17th Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta: A weekend of everything that flies, and then some

Drove off Friday night to catch the third day of the 17th Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta at Clark Field, Pampanga. Guest attendance doubled, if not tripled this year, as evidenced by the chaos at the entrance – the parking areas were packed as early as 3AM, and ticket holders jostled in with guests who have yet to get theirs.

But the sun was out, the breeze was perfect and we saw what we went there to see – hot air balloons! Woohoo 🙂

I love hot air balloons for their color and their sense of whimsy – this year, there was a cake balloon (a three-tiered pink confection at that), an ice cream balloon, a daisy balloon, and the one below, a car gliding in the sky. It was my first time to see them up close, and they did not disappoint.

As the ads promised, it was a weekend celebrating everything that flew. Heck, even this panda tried to fly, to no avail.


There were paragliders, skydivers, helicopters and some military-issue aircraft, courtesy of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Children (and their parents, too!) got the chance to fly kites, a novelty nowadays for city-dwelling kids. I remember we used to make kites or boca-boca back then using old newspaper, walis ting-ting and home-made paste. And these were not shabby at all, if I do say so myself. Some even add shards of glass on the string used to fly the kite, so it could cut down the other kites in the area, all in the spirit of sport, of course.

But I digress. The event was a nice day out for us girls, and for everyone who came, judging by the smiles and the energy we felt out there.


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