THE Municipal Government of La Castellana is eyeing to forge a sisterhood agreement with Wonju City, South Korea in a bid to boost the economy of this southern Negros Occidental locality, its top official said.
Mayor Rhumyla Nicor-Manguilimutan said Wonju City Mayor Won Chang-muk along with other officials are visiting La Castellana on January 5, 2020, during the highlights of the 21st Bailes de Luces Festival.
Nicor-Manguilimutan, on the sidelines of the kick off ceremony of the festivity on Saturday, December 14, said they are doing the necessary preparations, like putting in place the security, for the visit of Wonju City delegates.
“We will show them that La Castellana is not only good in dancing, we are also capable of accepting foreign guests,” she said, adding that exploring a possible sisterhood agreement with Wonju City is one of the main purposes why the city invited them.
In September this year, the town’s Bailes de Luces won first place in the foreign category of the Wonju Dynamic Dancing Carnival in Wonju City.
Known as the "Festival of Lights," Bailes de Luces is a celebration of thanksgiving. It has been compared to the Rio De Janeiro Carnival of Brazil.
Nicor-Manguilimutan said aside from the skill and creativity in the field of performing arts, La Castellana has so much to exchange with the Korean city.
“Programs on tourism as well as agriculture can be explored,” Nicor-Manguilimutan added.
“They are currently crafting their own festival, so we can help them on that,” she said, adding that “through the sisterhood agreement, we can tap them in terms of further developing our economy, our municipality.”
Meanwhile, 10 groups will be competing in the Bailes de Luces Festival Street and Arena Dance Competition. Six are for the barangay category, the remaining four groups will vie for the school category.
The winning group will receive P100, 000 in cash prize while the second and third places will P75, 000 and P50, 000, respectively.
By virtue of an executive order, competing groups are not allowed to hire choreographers, designers and dancers from outside the town.
“This is to promote our own local talents,” Nicor-Manguilimutan said, adding that Bailes de Luces has been bringing pride to the province through its participation in various events globally.
In April next year, it is set to join the Intercontinental Dance Contest in Rome, Italy. Erwin P. Nicavera