International magicians convene in Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/22 Aug) – It was no magic trick. Organizers of the 9th Asian Magic Association (AMA) Convention to be held here on September 14-17 said Tuesday they were able to invite foreign delegates from 17 countries despite the current peace and order situation in the southern part of Mindanao.

Convention director James Infiesto, one of the top illusionists in the Philippines, said by inserting links of the websites of AMA Davao and city tourism in e-mail invitations, they avoided feeding the participants with negative information about Mindanao.

He said it is the first time for the country to host this event and the city was chosen because 60 percent of the delegates are from the Chinese community who do not want to go to Manila because of a bus hijacking incident involving Hong Kong tourists in 2010.

“The city government supports this event as it will help boost tourism,” he said, citing that aside from hosting, it will help in the opening program of the convention.

Infiesto said some 350 participants signified intention to attend. These include foreigners from Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, Iran, India, Malaysia, Macau, Brunei and Bangladesh.

Convention chairman Cris Castro, who has won awards in the art of magic, said some world champions like Germain Pilou of France and Yu Ho Jin of Korea will give lectures to upgrade their crafts.

While some dealers will display their new inventions of magic paraphernalia at the convention, he added, there will be competitions among magicians, specifically on close-up and stage magic categories.

Infiesto said this annual event is the only program in Asia that brings all magicians together to share magical ideas and at the same time raise funds for their beneficiaries from Kids of Hope Foundation through magic shows.

The Star Magic Show will stage 15 performers, among them Pilou and Jordan Gomez from France; Mark and Pinky Loo from Malaysia; Tim Ellis from Australia; and, Castro, Renee and Ritchie from the Philippines on September 14.

On September 15, another show will have Danny Cole from the United States, Kimika and Fukai from Japan, Mikhael Szanyiel from France, Yu Ho Jin from Korea, Infiesto from the Philippines, and Vincent Tan and Silvan Prayogo from Malaysia.

A universal wor

“Magic,” Infiesto said, is a universal word. Some citizens, especially the children, are not good in English but know the word “magic” like an instinct, said the illusionist who has performed in other countries in Asia.

Castro said magic show is a growing industry in the Philippines despite several revelations of magic tricks shown in the television by both local and global programs.

“Even if the audience knows the tricks, they will still appreciate a good magic performance because they are paying for the mind-boggling idea. We sell entertainment, that’s why we call ourselves entertainers more than magicians,” he said.

Noting that there are some 80 to 100 magicians in Mindanao, Infiesto said Davao audience is participative in magic shows. (Lorie Ann A. Cascaro / MindaNews)