One of the most anticipated events in February in Pampanga is the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. This colorful festivity, started in 1994 and has increased its popularity since, is considered as the biggest aviation event in the country. At Php200 per person, this is one great idea of a pre-valentine bonding with your loved one.
While it has become quite famous, there are people who might not still be familiar with this colorful and exciting event in Clark Freeport. So what to expect during this event? Well, first of all, members of the Philippine Air Force, together with their counterparts in the ASEAN member countries as well as the United States Air Force, will be holding sky jumps, air exhibitions and displaying military equipment and hardware to promote their roles in national security. A series of skydiving expeditions are lined up throughout the whole festival. The expert parachutists of the members of the Air Force from various countries always have a surefire way of impressing the crowd as they showcase their daredevil ways to the public.
Another popular attraction in the Hot Air Fiesta are the paragliders. Now, these equipment might look breakable and cannot hold a single pilot, but they are surprisingly sturdy and can be maneuvered easily. Pilots on board this small craft are allowed to fly lower and can get as close to the crowd as possible. Another cool gadget that visitors will definitely see here are the remote-controlled aeroplanes. Watch them dive, buzz and do acrobatic movements.
Visitors are also given the chance to see amazing kite designs and are given the opportunity to fly one. The Kite Team Philippines and the Philippine Kite Association are teaming up for the kite show, showcasing their best kite fliers in the country. They use multistring kites and are able to fly them in formation, dance and even land in the palm of the visitor’s hand.
The main highlight of this event, expectedly, are the colorful hot air balloons that adorn the early morning sky. This 2012, more than 20 hot air balloons, including six that are sponsored by known Philippine brands, will be flown starting the first day of the festival.
For those who are not familiar how to get to the venue, visitors from Manila and are driving can either take NLEX (via Dau Exit) or via SCTEX. For those who are taking the former, they need to make a left turn (towards Angeles City) after the Dau Exit. Take another left at the intersection, just past the bus terminal leading to SM City Clark. The venue is right after the entrance of SM.
For those visitors who are taking the SCTEX, take the southbound lane towards the Subic/Olongapo area and exit towards “Clark South”. Make a right turn after the toll booth and make another right once you get to GCLC Fountain. Follow the road until you reach the main road and turn right.
To those who are coming from other parts to Asia to participate in the event, the nearest airport is the Clark International Airport. The venue is just very near the airport, specifically within the same freeport area.
So pack your bags and head out to one of the most exciting festivals of the month. Who knows, this might be a Valentine weekend that will be most memorable.