Luzon, Philippines

Malasimbo Festival in Puerto Galera: A Magical Night of Music and Arts

I just heard about Malasimbo from some friends who are the creative types. You know those who just do their thing and don’t  give a fu*k about what the world would think.

So in a way I already have a gut feeling that Malasimbo is an awesome event. Perfect for people who have different tastes, those who don’t conform with the contemporaries, and the norm. I kinda’ looked forward to attending Malasimbo one day.

That’s why you don’t have any idea how ecstatic I was when I read an email invitation from Tourism Promotions Board of DOT for an all expense paid trip to Puerto Galera and attend Malasimbo. It was a tour of what Oriental Mindoro tourism has to offer to  travelers.

With that invite, I finally had the perfect reasons to read more about this event.

malasimbo Festival Puerto Galera
Credit: Potpot Pinili of Travel Trilogy


The Story of Malasimbo

Malasimbo Festival started on 2011 when French expat Hubert d’Aboville visualized a dream of having a musical event held on the island, overlooking the Puerto Galera bay . It was fortunate that he owned a piece of property on top of a mountain that also looked like a natural amphitheater. That’s when they coined the Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival. The name came from the mountain where the event is held annually.

Hubert was really hands-on with the festival. I remember during our first night there, we saw him constantly reminding the participants not to bring their cars on the second day because of limited parking space. He suggested to use jeepneys intead. This year, Malasimbo was held in two weekends of March 4 to 6 and Mach 24 to 26.

Malasimbo Festival Puerto Galera

Being held at Mount Malasimbo, expect the narrow steep roads going there. Our jeepney’s engine was powerful enough to take the road head on.

When we arrived, we walked further along a dark road surrounded by trees until we reached the registration area. It already gave me a hint of what I was about to expect from the spectacle, there were a lot of foreign tourists. Clearly, Malasimbo has enticed travelers from all over the world.

One thing that caught my attention was when they gave us this bracelet chip that served as our pass and also a way for us to buy our drinks at the event. There were stations where you would pay and load your chip for you to be able to buy drinks. It was actually pricey. One Tanduay Ice bottle costs 120Php while the beer in can was about 200 Php.

A few more minutes we arrived at the concert hall. Instantly you would feel the vibe. The lights and decorations would make you feel transported in a different portal. Then we heard the drums and percussions of  Brigada.

It was just chill, so easy to move with the groove. I am not a dancer but hey who cares, everybody’s dancing and having a great time.

Here is the fantastic performance of Brigada.

You know I wouldn’t want Brigada to stop but there were still some artists to follow.

The next performer was The Brat Pack. There was this lady, a very usual looking lady in black jeans and top. She looked so typical, nobody was expecting her to blow our minds the moment she sings.

And when she played that guitar? Damn! Here’s their electrifying performance.

The first night performances was followed by musicians from Tacloban, Reo Brothers, popular for doing covers of the Beatles. Then ended with a bang by DJ Chikashi Nishiwaki with his jazztronica.

Every night was a bit different from the other. But one thing for sure, it showcased the best acts of soul, jazz and world music of the Filipino and international artists. Truly, a fusion of music, arts and passion.

Malasimbo Festival Puerto Galera

Malasimbo Festival Puerto Galera

No doubt, Malasimbo is bringing tourists to Oriental Mindoro, and to our country as a whole. An achievement not only for tourism but also for Arts and Music.

Puerto Galera,  known for its beaches, is slowly becoming a haven for appreciation of Culture and the Arts.

Malasimbo is an annual event. So if you have your own distinct taste, and doesn’t give a damn about what’s pop. Well then, see you next year.


Malasimbo – How to get there

From Manila, it’s the same route whenever you go to Puerto Galera for some beach experience.

There are buses that will take you to Batangas port, and once you get there, check out the motor boats going to Muelle Bay or White Beach. Malasimbo is located at Mt. Malasimbo, Brgy. Balatero, Puerto Galera.  There are accredited jeepneys that will take you to Malasimbo festival, check with your hotel as there are pick up points near your accommodation.

Note: Thank you Tourism Promotions Board of the Department of Tourism for this awesome experience. Rest assured that Jon to the Word will always be your partner in promoting Philippine Tourism!

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