MALASIMBO: A Backstage Pass To The Beautiful Mindoro Island! @MalasimboFest 2016


Malasimbo Lights & Dance Festival is the second weekend of the illustrious Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival held annually in the mountains of Puerta Galera on the Island of Mindoro. The three-day festival took place on March 24th – 26th, during Holy Weekend and drew an internationally diverse crowd of music and dance lovers.

The festivities start late in the afternoon giving you ample time to explore the island.

Related Post: MALASIMBOOO! Transformative Music, Art & Magic @MalasimboFest 2016


Puerta Galera is a Municipality of the province of Oriental Mindoro on the island Mindoro.   A 3 hour trip from Manila, Puerta Galera has become a popular tourist destination and vacation spot for Filipinos and Foreigners.


The Lights And Dance Festival starts around 5:30 in the afternoon. Go early if you want to walk the grounds and see the art installations, or you can hang out and watch the rehearsals.  

Tribo Manila kick-starting the festivities, combining Electro Dance with Instrumental for a unique and powerful performance.   


Like its preceding celebration, Malasimbo Lights & Dance Festival showcases local talent alongside renowned artist from around the globe.  

DJ Shortkut and Kristian Hernandez  team up for an unforgettable set of genre breaking mayhem.


The Lyrically Deranged Poets / LDP, took to the stage on opening night and rocked it with their underground style of HipHop.   


Abra showing off his impressive rapping skills.


Philippine All Stars impressed the crowd with their HipHop dance routines. 


The troupe performed throughout the duration of the festival  to a medley of old school and modern classics. 


The world famous and award winning DJ Kentaro brought the house down on the second night with a superset of Electro and Drum And Bass. 


Australia’s very own, MC Shureshock is a well known and sought after artist on the international Dance Music scene.     


Headlining for the second year in a row was the one and only Goldie.  A pioneer of the Rave circuits in London, his influences to Jungle and Drum and Bass has earned him Legendary status within the music industry.  


Planet Zips Luminaries Dazzled festival goers as the performed a mystifying fire dance.


Aliens of Manila aka Daloy Dance Company mingled with the crowd, performing an interpretive dance piece that demonstrated their incredible skill  and creativity.  


The Silent disco being held at the Mangyan village was a unique experience.  People trying it out for the first time may feel a bit awkward — but the trick is to let yourself go, feel the music and dance your socks off, no matter how silly you may look.  


The food stands offered up a nice variety of choices.  

The Grilled Sisig Pao From the DTA Pork Store stall was a pleasant twist on a Filipino classic. and for 85 pesos was among some of the cheaper snacks offered by the vendors. 


Boracay’s, Kasbah had a variety of Mediterranean dishes that were all great but the Chicken Kebabs really stood out.  Order a side of Hummus with chili sauce for a satisfying meal.  


This was our first time to join the Lights And Dance Portion of Malasimbo Festival and found it to be more chill and laid back then the Music And Arts weekend.  We highly recommend going if you enjoy EDM and are looking for more of a club vibe.

Congratulations Malasimbo for another great Festival! 

Related Post: MALASIMBOOO! Transformative Music, Art & Magic @MalasimboFest 2016


Since The Lights and Dance Festival start late in the afternoon, you should have plenty of time to explore Puerto Galera in the mornings. 


You’ll have to take a tricycle to get around, as most Jeeps are contracted for Malasimbo during the 3-day Festivities. Prices for tricycles range from 30 – 150 Pesos depending on how many kilometers you travel.

Don’t be afraid to ask your driver for the best places to go or what things to try on the Island. 


White Beach is very a popular destination for tourist visiting Puerta Galera, so expect it to be crowded during weekend and especially on holidays.  

Best to hit the beach early in the morning when the crowds are minimal and the sun isn’t directly overhead.


If you’re not into big crowds, there are plenty of pocket beaches and destinations to choose from. Elizabeth’s Hideaway is a perfect spot to grab a cold drink while lounging on the shore.  


Talipanan Beach is another gem off the beaten path nearly 3 Kilometers from White Beach.  Here you’ll find more locals and rather than tourists.  

There are also other less known locations that the locals want to keep private.  It will take some exploring but these destinations are worth it.   


If you get hungry during your trekking, there are plenty of stops along the way.  Try seeking out local vendors and street hawkers. 


Pan de Kokong Hubad are a popular snack with the locals.  A twist on the popular Pan de Coco;  coconut and sugar are baked on the outside as a topping, instead of as a filling.  The result is a crusty and chewy coconut flavored bread similar almost to a pretzel. 


Another great treat were these cheese filled donuts topped with powdered milk and sugar. Have these with coffee for a quick and delicious breakfast. 


Be sure to make the time and stop by the Iraya-Mangyan Village which is right across from Talipanan Beach.   Home to about 200 families of the Indigenous peoples of the island.

Home to about 200 families of the Indigenous peoples of the island.

The Village is a sort of cultural hub, where tourists can see, and experience the life of the 8 ethnic groups who make up the Iraya-Mangyan peoples.          


From the village, you can take a 30-minute easy-moderate hike to Talipanan Falls.  A local guide will accompany you for a fee of 200 pesos.

Don’t expect much, however,  as the falls are rather small and underwhelming.    


You can also buy Handcrafted baskets and trinkets from the Village market. It’s how a great majority of the Mangyan earn income, so please don’t haggle. 


Mangyan men and women are taught at a young age how to weave.  Baskets can take days to months to craft, depending on the size.   


Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
Festival Date: March 4-6 (Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival) and March 24-26 (Malasimbo Lights and Dance Festival)
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Facebook: Malasimbofestival
Instagram: @malasimbofestival

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The 2016 Malasimbo impressive lineup.  


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
Tricycle Fee— P30 – 150  


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,


Sean & Boom
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,, Radio Republic, Travel Now,,,,, Inflight Traveller,,, Our Awesome Planet,,,, Third Culture, Travelife,, Yelp! Manila.

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