Sunday, February 24, 2013

Kite Flying at the 18th Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

This year's 18th Hot Air Balloon Fiesta was held at Omni Aviation and I was dead set on going because I had so much fun last year (click here to read all about it). Plus, it was sponsored by Philippine Airlines and my sister will be manning the PAL booth so of course I just had to go!

Mark and I arrived at Clark at around 12:30 pm (high noon!) and parked near Petron which is a good 30 minute walk to Omni Aviation, this year's Hot Air Balloon Fiesta venue. There were no other parking slots available and it was so hot, we wished we left Manila earlier so we could have parked outside Omni Aviation instead. But as it turned out this "far" parking worked to our advantage later in the day, we were able to get out to the main highway right away and didn't encounter any traffic. 

Anyway, all these inconveniences quickly melted away because upon entering, damn, the sky was beautiful. The weather was P-E-R-F-E-C-T. I can't wait to fly a kite!

First up, picking my own kite. I lost mine last year (I think I left it in my Tito's car) and so I started scouting for a better, sturdier one. 

There were sellers sprawled everywhere, but I settled on this quaint booth manned by this really nice family. I got my kite for Php 150 (I was thinking of getting the hardcore Php 400 one but I spent so much on gas already, maybe next year!). 

So there, our very unassuming kite. If you remember from last year, I was so unprepared as it was my first kite flying event. This year with Mark's "expertise", we hoped to make the experience more interesting. 

Second, visit my sister in the hangar:

Philippine Airlines is a sponsor, yay!
PDI's Guyito breaking a sweat
Guyito was really hilarious and so cute!
with Mr. Instax Mini
Sunnies from SM Accessories
Now time to fly our kite!

Aside from kite flying and waiting for the hot air balloons to arrive from their journey, there were a lot of activities and exhibitions at this year's fiesta:

This literally took my breath away, can somebody please propose to me via this air banner? OMG.

Car drifting
hello Ryan Agoncillo!
Now it's my turn to fly the kite. I won't deny that Mark helped me a lot this year, because he was more experienced he really wanted to up the ante and make the kite fly higher. As in, so high was had to buy extra string! Later in the day, the guards told us to lower our kite altitude because it might interfere with the hot air balloons that were about to arrive :(

The kite was airborne for more than 20 minutes! Woopee! We had to stop midway because it was really so hot and we got tired from handling it. We decided to bring gloves next year to prevent line burn, and bring our own [thicker] string while we're at it. At this point Mark also, um, started "killing" other kites so I told him we should take a break, haha. 

I got hit by other kites also as the wind was very unpredictable, I think Bogart the Explorer hit me once as his kite crashed (he was behind me wearing his signature hat). He apologized but I was too busy to acknowledge him, funny I didn't notice an Australian accent (kidding!). Honestly, at kite flying festivals I rarely acknowledge hits and crashes because I'm too busy minding my own business. Not until one lady walked in front of us and caught our string in her umbrella, and continued walking not knowing she was already dragging our kite away from us! At this point, after pulling the string which I think she obviously felt, I shouted, "Hey! Give us back our kite!" And then she let go. LOL, I think I was about to run after her and grab her umbrella. 

Anyway, while on a food break we had our photos taken with the mimes and mascots. I think the mimes last year were better because they had props with them. Sayang, I missed the T-Rex which (I was told) chased some of the pilots! I know my sister has a video somewhere... This year's moral lesson: "Never taunt a T-Rex, even if it's a person wearing a T-Rex suit". They do retaliate!

And then dusk came, and oh my god, the sky was just so romantic. I lay my kite on the ground, looked up at the paragliders and waited for the hot air balloons to come back. 

An OPM Concert started around 7pm where (surprise, surprise!) Bogart was one of the hosts. This is when I realized that it was probably Bogart who hit me earlier in the day, haha. 

What a memorable experience overall, I can't wait to go back next year. Mark says we should bring a 3rd member who will help us unravel the string so we can get the kite up faster. I was just really very happy he came along this year :)

Were any of you guys at this year's Hot Air Balloon Fiesta? 


  1. I've never tried going to this event, but I've been curious for a while now. Ma-try nga rin next year! I don't know how to fly a hardcore kite, though, ang alam ko lang is the one I used to fly when I was kid, made out of newspaper and walis tingting. xD Hee.