Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival in Puerto Galera
Traditional and contemporary arts come together in the first Malasimbo Music and Arts festival in Puerto Galera, meant to promote ecotourism in the province of Mindoro.
As environmental awareness becomes more widespread, ecotourism is gaining ground as a primary driver for tourism. Ecotourism can take many forms: the experience of sustainable activities in a natural environment, the conservation of local flora and fauna, or of indigenous art and culture, the preservation and support of the local community, and the creation of sustainable attractions that draw visitors to a specific destination for all of the above purposes.
Mindoro Island, composed of the provinces of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, is a prime destination for ecotourism activities. The area has numerous beaches, several dive sites rich in marine biodiversity, unspoiled mountain ranges home to varied wildlife, and active tribal communities of Mangyans. Its most popular tourist draws are the beaches of Puerto Galera, but concerted efforts are being made to encourage visitors to see beyond the beaches to the ecotourism potential of the island.
One of these efforts is the celebration of the first Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival, which will be held on February 18 and 19 in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. The festival aims to create an eco-cultural tourism experience, blending traditional and contemporary arts in a showcase meant to raise awareness of and funds for the protection of the environment and local tribes. The festival will feature musical programs with local and foreign artists performing jazz, Latin, and ethnic music in the open air natural amphitheatre found at the foot of Mount Malasimbo, which overlooks Puerto Galera and is home to the highlander Mangyan tribes.
Part of the proceeds from the festival will finance livelihood projects for the Mangyans. One tree will be planted for every ticket sold, with each tree named after the ticket buyer. The cost of the ticket will also cover maintenance of the tree for two years, which will be under the care of the Mangyan community.
Tickets are available at Ticketworld. Each ticket includes jeepney transfers between the Puerto Galera town center and the festival grounds. For more information, visit the official Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival website.