I attended the International Coastal Clean Up Day and New Moon Party in Coco Beach Island Resort in Puerto Galera in Mindoro last weekend and found the perfect opportunity to temporarily pause from my typically toxic quarter-end workload and serve the ailing earth. After all, the new moon is typically the onset of meaningful manifestations or new undertakings. I have no specific intent in mind, but I could seriously use the chance to get away from it all and be reminded that there are bigger issues out there.
When I landed in the resort by Saturday noon, I found out I was already late to join the University of the Philippines Marine Biological Society (UP MBS) for the beach clean up and there’s no afternoon schedule for such. Since I’m still not a licensed diver, I can’t join the dive clean-up set in the afternoon either. Next year, I’ll join the coastal clean-up, I vowed.
It was my first time to attend their monthly New Moon parties. One look at the rastafarian stage and I was easily convinced I’ll have a blast. See, since I heard Xaymaca in Timog already closed operations, Coco Beach had instantly become my new reggae home. I almost don’t bother inquire for their band line-up; I knew it’ll be a pleasant overdose of feel-good, hip-swaying reggae tunes.
That evening, the Iraya Band (named after the indigenous people found in Puerto Galera, the Iraya tribe of the bigger Mangyan tribe) started the line-up with a mix of good tracks that got us pumped up and ready for more drinks. Green Leafy‘s set was an instant favorite; they deviated from the usual Bob Marley songs and they were the first reggae band I know that performed Matisyahu‘s “One Day”. Either I don’t get to attend gigs as often as I used to anymore or this favorite track is not everybody’s favorite. My brother Lec recently told me that Matisyahu’s music is too cerebral (and then he proceeded with recommending this andthat). Still, I give Green Leafy props for including it in their playlist. Make sure to catch them live when you’re in Mindoro!
The ultimate surprise? The inclusion of the alternative/metal/post-grunge band in the line-up.Descaler made us bang our heads in their covers and original songs. They started their set with their heavy metal take of Adelle‘s “Rolling in the Deep”. (Go, look it up on YouTube!) What a way to start the par-tey! And in case you’re wondering, no, they didn’t shock us with a reggae song to conclude their set.
As if these back-to-back bands were not enough, we guests were treated to breathtaking fire dancing from Art Tactics. Sorry, I have no photos to show. I just watched them and repeatedly asked myself why I didn’t proceed with my zip classes. They’re so amazing!
With the attendance of college students in the resort, the par-tey became a pleasant deviation from the usual Danish crowd. We watched as the org leaders started calling out the neophytes and asked them to perform Psy’s “Gang Nam Style”. Then the rest felt like a spring break par-tey. And me feeling quite old for it. Haha!
What to do? Hang out in the bar (I bet the waiters will persuade you to try their weng weng) and have fun with my favorite people in the resort. In any order. And the rest was a blurry history.