Monday, February 13, 2012

Hot Air Balloon Festival 101

Ahh it's the time of the year where everything flies up up in the air <3
It's the much talked about and highly anticipated event...

The 17th Hot Air Balloon Festival in Clark Pampanga.

but if you weren't able to come this year, that's okay! there's always next year ;) and I'll give you some tips on what to expect/bring/do etc.. for the hot air balloon festival.

1) Do leave manila by 2am! In some blogs and tips that I've read, they suggest you leave by 3am but I think because of the worsening traffic...you have to leave at 2 am or earlier if you can! We actually left Manila at 2:30 am and arrived around 5 am because of the traffic along Edsa (Trucks all over) then NLEX toll, and inside Clark (in search for a parking slot). We thought we were too early....but I guess we were a bit late already haha!
Total toll back and forth cost us Php 436.

2) Park your cars outside the entrance gate. There are parking slots enough for all but the only problem is you will have to walk a kilometer or so in a Sahara Dessert type of field! Yes. Sand. Sand. and some Wind! Your car will look like this after a few hours! hahahah TRUE STORY ;) BTW, Parking fee is Php 50.


3) Things to bring: camera (hardcore lenses or just your trusty digicam), Jacket because it'll be chilly in the morning, some umbrellas, sunblock, sunglasses, food & drinks, tents if you have or just sarong or mats because there are no chairs available there. Oh! bring wet wipes too and alcohol because dirt will be all over your face and body--just look at the previous car picture :) hmmm... clean eh?!

4) Find a nice place preferably near the fence so you can see the hot air balloons up close. Set your tents where you want to settle down. Look up or lie down...appreciate the stars, moon, and morning sunshine! :) It's a nice feeling to be there early in the morning with all the people waiting. It feels like you are all waiting for the coming of the UFOs ;) or....Zombie Apocalypse hahaha!


5) By around 5:30, you can now watch the spectacular hot air balloons go up up and away!



5) After the flying of hot air balloon... you can now do whatever you want. You can watch the different air shows, grab a bite, hide from the sun haha, visit the booths for freebies and cutesy stuff that you may want to buy, cam whore all you want or....

...profess your love to your loveydubs with matching photoshoot afterwards (pang profile pic!) :)) hahaha
6) Fly a kite. It's not everyday that we can go out and fly a kite because there's no place to fly one in Manila! Well, except Fort High Street I guess? or the old school Luneta Park...but anyway fly a kite and be like a kid for awhile. For a budget traveler like me, look for sponsored companies who are giving away FREE kites. I got mine c/o Sun Life insurance...how? just register and either you play one of their games (which I did) or try your luck in their fish bowl of prizes. See? that's almost Php 150-300 less cost.

7) By lunch time, expect Mr. Sun and his friends, sand and wind to greet you right in front of your face. By this time, you can relocate your tents and chill around or leave the area and eat outside which we did.


Our humble abode :)
This is my prince , he's protecting our castle slash fabulous tent of the day!


and I'm the princess trying to hide my kutis artista skin from the sun hahaha :)) just kidding.

8) After lunch, you can go to Puregold Duty Free and buy imported stuff at a low price. At first I thought this is THE DUTY FREE...you know...where you are required to present your passport or stamp of departure-arrival...but I was wrong. All stores inside Clark are called DUTY FREE haha. There are Addidas outlet store duty free, furniture store duty free, and small supermarkets duty free :)

9) If you still have time, you can visit some resorts, famous restos, go horse back riding, or visit the zoo but for us, we chose to visit the Nayong Pilipino in Clark Expo. Entrance fee is Php 50 for adults and Php 30 for kids while parking is about Php 20 and table rental is worth Php 100....oh! you will also pay Php 3 if you will use the wash room.

Generally, I was in dismay with the new Nayong Pilipino. It was not what I expected...and recalled! It's incomparable to the old Nayong Pilipino near Naia airport. Nakakalungkot, the place is not well maintained considering that the management asks for unnecessary fees. It's small...you can go around the entire area in almost 15 mins. "Parang kami, eto na yun?" (Translation: This is it?) As far as I can remember, Nayong Pilipino in Manila is so big that it will take you almost the entire day to go around and there are tons of attractions and shops but here, nothing much.

So there! these are the things you can do and expect for the next Hot Air Balloon Festival next year :) I hope it was helpful ;) Toodles!!!
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3 comments:

  1. This is so helpful. Thanks! Looking forward to this year's hot air balloom fest xD gotta stock up on sunblock lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Erin, thaaaanks! :) yes sunblock is a must have haha and wet wipes to wipe all the sand dust ;)

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  2. HELLO :) im interested to see this yr's event..around what time the hot air balloon flying will be?thanx!

    ReplyDelete

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