MALASIMBO: A FESTIVAL UP IN THE MOUNTAINS

Location: Puerto Galera, Philippines

Three years ago, I attended my first Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival. Curious yet a little confused, I made my way to Puerto Galera with very low expectations. After spending two days in the island, I was completely blown away by music I have never heard before, I was in awe of the amazing art installations, the delicious dabo-dobo and kesong puti, the grass-terraced natural amphitheater, sleeping under the stars, going up tree houses, making new friends, dancing like nobody’s watching and leaving all my worries behind. These things made me realize that there really is such a thing as Malasimbo magic.

This year marks the third year I’m attending The Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival. Here’s a fun fact, Vina and I fell in love in the island. Whenever we tell other people how our love story started, we always say it all happened in Malasimbo. I guess this is one of reasons why I make sure I never miss it. Malasimbo is more than just a festival, it is where I fell in love. It is only right that Vina and I go this year and relive those amazing memories.

Year after year, Malasimbo brings the best of local and international music. No matter what the genre is—soul, reggae, jazz, roots or dance, the festival becomes a platform for these artists to be heard and discovered by a larger audience.

The festival grounds is situated at the foothills of the majestic Mt. Malasimbo, where its most prominent feature is that grass-terraced natural amphitheater that overlooks the bay. The festival goers also get a visual feast as Mt. Malasimbo is filled with art installations. They organization also works closely with native Mangyan groups that breathe life and culture into the festival, making Malasimbo Music Arts and Festival more authentic and magical.

We stayed at Sunset at Aninuan Beach Resort which is by far the best one we’ve stayed in. Pricey but worth it. Since we didn’t go island hopping nor exploring White Beach, we got to chill in the resort the whole morning till late afternoon. Come nighttime, we head on over to White Beach for dinner then ride a jeepney that goes up Mt. Malasimbo. This year’s lineup is pretty sick: June Marieezy, Alfredo Rodriguez, Brass Pas Pas Pas Pas, Jordan Rakei and Tennyson to name a few. They also have a silent party this year wherein there are 3 DJs that play their own sets every hour and you get to choose which one you listen to. Needless to say we had an amazing time at the festival.

Since the birth of this beautiful festival, it has become loved by many tourists and locals alike. Yes, it is still underrated, but I think that was makes it so special. I strongly believe that there is such a thing as Malasimbo magic and I highly recommend that you experience it at least once in your life.

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HOW MUCH IS THE TICKET TO THE MALASIMBO MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL?

The Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival happens every first and/or second week of March. Ticket prices are different per day. For a Friday pass it’s P2,495 | Saturday P3,495 | Sunday 2,995. For a 3-day festival pass it’s P6,995.

HOW TO GET TO MT. MALASIMBO

From Manila, drive to Batangas Port (2 hours travel time), head to terminal 3 and look for the ticket booth of your chosen ferry.  Travel time to Puerto Galera is around 1 hour and 15 minutes. If you’re heading to Mt. Malasimbo, there are accredited jeepneys that can take you to there. Pick up points are usually in White Beach and a few near the resorts. It costs P200 for a two-way trip (make sure you keep your return ticket).

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