Subic Korean community reaches out with cultural show

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – The Korean community in this free port sought to foster closer relations with other residents in the Subic Bay area with a two-day cultural festival that stressed common musical and artistic traditions.

The event, dubbed as the Philippine-Korean Cultural Festival 2018 was held November 9 and 10 at the Harbor Point Ayala Mall here and showcased a bazaar, live performances, fashion show, cultural dances, and dancing and singing contests.

Easily the top crowd-drawer during the event was artist JinHo Bae, a South Korean pop singer who rose to fame after appearing on Philippine television on the show Mapuan Idol in 2014.

JinHo, who speaks Pilipino fluently, sang equally popular songs to the audience on the first night of the festival.

Other noted performances in the festival were from the Method Philharmonic Orchestra led by Youngchae Son, concert master Moon Sookyung, renowned singers Kim Eu Gene, Jung Jiyoung, Kim Sooah, Je Yeokyeong, and musical director Chun Gyoungho.

The Busan orchestra also played alongside the Gordon Heights High School rondalla ensemble from Olongapo city in an entertaining musical fusion.

Student-members from the local group played Filipino folksongs such as Leron Leron Sinta, Tinikling and Dandansoy, while cultural dancers performed folk dances.

Meanwhile, beautiful and colorful attires or Hanbok from South Korea by Korean fashion designer Yong Ae Kim highlighted the much-anticipated fashion show during the festival. Here, Korean models wowed the crowd with elaborate dresses designed for children to adults, and accessorized with colorful parasols.

The festival was also attended by some community leaders from Olongapo City, who hailed the event as a testament to the close ties between the Philippines and South Korea.

According to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), South Koreans make up one of the biggest foreign groups in the Subic Bay Freeport today, as the South Korean ship builder Hanjin remains the biggest investor and employer in Subic as well. (Dante M. Salvana)