South Koreans join, enjoy Sipalay City kite festival

VISITORS. Sipalay City Mayor Maria Gina Lizares (4th from right) and Supervising Tourism Officer Jerick Lacson (2nd from left) welcome the delegation from the Korea Kite Federation, Chungnam Cultural Heritage Content Cooperative, and Korea-Philippines Festival and Cultural Exchange Association at the Mayor’s Office on Wednesday (March 22, 2023). They are joining the 9th Burangoy Tourism Festival, which runs until March 26. (Photo courtesy of Sipalay City Tourism Office)

BACOLOD CITY – A group of South Korean cultural enthusiasts have joined and enjoyed the 9th Burangoy Tourism Kite Festival of Negros Occidental province’s Sipalay City, known as the “Kite Tourism Capital of the Philippines,” which climaxes this weekend.

On Friday, the festival’s open art installation was unveiled while the kite flying exhibitions also started ahead of the kite flying competition at the Poblacion Beach today, Saturday.

Supervising Tourism Officer Jerick Lacson said the visitors from South Korea are the first-ever international kite flyers to participate in the city’s kite events.

“Kite flyers and festival organizers from South Korea have joined us this year. This is part of the plans of the city government under Mayor Maria Gina Lizares to level up the festival as an international event,” he added.

The delegation includes Jaiduck Ryu and Kwangwoo Song, president and director of planning of the Korea Kite Federation, respectively; Ki-Beom Jung, chairman of Chungnam Cultural Heritage Content Cooperative; Junghwan Kim and Wonki Hwang, chairman and vice chairman, and Wonki Hwang, director of the Korea-Philippines Festival and Cultural Exchange Association.

The Saturday the event started with a kite parade from the Sipalay City Park to the “Wow Sipalay” signage, ad was followed by a kite flying competition at Poblacion Beach.

Categories include Flat Kites, with a local design called “guryon”, and Barungoy or Flying Fish Kites, showcasing 2D or 3D flying fish-themed kites, which are open only to Sipalay-based individual participants, while Figure Kites, featuring Philippine animal figures, and 3D Geometric Kites are both open to all with no age limit.

Special awards were earmarked for the Biggest Kite, Longest Kite, and Most Unique Kite.

The festival, which runs until March 26, is derived from the words “burador” or kite, and “barungoy” a local term for flying fish. (PNA)