Malasimbo Lights and Dance Festival: Its 4 Pillars and Why You Must Experience It

Started in 2011, Malasimbo Festival has grown to become a world-class concourse of culture. From the 1,500 on its first year, the festival’s turnout had blossomed into some 6,000 attendees in 2015, with people from 30 countries joining in on the celebration of music and art. The festival, now on its 6th installment, is set on Mount Malasimbo in Oriental Mindoro, promising to bring another two weekends of incredible art installations, spectacular music acts, awesome cultural performances, and a fun, communal vibe.

It’s more recent spin-off, the Malasimbo Lights and Dance Festival to be held on March 24 to 26, 2016, will present the best funk, hip-hop, house, and electronic music acts coupled with energetic dance crews and an amazing lights show meld together in a three-night spectacle guaranteed to get you grooving under the moon and the stars.

Now, that already sounds like a good time, but I know you’re still asking: why should I experience it?

To answer this, one must understand the 4 Pillars Malasimbo Festival is founded on:


The Festival masterfully showcases music, relying on both international and local talents to bring a variety of musical acts to Mount Malasimbo. Among others, this year’s installment features Goldie, Lapalux, DJ Kentaro, Abdel Aziz, Breaaking Silence, and Curtismith. The festival’s line-up of artists not only entertains but also provides an unbiased and dynamic view of musical craft.

Malasimbo Lights and Dance Festival

Photo courtesy of the Malasimbo Festival


The Lights and Dance Festival relies on the funk and electro-fusions of contemporary music— perfectly making sure that every single soul is dancing.


Performance art and dance presentations add to the landscape of Malasimbo Festival. With performances by Daloy Dance Company, Aliens of Manila, Philippine All Stars, and Planet Zips Luminaries, plus a spectacular light show, both ears and eyes are sure to be delighted.


The festival understands that culture is expressed in a number of forms and presenting it in just one variety would defeat the entire purpose of the gathering. Every daring dance exhibition and each mind-boggling performance art is a testament to how beautiful and magical diversity is.


Photo courtesy of the Malasimbo Festival

The Environment

Overlooking one of the most beautiful bays in the world and tucked in the company of trees, it doesn’t need much to entice people to visit Mount Malasimbo. And it is surely the case in this festival. Here, the venue isn’t the background, it is the centerpiece.

Malasimbo terraces

Photo courtesy of the Malasimbo Festival

The choice of the “playground” is significant because the festival promotes environmental conservation and protection.

Through proceeds from the both the Lights and Dance, and Music and Arts, the people behind it planted 1,000 hardwood trees (narra, mulawin, acacia) as well as 1,000 bamboo shoots around Puerto Galera in 2011.  In 2013, planting of narra and mahogany, and medicinal and herbal plants such as guyabano, malunggay, and eucalyptus on the Malasimbo grounds took place on April 22 (Earth Day). In 2015, mangrove seedlings were planted in one of the coves of Puerto Galera bay.


The festival was also conceived to push for the protection of the endemic Tamaraw or water buffalo. The event is used as a venue to support the plans of D’Aboville Foundation —  one of the producers of the festival — and a well-known French non-government organization, Noe Conservation, for an ecotourism safari in the area that will encourage the locals to protect the Tamaraw.

The Indigenous People

Malasimbo Mangyan Village

Photo courtesy of the Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

“What is culture without the people?” This could, perhaps, be the loudest battle cry of the Malasimbo Festival. Above everything else, the event is a celebration of the indigenous people, particularly the Mindoro-dwelling Mangyan.

The term “Mangyan” is a collective term for the Iraya, Alangan, Tadyawan, Tau-buid, Bangon, Buhid, Hanunuo, and Ratagnon. Their culture has been made rich through their delicate hand-woven crafts, and  the Ambahan–a poetic expression of the Buhid and Hanunuo tribes, usually etched on bamboo-tubes or slats in the groups’ traditional script of Surat Mangyan. The Surat Mangyan was declared a National Treasure in 1997.

During Malasimbo, the Iraya from Puerto Galera, and Hanunuo from Mansalay present their indigenous cultural heritage through their handicrafts available for purchase at the festival site’s permanent Mangyan Village which they themselves built in 2011.

Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

Photo courtesy of the Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

Furthermore, proceeds from the Malasimbo Festival contribute to the preservation and proliferation of the Ambahan and Surat Mangyan through educational incentives for the youth, and providing solar power in the remote Iraya Mangyan village of Baclayan.

With all of that said, is the experience worth it?


It’s not everyday that people from all over the world come together to celebrate both culture and environment. An event founded on education, appreciation, conservation, and protection is an event worthy of not only participation but also of emulation. Imbibing universal values, with respect at its core, to people of all color, age, and gender transcends your usual festival, bringing a whole new, yet essential, meaning to “party with a purpose.”


Partake in this epic and meaningful event this March 24 to 26, 2016! Tickets to The Malasimbo Lights and Dance Festival as well as  The Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival are available at

For more information, visit the festival’s social media accounts, including Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also use #Malasimbo2016 and #MalasimboMagic to search for updates about the festival.

The Malasimbo Festival

Instagram @malasimbofestival; Twitter @malasimbofest

Malasimbo Lights and Dance Festival: Its 4 Pillars and Why You Must Experience It