The Rise of Giant Balloons: Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

The 21st Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta happened between February 9-12, 2017.  It was held at OMNI Aviation, Clark , Pampanga.  Each day there were activities.  We chose Feb 12 to witness the hot air balloons, but we were already at Pampanga by February 11 because the gate was scheduled to open by 4 in the morning. We stayed at  SOGO Hotel at their Dau branch. This hotel was affordable and near the venue. 

How to Reach Dau/Clark Pampanga from Cubao?

Dau and Clark are just neighboring towns. You can reach Clark in 10 Minutes via walking from Dau or ride a jeep in less than 5 minutes.  But how can you reach Dau?  There are several bus companies who have terminal in Cubao which pass thru Dau Bus Terminal.  There are few buses which have direct ride to Dau but most of the buses offering ride going North Luzon are passing to Dau.  Always ask the conductor if they are passing Dau. Some put signage in the front.  The fare is only 139 pesos and you'll reach Dau in 2 hours.  You can ride the following:
  • Victory Liner
  • Dagupan Bus
  • Solid North Transit
  • Five Star
There is no direct bus to Clark.  When you reach the Dau Bus Terminal, ride a jeep going to SM Clark.  It costs only 8 pesos.

Sogo Hotel


My sister and I stayed at Sogo Hotel, and booked it via Agoda. We chose this hotel because it was just beside the Dau Bus Terminal, and it was really affordable.  It only costed us 1200 pesos. 

We arrived at Sogo around 4 PM and to our surprised our check out was not 12 noon but 4pm of the next day.  The receptionist was accommodating, and the check in process was smooth.  We showed our printed agoda voucher and gave us our key to our room. We booked a premium room.

The room was exactly what we saw in Agoda.  The room was clean and smell fresh when we arrived. We had kits as well. The room had your basic needs. I enumerated below:

1.  Free Wifi - strength is fair enough
2.  LCD TV with Cable - it has adult channels.
3.  Hot and Cold Shower
4.  Telephone

The hotel was fully booked that time so walk-ins were waiting at the lobby for available rooms. We were surprised that they allowed the folks to sleep in the lobby when went down at 3 am. Overall we were satisfied in our stay.

The Land of Giant Balloons

We booked our tickets via TicketNet.  It costed us 410 pesos, 350 for ticket and 60 for Web Fee.  if you are going next year, I highly recommend to buy online so you'll just queue for the entrance in the event.

We left our hotel around 3 am and rode a jeep going to SM Clark.  We got off at jeep terminal near SM and rode another jeep going to event.  The jeep going to event costed us Php 20  each.  We joined the exodus toward the main gate because it was too traffic near the venue. 

In the venue, there were many food stalls and too many freebies promoting their products.
Emirates plane landing. Venue was near Clark International Airport.
While every was waiting for the hot air balloons, we all enjoyed the sunrise cause we were facing the east.

New Day Has Come
One event was the National Anthem.  Skydivers brought the Philippine Flag and people were singing Lupang Hinirang as it's slowly descending.

Inflating hot air balloons took almost an hour before they were fully inflated.  The main event started 7 in the morning already.  

Beagle Dog

Race Car

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We left the venue around 9 am because all the balloons  were already in air and could not be seen by naked eyes anymore.

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  1. Sounds fun! Looks like a beautiful sunrise!

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