Welcome back the 2015 Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

The 19th Philippine International Hot air Balloon Fiesta is back in the Clark Freeport for 2015.  Planned for February 12 to 15, 2015, the event is anticipated to be bigger and better than any that went before. 

The contract has been signed between the CDC, CIAC and the Asian Air Safari president Captain Joy Roa. The balloons are being scheduled for flight and the special events prepared as we write this posting. 
Joy Roa is the President of the officially sanctioned event organization, the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta Foundation or PIHABF for short.  In 2014 the group decided to cancel the event and gave the following statement as to why.

“The decision not to hold a Fiesta this year was not undertaken lightly. From the perspective of the PIHABF organizers, our 2013 event (featuring more balloons than ever, the highly impressive Breilting Jet Acrobatic Team, and the myriad of other flying, ground and static events) would be a hard act to follow without allowing sufficient time to plan, prepare and book new and interesting activities.

“We believe that by suspending the 2014 Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, allowing our organizing committee more time to secure a suitable venue for the fiesta and investing more time in planning, securing sponsorships and implementing enhancements, we can offer our spectators a truly safe and world-class event in 2015.”
Given the fact the PIHABF has had two years to plan the event for 2015, expect it to be a show stopper with new and interesting events introduced to the attendees. 

Thes PIHABF was conceived out of the pure joy of aviation and to promote the many facets of aviation in the Philippines.  Profits from the PIHABF show are used to fund a scholarship programs which help underprivileged but worthy youth in their pursuit of a career in aviation. Since 2008, fifteen young people have been recipients of the scholarship grant, and have been able to enroll in various aviation schools in the Philippines.

Bookmark and stay tuned to this page as the schedule forms and as the information on new events is added as the 2015 Hot Air Balloon Fiesta takes shape.

2015 Balloon Festival Schedule Coming Soon

Feb 12

Thursday - First Day

   
   

Feb 13

Friday - Second Day

   
   

Feb 14 Sat

Saturday - Third Day

   
   

Feb 15 Sun

Sunday - Fourth Day

   
   

New Show, New Organization and New Location for 2014 Hot Air Balloon Show/Festival

The official Clark Hot Air Balloon Festival was cancelled in the Clark Freeport in 2014.  But fear-not, the festival will be revived next year in all of its glory.

For the year 2014, you can attend an alternate balloon festival 33 kilometers outside of the Clark Freeport Zone in Brgy. Prado Siongco, Lubao Pampanga.  Although this festival is not sanctioned by the official Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF) Organizing Committee is supposed to be up to 30 balloons from all over the world, flying demonstrations and many other booths, shows and attractions.

The venue and organization holding the event has changed in part due to Super Typhoon Yolanda and its resultant disastrous consequences in the Tacloban region.  Also, the April scheduling date of the balloon event conflicts with domestic and international airline flights potentially causing air interference issues. There is also concern by many as to the safety and ability of flying hot air balloons in the hotter air of April as opposed to the customary cooler February date.  So, due to these concerns, this year, the unsanctioned event will be staged at a 25 kilometer no-fly zone outside of the Clark Airport zone.

The event will be supported this year by the Philippines Department of Tourism Region 3, organized by Pilipinas International Balloon Festival, Inc. (PIBF) headed by Noel Castro, Jr. in cooperation with the Culture, Arts and Tourism Office of Pampanga.  After 18 straight years of balloon festivals at the Clark Freeport; this is a first for the new organization.

The new corporation headed by Castro comes with quite a bit of knowledge and experience in hot air ballooning though.  Castro is founding president of the Angeles City Four Wheelers Club, the experienced chase team that was responsible for recovery operations for the previous hot air shows held in the Freeport since 1994.  Adding to the knowledge of hot air ballooning for the new corporation is Steve Kim, a well-established balloon operator with 30 years of experience piloting a wide range of colorful and majestic sky drifters even prior to the beginning of the original Hot Air Balloon festival.   

If you want to check-out the newly formed four-day event then you can attend on April 10-13, 2014 in Lubao, Pampanga.  The venue will be at a 250-hectare facility where the largest wakeboard park in Southeast Asia is located and a new world-class theme park and championship golf course are currently being constructed. 

This will not be a small event as 30 hot-air balloon teams from the US, Europe and Southeast Asia have been invited to participate in the four-day event. The Department of Tourism estimates up to 100,000 people will attend. You can enjoy the balloons flying out at 5:00 am and the ever-popular hot air balloon nightglow event in the evening.  Besides the balloons, several live bands, kite flying, street dancing, cultural presentations, arts and crafts demonstrations, radio controlled aircraft demos, a cook-off competition and car show, fireworks and a final governor’s award ceremony on the last day of the show are planned. Tickets can be obtained at SM Mall outlets nationwide for PHP 200 per person and a parking fee of only PHP 50 per car or PHP 100 per bus. 

DIRECTIONS TO THE NEW VENUE:

From Clark, get on SCTex and take the Dinalupihan Exit. Make a left onto Jose Abad Santos Ave. to Lubao. The venue is right beside the Lubao-Dinalupihan boundary arch on your left.

From Manila, travel north on NLex and take the San Fernando Toll Booth Exit and onto Jose Abad Santos Ave. Drive past the towns of Bacolor and Guagua to reach the town of Lubao. Pass the Sta. Cruz Bridge, then turn right onto Lubao Bypass Road en route to Lubao-Dinalupihan welcome arch where the venue is located on your right.

2013 Clark, Philippines Hot Air Balloon Festival/Air Show A Weekend of Everything that Flies - February 21-24, 2013 - Bigger and Better than Ever!

The waiting is over, the 18th Clark Philippines Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is on and the excitement is about to begin. The participants are signed and the schedule is formed. 

The governmental agencies responsible for the operation of the Clark Freeport Zone and Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Foundation Inc. (PIHABF) President Capt. Joy Roa sign the agreement for the latest and greatest show in the Philippines. 

Rumors were previously circulating that the event was going to be cancelled…but happily, those were only vicious rumors. Started by some private party that distributed flyers throughout Angeles City, the rumor stating there would be no hot air balloon show this year…a totally false and unsanctioned effort. 

So, happily, and to the chagrin of the tens of thousands that enjoy the annual event, the upcoming 18th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta titled “A Weekend of Everything that Flies” will be held on February 21-24, 2013 at the Omni Aviation Complex at Clark Philippines. 

Thrilling Jet Team Performs each Day except Friday, February 22

This year there will be a special treat for those attending the fiesta. The Breitling Jet Team is scheduled to fly their acrobatic supersonic jets, with the exception of Friday, February 22, each day of the Philippine's premier air show. This is the largest civilian aerobatic display team in Europe. Based in Dijon, France, they fly seven Aero L-39 Albatros jets.

The Breitling Jet Team flies an aerial display lasting 18–20 minutes that includes close formation flying, opposition passes, solo routines and synchronized maneuvers. The team flies displays across Europe and the Middle East and each year undertakes a busy schedule of engagements, including major international air shows and Breitling corporate events.

This annual event gathers more interest each year from around the world.  Each year the event grows as the response from local and foreign balloon and aeronautic professionals increase as the event gains more worldwide recognition and credibility.

Given the popularity of this event and the fact the event sells-out all rooms in the Freeport early, now is the time to book your room at great rates.  Call us now for a fantastic room at your preferred hotel or resort. For booking and tickets to the 2013 Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Videos of Breitling aerobatic Jet Team at Air Show and With A380

 

Clark Balloon Festival Map

Venue for the 2013 Clark Philippines Hot Air Balloon Festival

Schedule for 2013 Hot Air Balloon from February 21st thru 24th 2013 at the Omni Aviation Grounds

Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is prepared for your convenience only. As with any large outdoor event, programmed schedules are subject to change without notification. Due to uncontrollable factors such as weather and numerous other factors, the actual times these activities occur may change or the activities may be cancelled altogether.

Frequently Answered Questions

Q. Where is the exact event site?

A. The Omni Aviation Complex at Clark Philippine in Pampanga.

Q. How much is the entrance fee?

A. PHP 250 per Ticket. These tickets are available from Clark Subic Marketing by calling the numbers listed above.


Q. Can I ride the balloons?

A. Yes, there is a charge a minimum fee, not yet determined, to ride the balloon. This is on a first-come-first-served basis. Go directly to the Information Booth upon arrival to book yourself a ride.


Q. What hotels are near the venue?

A. The event site is fairly near all the hotels in and around Clark. Please visit our Clark Hotels Web Page for a hotel booking. Book now so you don't miss-out. There are limited rooms available for this event.


Q. Are we sure to see the balloons everyday?

A. Balloon inflation is very much dependent on wind conditions. Calm winds guarantee great flights. The organizers reserve the right to cancel any activity due to bad wind conditions. For safety reasons, balloonists generally prefer for the the winds to be less than 10 mph and the clouds to be at least 2,000 feet above the ground.


Q. Are refreshments available on the grounds?

A. Yes. Food booths are present near the show line, on the southeast side of the balloon fiesta site. A bazaar is also set up near the entrance gate, and also on the northwest part of the grounds, near the aircraft ramp


Q. Where can I park?

A. Ample parking is available near the entrance gate. Road signs will direct you to the parking lots, where marshals will guide you to a suitable space. A parking fee is charged.


Q. What is a ramp tour?

A. The balloon fiesta offers a ramp tour that allows you to walk around the active flight line and interact with aircraft pilots and ground crew.

 Last Years Balloon Show Highlights

 Last Year the United States Air Force Rock Band Performed

2012 Hot Air Balloon Article

The yearly colorful, head-raising Clark Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is once again gracing the aviation field of the Clark Freeport.  This venue is projected to host over 100,000 tourists from February 9th thru 12th 2012.  This anticipated crowd is 20,000 more than last year's 80,000 figure.

With the increased popularity, media recognition and the evolving program size, larger crowds are expected to visit the 17th annual Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta held at Philippine Air Force's (PAF) ADAC hangar at the Clark Airbase.

It's anticipated the spectators are to be treated to a larger and more varied 4-day event as at least nine countries are expected to participate according to Noemi Garcia, the head of the CDC Tourism and Promotions Office.  This is more balloons from a larger number of countries than in 2011. In addition, the Balloon Fiesta is rumored to include additional exhibitions and more varied aerial demonstrations.

The Clark Freeport zone has become the home to this annual international aviation sporting event for many reasons. The wide-open spaces, favorable flying weather, scenic ambiance and the general features and tourist amenities the zone has to offer make it the ideal venue. Also, Clark has a wide array of hotels and resorts to cater to just about every budget, from simple and small single unit hostels to incredibly high-end hotels and leisure establishments that provide full suite and even villas for any number of group accommodations. Golfers, casino lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will also be happy with the array of these facilities that cover the zone.  The close proximity of Angeles city, with all of its casinos, resorts, night life, bars and restaurants and mention additional lodging options, makes for a complete, integrated fun zone for this – the largest of all events in the Philippines.

As this event fills up hotel rooms weeks in advance, interested individuals, tour groups, company groups and learning institutions are encouraged to book their rooms as soon as possible. Contact Clark Subic Marketing for advanced booking, discounted accommodations, event tickets and other special activity tickets for both Clark and Subic during your stay. Please call Landlines: 045-499-1179 or 045-499-0695 or Cell: 0928-504-6769 for the courteous and informative assistance.

2011 Hot Air Balloon Article

Clarkfield, Pampanga (November 28, 2010) – The organizers of the Philippine International Hot-Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF) are expecting a significant increase in the number of spectators and balloons participating in the 2011 or 16th Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.  The crowds are expected to be bigger than ever with the hotel rooms booked months ahead of the scheduled event.

With the event’s ongoing ad exposure on the internet and other media, the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is at the forefront of all events in the Philippines. This year’s event is not just a simple air show of multicolored hot air balloons with amazing designs and incredible shapes but the balloons will represent the uniqueness of each of the participating countries in some way.

Clark Freeport Zone became the home of this international aviation sport event mainly due to the facilities vast, open paved areas and clear, calm skies; these are significant requirements for a successful hot air balloon show involving flight of monster airships.

Another reason for Clark Freeport winning the bid for this incredible event is that it is a home to a number of high-end hotels and other leisure establishments that can provide accommodation and superior comfort to the thousands of spectators and participants the Hot Air Festival draws.  Additionally, for those spectators wishing to make the trip from other surrounding Asian countries, Clark is equipped with its own world-class international airport.

For the past 15 years, PIHABF has been an extremely successful event that attracts thousands of spectators both local and international. Aside from the display of a plethora of multi-colored hot air balloons, the festival also features a number of expedition events such as skydiving, flag jumps, micro-light aircraft and rocketry demonstrations, small plane fly-bys and fly-ins, remote-control airplane and helicopter flying exhibitions, freestyle aerobatics, precision maneuvers, light airplane balloon bursting, ultra-light flying formation and bomb dropping, kite-making and choreographed kite-flying, hi-start launch gliding, pylon racing, banner towing, aero-modeling symposium and races between ultra lights and motorcycles.

The Philippine International Hot-Air Balloon Fiesta was first organized in 1994 in an effort to help spur the local economy of Central Luzon with the stated objective of making hot air ballooning a common aviation sport in the Philippines and promoting the country as a premier sport-aviation and tourist destination in Asia. The Fiesta was pioneered by the Department of Tourism Secretary Mina Gabor along with Korean businessman and hot-air balloon pilot, Mr. Sung Kee Paik and British Airways General Manager, Mr. John Emery, and German aviation enthusiast Max Motschmann. 

Clark Subic Marketing is a closely-aligned partner with the Clark Freeport Zone and most of the great venues, hotels and resorts therein. Inasmuch, Clark Subic Marketing provides advance booking services these hotels and resorts and assures great accommodation and a wonderful stay for events such as the Clark Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.

As mentioned above, this event is quickly booking-out available hotel and resort facilities in the Clark Freeport Zone. Even now, in early December, is the time to book a room in order not to be left-out of this extremely popular Philippine event.  For those who would like to witness the 2011 PIHABF, Clark Subic Marketing is now coordinating and delivering great deals at most of the world-class hotels and resorts in Clark.

2009 Clark Hot Air Balloon Article

CLARK FREEPORT - 11-25-08 - According to the Tourism and Promotions Office of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC), 2009 will see even more balloons and countries participating in the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival than in 2008. At this point, it looks as if 25 countries will be joining this event, which seems to be growing by leaps and bounds each year and becoming more like a major air show than a hot air balloon event.

In 2008, only 19 balloons were flown from 13 countries; with the increased publicity of this event worldwide and on the internet, and the growing popularity of the event with Filipinos, Clark could have significantly more balloons than ever in the air this year. The scheduled date is set for February 12 to 15 th of 2009. The organizers are in the beginning phases of planning for this Philippines mega event, we will post the schedule here when it is available.

For 2009, well over 100,000 spectators are expected to attend five days of fun in the skies, or as CDC refers to it: “the weekend of everything that flies.” This event is currently scheduled to be held in its usual location where the large hanger is visible from the main entrance road, designated as the Clark Civil Aviation Complex, right alongside the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport.

The associated events, as last year, are sure to be additionally inspiring. CDC seems to want to grow this event to ever-increasing heights of excellence. You can be sure that the show will be bigger and better than ever for 2009, bringing greater levels of exposure to the Freeport in order to further promote business and leisure investment in the area.

The CDC is looking to grow the Clark region, not only internationally, but as a major Filipino destination of tourism and relaxation. For this event and all subsequent events in Clark, the area will become even more easily assessable from Manila. With the completion of the SCTEX this year, and the soon completion of the new SCTEX Clark Interchange in December, you will be able to exit directly into the Freeport from the highways, only a couple Kilometers from the entrance of the balloon festival. If you have attended the Balloon Fiesta in previous years or have been to the Clark Freeport, you know that the last few kilometers are the most frustrating as you exit NLEX to pass through the intense traffic in Dau and Angeles City to the Clark Main gate; sometimes taking as long as an additional 30 minutes. That will soon be a thing of the past and make the balloon festival and Clark in general, an even more pleasant destination.

This years balloon festival is lining-up to be the greatest ever, and it will be easier to attend then ever before. So, if you have never been to this mega event, or if you wait anxiously each year to see the myriad of balloons and other demonstration aircraft and exhibits, then make your advanced hotel reservation plans now as the Freeport is sure to become booked-out very quickly and in advance for this event. Click here to book your Clark Hotel Now!


DIRECTIONS TO CLARK FREEPORT

Getting to the Clark Freeport Zone, otherwise known as the Clark Special Economic Zone by car is easy. Simply needs to take the North Luzon Expressway from Manila and exit at Dau, Mabalacat. After your exit, a 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. The trip should take about an hour and a half from Manila without heavy traffic.

 

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