Cebuano K-Pop fans were brimming with excitement and dynamic energy last weekend when the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines (KCC) brought Korean culture to Cebu.

“K-Culture Next Door: 2024 Korean Festival” was held last June 15 and 16 at SM Seaside City Cebu. It drew hundreds of K-Pop fan attendees eager to experience Korean culture, tradition, music, food and clothing.

As part of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both countries, the KCC spotlighted the unique cultural exchanges that have enriched both nations over the years.

KCC did not only promote the different cultures of Korea but also highlighted Jeju Island.

“Through this event we are trying to promote Jeju, because we want Filipinos to come to Jeju; like to know more about Korean culture and know more about Jeju, so that they can come,” said Jeju Tourism Organization (JTO) representative Miri Kim.

The festival kicked off with a grand opening ceremony at the Sky Hall on June 15, featuring captivating performances by University of Cebu Dance Company highlighting the different festivals in Cebu including Kabkaban Festival of Carcar, Rosquillos Festival of Liloan, Palawod Festival of Bantayan Island, and Sinulog Festival of Cebu City.

Adding an international flair to the event, the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Dance Company from Korea performed a graceful traditional dance. Both performances became the main highlight of the opening ceremony.

To formally open the event, Ambassador of Korea to the Philippines Lee Sang-Hwa, OIC-Undersecretary of the Department of Tourism Verna Buensuceso, Governor of Jeju Self-Governing Province Oh Young-hun, Board Member, 5th District Provincial Board Member and Chairman of the Committee on Tourism Red Duterte, and Acting Cebu City Mayor Alvin Garcia gave opening speeches.

Throughout the event, various activities and performances, along with numerous mini booths, kept the audience entertained.

Adding excitement to the event, some local K-pop groups were given the chance to perform on stage, showcasing their talents and passion for Korean music and dance.

Jayvie from The Constellation, a local K-pop inspired dance group shared his gratitude to the event “Actually, I’m so thankful of this event because they gave us the opportunity to perform here in Cebu and to showcase to the Cebuanos our talent and love for K-pop.”

K-pop fans who attended the event expressed their joy and enthusiasm, with many highlighting the festival as a unique opportunity to experience Korean culture firsthand without leaving Cebu.

“Experiencing this event feels like I am in Korea, it let me experience their tradition, culture, the food, the clothing or Hanbok, and many more,” said Policher Casqueho.

“The Hanbok and food experience was very fun. Wearing Hanbok while eating Korean food feels like I am in Korea. Basically, I get to learn more about Korea and I get to experience the feeling of being in Korea. Thank you KCC,” said Vanessa Pableo.

The event concluded with a grand finale that left a lasting impression on all attendees. The Mini K-pop Busking Concert featured spectacular performances from talented local K-pop enthusiasts, showcasing their passion and dedication to the genre.

The energy and excitement of the performers were palpable, creating an electrifying atmosphere that resonated with the audience. This final segment of the festival served as a fitting culmination to the two-day celebration, encapsulating the spirit of K-Culture and leaving attendees with unforgettable experiences.

“Because of this event, we were able to realize more reasons to Love Korea, to Love Cebu, and to Love the Philippines,” said PB Member Red Duterte.

Joshua is taking up Bachelor of Arts in Communication at the University of the Philippines Cebu. He is passionate about writing, storytelling, and digital media. He is currently a student intern at