We flew on a hot air balloon again at the 21st Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF)!
Thanks to our sponsors like Power Mac Center and Adam elements, who also made a product launch to coincide with the event, we got to return once again to Clark to witness for the nth time the PIHABF and all its glory.
The venue may have changed, but the wonder of seeing numerous colorful hot air balloons, some of different shapes and sizes, that are slowly being inflated until they are fully on their grandest form, is still a sight to behold. This becomes a lot more spectacular so soon as they slowly fly off into the Pampanga sky, and each one joining them until all are out of sight.
Yup! The event is not something to be missed even only as a spectator from afar. The photos up close are exhilarating but it becomes even more amazing if we get to capture the hot air balloons as a group from a distance.
Some would do videos to immortalize the moment - an opportunity to rerun the scenes all over again every time we want to reminisce the majestic flights. We may be witnessing the very last production of the Clark hot air balloon event since there were rumors that it may be the last run. But some are telling us that the contract can be renewed if both parties agree to continue the longest-running weekend of everything that flies.
Though it was a bit dusty at the new site, people still flocked the place to witness hot air balloons from different countries at their best. Even though there's another similar event happening sometime April in Lubao, also in Pampanga, the original is still the one in Clark organized by Capt. Joy Roa who also has a travel show (Asian Air Safari) on ANC, the cable TV news channel of ABS-CBN. They also have the Ms. Aviation Philippines beauty pageant held which usually completes before the first day of the hot air balloon event so the winning beauty queens could grace the event as well.
DOT Usec Kat De Castro together with BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer Vince Dizon and PIHABF Event Director Capt. Joy Roa, officially opened the 21st Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta at the Omni Aviation Complex in Clark, Pampanga on February 9, 2017. The event runs for 4 days (Feb. 9 to 12) and features many other exhibits, activities, and stalls of various kinds so attendees could enjoy the whole day at the venue.
It is also a great opportunity to do some food tripping around Pampanga since it is after all the culinary capital of the Philippines.
Though the venue is not as good as before, add the long walk from the parking lot to the hot air balloon site, plus the decrease in the number of hot air balloon participants, the event is still a glamorous tourism attraction. The government should help out in making sure this long-running event continues to mesmerize the next generation so it could also attract not only local but foreign visitors as well. We send a special shout out to the Department of Tourism to subsidize events like these the same way they supported the Miss Universe beauty pageant when it was hosted in Manila.
We'll be sure to attend the event again next year if in case it does return for another colorful four-day run. These hot air balloons somehow inspires us to dream big so we could reach our highest aspirations in life, and are reminded that all that "hot air" will eventually diminish and bring us back down to the ground, yet keeping the wonderful memories to reminisce.
While we were up there, we made sure to cherish every moment, for life is but a temporary journey that we need to make the most of it while we can.
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