All the Lights and Sound:
Malasimbo’s Underrated Second Weekend
The Malasimbo Lights and Dance Festival, held on March 24-26, saw throngs of people gather in a wonderfully apt setting to celebrate hip hop and house music. Unlike the Music and Art weekend, the Lights and Dance Festival may have gone under the radar—which is a tragic shame, as the intensity and magic of the weekend can easily rival that of its more popular sister.
8. The intimate scene
The intimacy during the Lights and Dance was one for the books. Everyone talked to everyone and not one soul was left wanting for company. The intimacy that the mountain and its trees lent the event made for a cozier experience for festival goers, a safe space to let go of inhibitions and commune with nature and music.
7. Celebration of art
Lights and Dance also featured a lot of trippy art installations that melded perfectly with the mountainside. Artists like Iya Regalario, Russ Ligtas, Olivia d’Aboville, Billy Bonnevie, Denis Lagdameo, Doring Lalongisip and Grace Katigbak, among many others, made personal appearances—in and of itself worth the travel to Galera.
6. Some local love
One of the Malasimbo Festival’s raison d’etre, besides bringing incredible musical acts to Philippine shores, is to support the locals of Oriental Mindoro. Since its first celebration, Malasimbo has planted 1,000 hardwood trees, 1,000 bamboo shoots, mangrove seedlings in the locality, and they haven’t stopped there. This year they partnered with the Mangyan community, where tourists were able to buy locally-made crafts and products.
5. An epic party
The two Malasimbo festivals are like Yin and Yang—totally different, but both need the other for balance. If the first weekend had a more chill and relaxed vibe into it because of the many jazz, soul and world music artists it welcomed to the stage, Lights and Dance was the more upbeat, frenzied little sister. It was the perfect venue for an epic dance party with the right lights, music and company, and we can’t believe we have to wait full year to experience it again.
4. Dance, dance, dance
No dance festival is complete without dance groups to sway people to the beat, and the awesome numbers of Planet Zip Luminaries, the Daloy Dane Company x Aliens of Manila, and the Philippine All-Stars were the perfect candidates for the job.
3. The killer international lineup
The lineup of international artists at Lights and Dance was sick, to say the least. I mean, just who in their right mind wouldn’t go wild with artists like LAPALUX, Lady Flic, Goldie, Masia One and San Soda actually playing on stage?
2. The silent disco
Although Mt. Malasimbo itself is mostly detached from civilization, the Silent Disco of the Lights and Dance Festival took things to another level. Festival goers were able to don awesome-looking headphones, tuning them into the music of two artists going soundwave against soundwave. Notable musical fights were between DJ To-Ru vs Alinep and Ouissam vs XLII ft. Masia One.
1. The real stars of the festival
Festival Director Miro Grgic said that although it’s great working with international artists, he sees a lot of potential in Pinoy artists. This is one of the reasons why he created the Malasimbo Festival in the first place—to give local artists the platform they need to bring their music out into the world. This is why the local artists in both the Music and Arts and the Lights and Dance Festival are the true stars of both weekends.
At Lights and Dance, local artists like BP Valenzuela, Aries, Similar Objects, Manolet Dario and Reo Mendoza united on stage to set the soundtrack to one of the most memorable nights in Malasimbo history.
What are your post-Malasimbo feels? Share them with us in the comments below!