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17th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2012

At the break of dawn on February 9, 2012, Hot Air Balloons of all shapes and sizes will fill the skies of Pampanga and its neighboring areas to signal the opening of the 17th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta – a yearly grand gathering of hot air balloons and many other interesting human creations that fly and conquer the skies.

Hot Air Balloons Fiesta in Pampanga 2012

HotAir Balloons Festival in Pampanga

Traditionally marked by exciting festivities that draw thousands of people not only from local communities but foreign places as well, the PIHABF promises to keep heads always looking upwards during the entire four-day celebration to be held at the fiesta site, Air Force City, DiosdadoMacapagal International Airport in Clark Field, Pampanga. Last year’s Hot Air Balloon Fiesta visitors reached the 80,000 mark.

festival in pampanga

2012 Hot Air balloon in Clark

Joining the colorful and uniquely-designed hot air balloons that will be dominating the skies of Central Luzon are transport and trainer planes, ultra-light aircraft and helicopters, some of which will be conducting a series of fly-bys to delight the spectators. This year’s major attraction will be a US Air Force F-16 doing flight demonstrations. Capt. Meynard Halili will spear head the thrilling aerobatics show that will also be staged by ace pilots from the foreign countries.

Hot Air Balloons schedule activity

HotAir Balloons in Clark

Used to be shown only on Philippine television as executed by pilots from other nations, dare devil aerial stunts by classic biplane built in the 1940s, The restored PT13 Stearman is also lined up for the event. Brand new Airbus 320s, gigantic military C17, and a CN235 will also be on static display.

balloon festival 2012

Festival Opening

Capt. Joy Roa, heading the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2012, said that following the success of the previous PIHABF festivities, event organizers were even more challenged to come up with new and more surprises on the realm of hot air balloon venture and aviation spectacles to be staged by aviation enthusiasts from USA, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Poland, The Netherlands, Austria, Japan, England and South Korea.

festival february 2012

2012 Hot Air balloon Fiesta

Special-shaped hot air balloons, which include a car-shaped cutie from Germany, a daisy flower, ice cream cone, and a birthday cake from the United States, “Iwi the Kiwi” from New Zealand and several other regularly shaped huge “flying bubbles” will take the center stage of the festivities.

ticket prices of hot air fiesta

Recovery of Hot Air Balloon in Pampanga

A fiesta not only coined for fathers and other macho-thinking individuals who love sky stunts and sleek aircrafts, the 17th PIHABF will also cater to moms and their children who are not so attached to machines that defy gravity can go for other “never-a-dull-moment” activities such as watching skydivers from the Brunei, Malaysia and even from the Philippine National Police make heart pumping mass formation in the sky after jumping from an altitude of not less than 5,000 feet.

Sitting on triangular parachutes powered by lightweight motors, local and foreign paragliders will show spectators that flying could be easy…at least from the spectator’s point of view.

SF-260 TP of Philippine Air Force Doing Fly By

SF-260 TP of Philippine Air Force Doing Fly By

With the tempo from marching bands, they can also watch precision drills from different military teams and flying dance shows amid a wide static display of unique airplanes – even those that will bring you back to memory lane on the spectacular history of aviation.

early morning events at the hotair balloon fiesta

Early Morning events

Time will also fly for creative kids who will prefer to stay comfortably at the Children’s Activity Center sponsored by Crayola and Hot Dog on Sticks. From there, they will be taught on kite-making, flight simulators and aviation workshops.

ibon ebun festival dancers

Ibon Ebun Festival Dancers Before the Balloon Flights

While munching delicious fiesta food, kids can also watch Remote Control car and aircraft competition on specially designated spots. In case you become mesmerized with flying, display booths of flying schools are within the site for prospective student pilots.

This year’s sponsors include Caltex, Hotdog on Sticks, Rudy Project, SM City Clark, Global Gateaway Logistics Corp., UPS, Krukspec, Isuzu Philippines, Crayola, Sunkist, Philippine Daily Inquirer, ROX Recreational Outdoor Exchange, Yellow Cab Pizza, Close Up, Alveoland, Department of Tourism, Fontana and Air Asia.

If you want to know where to buy Hot Air Baloon tickets, please contact the fiesta committee at (02) 384 0085 / [email protected] or check PIHABF website :

How to get to Clark Freeport Zone in Angeles City Pampanga

Getting to the Clark Freeport Zone which is also known as the Clark Special Economic Zone by car is just about an hour and a half from Manila without heavy traffic. Simply needs to take the North Luzon Expressway from Manila and exit at Dau, Mabalacat. Take left turn towards Angeles City, and a little Angeles City/Dau traffic, will bring you to within an easy right turn of the Clark Zone itself.

By Bus, Take the Victory Liner or Dagupan Bus Lines from Cubao then ask the bus conductor to bring you to SM City Clark and a shuttle bus to the event site is available free of charge.

Helpful Related Links :

  • Philippine Hot Air Balloon 2012 Schedule of Activities
  • Hotels near Clark and in Angeles City Pampanga

Written by Melo Villareal

Melo Villareal is the Online Publisher of He is an Accountant by profession who left the corporate world at the age of 23 to explore his beautiful country and the rest of the world. Today, Melo works as a part-time Social Media Manager for local and international clients. His full-time work focuses on discovering interesting culture, explore different cuisines and take memorable photos from local and international destinations he's visiting.

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