Masks from all around the world on display in Bacolod mall

Yasmin Pascual-Dormido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 06 2019 06:02 PM

Around 400 masks from all over the world are on display in a shopping mall in Bacolod City. Yasmin Pascual-Dormido, ABS-CBN News

Around 400 masks from all over the world are on display in a shopping mall in Bacolod City. Yasmin Pascual-Dormido, ABS-CBN News

Around 400 masks from all over the world are on display in a shopping mall in Bacolod City. Yasmin Pascual-Dormido, ABS-CBN News


BACOLOD CITY - Around 400 masks from different countries are on display in a shopping mall in Bacolod City as the International Mask Arts and Culture Organization (IMACO) International Convention opened Wednesday.

Some of the international masks on exhibit come from Japan, Africa, Korea, India, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Bacolod City.

IMACO has 63 member nations and is based in Andong City, South Korea. Bacolod and Andong are sister cities.

International delegates were awed by the hospitality of the people of Bacolod and marveled at the world-renowned Masskara Festival as dancers set the festive mood during the opening program.

"Bacolod is a smile city and everyone is hospitable... And every year, you make the Masskara Festival so IMACO invite our friend city to cooperate together," said Chen Senglai, president of the National Base for International Cultural Exchange and Research based in China.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia welcomed the delegates and encouraged them to make the most of their stay in the City of Smiles.

“It’s the very first time we are hosting directly and single-handedly an international convention. The significance is it means we are now open to the world and we welcome the rest of the world to Bacolod City. I was told two years ago that they were thinking of Turkey, having chosen Bacolod... is a source of pride and inspiration for us," Leonardia said.

Meanwhile, Andong City mayor and IMACO president Yong-sae Kewon said their organization is inspired by Bacolod’s MassKara Festival and how it has grown over the years.

“The mask culture, treasure of mankind and the universal culture of the world, is losing its vitality, challenged by the changes in the perception of traditions, institutional limitations, and weakened inheritance power. I think the answer lies here in Bacolod. Bacolod shows the future of mask culture, including establishing urban brands through the mask festival and creating value through culture industries,” said Kewon.

IMACO was established in 2006 to construct archives of mask-related culture that is integral to cultural community symbols.

Through research, preservation and data accumulation, IMACO aims to develop an understanding of mask culture. The organization believes in the value that masks promote in terms of freedom, peace and equality which helps people understand human values.