Approximately 400 masks from different countries are on show in the shopping mall in Bacolod City, where the International Mask Arts and Culture Organization (IMACO) International Convention opened on Wednesday.
Some of the international masks on display come from Japan, Africa, Korea, India, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and the city of Bacolod.
IMACO has 63 member countries and is headquartered in Andong City, South Korea.
The foreign delegates were struck by the hospitality of the people of Bacolod and were amazed at the world-famous Masskara Festival as the dancers set the festive mood during the opening program.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia welcomed the delegates and encouraged them to make the most of their stay in the town of Smiles.
Meanwhile, Andong City Mayor and IMACO President Yong-sae Kewon said their organization was inspired by the Bacolod MassKara Festival and how it has grown over the years.
IMACO was founded in 2006 to create a mask-related culture archive that is an integral part of cultural group symbols.
Through research, conservation and data accumulation, IMACO aims to develop an understanding of mask culture. The group believes in the meaning that masks uphold in terms of freedom, peace, and equality, which allows people to understand human values.
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