Monday, February 25, 2013

I got burnt at the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta!

You're probably thinking that I got burnt from the flames fuming out of a hot air balloon. You thought wrong! My skin got burnt not because of the balloon blaze. But because of my exposure to the sun. I brought an umbrella. But the sun was just everywhere! The Clark Freeport Zone (CFZ), where the festival was held was an open space. So the only shelter that one could stay in were the Airplane Hangar and the food tents nearby. Both places were a bit distant from all the action. So Rubel and I just braved the lot with just an umbrella over our heads. But even that didn't protect us. It was actually raining a few days earlier. So I was really surprised when the sun showed up last Saturday (February 23), all mighty and proud.


MY FIRST EVER HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL

Some of my friends have asked how my experience was. Well, other than not putting on sunscreen (who knew it would be that hot at the field?!) and going home with sunburn all over my body, the whole thing was still an exciting one. There were some dull moments. But those were made up by the beautiful Hot Air Balloon Flights, the SUPER AWESOME Meynard Halili Aerobatic Show and the Breitling Jet Team Aerobatic Exhibition. The Paragliding and skydiving exhibitions were also fun to watch. But the first three mentioned were the best ones for me, in terms of being extraordinarily action packed.


The CFZ field was bare and had a lot of scattered straw-like plants all over. But the open space catered several tents that sold food, drinks, clothes, toys and more. I was particularly hooked with the food carts that sold snow cones and cotton candy, as these reminded me of my childhood days. I even went past this guy who was smoking an E-CIG that blew smoke that smelled of Cotton Candy. 


FINALLY! ANOTHER PTB MEET-UP!

I also got the chance to meet fellow Pinoy Travel Bloggers during the event. I was able to meet Yaj and Roj for the first time, so I was quite ecstatic when I finally saw them face-to-face. So knowing that we had a very common interest (traveling of course), we clicked right away. Shared stories of our travels was definitely a refreshing start-up conversation.


TIPS FOR FIRST-TIMERS

The sun can get very fierce as the day progresses, and the lines could get long at the gates. But here's several tips that can help you get through your first Hot Air Balloon visit, especially if you're staying for just one day.

1) BRING SUNSCREEN! Re-apply as deemed necessary. Your skin will thank you for it!
2) BRING A TENT if you're staying at the fields the whole day. This could pose very handy should you decide to bring small children with you, or even pets.  
3) BRING A MAT, if taking a tent is a hassle. Several spectators brought mats with them, while armored with their handy-dandy umbrellas.


4) PACK YOUR CHANGE OF CLOTHES as the sweltering sun can get you all sweaty and smelly soon after.
5) NO NEED TO BRING IN FOOD. There are several familiar food chains that you can buy from. The prices may be a little steep. But the common choices will surely be at your beck and call. 
6) BRING YOUR OWN VEHICLE should you decide to explore outside CFZ, especially if you're not familiar with what public vehicles to ride.


TIPS WHEN COMMUTING FROM MANILA-CLARK-MANILA

We're QC residents. So having the TRINOMA-CLARK AIRPORT LOUNGE near us was a god-sent. We booked our bus tickets there a week before the event, so that we wouldn't have to go as chance passengers during the weekend rush.


Going to Clark via Philtranco bus was a smooth one, since we were dropped off at the CFZ during the morning. But when it was time to go home (we left the venue around 7PM), jeepneys were already full with passengers. Taxi's were very scarce too, so we had to ask around on how to go back to the airport (where the Manila-bound Philtranco bus will be). But since we were running out of time, we rode the jeep from CFZ to Bayanihan Terminal/Main Gate (PHP 7/per pax), then hopped into an airport cab soon after. Since there weren't any direct rides to the airport, we opted to take the airport taxi. It was pretty expensive, which was priced at PHP 350 per way.

Of course, if you have a lot of time in your hands, riding the jeep to the airport can still be an option. According to our cab driver, riding the jeep that will traverse Route 1 will drop off passengers near the airport gate. The walk towards the airport can probably take you more or else 10-15 minutes.

COMMUTING FROM CFZ TO SM CLARK

Rubel and I wanted to check out the Starbucks Store at SM Clark, so that I could buy a Pampanga Mug. So we left CFZ and walked towards the nearest jeep terminal, which was a 2-3 minute walk from the area. We rode the jeep that was bound for the Main gate, and only paid PHP7 each. We got to SM Clark in less than 10 minutes.

OVERALL EXPERIENCE

If I were to go to next year's Hot Air Balloon Fiesta again, I would definitely book a hotel near the events place. I'm usually after the comfort and of not rushing things whenever I travel, so booking a decent room in Clark could be a good move. I could also bring a vehicle, since Clark is just 1.5 hour drive away from Manila. That would certainly help us from getting lost around the city.


How about you? What was your first experience at the HABF like when you last visited?

Explore & Be Free!
Mai

28 comments:

  1. The hot air balloon experience is truly remarkable.
    I have yet to experience this in Clark, but I had once in Turkey.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hope to watch the hot air balloon festival too but I was in HK over the weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  3. i haven't seen or been to a hot air balloon festival or event like this!! I love to experience one time though, all of those looks very lovely! xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. wow. . how i wish to be there. it is indeed a breathtaking event to be with. . .

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have yet to go to a hot air balloon festival but it seems like a fun activity to join because of the balloons and aerial artistry that is on display.

    ReplyDelete
  6. An amazing way to spend a worthwhile stay in Pampanga, I won't even care having a sun-kissed skin with this kind of adventure!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. We have that same feeling after we experience Hot Air Balloon festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia. It's really fun minus the sunburn since we go there early in the morning and escaped the harshness of sun.

    ReplyDelete
  8. A great adventure that I missed. Natakot kasi ako sa weather forecast, Rainy daw on the day itself ng Balloon Festival, nagkita sana tayo. Pero blessing in disguise kasi kung ikaw na-burnt out, Gosh, baka nagkulay Bar-B-Q na ako, yung sunog. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nice tips! especially tips # 1, #2 and #6. It took us hours before we find a jeep back to the terminal last year.:(

    ReplyDelete
  10. Amazing! Amazing talaga. My friends invited me to witness this awesome event. Work kasi. :/

    ReplyDelete
  11. I also got burnt! hahaha sobrang init, pero sobrang saya... it was actually my first time see the hot air balloon festival, kahit sobrang antok dahil 1am kami umalis from Pasig. Astig, lalo yung jet exhibition! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I went there too on a Sunday with a couple of PTB bloggers and I really enjoyed so much :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Me too Doc! Sayang naman po! NaMeet ko sana kayo. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hahaha! NapaNgiti mo na naman ako itay! :) Sana pumunta ka pa din, nagkita po sana tayo! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. This has been my frustration for so long. With my upcoming work schedule, It may take a while before I experience PHAB first-hand.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I''m so inggit! My friends went to Clark for this while I'm left here kasi may classes. I'm sure it was a great day with everything that flies :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for all the comments Biyahera's and Biyahero's =)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh, man! We weren't sun-kissed at all when we stayed the whole time there! We were burnt. :( Should we go there next time, bringing a tent, some hats and umbrellas would certainly keep as protected. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hey! When's the hot air balloon festival in Putrajaya? Just curious. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I know right? It was frustrating and tiring all at the same time. :(

    ReplyDelete
  21. Astig! I actually enjoyed the Aerobatic show the most. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh I've been to this year's Hot Air Balloon Festival also! We didn't take the plane though, we drove all the way to Pampanga and got to the hotel at 1am. Woke up at 6am and missed half of the hot air balloons :( Didn't get to take pictures as well. Huhu,

    ReplyDelete
  23. Try going during the weekend, para ma-cross out mo na din toh sa list mo! :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Don't worry, there's always next year. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Aww..sayang! My beau and I were already before sunrise. Dbale, there's always next year!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I haven't attended Hot air festival yet, I was hoping that I could attend this year but another travel plan came up which was the same date as the hot air balloon festival. I will ensure next year I can attend this event together with my family. I'll take your advice here.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wow! I want to go there someday in Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. I am hoping next year to come in this event

    ReplyDelete

ShareThis

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...