8 Tips for the Hot Air Balloon Fest First-time Goer

Article by Deina Ida Blancaflor (@deinablancaflor) and Gleeselle Rosales (@gleerosales) / Photos by Phylicia Pangilinan (@phylyohae)

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Hot air balloons, scenic skies, and sun-kissed skins with the breeze blowing through your face and hair. Isn’t it a perfect summer daydream to catch a hot air balloon festival, let alone to ride in one? They’ve been flying for over two decades already but just last month, we’ve crossed one thing off of our bucket list during A Weekend of Everything That Flies as we attended the 22nd Philippines International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta at Clark, Pampanga!


Who doesn’t want to make the most out of their day in the sun? Fun, new experiences bring about ways how to enjoy the moment responsibly and in events such as this, preparation is truly the key. So here are ten tips we’ve rounded up for you to maximize your experience should you attend your first Hot Air Balloon Fiesta:

8. The early bird gets the worm.

If you’re aiming for a lesser crowd with a breezier atmosphere, going to the grounds around 4-6AM is your best bet. You get to enjoy the morning breeze without the hassle of big, “masikip” crowds and to top it all off, the golden hour of sunrise bathes your every photo.

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7. 2 C’s: Comfortable Clothes

Say it with us: comfort beats couture. While you can look good and feel good at the same time, wearing an outfit fit for exploring the fairgrounds will save you from a lot of trouble.

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6. Water is your best friend.

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Most of us would want to make the most out of everything, and that means staying for hours and hours under the scorching sun. Water, juice, iced coffee, or any other liquid you prefer will be your bestfriends in battling the combination of heat, perspiration, and dust.

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5. Get a good night’s sleep.

Nothing powers you up like a good night’s sleep. You’ll be set to wander around the open field and wait for your favorite acts, so make sure your body is also fully charged!

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Pro tip: Keep your map and guide to easily navigate through the grounds. Concessionaires, pasalubong booths, and unique trinkets will keep you distracted while you wait for the other acts and performances.

4. Take advantage of the guides!

Utilize your day guide. It has a detailed schedule of the fiesta days and events so you can pick what you want to see (e.g. paragliding, skydiving, aerobatic exhibitions) and know what to expect (or you know, just stay there the whole day if you want to – every show is a must-see!).


3. Make technology work for you, not against you!

Don’t forget to charge those electronics — mobile phone, camera, powerbank, you name it! You never know when you might need these things so the more complete, the better.

READ: A Beginner’s Guide to Powerful Photography as Learned From Paco Guerrero

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2. Communicate and coordinate!

The grounds can get pretty grounded, so in case any of you wanders off, make sure your you’ve established a meeting area for the whole squad. Know each other’s contact details and just to be safe, always explore in pairs or more!

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1. Make the weekend last.

Take your time and enjoy every minute of it –while capturing picturesque photos you will keep for life! Buy a souvenir, play mini games, and strike a pose beside your favorite hot air balloon — anything that would make you remember this magic-filled weekend.

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Pro tip: there are all sorts of ways on how to angle and frame your pictures for your social media posts. Event hashtags like #WatchTheSkies2018 #PIHABF22  will give you a glimpse of what everyone’s been posting online – and you don’t want to have all-too-same pictures! Play around with your lens and the surrounding elements in the open field. Who knows, you might get plus points for creativity!


Now, off you go to your next Hot Air Balloon Fiesta! With these tips and tricks, you’ll get the best of it for sure!

The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is an annual sports aviation event in Asia. Now on its 22nd Fest, this year’s event titled A Weekend of Everything That Flies is a four-day fiesta of “non-stop flying action” help at the grounds of Omni Aviation, Clark, Pampanga. Check out their official Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/philballoonfest/) for more photos.

Do you have more tips for us? Comment them below or share with us your favorite hot air balloon fest experience!