In the Clouds: Albay's Hot Air Balloon Festival and Airshow - The Filipino Rambler


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Sunday, April 28, 2024

In the Clouds: Albay's Hot Air Balloon Festival and Airshow

From May 3rd to May 5th, 2024, the historic Legazpi Airport in Albay will undergo a remarkable transformation, becoming a vibrant hub for enthusiasts of all things airborne. "A Weekend of Everything that Flies," an exclusive airshow experience typically held in Clark, Pampanga, will make its debut in the Bicol region, with the iconic Mayon Volcano providing a stunning backdrop.

Initiated by Ako Bicol party-list representative, Cong. Zaldy Co, this event draws inspiration from acclaimed hot air balloon festivals worldwide, particularly those in Clark, Pampanga, and the daily flights of Cappadocia, Turkey. Co envisions this international spectacle, featuring foreign pilots and participants, as a catalyst for revitalizing tourism throughout Albay and the wider Bicol region.

"In Cappadocia, Turkey, we marveled at hot air balloons drifting over stunning landscapes. Now, imagine these vibrant balloons against the backdrop of the majestic Mayon Volcano," Co expressed. "This event promises to attract spectators, generate tourism-related employment, bolster sales of local products, and invigorate our regional economy."

Attendees can anticipate a captivating array of hot air balloons, including whimsical shapes like Brazil's Bidu, the UK's Bella and Buster (different dogs), Party Balloon from the USA, UK's Dyno (a dinosaur), and Belgium's Princess Nelly (an elephant), among others. Additionally, the Global Stars aerobatic team will dazzle spectators with thrilling aircraft stunts, accompanied by daytime smoke trails and nighttime pyrotechnics.

The festivities continue with drone light shows, fireworks displays, and the enchanting Night Glow, where hot air balloons illuminate the evening sky to synchronized music. Throughout the event, visitors can explore exhibitions featuring paramotors, kites, FPV drones, ultralight planes, and even car drifters, all set against the scenic runway backdrop.

Indulge in Bicol's renowned local cuisine and products showcased in the "Fly Market" and food booths scattered across the venue. While entrance to the event is free, those seeking to experience hot air balloon flights, tethered rides, tandem skydiving, or tandem paragliding are advised to book tickets online in advance, as slots are limited.

Organized by the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF), renowned for its annual airshow in Clark, Pampanga, and New Clark City, Tarlac, the event continues a tradition of nearly three decades. Its core objectives remain steadfast: to ignite aviation interest among youth, instill discipline in aspiring pilots, and foster a spirit of community volunteerism.

Tickets for rides and experiences are available at Stay updated on event details via PIHABF's official social media channels: Facebook – Instagram – @philballoonfest TikTok – @philballoonfiesta

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