Malasimbo 2012, a set on Flickr.
Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival
Mount Malasimbo, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
March 2-4, 2012
There’s a whole story how I found myself in Puerto Galera for that weekend. I was supposed to see The Foo Fighters play in Singapore but they cancelled their whole Asian tour according to the advise of Dave Grohl’s doctors who were concerned with his vocal chords. There are still remnants of despair in my heart after more than three weeks of that announcement. Seeing them play was a dream for me. It could have been perfect because it was supposed to start my birthday week in the most awesome way possible–and I have to note that I’m not really big on celebrating my own birthday. I already booked plane tickets to Singapore for that weekend but I opted not to go, afraid that I might wreak bad vibes among my friends who also were supposed to see the concert. There is still a sharp tinge within my chest as I’m writing this. Bitter I maybe, I bid Dave Grohl a full recovery and get here fast. Please perform in Manila.
Crestfallen, I looked for Plan B–one that can ease off that sharpness in my chest. The news of the concert’s cancellation had some people buzzing to go instead to the Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival. I considered it. I mean, why not? I get to go to the beach, I get to hang out with friends I haven’t been around with for some time, I might get to meet new people, and I get to go to the beach. I get to go to the beach. At least the beach can start out my birthday week right. So there. I went.
I was also happy that I was able to take pictures of the performances without the hullaballoo of asking permissions from the organizers and getting media passes for the event. The festival offered an easygoing atmosphere in a rolling green amphitheater on top of a Mount Malasimbo. The people The performers were a mixed bag of folk, jazz, funk, hiphop, reggae, and a gamut of electronica styles like dub, garage, breakbeat, and good ol’ drum n’ bass.
It was my first time to watch most of the performers. Dave Eggar of Deoro showed the crowd how much a cellist can do with his weapon of choice. Joey Ayala’s set was a surprise for me, never expecting it to be as entertaining as it was for me, thanks partly to the dancers who graced the stage with him, enriching the whole performance with pride and mystique. Paul Zialcita–with the help of no other than The Wuds and Juan Isip‘s Bobby Balingit–commandeered an army of percussionists and attacked the skins a la arnis maestro, as the bang of sticks on surfaces was a running thunderous theme for other artists Waway Saway and Brigada. Sinosikat? enthralled the crowd with its original lineup intact, the mountains favoring Kat Agarrado as winds blew through her hair as she sung. First time balikbayan Joe Bataan claimed his stake in music history by reminding the young ‘uns how they partied back in the day. DJ duo Kyoto Jazz Massive brought in the swag and the swank with their set. I’m keeping a mental note on and shout out to The Pharm for their impressive rhymes and lyrical prowess (Sorry guys, I got no photo of you. I chose to chill during your set, and that is no underhanded compliment. Props to you!). Heaviest set for the whole festival I think belongs to Radioactive Sago Project, but then again I only stayed for two days in the three-day event.
So did Malasimbo 2012 heal my Foo-less heart? Not really. But I’m glad I came and saw. I thank Malasimbo and Puerto Galera for the rebound. I may come back. I heard the Malasimbo organizers would make it a point not to have the same performers from past years, and I’d like to see how they would pull it off.