...that this year is supposed to be the 13th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF) but the organized decided to skip the number 13 due to superstitious beliefs and thus making it the 14th.
... that Hot air Balloons were once used as a mode of transportation back in the days?
... that 25 balloons will be joining this years event making it the biggest so far. There will be teams from all over the world coming from Hungary, France, Germany, Thailand, Malaysia, USA, Japan and a lot more!
This year marks the 3rd consecutive year that Paul and I will travel all the way to Clark, Pampanga to watch colorful, big, hot air balloons fly and fill up the sky.
Through the years, we've encountered standing in line to buy our tickets, getting stuck in a really bad traffic jam on our way out of the field and realizing that our kite was defective. These I would call the pains of a Hot Air Balloon Fiesta fan.
We've learned so much since then, we now have our strategies and best of all, we make the most of the weekend to unwind, relax and enjoy what Pampanga has to offer for its guests.
I would like to share with you my Top FIVE Tips to make the most of your Hot Air Balloon Experience:
#1 Know the schedule, go EARLY
We have barely a week to go before the opening of the PIHABF and to make sure you catch the activities that you want to watch, better download a schedule of here.
Calculate your travelling time, normally it would take you an hour and a half from SM North EDSA to Pampanga (take the Angeles exit).
#2 Buy Tickets before going
The last thing you want is to miss the Hot Air Balloon flight simply because you're still standing in line to the ticket counter. Make an early head count and purchase your tickets (Php. 100 each) via Ticketnet.
#3 Bring a Kite
Oh, how it feels to be a kid again! After watching the balloons fly, now it's the turn of a hundred colorful kites! There are booths that will sell kites or you can always bring your own. Price starts at Php 50 a piece.
#4 Can't travel that early? Stay overnight.
We realized that it is more convenient to go to Pampanga a day in advance, book a room at either the Holiday Inn, Fontana or Oxford and wake up at 6AM to make it to the 7AM Hot Air Balloon Flight.
#5 Try the best restaurants that are only found in Pampanga
Through the years, my list of favorite restaurants keep getting longer and longer. This year, we're aiming to dine at Zapata's, C Italian and Cold Spoon. Wish us luck!
I hope that this guide will help you maximize your Hot Air Balloon Fiesta experience. See you all there!!