Today's Punto
Today's Punto
Feature Article
Hot air balloons to dot Lubao skies Mar 23-25
Music fest, off-road runs, fireworks all-in
By Ashley Manabat

Mar 13, 2018

(BALLOONFEST. Organizers of the 5th Lubao International Balloon and Music Festival (L-R) Paulo Vellarda and Rolf King of Outdoor Challenge Phil., Rambo Ortega of Forthinker Inc., events chair Noel Castro, asst. event director Eugene Lee, and Capt. Eric Tan of Ultra-Light Flying School promise more than balloons for a weekend of fun. Photo by Bong Lacson)

LUBAO, Pampanga – Hot air balloons of all shapes and sizes will once again dot the skies over this fast-developing town as the Lubao International Balloon and Music Festival (LIBMF) 2018 at the Pradera Verde here gets set for another weekend of fun and music from March 23 to 25.

At least 31 hot air balloons, from 19 countries including 10 special shape balloons, will fl y in the event which will also feature musical extravaganzas by popular bands and talents among them singer, actress and record producer Sarah Geronimo and rock band vocalist Bamboo Mañalac.

During a press conference at the Pradera Verde in Barangay Prado Siongco here over the weekend, event chairman Noel Castro said there are also plenty of activities that are suited for all ages such as skydiving and paragliding, fireworks displays and magic shows.

“As we embark on our fifth year, we promise you that we are going to off er more ground activities and more aerial activities this time,” Castro said.

“We all know that the LIBMF is the other balloon festival here in Pampanga but we are the biggest balloon festival in South East Asia in terms of balloon attendance,” he added.

Two years ago, the LIBMF set a record of 45 hot air balloons, the biggest in South East Asia.

The ground and aerial activities will keep spectators entertained throughout the three-day festival, Castro assured.

A motor exhibition, car show, as well as off-road and rally cross will also be featured in the three-day event, he added.

Capt. Eric Tan and Capt. Robert Aguilar of Ultra-Light Flying School said for the first time, ultra-light aircraft will showcase their aerial maneuvers and even take-in passengers during the event.

Paulo Vellarda and Rolf King of Outdoor Challenge Philippines said they will be conducting 4x4 off-road races throughout the day during the event where spectators can actually participate.

Ramon Bautista is designated safety officer while Rambo Ortega of Forthinker, Inc is the event organizer.

Ortega said this time will be a bigger and more exciting event as some 100,000 people are expected to attend.

He said food and souvenir bazaars will also be set up, as well as carnival rides to make the event more entertaining.

Assistant Event Director, South Korean Eugene Lee, said one of the special shaped balloons is the famous “Christ the Redeemer” from Brazil.

Among the participating countries are France, Belgium, Australia, Brazil, Spain, Japan, Thailand, USA, Netherlands, Korea, India, Malaysia, Turkey, UK, Taiwan, Brazil, Canada, Colombia and Vietnam.

The LIBMF is the annual flagship program of the Municipality of Lubao.

Tickets are now on sale at SM Tickets ( at P300 for General Admission valid for any one day from March 23-25.

The LIBMF 2018 is organized by the Lubao International Balloon Festival, Inc. together with Forthinker, Inc., in cooperation with the Arts, Culture and Tourism Office of Pampanga (ACTO) and with the support of the Provincial Government of Pampanga.

LIBMF 2018 is sponsored by San Miguel Corp., San Miguel Beer, Petron, Purefoods Co. Inc., and NLEX Corp.

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