The plan was to sleep very early on Saturday evening and leave the house at 2.00 a.m. on Sunday to avoid rushing and to get to the site of the 12th Philippine Hotair Balloon Festival ahead of the Manila crowd. It turned out to be a sleepless night for Sam and I. Sam couldn’t sleep because she spent half the morning and all afternoon of Saturday sleeping already. Me, I had to get Pinoy Moms Network back online (long story, maybe another time). We left the house a little before 2.30 a.m., stopped at 7-11 for a bag of tube ice, the kids ate in the car at the start of the journey and slept for the most part. We were at Clark Field before 4.00 a.m. The site was right across the street from those concrete letters that spell “Air Force City“.
Although I was aware that there would be plenty of food stalls, Speedy bought bottled water and juices the day before, placed them in a cooler then dumped in the tube ice from 7-11. He also prepared some chicken salad the night before (ang sipag, ‘no? Ayaw gumastos, eh!) which I made into sandwiches. The Mr. Scrooge mentality turned out to blessing because the food stalls did not open until around 6.00 a.m. The two hour lull between the time we got there and the time the ballooners arrived would have been terrible with grumbling stomachs. We entertained ourselves as best as we could mostly by taking photos of our own shadows…
… and by heckling Speedy because he had the camera with the smallest lens (he countered by saying it’s waterproof and shockproof but I didn’t see him using it — I only saw him using the video cam).
At around 6.00 a.m. the participants started to arrive and the inflating of the balloons began.
That was when the photography fever started to build.
The day’s events formally began with a unique flag raising ceremony.
Then, the balloons were off.
What a spectacular sight! A shutterbug’s dream. People went photo crazy.
Galit-galit muna while everyone took photos.
Sam’s best buddy, Joan, was there with her family. They were also there the previous day, Saturday, but the balloons did not take off on Saturday because of strong winds. But Joan’s dad, Ding, is a serious photo enthusiast, so I guess driving back on Sunday was a must. :)
Anyway, I’ll be posting more in the photo blog later. So will the kids. Sam was using a longer lens (my lens, actually, which she keeps permanently in her camera bag) so I bet her photos of the hot air balloons from a distance are clearer. Plus, there are photos of the parachuters (is there such a word?) and the inevitable pasaway that you find in every event and in every crowd. Later.