I was so eager to attend the fiesta when I learned that this year will be the last year. The 21st Philippine Hot Air Balloon Festival is a 4-day event of hot air balloon presentations, aerobatic exhibitions, formation flying to radio-controlled aircraft, paragliding, skydiving, and dozens of on-ground activities. A total hot air balloon fiesta as described and marketed. So, together with my friends, a brother, and a cousin, we went to witness the so-called “A Weekend of Everything that Flies”.
From Cubao, Quezon City, we ride a Five Star bus to Dau, Pampanga, paid a tricycle ride worth Php100 per person to arrive at the main gate of Clark, walked approximately 500 meters towards the entrance of the ground, fell in line for 30 minutes, waited for 1 hour and witnessed a 45-minute depressing show. Out of 20+ balloons, only 7 or 8 flew as far as I could remember. The rest were just decorations on the ground. I was expecting that all of the balloons will fly simultaneously but it did not happen due to the weather condition as they announced. It was sad that I expected a lot from the event and I believe I was not the only one who felt the same. Anyway, I did good shots of the balloons and the sunrise in Pampanga was astonishing so it lessened my displeasure.
Sunrise at Clark, Pampanga.
Our very own Philippine Hot Air Balloon.
Hot Air Balloons getting prepared for flying.
So far, this is one of the most crowded events I have attended and I was not really disappointed, I mean totally, I was just saddened of the poor organization of the event. From the event logistics and the event turn-out. A lot of people were also dismayed by it. I think the organizers can improve the next year’s balloon fiesta if there is any. I still want to attend the next year, though.
Average of 20,000 people joined the crowd daily.
How much damage did it cost?
Event Ticket – Php 370 (Php350 + Php20 Admin fee for Ticketnet)
Five Star Bus to Marquee Mall – Php 129
Tricycle to Clark Main Gate – Php 100
Jeepney from Clark Main Gate to SM Clark – Php 8
Lunch – Php 145
Jeepney to Dau Bus Terminal – Php 8
Victory Liner Bus to Cubao Terminal – Php 139
Total: Php 899 (Not that bad)
See you next year! 🙂