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Malasimbo celebrates fifth anniversary with two festival weekends

PUERTO GALERA – To celebrate Malasimbo’s 5th year anniversary, Puerto Galera is getting ready to host thousands of music, art, dance and nature lovers over two weekends.

Every year, people from all walks of life seek the Malasimbo magic. The festival continues to grow into a global phenomenon, with more than 5,000 people from over 30 countries in attendance in 2014. 

A top attraction in the Department of Tourism’s campaign, “Visit the Philippines Year 2015,” Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival is the official event featured for March on DOT’s Visit The Philippines 2015 Calendar. 


This year, for the first time ever, Malasimbo revealed a second weekend – March 13 to 15 – with a whole new concept. The Malasimbo Lights and Dance Festival caters more to the youth with a focus on hip hop, house and electronic music, enhanced with amazing dance performances and state of the art light shows. 

According to a press release, adding another weekend to the festivities encourages the foreign tourists that attend the festival to stay in Mindoro and the Philippines, activating the festival’s eco-cultural tourism efforts.

“At the rate of Malasimbo Festival’s growth parallel to Puerto Galera’s limited accommodating capacity, creating a second weekend and ultimately longer Malasimbo Experience helps maintain convenience for our audience and gives local tourism a greater return. We have a capped capacity and we want to ensure safety for all,” it said in a press release.

The Malasimbo Lights & Dance Festival caters to a specifically targeted market – the millenials – and offers an immersive feast of state-of-the-art light shows enhanced with contemporary and traditional dance performances, full-circled with hip hop, house and electronic music that is most relevant to the youth of today.

Dance organizations are given a prime spot at the festival in celebration of the 5th Anniversary: Philippine All Stars, Planet Zips Luminaries, Daloy Dance Company and more to grace the Malasimbo stage. Quality music is, of course, another key element of the Malasimbo Lights & Dance Festival. A talented selection of DJs, both local and international, is guaranteed to make you dance all night. DJ Kentaro, DJ Mitsu the Beats, To-Ru, HiFaNa, and Tetsuji Tanaka & MC Cardz are flying in straight from Japan, accompanied by many great acts: Swindle (UK), Manolet Dario, Mikail, Br3aking Silence, Emel Rowe, and Lyrically Deranged Poets to bring Philippines’ finest in hip hop today; many more notable acts soon to be announced.

Behind the festivities, eco-cultural preservation is an integral part of the Malasimbo Experience. With The d’Aboville Foundation, the festival promotes mangrove tree planting, the use of solar power, the protection of the endangered Tamaraw in partnership with French organisation Noé Conservation, coastal cleanups, and other ongoing projects within Puerto Galera — member of the “Most Beautiful Bays in the World.” 

At the heart of Malasimbo is the Mangyan village, where exhibits and workshops showcase their rich culture and beautiful crafts. The demo Mangyan village, built by Mangyan craftsmen in 2010, is a permanent feature of the Malasimbo Grounds, and showcases the 7 Mangyan tribes of Mindoro. Each tribe is represented through life-size houses respecting their original architecture.

At the same time, the Sculpture Garden at Malasimbo is a witness to the festival’s love for the visual arts. The grounds have been blessed by the beautiful works of talented contemporary artists, mostly Filipino but attracting foreign artists as well. In four years, more than 40 artists including Agnes Arellano, Wawi Navarroza, Ling Quisumbing Ramilo and Leeroy New, have used the venue as their canvas for their art installations. As a 5th Anniversary special, over 30 artists will showcase their works. Whether permanent or degradable, loud or discreet, phantasmagoric or natural, interactive or silent, the works all have a synergy with the mountain, the landscape, the wind, the ocean or the festival’s creative energy.

Known for quality sound, the Malasimbo Amphitheater is praised by musicians and music lovers. The many acts that have played, including living legends Jimmy Cliff, Roy Ayers, Joe Bataan, Joss Stone, Robert Glasper and Jose Gonzalez, were entranced by the beauty and energy of the place. The stage is also abundant with local talent hailing from the different parts of the Philippines. It has become a platform where collaboration between international and homegrown music can ring around the island.

On March 6 to 8, Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival is scheduled to attract its loyal attendees from all over the world, excited to listen to Ky-Mani Marley, son of legendary reggae artist Bob Marley. The international lineup also includes Fred Wesley and the New J.B.s, led by the former band director of iconic artist James Brown, the Godfather of soul and funk music. Taylor McFerrin, son of popular vocalist Bobby (“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”) McFerrin is a Brooklyn-based DJ, producer, keyboardist and beatboxer that released his debut album, Early Riser on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder record label. Tom Thum, a world famous beatboxer with the most viewed TEDx video in the world with over 30 million views. More artists, both local and international, are completing the exciting lineup: FKJ (France), GOCOO + GORO (Japan) Taiko Drum Band, our own Brigada, Noli Aurillo, Akasha, Bleu Rascals, Adinkra Lumads Djembe Community, CRWN and many more to be announced soon. 

The festival includes some new additions for its fifth anniversary: Malasimbo pulls neighbouring cities (Bacolod, Iloilo, Cebu, Davao and Boracay) closer; Malasimboat parties’ up-the-ante for festival-day-programs, and in between the two weekends, Malasimbo will stay active hosting activities for Puerto Galera’s local community. 

Major sponsors and partners for the Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival include Ipanema, VISA, Department of Tourism, Ticketworld, Stage Craft, Fox International Channels PH, Fox, Starworld, RJ Broadcasting Network, Aktivshow, MYX Philippines, Radio Republic, Yahoo Philippines, Rappler, Mabuhay Magazine,  ABS-CBN Publishing Inc., Metro Society, Metro, Art+ Magazine, WhenInManila.com, Balikbayan Magazine, Inquirer.net US Bureau, Philippine Concerts and Grid Magazine. 

Malasimbo Lights & Dance Festival is a collaboration between Malasimbo Productions and Japan’s BassCamp festival run by Dj Kentaro, along with Japanese partners Groundstar+, Basscamp, Asia Unite, and GOJA Cafe. 

Malasimbo Lights and Dance Festival major sponsors include Ipanema, Ticketworld, Stage Craft, Department of Tourism, Fox International Channels PH, Fox, Starworld, RJ Broadcasting Network, Aktivshow, MYX Philippines, Pulse Radio Asia, Radio Republic, Yahoo Philippines, Rappler,  ABS-CBN Publishing Inc., Chalk, Metro, Art+ Magazine, WhenInManila.com, Balikbayan Magazine, Meg, Scout Magazine, Stylebible.ph, Inquirer.net US Bureau, Philippine Concerts and Grid Magazine.

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