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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

22nd Philippine-International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2018 - new attractions, activities and more balloons!

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Take note everyone, the Weekend of Everything that Flies is happening this Feb 8-11, 2018 at the Omni Aviation Complex in Clark, Pampanga. The Same venue from last and this will be its 2nd year to utilize the same and new venue from last year.

The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is on its 22nd year and they've prepared new attractions, new ballons and sights to see this 2018.

26 colorful hot air balloons with special shapes from different countries will fly again and will fill  the skies with color and awesomeness. Balloon flgihts will take place early in the morning, at around 5am and then it will fly back to the venue before the end of sunset. So visit the event and appreciate our local aviation industry, if you are interested to be a pilot, then this is the best venue for your curious eyes. Family can travel here and have fun with the balloons, planes, kites and anything that can fly. They can watch sky attractions or join activities such as kite flying.

philippine hot air balloon fiesta 2017 coverage by azrael coladilla (28)

read my 2017 post here
and also my vlog posted at Youtube

I've been attending this event every year and Im excited for this year because the organizers of  The Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is bringing in more sky attractions.

See Also. Win Tickets to 22nd Philippine-International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2018, visit my Instagram for details

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26 hot air balloons with special shapes will fly this Feb 8-11, and expect to see these cute balloons that will inflate right before your eyes. New balloons such as : Happy Heart, Matryoshka Russian Doll, Queen’s Guard, Giant Strawberry, Buddy Balloon, Captain Jack, Princess Nellie, Vostok Balloon, Master Yoda, Morris the Donkey, Bruno the Clown and Pepe the Hedgehog, are so ready to pose in your camera, so get ready and see how large they are in real life.

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For the 1st time ever in the Philippines, we will see the world-renowed Aerosuperbatics Wingwalkers, they are the world's only aerobatic formation wingwalking team.

Two searman biplanes will fly in the air and on top of the plane will be an aerobatics or acrobatics with harness that will do some stunts like loops, rolls, stall turns and these aerobatics perform while the plane flies and do its own stunt. This is an aerial show not to be missed.

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Aerosuperbatics Wingwalkers

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The event also offers special ride and trips if you want to see an elevated view of the venue and also experience flying with an expert. Go visit the official website of the event to see special rates to join -- hot air balloon ride, tandem sky diving, tandem paragliding, airplane ride, helicopter ride and aerobatic flights.

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After the flight of the balloons, you'll get to watch a series of aerial stunts such as: parachute stunts, para gliders on stunts, plane stunts,  and organized sky divers --- imagine sky divers on formation stunt while falling and gliding in the sky.

philippine hot air balloon fiesta 2017 coverage by azrael coladilla (13)

Crowd fave Philippine flag jump will still be there. Its part of the national anthem and this is the start to officiate the opening of the event.

philippine hot air balloon fiesta 2017 coverage by azrael coladilla (25)

Get ready for the colorful balloons inflate infront of you and then fly smoothly in the cold air.  So dont forget to be at the venue before 5am.

Tip: be at the venue at 4am - thats the best schedule ever if you want to arrive first at the viewing area of the hot air balloons.

My fave activity here at the event is to fly a kite. Every year I buy a new kite here and its like my regular thing every end of the flight of balloons. I wonder what kind of kite will  I buy this year.


Every evening of Feb 8-11, 2018. The entire ground will be converted into a concert ground. Expect different international musician and artist to play live song and act. I guess this is the best venue to explore new kinds of music and sound. Artist from South Africa, New Zealand, and UK are flying here in the Philippines to play music with love at the 22nd Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2018.


Ticket is priced at PHP 500 per person.
Visit these ticket centers to score your own ticket.

But if ever, you can also buy tickets at the gate.

philippine hot air balloon fiesta 2017 coverage by azrael coladilla (8)

There's also a special photographer's pass or ramp pass. You can purchase these pass at the event gate. Read the details here at
to know more about this special pass that lets you enter the ramp of the hot air balloon.

See you there!!
Pls check out the FB page of the event to know more info and announcements.
Also follow me on FB and IG for live updates @popazrael

Follow and Like

and visit official website at

TIPS and GUIDE for 1st time visitor

From 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.

From 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!

From my 2010 tips and guide
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 collect Transformers toys.
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