PH seeks full membership in int’l council for folklore festivals and folk arts

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews /12 October) — The country will be seeking full membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)-backed International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts (CIOFF) during its world congress slated this week in Arequipa, Peru.

Mayor Peter Miguel, who is representing the Philippines in the CIOFF, said Monday he will formally present the country’s bid to become a regular member from the current associate status at the group’s general assembly.

12cioff The mayor left for Peru on Monday morning to attend the week-long 45th CIOFF World Congress and General Assembly, which is set from October 10 until Oct. 18.

“We’re very positive with our bid and I hope the general assembly will accept us as a full-fledged member,” he said.

The Paris-based CIOFF adopted the country as an associate member in its 44th World Congress in October last year held in Bautzen, Germany.

Miguel, who represented the city’s Pyesta Kolon Datal, was designated as the country’s official representative to the body.

The city’s linkage with CIOFF led to its hosting last August of the country’s first-ever international folklore festival.

Dubbed “Pyesta Kolon Datal: Koronadal International Folklore Festival,” the event drew 400 cultural performers from nine countries and seven national and regional contingents.

12folkloreThe foreign performers were from Slovenia, Japan, Russia, Turkey, Mexico, Poland, Indonesia, Chinese Taipei and Sri Lanka.

Aside from presenting the bid for the country’s full membership in the CIOFF, Miguel said he will report to the body the city’s hosting of the international folklore festival.

He said the presentation and the CIOFF assessment of the event will also be considered in the country’s quest for full membership.

“It will determine whether we can continue hosting a CIOFF event,” he said.

The city’s hosting of the international folklore festival last August 10 to 18 drew positive reviews from participating performers, especially the foreign delegations, and visiting CIOFF representatives.

Leticia Bulotano-Wheeler, CIOFF Northern American representative, said the city’s hosting was a big success and surpassed their expectations.

CIOFF is an official partner of UNESCO and is accredited with its Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee.

Created in 1970, CIOFF has been spearheading efforts in “safeguarding, promotion and diffusion of traditional culture and folklore” in 110 countries.

The group promotes intangible heritage, through forms of expression such as dance, music, games, rituals, customs and other arts as well as support activities of its members and those of non-governmental organizations working in the areas of folklore and cultural heritage. (MindaNews)