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Sunday, August 5, 2012
THE Philippines will be on the Asian map again when top magicians from Asia and other parts of the world will gather together for the 9th Asian Magic Association (AMA) on September 14-17.
“This is the first time that the Philippines will host this convention,” said James Infiesto, the man who convinced the officials of the association to hold the convention in the country. “And it will be held in Davao City and not Manila!”
On why Davao and not Manila, Infiesto offered this explanation: “Security was the first primary concern of our president from China, Mr. Dai Wu Qi. The (tragic) bus hi-jacking incident in Manila created a not-so-good impression in the eyes of Hong Kong people.”
Infiesto requested Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to make a letter address to the AMA president through Cris Castro, the country’s AMA director. In that letter, the lady mayor assured security for the attending participants.
Mayor Duterte also stated the beauty of Davao City, which is considered the ecotourism destinations of the Philippines. In terms of land area, Davao City is three times that of the entire Metro Manila.
After reading her letter, the AMA board of directors unanimously approved Davao City as the host of the 9th AMA convention.
Infiesto is the deputy sports chief of the Davao City Mayor’s Office. He is a multi-awarded chess player and currently the regional director of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines.
“As the lone Dabawenyo member of AMA, our mayor has tasked me to closely coordinate with all people and agencies concerned to make this event a big success,” Infiesto said.
Initially, Infiesto expects almost 1,000 magicians from all over Asia to attend the gathering. “But when the conflict between China and the Philippines happened, we will be happy to have more than 300 magicians to come,” he says.
One of those who confirmed to attend the convention is South Korea’s Yu Ho Jin, winner of several conventions (2011 IBM Convention, 2010 Taiwan TMA Convention, and 2010 Club Magico Italiano Convention). Last July, he was crowned as 2012 World Champions of Magic in Blackpool in England in the recently concluded International Federation of Magic Societies (FISM or Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques).
Also confirmed is the beautiful couple Mark Yong and Pinky Loo, who can change costumes 14 times in just a matter of 58 seconds! That’s the fastest costume change, according to Malaysia’s Book of Records.
Some of the world’s famous magicians are slated to attend. There’s Jordan Gomez from France, who is famous for his award-winning act in which he manipulates CDs and M&M’s (they appear, vanish, multiply and change color). This act has taken him all over the world including the World Championships of Magic in Beijing.
Another from France is Germain Pilou, the 2006 FISM Grand Prix for Stage Magic. Someone who saw him performed wrote: “A ‘youth’ in a beret and street clothes reminiscent of Oliver Twist did what can be described as a celebratory dance of magic. Pilou was so easy, so natural, so exciting and so happy as he displayed his incredible talents in dexterity and performance.”
From the United States is the multi-awarded Danny Cole. Some of his recent achievements: 2007 Shanghai Magic Festival Invitational Champion, 2005 Stage Magician of the Year from The Magic Castle, 2003 FISM Award, and 1999 Rising Star of Magic Award from The World Magic Awards.
Also to perform during the convention is Australia’s famed Tim Ellis, a performer, author and lecturer in the world of magic and illusion. He holds the Guinness Book of World Record of the longest magic show: 75 hours (which he did in Melbourne in 2004).
Among those who will perform from the Philippines are Cris Castro, Jeff Tam, D’Wujiman, Arnold Allanigui, Renee and Richie and Infiesto himself. Tam was crowned as the 2011 Bangkok Close-up Magic Champion.
Aside from Magic Show (where the invited magicians will perform), other events that will happen during the convention include magic jam, competitions (close-up, stage, and juniors) and so-called dealer’s booth (where all the latest gadgets of magic will be displayed).
“There is magic, but you have to be the magician,” wrote Sidney Sheldon in Are You Afraid of the Dark? “You have to make the magic happen.”
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 06, 2012.