BACOLOD CITY – The city government here has strengthened ties with its sister city, South Korea’s Andong City, in a cultural exchange it hosted this week, highlighted by a MassKara Festival performance.
Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said Friday that Bacolod is glad to celebrate its traditions with the Korean guests.
“We hope this will pave the way for a more colorful collaboration between our two cities,” he added.
The Korean legislators, who came to Bacolod for a four-day benchmarking trip until Thursday, included Andong City Council chairman Keon Gi Ik and members Kim Ho Suk, Kim Jeaung Rim, and An Yu An of the Art and Culture Committee.
Barangay Granada dancers, the champion of the 2023 MassKara Festival Street Dance and Arena Competition, rendered a special performance for the guests at the Paglaum Sports Complex during their final day in the city.
Councilor Em Ang, the City Council’s chair of the committee on history, culture, and arts, said they exchanged ideas with their counterparts here regarding mask festivals.
Andong City is best known for its Andong Mask Dance Festival, which focuses on various masks from around the world and is held every September.
It is the headquarters of the International Mask and Culture Organization (IMACO), consisting of more than 130 individual and group organizations from about 60 countries, which constructs archives of mask-related culture integral to cultural community symbols.
In 2018, the MassKara Festival dancers performed in the Andong Mask Dance Festival, while in 2019, Bacolod hosted the IMACO International Conference that featured an exhibit of more than 400 masks from 22 countries. (PNA)