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๐๐ก๐ข๐ฅ๐ข๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ข๐ง๐ž ๐‡๐จ๐ญ ๐€๐ข๐ซ ๐๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐จ๐ง ๐…๐ข๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐š ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’: ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† โ€˜๐’˜๐’†๐’†๐’Œ๐’†๐’๐’… ๐’๐’‡ ๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’“๐’š๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’‡๐’๐’Š๐’†๐’”โ€™ ๐’“๐’†๐’•๐’–๐’“๐’๐’” ๐’‚๐’• ๐’๐’†๐’˜ ๐’”๐’Š๐’•๐’† – ๐‘ต๐‘ช๐‘ช

After a hiatus of a few years, the Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF), which is tagged as โ€˜the weekend of everything that fliesโ€™, is taking off again on February 16 to 18. Only this time, instead of Clark Freeport Zone, the โ€˜launching padโ€™ is New Clark City.

This was officially announced at Swissotel Clark on January 9, during KapiHann, the monthly media forum of the Pampanga Press Club staged in partnership with Hann Resorts.

The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF) is the longest running sports aviation event in Asia, and the only airshow experience in the Philippines.

Known as โ€œA Weekend of Everything that Flies,โ€ the 3-day event will once again give families, friends, and aviation enthusiasts a chance to witness non-stop flying exhibitions from regular and special-shaped hot air balloons, helicopters, skydivers, paragliders, radio-controlled aircraft, kites, and drones, all in one venue.

Capt. Joy Roa, the brains behind the โ€˜longest running sports aviation event in Asia,โ€™ revealed the new attractions in this yearโ€™s balloon fest.

โ€œAn aerobatic team will fly in the morning and late afternoon or early evening,โ€ Roa stated.

The evening skies will be the perfect backdrop for the pyrotechnics display, which will cap the aerobatic teamโ€™s show, which, Roa said, will be a first of its kind in the Philippines.

Another first in this yearโ€™s balloon fest is the โ€˜wing walkerโ€™, which Roa described as a turbine-powered paramotor that is similar to the ones used in Hollywood movies.

Other exciting attractions include the international drone race, which will the crowd a โ€˜first person point of viewโ€™, with the images from the drones being flashed on giant screens at the venue.

Roa said โ€œthe Navy and Coast Guard will conduct a rescue demo. World champion aerobatic RC performers are also joining the aerobatic demo, and there will be bands playing nightly.โ€

Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and CEO Joshua โ€˜Jakeโ€™ Bingcang tagged the PIHABF 2024 as โ€œthe biggest event to be held at NCC to date.โ€ He admits that the balloon fest is โ€œa shot in the arm in terms of promotion, but since it is a world-class, global eventโ€™ it is definitely worth it.

Bingcang announced that the BCDA Team will prepare flyers and maps so that the public will have an easy guide on how to get to the NCC from various take-off points. In consideration of those who do not have their own vehicles, the BCDA chief said โ€œWe are in talks with public transport providers as we expect hundreds of thousands of participants.โ€

Businessman Rene G. Romero, President of the Land Rover Club of the Philippines, which has been the official chase team of the hot air balloon fest for years now, shares in the excitement and joy of the resumption of the grand event, and asked the public to support Capt. Joy Roa and PIHABF 2024.

โ€œWe were saddened when it (PIHABF) moved to Cavite, but we still followed him there because we believed the event would boost the economy of the new area. And now, we are thankful for our Kapampangan BCDA boss, because the balloon fest is back where it started.โ€

Romero also appealed to Roa to allow SMEs to have booths where they can sell their products and boost the economy. Roa reverted by saying DTI Tarlac is working on this.

The Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta will be staged in various spots at the 60-hectare area of New Clark City, including the Athletic Stadium, Aquatics Center and the vast open spaces of Hann Reserve.

NCC is in Tarlac, and Governor Susan Yap is delighted to be the โ€˜hostโ€™ beginning this year. โ€œWe have signed a 5-year MOA on PIHABF with Hann Reserve, Capt. Joy Roa and BCDA.โ€

Indeed, itโ€™s all systems go for the โ€˜weekend of everything that flies.โ€ All aboard. Fasten your seat belts. And get ready to fly!

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