I have always been amused and crazily amazed by Hot Air Balloons. Like most people, I dream of riding in one. But reality strikes and you realize that it’s just so expensive to indulge into that dream, and you just resort into being a spectator of flying balloons amidst the fresh sunrise.
Thankfully, my boyfriend Pao is ever so enthusiastic to accompany me to ANYWHERE and any place I’d like to visit and explore. He willfully obliged in spending Valentines 2010 with me in Clark, Pampanga to see the 15th Hot Air Balloon Festival and we were definitely in for a great treat.
After our adrenaline-filled Tree Top Adventure the previous day, we were very much determined to wake up at 4:00 AM just to be in Clark Field by 5:00 AM. Thankfully, our eager spirits propelled us to wake up, wait in queue, and sit down on the cold concrete floors of the Clark Field as the cool morning breeze blows through our faces. We awaited with much excitement for the sunrise, and for the most awaited event of the weekend.
Around 6:00 in the morning, our patriotism was stirred by a skydiver from a helicopter parachuted with the Philippine flag as the Philippine National Anthem was simultaneously played.
Our eyes were very much delighted with what we saw and our spirits were fueled with so much excitement that would last for the entire day (or even the whole month!). The experience was something you definitely have to see even just at least once in your life! It was a festival of colors in praise of the air and the greatness of a Hot Air Balloon.
When all the hot air balloons were already hovering high up in the sky above our heads, we decided to call it a great kickoff for the morning and we decided to indulge with our buffet breakfast at the hotel.
Where to stay:
I highly recommend Hotel Stotsenberg in Clark, Pampanga if you’re planning to watch the Hot Air Balloon Festival. It’s just a 3-minute ride from the hotel to the Clark Field. Besides that, they offer excellent service for a ‘provincial’ hotel. I give a thumbs up to our hotel, Hotel Stotsenberg, for excellent service, facilities, and accommodation.
Budget for the Hot Air Balloon Festival:
- Entrance tickets are at Php 150.00/ person
- Food and drinks are sold inside the vicinity
- Toy hot air balloons are sold inside the grounds for Php 100.00
- Around Php 2,500.00 for a nice room, buffet breakfast, free use of amenities and shuttle service.