Festivities in the Philippines happens all year round. For February, you might have heard about the Hot Air Balloon Festival held in Clark, Pampanga. If you do and interested to attend, read through the following tips before going there.
This is the “weekend where everything flies” and it pays off if you come fully prepared 🙂
1 TICKET. ₱350.00 (2016 rate) is the entrance fee This is for general admission only but if you want to ride the hot air balloon or try skydiving, separate payment is needed.
Tickets can be purchased online, in SM ticketNet outlets and in the entrance during the event. No need to hurry because tickets are never sold out. The only advantage if you bought tickets ahead is you’ll get inside faster.
You may opt to buy promo tickets via tour companies as well. Aside from not having problems commuting they also provide side trips around Subic like Zoobic Safari, Duty Free Shops and etc.
2 EVENT STARTS AT 5:30 AM. Each day is packed with fun filled activities and to catch the Skydiving jump with the Philippine Flag better arrived early. One of the highlights as well is the Hot Air Balloon Flight around 6:00 AM- 7:00AM. You can avoid traffic if you come earlier too.
3.TRAFFIC (In relation to #2), I suggest you to leave in the afternoon or leave late around 10:00 PM onwards (specially if you have cars and kids with you). Leaving right after the event will get you stuck in superb traffic.
For those who will commute,If you leave around 6:00PM -8:00 PM, anticipate that you might be a standing Passenger in buses for 2-3 hours while in transit.
4. SCORCHING HEAT Staying in an open area for 12 hours or more just to witness all aerial activities in 1 day (5:30 AM – 7:00 PM) is no joke. The entire area have less spot for sheltering too. Some bring tents or take cover in Hangars or underneath the displayed airplanes.
You can also stay in the concessionaire tents while waiting or go to the nearby malls. One more: Bring Sunblock!!! 🙂
5. DRESS ACCORDINGLY If you want to dress up do so, but ensure to choose your most comfortable OOTDs. The place is dusty or muddy if it rains. Also if you commute, expect to walk a lot getting inside the venue because the entrance is far from the Jeepney stop.
6. DULL TIME. The 2 main events here are the Hot air Balloon flight (530 AM-7:00 AM) and the Night Glow (6:00PM-7:00PM ). There are aerial shows in between but they are repetitive. There are kite flying and Aircraft showcase you can also check.
However, It gets boring if you already witnessed all so you may visit SM Clark or if you’re too lazy to get out bring movies,games or rest in your cars and tents.
7. PORTABLE TOILET. Yes this is included! Although there are sanitary personnel everywhere don’t expect that those portalets are regularly cleaned. 😐
If this might be a an issue to you, decent comfort rooms are in the nearby malls.
8. BUDGET. ₱1,000.00 is more than enough to enjoy the event.
- Entrance fee : ₱350.00
- Transportation ₱350.00
- Bus (Roundtrip) : ₱250.00
- Jeepney/tricycle(special trip) ₱100.00
- Food ₱200.00
- Excess money for souvenirs
9. PICTURES. Photographer’s passes are only given to authorized photographers from different media and publications. Spectators (guests) are not allowed to the launch area, so if you want to get a good view on the final event ( Night Glow) find your place earlier near the barrier .
The front area gets crowded once audience see they’re setting up the balloons.
10. VALENTINE’s DAY. The festival coincides with Valentine’s Day so expect a larger crowd because it’s a perfect celebration for couples and families.
If you want to avoid it choose the 1st Day( usually a Friday).
This is a fun activity for all and I highly recommend it to everyone. Here are some of my shots during the event:
You can check other FAQs from the event’s official website here. What I included here are based from personal experience.
Comment your thoughts and Inquiries below. Thanks!