Another year of a weekend that everything that flies happened last February 9-12, 2012. It was may 3rd time attending the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF) at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga. First year was 2009 then second on 2010. I was absent last year, 2011. It was only in 2010 that I’m able to witness the opening and actual taking off of the balloons. The first and the 3rd were halfdays. I’ll try to find time to post the other two. :)
Our barkada originally planned to go on a Saturday but our schedule won’t meet so we end up going on the last day and just the five of us. We left Manila 11:30am and arrived in Pampanga around 1:00pm. Instead of going directly to Clark Air Base for the Hot Air we went to A.C. Rumpa in Angeles to have lunch first.
A.C. stands for Angeles City and RUMPA was derived from Retired US Military Philippine Association
Most of us ordered barbecue spare ribs the others roast beef. Barbecue spare ribs is one of their best-sellers.
barbecue spare ribs served with mashed potato and buttered veggies – 200 PHP
You have na option to have steamed white rice instead of mashed potato. I love the spare ribs – so tender, so soft and very tasty. And it goes well with the mashed potato.
roast beef – 205 PHP
My fiancé ordered this so I don’t have much to say about this dish. Haha. He said it was okay. But I think he like better my barbecue spare ribs since he keeps getting one from my plate. :)
Pineapple Juice – 55 PHP
After lunch we headed to the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta grounds. We had a hard time finding parking space since we arrived quite late. Tickets cost 200 PHP. I remember the first time I went here its just 100 PHP.
Huge replicas of Canon cameras and Boracay Rum welcomed us.
Saw the latest DOT’s campaign to boost tourism in our country. It was released January 2012.
No balloons yet, we have to wait 6:00 pm for that, but still there were a lot of kites, skydivers and paragliders in the sky. Truly it is a weekend of everything that flies.
When we arrived the car drifting demonstration was just about to start. Not able to have a good view though since there’s a lot of people blocking us.
After watching the drifting exhibition we went on and visit the booths and food stalls. We chance upon celebrities Gab Valenciano and Coleen Garcia strolling and hmmm maybe dating. :) They have face paint on their face, Gaga on Gab and Coco on Coleen. (Just sharing, lol)
Strolling comes with camwhoring. So here…
It rained so we’re not able to see everything. We have to stop and find shelter. Even if its raining they still continue some exhibition like flying and skydiving exhibition. We also witnessed an aerobatic show.
Hot Air Balloon Night Glow And Fireworks – FAIL. They’re not able to set up all the balloons for the night glow because of strong winds. Some were even ruined so they stop filling the balloons with hot air or gas.
Few of the ballons they successfully filled with air but have to remove again because they won’t be able to withstand the wind.
The soloist during the Hot Air Balloon Night Glow and Fireworks Display – SM’s balloon! The only one that glowed. Too bad the weather isn’t cooperating.
Caltex – Chevron once again sponsors the 17th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF).
We went to Marquee Mall to have dinner after. We dine at Ikabud’s.
I still would like to go back next year for the 18th Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. Maybe try to catch again the flying of the balloons in the morning. I only experienced that once, in 2010. Seeing balloons in the sky always fascinates me. Brings back the inner child in me.
So till next time. So you weather, yes you, you better be good when we return next year, ayt?! :)
How to get here:
VIA NLEX DAU EXIT:
Take the North Luzon Expressway and exit at Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga.
Make a left turn after the exit off-ramp, heading towards Angeles City
Take another left at the t-intersection past the bus terminals
Follow MacArthur Highway southbound, then make a right to enter Clark Special Economic zone. This is right after the entrance to SM City Clark.
Enter thru the main gate and follow M.A. Roxas highway until you see the fiesta grounds on your right.
VIA SCTEX :
Take the North Luzon Expressway and continue into the SCTEX.
Take the southbound SCTEX lane toward Subic/Olongapo
Use the next exit, “Clark South Exit”
Turn right after the toll booth
Take another right when you reach NAIA Gateway Ave, near the GCLC fountain
Follow this road until you reach the main highway (M.A. Roxas) and take a right
The fiesta grounds will be on your right.
Via Victory Liner or 5 Star (terminals located in Pasay and Cubao)
Take a north bound bus to Dau.
There are jeepneys and tricycles readily available by the highway that will bring you to Clark Main gate
At the Clark main gate, ride another jeepney or a taxi going to the event site
Via Philtranco (bus stop at the back of SM Megamall and terminal in Pasay)
Philtranco has a direct bus trip to Clark/DMIA