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Shake your groove thing at the Malasimbo Festival—now on its 5th year!

If you’re a fan of music, dance, art, and straight-up fun, I’m sure Malasimbo needs no further introduction. But just in case, here’s what you need to know about this epic festival:

 1. “Malasimbo” isn’t some random made-up name.

Photo courtesy of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

Photo courtesy of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

It’s the name of the mountain in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, where the festival is held. You don’t have to worry about bringing your hiking gear, though. The revelries take place on the foot of Mt. Malasimbo overlooking the bay. Check out that photo above. That right there is where the magic happens—and it also happens to be outside the home of the D’Aboville family, who spearheads this yearly event.

2. It’s been drawing locals and foreigners alike since 2011.

Photo courtesy of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

Photo courtesy of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

In 2011, some 1,500 people trooped over to Puerto Galera to witness the debut of the Malasimbo Festival. Last year, the count exceeded 5,000 attendees. And we’re not just talking about Filipinos—more than 30 countries were represented! I’m sure they’ll hit a new record this year with all the cool things they have prepared. Catch music acts such as Ky-Mani Marley (Bob Marley’s son), Taylor McFerrin, Tom Phun, and many more from March 6 to 8. Note that the main acts usually hit the stage on Saturday and Sunday.

3. It’s not just about beautiful music—there’s plenty of eye candy too.

Photo by Antonio del Rosario via Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

Photo of Russ Ligtas’ Don’t Feed the Natives by Antonio del Rosario via Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

No, I’m not talking about hot guys and gals. I mean art. Every year, the Sculpture Garden at Malasimbo showcases the works of both local and foreign artists. The 2015 lineup promises to be the grandest ever with over 30 artists gracing the landscape with their unique creations. Not that the place isn’t beautiful enough on its own, of course. Get a load of the view of Puerto Galero, one of the “Most Beautiful Bays in the World”:

Photo courtesy of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

Photo courtesy of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

 4. It’s a festival with an advocacy.

Photo courtesy of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

Photo courtesy of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

Speaking of the view, it’s worth mentioning that the Malasimbo Festival seeks to promote the preservation of the environment and indigenous culture as well. Some of the causes they advocate are mangrove tree planting, coastal cleanups, and the protection of the Tamaraw. And let’s not forget the demo Mangyan village that the festival highlights, featuring their traditional architecture, handicrafts, and more.

5. To celebrate their 5th anniversary, Malasimbo debuts their Lights and Dance Festival.

Photo by Terence Angsioco via Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

Photo by Terence Angsioco via Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

After all, nothing spells a party quite like high-tech light shows and kick-ass dance performances. Right? The first-ever Malasimbo Lights and Dance Festival runs from March 13 to 15, and it’ll feature the Philippine All Stars, Planet Zips Luminaries, and more dance groups. Of course, you’ve got to have DJs too. Show off your moves to the beats of DJ Kentaro, HiFaNa, and Japan’s Tetsu-ji Tanaka & MC Cardz, among others.

6. It makes for one legend—wait for it—ary weekend.

Photo by Terence Angsioco via Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

Photo by Terence Angsioco via Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

If there’s one thing Malasimbo is known for other than its music and arts, it’s the community of easygoing people who go there to have a great time. You’re sure to meet new friends from all over the world, especially if you camp out for the entire weekend. For those who want to party on—or in—the water, there’s the Malasimboat. You can also explore the other treasures of Puerto Galera. Not bad for a 2.5- to 3.5- hour commute from Manila!

 

 So what say you—shall we start saving up for our tickets now? I know I will!

 

Check out the posters below for more information on performing acts and ticket prices. For anything else, head over to the official Malasimbo Festival website.

Poster courtesy of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

Poster courtesy of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

Poster courtesy of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

Poster courtesy of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

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