hot air balloon

Clark Hot Air Balloon Festival: Soaring to New Heights

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  • Post last modified:February 13, 2023
  • Reading time:21 mins read

The Clark Hot Air Balloon Festival in Pampanga brings hot air balloon enthusiasts and spectators together to celebrate ballooning. 

The festival typically features a colorful display of hot air balloons, flight demos, and other activities that showcase the art and science of ballooning. If you want to soar to new heights (literally), check this guide.

In this post, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about the hot air balloon festival. 

What Is the Hot Air Balloon Festival? 

The Hot Air Balloon Festival in the Philippines is an annual event featuring the beauty and excitement of hot air ballooning. The festival lets the public experience the thrill of flight and learn about the history and technology of hot air balloons. 

Plus, many lovers can enjoy the festival, with some proposals happening on air. The festival literally puts love in the air. 

Famous quotes aside, the festival features the following air-sporting events:

  • Hot air balloon competition
  • Precision flying
  • Ultralights
  • Aircraft maneuvers
  • Sky diving
  • Aircraft rally
  • Flag jumping 
  • Kite flying
  • Balloon bursting competition
  • Carnival rides
  • Concerts
  • Trade fair

The Hot Air Balloon Festival in Pampanga is also an international event joined by hot air balloon aeronauts worldwide. Like Pampanga’s Giant Lantern Festival, thousands of people visit the site annually to witness the early morning balloon fly-outs and late afternoon fly-ins. 

When Is the Hot Air Balloon Festival?

hot air balloon festival

The dates for the Hot Air Balloon Festival in the Philippines vary yearly. However, it’s usually held in the early part of the year, in January or February.

The four-day event attracts hot air balloon enthusiasts and spectators from around the country and beyond. But if you’re interested in attending the event, you must check their official website for the exact dates and details of the festival. 

Where Is the Hot Air Balloon Festival Held?

The Hot Air Balloon Festival is held in the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, Philippines. 

Clark Freeport Zone is a former United States military base located in Pampanga province. Now, it’s a special economic zone and a popular tourist destination. The festival at Clark Freeport Zone typically features a large display of hot air balloons, flight demonstrations, and other events that highlight the art and science of ballooning.

Aside from showcasing local hot air balloons, the event also features hot air balloons from Canada, Switzerland, the USA, Belgium, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, Hungary, Japan, China, and Thailand. 

Interesting fact: the Hot Air Balloon Festival pushed through amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it was held in Cavite, not Pampanga, in 2020. 

To celebrate its comeback in 2022, the festival featured a lot of local music chart topnotchers. Plus, instead of the usual January or February dates, the organizers moved the event to June 2022. 

Why Is the Clark Hot Air Balloon Festival Held?

clark hot air balloon festival

Wondering why the event is held every year? Check out the reasons why: 

1. Promote tourism

The festival provides a unique opportunity to showcase the beauty and excitement of hot air ballooning in the Philippines. As a result, it attracts thousands of tourists annually. 

2. Educate the public

The festival provides a fun and educational experience for all attendees. During the event, they can learn about the history and technology of hot air balloons. As a result, participants gain a deeper appreciation for the sport.

3. Bring people together

The festival provides a platform for hot air balloon enthusiasts and spectators to come together and celebrate their shared passion for the sport.

4. Support the local economy

The festival boosts the local economy by attracting visitors and providing economic opportunities for local businesses. The event also provides jobs to Filipinos in Pampanga. 

Why People Visit the Hot Air Balloon Festival in the Philippines

philippine hot air balloon festival

Thousands of local and international travelers visit the event each year because of the following reasons: 

1. Experience the thrill of flight

The festival provides a unique opportunity for visitors to experience flying in hot air balloons. It also lets them explore the history and technology of hot air balloons. 

Participants can take a hot air balloon ride and enjoy the area’s beauty from the air. Participants can enjoy a fantastic sunrise or sunset, depending on the time of day. 

2. Enjoy colorful hot air balloons

The festival features a colorful display of hot air balloons. They come in different shapes and sizes― a visual spectacle for visitors to enjoy. Should you join the festival, you’ll be wowed by the intricate designs and vibrant colors of the balloons. You can learn more about their features, too. 

3. Participate in exciting events

The festival typically features various exciting activities. These include live music, food stalls, and games that give visitors a fun and engaging experience. Plus, participants enjoy the festive atmosphere and join any activity they want, making the festival fun and memorable.

The event also caters to families whose kids love (and we mean l-o-v-e) hot air balloons. 

4. To enjoy a unique cultural experience

Aside from the art and science of hot air balloons, the festival provides a unique cultural experience for visitors. It showcases the local history and culture of Pampanga. 

Visitors can also enjoy Pampanga’s delicacies (more about this below). They can also immerse themselves in the local culture, making the festival a valuable cultural experience.

Pampanga Delicacies You Must Try

If you plan to join the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Pampanga, you should also try their food. Here are the delicacies you shouldn’t miss: 

1. Sisig


Did you know? The beloved sisig originated in Pampanga. It is now a popular Filipino dish served throughout the country.

The dish features chopped pork head and liver mixed with spices and served on a hot plate with rice. Cooks usually season it using a mix of vinegar, soy sauce, onion, chili pepper, and other spices.

Due to the chili peppers, sisig is well-known for being a spicy dish. Some would even argue that sisig holds the best spicy dish title in the country.

Fun fact: the origin of sisig can be traced back to the 1970s. A local chef in Pampanga named Lucia Cunanan introduced the dish to use roasted pig leftovers. Over time, the dish evolved and became more refined. Today, it’s a famous and beloved dish in the Philippines and beyond.

2. Turrones De Casoy

turrones de casoy

As the name implies, turrones de casoy is a type of turon. 

In case you don’t know, cooks wrap bananas with lumpia wrappers to make turon. But turrones de casoy features wafer paper instead. 

People love the dessert for its smooth, creamy texture, and nutty flavor. Cooks roast the cashews until golden and fragrant. Then, they mix it with sugar and egg whites to create a dense and chewy nougat. Next, they cut it into rectangles or bars. After this, they coat them with a layer of chocolate or another sweet coating. Lastly, they wrap the bars with wafer paper.

This sweet treat is a staple during the holiday season in the Philippines. People often give it as gifts to friends and family. You can also find it in many bakeries and shops throughout the province. 

3. Betute

Source: Twitter

Betute refers to a frog stuffed with pounded pork. As a result, the frog looks plump, almost bursting at times. 

The interesting betute (stuffed frog) is one of the most exotic dishes in the country. In Pampanga, people call it tugak, which means frog. Its flavor can be compared to chicken, which makes people love it more. 

Fun fact: farmers relied on rain to water their farms in Pampanga. During the rainy season, the young would catch frogs while their elders planted rice. For some, capturing frogs has become a traditional family bonding activity.

4. Buro

Source: WordPress

This one refers to a traditional Filipino dish featuring fermented rice. Some say that it works like kimchi or pickled rice.

Cooks make buro by mixing glutinous rice with spices, salt, fish, or shrimp paste. They then leave the mixture to ferment for several days. The process gives the rice a tangy and slightly sour flavor.

People often serve buro as a side dish with grilled chicken or fried fish. Locals also use it as a condiment to add flavor and tanginess to other dishes like chicken curry and chopsuey

5. Tocino


As you probably know, tocino is a popular Filipino dish made from pork. Cooks marinate the meat in a sweet and savory mixture of spices and seasonings. They then grill or fry it until crispy and caramelized. The dish originated from Pampanga, Philippines, and is a staple in Filipino cuisine.

Tocino usually features pork belly or shoulder sliced into thin pieces and marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and other spices and seasonings. Aside from the flavor, the marinade helps tenderize the meat.

6. Kamaru


Kamaru is a Filipino dish originating in Pampanga, Philippines. It is a crunchy, deep-fried cricket often served as a snack or appetizer.

Locals harvest crickets for this dish. Then, they clean, season, and deep-fry the insects until crispy. As a result, they create a dish known for its unique flavor and texture, crunchiness, saltiness, and slightly nutty taste.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the hot air balloon festival in the Philippines celebrated?

The Hot Air Balloon Festival in the Philippines is celebrated to gather hot air balloon experts, enthusiasts, and spectators. The event showcases giant, colorful hot air balloons and educates people on how they work. It also features concerts, games, trade fairs, and other air sports. 

Where is the most famous hot air balloon festival?

This most famous hot air balloon festival is in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta features more than 500 balloons. It is also the globe’s premier balloon event.

How much is hot air balloon ride in Pampanga 2022?

The price of a hot air balloon ride in Pampanga 2022 varies depending on the type of balloon and the number of people riding it. In 2022, VIP tickets were priced at P1,000, while SVIP tickets were at P3,000. In 2023 and beyond, the prices are subject to change. 

When was Philippine hot air balloon festival celebrated?

The Philippine Hot Air Balloon Festival is celebrated between January and February at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga. The event lasts four days and features air sports, trade shows, live music, and other activities. 

What are the reasons why the Philippines celebrate festivals?

The Philippines celebrate festivals because of religion, culture, tourism, or a combination of the three. Several festivals honor local patron saints. Meanwhile, others commemorate local history and culture. Some promote local tourism and boost the economy.

Visit Funnside Ninganan

Looking for a nice restaurant in Pampanga? Combining traditional and modern architecture, Funnside Ninganan has a stylish and classy appeal. 

Funnside Ningnangan’s menu features a wide variety of dishes. It includes inihaw (grilled dishes) and native Kapampangan dishes. Moreover, it has excellent service, an elegant ambiance, and reasonable prices. 

Everyone enjoys Funnside Ningnangan’s unique dining experience, from celebrities and athletes to ordinary citizens. Moreover, Funnside Ningnangan is proud to be pangmasa (for the masses). It offers an elegant dining experience without the high cost, making it stand out in the industry.

Check out the remarkable history of one of our clients― Funnside Ningnangan― here


With a wide range of activities, there is something for everyone at the Clark Hot Air Balloon Festival. From early morning flights and balloon-themed games to food stalls and live entertainment, the festival provides an unforgettable experience. 

So, whether you’re a seasoned hot air balloonist or just looking to experience something new and exciting, it’s worth checking out the Hot Air Balloon Festival. Soar to new heights in Pampanga, Philippines! 


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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Melfred

    Hello, would like to ask if is there any way we can ride the hot air balloon ?