BACOLOD City will host the 7th International Mask Arts and Culture Organization (Imaco) International Conference in 2019.

Councilor Em Ang confirmed this in her Facebook post after Mayor Evelio Leonardia signed on Thursday, November 2, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the hosting privilege with Imaco president Kweon Young-sae, who is also the mayor of Andong City, Korea.

The signing of the MOU was held during the 6th Imaco International Conference in Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic, which ends Friday, November 3.

Leonardia then received the organization’s banner on behalf of Bacolod as the next host of the biennial conference.

The mayor attended the five-day event with Ang, who is also the action officer of MassKara Festival.

Masks used by performers of the world-renowned MassKara Festival are showcased in the conference participated by 24 countries.

Ang said the MassKara masks are among the more than 500 from across the world displayed at the World Mask Exhibition at the Landmark Mekong Riverside Hotel in Vientiane.

The Bacolod officials attended the 6th Imaco International Conference a week after the 22-day 38th Masskara Festival concluded on October 22, with President Rodrigo Duterte gracing the closing highlights.

Last year, Bacolod also participated in the Andong Maskdance Festival from September 29 to October 8.

Andong is a sister city of Bacolod, based on the agreement signed on September 2008.

It was then that Young-Sae invited Leonardia to attend the 6th Imaco International Conference in Laos.

Imaco, which has 63 member-countries, is a group of international festivals that use masks. (MAP/NLG 0