Davao City is set to host the 9th Asian Magic Association Convention this September 14-17 at the Royal Mandaya Hotel.
This is the first time the Philippines is hosting the gathering of Asia’s top magicians alongside award-winning illusionists from Australia, France and the United States.
Cris Castro AMA Convention chair said they are expecting around 350 to 500 magicians with 200 foreign delegates coming from 17 Asian countries such as South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, China and Iran.
“It would be great opportunity for Dabawenyos to watch world-class magic. You don’t have to go to Las Vegas or the European countries to catch these great magicians, you can watch it here,” Castro said.
One of the sidelights of the convention is the Star Magic Show at the University of Mindanao Gymnasium in Matina which will feature world-class magicians performing for the public. Beneficiaries of the show will be the Kids of Hope of the Davao Children’s Cancer Fund.
Among those slated to perform is the 2006 Grand Prix Champion for Stage Magic Germain Pilou from France, American magic performer Danny Cole and 19-year old South Korean sensation Yu Ho Jin who was the 2011 and 2012 Grand Prix champions in the World Championship of Magic (FISM).
James Infiesto, one of the Davao organizers and a renowned local magician said Mayor Sara Duterte personally wrote the bid letter to the AMA assuring the participants and guests of their security in Davao City, one of the most peaceful cities in the country. The Mayor’s letter paved the way for the country’s hosting of the event.
“With the holding of the convention we want to help the tourism department erase the negative perceptions of foreigners in the country," Castro said. He added that 60% of the AMA delegates are Chinese where magic is a revered craft.
Meanwhile Infiesto said the City is very supportive of the event and will be hosting the opening and closing programs of the convention, which he says will present the Dabawenyo culture to the guests.
Aside from magic shows there will be lectures by world class conventions and a dealers booth showcasing the latest magic gadgets. (PIA/Rudolf Ian G. Alama)