The 15th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.
We were up bright and early on that sunny Valentines Day morning as we made our way through the streets of Clark Air Base. We had stayed at Hotel Stotsenberg for the evening after Duty Free Shopping and dinner at a grill and wine restaurant. We got lost several times while looking for a dinner place there, and so we read the directions to the Fiesta venue carefully. Thankfully we did not get lost again!
|Un-inflated hot air balloons!|
Our National ColorsA few moments later, the Philippine National Anthem was played loudly on the speakers and a group of 3 people parachuted, one of them was carrying the Philippine flag. What a glorious sight to behold...
|"...sa dagat at bundok, sa simoy at sa langit mong bughaw..."|
|"...Ang kislap ng watawat mo’y tagumpay na nagniningning..."|
Right after that, a band began to play and children in bird costumes began their dance program. Unfortunately for us, we couldn't really see the kids perform because there we so many people. Seriously, there were more than 5,000 in attendance!
They're full of hot air!As I jealously took note of everyone else's DSLR cameras (haha), I snapped some photos of the hot air balloons being inflated. You could hear the loud blast of fire into the mouths of the balloons as they slowly began to inflate...
|The blast of fire and the hot gases filled the balloons|
The most remarkable of the hot air balloons were those not of the typical spherical form - there was a sun complete with rays, a turtle, a beer bottle and even a barn with cows!
|One by one, the hot air balloons began to fly with the sunrise, |
leaving us poor earthbound creatures behind...
By then the heat had become too much for Liz and so we decided to head back home to Manila. We had our fill of fun in the sun - it was definitely a hot and awesome Valentine's Day.
Travel Tips for those attending the Hot Air Balloon FestivalSome parting tips for those planning to go to a Hot Air Balloon Fiesta:
- Book your hotels early - like 2 or 3 weeks in advance. They will run out of rooms my the last week before the event.
- Go early to avoid the traffic jams and the long queues.
- They time the flight of the balloons at sunrise so it would be good to be there before 6am.
- Bring a mat or a small chair to sit on. Or a tent.
- Bring an umbrella or a huge hat. And dark eyeglasses.
- Wear sunscreen.
- Wear clothes that are cool and comfortable - it will be very very hot especially at noon.
- Expect some downtime - bring a book, a kite or a gameboard - something to pass the time.
- Or you can just go back to the hotel or go shopping at a Duty Free Store in Clark or go somewhere where there's air conditioning - just get a stamp on your arm on your way out.
|Reyjr says, papanam?|
You can click on the photos to view them in full size.
All photos were taken using my Canon Ixus 90IS point and shoot camera. :)
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