THE Consulate of the Republic of Korea in Cebu and Cebu Korean Association finally hosted physically the 2022 K-Pop World Festival on Saturday, July 2, two years after holding it online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Named grand winner in the event held around 5 p.m. Saturday at the Ayala Terraces Center Cebu was Rhapsody, an all-boy cover group founded in 2018.

First runner-up was Understatement, a group formed in 2012, while second runner-up was The Glitz. Consolation prizes went to the Groups Ortus, XY 28, and Mi6x.

These teams were among the 30 groups that made it to the final cut out of the 79 that auditioned for the festival.

Rhapsody went home with P20,000. It will move on to the semi-finals of the 2022 K-Pop World Festival in Changwon, South Korea.

The event will be covered by Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) and will be televised worldwide through KBS World.

The rest of the winners will join the Cebu delegation and represent the province in the international music competition.

“We will be giving three finalists for Korean Broadcasting System and it's up to them kung pila ilang kuhaon, but the winning team today will be part of worldwide semi-finals and will fly to Korea. They will be competing with other participating countries,” said Blanche Conlu, one of the head organizers.

Conlu was happy that the event was finally held physically after two years.

"It's overwhelming but in a good way. It's really good to be back seeing performers and audiences. We feel grateful. Even if the pandemic is still here, we are very happy that we are allowed to do this," she said.

Consulate General Choi Sewon of the Republic of Korea in Cebu said the festival started as a way to introduce Korean pop culture to the world, and then it became an activity for promoting cooperation and cultural exchanges between Korea and the Philippines.

Choi expressed his gratitude to the volunteers, participants, and guests on Saturday. (Ryan Megabon, CNU intern)