17th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2012: Cultural Adventure

Celebrated in Clark Freeport Zone in Angeles City Pampanga every second week of February, the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is considered the biggest aviation sports event in the Philippines.

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2012

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2012

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is a four-day event that showcases a number of aerial exhibitions and ground events which is flocked by thousands of local and foreign visitors annually.

17th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2012

The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta or much commonly known as Hot Air Balloon Festival started in 1994, three years after the devastating Mt. Pinatubo eruption. Its main aim is to help jump-start the economy and morale of the people residing in the lands destroyed by the eruption.

The event is from February 9 -12

The Hot Air Balloon Fiesta was successful in the few years after its launch. However, due to financial difficulties, it was canceled in 1999 but quickly recovered and resumed a year later. To date, the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is one of the most anticipated cultural events in Central Luzon.

Got two tickets for the 2012 Hot Air Balloon Fiesta!

Be at the bus terminal early. You don't want to get caught in the crowd

I was fortunate enough to acquire a ticket to the 17th Hot Air Balloon Festival held last 2012. Together with my wife and a friend, we packed up light and left very early from our place in Pasay to catch the morning flight of a dozen or more hot air balloons in Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.

Events during the 17 Hot Air Balloon Festival:

The early flight of the hot air balloons

A series of cool airshows

Kite Flying

Philippine Air Force Displays

Philippine Army Displays

Philippine Marines Displays

Aircraft displays

Marine drills

Some awesome car show

The Night Glow

Lucky enough for us the bus station wasn't too crowded when we got there and good heavens we left on schedule. Upon reaching Clark Freeport Zone, one would be astonished by the number of visitors flocking the venue.

Check out the crowd

Overall we enjoyed the festival and we plan to participate again in the years to come.

Here are some tips when you're planning to attend the Hot Air Balloon Festival.

1. Leave Manila late at night to reach Clark Freeport Zone early.

Here are the fun things that you could do during the event while waiting for the hot air balloon flight:

Enjoy the dawn scene.

Have your picture taken with a giant inflatable camera

Pose with some costumed space guy

Check out the numerous plane displays

2. Bring your own food.
3. Avoid overdressing. Wear sunblock or bring an umbrella or hat.
4. Secure your cameras and cash. Bring a backpack.
5. Don't forget your tickets. In case you don't have one, you can avail one at the ticket booth. (prepare to line up a mile though.)

Team Nicerio attends the 17th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2012

Why experience the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta?

The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta might not be as big as the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico in the USA but it's already going there. Give or take, a decade more and our Hot Air Balloon Fiesta would already be at par with other international hot air balloon festivals but it doesn't mean that you should not attend these activities, you can help improve the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta by supporting it and attending its activities. You should experience the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta as it offers numerous fun activities and also supports businesses in the area.


Overall rating


  1. Another awesome post. Looks like you guys are in a great location. The balloons are awesome too. Loved the blow fish. I don't think we have anything like it around here. :) Thanks for sharing :P

    1. I told you my friend visit my country. You would certainly enjoy everything. =) Thank you for reading my blog once again pal. =)

  2. haha, if I ever striker rich I would :P

  3. I love the photos, do you visit the 22nd hot air balloon festival?

    1. Hi Josephine. I managed to return last year. Sadly, I was not able to do so this year due to budget issues. =) How about you?


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