Angeles, Pampanga | 20th Hotair Balloon Fiesta

I have been dreaming to witness this balloon festival since I started earning my own money–and I have been working for almost seven years now! At long last, my dream has finally been realized in the recent Hotair Balloon Fiesta in Clark Field, Angeles City, Pampanga.

20th Hotair Balloon Fiesta | Lakbay Xiomai - Clark Field, Angeles, Pampanga
20th Hotair Balloon Fiesta | Lakbay Xiomai – Clark Field, Angeles, Pampanga

Ang Utak Ko, Parang Lobo… Lumipad sa Langit
With all the preparations and excitement for this event, I still managed to make the most unfortunate mistakes:

  1. I let my camera drain its battery out while it was shooting nonsense inside my bag;
  2. I felt complacent about draining my phone’s battery out cause I brought with me a powerbank, until I realized that;
  3. I did not bring the only cable my phone accepts.

Despite all these, I was able to enjoy the festival and shoot a few decent photos using my phone. I still wish that I got to use my Fujifilm XE1 though, cause it was my first time to use it in such a major event and my first to be in this festival. But, yeah, things like this happen a lot. Well, I’m sure, many of the festival goers did not bring or even own a digital camera to take pictures of the festival with, but had their camera phones to capture memories. So it shouldn’t be a big deal. The experience is always more precious than photographs anyway. 🙂

20th Hotair Balloon Fiesta | Lakbay Xiomai - Clark Field, Angeles, Pampanga - waiting in vain
(L – R) Kia, Hazel, me, and my niece Hannah white waiting in vain. Haha! | Angeles City, Pampanga

Titas of Manila
This could have been a perfect Valentine date with my girlfriend, but she repeatedly and politely turned down my invitation since Valentine’s Day was a Sunday, which happened to be her family day. So I tagged along my niece, Hannah, to join me and Hazel, one of my college friends, who also brought her niece. Haha! Kami na, kami na ang huwarang Titas of Manila! So the fun and experience were shared with these kids.

20th Hotair Balloon Fiesta | Lakbay Xiomai - Clark Field, Angeles, Pampanga - ticket
The ticket to the 20th Hotair Balloon Festival | Angeles City, Pampanga

Advice
We arrived at the venue at 4:30am, but we had to wait outside the gate for almost two hours before we were able to buy tickets and get inside the festival ground. Kinailangan naming pumila nang pagkatagal-tagal para lang makapasok, tapos malalaman lang namin na ang daming sumisingit sa unahan kaya sobrang bagal ng galaw ng pila! Ni wala rin sa mga nakapila ang may alam kung ang pinipilahan nila ay para sa may ticket o wala pa. Hahaha! The organizers should have deployed marshals to assist the spectators and keep everything in order.

If there’s anything that I would like to suggest to the event organizers for the next festival, siguro organize the event.

Also, an advice for the spectators, please, please, bring your own food and water as, just like in any events like this, the food inside the festival ground is expensive and limited. Anim lang ang nasa menu ng Chowking! Huhu! At saka banig / mahihigaan, payong, at ibang mapapaglibangan kasi as early as 9am, wala nang hotair balloons and you have to wait sa pagbalik nila sa hapon. In case lang naman na hindi ka ma-satisfy ng ibang attractions sa festival.

Most importantly, do not forget to enjoy! Medyo mahal din ang entrance fee, h’wag sayangin! Haha!

20th Hotair Balloon Fiesta | Lakbay Xiomai - Clark Field, Angeles, Pampanga - balloon
Spectators can enjoy a free less-than-5-minute hotair balloon ride, too! They just have to register first. Don’t expect much, though, cause the balloon will float a few meters high only. But it’s still alright.

See you next year!

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