The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is an annual event held normally at Clark, Pampanga. This year, the venue was changed into San Lazaro Leisure Park at Carmona, Cavite. As the new venue was less than an hour away from our home, we decided to attend the event.
The Flying Carnival 2020, as this year’s event is called, happened last March 6 to 8, 2020. We scheduled our visit on a Saturday and bought our tickets online. We only stayed for half a day but had a wonderful time.
What are the tips I would suggest if you want to visit Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta?
- Buy tickets on-site. We bought our tickets online to avoid the crowd. However, we were surprised that everyone had thought the same way. The line for online tickets was so long however, there was no line for tickets bought on site (walk-in guests).
- Come as early as you can. Schedules are printed and posted ahead of time. Gates open as early as 3PM. Parking spaces can be limited and you might need to park far away from the entrance. Shuttles are provided though.
- Choose the activities you like. The Flying Carnival started at early as 3PM and ended as late as 9PM. Different activities showcasing air exhibitions and demonstrations in every hour. Personally, as much as I want to watch all air shows, I don’t think I can ever do it. They are just so plenty. You can watch the air shows in the morning and just come back in the afternoon for the fireworks.
- Be prepared to be exposed to a large crowd. I am not good with crowd estimation, but during our visit to The Flying Carnival 2020, the crowd was just too much. If you are not very comfortable with large crowd, you might want to buy a VIP ticket.
- Prepare for a mini picnic. There are only few seats offered during the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. Most of the people are on the grounds with picnic blankets, food and snacks. Honestly, it was more fun staying close to the activities in picnic style than seating in the benches.
- Keep hydrated. The area where The Flying Carnival is held is open air. It can be hot. Keep hydrated by bringing your own water. Umbrellas are also recommended.
- Manage your expectations. The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is a fair-weather event. If weather is inclement, tendencies are some activities will be cancelled.
- Try the ride activities if you can. There are ride activities that can be experienced in the Flying Carnival. You can ride a helicopter, ride a hot air balloon, do paragliding, or even sky-diving. These activities cost a lot. If you can afford it, then go for it!
- Enjoy! There are a lot of activities you can do at The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta other than the air shows. A bazaar is available and a huge space to play around for kids are offered.
It was such a wonderful experience for our small family to attend the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta this year. Hoping the next year our schedule would still permit us to attend.