I just recuperated from the Balloon Fiesta activities. We definitely had fun and it was nice to meet new friends last Saturday. We had a large group last Saturday and I did not bother to count. There were the bloggers group, flickeristas, photo club from SSS, photo enthusiasts, travel writer and even some foreigners. I finally got connected with my grade school classmates in Bene and I do hope to meet most of them in the near future. I’ll be posting our Balloon Fiesta adventures in the next couple of days.
We pretty much followed the itinerary except the one after Subic. Waking up early in the morning took its toll on our bodies and we were tired by 3pm. My body was screaming to get some sleep. The group decided not to go back to Clark anymore and just enjoyed Subic. For us, we had to go back because we were staying overnight in Fontana. It was so traffic going back to Clark, we wasted a few hours and we had to endure the exit traffic.
Thanks to all who joined last Saturday in the Balloon Fiesta and Zoobic!
Our Awesome Planet and Pinoy Travel Blog presents OAP and PTB Live in the 11th Intl Phil. Balloon Fiesta in Clark Field Pampanga!
Just join us if you want to witness these Awesome Balloons and have fun with photo hobbyists. Here are the details:
What to expect?
A Day Trip full of fun and laughter with Photo Enthusiast and Travel Addicts
FREE Photography Lessons from Anton of Our Awesome Planet
This is a Photo-travel-cum-food trip in Pampanga. Let me tour you to sample the best of Pampanga cuisine 🙂
Bonus side trip to Zoobic in between the Hot Air Balloon departure/ arrival
How to Join?
Simply put a link to this post from your blog, multiply or friendster site expressing your interest to join us this coming February 10, Saturday. Call or Text me @ 0928 558 8500, Anton (for further questions)
You can cut and paste the html code below:
<a href=”https://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/awesome/2007/01/balloon_fiesta_.html”>Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta </a>
Meet up: 3.30am (Yes!) at Shell North Luzon Expressway, February 10, 2007 Saturday
4am enroute to Omni Aviation, Clark Field Pampanga 5.30-7.30am Hot Air Balloon Takeoff Shoot out
8.00am – Breakfast @ VFW along Friendship Road (a secret cozy american place in Clark)
9.00am — Enroute to Zoobic in Subic
12.00nn — Lunch @ Meat Plus in Subic
3:00pm — Go back to Omni Aviation, Clark. 5.30pm-7.30pm Hot Air Balloon Arrival and Night Glow (Bring your tripods!)
8:00pm — Dinner is a surprise 🙂
What to bring: Jacket (it is freezing in the morning)
BYOT – Bring your own transpo — we don’t plan to arrange a common transpo we will do convoy throughout
Photo Camera and preferably Tripod (if you have one)
PAYO – Pay as you order — you manage your own expenses. Bring 1,000/ head as a budget for this day trip event.
Check out the Photos below. Simply Awesome as Sidney would agree 🙂
First of all, Merry Christmas and advanced Happy New Year to all of you!
One of the reasons I love the Philippines is because of its awesome Festivals like the 76th Giant Lantern Festival in San Fernando Pampanga last night. I’m a newbie to this festival which is locally known as Ligligan Parul. We were glad that Ivan Henares hosted us and even gave us free guest passes in the reserved seating section. “Ivan is a travel freak, frustrated historian and heritage activist. A member of the Board of Trustees of the Heritage Conservation Society, he is a feisty advocate for the preservation of Philippine architectural heritage” (-quote from his Ivan about Town blog). Aside from this, Ivan has a very popular post about Pampanga’s pride. Three years ago, he was the chairman of this Giant Lantern Festival in 2003 so he was able to gave us all the juicy details about this festival. If you haven’t seen this, this is one of those moments where you will be proud of the Filipino’s creativity and hard work.
There were 12 giant lanterns during this year’s festival which makes this the biggest festival so far in terms of participation. It was held at the back parking lot of SM Pampanga. All the giant lanterns were lined up in front of two tents where the different celebrity and prominent judges were seated. There is no entrance fee to watch these giant lanterns but the place is too small for 100,000 people that it is literally a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd. The giant lantern competition usually starts at 8pm+ until 11pm to complete all the three rounds of competition. The different barangays are competing for barangay pride and there is no cash prize.
It is advisable to already be in SM Pampanga at around 3-4pm so that you can find a parking space in the parking lot nearest the exit. This is an important strategy that Ivan shared with us, make sure to park in the parking space in front of Watsons, also near the Toll gate and near the exit of SM Pampanga. Otherwise, due to the large crowd, you can wait for an hour just to get out of SM Pampanga after the competition is finished at around 12mn. Once parked, you can go around SM Pampanga and you should definitely try the P109 Eat-all-you-can Pampanga Merienda Buffet from Party Land in the Entertainment area. After eating your heart out, you should start finding your way to the venue at around 6pm to reserve your seat or spot.
These lanterns are 18 feet in diameter and it just gets bigger and bigger each year, last year was 16 feet. Each segment in the lantern usually have white japanese or paper cover having 3-4 bulbs behind it with different colors. It is like the Red-Green-Blue (RGB) configuration in our computer monitors. Of course, each lantern has its own unique design and creative purpose. Just imagine how complicated it is to create these giant lanterns and coordinating the switching of the colors. During the competition, the lanterns need to dance and showcase its lights to the tune of the Christmas songs.
Related Posts: Ligligan Parul and more from Pampanga from Ivan. He even has the 5 minute video of the third round of the competition where all the lanterns are dancing posted in youtube! You should watch that show to give you a first hand experience of the Giant Lantern Show.
(Left to Right, Back to Front Row) Ajay (annalyn.net) with son Paolo, my brother Rommel, my sister-in-law Clauds, Spanky Enriquez (spankyenriquez.blogspot.com), Bal the driver, Nina (justwandering.org), Kendrick Tan, our good friends Maong and Luisa, my lovely wife Rache, my son Aidan, and yours truly. Taken in Everybody’s Cafe in San Fernando, Pampanga just before the Pampanga feast!
I have always dreamed about the day that I would get to explore the very best of Pampanga food. Once again, that dream came true last Saturday night during our pampanga culinary adventure 2.0 led by Spanx. We ended the food trip with a kapampangan feast that we will never forget. From Mely’s Sisig, to Jun-Jun’s Barbeque and the popular Everybody Cafe’s authentic Pampanga food. Of course, the meal will not be complete without the unique Pampanga dessert treat of Doren Tayag’s Decadent Cake with Caramel Sauce and Aurely’s Special upside down version of Brazo de Mercedes.
You won’t be a certified foodie if you haven’t tasted this cuisine. I will try my best to share with you our experience so you can be inspired to seek out these authentic Pampanga delights on your own time. I assure you can’t find these types of food in the Metro and yes, you have to travel to San Fernando, Pampanga for a taste of all of these. Thanks to Spanky for another successful Pampanga Culinary Tour!
It would be difficult to top this trip because every tour gets better and better. We are thinking of a final Pampanga culinary tour 3.0 which will be the last of the Pampanga Culinary Trilogy. I do hope you can come and I’m sure that it would be one food adventure you will never forget. Watch out for this in October and I’ll try to put an invite earlier so that you can block your own schedule.
This was one of my dream culinary tour because I know that the Pampanga area is home of the best dishes in our country. Thanks to Spanx for sharing with us the word-of-mouth culinary secrets of the Pampanga area. We are now going to name this the Spanky Tours of Pampanga because of his passion and enthusiasm to show us around his hometown. This is a one-of-a-kind culinary tour and it beats the tours of any travel agencies because of Spanky’s personal approach and you can feel the passion in him when he starts to share stories, food and history of the place. This meet was a barkada-food-gimik-cum-eye-ball of online friends and blog readers who like to eat, travel and take photos.
Someone should start to organize a Viaje del Sol equivalent in Pampanga, to promote do-it-yourself culinary tours in Angeles and San Fernando. In the absence of such, I’m glad that we have Spanx to show us the way and we are happy to share this experience with you. These culinary tours are not limited only to Filipino food because the intent of these food explorations is to savor the best of the best in the Pampanga area. We just scratched the surface and these Pampanga tours will be an ongoing series until we have explored the best of the best.
Join us in this food experience and we can assure you that this is one-of-a-kind adventure.
Razon’s Halo Halo (P60). If you are a razon virgin, then you’re missing on one of the best halo halo in town!
How can a simple mix of sun-ripened banana (saging na saba), shredded macapuno, and leche plan with dayap rind taste so good?! It is as if they are blended into perfection that their sweetness does not overpower one another and the its taste is not boringly sweet. There is something with the mix of the ingredients, milk, and shaved ice that makes this the best halo-halo in town. Indeed, it is simple but excellent in taste!
I’m glad that they opened a small resto in Mall of Asia in the South side of the Main Mall. This is always a good choice for a merienda when you are in MOA. Check out this short post on Razon’s in Mall of Asia.
WARNING: Sisig is not good for your health, eat at your own risks.
Move over Aysee, Aling Lucing is conquering Makati! For several years, Aysee’s Sisig in Pasig (near ultra) is the reigning branded sisig and this is a lunch/ dinner destination in itself when you are in the Pasig area. Aling Lucing’s Sisig is the pride of Pampanga with its original location in the “riles” or located near the railroad in Angeles City (mental note: I’ll blog about this original place one of these days 🙂 Also, Aling Lucing is the Grand Slam Winner of the 3rd Sisig Festival in Angeles City held just last Dec. 2-3, 2005 besting 176 other contestants!! A lot to be proud about, and finally a franchise was opened outside the malls along Pasong Tamo in front of former Urban Bank (corner Buendia).
Sisig is a big part of the pinoy culture together with the Halo Halo and Balut, so this is a must try even for a vegetarian like me (I can’t resist not to savor its taste 🙂 I first heard about this from Spanx’s review and this place just opened last Feb. 14, 2006. The sisig was tasty, yummy and you can taste that delicious secret sauce and ingredients that ordering the Sizzling Big Shot (P130) is a must! The sisig is definitely superb better than Gerry’s or Aysee’s I should say. Although the marketing material was well thought of, they should have attracted the after office inuman (drinking) crowd so they should offer San Miguel beer products.
Get Engaged in a Balloon 🙂 Don’t laugh now, in fact there was somebody who proposed in this Total Balloon — oh boy, that was an awesome proposal. Not sure who it was but maybe some of my readers would know and give some info. My ultimate dream is still to ride in one of these balloons… Someday I’ll do it and share it with you.
After all the balloons left, you can hang around and still see the flying acrobatic show and I’ll show you some pics on what else can you do here. There are a lot of activities for the kids, so this is an ideal Sunday gimmick. Actually after the event, you can decide to go to Zoobic in Subic and that would have been a really great Sunday treat for the family.
If you don’t wake-up early, this is the awesome scene that you will miss. During this time, I was with my brother, Rommel (who took some of the photos in this series) and his barkada. The highlight for me was this big pedigree dog who asserted his big presence among all the other balloons. Even the so-called Newspaper balloon did not stand a match for this dog. On the last day, the race is all about a lead balloon who takes off 30 minutes earlier before the other balloon will start to beat that balloon to the finish line. That is why by 7am, all the balloons have taken off already and all of them leave one after another. I’ll take you through the launch of these balloons and hopefully convince you that this is another one of those world class events that you shouldn’t miss next time in Manila 🙂
This is a trilogy series on the 10th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHBF) @ Omni Aviation Field, Clark Field Pampanga. Finally, I was able to savor the beauty of the balloons on the fiesta’s last day and I was not disappointed. Unlike in the World Pyro Olympics which you have to stay awake until late at night, in the Hot Air Balloon it starts at 5.30am in the morning when the hot air balloons start to setup and leave before 7am. Also, for some reason, the internet sites in the Philippines lack any experiential information on what to expect in this fiesta except for the official website: http://www.philballoonfest.com and the press releases. In this series, I would like to share with you this awesome experience and it felt like I was not in the Philippines with all these world class balloons (total of 21+ I believe)!