Summer is big deal to every Filipinos. This is the time when every beaches are busy like bees. When Tagaytay and Baguio City are flocked by almost everyone! A season when the sky is true-blue and vibrant colors are everywhere! So at the peak of summer, I had a fair-share of a colorful summer at the 3rd Lubao International Balloon Festival.
Only in Pampanga!
There are two major hot air balloon festivals in the country and these are only happening in Pampanga. I intentionally skipped the one in Clark (the longest-running on its 20th year) because getting inside the flight area is expensive. I also want to try this one in Lubao which is promising as it is said to be the biggest in South East Asia with 40 balloons flying simultaneously after sunrise.
The early morning ride.
When going to places, a private car is definitely the most efficient and convenient way to have. Thanks to my friend Rej (@iamrej_ru) for sharing her car and made this short visit memorable. Oooops! I almost forgot that we also have Jayson (jays_do_it_360) joining us on the 3rd day of the event.
This trip was just just a random trip as we have other activities to attend later in that afternoon. The three of us are from far-away places. Jayson is from Tarlac City. I am from Bamban and Rej is from Porac. So I planned to meet Jayson at Dau Bus Terminal then headed to Angeles City to meet Rej at 4 in the morning. Everyone is just on-time and thanks to Google maps for leading our way to Pradera Verde in Prado Siongo, Lubao. We realized that the way is just easy as you just have to follow the way through Jose Abad Santos Avenue.
In an hour, we reached the venue as we see some laser lights beaming through the sky. The staffs assisting tourists with vehicle are well-trained. The parking area is spacious and I must admit, more organized than the one in Clark. General entrance is 250 pesos and another 280 pesos if you want to have a close encounter with the gigantic balloons. For hobbyist/photographers like us, we opted to get inside to have better photos.
The first couple of hours are really enjoyable as we had a close encounter with all the preparations being done before the balloons are set to fly. And after we got tired of maximizing our energy just shooting these giant objects in the sky, we exited the flight area for some refreshments and left the venue.
To sum-up our experience, it was awesome! That is true. But I noticed the organizers lack extra activities like air shows that the Clark-counterpart has. If you are planning a whole day in this event, it may be boring as the other activities that follow the flying of the balloons are cultural shows in the morning, the night glow, fireworks display and concert later in the evening.