A Weekend of Everything that Flies

The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is one of the most anticipated events; it’s the time of the year where they showcase Hot Air Balloons from different parts of the world and a wide array of everything that flies.

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I have no idea how I will be spending my Valentine’s Day since I got single. I would usually stay at home and watch love stories or read a book until I fall asleep. But this year, I had a chance to witness one of the longest running hot air balloon festivals in Asia. Thanks to my Valentines dates: Mother Leony for house accommodation and Zaldy for all the captured moments during the event. (All Photos in this blog post will be credited to him.)

Gates are open at 4am; we made it just in time to see how they set up the balloons before take-off. We had a chance to witness breaking dawn with an amazing view of Mt. Arayat in the background. The program officially starts with the singing of the National Anthem and sky diving flag jump as the sun rises to the sky.

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That obligatory jump shot-silhouetted-against-the-dawn-sky shot.

Off they go, up to the sky away. I was in awe for the entire time. Sure I experienced releasing a balloon from my finger tips when I was a kid, but this new experience is different: watching super large balloons floating in the sky as the air takes them away from the ground. It was glorious seeing all of them rise up to the sky one by one.

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After the flight, sets of activities were lined up. Kite Flying, Car Drifting, Off-road Driving, Aerobatic Exhibitions, Skydiving and Paragliding, Search and Rescue Flight Demonstrations, and a surprise fly over of different kinds of air craft from the Philippine Air Force.

Since, it was our first time to attend; we are not really prepared as to bringing a tent or mattress. We find it okay to just sit on the grass as we watch people passes by, taking photographs and enjoying each other’s company. There are tents in some corners of the field where we hide out from the sun and believe it or not, we actually fall asleep using a newspaper as mat. Well, sleeping late because of the travel and waking up early is not a joke.

As the fiesta took place around Valentine’s season, many also took it as an opportunity to spend the special day with their loved ones in such a unique way. If you look at my picture, you can see two lovers holding hands as they admire the balloons in the air so as love is in the air. #mayforeversahotairballoon

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The day’s almost over. Here’s Mr. Sunset spreading enormous vibes.

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One of the most awaited parts of this event was the Hot Air Balloon Night Glow.

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We had a hard time going back home. There was traffic everywhere and it seemed that every commuter from the festival decided to go home at exactly the same time. Jeepneys heading back to the “Main Gate” were scarce and the traffic congested. We decided to walk from Clack Field to the Main gate! This proved to be the hardest part of the day: walking for almost an hour!

Terrific! Outstanding! Unforgettable! Indeed, it was a great experience of a weekend or should I say Valentine’s Day of everything that flies.PhotoGrid_1459495358996_1

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