Words by Bea Lizarondo Soliman
Photos by Bea Lizarondo Soliman, Franchesca Collantes, and Joshua Trinidad
This year, from April 5th to the 7th, a total of thirty-one hot air balloons graced the skies of Lubao, Pampanga at the sixth Lubao International Balloon and Music Festival that occurred in Pradera Verde. Lubao Festival is one of the biggest hot air balloon festivals in Southeast Asia.
Lubao International Balloon and Music Festival is an annual summer event mostly known for its hot air balloons and its local and international musical acts, that are visited by thousands each year.
Though there are a number of exhibitions and recreational activities provided by the festival, one of its much-awaited highlights, undoubtedly, has to be the flight of the hot air balloons. One of the balloons in the festival came from the Philippines, while the rest were sourced from different countries such as Australia, Brazil, and Korea. This year, a number of hot air balloons even took flight in the country for the first time.
Out of the 31 hot air balloons that were present in the Lubao International Balloon and Music Festival, 21 took the traditional shape of a balloon, while 10 were uniquely-shaped. These uniquely-shaped balloons took the form of a pig in overalls, a ladybug in a jester costume, a yellow baby chicken, a white character from Taiwan with a blue hat and a red sweater, a baby in a crib, a polar bear, a cow, a viking, a blue rooster, and the crowd-favorite, Elvis Presley, which is a hot air balloon from Brazil.
Loads of festival attendees were already inside of the festival grounds for as early as five in the morning to witness the launching of the balloons, but the sight of a flock of varicolored balloons rising towards the cerulean and copper hues of dawn proved to be worth it. To say that it was picturesque would be an understatement. See a few of the hot air balloons below:
The Viking balloon from France floats beside the Elvis Presley balloon, which is from Brazil, that we can’t help falling in love with.
The Baby in a Crib balloon from Brazil.
The Ladybug in a Jester Costume balloon from France, a Character with a Blue Hat and a Red Sweater balloon from Taiwan, and a Pig in Overalls balloon from Vietnam.
The Cow balloon from Brazil, Blue Rooster balloon from Brazil, and a traditionally-shaped balloon from Korea.
Traditionally-shaped balloons from Korea and India.
A number of the festival goers did not miss the opportunity to capture a photo with some of the landed balloons as well, making the dreamy scene the perfect addition to a feed:
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Spent the weekend with @monicamaevangelista and @pazcielomalic at the Lubao International Balloon Music Festival 2019 #LIBMF2019 #lubaoibmf2019 Got to experience different activities like kite flying, and the best part of it, got a chance to be up close to the Hot Air Balloons! Special thanks to @phrab_007 for letting us have a piece of the experience!! It wasn't the full experience of taking flight, but it was still awesome! Thank you! 🇲🇾
A lucky some even had the opportunity to ride a tethered or untethered balloon. I was one of those who were able to take a lift in a tethered one from Korea; I find that the movement of the giant wicker basket can be likened to what I imagine floating on a spirited cloud would feel like while a piano cover of “Married Life” from the film Up played in my head like a scratched record.
With this awe-inducing event that I was fortunate enough to witness, I can say that I can not wait for what Lubao International Balloon and Music Festival 2020 has to offer!
Did you attend Lubao International Balloon and Music Festival this year? Are you planning to attend next year? Tell us in the comment section!
Lubao International Balloon and Music Festival
Pradera Verde, Prado Siongco Lubao, Pampanga