Feb 25, 2011

Celebrating Vday the Hot Air Balloon Way

A buzzer beater post for Flashback Fridays =D

Two weeks ago, my girls and I traveled all the way up North for our Valentine's Day celebration, with the men of our lives of course! ^_^ We went to the 16th Philippine Hotair Balloon Festival at Clark Field, Pampanga. It was a fun, fun day, and it was extra special because it was Jhay's first getaway with the School of Fish.

Now it's easier to share our adventure through pictures...

We left Manila at 12MN because we were told that the Clark Area gets pretty much jampacked by around 4AM. We got there at 2AM, still too early, but there are still folks earlier than us! This is among the day's first few shots -- From left to right: Donz and Nhix, Emil and Jejo, Edmund and Jaq, Jhay and Me!

Noreen (right) was the one who took the first photo. She's the barkada's only single lady! But mind you, she's perfectly happy that way. Her only sister, Lysa, is her boyfriend for the day :-)

We got the ticket for the event a few days ahead via their Manila office. The process was a little tedious (you deposit your payment to their bank account, fax them the deposit slip, wait for the confirmation e-mail then pick-up the ticket at PSE Tektite) but it's definitely better than falling in line on the day itself :-)

At 4AM, we joined the crowd and waited for the gates to open. They let us in after about 30 minutes.

The first balloon that we saw was that of Caltex, the company behind this international event. It was tethered, probably for picture-taking purposes. We intended to pose by it but by the time the sun was up, the queue was already long :-(

I found it pretty cool when the Philippine flag was flown as the National Anthem played in the background. Sorry, first timer here. Hahaha. And please, excuse the poor quality of the photos, mine's just a point and shoot :P

The programme published in various websites said that the balloon flight is at 5:30 AM but by 6AM, they've only just begun filling them with air. I was amazed at the process but I tell you it ain't easy.

You can feel the anticipation of the crowd (us included) as the balloons slowly took shape ^_^

Photo opp while they're still there! :-)

And another one! Oh yeah, the field where the balloons are are fenced and only those with photographer's pass (worth a thousand bucks, by the way) are allowed inside. But, but, but... our spot isn't bad at all! Being early paid off :-)

Colorful balloons taking off one by one. It was really a pretty sight. These are the moments I wish I had a DSLR. But don't be sad dear Ixus, you're still my first love :-)

With the sun rising in the background.

Crowd favorites =D

When all the balloons were already soaring high, we opted to eat. Finding a table was a real challenge but that's nothing compared to buying from McDonalds. It took Jhay an hour to get a burger meal, 1-pc chicken and a sundae. In fact, our friends were already done eating by then.

After our meal, we roamed around a little then went back to the car because it was scorching hot.

Going out of the compound was a struggle too. To give you an idea, imagine the gates of the cemeteries during All Soul's Day. Exaggeration aside, I promise. The volume of people and the heat made us decide to leave by 9AM. We thought we'll just stroll at SM Clark instead. But wait, there's more -- going out of the parking lot also took an hour! Thus, by the time we got to SM Clark, we were already too lazy to move out of the car. We definitely weren't able to make the most out of the festival but for me, my PhP 150 is already worth it. It's only the hot air balloons we went there for, anyway :-D

We drove straight to NLEX and just stopped over at a gasoline station at Mexico, Pampanga. While asking each other where to eat, we posed by (of all the spots) the watermelons! Kanya-kanyang trip lang yan :P

We had lunch at Kenny Rogers and then it was time for couples' shots.

After lunch, some more picture taking followed.

The girls.

The boys with Lysa.

The Lovebirds ^_^

And what better way to end a happy trip than a pair of uber happy pictures :-)

It was indeed a short-lived out-of-town trip but it was nothing short of fun. The journey is, after all, more important than the destination *wink*

Hopin' you enjoyed the first installment of the series,


  1. love this post.. nakakatuwa din that ly's desktop pic is the one with the boys.. tapos sabi nya, "ang saya.. parang ang dami kong kuya.." ^_^

  2. talaga? katuwa naman si ly.. ^_^

  3. Hey Maudey, I know one of the guys in your pictures. :) Donz is my officemate. We went in the US together for our onshore assignments. Small world :)

  4. oh hi there jerellt! really? small world indeed! i'll mention when i see him again.. sooo.. how did you like his jumpshot? LOL!


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