March 03, 2017

Postcards From Pampanga


Well, hello there!

Just like in real life, when you disappear into the void, you send postcards from where you are to the loved ones you have at home to let them know where you are in the world or at least where you've been going. Here's my version, I guess. I thought I'd share with you some of the photos I took during the latest Hot Air Balloon Fiesta held at the Omni Aviation, Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga last February.

I have been trying to push back going to this festival even if Pampanga is just an hour drive away from our place and considering I am a fan of everything that flies and lights up the skies because in my mind, this is filed under for future use category. But the situation presented itself out of nowhere when one of my sister's friend wanted to go and extended the invite to our family. So on one February weekend, we were off to a weekend of everything that flies. That's their tagline by the way.

Things you have to remember if you plan on going to the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in the future:

1. Whatever you do, do not wear your precious pair of white sneakers. Yep. I made a rookie mistake of wearing mine to the event and I nearly died when I realized later on the day how messed up the consequences would be. From the venue to the parking lot, it was alikabok galore - I definitely didn't see that one coming. I'd like to think I had a taste of what Coachella is like, venue-wise. I had to wash it twice and all of my fingers were crossed all along praying all of the washing will actually work. It worked just fine but oh my word - the anxiety levels were at high!

2. Leave early for you to arrive early and avoid any sort of rush. All roads lead to Clark so it will be given that even if you're on an expressway, it will be clogged up at some point.  The crowd comes in two batches, one who's after the morning event which is when you get to see the hot air balloons set sail into the skies and the nighttime event wherein you can see them glow against the night sky. So stack up with roadtrip essentials - chips, playlist, water and if you're the designated driver, gums and candies are a must.

3. Enjoy the experience and laugh off all the mishaps. Not going to lie, it's not exactly what I was expecting it to be but I had no idea how it is done in the first place so I just tried to enjoy it as much as I can. Avoid the portalets if and when you can because it might ruin the experience for you. Wear comfortable shoes because you'd be standing for long hours and you don't want your feet hurting on top of everything. But I have to be honest, when they started lighting the hot air balloons, it lifted me and my spirits up in some way. It was a pretty sight with the full moon being the best accessory and the perfect backlight for the night sky. And I was with my family, couldn't think of a much better company.

It was fun to tick one more thing off my non-existent for future use list. Maybe next time I'll try to catch it around the break of dawn and witness the hot air balloons actually setting off to the skies. But until then, I'm content in knowing that by that time too, I'd know better than to wear my pristine pair of sneaks - no more rookie mistakes, I promise.
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