It was a late invite and of course I can’t let this pass, I have never attended any Hot Air Balloon Show before, it was truly amazing that this was their 17th year! We were supposed to visit this event a year ago however I became busy since I was flying to Dubai.
Anyway, we went out with the Pamoso girls, the same batch when we went to Coron, Palawan. Sorry my blog post about that getaway was long over due. Promise to fix it as soon as I can. Additions to the group were TL Randz, her wife Glaiz and son Daniel, first time to travel with Nap and Leah, the Megastar Ampy Cielo and of course, Ruby’s daughter Rain.
Saturday after shift we headed straight to Pampanga. As we all know, it’s considered as one of the food capital of the Philippines, so our dear friend Ampy being a food junkie made some research and found Everybody’s Cafe. A place where you can try exotic foods, more like Balaw Balaw that you can find near our area here in Rizal. It took us some time finding the place and I guess it will be a wasted opportunity if I will not try something in this famous place. In the end, I gathered up all my might so I can eat a fried frog, yes, can you believe it?! Those who are close to me knows that I will never dare put myself near that yucky amphibian. But as I have always said, what doesn’t kill me will only make me stronger. So I did conquer it with the help of my new friends, they all cheered and said I can do it and that it only tastes like chicken. True enough it does tastes like one. Aside from the fact that I ate my only enemy in the world, we had the chance to eat “adobong cricket”. I really can’t explain the taste since I dipped it first on sauce. All I know is you can feel it’s crunchy body, eww to that! Haha!
But of course! Gen would never let the opportunity pass, so she bravely tried it. Her facial expression is epic! She was not able to contain it and spat it out. But still, kudos to her, bravery is enough!
All of us felt tired since we worked the night before, so after eating we headed straight to Villa Antonina’s Resort. We were lucky to get a family room and it all gave us space to sleep our tired bodies to. The others were able to use the pool, but I was so tired I just slept. We all woke up around 2:30 am, we hurried up because we have been informed that there will be a heavy traffic in the said area.
We arrived at the place and yes, not only was there traffic, the dust was everywhere! You have to make sure you have a hanky so you can cover you nose and mouth. I recommend those who have asthma attacks to make sure their medicines and nebulizers are all set. The entrance was chaotic, there were so many people, children and adults alike. They all came from different places just to see the big floating balloons! Ticket costs 200 pesos each. You can either buy it there or have your tickets reserved at Ticketworld.
Once inside, you have to choose a place in the open field area. Others were ready, some were not, like us. Good thing Randz was able to buy something that we can seat in. The place was grassy but it was not enough to just sit there because of the dust. The event started with a group of guys paragliding. One guy was carrying the flag of the Philippines and as our national anthem ended he landed as well, talk about right timing. After a few minutes, they assembled the hot air balloon and soon they were up in the air. While the whole event was ongoing, there’s a guy explaining some facts about the event and hot air balloons. I learned that flying hot air balloons depends on the country and weather. Here in the Philippines, it should be early morning and late afternoon where the air is cooler so that the balloons can fly properly. For me, the weather was perfect for the event, we experienced some drizzle early in the morning but most of the time it was cloudy and not too hot. Good for all the people who were watching. The hot air balloon show finished early, after that, we moved to a different place since the boys wanted to fly some kites. We ate, toured the bazaar area where I was able to buy a magnificent capiz lamp. It was really unique and one of a kind.
At around 10:30 am, we left the place and headed for lunch to ease our hungry stomach. This time around we visited Toll House. I was not able to take pictures using my camera, forgive me for that. Hopefully I can snatch some pictures from the others soon. The place was big on the inside and I believe this is a really famous restaurant in the area. By lunchtime, the place was full and others were waiting. My pork ribs was so great and I was so full after my meal.
We said goodbye to each other after lunch time and headed to different directions.
To sum it all up, I had a great time though my cough and colds became my problem. However, I did not let that get in my way, every minute was well spent and I gathered some few reminders if you want to go next year. Here it goes…
1. It’s much better if you stay a night before the main event anywhere in Pampanga. Of course I would recommend Antonina’s Resort since it’s very clean and near Clark. Why? The event starts early and I bet if you drove all the way from Manila straight to the event, you’ll be more tired.
2. Reserve your tickets online so that you will not experience a very long line for buying them. The reserved tickets has a different line. Our group was just lucky because Gen was very good in haggling tickets, she really is the queen, kudos to that!
3. Bring Wet ones or any wet wipes and alcohol. Once the sun is up, you will see how dirty your feet is. Walk on clean feet not like what I did! I was on dirty ones all the time.
4. Bring a foldable chair, blankets, newspaper or anything you can seat in.
5. Make sure umbrellas, caps and shades are ready as well. You’ll never know how the weather will go.
6. Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the heat. Simple, to avoid skin cancer in the future.
7. Batteries should have full batts so as not to spoil your picture taking.
8. If you are bringing along kids, make sure that you can always see them, I think some children got lost. If possible, tie them up to you specially if you have naughty ones.
9. Food, it’s okay if you forgot to buy before entering since there are a lot of food stalls inside. The only problem is the long line.
10. Enjoy! Take lots of pictures and share it!