For the 2nd part of our Valentine's Day weekend, the family and I went on a road trip up north for the 16 Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival. If Mom's idea was to watch a pyromusical competition, I wanted to see hot air balloons!
It was our first time to go to the hot air balloon festival so we were all so excited! It's so cool to be back in Pampanga after our bird watching and exotic foodie hunting escapade. As always it was a good drive along NLEX and we got to Clark at about 2PM. When we got there the place WAS PACKED with families!
The line for the tickets weren't too long so we were able to enter the venue right away. Tickets were at P150 each and it serves as your day pass.
Mom and I were able to get a good spot in the field. We were right smack in the middle of the runway and we were able to see everything from our vantage point! It was obvious that it was our first time there, we didn't even bring chairs to sit on! Other families and groups of friends brought along tents and mattresses and FOOD!
The 16th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival also coincided with the Centennial Year of Airplanes in the Philippine Skies! So there was a showcase of planes flying by and doing some neat tricks! The crowd loved it! These were the shots I took when this really cool pilot named Bill, amazed the crowds with his cool moves! The crowd went ballistic when he made the plane go round in circles, it was amazing!!
Back on the ground, there was also this kite flying exhibition. But it wasn't your ordinary kite, they hold it with two hands and they get to do cool stuff with it. There were about 3 different people who wowed the crowd with their extraordinary kite-flying skills!
But then again, you have the amateur kite flyers. The sky behind the runway was dotted with hundreds of colorful kites with really cute designs! I had to resist from buying one!
One thing that blew my mind was the SKYDIVING EXHIBITION! They just dropped out of the sky! I know Drew Arellano was able to do this and cross it out of his bucket list. He was tweeting non-stop about this. I was green with envy! It was the ultimate adrenaline ride...and I want to do this!! I wonder how much it costs though?! Must be worth a liver and half a lung!
Another cool thing to do would be the paragliding. It looked like a huge electric fan took these people up in the sky! It was so cool! Ugh to have money and get to do this!! They circled the field and even looked like geese doing a formation. They looked cute against Mt. Arayat!
And while these people were busy flying around, there was a sweet moment over at the left side of the field. Some dude proposed to his girlfriend! They went paragliding, and there was this huge banner that said CATHERINE WILL YOU MARRY ME! And when they got down the media just swarmed around them. Since it was pretty boring waiting around for activities, that proposal got everybody on their feet, cheering!
But while everybody was gushing about the proposal, these huge 4x4's started coming in. It was time to set-up the hot air balloons.
This is what we came all the way to Pampanga and waited around 4 hours for: THE NIGHT GLOW!!
I thank God for our good spot on the field! One-by-one the balloons started taking shape. But unfortunately, Mother Nature wasn't with us. The winds were blowing way too strong for the balloons to stay put and for the hot air to get in those huge chutes. The balloons were swaying about, and some even toppled over after a few brave attempts to keep it up! But still we were able to see those balloons from the people who braved the winds.
I am so psyched to go back next year! I want to see more balloons during the night glow! Although let me give you a friendly reminder to bring something to pass the time. There can be really long lulls and sitting around can get pretty boring too. So bring a tent, a mattress, FOOD, cards or whatever.
Here's a pic the family while waiting around for stuff to happen! From left that would be my Mother, my aunt Delia, my cardiologist cousin Kuya Jay, and my uncle, Boy. :))
Here are some websites to get information from:
Official Website of the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
Clark Subic Marketing
Directions on how to get there:
1. Take NLEX and exit at Dau. It's the last exit, so you won't get lost.
2. You'll be passing by the Mabalacat Bus Terminal, and not far from there you'll come across an intersection with a stoplight. TURN LEFT on that intersection going towards ANGELES.
3. Just go straight on and watch out for the signs that say SM CITY CLARK and CLARK. When you see the sign that says Clark, turn right.
4. After turning right, you'll see the main gate of Clark a few meters away.
5. Enter the gate, and you'll see the field at your right after SM City Clark.
OH WELL! HOPE TO SEE YOU GUYS NEXT YEAR!! :)