FOR THE PAST five years, thousands of people have been flocking to Puerto Galera to experience the magic of the Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival.
But there’s something more that the annu- al event represented—the passion and com- mitment to achieve an objective. In my case, I wanted to do something not necessarily for financial considerations, but simply to learn.
We’re all eager to start earning money af- ter college. However, as most successful people say, we should focus more on gaining experience, even if it means settling for a modest salary—or even no salary at all.
As long as we use the time in pursuit of bigger goals, any experience is valuable. While we are young, we should explore the world and give our time to efforts that match our passions and career objectives. Better to do it now while we have only our- selves to think of, and we can still soak up information like a sponge.
I signed up as a Malasimbo volunteer to gain experience in holding music festivals. I expected to get practical know-how, connections and a good feel of how such an event is mounted.
What I didn’t expect to see was that much passion was poured into this endeavor; how a small group of individuals could change the landscape of an island with their vision; how problems couldn’t deter them from pursuing their goals.
I saw how an ideal became a reality.
These valuable lessons won’t be gained just about anywhere. This was what gave Malasimbo its magic, and I saw myself get- ting involved in that process.
First I went to Malasimbo’s Makati head- quarters. It was my first day at work with a dedicated and efficient group of six.
I proceeded with what seemed like very minor, somewhat clerical tasks. Initially it wasn’t what I had hoped I would be doing, but I did my job with the best of my abilities.
Weeks into the project, I found that my duties had developed into more complex tasks—the things I had wanted to work on, from social media marketing to artist liaison, to even getting in a word or two during huddles with management.
I took pride in the work and the people I was working with—artists and other bril- liant minds under one roof, all passionate about one cause. There was a great sense of solidarity and a true sense that everyone was part of something great.
Come festival time, I was assigned to lo- gistics, on top of social media. Logistics was a whole different animal, one that needed coordination and a reliable group of people. But everything turned out well.
During my downtime I got to interact with artists, other volunteers and even guests. I got up close and personal with the community that developed around this festival.
It was funny how many still didn’t know about the performers’ lineup as people start- ed hiking up Mount Malasimbo.
When the festival was over, I had new fa- vorite music artists, gained new friends and a great, unique experience only Malasimbo could offer.
It was a holistic experience that enabled me to identify my strengths and weaknesses. I saw how I related with others and what my priorities were, and also learned more about what I really wanted to do long-term.
There is truly something to be said about working not just to earn but to learn, as in the end you receive more than what you ex- pect to get. I expected to pick up technical know-how; while I did, I also learned the importance of passion and how following your dreams, amid the odds, will always land you a place in the hearts of people.
I learned the importance of a strong team and good interpersonal relations. I learned that the magic that emanates from Malasim- bo, or any festival for that matter, starts from the ideals and the passion of the group that creates it. It can’t be fabricated, and it has to come from within.
Everyone should devote time to an effort; forget the financial rewards for now, as you can learn valuable things about yourself and priceless skills for your future.