1st Korean-Ilonggo Friendship Festival Showcases Fusion of Ilonggo and Korean Culture

A presentation on how the way of life of Ilonggos has been immersed with the Korean culture will be featured in the week-long celebration of the 1st Korean-Ilonggo Friendship Festival this Sept 17-22 in Iloilo.

The event is the first of its kind in the Philippines and Moon Dae Jin (Tiger Moon), president of Metro Korea and the vice-president of the Iloilo Korea United Community Association Inc., said they decided to hold it in this city.

Tiger Moon credited the birth of the festival to Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog who talked about the possibility of holding such event.

Event organizer Jane Javellana said the occasion will make Koreans feel that they are much welcome in Iloilo. The friendship, she said, started when the Koreans invested and put up businesses in this city.

Benito Jimena, City Tourism and Development Officer, said that the city government has long been planning to organize an event that would strengthen the friendship between Ilonggos and Koreans.

“We believe that a festival like this would make everybody aware of the presence of our Korean friends,” he said, citing the event as a “cross-cutting of cultural fusion of Koreans and Ilonggos.”

During the festival, the organizer will bring in artists and top models from Korea to perform before Ilonggo and Korean audiences. Invited were the Step Girl and Karin groups with the special participation the XLR8, the Philippines’ Finest PPOP Group.

They will also host mall exhibits and fashion shows to showcase the culture, places and dresses of Korea.

The week-long exhibit starting Sept. 21 will be mounted at the SM City while the festival concert will be held at the Central Philippine University (CPU) gym in the evening of the opening day.

The food festival on Sept. 22 at Delgado Street in the city proper will offer Korean and Ilonggo cuisine.

Tiger Moon added they are campaigning for more Koreans come here and the festival would surely entice more of their compatriots to visit Iloilo.

Jimena disclosed that Koreans are the city’s top foreign visitors based on statistics gathered from hotels.

There are around 3, 000 Koreans in this city, about 70 percent of them students.

Tourism officer-in-charge for Western Visayas, Atty. Helen Catalbas lauded the endeavor that is expected to raise our tourism statistics and tourism receipts.

She pointed out that there are 10 million Koreans going abroad every year and the Philippines is only getting a share equal to about one million. (PNA) LAM/AJP/PGLENA/VLO

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