On a high: The 18th Phl Int'l Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
Ruth Sindico (The Philippine Star) - February 25, 2013 - 12:40pm

MANILA, Philippines - If the annual Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta's aim is to encourage interest in flying, it had successfully done so. That is if we were to base the spectator turnout to the event during the weekend.

A large number of people came in as early as 4:30 a.m. on Saturday in anticipation of the hot air balloon parade and the aerial show that featured Filipino pilots and the Breitling Jet Team. Those who came from Metro Manila left as early as 2 a.m. to line up for the event, not minding the rain that came in on Friday.

They didn't mind the 300-meter walk from the parking lot to the event area either or even the disorganized queue going inside the center.

The still pitch-dark sky at 5 am served as a great background for the radio-controlled night fliers that greeted spectators. As the dark gave in to light, they pulled out their cameras to catch a picturesque sunrise.

The show officially started when members of the Philippine Army jumped off a plane carrying the Philippine flag as the national anthem was played.

Twenty-five hot air balloons then took to the sky one by one for a "Hare and Hound" event. Here, a "hare" balloon first took the sky and the other balloons will run after it.  Some of the more popular hot air balloons during Saturday's event were the bouquet of tulips, upside down kid, fire truck, pink elephant and the plane, which, unfortunately, failed to take off.

The true stars of Saturday's show, however, were the Filipino and Breitling Jet pilots whose aerial plane maneuvers held the crowd in awe. Imagine Top Gun or your favorite sci-fi aerial battle scenes come to life.

Here are some scenes from last Saturday's event:

View all
 
Photos by Ruth Sindico

 

BREITLING JET TEAM HARE AND HOUND METRO MANILA PHILIPPINE ARMY PHILIPPINE INTERNATIONAL HOT AIR BALLOON FIESTA RUTH SINDICO TOP GUN
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