Clark Field in Angeles, Pampanga witnessed the happy gathering of aviation and adventure sports performers, enthusiasts and rallying spectators Thursday morning for the fun-filled opening ceremonies of the 21st Philippine International Air Balloon Fiesta titled “Weekend of Everything That Flies and Exchange of Cultures.”
“The event has served not only as a fascinating air show but also as a showcase of genuine Filipino hospitality, where we make our guests feel at home with family,” said guest of honor Undersecretary Kat de Castro, of the Department of the Tourism (DOT) who has attended the yearly event since she was 15 years old.
Delegations of aviators from 12 countries, including a first-time participant from China, joined various groups of Filipino flyers for the four-day festivity that has attracted thousands of hobbyists from across the globe, as well as students, soldiers and aviation executives.
“We welcome our visitors and celebrate as one big family for a great weekend,” De Castro said.
“No wonder the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Foundation has won the participation of flying aficionados from all over the world. We do have great scenery and warm climate conducive for flying and, most importantly, our genuine Filipino hospitality,” De Castro added.
The festival features sky diving, para-gliding, air fire-fighting demo, kite flying, aircraft exhibit, model airplane show, and an aviation seminar-workshop.
“We will continue to support wholesome and unique activities like this that help lift our tourism industry,” De Castro said.
Joining the DOT official on Thursday were PIHABF event director Captain Joy Roa, Clark Development Corporation president Noel Manankil, Department of Transportation Undersecretary Roberto Lim, and PIHABF president Vicencio Dizon.