8 things you should know about Malasimbo 2014

Paul John Caña
Great music isn’t the only thing that’s in store for those attending one of the most unique music festivals in the country

MANILA, Philippines – Great music isn’t the only thing that’s in store for those attending one of the most unique music festivals in the country. Here are some facts to know about the Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival:

1. The festival is named after a supposedly mystical mountain in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. The first edition was held in 2011 and has been held there annually since then. 

2. Malasimbo is the brainchild of 3 people, each with his or her own contribution: Hubert D’Aboville, a Frenchman who first came to the Philippines in the late 1970s and built his home here; his daughter Olivia, an artist and designer; and her partner Miro Grgic, a Croatian-born Australian sound engineer. 

3. Musicians who have performed at Malasimbo in previous years include DJ Krush, Nyko Maca, Joe Bataan, Joey Ayala, Grace Nono, Up Dharma Down, Radioactive Sago Project, Sinosikat, Jimmy Cliff, and Joss Stone.

COME TOGETHER. Will you be making the trip to Puerto Galera this year? Photo courtesy of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

This year, the lineup includes Swedish troubadour Jose Gonzalez, the Robert Glasper Experiment, Ron Ayers and Lonnie Liston Smith, Osunlade, June Marieezy and a much-awaited set from Mishka Adams. And no, Erykah Badu, Jamiroquai and Jack Johnson aren’t in this year’s festival. (But we can always hope!)  

4. Besides music, Malasimbo is also promoting the visual arts, through exhibits and installations from established and up-and-coming artists, including Gus Albor, Billy Bonnevie, Agnes Arellano, Kawayan De Guia, Niccolo Jose, Risa Recio and many others. Some of the sculptures and installations from previous years are still at the venue for people to check out. 

ENCHANTMENT. Malasimbo is also about arts and culture. Art installations, like this one called 'Enchantment' by Hiyas Bagabaldo, can be viewed at the event. Photo courtesy of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival 2014

5. The festival also advocates environmental awareness. When the D’Abovilles and Grgic first laid their eyes on the mountain and the location, it became their mantra to help preserve and protect it for generations to come. To this end, they have engaged in reforestation efforts and are mindful of the virtues of sustainable development. 

6. There are many indigenous communities in this part of Luzon, and Malasimbo also strives to put the spotlight on preserving their unique heritage, particularly the native Mangyans of Mindoro.  There is a native Mangyan village within the grounds that exposes festival-goers to cultures beyond the familiar. 

The festival also organizes heritage workshops and traditional performances from indigenous tribes, including the T’Bolis of South Cotabato. Part of the proceeds from the festival also contributes to efforts to preserve the traditional language and poetry of the Mangyans.  

CULTURAL EXPERIENCE. Malasimbo also strives to put the spotlight on preserving the unique cultures of the indigenous communities in the area. Photo courtesy of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

7. The 2014 edition of Malasimbo is a five-day affair, starting on February 27 to March 3. If you’re too festival-ed out, there are other things to do in the playground that is Puerto Galera. Get a tan at White Beach, explore Aninuan Falls and the Tukara River, visit the Lighthouse at Sinandigan, say hello to various flora and fauna at the Paradise Zoo, and snorkel and scuba dive to see some of the most spectacular underwater scenery you’ll see anywhere in the world.

8. You can get one-, two-, or 3-day passes to the festival, ranging in prices from P500 to P6,600, depending on the day and when you buy them. If you’re there for the music, don’t miss Saturday and Sunday as these are the days that the top music acts are performing.  – Rappler.com

For more information on the Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival, visit <malasimbofestival.com>

Paul John Caña is the managing editor of Lifestyle Asia magazine and is a live music geek. Email him at pjcana@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @pauljohncana