Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010

Last Feb 13, my brother-in-law, June, picked us (Weng, Jeo and me) up at our house, and we went to Clark Field, Pampanga, for the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival. I’ve always wanted to go but circumstances haven’t given me the chance…until this year.

Mt. Arayat (Taken along NLEX)

Along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), I was able to take this shot of Mt. Arayat. One of the good things about not being the driver is that you can take pictures en route with no stopping (thanks, June).

Waiting in line (Ella, Jeo, Me, Weng)

We arrived middle of the afternoon. It was cloudy that day; which was both good (it wouldn’t be hot) and bad (poor lighting conditions). In the parking area, you could already see the big kites riding the steady breeze. Jeo got out his kite so that he could take it up.

The Sign at the Entrance

People were lined up at the entrance. Luckily, it wasn’t a long wait. There were lots of people that came in at the same time we did.

Jeo looking around on the way in

From the gate going to the hangars

A word from the sponsors

A colorful ad

Inside you could see the two hangars and booths strewn around the area fronting the hangars. They were selling food, clothing, trinkets, souvenirs, and what have you.

Colorful wares and displays

Also, there were two life like replicas of an Alien and Predator. On closer inspection, they were made of difference machine parts that were either shaped to match the body part, or were clever substitutes.



We proceeded to a paved area on the opposite side of the hangars, and unloaded our things. I helped Jeo assemble his kite and had no trouble getting it up in the strong, steady breeze.

Up, up and away

Weng having a go at the kite while Jeo looks on.

Jeo, Weng, Ella & June on our patch of ground

Hugh colorful kites

Military Displays

Inside one hangar was all sorts of military equipment.

A Phil Air Force jet with associated ordnance arrayed

Sniper gear

Philippine Coast Guard Search & Rescue

Girls posing with our gallant soldiers

Navy Chopper

One serious battle-scarred operator

Clown on stilts

Jeo posing in front of PAF jet

Jeo holding an M-16 with grenade launcher

Jeo examining weapons

Jeo looking at a recoiless rifle

Jeo eyeing the weapons used by the Scout Rangers

Jeo with a dummy

Jeo checking out a floatation device

Jeo in front of an old-style Army jeep

Jeo inside a Simba Amphibious APC

Outside the hangars (to the side), there were two (2) Simba Amored Personnel Carriers (APCs) where people were having their pictures taken.

Crowds having their pictures taken on a Simba APC

Jeo inside the passenger compartment of the Simba APC

Jeo in a Simba APC

The Air Show

Another part of the program was Skydiving, Ultralight Flyby, and Aerobatic display. Here are some of the shots I took:

Ella & Jeo having snacks while watching the air show (Photo taken by June Rodriguez)

Weng watching the low flybys (Courtesy of June Rodriguez)

Low flybys by light aircraft. Ultralights are smaller.

Low flying light aircraft

Zoom shot of the light aircraft (at left)

Light aircraft fly low over the crowd (Mt Arayat in the background)

Zoom shot of a bright yellow light aircraft flying low

Acrobatic manuever (Courtesy of June Rodriguez)

Looks like a P-51 Mustang (Courtesy of June Rodriguez)

Aside from the low flyby and acrobatics, there were the skydivers.

Skydivers spiralling in for their descent

Coming in for a landing

Here comes another one

One on top of annother

Rainbow Parachute

Go Army!

The 1st one with colorful bands

Stark orange chute against the blue silhouette of Mt Arayat

Trailing tail

Almost touch down!

Crowds looking at the touch down

Here come the paragliders…

Eyes and eye brows

Angling in for a low flyby

Trailing smoke

Smokin' Arc



Fancy formation

All in a row!

Here's looking at you!

Vertical triangle formation

Flying their National Colors

Flag bearer on a 2nd pass

The next three frames show a flyby with Mt Arayat in the background.

Here we


...and three!


Fiery glow signals the end of day...

Night Glow

This is my favorite part (I’ve always been partial to night shots).

Test firing the burners

The next sequence shows the first balloon being inflated as dusk falls.

Inflating the first balloon...

...and bigger...

The first of the balloons for the Night Glow is up!

The next sequence catches not only balloons lighting up. It also caught a burn sequence being eclipsed by one of the spectators (a girl) that produced a halo effect on the girl’s head.

Halo beginsHalo!

Halo gets brighter!

Maximum effect!

The Slazenger balloon before lighting-up

The Slazenger balloon lights up

Stars & Strips starts the light up sequence

Stars & Stripes glowing bright!

Yellowcab Balloon begins light-up

The Yellowcab Balloon a-glow

Night Glow Panorama

Heart Balloon begins light-up sequence...

...getting brighter...

...that's about as bright as it got.


Everyone enjoying Night Glow

The Aftermath

After the event, we went to Aling Lucing’s in Angeles City. That’s the original Sisig Queen. Unfortunately, they were all out by the time we got there. So, we settled for Sisig and Pork BBQ at Aling Naty’s (across the street). The place was packed (if you can imagine they set up tables and chairs on the side of the road).

1 thought on “Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010”

  1. Hi Sir Noel! 🙂 Thanks for sharing to me your pictures! 😀 They’re nice!

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