History and Culture

The Mandaya’s Dagmay: Davao Oriental’s Woven Treasure

Davao Oriental

Ida Damo
Ida Damo | Jul 03, 2018
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Davao Oriental encompasses 5,679.8 square kilometers of vast forest, varied coastline, and urban centers. Within its mountain ranges lives the Mandaya tribe who has maintained their traditional ways even in these modern times.

READ: Kring-Kring Meet The First Female Chieftain of Sangab Davao Oriental’s Mandaya Tribe 

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As Davao Oriental celebrates its 51st anniversary as a province, it also showcases the weaving of its first people, the Mandaya tribe, as the province’s pride with its Dayaw Badu--- a Mindanao and Dagmay-inspired fashion show featuring the creations of top Davao fashion designers of the Davao Fashion and Design Council. 

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The Mandaya cloth, Dagmay, is made from abaca fiber and its colors from barks, seeds, fruits, and other natural dyes.    Every Mandaya family that weaves the cloth has a unique design and is used as a token of peace when tribesmen try to resolve problems among communities. 

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Traditionally, the women of the tribe wear the dagmay as skirts but the designers of Dayaw Badu transformed the cloth into modern pieces that still maintained its natural essence. 

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Wearing the pieces are some of the province’s power women and man--- First Lady Nanette Dayanghirang, Ms. Davao Oriental 2016 Elyanna Dayanghirang, Manay Municipal Administrator Mae Dayanghirang-Llavore, Mati City Administrator Tanya Rabat-Tan, First Lady of Mati City Babay Garcia-Rabat, DILG Provincial Head Yvette Sunga, Governor Generoso Mayor Katrina Joy Orencia and Board Member Ana Louise Tagbilawan, and  Lt. Col. Miguel Ramon.

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The Davao designers behind Dayaw Badu are Aztec Barba, Dodjie Batu, Bamba Limon, Windell Mira, Egay Ayag, Ami Alexander Englis, Edgar Buyan, and Benjie Panisales. 

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From the modern pieces, one can see that culture and tradition can merge beautifully with fashion taking into consideration the intrinsic cultural values and traditions of the Mandaya people.

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Happy 51st Founding Anniversary, Davao Oriental!

Photos of the Dayaw Badu by Olan Emboscado.  Other photos by Ida Nanette Damo.



How to get there:
Major airlines fly daily to Davao City from Manila and Cebu.
The capital of Davao Oriental, Mati City, is three hours away by land onboard vans and buses and private vehicles.

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