PUERTO GALERA, ORIENTAL MINDORO, PHILIPPINES- A place that I have visited every now and then since childhood. A place where my aunt and uncle decided to build a house on the side of the mountain. But it soon became more than just a house. Because on this side of Mt. Malasimbo, literally in their back yard, became the most magical and enchanting of music venues. A natural amphitheater with seating designed to pay tribute to the rice terraces of the ancients. At the top is a view overlooking Puerto Galera Bay, voted one of the most beautiful in the entire world. This amphitheater, a place that manages to be mesmerizing, intimate and epic all at once has hosted the likes of DJ Krush, Joe Bataan, Up Dharma Down, Joss Stone and the legendary Jimmy Cliff. But it isn't just about the music echoing through the towering coconut trees with the moonlight beaming overhead. It's also about showcasing art. Installations dot the landscape. Whether its Níccolo José's grandiose giant twig-men or the thought-provoking edible confectionary installations of Mikai Rodrigo, there's always something that will catch your eye and leave you enamored. Malasimbo Music and Arts. A festival that comes together seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Scratch that, in the middle of paradise. It rivals Red Rocks. Festivals, More Fun in the Philippines.
Forget Coachella, Malasimbo is where I'm going.