Monday, February 21, 2011

My Hot Air Balloon Fiesta Experience

I have been longing to see the hot air balloon show since last year. So when I learned that another show will be made this year at Clark Air Field, Pampanga, I made sure that I will be able to watch and take pictures of this event.

I already planned of renting a van if my office mates will want to go but it seems they have other plans during that weekend. So I have checked some blogs on how to get there if I will be commuting all the way. Special thanks to Pinoy Adventurista's guide on how to get there, it was a great help.

So I packed my things the night before and made sure necessary food and drinks are prepared. I was to travel solo mode and will just meet Gepay and her Fluffy on site since they will be coming from Bulacan. When I woke up at 1AM I got a text from Jeff that he'll be coming with me. So we meet-up at Five Star Bus station around 3AM and asked which bus would be passing Dau terminal and we were pointed to a bus that is already leaving. We enjoyed watching the on-board movie "Si Agimat at si Enteng Kabisote" while I endure the cold morning breeze in the slightly opened window.

We arrived at the central bus terminal in Dau around 5AM and too bad I won't be able to finish the movie. It seems all buses going to the north stops at this terminal. We then ride a jeep to Clark's Main Gate where a heavy line of people is waiting for a jeepney to the main site. It seems the passenger queue is not followed so I decided to do a free-for-all system when a jeepney arrives.

Upon catching a ride in one of the parked jeepney, we were informed by the driver that he'll be taking a different route since the main way to the site is almost heavy with a lot of vehicles into Clark airfield. Since it was a different route, we will be forced to walk a little bit according to him. What turns to be a little bit was a whopping average of 3 KM to the site's main gate. And Jeff was thinking that it was like Amazing Race that we need to be there before the sun shows up or else we'll burn (yes! we're vampires! bwahaha!). Good thing Gepay already bought the ticket in advance when they came earlier than us and it saved us more time.

While walking and running to the main gate, we were able to see these two light aircraft hovering above the site:

It was around 6-7 AM when we were arrived at the viewer's area because the crew just starting to set up their hot air balloons:

Pirate inspired balloon. Ahoy! Captain!

I just wonder what will happen if Super Mario got a load of this mushroom.

Some of the balloons flew easily filling the skies with colored bubbles.

This was one of the two locally sponsored balloon. Too bad it did not flew for some reason.

I did not fail to shoot Mt. Arayat showing her majestic form complimented by the sunrise.

Darth Vader's big head was such a snub that he did not care to look back at the people...

... good thing Darth Langaw managed to entertain the people when his big balloon head left.

This drifter was among one of the attraction in the show, and later he was used as a target for bomb dropping. Too bad the attackers - light planes shown below, were not a good bomb dropper.

This guy must be one of the organizer making everything in order. I even named him the Windmill guy due to the windmill in his front and back pockets.

The host for the whole program was fun to listen as he was knowledgeable with aviation.

At around 10 AM, it was announced that sky divers already dropped from the plane. It was amazing how a tiny dot in the sky drops with a parachute:

I am not really sure if these posters will protect me from heat. It seems it's giving more heat to me.

Besides watching the hot air balloons, planes and skydivers, there was a lot of thing people can do within the event area. There was an area for kite flying:

Flying clown fish? Didn't even know that Nemo can fly until I have seen this one.

Too bad I didn't see this kite fly :(

When the large number of people went to shaded area to avoid the searing heat of the day, the viewing zone has become a large playground for the children:

It was fun to see a little girl in a navy uniform.

The site was also near the Clark International Airport so we were able to catch a glimpse of courier planes with international route:

Too bad I did not see this one flying.

We were also able to watch a rescue simulation exhibition of the Philippine Navy:

I pity this female volunteer from the audience because she went to stay in the runway for almost 20 minutes while the 2 navy personnel keep on talking on the microphone for an information we could get over the internet.

After the rescue exhibition we decided to grab some lunch and went to SM City Clark. We stayed at Starbucks to let our body rest for a bit. Jeff wanted to go back to shoot until the sun sets but I informed that we might have difficulty of getting back by that time so we went back to the bus terminal were we came from and rode the Victory Liner bound to Manila. A funny thing happened upon riding the bus. The on-board movie was "Si Agimat at si Enteng Kabisote" and the scene currently played was the scenes before we alighted that morning from a different bus. So I was able to enjoy the hot air balloon show and was able to finish a movie at the same time!


  1. wakokokokok. nakakaaliw yung mini toy plane. :p

    at masyadong in-heat si koyang ayaw maarawan. calendar girls pa ang cover nia

  2. haha second base! asan ang dyi-ay-ep?