Lee said mask culture is part ofintangible cultural heritage, which is difficult to preserve. “We are trying tosafeguard and preserve the mask cultures,” she added. Dawon “Ginny” Lee, chief of the IMACOInternational cooperation team, in a press briefing at the SM City BacolodAtrium, said that ahead of the conference, “we are delighted to host (theexhibit) in the City of Smiles.” IMACO is based in South Korea’s AndongCity, which has sisterhood ties with Bacolod. BACOLOD City – More than 400 masks from22 countries were unveiled here in an exhibit, a prelude to the InternationalMask and Culture Organization’s international conference hosted by this city onNov. 5 to 8. The exhibit, being held at the Atrium,will run until Dec. 26 and features masks from five continents – Asia, Europe,America, Africa, and Oceania. Among those from Asia are masks from thePhilippines, particularly the smiling masks of the Bacolod MassKara Festival. The IMACO, consisting of more than 130individual and group organizations from about 60 countries, was founded in 2006to construct archives of mask-related culture that is integral to culturalcommunity symbols. She acknowledged the assistance andsupport of the city government, headed by Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice MayorEl Cid Familiaran, in the preparations for the exhibit and the upcomingconference, which is expected to gather some 200 delegates from 17 countries. Through research, preservation, and dataaccumulation, the organization aims to develop an understanding of mask cultureas it focuses on the value that masks promote in terms of freedom, peace, andequality, which in turn provides an approach to understand human values. (With areport from PNA/PN) Photo by Archie Alipao/PN “We’ve known about the MassKara evenbefore and we’re very interested about how you preserve the masks and howeveryone is participating in this event,” Lee said.