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(Chris Navarro) LUBAO -- More than 30 hot air balloons flew over Pampanga skies Thursday, April 6, as good weather and winds made the first day of the Lubao International Balloon and Music Festival (LIBMF) at Pradera Verde in Barangay Prado Siongco a sight to behold. The event, which is happening until April 9, brought in dozens of spectators along with celebrities joining the fun with some even trying a ride on some of the balloons. LIBMF Chairman Noel Castro said that this year’s festival will coincide with the best summer weather for balloon flights as organizers expect the best wind conditions for the balloon flights. “It’s only here in Lubao where balloonists are delighted to have the ‘box winds’ in which balloons get back to their lift off points,” he said. Larger crowds, particularly from the millennial sector, are expected to attend as the festival strengthens its music festival component with local and international performers. Sponge Cola will perform on April 6, Gloc 9 and Parokya ni Edgar on April 7, Moonstar 88, Yeng Constantino, and Bamboo on April 8, and international Youtube sensation Alex Aiono and Redfoo and The Party Rock Crew on April 9. The festival will also feature a gastronomic food trip for food enthusiasts as the event will bring together the best food stalls with Kapampangan food and local souvenirs. Morning flights are scheduled from 5:30 to 7 a.m. and afternoon flights from 4 to 5 p.m., depending on wind and weather conditions. Lubao Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab said she is happy about the success of the opening of the biggest hot air balloon festival in Southeast Asia and invited locals and tourists from different places to come and witness the spectacular event.
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