The municipality of Carmen is slated to host its annual Kahayag Festival this December, when it will illuminate the town hall and parks. Though a soft opening of the festival was already held on October 29 with an inter-barangay sportsfest, the 6th Kahayag Festival will be highlighted with lighting of Christmas trees, Belens and other Christmas symbols on December 2.
Interviewed by the Philippine Information Agency, Carmen tourism officer Romulo Sambajon Jr. said that among the activities are weekly Kahayag Pop Idol Singing Contest starting on November 18; and Lagobo sa Kadalanan, an interschool street dancing competition on December 2.
Dance groups all over Mindanao are also encouraged to participate in the Sayaw Indayog sa Kahayagan, a modern dance competition using lights, which will be staged on December 18.
Carmen – a first class municipality in the province of Davao del Norte – is located about 38 kilometers (24 miles) from Davao City, and about 17 kilometers (11 miles) from Tagum City, the capital of Davao del Norte. It is revving up its move to attract more tourists, as it will soon start the development of its heritage park as a beneficiary of P23 million grant from the Tourism Infrastructure Economic Zone Authority (TIEZA). The grant is intended to develop the Peace Shrine in Ising, formerly known as Battle of Ising Shrine located at the Tagum-Carmen-Sto.Tomas road intersection; and it will include a park, amphitheater, tunnel and chapels for Japanese and Filipino visitors. Another P8 million is being allocated to develop the Divine Mercy Islet situated at the back of the municipal hall; civil wedding ceremonies used to be conducted at this islet.