Hot Air Balloon Festival: A weekend of everything that flies.
Celebrating Valentines Day in Clark Pampanga to watch Hot Air balloon Festival makes it more exciting and a bit different than the usual instead of dining out, watching movies or buy a sweet treats for loved ones. This inflatable funfair is absolutely nostalgic and candied for a heart’s day.
It’s our first time to experience this kind of festivity. I know it’s already late to be posting this as it was held back last February, but I just thought of writing about it since this is my first time to experience the said event and I know that this editorial will be a guide for next year if you plan to visit.
The Philippines International Hot Air Balloon Festival happens every second weekend of February in Clark Field, Pampanga, Philippines. It is an annual event to watch out for. This is a Four-day affair that features balloons of different shapes, colors and sizes from different nations, including France, United States and other countries.
Directions to the Venue: Philippine Air force – Subic Freeport Zone
Clark is approximately 80km north of Manila and may be reached by land or air.
By Public Transport
Public buses travel on a daily basis. Ride a Victory Liner bus bound for DAU PAMPANGA.
Walk a bit towards the highway where taxis, jeepneys, or tricycles are available. These public utility vehicles can take you to Clark. Then take another jeep inside Clark and tell the driver you’re going to the Balloon Fiesta. After the jeepney drops you off, you’ll be walking a bit more to the entrance gates, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes!
Getting to the Clark Freeport Zone, otherwise known as the Clark Special Economic Zone by car is easy. Simply 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.
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.
Things to bring”
- Strollers (if you have kid)
- Sunblock – To protect your skin on a super sunny weather
- Umbrella – Shield
- Picnic Cloth (Optional)
- Water – super duper important
- Kites (Optional)
- Camera (A Must)
- Mini Tent (optional)
What time needs to be there? As early as 5:00 am you must be at the venue especially if you really want to see the balloon inflated and you want to try some activities like skydiving, paragliding etc.
What to see:
Kite flying. ( either Bring or Buy one at the venue.) / Parachutes
Military Gears and Planes
Hot Air Ballooning – (Morning and Night)
Since the line for parking is too long we’ve decided to stop over on the nearest grass area to look out for said balloons. Yay! we are lucky to take a shot!
So here’s the picture at night..
My family and I were blown away with the colorful and lighted balloons, we saw overgrown twin boys, Philippine flag, a dragon size bus and other images flew over the skies on Subic Free port. It was fantastic!!!
Food and Drinks are not a problem since there are food stalls inside the event ground.
Don’t Forget to Buy souvenirs
There were a live band / shows playing for the whole day. Programs are usually held at the back of the stage.
(Since it is a super sunny day we’ve decided to take a quick rest by lunch time to freshen up before we get back to the hot air balloon festival zone by late afternoon.)
“Literally get a nap in the hotel” !!!
After the event, we stayed overnight in Vera Hotel (before heading to the Balloon festival we already booked a hotel where we can have a staycation as a celebration of valentines with our kiddo.)
Quick Review on Vera Hotel:
Vera Hotel is located in the Clark Perimeter area of Angeles/Clark. The city center is merely five kilometers away, and the airport can be reached within 11 minutes. The location was very convenient its almost near everywhere like the Freeport zone and the Korea Town in Subic.
Room is Big and comfy. They have a swimming pool. looks like my kid really love it.
Most of the guest who stayed for over night also attended the balloon festival.
Hotel is quite new. It has Korean ambience, from the food and some interiors. It was a pleasant experience to stay in the hotel. Management and staff members are hospitable, helpful and professional. Rooms are clean, comfortable and have excellent service.
**It was a worth well spent weekend especially on a Valentines season 🙂
Until next Hot Air Balloon Festival!