The 18th Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is set to fill the skies once again with creatively decorated hot air balloons and exhibitions of various air sports for those who dreams of flying.
Dubbed as “the weekend of everything that flies”, the Balloon Fiesta is set on February 21-24 at The Omni Aviation Complex in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga.
Balloon flights, aeromodelling demonstrations, ultralights, fixed wing aircraft competitions and exhibitions of military planes and armories are some the highlights of the 4 day event. Spectators can also join in the action by riding a hot air balloon, sky diving, paragliding and, for the faint of heart, simply flying a kite.
Tips for the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta:
· Balloons are inflated at 6 in the morning but it is advised to arrive earlier so as to avoid the rush of spectators that are sure to flock the event. To catch the beautiful lighting of balloons, arrive at around 4:30-5:00am.
· There is a fee of 20php to 100php for the parking which depends on the type car you are driving. The entrance fee for this year’s event is 250php ($6) per person.
· Be sure to be in your comfortable shoes, preferably rubber shoes or sneakers and put on sunblock to protect your skin from the heat of the sun. Wear light clothing so you can enjoy the whole day event comfortably.
· There are a lot of food concessionaires; bringing packed snacks is also allowed.
· If you want to ride a hot air balloon, make sure to line up early for a spot (4 or 5am is ideal), same goes for those who want to sky dive. First come, first serve basis is implemented.
· Price of Hot Air ballon ride: $200 per person. if you are on a budget and want to ride for the experience, tethered balloons are ready to lift you up to the skies for 5-10 minutes for a fee of 600php.
· Make sure to book your accommodations at least two weeks before the event. Hotels are packed during the fiesta weekend.
· One of the must-see is the Hot Air Balloon Night Glow and Fireworks which is the last activity on the last day of the event. The inflated balloons stay on the ground and will illuminate – creating a beauty so pleasing to the eyes.
The Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta not only promotes tourism and interests to local and foreign tourists, but it also hopes to inspire, fuel the passion for flying and instill discipline to aspiring young pilots. This fiesta is definitely one of the exciting events in our country. Be there as balloons fly and experience the love of flying that most of us dream of!
For the schedule of the event: http://www.philballoonfest.net/schedule
To get there:
The event will be held at the Omni Aviation Complex in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga of Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga. From Manila, take the North Luzon Expressway and take the exit to Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga. Make a left turn heading to Angeles City, then another left past the bus terminals. Follow the MacArthur Highway until you see Clark Special Economic Zone, then take a right to enter. From the main gate of Clark, the fiesta grounds will be visible on the right side after a few more minutes of driving. If you are taking a bus ride to the event, take a North bound bus to Dau. Once you reach Dau terminal, a number of jeepney and tricycles are available by the highway to take you to Clark Main Gate. From the Main gate, you can choose to take another jeepney or tricycle ride to the fiesta grounds.