|The Malasimbo 2014 stage set right in the middle of the forest of Mount Malasimbo.|
When someone says "Puerto Galera", one would automatically think, beach!
I've been there a couple of times what with the island so close to the city. But during the first week of March, my friends and I went there for somethings else besides the sun, sand, and the sea.
We came for the Malasimbo experience.
"The Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival is the first international music and arts festival of its calibre in the Asia-Pacific. It is set amidst the tropical gardens of Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines; truly one of the world’s most enchanting backdrops for a festival. The festival grounds is situated on the foothills of the majestic Mount Malasimbo where its most prominent feature is a grass-terraced amphitheatre that overlooks the bay, renowned as one of “The Most Beautiful Bays in the World”....
The festival is produced annually by a group of individuals who are passionate about music, arts, nature and the Filipino heritage. Adventure, environment, and eco-cultural tourism are its cornerstones. " (Read more here.)
It was my first time to attend a music festival. Let alone a music and arts festival. And the experience was spellbinding, to say the least.
I wish I'm as good a writer as my friend PJ (Read his review of the festival here.) but I'm afraid my limited vocabulary isn't enough to describe everything.
So I'll just take you through the Malasimbo experience as captured by my lens.
|The registration area.|
|Monster Mushrooms. One of the many art installations around the festival grounds.|
|"Presence" by Gus Albor. But in our language, "The perfect way to take selfies" hahaha.|
|Colorful masks. I want them for my room!|
|(L) No more bad dreams. I doubt nightmares can get through this huge dream catcher; (R) Yogis!|
|Pomelo Bar. One of the bars within the festival grounds. They made sure nobody gets "thirsty" ;)|
|DJ Complex of Heavy Boogie.|
|The Melotonins. Brisbane-based vocal harmony trio.|
|"We come in peace..."|
|From colorful to creepy. No. I don't want them in my room when they're like that haha.|
|Surprise performance. Elementary and high school students from the town of Baco gave the audience a glimpse of the local culture.|
After that, we were were entertained by the music of Mishka Adams.
After which, came the most awaited artist of the night: Jose Gonzalez.
|Swedish singer-songwriter Jose Gonzalez.|
I was only familiar with around two of the tracks he sang that night but I couldn't help but be caught in the rhythm of hums and sighs from the audience. It was as though the festival grounds were pulsating with heartbeats.
Which was fitting because for his encore, Jose Gonzalez sang one of his most popular songs, his cover of "Heartbeats" by The Knife.
|Jose Gonzalez thanking the crowd.|
But I think, while the whole festival was a perfect fusion of music, arts, and nature, what made it more memorable is the company I experienced it with :)