It was up, up and away for the first Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF) held at the San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite this morning, March 6, 2020.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) hailed the successful opening day as a highly-anticipated signature sports aviation event outside Clark, Pampanga, its venue partner for 22 years.
In partnership with Manila Jockey Club, the Flying Carnival 2020, a 3-day event, is expected to be visited by over 45,000 spectators from March 6 to 8.
“We hope that with the success of this event, we can encourage the development of tourism establishments in Carmona, particularly hotels, which can cater to attendees of the future editions of the Flying Carnival, and other sports and leisure attractions in the area,” said DOT Region IV-A Officer-in-Charge Marites Castro.
Castro also mentioned that DOT initiatives are in place to help the CALABARZON region recover after the Taal volcano eruption earlier this year.
“We are very thankful to the organizers of the PIHABF, now that they are here 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,” added Castro.
For his part, PIHABF Event Director Captain Joy Roa expressed his group’s plans to take the event to other parts of the Philippines 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,” he said.
Staying true to its “A weekend of [almost] everything that flies” tagline, the Flying Carnival 2020 will feature paragliding and kite flying activities, aircraft displays, different species of birds, paramotor and drone racing events, and a special Night Glow show on the evening of March 8, akin to the drone show at the Closing Ceremony of the Philippines-hosted 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).
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 (UK), 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.
PIHABF’s new partnership with Manila Jockey Club at the San Lazaro Leisure Park as the venue will be for 4 years.
Dubbed as the Center for Investment and Sports in Cavite, Carmona boasts of a number of world-class facilities for activities such as horse racing, paragliding, motorcycle racing, karting, and golf, among others.