Numerous balloons confirmed for Lubao event
The organisers of the Lubao International Balloon Festival in the Philippines recently announced that 45 balloons are scheduled to attend this year.
Noel Castro, who is the chair of the Pilipinas International Balloon Festival Inc. (PIBFI), said:
“We invited 50 [balloonists] and 45 have confirmed. With this showing, we can claim to be [mounting] the biggest balloon festival in Southeast Asia.”
Included in the line-up for the March 26th to 29th event in Lubao, Pampanga, is the popular Darth Vader-shaped hot air balloon, along with envelopes that look like Humpty Dumpty, the Brandenburg Gate, and Yoda. The pilots and balloons come from across the world, including the USA, the UK, Germany, France, and Canada.
Last year, 35 hot air balloons attended the inaugural event. Castro added that as it was deemed such a success, it was decided to hold another.
When the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Clark Freeport Zone near Angeles City was postponed, the idea of another balloon festival was born. The idea was to complement the original festival rather than try to replace it. In 2015, the Clark event took place in February over the course of four days, with 34 balloons attending.
Hot air ballooning is growing in popularity in the Southeast Asian nation, with such festivals attracting thousands of visitors. These are important for tourism and give the local economies a huge boost wherever they take place. Hotels in the areas report being full each time the festivals take place.