MANOLO FORTICH, Bukidnon – The first ever "Hot Air Balloon Festival" in this landlocked province formed part of the monthlong celebration of Kaamulan Festival held annually in honor of the different tribes.
The 1st Mindanao Hot Air Balloon Festival was a collaboration of Manolo Fortich LGU headed by Mayor Clive Quino , Departmebt of Tourism Region 10, Senator Miguel Zubiri and the Office of Rep. Malou Acosta Alba.
The office of Mayor Clive Quino with Tourism Council Chair Rina Quino and organizer Gelo Obrero conceptualized and spearheaded the First Banog Banog Aerial, Arts, and Music Festival in honor of the Philippine Eagle because Manolo Fortich was declared as a Philippine Eagle Sanctuary.
Proceeds of the event went to the Philippine Eagle Foundation. Manolo Fortich aims to be the Aerial Tourism Capital of Mindanao feauturing not only the Hot Air Balloon but also drone racing, kite exhibition, and other aerial activities.
It was ably supported and acknowledged by the Department of Tourism (DoT) Northern Mindanao as among the region's newest attractions.
DoT 10 regional director May Salvana Unchuan told the media that said event was introduced by the province' first district representative Malou Acosta Alba, as she saw the potential of Manolo Fortich to become the Hot Air Balloon Capital of Mindanao.
"Specially during summer time because the wind condition was conducive to this kind of event," Dir Unchuan told the media.
Meanwhile, Rep. Alba said that based on history in Pampanga, where the first hot air ballon festival originated, the wind condition of Manolo Fortich is also very promising and fit for this hot air balloon event. In Pampanga Alba said, hot air balloon festival has become a regular attraction since 1994, participated by hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts and supporters.
The hot air balloon festival in Pampanga was started three years after the deadly eruption of Mount Pinatubo that killed many people and left thousands homeless.