International Hot Air Balloon Festival in Pictures

The modern airplane creates a new geographical dimension.
A navigable ocean of air blankets the whole surface of the globe.
There are no distant places any longer:  the world is small and the world is one.
– Wendell Willkie

Valentine’s Day was just around the corner and what better way to celebrate than be gone for the weekend! Clark, Pampanga is an ideal getaway place, more so after securing tickets for the 15th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.

A weekend without sleep was all worth it. Last Friday was a bit hectic while I juggle work, errands and preparation for our weekend getaway.


We have to leave around 3 AM on Saturday to commute from Manila to Dau and be on time to catch the morning fleet of hot air balloons. From Balintawak, Quezon City we hopped in at Five Star bus bound to Dau Bus Terminal. Traffic was light at the crack of dawn.

It was quarter to 5 when we reached Dau Bus Terminal. We then look for a jeepney bound to Clark Gate or chekpoint near SM City Clark. From there, we hailed one more jeepney going to Air Force City where the Hot Air Balloon Festival is being held since Feb. 11.

Good thing, we already have tickets or we’ll dreadfully be wasting time on the long, long line at the ticket booth.

Various photographers positioned themselves near the fence. Families, couples and friends are present during this big event. Many tourists are enjoying the day too. Army & Men in uniform were roaming to secure everyone’s safety. Ample parking space were provided at a P50 fee.

Branches of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have set up booths for the curious visitors. Firearms, Air crafts,  Army Jeeps and fighter jets are just some interesting pieces on display by Air Force, Philippine Army and Marines.

It was hard to find a perfect spot to get a good shot at the field when the balloons are being prepared. Three sky divers graced the morning sky to signal the start of event. One carries a huge Philippine flag and sway it across the sky while the national anthem plays in full volume.

A moment later, hot air balloons started lifting up. We’ve gone crazy over the jumbo turtle balloon named Mister Bup, Old Mc Donald’s Farm, Karlsberg Urpills and a Smiling Sun. It was just amazing to watch the sky filled with colors.

After the morning show, the hot air balloons returned at around 6 in the evening for the Night Glow. Meanwhile, the morning has just started as Candaba Bird’s Fly-in put on a unique show. Paragliding, sky diving and ultralight aircraft show followed. While kids and kids at heart enjoys the kite flying experience.

Yellow Cab and other food booths are conveniently located for anyone who wants a delight. Sponsors like Caltex with Techron showcase an Alien and Predator model made of gears and metals. Other booths sell souvenir items and we scored some freebies from DHL, an umbrella and a promotional stunt kite.

At around 10 in the morning, we left for breakfast and savor the best bulalo in town. Oh, we were in heaven.

We did check out Parkson Duty Free and PureGold for some sweets. Then off to Century Resort Hotel to check in. Our eyes were heavy and our restless soul were longing for rest.

We dose off for less than 2 hours and we’re in the road again to witness the hot air balloon night glow. The number of people increased compared earlier that day.

The top of the armored vehicle provided us with great vantage point. Too bad the weather wasn’t coordinating and we failed to see a single hot air balloon go up to lit the night sky.  The participants just put on a light show from the ground.

We had dinner at Rumpa before going back to our room.

Sunday – 14th -Heart’s Day

We can’t get enough of those colorful hot air balloons and decided to check out the day’s show. We didn’t stay long though and missed out the valentine’s air show and fireworks.

Heavy traffic as visitors doubled up on the last day. There were additional Hot Air balloons on the show but the turtle and the barn are still the crowd favorites.

Click thumbnails for your viewing pleasure.

[flashgallery orderby="ID" rows="3" height="650px"] 

’twas a fun, fun weekend. We’ll definitely going back next year with families and friends.

Special thanks to Ninong Bob for helping us.

Im’ma one happy birthday girl ;-}

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  • Reply chyng February 16, 2010 at 3:10 am

    looks like it was way better than last year. ayos! Ü

  • Reply Spa March 1, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    There’s no place such as the Philippines! Noynoy for chief executive ; )

  • Reply lechua March 2, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    cool… they’re having one in kuala lumpur in 2 weeks -wonder if it’s organized by the same ppl.

  • Reply ally April 9, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    hmmm it seems fun :) is this site like “friend’s site/forum” or does an outsider like i can i join from time to time? well, i do enjoy traveling but my friends dont or they dont have enough before we could go somewhere, i have to wait for months and months and months until they are financially ready T.T is this group open for outsiders like me???

  • Reply Bernard Pollack May 18, 2010 at 5:08 am

    great post and we LOVE the photos! Best, Bernie and Dani (aka BorderJumpers)

  • Reply chyng May 21, 2010 at 4:55 am

    about spa town, no we didnt make any reservation to avail the spa services. :)

  • Reply Lissya February 8, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    very nice! I will ride one of those next time! hehe..

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