Malasimbo Music Festival 2014

I’ve been hearing about how amazing the Malasimbo experience is for the past couple of years so I decided, well, I’ll make it happen this year. So Piso for Malasimbo was set up (Just kidding! But I did save up for this), tickets were purchased once released, and accommodations were booked in advance to maximise our money’s worth. They say spend on experiences and not on things, and yes, this was all worth it. I must say, this weekend has been incredible. It was the perfect opportunity to relax, reflect, and soak in all the good vibes the place and the event has to offer. The music, the concert grounds, the people, the vibe, Puerto Galera- everything is just beautiful.

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Festival grounds at dusk

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You can find art installations scattered all over

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Poi and hoops workshop

RFID tag (serves as gate pass and wallet - just load and swipe for food and drinks. Sobrang high-tech!)

RFID tag (serves as gate pass and wallet – just load and swipe for food and drinks. Sobrang high-tech!)

It was amazing how everything was set up. The acoustics were fantastic even though it’s an open-air venue. During the event, one could choose from just chilling/lying down on the grass, dancing in front of the stage when you feel like it, wandering around the festival grounds appreciating the art installations or the Mangyan’s native wares, or getting your pick of what to eat or drink. You’ll find food stalls and tables and benches just behind the stage. The ‘dabo ‘dobo (rice topped with chicken adobo and served on coconut shells), kesong puti on pandesal, and that legit bibingka were so goooood!

Omar brought some soul Sat night

Omar brought some soul Sat night

Jose Gonzalez and his sweet guitar skills captivated the audience Sunday

Jose Gonzalez and his sweet guitar skills captivated the audience Sunday

IMG_7113 To be honest, I didn’t take a lot of pictures or videos during the performances because I just wanted to be in the moment and soak it all in. All that new music is refreshing and I was just too happy to be present, swaying to the beat and getting lost in island rhythm. I particularly loved Kooii, Jordan Rakei, Jose Gonzalez, Similar Objects, Lowleaf and Robert Glasper Experiment’s cover of Get Lucky (Daft Punk). Mishka Adams got a lot of love from the crowd and was so gracious during the streaker fiasco in the middle of her set. We were right at the top of the amphitheatre and this naked guy just appeared on our left and started walking down towards the stage. He got some cheers alright. You never really know what to expect from this festival. Haha! During the day, we would either chill on the beach or do some activities like snorkelling or parasailing.

One highlight of the festival, I think, is the surprise performance by Baco, Oriental Mindoro’s dance troupe Sunday night. They performed a version of pandanggo sa ilaw to showcase Baco’s Festival of Lights. It was a nice way to show a bit of Filipino culture to all the foreign visitors at the festival. It was so beautiful! A Proud to be Pinoy moment!!

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The topic of pricing always came up during this weekend. My Aussie friends definitely found this festival way cheaper than what they have back home considering the quality of the artists, the beauty of the venue and Puerto Galera as a whole. But as I was explaining to them, the way the festival is priced isn’t really for the general Filipino audience. For us, this is something that has to be planned beforehand if you want to experience a relaxing weekend getaway. It’s all good, and definitely a perfect way to start summer. I am looking forward to attending again next year with my sister, my ultimate concert buddy 🙂 Kudos to the organizers of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival! Now I know why everyone who has ever gone to Malasimbo can’t stop raving about it and just come back year after year.

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