Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fly With Flickr at the 19th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Wazzup Pilipinas!

With 1 Terabytes of storage, what would make you hesitate to post as much photos as possible? I don't really think a lifetime would be enough to fill up that storage with wonderful photos taken using Yahoo's Flickr. Unless you're a real hardcore photo-sharing addict, that huge free storage may take you a span of several mobile phone models before you are able to fill that up, and maybe by that time, Flickr will be upgraded to increase its storage capacity again.

Though I'm a bit jealous of iPhone users since they have certain capabilities not available for Android phone users, I still believe taking amazing photos still depends on the owner's artistic inclination. If you have that keen eye for creative shots, it takes very little need for photo-editing software to improve your captured images.

However, photography takes on a new level as ordinary individuals may be able to produce enhanced photos using a suite of sophisticated editing tools available in Flickr. There are filters, vignettes, auto-enhance, color balance, levels and exposure that gives you full control over your photos all the time.

This is why Yahoo Philippines invited us for a road trip to Clark Field, Pampanga be able to use Flickr at the opening day of the 19th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta last February 12, 2015.

Select members of the media, including your Pambansang Blogger ng Pilipinas, went on our way to Pampanga to witness the first day of the "Weekend of Everything that Flies."

Scheduled from February 12 to 15, the 19th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta showcases lots of activities all throughout the four days. But the real highlight of course is when the hot air balloons are inflated with hot air and slowly rise to finally fly up into the sky.

Seeing images of Vincent Van Gogh, Maximus the Beagle, Miss Octopus, 

A few lucky individuals who are able to shell out around $200 to $300 may get the opportunity to ride a balloon, or if you are a celebrity or a political figure, to experience how it is like to fly up into the air aboard one of these amazing hot air balloons of all shapes, colors and sizes.

Our road trip to the fiesta started after we had a great filling meal at Abe restaurant Trinoma branch where they serve sumptuous Filipino dishes. This is also where we were given a short briefing about the Flickr app which I have been using for several days already. Sir Rob from Yahoo Philippines demonstrated the app while we were waiting for our food to be served.

Lots of delightful dishes to fill us up for the entire afternoon from Abe Restaurant. It's not my first time to eat at this particular restaurant and they would always be a satisfying dining experience every visit.

Arriving at the venue of the Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, we had some mats laid down on the cemented grounds of Clark Field as we waited for the time to see the hot air balloons fly-in. Fellow members of the media along with the lovely PR ladies of Perceptions setup a picnic-like ambiance snacking on chips and biscuits.

With these adorable smiles, you wouldn't be bored being with these ladies all afternoon. It would have been a perfect day if only we've personally seen the hot air balloons but the strong winds later that afternoon was not suitable for any balloons to appear. Better safe than sorry, the organizers decided to cancel the fly-in and even the night glow.

However, it was not a huge disappointment as it is after all a "Weekend of Everything that Flies." There were other attractions good enough to keep your interest afloat like the wind socks, the kites, the airplane exhibit, the miniature remote controlled planes, photo booths with hot air balloon backdrops, plenty of vendors selling souvenirs and street food, exhibits of flying schools, and the paragliding performance of Raymond Buco of the Philippine Sports Commission.

I also got to meet a few photojournalist friends from Manila who were also there to cover the event. They were fortunate enough to be able to return for tomorrow's hot air balloon inflating and flight since they are checked in at a nearby hotel while my group was just there for the day tour.

I think the best part of the day was when I got to meet the organizers of the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. One of them even knows me and follows my blog. He has been following my blog and has witnessed how I developed from a blogger to now being a part of radio and TV. I was humbled when he even requested that we pose for the camera with my iconic two thumbs up. Now you know I'll be part of the event every year thanks to the "fans" of

Thank you to the Event Director Captain Joy Roa, Media Coordinator Poch Juinio, and Security Coordinator, Dr. Ogie Cruz.

We were not able to capture hot air balloon images for the Flickr app but since we now know when is the right time to be there, next year's visit will hopefully be a lot different. There will lots of opportunities to see the skies of Clark Field, Pampanga filled with color brought by the amazing hot air balloons of diverse designs.

Flickr also allows you to record HD videos up to 30 seconds using the live filters for a stunning effect. The new Auto Sync also automatically uploads all your photos seamlessly to your account so that Flickr can be your camera roll in the cloud.

Flickr's understanding of our photos date and time, and even scenes and objects helps organize our images.

Sharing photos is also easier than ever using batch organization and the enhanced sharing features directly connecting to Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.

The day ended with group dinner at Iguana, a Mexican Restaurant in Pampanga where we ate burritos, quesadillas, pajitas, and nachos. I forgot to order for margaritas.

In the absence of a real hot air balloon, I settled for this photo ops.

I promise to return next year at an earlier time so I can really capture the balloons using my own camera....and of course with Flickr so I can share with the rest of the world the amazing sights of the hot air balloons at the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.

Photo credits of hot air balloons to Mac Vasquez

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  1. Taking photos is really a habit for me and I really wanted to witness the event. So, lucky are those who were able and were given the chance! How I wish that next time, I will be the one to share my experiences in this event. Great job, sir!

  2. This generation has been into photography, like what ever they do they have to capture it and post in social media. Well, can't blame them. Photograph's worth a thousand words. Photographs matter because they freeze moments of our lives, they makes us remember what it has been like and it's such a good feeling reminiscing the past, right? And this event, is one of the things I would reminisce if I had a chance to go there and see it but unfortunately, I didn't. I'm hoping for another event like this tho :)

  3. I really want to witness this someday. I will add this to my bucket list!

  4. Clark Field, Pampanga must be really filled with amazing hot air balloons that day. I hope I could take pictures of those too.

  5. It's great that there are many photos in this article because it showed me the beauty and wonder of the event and it made me excited for the event. After seeing the photos and reading the article, How I wish I was there to witness the event live.

  6. I think that people who went to this event, surely had their days so memorable! They have surely enjoyed the hot-air balloons and food in this said event. And for those who are into photography, this event should be in your list! :)

  7. Hot-air balloons and photography? Who wouldn't want to spend a day like that? ?Such a shame I wasn't able to come

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