Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta flies again, this time in Cavite
Paramotors take off at the San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite on February March 6, 2020. Dumlao

Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta flies again, this time in Cavite

( - March 8, 2020 - 5:46pm

MANILA, Philippines — For the first time, the highly anticipated signature sports aviation event Philippine International Hot Air Baloon was staged in the Calabarzon region, way south of where it used to be held.

The Flying Carnival 2020 kicked off at San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite last Friday.

This is the first time it was held outside Clark, Pampanga, its partner venue partner for 22 years. The event was canceled last year "due to lack of government commitment."

Carmona is the chosen venue for this year as it is dubbed the "Center for Investment and Sports in Cavite." It boasts of a number of world-class facilities for activities including horse racing, paragliding, motorcycle racing, karting, and golf.

The Department of Tourism said it expects more than 45,000 spectators for the event, whuch runs until Sunday.

The Flying Carnival 2020 features paragliding and kite-flying activities, aircraft displays, different species of birds, paramotor and drone racing events in line with its tagline: “A weekend of [almost] everything that flies.”

"Visitors can expect hot air balloons in different shapes and colors operated by skilled pilots from Belgium, Japan, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, as well as exciting new acts from paramotor pilots from the Philippines, Japan, Korea, and France. A team of experienced skydivers from the UK will also present their formation flying performance throughout the weekend," the DOT said.

It added that resource speakers from the Philippine Air Force, Philippine Navy, Cebu Pacific Air, and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines will "share their expertise and experiences in a series of seminars for aviation enthusiasts, hobbyists, and the youth who are interested in pursuing a career in the aviation industry."

On Sunday evening, spectators will be treated to a special Night Glow show similar to the drone show during the closing ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian Games that the Philippines hosted last year.

Marites Castro, DOT Region IV-A officer-in-charge, said the tourism department is hopeful that the development of tourism establishments in Carmona, such as hotels, can cater to attendees of the future editions of the Flying Carnival, and other sports and leisure attractions in the area. 

She said these efforts aim to help the Calabarzon—Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon—region bounce back after the setbacks caused by the Taal Volcano eruption in January.

Castro said the DOT is thankful to the organizers of PIHABF for staging the event in Calabarzon.

"Events like the Flying Carnival 2020 are very important in boosting the country’s domestic tourism, which is now the DOT’s main direction as announced by our Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat," she added. 

Joy Roa, PIHABF event director, said their group plans on staging the aviation event in other parts of the country in the coming years.

"We would like to share ballooning and aviation to everyone around the Philippines, and I think this is the first step," Roa said.

Meanwhile, organizers have installed thermal cameras and closed circuit televisions at the event gates to monitor the visitors’ temperature and identification before entry in compliance with the Department of Health's precautionary measure against COVID-19.

The DOH and the DOT earlier issued a memorandum asking event organizers to follow health guidelines when staging their events — Rosette Adel

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