35 multi-colored hot air balloons are set to fly in the upcoming Lubao International Balloon and Music Festival 2017 (LIBMF) on April 6-9.
LIBMF is an annual hot air balloon festival held at Pradera Verde, Prado Siongco, this town, and is considered as the biggest ballooning festival in South East Asia.
Noel Castro, LIBF chairman, said that 25 regular shaped and 10 special shaped balloons will shower the skies of Lubao on the four- day festival.
Out of the total number of balloons, 30 are from the international ballooning community while the other five are from the Philippines.
Castro said there are 18 participating countries in the festival that include the Philippines, United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), Germany, France, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, South Korea, Switzerland, Vietnam, Netherlands, Australia, Malaysia and Taiwan.
Among the pilots is Sabu Ichiyoshi, a record holder from Japan and a legend among balloonists who made a record of the most number of hours in a hot air balloon.
This year’s LIBMF is also far different from the balloon festival last year, according to event organizer Rambo Ortega.
“Every year, we are looking for ways on how to improve the festival. This year, we’ve included international artists and other events to make the festival more exciting,” said Ortega.
Aside from the balloon flights, tourists can enjoy aerial shows, land exhibitions, games and activities and the inclusion of international acts.
Guests can also look forward to live performances from local bands every night with the addition of famous international artists on the last day of the festival.
Sponge Cola will perform on April 6; Gloc 9 and Parokya ni Edgar on April 7; Moonstar 88, Yeng Constantino, and Bamboo on April 8; and international Youtube star Alex Aiono and Redfoo and The Party Rock Crew on April 9.
Spectators are advised to get to the place at 4 a.m. as balloon flights are scheduled to start at 5:30 am to 6:30 am depending on wind and weather conditions.
LIBMF is organized by the Lubao International Balloon Festival, Inc. (LIBF) together with Forthinker, Inc., in cooperation with the Arts, Culture and Tourism Office of Pampanga (ACTOP), Department of Tourism Region 3 and the municipality of Lubao, with the support from the provincial government of Pampanga. (PNA) FPV/ZST/JM