The Mandaya and The Royal Mandaya Hotel
The Original Dabawenyo is somehow Mandaya in
origin… The rough terrain of the island of Mindanao in the Southern
Philippines is home to some of the flourishing tribes of the
archipelago. This observation has been the common insight of
philanthropists and researchers alike who have come and gone. The
forests and jungles of Davao remained the abode of the
The Mandaya, meaning people of the highlands, are of Indo-Malay stock, in 1609, these Lumads or Natives welcomed early lowland settlers to the town of Cateel, belonging to what was then the Caraga province. In a village named Lukatan, visitors saw the Manday's animated world music, art and livelihood. The Bagani, or warriors and the Babaylan or priestesses displayed prowess in rhythm by way of the Bayok-a solo musical performance, with the Suding, a juice harp, the Kudlong, a two-stringed guitar, and the Bulabon, a flute as accompaniment. The weavers known as Tamaling created works of art with the Dagmay, a dyed abaca fabric depicting images of the human figures, crocodiles or lizards, flower or plant. Hunting livelihood was aided by the use of Sumpitan or blowpipe, Bus-og, a bow and arrow, and lit-ag, atrap. Among these facets, the Kalag, which is the spirit or soul of the Mandaya, remain unimpaired; and their Kamalig, a house of bounty and spiritual powers, undamaged.
Through the decades, the Mandaya has witnessed the never-ending continuum of changes. Constant adaptation to the modifying times delivered this Ethnic culture unto the reality of modern setting. The richness of the unspoiled living is epitomized by a new landmark in the city.
The Hotel is uniquely characterized by turrets, which symbolize the Kamalig of the Mandaya. At the Royal Mandaya Hotel, guests will feel a warm welcome from the employees who carry within them the Mandaya's kalag of hospitality and friendship.