Over 100,000 expected to attend hot air balloon festival

CLARK FREEPORT—More than 100,000 foreign and local visitors are expected to attend the 21st Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF) inside the Freeport starting Thursday.

This was learned from Captain Joy Roa, event director and head of the PIHABF organizing committee, who also disclosed that 31 hot air balloons from 14 countries from Asia, Europe and North America will participate in this four-day event to be held at the Omni Aviation center from February 9 to 12.

The signature sports event of Clark will also be a gathering of aviators from around the world who will showcase their skills in flying.

Aerobatic pilots are expected perform stirring flying maneuvers and choreographed routines never seen in normal flights.

The aerobatic show will be led by pilot Sean Clarke’s aboard his Champion Decathlon.

Roa said there will be balloon bursting event which is one of the most anticipated events at the fiesta.

In an exciting demo of precision flying, pilots fly a light aircraft over the runway and attempt to burst small, helium-filled balloons released from the ground.

“This balloon fiesta is expected to be bigger and more colourful to help Clark transform into a tourist haven north of Manila,” Roa said.

The hot air balloon fiesta started in 1994, with the main goal of jumpstarting the local economy and uplifting the morale of communities in Central Luzon, after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.
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