This is the first time I attended a hot Air Balloon festival. Gone are the days that hot air balloons are in typical spherical-cone-at-the-bottom form. I heard from last year they had animals as balloons.
This year, as one by one the balloons took form….
each time a balloon rose, the crowds cheered, myriads of cameras clicked including mine….
While my settings reeled at the tricky backlit sky….desperately trying to get at least correct exposures of the magnificent giants while they take to the skies…
Up they went…one by one….how graceful and peaceful they seemed to fly….
Like a true-blue celebrity…Darth Vader ariseth, and the crowds went wild! Clearly, this balloon is this year’s people’s choice award if there is such a prize….
But there were also more interesting balloons to boot…like this pair of upside down-down-side up FESTOs (as what I called them…)
|You've seen this pirate before....|
|And my favorite....Mr. Snowman...finally, he lifted off...mocking this mere-of-a-size paraglider....|
|My friend captured these balloons in flight....|
|Still pictures of my friend, who was smart enough to take pictures amidst the tricky unforgiving backlit sky...while i fumbled about with my camera trying to figure out what to do..But then stopping just to enjoy the view.|
Food is not a problem since food stalls line the perimeter from end to end…and so are souvenir shops. Look at these miniature balloons….kids and kids at heart love them to bits…
But the program did not end with the hot air balloon flight. The Festival program is filled with aerobatic exhibitions, fly bys, light aircraft competitions and skydiving exhibitions….
Skydivers were a sort of celebrities around here….they came from different countries including skydivers of our own. They huddled and received instructions pre-flight. They took time to wave to spectators like me…and gave hi-fives to everyone!
The skydivers took off and jumped from as high as 10,000 feet…..landing on the field with accurate grace. I didn’t get good pictures the first time. Anyway, they have another jump later at noon.
In between programs, kites rule the skies….
From all ages, kites seemed like the favorite past time….even those who have never touched a kite before, like me.
If not kites, anything that moves with air were in.
Aeromodelling and RC exhibitions are considered a serious sport since it has an engineering and science aspect to it. It develops skill and coordination, but most of all, it is also fun.
This is a replica of the Wright brothers’ first aero-plane exhibited by one of the flying schools in the country.
Visitors are also encouraged to participate in aero sports…though I don’t know what they called this one….
But they sure are fun to watch….like riding the wind
There was also an exhibition by a Filipino champion in kite flying. He hails from
Rescue choppers also took flight for the rescue demonstration. I heard that the program invited volunteers to ride the chopper to experience the thrill and urgency of a rescue mission…
Then the skydivers came back. This time I took time to admire their grace upfront.
|Their chutes are as brightly colored as their dive suits....|
The skydivers were awesome. They never failed to capture the crowd. There was a girl among them. She is Thai.
Each of them taking turns to land, with every successful landing, crowds cheered.
|As one by one the skydivers came to land....|
|Until the last one gently lands...skydivers rule the day!|
|As the sun started to set, the crowds were awakened by a host of gentle rumbles of motors flying through the air. The flight of the paragliders were a signal that the balloons are coming....|
|Here they come again, raising the excitement of the crowd....|
|And here they come at last, the stars of the festival....especially our old buddy Darth. Crowds cheered when the balloons stood in full regalia...ready for the night glow!|
|The Hot Air Balloon Night Glow. Nothing rivals the beauty of a fully lit balloon, amidst the blue twilight background of the approaching night! Darth Vader looked menacing in its glowing light!|
|My friend captured this amazing and menacing look of Darth Vader, the balloon...methinks i hear him breathe heavily, nah! that was just the DJ....|
|As one by one glowed with the hot air effect, they seemed to come alive!|
|The balloons, with their different lights....were an awesome spectacle.|
|Offered a totally different view from the early morning flight. At night, their glow gave new meaning to light|
|I would have loved seeing all these balloons in flight, a-glow at night....|
|But the wind made it impossible for some to lift off....but i guess I have to be content in watching all these gentle giants glow....|
|And come alive under the starry dark night....|
|They seem to breathe, as each one took turns in delighting the crowd...I waited for a chance to capture them all aglow, but they seem to follow a rhythm...very much like breathing|
|Oh well, my senses would have drowned if all of these beauties lit up all at once and flood the night with their iridescent glow...|
|And as one by one the balloons grew dim....so is the time to say goodbye|
|They all seemed to dance and wave the crowd goodbye, a perfect climax indeed...and a proud bow at show's end.|