“A weekend of everything that flies”
Yes, it was a weekend and I was there to see flights…and now I wonder if it was just balloons I wanna see fly…
the burning horizon at the break of dawn
Clark Field, Pampanga
It wasn’t a coincidence. It was premeditated. I was there because I wanted to be there…
At the stroke of midnight I was standing in front of a guy asking him to
love me make me a Venti Americano with White Mocha…Macky did not love me…he gave me a cup of bitter-sweet elixir. My heart nearly burst in excitement at the aroma of freshly brewed coffee…that jolt! It’s way stronger than the so-called “payanig sa Pasig“[local: naughty idiom].
Bakit ba ako nagpapakalango sa kape? Eh, kung lumalaklak na lang ako ng reyalidad. [Why was I drowning myself with coffee? I should be deluged with reality]!
Drama out…reality sinking in
Out of the poorly lit steps of the SM Fashion Hall along EDSA, I hopped on a dark Mitsubishi Adventure on the way to the foodie heaven – Pampanga. We took a quick snack stop at one of those grand gas stations along North Luzon Expressway (NLEx). A few lucid dreams and some aimless thoughts brought us to Clark Freeport Zone and the 20th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta! And like what I have read a couple of days ahead, it pays to be VERY early. The traffic jam at 3AM inside Clark Freeport Zone was slightly comparable to that of EDSA!
After finally being able to find a suitable parking space, we confidently marched towards the entrance [gate opens at 5AM]. I’m not sure if the organizers did not expect the volume of patrons on a Valentine’s Day! The gate was like a scene from the series “Walking Dead” with people all confused because there wasn’t any visible markers nor marshals to put the “mob” in order!…
…a couple of minutes of being tossed around, my discombobulated self finally felt the cool air and reasonable personal space!
The discombobulated spectator in a sea of bedazzled onlookers
After finding a sweet spot on dead and dry grass, we got our cameras ready to witness some balloons rising! Not your ordinary ‘loons, they’re huge ones that require pilots! Fortunately for us, we settled on a place nearest the one carrying the Philippine colours! Sad to say though, it is owned by an American pilot who incidentally loves the Philippines to have a hot air balloon in the country’s colours.
Land of the morning, Child of the sun returning, With fervor burning,
Thee do our souls adore. – Land of the Morning, Camilio Osias
As the sun rises to the east, so do the balloons! At my view-point I can feel the burn which was more than welcome amidst the early morning chill. I was not sure if it was the rising of the temperature or my heart swelling with excitement and pride as the American-owned balloon carrying our national colours lit up and rose from the sleepy, cold ground.
catch me of you can!
Hare and Hound
What are you going to do with all the enormous balloons other than tether to the ground or fly ’em? Well, Ballooning wasn’t called a sport for just popping up from the ground and looking eye candy! They have what’s called the Hare and Hound.
The Hare balloon takes off a set amount of time before the Hound balloons and typically flies with multiple altitude changes to make it more difficult for the chasing balloons to match its flight path. After a set amount of flight time, the Hare will land and typically lay out a target cross for the Hounds to drop their weighted markers near. As above, the distance between a pilot’s marker and the target determines his or her score. – Wikipedia
It’s a boy-meets-girl thing isn’t it?
The day wasn’t called a Valentines’ Day for nothing. Even the balloons have theirs! [there goes that #hugoat!] buti pa ang mga hot air balloons may FEBibig! I came here for a weekend…a weekend when everything flies. I was kind of hoping that this unlikely feeling 0f solitude would also fly away [Sabi EVERYTHING flies]. On second though, what was only promised was a weekend of everything that flies! It’s not like your heart will land on my palms, ‘di ba?
My life and happiness are like hot air balloons… colorful with all the friends and loved ones making me smile everyday. My freedom allows me to fly at will…to let the wind take me wherever…whenever…
My willingness to love without expectations, my eternal hope of finding that lost soul…they fuel the fire inside, warming the heart…love is lifting me higher and higher!…
Up…Up… and Away!!!
February 14, 2016
Clark Freeport Zone, Calrkfield, Pampanga
Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta