Malasimbo, from the start, had all the ingredients to a recipe for success: it pulled in the most creative acts—both musically and visually—from all over the world, it was held in a beautiful island paradise, and most importantly, it had a mission worth emulating. While most festivals nowadays try to drown out their vapidness with as many big-name musicians as they can, Malasimbo chose to go the opposite route: by giving equal attention to both the music and the environment it’s set in, the festival pulled in not only music lovers, but nature lovers and travelers as well.
In terms of the music, it was a remarkable weekend filled with OPM acts like hip hop prodigies Curtismith and sKarm, up-and-coming DJs CRWN, No Rome, and Moophs, acid jazz band Brass Pas Pas Pas Pas, as well as many others. International groups who had graced the stage included SingIndia, RH Xanders, Lefto, Tennyson, and countless more. Musicians were obviously curated and chosen carefully, seeing as how all of acts freely showcased their love for the environment, as well as their appreciation for the Mangyan culture and lifestyle.
Overall, the recent weekend in Mt. Malasimbo was a truly special, and allowed me to get in touch with nature, discover new music and cultures, and most importantly, make friends—with both humans and dogs. Come see my photos in the gallery above!
The Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival 2017 was held last March 10-12 at Mt. Malasimbo in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. Ever since its inception, the festival has always strived to be more than just a celebration of music: one of the organizers, the D’Aboville Foundation has utilized the festival in order to bring about awareness of the plight of the indigenous Mangyan, as well as the Mindoro-endemic Tamaraw, and the numerous mangrove plantations that keep the beautiful island of Puerto Galera alive and vibrant. The D’Aboville Foundation and VUE have since spearheaded the movement of creating lasting change through the power of music.
The festival has since increased awareness regarding the rich—yet often overlooked—culture of the Hanunuo Mangyan, giving them not only an opportunity to teach outsiders their heritage, but also grant them opportunities to sell their handmade crafts to visitors of their land. Every year, the D’Aboville Foundation plants one mangrove seedling for every Malasimbo Festival ticket sold, and oftentimes even more. Learn more about their mission here.
How was your Malasimbo weekend? Share it down in the comments below, or tweet them to me via @rafael_reynante!
A purveyor of fine coffee, menswear, and life experiences. Raf is an ex-musician himself, and started with heavy metal, but now currently listens to K-Pop, Future Funk, and Vaporwave. There are few things he doesn’t listen to, so feel free to message him your song and artist suggestions.