The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is one of the passion festivals in the country that I absolutely enjoy. It celebrates the passion for flying and highlights the love for Hot Air Balloons.
It was started after the US Military left Clark Air Base to boost tourism and the morale of the community around Clarkfield, Pampanga.
Here are some tips to have an awesome experience in the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta:
Related OAP Blog Posts:
- [10TH Hot Air Balloon Fiesta #1] The 5am Balloon Fiesta
- [10TH Hot Air Balloon Fiesta #2] All Balloons Pumped Up, Up, Up and Away!
- [10TH Hot Air Balloon Fiesta #3] What to do in the Balloon Fiesta?
Plan Ahead and Block off your Schedule in Advance.
The event has grown bigger, year after year. It is always held the weekend around Valentine's to coincide with the birthday of Captain Joy Roa of Asian Air Safari, the founder of the festival.
It is a four-day fest that starts on a Thursday and ends on a Sunday. Here are possible future dates:
18th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta - February 7-10, 2013
19th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta - February 6-9 or 13-16, 2014
20th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta - February 12-15, 2015
21st Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta - February 11-14, 2016
22nd Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta - February 9-12, 2017
23rd Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta - February 8-11, 2018
24th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta - February 7-10, 2019
25th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta - February 6-9 or 13-16, 2020
As early as now, you can plan ahead and fix your schedule to make the trip.
Stay Overnight or Drive Very Early.
It is recommended to leave Manila at 2am, because at 4am, there's already a long line at the entrance.
It is best that you have a photographer's pass; otherwise, buy your tickets (P200) already in advance.
For those who cannot leave early, book a room in any of the hotels around Clark Field Pampanga, like Holiday Inn, Hotel Vida, or stay with family or friends in Pampanga.
Plan for an Early Morning Breakfast Picnic. :)
The festival is great for kids (and kids at heart). You can bring your strollers.
Bring jackets because the February wind is usually cold. Bring umbrellas, too, just in case it rains.
Get a Photographer's/Media/Sponsor's Pass. :)
Since the number of people needs to be strictly controlled, there are only three ways to get inside the flight area:
1. The Photographer's Pass is usually given by the official media partner for the event.
This year, Digital Philippines was once again chosen to handle the distribution of the Photographer's Pass (P1,500) and the official Photo Contest.
(Check out: DPP | 17th Hot Air Balloon Fiesta Photographer's Pass)
2. The Media Pass is normally on a by-invitation-only basis, usually on the first day of the Festival.
This year, Ardent Comm Public Relations handled the Media event on behalf of Caltex Philippines.
3. The Sponsor's Pass is usually given to the employees, family and friends of the official sponsors.
Every year, Caltex is the co-presentor of the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta!
I'm still waiting for the day when I can get to fly in one of these hot air balloons.
Experience it with Your Kids to see the Funny Balloons. :)
The best part of the festival is if you can bring your family inside and experience the Hot Air Balloon flights up close. :)
The Plants vs. Zombies' Sunflower Balloon
After the Hot Air Balloon Flight...
(Note: They should have a Kite Festival as part of this event.)
(Tip: We normally park across the road in front of the Clark Airport so that we can exit quickly. Parking fee is P50.)
Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival
Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga
Telephone Numbers: +632 384-0085 or 833-3264
Sponsor Inquiries: email@example.com
Booth Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Official Website: www.philballoonfest.net/
Driving Directions: How to Get There
Facebook: Asian Air Safari by Captain Joy Roa
Live an Awesome Life,
Full Disclosure: Caltex Philippines is an official partner of Our Awesome Planet.
P.S. We don't recommend the Fly-in event in the afternoon or the Hot Air Night glow because you'll be stuck in traffic with the rest of the people trying to get out of Clark after the events are over. It is still BEST to experience the Hot Air Balloon Festival in the morning with your family.