Even with 4 alarms set, we all failed to wake up! A little before 5am, we rushed to the event to catch Secretary Bertie Lim riding the Hot Air Balloon scheduled at 6am. The traffic going to the field was congested, thankfully, parking was not as bad as I expected.
Unfortunately though, we missed Secretary Lim. His balloon was the first to fly, according to Department of Tourism Region 3 Director Ronaldo Tiotuico. He said that after 1-2 hours, the Secretary will be landing and be brought back to the base to visit the DOT booth. He landed in Porac, so we waited.
We decided to roam around the area first, and look for anything that would catch our interest. We really wanted to ride a balloon, but it was too late to do so. We weren't as lucky as Secretary Bertie Lim and Anna Oposa, who were able to ride the balloon :( So maybe next time? Besides the main attraction (which was the hot air balloon set-up and flight), there were exhibits of the air force, and the armed forces, booths where you can buy souvenirs, eat, and play games.
"The hot air balloon is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology. On November 21, 1783, in Paris, France, the first manned flight was made by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes in a hot air balloon created by the Montgolfier Brothers." This anecdote is inscribed on the Hot Air Balloon Festival shirt produced by the Department of Tourism Region 3. According to our French intern/trainee Pauline, in France, the hot air balloon is called montgolfière, named after the Montgolfier brothers who built the first practical versions. :)
I saw these really nice chocolate bar covers. The chocolate bars are on sale for 35 pesos each. They were made by the deaf people of Pampanga.
After some time, Secretary Lim arrived at the Department of Tourism booth inside the grounds. He met with regional director Ronaldo Tiotuico, who escorted him to the hot air balloons on site available for the public to ride and experience flying. Secretary Bertie Lim was asked to try it as well :) Finally, I was able to take shots of him in a balloon!
After riding the balloon and inspecting the grounds, Secretary Lim went ahead to the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport and Nayong Pilipino in Clark to inspect the facilities. As for us, we left the hot air balloon festival headed to a new adventure.
All photos were taken using a Sony NEX-5 camera. I would like to thank DOT Regional Director Ronaldo Tiotuico and his team, Miss Jops of Clark Development for the accommodation and assistance they have extended to us. Also, last but not the least, thank you to Caltex Philippines, Laz, and my wonderful friends :)