I’ve always wanted to see a hot air balloon in person ever since I was a child. I mean who doesn’t? I’ve always wondered how big they are in the actual scene and how the pilot would operate those huge balloons up in the sky. I bet it’s both thrilling and amazing at the same time standing inside a huge open basket floating as high as 2000 feet above the ground.
Welcome to Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta!
So when I finally got the chance to book a cheap flight to Clark, Pampanga, I knew that one of my childhood dreams would soon become a reality. We stayed in Clark for a couple of days and prepared a list of fun activities to do. One of them was to spend Valentines Day at the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta!!!
What actually happened?
It was February 14, Valentines Day, we woke up early in the morning, took a shower and then rushed our selves to Clark Freeport Zone, where the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta would be held. We arrived at the venue around 5 in the morning and the sun was already peeking and our stomach was growling. There were many people roaming around already, trying to find the best spot to watch the show. Various food concessionaires, souvenir shops, fascinating kiosks that offers cool activities especially for the kids, were found everywhere. There was a live band present also to entertain the guests. It was a grand fiesta indeed!
While waiting for the show to start, we manage to get ourselves positioned near the railings just few meters away from the launch site and ate some hotdogs. I can still remember. haha The event was formally opened by singing the National Anthem of course with a number of people paragliding above, doing some exhibitions and I must say they’re pretty impressive and entertaining especially for first timers like me. And yes, one of them was carrying the Philippine Flag! Everyone was dumbfounded.
Hot Air Balloons!
Everyone got on their feet when the hosts finally sent a go signal to launch the balloons! Damn! They were amazing!!! I can only write my feelings here but I swear to God, you must see them for yourself. The balloons were carried by trucks to go find a specific spot and from there they set up everything and then start firing up the burner.
If you’re really curious and wanna go technical, you can read more here: http://www.explainthatstuff.com/how-hot-air-balloons-work.html
I was speechless moving forward. Just kidding! 😀 I’m just so happy and fulfilled. I really think that attending the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta was one of my greatest achievements that year and perhaps one of the best valentines I’ve had.
Tips to make the most of your 2017 Valentines at PIHABF
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. It’s an open (like no trees or any structures to hide into) ground covered with soil and grass so don’t wear heels please.
- Bring caps/sun-visor and shades. You’ll need it, I promise. (let’s hope for the best weather)
- Buy your tickets in advance online. I swear to God, the line could be annoying and time-consuming. And yes, I bought our tickets online. Click here: http://www.philballoonfest.net/online-ticketing/
- Bring food and water. Or buy at the venue. You can set up a tent or picnic by the way. Grab the chance to bond more with your loved ones and friends.
- If you intend to stay long, bring some blanket to sit on the ground and chill. But it’s hot though.
- And lastly, enjoy the fiesta. It’s only once a year.
How to go to the venue?
Furthermore… you must not miss SUSIE’S CUISINE when in Pampanga
When you’re done with the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, don’t forget to drop by at Susie’s Cuisine! They’re famous for selling Pampanga’s native delicacies and of course the original PALABOK!!! For me their palabok is the best palabok I have ever tasted in my entire life. No exaggeration. You can ask the locals or just try it to believe it. And most of all, their products are very affordable!
So what are you waiting for? Book those flights now and buy tickets asap! Bring your loved ones and friends with you, especially the kids! You will all have a great time, I guarantee. Remember, It’s better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times 😉
For complete information, please visit the PIHABF official site: http://www.philballoonfest.net/