Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro caters to the nature lovers and adventure seekers. The tourist destination in the south boasts of pristine natures, white beaches, activities such as diving and snorkeling, and tamaraws. Recently, it held a pre-summer getaway celebration to those who wanted to take pleasure on their artistries and music sensibilities, (while flaunting their beach-ready bodies in between) through the annual Malasimbo Music and Arts festival, with its latest installment held recently.
The Port of Galleons apparently wanted to temporarily veer away from the “standard” local attractions and highlight other must-see and must-hear temptations. With these, the province three hours away from the metro, proudly presented the annual concert, “Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival” that starred local artists and musicians plus international and award-winning names such as the legendary Jimmy Cliff, traditional Filipino singer Grace Nono and Grammy winner Joss Stone.
The underground concert that has been gaining local and international attentions since it started two years ago is the brainchild of Frenchman Hubert d’ Aboville, who fell in love with the splendor of the province and decided to stay for good. The Malasimbo Fest gathers the nature, culture, arts, and music enthusiasts and lets them experience what Hubert felt when he first set foot on the island. The celebration, according to him, will put the province in the international music, arts, and culture map.
“The Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival is a celebration of all art forms. Malasimbo is the first international music and arts festival of its kind in the Asia Pacific,” d’ Aboville says.
Explorers enjoyed the good vibes and shared their creative energy in the stunning and breathtaking natural amphitheater grounds of Mt. Malasimbo. The festival atop the inactive mountain overlooks the Puerto Galera bay, which is recently voted as one of the most scenic bays in the world.
The Malasimbo lured the artsy and curious floppy-hatted tourists and locals to its latest installation last March 1-3. A spectrum of eco-cultural activities kept the tourist intrigued that included workshops, organic market, tree planting, sunset yoga and meditation, and cultural features on indigenous tribes. While the party people basked in the energy of soulful and awe-inspiring lineup of acts from night until dawn.
However, the festival is not just about merry making and frenzied entertainment. Parts of the proceeds from the fiesta will contribute to the reforestation of Mindoro and the proliferation of the indigenous Mangyan written language.
Apparently, the first Malasimbo concert did not make much money but thanks to the solicited help and seeded money, the celebration was able to put electricity in the Iraya Village in Mindoro. But this time, everyone holds high hopes that the third episode will be much better.
“Activities like the Malasimbo attract tourists and boost the province as a prime tourism destination in the country. It generates jobs while helping our indigenous tribes,” Puerto Galera Mayor Hubert Dolor says.
Malasimbo Fest is endorsed by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as a catalyst for the advancement of the country’s culture and arts. “We reaffirm our continued support and participation as partner of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival 2013 as it underscores the importance of promoting eco-cultural tourism and serves as an opportunity for foreign tourists to discover for themselves why ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’. We hope that the Malasimbo Festival will further cement the country into the must-see music festivals catalog of the world,” DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr. said in a statement.