The Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival, happening this March 4-6, 2016 is a fete you won’t forget. It’s a family beach trip, a concert for mom and dad, and an art/culture appreciation weekend for the kids, all rolled into one.
So your days of partying past 9pm aren’t over just yet, mom and dad. Here are our top 5 reasons why Malasimbo 2016 is the family-friendly festival you just can’t miss:
1. Your family gets to disconnect with tech and reconnect with Mother Nature
Set at the foot of Mt. Malasimbo, on a grass-terraced amphitheater overlooking Puerto Galera Bay, one of “The Most Beautiful Bays in the World”, the festival demands your full attention. There’s no room or need for smartphone distraction; the beauty of the concert’s setting slams into you like a strong, salty wave from the nearby beach. Instantly, you are entranced by Malasimbo magic.
Spend the day (and tire the kids out) island-hopping, visiting scenic spots like Tamaraw Falls and historic ones like The Excavation Museum, and getting an adrenaline rush at the Puerto Galera Adventure and Recreational Ecopark. Dad can even play a round of golf at Ponderosa Golf Club, which is right on the side of Mt. Malasimbo.
Nightfall makes for great stargazing opportunities. Brush up on your constellations and amaze the kids with your storytelling skills!
2. It’s basically a large playdate in a massive playground
With all the families coming in from different parts of the world, the festival easily becomes a weekend-long international playdate.
“We love Malasimbo because it’s the only event we’ve been to in the Philippines that reminds us of the summer festivals in Europe. But with better weather!
We love the combination of music and art, and we think it’s important to let children experience cultural events at a young age. We usually go with a bunch of international friends and their children, and we take the kids up to Malasimbo during the day. They already love the jeepney ride going up there!
It doesn’t get crowded during the day so the kids enjoy running around the area, making instant friends with the other kids they meet. They can’t get enough from going up and down the hill and discovering the art installations that are scattered around the place,” shares Ligaya Bartlema, a Malasimbo regular.
Photos courtesy of Ligaya Bartlema
This year, there’s even going to be a Waldorf-inspired playground with rope ladders, swings, seesaws, bridges, and sandboxes made mostly from bamboo. While parents shoot the breeze and listen to performances at the Malasimbo amphitheater, children can roam and enjoy the playground to be built nearby.
There will also be scheduled Instructor-led activities like pentatonic-scale singing (singing that involves a musical scale of five notes per octave). They’ll also be teaching the kids juggling, diabolo (another form of juggling using two cups and an axle), and poi, a performance art that involves swinging weights attached to strings, to a variety of rhythms and patterns.
Read: Forest kindergarten uses nature to nurture kids
Find out on the next page how you can get babysitters for free!
3. Babysitters abound and are ‘paid’ in concert time
The secret to getting to party? Tagging along or befriending other parents who want to party too. With the full roster of artists – from samba percussion ensemble Brigada to blues, rock n’ roll and soul band, The Brat Pack, to Malasimbo mainstays Kristian Hernandez and Badkiss – parents can take turns watching each other’s kids and still get to be at the concert when their favorite artist is on.
Even DJ Badkiss couldn’t pass the opportunity up, as shared by Lara Parpan, Malasimbo’s PR and Communications Head.
“In 2011, which was the very first Malasimbo festival, Christina (a.k.a. DJ Badkiss) was pregnant with Maceo. Christina was one of the DJs in the festival and even danced onstage during her set! It was so cool seeing her dance happily while pregnant! The audience loved it. A few months later, Maceo was born.
In Malasimbo 2013, it was her turn to go on stage to DJ and she had Maceo with her. She asked me to babysit Maceo. Thankfully he was sleeping. So I found a nice spot on one of the amphitheater slopes that was a bit far away from the music and I lay down and Maceo slept on my chest.”
An installation at the Scultpure Garden: Everywhere There You Are by Wawi Navarroza and Ling Quisumbing Ramilo
Give your lullabies a rest and let your kids fall asleep to faraway sounds of soul, jazz, blues, electronica, percussion, even rock n’ roll! Now that’s an education in music they won’t get anywhere else, anytime soon.
4. Everything’s at your own pace and convenience
There are no itineraries or any other person’s frantic pace to follow. With so much going on in Malasimbo, you won’t mind popping in and out of the festivities and just chilling. Check out this year’s Sculpture Garden with installations by visual artists Jinggoy Buensuceso, Raphael David, Iya Regalario, Gringo Benedicto, and more.
Midori by Mikai Rodrigo
Pigeon Hole by Hiyas Bagabaldo. Photo by Renato Valenzuela Jr.
Accommodation choices are also available to your family’s liking. Families with younger children may want to opt for resorts for their amenities, while those with older children will enjoy glamping.
5. It’s a festival for parents, by parents.
“Kids have always been a part of the Malasimbo Festival,” says Co-founder and Festival Director Miro Grgic. “We have many kids coming to the festival and they all play on the grounds anyway,” he adds.
Another impetus for Grgic is his new role as a parent himself; he and his wife, visual artist Olivia d’Aboville who curates the installations on the festival grounds, have recently become parents to a baby boy. Congratulations to the lovely couple!
For more information, visit malasimbofestival.com
Photos courtesy of Malasimbo Festival
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