14th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

February 12-15 2009

Air Force City, Clark, Pampanga

It was my fifth time I went on this annual event ever since the 9th when I was in 1st year college back then. Notice that there was no 13th, most probably because the organizers believe it was bad luck. However the second day landed on Friday the 13th. Nothing bad really happened except from the lone sky-diver who crash landed because of strong winds.

This time we got Media ID's, representing our school's publication, AERONAUTICA. But we stayed there for four days as exhibitors of the Society of Aerospace Engineers (SAEP) booth.

We went to Clark Wednesday evening and then stayed at the Marquis Hotel. Our room, 109, is reserved weeks earlier since the hotels are always fully-booked during the days of the event, adding up to the fact that it is also falls during the Valentines celebration.

To start the day, a flag jump with the singing of the National Anthem is performed by the Philippine Airforce.

And early in the morning, when winds are most calm, the Hot Air Balloons inflates.

New notable ones are the Elephant Balloon, the Nescafe balloon, the Smiley Balloon, the Coca-Cola Balloon,

and the all-time crowd favourite, the Kellogg's Tony the Tiger Balloon!

Oh yeah, we got the chance to ride up the hot air balloon at least 50 feet up while being tethered to the ground by ropes. Thanks to Air Ads/UPS who offered free short rides!

Hot Air Balloons rise up in the air, as the Malaysian and Filipino Paragliders zoom in and out the sky.

Other Aero sports activities are sky-diving,

radio-controlled aircraft,

Kite-flying Exhibition,

Ultralight Flour-Bombing,

Aerobatic Exhibition (Meynard and Bill Show)

and Balloon Bursting Competition.

We even volunteered to be the ones to release the yellow toy balloons from the ground under the searing hot sun! So we got our free "Pop-Gun" Shirts!

We also went into restricted areas to get a shot with the parked airplanes.

We actually do some paparazzi work, getting stolen shots from pretty ladies all around (tally-ho six o'clock!!)

And most especially our school, Philippine State College of Aeronautics, participated in the Rocketry Demonstration. That, along with the Ateneo Boys.

To cap off the night, a night glow by the hot air balloons,

A fireworks display,

And A Rivermaya Concert!!

We were all sunburnt capturing 10 gigabytes worth of photos!

Tired and all, but we really enjoyed it and had the best time of the year!

Credits: Lemuel Banal, EIC; Edgar Aguilar II, Assoc. Editor; Gerard Joseph Honasan, Managing Staff; Janus Mesina, Photojournalist; Jay-Ar Sayson, Cartoonist; Gino Bacalla, Cartoonist.

More Photos:




Anonymous May 8, 2009 at 10:45 AM  


AeroEgz May 8, 2009 at 11:04 AM  

thanks! :)

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Follow the life of a young Aeronautical Engineering student as he tackles life in college and after. A personal account on the exciting world of aviation, life and passion.

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