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. 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.”