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IN PHOTOS: Hot air balloons soar anew in Clark

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 09 2017 05:20 PM | Updated as of Feb 10 2017 01:04 PM

ANGELES CITY -- The 21st Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, an annual festival showcasing hot air balloon designs and technology, opened at the Clark Air Field on Thursday. 

Dubbed as "the weekend of everything that flies," the annual event gathers hot air balloon teams and enthusiasts and attended by Filipinos and foreigners.

People of all ages anticipate as different hot-air balloon teams fire up their balloons leaving spectators in awe of the colors before them. Families and friends get inside their baskets to fly under the clear skies as participants view the vast flat lands of Central Luzon from above. 

As early as 4 a.m., festival-goers waited outside the gates to buy tickets and enter the festival grounds. 

General admission is at P350. If you want to ride the hot air balloon, prepare to spend $350 (around P17,000) per passenger.

But if your budget is tight, you might still enjoy a free less-than-5-minute hot air balloon ride! They just have to register first. Don’t expect much, though, as these are tethered balloons that will float a few meters high only. 

Still, it's a perfect pre-Valentine treat to share with friends, families and loved ones.

Apart from hot air balloons coming from 15 different countries, other attractions include aerobatic exhibitions, balloon bursting, formation flying, gliding, and microlight and ultralight flying. 

Representing President Rodrigo Duterte is Tourism Undersecretary Kat de Castro, who said the government will give its outmost support to encourage more balloonists from other countries to participate and to keep festivals like this continue for the next 10 or 20 more years.

Marshals and police have been deployed to assist the spectators and keep everything in order.

The balloon festival runs until Sunday. -- Report from Micaella Ilao and Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Here are photos from the event.

A helicopter takes off before hot air balloons are fired up at the Clark Air Field for the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

A skydiver unfurls the Philippine flag at the Clark Air Field during the opening of the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Participants prepare for their hot air balloon flight during the opening of the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Participants prepare for their hot air balloon flight during the opening of the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

A photographer takes a snap as participants prepare for their hot air balloon flight during the opening of the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Participants prepare for their hot air balloon flight during the opening of the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Participants fire up their hot air balloon flight during the opening of the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Participants fire up their hot air balloon flight during the opening of the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Hot air balloons of different shapes and sizes are showcased at the opening of the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Hot air balloons of different shapes and sizes are showcased at the opening of the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Couples have their photos taken during the opening of the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Hot air balloons of different shapes and sizes are showcased during the opening of the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Hot air balloons of different shapes and sizes are showcased during the opening of the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Hot air balloons of different shapes and sizes are showcased during the opening of the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Visitors ride the hot air balloons during the opening of the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Hot air balloons take off during the opening of the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Hot air balloons take off during the opening of the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Hot air balloons take off during the opening of the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga on Thursday Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News