TRAVEL: Malasimbo Art and Music Festival 2017

Super mega late post!

Travel date: 10 – 13 March 2017

The Malasimbo Art and Music Festival is an annual event held within the natural amphitheater on Mt. Malasimbo, Puerto Galera.P_20170310_170824.jpg

Now on it’s 7th year, this year’s line up  featured international artists such as Alfredo Rodriguez, Jordan Rakei, Manila – based June Marieezy, and local acts such as Apartel (Ely Buendia’s latest band), Bras Pas Pas and artists from different parts of the country.

P_20170311_233954.jpgP_20170310_183517.jpgAside from music, it also aims to promote the indigenous tribe of Mangyan providing them a platform for their culture and handicrafts.

There are two stages to choose from: the main stage and the Mangyan Village stage. Headliners play at the main stage while the Mangyan Village stages talks on eco-tourism, the Mangyan people and up and coming musicians. This is also where the “silent disco” takes place. For a fee, you get to choose your music genre, get your own noise-cancelling headphones and dance the night away. It can be pretty funny people-watching here.

The festival also features art installations from local artists, including art from the festival’s co-founder, Olivia d’Aboville.

Giant daffodils made from plastic by artist Olivia d’Aboville
Marion stopping to smell (?) the flowers
Looks like a school of fish swimming towards moonlight
I have no idea what this one is

The festival runs for 3 days, with ticket options for single- and multiple – day passes. The event offers a campsite for those who opted to stay for the entire show.

Jeepney transport for Malasimbo Art and Music Festival

As for those who chose to stay outside of Mt. Malasimbo, there are jeepney pick-up and drop-off points strategically located around Puerto Galera. My group stayed in Sabang, a diving spot about an hour away from the venue.

This is my first time to attend the event. While I find it a bit too ‘hipster’ for my very basic taste (raise your hands, Mariah Carey fans!), I loved the fact that they get to feature regional acts on stage. My favorite would have to be Kawangis ng Tribu, an ethno-modern band from Palawan.P_20170310_193555.jpg

With Kawangis ng Tribu vocalist, Pag-asa. Weird and funny back story: Marion and I were walking around the venue when I saw her looking out from backstage. Having enjoyed their performance moments before, I smiled at her and said ‘Galing niyo! (You were great!)’. She smiled back and eagerly waved at me to come over. We started talking about their awesome music and their performance, about their flight from Palawan, when their next performance is, and how she has been looking for me since this afternoon… when it suddenly hit me. She thought I was someone else! I then awkwardly told her that I was just a fan, and she might have mistaken me for someone else. We were both laughing by the end of it and decided to take a photo for posterity.




The event was well organized, with safety checkpoints manned by both military troops and the police. Each person is frisked thoroughly and each bag checked carefully.

Outside food and drinks are not allowed inside the venue – not even water. This makes the event even more expensive, especially with the very limited and very expensive options for food and drinks within the event grounds (drinks were triple the price of regular). While transportation terminals are also well appointed, waiting time can take a while (the longest time we waited for the jeepney to leave was almost 2 hours).

Would I go back to next year’s Malasimbo Art and Music Festival? I am not sure. While the objective of the event is noble, the art installations compelling and the music stimulating, the event itself feels a bit too highbrow for me. But as always, the beautiful view and the relaxing vibes of nature always makes up for everything.

To know more about Malasimbo Music and Art Festival, like their Facebook fan page here:

Ingat and see you on the road!

 Know a place I should discover? Or want to travel together? Email me at


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