Thursday, February 08, 2007

up, up, and away!

in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon! planning to go to the 11th philippine international hot air balloon fiesta? if you are, we highly recommend it! today, we woke up early, left manila at around 4:30am and got to the site in clark, pampanga just before 6am. it was still dark, but there was so much activity going on. spectators were beginning to arrive as the balloon pilots were setting up. the excitement was palpable. especially when the fash pack was told that we were going to get to ride in one! woo-hoo! it’s been our dream to ride a hot-air balloon (as it’s been a dream to ride a helicopter, a camel, and an elephant, which we’ve all done. concorde na lang.) by 7am, we were ready! we rode balloon number 19 with two british pilots of the british telecom (BT) balloon, a photographer from the GMA (the tv station, not the president) website, and they needed one more light person, and that was us (uy, light daw kami!). and off we went! the take-off can be a bit nerve-racking because you can bounce a bit as the balloon catches the wind, but once you’re off, it’s smooth sailing all the way. it was so unreal, like we were in a scene from a movie, and we could see everything going on below us. what a sight to see the rest of the balloons taking off and catching up with us! awesome!!! it was so quiet and peaceful up there, and you get to admire and appreciate the earth god gave us. (wow, we're getting quite philosophical there...) more scenes from hundreds of feet up in the air… the two brits, dave and phil were very accommodating and friendly, and always willing to share their stories about their passion for ballooning. there were only about 20 balloons flying today, but the biggest festival they’ve ever participated in was in albuquerque, new mexico, and it had over 700 balloons flying in the air! then it was time to land… we were advised to hold the handles tight, bend your knees, and prepare for a bumpy landing. bumpy and sandy because we landed on lahar and got all dusty. and our schu shoes, boo-hoo! ruined by lahar. this is what we landed on: the whole experience was exhilarating, to say the least! the festival ends on sunday, so there’s till time to go, and even if you don’t get to ride, at least watch (because according to the organizers, the pilots only allow photographers and sexy girls to ride—guess we fall under the sexy-girls category, hahaha!!!)

4 comments:

Ruby Gan said...

Fantastic! Nice shots! :D

Anonymous said...

aren't you the lucky one? I heard it's next to impossible to get a ride in one of those things even if you were willing to pay for it. Galing!

Mark said...

Thanks for sharing this, now you added an entry into my personal Bluelist, those things one needs to do in his life.

Mrs.T (thebaghag wannabe) said...

Uyyy dang girl i missed that... I wanted to go, but tinamad hahaha :) awesome photos!!!