The Hot air balloons are back!
The annual Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF) is the country’s biggest aviation sports event today. Hot air balloon and airplane pilots from all over the world fly into the Philippines to join their local counterparts in this breathtaking event. In addition to daily flights of the hot air balloons, other activities include: skydiving, daily flag jumps (a skydiver jumps with the Philippine flag while the National Anthem is played to the start of the day’s activities); micro light demonstrations; small planes fly-bys and fly-ins; remote controlled airplanes exhibitions; aerobatics; light airplane balloon bursting competition; ultra-light formation flying and bomb dropping exhibitions; helicopter fly-ins and exhibitions; an air rally from Clark to Vigan; rocketry demonstrations; kite flying exhibitions; and races between ultra lights and motorcycles.
Be sure to be there early in the morning. Be there by 5am if you want to catch the Balloons being set up at dusk. It’s just awesome watching those balloons transform from flat pieces of linen to graceful and colorful flying balloons! The balloons are the real stars in the Fiesta. The sunrise and the morning sunlight is a show in itself as well! Thank you Lord!
There are other aviation highlights during the day. There will be kites, paragliders, parchutes, small planes, skydiving, choreographed kite flying and so much more. See the 12th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiest schedule here.
In the evening, be there by 5pm when the balloons start making their way back to the field. Wait a while and you can watch the “night glow”. Night glow is like watching giant fireflies lighting up their behinds. The balloons are lined up, then they would light up the fire like giant christmas lights! It’s beautiful!
Here’s a mishmash of tips when you go to the Balloon Fiesta:
a.) Be there early, like 5am, if you want to catch the balloons being setup. Stay there late, like 5pm up to 7pm if you want to catch the “night glow”.
b.) Protect yourselves from the sun! Wear sunscreen, wear a wide hat, wear your shades. Bring an umbrella too.
c.) Hydrate yourself. Drink lots of water.
d.) Bring your camera! Keep on shooting! Fill-up the frame with the vibrant colors of the balloons. Get close!
e.) Bring a collapsible chair, banig, umbrella to rest your feet while waiting for the day’s next events.
f.) Take action shots, where the stillness in the photo you still captures “motion” in a sense that the subject was evidently moving when the photo was taken. Examples would be balloons lifting off, people running, airplanes zipping by, kites flying.
g.) Take videos. It’s also a good idea to take *videos* of flying things. When objects are way up in the sky, they end up too small in photos anyway. At least in videos, you get to see the movement of the plane or skydiver, for example.
Enjoy the show!
up up and away on my beatiful balloon
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