A hot air balloon event commonly referred to as the Weekend of Everything that Flies will kick off the second week in February of this year. The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is an annual event and features anywhere from 20 plus hot air balloons hailing countries all across the globe.
The balloon will be in a variety of shapes with some of the newer entries sporting the likeness of a Matryoshka Russian Doll, the Queen’s Guard, Captain Jack Sparrow, Princess Nellie, Master Yoda, Morris the Donkey, Bruno the Clown and Pepe the Hedgehog. Others will be creatively shaped versions of hearts, fruit, and balloons emblazoned with the names of corporate sponsors or balloon owners.
The same event last saw attendee numbers reach into the one hundred thousand and more are expected to attend this year.
The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta whose goals are to promote ballooning as a hobby for enthusiasts and to instill a discipline in newly certified pilots further seeks to establish a cohesion amongst members of the community. The balloon festival is a huge contributor to influxes in tourism in regions like Clark, Pampanga and the Philippines and has endured by thrilling attendees for over two decades.
The event, which is sponsored this year by ABS CBN will take place at the Omni Aviation Complex in Clark and will commence on February 8th and last until February 11th.
Some of the features include:
- Early morning balloon launches
- Aviation related activities like paragliding, skydiving, formation flights, balloon bursting competitions and kite flying.
- Special performances by the Aerosuperbatics Wingwalkers. Onlookers will witness the spectacle created by a couple of Stearman biplanes executing loops, rolls, stall turns and inverted flights, all the while the Wingwalkers will be engaged in acrobatic stunts and handstands while strapped to the aircraft’s wings.
- Participants may book discovery flights in hot air balloons, tandem skydiving, tandem paragliding, airplane or helicopter rides, and aerobatic flights. (Flights are facilitated by licensed professionals. Discovery flights must be booked via the event’s webpage.)
- Supercar drifting exhibitions
- Drone racing and RC control line flying
- The Fly Market
- As well as various other activities like archery, horseback riding, camel-riding, and a petting zoo.
Participants will be treated to music acts throughout the evening some from a variety of countries will perform alongside locals at the One World Music Cultural Exchange Concert. Additionally, ABS CBN artists will also perform. There will also be a fireworks display and mass hot air balloon launch known as a night glow to light up the atmosphere prior to the close of the festivities on the last evening.
A further incentive for pilots from across the globe will be made possible by the PIHABF whose mission is to assemble pilots from other countries to demonstrate the beauty of the Philippines and allow for the Filipino community to experience various other cultures as well.
Tickets are available through the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta website which can be found here.