Ba­colod, Korean city strengthen ties

Sun Star Bacolod - - Top Stories - BY CARLA N. CAÑET

BA­COLOD City and Seogo District, Daegu City in South Korea have strength­ened its ties fol­low­ing the re­newal of their ex­ploratory talks dur­ing the visit there of Ba­colod City Mayor Eve­lio Leonar­dia, Coun­cilors Em Ang and Cindy Tan-ro­jas.

Ang said they met with for­mer Mayor Kang Seong-ho who was then the sig­na­tory of the sis­ter city agree­ment en­tered by both cities in 2012.

“We went there on the in­vi­ta­tion of the Fed­er­a­tion of Art and Cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion (Faco). Seogo is one of the eight dis­tricts of Daegu, the fourth largest city in South Korea. We were try­ing to re­new our sis­ter city agree­ment with Seogo District,” she said.

She added that Daegu and Ba­colod have a lot of sim­i­lar­i­ties wherein they also have big fes­ti­vals which are closely tied to their econ­omy. It is a driver of their econ­omy.

“The big­gest fes­ti­val is the col­or­ful Daegu Fes­ti­val which is held ev­ery month of May and it is like our very own Masskara fes­ti­val which is also a very col­or­ful fes­ti­val. They also have Che­meck Fes­ti­val which is

a chicken and beer fes­ti­val. It is held ev­ery July. It is like our Inasal Fes­ti­val. They also have mi­nor fes­ti­vals such as cof­fee, art, mu­sic fes­ti­vals, among oth­ers. They are cap­i­tal­iz­ing on these fes­ti­vals to drive up the econ­omy and to at­tract tourists from all over Korea and other parts of the world. The most im­por­tant meet­ing we had was our meet­ing with the for­mer Mayor Kang and dis­cussed about the pos­si­bil­ity of en­gag­ing in cul­tural ex­changes be­tween the two cities specif­i­cally on our fes­ti­vals. They want to send to Ba­colod their per­form­ers and at the same time, in­vited Ba­colod Masskara dancers to come to their place in­clud­ing other prospec­tive projects and part­ner­ships,” she said.

Daegu is the birth­place of Sam­sung com­pany. Its main in­dus­tries right now are tech­nol­ogy and auto parts for Korean cars and tourism.

“We want to pur­sue ex­change on tourism, cul­ture and trade. They are into ro­bot­ics and very much into tech­nol­ogy. There is an op­por­tu­nity given the fact that we have a lot of startup com­pa­nies and our lo­cal tal­ents to have col­lab­o­ra­tion with their com­pa­nies in Daegu. It was more on an ex­ploratory meet­ing be­tween the two may­ors and Faco of­fi­cials. We also met of­fi­cials of Daegu Foun­da­tion for Arts and they are also very in­ter­ested about our fes­ti­val. It would be an op­por­tu­nity to learn from them since they have the third and big­gest fes­ti­val in Korea,” she added.

Ro­jas, for her part, said: “we had an ed­u­ca­tional tour and had bench­mark­ing. There was one district which is a blank wall which they put mu­rals that are very beau­ti­ful. It’s a row of walls which they ded­i­cate af­ter the fa­mous South Korean singer Kim Kwang-seok, a folk singer who can be likened to our own Freddie Aguilar. Artists live in this beau­ti­ful art strip. It is very In­sta­gram­able. It’s an old but beau­ti­ful district. We can also repli­cate it in our city as we have many gifted artists in our midst.”*

CARLA CAÑET

BA­COLOD City Coun­cilors Em Ang and Cindy Tan-ro­jas.

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