entire Padada town that also includes the municipalities of Sulop, Malalag and Sta. Maria. For Catholic devotees, Piapil Hill serves as the route for their Lenten way of the cross as there are crosses installed along the trail.
I trekked for about 10 minutes from the point where I left my motorbike and took several pictures at the top. It can be a good camping point or a turn-around point for a trail marathon. The peak is enclosed by steel railings. According to Czaldy, it is also a good point for sunset and sunrise shoot and for sure I will be back there for the said purpose.