As love fills the air, you will realize it is truly that time of the year again: the Love Month. Fancy restaurants begin to fill up with couples enjoying a dim-lighted romantic dinner. Amusement parks lay witness to endless exchange of sweet kisses and warm cuddles. Hearts begin to go aflutter as lovers share very special moments together.
It is always an exciting moment to spend a romantic date with your special someone on Valentine’s Day. However, if you are out for an even more unique, fun, and exciting love month experience, then scrap the usual scenarios mentioned above. A date at the 22nd Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF) is a unique experience.
The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival
PIHABF is the longest-running sports aviation event in Asia. From hot air balloons to aerobatic exhibitions, the balloon fiesta offers both flying actions and on-ground events for you and your special someone.
The balloon fiesta is an annual event usually held during the week of Valentine’s Day to coincide with the birthday of Captain Joy Roa, its founder. If you are planning to go, then you will have to celebrate the Valentine’s Day in advance since PIHABF won’t fall on the actual date this year, being scheduled on February 8-11.
Furthermore, if you reside now in a house and lot in Pampanga, there is no excuse for you not to go because the event is annually held in Clark, Pampanga. In fact, the fiesta was originally held in the said venue to uplift the spirit of the province and the entire Central Luzon after the devastating effects of Mount Pinatubo eruption.
Non-stop Flying Action Awaits!
Dubbed as the “Weekend of Everything that Flies,” PIHABF promises four days of non-stop flying activities to both aviators and spectators.
Witness stunning hot air balloons take off and fill the morning and afternoon sky, creating a magical moment for you and your special someone. In addition, there will be various hot air balloon-related activities to make the event even more exciting: hare and hound competition, night glow, and chase crew and off-road driving.
Of course, the experience will be more fun and memorable if you get to ride these giant balloons! Hot air balloon rides are available for US $350, which may lasts from 20 to 45 minutes depending on the weather. However, balloon flights may get cancelled if it rains or the winds approach 10 knots (about 18km/h).
If you are interested in the hot air balloon rides, you can book a schedule here.
Aside from hot air balloons, the fiesta will also feature the following activities:
- Aerobatic Exhibitions
- Balloon Bursting
- Formation Flying
- Microlight and Ultralight Flying
- Real Controlled or RC Aircraft
- Kite Flying
- Tandem Paragliding
- Powered Paragliding
- Tandem Skydiving
- Static Displays and Scale Modeling
- Search & Rescue Flight Demonstrations
Your festival experience wouldn’t be complete without souvenirs and the fly market has all kinds of merchandise you can splurge on. For foodies, feast on the festival’s big selection of food and refreshments.
If you are planning to take your relationship to the next level, proposals and pre-nup shoots are also welcome in this event!
How to Get There?
If you are commuting from the metro, take a Victory Liner bus bound for Dau, Pampanga. Get off at the terminal and take a short walk towards the highway where tricycles, jeepneys, and taxis are available. Any of these means of transportation can take you to Clark. Take another jeep and get off at the Balloon Fiesta. From there, you can walk to the entrance gates.
On the other hand if you’re driving to the destination, take the North Luzon Expressway from Manila and exit at Dau, Mabalacat City, Pampanga. Once you reached the exit, turn left towards Angeles City, then take a right turn to the Clark Zone.
The trip should take about an hour and a half from Manila without heavy traffic. But here’s a tip: the fiesta gates open at 5AM, so if you are not coming from your house and lot for sale in Pampanga, be there 30 minutes earlier to secure a good viewing position on the public spectators area.
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