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17th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2012: Cultural Adventure

Celebrated in Clark Freeport Zone in Angeles City Pampanga every second week of February, the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is considered the biggest aviation sports event in the Philippines.
Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2012
The three to four day event showcases a number of aerial exhibitions and ground events which is flocked by thousands of local and foreign visitors annually.

The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta or much commonly known as Hot Air Balloon Festival started in 1994, three years after the devastating Mt. Pinatubo eruption. It's main aim is to help jump start the economy and morale of the people residing in the lands destroyed by the eruption.

The festival was successful in the few years after its launch. However due to financial difficulties, it was cancelled in 1999 but quickly recovered and resumed a year later. To date the Hot Air Balloon Festival is one of the most anticipated cultural events in Central Luzon.

Got two tickets!
Be on the bus terminal early. You don't want to get caught in the crowd (if there's one)
I was fortunate enough to acquire a ticket to the 17th Hot Air Balloon Festival held last year. Together with my wife and a friend, we packed up light and left very early to catch the morning flight of a dozen or more hot air balloons.

Here are some events that we witnessed that day:

The early flight of the hot air balloons
A series of cool airshows

Kite Flying

Philippine Air Force Displays

Philippine Army Displays
Philippine Marines Displays
Aircraft displays

Marine drills
Some awesome carshow
The Night Glow
Lucky enough for us the bus station wasn't too crowded when we got there and good heavens we left on schedule. Upon reaching Clark Freeport Zone, one would be astonished by the number of visitors flocking the venue.

Check out those people

Overall we enjoyed the festival and we plan to participate again in the years to come.

Here are some tips when you're planning to attend the Hot Air Balloon Festival.

1. Leave Manila late at night to reach Clark Freeport Zone early.
Here's what you could do if you get there early:

You have time to kill
You could have your picture taken with a giant inflatable camera

You could pose with some costumed guy

You could check out the planes...
and ride military jeeps
2. Bring your own food.
3. Avoid over dressing. Wear sunblock or bring an umbrella or hat.
4. Secure your cameras and cash. Bring a backpack.
5. Don't forget your tickets. In case you don't have, you can avail one at the ticket booth. (prepare to line up a mile though.)


Overall rating


  1. Another awesome post. Looks like you guys are in a great location. The balloons are awesome too. Loved the blow fish. I don't think we have anything like it around here. :) Thanks for sharing :P

    1. I told you my friend visit my country. You would certainly enjoy everything. =) Thank you for reading my blog once again pal. =)

  2. haha, if I ever striker rich I would :P

  3. I love the photos, do you visit the 22nd hot air balloon festival?

    1. Hi Josephine. I managed to return last year. Sadly, I was not able to do so this year due to budget issues. =) How about you?


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