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February 13, 2012

I ❤ Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta!



February 13, 2012

I ❤ Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta!

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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:



Plan Ahead and Block off your Schedule in Advance.

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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.

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We would always drive very early in the morning to catch the Hot Air Balloon flight.

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. :)

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I suggest that you bring a picnic mat and your hot breakfast meal with you as you wait for the start of the Hot Air Balloon flight.

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.

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The festival starts each day with a Hot Air Balloon flight after the Philippine National Anthem and the Philippine Flag jump (usually at 6.30am).

 

Get a Photographer's/Media/Sponsor's Pass. :)

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The best way to experience this festival is to be inside the Hot Air Balloon launch area.

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!

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There is a big difference if you get inside the flight area versus fighting for space in the viewing area (see crowded back area). You have to go very early to reserve your space near the fence.

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Once inside, you can get up close and personal with the Hot Air Balloon crew and watch how they launch the balloon. You can also take pictures very close to it.

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You'll feel like a kid again once you see these giant balloons getting ready to be lifted up into the air. :)

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For a $200 contribution to the foundation, you can ride the balloon -- but the slots are very limited, depending on the pilots.

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. :)

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It is always fun to see the creative balloons, which change every year.

The best part of the festival is if you can bring your family inside and experience the Hot Air Balloon flights up close. :)

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 The kids love having fun and wacky photos taken with their favorite balloons. :)

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They love the themed balloons, like the ice cream balloon, instead of just the plain ones.

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The festival is both a celebration of love and birthdays with this unique birthday cake balloon. :)

 

The Plants vs. Zombies' Sunflower Balloon

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This year, the Plants vs. Zombies-themed balloon was the best themed balloon during the festival.

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It took some time to get it off the ground, so we waited with great anticipation.

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Once it was up, it definitely put a smile on everyone's face,...

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...especially sweet couples taking their memorable souvenir photo of the festival. :)

 

After the Hot Air Balloon Flight...

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After the Hot Air Balloon flight in the morning, you can bring and fly your own kites. :)

(Note: They should have a Kite Festival as part of this event.)

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You can also explore the different booths and exhibitions during the festival.

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We would usually go out to have breakfast around Clark or some other place in the area at around 8am.

(Tip: We normally park across the road in front of the Clark Airport so that we can exit quickly. Parking fee is P50.)

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Thanks to Caltex Philippines for inviting our family to witness the Hot Air Balloon Festival! :)

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Congratulations to Captain Joy Roa and Caltex Philippines for a successful Hot Air Balloon Festival!

Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival
Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga
Telephone Numbers: +632 384-0085 or 833-3264
Sponsor Inquiriesinfo@philballoonfest.net
Booth Inquiriesflymarket@philballoonfest.net
Official Websitewww.philballoonfest.net/
Driving Directions: How to Get There
Facebook: Asian Air Safari by Captain Joy Roa

Live an Awesome Life,

anton  signature 
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Contact me: a
nton@diaz.ph iphone

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.

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