ex­ploRED Malasimbo, Puerto Galera

A moun­tain­top fes­ti­val leaves lovers of art and mu­sic on a dif­fer­ent high

Red Magazine - - Contents - BY MARA SAN­TIL­LAN MIANO

A Mangyan with long, sil­ver hair strums a pe­cu­liar in­stru­ment as a small crowd gath­ers around him. A young woman, clad in a tie-dye shirt with flow­ers in her hair, sways to reg­gae le­gend Jimmy Cliff per­form­ing live on stage; she prob­a­bly had too many mush­rooms—the magic ones. A num­ber of tents pitched on a se­cluded hill pro­vide shel­ter for the fes­ti­val go­ers. Rain driz­zled ev­ery so of­ten, but the Euro­pean back­pack­ers didn’t seem to mind.

We were on top of a moun­tain, and the place—co­conut trees ev­ery­where with a view of the bay—was as beau­ti­ful as the peo­ple. Kids sat by the grass-ter­raced am­phithe­ater, laugh­ing about some­thing vaguely hi­lar­i­ous. They had a rea­son to be happy, all right. They’re young, and if any­thing, Malasimbo seemed like an or­ganic, con­ser­va­tion­ist in­fant of the mother-of-all-mu­sic-fes­ti­vals, Woodstock. With less peo­ple and more re­laxed en­ergy, it was what one would call “group ther­apy”: an af­fair of eclec­tic mu­sic, art, peace, and lots of love. Strongly rec­om­mended for those look­ing for some en­chant­ment.


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