The first weekend of the Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival took place last March 4 to 6 on Mount Malasimbo, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro.
A diverse selection of musicians from various corners of the world showcased their talents at the famous grass-terraced amphitheater, while visual artists used the rest of the mountain as their canvas.
Here’s the wrap-up of our experience at the first Malasimbo weekend…
MALASIMBO MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro Festival Date: March 4-6 (Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival) and March 24-26 (Malasimbo Lights and Dance Festival) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com Website: www.malasimbofestival.com Facebook: Malasimbofestival Instagram: @malasimbofestival Buy Tickets Buy Camping Packages MALASIMBO 2016 Series: – Malasimbo: A Backstage Pass To The Beautiful Mindoro Island! @MalasimboFest 2016 – MALASIMBOOO! Transformative Music, Art & Magic @MalasimboFest 2016 – Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival: What to expect @MalasimboFest 2016?
The first weekend is a collective of some of the best new (and returning) local and international musicians. The music here ranges from world, rock, ambient, electronic, funk, soul, and jazz.
How to Get to Malasimbo Festival
From Manila → Take SLEX-STAR Tollway-Batangas Port (60-90 mins) → Ride a boat from Batangas to White Beach (60-75 mins) → Take a Jeep shuttle up to Mt. Malasimbo (15 min)
Toll Fees (one way)—P306 Batangas Port Parking (per day)—P150 Public Ferry (one way)—P250-280 Environmental Fee—P50 Municipality Fee—P10 Jeep to Malasimbo (roundtrip)- Php 200-300
Note: remember to take some anti-vertigo medication if you get seasick.
When you get to Puerto Galera, take only Malasimbo-accredited jeeps.
You know it’s safe to ride if the jeep has a special pass on the windshield
…or if they have a Malasimbo banner on the sides.
Jeepney Schedules & Fares To Malasimbo: Jeepneys leave from the Jeepney stations and pickup points for Mt. Malasimbo from 11:00am – 10:00pm To Puerto Galera: Jeepneys leave from Mt. Malasimbo for the jeepney stations and pick up points 10:00pm – 5:00am
Stations & Fares (two-way) White Beach (P200) Muelle (P200) Sabang (P300) Talipanan Infinity (P300)
Pickup Points & Fares (two-way) Balatero (P200) Aninuan (P300)
Reminders 1. Each ticket is a two-way ticket 2. Please make sure you don’t lose your two-way ticket. In the event of a lost ticket, you’ll need to buy a new one-way ticket at the jeepney stop before the entrance to the Malasimbo grounds. 3. There’s an additional charge of P50/person past midnight. 4. Only Malasimbo-accredited jeepneys and vehicles with a Malasimbo-issued car pass will be allowed access on teh road leading to Mt. Malasimbo. These accredited jeepneys will each carry a sign which reads “Malasimbo 2016 Shuttle Service)
Tricycles and other privately-hired/owned vehicles are prohibited on the access road to Malasimbo.
Going to the entrance requires a short hike, so wear some sturdy footwear unless you want your sandals broken before the party.
After registering and surrendering your tickets, make sure to pick up your nifty RFID band.
Warning: these RFID bands go on seamlessly, but you can’t take them off as easily since the fabric is held together with inverted hooks.
Our tip is that you don’t fasten your band too tight, especially if you plan on staying for the whole weekend.
The Malasimbo experience aims to be as cashless as possible—you can top up your RFID bands with money before entering the festival grounds.
Our recommendation is P1,500 if you plan on eating and drinking a lot, otherwise P500 should suffice if you budget.
The natural terrain of the mountain is mostly smooth, but requires a medium-difficulty hike here and there.
Wear loose, breathable clothing and bring a jacket or pashmina since the weather at can vary from humid to chilly at night.
Camping at the festival is also an option—check here for packages.
Note: bring mosquito repellant.
Scattered around the festival grounds are more than 30 art installations of artists including Olivia D’Aboville, Agnes Arellano, Dondi Katigbak, Leroy New, and many more.
You may check the official Malasimbo Website for the full list of visual artists.
It’s best to arrive early (around 3:40-5PM) so you have enough light to appreciate the installations (unfortunately, no names or titles were provided during the time we visited).
You should consider revisiting some installations by nightfall as well.
All of the art installations use the mountain’s natural landscapes as the canvas, emphasizing the harmonious relationship with man and nature.
Other activities and workshops can be enjoyed at the festival grounds like capoeira, meditative yoga, and juggling.
One of the advocacies of the festival revolves around the cultural conservation of the 7 Mangyan tribes of Oriental Mindoro.
You can support this cause by purchasing their woven crafts and immersing yourself in the Mangyan Village area.
The Tamaraw is a critically endangered Dwarf Water Buffalo species endemic to Oriental Mindoro—through the D’Aboville Foundation’s eco-tourism initiatives like Malasimbo, we can help raise awareness and promote the conservation of their habitats.
Food and drinks are available at the festival grounds, but can be a little pricey considering the serving size.
A single can of craft beer costs P150 and a small bottled water costs P50—budget wisely.
Note: bringing in your own food and water is strictly prohibited and will be confiscated at the entrance.
The bestseller at the Malasimbo Delights stall is the Dabo-Dobo (P170).
Served in a dried coconut bowl and banana leaf, this savory chicken adobo has mushroom and fried garlic—a great quick fix for the hungry festivalgoer.
Tables are also provided for your eating or drinking convenience.
If you find yourself running out of money, there are ATMs around the festival grounds.
Restrooms for men and women are also available, but there can be around 20-30 people standing in line at peak hours (8pm-10pm).
One of Malasimbo Festival’s selling points is the grass-terraced amphitheater, whose natural acoustics are enhanced with this year’s new sound system.
Note: you should bring a picnic blanket or outdoor cushion for extra comfort.
The amphitheater starts filling up by 6:30-7:00pm on the 1st and 2nd day of the weekend. We suggest you come early if you want a better view.
Headlining this year is Jacob Collier; a UK based one-man-band using a series of complex loops, vocal layers, and instruments to create music.
Backed by Quincy Jones himself, Jacob proved to be unlike anything we’ve seen before.
While some of Jacob’s pieces are covers, his true musical capacity shone through his original arrangements.
The crowd cheers and asks Jacob for an encore, which he couldn’t resist!
Here are the other fan favorites over the weekend:
Brigada, a local Samba-style Bateria who attended Malasimbo 2014, threw the crowd into a rhythmic frenzy with their heart-thumping ensembles.
The Brat Pack is one of the first bands from Asia to become a finalist at the Blues Competition in Memphis, Tennessee.
The Tacloban-based Reo Brothers gained popularity with their uncannily accurate covers of The Beatles.
Classical contemporary musicians, Triple Fret, won first prize at the 27th Guitar Ensemble Festival in Shinagawa, Tokyo last year.
Tom Thum with Gordon Hamilton and the Manila Symphony Orchestra performed unusual, but transfixing ensembles of beatbox and classical pieces.
Overall, The Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival weekend was a great success. We loved the variety of music, culture, and arts in every aspect. Team OAP can’t wait for another year of Malasimbo!
During our stay at Puerto Galera, we were booked at Tamaraw Beach Resort that is just 15-20 minutes from the festival. Amenities/perks include: AC, free breakfast from 7:00am-10:00am, pool, scuba shack, restaurant, and sari-sari store.
TAMARAW BEACH RESORT Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro Mobile: +63921 279 5161 | +6327 597 5588 | +63917 504 8679 Facebook: Tamaraw Beach Resort
MALASIMBO MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro Festival Date: March 4-6 (Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival) and March 24-26 (Malasimbo Lights and Dance Festival) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com Website: www.malasimbofestival.com Facebook: Malasimbofestival Instagram: @malasimbofestival Buy Tickets Buy Camping Packages MALASIMBO 2016 Series: – Malasimbo: A Backstage Pass To The Beautiful Mindoro Island! @MalasimboFest 2016 – MALASIMBOOO! Transformative Music, Art & Magic @MalasimboFest 2016 – Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival: What to expect @MalasimboFest 2016? Live an Awesome Life, Sheila & Nico Team Our Awesome Planet Disclosure: Our experience is courtesy of the Malasimbo Team. We wrote this article with our biases, opinions, and insights. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here. P.S. The festivals are a production of Volume Unit Entertainment, Inc. and the D’Aboville Foundation, supported by Ipanema and Rider; with the participation of Brew Kettle, H&M Loves Music, Coca-Cola; and the support of our official our official TV partners Solar Entertainment Corp., ETC, 2nd Avenue, Jack TV, Solar Sports, Basketball TV (BTV), and CT; official radio partner Wave 89.1; our official airline partner Air Juan; our official hotel partner Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila; and our official ticketing partner TicketWorld. Special thanks goes to Coleman, the Municipality of Puerto Galera and the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro, Z Hostel, and A-Space Philippines. Our official media partners: Aktivshow, ANC, Explore Philippines, Meg, Megstreetwear.ph, Radio Republic, Travel Now, Travelbook.ph, 8list.ph, Amplify.ph,Archipelago.com.ph, Inflight Traveller, Juice.ph, Myx.ph, Our Awesome Planet, PhilippineConcerts.com, Stylebible.ph, theAsianParent.com, Third Culture, Travelife, WhenInManila.com, Yelp! Manila.