The annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Clark, Pampanga
I was wide eyed when I woke up about 2:45 in Sunday morning. Pulling myself out of bed was effort enough but I have to get up if we were to catch the annual Hot Air Ballon Fiesta in Clark, Pampanga in time. It was the first time for me to attend this spectacle of an event and with free complimentary tickets to boot. It was an event not to miss, lest I have to wait again another year.
Fire it up! Propane burners fill the balloons with hot air to fly.
We arrived in Clark by 5:45am after our meet up in Makati around 4am. The propane burners were lit up in the twilight sky and signaled the start of the event. Gradually the deflated balloons started filling up and the myriad gargantuan colors of these balloons started rising up from slumber and ready to take flight.
Ready for take off! It’s true, Dogs do go to heaven.
By break of light, the balloons started to fly one by one. It was so fast, the sky was filled with Hot Air Ballons. It was a spectacular sight with the rising sun greeting those giant airships in the sky going east of the skylights.
Who said only dogs can fly? This cat will touch the sky.
Looking at them in the sky it seems so easy to just fly off in a balloon. Little did I know that Ballooning was a skill that had to be learned and mastered. Balloonist had to be an amateur meteorologist who can read both topographical and road maps and predict the change of wind patterns. These wind riders control their balloons by either putting more hot air to raise altitude or releasing them or cooling their balloons to lower altitude. They change speed and directions by riding on different air currents at varying altitudes.
Their flight was too close for comfort. I thought this balloon was gonna hit us.
It was a great start of the festival. And the start of a long and exciting day ahead.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.