• Friday, October 31, 2014

Philippines holds hot air balloon festival

Star Online Report
An Angry Bird inspired Hot Air balloon floats over rice fields and houses during the Philippine International Balloon festival in Lubao town, Pampanga province, north of Manila on Thursday. An estimated 30 hot air balloons participated in the event which aims to promote tourism in the Southeast Asian country, local media reported. Photo: Reuters
An Angry Bird inspired Hot Air balloon floats over rice fields and houses during the Philippine International Balloon festival in Lubao town, Pampanga province, north of Manila on Thursday. An estimated 30 hot air balloons participated in the event which aims to promote tourism in the Southeast Asian country, local media reported. Photo: Reuters

Pampanga's hot air balloon festival is usually celebrated in February in Angeles City. But this year, the hot air balloons are taking flight in Brgy. Prado Siongco in Lubao of Philippines, reports GMA News Online.

The event, organized by Pilipinas International Balloon Festival, Inc. (PIBF) in cooperation with the Arts, Culture and Tourism Office of Pampanga (ACTO) and with support from Provincial Government of Pampanga, will be held from April 10 to 13.

With the theme “It’s More than Just Hot Air,” the festival is expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors in north of Manila.

The event, organized by Pilipinas International Balloon Festival, Inc. (PIBF) in cooperation with the Arts, Culture and Tourism Office of Pampanga (ACTO) and with support from Provincial Government of Pampanga, will be held from April 10 to 13.

With the theme “It’s More than Just Hot Air,” the festival is expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors.

Aside from the hot air balloons, there will be street dances, car shows, wakeboarding demonstrations, a cooking competition participated in by hotels and culinary schools, live band performances, radio-controlled aircraft demonstrations, kite-flying, balloon night glows, a fireworks display and awarding ceremonies on Governor’s Night.

Would you take a ride in this creative balloon? YouScoopers at the Hot Air Balloon Festival, tweet your photos! pic.twitter.com/6luctfRJdx

— YouScoop (@YouScoop) April 10, 2014

"Even if it is now more than 30 kilometers away from its original location, I am seeing that more people will populate the area since the festival ground is fairly passable and accessible for both private and public vehicles.

It's just along the Gapan-Olongapo Road going to Dinalupihan," said Department of Tourism Regional Director Ronnie Tiotuico.

The event, which will also feature the wares of local concessionaires, will coincide with the opening of a golf course and a cable car park in the town - activities that local authorities hope will bring tourism and business to Lubao and to Pampanga.

"Lubao is a town which is pretty symbolic on its own as it is one of the first major towns even before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers," said town mayor Mylyn Pineda. "You can still see a lot of remnants of the past like the old San Agustin Parish Church, declared a National Treasure by the National Museum in 2014; and the black Crucifix of the Apu Sto.

Cristo de Lubao in the Holy Cross Parish Church in Sta.Cruz, believed to be a gift of Martin De Goiti to Rajah Macabulos.

"Diosdado Macapagal was from here, Rogelio De La Rosa and Rudy Fernandez were from here, and even the Emmy Award winner, 'The Simpsons' animator Jess Española is a proud native of our hometown. Holding the Hot Air Balloon Festival here is not just about the event...it is more of presenting to the people what our town is all about."

According to DOT Region III, some 30 hot-air balloon teams from the US, Europe and other ASEAN nations have been invited to participate in the four-day event.

Published: 12:50 pm Thursday, April 10, 2014

Last modified: 9:57 pm Thursday, April 10, 2014

TAGS: Pampanga Lubao Hot Air Balloon Festival ASEAN

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