hot air balloons

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2017 Guide

I can’t believe it’s already the second month of the year! Time really flies so fast when you’re having fun! So many things have already happened; the new goals we set out for this year are already coming along smoothly… and slowly, things are falling into place for this new venture we’re doing. I will share with you the details in the future, when it’s already successful. For now, we’re keeping it a secret for it to not be jinxed. Hehehe.

Anyway, February is actually one of my favorite months because aside from the fact that I’ll be celebrating my birthday in less than two weeks, February, for me, has just so many fun activities in store for everyone, especially if you’re living here in Luzon.

Having said that, this will be a 6-part kind of February blog post which will cover:

1. 21st Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
2. Best Western Hotel Subic Hotel Review
3. Horizon Hotel Review
4. Budget Tips for Valentine’s Day
5. Panagbenga Flower Festival
6. My 39th Birthday and How to Celebrate It

Okay, let’s get on with it then…

The 21st Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Hot Air Balloon FiestaI started visiting Subic and Clark, Pampanga in 2005 when I’ve first come to know that each year, around second week of February, they hold a hot air balloon fiesta. And every year after that, I never failed to visit. So it’s been more than a decade since, wow!

Last year was super special for me though because it was the first time I went there with my own family… with our less than 3-month old baby Tuz. Though he was asleep for most of the time we were witnessing the hot air balloon flights and other festivities, Mahal and I still had so much fun. It was Mahal’s first time there and this year, I can’t wait to bring him there again. And in case you plan to bring your baby too, don’t worry, it’s easy. Read my tips on How to Travel with a Baby.

For those of you who are thinking of going, here’s the official program schedule (http://www.philballoonfest.net/schedule/):

FIRST FIESTA DAY

February 9, 2017 (Thurs)

6:10- 6:35 AM

Skydiving Philippine Flag jump

6:40- 7:40 AM

Hare and Hound Hot Air Balloon flight

7:30- 8:00 AM

Twinz Synchronized Paramotor Exhibition

8:00- 8:30 AM

PPHGA Tandem Paragliding

8:30- 9:30 AM

ACFC Ultralight / Microlight Aircraft Formation Flights and Flour Bombing

9:30- 10:30 AM

Drifting by Auto Craft and Race Car Performance by FFG All Stars

10:30-10:45 AM

Sean Clarke Super Decathlon Aerobatic Show

10:45-11:00 AM

Former British Red Devils Sky Diving Exhibition

11:00-11:30 AM

Model Airplane Show

11:30-12:30 AM

Gen Av Light Aircraft Balloon Bursting Competition

12:30-12:45 PM

Former British Red Devils Skydiving Exhibition

12:45-1:15 PM

Omni & Air Link Fly By

1:15-1:30 PM

Coast Guard Search and Rescue Demonstration

1:30- 2:00 PM

KAP Kite Flying Exhibition

2:00- 2:30 PM

Drifting by Auto Craft and Race Car Performance by FFG All Stars

2:30- 3:00 PM

Model Airplane Show

3:00- 4:00 PM

ACFC Ultralight / Microlight Aircraft Formation Flights and Flour Bombing

4:00- 4:15 PM

Helicopter Flight Display by Jacob Cusi and Company

4:15- 4:30 PM

Sean Clarke Super Decathlon Aerobatic Show

4:30- 4:45 PM

Former British Red Devils Skydiving Exhibition

4:45- 5:30 PM

PPHGA Tandem Paragliding

5:30- 6:00 PM

Twinz Paramotor Light Show

6:00- 6:30 PM

Hot Air Balloon Fly-In

6:30- 7:00 PM

Drone Racing

SECOND FIESTA DAY

February 10, 2017 (Fri)

5:30- 6:15 AM

Twinz Paramotor Light Show by Anthony & Timothy Green

6:20- 6:35 AM

Skydiving Philippine Flag jump

6:40- 7:40 AM

Hare and Hound Hot Air Balloon Flight

7:30- 8:00 AM

Twinz Synchronized Paramotor Exhibition

8:00- 8:30 AM

PPHGA Tandem Paragliding

8:30- 8:45 AM

Sean Clarke Super Decathlon Aerobatic Show

8:45- 9:00 AM

Former British Red Devils Skydiving Exhibition

9:00-10:00 AM

ACFC Ultralight / Microlight Aircraft Formation Flights and Flour Bombing

9:30- 10:00 AM

Drifting by Auto Craft and Race Car Performance by FFG All Stars

10:00- 10:30 AM

Model Airplane Show

10:30- 11:30 AM

Gen Av Light Aircraft Balloon Bursting Competition

11:30- 12:00 AM

Drifting by Autocraft and Race Car Performance by FFG All Stars

12:00- 12:30 PM

KAP Kite Flying Exhibtion

12:30- 1:00 PM

Aerobatic Glider Flight Performance

1:00- 2:00 PM

Gen Av Light Aircraft Balloon Bursting Competition

2:00- 2:15 PM

Former British Red Devils Skydiving Exhibition

2:15- 2:30 PM

Sean Clarke Super Decathlon Aerobatic Show

2:30- 3:15 PM

ACFC Ultralight / Microlight Aircraft Formation Flight

3:15- 3:45 PM

Coast Guard Search and Rescue Demonstration

3:45- 4:00 PM

Helicopter Flight Display by Jacob Cusi and Company

4:00- 4:30 PM

Model Airplane Show

4:30- 5:30 PM

PPHGA Tandem Paragliding

5:30- 6:00 PM

Twinz Paramotor Light Show by Anthony and Timothy Green

6:00- 6:30 PM

Hot Air Balloon Fly-In

6:30- 7:00 PM

Drone Racing

THIRD FIESTA DAY

February 11, 2017 (Sat)

5:30- 6:15 AM

Twinz Paramotor Light Show by Anthony & Timothy Green

6:20- 6:35 AM

Skydiving Philippine Flag jump

6:40- 7:40 AM

Hare and Hound Hot Air Balloon Flights

7:30- 8:00 AM

Twinz Synchronized Paramotor Exhibition

8:00- 9:00 AM

PPHGA Tandem Paragliding

9:00- 9:30 AM

Model Airplane Show

9:30 – 9:45 AM

Sean Clarke Super Decathlon Aerobatic Show

9:45-10:00 AM

Former British Red Devils Skydiving Exhibition

10:00-11:00 AM

ACFC Ultralight/Microlight aircraft formation flights and flour bombing

10:15-10:45 AM

Drifting by AutoCraft and Race Car Performance by FFG All Stars

11:00-11:30 AM

Helicopter flight Display by Jacob Cusi and Company

11:30- 12:00 PM

Coast Guard Search and Rescue Demonstration

12:00- 12:30 PM

KAP Kite Flying Demonstration

12:30- 1:00 PM

Omni & Air Link Fly By

1:00- 1:30 PM

Aerobatic Glider Flight Performance

1:30- 2:00 PM

Private Aircraft Flyby by Former US Marine Pilot Robert T. Wagner, Call Sign “Preacher”

2:00- 3:00 PM

Model Airplane Show

2:30- 3:30 PM

Gen Av Light Aircraft Balloon Bursting Competition

3:30- 3:45 PM

ACFC Ultralight / Microlight aircraft formation flights

3:45- 4:00 PM

Former British Red Devils Skydiving Exhibition

4:00- 4:15 PM

Sean Clarke Super Decathlon Aerobatic Show

4:15- 5:15 PM

PPHGA Tandem Paragliding

5:15- 6:00 PM

Twinz Paramotor Light Show

6:00- 7:00 PM

Hot Air Balloon Night Glow

6:00- 9:00 PM

ABS-CBN Concert

7:00- 7:30 PM

Drone Racing

FOURTH FIESTA DAY

February 12, 2017 (Sun)

5:30- 6:15 AM

Twinz Paramotor Light Show by Anthony and Timothy Green

6:20- 6:35 AM

Skydiving Philippine Flag jump

6:40- 7:40 AM

Hare and Hound Hot Air Balloon Flights

7:40- 8:15 AM

Twinz Synchronized Paramotor Exhibition

8:15- 3:45 AM

PPHGA Tandem Paragliding

8:45- 9:30 AM

ACFC Ultralight / Microlight Aircraft Formation Flights and Flour Bombing

9:00- 9:30 AM

Drifting by AutoCraft and Race Car Performance by FFG All Stars

9:30- 9:45 AM

Sean Clarke Super Decathlon Aerobatic Show

9:45- 10:00 AM

Former British Red Devils Skydiving Exhibition

10:00- 10:45 AM

Coast Guard Search and Rescue Demonstration

10:45- 11:15 AM

Gen Av Light Aircraft Balloon Bursting Competition

11:15- 12:00 PM

Drifting by Auto Craft and Race Car Performance by FFG All Stars

12:00- 12:30 PM

Aerobatic Glider Flight Performance

12:30- 1:30 PM

Omni & Air Link Fly By

1:30- 2:00 PM

KAP Flying Exhibition

2:00- 2:30 PM

Model Airplane Show

2:30- 2:45 PM

Former British Red Devils Skydiving Exhibition

2:45- 3:00 PM

Helicopter Display Show by Jacob Cusi and Company

3:00- 3:15 PM

Sean Clarke Super Decathlon Aerobatic Show

3:15- 3:45 PM

Model Airplane Show

3:45- 4:15 PM

ACFC Ultralight / Microlight Aircraft Formation Flights

4:15- 5:15 PM

PPHGA Tandem Paragliding

5:15- 5:45 PM

Twinz Paramotor Light Show

5:45- 7:00 PM

Hot Air Balloon Night Glow

6:00- 7:00 PM

Cultural Exchange Concert

7:00- 7:30 PM

Fireworks

 

Let me give you some tips though before going there so your experience, in case this is your first time, will be a smooth one… I got most of these from their website itself and from my own personal experience.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ATTEND THE HOT AIR BALLOON FEST?

If you’re a budget traveler and frugal person like me, the P350.00/person entrance fee is enough for you to enjoy the balloon fest! Of course, you still need to bring extra money to pay for parking (if you’re driving there), pay for food and water (or you can bring your own), and if you want to buy some souvenirs since the place will be littered with so many vendors selling amazing stuff related to the fest.

Senior Citizens get 20% discount. PWD get discounts too according to the government guidelines. Just make sure seniors and PWDs bring their IDs with them.

For other premium tickets you can purchase, please go here: http://www.philballoonfest.net/entrance-tickets/

For parking tickets:
Motorcycles – 30Php
Cars – 50Php
Buses – 150Php
Lost ticket – 300Php

For other questions you may have, please visit their FAQs section on their website: http://www.philballoonfest.net/faq/#FiestaRules

 

HOW TO GET THERE?

Research how you’re going to get there (http://www.philballoonfest.net/directions-venue/). The venue of the 21st Hot Air Balloon Fest is at Omni Aviation Complex in Clarkfield, Pampanga which is around 80 km of Manila. You can go here by land or air. Here’s the link to its google map: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Omni+Aviation+Corporation/@15.170842,120.563901,11z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x9a33a357ec5bdfcb!8m2!3d15.1708422!4d120.5639005?hl=en-US

venue-hot-air-balloon-fest

By Public Transport
Public buses are available daily. Take a Victory Liner bus bound for DAU, PAMPANGA. Alight at the terminal and walk a bit towards the highway where taxis, jeepneys, and tricycles are available – all of which can take you to Clark gate. From there, take another jeep and ask the driver to drop you off at the Balloon Fiesta at Omni Aviation. Walk to entrance gates.
Via Car
Take the North Luzon Expressway from Manila and exit at DAU, MABALACAT CITY, PAMPANGA. After your exit, a left turn towards Angeles City, and a little Angeles City/Dau traffic, will bring you to within an easy right turn of the Clark Zone itself.
The trip should take about an hour and a half from Manila without heavy traffic.
Clark may also be reached via the new Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX). From the North Luzon Expressway, continue the drive leading to the SCTEX exit. You may use either the CLARK NORTH INTERCHANGE (Panday Pira access road near Nayong Pilipino) or CLARK SOUTH INTERCHANGE (near Yokohama and Clark Main Gate) to enter Clark.
By Air
You can hop on regular commercial flights to Clark International Airport. Carriers that land at Clark are Cebu Pacific Air, Air Asia, and Tiger Airways.

 

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GO?

As you can see on the schedule above, the balloon fest is a 4-day event from February 9, Thursday all the way to February 12, Sunday. So it really is up to you. Check the specific activities for each day and choose which date best fits your fancy and schedule. But which ever date you choose, I advise you to GO EARLY! Lines go long, not just in the entrance booth but in the parking lots as well. Last year, we were there before sunrise and the lines were already looooooong that we didn’t get to see the balloons taking off. They were already far into the horizon when we got there. Darn it!

Traffic at the Balloon Fest

Super traffic going to the balloon fest!

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

The balloons already took off by the time we parked.

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

See the hot air balloons flying behind me? We should’ve left Manila earlier…

 

WHAT ELSE TO DO AT THE HOT AIR BALLOON FEST?

Aside from enjoying the view of the hot air balloons (or the ride, if you have $350 to shell out per person), there are still so many things you can do. You just have to pay extra for the others (http://www.philballoonfest.net/entrance-tickets/)

  • Fly Market
  • Kite Flying
  • Paragliding
  • Proposals and Pre-Nup Shoots
  • RC Aircraft, Scale Modeling and Static Displays
  • Search and Rescue Flight Demonstrations
  • Skydiving
  • VIP Lounge

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

So that’s it! Enjoy a whole day (or whole 4 days) of fun where everything flies! If you wish to stay overnight, like what we did last year (we stayed 2 nights), I’ll be reviewing next two hotels we stayed in — Best Western Hotel Subic and Horizon Hotel. You might wanna stay there too. 

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Til then!

 

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22 thoughts on “Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2017 Guide

    • MomTraNeur says:

      Hi Lee, no just like you we also paid P350.00 each for the entrance. We were there around 3:30 AM but my goodness there were so many people and yes it was so very dusty! I hated it too. I just love the fact that we were able to see the hot air balloons get inflated and eventually fly from a near distance. 🙂

      Like

  1. Fred says:

    We had always been planning to attend this event at Clark year after year, but never ever got the chance to actually do it. We should really set our mind to it next year.

    Like

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