Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
The Philippines is celebrating its 21st International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. It is the longest-running sports aviation event in Asia, gathering aviators and spectators from around the world for four days of non-stop flying action. And this 2017 could be the last one to be held in Clark, Pampanga. Well, I hope that the fiesta won’t stop and still continue in its new venue. It may or may not continue as they say, so we really made up our minds and went for this event.
Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
The event takes place in Clark, Pampanga Freeport Zone. So, it is an open field and a perfect place for events like this. It’s going to be a 2-3 hours ride from Manila and you should come here early if you want to witness some flying in the morning because it starts as early as 6 am. Expect a sea of crowds and super long lines. So, make sure you are prepared. Get sun protection! Also, you can save yourself from the hassle of lining up because you can purchase tickets online. We’re lucky now in today’s digital world, some things can be done easily. This greatly saves your time and effort. Ticket starts at P350 for general admission. But, you can check here for other pricing and VIP stuff to estimate next year’s event.
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Open Field And The Crowd
People go here to witness inflating the hot air balloons and send them off to the skies. There are a lot of different designs and unique form factor that will catch your eyes. Even the crowd itself is really something. Do people really enjoy this and constantly go here? Or most of them are just first-timers and are just curious about how it’s like to be in the actual event? Seriously, as soon as I arrived, the feeling was a mixture of excitement and disappointment.
Of course, everyone is just so excited to experience the event. Also, it’s a no-brainer, an event like this will automatically have a lot of people. I am not really sure but, the organizers somehow failed at some point in terms of handling the event area. There were some incidents happened on the entrance and exit. So yeah, there’s really an incident happened because the entry and exit points are in just one place only. So, people were battling it out as they enter and exit the premise. It was really hard to deal with it but you just have to have a very long patience. Kids were crying because of heat and people pushing. To solve it, the police stopped the people entering to make an exit for the crowds going out.
The Main Attraction
So, there are 2 main attractions I believe. The hot air balloon flying in the morning and landing late afternoon. We went on the morning event because we thought that it would be hard for us to continue until the night’s event. So, here are the cute balloons that are set to fly. 🙂
This cute Mr. Clown is feeling awkward in front of the erecting Coca-Cola. So funny! 🙂
Overall, it was good. I went for an experience. But I don’t think I will go again unless I get a VIP pass. Well, I think it will set you in the different field where there’s lesser crowd and probably nearer the balloons? And because of this, I was not able to get some nice and closer shots. I will need to have a better planning and organizing the next time I visit because it’s nice to see a hot air balloon up close. 🙂