11th Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
It’s the Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta once again and this annual event is now on its 11th year. I really had plans on going back here once again since I enjoyed last year’s spectacle. At first I wasn’t sure if I could make this trip since a friend of mine who originally invited me to come suddenly backed out due to an unforeseen gig scheduled at that time. Fortunately, another friend texted, asking me for some info about the event. It turns out she’ll be going with her friends and I asked if I could join in. Everything was last minute though, as we had to leave that Friday night since we were going to stay at a villa in Mimosa. No one from the group wanted to wake up and drive early morning. So from the office, I hurried home, pulled out a small bag, grabbed a few clothes, took my camera equipments, dashed through my dinner and hurried to the place where they’ll pick me up.
Sunrise at the field
There were around 8 of us who stayed at Mimosa that night. By around 5 am in the morning everyone were ready to head off to the the exhibition grounds which is around 10-15 minutes away. I didn’t have my tickets yet so I have to buy from there which is easy since the queue wasn’t that long. Tickets were only a 100 pesos per person which is good for the whole day. Inside, we arrived just in time when the 4×4 were pulling in. And as the sun was rising, the propane burners continue to pump in some hot air. The first one to rise among the balloons was from the UPS and soon the Festo blimp went aloft and started going around the venue.
One by one they rise
And as the sun on the horizon gets higher, the sky getting bluer, one by one these colorful behemoths rise from their slumber. It was a feast to the eyes as these variety of colors slowly take their pompous shape up towards the sky. You could actually see the crowd enjoying the sights before them as endless clicks and snaps and cries ecstatic kids surround the venue.
Fading into the distance
It was a bit disappointing not seeing the pedigree dog and newspaper balloons here but there were some nice additions like that Festo blimp, which I’m sure would be really fun to ride. There’s also this balloon with shades which is amusing to look at.
Check out those shades
Well after all the balloons have gone, we went around a while to see the other attractions in the area. I must admit that the setup of the booths is much better than last years. We didn’t stay long in the are since breakfast is calling. We headed of to VFW Restaurant where I was able to see some pro-bloggers in the industry gathered. Food is nice with very large servings. We headed back to Mimosa to rest again and decided not to get back to the field anymore and headed home after lunch at the A.C. Rumpa Restaurant, which again, serves large servings of good ol’ american comfort foods of steaks and mashed potatoes. Of course, didn’t forget to drop by Nathaniel’s for some needed pasalubong
Me and my blimp
And yes, the man behind the blog finally decided to face the camera. Believe me I’m uglier in person hahaha. Anyways, I just really enjoy this photo taken by my friend Tonette. Forcing her to include the blimp behind me in the picture whatever it takes. hehe. Like it or not, you’ll get to see (and probably hear) me here from now on since I’m planning to add something new to this blog in it’s future. Adding a bit multimedia in it’s contents. I might be doing something a-la Ian Wright of the Globe Trotters here (I wish). Let’s just see what holds…( or I may take my words back :P)
Oh yeah! Happy hearts day to all!
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.