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2 hot air balloon fests set in Pampanga in April

A Philippine flag-inspired hot air balloon and other colorful hot air balloons grace the 21st Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, an annual event that showcases a grand display of colorful hot air balloons, aviation shows, paragliding, skydiving, and other exciting aerial shows, at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga on Sunday (Feb. 12, 2017). PNA photo by Joey Razon-northboundasia.com

MANILA — Two hot air balloon festivals will be held in Pampanga next month, bringing once again the spotlight to the province as the Philippines’ prime sports aviation events hub.

The Lubao International Hot-Air Balloon and Music Festival, to be held on April 5-7, will be followed by the Front Row Hot Air Balloon Festival on April 12-14.

During the press conference in Taguig on Thursday, Front Row Hot Air Balloon Festival organizers vowed a “bigger, bolder, busier, and better” hot air balloon fair.

“What we will have is a tethered balloon festival. The balloon will fly 50 feet to 70 feet and it will be pulled down and we have 15 balloons that will do that,” said Wilfredo Placino, vice chairman and president of Global Gateway Development Corp.

Noel Castro, event consultant, also assured that safety and security for the riders are top priorities in this activity.

“In our experience, tethered flights are safe because they are anchored to the chase cars and we have two or three ropes to prevent them from flying away. This is not the first time that we will do this,” he told reporters.

This year, 15 regular-shaped and five special-shaped balloons will be floating in the skies of Pampanga. The tethered balloon flight in the morning and afternoon would be priced at PHP500 per person.

The week-long event is expected to gather some 70,000 people.

But aside from flying via hot air balloons, the organizers are also preparing musical performances by such popular artists as Ely Buendia, Kamikazee, Slapshock, Hale, and Unique Salonga. Joyce Ann L. Rocamora /PNA – northboundasia.com

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