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For years I have been asking, what the hell is Malasimbo Festival? I understand it is a celebration of art and music but one cannot really completely grasp what it is about until a first-hand experience. And I finally tried it this year having been invited by Tangram Silent Events Headphones for media coverage. And I can finally say, Malasimbo is a hell of a festival that you should put on your yearly calendar.

The event is centered in Puerto Galera, a resort town in Oriental Mindoro just three hours South of Metro Manila.

Malasimbo used to be a one-weekend event.
This year saw the introduction of two-weekend festivities with the first March 6-8 for Music and Arts and the second March 13-15 for Lights & Dance. I was there on the 2nd week and this post summarizes my experience and observations during Malasimbo Festival 2015.

@Malasimbo Festival 2015
About Malasimbo Festival
The festival blends traditional & contemporary arts & culture together with music performances while working towards the protection & sustainability of the environment.

The festival is held outdoors in a grass terraced amphitheater at the foot of Mount Malasimbo overlooking Puerto Galera Bay, a member of "The Most Beautiful Bays in the World" club. source

Ticket Prices
Dec 1-Jan 16 / Jan-17-March 5 / At the Door

Friday Pass 1,995/ 2,495 / 2,995
Saturday Pass 2,995 / 3,495 / 3,995 
Sunday Pass 2,495 / 2,995 / 3,495 
3-Day Pass 6,495 / 7,995 / 9,495
No less than Ky-Mani Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley, was among the artists who played in this year's Malasimbo Fesival. Here was the Lineup of this year's guest Dj's and Performers.

March 6-8
Ky-Mani Marley, Fred Wesley and the new JB's, Taylor McFerrin, French Kiwi Juice (FKJ), Akasha, GOCOO + GORO, Brigada, Tom Thum, Adinkra Lumads Djembe Community, Noli Aurillo, Bleu Rascals, Crwn.

March 13-15
DJ Kentaro, To-Ru, HiFaNa, Tetsuji Tanaka & MC Cardz, DJ Mitsu The Beats, Philippine All Stars, Daloy Dance Company, Planet Zips Luminaries, Swindle (UK), Manolet Dario, Mikail, Br3aking Silence, Emel Rowe, Lyrically Deranged Poets.
Philippine All Stars at Malasimbo 2015

Not a Beach Party
While Puerto Galera is well know for its parties at White Beach, Malasimbo Festival is held at the slopes of Mt. Malasimbo, thus the name. The private estate of the brain behind the event is located here. Rolling terrain punctuated by tall coconut tress and a good view of the cove below. A very dramatic backdrop fitting for an art village where Malasimbo is held. So if you are thinking of a LaBoracay kind of beach party then you are wrong. It is not the usual beach party. It is unique and I haven't heard of a similar concept in the Philippines. 

The Mood

Hiphop, house, and electronic music will be in the spotlight, along with dance performances and light shows.
Daloy Dance Company at Malasimbo 2015
One of the pleasant surprises on the 2nd night. 
I find them really unique and creative.
Malasimbo is not a free event. One has to register and pay to be part of it. Here were the rates for this year.

Quite not the price that the masses could afford. This therefore gives the festival of an "elite feel". With that I don't mean to sound discriminatory but one should understand that the venue is not that big to accommodate a huge crowd and that artists who are paid to perform here are not the ordinary ones either. I am no elite so at some point I thought, what am I doing here? But, I admire the organizers for not giving into the pressure of making the event open to everybody just for the sake of popularity.

The Crowd
The crowd is a diverse mix but one can notice that many of which are artists, young partyphiles and members of the social elite. Surprisingly, one can find many foreigners. I never thought Galera has this many foreigners until this event. We actually met a group of French university students who are in the country as volunteers of Gawad Kalinga while at Talipanan Falls. They were in Galera to volunteer for Malasimbo. One even shared that the organizer of Malasimbo is a Filipina married to a French guy. That explains the popularity of this festival to Westerners.
Security + Payment System
Malasimbo is an international event with a system at par with international standards. At the highway on the way up the mountain, one can already notice people guiding traffic. You also have to go through two security checks before entering the venue so you feel pretty safe. Payment system is also cool. Transactions are cashless. One has to get an RFID-enabled bracelet that you can load at a minimum of 500 pesos that you will use for any purchases including food, booze and beverages, even souvenirs.
Food and Booze
Speaking of booze, Malasimbo is best enjoyed with booze so expect it to be overflowing. There are a couple of bars setup all over the venue. Other than that, there are vending machines for drinks too. Prices are not bad with a bottle of San Miguel light at 120 pesos. If you go hungry, there is a section where food stall are lined up. Native delicacies and other comfort food are available. Try dabo-dobo, a local version of adobo which I find a bit more sour and has a different twist because of fried garlic on it. Kesong puti is also another popular dish. If you want souvenirs, there are a few shops too where one can find native products locally produced by ethnic minorities in the area.
Silent Disco? 

Other than the heavy lineup of well known Dj's, one key feature of this year's Malasimbo Festival is Silent Disco. This is something you might have not heard of before. Disco but silent? Yes. That is because Tangram Philippines has introduced Tangram Silent Events Headphones. All you need are enough pairs of wireless headphones for all attendees and a transmitter to stream your audio. The system is user-friendly and can be operated by anyone. Any kind of audio player such as iPods, laptops, DJ mixers or smart phones can easily be connected to the transmitter.
--Idiot's Guide to TANGRAM Silent Events Headphones
--#Tangram SILENT DISCO at Malasimbo Festival 2015 @Tangram_ph
Tangram Silent Events Headphones
Imagine 150 of these headphones in one venue, two djs streaming their music and a crowd hungry for funky beat. Euphoria! To those who were passing by and were not wearing headphone though, they seemed confused at what people inside the venue were doing-- dancing and chanting but to no music. At first, one might think these people look crazy until you realize that you are the one who is out-of-place. This Silent Events Disco is gonna be the next cool thing in clubbing and even in some small group and private events.

I will write more about #Tangram and #SilentDisco in my next post.
I find Malasimbo really unique among the festival I tried. The perfect blend of art, music, light and nature plus a hip crowd. I really enjoyed the first night where the crowd was noticeably bigger. Sunday night was more of a repetition but the perfect nature setting and cool, breezy weather on the slopes of Mt. Malasimbo gave an air of lightness to me. I remember doing one thing before we finally called it a day, I was by one of the slopes of the terraces , lying, feeling the breeze, watching the lighter leaves of coconut trees as they dance seemingly to the tune of the dj mixing on stage.

Ahhhhh. This is Malasimbo and it is one hell of an event.^^

--the SUN GODS of Puerto Galera


  1. Malasimbo festival is one of the best and most awaited party in the Philippines. It is a beach plus music event that is attended by celebrities, DJ's, models, socialites, and a lot more.


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