A soothing atmosphere, an authentic experience with mother nature, a mixture of arts and light installations and perfect blend of international and local music, truly a tropical wonderland.

Imagine yourself in a place with an overlooking bay for three consecutive days, jamming with live soulful music whilst relaxing with a cold summer breeze. Who will say no to these mind boggling experience?

The music festival which was now on its seventh year once again rocked the night away for the crowd. From March 10-12, 2017, Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival bestowed unforgettable performances of different artists on the perfect picturesque Malasimbo Amphitheatre in the place with one of the most beautiful bays in the world, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. Malasimbo Fest caters to the people’s enthusiasm not only to enjoy music and arts but also to commune with the environment and be part of an indigenous culture.

Name it, and they had it. The festival remarkably featured a jam-packed line-up of events and performances.

Among the local and international live performers were the outstanding Canadian electronic music artist Tennyson, June Mariezzy, the Afro-Cuban jass pianist and Quncy Jones protege Alfredo Rodriguez, Australian soal jazz performer Jordan Rakei, ensembles Curtismith and sKarm, RH Xanders, and Microphone Mechanics. It also featured silent disco where a group of people can listen to the music of three sets through headphones. Reggae, jazz, soul, folky tunes among others.

People from diverse fields were all bonded by good music, good vibes and good companies formed during the fest. Respect of the crowd with different culture orientations with one another and the nature itself was all visible in the atmosphere. Festival director Miro Grgic and wife Olivia D’Aboville-Grgic also jived with the Malasimbo artists and the mob.

Who would not want to kick off their summer and witness the ultimate festival of both worlds of tranquility and excessive music at the same time?

Art installations from Filipino contemporary artists like Troy Silvestre, Olivia D’Aboville, Agnes Arellano, Leeroy New and many more also astounded the local and international people. Unlike a typical art show displaying their art works in an art gallery, artists were given freedom to choose which part of the foothill they would place their obra maestras and could fully express themselves. It was as if all the things one was looking for to relax, find themselves and fill all the letters of enjoyment could be found at the magical place with delightful music and ambience.

Whilst partying and dancing all night with festive mood, the event surely showcased the increase in tourism not only in Puerto Galera and the province but much more of the country courtesy of the people coming from different sides of the world. With emphasis on eco-cultural tourism, every ticket sold marks to planting of mangrove seedlings.

Moreover, the D’Aboville Foundation’s community program had workshop of Mangyan language and helped the Mangyan community by having them set up booths to highlight their indigenous culture and exhibit their handcrafts and jewelries. Some festival proceeds also went to the scholarship and electricity of Mangyan families.

People with lit up hula hoops, poi, glow in the dark gadgets and everything one would expect in a festival were visible in the area. Strands of lights as if swaying with the music and connected with the hearts of the people dancing and expressing themselves solo and with friends could also be seen in the sky.

A perfect getaway, a smooth three-day vacation that left fun memories, bundle of laughter, newfound friends and no regrets-at-all festival goers will surely remember Malasimbo festival 2017. It was one annual but rare occassion with no massive production except the atmosphere itself. An event with so many things to do and so many places and culture to explore. Malasimbo festival will continue to unite the culture and music both internationally and locally while raising awareness of the world’s flora and fauna conservation.

By: PPDO Oriental Mindoro