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Thursday, February 05, 2015

19th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival 2015 this Feb 12-15, 2015 - (tips, schedules, survival guide, and info)


The festival for everything that flies is back again after a year of hiatus, I’m super happy that they are organizing the 19th year this coming Feb 12-15, 2015 at the Philippine Air Force ADAC Hangar in Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga. I’m sure you missed the big hot air balloons, the sky diving stunts, rc planes and real planes that do acrobatic glides, plane exhibits, giant kites and many more!!

I’m a bit pumped up for this, because I visit the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival every year and I’ll make sure that I will not miss this.

Take note that the entrance fee is PHP300 per head/per day

I’m hoping that we can ride the hot air balloon again!

Because the view above is so awesome!

Map to the venue:,120.5456044/@15.1681285,120.5557575,14z?hl=en


croped 2116787

Here' are the schedules for this year’s festival

Fiesta Schedule

Here’s a detailed info about the event.

Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival marks 19th year, all set for another historic Weekend of Everything That Flies

 The Philippines’ first, foremost and longest-running gathering of aviators and aviation enthusiasts from around the globe is back for another Weekend of Everything That Flies.
This year’s Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival (PIHABF) is set on February 12 to 15 at the Philippine Air Force ADAC Hangar in Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.

Earlier this year, a memorandum of agreement to hold the annual balloon fiesta was signed by Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) president Arnel Casanova, Clark Development Corporation (CDC) president Arthur Tugade, Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) president, (then) chief executive officer Victor Jose Luciano, and Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Foundation Inc. (PIHABF) president Capt. Joy Roa at the Asian Air Safari hangar in Pasay City.

Four full days of flying activities—including hot air ballooning, aerobatic exhibitions, skydiving, powered paragliding, aviation formation, search and rescue flight demonstrations, and balloon bursting, among other aviation spectacles—await attendees and participants to the highly anticipated event.

This year’s highlights include a total of 32 hot air balloons participating from all over the world, with special-shaped balloons featuring Old MacDonald’s Farm, Maximus the Beagle Dog, Burnie the Little Devil, Upside Down Balloon, Miss Daisy, Old Lady & the Shoe, Little Girl and Little Boy, Pink Elephant, Octopus, and Vincent Van Gogh, among a host of colorful traditional balloons.
After the 6:00 AM balloon launch, attendees can also look forward to non-stop flying exhibitions which include skydiving, motorized paragliding, aerobatics, formation flying, radio-controlled model flights, kite-flying, and rocketry, before the balloons fly in again at 5:45 in the afternoon, weather-permitting.

Activities are not only limited skyward, as the festival grounds are also brimming with fun for the whole family. Watch car-drifting exhibitions while airplanes try to drop flour bombs overhead; catch firefighting and safety demonstrations by the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC); discover unique goods and food finds at the “Fly Market”; see your favorite OPM bands perform onstage courtesy of Radio Republic; for would-be aviators, visit the displays of various aviation schools; learn more about birds and other animal species at the Zoocobia mini zoo; and for lovers, attend a free Valentines Concert staged by Jeepney TV on the 3rd Fiesta night, which falls on Valentine’s Day. A fireworks display and nightglow culminates the four-day event the following evening.

Beauty for a cause

As part of this year’s activities, PIHABF also launched the search for Miss Aviation. First staged in the 1970s, this one-of-a-kind beauty pageant aims to promote, advocate and inspire the youth to take up a career in aviation, and support the country’s local tourism efforts. Twenty (20) female aviation students and professionals will vie for the title which will be awarded on February 10, 2015 during the Annual Aviator’s Ball to be held at the Manila Peninsula.

An outstanding pilot will also be receiving the Aviator of the Year Award during the Annual Aviator’s Ball which is a recognition given to aviators who have made outstanding contributions in upgrading the standards of safety and aviation interests in their regions. Other recognitions to be awarded during the event are: Fixed Wing Pilot of the Year, Helicopter Pilot of the Year, Flight

Instructor of the Year, Female Pilot of the Year, CAAP Check Pilot of the Year, CAAP Controller of the Year and Aircraft Mechanic of the Year.

According to Captain Joy Roa, event director, the fiesta is a platform for improving the country’s
aviation standing through collaboration and interaction with international aviators. “We have so much to learn from our foreign counterparts, and this fiesta is an opportunity to share and exchange cultures and ideas. Of course, this is also a chance for us to showcase the world renowned Filipino hospitality,” he said.

The PIHABF organizing committee is composed of volunteer aviation experts and industry practitioners who make sure that the fiesta is carefully planned and safety-oriented.
Roa added, “Despite the challenges and the setbacks, we are dogged in our determination to mount this event year after year because more than a spectacle, this is an advocacy for us. We want to educate everyone, especially the youth, about the beauty of aviation and the many life lessons we can learn from it.”

The PIHABF 2015 was made possible with the support of the Bases Conversion Development Authority, Clark Freeport, Clark International Airport, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, together with media partners the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Malaya Business Insight, Business World, Business Mirror, Pilipino Mirror, Natural 97.9 FM, DWIZ, ABS CBN, and sponsors, SM City Clark, UPS, Prudential Guarantee, Hotdog on Stick, CDO Bibbo Hotdog, Segway, Qube, Kopiko, Rudy Project, The Medical City, Yellow Cab, Tempra, Snow Cone, Flanax, Bonamine, Garant Group and Radio Republic.

Entrance tickets are at Php300 each, which is a donation to the PIHABF Foundation Scholarship Fund, granting scholarships to deserving but underprivileged students pursuing an aviation career in partnership with Air Link International Aviation School and the Philippine Air Transport and Training Services.. Tickets may be purchased at the fiesta’s official website, at Ticketnet outlets, or at the event gates.

For more information and updates on the 19th PIHABF, visit or its official Facebook page, at


I also posted some tips on how to survive the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival.

TIPS and GUIDE for 1st time visitor

my 2012 tips
1. Read my tips from 2011 and 2010 - you might learn something from there
2. First time visitors please read tips 2011 and tips 2010
3. If you are going there via public transport - read tips 2011
4. The scenario is the same and all tips from 2011 and 2010 can be applied
5. Don't bring any remote controlled helicopter toys or airplane, they prohibit this because it will cause obstruction to some official flyers of the event (parachute,planes and other RC heli and planes)
6. Don't leave your things unattended
7. Don't let your child walk alone, the area is big and there's plenty of walk ground, just advice your kid that incase he got lost, he must approach any staff of the balloon fest and for the parent, there's a PA system and customer announcement service in the area. Or you can advice your kid that in case he got lost, you can meet up at the hot dog area with giant inflatables (just an example) / Or you can let your kid wear an ID for proper identification.

8. BRING UMBRELLA...big rain last year for day 1 in the afternoon almost cancelled the 2nd flight
9. Bring money - everything inside the event venue are so expensive
10. Bring food and drinks! ( I haven't check if bringing food is allowed)
11. Wear comfy clothes, light clothes, comfy shoes (rubber shoes, running shoes, any closed shoes, don't wear sandals, on the way is very dusty, grassy and sometimes muddy, but the venue ground is cemented, but hot during the afternoon)
12. Will add more tips later.

My tips from 2011

1. I suggest you leave tonight, because the bus in Victory Liner terminal, both Pasay and Cubao terminal, they ran out of bus and I didn't expected that all people will be at the terminal, all 4 bus that was supposed to be have a 40 min. departure each, just left all together and bus in Pasay got only the 5:10am departure. I got lucky that I rode a bus in Cubao, I successfully left Manila at around 4:30pm. The hassle is that you need to fall in line to buy tickets first.
2. Traffic in NLEX exit to San Fernando, Pampanga.
3. Traffic in Clark road
4. Jeepney terminal lacks lots of PUJ at around 5am and beyond. Big group of people are falling in line and everyone went chaos to ride a jeepney, it happen only if a jeep comes, so para saan pa yun pila di ba? buti sanay ako at taga maynila ako pagdating sa garapalan at unahan sa pag sakay.
5. Jeepney unloading zone is at the end of the Clark field, near the stop light, PUJ are not allowed to stop infront of the hot air balloon site. You need to walk all the way from the end going to the entrance
6. Long lines in buying tickets, I suggest you buy tickets at Ticketnet
7. Long lines in entering the venue
8. Lots of flying mosquitos in the grassy area,I suggest bring mosquito repellant lotion or do not wear shorts and also high heels, I saw lots of women there getting tired of walking over a grassy and muddy ground
9. Bring water and drinsk, softdrinks in can costs P45. and I bottled water will be expensive too.
10. Caltex Phil. gives free slurpee and coffee in their booth, just present your ticket
11. Free photo printing, just look for that photo booth at the other side of the hangar
12. Souvenir and food booths are everywhere
13. Bring umbrella or rain coat, I heard that on the end of day 1 and day 2, hot air balloon flights were cancelled and the site experienced an Ondoy like storm, and the areas got flooded.
14. Portalet CR are available. Long lines are expected
15. There's a free shuttle ride going to Marquee Mall and then vice versa
16. If you plan to go here tomorrow and leave Manila at 3am. I suggest you leave Manila at around 1am, if you plan to ride the bus, just visit the website of Victory Liner and other buses for bus schedules.
17. Bring money, everything inside are expensive. I bought a souvenir shirt - P300 only.
18. Eat in Max's Restaurant in Marquee Mall. sarap ng Kare Kare. There's free wifi here in Marquee Mall.
19. if you need more tips. just txt me or call me at 09275340309
20. whew! im going home now!!! 2012 hot air balloon will have my revenge!

2010 tips and guide

TIPS and GUIDE for 1st time visitor

If you plan to go there and its your first time, I like to share some tips that can be helpful for you. It was my first time last year and I learned so many things on my first trip at the hot air balloon fest and my budget for an overnight stay and 2 day coverage is P3,000, thats good for two persons. I might use this tips again for my 2nd visit.

1. Plan your travel first before you go there, it will be better that you are prepared and also you can prepare your pocket money if you plan to travel via commute or your own car.

2. If you have your own car, its easy to go there, but if you will travel riding the bus, there are lots of things that you should know.
(a) ride the bus - Victory Liner going to Dagupan
(b) drop off at the Dau Terminal
(c) walk on the other side of the highway and ride the tricycle going to SM Clark
(d) ride a jeepney that will enter Clark Economic Zone
(e) if you ride the jeep, just advice the driver in advance to drop you off at the hot air balloon event site
(f) if you got lost, dont be shy to ask the people there, people in Pampanga are nice and helpful when it comes to giving directions.
3. Bring these items if you plan to stay there for long
(a) extra shirts
(b) money
(c) sun glasses
(d) sun block
(e) back pack
(f) wear light clothes
(g) camera
(h) laptop and internet usb dongle (if you plan to blog after the event)
(i) copy of the program schedule of the event
(j) cellphone with load
(k)bottled water
(l) folding chair or travel chair
(m) umbrella

4. If you plan to stay overnight, there are lots of hotels in the area, but last time we went there we stayed in a cheap motel. I trust a clean and cheap motel. My target that time was to stay in SOGO hotel,but the motel is under construction last year, but I know they are now open, and if ever I'll stay overnight, I can check in there at night and check out at around 3am. I remember that McDonalds operates 24 hours a day, because we ate our breakfast there and stayed til 4am.

5. The hot air balloon departure flight starts at around 5am, and I advice that you should be there an hour or 2 hours before the big flight. There will be many people and visitors going there, and the viewing area will be crowded, if you want to watch the balloons in a close range, just be there early and stay infront of the perimeter fence. You can seat on the pavement or grass or use your folding chair that you brought so that you can rest before you wait for another hour for the show to start.

6. After the balloon flight, there will be other activities happening in the area, and if you plan to stroll somewhere and rest, there might be a service vehicle outside going to a mall. Last year we experience to ride for free going to Marquee Mall and back to the balloon site. I'm not sure if SM City Clark will provide the same arrangements like free transpo ride for visitors going to SM mall and back to the event site. If ever they have a free transpo, I will just ride and stay inside SM Mall and do lots of stuff like eat, watch movies or shop. And if I feel to go back to the event site, I'll just ride the tricycle or the free transpo ride. Because there will be a hot air balloon flight arrival at around 5pm before the sun sets.

7. There are lots of food stalls inside the event site, they also have an eatery with tent, tables and chairs. Souvenirs are sold from left to right. Photo op activities are also available, exhibits and get a close encounter with our soldiers and officers, try also to hold those heavy rifles, guns and bazookas, ride a mini tank and also try to sit inside a small helicopter. That was last year, I don't know what will be there gimmick for this year, but I do hope that it will be the same.

8. If you're going to ride the hot air balloon, there's a special rate and you can avail the ticket and arrangement at the official website. I heard that the price of the hot air balloon is equal to a plane ticket to Hong Kong. Its a long ride transferring to another city, I'm not sure if its a one way ride. But last year, we rode the hot air balloon and it was my first time to ride it, it was a smooth flight and a bumpy landing. The flames are not that hot when you are inside the basket, and the balloon pilot is friendly and he will instruct you on what to do during the landing. In our ride, its a short ride lifting us up for minutes and going down after wards, the organizers offer a special rate for that ride, and I don't know where to get it, I'll investigate on that for my visit on day 1 on Thursday.

9. Okay thats it for now, I will add more tips and guide when something came in to my mind, but if you have your own tips and guide, pls share it here by posting in the comments below.

Thanks and happy trip to all!
Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, Philippine Bloggers Network, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. Azrael's Merryland Blog is included in a list of top 50 Blogs in the Philippines , ranked 65th in Top 100 Blogs that Matter , 49 must read lifestyle blog in the Philippines. and rank 40th in 100 Top Philippine Blogs by Feedspot.
He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collects Transformers toys.
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