In Photos: 21st Hot Air Balloon Fiesta of Pampanga

TO last for two decades is not a small fete for the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF), staged annually in Clark Freeport, Pampanga. This year—amidst rumors that it could be the last—the festival successfully staged its 21st edition thanks to the undying efforts and belief of its organizers.

From February 9 to 12, PIHABF showcased 31 hot air balloons in all shapes and shades from 14 participating countries from around the globe. The four-day event also welcomed about 100,000 local and foreign festivalgoers who enjoyed other aerial shows like formation flying, radio-controlled aircraft flying, paragliding, and skydiving, as well as dozens of on-ground activities like dance and song performances, and going around exhibit and food stalls.

Traveling Journo Ph was present at opening day, which saw the attendance of Capt. Joy Roa, event director and head of the PIHABF organizing committee, and Tourism Undersecretary Kat de Castro who both expressed optimism on the continued success of the world-class festival.

All this only show that our very own hot air balloon festival will continue to soar to greater heights in the coming years.

For now, let’s relish the 2017 PIHABF in photos:

From lift off, the giant balloons then soar high in the sky
In the last 20 years, the festival has lured foreign guests to showcase their balloon piloting expertise
On the other hand, locals also attend to give guest pilots a helping hand
This Philippine flag hot air balloon was the “first bird” to “fly” to officially open the festival
The Belgian pilot who showcased his love for ‘Star Wars’ at the 2017 PIHABF  
Thus, this gigantic Master Yoda balloon surely made a rather smug scene at the festival
Other balloons took the form of a Swiss chalet and the iconic Coke bottle
And who would miss this brightly-colored yet sad-looking clown!
Also spotted was Sonic the Hedgehog
Overall, this year’s PIHABF did not disappoint in terms of hot air balloon showcase

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