Hot air balloons take off at Clark

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Clark, Pampanga (CNN Philippines, February 8) — Love, and almost everything, was in the air Thursday morning, as the four-day Philippine international Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Clark, Pampanga began.

The event, which is also an annual gathering for aviators all over the world, showcased 26 colorful hot air balloons.

The balloons came in different shapes and forms such as heart, clown, animals, cartoon characters, and famous movie icons.

The festival also highlighted the 'paragliding wing walkers' from England — two ladies who performed gymnastics while wing walking.

Wing walking is the act of standing and walking on the wings of an airplane in flight.

Festival organizer Joy Roa said they added more aerial and ground activities this year, such as the airplanes and jets show, helicopters, paragliding, motor shows, and cultural presentations.

 "Ang layunin namin ay i-share ang joy of flying sa lahat ng tao," Roa said.

[Translation: Our goal is to share the joy of flying to everyone.]

He also said he wants the event to inspire the attendees to pursue aviation.

"Bigyan niyo ng oppurtunity na makapag-isip ng career sa aviation. Gusto naming maging inspiration ito," he added.

[Translation: Give it an opportunity to make you consider a career in aviation. We want this to be an inspiration.]

Roa said they are expecting 140,000 to 150,000 tourists to attend the festival this weekend.

The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is an annual event started by the Department of Tourism in 1994. Now on its 22nd year, the festival remains an anticipated event for Valentine's day.

Tickets to the event are priced at P500. Tickets for the hot air balloon ride, airplane ride, tandem paragliding, and tandem skydiving are sold separately, with prices ranging from $150 to $400 per person.