Last March 23, strong gusts of wind hindered balloonists from taking off to the skies of Lubao and had event officials cancel hot air balloon flights on the first day. Instead, the balloons were blown out while tethered to the ground for the people’s viewing pleasure. Ultralight planes, a new addition to the festival’s roster of attractions, saved the day as they decorated the skies and soared throughout the day.
The first concert made up for the morning’s lack of balloon flights as it was a huge hit among festival-goers. They rocked out to songs from music sensations Kyoto and Ex Battalion. Well-known OPM band Silent Sanctuary played their classic and new songs as people swayed correspondingly to the music. Last act of the night Moira serenaded the crowd and made them tear up as she and her boyfriend performed their rendition of Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect”.
On its second day, the Lubao International Balloon and Music Festival truly went five and up! The winds mellowed down as the sun went up and saw 30 colorful hot air balloons paint the skies at Pradera Verde, official venue partner of LubaoIBMF.
“It’s very fulfilling that we do it every summer,” said Sir Noel Castro, Event Chairman, when asked how he feels about the event reaching its five-year milestone. “The wind condition in Lubao is perfect for flying the balloons,” he added.
Among the 30 balloons present in the 3-day festival, there were eight in special shapes that piqued the interest of spectators. The Cristo Redentor or Christ the Redeemer balloon piloted by Brazil native Renato Mathies, in particular, was mentioned by the hosts a handful of times because of its timeliness with the approaching Holy Week. Ultralight planes also caught spectators’ attention as they hovered around festival grounds.
Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber, better known as the love team MayWard, made a special appearance during Saturday’s morning program. They attracted a huge crowd as they performed “Mahal Kita Kasi” and other popular songs. They also got to ride a tethered hot air balloon.
An exciting new day activity for LubaoIBMF 2018 is the Off-Road. Rolf King of NAsFOR said of joining the event for the first time, “We’re very proud to have been invited by the hot air balloon festival of Lubao. You have activities both ground and air. I think it’s a very complete event.” A car show was also in place on the festival’s second day which catered to vehicle enthusiasts as they anticipated the night’s concert.
Indie bands Autotelic and December Avenue opened the second night of the music festival as the people sang along. Michael Pangilinan went on next with his Himig Handog-winning “Pare Mahal Mo Raw Ako”. Crowd favorite Sarah Geronimo and special guests Jona Soquite and Ronnie Liang capped off the night in an emotional yet energetic set.
The fun and merriment carried on to third and final day of the festival while picturesque hot air balloons rose from the horizon and on to the skies. After they landed in Bataan, a group of people called chase crews went after the pilots, helped the them put away the balloons and brought them back to Lubao.
Morning entertainment was provided by the adored McLisse love team who went on stage and provided a good dose of “kilig” to a big host of people. They performed a few songs including “If We Fall in Love”. There was a special performance where McCoy De Leon handed out flowers to lucky ladies watching; he fondly gave the last of the roses to Elisse Joson.
Ultralight planes once again graced the skyline of Pradera Verde as the rallycross activity provided by the Philippine Rallycross made their LubaoIBMF debut. The Off-Road attraction also continued their operations, providing great amusement to adrenaline junkies.
The final concert saw the most number of attendees with OPM newcomers Ben&Ben and The Ransom Collective kicking it off as festival-goers went wild over their songs. The night got even more heated up when UDD hit the stage and performed to the crowd’s delight. Last but certainly not least, Bamboo ended the music festival with a bang as people jumped up and down in sync to his songs.
Assistant Event Director Eugene Lee commented, “Every time before I sleep, when we finish the balloon festival [for the day], I don’t want to go again. But every morning, when the balloons fly out, I feel like my stress also goes out.” Lee has been with the Lubao International Balloon Festival, Inc. for three years. “Especially during the Night Glow, I feel like I’m having a fantastic moment.”
The Night Glow is a special portion of the festival where balloons come out and are lit up for a unique display in between sets of each night’s performers.
The event drew 30,000 spectators per day on average. In between balloon flights and concerts, they were treated to various activities and attractions like archery, outdoor zoo, carnival rides, and plenty more.
Reach for the sky and relive your highest moments at the Lubao International Balloon and Music Festival 2018! 🎈🎶🙌 #LubaoIBMF2018
Posted by InqPOP on Wednesday, March 28, 2018