It Gets Even Hotter… The 17th Philippine Int'l Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

At the break of dawn on February 9, 2012, Hot Air Balloons of all shapes and sizes will fill the skies of Pampanga and its neighboring areas to signal the opening of the 17th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta – a yearly grand gathering of hot air balloons and many other interesting human creations that fly and conquer the skies.

Traditionally marked by exciting festivities that draw thousands of people not only from local communities but foreign places as well, the PIHABF promises to keep heads always looking upwards during the entire four-day celebration to be held at the fiesta site, Air Force City, DiosdadoMacapagal International Airport in Clark Field, Pampanga. Last year’s PIHABF visitors breached the 80,000 mark.

Joining the colorful and uniquely-designed hot air balloons that will be dominating the skies of Central Luzon are transport and trainer planes, ultra-light aircraft and helicopters, some of which will be conducting a series of fly-bys to delight the spectators. This year’s major attraction will be a US Air Force F-16 doing flight demonstrations.  Capt. MeynardHalili will spear head the thrilling aerobatics show that will also be staged by ace pilots from the foreign countries.

Used to be shown only on Philippine television as executed by pilots from other nations, dare devil aerial stunts by classic biplane built in the 1940s, The restored PT13 Stearman is also lined up for the event.  Brand new Airbus 320s, gigantic military C17, and a CN235 will also be on static display.

Capt. Joy Roa, heading the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, said that following the success of the previous PIHABF festivities, event organizers were even more challenged to come up with new and more surprises on the realm of hot air balloon venture and aviation spectacles to be staged by aviation enthusiasts from USA, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Poland, The Netherlands, Austria, Japan, England and South Korea.

Special-shaped hot air balloons, which include a car-shaped cutie from Germany, a daisy flower, ice cream cone, and a birthday cake from the United States, “Iwi the Kiwi” from New Zealand and several other regularly shaped huge “flying bubbles” will take the center stage of the festivities.

A fiesta not only coined for fathers and other macho-thinking individuals who love sky stunts and sleek aircrafts, the 17th PIHABF will also cater to moms and their children who are not so attached to machines that defy gravity can go for other “never-a-dull-moment” activities such as watching skydivers from the Brunei, Malaysia and even from the Philippine National Police make heart pumping mass formation in the sky after jumping from an altitude of not less than 5,000 feet.

Sitting on triangular parachutes powered by lightweight motors, local and foreign paragliders will show spectators that flying could be easy…at least from the spectator’s point of view.

With the tempo from marching bands, they can also watch precision drills from different military teams and flying dance shows amid a wide static display of unique airplanes – even those that will bring you back to memory lane on the spectacular history of aviation.

Time will also fly for creative kids who will prefer to stay comfortably at the Children’s Activity Center sponsored by Crayola and Hot Dog on Sticks. From there, they will be taught on kite-making, flight simulators and aviation workshops.

While munching delicious fiesta food, kids can also watch Remote Control car and aircraft competition on specially designated spots.
In case you become mesmerized with flying, display booths of flying schools are within the site for prospective student pilots.

This year’s sponsors include Caltex, Hotdog on Sticks, Rudy Project, SM City Clark, Global Gateaway Logistics Corp., UPS, Krukspec, Isuzu Philippines, Crayola, Sunkist, Philippine Daily Inquirer, ROX Recreational Outdoor Exchange, Yellow Cab Pizza, Close Up, Alveoland, Department of Tourism, Fontana and Air Asia.

For more details, please contact the fiesta committee at (02) 384 0085 / or check PIHABF website:


  1. In windy conditions once the balloon is hot inflated it is very difficult to hold it down on the ground. Nice blog!
    Hot Air Balloon Adventure

  2. Thanks! This year we will going back there to witness the hot air balloon fiesta again and hoping that we can see all those beautiful giant balloon fly. :)